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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 12, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." a video that appears to show american marines urinating on the bodies of dead taliban fighters sparks of rage and condemnation. >> it is absolutely inconsistent with american values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel. >> a tunisian man set himself on fire and spark a revolution. why are so many still copying him? the many faces of great britain. from the queen's diamond jubilee. these will play a small part in a giant portrait.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the curse of the camera has come back to bite another group of u.s. servicemen. a video that appears to show four american marines urinating on dead taliban fighters has provoked a strong reaction there and here. hillary clinton condemned the act as utterly deplorable. the afghan president labeled it deeply disturbing. >> it is simply too distasteful to show. what appears to be happening is that a small group of u.s. marines are urinating on the bodies of three debt afghans. we do not know where the video came from or whether it is authentic. all indications is that it
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probably is. the combination it has provoked has been universal. >> it is inconsistent with american values, standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel. the vast majority of our military personnel hold themselves to. >> this is not the first time that u.s. troops have been accused of breaching rules of war. in the past, it has acted quickly to punish those responsible. cleaning up the damage to its reputation is harder. this man says that u.s. troops have committed a crime and should leave the country. their president has demanded an investigation. the biggest fear is that this will damage prospects to a peace talk with insurgents. it is more than 10 years since american troops have invaded. the mission has been longer and
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harder than many expected and increasingly on pocketbook -- on popular among afghans. they want to know that the latest allegations will be taken seriously. >> an investigation has been launched into this disgraceful act. ny individual who ise participation is confirmed will be held responsible. >> u.s. troops have now pulled out of iraq. they have reduced numbers in afghanistan. a tentative peace process with the taliban is under way. do not expect any change in policy. >> what will the fallout from this video be? i am joined by a u.s. army veteran in iraq and afghanistan. he is the senior fellow at the center for security.
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this is not another abu ghraib. it is not going to have the same impact that did. >> to a degree, the die has been cast in afghanistan. the timetable for withdrawal was set in stone. the taliban shrugged this off. negotiations are going to proceed along a separate line of operations. >> we have the u.s. secretary of state coming out and condemning this. parks as well she should have. the response from u.s. and nato spokespeople has been appropriate. it is deeply embarrassing for the united states marine corps. these marines have disgraced the marine corps and the country. >> did you think that these kinds of incidents happen more often or less often than in previous conflicts? is it the nature of communications today and to get these on line quicker?
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>> perhaps less often if you look at the official u.s. propaganda in the second world war the way in which the japanese photo was dehumanized. you could imagine how that would translate down to the squad and the platoon level. the difference today is that with the advent of smart phones, a diffusion of various media, this kind of thing can go viral immediately. on one hand, that is a good way to convince soldiers and marines, do not do this kind of thing. it will get out. when something like this happens, it can have an outside the fact that maybe previous atrocities would not have. this kind of thing always happens during a war. the effect of the media has really changed. >> when you served in iraq and afghanistan, you put yourself in position of the soldiers
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serving and what impact this would have on their mission day to day. >> probably not much. maybe the soldiers have been ground down by this. this is a failure of supervision of the commission and noncommissioned officers. i sought a similar incident in 2002 when a young soldier posed with a debt taliban fighters. he was punished and sent home with it. that was in the first month of the war. war always has this dehumanizing effect. this will not have the oversized effect that the abu ghraib incident had. the response all the way up to the secretary of state has been correct. >> one more footnote on the u.s. armed forces. a military tribunal is up
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recommending a court martial for bradley for providing thousands of secret documents to wikileaks. drugs and death, they are often painfully link in mexico. for the fifth year running, the deaths linked to the drug war has increased. nearly 1000 people were killed between january and december last year. that brings it up to 47,000 since 2006. >> the statistics confirm what many mexicans have expect -- and expected for some time. for a fifth consecutive year, mexico has experienced a rise in drug-related murders. is up 11.4% on the same period
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in 2010. conflicts between the powerful drug cartels, battling for control of the lucrative smuggling routes see many communities caught up in the fighting and thousands of mexicans are dead. a very small proportion of those murders have trials. many are not even investigated. all the numbers are large, the government of felipe calderon has defended his military strategy. the rise is the lowest since 2006. the violence is concentrated in just eight states, especially along the northern border. the critics say the previously peaceful states are being caught up in the fighting. such as one in the east and west where our "is located. -- of acapulco is located.
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earlier this week, two decapitated bodies were found inside of a burning car outside of a shopping center at in the city. there are parts of this country where such events are everyday occurrences. >> there were some improvements this year such as a drop in order violence in juarez. that may have to do with a single cartel taking control rather than any victory. mexico's cartels are still extremely strong. even he has seen his empire weekend and he is fighting other drug gangs on various fronts. for many mexicans, this tide of violence, this election year is their chance to register their
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displeasure at the number of murders. the government of calderon is expected to lose the election to the party that ran the country for 70 years. if that happens, these numbers no doubt of the played a large part. >> other news from around the world. the nigerian president is holding talks with union leaders as a nationwide strike threatens to shut down the country's oil industry. it is the first time that the president has become directly involved since the action began. the union says that it will bring oil and gas production to a halt on sunday unless there is a subsidy. charge in a turkish court for secretly thumbing orphanages. sarah ferguson is accused of violating the privacy of five
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children. her spokesman has refused to comment. when a fruit seller in tunisia set himself on fire just over a year ago, he sparked a change in the arab world. ewert think that it would be a desperate single act. there are statistics suggesting that he triggered a trend. despite the overthrow of the hated regime and the advent of democracy, two nations continue to set themselves of light. >> in the last 12 months, at least 130 people have set themselves on fire in tunisia. last january, he poured petrol over himself and let a match. he survived and is being treated here in the capital. he told me that he deliberately
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copied the actions. the market trader who sells the information began the tunisian revolution a year ago. unlike him, he did not become a folk hero and he bitterly regret what he has done. i was jobless and desperate. the whole country seem to be on fire. i set myself on fire, too. i destroyed myself psychologically and physically. i also destroyed my family. in the last week along, 32 in the shins have set fire to themselves. a crowd desperately tries to set -- stop the flames on this desperate father of three. they are mostly young men from poor rural areas.
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they are desperate, out of work, and have little prospect of employment. another young man fights for his life in the burn unit. the bbc has shown previously unpublished figures which shows that in the year since last month's revolution, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of self inhalations. >> the same problems doing the same thing. there is dramatic consequence of this act. please stopped doing this. >> they may all for the honor of being buried in a mortar's grave, but their families are no better off. this is in danger of
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overshadowing to revolution's excesses. >> grim acts with grissom consequences in tunisia. another step towards the ending of international sanctions. resolving the issues of ethnic conflict is one of the key conditions of western governments for easing sanctions against burma. >> it is just a photograph, but it could come to symbolize so much. burmese government ministers and the leader of a political movement are raising their glasses in a toast to the future. eight future perhaps free of all of this. rebels have been fighting on and off for more than 60 years. a long and bitter struggle for greater autonomy and protection. human rights groups accuse government shoulders -- soldiers of abuses perpetrated against
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ethnic minorities. could that be coming to an end? there is a legacy of distrust to overcome. resolving burma's long-running ethnic conflicts is a key for western nations as the foreign secretary made clear during his recent visit to burma. the opposition leader has stressed the need for all of the people of burma to be involved in the evolving political process. the early signs from the government are encouraging. the outside world should remain vigilant. >> now that burma is on the verge of a breakthrough to democracy, we have not yet had a breakthrough. we are on the verge of such a breakthrough. >> quiet hope is slowly replacing long-held fear. that mood needs to spread throughout the country to all ethnic areas. today's ceasefire may be a small
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but significant step towards that dream. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." two years after this past -- a disaster struck in haiti, we returned to see how the earthquake ravaged nation is struggling to recover. iran's president was in cuba to visit rome will castro. it is all part of a tour of south america to shore up support for his regime. >> this is a whistle stop tour by iran's president. q. but, the third country in latin america he has touched down in. ahmadinejad stepped out here, totally relaxed. he was given the warmest of cuban welcomes. there were no words for him.
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a sign for victory. at the university, another sign of friendship. iran's president was awarded an honorary doctorate. there was no mention of the big issue of the day. iran is developing nuclear- weapons technology. europe is threatening more sanctions if it does not stop. >> ahmadinejad is clearly trying to send a message to the world. these two countries are united by their hostile relations with america. cuba spent 50 years under a u.s. trade embargo. perhaps ahmadinejad was hoping for some survival tips. he planned to rail against capitalism, calling it a system
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in decline. he told me that it was very positive. or countries have the rights to develop the technologies that they need. any problem should be solved through dialogue. so far, there has been no sign that iran plans to return to the negotiating table. the overriding mood has been one of defiance. >> two years ago today, a massive earthquake shook haiti. large parts of the country still bear the scars. more than 300,000 people died and a million and a half left homeless. there is some evidence of rebuilding. to mark the day that thousands took to the streets on in port- au-prince to demand new housing. our correspondent reports.
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>> in just 35 overwhelming sense, the earthquake destroyed lives, homes, and the heart of haiti'of government. that night, he lost one daughter and fear that he would lose a second. >> she wants to fight. the head was open. her body was crushed under the rubble. >> this is the spot where she almost died. very little has changed. she has made a spectacular recovery. >> life is not as great in haiti. there are no jobs. they can go on. she is fighting.
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>> daily life is still a choice -- a struggle for millions of haitians. out of the rubble has been removed. 500,000 people are still living in tents. the singer turned leader has promised change. >> lately, he has been able to do it. i can say that is a huge step. >> this park was a sea of tents after the earthquake. families have moved out. normal life is returning. for haitians, it is a small sign of progress. she has been given a grant to move art of the camp into this tiny apartment that she shares with her small children. >> it is better than living in a
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tent. how will i pay the rent next year? >> haiti prepares tomorrow instead. the ruins of the national cathedral are a place for remembrance. the monumental loss is still so hard to bear. >> for more on the situation in haiti, laura towards me from port-au-prince. it you have made several trips to haiti. what is the progress in reconstruction you have seen? >> what is interesting is that i was here before the earthquake. the general sense is that in a strange way that haiti is worth was about six years ago before the earthquake. the emergency stage is over. the reality of the grinding poverty that is daily life in haiti is all too apparent. only 17% of the people in this
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country have access to a country. 5 million are illiterate. 8 million live without electricity. the levels of poverty are extraordinary. they were there before the earthquake and they are still there now. it is the perennial question of how to get haiti out of this situation and how to create jobs. >> you say that haiti for years was dependent on foreign aid for its existence. a lot of money was pledged. we sought a lot of outpouring after the earthquake. how much has been delivered? >> about half has been spent. there was worried about corruption and political instability in haiti. there has only been a new government for about 2.5 months. there is goodwill behind the government. the new president is determined.
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he has a program. can he get parliament to back him? >> joining us from port-au- prince. thank you so much for joining us. glad to see you back in haiti. now for a very special portrait being created in the u.k. this year, queen elizabeth will be celebrating her diamond jubilee. thousands of schoolchildren will be taking a role. they are being asked to take part in a very special art project. >> it is a celebration of faces, self portraits of the nation's children. they were having a very close look at themselves. >> it is a picture of myself. i tried to draw myself.
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>> looking at that picture now, does everybody in the class know who that was? once they are done, the portraits are going to be shrunk and become part of a new picture of the queen. >> my face might be a part of the eye or the hair. of the queen. >> i do not know if is quite near yet. it makes you think quite seriously and not just about how you look, but who you are. describe this one. >> a very colorful.
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>> that is you. is that your face? >> yeah. >> if somebody saw that, when they know it is you? >> yeah, because of the smile. >> a picture of britain's children. their pictures and their feelings. >> the many young faces of great britain and just how much the country has changed since 1952 when queen elizabeth came to the throne after the second world war. that brings the show to a close. if you would like to reach me and most of the bbc team, go to twitter. thanks so much for watching. do tune in tomorrow.
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>> make sense of international 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. >> you are no longer in the service. only an outsider can find the double agent. >> i'll do my utmost. >> from the bestseller by john le carre -- >> all i want from you is one code name. >> it will take a master spy -- >> you are alone. >> you can't mention me. >> to catch a spy. >> you have to assume they're watching you. >> what the hell are you doing up here? >> things aren't always what
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they seem. >> "tinker tailor soldier spy." >> rated r. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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