tv BBC World News America PBS August 26, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
americ" reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. a landmark legal ruling in the opioid crisis. an oklahoma judge says the drug company is responsible for fueling the epidemic. in order to pay $572 millio the g7 tries tackling issues from trade to climate change. world leaders are heading home, but could the u.s. and iranian president soon be talking? pres. trump: i tnk there is a really good chance we would meet. ura: meanwhile, brazil's president blasts gyileaders, they are treating his country like a colony by working together to save thefr amazo devastating fires. plus, sewing dissent how one american artist started embroidering donald trump'so tweets tput today's politics in perspective.
laura: for those watching on pbs and around the globe, welcome to "world news america. in a historic ruling, a judge in oklahoma has fined johnson & johnson $572 million for its role in fueling the state's opioid epidemic. it is the first such a verdict against her drug manufacturer and cos amid a national outcry over deaths related to prescription painkillers. experts say the e e e e e e e es denied any wrongdoing and hasvo d to appeal the verdict. bbc's aleem maqbool joined me to
discuss the ruling. you have covered the crisis extensively. how significant is this ruling? aleem: it is huge. itelates arguably to one o the biggest crises facing america today. since the end of the 1990's,e around half a million americans equating to 130 american every single day dying of opioid overdoses. a lot of them are throug prescription opioids, a lot of those who died through illegally obtained abuse of opioids, is first having opioids throughpl prescription drugs.ti this is the first time a state has managed to take a pharmaceutical company to court. oklahoma decided to take this case against three pharmaceutical companies t two m settled out of court. johnson & johnson decided to take it to court with the feeling that they cannot be
convicted on this particular charge, the public nuisance charge, which is what eventually they were convicted of in this case where there was no jury. the judge deded that they were responsible, as you said in the introducti, of underplaying the risks, of overplaying thepl benefitsencouraging over prescription of drugs and precipitating this massive crisis. laura: what kind of precedent does this sewhen it comes to e literally thousands of other lawsuits against drug companies? aleem: 40 other states are in the process of taking similar actions. rothe difficulty forcutors in a lot of those states is on what charges to get the pharmaceutical companies. now that we have seen that inho ok they have managed to say, yes, this is a public nuisance offense, johnson & johnson said it was extremely radical way of interpring the public nuisance law to say that
their involvement in opioid drugs constitutes a publicnu ance, but they have been convic hd of that. so now other states will look at that and say that we can do that in the same way. laura:leem maqbool, thank you. world leaders did a lot of but.ng at the g7 meetin agreed on litt trade policy, russia, china, and climate ange were just a few of the contentious issues. one of the most delicate and divisive was how to nee with iran. the french president favors dialogue. he suggested a meeting between the u.s. and iranian leaders. 'here is donald trump'response. pres. trump: i think he is going to want to meet. i think iran wants to get the situation straightened out. is that basehton fact or based on gut? that is based on gut. but we cannot let them have a nuclear weapon. can't let it happen. i think there was a good chance we would meet. laura: for more i spoke with
former state department pj, the president says there is a good chance we could meet.ha do you see iening? p.j.: it is certainly possible. present obama and rouhani thought about a meeting while in office together. they settled on a phone call. but i think there is so much baggage in the trump-iran relationship. president's rhetoric today -- no missiles, i'm not paying anything. you have to think, to get to a meeting, what is the incentive for iran?sn there reall't one. the parallel would be think about trump and kim jong-un. ki jong-un is a mafia boss,trnd p meeting brought him onto thworld stage. rouhani is already a world figure. n't think there is incentive for a meeting. laura:he trump administration would say that because they are applying maxum pressure to iran with sanctions, that could be bringing them to the table. what do you think of that?
p.j.: well, to get to the table, you would talk to the iraniano president, but you would need preparatory work.ta iran's foreign minister, who happened to stop by the g7. thede are subs political obstacles that make this highly unlikely. laura: there was anotheropic at came up at the g7, when president trump talked about possibly inviting president putin to next year's meeting. let's take aisten to what he had to say. pres. trump: a lot of peop say having russia, which is a power, having them inside the room is better than having outside the room. by the way, there were numerou people during the g7 that felt that way. we didn't take a vote, but we did discuss it. my inclition is to say, yes, they should be in. laura: russia's membership of the g8 was suspended after asked -- after it annexed crimea. do you think president putin has done enough to earn an invite
next year? p.j.: not at all. the president suggested this wun ateral decision by president obama as opposed to a unanimous decision by the other g7 lears. in the abstract, president trump has a point. is it better to talk to putin than not? yes. is it better to have him in the room than not? ye hover, to get back in the room, he has not done anything constructive regarding ukraine, and since that decision, add to that his blind support for assad, and he attacked the united states in 2015 and 2016 through the presidential election. oiif the president has the of view, it is not shared widely across the g7. laura: do you sense that world leaders are figuring out how to handle the unpredictable president? p.j.: there were not the histrionics we have seen in past years, but there was n substance, either. maeven the news about the minor amount of money for the
az came from a meeting that the president didn't attend. laura: thank you for being with us. p.j.: always a pleasure, laura. laura: c ontry not at the g7 but firmly on the agenda was china and that trade war with the u.s. after weeks of rising tension, today president trump was more positive, sayingrade talks would resume shortly and it was -- al there was w both sides to get a deal. pres. trump: i think if they don't get a deal, it will be very bad for china. i very much appreciate the fact y latehey came out v last night and said they want to make a deal, they want it to be under calm circumstances. it was a little different kind of statement. i thought it was beautiful statement. laura: a brief time ago i spoke to zhaoyin feng of the bb china service. when president tru says trade talks with china are going to resume, there is a lot of confusion here. what h changed?
zhaoyin: indeed, it is a big t tone change fr weekend. last friday both countries were caught offguard by the tariff escalations. e,china, from its perspect has practiced constraint, because it only announced retaliation three weeks afterum 's new threat of tariffs. trump also seemed caught offguard by beijing's decision. now with so many signs that the u.s. economy is showisis, noump cannot afford to look he also did all those new tariffs, and at this point it hoks like both countries have started to reali high the stakes are. after the call between the two countries' lead nep tiators, trs extended an olive branch to china. but there are stillrt unnties around this. we don't have a fixed date for the next round of trade talks, presumably in washington in september. however, on first of september,
the new tariffs imposed by the u.s. isuppheed to be implemented, and that would not set a good tone for the trade talks. ilwe will see whether thatbe in place or not. laura: what does china's government make of the fact that on friday president xi was an enemy of the u.s. and today he a great leader?sident trump as zhaoyin: well, it seems to me that trump has been quite consistent praing xi but bashing china as a countba and ing china for its unfair trade actions. with xi, trump has consistently said that they have great i think trump is bery smart here, because in chinese politics you cannot insult the leader. trump is playing by china's book now. laura: zhaoyin feng, thanks for being with us. zhaoyin: thank you. laura: as we mentioned earlier,
the g7 pledged money to the amazon to fight the fires devastating the rain forest. but brazil's president was critical of the decision, saying that other nations are treating the country like ad colony infringing on sovereignty. will grant is in the brazilian state d has more. will: as each day passes, another chunk of the amazon disappears. this is just one of the 75,000 fires in brazil which prompted such an angry response, as a finite resource vanishes before the rld's eyes. now it seems the world's wealthiest nations are trying to act. the g7 promised funds for the battle to save it, 18 million pounds, to be precise. while thats welcomed by environmental campaigners inis brazil, most sowhere near enough for the scale of the problem. this is the scorched and blackened earth of another small part of the amazon destroyed b the fire
president bolsonaro says the idea of an iernational alliance to save this would turn brazil into a colony or no man's land.f more evidence,y were needed, of the deep hostility between the international community and brazil's leader on this issue. an operation by brazilian forces is supposedlunderway, but the resourcesth appea, and critics say the response has been slow and woefully undermanned. that is at the heart of what -- of why people are turning out on the streets in brazilian cities. in rio and são paulo, people rarely protest over the amazon, but this is their country and ndthouin the urban centers are furious at bolsonaro. with neighboring bolivia facing a daunting challenge bringing its own under control. it has lost a million hectares
of the forest in the east of the country. president morales of bolivia does want international help. however with much of latin america in flames, europe's response is insufficient to put them out. will grant, bbc news. laura: for more on the damage and deforestation taking place, i spoke with a professorf sustainable development at columbia university. a i started ing her about the cause of these fires. >> what we do know about the fires in the amazois that they are caused by humans, they arey intentionat in those -- intenonally set. in those systems, fire is not a natural part of the ecosystem. when there are fires, it is because people are setting them. it is very important to fight the fires at are going on now, and it is important to put in place policies that will prevent fires in the furure. have president bolsonaro's policies exacerbated
the situation and made the forest fires worsehe >> well, he has ceainly signaled that enforcement of brazil's laws to protect their forests will be lax and favor of development of the amazon f agriculture, for mining, for hydropower. it is important to look not far ckck, when brazil has an impressive and an old record of getting deforestation under -- impressive and admirable rerd of getting deforestation under control. in the early 2000s deforestati was very high, lots of fires, government policies combined with environmental groups and e businesses came together and we saw a dramatic reduction in deforestation. when we are seeing now is a reversal othat success. laura: presumably brazil could revee course again and go ba to those admirable policies you aeak about. but is it just a question of
political will? ruth: it is political will, and what we have seen from what has happened over the past decade is that it is possible to have forest protection and at the p same time have agricultural production and economicevop ment. the two do not have to compete .with well-planned polici laura: the amazon is often referred to as the lungs of the world. how crucial a role does it play in soaking up carbon diode? ruth: the trees in the amazon, store carbts of carbon, that would otherwise be in the atmosphere.rn windows trees and -- when those trees burn and those gases into the atmosphere, they act as a greenhouse gas and contribute to our climate-change problem. we are seeing with these recent fires the local impact, the regional impact on air quality that themoke travels long distances and effects many people downwind breathing unhealthy air.
the amazon is important for providing a home for milmions an mns of plants and animals, many of which we n't even know, haven't identified , and what their use for humanity is, we don't know. there are so many reasons why the amazon is an important resource. laura: thank you for with us. ruth: thank you. laura: you a watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonht's program, forget abouthe nightmar flights. we take a look into the future, and you won't believe what is i store. researchers in london are trying mosquitoe communicate with each other. mosquitoes are more than just a past. thereby spread deadly diseases including malarials, which k more than 4000 people each year, according to the world health
organization. sethe ch team hopes it can effectivy learn topeak mosquito and lureto the insects trap. how gosh -- pallab ghosh has this report. pallab: fors come this whining sound is annoying, but for the mosquito, it is a lo song. te buzz helps insects find mates and reporters. what if could find a way to talk to mosquito and sabotage thr love lives? the vast majority of cases are in africa. in 2017, 200 million people had malaria. nearly half a million of them one way to defeat mosquito-borne diseases is tourn their buzz against them. >> for meis i the sound of thunder sophistication. we could simulate these sounds and use the for new
technological devices to perform attraction of mon uitoes to leem away from these sites where they cannot transmit the fdiseasm populace is that from populations and households. catch and kill devices could be designed that are much more effective than the ones we are using right now. pallab: t mquito's buzz is wings. by the insect's this is the sound of the female on the left. look closely, and you can see that her wing beat is slower than the male's. that is why the male's tone is high. researchers hope that eventually they can rid millions of the menace of mosquitoes forever. pallab ghosh, bbc news. laura: if you are like me, flng means long delays and
eating peanuts for your dinner. but imagine a journey where your meals are cooked on a 3-d printer and the plane itself has a coating of algae to provide power on board. these are the extraordinary ideas to emerge from special y,sts we mark 100 years is the very first scheduled flight took off from heathrow. reporter: o propeer, one pilot,se one paser. the first scheduled flight was of course, a huge amount haser. changed over 100 years of scheduled flights, but the challenges seem l be growing e time. here is an example of what flights could look10 likis now. 100 years from now. this is a projection by students of the world college of art into every step of a very distant journey. >> youave this skin, almost
inside a leaf of chloroplast, which will be able to otosynthesize and generate energy for on 40's. in addition, it will be able to clean the air inside the cabin from passengers inhaling carbon dioxide. reporter: what are you going to eat on for the flights of the it doesn't look like food to me. >> this is highly personalized, taking into account your dna data and current health status, and also come th is 3-d- printed, which we can do during your flight. reporter: this is one of the banes of our lives, lugging all of that stuff around. what will they do abouthat over the next 100 years? >> essentially, as soon as you buy a ticket, they can figure out g where you ang and how long were staying and did it out
to print out your clothing for you. reporter: 3-d-printed clothing? >>l it is cked up for you nice and neat and will be ready for you so you don't have to rry as much. welcome, captain. reporter: this displays me than a flight of fancy. it is a possible world driven by the imagination and technology. started.st the way if this is an accurate visi of airral in the future, i want to live a bit longer. hypersonic travel around the world, zero caon emissions, the food you want to eat, and no luggage to worry about. that is great travel. >> this speaker is ready for acceleration to hypersonic speed, captain. speed bird to soar, curfirmed. looks amazing.
president trump's use of language is very distinctive. whether he is tweeting or on stage at a rally, this star of reality tv knows how to make an impression. that proved a challenge to an american artist who wanted to find a way of relating to the current political atmosphere. so she began knitting mr. trump's words and encouraged others to get out the needles, too. the results are on display in new york have been taking a look.. >> has been so incredible to see people come into the store and experience it for the first time, to literally walk into a space that is sort of a three-dimensional twitter feed. 2018 to stitch the "i am aof inherited piece of ndlepoint. i think at that point i had not found out a way to process theng donald trump and clyed by
wasn't following him on twitter closely. i set a goal to stitch one pieto of weeeep track of what he was saying and it was part of a way to process and engage in u.s. politics. but it quickly ramped up to three or four pieces of week, and pretty much by six months later i was -- i couldn't possib keep up. the response to the exhibition in new york has been pretty amazing. people talk about remembering hearing which quote, they look for their friend's pieces. one piece i tend to show people when they visit the exhib, "the best thing to happen to puerto rico is president donald j. trump." it appearso be stitched and fabric like the other pieces, t buen you look more closely, it is stitched into a square ece of paper towel.
when you look at something andwh you see each individual stitch, you are forced to wonder about the person who made it and then wonderow they were impacted by what they were stitching. an many cases people are stitching words that they find challenging and upsetting, and i think at when we are in that space, we can see the contradictions, we can see them becae we know it has been ma by a person who has given -- who has made a commitment toharing what they are hearing and how they feel about what they are hearing. laura: a very novel way of responding to the presidents tweets. i am laura trevelyan. thank you for watching "bbc world news america." announcer: funor this presentation is made possible by... the freeman foundation;