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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  December 6, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm 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 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 >> and now, "bbc world news." ♪ >> this is bbc "world news america." reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. a dramatic change in u.s. policy. president trump recognizes jerusalem as the capital of israel. he says it is the right thing to do to resolve the peace process. >> it is time to officially recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. jane: wildfires rage near los angeles. nearly 30,000 people are forced from their homes. hundreds of buildings are destroyed. one ofs is littlefoot,
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the world's oldest and most complete skeletons of a human who lived in africa more than 3 , million years ago. ♪ jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america, and around the world. in middle east peace negotiations there is no more-sensitive issue than the status of jerusalem. the israelis claim it as their capital, and the palestinians view east jerusalem as the capital of a future palestinian state. president trump says his decision today to recognize it as israel's capital was a overdue step, and the right thing to do. bbc's north america editor reports. >> the president, signing this or that reclamation has become commonplace, but nothing he has put his name to as been as ashe has put his name to is
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consequential or historic as this. it is a new policy for the middle east, the most troubled region in the world. past decisions have failed. it was time for a new approach. >> today we finally knology the -- today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that jerusalem as israel's capital. this is nothing more or less than the recognition of reality. it is also the right thing to do. it is something that has to be done. >> it's a decision the arab world and close allies cautioned against, but the president has gone ahead. he stressed his commitment to peace, whether via a two-state solution or any other solution. >> we want to agreement that is a great deal for the israelis, and a great deal for the palestinians. we are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the israeli sovereignty in jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders.
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>> demonstrations so far have been relatively low-key but u.s. citizens have been warned not to go to the west bank or the old city in jerusalem. well aware of the reaction his speech might provoke. >> today we call for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the voices of hate. -- to prevail over the purveyors of hate. our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts. >> there has been a fierce international backlash to what the president is proposing. even though donald trump insists it is just accepting what is present-day reality. nato, the pope, the u.n., russia and turkey have spoken out against the move. the white house is on a charm offensive, and so far the only country that has been charmed is israel. and on jerusalem's ancient walls, a very modern projection
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of israeli sentiment tonight. >> this is a historic day. we are profoundly grateful for the president, for his courageous and just decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel, and to prepare for the opening of the u.s. embassy here. this decision reflects the president's commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises, and to advancing peace. >> six months ago, the palestinian leader hosted donald trump on his middle east tour. that early optimism, replaced by disappointment today. >> jerusalem is a palestinian jewishhristian, muslim, also. and it is the capital of the state of palestine, forever. >> jerusalem, a city 6000 miles and two continents away from the u.s., was the subject of an unusual campaign pledge from
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donald trump to a very narrow constituency, to move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem and recognize the ancient city as israel's capital. but in keeping that promise he seems to have made his other goal of advancing middle east peace, a whole lot more complicated. bbc news, washington. jane: while today's decision is one of mr. trump's most controversial to date, and overturns decades of u.s. foreign policy it has been met , with unease across the world. the bbc reports from jerusalem. >> for many israelis, mr. trump's formal recognition of israeli sovereignty over jerusalem corrects a historic injustice. this is a city with 3000 years of jewish history, their seat of government. and there has long been frustration that the u.s., israel's closest ally, just has
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consular offices here, not it embassy. now that is set to change. and there is hope that other countries will follow washington's lead. >> i expect the leaders of the free world to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. we recognize paris is the capital of france, and berlin is the capital of germany. we spent our friends to recognize our own capital as what it is. >> but about one third of jerusalemites are palestinians. the old city has some of the holiest sites for muslims as well as palestinians, as well as christians and jews. the object to the u.s. -- they object to the u.s. announcement. >> as a palestinian, this is a mistake. jerusalem is the capital for the palestinian state, and that is not negotiable. >> there will be troubles over this. it will not pass smoothly. there will be opposition. and there will be chaos. >> jerusalem is probably the
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most sensitive issue in the israel-palestinian conflict. this ancient city has great religious and political significance, and we have seen many times how just a small change made here can quickly flare up into unrest. during the summer there was deadly violence when israel put new security measures at a mosque compound where to israel the policemen were killed. these were later removed to keep the status quo. now palestinian officials say, mr. trump is raising tensions again. >> this is a declaration of war in palestine and the palestinians and this is a manifestation of the lack of fairness in handling the palestine issue and a total bias toward israel. >> tonight there were large protests in gaza following the u.s. president's speech, and there are calls for more the -- calls for more in the coming days. bbc news, jerusalem. jane: last night on this program
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we heard from skeptic of the -- we heard from a skeptic of the president's plan. tonight, we hear from one of the most ardent supporters on capitol hill. a brief time ago i spoke with congressman lee zeldin, cochair of the house republican israel caucus. congressman, thanks for much for -- thanks very much for joining me. america's allies in the region, u.s. security experts have all warned that this could cause and its a people in a region that is already unstable. why make this decision now? >> the fact is, jerusalem is the capital of israel. this is a decision that should not even have to be made right now. this should have been made literally decades ago. we have had american presidents who have instinctively known and have said during their campaigns that the right thing to do is to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel, yet they did not follow through on their very logical promise that was made. and president trump is following through, not only on a campaign promise he made, following
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through on a campaign promise past presidents have made, the fact that jerusalem is the capital of the jewish state of israel. >> but everyone's morning that this could be dangerous. it could be responsible. is it really worth it to fulfill a domestic campaign promise? >> well, it's very important that you have these elements, they're terrorists. elements like hamas. they have been murdering innocent adversaries, and to use this as any type of an excuse to continue to terrorize innocent victims is inexcusable. jane: but how is recognizing jerusalem as the capital of israel going to help stop that? >> well, for one, jerusalem being the capital of israel, it shouldn't be that controversial because this is where the
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israeli knesset is, where the prime minister and the president live. the supreme court is located here. it is the capital of israel. so we only to come to terms and accept what is just an absolute, 100% certain fact and reality. for us to not be confronting the realities of the dynamics in and around israel, is a huge disservice for any type of a peace talk, because the reality is that if you are going to negotiate long-term peace, jerusalem is, has been and will continue to be the capital of israel. jane: congressman lee zeldin thank you for joining us. , >> thank you. take care. bringwe will continue to more reaction to the president's decision as we get it. 20 democratic
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senators are now calling on senator al franken to resign following recent allegations of sexual misconduct. senator franken has apologized for most incidents and has said he would cooperate with the senate ethics investigation into his behavior. he is expected to make an announcement tomorrow. i am joined now by our north american reporter. anthony, where so many people coming forward with calls for al franken's resignation. >> there was another report coming today, from a woman who said al franken groped her, prior to becoming a senator. remarkable how many people are coming out calling on al franken to resign. that number grew to double digits, and then you saw twentysomething senators coming out, including the head of the democratic national committee. i think it's contrast to the way republicans are handling roy moore in alabama, where first you some republicans distancing themselves from him, and then donald trump coming up with a
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full-throated endorsement, and now the rnc putting up money in the race. i think the democrats are clearing the decks and doing more so they can more vocally criticize republicans. >> does it put more pressure on the republicans? >> no, it doesn't. it seems like the republicans are making the calculation that they really need that republican vote in the senate, and that there is not going to have any lasting impact on them, elect torally. the midterms are not for another year but i think that's a big , question, that the democrats right now with al franken and john conyers, the senior house democrat yesterday, those people resigning are in safe democratic seats. the democratic governor in minnesota will appoint his successor. while they are taking a principled stand, they are not paying a real political price yet. the real test of political principles will come when it comes in a high costs. this has been a steady drumbeat of allegations with different politicians. it may only be a matter of time before democratic principles are tested.
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jane: very briefly, anthony, there's another issue here. if voters elect somebody, knowing their faults, is it up to the leaders of any party to say they can't sit in congress? >> that's the argument the donald trump has made since he was elected, that all of this was litigated, so speak, during the election. that any criticisms of him or his past have been settled. and the reality is yes, the voters pick who they want. this is a democracy. if they want roy moore, republicans are saying that is what they should get. jane: anthony, thank you very much. in california, more than 1000 firefighters are battling huge wildfires. hundreds of buildings have been destroyed and thousands of homes are under threat. the worst of the fires have been in ventura county, about 80 kilometers north of los angeles. the bbc's north america correspondent james cook reports. >> no one can escape from nature, not even in bel air, one of the wealthiest suburbs on earth. all day, there has been a battle to save homes here and the
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owners have been rushing to grab what they can as they flee from their mansions. >> we built this house 13 years ago. never seen anything like it. >> you think the firefighters going to save it? >> there are my heroes. i'm hoping. it is in god's and the firefighters' hands. >> those firefighters are being helped my much lesser winds, for now. >> those embers can fly a distance away, spot-firing canyons below us. >> are you worried that that might be what happens, because the winds are forecast to get up? >> that's correct. >> media mogul rupert murdoch's property is one of those that is smoldering. but helicopters have been making good use of a lull in the weather. these firefighters in a battling -- these firefighters are battling a blaze in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in los angeles. we are surrounded by expensive homes and this fire is likely to get worse this afternoon, when the wind picks up.
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it's in the beach-side city of ventura were the first wildfire exploded with terrifying speed, driven by ferocious desert winds during it blocked the main coastal motorway causing terror for drivers. >> hold on. we need to get out of here as soon as possible. that fire is right there. james: only one thing could stop the blaze. the pacific ocean. this is how the fires looked from space, thick smoke streaming out to sea. it has barely rained here in l.a. for six months and you can , tell. many scientists say climate change is driving more frequent and destructive wildfires. for california, this is yet another grim wake-up call. james cook, bbc news los angeles. jane: a man is a pretty court in london accused of plotting to bomb 10 downing street until prime minister theresa may. the man is accused of plotting to bomb the security gate before
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attacking the prime minister with a knife. bbc reports. >> counterterrorism detectives moved in on two men last week. yesterday they were charged, and this morning, amid high security, came their first court appearance. of planning to strike at the heart of the british government and assassinate theresa may. he is on the left. is thedock with him second suspect. in court came the outline of the prosecution's case. toldn is 20 years old and the court he was bangladeshi-british. he is accused of planning to detonate and improvised explosive device, in other words, i bomb, here at the downing street gate. in the chaos that would follow, is alleged that, equipped with a suicide vest, pepper spray and a knife, he wanted to get into number 10 until the prime minister. he was arrested last tuesday in west london. it is claimed he had to inner
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two inert -- he had improvised explosive devices in his possession. it's claimed his codefendant was planning to travel abroad to join isis fighters. yesterday, the head of mi five briefed the cabinet about the security situation. nine islamists in five plots are set to be deported this year. the next hearing in this latest case will be in two weeks. june kelly, bbc news. jane: you are watching "world news america." still to come on tonight's program, out in the cold. russia reacts angrily after it's winter team is banned from the winter games next year in south korea. ♪ jane: there have been tributes thess france following announcement that longtime rock
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star johnny halliday has died at the age of sentiment the -- died at the age of 74. >> he was the man who brought america to france, and they endorse him for it. johnny halliday began his career nearly 60 years ago, inspired by new sounds coming from the states. france's postwar baby boomers socialnovelty, and the rebellion, and johnny made it insane. he became the leader of what they call the yeah-yeah generation. fans and nearly all of france came to see him as part of the national family. his life, its high points and sadness is, became their life right up to the end. and so today, there is morning for a singer who has accompanied france drove changes of modern time. [music] is been there singing the classics, adding new tunes, updating his image, but always back onstage to give again.
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what people say they loved about him was his workingman's simplicity and his dedication. as radio and television broadcasts suspended regular programs today, the tributes of been pouring in. president emmanuel macron said what many are saying, that there was something of johnny in the french. the public is in tears, he wrote. we will never forget his name or 's voice. in recent years, johnny halliday had been in poor health. lung cancer. but he kept reporting until a few months ago. in the english speaking world, people saw him as a bit of a joke, and it's true that he loved elvis and the rolling stones but johnny never made it in the u.s. or britain. but that wasn't the point. johnny halliday played american-style music, but to his core he was french. and today for everybody here, a little bit of france has disappeared. ♪ane
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the decision to ban rusher from the 2018 olympic -- the 2018 winter olympics as part of furious reaction in moscow. the country's foreign minister called it a large-scale assault but said russia would survive it. although the team is banned from competing in south korea, russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be allowed to take part under the olympic flag. steve rosenberg reports now, from moscow. steve: in moscow today, the cold reality was setting in. russia, sporting superpower, had been banned from the winter olympics. the international olympic committee announced the decision yesterday. russia punished for systematic, , state- doping in sport. report raises and unprecedented attack on the integrity of the winter games and sports. steve: russian athletes who can prove they are clean will be allowed to compete in south
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korea, but only under the olympic flag. unfair, says russian officials. >> if russia wasn't having problems on the olympic stage we wouldn't be having problems in sport. everyone says sport and politics should be separate. become athletes have hostages to politics. steve: the ioc says this isn't about politics, it's about cheating. and this the man who revealed in the scale of it. the former head of moscow's anti-doping laboratory, is now living in america. moscow continues to dismiss his testimony. the kremlin likes to portray russia as a besieged fortress, besieged by nature and the west. -- threatened by nato, america, and the west. so don't expect contrition here. russian authorities are likely to use this on the battery emphasize their claim that everyone is gaining up on russia. on the ski slopes of moscow last
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night there was deep disappointment that russia had been left out in the cold from the olympics. -- out in the cold in the olympics. people here have grown used to their countries sporting success. you can understand, they don't want to believe there has been foul play. >> i disagree. the olympic committee is wrong because i think for russia, it will be great and very important to show the results under the russian flag. steve: but there will be no russian flag, no russian anthem at the winter games. and until the olympic movement believes this country is serious about tackling doping, russia's olympic future looks unclear. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. jane: one of the oldest and most complete skeletons of our ancient ancestors is being unveiled in south africa. scientists have spent 20 years
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excavating and preparing littlefoot who was found in a cave in the 1990's. it was thought she was lying there for more than 3 million years. but how she got there is a work in progress. the bbc's andrew harding reports from johannesburg. >> they found the skeleton in these deep caves outside johannesburg. she had been lying here for almost 4 million years trapped , in the rock. [laughter] [laughter] andrew: today, littlefoot finally emerged, astonishingly intact after 20 painstaking years of excavation. >> these bones have a very, very fragile, flaky surface, many of them. and it was like trying to extract apply with flaky pastry out of concrete, without damaging the pride. we had to do this properly. we had to do this slowly. yes, it took up more than 20 years of my life, but i feel younger and stronger for it.
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>> so these are the caves were littlefoot was found. the thinking is that she was walking on the service, fell down, and was covered by sediment and rock. scientists in the 1980's and 1990's stumbled across her remains and slowly managed to be some back together. themowly managed to piece back together. her skeleton shows she was in her 30's. she probably lived in the trees, and crucially, she was more like us than like an ape. >> so the pictures you see in books of our ancestors gradually , getting up off of their fours, and walking along an astute to manner, that is nonsense. they were upright when they came down from the trees -- they were upright when they were in the trees, and they were upright when they came down to the ground. they were us. >> unearthed in these caves are
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vital additions to our own, complicated family tree. andrew harding, bbc news, south africa. jane: and i wonder a much more what is under the ground can tell us. i'm jane o'brien, thanks for watching "world news america." ♪
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: >> my announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between israel and the palestinians. >> woodruff: president trump recognizes jerusalem as the israeli capital, breaking from decades of u.s. policy, drawing condemnation from many world leaders and igniting calls for violence in the middle east. then, a growing group of democratic senators call on senator al franken to resign, in the wake of new sexual misconduct allegations. and, we kick off a three-part series exploring iran's rising influence in iraq-- how


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