tv BBC World News America PBS May 13, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
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and major corporations. what can we do for you? ♪ >> and now, "bbc world news." >> this is "bbc world news america." after three years of civil war, is syrian city of homs devastated. once at the heart of the uprising, now civilians return to see what is left. reminds us so much about this conflict, but most of all, it is a symbol of an extraordinary cost. >> the nigerian government said it is ready to explore all options to win the release of more than 200 schoolgirls, including a dialogue with boko haram.
welcome to our viewers on public television here in america and also around the globe. the syrian city of homs was once the heart of the uprising. today, it is in ruins. thanks to a deal brokered by iran, residents are trickling in and back to the town to see what is left of their homes. on the diplomatic front, t lakhdar brahimi has stepped down as international efforts have ended in failure. >> little is left after the worst debacle and a punishing
siege. returnnds of life slowly , even at the harmony music shop . this musician shop and home when the fighting began. he came back two days ago, but not for long. >> i'm going to go to the u.s. there is no future for us here. no future. coming backans are on truck, on foot, to take away what remains of their lives. the streets are being cleared of rubble, but this is ill no place to live. there's no electricity, no water here, but there's no fighting now. the syrian army pounded this area for months and cut it off
from food. rebel fighters fought back until exhausted and starving. they agreed a truce. the streets are among the first to see peaceful protest three years ago, and it's also one of the first places where syrians took up arms. now it is the place of the most significant deal reached between the government and rebel fighters. homs symbolizes so much about this conflict. most of all, it is the symbol of its extraordinary cost. it also shows why lakhdar brahimi could not succeed. the government believes it could end this war by local deals, not by the political negotiations the u.n. wanted. just want their ordeal to end. mohammed lost his family home.
he hopes to salvage whatever he can. you are only 20. do you really see your future here? >> we are coming back to rebuild our country, to rebuild our future. without us, our country is nothing. >> but for other syrians, there's no reason to stay. ajet is taking his pianos and his family away while he can. but the war is far from over. ago, i spokeme with reporter who had made her way back to damascus. your piece was heartbreaking. did you get the sense that the civilians returning back to homs were supporters of the government or had their also been supporters of the opposition as well? >> i think you meet both.
we met people today who supported the government, who fled soon after the fighters moved into the old city of homs some two years ago, and you met people who were critical of the government, but i think you could say that everyone just wants some kind of peace. they want this war to end. no one expected it would go on so long. they are literally picking up the pieces of their lives today is a microcosmms of what lakhdar brahimi always said for the nearly two years he took on this toughest of jobs. he would say to the rebels and governments when he met them, "sure, eventually, one side or another will win this war, but by the time that you do, there will be no syria left." in a small way, in a microcosm, that is what we saw in the city of homs. a place that lies in utter ruin, a community torn apart.
the fight is over, but the community is starved, and the fighting has just moved north. >> those families you spoke to trying to salvage what they could from the ruins of their homes -- what happens to them now? where do they go? >> i think that is what they are asking. where do they go? one of the most heartbreaking moments for me today is i met a man -- everyone seemed to have a truck or car or bicycle loaded with all their worldly goods outside what was left of their home today, and one man was loading the contents of his office and his house above it -- i could see his wife upstairs looking down, and i asked if he really thought he could rebuild his life here, and he said, "oh, yes, i am full of hope. a and i looked at his face, and it was just pouring with sadness and a told him that he looked so sad, and he broke down crying and said, "everything that i have lived or and work for was gone in our -- everything that i
have lived for and worked for was gone in an hour." i have met so many people fleeing their neighborhoods saying, "where do i go? i have nowhere else to go." the desperate situation for all of those civilians in syria. in nigeria, the government said that it is prepared to explore all options to secure the return of those kidnapped schoolgirls. released aboko haram video showing many of the girls. our world affairs editor has traveled to a region in nigeria where the girls were taken from, and to a remote town where he is one of the first journalists to witness another more recent attack by boko haram. he has sent us this report. >> these pictures have been
scanned with immense care today by the families of the missing girls, and all have now been identified as coming from the school which was attacked, and there has been just a little movement in the effort to get the girls released. after the scornful message yesterday by boko haram's leader, that a would only give the girls back in exchange for captured militants, one minister has said they are trying to get talks under way. it has not worked in the past, .ut it could now in the skies above us here in northeastern nigeria, american surveillance planes have started operating, searching for any sign of the girls. this is an airport which serves the capital of a state which is fighting a major insurrection. you might expect the apron here to be packed with military aircraft. not a bit of it.
i asked a local senator why so little was being done. >> the international community must put pressure on the government. on their own, left to them, they do not care because it is not their own people who are dying. >> what he means is that the northeast does not for the most part vote for the government. thisense of abandonment creates enrages people in places like the city which was attacked last week by boko haram. the local government went to see for himself. we went with him. the destruction was appalling. the governor came here to offer help and money, but the survivors are working themselves thatto a frenzy of anger the nigerian government should be doing so little to fight boko haram.
>> but there was no calling them -- calming them. the governor was lucky to get away unhurt. this is pretty extraordinary. of usvernor and the rest are being thrown out of here by the anger of the crowd, so we are having to get back to our cars and quickly. >> all this anger is not surprising. people here feel utterly abandoned, and they cannot understand why a world which cares so much about the missing care sorls seems to little about the destruction of an entire town. >> for more on the effort to rescue those girls and, of course, the threat that is posed , i spoke a short time ago with the director of the atlantic council's africa program. john was saying they're the missing schoolgirls have focused
attention on nigeria, but the war with boko haram has been getting more brutal over the last couple of years and no one has paid it every much attention, not even the nigerian government. >> that's right, and that is the real tragedy. in the month of march alone, overst estimate that well 3000 nigerians died in political violence, most of it attributed attacks,aram government counterattacks, or indeterminate cause between the two. >> you have said that the nigerian government must take on boko haram, admit there is a problem, but you have also said military force is a blunt instrument. what should they do? >> first, there is a military response. but one also has to provide basic security for people, otherwise they will not yield a in providing information, intelligence to the government, and in fact, they will be intimidated by the terrorist. they also have to work on
development, economic and political inclusion. these are people who, as john just mentioned, feel very much excluded by nigeria, a country now recognized as africa's largest economy. >> what exactly in terms of security can the military do? should they be going into towns like the one we just saw to get information? is that what they are failing to do? >> there are several questions. where are they getting information? and when they get information, are there sufficient numbers of them to respond? in many cases, they are not deployed in a manner in which they could respond. and then there are serious allegations made by a number of groups that even when they have the information in the troops available that the troops do not respond. part of that may be that they are sympathetic to boko haram, but a large part of it may be that there is a lot of corruption, that money does not trickle down, to the rank-and-file soldiers, -- so the rank-and-file soldier not being paid is not going to feel up to risking his life for this. >> do you feel the nigerian doernment is prepared to
some sort of deal? >> the nigerian government is caught between a rock and a hard place. if it does not strike some sort of deal, it runs the risk of having close to 300 girls lost forever or killed or whatever. on the other hand, if they get hasrecognition boko haram sought and the government has denied up until now, so either way, president goodluck jonathan a stand if he does and dammed if doeses not -- damned if he and damned if he doesn't. >> as many as 150 miners are feared dead following an explosion in a mine in western turkey. authorities say rescue efforts will continue through the night. those trapped are about two kilometers below the surface and four kilometers from the mine's exit. there are concerns now over the
effects of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the mine. mining accidents are common in turkey, which is plagued by poor safety conditions. russia will not be able to make ukraine into a failed state -- that's the promise from ukraine's prime minister. exclusiveaking in an interview with the bbc. he is in brussels drumming up support from the european union, which has agreed not to give in aid.r $1 billion these words come just a day after pro-russian separatist declared independence following a referendum. >> what is happening today in ukraine -- this is not only a vet for ukraine. this is a threat for all of europe. russia undermined international law, security, and tried to build up a new berlin wall. they have done everything they
can to disrupt residential --ctions and for ukraine presidential elections and for ukraine to not have illegitimate president. it seems their goal is to make ukraine a failed state, and i want to be very clear -- russia will fail in making ukraine a failed state. they have crossed the red line, and number of these lines. >> my question to you is at what moment do you want talk of tougher sanctions within the european union to turn into action? >> it is time. it is high time to have tougher sanctions on russia. >> the interim prime minister of ukraine's baking to the bbc -- .peaking to the bbc in other news now from around the world, the international criminal court in the hague says it will launch a preliminary investigation into claims of
abuse by british military personnel in iraq. it will be the first time britain has been the subject of an icc investigation. it follows a submission by lawyers alleging more than 400 cases of mistreatment or unlawful killings. a court in israel has sentenced the former prime minister to six years in prison for bribery. earlier this year, he was found guilty of having accepted rides to support the holy land housing budget in jerusalem while he was the mayor of the city. the judge told him and other officials involved in the case that their actions amounted to treason. that hert's lawyer says will appeal. still to come on tonight's program, and outlawed practice that is still being carried out on many young girls. now the death of one teenager in egypt is leading to legal action. all political parties in spain have suspended campaigning for
the european elections after a local politician was shot dead in the northern region of late on -- leon. a mother and daughter have been arrested in connection with the crime. >> shot dead in broad daylight on a bridge near her home. witnesses say several bullets were fired at point blank range. the victim, a leading politician in the region of leon for the country's ruling conservative popular party. across spain, a sense of shock as colleagues and politicians from other parties pay their respects. >> spain's deputy prime minister said she was dismayed. "our thoughts are with her family at this time.
oh the leader of the country's main opposition party condemned the murder, and spain's prime minister traveled to the region to pay his respect. is a normallycs polarized and sometimes even tribal affair, but sometimes there is unity on all sides. televised debate has been canceled. so, too, have sessions here in parliament, and all main political parties have suspended campaigning. to women, a mother and daughter, age 35 and 55, have been arrested. both suspects reportedly have links to the popular party in leon, and according to one report, just days ago, the younger woman was denied compensation for losing her job at the regional government.
>> for the first time, a doctor in egypt is to stand trial on charges of female genital mutilation. following the death of a 13-year-old girl. the girl's father is accused of taking her for the operation, and he is also being tried on a landmark prosecution. around 125 million women and girls in africa and the middle east have undergone female genital mutilation despite the practice being banned in most of the countries it is carried out in. >> rural egypt, a landscape still shaped by faith and tradition. among the age-old practices that persist, female genital mutilation. victims are usually between nine and 13 years old. promotinge name of
chastity. some see it as a religious duty. theecutors say it claimed life of a 13-year-old girl, one of the top students in her class. outside her home, relatives told us her death was god's will and then and the doctor were not to blame. without circumcision, girls are full of lust, said her uncle. this hasuntryside, been done for a long time. but her best friend told us she had a feeling of foreboding and did not want the operation. "it's a very bad thing for girls. there's no need for it. it's wrong because it is dangerous. -- dangerous."
it is also illegal but still enjoys support. a thousand girls have been circumcised since then, this young lady says. a local vegetable seller told us she would take her little when she is inm her teens. "in the past, there was ignorance," she said, and " people brought barbers to their homes to circumcise girls. now, we are more modern. we take our girls to the doctor." that is what her father did. he brought her to this private clinic where locals tell us many girls have the operation. but we had just opened to the doctor in this case here at his clinic. he would not appear on camera, but he denied carrying out the f gm procedure. he said he treated her for something else and she died because someone gave her penicillin, to which she was allergic.
she lies very close to her home. friends told us her dream was to be a journalist. campaigners say it will take a lot more than one prosecution to spare other girls. just one of some 125 million women and girls in africa and the middle east who have undergone fgm. now to london where after more than a year and a half, the painstaking restoration, a painting by artist mark rothko is back on display. it was defaced with permanent marker pen, but thanks to conservationists, it has been brought back to its original condition. our arts editor got close to have a look. >> the fine art of repairing fine art. thickert hand removes the black ink from a replica rothko theas in preparation for
real thing. to purge mark rothko's 1958 painting "lack on maroon" of the graffiti that defaced it in 2012. it did 18 months and huge .mounts a specialist research there is a lot more to this artwork than meets the eye. >> we have layers of household paint, layers of egg blazes. all those layers create such a specific effect and such a specific optical effect that i would really challenge anyone to and create a successful replica of this work. >> it is a challenge she did not attempt, instead focusing on painstakingly removing the graffiti and delicately retouching the service to the point where there is no sign of residual damage. at least, that is what she told me. this is the amos mark rothko room -- famous mark rothko room.
where is it? there it is. and it looks pretty good from here, but what about close up? she is right. it is a tidy job. so what of the man whose act of vandalism resulted in all this time and money spent on a picture? he has served his jail sentence and has released this audio statement. >> i apologize to british people for what i did. i spent almost a year and a half paid the huge restoration cost, so it definitely was not worth doing it. says the attack on the painting has not caused it to change its policy regarding the proximity visitors are allowed to paintings. >> there's no way i would have known that that had been restored. that brings the show to a close, but you can of course find out
much more of today's news on our website. if you would like to reach me and the bbc team, you can find us on twitter. thanks so much for watching. to tune in tomorrow. -- do tune in tomorrow. ♪ >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, kovler foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: the u.s. military has joined the search for those abducted nigerian schoolgirls, sending out a plane to scan for any sign of them or their captors. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead, from the bulk collection of phone records, to spying on heads of state, to the leaks that ignited the firestorm over government surveillance. my conversation with the former head of the national security agency, general keith alexander. >> ifill: plus, how a jet fuel leak at a new mexico military base dumped a cocktail of toxic chemicals in the ground, and raised concerns about nearby water supplies.