tv BBC World News America PBS December 20, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> thisbc world news america."of fundinhis presentation is made possible byda the freeman foon, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> this fall, it is a season of revelations, from the choice of america's favorite novel. >> it's 100 books we want people to take a look at. we are hoping to get people to fall in love wh novels again. >> to the fate oa hero's love. >> i'm still here. >> and i. >> from the secret lives of the most amazing cats to new discoveries about the first peoples of the americas.
>> our history goes back to the beginning of time. >> all this and more, this season. >> and now, "bbc world news." s jane: thisbc world news aserica." reporting from whington, i am anne o'brien. president trump ds by his death defense secretary -- defense secretary james mattis is retiring. travel nightmare at one of brit.n's busiest airports tens of thousands of passengers have h their plans disrupted by drones. bringing two generations under one roof. the charity providing housing for grandparents bringing up their grandchildn.
jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. in the past few minutes, president trump has tweetedhat defense secretary general jim mattis is retiring. he said, "genelll jim mattis e retiring with distinction at the end of february can having served as secretary of defense for the past two years." we are happy to ha with us former secretary of defense william cohen. take you for joining me. how big a loss to the will theration -- general mattis'ar dre? >> i think a big loss. he helped them with na and the budget. but i don't know how many insults or projections of advice secretary mattis could take. you may recall that when the entire national security
atapparatus of the united y id the russians attacked us and they deliberaty to interfere and did interfere in the election system from the president said "i believe president putin" rather than ce intelligenmittee. when secretary mattis and others recommended not going forward in north korea until theen was an agreon what each side meant by the terms, that was rejected. was upset that the president chose to send troops pending thanks giving to the border. i think it wasusa straw too heavy for him to bear --el n, to rejected the recommendation about keeping a sufficient force to really a defeat isopposed to this false declaration that now it is we are tired of fighting and it is somebody else's burden. that was one-mile too far for him to walk given his courage in his battle experience, and his scholarship.
he couldn't take it. ja: you know him well and spoke for him at his nomination for the u.s. making this sound like a resignation, not a retirement. mr. cohen: it is a resignation in my mind. jane: but it is such a critical moment. we have syria and the growing threat from china. mr. cohen: it is serious because the president rejected not only secretary of defense mattis. he rejected orveuled the chairman of the joint chiefs, general munford. of overruled his secretary state. he is basically deciding i know what then they know and my pledge to my supporters is more important than the strategic whimportance o our troops mean in syria. i think we just saw that a former national securitydvisor flynn was berated by the judge for betraying his country. i thin the syrian forces who have been fighting against isis and especially the kurds. it has opened the door for iran and certainly assad and the
russians and others to have a ath against the people w have been supporting and have relied upon us. i think this is simply a case where, mr. president, i will stay until february, i will try to work the budget, i will try to expand to our allies what we are doing, but i cannot sy any longer. jane: in the last few seconds jimattis said the president deserves somebody withws v better aligned to his. who might that be? mr. cohen: i don't know who it would be, but whomever it is you yourd be prepared to have advice if it is based on politics, but on the prepared to have your advice rejected by the president because he knows best. tit is in his pow overrule the secretary of defense and anyone in his cabinet serves at the pleasure of the president. but i would like to see the congress, as soon as 2019 gets here, have congress called a
public hearing and have secretary mattis come and testy,, testify in open session and told the haerican peopleis at stake for us and put them in front of the american people and say r is is what yesident has done keep a promise when we have promised the kurds and the syrians who are fighting for their lives to walk away from that. jane: wwill talk about syria in a minute, but getting back to general mattis a his position the administration, do you think heas bulwark against some of the president's more impetuouss? impul mr. cohen: h i beliewas. i believe he and general kelly and others have been their teeth for a long long time in terms of decisions that were made, decisions about to be made , and they played a key role in preventing them from taking place. the president rejects that. his ruffled by the notion that he is in any way impetuousr
rash. we have seen over the last two years and pressure wasabi carried out at -- impetuousity carried out at a hihe level and to detriment of our security. of the about a wall united states? jane: secretary cohen, stay with us. we will come back to syria. we just heard thennncement, secretary mattis' departure s co president trump has announced the withdrawal of troops from hria. in a twesaid that the u.s. does not want to be the police that of the middle east -- police man of the middle east, but his decision has been criticized by allies and lawmakers. correspondent mark lowen reports from turkey. ♪ mark: today's military flourish in ankara was all the m e the turkish and iranian
presidents got what they wanted -- the u.s. out of syria. donald trump's withdrawal freeze them up to extend their influence and pursue their ow aims in the war-ravaged country. president erdogan insisted he sants to bring syri'' fighting to an end and establish peace. but he has other targets, too. the syrian kurdish militia, or ypg, have fought side-by-side with american troops, battling and dying against so-called islamic state. the turkish government says they ar terrorists linked to banned kurdish militants in turkey. military protected them until now. they face an imminent threat of an offensive against them. we flowed turkey's last offensive against the kurdish ypg in january. we are patrolling the front line with turkish troops.
just a few hundred meters in that direction from where they firertillery. then turkish troops drove the ypg out of tow syrianof afrin. eynow tuill see the u.s. withdrawal as a green light to expel them elsewhere. some of mr. trump' own senators say that is no way to treat a partner. >>al it is in our nati security interest not to withdraw at this time, in my view, because if you do so now, the kurdish fighters, kurdish forces will be decimated by turkey, assad, or maybe isis. mark: the move will allow russia control inate its syria, bolstering the assad regime. hosting an annual end-of-year press conference, vladimir putin knows syria is going his way. pres. putin:is the presence of american forces necessary? i think not. let us not forget that their
esence is not legitimate. if the u.s. decides to withdraw forces, that is correct. mark: while most of the trump administration and u.s. allies were not forewarned abrkt the plan, perhaps was. president erdogan pressuring donaldwe trump las. i.s. still has an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 fighters, and if you're is that aer premature an withdrawal on turkey's terms might allow jihadists to rear their head again. mark lowen, bbc news,stanbul. jane: former defense secretary william cohen is still with me. i'm reading genal mattis' resignation letter and he talks about alliances and partnerships. where does pulling out of syria leave the u.s.-led coalition? mr. cohen: i think it leaves it in a very damaged position. the united states has been the leader of putting those coalitions together. countries from japan and liaust tod norway an others
throughout europe, nato countries. anyou have had m -- interpol involved inave been trying to contain and defeat isis. erwhen we pull out uhese circumstances, say dictory, we haeated them, which according to senator graham is fake ns, a lie, and then they changed the rationale and it is burden, thatse's will cause a problem for us and will be a consequence to the alliance in the future. who is going to rely upon us? i come from a world in which her word is your bond. our worst to our friends than we are to our foes. once again, president putinay good job, president trump. we didn't invade your country with our attack upon your system. good job, mr. president. this is going to undermine our credibility in the world and our
reliability. undone, whenome people start to die, in major bloodletting, you can say here is the reason why and the responsibility is at your doorstep. jane: senator lindsey graham, senior republican, tweeted that nsesident trump should please listen to his deteam and intelligence chief of the that would include jim mattis. what would jim mattis have been saying to the president, and why is he not listening? mr. cohen: i suspect that secretary mattis would say, mr. president, we have made tremendous gains against isis. we are not there yet. still0,000, perhaps even more, isis fighters. we leave, they will come back like weeds and spread their poison. we have got to stay until there was a political settlement. as negotiations are underway. we have just removed leverage.
unless the president has commitment from russia and erdogan and assad, of all ople, to say that they have a political solution, where is our leverage on the way out i suspect discussing this with secretary mattis specificay, he would recommend, mr. president, let'nos not pullout we have this question of timing and the question of the process, whereby we consult with our allies and capitol hl friends and discuss this in a way that is responsible. it was done for a political reason. i think there's a lot ofad news this week and this is another attempt to t,ange the subjn my judgment. jane: getting to the point that he thinks heso deservebody who is more aligned with his way of thinking, do you think this is a major shift in u.s. policy towards the middle east? are we going to see some thing similar in afghanistan, perhaps? mr. cohen: the hasg said, accord secretary mattis' is based statement, i agree with
you, we should not be the placement of the world -- w policeman of tl. i think that is true, but we cannot be the prisoner of wor when we remove our presence, bad things will take place. yes, we don't want to be the world's police man, but we have a vital role to play in the world to keep it safe and to keep the dangerous for away frop our borders assible. on our southernr, borhey are in the middle east in the most volatile place in the worldri t now and we are removing our presence there. if you listen to what the president saying, "i am tired of being in afghanistan and iraq," it might go out to south korea an ijapan as well when he sa don't like our troops being there either. i think we will have a real problem in the years ahead about our relbility and could ility. jane: secretary cohen, thang you for join. as if there wasn't enough drama, anere is turbulence in rus politics, namely the guessing
ver whether the parliame will shut down by the end of the week. it looks as though that could have been averted, but to date things to return and republicans -- took a turn andthepublicans sapresident will not sign a bill to continue funding. i spoke to anthonyer zur short time ago. how have we reached this point again? anthony: just last night the senate passed a resolution that would fund the government through februarydo buld trump's conservative base and media outlets were in an uproar. they thought he was backing down. then he started to hear -- then you started to hear from conservative members of the house of representatives that id not want to vote for this continuing resolution that the senate passed. by midmorning there were indications from donald trump wat he was changing his mind and now he says ts to have $5 billion in wa funding or metal slat funding before he will sign a continuing resolution. unless the is a change, we could be looking at a partial shutdown.
jane: if he cannot get his wall funding through now, how difficult is it going to be to d when thedown the r democrats take control next year? anthony: orders of magnitude more difficult, which is why this fight is happening now and why conservatives thinking abouw it sneed to draw a line in the sand because there will be 40 more democrats in the house of representatives and nancy pelosi will be running things starting january 3.f republicans,ey wanted to make this a priority, could have done it much earlier. they put it off till the last minute, and now donald trump is hihearing, you campaign on this is showing you are weak and you cannot get a wall built, and he is having second thoughts abouthat. we are goi to have wall showdowns into next year but the democrats will have a stronger hand. jane: but, anthony, a shutdown -- the last time the republicans were blamed for shutting down the government they got walloped in the polls. could this backfire? anthony: it definitely could backfire, especially since pelosi and chuck schumer last
week were able to get donaldtr p to say he was willing to shut down the government and would take responsibility over that over border security and the wall. he thinks that this is a subject the public would rally around because it is an issue of national security, but we had an election in november where he ted to make immigration an issue in the last 40 seats. jane: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, no end to the holiday travel chaos drones grounded flights at gatwick airport. cuba and the united states have reached an agreement to allow ban baseball players to play nationally in the u.s. for the first time. -- professionally in the u.s. for the first time. until now a good adjoin major-league teams in the u.s. only if they effected. ♪ reporter: baseball is america's
pastime, but the sport has long been popular in cuba as well were even fidel castro was known to run bases. decades, those who maue it to cuba's big-le faced a difficult choice -- stay in the country, earning sometimes as little as $50 a month, or defect to the united states in the hopes of making it big in the major leagues. ig, who made his way to the los angeles dodgers via a human trafficker who subjected him to appalling conditions. it is situations like is that prompted major league baseball and cubanri autes to reach an agreement. cuban players above the age 35 left late in the cuban league for six years will no longer have to defect to play in the major leagues. >> this is a secureal way we hae
ys dreamed of for our children and her family's, that our athletes can join any leak in the mlb. reporter: happen granted government approval for u.s. and cuban authorities. some cuban-americans who want the u.s. to continue to exert pressure on the communist country have been angered. in a tweet, u.s. senator marco rubio cadeed for a state rtment investigation into the agreement. but in our country thacan often seem -- a country that can often seem like a blast from th past, officials say they hope the terms will offer future cuban sluggers the taste of american home run glory. kim gittleson, bbc news. jane: the holiday getaway has scended into chaos for tens of thousands of passengers the u.k.
because of drones being flown over one of its busiest airports. flights have been grounded at london gatwick since last night as the army and police tried to deal with the situation. they said it was a delibate act of disruption, as duncan kennedy reports.nc : these are unprecedented scenes at a major british airport. thousands of people grounded because of a drone. argatwick's destinatiod was peppered with cancellation signs. quoes of passengers waiting depart stretched for more than 100 meters across the concourse. some peoe did make it onto planes from only to be told they were not taking off. >> my apologies. thank you for bearing with us. duncan: nicola and her partner from london spent 8 hours on a plane with their 15-month-old daughter beforebe g told it was canceled. >> didn't even get out of the plane. we were just stuck on the plane
for eight hours. >> with the baby. >> with the baby.e and we now hav luggage. duncan: we have heard stories s ke that of the misery and disruption this used all by the end of the day, something like 800 flights will have been canceled or delayed involving 100,000 passengers. police spe all day searching for the drone and its operator. this team of armed officers was seen near the perimeter fence. it was not clear if officers vehaeen given orders to shoot at the drone. we alsoth filmed e police spotters on the roof. they are among dozens trying to locate the drone. >> each time we get closer to the operator the dronepp disars.ly absolute convinced it is a deliberate act to disrupt gatwick airport. duncan: tonight the government announced that the military wilt be stepping ino help the police at gatwick.
the misery has continued all day for families. it was meant to be a se pre-christmas flight. >> children had not been told up to today. it had all been all canceled. >> would have been a nice experience. obviously someone had to go and spl it for everyone. duncan: britain's second airport has been the target of this incident for 24 hours. a major international flying hub brought to a standstilby a device no bigger than a dustbin lid. duncan kennedy, bbc news, gatwick airport.: ja as the holiday season gets into full swing, many of us are looking forward to spending time with family. but when moms and dads can't be there to bring up their children, it is often grandparents who step in. one charityupporting the work they do with housing for the over 55 with children.
the bbc has been to meet two ,and families in washingt d.c. >> we have seen housing for single mothersnd veterans, but to have housing for grandparents that are raising the grandchildren? at is unheard of. >> we have been together since he was four months. my son is his father. my son got locked up. his mom did not have the patience to deal with him. but when he got lock up i knew that, oh my god, it is all on me. i got to adjust to this
generation. this generation is different from my own children's generation. >> it was always me, my daughter, and my two grandkids. so i basically raised them even when they was born. only different thing that changed is that their mother is not here now. everybody worried about, oh my god, how will i pay bills? the amount of rent i was paying. >> grandma was always taking care of the grandchildren if the parents were unable to step into that role. i think now as a society we ar finally highlighting this group
that has been doing this amazing work for centuries.ut >> everybodyhere doing the christmas shopping. >> i have seen her outside a couple of times. outside, --ington seen ms. washington outside, she asked me, does she live here, and she said yes. we started talking. she got a boy and girl, i goa boy. >> ever since then -- >> ever since then we have bee friends because we have got something in common. >> i never felt this kind of love and happiness before. i'm not lonelynymore, because i know that i see for myself that there is a lot of other grandparents in the same situation. jane: and i hopeha they al a happy and peaceful holiday together. you can find all the day's news
ebon ourte, including the latest on the resignation of defense secretary jim mattis. i am jane'brien. anks for watching "bbc world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our veoical videos are designed work and your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stay n -to-date with the latest headlines you catrust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation,ing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> a new chapter begins. >> n you can access more of your favorite pbs shows than ever befor with pbsassport, a member benefit that lets you binge many of the latest ows and catch up on your favorites. >> we really are living in the
captioning sponsored bydu newshour pions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, another shakeup at the top of the trump administration. secretarof defense james mattis resigns saying the president deserves someone whose views are better aligned with his. then, scrambling to avoid a government shutdown. president trump's demands for a border wall underscore a divide in the g.o.p. and bring negotiators to the precipice. plus, a major shift on immigration. a new deal will force immigrants seeking legal asylum to wait in mexico for months, maybe years, while the u.s. processes their claims.nt and, ancieetlands believed to have been the garden of eden are now evaporating, leavingwa iraq facing r cris