tv BBC World News America PBS August 27, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
woman: this is "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. thank you. laura: this is "bbc news america." reporting from washington, i am
laura trevelyan. as the amazon burns, brazil's alesident says he will not accept internation aid until he gets an apology. indigenous people fear for their future. >> one of the biggest threats my people face today is our government. they are trying to destroy the amazon, to exterminate our people. laura: the women who accused jeffrey epstein of sexual abuse speak out in court, angry that his death has robbed them of justice. itplus, these rabbmay hold the keys to a healthy and happy life foall of us. tonight we will learn why. laura: for those watching on pbs and ound the globe, welcome "world news america." tonight, the fires are still burning inhe amazon, but international aid is being held up by a personal dispute.
brazil is rejecting the g7 ntil presidenter lsonaro gets an apology from his french counterpart, emmanuel macron. mr. macron has accused brazil's leader of lying about fighting climate change. on the ground there is mounting concern, as sophie long reports. sophie: the heart of the amazon, the wor's lungs on fire. this ecological disaster became a global political issue. brazil's president did not strike a match that lit these hames, but many say given policies and his response to the crisis, he might as well have. we are just passinover an area of rainforest that is still burning. my guy tells me itbus farmland, it is very close to indigenous land, home to a huge amount of wildlife, and also a tribe of people that has almost no contact with the outside world.
means they have no means by which to put out the fires that are raging towards them. the fate of many amazonian people now lies in the government's has. what is the greatest threat to the land where your community live? in the forest on the banks of the river, he tells me it is brazil's leaders. >> one of the biggest threats my peop face today is our government. they are trying to destroy theaz am, to exterminate our people. they are the people trying to destroy the country and the amazon. sophie: president bolsonaro seems more concerned with brazil's sovereignty. he has accused the french president of treating brazil like a colony. today as their diplomatic spat continued, jair bolsonaro said he mig accept international assistance if president macron withdraws his insults. some blame for the blazes has been directed at farmers who want to raze the forest for their crops and cattle but one man and his daughter who ve worked the land more than
three decades told me farmers are not to blame, and nor is their president. >> it is people acting illegally who want to claim the forest. farmers who own registered land don''t burn and they don' deforest. sophie: we have to leave promptly. the community here are angry the way their country an president are being portrayed. a group of indigenous leaders says the fires are one of many t threats to amazon. one spoke anonymously because he fears for his life.hi he saycommunity have been threatened. if they don't leave their land by wednesday, they will be killed. while miners and loggers continue to encroach o scorched earth of the amazon, president bolsonaro says he will reevaluate the laws surroundings indigeands in order to increase productivity. meanwhile, the largest rainforest on the planet continues to smolder. sophie long, bbc news, in the amazon.
laura: joining me is eric farnsworth, vice president of the council of the americas. aien president bolsonaro says he will not accept anuntil he gets an apology from president macron, is that playing well for hi domestically? eric:up he has hisrt, and the amazon is a sensitive topic in brazil, both for the far right and the far left. the world for years that -- for years there have conspiracy theories that he will is coming to take over the amazon. by saying that we are standing up, there are people in brazil who support that, but there nke many who that is the wrong path. enazil is a very polarized society at the m laura: is there a disconnect between the g7 leaders who bolsonaro's policies as playing a part in these forest fires, and brazil? eric: absolutely. "disconnect" is the right word.
what mr. bolsonaro said on the campaign trail last or is that he was going to open up the az for greater development. brazil's economy is sluggish and he is looking for ways to goose that. and he is also strongly supported by agriculture interest in brazil. you have to forestry activities going on to clear the land for agricultural production. he sees that as a political issue as much as an economic issue. from the international community, folks look at it a completely different way, the environmental damage and the e mage that is d the trade-offs between the economy and the environment. laura: when president tru tweets as he did today that president bolsonaro is doing a great job dealing with the fires, does that help president bolsonaro? eric:ar it is unc it does in some sectors and doesn't in others. again, bzil is a polarized society. one thing we can say is that both presidents trump and
bolsonaro have made an effort to get close together in terms of tionship personall politically, and also between their two countries. not a surprise that president trump would have offered ht suppis way. laura: if these fires get t wor, asy are predicted to do, what impact does tha have on president bush narrow -- president bolsoro and brazil? eric:a it's ally good question. the amazon fires have not just started. ey have been ongoing for years. it has been issued in the international community for m y what seems to have happen is that they have accelerated and the rate of deforestation has quickened. there are say that this is part of the development process. you in the developedouorld cut down forests, why can't we? hwhy shouldn't e the same ability. but i think by and large the more this goes on, the less it is under control, you will haveg people recognihe lasting environmental damage over time. laura: this is a just a problem
for brazil, is -- this is not just a problem for brazil, in is it? eric: there i damage in bolivia, it is original issue. laura: thank you for joing us. more than a dozen women who claim they were sexually abused byre disgraced unansjeffrey epstein have spoken of their anger about his death in prison. they have appeared in a manhattan court as the criminal case against him was dismissed.s earlier th month, the coroner ruled that epstein killed himself in h jail cell. chris buckler reports. chris: jeffrey epstein's victims came to court to be seen, and most importantly, heard. there were not expected to face the man who abused them -- his death robbed them of the opportunity. but they td in graphic and upsetting detail the impact of epstein's crimes. >> before i knew what was heppening he grabbed me by the wrist. as unbuttoning my shorts and
pulling my body onto his naked body. all i could say was a meek "no, please stop," but that seemed m excite he. they continued to -- he contued to rape me, and then i pulled my shorts up and ran back to the villa, my feetth bloody frorocks. i cried myself to sleep last night. vi i want to think the judge for letting us speak, some closure. it will be a rough road, but i want to thank the survivors who have reached out to me telling their stories. chris: inside court, mof the women asked for their real names not to be used. but they became emotiod some broke down in tears as they talked about the crimes they suffered at the hands of jeffrey epstein. alked about being abused, exploited, and manipulated by a man they described as a complex villain.st epn was accused of being a coward for taking his own life rather than face justice.
his lawyers said they ha significant doubts about his death inside a jail in manhattan. they claim his injuries were more consistent with an assault. they raised concerns about video footage from a corridor outside his cell and the priy n. when tnt to examine it, it was corrupted and couldn't be viewed. >> whether it was suicide or murder does not end the case, does not end their fight for justice, it does not end they're -- their feeling that they were mutilated, victimized, and that they were child victims of mr. epstein. today they spoke truth power. they spoke truth to what happened to them. chris: but questions remain for those who were once among epstein's famous friends including donald trump and the duke of york. h categorically denied allegations he had sex with a girl exploited by epstein. nsrginia roberts giuffre, who has made accusatgainst
prince andrew, was among those in court. >> he knows exactly what he has done, and i hope he comes clean about it. thank you. icchris: many of the vtims are pursuing civil cases. even if the criminal case is at an end. he may be dead, but today is unlikely to be the last day they eak of jeffrey epstein and his crimes. chris buckler, bbc news, new york. laura: in other news, iran president hassan rouhani has urged the u.s. to lift sanctioni againscountry to make way for talks. his comments come after president trump said at the g7 summit tt he was open to a meeting. relations between the u.s. and iran became ch worse last year when washington withdrew from the 2015 iran nuclear deal. a chinese-australian writer has been formally arrested in china on suspicion of life. he was detained in -- suspicion of spying. he was detained in january.
he could face years in prison or the death penalty. talks to form a new government in italy have resumed. atdemocrand the antiestablishment five star itvement tried to form a new coalion, but the democrats' refusal to back giuseppe conte as prime minister has been a sticking point. italy is to avoid a snap election. -- is hoping to avoid a snap election. last night we brought you the news that a judge in oklahoma ruled against johnson & johnson, ordering the drug company to pay more than half $1 billion her its role iing fuel the opioid crisis. the company rejects the findings and will appeal. now it is being reported that another drug company, purdue pharma, which makes the painkiller oxycontin, could be offering goings of dollars to settles. 2000 similar ca for more, i spoke to lawpr essor jonathan turley. thanks for being with us. there are reports that purdue pharma are offering to settle t mon 2000 other lawsuits.
are they seeing the writing on the wall? jonathan: they are in a position much like big tobacco before the multistate settlement. they are getting an idea of what the outer limit of liability is. for these pharmaceuticalie comp settling these cases can result actually in a profit. they can have a good s reaction. that is what happened with big tobacco. when they reached this massive settlement, their stock actually went up. investors had a good idea of the four corners of this room. i think the pharmaceuticallo companies aring at the same calculus as to whether settling these cases will give them a bump.ur purdue pharma says in its statement they see little good coming from years of wasteful litigation. could it be that some good will come from people'ering from the opioid crisis because they will get money? jonathan: hopefully it will. out of of the concern i have is that the primary responsibility
in terms of abuse of these drugs really rests with the doctors. 80heof opioids being used in world are being used in theta uniteds. the united states is only 5% of the world's population. these companies are not signing these prescriptions. pose are doctors. laura: that is tnt that johnson & johnson, the company in the oklahoma case, made. is it possible when they appeal that they could have grounds for success? jona people need to understand that that oklahoma case is based on very unsettled ground, public nuisance. those types of novel claims have done well on t trial level -- people have used them against a gu lead paint. they also failed on appeal. public nuisance is usually about things like interfering wi air, water, public resources. to use it on somethi like this, more of a products llability type of issue, r does not rest well with most courts. laura: is it possible that
individual plaintiffs could come for doctors now after the drug companie jonathan: they could, but there is statute of limitations issues. you coulfile terms of malpractice against a physician. those cases are tough, because these are people who became addicts cause they themselves took too many of these pills. there is a question of plaintiff's conduct, their own responsibility. that is why not a lot of these cases have been brought to court, because they are difficult to make ouront of a jury. laura: jonathan turley, thanks for joining us. jonathan: thank you. laura: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on today's program, puerto rico is bracing for tropical storm doriansl we go to theand to see how aresidents preparing. laura: it's been a year since
new zealand decided to ban foreigners from most of the country's housing market. it came after skyhigh prices pushed many locals out of the market. how has the ban worked on increasing domestic homeownership? more o this story from auckland. reporter: a family home for sale in one of auckland's top suburbs. a y a fears ago, properties like this were under the hammer at skyhigh prices. an undersupply ofomes, a surge in migration, and huge interest from chinese buyers led to a housing crisis, leaving many locals priced out of the market. >> it was not something i could compete with. we knew very limited, finite offer that had an absolute we felt like there were people worth unlimited pockets. reporter: last you the
government banned overseas buyers from purchasing was property. since then, sales for to drop prices haly, and fallen, too. three years ago, beijing stepped upapital controls to curb the flow of money leaving china's shores. >> sale volumes have dropped, but it wasn't just what our own vernment did. a lot of it certainly from the chinese when the chinese government changed the strh ture on how mey would take out of china was really the main the market.slow reporter: whatever the reason, sarah is just pleased the property ladder is no longer out of reach. >> and now feels like the right house is one or two offers down the track and we will be in the family home we can live in the ivnext fto 10 years, maybe longer.
laura: a state of emergency has been declared in puerto rico as tropical storm dorian approaches and could become a hurricane. the island is still reeling after hurricane maria made landfall two yearsgo, killing 2000 people. today president trump tweeted, "wow, another big storm heading to puerto rico. will it ever e?co ress approved $92 billion last year, an all-time record of its kind anywhere." this comes after his public row with many island officials. for more on how the island is preparing this time, i spoke to roberto pratt. eat kind of preparations underway as puerto rico is once again under hurricane watch? eq the people of puerto rico are suffering the conces of collective ptsd.
i think the scars from maria and hurricane irma are still very fresh. i know it has been two years since we got hit by maria, but still we have 25,000 families living in houses whout roofs, th new tarps. we are bracing for a tropical storm. fortunately, it is not a cat 5 hurricane. the government is doingy everything tn to keep people abreast of the situation and making sure that government can do what they are suppod to do. we are preparing ourselves, we are doing the best we can. obviously, people have to be very concerned with flooding and m.e winds of a tropical st laura: has the u.s. government learned the lesson from hurricane maria and positioned more resources on puerto rico ahead of the storm?
roberto: yes, they have. they have deployed 500 federal employees that will be making landfall in puerto rico within the ne couple of hours and assuring that we have the surpluses, water, tarp, generators, enough food to supply the people of puerto rico in.ase we have an emergency ou have just had a political crisis in puerto rico. your governor is gone. you have new leaders. do people feel confident that the governments ready for whatever the storm may bring? roberto: yes, they are concerned. we have a new governor. h the not disclosed a plan for handling an emergency.t my opinion, they are doing everything they can to make sure government deploys the resources that are necessary.
i am, however, concerned, laura, with the electric gd situation in puerto rico. the grid is very weak. the puerto rico power authority doesn't appear to have the resources on the ground to repair the grid aer the storm. they have about five helicopters, three of which are no longer working. those are the helicopters that tor thed to mo condition of the electrical grid around the island. we are concerned that the biggest fallout that we would see is in the electrical grid.la a: roberto prats, thank you for being with us. roberto: you are verome. thank you. laura: of course we will keep an eye on tropical storm dorian, which is currently schedr ed to pass oerto rico in the early hours of thursday one.
now, it is the million-dollar qution -- what is the secr to living longer life? according to a new book, the answer goes beyond eating your greens and working out. "the rabbit affect" shows that connection and kindness to others is the hidden factor behind health. for more i spoke to by dr. kelli harding from new york. what did a medical experiment with rbits show you about the importance of kindness in healing? dr. harding: absolutely. there was a study done in the 1970's, and what it showed is that iwas a basic study looking at heart health and rabbits. but the researchers got aery rprising finding. basically, with one group of rabbits, they had far better health outcomes than the other groups of rabbits. when they looked around and tried to figure out what was causing it, they noticed that r one of theearchers wasn't kijust giving the rabbits bble, she was petting the rabbits,
hugging the rabbits,g them love and kindness. they replicated this experiment and got the exact same results and they ended up publishing it in "science." it was really groundbreaking because it was one of the first studies to show how our social world impacts our health. laura: is the lesson for the u.s. health care system less drugs, more kindness? dr. harding: well, i think that question gets at -- there is a lot of pain. the solution for that isn't necessarily goinpito come in s. it is not even going to come in a doctor's office. when you look at what is makg a difference to our health, it is our homes, r schools, our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and our larger community. so yes, in fact, kindness is going to make a difference. it is what the field of public health called the socialte inants and the rest of us call simple kindness. laura: so when we are spending
ages on the treadmill and making these juice cleanses, are we slightly missing the point and missing the lesson from the rabbits?. rding: i have to say, i was shocked. as a physician, we think about diet, exercise, sleep, the occasional visit to the doctor. but by far the biggestr difference to alth, even more than our genes, is how we treat other people and how they treat us. ssage such an important that i felt it had to be written in this book. this goewell beyond the rabbit studies. there is decades of evidence, studies showing all kinds of kindness that happens in all of these different areas our lives makes a huge difference to e alth. probably medical cly accounts for 10 to 20% of our overall health. that being said, good access to medical care is important, but it is not the whole story. even our genes are not a as you would imagine. they also interplay with our social environment.
laura: as a soety gets older, should we think about the importance of kindness mh more? dr. harding: my gosh, if you can invest in one thing for ur health, it is probably your relationships. there are lots of udies that show this. the good news is that we don't have to invest in just one thing. you can still see your doctor and be a nice person. laura: dr. kelli harding on some good vice we can all follow, brought to us by rabb research, no less. remember, you can find much more of all of the day's website, including the latest on the fires in the amazon. to see what we are working on at any time, do check us out on twitter. i am laura trevelyan. thank ldu for watching "wor announcer: funding for this presentation is made possible by... the freeman foundation; by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodrf: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: another challenger appears. i sit down with former republican congressm walsh to find out why he's breaking party ranks to run against president trump. then, reclaiming their voices. billionaire sex offender jeffrey epstein is dead, but his victims push on with their fight for justice. plus, while the world watches in desperation as the amazon burns, a look at brazil's president jair bolsonaro, the man many blame for fanning the flames of destruction. >> he s weakened all of the environmental agencies in brazil