tv BBC World News America PBS June 22, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
islamic state uses its network of tunnels to stage sneak attacks behind the lines. this is going to be a long, hard fight. that's inre dangerous the sky signal the presence that's what is happening is we are just going down these narrow side streets. there are people looking up in the sky, searching for these i.s. drones. the sdf is advancing on three sides. as they pushed forward, carts emerge, waving white flags. some of these families have spent years trapped inside a nightmare. >> [speaking foreign language]
>> [speaking foreign language] >> there are tens of thousands of people still in raqqa, hostages, essentially. i.s. has been killing anyone caught trying to leave. they've made rapid advances toward the center. they have support from american airstrikes and artillery. but now they are within a few hundred meters of the old city. islamic state is hemmed in here, almost surrounded. and they are fighting back. >> sniper. >> snipers, booby-traps, suicide bombers. i.s. has weaponized fear. they've done this perhaps more
successfully than any other group. but these fighters seem immune to terror. this war has been going on for longer than world war ii. this is about as far forward a position -- about as far forward as they have managed to hold, but as you can see, there is still sniper fire going on here. welcome to raqqa, the capital of the caliphate under siege. among the kurds, men and women fight alongside one another, even on the front lines. there are no distinctions. delilah is 22 years old. she was studying to become a nurse, but here she has found her true calling. >> [speaking foreign language]
reporter: returning from the front, fighters described intense all night battles as islamic state uses its network of tunnels to stage sneak attacks behind the lines. this is going to be a long, hard fight. if i.s. loses raqqa, it will surely mean the end of the caliphate, but then what? will the ideology die along with it? probably not. it certainly won't be the end of syria's long war or the violence it has spawned around the world. gabriel gatehouse, bbc news, raqqa. jane: the pressure on so-called islamic state is also evident in neighboring iraq. sul is slipping from their control. the iraqi army has been devoting more resources to try to retake the city of mosul over the past eight months. last night, after the ancient great mosque of al-nuri was destroyed, there was an official declaration of defeat by i.s.
mosul, our correspondent reports. reporter: an amateur recording captures a key moment in the collapse of the caliphate. the destruction of the al-nuri mosque. for the barbarians of i.s., nothing is sacred. now, only rubble in place of one of iraq's great treasures, which survived for 800 years. the country's prime minister said, in destroying the mosque, i.s. was admitting defeat here. the bbc's arabic service managed to film the mosque just an hour before it was leveled. these are probably among the last images of its landmark leaning minaret with the black i.s. flag still flying. >> [speaking foreign language] reporter: it was inside from the pulpit that the i.s. leader, abu bakr al-baghdadi, named
himself ruler of all muslims in july of 2014. now, he is in hiding. nearby, his men are surrounded. iraqi forces are hunting them down street by street, house by house. but the troops are facing fierce resistance. the militants going down fighting. [gunfire] reporter: as a make their last stand, civilians are fleeing the city. those who can find a way. for some, it is a struggle to escape the battlefield. others venting their anger as they go. may god deny help to the militants, this man says. "i spit on them." the destruction of the mosque is not the end of the fight to free this city, but iraqi military sources say they hope they can
now advance more swiftly, closing in on the last pocket of resistance. they say i.s. is down to just a few hundred men, and they are hemmed in in the old city. bbc news western mosul. , jane: the very latest in the ongoing fight on i.s. in syria and iraq. after weeks of negotiation, senate republicans have released their health care bill sparking objections from democrats and members of their own party. then president trump took to twitter to end the speculation over whether he taped his conversations with former fbi director james comey. he said, "with all of the recently reported electronic surveillance intercepts, unmasking an illegal investigation i have no idea , whether there are tapes or recordings of my conversations with james comey, but i did not make and do not have any such recordings." a brief time ago i discussed it all with the bbc's laura baker.
laura, if there are no tapes, why did he suggest there were? he started this. reporter: this is a big mystery of the president's own making. why did he start the rumor that there may be tapes? straight afterwards, he was asked that question by fox news. he says he did it to keep james comey honest. he may also have been trying to divert attention after the firing of the head of the fbi, and it may have been done to try to stop mr. comey from going to the press. as we know, what really happened is that mr. comey ended up testifying to the senate intelligence committee under oath about those conversations and it ramped up that investigation into whether or not russia colluded with the trump campaign during the presidential election, so it has backfired spectacularly. jane: where does it leave us? reporter: what an intriguing possibility we now have. as james comey said, "i hope there are tapes." there are none. which means we have james
comey's testimony under oath and his contemporaneous notes taken those conversations which , say donald trump asked him to drop an investigation into michael flynn, his former national security advisor. we have that account versus the president of the united states. it's now going to come down to who do you believe. jane: all of this is masking the other big story of the day, which is health care reform. democrats predictably oppose the republicans'view in the senate. also, members of their own party opposing it. reporter: they were trying to hold discussions behind closed doors to avoid controversy and avoid people looking at the republicans divided over health care. they failed. just straight after, you have the likes of rand paul, ted cruz, both coming forward saying this is obamacare-like, these reforms do not go far enough. and then you have more moderate republicans, like susan collins of maine, say they go far too far. she is worried about deep cuts to medicaid.
there are americans that need that kind of health care. so, when it comes to the two sides, how do they reconcile? how do they come together to come to one bill they can all agree on? jane: a vote expected next week. thank you very much for joining me. we will wait and see. news now,ok at other hospital officials in afghanistan say a car bomb explosion has killed people and wounded 60 your at the time, people were queuing to receive their salary. the taliban says they count -- they carried out the attack. the president of the european commission, jean-claude juncker, said the leaders realize the need for greater standardization in procurement if europe was going to approach the efficiency of the americans. today, thousands of family and friends gathered for the funeral warmbier, the student
who just returned to united states from north korea. president trump said that while he appreciated the overall deal with china, the north korea, it hasn't worked out. a brief time ago i spoke to cohen.liam >> the alternative would to be to increase and intensify the sanctions with chinese companies doing business with north korea, going against other companies doing business with north korea, intensifying the pressure so you can't change the direction of the north korean regime, then you trying -- you try to bring change from within. it has to be economic and a severe economic sanctions.
jane: there seems to be confusion coming from the messaging of the white house, because the secretary of defense is saying the same thing you are saying, but mr. trump seems to think china has no role in this. >> i think china will always have a role. china will have to make a decision regarding the relationship with the u.s., versus with north korea. they need to try to see if they can achieve it through diplomacy. this is what north korea likes to do. --y will take address the take aggressive steps, and say let's make an agreement. then they will violate what ever agreement you have. i think the administration is in a tough position, no more concessions with the north koreans. every time we make a concession, they consolidate their gains. you have been around the
world twice in the last 10 days. you met the crown prince of saudi arabia and he has been courting mr. trump. what does his innovation mean for u.s. policy? >> he is young, knowledgeable, high energy and i met him at 2:30 in the morning and he was going very strong after putting in a full day. he is young, ambitious, obviously. across the board -- i was impressed with him and i think he will have a good relationship with the trump administration. jane: what about you ron, do you see a toughening of stance on iran? iran.is a very top on there is an axis we are trying to establish in order to contain
-- of the expansion of the iranian regime. jane: do you think the u.s. should be worried? he is incredibly young, 32 years old -- >> 31. jane: 31? should they be wary of the and experience? warythink people have been . i don't think his age is so much the issue, i think it is a question of ability. some have it at a young age, i think he is one of them. i was impressed by his energy, determination, and a vision or what saudi arabia has to become in the coming years in terms of making it a place where it will be modernized, open economy and very progressive. jane: thank you very much for
joining me. you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come, i speak aboutadeleine albright america's role in global affairs if the old war -- old world order changes. hasident trump's agenda been overshadowed lately by the russian interference in the presidential election. our correspondent was in iowa for the president's rally, and there is no question who they blame. >> everybody wants to concentrate on the russia thing, russia does not bother me whatsoever. next i am not bothered at all, to be honest with you. the russiaated by
-- atigation, but in iowa, president one in the last reaction. that's in the last election. you're not concerned? >> concerned about what? >> he's under investigation. >> investigation doesn't mean he's guilty. -- e that's a man who is not a man. haim -- you like don't like him? i don't believe him. i don't believe what he is saying. it seems like he and president trump have two different -- >> he went under oath. president trump hasn't gone under oath. >> no, but he said he will go
under oath. >> i don't like what he did in the election, period. >> taking care of the united states of america -- [cheers] role in foreign affairs is a big subject for debate right now. many believe the old world order is crumbling trading challenges to security and leadership. president trump once you put his supporters say the best way to deal with a
-- to discuss this, i spoke to two veterans of foreign policy, former secretary of state albright, and democratic senator chris coons. we talk a lot about how other nations are challenging the world order, but how is this administration contribute into that sense of global instability? >> i think we are at a very chaotic time, and that would have been true no matter what. because there are questions about the world order. and i think that as this administration gets organized, there have been some mixed signals. but what i find interesting is the way that policy is evolving, and some of the people that are part of the decision-making mechanisms, the members of the national security council are giving some very strong messages about the fact that the u.s. is present. i think that conferences i've been to, people are satisfied with the words, but they want to see the actions. i think we all are looking to see about the evolution of the american position. worlden to believe the can exist if the u.s. is not engaged. jane: how do you explain all of this and its importance to the average american, many of whom
voted for donald trump precisely because, in his words, he is putting america first? why should somebody care about russian aggression in the balkans, for instance? >> the reality is that this new young administration has increasingly becoming convinced that even those americans who voted for president trump are better served by our engaging in the world, by actively shaping the values of the world, in partnership with our close and vital allies. jane: lots of critics of the obama administration said these problems with the absence of , u.s. leadership started with , his preference to lead from behind. what do you think are the most pressing foreign-policy issues facing the u.s. today requires leadership from the front? >> first of all, let me say that president obama was elected wars, and in iraq
war that might have been the biggest mistake in american history. he was dealing with the problems that were left for him. north korea is clearly a huge issue, very concerned about accidents that could happen. but i think the middle east, there is a crisis in the middle east that is affecting europeans through migration, then there are the terrorist issues. there is a lot going on. jane: you both talk about the need for a bipartisan approach to foreign-policy. how can you find common ground here? >> i think that the common ground comes from understanding what the issues are and trying to find the tools that will work. for instance, what i do find interesting, you are talking about russia before -- there has been common ground now on sanctions against russia for its behavior, to do with ukraine. there was a huge vote out of the senate, but at the same time, the administration put out new sanctions against russia. i think that, as people really delve into the issues, people
are smart and they will find common ground, but it comes as the result of talking to each other, trying to figure out what the history of an issue is. and i am an optimist. i think we will be able to find common ground. jane: thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you. jane: the 1920's in america is remembered for its music, fashion, and nightlife. flapper girls, and speakeasies were some of the features. a new exhibit in new york is bringing that age to life. called "the jazz age," it highlights the architecture and lifestyle of the period. we went to have a look. ♪ >> the jazz age is a term that f. scott fitzgerald used about the age because jazz was popular. we feel that jazz is both a metaphor and an actual fact.
metaphor being that it's a new beat. ♪ >> women get the right to vote. they drop their corsets, their new fashions, new ways of life . it's a lot less demure. part of it had to do with the jazz nightclubs that were being frequented by whites, particularly after they got introduced to them by going to paris. we have a few objects in the exhibition that directly reflect jazz. we have a bracelet and diamonds with cabochon sapphires. we have a wonderful painting by archibald motley. and in it are not only a woman smoking a cigarette, woman with a long necklace that would move around while you danced, as well wine, and glasses of new additions -- musicians.
>> a giant of steel and stone dominates the skyline. >> i think architecture is the most significant american contribution of the 1920's. we have a number of pieces that are of skyscraper form, everything from ceramic vases to a silverplated tea set. we have even a tiffany necklace that has the shape of skyscrapers in diamonds. ♪ it's a mixture of different styles and different influences that were so important in this country, where we have immigration as a major source of stylistic impetus. i like to say that imported andcts, immigration, innovation that created the panoply of objects we have here. jane: all that jazz.
particularly liked the jewelry from then. i'm jane o'brien. thank you for watching "bbc america." ♪ >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and sony pictures classics. >> i think i should just go straight to paris. >> i'll take care of her. >> that's very generous, but you sure it's ok with you? >> driving is the only way to see a country. >> oh, it's incredible! >> how's paris? >> i'm actually not there yet.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. on the newshour tonight: >> republicans believe we have a responsibility to act, and we are. >> sreenivasan: senate republicans unveil their health care bill. we break down the most controversial details and political stakes. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff reporting from colorado at the aspen institute's spotlight health conference. i get reaction to the senate plan from one of the architects of obamacare, former secretary of health and human services kathleeen siebeilius. >> fixing the affordable care act is important. the trump administration, i would suggest, has done nothing but sabotage the act since they came to office. >> sreenivasan: also ahead on the newshour, ng