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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  February 28, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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>> this is "bbc world news enerica." funding of this prtion is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxi, 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 , sunny days,a cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea.
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nonstop flights are available from most major information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, "bbc world news." jan this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. three years after civil war started in yemen, the death toll continues to rise. both sides are fighting for the biggest prize, the capital, sanaa. the: to take the fight into heart of this historic,enly populated city would be a bloody urban battle. jane: president trump's communications director hope hicks resigning. the latest high-profile departure from the white housetu ing to class for the first time since the deadly shootingri in f, students come to a
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high school forever and tribo america's pastor. billy graham lies in honor at the u.s. capitol as the nation's leaders pay respects. jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. after three years fighting in yemen, the human suffering is being described as catastrophic. civilians are trapped in the middle of a fight between houthi rebels backed by iran and forces loyal to the president, backdi by a sed coalition. there are severe shortages, and millions are in danger of famine. for this report, lyse doucet has traveled with saudi and yemeni government forces to the front line. lyse: high above the arabian peninsula just off the coast of
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yemen, saudi arabia and its ieallies have ruled these since the war began. and they control the seas below. these shipping lanes of vital -- a vital gateway for the world's energy supplies. and a smuggling route, too, for illicit goods. among them, the saudis say, weapons its archriva supplies to houthi fighters. --arrived on board assembly a saudi warship inspecting vessels in the port. it is in houthi hands, so saudis are on the lookout for v suspiciosels. but theaptain, -- for the iptain, his mission is a crucial front lithe war. your operational rules are to treat all vessels as suspicious.
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>> yes. ly: even humanitarian ones the naval blockade has been lifted for now. food and obstructing fuel from yemenis in desperate need. but this war grinds on, and on army,ound, it is yemen's troops, and tribesmen who are battling houthi fighters from advancing slowly on hostilete ain mountain by mountain. seizing strategic heights on approach to the capital. sanaa is the prize in this war. the houthis want to keep it, the ousted government wants it back. but to take the fight into the heart of this historic, densely populated city would be a bloody urban battle. all roads in this war lead to th capital. yemeni forces and their allies have an ambitious plan -- surround saa and force the houthis to surrender.
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but their enemy is well entrenched. supported by iran, the houthis are now well trained and well supplied. the ballistic missiles have reached the heart of the saudi kingdom. s and fearrt of their arsenal, too. hundreds of journalists and political opponents have been detained arbitrarily. many have fled. in a government-controlled area, we meet a 27-year-old. his crime, posting comments on social media. he tells us, "they hung me up, tortured me until i fell unconscious." when he woke up, he couldn't move. "imagine," he says, "in a second you cannot walk. what can i be now," he asks. yemenis live with other fears, too. this is the impact of a saudi airstrike in sanaa.
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a neighborhood close to the defense ministry. theoa saudi-ledtion has been pounding enemy positions, armed with the most sophisticatedry weaponrom allies like britain, the u.s., and france. this family, like many others, heir home in a coalition bombing. they have taken refuge here. "we are begging for help. yesterday my three children did't eat. i'ill, always ill. neither dead nor alive." there is no escape from this war. it has pushed these families from place to place. at this temporary settlement, they are digging in, tryinewto make aome from the little they now have. e arab world's poorest nation now a battleground for regional powers in a middle east whichev grows er more combustible. saudi arabia and iran know thata they areng with fire. lyse doucet, bbc news, yemen.
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jane: in syria, meanwhile, fighting in the rebel-held sclave of eastern ghouta continued despite the cease-fire ordered by russia. the united nations humanitarian chief says the violence has made it impossible to send aid or evacuate the wounded. medics say 500 people have been killed. a short time ago iseas joined by or fellow at the middle east institute. thank you very much indeed for joining me. you have called these cease-fires part of an evil strategy -- psychological warfare.ou dohink russia has any interest in stopping the violence? >> well, i mean, listen, russia has to play a variety of different gas. it does play the diplomatic game on the international level, where it wants to show it can be the potential peacemaker in syria, but at the same time, i think when you look at russian domestic media, how the russian air force and its ground forces
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have postured themselves with regards to eastern ghouta specifically, everything is pointing towards the russian determination to actually secure a regime vicry in eastern ghouta. any talk from the russian side about a cease-fire, as far as i can see, is a methodical component or methodical part of a broader strategy to secure the victory. for vladimir putin to order ave our cease-fire in the middle of the day, that is not a cease-fire. you cannot have a cease-fire in which 19 hours of the day civilians are being b indiscriminatebed at an unimaginably heavy level, and then for five hours it pauses. i don't think that can be called humanitarianism as much as psychological warfare strategy, in wch civilians are given brief pause to come out into the open and to put pressure on the armed opposition, i assume, to surrender. jane: how much influence does russia he over the assad regime at the moment? could they do something if they wanted to?
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charles: that is actually the most important question, a hear political figures in europe and the united states who repeatedly make the judgment that it is only moscow that cant secu regime acceptance of a cease-fire, attendance to geneva or wherever the political talks are taking place at mee but the reality on the ground is something more complicated. when we ok back at previous significant regime pushes like in aleppo last year and homs nifore that, it has been i militias and iranian-influenced ground troops and the regime army that have launched the operations, and it has been later that the russians have joined in. in another example, when there have been diplomatic agrments that russia has been part of, it is more or less iranian-commanded militias and regime troops that have violated the agreements, undermining nding in diplomatic s e international community.
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actually, i don't think we have got a great deal of evidence that the russians have the influence we want them to., jane: seems increasinglysa likely, does retain power, what should the u.s. strategy be long-term? charles: again, that is another really big question. looking at syria the last seven years, looking at where we are today in 2018, i don't think there can be a real question that assad is staying. what does that mean for u.s. strategy? well, when you hear, as we have in the recent past, secretary of state rex tillerson say publicly that assad will still have to leave as part a politically negotiated transition, and that u.s. strategy is focused on removing iran and syria, we have to raise the questions, wew exactly aroing to achieve those objectives with the very little leverage that the u.s. and its allies have established on the ground. qthose are opstions we don't have the answer to yet. the question of what is the u.s. strategy is very much an open questi.
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we have heard the vision. we haven't had any kind of laid out design of the white house, from the state department, from ae department of defense, that explains how we wiieve the objectives. jane: thank you very much for joining me. now, there is another major parts of the report from the white house tonight. the nsesident's communicat director, hope hicks, is resigning. her departure will come in the next few weeks, and adds to a long list of those in senior position who have ft senior positions. for more on the announcement, the bbc's nick bryant joined me a short time ago. what more do we know about the circumstances of her resignation, because she is someone who tried to keep a low profile. nick: she did. she was one of donald trump's longest-serving political aides. press secretary during his first campaign for the presidency. she is almost family she worked for the trump organization for a good many years.he she say's leaving her job as communications director
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because she feels she has done i all she can the role, no controversy in the departure. but the timing is interesting, of course, because hophicks has come under a lot of scrutiny in the last two days. yesterday she was on capitol hill, in front of the house investigating russian meddling, and was subject to 8 hours of questiing, and during the questioning she said she said white lies for donald trump in the past, although she never lied to investigators about the russia investigation. jane: how significant is this going tor be nald trump himself? his coreim circle isishing. kushner lost his security clearance yesterday. nick: his inner circle is looking like an inner semicircle, isn't it?ju it i shrinking all the time. donald trump was very fond of hope hicks she was a great trump ally. he was there from the creation, the first day thstood in trump tower and declared his presidency, hope hicksff
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to the side. she was a familiar presence ssduring the campaign, reaing presence for donald trump in the white house. as you say, it comes a day after jared kushner, his son-in-law, lost his clearance. ivankarump lost her security clearance. the inner circles rinking, and the churn we have seen at the white house is unprecedented. jane: nick bryant, thanks for joining me. before the hicks announcement, the news of the white house was on president trump hosting democrats and republicans for as dion on gun control. two weeks after the shooting in parkland, florida, they are still trying to find common ground on what can be accomplished as lawmakers continued their ise, corporate america starting to take action. today, dk's sporting goods, largest gunountry's retailers, said it would no longer sell assault style rifles, nor firearms to anyone
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under 21, and would no longer sell hh-capacity magazines. businesses say they are acting in the wake of the tragedy in parkland. classes resumed today at the school where 17 peopleer killed. the bbc's nada tawfikre was t and joined us a short time ago. i can only imagine what how emotional today must have been. what was it like? nada: absolutely. ute walkway into campus behind me was absy lined with members of the community, polics offistaff from the school, students from surrounding schools, comfort dogs. they were acting as cheerleaders for the students as they took their journey back into a place filled w much pain and trauma for them. they gave them high-fives and said welcome back. even though the students return for half a day, this was a very k portant part of getting the readjusted and b a sense of normality. they played games in some classes. in other classes they opened up and talked about the students no longer there with them in the
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classrm. when i spoke to some of the students, i asked how the first day was. one of them told me that she is still fearful to go back en tomorrow, and she thinks it could be that way for the nextve l days, but she didis say it n important part of the healing process. jane: do they still feel that they are helping to shape the deba over gun control? enda: absolutely, jane. i think every sti spoke to really raised the point that their voices are being heard. this is the first time we heard from survivors of a mass school shooting, they have been very blunt d vocal that they want to make gun control a voting issue. in the past,e have not seen people vote based on just the politician's stance on gun control. they want that to change. they are been unafraid to go after the nra, the national rifle association, gun lobby, and the politicians. one student i spoke to continues to wear a red ribbon on his clothes, and he says that shows
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they will persevere and maintaie um on the issue. jane: you were the first bbc correspondent on the scene wheno the ng actually happened. how is the community as a whole responding now?, nada: you knne, one of the things that really struck me was that parents were still out here too anxious and nervous to leave until they could retrieve their kids again when they got out of hool. kids were still tearing up when they we speaking about their friends and teachers that they lost on campus. a lot of the students were in a bit of a daze. it is different stages of healing. it didtre me that this is a community still reeling from what happened. jane: nada tawfik, thank you very much for joining me.e ropean commission published its first draft of the official treaty of it included proposals for a common regulatory area for the island of irand, which would fectively mean keeping
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northern ireland in a customs union, unlike the rest of the u.k. prime minister theresa may said thidea would never be agre to, and it threatened the constitutional integrity of the u.k. rob watson reports. grob: breaking up was nevng to be easy, as efforts to finalize the divorce agreement, or withdrawal treaty, as it is known in brussels, are proving. "don't blame me," says the eu negotiator. it was the u.k. that wanted to leave, throwing up all sorts of problems, includinthe thorny issue of the border between northern irelandpund the irish ic. i'm not trying to provoke or create shockwaves. i want these negotiations to be a success. embut let med you that it was the uk's decision to leave and nobody should underestimate nsequences of the action. rob: that northern ireland would have to effectively stay in thea eu to avoid th border
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hard response from theresa may. she said she would such trea prime minister may: if implemented it would undermine the u.k. common market and threat u.k. by creating the customs and revelatory border -- regulatory border, and no u.k. prime minister could ever agree to it. rob: pro-brexit mp's and her conservative party applauded the tough line. outside parliament, these freezing anti-brexit protestors may have a powerful new former prime mter and conservative party leader john major launched a scathing attack on the government's handlingf brexit, accusing it of caving into a handful of hartline -- hard-line anti-europeans and pursuing a policy that would leave britain poorer, weaker, and more divided than ever. mr. major: brexit has been the most divisive political issue of my lifetime.
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it has divided not only the nations of the united kingdom, but regions within the nations. has divided political parties, political colleagues, families, friends, and the young from the old. rob: many people in britain are probably more worried about the weather right now than the details of britain's withdrawal from the eu. voters will cool onn major brexit, too, as the reality eaofng the eu unfolds. certainly a chill has set in between london and brussel pwith no obviospect of a thaw in relations. b watson, bbc news. jane: you are watching "bbc world news america."l st come on tonight's program, royalty comes out for charity. leince harry and meghan ma joined forces with the duk cand duchess bridge.
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the funera of an indian actress has taken place in mumbai. many bollywood a listers joined mourners and thousandsns lined the streets. an autopsy found that 54-year-old dwned in a bath after losing consciousness in a hotel in dubai. tian invtion into the death has been closed. evi'dy flew into mumbai last nightbo. th was taken to a local sports club where fans were allowed inside to pay their final respects. i wa outside, where they were thousands of fans who turned up to payhe last respects, and they were queuing up, letting up in the early morning just to get a chance to catch a glimpse of sridevi. she was such a huge ndar in india,hat is why you see the love and respect she commanded in the country, pld i was on d in mumbai today.
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monday, when the police started to investi death there was wild speculation india,many networks in some speculating as to what led to her death. some even going to eight point this they started to link s e sort of foul play without the facts being in place. th is why the coverage by a section of the media came under huge criticism, not only on social media, but her fans across the country, because they feel this was not the way they should remember her, given the amount of love she has on the work she has done across movie everyone wanted to wait for the facts, the final report ich came out on tuesday, saying that was no foul play involve it was a death due to accidental owng after loss of consciousness, which happened in the hotel where she was staying. clearly a lot of her fans and
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even people on the streets were cupset with theerage from a section of indian media. washington's top political leaders came together today to remember christian evangelist billy graham, who died last week at age 99. president trump and ot attended a special memorial service at the u.s. capitol, where the religious leader is lyg in honor. mr. graham is the fourth private citin to be given the rare tribute. the last was civil rights icon rosa parks in 2005. here is more from the ceremony. for many, he was america's pastor. the man who brought the word of god to all. an unadorned message in contrast perhaps to the ceremony surrounding his death. treated everybody the sameev the great and powerful who came today to pay their
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final respects. graham shared their stage for decades, but uniquely avoided their politics. wa met every president since harry truman, ancounselor to most. he also shaped the evaal movement into a political force. >> shall we pray? jane: from president trump, who spoke of his own childhood memories of graham came this tribute. president trump: everywhere he went he deliver the same message -- god loves you. that was his message, god loves you. we can only imagine the number of lives touched by the preacher and the prayers of billy graham. jane: billy graham will lie in honor until thursday, allowing members of the public to payr thspects. he will be laid to rest in north carolina on friday.
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still capable of bringing lawmakers together in a rare moment of bipartisanship. now, the highly anticipated wedding of prince harry and meghan markle has been gbbing headlines recently, but today the couple's charity work was the focus. the two joined the duke and duchess of cambridge to highlight the occasion. -- highlight the royal foundation, which ms. markle will officially join after she marries prince harry in may. our royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. nicholas: they are the foursome take the royal family forward for decades to come, and on stage together for the first t theirhey talked ab mission. william said that it was to build on what his parents and grandparents had achieved. prince william: hold on to thelu that have always guided ourag family, seek to ein public life in a way that is updated and relevant for our generation. nicholas: attention inevitably cused on the newcomer. meghan markle underlined the relevance of her agenda, talking about female empowerment. meghanyou hear people say that
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women are finding their voices, and i fundamentally disagree with that, because women don't need to find a voice. they have a voice and they need to be empowered to use it. people need to be enenuraged to li the climate we are seeing with so many campaigns -- me too, time's up -- there is no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeng empowered and people helping to support them, and men included ithat. nicholas: meghan said she was looking forward to hitting the ground running after her dding. sitting next to her, her future hot working as a foursome?ng >> wors family does have its challenges. [laughter] they know exactly what it is like. but we are still together for -- stuck together for the rest [laughter]es, so -- nicholas: together and seeking to me a difference. nicholasitchell, bbc news.
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jane: you will be able to find more on that story and all the day's news on our website. cck out facebook. i am jane o'brien. thank you for watching "world news america." >> with the bbc news appeoour verticals 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, suand kovler foundation, pg solutions for america's neglected needs. >> plaing 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.
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nonstop flights are available om most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is availableat >> "bbc world news" was k presented t, los angeles.
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the newshour tonight, students return to the florida high school whfte a shooting 7 dead, as president trump meets with both democratic and republican members of congress mmunications director, h teres. hicks,'s longest serving aide, announces she will resign. then, securing america's ballot box-- with midterm elections around the corner, fears grow of further russian meddling in the nation's democracy. and, decoding north korea's nuclear abilities-- how researchers are dissecting the regime's propaganda for cltis inside its missile program. >> every time the north koreans conduct a missile launch, we try to figur


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