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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  June 14, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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woman: this "bbc world news america." is made possible by... the freeman foundation; by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs; and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. k you. jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien.
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ident trump says a video proves iran attacked gulf tankers in the gulf of oman. tehran accuses the u.s. of sabotage diplomacy. unrest in haiti. protestersall on the president to resign amid charges of corruption. and it is a paradise for paleontologists. i go fossil-hunting in search of the monstrous megalodon. >> this is what we are looking for. these were animals that eat whales. jane: welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. president trump says the tanker attacks in the gulf of oman yesterday have iran written all
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over them. he pointed to a video released by the u.s. military which shows -- which it says shows special forces removing unexploded mine from one of the damaged ships. tehran denies the allegations, but one thing is clear, tensions between the two nations are reaching a dangerous new level. the bbc's chief international correspondent lyse doucet starts our coverage. lyse: america builds its case. the u.s. military says their video shows iran's islamic revolutionary guards removing a mine from the stricken tanker. their photos of the ship's hull shows what they say is the mind that didn't explode and the damage froonone that did. of two attacks on tankerin the gulf on thursday. others concluding the u.n., calling for an investigation - others, including the u.n., are
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calling for an investigation for ththe bu morning president trump took to his favorite tv show to say that iran is to blame. es. trump: well, iran to do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat. one of theines didn't explode. it has iran written l over it. lyse: tonight britain's foreign secretary back him up. jeremy hunt says responsibility lies certainly with iran. iran denies that. the president took aim at the united states. pres. rouhani: the u.s. government has acted against all international laws the last two years by adopting an aggressive policy imposing a threat to gional and international security. lyse: where for cause the explosions knows they are playing with fire. look a map of the gulf region and the narrow waterways where the world's oi tankers, and go. this is where the tensions could escalate, find accidental
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collision and retaliatory strike by iran and the u.s. and its closest partners, including saudi arabia. the saudis are threatening stern action against what they see as iran's puppet, the houthis in yemen. ais theay out? >> definitely, and that is through diplomacy, but the trump administration pulled out of the nuclear al and reimposed sanctions on iran despite the fact that it didhe not violate nuclear agreement. we have people in the administration putting economic pain on to society to lead to regime change from and at the same time they say they want to talk to iran. that is almost laughable. se: if iran is to blame, it may be with the mes that it can inflict pain on was supplies -- oil supplies andtability, a
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warning if one was needed on the cost to stability for the lyse doucet, bbc news. jane: i spent to a state department official who isrow at the cen for american security -- center for a new american security focusing on the ddle east. thank you very much for joining me. how close do you think the u.s. right now is to military conflict with iran? >' couple days ago i wouldve told you we are very far away and the that all of the hype around the various military deployments and actions was just that, hype. but yesterday was fundamentally different and makes me much more disturbed about the reality of a major colict. awat is because of what we from iran. the strikes on the tankers, which were pretty surprising and almost certainly conducted by iran, but also the timing, whenn japanese primeter shinzo a be was in tehran, the first sit by japanese prime minister to tehran in years. i cannot imagine that more pragmatic elements like the
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foreign minister or hassan rouhani, the president, supported such a move. jane: so what is going on? >> what it seems like is that the hardliners have won this particular debate, that is a fundamental shift. the supreme leader seems to support them. if those are the people controlling the policy now in iran, if it is the people saying we have to push back aggressively against the united states, that is a very dthferent pictur when you have people who are steering theay policyg we need to be careful and restrained in how we respond. jane: what would it take to spark conflict? ilan: another couple of actions like this one.ll maybe you up with some kind of attack on american troops in iraq, a few americans killed. what you have in response is a low-level american response, maybe just airstrikes like the onese saw last year in syria or a couple years ago in syria with the intention of just, hey,
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we are sending a signal and let's stop nho. but once t types of things start happening, iran is much more capable than bashar al-assad in syria. tensions could rise and things could get out of control, even if nobody wants a war. jane: the president pointed to this video released today that he says approves iran was behind -- proves iran was behind tais . iran has denied it. is it proof? ilan: it is not definitive proof, but it is very, very likely it was in fact iran who conducted this. all the other alternatives don't make sense. the notion that this was a false-flag operation conductedhe byulf states or the united states or israel, i don't think anybody is that good and capable of keeping a secret. most likely this was iran. actually, we had attacks just a few weeks ago, sabotage attacks
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on a number of ships in the uae. if the gulf states wanted to start a war, they would make a big deal of that, but they dn't. they purposely kept things quiet because th did not want to calate. the notion that this came from anybody other than iran is highly unlikely. jane: thank you for joining me.e in haiti, prot clashed with police outside the presidential palace on thursday amid ongoing calls for president jovenel moïseo resign. the demonstrations were sparked by an investigation that revealed officials stole billions of dollars in venezuelan oil money that was meant to be used for development projects. ae president has denied corruption charg says he will not leave office. from port-au-prince, will grant reports. willof all the countries in latin america, haiti is perhaps the most in need of billions of dollars in oil money. the thing is, it had them, $4
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billion in fact, through venezuela's regional development plan, petra caribe. t.t there is precious little evidence of any of for years, building contracts were signed, funds paid up, but the work was never done. patience has run out. protests have called for president jovenel moïse to step down. activists say the oil money has been siphoned off and stolen and urged the public to post images unfinished petra caribe projects. the response humiliated the government and forced an official audit. so where is it? >> nobody knows. [laughter] nobody knows because the people in power stole it, and they did not even take a lot of care in stealing the money. a lot of people criticize us that we are always protesting, but unfortunately it when you take it down in the streets and they see massive n.rticipation from the people that they take act
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wis: and take to the street they have, a furious public gatherinoutside some of the worst examples of corruption. this bridge at a cost of more an $23 million has become the epicenter of antigovernment protests. even now protesterhave been throwing stones down on the cars below and the police have turned up firing live rounds to disperse them. both sides are ready to snap. in recent days, an opposition journalist was gunned down and a pro-government radio station hit by demonstrators.r many frse is to come. >> if nothing anges soon, if we don't feel the presence of the state, we won't havety peaceful stabi will: some say president moïse's re numbered, but he is clinging on amid the
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"your prt is a corrupt. -- is not corrupt. your president will never be einvolved in corruption," insisted. corruption is so endemic iny haiti, mmply accept it as part of daily life. but when it comes to petro nsribe's missing mill people have drawn a line, and it may cost the president his job. will grant, bbc nece, port-au-pr jane: some other news. the man accused of carrying out the terror attacks in christchurch, new zealand, has pleaded not guty to all 92 charges against him, including 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder, and one of terrorism. he appeared by video link at the high court. chilean search and rescue teams are trying to save three miners trapped below ground in the country's north. firefighters say they know the men are alive because they ammunicate by tapping on boxes. local media repoiant rock has blocked the entrance to the
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mine, and rescuers are trying to dislodge it by a series of small explosions. the white house has center of legal drama again this week. a house committee voted to hold the attorney general and the commerce s a u.s. watchdog called for presidential advisor kellyanne conway to be removed from her job. and the president has come undee fire for sayinould consider accepting dirt onti pol rivals from a foreign country. here he was this morning clarifyi those comments. pres. trump: if i was, and of course you have to look at it, be ause if you don't loit not going to -- you are not going to know it is bad. but of course you give it to the fbi or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. but of course you do that. hau couldn't have thaen with our country. everybody understands that. i thought it was made clear. for more i spoke -- jane for more i spoke with the
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former assistant u.s. attorney. he is obviously trying to walk back those comments, but is he in legal jeopardy for saying he could accept dirt? >> ainthis point i don't he is any legal jeopardy. we have moved on from the mueller investigation and that t would entity that would bring legal claims. is wrong in his first comments suggesting it would not be illegal. it is illegal to accept help from foreign governments and campaigns and to give something of value. people pay opposition research, a lot of money for opposition research. that would be a federal campaign finance violation, which may be why he is saying he did not say whate actually said. jane: legal jeopardy is one thing. what abo political jeopardy? surely this is going to fuel the fire of congress, democrats who may be going down the impeachment route. ze it is absolutely stunning that he was so by say this in light of the 448-page mueller
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report, half of which talked about the lack of evidence of conspiracy but did not rule out collusion, which would be a political term for accepting this kind of information from ae foreign ment, russia, in the famous trump tower meeting. t at this point the congress so far -- there have been committee hearings, but the most rigorous thing we have heard from is from former white house counsel john dean in the nixon administration on obstruction, and he does not e have a first-hand knowle the 2016 influence in russia, so it is hard to see where .ngress is goi impeachment would be the more serious process, but even investigations and oversight, there is no reasonhey cannot call robert mueller to just repeat what he put in the report, translatet for americans so they can understand the seriousness of it. jane: kellyanne conway is one ot those people wes to expln what the president is doing and she is in hot water herself. the hatch act, which means a
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government official cannot use that position to engage in politics. she apparently has. president trump says it is free speech. is he right? >> he is not right that itfrs speech. if she were doing electoralty activin her private life, that would be protected, but the supreme court, the first iendment, very clear that the context of your job as a federal official, you don't have the same first amendment protections. in 1939, because of the democric party using government workers to promote themselves no, we have to have taxpayerdo ars going to the work of the public and not individual candidates. that is the line there. the entity that made the statement, the federal watchdog agency, independent that made the statement that kellyanne conway violated the law, cannot take action against her. that would be the justice department. jane: oversight -- congress again has democrats hotting up their battle with the white
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house over trying to get information, moving to hold the attorney general and commerce secretary in contempt. what would that do? >> all of this comes down to what happens when peopss oeundaries, not responding to congressional sus. the issue is what is the consequence. the justice department would enforce any criminal contempt citation. the justice department is headed by attorney general barr and ultimately the president and they will not hold mr. barr in contempt. they are not going to pros ute the house would have to go file a civil action in federal courts, which would take a long time t actually resolve, even if it does result in their favor. thld be an order that would be enforced. the problem across the board is when we still see this creeping violation of the rulaw, what s the stopgap? where are the guardrails? where are the consequences for this that is troubling as a matter of our democracy in the united states. jane: as ever, thanks for joining me.
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>> my pleasure. jane: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, earth's distant past on display.ow a new sh at the smithsonian museum of natural history takes visitors into deep time. jane: mass demonstrations have been taking place a cross switzerland as protesters are demanding gender eisality. women say the country is progressing too slowly when it i comes toues like closing the gender pay gap. women still ea 20%rn less than men. reporter: from early morning, thousands of women gathered outside switzerland's parliament, a scene repeated across the countryal in 1991, hf a million swiss women took to the streets to protest the slow pace of equality. women didn't even get the righti to vote un1971. 20 years later, there were stilw
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en in the government. today there are actually plenty of women in swiss politics, and it is a wealthy, comfortable country. but swiss women still earn 20% t len men, and that is why the women are calling for equal pay more respect for the work they do, and an end to discrimination. >> we still don't havequal yings, we still don't have equal chances in work, we still don't have it will of having a family and a career. so yes, we are fed up. but it is a very good sign. >>am and it feeling, it feels so powerful to have all these women here fightinfor the same things our moms did, our aunties did, our
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grandmothers did, and it is still not done yet. reerter: after the last str almost 30 years ago, a key demand, paid maternity leave, finally became law. these women hope today's protests might close the gender pay gap. and the demonstrators were still arriving. jane: p hong kotesters say they are preparing to take to the streets again this weekend toif the government refuse withdraw controversial extradition lawhat would allow people in the territory to be sent tchina for trial. up to million people took to the streets last weekend and tens of thousands clashed with riot police on wednesday. rupert wingfield-hayes reports. rupert: "withdraw the bill,
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withdraw the bill" is the chant that has echoed across hong kong this week."e vil police" is another. this level of hostility is someing new for hong kong. the activists are younger and more determined and more prepared to use violence than their predecessors. this young mans one of them. he asked us to hide his identity. >> we already know that if you just sat there doing nothing, the government will not listen to us. even that a few days ago one million people protest, the government still did nothing. so we believe that we need to use more violent ore aggssive ways so the government will listen to ru. rt: these tactics may be working. one senior government advisor says he supports the bill but it violence means it is time to compromise. >> we have a different system and a different and indepencint juy to deal with these
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things. this bill will not enable the things which happen in china happen in hong kong. rupert: issue, it is then a political issue. this is about political discontent. >> that is exactly the point. if we were to push to have the vote on the bill, as we originally planned, i fear we nguld have more street violence. rupert: it is a ay from the day in 1997 when hong kong was handed back to china by britain. then, ma here felt a surge of patriotic pride. a 68-year-old has copies of every hong kong newspaper published that day. but 22 years later, she no longer looks at them with any sense of pride. >> i'm chinese,'m not communist. we have become a chinese colony. that makes me veryad. we thought when we went back to
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china we would be happ but now we are more and more unhappy. rupert: some of these young people are calling for hong kong independence. it's a naïve fantasy, but it ows how far beijing has gone in losing the hearts and minds of hong kong citizens.-h rupert wingfiees, bbc news, in hong kong. jane: he will be monitoring events in hongong closely over the weekend. where can you meet a t. rex, freeze-dried bison, and the earliest forms olife on earth? the answer is the fossil alhallt the smithsonian museum of natural history in washington, which has reopened after a five-year facelift. the exhibits take visitors into deep time, showing how the planet's distance past shows lessons from the future. i joined the museum'director on a fossil hunt in maryland. >> this cliff is a cross-section of an ancient seabed, and use -- you can see the layers of
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fossil shells up there. jane: 10 million years ago this pa of the chesapeake bay w lsder the ocean. >> exquisite fosust sitting here. for a paleontologist, this is abouas close as it gets to paradise. jane: but we are not interested in seashells. we are looking for evidence of the megalodon. >> this is what we are looking for. this animal had a massive bite force. these big shots -- big sharks were animals that ate whales. jane: scientistsave created a life-size model of what they think the megalodon looked like. miions of years ago, it probably swam right here when the side of the museum of natural history in washingtonf was parte seabed. it's return -- its a return is bit of a homecoming. there are other monsters waiting to be discovered in the fossil
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hall. the exhibits show the story ofpl ouet from the first signs of life to ms extinctions to the rise and fall of the dinosaurs to our own age of humans. just 28,000 years old, this extinct species of bison is one of the youngest foils in the llection. it doesn't look like the other specimens because it is freeze-dried. >> we are lucky to have a specimen with such completee struct it. almost all areas of the body represented and accounted for,cl ing some of the original horn material, skin, muscle tissue, fur as well. jane: like all fossils, it tells scientists about the environment it lived in and the impact of climate change. w >> thee gradual changes that life essentially had time to make adjustments to. what we are seeing in the modern period of climate change is that this change is happening quickly. the geological record shows how
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this will be able to unfold, or not. jane: that story is unfolding on the chesapeake. >> cck this out. jane: oh, you've got one. >> a little tiny one. there are ts of sharks here, not just the big ones. st for comparison. jane: i'd rather meet that than that. >> this is a five foot long shark. ne: is that the same age? >> same age, different shath. jane: e megalodon will never return to the waters, but as climate change causes sea levels to rise again, who knows what else may one day emerge from the deep? i had so mucht fun doing t story. everyone should go fossil hunting' least once. m jane o'brien. thanks for watching "bbc world news america." have lovely weekend. announcer: funding for this presentation is made possible by... the freeman foundation; by judy and peter blum-kler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs;
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: as the u.s. and iran trade accusations over damaged oil tankers in the persian gulf, a look at what iran's strategy may y. in this tense moment. then, it's frid mark shields and david brooks nte here to analyze president trump's coroversial comments about receiving foreig intelligence on political pponents, and preview the upcoming democratsidential debates. plus, a second life for a southern juke joint. n w clarkesdale, mississippi became a boomtow embracing its legacyf blues music. >> it was just realling down. you could almost just see it winding down. re it's kind of like, well, you make it able, i n


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