tv BBC World News America PBS October 8, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and vler foundation, pursuin solutions for america's neglected needs. >> how do we shape our tomorrow? it starts with a vision. we see its ideal form in o mind, and then we begin to chisel. we strip away everything that stands in the way to reveal new possibilities.oi
at purep financial, we have designed our modern approach to banking around you -- your plans, your goals, your oweams. your tomorrow is purepoint financial. >> and now, "bbc world news." laura: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. fears grow about the fate of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi. he was last seen at the saudi consulate in istanbul. a re warning from the world's top scientists. dramatic action is needed now to save the world from climate catastrophe. plus, writing to president obama. from hardships to homework, andericans pun paper, hundreds received a personal reply.
laura: welcome to our viewers on public television ou america and the globe. tonight the mysterious disappearance of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi is raising questions across the middle east and here in washinon, d.c. the commentar who was critical of saudi arabia's young crown prince has vanished. what we do know is he was last seen entering the saudi consulate in istanbul on tuesday to obtain routine paperwork. he has not been seen sinceofand turkiscials say he may have been murdered. president erdogan is demandingsw s, but saudi arabia denies being part of any wrongdoing. a brief time ago, president n.trump expressed his conc earlier i spoke to journalist robin wright, who has known mr. khashoggi for decades. robin, you write for "the new yorker." did jamal khashoggi tell you he felt his life was in injured? robin: often, and inact, the
last conversation i had with him was in august, and he said the saudis wanted him out of the picture. at the time i thought he exaggerating dangerous because he had been in exile over a year in washington, and the dangers seemed kind of unrealistic. it turned out that he may have hen more correct th realized. laura: just how critical was the -- he of the saudi government and especially the young crown prince, robin?ou robin:now, jamal was in many ways a reluctant dissident. he had long supported the monarchy, he had been an adviso. to the governm but i think he -- as he told me, became ireasingly concerned about the autocratic rule of crown prince mohammed, the heir apparent to the throne, the real power behind the throne. he was under enormous pressure.
he was ordered not to get on twitter, he was silenced repeatly. he opted in the end because of the arrest of some of his friends to leave the country entirely. laura: do you think this u.s. administration will pressurize the saudi government to get answers? robin: i fear not. saudi arabia is the centerpiecet trump administration's policy in the middle east.is it wasirst destination when he went on his first foreign trip. he was received with pomp and ceremony. saudi arabia is today very important to an eventual peace plan between israel an palestinians. saudi arabia is the centerpiece of his counterterrorism strategy. the crown prince is a closeof personal frienared kushner, the president's son-in-law and chief adviser on the future of the middle east. it seems very unlikely that this is going to change very much,
whenever words come out of the adminiration, long-delayed given that this has been going on for a week. murderef he has been by saudi operatives in semi, is -- in some way, is that so blatant that there is a dangerco that thid backfire within saudi arabia itself? robin: i think it sends a strong message to anyone who even considers criticizing the regima about thers that they face. this is not the first action by the crown prince. this is a part of a pattern of itclamping down on, whethes women activists, one of them sentenced to death this year, moderate clerics, who come out as the leading spokeeople condemning extremism and sunny -- sunni fundamentalism. there have been scores of arrests of top businessmen.
this is a pattern that sends a strong signal to everybody in saudi arabia not to mess with this leadership. laura: robin wright, thank y so much for joining us. the world's top scientists are warning of a climate catastrophe unless we change our ways. the intergovernmental panel on climate change say tthe world is ck for rising temperatures of close to three degrees celsius. they say governments must changa their polici we all need to alter the way we live to prevent devastating consequences. sence editor david shukman has more. david: the warming of the earth is heading for levels that modern humans have never exrienced. that is the unnerving implication of this latest report. it says the rise of the oceans could ac sounds like a small increase in temperature. heat waves are saito become more intense sooner than expected. and forest fires combined with
more warming will have a profound impact on wildlife. when the report was unveiled at a press conference here in south korea, it came with a startling conclusion.f >>tion is not taken, it will take the planet into an unprecedented climate future if we compare it to what has happened during all of human evolutionary history.or david: the rsays massive cuts are needed in the gases warming the atmosphere. at means turning away fr fossil fuels like oil, because when t off carbon dioxide.ive vast new forests must be planted to soak the gas to have any chance of keeping global warming to a safe level. the obvious question that arises from the radical sugstions in this report is is any of this remotely feasible? so many countries depend on coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, and have plans to use more.
the vast majority of vehicles on the roads use petrol and diesel. on the other hand, there areve significant pments underway. the cost of renewable energy like solar and wind is falling, seking it much more viable. electric cars arto become more mainstream as the major car manufacturers invest in them. hover this plays out, maki the change on this scale is going to be a huge challenge. the key decisions on this past -- now pass to the countries that are the biggest polluters, like china and the united states. but the report alssays the people going about their everyday lives hav.a say as well es aboutn all make cho the energy we choose to consume. we can make a move through our choices of energy consumption to renewable energy, to provide ark for renewable energy. in terms of the land, a lot of e land we use produces food, we can make choices about what we choose to eat.
david: around the conference center, new skyscrapers and highways crawling with traff. all of this relies oil fuels, and likmany developments around the world, it will be incredibly hard to change. scientists have mapped out a way of minimizing global warming. we wl see what everyone make of it. david shukman, bbc news, south korea. laura: syrian rebels have withdrawn heavy weapons from the front line in the city of idlib, part of a deal tcrate a buffer zone between the rebels and syrian government forces. thagreement was procured by -- brokered by russia, which supports president assad, and turkey. the president said it is a temporary measure and he has not ruledio out further a jeremy bowen reports. jeremy: in this war, most syrian christians have chosen silence or the regime. at this church, e local commander is proud that his mostly christi town has had a
sion since the fourth century. is proud that in the fight to end the rebellion in idlib, christians are on the front line the guns are silent for now because turkey and russia want a demilitarized zone to separate the regime andts enemies. on the other sidereslamist fighting groups. rithe chian commander says they are all dangerous fanats, taking orders from western intelligence services, includinr itain's. he says the jihadist extremists have a choice -- give up their ideology or be killed. no deals? >> no, they are terr. when they become humans, we will make a deal with them. and we will do when europe and
andica stop their support developing countries stop funding them and putting the jihadi ideology in their head. on the fronte und idlib province. village after village is in ruins. half of syria's population lost their homes. the regime denies the accusation that its forces are the biggest the next stop was sinjar, onead more b damaged ghost town. forces pushed frontst from the nustra earlier this year. at a school wly reopened, the ministry was delivering supplies. the regime wants to show getting the country back. in the classroom of children too young to remember 0 ace, only 10families have come back to sinjar. for children who see a lot of war, school is a brighspot.
r a moment, sinjar's wrecked main street was busy before they melted way into the empty, damaged town. she just started school with a family she arrived with from idlib 10 days ago. one da jihadist fighters came to her house. her father said they killed his son because his mother was an alawi, fm the same sect as the president and from the alawi heartland. >> i have a son. i sent his mother with her kids back there at the beginning of the crisis. he was 14 years old, so he stayed with me. they cut his head off in front of me in my house. he was 14 years old.
they cut off his head because of where his mother was from. jeremy: driving through this part of syria from military positions to broken towns in the rubble and pain, an ending is in sight. the rebels are almost beaten. reopening this highway is part of the plan to avoid the last battle in idlib. this is sya's main north-south route. after all the years of killing and destruction, president assad and his allies arelose to victory. but the president will never be able to say that he has stored sovereignty to the whole country while this road is still cut that is why reopening it hasco one of his major strategic priorities, and it is sharede russians as well.
this is as far as you can go up the highway on the regime side,a the last syrarmy post, ooking across th rebels.ry held by the if the demilitarized zone doesn't work, the regime, the russians, and the iranians might launch the offensive so feared by idlib's 3 million civilians. then there is the future -- not deadly like a war, but not cozy or reassuring. jeremy bowen, bbc news, on the idlib front line. laura: on the front line of thria's long and costly war. in news, in brazil far right polician jair bolsonaro has taken a lead in the presidential election. mr. bolsonaro came short of winning the presidency in the firstfu round by handl of votes. the runoff will be in three weeks, where he will face left-wing candidate fernando haddad. secondcat has named the
suspect in the survey and yulia skripal poisoning case. he is a military dre implied by sh -- military doctor employed by russian intelligence services the gru. underveled to salisbury alexander petrov. a former doctor in spain has been found guilty in the theft of babies during the franco dictatorship. he was acquitted of charges due to the length of time it took to bring the case to court. he stole newborn babies from their mothers and supplied to them to infertile couples. in just a few hours from now, president trump will congratulate the new supreme court justice, brett kavanaugh come after he was sworn in. it is a victory lap after a hard-fought and divisive battle. republicans and democrats are trying to funnel that energy into the midterms, which are just one month away. nick bry
the president has appointed 2 justices to the supreme court. the economy is booming. he managed to renegotiate a trade deal. is this going to help reblicans in the midterms? nick: he has certainly had the best week of his presidency so far. seven days ago he was celebrating the trade deal with canada and mexico. on friday morning we found out that america has the lowest unemployment rate for 49 years. and friday afternoon senator susan collins made that speech inhe senate which made it clear that donald trump would get his nominee elevated to the supreme court. you're going to see this victory lap tonight. does that translate into the midterms? we will e, because we're really talking about two very different midterm elections this year, the senate and the house.: laet's talk about the senate to begin with. democrats are playing defense,re anblicans are excited. they feel that the supreme court battle will get their people out to vote because they delivered. nick: republicans are talking about the u ett bounce. w senator mitch mcconnell , senate majority leader,
republican leader, saying thanks fvery much to the democra coming up with a brilliant electoral strategy for us, because it has energized core ters in those conservati states. as you know, there are 10 democratic senators defending seats in statrs that donald p won in 2016. the republicans really think it helps them in thossenate races. but the house could be different. laura: that is the flip side, because republicans are playg defense in the house and all of these suburban seats.wh is the core critical constituency there? nick: the court constituency in midterm elections is generally suburban won, and you wonder how they will react to donald trump today describing the allegations of christine blasey ford as a hoax perpetuated by evil . i think he was talking about the democrats when he referred to evil people, but he has disparaged christine blasey ford and he mocked her last week. how is that going to go down with suburban female voters?
and overall, voters tend to punish politicians rather than reward politicians. will the rse that we saw last week amongst republicans still be there in a months tim laura: a month is a long time in politics. nick: a morning is a long time in politics. with those kinds of jobless rates, his approvalsh rating ld be much higher. nick bryant, thanks for joining us. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's prog m, writing to the president and getting a response. how the former commander in chief took time each day to correspond with regular americans. laura: facebook has unveiled a device that allows users to deo-chat with one another. the most intriguing features
the camera follows you around and keeps you in focus. the launch comes weeks after the company revealed that at least h million users had their accounked. the bbc's technology correspondent has more on the story for us. put: facebook wants you to e of these devices into your home. you can use the portal to call other portal owners, or those using their facebook messenger app. it has an ura-high-definition camera that is capable of tracking you as you move around >> as you can see, now when i am moving, the mera is purposely framing the, naturally zoomi. dana: facebook has been developing it for the past 18 months. b that time, the firm's tatian been turned upside down come with the huge data breach scandal d the hacking attack which hit at least 50 million faceok users. why should people trust facebook
to put this kind of device into their homes? >> so we have privacy from the e ound up. the fact that we wle to build hardware to software the ai technology we showedpu you, e privacy in every layer of this. privacy campaigners say new device is not the direction facebook should be taking. >> because it brings facebook right into your home looking at you evy day. we don't know too much about what information facebook is going to retain from these devices. the only thing that companies could be sure about ithat somehow device is going to be hacked. that is what we have seen over and over and over again. dave: the company hopes this product will be seen as a fun way to communicate with friends and family, using apps like this one which features facial recognition. much like the big, bad wolf, facebook seems keen to get into ur home. >> a-ooo!
laura: writing to the president is a hallmar of american life. p whsident obama was in the oval office, every night before he went to bed he read 10 of the letters he had received. these are notes that regularic ams sent to the white house -- some supportive, some critical, and others that were completely unexpected. take a look. >> dear president obama. mr. obama: his wife an children paid $1200 a month for health insurance. >> dear president obama,'m writing to tell you abt the $15 my family donated to your 2012 campaign. it is about wanting to say tha $15 means something these days. $15 is a special pizza dinner at our local pizza stop.
itic is one and a halfts to see the new film at the cinema we walk our daughters to. it is getting fresh food instead of frozen. c dear president obama, i hear that you are good recting homework. i wonder if you could look at this. particularly the highlighted portion on the back. how did i do? thank you. mr. obama: it gives you a sense of what is best about america and inspires you and mes you want to work that much harder to make sure that that spirit is reflted in our government. laura: jeanne marie laskasmp ed all of those letters, plus many more. "toe result is her ok, obama." she joined a short time ago.
how important are these letters o president obama for him take the temperature of the nation? jeanne: it wasomething he set out to do on the second day of his presidency. he said "i would like to see ken at the end of each day," and he kept thatl through. i would say they are important. laura: you compiled these letters and some of them are heartbreaking and heartfelt. is there one that really stands out to you? jeanne: oh boy, there are many that stand out to me. there is one that makes me cry each time by a woman from north caroline who was writing a terrible letter expressing her emotions during her father threatening to shoot up the house. he was a marine who wasfr sufferin ptsd, and she saved his life, and decided to write to president obama about that. laura: just extraordinary,he emotional burden he had when
governing the country. these letters, you say in the book, have real currency in the white house. what influence did they have? jeanne: thatas remarkable to trace. the letters come from the mailroom and would be ushered into the west wing, 10 a day, but th would be dispersed. the president would come out and say, "everyone read this," or "let's use this in a speech," or "why is this happening?" it was a constant conversation coming from the letter laura:te it st the whole idea writing to the president, with president roosevelt and the fireside chats in inviting americans to tell him their troubles. with president obama it was a whole new level with the factie that he re jeanne: a whole new level. you can see american democracy in action when you watch this. that is what he set out to do. indivial voices matter. this is what i'm here to say. you matter, citizen. write to me. i would like to know what is going on.
at times he would write back. laura: you got to talk to president obama about what they meant to him. how did he sum it up? jeanne: they meant a lot to him. he talked about it as something that was staining to him and his presidency, to keep touch with the emotional currency that was going on out in the countryo thing you cannot get in polls or charts, the stories, the fabric of everyday americans. laura: what was the most unexpected letter? jeanne: st unexpected? oh gosh, probably some of the kid mail. kids writing things like "why don'i't you wear a tie-dyed someday, president obama?" silly things that were fun. s laura: thank ymuch, jeanne marie laskas, for joining us. jeanne: my plsure. laura: the power of an sd-fashioned letter to the president and how ped obama's presidency. you can find much more of all of the day's news on our website.
to see what we are worng on it anytime, make sure to check us out on twitter. i am laura trevelyan. thanks for watching "bbc 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. >> how do we shape our tomorrow? it starts with a vision. urwe see its ideal form in mind, and then we begin to chisel. away everything that stands in the way to reveal new possibilities. at purepoi financial, we have
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshourtonight, a new international climate report paints a dire picture of the damage climate chae will cause without drastic actions. then, the disappearance of a "washington post" journalist after his visit to the saudi consulate in turkey. and the impact of rising waters as a result of climate change on a tiny island in the chepeake bay. >> it's ironic, the chesapeake bay over the years has provided a living for the folks here, and now it's the chesapeake bay that is threatening the island, threatening to take it away. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."