tv BBC World News America PBS December 19, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
>> 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, 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." laura: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. donald trump's national security adviser speaks to the bbc about the state of the world. from tensions with north korea to russia's meddling in the u.s. election. lt gen mcmaster: i believe that russia is engaged in a sophisticated campaign of subversion to affect our confidence in democratic institutions. laura: cheers in the house of representatives as republicans passed the most sweeping tax reform bill in decades. it is one step closer to the president's desk. and meet super ager hilda.
95 years old, she is still going strong. scientists hope new drugs will help the rest of us beat the clock. laura: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. russia is using propaganda and disinformation to undermine confidence in democratic institutions here in the u.s. and beyond. that is the view of donald trump's national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster. when it comes to the threat posed by north korea, the u.s. needs to be ready to denuclearize the country with their cooperation or not. he was speaking to the bbc's yalda hakim, who began by asking about the standoff with pyongyang. yalda: are you committed to a peaceful resolution to this? lt gen mcmaster: of course that is what we want, but we are not committed.
we are committed to a resolution. we want the resolution to be peaceful, but as the president said, all options are on the table, and we have to be prepared if necessary to compel the denuclearization of north korea without the cooperation of that regime. yalda: leading republicans such as senator lindsey graham and have said there is a 30% chance of war, and if they continue with these missile strikes, it could go up to 70%. is war imminent? lt gen mcmaster: well, the chances of war, who knows what they are? they could go up or down based on what we all decide to do. north korea is a great threat to civilized people across the globe. yalda: several times the secretary of state has said that you are open to talks and the white house has pushed that back. do you understand why he messaging is mixed and confusing? lt gen mcmaster: i understand the confusion, but it really is no confusion. it is the secretary of state talking about having a channel open when the conditions are ready for talks.
what the president has said and the secretary of state clarified last week is that now is not the time to talk. what we have to do is see a fundamental change in behavior and a shift in conditions because we cannot afford anymore because of how far down the road they are in the capabilities. yalda: would you be willing to talk to the north koreans, sit across the table bilaterally? lt gen mcmaster: under what conditions is the question. yalda: no conditions. lt gen mcmaster: under what conditions? yalda: if there was no agenda, just come and talk. lt gen mcmaster: that is up to the president to decide, but we cannot in any way relent on the effort to continue the isolation of the regime diplomatically and economically. what happened in the past is north korea has entered into talks to get the pressure relief, and then of course, those talks did nothing but deliver the ability for the north to continue its programs. yalda: the winter olympics are
coming up in 2018 in february in south korea. would you feel safe sending your family there? lt gen mcmaster: yes, we have, as you know, a very strong alliance capability between the south korean armed forces and our armed forces. if you extend that regionally, what that is doing is driving our allies closer and closer together with us, and in particular south korea, japan, and the united states. yalda: let's talk about russia. all the u.s. intelligence community has said that russia 2016rfered, meddled in the election. putting politics to one side, would you say that this is a national security risk? lt gen mcmaster: certainly it is. what the national security strategy said explicitly in the document, this strategy views the world as it is. it is not create some aspirational model. and so that is how we have to view russian behavior as.
we have to look at what russia is actually doing. of course we have to counter their destabilizing behavior and the sophisticated campaigns are of propaganda and disinformation and the efforts to polarize communities and pit them against each other, especially in the democratic world and in free, open societies. they use that openness and freedom against countries to weaken the popular will and resolve. yalda: do you believe that russia meddled in the 2016 election? lt gen mcmaster: i believe that russia is engaged in a very sophisticated campaign of subversion to affect our confidence in democratic institutions -- yalda: did they meddle? lt gen mcmaster: including -- yalda: including your election? lt gen mcmaster: what they used is propaganda and disinformation. on both sides -- they support very left groups, they support very right groups. what they want to do is create the kind of tension, the kind of vitriol that undermines our confidence in who we are. when i say "we," i mean any societies that have come under
attack. you see a similar approach in the catalonia referendum in spain. and now even in the mexican election -- yalda: but is this what the president is saying as well? lt gen mcmaster: yes -- yalda: he is acknowledging this meddling took place? lt gen mcmaster: he has acknowledged it publicly. yalda: would you ensure this does not happen in the future? lt gen mcmaster: to the degree we have agency and control over it, certainly. we need to pull the curtain back on this activity and expose it. yalda: i travel around the world and there really is a feeling that there is nothing like this administration, nothing like this president, and there is a real intrigue in the court politics, if you will. lt gen mcmaster: i think the intrigue is interesting to people, but honestly, i've not paid attention to it. it has not affected our work on the national security council. our ability to serve the president.
yalda: would your life be easier if the president stopped tweeting? lt gen mcmaster: aristotle said focus on what you can control and you can make a difference. the president will do what he wants to do, and it is his way of reaching the american people, and it is a communication mode that is successful for him. he has quite a number of followers around the world. and so my job is not to worry about twitter. and yalda joined me a short time ago to talk about her interview with h.r. mcmaster. quite the coup there. after speaking to him, does it seem to you that conflict with north korea is more likely, or that maybe there is a prospect of talks? yalda: laura, what he made clear to position that the door at time, regardless of what the secretary of state is saying or had to clarify this past week, that door is currently not open.
now is not the right time. if you compare whether the peace talks are more likely or war, we often talk about miscalculation can lead to escalation can lead to some kind of conflict. there's no misunderstanding at this point in time. the u.s. will not back down. the rhetoric will not ease. they want to put maximum pressure on north korea until north korea to give up its nuclear weapons. we know that is not likely to happen. laura: and yet that dissonance between the president, the fire and fury, and his secretary of state -- you travel around the world. does it cause confusion in diplomatic capital? yalda: indeed. it is one thing what the president says, and another what the president does. when i find in speaking to journalists, policymakers, world leaders -- what they say is that he shoots from the hip. he is unpredictable, he is erratic, but will that translate to actions on the ground? look at the afghan strategy. he talked about pakistan and said they need to crack down on terrorism and terrorist havens.
what are they doing on the ground? what is the strategy? that is the question. laura: but on russia, h.r. ,cmaster was very clear to you clearer than the president, that russia is subverting not just this democracy, but others, too. yalda: that was fascinating to look at what is happening in catalonia, look at what is happening in mexico. tough words, as you say, not just -- on russia, meddling not just in the presidential elections in the united states, but in other democracies as well. i felt in many ways that he was hinting towards it is not just happening to us, it is happening across the globe, and we need to be very alert, be careful. he also pointed to the fact that russia is attending to undermine the united states' power and influence through these means. laura: just briefly, you pushed him on the president's use of twitter and he quoted aristotle at you. yalda: that gives you a sense of who this man is.
he is described as a scholar-soldier, a maverick, a historian more than a soldier. it gives you a sense of who h.r. mcmaster is, that he is someone who is long-term strategic thinker. it gives an insight into what is going on. laura: yalda hakim, thank you so much for joining us. in other news now, a train that crashed in washington state on monday was traveling at more than double the speed limit at -- time it he railed derailed, going to investigators. at least three people were killed. 86 people were inside the train at the time of the accident, more than 70 were injured. at least 12 people were killed in mexico when a bus carrying foreign tourists to see mayan ruins crashed. it had been traveling to the yucatán peninsula would feared off the road and flipped over. the passengers came from the u.s., italy, sweden, and brazil. president trump is getting closer to his first big legislative victory with tax reform moving rapidly through
congress. earlier today, the house of representatives passed the biggest overhaul of the u.s. tax system in more than 30 years, but not so fast. before the house goes to the senate, because the house bill violates senate rules, it will have to vote again before the bill hits the president's desk. critics say it is a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, which will increase the national debt. republicans say it will boost economic growth and create jobs. earlier, katty kay spoke to republican congressmen francis rooney on a lively capitol hill for her program "beyond 100 days." katty: congressman, it looks like the republican party's about to pass the tax bill that some 55% of americans say they disapprove of. why are you doing it? ep. rooney: well, i think wendy the 55% of americans realize what is in the tax bill, they will change their mind.
i think the liberal media in the united states has been a bit one-sided in how they described the bill. katty: well, this is always a communications effort, and it seems like the democrats have been able to give recommendations out more effectively than yours. rep. rooney: you could probably make that argument. of course, they have a more willing media to support them than we do. katty: the tax bill depends on the idea of losing american -- boosting american growth, but the tax policy center, bipartisan commission dependent group, has said that what is in the bill won't boost american gdp growth enough for the tax bill to pay for itself. you are a fiscal conservative. does adding to the american debt concern you? rep. rooney: i would've rather they found a way not to have it be deficit-spent. i would much prefer that. but i do think that the corporate aspects of the bill will get the economy accelerating and increase investment. as anyone from london knows better than anyone, capital is
fungible and goes where it is treated best, and we have not been treating capital very well in the united states for some time. we need to get the tax rate down so that the corporations want to be here and invest capital here. katty: corporations are clearly very happy with this bill and so are wealthy americans, who are looking at a big tax cut. what about the argument that the tax bill does very little for poorer and lower working class americans? rep. rooney: first of all, if you want to have jobs, you have got to have capital investments, which means the people you are talking about have to invest. if you look at the rates and doubling the standard of deduction, this is a tax cut for virtually everyone across the spectrum and a larger percentage tax cut for those at the bottom of the spectrum. katty: right, but you are asking corporations to reinvest in the country and produce jobs, but even the treasury secretary, when he asked american ceo's what they are going to do with the tax windfall, are you going to invest it back into the economy and job creation, they
did not put their hands up. they said they would return it to their shareholders. rep. rooney: i saw that question-and-answer period with gary cohn, but i'm not so sure that is actually right. inevitably, when corporate tax rates are lower, more capital is flowing back into the united states, or whatever country does it. we saw that in ireland when they lowered their tax rates. i'm confident they will have more capital, and ultimately that will get invested. another is the immediate deduction expensing of capital goods acquisitions. katty: ok, congressman, quickly, let me ask you about the way this bill was done. handwritten notes on the senate version of the bill, votes taken at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. if you want the american people to understand what is in the bill, is that the best way to do it? rep. rooney: no, it's not. we used to tell our kids that nothing good happens after midnight. i think that is probably true. it would have been much better to have an orderly process. but i have to say, the end product is pretty good.
katty: congressman rooney, thank you very much. keep it in the daytime, kids. thanks very much. laura: katty kay speaking to congressman rooney. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, more allegations about hollywood producer harvey weinstein. we hear exclusively from a former colleague who tells us about her experience. it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the mediterranean, famed for its walled city. but strong winds have washed up huge quantities of rubbish, which is now covering the historic report in croatia. officials say most of the debris is thought to have come from albania and montenegro. reporter: a kiev floating rubbish has transformed the hugely pristine city. brovnik's magnificent
medieval walls surrounded by brown sludge. winds have washed up larger months of plastic, wood, and household waste, mostly from albania, according to officials. >> account all sorts of things. there are many animals floating on the surface. there is a lot of stuff in the city. reporter: this diver had the unfortunate job of getting into pull out the large tree trunks. helping the are army of volunteers with the cleanup. and this is what dubrovnik usually looks like. heritage -- a unesco world heritage site overlooking, waters. a tourist spot and popular film location, it is featured in the recent "star wars" movie and the tv series "game of thrones." for the transformation -- but the transmission from blue to brown is dramatic.
one politician has criticized neighboring countries for the problem. officials described this is the worst sea pollution in memory. >> among the debris can with found pond turtles. we can conclude that this has arrived from albanian are montenegrin rivers. reporter: this is the third time a rubbish catch as washed up here, but the wind direction is due to change, which should speed up the cleanup operation. the marina can return to its former glory. laura: in her first broadcast interview, a former colleague of hollywood producer harvey weinstein has told the bbc how she was warned about his behavior and how she went on to warn other women that he could behave in an inappropriate manner. zelda perkins says that matters escalated after he sexually assaulted a colleague and she accused him of attempted rape. mr. weinstein denies all
allegations of nonconsensual sex. our entertainment correspondent colin paterson has the story. colin: look at the interviews, put this into context -- this was 1998. harvey weinstein was at the peak of his powers, just about to release "shakespeare in love," which would win him his only oscar the following year. in september 1998, his personal assistant in the u.k., zelda perkins, then 24, quit. speaking to "newsnight," she explained she endured a number of years of sexual harassment, but then came the final straw. reporter: it came to a head for you when he sexually assaulted, attempted rape on your colleague? >> yes, we were at the venice film festival, and he tried to rape her. reporter: what did you do? >> she was extremely distressed. she was shaking, very distressed, clearly in shock.
didn't want anybody to know. was absolutely terrified of the consequences, what would happen. i spoke with her and tried to calm her for half an hour, and then i went straight downstairs to where harvey was having a business meeting. i told him he needed to come with me right away. for me to have broken into a meeting like that was very unusual, and he did not question me. he got up and came with me straight away, because he knew why i was angry. reporter: so you accused him of attempted rape? >> yes. reporter: and he denied it? >> yes. he said nothing at all had happened, and he swore on his wife and children, his get out of jail card. he used it quite a lot.
secured legalomen representation, hoping to bring down weinstein by revealing his behavior to disney, who owned his company miramax. but the lawyer said that wasn't a realistic option. the only option was damage agreement. this included the creation of a complaints procedure at miramax and therapy for mr. weinstein. it is not known if these stipulations were carried out. zelda perkins signed a nondisclosure agreement and received the sum of 125,000 pounds. in the interview, she calls for britain to follow the example of a number of u.s. states and end the practice of allowing sexual assaults to be hidden behind nondisclosure agreements. a spokesperson for harvey weinstein says he unequivocally denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex. laura: colin paterson reporting there. now to our series on how to live longer and better lives.
scientists in the united states say it won't be long until we have drugs that could delay the aging process. next year a clinical trial will take place of 2 compounds that target the way our bodies react to getting older. in the second of his reports on super agers, fergus walsh has been to new york and san francisco. fergus: new york public library, one of the city's grandest buildings, which has one of the city's oldest employees. hilda is still going strong at 95. what is her secret to a long life? >> take your parents. it has got to be genetic. both my parents lived long. good morning. i'm glad you could beat me here. fergus: hilda gives tours of this historic building, when she is not at the theater, music i'm glad you could beat me here. concerts, opera, or her 2 book clubs. >> i don't exercise. i walk a lot.
anybody advice, just keep moving. hilda's dnales of are stored in this freezer in the bronx, part of a study into the longevity. they say one in 10,000 people have these genes, but that drugs may be able to help the rest of us. it is an old, cheap diabetes drug, but a major trial is planned to see if it can delay aging. scientists here believe it may slow the biological processes that trigger key diseases. >> we have data in humans that would delay cardiovascular disease, would delay diabetes, delay the cognitive decline in people. fergus: aging is an inevitable process which begins as we reach adulthood, and continues through
the decade as our muscles and organs gradually wear out. this tai chi group in san francisco shows we can delay the decline. it helps with balance and core strength and provides a social network. >> it makes me feel so young. i have so much fun. i feel like i am in the kindergarten of the universe. >> my mother lived to 103. i don't desire to live that long, but i want to be as healthy as i can as long as i can. fergus: that is an ambition we can all share. imagine a future where it didn't hurt to get old, where our joints didn't wear out. it would have a huge impact on our quality of life as we age. this biotech company in california has developed a drug to counter one of the key diseases of aging, osteoarthritis. human trials of the experimental compound should begin next year.
>> this is an area of the cartilage that is now deceased. you can see the cartilage is damaged. fergus: it works by clearing cells which build up in the knee joint, known as senescent cells, which may be a trigger for the painful condition. >> a single injection that we believe and hope will alleviate their pain and begin the restorative process, perhaps at least halt, regress, completely repair the knee in the end, is what our wildest hopes would imagine. fergus: that means more people free ofe like hilda, aches and pains, independent well into their 90's. fergus walsh, bbc news, new york. laura: before we go, let's look at a coffee shop with a twist. a café in london claims to be making the world's first healthy beverage fight printed a
chocolate powder portrait of your photo on top of your drink. ino, butl it a selfie-c this one only lasts until you take a sip. quite delicious. thanks for watching "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 in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, republicans push forward their tax plan, marking the biggest change to the tax code in decades. then, how america's fight over abortion is playing out in kenya. the effect of cutting u.s. funds to overseas charities with abortion services. >> it's the whole range of healthcare services that are affected by this. it's h.i.v., it's malaria, it's cervical cancer, tuberculosis. so the impact globally is massive. >> woodruff: and, eyeing a basic educational hurdle-- how baltimore is making a difference in their students' education by providing much needed vision care. >> about 25% of our school