tv BBC World News America PBS November 25, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EST
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for strategic, key decisions. we offer tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news merica." >> this is "bbc world news merica" reporting from washington, i'm katty kay. hundreds of troops are being dispatched to ferguson, missouri, to try to prevent another night of violent rioting. >> lives and property must be protected. this community deserves to have peace. >> and i'm live in missouri where protesters are once again taking to the streets in what so far is a peaceful demonstration. >> we head to pittsburgh, pennsylvania, where they're proud of saying they have more bridges than anywhere else in the world. but is it really true?
♪ >> welcome to "world news america." the mayor of ferguson, missouri, criticized the u.s. national guard for failing to step in and help as violent riots swept through his town last night. the family of the black teenager, michael brown, who was killed by a white police officer last summer says they object to a grand jury's decision not to prosecute the policeman who shot their son. our correspondent is in st. louis, missouri, where the protests are already underway. >> well, i'm at the command center in st. louis which is where the efforts of the national guard and the police are being coordinated from. now, i was here last night at the height of the tensions and i saw police cars and fire engines speed in and out of here as they went to the areas
where the violence was the worst. the governor of missouri, jay nixon, said that he will be sending more members of the national guard in to ferguson this evening, ahead of anticipated protests. now, he said that he will send them particularly to the area around the police station there, which was the scene of some of the most violent protests yesterday evening. though i was down at the police station yesterday before things got tense just before the decision by the grand jury, and i saw dozens of peaceful protesters marching along the streets. but once that verdict came in, things turned ugly, as our north america correspondent reports. >> the most sought after commodity in ferguson today after calm is cardboard. to board up the windows that have been smashed to protect those that haven't. >> heartbreaking. heartbreaking to see it. and i was hoping that people
would do something different but all we can do is pray and rebuild. >> i had a lot of faith that everything would be all right, so i didn't board up. and i was wrong. >> the korean owners of this shop, beauty world, were watching tv last night when they saw the blaze. >> this is a business that found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, even though it's only a couple hundred yards from the police station. the windows were smashed, it was vandalized and set alight. and there is an awful smell of smoke and who knows when they'll be able to reopen for business. >> the family of michael brown, the unarmed teenager whose killing sparked the protests are furious no action is to be taken against the white policeman who killed him. >> we object publicly and loudly as we can on behalf of michael brown jr.'s family that this process is broken. >> no probable cause exists to
file any charge against the officer. >> it was only a matter of moments after it was announced there would be no indictment that violence flared. michael brown's mother called for calm. >> i don't do nothing to nobody. it's a damn t, lie! >> not all the family agreed. >> burn the place down! burn this place down! >> the fury was genuine, though some were hellbent on causing trouble, their target, anything with the word "police" on it. >> stop trying to turn over the police vehicle immediately. >> the president, whose election was meant to usher in a new period of racial harmony went on tv late last night to appeal for calm. >> let me repeat michael's
fathers words, hurting others or destroy be property is not the answer. no matter what the grand jury decides, i do not want my son's death to be in vain. >> i don't deserve to be afraid. none of us deserves to be afraid. >> freedom! >> the protests in support of michael brown were nationwide, the uncomfortable question for america is how many other towns and cities have the same cocktail of problems that one spark could ignite. just like has happened in ferguson. >> john sopel reporting. regini, we saw the violence last night but you mentioned a few minutes ago, so far the protests are peaceful in missouri but i imagine people are tense about what could happen. >> yes, they are, kathy. the mayor of ferguson today said he is fearful there will be other violence this evening.
certainly when nightfalls, that is when most of the violent protesters come out. and there are fears that the violence that we saw yesterday evening will only continue this evening. certainly when i was speaking to some of the protesters last night before the violence really kicked off, they said that violence was their only answer now, and so that gave me a sense that this isn't going to go away. people are unhappy at the decision by the grand jury and feel this is the only way that they can get their voice heard. one woman told me that if there hadn't been violence in ferguson in the summer, no one would have cast the spotlight on this small community, no one would be talking about the underlying issues between young black men and the police if there weren't those violent clashes. so this, unfortunately, she said, is the only way people will get their message out there. >> and do you get the sense from the protesters you spoke to last night that they are
mostly people who are from the ferguson, st. louis area, or have they come from outside? >> personally, most of the people that i spoke to were actually from the area. they were people who felt very strongly about what was happening in this area and indeed about the indictment of darren wilson. i spoke to these people, i should say, before there was an indictment. and many of the people that we have seen in the summer who were arrested for violence during the protest in august were actually from outside of st. louis. there were arrests made in new york and california and earlier on the program, i spoke to someone from the naacp here in st. louis. he believes most of the violent protesters are indeed from outside the area. but we haven't had a breakdown of all those who were arrested last night. so it's difficult to tell where
everyone is from, but certainly people i spoke to last night protest before they turned violent were in the main from ferguson, if not the st. louis area. >> thanks very much. the governor of missouri has ordered more reinforcement into ferguson after last night's violence. governor jay nixon said additional national guardsmen would help protect lives and property and he said he wants to ensure violence and destruction will not be repeated. >> last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction, terrorized this community. burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts, and looting family businesses. many for the second time. and i'm deeply saddened for the people of ferguson who woke up this morning to see parts of their community in ruins. i just came from west florissant, it's a
heartbreaking sight, seniors afraid to leave the house, school canceled, kids scared to go outside and play. what they've gone through is unacceptable. no one should have to live like this, no one deserves this. we must do better and we will. this morning and into this afternoon i met with guard and law enforcement leaders. all agree that the violence we saw in the areas of ferguson last night cannot be repeated. that is why in order to protect lives and property, we are bringing more resources to ferguson and other parts of the region to prevent a repetition of the experience last night. national guard presence will be ramped up significantly. in ferguson and ensuring that they are ready to act quickly to prevent violence. >> ok. governor jay nixon looking at the security side of things. on the ground many security organizers are working inside ferguson to keep them calm in the aftermath of the grand jury's decision.
i'm joined by one of them, pastor robert white of the peace of mind church in st. louis. thank you very much for joining me. when you woke up this morning and saw the situation there in your area in ferguson and in st. louis, missouri, were you surprised this could have happened? >> well, first of all, i haven't had a chance to go to sleep yet, so instead of me waking up to it, i lived throughout the night in it, and i was not necessarily surprised but i was angry that what we witnessed last night and what a total to today is difference than what we were told was going to happen this time around. >> angry specifically about the grand jury's decision not to indict the white police officer? >> not at all. those of us who understand systemic issues we're having in this country, we realize that our chances for an indictment were slim to none. and in our community, we're
hopeful, although we knew that the evidence didn't matter, we have an attorney general who has not indicted a police officer for killing african-american men in the past. so although we were hopeful, we didn't expect it to happen. my anger, my upset and many like me is simply because we were told there was a game plan that was going to implement and keep us safe, keep our community safe, protect our businesses and our homes. well, as i told you, we couldn't sleep last night because the fire was burning, the fire was burning in the portion of our community which is predominantly held by african-americans, while the portion of the community held by the lawyers -- by the law and the government, it was protected last night. and so our anger is simply around our governor said he was going to send the national guard in to protect our citizens. but where were the national guard when the 15 buildings burned to the ground without any intervention? >> pastor white, hopefully when
the national guardsmen come in, tonight will be a calmer night. the governor is sending in reinforced troops. i wonder if you can give our viewers a sense of what it's like for the families living there in terms of relations between young black men in your community and law enforcement officials. what ezz -- what's it like to be a young black man in ferguson, missouri, and st. louis, missouri, and walk down the streets where you encounter day-to-day law enforcement officials, how much suspicion there trust do you think is? >> i spent my entire life growing up in this community, nd it is terrible. mike brown is no different than me or my son. the terrible things that we face, being pulled over, racial profiling, even last night, as a pastor in this community who has worked with law enforcement, we were threatened to be sent to jail last night if we didn't get out of the streets. and all we asked was why. if the governor has said we then allow us to
protest in peace. yet these officers came down into the community with anger in their voices, in their eyes. so as much as they try to describe what michael brown looked like, we saw those same demonlike looks last night from the police officers. and so what we are afraid of is, who's going to come and police the police? i'm excited to see the national guard come tonight. we wish they were here last night. but who is going to police the police officers who are using foul language, making threats, who is amping up the crowd to try to get the crowd to do something to justify the force that they're using against us citizens of this -- not only of this city but against this country. as much as folks are talking about the outsiders coming into st. louis and coming into ferguson, here's the problem. they're coming here because what happened in brooklyn and what happened in chicago and portland, what happened in cincinnati. they didn't get a chance to express their views, so they're coming to st. louis to express that anger that's happening all over this country. >> pastor white, i understand
the anger and the mistrust that many black people feel because the police have not treated them well, but actually, if you look at the violence last night, it was protesters who were causing the looting and burning of buildings, wasn't it? >> well, first of all, and let me step back a little bit and let you know we do not condone the violence. we do not condone the violence and looting and it's deplorable as a citizen. but if you push a dog into the corner, eventually that dog is going to come out fighting. and as much as it's not fair for the dog to bite the child, how often do you think you'll be able to punish a group of people over and over again, give them broken promises, false dreams and false hope before they allow that anger to be used in a non, or in a violent way? what we saw last night is an example of a group of people who have constantly been pushed into the corner, constantly been harassed, constantly been
misused and finally was able to release that anger in a nonproductive way. >> ok. pastor white, i hope that tonight you manage to get some sleep and that there is a more peaceful night for you and members of your community. thank you so much for joining me. >> thank you for having us. we hope they'll protect us tonight. >> and a look at other news now from around the world. suspending the delivery of a high-tech warship to russia until further notice. n a statement, the situation in ukraine does not allow for the delivery of the first of two warships, commissioned as a part of the biggest arms sales to russia by a nato country. more than 30 people have been killed in a double bombing in he nigerian city of maiduguri. a woman who had mental health problemmed was strapped with explosives and a female bomber carried out the other attack.
you're watching "bbc world news america." how should president obama respond to these riots in ferguson? we asked the washington insider who takes a long look at the man he calls the stranger. at least 17 people have been killed in egypt and seven more injured when a block of flats collapsed in cairo overnight. officials said the building had been illegally extended. incidents of this kind are a recurring problem in egypt where safety and planning regulations are often ignored. the bbc reports now from cairo on the collapse of the building and people who have been killed. >> a multistory apartment block reduced to this. rescuers and relatives looking for signs of life but finding only bodies. the building collapsed if seconds, killing residents in their sleep. locals say it's not the disaster waiting to happen
after extra floors were added illegally, though the foundations were weak. we complained and filed a police report, said this man. we got a demolition order, and even after that, more floors were built. officials admit the demolition order was issued three years ago and residents were told to go. but as is often the case, the building was left standing. we're here at the scene. they're still digging in the rubble. some are searching with their bare hands with hopes of finding any survivors are fading. in egypt, this is a recurring disaster, unauthorized construction, neglect, and lack of enforcement means that many residential buildings are a death trap. one recent study found that buildings collapsed in egypt at the range of more than one a day. neighbors told us they're
worried about other blocks in the street which are reaching new heights. as the death toll rises here, they are asking if anyone will be held to account. bbc news, cairo. >> it has been a tough year for president obama whose party is coming off a major blow from the recent midterm elections and now of course ferguson as well. the mounting scrutiny faced by the administration by those inside and outside washington is a central theme of the new book "the stranger" which examines obama's presidency. i was joined a short time ago by the book's author, chuck todd. so chuck, let's start with ferguson. was that another area, do you think, where president obama came into office with great expectations among the black population in america and perhaps hasn't lived up to those expectations? >> i think there always will be
some in the african-american community who believe he's not done enough and he took pains and i think his advisors took pains not to look like he's the black president. he's never wanted to be that. he's never wanted to be known as -- he doesn't want that to be the first line of his legacy. it's going to be. there's nothing he can do about that. he's the first black president here in america. but he doesn't want that to define his legacy. >> when something like this happens, does that increase the pressure on him in the white house? >> it does. he feels that pressure. what's interesting that i've noticed what's different, he's been very uncomfortable with this story, much more so than trevon austin. trayvon martin situation in florida, the unarmed teen abler, the personal security guard, private policeman, whatever you want to call george zimmerman, that he really decided, you know what, i am a biracial president, i'm
in a unique position to explain white america to black america and black america to white america in a way nobody else in american history has been able to be in that position in the presidency of the united states. and i feel like he really sort of embraced that moment. particularly as that went on. but he's not done that with ferguson and it's been a much more uncomfortable situation for him and i think because it involves law enforcement. >> to some extent, isn't that sense of unfull tilled expectations, whether it's from the black community or people around the world thought it was messiah coming to fix -- >> never mind washington or the democratic party. >> make it a purple america. he was never going to live up to those expectations. >> no, and he came in with extraordinary high expectations. now, the biggest defenders of him will say, well, in his first year of his presidency, had he not had the economic crisis, had he not had to bail out the auto industry, had he not come in basically all of a sudden, it was all hands on deck, then he could have devoted his first year of his
presidency, second year of presidency to changing politics, to changing washington. but you can't do that and do the major thing. the argument that rahm emanuel made to me is you have to pick your battles and he decided he needed washington to work even if it's flawed, to work its will in order to do the major stimulus, to do the auto bailout and then of course he chose to do health care but that was part of a big thing. but he never tried to fix the politics at the end of the day. he didn't put the elbow grease into it. and again, his defenders will say it's because he chose this, he had this crisis. with a perfectly rational explanation but he was elected to sort of change persona, whether overseas or here in washington, or the politics of the country. >> he's been in office six years now and yet you still call the book "the stranger." don't we know barack obama by now? >> i'm writing it from a washington prison, guilty as charged as far as washington. and i think as far as washington institutions are
concerned, he is a stranger. and he still views these institutions strangely. >> chuck todd. pittsburgh, pennsylvania, is well known as an old steel town but did you also know it's famous for its bridges. the city has 446 of them. the bbc's team has been to pittsburgh to find out more. >> there are 446 bridges in the city of pittsburgh. that's more than any other city in the world. the steel is manufactured right here and now the steel mills are gone but the bridges still continue. >> they're my main source of income, first of all. and they are the way that you move around this city. >> i can't go anywhere without marveling at the construction of what's gone on or what's behind the bridge. >> where the two rivers, the llegheny and monogahila come together, they form the ohio river which starts in pittsburgh and flows all the
way down to the mississippi. looking up further, you can just see the piers, that are hazy, of the birmingham bridge. >> it's a $20 million rehabilitation project, and it's one of the first ones that we've seen in quite a while that's been over $10 million. it also created a lot of opportunities for our subcontractors. a lot of these craftsmen have been around many, many years and take a lot of pride in the fact that they're maintaining these structures back to what they were when we first built them here in pittsburgh. if you are afraid of heights, if you don't like hot weather, if you don't like cold weather, if you don't want to work hard, you're not going to succeed in this business. >> it takes a certain kind of guy. >> paint mixer in the summer and runner in the winter. it's good money, long hours, you know, but i like it.
>> people don't build bridges, governments build bridges. they have passed the highway bill and we are going to have more work than we've ever had historically. >> the benefits from it are probably going to begin right around the new year. we're considering taking on more apprentices than we normally do just so that we can tart manning these jobs. >> here atop mount washington, you look out and you can see two of the rivers and you can see the bridges just going one of after the other away from each other. and the skyline of the city. and it is a beautiful view. it makes pittsburgh singular. >> 446 bridges. that is an awful lot of bridges. bbc's pop-up team there. that brings the show to a close. you can find much more of the day's news on our website and
we have the latest from ferguson as it's developing. for us here at "bbc news america" thanks for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow. >> international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits of newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. the kovler foundation. and union bank. >> for 150 years, we believed e commercial bank owes its clients strength, stability, security. so we believe in keeping
i'm henry louis gates jr. welcome to "finding your roots." in a country as diverse as ours, it's little wonder that we're fascinated by race and identity. in this episode, i want to see how cutting-edge genetic analysis can help answer the question "what makes us who we are?" is it the color of our skin? is it where our ancestors came from? or, is it our personal experiences? ah...look at that! we're going to look for answers to that question in the genetic branches of my own family tree, as well as in the genetic branches of the many people i've interviewed for this series. man: you're molded by your family, and especially your mom and dad. it all starts with dna. each generation influences the next generation. each person in your life influences you. in the end, your heredity trumps all nurture. i behave, i think the way i do