tv BBC World News PBS October 29, 2010 1:30pm-2:00pm PST
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what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> major airline security alert involving the middle east, britain, and america. >> there is a concern about packages emanating from yemen on certain ups and fedex aircraft at various airports in the united states. >> this is the device that caused the plane to be searched. is it part of a plot or is it a false alarm? a warm welcome to "bbc world news," broadcast on pbs in america and around the globe. the main headline, the death toll in the tsunami in indonesia keeps rising. bad weather is hampering rescue efforts. she is the favorite, but will she be, brazil's first female president? will the great lion roar again?
the fate of mgm once a powerhouse -- fate of mgm, once a powerhouse, is about to be decided. hello to you. there are security alerts at airports in the u.s. and britain, and in the least, in response to the discovery of suspicious packages in britain and in dubai. it is not clear whether the threat is actual or merely suspected. it has been enough to spark investigations. president obama was alerted and is due to speak with in the coming hour as we are on there. it is from yemen the suspicious packages are thought to have originated. one item was found in dubai, the
other one in a u.k. airport. they were in airplanes headed ultimately for chicago. cross now to washington. our correspondent is there. a lot of people watching this in airports and hotels. try and tell us if you can in a nutshell, how much should people be worrying at this moment? >> the first thing to say is no explosives or explosive devices have been found anywhere, as far as we know, from u.s. officials. packages were found on cargo planes in dubai and at east midlands airport in the u.k. on thursday night. president obama was alerted to this about 10:30 here on thursday night. the white house is calling it a potential terrorist threat. he was briefed on it. he then ordered his senior law-
enforcement and intelligence officials to work through the night in partnership with authorities in dubai and in the united kingdom to address this. we expect president obama to make comments in about 15 minutes on this subject. in terms of what has been happening here, we have seen airplanes move to secure areas of the airports in philadelphia, two there, and newark, new jersey. their research in philadelphia, packages were taken off the airplane, and searched, but there's nothing to indicate there was anything found on those planes. the planes do seem to be carrying cargo that came from yemen. yemen is the key link in all of this. when suspect packages were found in to buy it in england, they had a link or had come from yemen, a country that the u.n. states is willing to repeatedly to the militant threat from al
qaeda in the arabian peninsula, a group that has been responsible for the christmas day bomb plots last year. >> as it stands, the target, if that is the right word, seems to be the u.s., but there is no suggestion that the u.s. or the u.k. are under attack right now. it does seem to be serious to talk about the future dry-run for a future attack. >> what seems to be coming out from officials talking to me here and otherwise on the record is that these packages on the cargo planes were possibly addressed to jewish groups, more specifically, synagogues in the city of chicago. we hope to get more information in the coming hour. certainly, jewish representatives in chicago said they were warned on friday morning of the potential threat, and were told to be on their guards. that has been reiterated in america.
that would possibly be the target. was this a real plot? were these real devices? it is very difficult. a photo has been produced. information has come from official suggesting that what was found in england was some kind of printer-toner cartridge that had been modified in some way, that perhaps had wires sticking out of it, that possibly resembled a component of an explosive device. there were no explosives found. was this an attempt to scare the united states? was it a complete hoax? we don't know. it will be interesting to get word from the very top, from the white house, in the coming moments. >> many thanks for that. we will be back to d.c. in about 10 minutes. in about 10 minutes, we expect president obama to give a press conference. we will take you to do by right now.
katie, fedex confiscated a suspicious package that was taken there. what is the latest? >> little is coming up from the authorities tonight. it is a holiday here in dubai and the news broke during friday press. fedex has issued a statement. they said that they are working with the fbi and they have confiscated a package that originated from yemen. as a precaution, they are holding off on all packages that originate from yemen as a precaution. >> are you getting any sense of how this will affect travelers and air transport in general? >> dubai is the middle east transport hub. 4 million people travel through the dubai airport every month. it is crucial for the authorities to be able to make sure they look at this in all seriousness. i think they are very good at that. when you go through the airport,
there's a lot of security. they want to make sure that is safe. it is something that is important to the bydubai -- to dubai. >> thank you very much. our security correspondent has been following this story in london on both sides of it. he says officials on both sides are taking the event very seriously. >> very few things going on that are important. one is the forensics on these devices, to establish what they were and what their purpose was. how viable were they? were they more innocent? from the way people are reacting, this has been taken very seriously, not as some type of mistake about what these packages might be. it is being treated with a high degree of seriousness, still a focus very much on yemen and al
qaeda. that group has shown increasing participation in the last year, particularly in bomb-making techniques. i think the evidence is pointing in that direction. that is the suspicion, not least based on where these packages came from, from what we understand. the exact purpose and the exact scope of the plot is less clear. we may have to wait a while for some of the investigations and the forensics to work their way through to really get a grasp on that. a lot of people will be doing different things very quickly. to put that together is hard. >> for people who just joined us, no suggestion that the u.s. or the u.k. are under attack. >> that is right. the threat level in the u.k. was not raised. that package was found in the u.k., but officials here say
nothing in the u.k. was the target. it appears the u.s., and a -- and potentially their religious institutions, were the target, not anywhere else. >> he spoke to me a short while ago. president obama is due to speak in just a few minutes as we are on an air about these -- this security situation. you were looking at a press briefing room at the white house. we are talking on the security alerts. more as soon as that starts. let's bring you up-to-date on some of the other main news. choppy seas and poor visibility is low in the delivery of food, water, and emergency aid to the indonesian islands hit by the tsunami monday. indonesia has been hit by two natural disasters. there are continuing eruptions. 35 people have been killed so far.
the islands are the most remote and the most vulnerable to tsunamis. our correspondent reports. >> more than four days on from when the tsunami struck the shores, and the horrific stories of those who survived are just beginning to emerge. hundreds have been injured. the trauma of what they witnessed even more painful than the physical scars. >> we could not save some of our relatives. the waves were too big and high. if they were not so high, we could have saved them. >> in this remote island community, there is a sense of growing helplessness about the future. these people have lost everything. many need urgent medical attention. no aid has reached them yet. >> we do not have enough medicine and we need more oxygen
supplies. many patients need oxygen and it is limited here. it is almost all used up. >> some help is finally getting through, though. rescue workers are slowly but surely getting to some of the most isolated parts of the island, where they found each is littered with corpses. mass graves are being dug in villages where dozens have perished. one bright spot in the middle of this tragedy, remarkably, this 3-month-old baby survived the enormous tidal wave, found in a ditch days after the tsunami struck. his mother drowned and his father is still missing. the priority for the government is to get as much emergency aid as it can to these remote communities. it also needs to help people rebuild the hundreds of homes that were destroyed by the force of the water. relief efforts are being
hindered by bad weather. indonesia is used to natural disasters. it sits on the pacific ring of fire, one of the most volatile areas in the world. this week, it has been hit by two catastrophes, and the challenges are stretching its ability to cope. thousands across this nation have suffered yet again. bbc news, jakarta. >> stay with us on "bbc world news." much more to come on the big story and much else. 200 countries have agreed to protect endangered species by collecting their dna to help bring them back from the dead. first, last week, new research on the number of people dying from malaria in india has been hugely underestimated. it is up to 13 times more than world health organization
estimates. around 200,000 deaths per year. a british medical journal reported that eradicating the disease will not be possible without a vaccine. efforts in some countries might even be counterproductive. >> malaria still kills about 1 million people a year, most of them african children, like these in western kenya. it is not surprising that some countries want to eliminate the disease for. a british medical journal says prevention might be better than a cure. in a series of papers, scientists and officials argue that eradicate malaria would be immensely difficult. the parasite that causes malaria has no effective vaccine. some countries do not have the infrastructure to rid themselves of malaria. if they can kill off the disease, it might come back with
even greater force. there has been a lack of leadership from the world health organization. there is also criticism for bill and melinda gates. they called for ratification in 2007. such goals could lead to dangerous winds in funding away from current measures to control the disease. many of these measures are simple, but effective, such as mosquito nets. others require the government to monitor the the size and provide drug to treat it. these have been shown to reduce infections and deaths. bbc news. >> of this is "bbc world news." security alerts have been triggered in the united states, britain, and to abide by
suspicious packages on freight planes from yemen. police searched planes in the u.s. and britain. any moment now, we are expecting to go to washington. president obama is due to give a news conference on the security alerts. he is running slightly late. we will go there as soon as he starts. just a couple of days, brazil will go to the polls. no one candidate gained enough votes for an outright win. the favorite is dilma rousseff. the civil servant was chief of staff -- is chief of staff in the current administration. her opponent is of the central democratic party.
he ran and lost in 2002. >> in the end, it seems the president's record popularity will prevail. rousseff looks set to be elected brazil's first female president on sunday. it is the first time she has run for office, a virtual unknown. >> she has worked so many years lula. she is strong in the polls. there will be continuity. >> experienced opposition -- the experienced opposition candidate gained popularity following allegations of corruption within the government. >> rumors that rousseff would
legalize abortion also upset conservative voters, in particular evangelical christians. >> in this country, more than 90% of the people believe in god. this is a fact that cannot be ignored. nor can we deny the reality we live in. >> all the outskirts are proud of the new-found political force. just look at the numbers. we are 30 million evangelical christians in brazil, and we have shown in the elections that we have a lot of power. >> for the first time, moral issues like abortion and gay marriage had a significant influence in a presidential election in brazil. in this second round, rousseff
had to spend a lot of time and energy. evangelical christians have shown their real political force to be reckoned with. many in brazil feel that moral discussions and corruption allegations have taken the attention away from the issues that really matter. voters go on sunday with no clear idea of what their new president has in store for the next four years. bbc news. >> let's bring you this breaking news just coming in on the security alert. this from an official source in the united arab emirates, the package from yemen found in to buy did contain an explosive device. that is just in from an official source. the package in yemen found in -- the package from yemen found in to buy did contain an explosive
device. we expect to go to the white house to hear the statement from president obama any minute now. just to briefly sum up top stories, european leaders agreed a new plan to deal with future economic crises will hold tougher penalties for countries that run a big deficit, and also more help in preventing it happening. one problem, how to implement changes without having an intensive european treaty, which could take a long time. a bomb exploded in central iraq, killing at least 20 people. a suicide bomber blew himself up in a coffee shop. about 30 people were wounded. russia and the united states have destroyed four drug lote retreat -- drug laboratories in afghanistan. they discovered more than a ton of heroin and opium.
bio -- a biodiversity summit organized by the united nations reached a deal to protect habitats and oceans. they have overcome the division between rich and poor nations on the subject. they're collecting genetic samples from endangered species so, if necessary, they can be brought back from the dead. smallests the world's bus -- but most dangerous bear. it is nearing extinction. they are moving it from this small zoo to another. there giving him an essential check up for his journey. it is the perfect opportunity to take some vital dna, which will leave on -- lead on, even if the -- which will live on come
even as the species dies in the future. the species is dying of like never before. after being given some help, the bears are on their way. their dna is heading elsewhere, to the frozen mararc. scientists have banked 2000 species' samples like this. they hope to have 10,000 in the next five years. they freeze them to keep them hopefully long enough to bring these species back from the debt. >> scientists don't like to talk about this, but there is a real possibility that we might be able to bring back an extinct or very endangered species. that cannot be anything but good to preserve the by a diversity on the planet, rather than lewis
and live in a barren rock. >> what they're talking about is cloning. time is running out. it is controversial. they say if we don't collect dna now, we won't have the option in the future. >> we're just not saving some of these species. we cannot do it. we do not have the resources. we're losing them to quickly. we should preserve the genetic material and hope we can recreate the animals from it in the future. >> it might sound like something straight out of "jurassic park," but scientists are working to make this a reality. as they frolic in their new home, the bears aren't aware they may have done their bit to help preserve their species. bbc news. >> let's take you to the white house. president obama. >> i want to brief the american
people on a credible threat against our country and the actions we're taking with our friends and partners to respond to it. last night and earlier today, our intelligence and law- enforcement professionals, working with our friends and allies, and identified two suspicious packages bound for the united states, specifically, two places of jewish worship in chicago. those packages have been located in dubai and east midlands airport in the united kingdom. an initial examination of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive material. i was alerted to this threat last night by my top counter- terrorism adviser. my director of the department of homeland security and our law enforcement and intelligence agencies should take whatever steps are necessary to protect our citizens from this type of attack. those measures lead to additional screening of some planes in newark and
philadelphia. the department of homeland security is taking steps to enhance the safety of air travel, including additional cargo screening. we will continue to pursue additional protective measures for as long as it takes to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. i have also directed that we spare no effort in investigating the origins of these suspicious packages, and their connection to any additional terrorist plot in. we are still pursuing all the facts, but we do know the packages originated in yemen. we also know that al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, a terrorist group based in yemen, continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies. john brennan, who you will be hearing from, spoke with the president of yemen today about the seriousness of this threat. the president of yemen pledged the full cooperation of the
government in this investigation. . for, we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the yemeni government to destroy this al qaeda affiliate. we will continue our efforts to strengthen a more secure, stable, prosperous yemen so terrorist groups do not have space they need to plan attacks from within its borders. the events of the past 24 hours _ the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism. as usual, our intelligence, law enforcement, and only security professionals have served with extraordinary skill and resolve , and with the commitment that they're enormous responsibilities demand. we are coordinating closely with our friends and our allies, who are essential to the fight. as we obtain more information,
we will keep the public informed. the counter-terrorism professionals -- >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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