tv BBC World News America PBS September 3, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
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up so much they are literally melting. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. u.s. secretary of state john kerry appeared before a senate panel appealing for military action in serious -- syria. made the administration's case before a key vote on the issue. our north american editor followed all the action and starts our coverage. he would be so much weaker if congress rejects him, so the president had the leaders of both parties into the white house to tell them his plans for military action would degrade assad's capabilities and
ultimately a louse serious --. to free itself from civil war -- allow syria to free itself from civil war. >> this is not iraq, and this is not afghanistan. this is a limited, proportional step that will send a clear message not only to the assad regime but also to other countries that may be interested in testing some of these international norms, that there are consequences. >> he won over a fierce critic -- the republican leader of the republican-controlled house, the place where so many of president obama's plans have met their death. >> this is something that the united states as a country needs to do. i'm going to support the president's call for action. i believe that my colleagues should support this call for action. >> on capitol hill where politicians are returning to work today, that may mean an important endorsement, although this is being counted as a vote
of conscience, not along party lines. the question to all these politicians is -- how are you going to vote? the administration is walking a tight walk here making its argument because someone to hear that obama is for family serious about changing what is happening in syria. some want to hear that obama is profoundly serious about changing what is happening in syria. only those with a willful desire to avoid reality could doubt assad carried out a chemical attack. >> this is not the time to be spectators to the slaughter. neither our country nor our conscience can afford the cost of silence. we have spoken up against unspeakable horror many times in the past.
now we must stand up and act. >> will you tell us whether you believe that -- >> he was asked why there was nothing in the motion promising no booths on the ground. >> i do not want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the president of the united states to secure our country. >> committee members were eager for the -- for more detail. >> the bottom line is the president has no intention and we do not want to put american troops on the ground to be involved in the fighting of the civil war. war issuffering in civil beyond any doubt, but there are serious questions about whether a military action could make it worse and whether it would be legal. the united nations secretary- general raised both questions. >> we must consider the impact of any punitive measure on efforts to prevent further bloodshed and facilitate a political resolution of the conflict.
the turmoil in syria and of course the region serves nobody. >> the region is jumpy. the russians detected a missile launch in the mediterranean. the u.s. is helping iranians test a target missile, nothing to do with syria, but in washington, some politicians are reaching closer to backing real action with the consequences. -- with big consequences. >> among those lawmakers questioning the administration today was a member of the foreign relations committee who joins us live now from capitol hill. senator, after what you have heard today, are you prepared to back military action against syria? >> what i have been hearing from my constituents is that, like most americans, they are weary of war and wary of getting drawn into another open-ended conflict. after getting into another classified hearing, i'm convinced that the intelligence
is solid and we are able to say with certainty that bashar al- assad massacred 1400 of his own people in a chemical weapons attack. we just finished a debate with the foreign relations committee about the scope being sought by the president. if the senate does its job, if we tailor that so it is more narrow, limited in scope, i would be willing to support an authorization for a strike against assad, to punish him for crossing the global red line of not using chemical weapons. >> the senate has to make the authorization very narrow in order to get you on board. is there a danger that it would just be ineffective and the strikes would not achieve anything? >> that is a risk, and one of the questions i had the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is can he strike that middle balance where an attack effectively punishes and deters assad from further use of chemical weapons yet does not draw us into an open-ended conflict. the authorization for use of
military force that was passed by congress at the dawn of the military front in afghanistan has been used by several presidents to engage in what was an unpredictably long and broad conflict. there's real concern on the part of my constituents and most americans as well as many in congress that we make this particular mission, this particular action more narrow than that, more targeted. yet i share your concern and the concern of many in congress that it be ineffective, at it actually succeed in deterring assad from continuing to murder his own citizens. >> we heard questions today about why the administration does not go further and try to depose assad altogether. >> i did ask for and hope to receive a broader strategy. i do think the administration is committed to a diplomatic resolution for the syrian civil war. that's partly one of the lessons where conflict in iraq many countries invaded and wiped
military, and, civilian infrastructure of iraq, leading to a long and difficult conflict and our military presence being required to produce stability. it is the hope of the administration to avoid that sort of outcome in syria, and that is to the advantage of the united states and our allies in the region. >> thank you very much indeed for joining us live from capitol hill. for more on today's hearing, i'm a former republican senator who served for more than three decades. thank you so much for joining us . if you were still in the senate, which way would you vote? >> i would support the president simply because i believe americans have to stand together at this point. furthermore, i would support him because i believe that the chemical weapons that have been used to break the norm of
international relations. some would say it is not international law but international norm, but the point i'm making is that american security is much more dependent upon containment of .hemical and biological weapons the terrorists that might use chemical weapons in particular are a great vet, so when we say that we are not going to allow the use of chemical weapons in this world, we need to mean it. says thesenistration strikes will be about degrading the capability of the assad regime. is that enough? is that not too limited? >> my view is i do not know whether the regime would be degraded or not. the point is we are responding to the use of chemical weapons, chemical weapons in this world. s, and, this was on syrian'
the case for civil war can be argued many ways as to what the outcome may be. what should not be argued is the toleration of the use of chemical weapons at this point. >> americans are so weary of war. 100,000 syrians have already died. why does it make a difference if they used chemical weapons? that is what i'm hearing about ordinary americans. >> ordinary americans i think will be informed about a debate that is occurring. i congratulate the leaders of calling back today the senate foreign relations committee for a very vital debate and hearing. they will have another debate tomorrow behind closed doors. likewise, the house of representatives will hear about this. we will all be hearing about this. the fact that we have been preoccupied -- and i understand this -- with jobs, the economy, deficit does not mean that the dangers to our country are any
less from weapons of mass destruction. this debate is a healthy debate. >> to you worry that your own party is split between hawks and isolationist? >> i'm not certain what my party is going to do. i would hope that members that are taking part in these hearings are listening carefully, learning a great deal more about not only the intelligence but about weapons of mass destruction, thinking clearly about what americans anticipate in terms of their government standing up strong to .ather -- together this is the power of our diplomacy and is something that should not be denied. >> is the president going to win this vote, do you think? >> i think he will. there may be modifications in the resolution. it may be more carefully, more clearly drawn, but this means that senators and members of the house are taking their responsibility seriously, having
a good debate, a good hearing. at the end of the day, i think they will be with the president. >> do you worry that america could be dragged into a complete quagmire if it goes ahead with this resolution? >> i do not think that is the case. i think it is clearly defined what we plan to do. will be firinge tomahawk missiles at various installations in serbia to make to make a in syria point. >> thank you very much. countries bordering syria are trying to cope with the endless flow of refugees. the united nations confirmed that the number of syrians who fled the country has reached 2 million. despite the continued volatility, nearly 172,000 syrians have sought refuge in .raq our correspondent reports from one of those camps.
>> children make up half of the 2 million refugees who have been torn from their home by the .ighting under slaughter this is the camp on the border with iraq. mohammed made it here with his grandfather and some of his brothers and sisters. his parents are trapped inside .yria >> we tell him about his mother. he says he does not want to see her. he thinks she abandoned him. >> he's just five, and already his dreams have turned to nightmares. i dreamed that assad is bombing my brother, mother, and my father. >> syria's smallest neighbor, lebanon, is bearing the biggest burden. some 700,000 refugees have fled here. beneath the steel beams, they
set up home. families, this slaughterhouse is a sanctuary from the bloody carnage of syria . once they lived well. now they are making do. >> we cannot show his face, but his car, apartment, and farm are only memories. he once owned his own clothing store. now this is all he's got. >> we had to leave all that behind to escape with our lives. it was very difficult. >> you either stay and fight or you leave. there's no middle ground, even when there's no clashing, there's the danger of being arrested, dragged to prison at
any moment. >> as the war next door intensifies, the numbers crossing into lebanon accelerate . 's neighbors are already overwhelmed by the numbers crossing through these borders. 2 million is not the end of it by the end of the year. the number is expected to be 3 million. the scale of the crisis here is unprecedented. >> at this hospital, we now have twice the number of syrian s.tient >> god willing as sought will be removed and the country will be back to normal again and all syrians can return to their homes -- god willing, a sought assad will be,
removed. >> syria's crisis has become its neighbors' calamity. >> the cost of the riyadh -- syria's conflict. prosecutors investigating not see war crimes are recommending charges be pursued against 30 former auschwitz guards after the case of a retired american auto worker two years ago where a judge ruled that his presence at a concentration camp help facilitate mass murder. more than 80,000 gold mine workers have gone on strike in south africa, but a national union of mineworkers has significantly reduced its demand . blame falling gold prices and soaring costs. tonis rodman has returned north korea for his second visit this year. he says he has gone back to spend more time with the north korean leader.
the visit comes after pyongyang rejected a visit by the u.s. envoy. rodman would not say if he discussed that case but did say he is not a diplomat. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come -- one building in london is casting a reflection which is heating up the neighbors. has promisedrnment nearly $500,000 to contain the leak at the fukushima nuclear facility. the plan is to create a barrier of frozen or to protect the surrounding area -- of frozen earth to protect the surrounding area. crisis.lant is still in the government is now promising and emergency response to try to contain the problems.
the world is certainly watching whether we can dismantle the plant, including the issue of contaminated water. the government is working hard to contain the issue. >> the principle behind the new plan is an underground wall of ice to hold back the leaking water. vertical pipes carrying coolant will be inserted into the ground creating an artificial permafrost. more than a kilometer long, the wall is designed to surround the four reactors that were damaged in the disaster. the technique is sometimes used in the construction of tunnels, this scale and for the link the time considered necessary at fukushima -- for the link of time considered necessary. the cabin found in some of the pipes, and alarmingly high hotspots of radiation. ther is needed to cool reactors, and many tons are being added every day. the government is struggling to reassure a skeptical public.
it may also have an eye on tokyo's bid to host the olympic games for 2020. a decision on that is expected shortly. but the decommissioning of the fukushima plant is expected to take decades. the government, the plant's operators have yet to convince critics that they have the resolve or the comp -- competence that will be required. >> once the world's leading mobile phone manufacturer, but with the rise of the smartphone, sockets -- nokia drop.\s shares their phone unit, microsoft hopes to gain an edge.
>> it was the ring tone heard was numberhen nokia one in worldwide phone sales. now the giant of the software world is swallowing up if the next phone company. in helsinki this morning, steve ballmer, soon to retire as microsoft's chief executive, sealed what he said was the biggest deal he had ever done. he told me this was all part of his strategy to transform microsoft into more than just a software business. >> this is a big, bold step forward. this acquisition, and i do think it is an extremely important piece of the puzzle, if you will, as we seek to become this phenomenal devices and services business. >> this kind of device used to be the pity me of cool, making number one.defeated then along came first apple's
iphone, then a whole range of android devices, convincing just about everyone there was a better touchscreen way of doing things. its new windows phone but it is still way behind its rivals. in a fast-changing industry, there may not be much -- much profit in being number three. >> handset manufacturers once they start accumulating losses to gobout three years bust or find a buyer. they found a buyer just in time. >> microsoft now needs to show it competecan help in a mobile world. this deal means another european technology giant has left the global stage. therefore change
nokia. a new london skyscraper is radiating so much heat that the neighbors are starting to complain. they name it the walkie-talkie because of its shape. the concave side has been reflecting the sun's rays into a strong beam. a temporary screen is being directed to contain the damage. >> the glittering addition to london's skyline, or a giant magnifying glass scorching everyone and everything that crosses its path. the concentrated beam of the sun's rays is being reflected from the so-called walkie-talkie building onto the street below. this man when he returned to our was later found a woman taking a photograph of his vehicle. seen what hadad i
happened to my car, and i said that was unbelievable. had to do with the reflection of the building. >> local businesses have also been feeling the full glare of the new skyscraper. back, and it was on fire. >> this one, it actually broke. it has beent, melted. we realized it was that building because the shape is like this, right? when the sun comes, it will look straight through our shop. >> it's just after 1:00 in the afternoon, and the sun has hit the walkie-talkie, making the heat down here almost unbearable. we have had temperatures of up to 50 degrees celsius in the last few minutes. current temperature is still 42 degrees. it has all become a subject of
fascination and experimentation as people try and make sense of it all. the building is huge, which means there's a vast amount of light energy, solar energy going in, and that's going down, just like using a magnifying glass to burn things. unfortunately, you are not burning paper or wood to start a fire. you are burning people and buildings down here. >> the owners have a plan for temporary scaffolding in the hopes that this building will no longer be the hottest property in town. >> a dangerous skyscraper there. now a reminder of our top story -- the obama administration warned congress about the on sequences of inaction. join us first in a series of hearings this week. secretary of state kerry says the white house will not consider losing a vote on a strike against syria because the consequences are too dire, but he also said there will not be boots on the ground.
you have been watching "bbc world news." keep watching for constant updates on syria. thank you for watching. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: top house leaders vowed today to back president obama's plan to strike syria. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the pressure for military action intensified today in a white house meeting with lawmakers and at the first hearing on capitol hill. we hear from michigan democrat carl levin. >> ifill: then, japan struggles to stem radioactive leaks from its crippled nuclear plant, including a plan to build an ice wall below the damaged reactors. >> woodruff: we break down two big deals in the world of technology and telecommunications. >> ifill: as the debate over a living wage is reignited by fast-food workers, ray suarez sit