tv BBC World News America PBS March 4, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
[applause] >> and now, "bbc wor news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. venezuela's opposition leader gets a rock star welcome home, but his bid to oust nicolas aimaduro could land him in riaving a path of destruction and heartbreak, a of tornadoes ravage alabama and georgia. at least 23 people are dead. ju everything you can see in front of me, this was inside a trailer on the other side of the road. jane: and the beating heart of art. how in a sedition in washington uses our own bodies to create
ladigital ndscapes. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. thousands of people in venezuela have taken to thecatreets of the , to welcome home opposition leader and self-described interim president. juan guaido spent last week drumming up support across latin america for his bid to replace current president nicolas maduro. having defied a travel ban, he could now face arrest. the bbc's will grant is in caracas and has more. will: juan guaido could have been arrested the moment he stepd off the flight. instead, he breezed ck onto venezuelan soil and into the arms of his supporters. for those who see him as their president, his return is an important step on the road to removing nicolas maduro fromr.
po if the goal is to maintain their momentum, this is what greeteddo mr. g's return. his appearance in caracas has lifted the spirits of his faithful. mr. guaido: they threatened all of us, including me, with jail, death. but we are not going to give up fighting. we are stronger and more united than ever. >> the arriv of guaido to the country represents the awakening of hope among the venezuelan people. we have been waiting for this call. will: this is exactly the reaction that mr. guaipp's ters wanted to see from inhim, not just retuto venezuela, but through the front door, and thumbing his nose at mr. maduro and the travel ban on his way in. stesident maduro, meanwhile, spent the day insig all was well, admiring the country's
tourism infrastructure over the extended holiday. he says juan guaido has acted illegally and is trying to stage a coup. but he knows arresting him would bring instant reaction both on the streets of venezuela and from abroad. the trump adminiration has made no bones about its support for mr. guaido. national security advisor john bolton warned maduro of sw retribution should anything happen to him. so the lines of the venezuela conflict are drawn. now the question mostel venezus are asking is if mr. maduro will accept hi' opponent's return or arrest him in t coming days. ll grant, bbc news, caracas. for more on the situationke in venezuela i sarlier with the former south america director for the national security council who is now at the wilson center. is is pretty provocative stuff. just how big of a risk is juan ouaido taking by returning home? >> it is a couradecision for juan guaido to return to
venezuela, but i think he had no choice. to be anffective opposition leader in venezuela, you have to be in the country. we focus on the international aspects of the crisis, but the real action takes place at home. jane: what does maduro do now? what are the choices h has? benjamin: i think ultimately he would like to neutralihis new opposition figure as he has done dismantling venezuelan democracy and imprisoning other position figures. but right now his hold on power is quite fragile, so he is operating with unusual caution. jane: you say quite fragile, but has not collapsed. why not? controls --r now he benjamin: for now he controlsto the entire ter and the military services. the economy is collapsing and he suffers from hyperinflation and the risk of defections from senior officials in thety military, scarf basic goods. the reality is we have a false impression of how strongly he contls the country. jane: what will it take -- as you say, false impression. it sounds like a lot of people
underestimated his staying power. benjamin: in the short term, i think the idea that it international community could force him to resign unrealistic. he has every motivation in the world. to st if he leaves, the real possibility of prosecution and those around them face a very grim future. that said, his ability to contain the opposition has limits. jane: as far as the opposition, how long can mr. guaido maintain this momentum if there is no tangible results such as the aid getting through? benjamin: e reality is that the sanctions take time, and onsent dramatic interventi such as military intervention that has been threatened by the trump administration, anything the international community does will take time oil boycott, which will grave effectin venezuela and worsen humanitarian conditions and alst tighten financial noose
around maduro. when he needs isst ct mobilization of the venezuelan people. jane: how far do you think the united states is prepared to go to to support him? k benjamin: i th of now it has basically taken all the tools they can use and apply them to the crisis other than invasion.xt what is or the united again, absent military invention, is that other neighbors globally pursue similar sanctions. jane: meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis continues. r what are the options as gettg aid through? njamin: as the government denies the existen a humanitarian crisis and physically shuts its borders to aid, it becomes difficult to do so. there may be a way to partner with aid agencies and offer in in a political question inside venezuela. but the sad reality is that despite the crisis, the best most countries candies to support the venezuelannsefho have jane: if you were a betting man, how long do you think the crisis
is going to continue? ambe: the crisis can grind on for weeks, can grind on for months. there are few examples where any leader has survived the ki of onomic catastrophe that maduro has brought on his own country. i don't think this will be a common example. jane: thanks very much indeed for joining me. let's turn to a crisis closer to home. the storms arrived with lilele warning an a wideband of destruction. 23 people are confirmed dead and many are missing after a series of tornadoes hit alabama and georgia. winds topped 160 miles an hour, and i tnesses say -- eyewitnesses say the aftmath looks like a war zone. the bbc chris buckler was granted access to mse the damage f and sent this report. chris: in this corner of alabama, the landscape is scarred by debris as far as the eye can see. o the tornadat struck here cut through homes and communities, leaving paths of destruction miles longmi and up to half
wide. >> it looks almost as if someone took a giant knife and juste scraped ound. there are slabs where homes formerly stood chris: it is only when you are here were the tornado struck that you can see the force of it. everything you can see in front of me, this was inonde a trailer he other side of the road. but it has been thrown across the road and everything that was inside inow lying outside, even mattress. and behind me, there are hundreds and hundreds of trees, all uprooted and lying on the side. a series of tornadoes instantly darkened the sky sunday afternoon across georgia, south carolina, and florida. but it was alabama that was struck hardest. the tearing, swirling windssp reacheds of 165 miles an lyur, ripping roofs from houses. some people had on minutes of wanting. -- warning.
not ev escape.d a chance to reuon right sweet ther granny is ok. chris: tornadoes are not uncommon in this part of the u.s., but the number opeople killed by this storm stands up, -- stands out, particularly here in beauregard. this is a smalcommunity which has been ripped apart. there are children among the dead. >> this hurts my hrt. i love this county. it is extremely upsetting to me to see these people hurting like this. chris: today, teams are still searching through the remains ol budings, all too aware that there is a real possibility of finding more bodies. jane: a short time ago i spoke with chris, who is in lee county, alabama. you just returned frth the center odestruction. what is it like? chris: it is remarkable.
i mean, all around this area you will hear chainsaws, you will see people trying to clear up after this tornado. but actually, at the center of where the storm hit, it looks like houses have simply disappeared. it looks like they have evaporated. there are trees down and even there is some household goods lying about the place. but for all intents and purposes, houses that were there yesterday morning simply don't exist toda it is shocking, and deeply shocking for those people who live in this area. i just went up with somebody who owns some land here. s you get a rese of shock from them when they go up there and they realize not oe the buildings gone, but beyond that, there are people who are gone, too, because of this destructive tornado. search and rescue attempts are still continuing in various places, they look for people who still remain missing.
but to give you an idea of how ferocious the winds were, the national weather service were telling me earlier one case, a car they believed was tossed into the air and landed one kilometer away. there was a billboard that was there one day and itea disad. they found it 30 miles away. it gives you a sense of the power of this tornado, but also just the path that it took. what really shocked the weather service was that it was so long. they believed it touched the ground around 27 miles. ivat is incredible, and it idea of why this tornad has caused such damage. jane: chribuckler with the very latest, thanks for joining me. quick look at the other news. chinese authorities have accused two canadians arrestedn
december of spying and said it wille conti-- start official proceedings against them. they were detained after canada arrested senior executive at the huawei telecom giant at the request of the united states. 200 foreign i.s. fighters have surrendered to syrian kurdish democratic forris in eastern the group cemented after this -- the group surrendered after the sdf announced a pause in the front to allow civilians to leave the area and i.s. fighters to surrender. actor luke perry has died at age 52. he rose to fame on the u.s. tv show "bevey hills, 90210" and starred more recently in a netflix's iverdale." he recently suffered a stroke. his publicist says he died surrounded by his family and friends. in more sad news, prodigy singer keith flint died at age 49. the band, who was due to tour the u.s. in may, confirmed his
death in a statement, remembering flint aana true pionee innovator and legend. the peac be about to collapse -- that is the warning from britain's foreign secretary has visited the country. has leftivil war thousands of people dead and many more living in desperate conditions. our correspondent and cameraman traveled with the saudi military thto nern yemen. reporter: a dusty ride to one of yemen's many frontline the coalition says it is making progress, pushing the houthi rebels back into their mountainous heartland. the fighting has beehefierce. in t shattered villages, there are no civilians left. throughout this long war, much of the real fighting has taken place up in the mounins. some of the most rugged terrain in the world.
for all the resources thrn at this war, it is taking such a long time. these troops are from sudan, part of the nine-member coalition led by saudi arabia. >> it is quiet at the moment. it was hard in the beginning, but now things are gd. god willing, we will be moving forward. reporter: momentum may well with the coalition, but this war is almost four years old and there is no end in sight. everyone involved in theti fighng has been accused of wonton destruction. f yemen's ministerformation says the houthis have left the place uninhabitable. >> there is no one living here. that is because people are afraid to go back toir homes. esthe houthis left landmin everywhere. reporter: in the village taken back from the houthis, the
minister stops to hand out toys. it may not seem like much, but it is important for the government of yemen to be seen le the ground in territory recently controld by the houthis withomething to offer the locals. no one here is starving, but 10 million other yemenis ill face spthatect. 80% of the population needs some kind of assistance. month by month, the numbers are g still gettrse. this war has displaced millions of yemenis. one tribe has been forced to move twice. their tents are scattered on open ground along the saudi border. this shiekh says eight people were killed an32 wounded went -- when a houthi drone dpped explosives on their camp in the early hours of the morning. this woman and her family were sleeping.th shrapnel rippeugh the tent.
>> they hate us. hildrenve killed our and our children's children. they cut my grandson's head off. we couldn't find it. thisade our lives hell. reporter: yemen's peace hangs by a thread. unthe cease-fire ahodeida is barely holding. the parties are deadlocked on how to move forward. every day the war creates more vi, ims. paul adac news, yemen. jane: uncertain times for the victims of that four-year conflict. "bbc world news america.e still to comon tonight's program, does social media thing -- bring us together or drive us ebart? we wade into thee as part of our "crossing divides" series. after the death of the last nl northern white rhino, scientists
are looking at new ways to revive a subspecies on the brink of extinction, and they might have found a solution. reporter: at the conservancy in central kenya, under the careful watch. livious that they are th only surviving members of the northern white rhino, and the only hope of saving the subspecies from extinction. there was one last hope that through artificially assisted reproduction, they can bring back the northern white rhino. >> we expect it may be by about the month ofe, jhe approval process should have been cleared going back to europe to begin. highlyr: it is a complicated and sensitive procedure.
erscientists and gent agencies from four continents are working on the final touch f to perform tst ever in vitro fertilizatione echnique in ite rhino. >> we will make an embryo from eggs from these females, and these will be put into surrogate mother that ll be of the southern white rhino origin. even scientists remain optimistic that they can achieve a dream that could r the future of these critically endangered species. >> where we have to be careful is we have to get there in time. it means we shouldnt leave p for others after extraction. reporter: poaching has brought tethe northern whino to the brink of extinction. technology may be a way of saving the species, but conservationists warned that unless tngs change quickly, wildlife will be in danger and lost for future generations.
jane: this week, the bbc is launching a new series examining the causes of polarization and fragmentation in the 21st century. among the biggest debates in today's society is whether social media is a cause division or a force for good. our media editor has been oking at the link between digital media and social divides. reporter: a common assumptiont abdern media is that it has created filter bubbles, online experiences that confirm our prejudices rather than challenge them. one collective of students intent on breaking out of echo chambers is called theet. it started as a facebook group. it now has 21,000 members, many of whomeet up in real life. this is an arena for civilized debate. >> if you are on facebook you have what you call echo chambers, where people are only left-wing or only right-wing or only this and that.
the fact that we have this giant group where everyone can have different views but still be friends and have 30 and 40 people turned up and drink together and not have high out is greaak honestly. i love it. not for them is t texas the and trolling -- toxicity and trolling that is the daily bread of much of social media.ev >> how are w going to be civil and friendly with them if they oppose us? reporter: these students make the social media live up to its name. none of them are particularly rich. they are from very different places geographically, lturally, and politicall social media allows them to cross exciting if tenuous digital relationships before getting to know each other properly and in real life. what do you say of the criti -- and there are many -- was it -- who say that social-media platforms like facebook drive people apart? >> across europe, 40 people are part of groups around facebook.
those groups are set up around a passion. then we find that they start to talk about other things. tithey talk about po. that discourse is called crosscutting political discourse. it is studied by academics. it actually means that theyk start to tout those things in a way that is very civil because they respect the people that have come together. and that means they see views from lots of different places. reporterfor millions of users, social media is a source of --esspit of anger. yet the latest research shows there is more to it than that. >> you c between social media and political polalozation if you only at social media. but in a complex multimedia environment, you find people interacting with others who have varying points of view, changing their minds, encountering contradictory information. reporter: online relationships n wier match the level of
trust and reciprocity of off-line relationships. but social media can cross w divides l as create them. jane: you can see more of the bbc's serie"crossing divides" throughout the year on all of our outlets. here is a question -- what does your heartbeat look like? a mexican-canadian artist has done a pretty goodob visualizing our final sense as the vita signs -- visualizing our vital signs as part of an immersive exhibition that takes onll floor of the hirshhorn museum in washin each brings to life our biometric data to create landscapes of flashid lights nstantly shifting images. not only is it fun, but it makes you think just how personal information is used every day. i went to meet him.e >> my vocomes like -- jane: raphael is a self-confessed technical nerd. instead of paint or clay, he uses technology to create an immersive environment that is constantly changing.
he got the idea after listening to ultrasounds of his unborn twins. >> the idea was how can we take this syncopation and create something that is larger, something that imore within a biometric portrait, like a landscape, landscape of heartbeats? jane: the vital components for his work are the raw biometricda supplied by visitors to the hirshhorn museum. sensors measure heartbeats, fingerprints, and blood flow. our body's rhythms and b signatures me unique to us, but here they become abstract and anonymous. >> your fingerprint lets you into your phone and lets you into your country, but it also connects you to other participants that have been there. there e memories that have been collected. i do it moreo say how can we pervert these technologies of control to create situations that are connected and poetic? jane: the technology itself is
pretty straightfward. fingerprinting has been around since the late 1800s, and you hese atnd sensors like the local gym. what is different today is the sheer scale of digital data weav behind and that gets collected. >> one of the challenges for an artist is to take that data and make it tangible. is is what it looks like. this is how it feels. jane: rafael says his mission is not to raise awareness of technology so much as to normalize its ubiquity and central place in our lives. rafa: i think that if we wan to explore who we are as a people, we need to study technology, because that is the -- that is to study ourselves. jane: without our participation, rafael's art could not exist. our vital signs quite literally bring his work to life. a creative fusion of people and technology.
of course, you can find more of day's news at our website, and do check us ouamon twitter. ane o'brien. thanks for watching "bbc world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed tol work around yoifestyle, so you can swipe your way throughe the news of y and stay tr-to-date with the latest headlines you can ust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation isade possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected nes. >> what are you doing? >> possibilities. ur day is filled with them. >> tv, play "downton abbey." >> and pbs helps everyone discover theirs.
ning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> brangham: good evening. i'm william brangham. judy woodruff is away. on the "newsur" tonight, tornadoes carve a path of destruction through the southeast, claiming over 20 lives and leveling whole sections of towns in alabama and georgia. then, a conversation with carlos vecchio, the man the u.s. recognizes as the venezuelan ambassador, as opposition leader juan guaido returns to a country in crisis. plus, preserving the past-- a new exhibition highlights the painstaking work of photo conservation. >> the misconception especially for photographs is you can just make another one. you know, we can easily printpr twts that are the same, and they're actually not. there are slight differences that make every single print unique.