tv BBC World News PBS January 31, 2012 12:30am-1:00am PST
the world's top diplomats converge on new york. the surge for a resolution of the syrian crisis moves to a new phase. on the ground, some are describing the hassles between the government forces and the free syrian army as urban warfare. hello, welcome to "gmt." i'm george alleghia with news and opinion. in the program, the focus is on growth, but tell that to the greeks suffering the toughest cuts in a generation. shark in canada as members of an immigrant afghan family are jailed for killing a female
resident for a so-called honor killing. it promises to be a significant week at the u.n. security council and its search for a resolution on the crisis. the head of the arab league is in new york where he'll be joined bid foreign ministers in the u.s., britain, and france. the presence in new york could put new pressure on russia and china who have been reluctant to sign up for measures against damascus. on the ground and suburb, there's talk of urban warfare. the uprising, it seems, is becoming increasingly militarized. this report from london. >> one of the eastern suburbs of lebanon, saqba, still being bombarded day after troops were brought in backed by tanks to bring it under control. this is going on on the edge of temperature capital, so close to the city that bashar al assad may be able to hear the explosions from his presidential
pal lace. the escalation has continued in places like hom where the government has been trying for months to contain the defiance. another group of diverting soldiers announced they're joining the struggle against the regime. activists say the more the government sends the army to action against residential areas, the more soldiers are splitting off to join the rebel free syrian army. months of protests have now turned to an armed insurgency. not that the protests themselves have gone way. back to the damascus suburb, they were back on the street on sunday shouting for president assad to go. increasingly, free syrian army elements are also turning out to protect them. the upsurge of lie vooi lens prompted the arab league to order the observers off of the case. the crackdown is going ahead with no witnesses on the ground. the focus is firmly on new york
where the security council will be addressed by the head of the arab league on tuesday. he'll be trying to persuade the russians and others to drop their opposition to the arab peace plan. president assad was told to hand over power now. the arabs are confident that the chinese and russians will continue to shield them. bbc news, beirut. plenty more detail on the syrian crisis. go to our website and you'll find further analysis from jim muir who examines the ongoing defiance by the rebel forces against the syrian regime. go to bbc.com/news. now let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world today. is there too much focus on aus austerity and not enough on growth? that's the question the eu leaders will discuss when they meet in brussels to talk about
growth of job creation. the new pact discussing discipline will be on the agenda. latest from brussels live to our europe correspondent, chris morris. over to you. >> thanks, george, good afternoon. the official agenda like this is overshadowed by a rau of one kind or another. but this time they'll have to spend quite a bit of time talking about growth and job creations as it's such a huge issue across europe. more than 23 million unemployed in the eu. more than 5 million and rising in spain alone. and if you can't reverse that trend, there is very little hope that the eurozone crisis will start to ease on an old industrial site in northern france, a new kind of business, made nobl part by eu directives on recycling. hundreds of jobs created, some of them workers need to be
employed in a huge factory. it's an example of growth potential, one of it was ways out of europe's economic crisis in a region where unemployment remains stubbornly high. >> people working here are not too wored about their future. it's the possibility of growth or company is dealing with. >> we are building here new cycle of life of materials. so we are building the company of the future in a way. >> just down the road, a bit of a stitch up for european flags. many business leaders say economic reform is essential in the eu. it's about re-creating confidence and certainty. and then jobs will come. >> we do a lot, of course, we create jobs in the new conception of things. so a place like this one, for instance, we try to train
people. >> in brussels, there may be an agreement on the new fiscal treaty which britain refused to join. the tough budget rules are designed to ensure that the debt crisis can't happen again in the future. without the european parliament, there are those who question the new treaty's work. strict limits on spending, they, may hamper prospects for growth. >> we don't believe this is the solution. this is a simple tool for internal policy reads in germany and in france. you will not restore this if you don't have growth. but you cannot wait for years of austerity to get growth. >> well, there are still some aspects of that fiscal treaty which need to be finalized. discussions will go on this afternoon. but the problem is that even if they come up with a final draft and if it's signed next week, these are long-term solutions. the markets and others are looking for much more short-term
certainty. >> of course, chris, the elephant in the room if you like is greece. people there might sympathize with that -- where you have with the socialist party where, you know, they say it's all about having austerity. but what about the growth? >> absolutely. greece isn't officially on the agenda, but yet we might get news of the deal with the banks that will write off a large chunk of greek debt. there could be a rau between greece and germany here after germans suggested that greece should tax in spending, some kind of eu budget commissioner. greece always seems to hog the headlines in these summits. this one may be no different. the crisis is not over. it's not just about greece, george, portugal is another country starting to cause serious concern in the back corridors, countries like greece has had one big international
financial bailout. if current trends continue, it's hard to see how it won't avoid asking for another one as well. >> there's a bit of patching up to be done, isn't there? if you think of the last sunday in december, though britain exercising the veto, there's a bit of acrimony there? >> there was. and david cameron, the british prime minister came in to bat again in davos and he attacked them and said you're not doing enough. no one is in the mood to have a big rau. if you get in a room with nicolas sarkozy, sometimes tempers are raised. nothing can be taken for granted. >> thank you very much. thank you. the meeting in brussels will focus on the financial crisis in greece. it's not officially on the agenda, a deal to secure a new bailout for the country remains elusive. and a german idea that chris is talking about of the greek
budget mind you hasn't gone well at all in athens. joining us now is mark lowen. far be it for me to comment, but having an overlord, if you like, is a bit like a takeover bid. >> very badly indeed. it was a swift and negative reaction from the finance minister and the government spokesman. they called it the loss of financial sovereignty and greece's budget must remain its own responsibility. this country is already surviving on multibillion dollar bailouts from the european union and imf which have imposed strict conditions, public sector cut, tax rises. any more seizing of control, financial controls in brussels will go down badly. because austerity cuts are already in play here so deeply unpopular. if there were this idea of this
german government to post some sort of external commissioner, i'm sure that would fan the flames of social unrest here. it must be said, though, that behind all of this is the wide-spread concern that greece is still not getting the fiscal house in order. the deficit is above target. privatizations are very slow here to try to raise money. so the german idea, i think, reveals a wider sense of exasperation at the slow pace of reform here. >> the fact of the matter is, though, that greece needs more money. in fact, there's a sort of deadline looming, isn't there? >> a tight deadline. mid march. greece has to pay 14.5 million euros in bond redemption. the country doesn't have. it needs the next of the bailout, the euros agreed to by the eu in october of last year. the condition of getting that payout was this deal with the private bond holders that would wipe out the 100 billion euros
of the greek debt. negotiations have been going on for days and days between the private banks and the greek government. it seems that a deal is very close indeed. it may be even announced at brussels later today. it's essential for avoiding a greek default in mid march, something that could 24r0e the economy back in serious crisis. >> thank you for that update. for more on the euro summit, just hit to our website. now, as europe's leaders gather yet again in brussels and 15 summits, the eurozone crisis is not abated. we assess the long grinding and grueling marathon to hang on to a european dream. government have attacked a police station in the nigerian city of karna for the second consecutive day. armed men on motorbikes sustained fire with police for 20 minutes. it's been repeatedly targeted by
an islamic group. the trouble impoepzed by the former ambassador to the united states saying it's been lifted, the ban is enforced. he sent a memo to the senior american officials expressing fear they might try to overthrow the government in baghdad. redoubling the efforts to restrict the toxic cadmim from poisoning waters downstream. it's not yet known how the element got to the river. immigrants are found guilty of murdering their three teenage daughters. the bodies of another woman were found in a car submerged in a canal. this report from toronto.
for ten week, the three accused walked to and from this courtroom in kingston, ontario. each found guilty of four counts of first degree murder in the deaths of mr. shafir's three teenage daughters and his first wife. after the jury delivered its verdict, the judge directly addressed the shafir's saying it's a sick and twisted notion of honor has no place in a civilized society. the victims' bodies were found in a car submerged in the canal waters of kingston in 2009. the defense acknowledged that mr. shafir's vehicle had hit the car the vi victims were in push it into the water but it had been a terrible accident. the prosecution set about destroying the credibility of that account noting that he never reported the drownings. during the trial, the court heard how he had become
increasingly upset with his daughters for having secret relationships with boys, wearing revealing clothe, and defying his authority. the prosecution relied on wiretap recordings where he was heard to referring to his dead daughters as whores. the prosecution instead called them strong vivacious women who died needlessly. lee carter, bbc news, toronto. still to come on "gmt." civil rights here, the help takes top honors. the screen actors' guild awards as the momentum builds for the oscars next month. >> soldiers who took part in a mutiny in new guinea last week handed over their weapons after they were promised amnesty. 20 soldiers surrendered the automatic rifles in a ceremony
outside of court mosby. a colonel led to mutiny and is facing charges. >> >> castro has made it clear that it's unlikely to be any rapid transition to democracy in cuba. he defended the country's one-party political system saying the other political parties will be the beginning of the end of the social system established by the 1959 revolution. officials in italy say it could take up to ten months to remove the wreck of the cruiseliner costa concordia which ran aground off of the coast of tuscany earlier this month. the head of recovery operations said it would be weeks before a salvage contract would be awarded because fuel would have to be pumped out of the ship's tanks. this is "gmt" from bbc world news. the headlines -- syria's government forces say they've taken back control of the opposition stronghold on the
outskirts of the capital. smart enabled growth. the latest proposal to fix the eurozone crisis as it dominates another eu summit. time now for the business news with aaron. talking about taxes? >> yeah, france is sort of going it alone, isn't it, with the transaction tax. originally the idea was for everyone to fall in line. he decided to go ahead. >> it's a watered down tax. this is nicolas sarkozy saying he wants france to set an example. he went on to say there's no reason why those who played a part in bringing about the financial crisis shouldn't be responsible for restoring the finances. so, he's announced this plan for a new tax on financial share trading very similar to what we have here in the uk. we've had it for sometime. it would be the tax on the trading of financial share, not bonds. not the full-scale tax that causes a lot of controversy like
the turban tax. france would be a levy of 0.1%. it would raise $1.3 billion. they're going to increase sales tax, free up the labor market in an attempt to end the controversial 35-hour working week. listen to what the president had to say. >> we hope it will raise $1 billion a year for the government budget and help to reduce the deficit. as soon as europe adopts such a tax, we will join that group. what we want is to provoke a shock and set an example. >> a shock. >> a shock. >> shock and awe. >> that's the line i've been using. that's what he wants. he has to get it through. he wants to rush it through, because remind everybody, presidential elections in april. so he wants to get this in and kick in sometime in august. >> let's switch to iran. because iran now saying they may do something about their exports to certain countries. was it last week that europe said, well, it wasn't going to
take anymore oil after july. >> iranian oil announced that iran will ban imports to some -- some european countries. >> you know which one s? >> that hasn't been defined yet. but look, again, tid for the. the european union said it will ban all iran imports, basically. it gets 20% of oil to europe. if europe isn't looking -- we've got customers in asia lining up to take it. some experts saying iran will have trouble finding new buyers in asia. listen to this. >> they're already buying it. so the idea that they're suddenly going to buy an awful lot more. and we're talking about in particular is china. they've already said or they haven't made any noises otherwise, that they're going
to, you know, embargo it. japan? how, russia is still supporting them. and indeed, india that takes a lot of oil from them said they don't intend to follow the ban at all because they rely on the oil. >> let me just add that even the experts say it might be a political maneuvering by iran, it will be very costly for them. 70% of all iran's exports are oil. if they have 20% of that, they can't find customers to buy it, it would hit them in the pocket. >> thanks very much. thank you. in the u.s., nine people have been killed in a major road crash in florida. five cars and six large lories were involved which left 18 people injured. it's believed to have happened after smoke from a forest fire reduced visibility. >> it could only be horrific. a true picture hoff the wreckage emerged. five cars and six lories with
heavy loads were involved in the collision. the interstate 75 runs the entire length of florida. the pileup happens just south of gainesville and in poor visibility. >> we had crashes that actually occurred on both the north and the southbound side of the interstate. in that area, the road dips down. it's a low area. we had a mixture of fog and smoke that combined kind of laid into that area. made visibility a factor. and we had a series of crashes that occurred both northbound and southbound. >> on impact, some cars burst into flames making the task harder for rescue workers. survivor, some of whom are still recovering in hospital, could be heard screaming for help. when the ambulances arrived. it now falls to the authorities to determine the initial cause of the crash. by scouring the skeleton-like metal remains and by talking to those who miraculously survived this. thomas lamont, bbc news.
now, the elephant, the national symbol of thailand, is the coming under increasing jeopardy in that country. there's a new taste for eating elephant meat. everything from trunks to sex organs which led wild life experts to fear they could become extinct. some upsetting images. >> in thailand, the elephant is supposed to be sacred. they're a cultural icon and a huge tourist attraction. but even so, their lives are said to be under severe threat. new asian wealth has made elephant tusks even more sought after, a pair sells for tens of thousands of dollars. the animals most at risk are the dwindling herds of wild elephants. here locals pay their respects to one victim of the poachers. more animals are dying to feed the new appetite for elephant
meat, in particular for their sex organs thought to be an aphrodisiac. >> the reports of consumption of elephant meat as well as sex organs is only a by-product of elephant slaughter which is only prompted by the human elephant conflicts on the ivory trade. >> environmentalists worry this is the face of the revered elephant, what's hope for other endangered species. 100 years ago, huge herds of wild elephants roamed thailand. the price of asian success may be these beautiful animals disappear from the wild all together. i'm emily buchanon, bbc news. >> disturbing stuff. now, the civil rights era drama, "the help" has taken the top honor at the screen actors guild awards. it's named the best ensemble. the awards are seen as an indicator of who will win at the
oscars which take place, of course, next month. another red carpet, another chance for the stars to show off their jewels and their gowns and their smiles. the screen actors guild awards where actors lavish praise on each other. it is another dress rehearsal, but this is the only major awards ceremony where every nominee is famous. the winners are chosen by the actors' union and the show is a big celebration of movies and television. with the star-studded audience in their seats, a show of surprises. one film dominated the night, "the help," the story of black maids until urban america. the cast won the award for best ensemble. >> it was really a privilege to work on a film that gave a voice to so many women who made it possible for me to be standing
here tonight. >> what is there but a dream? you can't trade in your dream for another dream. i am so proud to be an actor. >> hollywood's newest star is the french comedian. he beat george clooney to take the award for best actor in his role, "the artist." [ speaking french ] >> the veteran canadian actor christopher plummer won another award for "beginners." he was plays a gay man who reveals his sexuality after his wife's death. >> actors are gregarious and wacky, are they not? i love them dearly. when they honor you, it's like being lit by the holy grail. thank you, thank you, thank you. >> in the television categories, there was success for "board walk empire," "modern family" but the british winner wasn't in the house.
>> you've been showing her all of the foolishness. she believes glendale isn't good enough. that i'm not good enough. >> kate winslet couldn't be here this evening, so i'm happy to accept the actor on her behalf. >> alec baldwin won again for there "30 rock." but he wasn't in the mood to take it too seriously. >> oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. >> next, it's the oscars. and that is serious business. there are four more weeks of schmoozing and campaigning to go before hollywood's biggest night. bbc news, los angeles. >> well, they were all there, weren't they? that's all for the moment. stay with us here on bbc world news. there is, of course, plenty more to come.