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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 16, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu newman's own foundation and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business. offering specialized solutions and capital to meet your growth objectives, we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." what was he thinking? the captain of the italian cruise liner is blamed for veering off of course. the children of syria. are they being deliberately targeted by the government? we have a special report. a group of scientists is braving the cold in the hopes of finding new life forms miles beneath the surface. ♪ welcome to our viewers on pbs
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and around the globe. the owners of the luxury cruise liner wrecked off the italian coast line their own captain for the disaster. they say he made an unauthorized deviation from the official course that took them to close to shore with deadly results. tonight we look at the investigation and hear from the survivors who made it back home. matthew price has the latest on the rescue. >> this morning, it slipped slightly more beneath the surface. with the waves, the hope shifted on the seabed -- hulk shifted on the seabed. they abandoned the rescue effort for hours because it was too dangerous to continue. more teams have arrived to search for survivors and to try to stop the fuel from leaking into the pristine waters. the divers have the most
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dangerous task, working in the water for hours still hoping to find survivors but knowing it is more likely they will find the dead. one of them pulls the bodies of two elderly man out. -- men out. this is the view that one driver had of the gash in the hull. the lead driver told me that tables and chairs were floating around him inside the ship. >> it seemed like a movie. >> many argue it should never have come to this. >> it is under control. please remain calm.
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>> hundreds of passengers were ready to leave after the ship struck land. the first person to arrive and help with the rescue was the deputy mayor of the island. did you get the impression on board that the officials were in control? >> no, absolutely not. they were unprofessional. >> we headed out to the rocky outcrop the ship hit. the captain says it was not marked on his map. the expert says he should have been further away. what was he thinking? we found police divers gathering evidence and photographs of what prosecutors believe is a crime scene. the ship hit the rocks down there. the captain continued in the same direction doing a big u- turn when he realized he was in trouble. it came to rest where it has
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now capsized. why so near? last year, the village asked the cruise company for a close sailing past. the mayor says it was a one-off. today, the captain was blamed by his employers. >> we believe it was human error. the captain did not follow the authorized procedure used by costa ships frequently, probably more than 100 times in one year. >> it is peaceful and calm down. the rescue operation continues. soon they must decide how to salvage the cruise liner. >> tonight investigators are weighing whether human error was to blame or if the ship's design
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contributed to the disaster. the company that owns the schiff insists it is safe. some are less convinced. richard has the latest on the investigation so far. >> three days after the ship hit the rocks, we now know it was off course. this image shows the area of the ship was traveling. a respected industry newspaper says this is the ship taken on her previous voyage when she safely navigated the island. compare that to friday. it was clearly much closer to the reef. >> it deviated from the previous route and went to close -- too close and hit a rock. >> the company that owns the ship and mix it is not the first time it sailed close to the island. costa confirms it was allowed to
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navigate a similar route last summer to celebrate a festival. >> nearby island, it has not been closer than 500 meters from the island. >> the company now claims he was trying to repeat the maneuver on friday without permission. what do we know about the events of that evening? at 9:30 p.m., passengers heard a loud noise when the ship hit the rocks. 50 minutes later, the ship started lifting and began to take on water. the captain headed back to shallow water. just after 10:00, passengers were making for the lifeboats as the orders were given to abandon ship. it ended up on the ground, on its side. cruise ship design has changed considerably since the titanic 100 years ago. there twice the size and sit much higher out of the water. some question whether the new
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designs are as stable. it is something they test here at the university of southampton. >> they are as safe as they can be. the center of gravity is higher because of equipment, cabins. inherently, they are very stable. if the hull is big enough, the ship will still sink. >> the international maritime organization the regulates ship safety and around the world now says it will consider tightening the rules in light of the accident. >> extraordinary images. it is starting to look as if
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this was a case of negligence on the part of the captain. >> he is very much at the center of this. his team is looking worse and worse all the time. he did go on italian television and say he felt he was far enough out, but the coast guard was having none of that. they said he was always too close to the island. today the ship owners say the cause of it was human error and an unauthorized maneuver by the captain. the prosecutors have made the claim that they believe the captain was almost buzzing the island cruising by the sleepy town to show off a bit.
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it is difficult to understand if that is the case. none of it is proven yet. if that is the case, the result was disastrous. >> we can see what look like rescue boats going round the ship. what is the situation with the rescue operations? there is the potential danger of a fuel leak. >> earlier today, there was drama when the rescue workers noticed the vessel was shifting. it was more than enough to alarm them. the ship is resting on a ledge of rock. the concern is the tides and waves will push hard enough to send her crashing down into much
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deeper water. the rescue effort is underway again with boats and rescue teams through the day and into the night. there are new concerns about in terminal impact of this. -- there are new concerns about the environmental impact of this among italian officials. italian government is talking about declaring a state of emergency. that would free the italian government and european union funds to fight any pollution threats. >> thank you so much. for much more on this story, go to our website to find a world of information including details about the crash, the latest on
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survivors, and the financial impact this will have on the parent company. rescue workers in lebanon continue to search for survivors in a residential area. at least 17 people were killed in beirut. many of the dead were said to be laborers. reports said a five-story building housed dozens of people and was in a poor state of repair. the nigerian president has backed down over the cut in fuel subsidies that doubled petrol prices and led to protests. trade unions have defended a general strike against the price rises. the credit rating agency standard and poor's has downgraded the rating of the bailout fund. the decision may make it more difficult for the fund to borrow. that would limit its ability to
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help struggling economies. one of the six contenders for the republican presidential nomination in the united states has dropped out of the race. john hanson has now endorsed mitt romney -- jon huntsman has now endorsed mitt romney and warned the candidates against toxic campaigning against mr. romney. let's go to politics in pakistan. turmoil continues. the civilian government was dealt a blow when the supreme court ruled he should answer charges of contempt. he is accused of blocking corruption cases against the president and other senior politicians. he has been ordered to attend the court on thursday. our correspondent has sent us this report from islamabad. >> today the political crisis shifted to the supreme court of pakistan. the embattled civilian government has few friends here. anticipation has died as judges
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consider the failure to reopen the long-running corruption case against the president. it was soon clear the judges had enough. they opened contempt proceedings against the prime minister. after waiting two years, we're left with no option. the order of the prime minister should appear in court personally on january 19. -- they ordered that the president -- that the prime minister to appear in court personally on january 19. if convicted, the prime minister will be disqualified from office. the law minister gave a hurried response. >> this is not a small thing. we will consult our experts and take the necessary steps. >> the prime minister has denied
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reports he has resigned. a former law minister says he should step down. >> it is the highest order of the country. face it. resign his office. face it. after he is acquitted, he can go back into office. >> the prime minister may try to drag out proceedings as long as possible hoping to buy time. as the legal woes worsen, the result is greater instability and paralysis. that is a concern for the west. it needs pakistan's help to do a peace deal in afghanistan. political leaders here are struggling to get from one day to the next. they are fighting on two fronts with the judiciary and the army. the president held more talks with military chiefs today. he and the government seem determined to stay put.
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bbc news in an islamabad. >> you are watching "bbc world news america. in syria, even the children are not safe. we have a special report on the young who have been wounded in the brutal attempt to quash dissent. gaddafi is gone. the violence in libya is not over. authorities are gathering to disarm fighters they say are loyalists holding out against the government. >> in the unfinished revolution, this is the new front line. south of the capital, men who once called themselves rebels are back in position with their improvised weapons trained once more on the enemy. this is something we have not seen since october when colonel gaddafi was captured and killed in sirte.
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the spiders are saying the fighting is not over yet. -- these fighters are saying it is not over yet. they say heavily armed militias are still holding out in support of the old regime. what is the solution to the problem? >> take their weapons. >> how will you take their weapons? >> they give them to us or we take them from them. >> over the weekend, it felt like to return to the height of the fighting before the fall of aaa. medics struggled to cope with the casualties. tribal elders and military leaders gathered to try to negotiate a solution. local commanders admit they are powerless to control some of their own fighters. you are having trouble controlling them. >> yes. it is quite difficult to control the people.
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they decide what they want to do and do it. >> the standoff in the hills continues. earlier this month, the interim leader warned of the dangers of the civil war. there are rivalries here that go back decades. too old grievances, the revolution has added new guns. ♪ >> in the past 10 months, we have heard horror stories out of syria. there are reports more than 100 student arrested last night in a raid on the university. the most alarming it must be the claims of human rights groups that the government of al- assad is the liberty -- deliberately targeting children. there is evidence they are being
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singled out. >> they have been here for many months. new allegations of crimes against humanity. -- bringing allegations of crimes against timidity. the seven-year old twins were with their parents when they say the soldiers opened fire. [speaking foreign language]
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he was struck in the knee. three bullets hit his sister. the violence is relentless. in the hospital, a balloon to cheer up. boy who has lost his leg. we cannot identify him for fear of reprisals. his father tells me a tank shell was fired at their home. the family was trapped for 15 days, he said. they were unable to get to the hospital until they made the dangerous journey to lebanon. the syrian government claims are grovels for attacking civilians. it denies targeting children and says syria is the victim of a foreign plot. in every work, and children are casualties caught in the crossfire of adult conflicts. what happened in syria is very different. the evidence gathered by human rights organizations and from the testimony of people we have spoken with over the past
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month, it is clear children are being deliberately targeted. this 16-year-old is in hiding. he was arrested and tortured after the regime accused his father of being a rebel. >> they started beating us. they said this is democracy. they tied us and put us on the floor. they beat us with cables and used electric shocks. it was awful torture. each night i heard women screaming. i did not know if they were being beaten, raped, or tortured. i said to myself, i am already dead. >> the u.n. as reported systematic violations of children's rights in syrian prisons and detention centers. in all of this, it is impossible to verify every allegation. in jordan, we heard compelling
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testimony of abuse. ♪ he is seen here a week before his detention. the 15-year-old was arrested at a demonstration last april. he promised his mother he would not go. >> he was doing his hair and asked me if it looked nice. i told him he was so beautiful. then he left. after that for a month and a half, life without him play drinking poison. only god kept us going. what can i remember? we speak of him with love. we cry a lot. >> we have spoken with another prisoner who saw him being beaten. >> man from my village knock on
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the door and said there was a child's body in the hospital. he said we may recognize it. when we received his body, it was totally disfigured. >> the x-rays showed the effect of brutal treatment. but holes in his thighs, a broken arm and leg, his jawbone crushed. >> it is impossible there are people who can do this to their fellow men. even animals cannot do this to human beings. >> with the country spiraling deeper into violence, for the child victims there is no way home. there is no chance of justice. bbc news in jordan. >> those reports are still coming out from across the border. we go to a part of the world's
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parvis -- largest wilderness that has remained untouched for thousands of years. the lake lies underneath antarctica. a group of british scientists is drilling through nearly two miles of ice to get to it. they're using sterile and equipment to prevent contamination. the hope is they will strike on life forms never been seen before -- that have never been seen before. >> deep in the wilderness of antarctica, one of the most ambitious journeys of discovery is getting underway. this is a delivery of highly specialized equipment. in the bitter cold, everything about this place is a challenge. the plan is to provide the first glimpse of an unexplored world lying beneath the ice. it is hard to imagine anything below the ice, but this mission will reveal what is there. the aim is to drill through the ice, it is two miles thick, down
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to an ancient lake that has been locked away for half a million years. the device will be lowered into it. no one knows what they will find. this is the device that will be lowered into the lake. it is being built in the clean room at the national oceanography center. there is the tantalizing possibility that they may find signs of life. if they do, it will be in the water samples gathered in these titanium bottles designed to withstand incredible pressure and low temperatures. the project will only succeed if every single component is kept sarah -- sterol --sterile. the aim is to avoid any risk of contamination. >> the level of cleanliness is higher than for surgery.
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everything has been deliberately cleaned. we will leave no trace when we go on the ice. >> a container at 9 is negative 30 test the equipment before it is shipped to -- at -30 tests the equipment before it is shipped to antarctica. >> daytime temperatures are -- -30. the extraordinary adventure begins at the end of the year when we will discover if life is hidden beneath the ice. >> that is far too cold for me. perhaps they will find life beneath the ice.
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thank you so much for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow. ♪ >> makes 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. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business. offering specialized solutions and capital to meet your growth objectives, we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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