tv BBC World News America PBS February 17, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
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industries. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." and it >> this is "bbc world news" reporting from washington. the leaders of iran, afghanistan, pakistan gather for a meeting that could give the west reasons to worry. the italian police seized six trillion dollars worth of fake u.s. treasury bonds. open the file on charlie chaplin. the star of silent films was under surveillance. we will tell you why and what they found. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe.
it was a picture which was enough to induce headaches in the west. mahmoudpresident moment du ahmadinejad ahmad arm and arm with the presidents of afghanistan and pakistan. the three came together for wide ranging discussions. mahmoud ahmadinejad did not missed the opportunity to take a jab at what he called foreign interference, it was peace talks with the taliban that took center stage. >> if there is to be peace in afghanistan, pakistan has to be on the side. the public message is now harmony. behind the scenes, the afghan president fought with his pakistani counterpart. he said that pakistan was not doing enough for reconciliation with the pactaliban.
pakistan insist that they will do whatever possible to fulfill what karzai asks. >> if you are asking for a particular group to the table, it will not be possible for pakistan. if we would have that influence on the taliban, there would not be terrorism and pakistan. >> president mahmoud ahmadinejad clearly relished another opportunity to speak on an international platform. he talked of the west's determination to control and suppress the region and he said that it was foreign interference that caused all of the problems here. he said that pakistan, afghanistan, and iran made a pledge to stand united. he got the photo opportunity he wanted as well, with america's two allies in the region. here in pakistan, there is some
support for iran and its nuclear it endeavors. >> what we are supporting is their right to pursue nuclear strategies which they say are peaceful. >> we are a nuclear power also. we can have nuclear power in the world, they can balance each other. >> at a time when washington is trying to persuade other countries to put more pressure on tehran over its nuclear program, pakistan agreed to buy billions of dollars worth of gas from iran. that and today's show of brotherly affection would have made many in the west very nervous. >> for more on today's meeting and just how nervous it might be making those here in washington, i spoke to a former adviser in the u.s. state department.
when you see that image, you have the leaders of iran, pakistan, and pakistan, what do you think goes through the minds of u.s. officials that you used to work with it? >> iran has in the past hosted the presidents of afghanistan and pakistan but it has usually been in tehran. this is the first time that pakistan has brought tehran on board. it is suggested that with the relationship between the united states and pakistan in its decline, pakistan is looking to iran in order to help them manage their relationship with afghanistan. i think that they are banging together in order to protect their assets. >> this is coming at a crucial time. we have hamid karzai going into this meeting saying that his government was having talks with
the taliban. what does he hope to gain? >> he was stretching the truth. these are still between the u.s. and the taliban. president karzai wanted to send a signal that i am already talking without you and i want you to deliver to the table. there is a lot of tension between pakistan and afghanistan. that is why they need iran in order to manage afghanistan. >> in some ways, it is in part because the u.s. policies are leaving a vacuum. >> exactly. we are losing pakistan and some levels. they are looking to iran for gas deals. they are looking for them to help in afghanistan. >> you mentioned the pakistan- u.s. relations. does the u.s. need a new approach in dealing with this? in an election year, is that
likely to happen? >> i think they do. we have had a troubled relationship with pakistan. letting this collapsed the way it has and applying pressure has not worked and clearly it is providing new openings for both pakistan and iran. that is an unforeseen development that has complicated the situation for the u.s. it is much more important for them to engage pakistan and keep them away from iran and create certain stability going forward. >> there is speculation about what will happen to iran. was there any mention about its nuclear program? >> pakistan has a nuclear program of their own. they are very attuned to iran seeking a program of their on. there is a lot of sensitivity because there is a lot of anti- americanism in pakistan.
if it comes to a war, you will see strong support in pakistan for iran and that will complicate the situation as well. >> we will have to leave it there. thank you. >> thank you. >> yesterday, the united nations called for syria's president to stand down and for the violence there to end. it looks like that message has fallen on deaf ears. several people were killed outside of a moscow. several people were reportedly fired on by snipers. perhaps nowhere are offense in syria being watched more closely than in neighboring lebanon. -- perhaps nowhere are events in syria being watched more closely. >> this is not far from the syrian border and as long as anyone can remember, it is heavily influenced by what happens and it's much more
powerful neighbor. clashes broke out on the streets between pro and anti syrian militias. rival factions exchanged heavy gunfire between neighborhoods only a few meters apart. in a small city where opposing communities live cheek by jowl, regular lebanese army soldiers patrol the narrow line. they are wary of being seen to favor either side and few expect this truce to hold. the violence in syria has spilled out to these streets. people who support the assad regime up against those that back the uprising. lebanese troops are keeping the peace. the tensions here on the dividing line are very real. it is the sunni is who dominate here in tripoli.
the their fighters are the real power on the streets. the religious leaders are in no doubt to blame for the violence. >> the assad regime in syria is sending its agents to destabilize the situation here, to the liberal and create tensions. >> less than a mile away, posters of bashar al-assad look down on the staunchly pro syrian community. leaders of this largely secular minority reject allegations that they are proxy's for a foreign government. >> we are first and foremost lebanese. we are also part of a wider coalition of resistance whose leader is bashar al-assad. we did not start all of this talk. >> , bullet-scarred homes, frightened presidents, the
conflict is mirrored on either side of this small hillside. as the situation across the border deteriorates, the fear is that violence here will inevitably escalate. >> two scientific studies showing how the bird flu virus could be deliberately mutated will not be published. security officials have demanded that van are doing the research could be used by terrorists. -- citicsecurity officials have demanded the ban because the research could be used by terrorists. >> a farm in vietnam and the authorities fight another outbreak of bird flu. the virus has claimed more than 3000 -- 300 lives in a dozen countries. the big worry is if it will
mutate and start a pandemic which raises the really challenging question, how best to tackle it? today in geneva, emergency talks discussed the latest research because scientists have deliberately engineered the virus to see how it can be passed between people. they have halted that work to allow for a public debate. >> those that confirm that viruses could be purposefully misused by a group or purposely created. >> the scientists believe it is vital to investigate how a virus could become more dangerous and they want to release their findings to help other researchers develop a vaccine. the editor of a leading scientific journal said he wanted to publish the details. >> from the standpoint of the advancing knowledge that helps us to defend ourselves against future pandemic, open publishing
has many advantages. >> there is a dispute over how to fight the virus and the fundamental debate about science and censorship. on the one hand, the basic principle of sharing findings. that is how progress is made. on the other hand, details could get into the wrong hands. in 2001, anthrax was used in attacks in the u.s. five people died. several terror groups have explored biological weapons but many experts say that far more dangerous are the natural mutations that the virus can go through. >> we need to be prepared for those spontaneous challenges. we need to do research to make ourselves aware of what it is that could make the virus more dangerous. >> in vietnam, they are vaccinating chickens against the virus. this is a real threat. a young woman died of it last month. there is not yet been agreed international strategy of how science should respond.
>> in other news, american officials say a terrorism suspect has been arrested in washington in a sting operation near the capital. amine el khalifi is a moroccan who planned to detonate what he thought were explosives. no one was in danger. armed robbers have stolen up to 60 ancient artifacts from the greek museum dedicated to the history of the are the olympics. the two men smashed the display cabinets after tying up and gagging a security guard. the greek culture minister has submitted his resignation over the incident. from a heist to an amazing counterfeit, italian police say they have seized a fake u.s. treasury bonds worth six trillion dollars. this is equal to half the entire u.s. national debt. they were hidden in false
compartments of three safety deposit boxes. >> they are calling this the largest ever seizure of its kind, fake u.s. treasury bonds worth at six trillion dollars. enough to endanger the stability of the international credit system. it has emerged that they were found in these trunks in a warehouse in zurich back in january. the italian police helped the swiss colleagues make the find. this was a sophisticated plot that unfolds it across several countries. the authorities began unraveling it more than a year ago. they were investigating a mafia group suspected of loan sharking in the south of the country. fake u.s. bonds were found in a
raid on a suspect's home and the police realized that the gang had the grandest and additions, a six trillion dollars scam. -- the gang had the grandest ambitions, a six trillion dollar stamp. >> there's public anger in russia. vladimir putin is expected to get the top job at his party has been nicknamed the party of crooks and thieves. >> this woman caring for her father in the last few days of his life. he fought for his country in the second world war but even he became the victim of russia's rampant corruption. when vladimir putin promised all veterans a new home of their choice, corrupt officials stole half of the money he had been
given. are around 50,000 pounds. he ended up in a tiny flat with his dying wife and daughter call all living and sleeping in just this one room. he had no choice and no dignity in death. >> no one asks him what he wanted. they just gave him this and everything keeps falling apart. >> his dream had been to spend his last days in one of the traditional wooden houses in his siberian village but that dream was taken from him. after we visited, local officials threatened his family for talking to journalists. he died a few days later. >> the corruption in russia is like fascism. when they are stealing from war veterans, this is fascism. sometimes even fascists treat people like people while these
officials have no boundaries. >> in the nearest big city, and ending corruption has spilled over. people don't just blame officials, many blame moscow and the man at the very top, of ladder putin. there is so much disillusionment with the government that back in december, vladimir putin's united russia party was beaten into second place by the communists in every part of the city. brushup's corruption contagion can affect anyone, rich or poor. this is a wealthy executive but his son was arrested for dealing drugs which seem to have been planted. he has been sitting in prison for a year and a half. his father has been asked to pay a pride of 300,000 pounds to set him free. >> i get the impression that no one cares about people.
they only think about themselves. it never occurred to me that someone would do this to my son. >> all of this corruption makes people feel powerless like these campaigners fighting against an office block being built on their children's playgrounds. they even wrote to vladimir putin but he never wrote back. in this city, the third largest in the russian federation, they are preparing to punish him in the election. >> you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- swimming towards a solution, the sea lions are touting some high- tech equipment for a unique experiment. thousands of passengers have been stranded after the budget airline carrier air australia went bust on friday. the airline could not afford to refuel one of their planes and immediately grounded the rest of their fleet.
>> just three months after the budget airline took off, the honeymoon was over. more than 4000 passengers were left stranded when the company canceled all of their flights. >> no one is here to help us or anything. we tried calling and no one is answering the phones. >> we are certainly disappointed. what can you do? >> the alarm bells rang when the airline cannot afford to refuel one of their planes. the company went straight into voluntary administration. >> my immediate concern today is not only for the working people caught up in this circumstance but also the passengers who were caught up. the demonstrators need to do everything they can to ensure that people with these -- that
people who are passengers with this airline can get back home. >> air australia was pitched as the airline to rival airlines such as qantas. today, qantas is offering to fly to the rescue of its customers. >> i believe tomorrow morning. that is to singapore. i will be there for a couple of days. >> once passengers are dealt with, the and traders will be searching for a buyer. -- the administrators will be searching for a buyer. >> the airline's staff is counting on it. >> and charlie chaplin was one of the silent movies most famous stars known for his signature hat and cane.
newly released documents show that he was also under surveillance by the fbi and mi5. our security correspondent has been looking through the files and brings us the details. ♪ ♪ >> he was the world's first hollywood superstar. in his silent films, charlie chaplin created an iconic character still instantly recognizable around the world. why did mi5 open a file on him? today, that file is running more than a hundred pages, and it is made public for the first time. what is clear from here in the national archives is that it was the americans who were pushing mi5 to investigate charlie chaplin to find evidence he was a communist. >> in the early 50's, anti-
communist fever gripped washington what the mccarthy hearings delving into the left- wing sympathies of hollywood. chaplin was alleged to have given money to, and this causes back in the 1920's. when chaplin arrived in england, the u.s. announced he would be banned from returning. the fbi asked mi5 to find any evidence proving he was a member of the communist party. >> for the british, it is all about is the security risk? has he ever been a security risk? they find no proof that he is a member of the party or prove that he is a security risk. >> there was a further mystery. was he really born in london as he claims? the fbi thought he might be using a false name but mi5 never tracked down a burst of it. in 1975, just two years before he died, chaplin finally received a knighthood. it had been delayed 20 years
because of concerns over the reaction in america. >> is it to be sir charles or sir charlie? >> sir charles. >> despite the accusations, his star never faded. >> now for a scientific experiment which is enlisting some very special sea lions. the mammals are dying out. to explain why, some have been fitted with special tracking equipment. we have been to watch them in action and see what the data shows. >> this is no ordinary sea lion. she is not just a performing seal, she is the first sea lion in the world to be taught voice commands and hand signals so that she can work with scientists. it has taken years of patient
efforts. >> we spent a lot of time with the animals and it is important for the board of trust that we have with them. sometimes we spend more time with them and then we do with their own families. >> they are dying out. no one knows why. to find out, canadian researchers fitted her and three other sea lions with tracking equipment. she seems happy to help. she is taken on her own personal speedboat to british columbia. and the water is more than a mile deep. this is the perfect place to study how she hunts for food. now, it is time to put her to the test. using all of this sophisticated equipment, researchers hope to learn more about what happens when she dies. she finds her way into an enclosure just underneath the platform. pieces of fish are pushed down a
pipe that goes right down to the bottom of the water. then, the sensors measure precisely the amount of energy she uses as she goes down to catch the fish. they have discovered that it is much harder for her to feed close to the surface, a clue perhaps as to why her kind is dying out. >> what we have learned is that to really understand their daily lives, you have to spend 24 hours a day with them to find out what times of the year are critical for them. how they do things. we are getting into the heads of the sea lions. >> for the first time, researchers are looking at the world as from the eyes of seals to see if they can reverse the decline of these magnificent creatures. >> that is all we have time for.
thanks for all of us here at "world news america." good night. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, 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 provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of