tv BBC World News America PBS September 17, 2019 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
woman: ts is "bbc world news america." is made possible by... the freeman foundation; judy and peter blum-kovlefoundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs; and by contributions to this pbstation from viewers like you. thank you. laura: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan.
too close to call in the israeli election. as results come in, can benjamin netanyahu hold onto power? one month inside afghanistan' o deadly cycviolence. tonight, a bbc special reportok los at the ongoing human cost of the conflict after 18 years of war. >> for many afghans this feels like a forever war. oen though this past month violence, there has been far more talk of peace, afghans wonder and worry whether the months to come will be exactly the same. ♪: laurlus, from the briefings, room to the ballroom, sean spicer shows off his on "dancing with the stars." laura: for those watching on pbs and around the globe, welcome to
"world news america." it is déjà vu in israel tonight, where the election is once again to close to call. benjamin netanyahu is fighting for political survival. exit polls have been released showg things neck and neck between netanyahu's likud party and blue and white led by benny gantz. jeremy bowen reports. jeremy: israeli tv exit polls showed no decisive victory for any side. the votes will be counted through the night, but he could take weeks of coalition horsetrading before the next government and prime minister emged. the election has been a referendum on benjamin netanyahu's last 10 years in office. he is israel's longest-serving primminister. his main rival is retired general benny gantz from the bl and white party.
some of his supporters fear he not toitically naïve ess harder on corruption charges faced by mr. netanyahu, which the prime minister denies. in opposition strongholds in tel aviv, queues of voters were waiting and hoping to end mr. netanyahu's political career. whats wrong with netanyahu? >> everything. what is not wrong? he is corrupted, he hates everyone, he's too much right-wing. remy: but m netanyahu has reliable support from ultrareligious israelis who their own political parties. just before the vote, they rallied in jerusalem. in exchange for privileges from their community, they have supported mr. netanyahu's emiership. >> why am i going to vote?
that is what my rabbis told me to do. jeremy: who would you like as the next prime minister? >> gss netanyahu. that is what the rabbis say. jeremy: the power of the ultrareligious has become one of isive issues. d sumr. netanyahu was as a formidable campaigner, even starring in his own commercials. in this one, he puts hikers back on the right track, while losers follow untrustworthy guys named after his opponents. israelis have been offered more personal insults than policy debate. mr. netanyahu's message was that s the ly one with his powerful friends to protect israelis from iran and the palestinians. in a close race, he upped the an te by promising to annex the unoccupied jordan valley. a third of the land that the palestinians want for este.
it was an extravagant gambit to keep the vote of the israeli right. in the valley, palestinis and israelis who settle here since it was captured in the 1967 war. a palestinian farmer says he was scared by the prime minister's promise of annexation. >> whe is the piece that he is talking about? netanyahu kumkhum wants to take our land -- netanyahu, he wants to take our land. jeremy: annexation will be off the agenda if mr. netanyahu cannot form a government after all the votes are counted. this could be the politician the primein mter fears most when the negotiations start. polls suggest his party, called israel our home, has made significant gains. this man, avigdor lieberman, may
become the kingmaker after the election. his party might control the balance of power when it comes orming the next governing coalition. one important factor, though, he used to be a major ally of prime netanyahu, andin now their opponents, even enemies. after the exit polls, mr. lieberman's supporters were the only once celebrating. if the results bk that up -- cclls aren'always aurate -- the netanyahu era in israeli politics is ending. jeremy bowen, bbc news, tel aviv. laura: earlier i spoke to the former white house coordinator for the middle east in the obama administration who is now president of the international crisis group. is this election essentially a referendum on the political future of himself--benjami -- future of beamin netanyahu himself? >> to a large extent yes. he has so dominated israelilo politics for s.
this is to a large extent people expressing views on him and whether they want to seebeim continue trime minister. there are other issues, clrly, but he has been such a dominant presence that it is hard not to see whatever theutcome is. laura: what do you make of the fact that on again it seems to be an incredibly close election? >> we knew going in that it would be a close election and we isn't know the final results, but the closenes not a surp tse. evugh people have been saying that netanyahu may lose the election, it will be a surprise if he does because thed israelisnd the rest of the world is so accustomed to seeing him in that position that that would be a surprise if the exit polls are confirmed. laura: how closelye ill the whuse be watching the results of this election, as itl prepares to unveil the political part of its middleast peace plan? rob: it is clear that president trump banked for a long time on prime minister netanyahu stayi in office. they had a close relationship.
the timing of when tuld unveil the plan was determined to a large extent the electoral cycle and what netanyahu felt would be beneficial. if they conclude he will not be prime mister, they have to think through what they do. t to the iss plan, -- do they issued the plan, do they change the plan? they will have to be reconsidering. this c last a long time. whether they do what they said they would, put out their plan soon after the elections, is anyone's guess. they have waited befd they may wait again. laura: on another topic in the middle east, the white house has said today it has identified the exact location from which the mieiles were fired towards ss saudi oil facility, and it is southern iran. what do you make of that? rob: one has to take with some skepticism what the white house says. it has not always shown great credibility on these issues. but it is poible. democrats and others who have
hed the briefing said they found them credible. it is certainly something that is plausible at this point, that the attack came from iran. it would show how little the iranians feel they have to lose. they feel the pressure they are under is such that they need to show that they can resnd. they may have overreached in this case. it will be interesting to see what the white house and sauth arabia decid are going to do if this is the ultimate conclusion and we may be in for a very rough patch in th o regithe world. laur thank you so much for the joining us. rob: thank you. laura: an erage of 74 people were killed every day in afghanistan during the month of ntgust. the violence is ress, and today there were t more suicide blasts, which the taliban claimed responsibility for. this comes as peace talks between militants anu.s. broke down last week. the bbc has taken a snapshot of the human cost of otis 18-year
war, tracking every conflict-related death last month. the bbc' correspondent lyse doucet has this special report. lyse: not a day without violence. not a day without lo. one montin afghanistan. lyse: the darkest day of all. a wedding hall, 92 dead. the suicide bomber of islamic state. guthe worst attack of , theta deadliest this year. it was meant to be the bestgh of his life. 20 minutes after the bridegroom nced with joy, le changed
lyse: a taliban truck bomb s.killed them and 12 other oneon mth in decades ofs war even 7-year-old granny has gun. three of her sons and thre grandsons were shot dead rightho in front of hee by islamic state fighters. 40 grandchdren under her car lyse: another son died in war decades ago. a fifth injured in battle.
an lyse: across afghtan, month after month, life goes on even as more lives are taken, more milies shattered. for many afghans, this feels like a forever war even though the past month of violence, there has been far more talk of peace, woghans er and worry whether the months to come will be exactly the same. fighting intensifies, and so, too, the pain, in what is now the world's deliest conflict. lyse doucet, bbc news, in afghanistan. laura: for more on the violence which continues to plague afghanistan, i spoke with
retired general jack keane, who formally serveas the vice chief of staff and is now chairman of the institute for the study of war. we saw in at report the human cost of the 18-year-long more in -- war in afghanistan. t asyou think it would l -- this long? gen. keane: absolutely not. we deposed the taliban in a matter of weeks after 9/11. i was the first senior general to fly in there after they were deposed. o i met wi special operations guys, some cia, special ops soldiers. that went relatively easy. we offered the taliban the opportunity to give osama bin nd we to us and al qaeda would not bother him -- present bush's emissary the taliban, because they are so connected to the al qaeda, refused that, even know they knew it would mean the potential loss of theiregime and thousands of fighters.
but listen, by their first week in december, as a four-star in ntagon, was told by th chairman of the joint chiefs toat the senior leadership has made the decisioo toar in iraq. this was the firce week in er, less than 90 days after 9/11. th is how quickly that decision was made. orders were given to general franks at central command. satellites began to shift to iraq. cia began to sft. we put a curb on the resources. we never got the resource situation right, ever. laura: how much of a setback you think it is now, the fact that these peace talks have apparently broken down? n. keane: i think that i absolutely a very good thing. i think the negotiations with the taliban were done on a very false premis iothe major condthe taliban had from the outset of the talks -- i've spoken to zalmay
khalilzad twice on this te-on-one. i read portions tentative agreement that was not nalized. the major issue in the agreement was from the beginning, they insisted on a complete u.s. withdrawal of trps by the end of 2020, or they wouldn't discuss anything. s weuld've got up from the table at that point, but we didn't, and we negotiated away just about everything. they are trying to tell us, the taliban is trying to tell us, that if you leave entirely, we uarantee that the ice i safe -- isis safe havens in afghanistan will be destroyed. laura: would you ever take the word of the taliban as a military man k gene: absolutely not. the liban -- just this week we have evidence that they have been giving resources and explosives, major article about it this week, to the al qaeda.
just three weeks ago, the spokesperson for the taliban denied that the al qaeda did the 9/11 attack when the al qaeda have claimed that attack as their epic event in the hiory of radical islam. laura: do you see u.s. troops or thein afghanistan foreseeable future, general keane? gen. keane: i do. sten, i have had this discussion with our president. i said, radical islam is ant worldwide move 30 to 40 countries. we are only interested in a select aspect of that. in some countries we wve them intelligence if they are an ally. in others, very limitedly, some resources to help em train. but in six countries where the i aspirati kill americans, then we are going to be directly involved. where is that? syria is one place where we are maintainina presence. we go in and outf yemen d because of al qaeda, in t of libya because of isis, in and
out of somalia, also because of al qaeda. all have aspirations to come to america. and we still have covertpa operations intstan to keep our foot on the throat of the al qaeda leadership. we do that routinely. it was from one of those bases that wkilled osama bin laden. in afghanistan we have to worry about the al qaeda and isis d we needve to modest presence. laura: general jack keane, thank you so much for joining us. gen. keane: ok, you're welcome. laura: the u.s. secretary of state has reased a statement night calling out the taliban for escalating violence in afghanistan. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's mprogram, the brexit battes i the supreme court. now they will deciboris johnson was acting within the law to suspend parliament. laura: swimming english channel
is not only an incredible feat, but a cancer survivor has become the first person to swinoit four timetop. sarah thomas of colorado completed the today.enge earlier more on this incredible story. reporter: it was in the early hours of sunday morning that sarah thomas set off on her aquatic ossey. to swim the channel once is tough enough. four times in a, rowtil now unheard of. today after 54 hours and 10 mites, she staggered out of the water finally back on dry la. exhausted and in need of chocolate, she described the moment that she crawled ashore. >> there was a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish you well. it was really nice of them but i feel mostly stund right now.
i can't believe that we did it. reporter: her achievement all the moreiv remarkable, that she ha treatment for breast cancer just last year. how is sheee fling? >> i'm really tired, and i'm losing my voice from all the saltwater. myte crew helping me out and helping me stay strong. ti knew what to expect fr currents and the weather and the cold. i was prepared for the amount of time i was going to in water. reporter: in thereporter: -- and that was a lg time. as t crow flies, the totally covered journey was 84 miles. push golf course after strong tides ands, currehe ended up swimming more than 130. sarah tmas, an experienced in durance athlete, says she used swimming to cope wi her cancer treatment for the she dedicatedac her
evement to other survivors. laura: the uk's supreme court is now taking centertage in the brexit drama. the question it is being asked to rule on is whether boris johnson behave lawfuy when he sprinted parliament longer than usual. reporterwhere does power lie in this troubled kingdom? >> how could you be stupid? he tells lie after lie after lie. reporter: with the brexit rift in noisy evidence outside the c u.k. suprert today, inside the 11 most senior judges in the land sat in courtroom number one to consider the question and make it clear that te y were not th judge the merits of brexit. >> the determination of this legal issue will not determine when and how the united kingdom
leaves the europeaunion. n'porter: a month after becoming pm, was boris joh's request to the queen that parliament be suspended for five weeks a ruse to silence mps opp-ded to a nol brexit? scottish judges did think it's stymied the house of commons, ruling it unlawful. the high court of wales disagreed, arguing it was a matter for politicians, no judges. representing a remain campaigner against the government, lord pannick told the justices that boris johnson acted unlawfully. se no prime minister has a his powers in the matter which we allege in a 50 years. last reporter: without a written constition, the relationship between the three pillars of u.k. governance is always evolving.am you have partary power, based over there, then you have the government's power focused on 10 downing street behind the walls of whitehall. and en you have the power of
the courts, ultimately resting here at the supreme court. what we are seeing this week is the balance of power being. test the geography of westminster reveals the triangle of power at the heart of the state. today lord pannick focused o the relationship between mps in parliament and the government headed by the pm in downingsc street, bing ministers as the junior partner. he also argued that the courts were entitled to rule on thega ty of number 10 suspending or proroguing parliament. >> the prime minisr's motive was to silence parliament for that period, because he sees parliament as an obstacle. porter: lord pannick quoted from this bbc interview to suggest boris johnson's real purpose was achieving brexit by halloween. prime min. johnson: the best way to do that is if our frids and partners over the channel don't think at brexit can be somehow blocked by parliament.
reporter: this afternoon mr. johnson's lawyer in court had his turn to make the arguments. >> the prime minister will take all necessary steps to comply d with alaration made by the court. reporter: he' undertaking from boris johnson, but he also referred tons westr's balance of power, suggesting the supreme court would be meddling in what were political matters if they ruled against the government. one judge wanted to know might the prime minister suspend government a second time. >> i'm not in a position to comment on that at all, mayor. -- my lord. >> it would be helpful to have the undertaking given in writing, perhaps. >> i intend for that to be done, my lord. reporter: judges like to have things written down, especiallyh feelings are running high and they are attempting to
unpick the complex relationship between legitimate power and political ambition. bbc news, the supreme court. laura: now for little salsa. last night the formewhite house press secretary sean spicer made his debut on w "dancingh the stars," decked out in a rather lurid limegreen shirt. best known for his days behind the briefing room podium, spicer showed a very different side on the nonce floor. bueveryone was impressed. he only scored 12 out of 30, and one judge compared hisoves to being attacked by a swarm of wasps. ndremember, you can ore of all the day's news on our website. plus, to see what we are working on at any time, check us out on twitter. i am laura trevelyan. thank you for watching "bbc world news america." announcer: funding for this presentation is made possible by... the freeman foundation; by judy and peter blum-kovler 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: a return to the mueller report. former trump campaign manager corey lewandowski appears before congress to answer for his actis investigated by the special counsel. then, bibi and the ballot. on the ground in israel, asni o ime mister benjamin netanyahu attemptscling to power in today's historicti l-over el. plus, guns, red fls, and the lone star state. thtouching down in texas a national debate over firearms heats up. >> wt if he would have came running up at me and i didn't have a weapon on me at the time? what would i have done? you know, you start thinking of