tv BBC World News BBC America May 7, 2014 7:00am-8:01am EDT
[ army guy ] he's back! and it looks like he's craving italian. ♪ [ male announcer ] the four-door fiat 500l. it's a lot bigger than you think. [ godzilla choking ] check out the whole fiat family at fiatusa.com/godzilla. hello. you're watching "gmt" on bbc world news pm i'm tim willcox. top stories. guilty of abuse of power. thailand's constitutional court forces prime minister yingluck shinawatra to stand down in the latest twist to the country's political crisis. rebels start withdrawing from homs, the cradle of the syrian revolution in a deal brokered by the u.n. south africa goes to the polls in the first election since the death of nelson mandela. i'm in johannesburg.
polling stations have been open all over the country for the last six hours. there's been a steady stream of voters in elections that mark 20 years since the end of white rule. records could be broken on the u.s. stock market. >> tim, it's all about alibaba. after months of speculation, china's e-commerce giant is going public. sells up to $20 billion worth of shares. could be the biggest ever tech company debut in history. but what does it mean for the tech world? what's alibaba going to do with all that money? hello. it is midday here in london. 5:00 a.m. in washington. 6:00 p.m. in bangkok where a new political crisis threatens to engulf the country. thailand's constitutional court has ordered yingluck shinawatra, the prime minister, to stand
down. announced on live tv, the court found the 46-year-old sister of billionaire former leader thaksin shinawatra guilty of violating the constitution and abusing her power. several other members of her cabinet are also implicated in the case. and they have been ordered to resign. the bbc's jonathan head reports from bangkok. >> reporter: this is becoming something of a fixture in thai political life. the country's top court ruling to oust a prime minister. the judges offered a long explanation for their verdict. examining the evidence, they said, the court was unanimous that yingluck shinawatra had transferred her national security adviser improperly and to the benefit of a family member. the judges also ordered nine cabinet ministers to resign with her. she had governed as prime minister for just over 1,000 days. a political novice when she was elected. and inevitably tainted by her controversial brother, former prime minister thaksin.
at first, her simple, conciliatory style mollified her opponents. but by the end of last year, she, like previous leaders of her party, were confronted by a determined and well funded protest movement that was able to paralyze parts of the capital and sabotage an election that she called for last february. her departure is a victory for the anti-government movement and was greeted with jubilation. but they didn't get all they wanted from the verdict. >> translator: i'm not 100% happy. i was hoping the whole government would be out of power. >> reporter: whatever legal justifications they've given today, the judges here know that many thais will view this as essentially a political verdict. by a court that's ruled against ms. yingluck's party many times in the past. they may have broken the deadlock for now, but they've done little to resolve thailand's deep political crisis. much now depends on how her red
shirt supporters respond. they've always said they would resist what they see as a judicial coup. but with the government they back still clinging ten uuouslyo office they may not choose to show their hand. >> you say a victory of sorts for her enemies. but i suppose that key question is the one you raised at the end of your report. has there been any response yet from the red shirts and what they might do? >> reporter: not really, no. they're definitely holding back at the moment. of course, it's a very broad movement. there's lots of different groups. some of them much more militant and may choose to do something that would show their extreme anger over this. they'll have to pause and think what it does. the government it backs is still there in office. they had assumed the judges would try to get rid of the entire government.
they've always assume the judges were essentially doing the work the protesters were trying to do, sharing the same goal. that didn't happen. the judges stuck -- how much people may question their decision in terms of the national security adviser, they stuck only to those they said were responsible for that transfer. so it has left the government limping on. in some ways, it's an odd decision. there's a huge amount hanging on it. yet thailand is still stuck in this extraordinary deadlock with neither side able to budge the other one out. you have to sort of guess that perhaps there will be other legal decisions that may weaken the government further because there are other legal cases both against the prime minister and against other of her ministers. some of those ministers who are now filling in for those who've had to go may find themselves subject to other legal cases. >> in particular the rice corruption scandal. on another point, jonathan, does this have any impact on the forthcoming elections scheduled for july? or are the opposition still adamant that they're not going to take part in those?
>> reporter: well, it's interesting. the opposition democrats, i think, are in a bit of a dilemma. because they know how bad it looks with the oldest democratic party in thailand constantly boycotting elections, throwing their hat into a movement opposed to elections. i think the democrats are, perhaps, holding back at moment. their view is that the elections in july are too soon. there's no doubt the protest movement, which has this very powerful backing and in a way the backs of the army, because they're allowed to do what they want, that protest movement is almost bound to try to sabotage elections in july. election officials said if there's any kind of disruption, they'll call a halt to the elections. i don't see how they can go ahead. i think we'd have a repeat of the scenario in february. you have to wonder when or what point in all this grinding crisis people at the top do finally come to some kind of
negotiating table and try to work out a compromise. it certainly isn't happening, at least not in the open yet. we have the opposition leader with his own proposals. they were take it or leave it proposals. this thing is just grinding on. each side getting more and more exhausted. i don't see those elections in july really as being a way out. >> okay. jonathan head, thank you very much, indeed. you're watching "gmt." in other news, a look at the headlines there, government forces in ukraine say they have retaken control of the eastern city of mariupol from pro-russian militants. russia has demanded an end to the operations by ukrainian troops who say they have now surrounded the rebel stronghold of slovyansk. ukraine's interim foreign minister has told the bbc his government is not in favor of involving pro-russian groups in negotiations about the country's future. city council of beverly hills in california has passed a resolution condemning brunei for introducing sharia law.
it also adds the sultanate to sell the beverly hills hotel. the council's move came after several hollywood celebrities called for a boycott of hotels owned by the brunei government. they will no longer stage the annual oscars party in the beverly hills hotel. monica lewinsky has broken her long media silence about her affair with former u.s. president bill clinton. the one-time white house intern has written a piece in "vanity fair" magazine saying she deeply regrets the fling. she says the president took advantage of her, although the relationship was consensual. she hopes to help others who've been humiliated. rebel fighters in syria are abandoning the last opposition held enclaves of the city of homs. buses heading north have been leaving the old city of homs following a deal between the
regime and rebels, which has been brokered by the united nations. let's go live to the bbc's paul wood. he joins us now from beirut. paul, where have they gone? are they allowed to take their arms with them? >> reporter: well, that's the crucial fact. it is certainly a demoralizing defeat for the rebels. but they're not surrendering. they're allowed to take small arms with them. they're going into the country side of homs province. they're going to carry on the fight. that's the only condition that they would go under. being allowed to take their weapons. it is still, though, a bitter defeat for them. this is the result of what is a policy referred to privately by the syrian army as surrender or starve. they simply couldn't take it anymore. they had no choice but to leave. >> there's been a hostage swap as well. how important has that been in terms of the government agreeing to this deal?
>> reporter: well, not only what you would call a hostage swap. i suppose the rebels would call it giving up some of their prisoners including, they say, an iranian officer. the rebels have also agreed to lift sieges of government villages. villages up in aleppo province. two places with shiite and alawite populations. it's been a complex deal. it's taken many months to do it. i think there were deep, deep divisions on the rebel side in the old city of homs. there's half a dozen armed groups there. some in particular allied to al qaeda wanted to fight on and break the siege with a series of suicide bombings. they did, in fact, try something along those lines but couldn't get anywhere in the face of two years of being cut off without food, escalating air strikes and heavy artillery. they simply decided they couldn't hang on in there any longer. this is a huge symbolic and strategic defeat for the armed uprising. >> yeah. just on that point, i mean, homs
is the cradle of the revolution for many in international eyes. what does this mean in terms of the redrawing of the influence of power, the land, the authority that the rebels hold now over government forces? >> reporter: yes. we shouldn't underestimate the symbolic significance of this. as you say, it's been called the cradle of the revolution or the capital of the revolution. the place that really first raised the flag of armed uprising and stood defiant for some time. of course one rebel enclave fell two years ago. the old city held out for a further two years. you can assume that the government has got a plan to try to take territory all the way from damascus to the sea. it's not quite there yet because, as i said, the rebels have left with their weapons. they're able to carry on the fight in homs province. h is a string of victories for president assad. think about three years ago when people said he had three weeks left in power. nobody thinks he's going
anywhere now. >> paul wood in beirut. thank you very much. stay with us here on bbc world news. still to come, british police look to excavate a number of sites in portugal in the investigation into the missing british toddler, madeleine mccann. [ male announcer ] legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses. if you have a business idea, we have a personalized legal solution that's right for you. with easy step-by-step guidance, we're here to help you turn your dream into a reality. start your business today with legalzoom. find yourself. in an accomodation...
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voting is taking place in south africa in the country's fifth general election since the end of apartheid. and the first since the death of nelson mandela. two decades ago the country's first democratic elections saw mandela's african national congress win by a landslide. the once banned african national congress is expected to win. signs are it will be weaker after political scandals and increasing popularity for the main opposition party, the democratic alliance. bbc is at a polling station in an upper middle class residential area in
johannesburg. over to you. >> reporter: thanks very much, indeed, tim. yes, it is in a rather leafy part of johannesburg. about 100 people in the queue at the moment waiting to vote. this scene has been replicated in more than 22,000 polling stations all over south africa and the independent electoral commission in the last couple of hours or so is pronouncing itself very content with the progress so far of the voting. a very smooth operation. isolated incidents here and there, rural parts of the country where it's difficult to get the ballot boxes. some of them have actually been helicoptered in. people being urged to go out to vote, to exercise their democratic right. let me just bring you a couple of pictures of some of the faces you will recognize you've been votie in voting. president jacob zuma voted today in his hometown. he stood in line with everybody else. i don't know if you can see it. there was a woman right in front of him who displayed great
fortitude and restraint by not even turning around to look at the president nor even attempted to take a selfie. his deputy, the deputy president of the anc, meanwhile, voted in soweto. his hometown. he went in line and shook hands with everybody in the queue and said, do you mind if i just jump the queue because i've got somewhere to go. helen zillie, leader of the official opposition, the democratic alliance, they won 17% in the elections in 2009, so she will be hoping that the d.a. can try to capitalize on some of that political discomfort that the anc have been experiencing in the campaign. and s.w. also voted today in western cape, his home area. he said there wasn't the sense of history that there was, of course, 20 years ago. but he said it was absolutely remarkable and heartwarming, were his words, to see people of all different races standing in line and voting. and then the kind of person who
has been really trying to seize the political and economic agenda in this election, julius, the fire brand leader he was then of the anc youth league. he's set up the economic freedom fighters. he voted with his grandmother, sarah. in the province where he was born. that gives you an idea of the faces that you will recognize who've been voting. let's just get an idea of some of the background. i'm joined here by trevor, a leading human rights activist here in south africa. thank you very much, trevor, for being with us. just picking up the kind of agenda that people like julius have been pursuing in this election, we have seen across the country service protests right up until the end of the campaign. people saying, we don't have enough in this country. just how -- give us an idea of the sense of the discontent. >> there's a lot of frustration among millions of ordinary
working class people because of the slowness of what is called here service delivery. this means the building of houses. the provision of roads, water, electricity, adequate health care, public transport for the majority of the people. >> reporter: they want this now. they're getting a bit impatient. one leading former union leader said if these grievances are not addressed, he says there is potential for conflict. is he right? >> he is right. because at the moment, you know -- strike by miners. we have these continued protests happening almost every day. three, four a day. a lot of anger. a lot of frustration. i think the government needs to come up with policies to redistribute the wealth to quickly improve the lives of the millions of the majority. >> trevor, thanks very much, indeed. you get it there, get an idea the anc likely to win, of course. but there's going to be,
everybody hopes, a wake-up call for them to try to address the kind of grievances that trevor has been describing there. more throughout the day. for the moment, back to you. >> thank you very much, indeed. there's been a strong turnout in the penultimate stage of the general elections in india. voting is taking place in seven states including pradesh where the leader of the governing congress party rahul gandhi is defending his seat. >> reporter: this is the headquarters of india's governing congress party. as we enter this decisive final week of veoting, it's beginning to feel the heat. all eyes are on the young leader rahul gandhi who faces a tough political battle in his own parliamentary seat in india. mr. gandhi is fighting hard to retain his family legacy. >> the gandhi family. all of us in the congress
instinctively understand that. those of us not in the congress pray for the day when there won't be a gandhi because they instinctively realize that when there isn't a gandhi, there's going to be no congress. >> reporter: why are the gandhis so powerf fuful in india? all you need to do is look at their family tree to see how it's dominated india's politics. the patriarch of the family nehru. his daughter became india's third prime minister, serving for 15 years until her assassination in 1984. her son succeeded her as prime minister until his own assassination in 1991. his italian born window, sonia gandhi, has been the congress party president for the past 16 years. her son, rahul beggandhi is, as
we've seen, the congress party face in these elections. his sister, priyanka, has been active politically but has never run for office. but that could change. in the past few weeks, priyanka has joined her brother on the campaign trail. drawing a massive response. some now want her to play a bigger role. but are the gandhis still relevant in today's india? >> i think it's a huge challenge for the gandhi family. because i think the kind of politics that they represent or seem to represent is under serious challenge for the first time. they're being questioned not just as a family, but for brand gandhi and what it is seen to represent. i think that has never happened in such a sustained manner as it has. >> reporter: so this election could well be a decisive one for the gandhi dynasty. as they fight to regain their influence and their identity. bbc news, delhi. a spate of violence in assam
has left at least 36 people dead casting a shadow over the elections. let's go to andrew north who joins us from there now with the latest. is this religious, a land grab or a search for autonomy? what's going on, andrew? >> reporter: there's all sorts of factors here. it's a very complicated story. but i can tell you that the death toll is now likely to go above 50. 43 people confirmed dead. and they're still finding bodies in the river where many of those who were attacked tried to escape. i saw one o f them pulled out a short while ago before i came on air to talk to you. what happened? and all these tents here are a result of that. hundreds of villages fled after they were attacked by gunmen believed to be separatist militants who targeted them because they voted for, in their words, the wrong candidate. someone who was opposed to the militants' demands.
now, there has been a long r running dispute here. it's also become sucked up into the wider e lerlection battle t is going on, with some, including the front-runner to be prime minister, narendra modi, being accused of fanning the violence with some of the things he said in his speeches. >> when it comes to the people who the government hold responsible, are the targets of this action tpredominantly musl that area. >> reporter: they are all muslims. in fact, almost all the victims are women and children. because when this village was attacked, all the men were away working in fields, in the market and so on. but all muslims. and this is why it has become such a sensitive issue. because what's striking is that there's been relatively little sympathy for them. because many indians are describing all these people here, even though they voted, as
illegal bangladeshi imgranlts. it's a phrase narendra modi repeatedly used in his speeches. it's what's made them even more worried about what kind of future they would have under narendra modi prime ministership. i talked to people who fear what will happen. they've been attacked here by local gunmen. now they also fear narendra modi is saying he wants to deport them. it's a polarized atmosphere. >> andrew north with the latest. thank you very much. british police investigating the disappearance of madeleine mccann say activity is expected to begin in portugal soon in connection with the case. police have requested permission from the portuguese authorities to excavate a number of sites as part of the investigation. the sites are believed to be where the 3-year-old went missing in 2007. >> reporter: seven years since she disappeared, a new police effort is about to begin into the search for madeleine mccann.
she was 3 when she went missing from this apartment in the resort of luge. there are two active investigations into her case. one here in portugal. and one run by the metropolitan police in london. it's that mass investigation which is now promising activity within weeks. prosecutors here have approved a series of requests from the uk detectives. now, it will fall to portuguese police officers to carry out the work. the british will only be here as observers. but it seems like a significant step forward for the operation which has been running for three years and cost millions of pounds. it's been reported one of the british police requests has been searches and possible digging in areas of luge. detectives here in portugal have told the bbc that no work is planned at the moment. but this community can expect to find itself once again at the heart of a major active
investigation. bbc news, luge. stay with us here on "gmt" on bbc world news. still to come, america joins in the search for more than 200 missing schoolgirls in nigeria. we take a look at security in that country. what impacts have these abductions had, for example, on nigeria's reputation as an economic power house? ging out oe couch, you could be hanging ten. what are you waiting for? (vo) celebrate this memorial day with up to 40% off hotels at travelocity. (gnome) go and smell the roses. man: yeah, scott. i was just about to use the uh... scott: that's a bunch of ground-up paper, lad! scotts ez seed uses the finest seed, fertilizer, and natural mulch that holds water so you can grow grass anywhere! seed your lawn. seed it! [ woman ] thanks. the dealership reviews on cars.com made it easy, but... [ man ] we thought it might be a little more tense. you miss the drama? yeah. [ technician ] ask him whatever you want.
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[ army guy ] he's back! and it looks like he's craving italian. ♪ [ male announcer ] the four-door fiat 500l. it's a lot bigger than you think. [ godzilla choking ] check out the whole fiat family at fiatusa.com/godzilla. this is "gmt" on bbc world news. i'm tim willcox. coming up in this half hour, america joins in the hunt for the more than 200 missing schoolgirls in nigeria. with british special forces believed to be on standby. >> this may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that's perpetrated such a terrible crime. zblmpbl taking the children on a legal trip. the parents chasing the medicinal effects of cannabis in
colorado. arron is back. a new era. >> this bloke right here, sergio macchioni, the big boss sets out a five-year plan for the changes in the car brand. in comes the alfa romeo. out the dodge mini van. he wants to increase sales by 60%. is it really a fix? hello. nigerian police in the last few minutes have offered a $300,000 reward to anyone who is able to give them credible information on the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militant group boko haram. that has just been announced in the last few minutes. but the big question on many parents' minds in northern nigeria is where on earth are our children? it follows the abduction by boko
haram militants now of children not only there, but elsewhere. and the latest abduction has risen to 11. it follows the 200 girls that were taken originally some three weeks ago. america has now joined in that search which has brought renewed focus on security in the country. at the same time, nigeria is playing host to a world economic forum meeting this week. but how much of a shadow is being cast over the potential of africa's biggest economy? well, with me, the nigerian online newspaper, the premium times. let's start with boko haram. the fact there doesn't seem to be much security in the north of the country and this big problem of corruption in nigeria. are the two linked, do you think? >> why not? they're fully linked. about three days ago, our president said that the
military -- for years. they are now just trying to -- you begin to ask yourself, what about the several billions of dollars that have been earmarked for the military in the past few years. >> the fact that corruption exists, that the military, i've been reading they can barely afford to give the military a meal a day. they are severely underequipped as well as you point out. is that just eating into any sense of society and confidence in the north of the country in particular which has these vacuums? >> yeah, of course. a lot of the press say the insurgency in the north is linked to poverty. widespread poverty in the region. the reason nigeria is poor, the reason a lot of people are poor is because of corruption. nigeria is one of the largest exporters of crude oil in the world. but more than 70% of its people live on less than $2 day.
>> nigeria is now the leading economy in africa as well. which, of course, it is trumpeting with the world economic forum. >> how that translates into the web of the ordinary man remains to be seen. unemployment is high. you have widespread poverty all over the country. >> what examples of government corruption have you found recently? >> a lot of things. especially in the oil and gas industry. as you know, the bulk of nigerian earnings from oil and gas. the sale of crude oil. you see that. yet widespread corruption. the governor, the suspended governor of the central bank of nigeria, $20 billion have not been -- several incidents of
corruption. given to cronies of government officials. >> are things improving? as i understand it, nigeria isn't in the top list of most corrupt countries. i think just under 45% of nigerians admit to have paid a bribe. >> where it falls in nigeria, what you read about improvement and all of that, does not -- because what we see every single day as you move through the airport, as you try to do business in nigeria, government officials are -- people build houses that they cannot justify. you see corruption all around you. every minute. every time. so when they tell you nigeria has improved, corruption has dropped, you begin to wonder where they get the information from. >> thank you very much, indeed. let's get more on that police reward that's just been
announc announced. from abuja, many more information about this? is that quite a significant amount given the number of girls who've been abducted? >> well, i think the figure 50 million is not significant given the number of girls. 200 girls. i think many people would be surprised why it is coming at this time three weeks after the girls have been abducted. it's only now the police are coming out to say that they promise everyone 15 million for any information that leads to the location or that can lead to location of these girls. i think it's too little, too late. >> okay. it's translated to about 300,000 u.s. dollars. just bring us up to date also with the latest developments. the united states is offering assistance. but we've also heard, i think, that the number of abducted girls elsewhere has increased as well. it must be the most terrifying time for parents in the north of
niger nigeria. >> it is terrifying times for parents. not only in northern nigeria. i think in many parts of nigeria. because yesterday even close to abuja here. though we later understood it might not be connected to boko haram. going back to the offer of help from the united states, the united states has offered they're going to help the nigerian government with deploying military personnel into nigeria. sending equipment into nigeria. the president of nigeria, goodluck jonathan, accepted the offer. it was sent to strengthen what the nigerian government has done so far on successfully locating the whereabouts of these girls. >> what about cooperation between nigeria and the countries on its borders? is there a suggestion that these girls in the past three weeks could have traveled quite widely
now? >> i think it's the poorest area n . nigeria has a border with chad and cameroon. just today we heard from the cameroonian government saying they do not have any information regarding some of the militants crossing into their own border. i think people in that area previously have given information that members of boko haram do cross freely in that particular area. it's spread from nigeria into neighboring countries, especially chad. it's very hard to actually believe what is coming from the neighbors of nigeria. we've heard there have been clashes between the niger authorities and suspected members of boko haram. that's an indication members of boko haram are crossing into neighboring countries. >> thank you very much, indeed.
and editor of the newspaper premium times, thank you to you as well. a remind wesh people all over the world have been taking part in a social media campaign to highlight the story of those abducted nigerian girls. you can go to our facebook page at facebook.com/bbcworldnews. to see some of the images people have been posting using the # bringbackour, girls. british schoolgirl yousafzai among those posting. if you have a photo to share send it directly to our facebook page in the comments section or as a message as well. you're watching "gmt" on bbc world news. let's go to aaron. >> let's go over to aaron. i've got big news from a very big company that's got the tech world abuzz once again. i'll explain. thanks very much, tim. hello, there. actually, in fact, it's set to be, could be, the biggest tech company debut in history. because after months of
speculation, china's alibaba has finally filed the documents to outline its plans to sell shares in new york. now, i should add a decision over whether the listing will be placed on the nasdaq or the new york stock exchange, that's still to come. we're waiting on that. this is what we know. according to bloomberg the company plans to sell around 12%. 12% stake. which means the sale could raise as much as $20 billion. that's topping the $16 billion that was raised by facebook on the nasdaq. certainly pushing visa which raised $19 billion from its debut, pushing basically visa from that current top spot on wall street. currently the e-commerce company has an estimated value, it's big, look at that. $168 billion. making it the second most valuable internet company, of course, behind google. this valuation, it does seem justified. last year alibaba, listen to this, sold more than ebay and amazon combine ecombined.
in fact, i can tell you last year alibaba had 11.3 billion orders placed on the site. that's a lot. what does alibaba, what does it mean going public? what does it mean for the consumer? just what do they plan to do with all that money? >> let's go straight over to our very own chief business correspondent, linda yueh. they could start with $20 billion. what are they going to do with all that money? >> aaron, what they could do is continue some of the purchases that they've already begun to do. not just in chinese companies, but also american ones. for instance, they bought a stake in tango, the u.s. messaging service. alibaba has expanded its stake in the chinese equivalent of twitter as well as the chinese equivalent of youtube. in other words, part of what alibaba has been doing is gradually moving out of china and it has a presence in europe and the u.s. but so far, predominantly in the business to business area. in other words, if you're a
western company looking for chinese supplier, you could go to alibaba and do that. but with more cash, they would have more funds in order to go global and to bring some of the other offerings it has into china into the rest of the world. for instance, they would allow an ebay like marketplace to happen outside of china. so you get a sense as to why it is this could further their global ambition. >> i'm glad you said that. i know the tech world is abuzz. why do we care? us normal folk? but this could have -- this could have an impact on consumers in the u.s. and, in fact, consumers around the world, possibly. >> yeah. i think that's probably why this particular company is so closely watched. it dominates the chinese online space. so accounts for something like 80% of the e-commerce market, roughly defined in different segments. so in the rest of the world, if you were looking at how much amazon and ebay have transformed
what's on offer to you and me, having a chinese company linking us to the world's fastest expanding middle class and what's on offer from those companies is potentially very transformative. i think that's why these chinese companies are so exciting to watch. i suppose in one way, aaron, thinking about buying shares in a company like alibaba is one of the few ways in which investors can buy into the chinese middle class. because, remember, china is quite a funny market. very closed in terms of being able to buy companies which are listed in china. so these companies coming out are probably attractive also for that reason. >> good foot in the door into china. everybody wants a bit of that. linda, great stuff. we'll talk to you very soon. linda yueh joining us live from singapore. i want to talk about this bloke. sergio macchiano. ceo of newly created fiat chrysler. we knew he wanted to show us that he had some big ambitions. boy, let me tell you, he
certainly did that. because according to him, the company will see global sales rise by nearly 60% as the company rebrands towards more luxury cars and also increases its focus on sales, no surprise, in asia and latin america. let's look at the key pillars of his new strategy. they include to sell nearly 2 million jeeps in four years' time. that is certainly more than the double of 732,000 jeeps it sold last year. to invest $4.2 billion in the relaunch of, yes, the old alfa. the alfa romeo comes back with eight new modelmodels. it's going to drop the dodge mini van from the lineup. it will start to build jeeps in china and brazil. more details now from new york. >> reporter: back in the '20s when chrysler was helping define the american middle class dream, they probably didn't imagine a future with an italian firm and
its flamboyant boss. but here we are. sergio maccioni, smooth talking chief executive of the newly merged fiat chrysler and his plans to steer the company to the future now that it's repaid all of its u.s. government loans. >> the only thing i do, i think i know how to lead people. the ones that we have here are phenomenal people. they've done extraordinary things in the last five years. and they've done extraordinary things in the last ten. >> reporter: alfa romeo's r re-entry into the u.s. is part of mr. marchionni's effort to make the brand more distinct. e efforts that include dropping the dodge mini van while investing $7 billion and add eight new models and build jeeps in china and brazil. >> the strategy is to get greater global reach, global scale by taking existing brands and putting them into markets
where they don't already sell or that aren't overly penetrated yet. >> reporter: to be a viable global car maker, fiat chrysler much raise sales to $7 million a year if it's to compete with the likes of toyota, general motors and bmw. last year it saw sales of around 4 million cars. mr. marchionni is confident his plan will help him achieve his goals. but analysts say he's missed targets before. this latest drive to transform the car maker started with a new sign unveiled at its auburn hills campus in michigan. of course, the real test will be selling cars that make a profit. bbc news, new york. >> selling cars and make a profit. lots going on. follow me on twitter. i'll tweet you right back. get me @bbc. >> quite fun seeing those old models. thank you very much, indeed. stay with us here on bbc
hello. welcome to "gmt." i'm tim willcox. our top stories this hour. thailand has a new caretaker crime minister after yingluck shinawatra was found guilty of abuse of power and ordered to step down by the constitutional court. syrian rebel forces have begun a final withdrawal from the besieged city of homs under a cease-fire deal brokered by the united nations. parents in the united states with severely epileptic children are turning to the medicinal
effects of marijuana for treatment in colorado. one of two states which has legalized cannabis. oil produced from a strain of the plant which doesn't make the children high apparently having a dramatic effect on reducing seizures. >> reporter: in a mountain hideaway in rural colorado growing a cannabis plant being used to treat epileptic children. mi millie is 2. she used to have dozens of seizures every day. but her rare form of epilepsy has been calmed by a cannabis oil that doesn't make her high. >> she gets .1 ml of cbd three times a day. >> reporter: legally nicole couldn't do this in tennessee where the family lives. so they moved across the country to colorado, where marijuana use is allowed. >> so far we've gone to about a 75% to 90% seizure reduction. along with that, i think one of the most positive side effects has been the cognitive increases
she's had. much more alert and awake. >> reporter: this home video gives them hope. even the smallest sign of awareness and interaction is a huge step forward. they believe it's from the cannabis. >> after all we have been through with her over the past 18 months, the decision to move out here and use medical cannabis at that point was very easy. we had exhausted all possibilities. so this was kind of our last shot. >> reporter: there are different elements to every marijuana plant. this strain used to be known as hippy disappointment because people who smoked it didn't get very high. but it turns out it contains a huge amount of a substance called cbd. which appears to have remarkable medicinal quality. the strain has been renamed charlotte's web after one of the first little girls to be treated. thousands of families are now on a waiting list for the oil. >> this here is extracted charlotte's web. >> jesse's family grows the
plant and extracts the oil. although its effects haven't been scientifically proven, the positive results seen by so many families gives them hope. >> maybe, just maybe, we can study this and get it down to a science how we can help people. it's pretty obvious there's something to it. >> reporter: there is real science behind it. this marijuana is being grown in a secret location in britain. by a pharmaceutical company. which is producing a drug now being trialed in america with the regulators' approval. >> we have been doing preclinical research in this area for six years. there is some good solid farm cologic scientific rationale for expectations it may work. it's too early to say at this point. >> reporter: many people can't wait. nicole and tim are one of hundreds of families who've moved to colorado from all over america for access to charlotte's web. >> we consider ourselves medical marijuana refugees.
we had to abandon our own state in order to get legal access here in colorado. >> reporter: the more their stories are told, the more people come forward. desperate to help their children's rare epilepsy. even with a medicine that's not been fully tested. bbc news, colorado. keeping fit as you get older can become more and more difficult. but a 95-year-old retired teacher in canada is proving the exception to that rule. olga ketelko discovered support quite later on in life after taking to athletics in her 70s. she's got a pretty good record, as she told us when we went to meet her. >> after 17 years of competition, i have over 750 gold medals. and in my last age group, which was 90 to 94, i did -- or i made 26 world records. and records are made to be broken.
100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter. i do three jumps. i do high jump, long jump and triple jump. and i do five throws. shot put, discus, javelin, hammer and weight. i think your age is just a number. a it's not your birthday. it's how you age which makes the difference. how you get old. i mean, if you're active and you're working and you're aspiring to be better, that's how you grow.
i think genes play a big part in my life. and then, of course, acquiring the skills and the techniques that you need for any special activity, athletic activity. has to come along as well. but it's your attitude, i think, plays a good part in your lifestyle. in your choice. >> 11.70 meters. olga ketelko. >> if you're supposed to stop at a certain point, if you enjoy doing it like i am doing it and having fun because i enjoy a lot of traveling, i just want to keep on going. i don't know whether -- i'll keep on going until i drop.
>> extraordinary. olga kelelko, something to aim for. a quick reminder of our main story. a new political crisis threatens to engulf f thailand where the constitutional court ordered the prime minister, yingluck shinawatra, to stand down. for me, tim willcox and the team, bye-bye. ♪ booking.com booking.yeah! love drama? try something new. taste like chicken. (ambulance siren) hate drama? go to cars.com. research, price, find. only cars.com helps you get the right car without all the drama. without standard leather. you are feeling exhilarated with front-wheel drive. you are feeling powerful with a 4-cylinder engine.
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the doctor: oh, it's a sanctuary base! deep-space exploration. "welcome to hell." what are you lot doing here? that's a black hole. but that's impossible. this lump of rock is suspended in perpetual geostationary orbit around that black hole, without falling in -- there's some sort of power source holding us here. we're drilling down to try and find it. [ alarm blares ] the tardis is gone. well, whatever it is down there is not a natural phenomenon. there was some form of civilization. they buried something. what are they called? they're the ood. basic slave race. there's something happening with the ood.