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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  April 12, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm 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,
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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 aruba.com. >> and now, bbc "world news." tim: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm tim willcox. working from the bottom up. the visiting secretary of state tells his russian counterpart that the countries have a lot of ground to make up. secretary tillerson: there is a low level of trust between our two countries. the world's foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship. tim: white house staffers feel the heat -- one, for comments he made. the other for comments made about him. and setting the record straight -- america's first lady lady wins huge damages against a
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british newspaper which wrongly claimed she worked as an escort. tim: hello, welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. the reception has been icy. russia denouncing washington's missile strike on syria and branding white house rhetoric as primitive and loutish. at the press conference between the secretary of state rex tillerson and russian foreign minister sergey lavrov, both men played it pretty straight. the sticking point continue to be syria and the newly aggressive u.s. stance on russia's role there. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg starts our coverage. steve: the last time he was in russia, rex tillerson was an
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oil man, doing multibillion deals with the kremlin. drinking champagne with vladimir putin. he even got an award from him. but in moscow today, it was a political deal. secretary of state tillerson was seeking over syria. not easy, with u.s.-russia relations at their worst since the cold war. he met his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov. behind closed doors in the kremlin, president putin. there was a lot to talk about, including this. last week, america launched cruise missiles targeting a syrian government airbase. an act of aggression, said russia against moscow's ally. washington claimed it was an appropriate response to the chemical weapons attack. today, america and russia publicly disagreed about who was behind it. secretary tillerson: the facts
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we have are conclusive, that the recent chemical weapons attack carried out in syria was planned , directed, and and executed by the syrian regime forces. >> we saw no evidence of this, and from eyewitnesses when the planes took off, it is clear there was no chemical substances present there. steve: there was disagreement over president assad. moscow appears unwilling to do what america would like it to , stop supporting him. today, donald trump called assad truly evil. secretary tillerson: clearly, our view is that the reign ofthe assad family is coming to an end. they brought this on themselves with their conduct through the war for the last years -- last
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couple of years. >> we have been through this before, this obsession with ousting dictators, and we know only too well how it ends. steve: rex tillerson may in the past have drunk champagne with vladimir putin and even got a medal from him, but that was business. this is geopolitics. the reality is that russia believes it has nothing to gain and a lot to lose from abandoning president assad, and until that changes, it is not going to do it. later, the un security council, russia vetoed a draft resolution on the attack, one that would've required the syrian government to cooperate with an investigation. russia and washington acknowledged that relations must improve, but so deep are the divisions over syria and other issues that it is hard to see how that improvement is going to happen. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. tim: for more on the talks, i spoke a short time ago to p.j.
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crowley, former spokesman for the state department. waswhole background to this hostile. what did you make of it? mr. crowley: anytime the u.s. secretary of state and the russian foreign minister meet , it is important. while secretary tillerson is right, the sides are convening and a time when the relations are at a low ebb, in terms of what he was seeking in coming to moscow to get russia to revisit its views on syria, obviously he will leave empty-handed. tim: the coordination with airspace, you have a working group trying to talk. mr. crowley: and foreign minister lavrov mentioned they were willing to renew the convention memorandum. secretary of defense mattis said that is no big deal. the forces are making sure their
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-- there is separation between them. on the one hand i thought that sergey lavrov offered a little something. russia was willing to support an investigation. on the other hand, you saw russia rejected a resolution. tim: the russian stance has always been, there is no of this, we don't believe it, show us your evidence. why didn't tillerson go in with evidence? mr. crowley: you had russian officials on that base. withis a replay of 2013 russia cooperating with the united states russia never , acknowledged syria's response -- responsibility for that attack and i'm not surprised , they refused again to do so today. what about other issues
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raised? north korea, for example. what did we learn about that and other aspects affecting both these countries? mr. crowley: i think both foreign ministers reviewed the scope of the agenda in relations between the united states and russia, and certainly north korea is among them. again, lavrov indicated a potential willingness to renew arms control negotiations. that is one area where there is a clear, common interest. the reality behind this meeting remains, that the areas of common interest between the 2 countries is shrinking, and the have found disagreement. tim: how do you think tillerson did against one of the world's best, most polished diplomats? mr. crowley: absolutely. on that dynamic tillerson held his own. i think that dynamic today was constructive. the fact that he did get to meet putin was constructive. the length of that meeting, two hours, doesn't surprise me. putin has a long list of grievances and i'm sure they
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reviewed every single one of them. president trump addressed america's relationship with russia and more in a joint press conference with nato secretary-general jens stoltenberg. president trump: i think it is possible. it is probably unlikely. i know that they are doing investigations into that right now. i would like to think if they didn't know. they could have, they were there. we will find out. general mattis is looking into it with the entire pentagon group that does that kind of work. tim: jon sopel asked that question. i spoke to him a little while ago. this is the first time that he has commented publicly about
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these strikes and sitting on the fence. quite possibly did, but hope they didn't. jon: yeah, and you are hearing very mixed messages coming from the administration. they are determined to find out and i think many people have , their suspicions. within theview administration that it is simply impossible that that could have happened under the noses of the russians. i think the president was trying to be diplomatic. there is a diplomatic move to try to pry russia away from the assad regime, and i think the president was trying to lower the temperature today could you can tell -- people are talking about suffering from geopolitical whiplash. the speed at which foreign policy has changed in the past week and a bit since the chemical weapons attack was launched. i think there are strong suspicions, and i think the white house is determined to get to the bottom of it. until rex tillerson gets back together with president trump
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, and there is a full debrief on the conversations, i think they were being a little bit circumspect. tim: since president trump took office, the phrase "unprecedented" is bandied about . not only referring to the president's tweets and off-the-cuff remarks. it also replies to press secretary sean spicer who made a very public mea culpa after saying adolf hitler never used chemical weapons doing the second world war. it was meant as a shot against bashar al-assad, but led to international outcry. spicer: i made a mistake. it is painful to myself to know i did something like that. that was obviously not my intention.
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to know when you screw up you could have offended a lot of people. ' would ask for folks forgiveness. i should not have try to make a comparison. there is no comparing atrocities. tim: we also saw signs that president trump's chief strategist, steve bannon, may been falling out of favor. "i likeident said steve, but he was not involved in my campaign until very late. i had my own strategist, and it wasn't like i was going to change strategists because i was hillary."oked
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to break down all the palace intrigue, let's speak to a contributor to "time" magazine. let's start with steve bannon. i suppose mr. trump likes him. >> "i like steve." that is the worst sort of problem it because to say this and "i'm not -- he is not really the man behind me," that is a backhanded "i like you." tim: he is a complicated figure. he does not take prisoners. the power battle between him and jared kushner seems to be key to this. that is dealing with trump's family. that is a no-no. >> that is the worst mistake for anybody in trump's world. you saw that with his first managers, paul manafort and corey lewandowski. they took on jared kushner and ivanka and they both died on those rails. this is a family business that they ran and you don't go against the kids. that is the cardinal rule. tim: bannon has been calling kushner a democrat, the worst possible insult you could use against anybody in his sphere. is there some payback from trump as well?
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the two things, america first, immigration, and health care, which bannon mentioned the architect of, both have floundered. >> to trump, bannon represents the worst moments of his presidency. the immigration ban was basically written by bannon and steve miller and not even consulting cabinet members or lawyers. in the other one, obamacare, to be fair, he came in pretty late on that, but he took a very hard line and basically blew up the process. i think trump is getting tired of things getting blown up and wants to get things done. tim: bannon was also against the syrian attack. some are saying with a spicer, this is anti-semitism. it is just for-language- poor language. >> i think about what a normal is never compare anybody to hitler. everyone. never, ever go there.
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don't ever do that. he clearly screwed up. the difference is he immediately apologized. when you see people in washington lose their jobs it is when they say it is fine and try to defend it. he came out and said "i totally screwed up, i'm sorry." tim: melissa mccarthy on "saturday night live" has made sean spicer her own creation. how much longer does he have? >> i think it is a ticking clock for both of them and it is in some ways good in some ways bad. for bannon and others, the white house, is to some degree clearing the path for somebody , who has been very much an obstructionist to get things done. with spicer, i'm a member of the press, i've known him for a long time, more than a decade. he is one of the few people in the white house who believes in the press, and to see him go, despite all his challenges, is going to be tough, because he will probably be replaced with somebody more competitive.
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tim: thanks very much for coming in. you are watching bbc "world news america." stories, iran's former president has put himself theard as a candidate in next presidential election. it is seen as a challenge against the supreme leader's authority. he has told him not to run. the championship football league dortmund hassia taken place amid tightened security. -- pponents of president held zuma
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protests in the capital as he celebrated his 75th birthday. egypt's coptic church announced it will cut back on the easter celebration and limit them to a church aftern each 20 bombings killed 45 worshipers last weekend. in the traditional handing out of suites to children before the start of easter mass will also be canceled. you are watching bbc "world news america." still to come on tonight's program, long queues and little patience. why inflation and food sources are some of the problems plaguing venezuela. a man who says he works as a hit man for the philippine president
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has fled the country. he may be allegations in february. he has turned to the catholic church for protection. he says he killed more than 200 people. a member of a death squad acting of the president when he was the mayor. i was responsible for the killing. he is speaking out after a spiritual awakening. god.ar of i am afraid to die. reporter: he is in hiding. the church protecting and
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counseling him. telling their followers that the killings are wrong. way to solvethe the problem. fornderstand the hurt, but us christians, it is just a vengeance. if you are just looking for vengeance, you are no longer christians. reporter: the president has launched a scathing attack on the church. >> religion, what is the meaning of it? reporter: the church, once a powerful political force, is carrying out small acts of rebellion. paying for the funerals of those killed in the drug war. its power over the political process is now being tested. manila.,
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tim: the political and social unrest in venezuela is growing worse by the day. inflation is running rampant. store shelves are empty. theesters threw items at president as he left a rally. eggs and even stones were thrown at him. the bbc has been exploring what is behind the turmoil in venezuela. reporter: caracas, capital of the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world. and yet, a city where people queue all day hoping for bread, nappies, or baby milk. we had to film these scenes undercover. journalists aren't welcome as venezuela sinks deeper into economic chaos. filming inside supermarkets is a crime.
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here is why -- many of them are empty. the government is drowning in debt. imports have dried up. inflation is over 1000%. the people suffering the most are the poor in the city's sprawling slums. i'm in one of the jeeps which specializes in transporting people up and down the mountain, and the principal in the slum is pretty straightforward -- the higher up the hill you live, the poorer you are. this barrio used to be a stronghold of the late hugo chavez's socialist revolution. not anymore. people are desperate to find food and stay safe. caracas has become the world's most dangerous capital city. i met a heavily armed kidnap gang. nervous young men barely out of childhood.
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reporter: as venezuela's crisis deepens, political tension rises. this a voter registration drive by the opposition justice first party. >> why don't they let us have elections? that is why we have to do all this. and many people that are here -- i wasn't poor but now i am. reporter: there have been weeks of clashes between protesters and police since the socialist government tried to abolish the powers of the opposition-controlled national assembly. opposition leaders called it a coup against democracy, and they want president nicolas maduro out. the last time the street violence was this bad was three years ago. the leader of the anti-maduro protests back then was
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imprisoned for 14 years. i met lopez's mother, a tireless campaigner for his release and for political change. >> something is going to happen. and it is not only going to be for the poor. it is for venezuela. reporter: she took me to the military prison where her son is held. she yelled to him, he yelled back. >> look at that. look at the cars. reporter: a jeep has just come out of the prison. >> maybe it will take your camera. --orter: as we found guards emerged.med guards we managed to conceal the camera but our cover was blown. the next day we were deported. the venezuelan government does not want the world to see the mess it is in.
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tim: it is not every day at a first lady of the united states has to clear her name in the tabloids. that is what happened with melania trump and "the daily mail." the british newspaper has agreed to pay damages and costs over an article about her modeling career, suggesting she worked as an escort in her younger days. they later retracted the story. reporter: "the daily mail" is arguably britain's most powerful newspaper. its website, which often includes headlines too salacious even for the paper, is the most widely read english-language newspaper website in the world. but the owner may have met its match in the form of u.s. first lady melania trump. the former slovenian beauty queen sued in september. the cause of her ire, allegations printed in both of the paper and online that she worked not just as a model prior to meeting donald trump, but as an escort.
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here in the world courts of justice, statement was read out this morning which said that the claims about mrs. trump's professional work were both false and defamatory. as a result, both "the mail" and the mail online have agreed to publish both a retraction and apology. they accepted that the allegations that she provided services beyond simply modeling have no evidence to support them. the male will now pay damages of $3 million. you have to remember she was claiming about something close to $300 million, so a settlement of around 1% of that, $3 million, including costs and damages, is not an enormous victory. but it still has a chilling -- -- a chilling effect on free speech. newspapers make errors all the time, but rarely do they lead to such high settlements. today will go down in history as the day the mighty "mail" went
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was trumped. tim: that brings the show to a close. more on the website at bbc.com/news. from me and the team, see you at the same time tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> 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
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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 aruba.com. >> 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: >> the current state of u.s.- russia relations is at a low point. >> woodruff: secretary of state rex tillerson and his russian counterpart meet to discuss the future of the two country's relationship amid disagreements over syria's use of chemical weapons. then, we sit down with nato's secretary general after his meeting at the white house with president trump, who has strongly criticized the nato alliance. and, the trump administration sets its sights on space. how one congressman who controls nasa's purse strings is pushing to go to the moon, mars and beyond. >> i've always wanted to restore nasa, for the glory days of apollo, as you and i remembered as kids. i

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