tv BBC World News WHUT January 31, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EST
>> this is "bbc world news." funding for this presentation is 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 help provide capital for key, strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> talks on the syrian crisis
gets underway in new york. russia fears a libya-style intervention. arab league delegates want a resolution calling for a transfer of power in damascus. >> it is more urgent than ever to put an end to this bloodshed and violence, to start a credible political solution. >> hello, and welcome to "gmt." i'm george alagiah with a world of news and opinion. also -- mitt romney and head in the polls as florida's republicans choose a presidential candidate. but newt gingrich says win or lose, he will fight on. dozens left dead across eastern europe as temperatures plummet well below zero. the elderly and homeless the
most at risk. it is midday here in london, 8:00 p.m. in hong kong and early morning in new york where negotiants are on the way -- behind-the-scenes negotiations are underway on a security council resolution on syria. russia and china fear any move might provide cover for a military intervention, what bela last year. france and britain say they are simply backing terribly calls for a transfer of power. what seems beyond doubt is the situation on the ground is getting ever more desperate. >> the arab spring's most intractable conflict once again forced its way on the agenda of the security council. for nearly a year they have been not able to agree on what to do. western states have been putting pressure -- pushing for pressure on the government and russia has rejected any action. now the arab league is asking
the council to back its plan. and the west is hoping this will break the impasse. a u.n. resolution endorsing the ever plan says the flow of weapons to sirius should stop. although it does not impose an arms and cargo. it sets up a road map for political transition. and it calls on the syrian president, bashar al-assad, to delegate power to a deputy to oversee the process. we have been here before. last october, russia and china vetoed a resolution condemning bashar al-assad. this time around, russia says it cannot support any call for the syrian president to give up power. western diplomats insist the council could not stay silent as the situation deteriorates. >> i think we are at a critical point where the violence is escalating, and indeed, with each passing day it seems more and more civilians are being killed and more and more people are being killed. and that is a grave concern.
>> pressure for international action is indeed mounting on the ground, with a sharp escalation in the conflict. in recent days, the violence and become so bad the arab league says it was forced to suspend its monitoring mission. furthermore, the west and the arabs are bringing in their big guns to weaken russian opposition. the head of the arab league and the prime minister of catarrh will address the council and western foreign ministers will be here to show she poured -- support for the plan. one possibility, if it does not happen, is an increasingly bloody status quo where the regime cannot question opposition the opposition cannot overthrow the regime. the other is a palace coup against bashar al-assad. it is possible, but no sign of it yet. the worst case scenario is a fully fledged sectarian and civil war, perhaps forcing foreign intervention, if not from the security council, but regional powers.
the divide here still seems huge -- between those states who cannot see a solution with the bashar al-assad regime and those who cannot see a solution without it. bbc news, the united nations, new york. >> our correspondent is monitoring events inside syria from neighboring lebanon. is there any sign at all that what is going on in new york is having any effect on the ground, moderating responses from the government or anything like that? >> everybody is watching it very closely, george, but i would not say it is having much effect. it is simply underlying the kind of existing polarization. the syrian government is obviously watching it closely. of the foreign minister put out a statement last night in which it castigated the western response to what is going on and the latest statements out of the white house of the state department.
the blow dealt to the terrorists on the ground by the security forces. obviously the opposition of watching it very closely indeed. at the syrian national council is in new york at the moment, the main umbrella group. they are obviously trying to get some kind of action out of the security council. they would like to get something that would provide for some sort of safe haven or some kind of real intervention on the ground that would allow civilians to be protected, a place where dissident soldiers could -- as well without fear of being bombed or attacked. that is all pie in the sky at the moment because nothing like that will come out of the talking shop in new york. >> the talking shop, as you put it, if it is high in the sky, what about russian efforts to get a separate, perhaps parallel line of negotiations? >> well, i would see it simply reflecting that rather embarrassed position the russians find themselves in because they are getting bad
press internationally, given the images coming out of syria. they would like to look positive rather than-so they are proposing a kind of mediation where they would be the brokers between the syrian government and opposition. the flaw in that argument is they have virtually no relations with the syrian opposition, which rejected that idea out of hand. what on earth would they want to -- to moscow when they have the security council, when they have their attention strongly, the arab league behind them, and the rest of it. no way they would turn to the russians at this stage. >> thank you very much. let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. republicans in the u.s. state of florida are choosing their favorite to represent the party in the presidential elections this fall,. after the heavy loss he suffered in south carolina, mitt romney looks set to retake the lead in the race but his main opponent, newt gingrich, is down in the polls, but as steve
kingston reports, he is not out. >> if it is the beach in january, it must be florida. four republican hopefuls, the biggest prize so far. and it is a great place to be if your name is mitt romney. carving lunch for cuban american voters. and it is not just the suckling pig that is on the wrong end of his life. he has torn into the man who beat him in south carolina, newt gingrich. >> i think the real reason he has not done so well connected with the people of both -- florida's people saw him in the debates and listened to his background and experience and a learned, for instance, that he was paid $1.6 million to be a lobbyist for freddie mac and they said that is not what we want in the white house. the floor debates halves seem the unusually mild mr. romney and leash as a tech stock. ridiculing newt gingrich's
pledge to build a colony on the moon. >> i spent 25 years in business. if i had a business executive come to me saying they want to spend a few hundred billion dollars to but a colony on the moon, i would say, you are fired. >> but it is not just the debates that have helped mr. romney pull ahead in the polls. money talks, too. on the airwaves, newt gingrich has been outspent by a ratio of five-one. in his own words, a carpet bombing of negative campaigning. >> we can't beat all of the money power of goldman sachs and all of mitt romney's big money people. we cannot be the money power romney himself. we can't beat the dishonesty of his campaign. we need witnesses who are prepared to go out, and stand for conservatism, prepared to tell the truth. and we need to run a big troop campaign. >> whatever florida besides, newt gingrich insists he will stay in the race. but a strong selling tonight would leave a resurgent romney
in pole position. steve kingston, bbc news, washington. more on theget, for u.s. primaries and caucuses had to our website and you will find a more about the process by which supporters of the democratic and republican parties choose which candidate they would like to represent the party in the presidential poll. just go to bbc.com/news. staying with america, president obama defended the use of drone strikes against al-qaeda militants in pakistan. the unmanned aircraft program has escalated under his administration and the to a deterioration of relations between the united states and pakistan following a strike in november which mistakenly killed 24 pakistanis. a libyan man who claims british spies were involved in his rendition and torture is launching legal proceedings against the former director of counterterrorism at the secret
intelligence service known as mi-6 he claims he was tortured after being detained in 2004 on a route to the u.k. when he was trying to seek asylum. seven executives at chemical plants have been detained in china after industrial waste -- a still containing cadmium is affecting water supplies to millions of people. environmental agency officials have been trying a neutralizing agent into the water. >> the supreme court in spain decided to proceed with the prosecution of the countries most prominent judge. he is accused of having violated an amnesty law which banned anyone from investigating alleged crimes committed under the former dictatorship of general franco. following developments in madrid is our correspondent. he is usually the man doing the pointing of the finger.
>> that is right. one of the reasons why this trial is so incredible -- this is no ordinary judge, the best known judge here in spain, someone renowned internationally. remember, he was the man who invited the former chilean dictator panel shea. he stands accused of breaking spain's 1997 amnesty law. it was brought in after franco died, the former dictator in spain, and basically designed so that spain could move on and forget the past essentially ended banned anyone from investigating any crimes committed under the franco regime. he stands accused, in 2008, of starting an investigation into alleged it -- stopping an investigation into alleged crimes of the franco regime. >> what sort of reaction is there? i imagine he is quite a popular figure. >> i think generally speaking you can divide opinion into political camps, essentially. if people are on the center
right of spanish politics they generally think what he did by trying to invest in a previous crimes was wrong, but people on the center-left generally believe spain should start to investigate the crimes committed under the franco regime. and of course, many of the relatives of those people who midwest -- missing under the franco regime and they obviously one of those alleged crimes to be investigated and they are the strong supporters of judge garzon. i think you can generally take this down political lines because the two groups that brought the civil prosecution against judge garzon this case are two center-right political organizations here in madrid. >> tom, thank you very much. falling temperatures and heavy snow falls across eastern europe have killed dozens of people in the ukraine. alone, more than 30 people died in the past five days in a cold snap that brought temperatures down to minus 33 degrees celsius. serbia has also been badly affected and declared a state of
emergency in the south of the country. >> in serbia, they are used to snow, but it is not as bad every winter. there is so much of it, the roads in this valley have been blocked. snow plows out in force. but there are some roads beyond their reach. days ago, the authorities declared a state of emergency, but some still need help. the valley is located close the border with montenegro. but the cold weather has affected other parts of the region, too. 18 people, most of them homeless, are reported to have died in the ukraine. bulgaria and romania also been affected. just outside the romanian capital bucharest, it is the dogs they are worried about. the city is home to some 50,000 strays. the supply roads to these tunnels became cut off and prisoners have been helping clear away the snow. >> it is freezing, with the cold
winds we are facing -20 degrees itself yes. we are now waiting for a have a machine to help as they got the alleys between the cages. it is not the first, we have done this. we were here last year, too. >> and the people are in -- of eastern europe are getting used to treacherous conditions. last week blizzards left many stranded as planes were grounded and main roads were again locked. the severely cold temperatures are due to easily turn this week. but more snow has also been forecast. bbc news. >> and still to come on," "gmt tunisia's shrinking jewish population. the community with 3000 years of history stands the finance -- stands defiant against calls to move to israel. let's take a look now at some of the stories making headlines of ram world. the front page of "the financial times" describes the budgetary pact agreed by 25 member states
at the eu summit in brussels as a victory for angela merkel who has long saw tougher fiscal rules. the south china morning post claims shanghai is set to challenge hongkong as the global center for yu tradean in, part of a wider effort for the city to become an international financial hub. the times reports a warning by british business leaders that politicians risk damaging london's reputation by intervening over banker bonuses. the chief executive of royal bank of scotland waved his bonus amid political pressure. golf news -- the political ambitions of a cricketer, he says he will bring an era of change if elected to lead the company -- country and the says beth shrek -- death threats will not deter him from fighting corruption. this is close of "gmt from bbc world news. i'm george alagiah. the headlines -- western powers
continue to push for a u.n. security council resolution based on an arab league peace plan. voters in the sunshine state it ready to show their hands in the latest rounds for the presidential nomination contest. time now for the business news. we talkst start with -- a lot about the eurozone and the crisis. but today, a particular focus on unemployment. >> disappointing figures from the 17-nation eurozone showing unemployment has risen to 10.4% in that area. that is in the month of december. of the same month a year earlier, down to 9.5%. 16.5 million people are jobless across the eurozone but in terms of specific countries, spain is of course the worst performing, 22.9% unemployed, the highest number of unemployed in the industrialized world. one of the big focuses of yesterday's summit in brussels
is to find where the jobs and the growth will be coming from. a little earlier i spoke to one strategist and ask her how much pressure there was on eu leaders last night. the more will have to come. if you think about it, we got yesterday was just an agreement -- disciplinary action. it can take a long time for legislation to be passed within those countries and for this to be formally put in place. we still have a lot of progress to me made. meanwhile, there are a lot of hurdles to be overcome. it is never possible the eurozone was in recession -- toward the end of last year already and certainly the pain has been felt barry much in the seven countries. >> the big difference between southern and northern countries -- in austria, the lowest unemployment rate in the whole eurozone, 4.2%. >> a company i have not heard of before, but a fascinating story of a smaller country doing stuff in a big way, arm .
>> they are really not that well known, but the chips they design and shout -- sell to other makers are huge. they go into 1.2 billion mobile phone devices of around the world, including apple's iphone dear this company has done very well, a big british success story really. it has seen $110 million of profit in the three months at the end of last year, mainly thanks to the rise in the sales of mobile phones and tablet computers. a little bit earlier we spoke to its boss and ask him where the secret lies. >> we are traditionally very strong in fields like smartphones, but you will find a increasingrm with used in micro- controller products, white goods, brand goods, industrial control, and also in high end server products. clout computing. and we are putting our technology in the sort of machines that make it a reality.
in the that of the future. many of these mobile phone devices being sold around the world and that is what the business lines. >> thank you very much for the update. now, britain has called for a stronger international approach to tackle the root causes of the problems in somalia. the country has been without a central government for more than 20 years, suffered from a lengthy conflict, and more recently, famine. the british secretary of state for international development made a call during a visit to a somali region. our east africa correspondent traveled with him, and here is his report. >> a road block, some of the style. proceed, if you dare. under the gaze of andrew mitchell, secretary of state for international development, the police force shows off its skills. in this exercise, it is time up for an armed band. british aid is spent on police training, trying to established
law and order here. insecurity on land has enabled the piracy to flourish off the coast. most of the part -- pirates are from here. the government denies the accusation is failing to act decisively against these armed gangs. >> we have captured 284 peiris, most are convicted. we have done everything under our limited capacity. >> , the jails? >> andrew mitchell is shown some of evidence of the fight in the prison, a squalid, overcrowded home for some suspected pirates and young men accused of being al shabab of militant islamists. britain is increasing its aid effort here, building a fish market to create jobs while tackling the unemployment and poverty it is hoping less people will be drawn to crime, piracy,
and extremism. realizing it can't act alone, the british government is about to host a somalia conference in london, a call for an international response to halt some malia's dangerous decline. >> this is an opportunity now to bring all the different parties together and say enough is enough in terms of this functionality and what is happening in somalia. and now is the time to get everyone together to try to make some progress. >> on a windswept dusty plains, a collection of antitank mines and mortars, we retreated into a bunker just before they were blown up. this is all above dealing with the legacy of more than two decades of conflict. but to prevent this region from lurching from one crisis to another, there needs to be an investment to find a political solution, and finally, stability. that was a day spent in one of the most able regions in somalia.
will ross, bbc news, pun. tland the wake of the arab uprising that began a year ago in to these villa, israeli foreign ministry said -- tunisia, hundreds of thousands of sephardic jews across the middle east, but the suggestion the small communities who remains a pack up and leave is being rejected by many of the jewish people themselves. a report from tunisia. >> and jacob, on the outskirts of tunis. he is a proud tunisia but he is also jewish and owns the last kosher restaurant in an arab nation that has just undergone a dramatic revolution. none of which is contradictory, says jacob. he certainly does not intend to leave tunisia. >> i stay here because it is my country. why have to leave this country
-- to go where? >> this is the exquisite great synagogue in the hearts of tunis. built in 1937 to accommodate a community that was then 300,000 strong. today there are so few je here isw capitals that this great hall is hardly ever used. services are held instead in a small anteroom. as in the rest of the arab world, tunisia's jewish population crashed dramatically after the creation of israel. no more than 2000 jews left here. but when an israeli foreign minister suggested they, too, should leave, he was given short shrift. >> me, i am a tunisian j thisew senior figure in the community.
i know my country well and i am against the proposition because no one here is afraid. since last year's overthrow of the secular dictatorship, many muslim have also fells able to express their belief in what is overwhelmingly islamic country. but when young muslims recently held up posters calling for the killing of jews there was outrage including from the new islamic leaders. >> it is unacceptable politically and religiously because in islam there is no discrimination on the basis of faith. >> armed security outside the synagogue shows the few facts -- threats are being taken seriously. but as a community that has been
part of the country for 3000 years, it intends to remain. bbc news, to this. >> and a reminder of our top story so far -- western powers continue to push for a u.n. security council resolution on syria based on an arab league peace plan. they are facing strong opposition from china and russia. moscow has warned the russian that resolution -- that a resolution on syria could lead to civil war. the resolution, which calls for the president to give up power, would not lead to a search for compromise. u.n. secretary general ban ki- moon urges the security council to back a political solution. that is it for the moment. that is it for the moment. stay with us here o