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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  April 5, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, "bbc world news." tim: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am tim willcox. from the united nations to the white house, the trump administration takes a tough new line on syria after the deadly chemical weapons attack. president trump: my attitude toward syria and assad has changed very much. tim: white house chief strategist steve bannon, trump's brain, is removed from his position on the national security council. why? and she was a victim of the recent london attack at tonight -- london attack.
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she speaks for the first time about the husband she lost and her feelings toward the attacker. >> i don't think i could hear my injuries if i had hate in my heart. kurt would not want that either. there is no hate. tim: hello. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. it was a devastating chemical gas attack that killed dozens of civilians including children. the latest apparent war crime in syria. damascus and moscow denied involvement, but that is not good enough for many western countries, including the united states. holding photographs of dead syrian children the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. warned her country might take unilateral action if the security council failed to respond.
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president trump said many, many lines beyond a redline had been crossed. 5-year-old abraham went to bed in spiderman pajamas and woke up to the latest tour in the syrian unending war. his grandmother was by his bedside, caring for him and his sister because their father was killed in the attack. lives ruined tight talks a cloud that filled victim's lungs with cloud thaty a toxic filled victim's lungs with poison. >> they just fell to the floor. too easy to is become desensitized to the suffering of the syrian people. lost 20 his plight, he members of his family, including his twin children, killed in a
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second explosion. why did this happen? i went to help other people, i thought my children were ok. now, they are gone. reporter: president trump derided barack obama for saying chemical weapons crossed the red line, but not following through on the threat. in the rose garden he deployed similar language and signaled a change on syria. president trump: these actions by the assad regime cannot be tolerated. my attitude towards syria and assad has changed very much. it crossed a lot of lines for me. reporter: western nations pointed the finger of blame at theassad regime and diplomatic protectors in russia.
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moscow claims that syrian rebels were to blame. >> the syrian air force conducted an airstrike on a large warehouse of a munition and military equipment. on the territory of the warehouse there was a facility to produce a facility to produce ammunition with the use of toxic weapons. reporter: that prompted this moment of diplomatic theater. the u.s. ambassador nikki haley holding graphic images of the dead. then, eyeballing her russian counterpart, she blasted moscow. >> if russia has the influence in russia it claims to have, we need to see them put an end to these horrific acts. how many more children have to die before russia cares? saw the usual divisions at the security council, the usual deadlock over
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syria, the inability of the international community, even facts on the ground. after that atrocity in 2013, the assad regime was supposed to hand over the chemical weapons stockpile. it has continued to use banned toxic weapons. they believe damascus has carried out another war crime. , empty streets and signs that warn of the poison still contaminating the air. bbc news, new york. , katty kay spoke to richard blumenthal about what he thought might happen after the attack. >> what i hope will happen is we'll have more than just tough talk.
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there is opportunity for real action, against not only the must go,ime, and assad but against russia. sanctions are possible. they are to be pursued much like against iran, and that brought them to the table to end their nuclear engagement. iranians,ns and the the world knows, are aiders and heinous,of this unacceptable war crime. let's call it what it is. it is criminal, it is a violation of international law, and assad should be pursued for war crimes. tim: senator richard blumenthal. for more on the tough words on syria i spoke to our know the american editor, jon sopel. president trump said many, many
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lines beyond a red line has been passed. what is the message to the rest of the world? jon: we know what he feels. he is shocked, disturbed, alarmed, called it a heinous crime. we know he holds president assad responsible for it. just because you have a change of presidents in the white house, it doesn't mean the equation of the risk benefit analysis of taking military action has changed. askld trump will have to the same questions of barack d.ama aske who do we strike, what do we ,trike, when do we strike what does success look like? all of those putting national security operators into a flat spin when barack obama was president, and i suspect the same with donald trump your
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donald trump has changed his attitude. it is closer that there will be some kind of military action by thegainst syria united states, but it is incredibly complicated i what to do. tim: it is a more complicated battlefield since 2013. nikki haley said "how many more children have to die before russia cares?" we did not hear the word russia pass donald trump's lips. trump has not overtly criticized russia at all. if he gets involved with military action with president assad, pressure is by president assad's side. how do you distinguish between
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the two? that is why it is complicated for the president to contemplate military action against bashar al-assad without somehow involving russia. bannon is one of president trump's most influential in pfizer's -- influential advisers, but a man who has compared himself to satan and darth vader, he is one of the most controversial. many democrats welcomed the news that he was being removed from a position on the national security council, reversal of a controversial decision to add him earlier this year. i spoke to a reporter from "u.s. news & world report." to say he is controversial is an understatement. what is this, power play? what is going on? >> i think it is in part a power play. the newly installed national security adviser h.r. mcmaster series of conversations with the president trying to
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wrest control -- tim: he is a general. >> he is a general and has written a book about how important it is to stand up to presidents. he is sober minded and apolitical. steve bannon, the former chairman of breitbart news, lives in political theater. mcmaster conveyed this to aides and trump, and trump came to the decision that it was good to remove bannon. tim: i heard that steve bannon did not attend the meetings anyway. >> he didn't. and i talked to a congressional hill a who never believe that his real passion was foreign policy and national security. when he was originally appointed it was a sign of his power and, i guess, his stature in the administration. many people believe there will be a huge policy change based on his removal. tim: he can still go.
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>> he is not on the committee and he still has access to the material at these meetings. tim: the key question, has his influence within the white house been damaged by this? >> i don't believe so. i think people read too much into this. i was told by a white house aide just today that steve bannon will lead domestic policy on the next big trump push, infrastructure and tax reform later this spring and into the summer. this is his baby. this is what he cares about. i think he is very close to the president and has his trust from -- trust, just not on foreign affairs. tim: did donald trump realize how controversial it was appointing a political aid to this position in the first place, and like other things, this wasn't such a good idea? >> i think we have to give him credit that he did realize it. it took him two and a half months to come to that decision but it is an example that donald , trump listens to outside
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arguments. we know he watches news programs and gets feedback, and doesn't internalize it, and the case can be made tim if people get access. tim: we are hearing spin from some quarters that he was appointed in the first place to look after my client, which would seem odd anyway. statement for the administration to say that our first pick for national security adviser had to be spied on by another advisor because we couldn't trust him? they are throwing flynn under the bus because flynn is no longer part of the administration but that is one , of the bits of spin to make bannon look better. tim: in other stories, police in st. petersburg have arrested six people from central asia on suspicion of trying to recruit volunteers to carrytim: in othen st. petersburg have arrested six people from central asia on out terrorist acts. the russian investigative committee says there is no evidence has yet to link them to the prime suspect in the bombing that killed 14 people on the st. petersburg metro on monday. authorities in colombia said at
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least 290 people are known to have died from the mudslide in the city of macoa. the government has ordered an investigation to find out if building safety regulations were properly enforced. the search continues for 300 people who are still missing. tomorrow, president trump will hold one of the most high-stakes and perhaps contentious meetings yet when he welcomes chinese president xi jinping to mar-a-lago. it is a far cry from the iowa community that welcomed mr. xi three decades ago. barbara plett usher has gone there and has this report. barbara: iowa, the pearl of the mississippi, an old industrial town in the american heartland, a brief stopping point for mark twain and more recently for another famous visitor. xi jinping has friends here.
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he met them during an agricultural research trip as a young man 30 years ago and returned for a reunion shortly before he became president. this is the house he stayed? >> yes, and he had not home-stayed before. barbara: he got a taste of local american life by staying with the family. back then the room was filled with "star trek" toys. now the home is a museum aimed at promoting u.s.-china ties. >> i think xi jinping has great presence and when he comes in the room and shakes his hand, i believe donald trump -- i hate to say this -- a guy i can make a deal with. president trump: we cannot continue to allow china to rape our country. barbara: donald trump's brand has been bashing china, particularly on trade. barbara: could a dose of chinese hospitality fix that? i think may be he needs some
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time to know more about china. barbara: maybe donald trump needs to visit muscatine. >> yeah. [laughter] i think he will have great interest. barbara: the story is bigger than friendship. it is business. there is no trade deficit in iowa. exports a lot to china, especially agricultural products. this town and state voted for donald trump, but that doesn't mean that i want -- iowa buys his approach to china. they see china as a business opportunity, not a threat. they would have a lot to lose if mr. trump started a trade war. there is no sense of uncertainty here. a family-run business for more than 100 years. the new owner branched out to tap new markets and is now looking vulnerable to trade disputes. >> im concerned. am concerned.
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i think the chance of it happening on a large scale is pretty small. obviously, i am exporting a lot of goods to china and i pay on products going in. there needs to be rebalancing. barbara: rebalancing a complex and crucial relationship will take more than cornfield diplomacy. tim: you are watching bbc "world news america." to come, "1984" is making a comeback. thousands lined up to see george orwell's classic, many seeing it in a . new light. consumethat cubans their news is changing. the government has launched a tv channel with the aim of bringing viewers a more 21st century offering. one way has been looked at in detail why our havana correspondent who reports from the cuban capital. reporter: new graphics, modern
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music, young presenters. cuba's latest television channel is an attempt to break from the past. unlike the heavily scripted newscasts on state tv, they are trying fresh formats, including links to correspondents abroad and twitter. revolutionary for even tv. as one of the founders of another left-wing latin america news channel, he says this venture will stand out as unique in cuba. >> the difference is that it will be a news and information channel with reports, analysis, on air for 18-hours a day. the majority of the coverage will be live.
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reporter: most cubans see state media as an extension of the government's voice, such as the mouthpiece of the cuban communist party. this channel will only be considered popular if it is relevant to its viewers. the young journalists insist that despite restrictions they will report issues that matter to ordinary people. there can be little doubt that the way cubans consume news is changing. most young people would rather come to a public access wi-fi spot and tune into the nightly news. it is the cuban government's way of tackling that. it will not be easy to engage in the island's youth. today, a service was held in london's westminster for victims of the terror attack you
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the house of parliament. along with members of the royal family, was melissa cochran from utah. her and her husband were both hit by the car. kurt was killed, melissa was badly injured. they were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. >> kurt was probably the best man i've ever met. he was sweet and kind. and i am extremely proud of him and i'm very happy that the world now knows what a wonderful man he was. he would probably hate all the publicity that is going on. he is a private kind of person. very generous, very sweet. the love of my life.
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reporter: what can you remember about the day? >> we were just having another wonderful day in our vacation. just enjoying the sights, taking pictures, making our way to the abbey. i don't remember much more after that. crossing the bridge. we were almost there. reporter: you have no recollection of the car? the attack itself? >> i don't. ,eporter: there is a photograph you are on the ground being helped by passerby. do you recall all of that? >> the panic of not being able to see my husband anywhere, or know what was going on. it was quite scary. reporter: and when did you find
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out that kurt had been killed? >> it was after my surgery on my leg. i had come out of recovery and they placed me in a hospital room. my parents had come to visit and were there waiting for me when i came out. i asked them to find out what had happened to my husband. my parents walked out of the room, and came back in. they both grabbed my hand and said he did not make it, which crushed me. reporter: very striking, the press conference were so many members of your family came and stood in solidarity with you, and also said that your husband would not have felt ill will towards his attacker. i think that surprised a lot of people. >> i don't think i could heal my injuries or as a person if i had hate in my heart, and kurt wouldn't want that either.
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so there is no hate. tim: melissa cochran talking about her husband, kurt. you are watching "bbc world news america." a 33-year-old film adapted from a 1940's book may seem an unlikely place to look for insight into modern america, but the movie " 1984," based on george orwell's classic novel, is stimulating debate over the trump administration. we went to a screening in new york. reporter: this tuesday, crowds came out to see "1984," a film made in the 1980's, and orwell'stion of george 1949 novel of a dystopian future and a told tell the terry and state.
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-- and in a totalitarian state. among the crowd, there was anticipation. >> i haven't seen it in a few years. reporter: the man who co-organized these screenings believes the film is timely in the age of trump. >> we chose "1984" because it is a work that is resonating with a lot of people at this moment in the united states and even around the world. reporter: the truth in "1984" is manufactured. it is not rooted in reality. many commentators were startled when kellyanne conway used the phrase "alternative facts" in referring to a true event. ms. conway: our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. reporter: using a film from 30 years ago as a device to critique the trump administration may appeal to his opponents, but to his supporters it may come across as facile and meddling with the truth. the united states does not have anything like a totalitarian government depicted in "1984."
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a film maker was on a panel to discuss "1984" and warns against drawing to close comparisons between the trump administration and the film. >> i grew up in a totalitarian regime in germany that was closer to what you see in "1984" then what we see right now. right now, we live in a democracy, and should be aware that we have influence over the things that are happening. >> war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. reporter: while people may interpret "1984" differently, what nobody can deny is the ongoing currency of orwell's work, which many say is being helped by the trump presidency. orwell's novel is back on many best seller lists, and in a few weeks time, stage version of "1984" will be on broadway. there has been talk of another big-screen adaptation. >> 1984.
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tim: thus far, the clocks have not struck 13. that is it for me and the team in washington. there is more on the website, see you at the same time tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends
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can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> bbc world news was presented by kcet los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: >> my attitude toward syria and assad has changed very much. >> woodruff: as the death toll in syria's chemical attack rises, president trump appears to take a harder line against the assad regime. then, a closer look at the f.b.i.'s investigation into 2016 presidential election-related links to russia, and what they mean for the new administration. and, how ticks on rampant deer populations are contributing to the spread of lyme disease, and leaving communities with few options to combat a growing ecological threat. >> if i were to be here 20 years ago a


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