tv BBC World News America PBS December 21, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
[applause] >> d now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news americom" reporting ashington, i am jane o'brien. the resignatn of the defense secretary spar major concern at home and abroad. the president plans to withdraw troops from syria and likely afghanistan. meanwhile, the u.s. government is just hours away from a partialn. shutd both sides are blaming eachot her. pres. trump: it is up to the mocrats. it is the democrat shutdown. we have done our thing. sen. schumer: president trump,ow yothe shutdown. you said so in your own words. jane: it is a festive fixture in britain, but can pantomime charm
audiences in new york? it is certain off to a good start. jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. the white house is no stranger to staff shakeups, but the resignation of u.s. defense secretary james mattis has sent shockwaves across the u.s. and the world. he announced his departure in a directionstioning t of u.s. foreign policy following the president's decision to pull troops out of syria. there arets now rephat u.s. forces in afghanistan are about to be halved.r rth america editor jon sopel has the latest. jon: general james mattis is going, but not quietly. the president announced last night he was retiring, but make no mistake, this is a resignation.
the defense secretary making thear that he disagrees wi donasm trump's isolationihis attacks onato, his failure to criticize china and russia sufficiently. and his searing letter concludes, "because you have it the right to a defense secretary whose views align better with yours on these and other subjects, i believe it is right for me to step down for my position." the last straw was the president unilaterally announcing thewi drawal of u.s. troops froma syrith no consultation or coordination, against the advice of his national security staff. it has also emerged that america is to pull 7000 troops out of afghanistan, to the horror of america's allies. and concern h been expressed across the board. sen. schumer: secretary mattis was one of the few symbols of stngth and stability in th administration. everything that indicates stabilit everything that
indicates strength, everything that indicates knowledge is leaving this administration. jon: even the ultra-loyal senate canority leader, repub mitch mcconnell, broke ranks. "i am particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the president on these and other key aspects of america's global leadership." t white house they are playing down the impact of hise. depart e rah: they agree to disag times but that does not mean you cannot have a good relationship. he was laying down the reasons he was stepping down from s post, and beyond that it is absurd to question just the fact -- the fact that they worked together for two full years. jon: for an administration used to disruption, the year is ending with maximum turmoil. in the past couple of months the chief of staff is gone, the attorneyeneral, the interior secretary, and the u.n. ambassador. the stock market is plunging. and today, barring a miracle,
the government will shut down in a row over border fundi today is the shortest day. in the white house it probably feels like one of the longest. jon sopel, bbc news, washington jar more on the troop withdrawals and the fallout from secretary mattis' gnation, i spoke a brief time ago with a retired army officer who served on the national security council in the bush and obama administrations. thank you very much for joining me. >> pleasure. jane: it is clearhat the president has not been listening to general mattis for some time. what do you think will be the biggest consequence of his departe? >> well, general mattis was certainla calming figure to the rest of the world. he gave assurances to the allies and to europe in particular that things were going to be ok, that there was a moderating influence to what the allies perceive as some of the less desirable aspects of the trump presidency. jane: what will they be thinking now that he is gone?
n they trust america?ug s: they will be looking to see who the replacement is. who will be what they perceived this buffer between the white house and policies the rest of the world is interested in? jane: but if you cannot speak truth to power or thident will not listen to your advice, b?o is going to take that what caliber of person do you thinwill take it? douglas: thaesis a great quon. if you read mattis' letter, it appears he is resigning less over the actual policies and r at over the process, least that is the hill on which he chose to die, so to speak, in his resignation letter. not so much the policy, but that allies were not consulted. the decision to withdraw from syria, to withdraw from afghanistan, was not taken up with the isis coalition and nati resply. t it may be hafind a reputable replacement that does not feel equally strongly about
the importance of the united states consulting with its allies. jane: you served in afghanistan. what are the consequences of 7000 troops reportedly leaving afghanistan? douglas: well, that a very difficult question. there are a number of us who have been very critical of america's and nato's afghanistan policy for some time. that does not mean i wanted to see half the troops t.thdrawn by tw but on policy grounds this may serve as a spur to have a more rational relook at what america and its allies are trying tomp acsh in afghanistan and what can realistically be done. this is certainly not thes proc which i wish this would happen, but there may be some silver linings to this withdrawal. jane: do you think this does signal a major shift in policy in the middle east
douglas: i don't know if it means a shift in policy towards the middle east writ large. i don't think it impacts saudi arabia policy, although it has its own machin pions. the iricy, the policy towards the rest of the gulf states. certainly it appears our policy towards turkey is going to take a positive turn. erdogan's government is ecstatic over recent developm dts in the pas. i don't think it is so much a withdrawal, but there is a something is changing in the middle east. there is a reorientation of policy. but we will have to see if this is something consistent or just one of these short-term changes of direction. b jane: veefly, can it be compared to president obama's decision to leave iraq? douglas: in terms of policy, perhaps. in terms of process, absolutely not. we knew for months that we were leaving iraq. everyone was informed. it was a very deliberate with all the stakeholders having a saon the process.
this stas in contrast. jane: thank you for joining me. douglas: my pleasure. jane: as we mentioned, the u.s. government could be headed for a partial shutdown. the house of representatives has passed a bill that includes money for a bord wall, but it is currently stuck in the senate. for more on the chaos and confusion reigningver this holidayeason, let's speak to our north america reporter anthony zurcher. we have been watching this all day. i hesitate to try to read the tea lves, but it does look like there might be some movement? anthony: "confusion" is a good word to describe it. there is indication of an ment on the floor of the senate any minute now -- it has been any minute now for about half the ball is in the senate's court, and what we have seen the last couple days is a game of legislative ping-pong. lle senate passed a clean without any kind of wall funding. they went to the housethey
took the ball and hit it back and added wall funding to it. now it is in the senate's court and they have to decide whether to take up and consider what the house did, come up with something different and not get back to the house, or do nothing and let the government shutdown and figure out we will worry about this sometime the next year. jane: you and i started the year porting on a government shutdown, and now we are at this point again. l? this going to be business as us anthony: time is a flat circle. [laughr] anthony: yeah, that is the way things seem to wor that is where the government is set up and the way it is being managed by factionalized parts. senate with one party, house with another party, enough of a minority to throw sand in the gears, and a formula for gridlock. if you thought it was bad with republicans controlling both chambers of congress and the presidency, imagine what it is like with the democratic house of representatives on january
it getshe senate, ground up in the gears there, or it gets to the president's test and he vetoes and it goes back again. we're getting a tastef how tumultuous it will be in the next year. jane: good that you got a week off to prepare this seems to be a manufactured political crisis. is there a grand plan, or is chaos something donald trump relishes? anthony: i think a lot of people in the republican party have been asking the president if he has a plan, because it is not clear him he would get the wall funding given that it wouldes te 60 vn the senate to pass anything, and there are 51 republicans and maybe not even 51 republicans are going to vote in favor of this. there di strategy, but what the president response to his pressure from his base, and he got a lot of pressure on thursday morning saying he had to take some kind of stand on the wall to show that he would not back down.
he had to get at least the $5 billion, because he promised that. now he has changed course, respded to the base, even if there is no guarantee of a way forward. ne: anthony zurcher, as ever, thank you for joing me, and i do hope you get a break because you are going to need it for 2019. more than 50 people, many of them police, have been injured during clashes with catalan supporters in spain. demonstrators s up roadblocks d spanish ministers held a meeting in the regional capital, barcelona. the government has called f dialogue with catalan leaders, but protesters said it was a provocation. protests across hungary have taken place for a kent state in a row. people -- 10th day in a row. people either mistreating against labor reforms which allow businesses to impe on workers over 4000 hours of overtime year. hungary's president signed the bill into law on thursday,
saying he was satisfied it did not highlight workers rights as earth isot the only planet with snow scenes this holiday season. kilometerand 82-wide crater on mars with what may be snow has been taken by the mars express mission. it is thought to be two kilometers deep and filled with 2000 cubic kilometers of ice. flighthave resumed at britain's second resist -- second busiest airport after another drone setting close to the runway. plan were grounded at london gatwick for 36 hours and were only operating briefly when the latest sighting was reported. it is still not known who is responsible for ying the drone but it is believed to be a deliberate attempt at disruption. the bbc's duncan kennedy has the latest. duan: this was the reaction when passengers heard that tonight's suspension o was over.
the airport was closed for justv an hour this time. the reports came through of another drone sighting. >> they to us the flight was canceled and we had to collect our luggage. duncan: but by mid-evening, takeoffs and landings began again. after the nervousness of the past three days, flights resumed thve morning, when police ga the airport the all-clear. but it was a groggy start to the day for many. flights swapped for floors. virginia from cornwall is seriously ill and had to spend her night in an airport chair. >> it's horrible. it goes against your human rights.go f's sake. duncan: around 600 planes came in and out today, and thousands
of people did get away. but this woman won't fly until sunday. how would you summarize this experience? >> nightmare. duncan: how about these men from london, whose flight to ghana waeycanceled today, meaning will miss a family wedding? >> we are left here. i can't go see my grandma. i can't go to the wedding. it is deplorable it is not good enough at all. duncan: this bag of chocolates ofs their airline's gestur apology. but what about compensation? the insurance industry says people should first contact their airline.ey ay airlines are not obliged to pay compensation, but any cost incurred and generalon disrupill be covered by most people's travel insurance. ke the vast majority of people should be able to claim
where they have not been able to get refunds or compensout of the travel companies. it is only the cheapest insurance policies that ar available on the market that are unlikely to include travel disrupti cover. duncan: the squeeze at gatwick ues for euro the que star trains today. but others did head to gatwick, hoping their flight would emerge from the chaos. >> they saidusgo there and see what happens. duncan: flights from foreign airports into gatwick have also been trying to catch up. this family were caught in rom >> children wanted to get back to see my family. that is obviously the sad part about it. but we will get there duncan: a vo optimism after days of uncertainty for an airport stopped not by fog, snow, or strikes, but a drone. duncan kennedy, bbc news, at gatwick airport.
jane: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg undergoes surgery. we look at how she hke become an un cultural icon. a nonprofit organization is providing therapy to those living in special care facilities, nursing hospices in johannesburg. eethe visits by volu and their pets provide comfort to patients who interact with them. sushi, jack, and murphy are preparing for their big day. the furry friends take their job seriously. come there in christmas presents -- bearing christmas
presents. they are visiting patients at a frail-care center in johannesburg. the organization offers animal-assisted therapy and operates in several parts of south africa. years, been here 30- and ith been jus happiest. reporter: do you look forward to the visit? >> for sure. they are just the best. reporter: for some of the patients are, this might be the only visit they get during the christmas period. the dogs are brought here to bring abouthristmas cheer. there is your friends. reporter: best friends theare. david became paralyzed following a motorbike accident when he .s 14 years o he says the dogs bring comfort and stress relief. how upset, just dressed and down i was. i said please, can you bring the
dogs around? when she brought murphy to the roommy whole face lit up. just having a dog around, being able to touch and feel a dog, it really, really makes you happy and calm. reporter: as chstmas nears, this is the last visit of the year to this home. residents have formed a special bond with the dogs and they look forward to more cuddles in the new year. jane: today supreme court urg had ruth bader gin two cancerous nodules removed from her left lung. there is no evidence of further disease, but it is the latest health scare for the liberal judge who has become a cultural icon. this christmas a new movie will open about her early career starring felicity jones. it comes on the heels of the wild popular documentary about
the justice's life. l tom brook king at this unlikely star. >> y are making the wrong case! >> wrien by men who think we are privileged to be excused from men's obligations, but it is not a privilege, it is a cage and these laws are the bars. tom: british actress felicity jons is ruth bader ginsburg the film "on the basis of sex," a fictionalized account of the justice's early career. felicity jones is a big ginsburg fan. felicity: e is someone in a position of power who has huge integrity and got to where she has got to because of that integrity and we don't have many like her to live up to. tom: ginsburg's appeal is exceptional. millennials have responded to her. there is a whole generation young feminists who admire her stinging dissents in a supreme court that leans to the right. known by her initials, rbg, i her popularity has given rise t. a moni the diminutive justice is known as the notorious rbg, a play onh the name oe late rapper the
notorious big. ere is even a notorious rbg officialusic video. >> ♪ pave the way for the next generation ♪ >> not usual for someone famous ri the law to become a cel , not usual for a woman in her 80's to skyrocket to start them. but that is what happened r justice ginsburg. tom: ruth bader ginsburgs a polarizing figure. a large part of her repeal is she is seen as a foil to the voices onheight. >> i think there is a poisonous atmosphere in the world, and we have to continuously, as jusce ginsburg does, persuade with the argument that is not destroy people but that connects peopleh i thinis rocky, what can i say?co tom: some ervatives think much of the adoration of ruth bader ginsburg is misplaced. >> with bader ginsburg is --
ruth bader ginsburg is a small, slightly woman, kind of mumbly. seems funny to portray her as this mighty force for change and put a crown on her and compare her to a famous rapper. tom: maybe ruth bader ginsburg was mystified by the pop-culture adoration at first, but she has embraced it. her nephew, o wrote the screenplay for "on the basis of sex," argues she sees advantages to the celebrityppeal. >> she is gwing used to being in a public eye in a way that most justices are not. when you issue a dissent in a supreme court case, you ar speaking to future generations, and she is smart enough to recognize that being a powerful force in the media makes that voice louder. tom: there is every sign that her celebrity appeal will continue. a few months ago this champion of gender and racial equality n id she plans to spend at least another five yearse supreme court, by which time the notorious rbg will be 90 years old. tom brook, bbc news, new york.
jane there is a thought. for many in the u.k., thda christmas ho are not complete without going to a pantomime. but now this peculiarly british tradition with often risqué jokes is being exported to america. "jack and the beanstalk" is playing in new york, and as we discovered, the crowds young and old cannot get enough. ♪ >> america has never seen anything like it. >> new yorkers have taken to ita gosh, liish to water. >> it's amazing. >> i love it. >> the show is very funny. >> oh no, you can' >> oh yes, i can. >> a pantomime is a family form of enter inment around the holidays that is interactive with the audnce, that has a lot of slapstick and humor and
brings the community together laughing and singing. ♪ >> i knew nothing about pantomime.in no she sent me tapes of what pantomime actually was and i'm was like -- [gasps] >> we want you to help us. >> 1, 2, 3, 4. >> it's funny for me that we got a "new york times" glowing review, thinking to myself that "the guardian" would never reverentially review a panto. so-called belolow art. >> behold, mic beans! >> the hardest part for me is the vocalese of it. as a pantomime [high] i talk like this. and th i go very low. >> ♪ always look on the bright
side of life ♪ >> the interactive tradition of panto, what we think of as clichéd and hackneyed, the y are thrilling to this audience. these american guys are coming out of the show with their minds blown, and i think, it is just panto. >> i just think that some girls play boys, some boys play girls, and there are people of allnd sizes, bigmall, small and tall. ke we need to have that kind of perspective and un of things in the real world. >> i would love to see it become a tradition over here. jane: you just can't escape panto, not even here.
next week you will be getting allatest news from our colleagues in london. we will see you back here in 2019. i'm jane o'brien. thanks for watching "bbc world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to work and your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through they news of the dad stay tr-to-date with the latest headlines you can ust. download now from sected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> what are you dog? >> possibilities. your day is filled with them. >> tv, play "downton abbey." >> and pbs helps everyone discover theirs.
b captioning sponsoredy newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. ghm judy woodruff. on the newshour to divided by a wall. president trump threatens a shutdown, as republican lawmakers scramble to keep the government funded. then, secretary of defense mais' resignation sends shock waves around the world amid fears of a u.s. foreignwa policy going f. and, it's friday. mark shields a michael gerson elp make sense of this wild week of news. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. or funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: