tv BBC World News PBS February 17, 2012 12:30am-1:00am PST
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what can we do for you? >> and now, bbc world news. >> welcome, everybody. >> the headlines this hour, the un general assembly condemns the government of violence in syria and calls for president assad to step down. forensic experts continued the grim task of trying to identify the dozens of inmates killed in a prison fire in honduras. and bridging the north and south, a deal over a vote for scottish independence. >> broadcasting to viewers on pbs in america and around the world. this is newsday.
>> the united nations general assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution presented by the arab league that condemns the government of violence in syria and urges president assad to step down. earlier, the un secretary general was almost certain that crimes oagainst you ready were taking place inside of syria appeared our u.n. correspondent reports. >> the voting has been completed. the machine is blocked progress there was strong support for the u.n. resolution condemning violence in syria and calling for political change. the syrian ambassador denounce it as with the called a terrorist opposition taking control of the country.
but with support from friends like north korea, he only looked more isolated. the general assembly does now carry the legal authority of the security council appeared but it is -- but it's 193 members reflect world opinion . >> it is a message that the international community is sending a loud and clear that the struggle of the syrian people is not unheard and is not on responded to. -- not unresponded to. it does not reflect the will and the desire of the international community. >> a majority vote was always expected, and many countries are appalled by scenes like these. this amateur video is said to be from the besieged city of
homs. another amateur recording said to be from the city of dara shows a country slowly descending into civil war. but despite the violence, russia and china again voted no. the russian ambassador said there could not be any solution without involving the syrian leadership. >> to a large extent, it reflected the worrying trend that causes us concern to attempt to isolate the syrian leadership, to reject any contact with it, and to impose an external formula for political settlement. >> with such opposition, the resolution has no more than symbolic value. despite the majority vote in the general assembly, the major powers are as divided as ever. as long as that continues, diplomacy will look elsewhere for solutions.
the violence in syria will probably get worse. >> we will stay with this story. as we heard, china and russia have also voted against an earlier security council resolution. >> china takes an objective, just, and responsible stance on the issue of syria. china is going to maintain communications with the government and various political factions of syria, as well as the arab countries and the league of arab states. china will work with the international community and play a positive and constructive role inappropriately resolving the issues of syria. >> earlier, our correspondent in beijing has why china is going against the majority opinion in the united nations. >> i think there are a couple of
reasons. the first is that beijing remains weary about western intentions towards damascus. it will not support regime change and believes that america's aim is to topple assad to diminish the influence of iran in the region. beijing maintains the policy, although it is becoming increasingly difficult for beijing to do that as it becomes more influential pure white to do that? the last thing that china wants to see is other countries meddling in its own affairs. so it is less about syria and more about china appeared >> -- about china. >> is there any interest in stuhr that would want them to keep the status quo? >> not really, not like russia does with its ports, its oil
exports. i think for china, the biggest worry in the middle east region is iran. iran's supplies china much of its oil. but beijing is increasingly under criticism. we have seen that following this vote in the un council. it's said that it wants to try to reach some sort of peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in syria. i think many people will see that as a stalling tactic and a way to deflect criticism away from china over be telling and voting against this latest u.n. resolution. vetoing and voting against this latest u.n. resolution. >> they hope for a new era of freedom and stability. but amnesty international says that armed militias are still operating and committing torture and murder. gabriel reports from ben zabeng.
>> they have been celebrating for days, head of the official anniversary. this is where it all began, a protest that turned into a role, that eventually toppled one of the most entrenched dictatorships of the last half century. this is the birthplace of the results that ousted mall more gaddafi -- ousted colonel gaddafi. still feels ation in many respects like unfinished business. rival militias squabble over territory. most of these laws brigades of
former rebel fighters answered to no one but their own commanders. so far, they have met with limited success. last spring, at the start of the revolution, dr. altman mejoel traded his stethoscope for a gun. now there is talk of former rebels to return their captured enemy. now they need a psychological revolution. >> the regime and his idea are still in many minds. we have to change its mind. we have to change ideas. ♪ >> when he was not singing and playing his guitar, he also fought on the front lines.
now he says that it is vitally important that those who took up arms lay down their weapons. >> machine guns cannot build. >> strings are stronger than guns? >> yes. question of freedom -- >> they still agree that the freedom that comes with the revolution has changed their lives for the better. park>> a sentence has been sentn for a man who tried to blow up an american airlines airliner two weeks ago to request the nigerian man has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the united states for trying to blow up an aircraft with a bomb hidden in his underpants. he pled guilty to the al qaeda plot. he was badly burned when the
bomb failed to detonate fully. >> this is the 25-year-old nigerian who tried to blow up a passenger jet over detroit on christmas day three years ago. in court today, he was defiant, declaring he wants to avenge the attacks of the united states on muslims. he said that today is a day of victory. the judge told them it was clear he had made enormous motivation to carry out further attacks. he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail. the prosecution says that victory is there's. >> al qaeda has lost once again. america has won once again. we always do. >> he was radicalized in london and spent time training in an al qaeda camp in yemen, declaring war against christians and jews. his thoughts were -- this airplane was the target of the
most serious attempt to attack america since 9/11. he had explosives in his underpants and set them off with a liquid chemical. many passengers had the same fauquier >> we were going to die. >> he was 10 feet away from the bomber. >> i yelled fire! fire! not even in two minutes, there was an explosion and there were big flames that were so high, they were above his head. i yelled again. >> prosecutors say that this is what would have happened if the bomb worked properly. the plot has prompted big changes in airport security. the ball was knocked down because it contains no metal. but now there are full body scanners around the world. the case highlighted serious feelings among america's intelligence community.
his father was told -- his father told the cia in nigeria that his son had been radicalized. as president obama put it, they did not join the dots. it is impossible to spot every potential terrorist groups. >> the public prosecutor in the german state has asked the federal parliament to shift to the nation's president from prosecution appeared he has become embroiled in a scandal. it is alleged that he profited from an improper arrangement for a loan. then he tried to bully a newspaper editor not to run the story. he denies any wrongdoing. at least eight children have been killed after a lowry hit a school bus in the west bank. some of the children were as
young as 5 years old. the palestinian president has declared three days of mourning. in honduras, the painful wait continues for families who had relatives inside a jail that was destroyed by fire on tuesday night. more than 350 people were killed in the blaze. but the cost is still on -- because it is still not clear. -- the cause is still not clear. >> they have been waiting and praying. family members have been waiting outside of the prison. now they just want to hear some news, any news, about their relatives. some of them, like this one, already have. her to breast were killed in the blaze, trapped behind bars as the flames swept through the building. >> high understand there were 900 inmates inside a building that was only designed for 300 or 400 people. it is illogical. they are human beings. even though they made mistakes,
they are human beings and they have the right to live. >> as the hours passed, the bodies continue to appear. this is the grim scene that has been unfolding for hours. body bags after body bags loaded onto trucks to be taken to the morgue. yet, just a few hundred meters outside of the board of prison, the loved ones of the prisoners waiting desperately for more news. there is still no clear explanation of what happened. different government officials have given different versions of how the blaze started. some claim there was a fight between rival gangs. others still say that it may have been an electrical fault. either way, almost all government officials agree that the prison system needs reform. >> modernize the entire system in honduras. that is one thing that it is
important to do. the government is aware of it. i hope we will start doing it because we have to guarantee the security of the inmates. >> the human rights groups say that the honduran government have been here before. as recently as 2004, there was a prison fire in which 100 inmates died and the then government promised there would never be repaid. the terrific fire, which has put this small rural community under the global spotlight, suggests that those lessons still have not been learned. >> you are watching news day on the bbc in london president sarkozy's hits the campaign trail. bridging the north-south divide in the united kingdom. >> let's have a look at some of the stories that are making
headlines around the world. the financial times is looking at the strict assets that they will have to observe if raese receives a bailout. the international tribune wrote that -- young people say that the situation has become harder after the london riots because they say that employers do not trust them. the french president and the british prime minister say they are behind them. the leaders will agree on plans for a new generation of fighter planes and cooperation on nuclear power. the irish times says that anti- privacy policies, twitter is the latest company to reduce its methods after admitting to uploading an entire address book without permission.
>> these are the headlines. the u.s. general assembly has condemned a government of violence in syria and has asked president assad to stand down. >> a senior member of jordan's royal family has refused to give any assurances about the trial involving the radical muslim cleric who was released from a british prison this week after the european board of human rights blocked his deportation. he could not be sent to jordan to be tried for terrorism charges because the evidence against him might have been obtained by torture >> he arrived back at his london home after being released from prison. he arrived late monday night and has not reemerged. although, under his bail conditions, he is allowed out
for two hours a day. meanwhile, thousands of miles away, in jordan, the diplomatic moves have been continuing. a u.k. ministerial delegation has been working hard to try to get assurances that evidence obtained by torture and will not be used against him if he is sent back there. but as the british team boarded an airplane back to london, one of the senior members of jordan's royal family repeatedly refused to give assurances about the torture issue when he was interviewed by the bbc. >> this man committed a crime, which is presumably why he is being held in england. i do not know what kind of court needs to be offered to the europeans? does he have to have a juvenile court? that is rich coming from a country believing in rendition agreements. >> it would still be a protracted process to get him on
an airplane. >> even if they do reach agreement with jordan, jordan would have to change its laws. and then any -- >> this is the street where he lives. but because of a legal ban, we cannot disclose the location. his family moved here recently just before he was released. his lawyers are keen to protect the privacy of his wife and children. >> the british prime minister is fighting hard to keep the united kingdom together. david cameron has appeared -- appeal to the scottish people to vote against independence by offering more powers of the solution to edinburgh -- powers of devolution to edinburgh.
>> over the fourth bridge in a bbc interview, he then the possibility of devolving more power to the scottish government if the scottish public projects independence first. >> is there more that we can do to prove the settlement? are there other powers that can be developed? how can we make the united kingdom work better? >> the prime minister and his party scottish leader says that no opinion poll suggested that more dilution is more popular than independents or leaving things the way they are. >> scotland is a wealthy country. anyone who thinks otherwise are wrong. >> in an era, anti-capitalist
protested against the prime minister's visit. david cameron sought to add a bit of passion of his own to the debate. >> i believe in the united kingdom. i am not a unionist, head, heart, and sold. >> then the prime minister called to see them and wants to take over his responsibilities in scotland, the nationalist senator alex salmon. >> what could be more frustrating than for someone to say that they will offer scott was something else and then not said what it is? -- offer scotland something else and then not say what it is? >> yes or no to independence?
eric semin is key on two questions. -- eric semin is key onto questions. it is hard for david cameron to campaign in scotland. he is not only of popular amongst anti-campus protesters, but his party is unpopular with voters. aly one of the 59 mp's elected in scotland. >> i think he was quite careful. he did not expect to leave the campaign. the truth is that the conservatives and the democrats will have to come together in a joint campaign if that campaign will be an effective issue. >> tonight, the pro-union party will be wondering if a promise of more devolved power later will be attractive enough to win out over independence. >> the head of news corp. rupert
murdoch has arrived in london to take charge of the latest crisis involving his newspaper. he addressed -- he is expected to address his staff later this friday. arrests followed the closure of britain's biggest selling newspaper, former "news of a world." nicolas sarkozy may not be the favorite to win the french presidential election, but he seems to not have lost his taste for campaigning. he lost his reelection campaign on thursday. reforms have been put consistently in the league and he has also been on the campaign trail. >> his first official day on the campaign trail for an election that he is in danger of losing.
he did not quite take tea with the voters, but he did visit a tea shop, joking that he should drink more of it. then there was the unlv party rally -- the u.n.p party rally. he promised at a referendum on state unemployment insurance and on immigration. it seems to have gone down well here at least. also on the stump was his main rival. he was ahead in the polls. >> to me, my project is youth. we know the situation they face, a crisis. it is painful. it is hard. how will we cope, by bringing about industrial recovery, by being productive. >> mr. sarkozy will also have to
fight off a challenge from the leader of the national son and from a number of other candidates. it will be a campaign dominated by the economy with the company's unemployment rate at nearly 10%. he has many people to convince that he deserves a second term. >> you have been watching newsday from the bbc. >> a brief reminder of our main newspaper by an overwhelming majority, the u.n. general assembly has voted in favor of a resolution condemning violence by the syrian government. the non-binding resolution also calls president assad to relinquish power. that is it from us in london and singapore. enjoy a long weekend. i will be back in a couple of
minutes with the latest news headlines. >> make sense of international news @ bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vt., and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in. working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored