tv BBC World News America PBS December 20, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea.
nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. a big, beautiful tax cut -- donald trump gets his first major legislative win after republicans approve the largest tax overhaul in a generation. president trump: it is the largest -- i always say the most massive -- but it is the largest tax cut in the history of our country and reform. but tax cut. jane: catalonia prepares for crucial elections intended to resolve a standoff between the spanish government and separatists who declared independence in october. >> here we go. >> ♪ jingle bell, jingle bell,
jingle bell rock ♪ jane: super agers cheerleading their way into the 70's and 80's. what is the secret to a long and healthy life? jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the world. president trump has secured his first major legislative achievement since taking office. his sweeping tax reform passed today in congress is the biggest rewrite of the u.s. tax code since ronald reagan in the 1980's. critics say the bill is a giveaway to the super rich, but senior republicans insist it will boost the economy. the bbc news north america editor jon sopel reports. ♪ jon: if this was a smile-off, it would be hard to decide who had the biggest grin.
a real a tossup between the president, his number two, the leaders of the house and the senate. finally, days before christmas, donald trump has notched up his first legislative victory. pleased? he was over the moon. president trump: we broke every record. it is the largest -- i always say the most massive, but it is the largest tax cut in the history of our country, and reform. but tax cut. really something special. jon: and then the oh, so familiar refrain. president trump: we are making america great again. you haven't heard that. jon: republicans from both houses of congress came to celebrate the changes, changes that will be felt on both sides of the atlantic. a buoyant u.s. economy ripples out a long way.
so what does the republican tax bill involve? corporation tax will come down from 35 to 21%, huge boost to corporate america that the president says will lead to more jobs and higher wages. individual tax rates will be reduced, although the wealthy will benefit far more than blue-collar america, donald trump's base. the legislation will add over a trillion dollars to america's debt, even though many republicans came into office vowing to slash the deficit. democrats are unanimous in their opposition to the proposal. senator schumer: we know they are popping champagne down pennsylvania avenue. there are only 2 places where america is popping champagne, the white house and the corporate boardrooms, including trump tower. otherwise, americans have a lot to regret. jon: opinion polls suggest a clear majority of americans think the same. this is a tax cut for the already rich, not for them. this prompted a question to the republican leader of the senate
-- how easy will the measure be to sell? senator mcconnell: if we can't sell this to the american people, we ought to go into another line of work. jon: selling this will be for 2018, but as 2017 draws to a close, donald trump can reflect that he has his tax reform proposals through, the stock market is soaring, his supreme court pick is in place, regulations are being torn out. it may not have always been pretty, but donald trump is sort of doing what he promised he would do. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. jane: this major overhaul of the tax system, like so much else in the trump era, has divided americans. some believe the president is boosting the economy. others accuse him of looking after the rich. earlier, my colleague katty kay spoke to democratic congressman gregory meeks for his reaction. , not a singlesman democrat voted for this tax reform bill. i'm sure you wouldn't argue that
america is incredibly complicated tax system needs an overhaul. it has not had one since reagan was in the white house. rep. meeks: well, not a single democrat voted for it because it is a fraud. it does not benefit most americans, particularly those in the middle class. it benefits the president and his top 1% of americans, the biggest corporations of america. whatever breaks it does give the middle class, it expires in 2025. i think the american people overwhelmingly reject this proposed tax bill. it is clearly not reform. it is a tax deduction for the top 1%. katty: the republicans would argue that in cutting corporate taxes in america to put them more in line with other countries in the western world, those companies will bring money back to the country and reinvest in the american economy. surely that is a good thing for u.s. economic growth? rep. meeks: i don't disagree that the 35% tax rate should
have been lowered for those individuals in those corporations that were paying the 35%. but you see, many american companies don't even pay the 35%. they are paying less than 20, 15, or 10%. loopholes for those companies have not been closed. so, yes, those that were actually paying 35%, they needed it to be reduced, but we should have made sure that we closed loopholes for those not paying to 35%, that they are, as opposed to allowing it to be on the backs of the middle class and the working class americans. so i think that is where the problem lies. and you should not have been trying to sell this bill as tax reform when in fact what it is is a tax break for major corporations. katty: i have heard democrats say, listen, if republicans don't manage to pass the tax bill, it will show they cannot get anything done. if they do manage to pass it,
they could be in greater trouble because the american people don't like it. do you think this will help you, the tax bill passed by republicans, in next year's elections? rep. meeks: i think surely, because the american people, not only democrats, but republicans in the middle class, because it affects democrats and republicans and independents -- when they know this is not good for them, this is starving the beast, and soon republicans will be looking to cut medicare, medicaid, and social security, they know that all of these small tax reductions that they may have gotten expire in 2025, and doesn't expire for corporate america. they know that the tax rate on the bottom went up and the tax rate on the top went down. anyone can see what has taken place here. and so yes, does anyone can see -- so yes, we will take us to the american people and they will have a strong voice in the 2018 election.
katty: congressman, thanks for joining me. jane: democratic congressman gregory meeks there. a short time ago i spoke to the former finance chair of the republic national committee. thank you for coming in. >> thank you, jane. jane: how do you know this is going to work? have you know businesses will use the tax cuts to increase wages or hire more people? >> first of all, trump is being very reaganesque, looking at supply-side economics, and the theory is that if you cut taxes and relieve regulations on businesses, you will see it fuel consumer growth, which leads to jobs. for example, for every regulation passed by president trump, he has repealed 22. those are business-choking regulations that have freed up the business community to expand, and consumer confidence is absolutely soaring. look at the stock market -- 60 record highs this past year.
we finally broke the threshold of 1400. look at what american businesses are saying. federal express, for example, they have a $60 million profit in 2016. they are projecting record profits -- jane: a lot of people would say this was happening without tax cuts, that the economy has been ticking along quite happily, and how are you going to measure success at this point? mica: first of all, i measure success looking at 2017 -- housing, sales are up 5.2%, an all-time high from 2007. auto sales were in a slump. navistar announced today that they are looking at the strongest year they have had in a decade. so i looking at this economy was am chugging along, consumer confidence has increased under president trump. he has kept most of his promises, and it is hard to argue with 2.2% growth in this -- 2.3% growth in this last
quarter economically and record unemployment jane: good news for business, but how do you sell this to middle-class americans who say they are going to be paying more taxes? mica: some of that is just democratic rhetoric and it is all hat, no cattle. i think that once a family, for example, household of $75,000 can hope to see $2000 in 2018. most families don't even have an additional $500 for emergency expenses. this is huge, and as they begin to see in mainstream america that they actually have more money in their pockets rather than giving it to the government, and over time, as businesses grow and wages increase, americans will buy into the bill. jane: do you think this will happen in time for the midterm elections next year? mica: absolutely. i think the landscape looks good. remember that donald trump carried several blue states including michigan and pennsylvania. i think democrats will wish they
had jumped on board the trump train. jane: very quickly, obamacare -- president trump said it effectively has been repealed because he got rid of the key provision, the individual mandate. is obamacare dead, or is it still on the to do list? mica: no, it is still on the to do list. obviously, getting rid of this mandate, which requires you to pay if you don't have insurance, which i fall into that category , which is ludicrous -- so this was a huge component, backbone of obamacare. we are looking at repealing obamacare and also looking at infrastructure and immigration reform. jane: busy -- >> busy year. jane: busy 2018 ahead. thank you for joining me. jane: quick look at the day's other news. president trump has threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that go against the u.s. in the united nations vote against jerusalem. on thursday, the u.n. general assembly will consider
resolution criticizing mr. trump's decision to organize the city as israel's capital. poland's president has signed into law two more bills on changing the judiciary hours after the european commission began unprecedented disciplinary measures for the laws he already signed. the eu has said the changes could enable poland's right-wing government to stack the courts with supportive judges. the vatican says cardinal bernard law, who was forced to resign as the archbishop of boston over a child sex abuse scandal, has died at age 86. cardinal law was accused of protecting pedophile priests for years by transferring them to new parishes. investigators in the state of washington say that monday's deadly train crash might have been prevented if politicians had not did they get delayed the introduction of speed control technology. three people were killed and dozens injured when the speeding train derailed neil seattle -- near seattle. voters will go to the polls in
catalonia tomorrow that could -- in a key election that could result spain's political crisis. pro-independence parties are against those who want to remain part of a unified spain. the country was plunged into constitutional crisis went the catalonian parliament you legally -- the legally declared independence in october. james reynolds reports from barcelona. james: pro-independence supporters are planning a revival and a new strategy. declaring unilateral independence in october simply got their leaders sacked and even jailed. the deposed president carles puigdemont campaigns from exile in belgium. this time if they win, they promise no more unilateral steps.
if you win, will you make another effort to declare independence? >> we are the people of dialogue, of agreement. the problem with the spanish government is it is extremely weak. the strong come to an agreement. the weak impose their will. james: this election will test which side is stronger, pro-independence or pro-spain. unlike the disputed referendum in october, this time both sides will vote. the pro-spain camp wants to use this election to block any more attempt to break away. the most powerful pro-spain voice belongs to the local leader of a party called citizens. she addresses her final campaign
rally in spanish, not catalan. why did you oppose independence? >> because our future is in spain. we don't have any future outside our country. because catalonia is our homeland, spain is our country, and it's our future. james: months of crisis are now marked by a single election. vote by vote, catalonia will count its divide. james reynolds, bbc news, barcelona. jane: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, we travel to tijuana to meet military veterans deported from the united states for having a criminal record. u.n. special representative for human rights in myanmar says the government will not permit
her to enter the country. she had been due to visit to assess alleged abuses against rohingya muslims. finding out what is going on inside the country is very difficult. last week to journalists covering the crisis for the reuters news agency were arrested for you legally acquiring information -- for you acquiring illegally information. reporter: it has been a long week for journalists detained in myanmar. police say they are being investigated for violating the official secret act, a law that carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. family and friends are adamant that they have committed no crime. >> he's a good husband to me, a good employee in his workplace, and continues to learn so that he can further his education. he is not a politician at all. he is a real journalist.
i believe he would not do anything wrong. that is why i want my husband to be freed as soon as possible. reporter: this is the border region with bangladesh one of the areas most affected by the recent violence. it is where nearly 650,000 rohingya have fled into relative safety. the 2 journalists were rescued -- discovered new here at a mass grave. there were reports that given photos and documents to locals at the grave site. commenting on facebook, the commander of the country's armed forces says an investigation is underway, and promised to hold anyone involved responsible. was due to visit myanmar in january to assess alleged attacks in rakhine state. she now says she has been barred from entering.
jane: more than 12,000 foreign nationals are on active duty in the united states military, but even though they served the country, they are not entitled to the same privileges as other veterans. if one of them commits a crime, however minor, they are deported. campaigners say the law needs to change. rajini vaidyanathan reports from tijuana. rajini: the border is the closest richard can get to america. >> it's unbelievable. doesn't make any sense at all. a mexican citizen, richard served in the u.s. military under a program that allows green cardholders to enlist. >> i spent three years during the vietnam war in vietnam, okinawa, philippines. i was discharged a year early under undesirable conditions. it had to do with my drug addiction. rajini: years after he left of the marines, he was involved in
a robbery. after serving time, he was deported back to mexico. >> i understand that we are convicted of a crime, but serving the u.s. military in combat should count for something. rajini: home for richard is now here in tijuana, where he has found a group of people who share his story. more than 200 foreign veterans have been deported from the u.s. we call this affectionately the bunker, the resource center, housing for deported u.s. military veterans. rajini: hector runs the center. a former paratrooper, he spent time in prison after shooting a car. >> i am missing out on my daughter's life. her mother has multiple sclerosis. i'm not doing anything for them. i'm just here. that is difficult. rajini: but many people don't think that matters, arguing that committing a crime is reason enough to deport foreign
veterans. >> i would take responsibility for the fact that i got myself into a situation where i went to prison. but i don't think it is right to deport people who served in the military. just because we made mistakes, that shouldn't define the rest of our lives. rajini: hector is taking his case to federal court and is not giving up on his fight to return to america, the country he risked his life for. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news. jane: now to our series on how to live longer and better lives. life expectancy across the globe is continuing to rise, prompting scientists to ask how long we might live in the future. most think we will see gradual gains in longevity, but there are protections that antiaging drugs could allow people to live for centuries. in the last of his special reports on super agers, fergus walsh traveled to california and arizona. ♪
>> i like to do things. i don't want to sit in the background. fergus: enthusiastic, engaged, optimistic -- lester is 101, the oldest resident of this retirement village in sun city, arizona. >> you are going to miss something if you moan and groan about how horrible life is. >> show me your teeth. do you hear a sound? fergus: he gets regular medical checks as part of a study into longevity. it is an issue which is attracting interest from unusual quarters. in silicon valley, california, some of the biggest names from google to facebook are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into defeating the diseases of aging. so why are tech entrepreneurs suddenly interested in human health? >> i think silicon valley is driven by curiosity and the same
curiosity that drives the 40-year-old to program computers in the bedroom drives those in their 20's and 30's to apply their minds and their cash to this problem. fergus: it is why this british scientist set up in silicon valley. aubrey is the world's leading advocate of life extension, the idea that humans can and will live in good health for hundreds of years. >> there will certainly be no limit on how long people can lift once we bring aging under control. people will still die -- there are still trucks to be hit by and so on -- but people will live on average a lot longer. fergus: that is a minority view. although extending life is possible in the lab, with fruit flies, yeast, or worms, it gets more difficult higher up the evolutionary ladder. >> in the lab in simple
laboratory animals, we can increase the lifespan by 100%, 200, 500%. really extraordinary differences in lifespan. aging is really plastic in the simple laboratory animals. it may be more complex as we go to mammals. the mouse can we are able to expand the lifespan 20 or 30%, and we really don't know what is possible in humans at this point. fergus: we do know that exercise is a magic formula that can keep us healthy for longer. there are no drugs yet to match it. there probably an upper limit to life expectancy of around 115 years. the quest for the mentality -- immortality is still the stuff of science fiction. but increasing our health span, the number of years free of chronic diseases, that could be a reality. >> here we go. >> ♪ jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock ♪ fergus: finding something you enjoy and staying socially engaged are key elements of healthy aging.
like the sun city poms, many of them are in their 70's and 80's. >> i am 78, born on the fourth of july. i'm still a firecracker and still going and booming. >> it gives me physically active. it keeps my brain working and helps my memory. >> we just get out there and do what we need to do and enjoy. fergus: we can't slow time, but we can put more life in our years, and hopefully become super agers. fergus walsh, bbc news, sun city, arizona. jane: that is reassuring to know that i have a few more decades to practice doing those splits. quick reminder of our top story. 'sesident trump has secured first major legislative achievement since taking office. his sweeping tax reform has to today in congress. in a celebratory gathering at
the white house, mr. trump said he was making america great again. you can find all the day's news online, and do check out facebook. i am jane o'brien. thanks for watching "world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to work around your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stay up to date with the latest headlines you can trust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: >> it's the largest tax cut in the history of our country. >> woodruff: republicans pass the most drastic re-write of the tax code in 30 years, sending the $1.5 trillion plan to the president's desk. then, the high cost of victory in iraq. a new casualty count reveals thousands of civilians died in the battle to push isis out of mosul, a number far higher than previously reported. and, the link between housing and health. a look at a program that's relocating families out of poverty-stricken neighborhoods, for a new life. plus: ♪ ♪ >> woodruff: a new play is giving music-lovers something to sing about.