tv BBC World News America PBS December 26, 2018 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
trip to iraq, his first trip to arly two yeae into his presidency. it is far from smooth sailing, though. a meeting between mr. trump and iraqi leadership already. scra strong rebound on wall street -- the dow index has broken a record and gained more1000 points in a single trading session for the first time everf japan coirms it will resume commercial whale hunting nextan year in de of a global ban and they will leave the organization that aims to prect whales. and tv star and art critic ageer wendy beckett dies at 88. we will look back at her life. ben: hello, and welcome to "bbc world news." president trump and the first lady made a surprise visit to iraq to thank troops posted
their service it comes in the midst of a government shutdown and less than a week after mr. trump announced his controversial plan to withdraw u.s. troopelfrom syria asas half of those thationed in afghanistan. a former general iunited states army has served as the deputy assistant secretary of tdefense for the middle e under george w. bush, and joins us from washington, d.c. explaito us the practical purpose if any of the presidential visit like this, a surprise visit over the holidays. >> first of all, i think i had at least two presidentvisit me, once in 1997 in bosnia, and in 2003 in iraq. there is the opportunity f president to see and talk to his troops, and they appreciate it. more important for the ship wass the ent had the opportunity to go out and explain to those affected what
the syria policy was, and i think it was an opportunity for him to hear for those -- from those leaders out there, how they would be able to affect that plan and carry out that plan. ben: on that point about giving troops in the region what the change of policy means for them, was there anything that was said that emerged so far from the trip that would give us a hint of where the policy goes from now? lt. gen. kimmitt: no, i don't think so. the president did admit he had been talking to military leaders em asome time, giving couple more months, couple more months. the real issue is not been discussed in the press which is we're pulling the ground troops out. does that allow us to provide air support, training,tic support to our local forces inside of syria the way it has been so successful with that h stratee in iraq?
i think that is one of the things that president should hear from his commanders on the ground. ben: of course the president is visiting troops in iraq where we are well aware becaurecent discussions that the role of u.s. troops in syria, for example, is to continue the fight against so-called islamic state. just remind us why and what troops are doing in iraq at the moment. ltgen kimmitt:ell, pretty much the same thing, except they are not fighting side-by-side with the ypg. we are doing inside iraq a mission called by, with, and through the iraqis. we are providing air strikes, intelligence support, logistics. supp but we are not doing the frontline fighting. that is being done by the iraqi thcounterterrorism service army, and the federal police. i would note that the iraqis have taken thousands and ndthousands of casualties,he
coalion has taken a number o sad casualties, but those numbers are well below 10. so this notion of fighting through proxies on the ground and fighting with those on the ground most affected -- in this case the iraqi security forces -- has proven to be a successful strategy.be just very briefly, i have seen president trump is reported as saying that his decision to withdraw u.s. troops from syriao he says of people are going to "come around to my way of thinking." from your conversation in the military world, is he right? ltgen kimmitt: i think so. the military on the ground over there was embraci a much, much longer mission. they were going to train 40,000 forces on the ground to provide security. inevably the americans who would have been part of any peacekeeping operation if there was a settlement. i think once military and the
people of america understand that, caidly, the military was trying to drag us into another forever war, they will understand whathe president was trying to do. ben: thanks very mucthere. former general of the u.s. army speaking to us from washington. well, let's speak to our correspondent chris buckler, wha o in washington. it seems as though not long after we heard about the surprise trip, newsthmerges of sog of a falling out over the meeting between the president and iraqi leadership. chris: yeah, the truthat president trump is always going to be someone who causes oblems on the world stag weave seen that a lot, ben sometimes relationships are not the easiest for him. at times there are lots of concerns of what we're doing in -- what he is doing in the middle east. if you look at turkey, for example, presidentrdogan all of a sudden seems to be his friend in terms of the middle
east as he builds relationships with one leader, there will be concerns about what happens with other leaders. president erdogan had er cotion with president trump shortly before he announced he was pulling out of syria.oi he was to remove u.s. troops from there. he had another conversation in which he said that turkey is one of the countries to take the lead whenever the u.s. goes out. it does give you a real sense that while president trump is looking towards iraq and other countries as being somewhere where he can have influence, the a cision to pull out of sy going to cause a lot of worry. and certainly, although he visited troops today to raise morale, there will be others worried about e direction of -- at the moment. president trump traveled with to spreadlady to ir some christmas cheer and thank troops for s thevice and sacrifice. pres. trump: we came to share eternal gratitudehi
for ever you do to keep america safe, strong, and free. chris: but standing with u.s. soldiers on foreign soil, it was inevitable that he would be asked about what many claim is his increasingly isolationist last week in a sudden and surprise decision he announced american forces would be leaving syria. it caused concern in washington and several corners of the world. but mr. trump said he believes a eople were going to come around to his way of thinking. he went on to insist that "it is time for us to start using our head." one person who remains unconvinced is outgoing defense secretary jims matti, who resigned over the president's plans. mr. trump says he is in no hurry to find a permanent successor to heeral s mattis, an that intends to push forward wiwh he believes is right. it is reported that the pentagon has been asked to draw plans to sue really reduce the number of
-- to severely reduce the number of american troops in afghanistan.ta many in the mi feel there is much work to be done there and in syria. there has been widespread criticism of mr. trump's suggestion that the led islamic state group have been defeated. this was the first trip by this smmander-in-chief to see soldiers in the combat zone. but mrtrump has given every signal that he wants to be less involved in the middle east. a president who seemingly believes in america first is getting involved in other countries only as a last resort. even with those questions about foreign policy, mr. ump may well feel that the trip to iraq is a brief break from the battle he is facing in washington, the questions about the stock market, the economy, and the partial government shutdown that is leaving hundreds of thousds of workers either on unpaid leave or not knowing when they will get paid. of course, mr. trump insists he will only acpt any deal that ves him $5 billion for border wall with mexico, and democrats say that is not going to happen which gives idea that the
shutdown and questions on all these different issues are not going to end for mr. trump anytime soon. ben: you alluded to the domestic pressures. trip like this over the holiday does come with a certain amount of feel-good factor, and it is certainly good publicity as well, isn't it? very: yeah, and it is important for the president as well to eeat times like this. certainly if you take a look at the past with the number of presidents who have gone t troops specifically at thanksgiving and christmas totr to ensure that they know that their service is appreciated, but perhaps there is another message in this as well, cause president trump is facing serious questions about whether or not he is committed to being a force in the middle east.wh he is someondoes believe that america's interests come before any other countries as far as the u.s. and white house is concerned.
perhaps there is also a message that he has got an intin the middle east and is intending to remain there and do something. certainly, he said that iraq was a place he could use to fight the so-called islamic state group. at the same time you have seen that he has ruffled feathers in iraq. donald trump is a democrat but not always someoneho is democratic. ben: thanks very much, chris buckler in washington. keeping our focus on the u.s. stock market, they have rebounded. they have roared back to life after the worst ever christmas ev the dow index posted its biggest ter daily point gain, searching -- surging by mon 1000 points in a single trading session. earlier i spoke to jonathan joseph, our business correspondent. jonathan: broadly speaking it has been aood day for u.s. rkets.
the main indices have risen. to put it into context, it comes after the selloff, which comes monday at a time of year when we normally see a rally, but what we instead have the ggest of -- biggest ever selloff of the christmas eve on record. noit ia good idea to look too much into one day's numbers, but if you look at the broaderur pi the s&p 500 is down 20% from the september high. that is a psychologically significant landmark and it gets ti concerns about things at the white house in plar, but what happens in the u.s. economy does matter because it is the world's biggest and it can spread across the worl the was also positive news in the u.s. today. that came from mastercd about consumer spending saying that holiday season sales were up 5.1% from the same period last year. a lot of that was drawn from online sales and tt was reflected by amazon, which is -- which said that across the world it has sold more parcels
than ever before this time o year. ben: still the white house is vehaving to gieassurances to calm investors' nerves and the future of the chair of the federal reserve.so reporter: tely, this was remarks from kevin hassett, who chairs the council of economic advisers.ed he was ay reporters at the white house whether federal reserve chairman jay powell isb safe in his d he said absolutely 100%. the concerns about this came from reports in the media in recentays suggesting that president trump was thinking of trying to fire mr. powell for his role at the fed the roles -- the world's most important central bank. whether president trump tried to fire him will be a question of the independence of the bank, because it would stoke concerns that the president is trying to intervene. but this comes at a time when president trump had probably -- had probably -- had broadly
been interfering in federal reserve policy, raising questions about the way it is conducting its policy interest rates. there was another increase just last week, the fourth this year. edpresident trump is conce that the federal reserve is raising interest rates too quickly and that that might have a negative impact on u.s. economic growth. it has been growing pretty steadily under his presidency and he is tryi to make political capital out of that. he has other concerns to worry about athe moment, not least the u.s.-china trade war from which he is trying to win. he is keen to make sure that there is nothing that stifles u.s. economic grow at all because if it i doecould reflect poorly on his presidency. ben: jonathan joseph there. there has been widespread international condemnation after the japase government decided to resume commercial whaling from july next year. the move has prompted anger from nations like australia, whose
foreign minister said she was extremely disappointed. tctoria gill has more. victoria: they are ocean's gentle giants, but these majestic mammals are at the heart of an international dispute. it is all about the bloody business of commercial whaling, business that japan says it will resume in the summer of 2019. >> at the international whaling commission meeng in september, it became obvious that it is not possible for statewith different views to exist side-by-side, which led to a decision to leave. victoria: the international whaling commission is the body that banned the hunting of wales s in 1986 after many species were almost wiped out. but countries like iceland and norway hunt whales that are not endangered. jan hunts them for what it calls scientific research. the country has hunted whales
for centuries and they were a source of protein for the desperately poor years after world war ii. mb people around my age re the oltimes when we would eat whale meat. there are shs that sell it and i sometimes buy some. but it is not like people are queuing up for it. victoria: officialstill say that eating whales is a part of japanese culture, and that it can be done sustainably. but this decision has sparked condemnation. onconservatits say it could threaten populations of whales have recovered since the ban. >> it is not just about what japan does, it is now about ifco othetries will follow wsuit, if other countril step outside the whaling commission. if japan gets away with this, other countries might try to do the sa more populations could be exposed to whaling. we are very concerned about the potential for the exn of whaling outside of any international control. stctoria: japan says commercial
whaling will be cted to its own territorial waters and economic zones and see swelling -- and they will cease whaling in the antarctic ocean. despite reassurances, many are calling on the country to reconsider. victoria gill, bbc news. ben: you are watching "bbc world news." wstayh us if you can. still to come, tributes to sister wendy, the nun and art historian who unlikely became a hugely popular tv star. >> the world of music has been paying tribute to george michael, who has died from a suspected heart failure at the age of 53. he sold more than 100 million albums in a career spanning more than three decades. >> the united states has been trying to ovthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon says it failed in its objective to capture him and take him to the united states to face drug charges. >> hammer and sickle was taken away. in its place, the russian flag hoisted overhat is no longer
the soviet union, but the commonwealth of inpendent states. >> day broke slowly over lockerbie. downockpit was nose in the soft earth. you can see what happens when a plane 8 stories high and a football pitch wide falls fr 30,000 feet. >> christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years.nd thouwent to midnight mass in a town where they were anti-communist riots 10 days ago. benhello, welcome back to "bbc world news." i am ben bland. scientists in cambridge have created a 3-d digital model for cancer. the tumor sample can be studied using rtual reality. researchers hope it will provide new insights into how cancers spread. our medical correspondent fergus walsh reports. fergus: this is 21st-century
pathology. on the conveyor belt is a wafer thin slice taken from a human tumor. multiple slices each just one cell thick are analyzed tohe reveal allharacteristics of the cancer. then the sample is reassembled digitally so it can be studied using virtual reality. >> we are on the bleeding edge of nearly every technogy -- fergus: the director of cancer research u.k.'s cambridge institute showed me around his virtual lab, where we are transformed into avatars. this giant multicolored cloud of bubbles is theirtual tumor. the tissue sample it came from was the size of a pinhd. >> the purpose of our project is to understand how each of these pes influences each other what messages do they send to each other, and how does that influence their behavior. fergus: this shows how the incredible diversity of cancer
cell types interact in order to evade the body's defenses. that knowledge may ultimately help in the search for new treatments. at this point, we decided to go and explore the tumor e detail. >> tere you can really start appreciate its structure. just move around. it looks to like there is sets of tumor cells floating above the structures, almost as if they are streaming out. it is when those leave and become invasive disease, they become really dangerous. fergus: so here, are you capturing potentially the moment when this cancer begins to spread? >> yeah, and i think that is what is really remarkable because unless we were looking i at the tumorn this detail, in this resolution, this many cells indhree dimensions, we coul
never find such an event. fergus: researchers at the crick thinstitute in london say virtual tumor will help understand how they inct with healthy cells and spread. >> is a hugetep forward. it is so much more dynamic and real than what we have been able to do in the past by lookic at very staalyses of what is happening in potentially two -- essentially two dimensions. fergus: this virtual pathology lab can be accessed by researchers anywhere in the world,elping scientists share knowledge in the fight against cancer fergus walsh, bbc news, cambridge. ben: a little earlier i spoke to a director of cancer research at the u.k. cambridge institute. i asked him how significant this could be in helping cancer patients. >> i think it is really just a first step. this is one del, a small piece
ncer.e patient's the goal of this project funded by the u.k. is to create thousands of such models. looking in retrospect at one e model for tient is not that informative. we see some fairly remarkable things. what we need to do is look at recurrent patterns and things that are common to hundreds or thousands of different patients. we can use those to help refine diagnoses and predict how treatments, particularly treatments that are focused ones hang the body's own defenses, can be improved. ben: so in order to have a b widespreefit, it would require this kind of modeling tl be done manyple times for many multiple -- many multiple times for many different types of cancer cells, is that what you are saying? >> wel i think we will start to understand some principles after 10 or dozen different
samples are looked at. werehis will have a clinical benefit will require starting into the hundreds of thousands. ben: because this can be accessed all around the world, do you think the 3-d model is going to do anything to help people in developing countries access better cancer treatme e, or is it tly to say? >> well, i think that obviously if you are looking at situations in developing countries we would not be creating personalized models for patients, at least not in the current iprcumstances. but from the pris we learn it could be quite broadly applicable. there will be a benefit as there is to all quite technological approaches as one moves forward. but it will be the general principles that are learned and not the specifics of the model for the individual patients that can be applied much likepe onalized genomics is applied in the clinic in developed countries -- the u.s., the u.k.
not so much in developing countries. but the principles we learn do have a knock-on effect. ben: sister wendy beckett, thepa nun whosion for art made her an unexpected tv star died at age 88. she went on to several bbc series. a look back at her life. sisterendy: the angel gabriel was sent by god to a virgin in ene town of nazareth. reporter: sister beckett, a nun talking about paintings. who would've guesst this would be such a hit? sister wendy: god became man. and it happened like this. reporter: there was never a rehearsal or written script. she simply stood and spoke. millions in britain, america,
and around the world sat and listened. ersi wendy: i cannot afford looking at them because i want ettonto this -- reporter: she was 16 when she first joined the nuns. as a child she was almo clever. sister wendy: i never expected to be able to talk to anybody. i took that for granted, that is how people were. they never found anybody they could talk to. reporter: at oxford, her tutor was j.r.r. tolkien. she received a congratulatory first -- not so much a degree, more a round of applause. art books, butng the pressure of work and coping with epilepsy caused her to seek almost total solitude. but then during a rare excursion to the gallery, she was overheard talking about art. it washat that led to her tv career. but she found the idea of fame and celebrity mortifying. her joy was silence and solitude.
even at mass, she sat alone. sister i wendy: thwhere i'm , ing to be for eternity hope, tucked away in the belfry of the graveyard, thanking god for allowing me a life of such unimaginable happiness. lucky me.nd ben: sister beckett, who has died at the age of 88. that is it r this bulletin. you can reach me on twitter. thanks for watching. >> with the bbc news app, our trtical videos are designo work and your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the newsf the day and stay up-to-date with the latest headlis you can trust. download now fm selected app stores.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> brangha good evening. i'm william brangham. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: president trump makes a surprise trip to iraq, his first visit with troops in a war zone. then, the dow jones soars overpo 1,00ts, its biggest daily gain in history, bouncing back from a christmas eve plunge. plus, 50 years since nasa's first flight to the moon. inside the landmark "apollo 8" mission. >> they took a picture of the earth rising over the horizon of the moon. it was the "earth rise" picture, and it was one of the first opportunities for us to see the earth as it really exists in the cosmos. >> brangham: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.