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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  November 13, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning 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 tir escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea.
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nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. the bbc uncovers details of a secret deal that allowed i.s. fighters to escape from raqqa when it fell to u.s.-backed forces last month. quentin: they might live to fight another day. the deal to get them out of here is the deal no one wants to talk about. it is raqqa's dirty secret. jane: more than 400 people have been killed and thousands injured in a huge earthquake at the border between iran and iraq. and "breaking bad" star bryan cranston on how there could be a way back for harvey weinstein and kevin spacey in hollywood.
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ne: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. when a u.s.-backed alliance of syrian fighters liberated raqqa last month, it ended three years of rule by so-called islamic state, but a special investigation by the bbc has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of i.s. fighters and their families escape. they were allowed to leave the city in exchange for hostages. some of those who left included islamic state's most notorious criminals. the bbc's middle east correspondent quentin sommerville has this exclusive report. quentin: even at peace with the so-called islamic state gone,
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raqqa is deadly dangerous. few of its roads have been cleared. the fighting stopped a month ago, but there are still mines and booby trapped everywhere. -- booby-traps everywhere. most of the city is a no go zone. hardly anyone has been allowed to return. but we made it inside searching for a trail through the debris, looking for clues to the islamic state's escape route. the city hospital was there last refuge, and it is here where our journey begins. the group's final defeat came thanks not to a battle, but a bus ride. the convoy left from here, the city hospital they've been holed up inside for months. on it were i.s. fighters, families, and the hostages.
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but the mood was not dejected or defeated. they were defiant. it was here that they realize that they might live to fight another day. the deal to get them out of here is the deal no one wants to talk about. it is raqqas dirty secret. so did kurds, arabs, and the western coalition get together and agree to a deal that not only allowed i.s. to escape from raqqa, but also allowed its fiercest fighters to roam far and wide from the confines of the city? th left the city lonely, empty, and in ruins. the hunt begins here in raqqa, but would take us across northern syria and beyond. the deal started with a media blackout. the islamic state's escape was not to be televised. but thanks to amateur footage, we see that this was a convoy and a deal too large to hide.
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the world was told only a few dozen local fighters were being let go -- no foreigners, no weapons. but the trucks were crammed full of fighters, some wearing suicide belts. all were heavily armed. after days of searching, we picked up the trail at a truck stop on the outskirts. here we discover the drivers, all civilians, who drove i.s. to freedom. they had been hired by the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces. it was the longest journey of their lives. their trucks were rigged with i.s. bombs in case the deal collapsed. they were told they were picking up only a few hundred civilians, that it would be a quick job. they ended up driving day and night for three days. everybody has been saying only a
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couple hundred, and the absolute maximum i.s. fighters left raqqa. you took them out. tell us how many you transported. buses, ands and 13 i.s. militants took their own vehicles as well. our convoy w 6-7 kilometers long. we took out 4000 people, including women and children. quentin: tell me about the foreigners that were on the trucks. where were they from? >> france, turkey, azerbaijan, pakistan, yemen, china, tunisia, egypt. there was a huge number of foreigners. likein: this couldn't look the islamic state's escape to victory, so the sdf insisted there would be no flags or banners. instead, i.s. fighters sat boldly on top of the trucks. the axle on one lorry broke, it was so overloaded with i.s. weaponry. when they made it to a village, they stopped at a shop.
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pale and hungry, the i.s. fighters cleared his shelves. >> we were at the shop here, an d an sdf vehicle stopped to say there was a truce agreement between then and i.s. they wanted us to clear the area. as soon as we did so, an i.s. convoy came passing through. there were 4000 people leaving raqqa on that road to there. it took them two to three hours. it was bumper-to-bumper. quentin: coation aircraft flew above them, but did nothing. the convoy drove on. we kept close on its tracks, for here is where i.s. hoped to disappear. they left the main road. mahmoud watched as they took a dark trail into the desert. as they passed, they warned that they would behead the people who betrayed them. >> i couldn't count them all. it took them about four hours to
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pass through. we have been living in terror for the past four or five years, it will take us a while to rid rid ourselves of the psychological fear. we fear they may come back for us or send sleeper agents. we are still not sure that they are gone for good and won't ever return. quentin: and what of the city that i.s. abandoned? with them gone, the first people are slowly being allowed to return. >> we are suffering. please get us some water. we are dying out here. we are dying of thirst, hunger, of cold. everything is against us. quentin: what was it like coming back here and seeing your city in your home like this? >> it was miserable. i almost had a stroke. my head split with shock. i couldn't comprehend it. quentin: for his daughter, her home is no longer a safe place to play. >> this is a missile. we came to the house and we found it here.
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we are afraid to go near it. we are really afraid, especially since we have small children. we fear for our lives. entin: it is the injustice that is difficult to comprehend. a city turned into a minefield. its homes and streets in darkness. and the perpetrators allowed to escape. responding to our investigation, the coalition now admits thousands were allowed to leave here. but foreners did not escape, it maintains. some of those who escaped have already made it here to turkey. raqqa was their capital, but it was also the cage where they were trapped. the deal may have brought them -- brought peace to the city, but it alls some of the must battle-hardened i.s. fighters to escape not just raqqa, but syria, and arrive here on europe's doorstep. the winds have carried news of the islamic state's defeat, but
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they bring with them a warning and a threat from a smuggler and former i.s. fighter. >> after i.s. crumbled, the , theqqa and deir ez-zor smugglers here noticed a surge in the number of those trying to cross into turkey. they are mostly i.s. fighters and families from raqqa and deir deir ez-zor. they are foreigners and syrian. >> there are some french brothers from the group to left for france to carry out attacks in what would be called a day of reckoning. quentin: the caliphate is gone, but the islamic state is still out there. quentin sommerville, bbc news, istanbul. jane: very disturbing details by that investigation, an exclusive report from quentin sommerville. more than 400 people have been killed in an earthquake that struck iran's northern border
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region with iraq. rescuers on both sides of the border are searching for survivors. landslides and power cuts have made it harder to reach those affected. james robbins reports. james: the moment the earth starts shaking violently, a man runs for his life from the control room of this dam, as massive boulders are hurled around outside. the dam wall was not breached, but elsewhere, devastation. in iran, the border town was hit hardest, as entire walls collapsed, many families did manage to flee their homes, but others were crushed or buried. at a localospital, there were many stories of narrow escape. >> i fell from the balcony down. the earthquake was very strong. >> the earthquake shattered the window, which fell on me and wounded my head and face. james: rescue has been made more difficult by the mountainous terrain.
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iranian authorities are pouring resources in, but landslides and power cuts are slowing rescue efforts and the task of establisng the full extent of casualties. this quake was 7.3 magnitude and happened in a known danger zone. the surface of the earth is made up of tectonic plates, and in this case, the iranian plate has -- the arabian plate has been moving roughly northward against the eurasian plate, just under an inch a year. forces build up and eventually are very suddenly released with devastating effect. the destruction in iran is greater than in neighboring iraq, where a major rescue operation is underway. a bbc reporter is there. >> this area is one of the hardest-hit in iran by sunday's earthquake. we are told seven people were inside this home when it collapsed. 2 of them were killed and others were injured. several other buildings suffered
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similar damage to this one, but fortunately, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule, and most of the other homes in the region managed to withstand the impact of the earthquake. james: for the survivors, nighttime is the toughest. in rapidly falling temperatures, families are huddling around fires. even where buildings are intact, fear of aftershocks will keep people outdoors. james robbins, bbc news. jane: on the last day of his asia trip, president trump has been speaking about the great relationship he shares with his philippine counterpart, rodrigo duterte. but his relationship with vladimir putin has come under fire aer he appeared to side with mr. putin over claims over russia's interference in last year's election. for more on the president's trip, my colleagues katty kay and christian fraser spoke with bill richardson, former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., for their program "beyond 100 days."
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you are a the record, democrat, usurped a democratic president, but how unusual -- you served a democratic president. but how unusual is it for an american president to appear to give more credibility to a foreign adversary than to his own intelligence services? mr. richardson: well, it is nonexistent. i don't think it has ever happened before. i've been around a long time. i don't recall richard nixon or ronald reagan or barack obama or president clinton or the 2 bushes ever questioning our intelligence community. yes, questioning them on their conclusions, but not at the expense of a country that many considered not just a strategic competitor, russia, but in occasional areas as our enemy. we have vast differences on an, we have vast differences on syria, we have vast differences on ukraine, on many fundamental issues -- arms control right now. this is not just unusual.
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it has never happened before, and that is what is disturbing to me. christian: ambassador, you will have spent a lot of time at the u.n. talking about north korea, and we were told ahead of the trip that north korea was the priority for the president. how do you square that, the idea he wants to bring them back to the table, with the tweet we saw over the weekend? hes that the north korean leader keeps calling him old, and that he says "i would never call him short and fat. oh well, i try so hard to be his friend, maybe some day that will happen." tweets that insulting swee going to bring north korea back to the table? mr. richardson: well, it is not. north korea -- i dealt with them for years. i've been there eight times. personal insults, they reacted very negatively to that. they are a country, like many asians, they want to save face. personal relationships are important. i don't like the president of
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the united states insulted, either, and he has been insulted by the north korea although questioning whether saying you are old is an insult -- i mean, i am old. [laughter] mr. richardson: but you know, my worry is that he had a reasonably good effort on north korea on this trip. he was uniting countries against north korea. he has patched up a little bit of the relationship with south korea. with japan, it is good. china did not work because china is unwilling to put maximum pressure on north korea, although they have a little bit. they have increased the pressure. this tweet just kind of makes everything fall apart at the end. you know, it is like no progress has been made in a potential diplomatic solution, which i think is the only way out on this north korean issue. jane: former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., bill richardson.
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the president will be back in washington tomorrow, and i'm sure he will have lots more to say about that trip to asia. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, another woman accuses roy moore of sexual abuse when she was 16, but the candidate for alabama's senate seat says he is staying in the race. a north korean soldier has been shot as he tried to defect by crossing the demilitarized zone between north and south korea. he was found 50 meters south o the dick clark asian line and is in hospital recovering. here is the bbc's mark lowen. mark: what we know is a north korean soldier stationed at a guard post in the joint security area on the so-called demilitarized zone approached the south earlier today and he was shot by a north korean
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soldier in the shoulder and elbow. he was airlifted to hospital here in south korea, and he has regained consciousness. this is extremely rare for people to defect across that border, and in the joint security area, that is the huts where north and south korean soldiers eyeballed each other, and is the part of the guarded world's most fortified border. it is extremely rare for soldiers to defect in that way. south korean media is saying that only three have defected across the joint security area since the end of the cold war, one in 1998, 1 in 2007, and then today. most of the 30,000 or so north korean defectors in south korea intended to go to china and then seek asylum in a south korean embassy in beijing. but it is rare for them to get across the demilitarized zone at
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all, let alone the joint security area. so once that soldier recovers and hospital, he will be a prize possession for south korea, a rare insight into the heart of the north korean military, coming as he is from that extremely tightly guarded area where soldiers are chosen because of their immense loyalty to the north korean regime. jane: the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, says the republican candidate from alabama should step aside in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. roy moore is accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old when he was in his 30's. he says the claims are fake news and he won't quit the senate race. today, another woman said she was sexually assaulted by moore when she was 16. >> the area was dark and it was
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deserted. i was alarmed, and i immediately asked him what he was doing. instead of answering my questions, mr. moore reached over and began groping me, and putting his hands on my breasts. i tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and he locked it so i coulnot get out. come i was joined by our north america reporter anthony zurcher, and i asked him whether roy moore can survive this? anthony: it will be tough for him to survive it with any support from the republican party, but he is going to survive this as long as he wants to stay in the race. it is too late to remove him from the ballot. they have been printed, the election in alabama is next month. the republican party could conceivably change the election date and try other procedures.
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they are looking at all different kinds of options. but if roy moore is getting stubborn, and he has a history of doing this, thumbing his nose at authority, he could very well keep on going. all indications so far is he will paint this as a liberal democrat attempt to drum him out of office, drum him out of the race. jane: you were in alabama covering the primary that he won. what will voters make of this? anthony: alabama is an overwhelming majority conservative. they love donald trump there, voted overwhelming to him. talking to republican voters, there are some who were fans of -- who were not big fans of roy moore, did not support him in that primary, but roy moore has been in alabama a long time. he was a supreme court justice, an evangelical firebrand, and he has a very dedicated following. i remember one woman, a young evangelical woman, ran into her all the time on the campaign trail, she was there all the time. they will live and die by him, and when he says these are not real accusations, he will sue and stay in the race, they will stand by him.
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jane: well, he is not an establishment figure, and the leadership of the republican party distanced themselves very quickly. can they actually get rid of him? anthony: well, they could conceivably change the election date. a lot of that relies on republicans in alabama changing their minds. we have heard from republican alabamans say they would rather elect roy moore with all of the allegations than the democrat into the senate. but say roy moore wins in december. he gets to the senate. they have to seat him, but they could vote to remove him. it takes a two-thirds vote in the senate to kick him out. that doesn't happen very often. almost all the time this happened in the senate history it is because they supported the confederacy. so there is procedures in place where they could vote him out, and there have been some like cory gardner, a key figure in the senate, saying he will vote to expel him if roy moore gets seated. but that is down the road. it is going tbe a tough fight if they want to do it, and very
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embarrassing, honestly, for the republican party one way or the other. jane: that was anthony zurcher joining me a short time ago. the acr bryan cranston has told the bbc there may be a way back for harvey weinstein and kevin spacey if they show they are truly sorry. the "breaking bad" star says the recent wave of sexual assault allegations in hollywood has raised awareness of a societal problem. he spoke to us on the opening of london'slay at national theater. bryan: a very interesting perspective, as i've never sat out here looking that way. quite an impressive set. reporter: you were an overnight success, you could argue. bryan: i was -- reporter: at 50-ish. bryan cranston became an international superstar with his hit tv show "breaking bad," playing walter white, a chemistry teacher who becomes a drug dealing criminal. bryan: "breaking bad" was a phenomenal experience for me.
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it changed my life completely. reporter: here he is in another life-changing role. bryan: i am mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymore! reporter: the national theater adaptation of the 1970's film cranston'swhere character, anchor howard beale, loses it on air and becomes a ratings sensation. bryan: in the 1970's, it was clearly a satire. "network" in 2017 is no longer a satire. it is profound and it is what we are living in. this inundation of information is not necessarily a good thing. that our children can access not only horrific acts of real
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violence on their cell phone, but pornography, anything and everything is accessible now, it is not good for society. reporter: it is starting to feel like a dark age in hollywood. is there a way back for the weinsteins and spaceys of this world? bryan: if they were to show us that they put the work in and were truly sorry and making amends and not defending their actions, but asking for forgiveness, then maybe down the road there is room for that. reporter: character transformation is becoming a theme of bryan cranston's late career as a star of stage and screen. from crystal meth-dealing teachers to mad as hell newscasters. a troopnally, there was of stargazers today when the two brightest planets, jupiter and venus come up close together in the morning sky.
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they are hundreds of millions of miles apart, but they were able to defeat by the naked eye. and with that vision, i will leave you, bbc's "world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to work around your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stay up to date with the latest headlines you can trust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here iaruba. 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 >> "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... >> i believe the women, yes. >> woodruff: senate majority leader mitch mcconnell calls for alabama republican senate candidate roy moore to step aside in the wake of sexual misconduct accusations from multiple women. then, president trump meets with controversial president duterte in the philippines, where a brutal drug war has raised serious human rights concerns. and, yemen in crisis-- famine, war and disease leave a nation in ruin and a haven for extremism. plus, jeffrey brown meets up with former led zeppelin frontman robert plant, who talks about his new album, and a new musical perspective. >> it's bridled, it's containe


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