tv BBC World News America PBS August 20, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
n,reporting from washingto i am sophie long. italy in turmoil the prime minister steps down in a dramatic session of the senate, attacking his coalition partner matteo salvini. the u.s. secretary of state addresses the united nations and attacks iran for what he calls extortion diplomacy. plus, virgin galactic spacean tourism to take a giant leap closer to reality. we look inside the company's new spaceport facili sophie: for those watching on pbs and around the globe, welcome to "world news america." italy's government has descended into chaos, with the prime minister announcing his resignation in a confrontational sessioof the senate. giuseppe conte lashed out at his
own interior minter, matteo salvini, for allegedly putting his personal and political ambitions above those of the nation. mr. conte has presided over an uneasy coalition since taking office just over a year ago. the bbc's james reynolds has. james: if you come to bury, not to praise, the senate in rome is a perfect age. italy's prime minister, giuseppe conte, aimed his dagger at the man sitting to his right, coalition partner matteo salvini. prime min. contes mr. salvini en irresponsible in provoking this crisis. he followed only his own party neterests. james: the attack ted nothing more than a shrug or two. this coalition has not managed to fix italy's long struggling economy. matteo salvini is movi out
because he no longer wants to share power with populist rivals. he believes he can win an outright victory in a snap election.in mr. sa let's go to an election. no one knows better than the italian people. they know who has done a good job. james: matteo salvini is alreadt y's most influential politician. he works on his man of thepe le image the way others work on their tans. on the beach near rome, we found italians ready to go and vote.ye "if we neeanother election," this holidaymaker tells me, "so be it." "it's all a mess," this man, saut i hope it will happen -- but i hope there is aot soon, and i will be happy to go with salvini again." it is here at sea that the far right leader has won his support. matteo salvini has made it much harder for migrant rescue boats
to dock in italy. this afternoon, somerants, tired of waiting off the coast, jumped overboard and try to im to shore. finally, italy agreed to take everyone on the rescue ship to dry land.ve this ening here in rome, the outgoing prime minister went to see italy's esident. the decisi to call an early election now rests exclusively with the head of state. sophie: for more on italy'spo tical uncertainty, i spoke toeather conley, a former state department official who is now at the center for strategic and international studies.ti italian po in a mess, no surprise there. ntat happens next is in the hands of the presi heather: exactly. he will call forward all the leaders of the political parties to see i formed in the italian parliament, and if that is the
case they will name a new prime minister. or the president could name a caretaker government, technocratic government to get them through the verynt impor decision they had to take on their budget this fall. but you are absolutely right, we saw extraordinary drama today. interior minister matteo salvini thought that this no-confidence vote would not be successful and we would go to immediateec elons, and the prime minister thwarted his efforts today. sophie: what do you think this means for the political lascape in italy itself? heather: it brings more uncertainty into a difficult period where we were not sure if this government could successf the eu is putting restraints on italy on its fial deficit. it has one of the highest debt ratios in the world. over 130% of italian gp is
debt-ridden. matteo salvini wants to push that and wants to get the eu to reduce those tightened reins on debt and deficits so he can waing some relief to the budget. matteo salvini alss the eu to change its posture on migration. his popularity has really come from being an incredibly strong crackdown on migration coming into italy, and he is being rewarded by almost doubling his popularity in over a year. sophie: what do you think it means for the populist movement? the former prime minister matteo ows thatys this populism hasn't worked in italy. heather: in some ways the populism is represented by the five star movement, the coalition partner. matteo svini's party is a highly nationalistic party, very anti-immigrant party. these two forces combined together year and a half ago to create a populist-nationalist government in italy. we were not sure how this was going to work.
it showed it had a very short shelf life. i wouldn't say, though, that this is conquering populism and nationalism. if in fact mr. salvini is pushed out of the gernment, he still leads the most popular party in opaly. if he becomes thsition, he could potentially grow his popularity. if they go to an early election, he is right there. he has bn campaigning nonstop, he is very popular. this is not conquering t forces of populism. it is perhaps staving them off, hope diluting them. but this is the challenge for ny european governments m, how do yage these growing forces? do you bring them into government to co-opt them? do you keep them out? nobody has found the best answer to being an antidote to growing populism. sophie: heather conley, thank you very much inde. u.s. secretary of state was in new york today to
security council. speaking about the challenges in the middle east, mike pompeo singled out iran for its recent actions since the u.s. pulled out of the nuclear agreement.om sec.o: the islamic republic of iran and its proxies continue to foment terror in iraq, lebanon, syria, and yemen, with devastating humanitarian consequences. since the united states declared our intention to bring all iranian oil t purchaszero, the ayatollah has gone all in on a campaign of extortion diplomacy. sophie: for more on secretary pompeo's remarks, i spoke to karim djadpour of the carnegie endowment for international peace. what you make of his address? esrim: there is no doubt that iran has started tlate in the middle east and activated proxies throughout the region to go after.s. interests and allies in the free flow of oil in the persian gul the challenge that the trump
administration has is in some ways iran is reacting to the harsh policy of american henctions. it is not clear toorld, it is not clear to those of us who live in washington, what is the trump administration's ultimate endgame in iran. sophiemike pompeo indicated that the sanctions are working. he is very clear about that. is there any evidence for that? karim: it depends on your denition of working. sanctions have absolutely devastated the economy and it is not only sanctns, it is also iranian internal corruption and mismanagement. iran's economy is in a terrible state, and they nnot reverse their economic decline absent some type of accommodation with the united states. buthe question is the timeline. the iranian regime feels it can continue to resist the trump administration and either hope that a new president is going to be elected come next november, or if iran continues to resist,
president trump has a ort attention span and he will be forced to reconsider his own administration's approach. sophie: every sign from the iranian regime is that this will not bring them to the negotiating table. where do y headed?this is president trump surely doesn't want conflict and they surely don't want economic ruin. karim: you're right that neither side wants conflict, and iran certainly doesn't want economic ruin, and president trump has made it clear that he views conflict with iran as inimical to his reelection campaign. the danger of what trump has done is muat he has aneously provoked this escalatory cycle with iran while making clear to tehran that he doesn't want war. the iranians feel like they can take a bunch of free punches. at the moment i think we are inue over the course of the next months to see irann escalation and u.s. sanctions. i don't see at the moment any light at the end of the tunnel.
sophie: he also talked about the countdown ock until the nuclear agreement runs out and the international community figuring out how to prevt iran from creating new turmoil. where do you see this going? is the west speaking with onevo e? karim: absolutely not. the reality ismo tha countries in the world that were signator could say all the countries except the united states, desperately want to preserve the nuclear deal, and as the bbc well knows, with all of britain's internal challenges, france's internal challenges, germany's internal challenges, not to mention china and russia's internal challenges, no one wants to have a next challenge in their inbox, the reopening of this nuclear issue. the united states is alone in its policy of sanctioning iran. sophie: karim sadjadpour, great to speak to you. thank you very much. karim: thank you. sophie: there are two things
that are pretty hard to avoid in washington these days, the summer heat and talk of a possible u.s. recession. the trp administration has been downplaying such concerns. they want a strong economy heading into the 2020 campaign. today at the white house, trump said he was open to possible tax cuts to boost the economy, and pointed the finger at the u.s. federal reserve foallegedly holding back growth. pres. trump: if the fed would do its job, we would have a tremendous spurt of growth. a tremendous spurt. olthe fed is psyically very important. less so actually, but very psychologically important. if t which it has done poorly over wte last year and half, we would see a burst of glike you have never seen before.ri sophie: ron ie is a former advisor to president george w. bush and he joined mearlier to discuss all this. the president is saying he does not think there is a recession at all, and yet his actions are
those of a preside who might think there is one on the way. ron: he has political reality hr is now cting. if the economy does not do well heading into 2020, his reelection prospects go down significantly. but if you look in the united states, what constitutes a recession?ne two quarters otive economic growth. we have not seen that yet. the president is right to say that we are not in recession, but i do understand that he is worried abt his electoral ospects next year. sophie: how worried should he be? every administration needs to walk a fine line between recognizing economic reality and shoring up the american economy. e than any other preside has tied his success to the economy. ron: he has. ere was a poll that came out this week that shows 34% of economists think we could be headed towards aecession, and i look at it and say that there are 60% who say we are doing well. the president is looking at polling and economic figures from the perspective of will i
get reelected v how is the economy doing. how is unemployment functioning here? if you looks look to the fundamentals, from my perspective, i think the economy is d sophie: the economy is slowing, though. if that continues, how much impact will it have on his 2020 reelection bid?we ron: oncet past labor day in the united states, that will give the democrats something to talk about. those who wish to succeed him as president. the economy star to cool down a little bit, and they will said -- they will say the tru economic plan is not working. that is one thing democrats are looking at, how can we resonate to the american people on these economy, titchen-table issues, if you will, of why we should replace donald trump is -- as president. but right now the fundamentals remain strong. sophie: he has delayed the next round of chinese tariffs. that is a sign, isn't it, thatne he is concabout this. ron: no question about it. you heard him say that he did not want the tariffs issued to
impact christmas hidays. tariffs could have impacted her tnics -- electronics, gifts from china, so he does recognize that if thn prices go upme for the holidays, there are a lot of american consumers who might be upset by the development due to his tariffs. sophie: he kind of indicated that if the american economy es slip into recession, he could cope with that, indicating that he can susta short-term pain for long-term game. -- gain. can he?ca ron: i think h again, recession has to be two negative quarters of negative economic growth. if it is one or two months here or there, i don't think that portends a negative trend that could be detrimental. however, with the media in the united states, we look at social media. ths is where his real achil heel is. if we keep talking about it in the media and people keep talking about it on social media, that is the pain that the president is feeling n does not want to encounter next year. sophie: ron christie, thank you very much indeed for your time.
ron: pleasur sophie: you are watching "bbc wod news america." still to come on tonight's program, banning plastic bottles sn san francisco. how the city' airport is cracking down on public waste. sophie: with the unemployment rate in the u.s. at a 50-year low some businesses are having trouble finding employees to fill the jobs. they arein increy turning to those who thought they had finished work a have set their sights on relaxation. it means there are people over the retirement age of 65 are still on the job. the bbc's business crespondent michelle fleury traveled to innnesota to find out how the workers are stimulthe economy there. michelle: roger is a 71 years old and works two days a week at alexandria industries in minnesota as a senior aluminum dye collector. >> i was going to retire threer to fars ago, and my boss
asked me if i would stay and help out. michelle: roger has been with the company for 48 years, and it has become more than just a workplace for him. >> i thought it is a no-brainer to stay and work. i enjoyed it and i knew what i was doing, and i thought iould stay. michelle: presumably the extra money does not hurt, either.>> no, the extra money is ok. [laughter] tmichelle: that is a gong wfor alexandria industriech is battling to find skilled staff. >> there are more people ngretihen there are people entering the workforce. michelle: the 600-worker company is trying to find ways to hold on to older stuff. >> they have the ability to e prodeir work hours, more flexible work hours, or even some job sharing as they .transition into retireme that has been really successful for us. michelle: minnesa's workforce is aging. it's older population is poised to outnumber school-age kids.
by 2020, the state is likely to face a shortfall of 209,000 rkers. the good news, what is a hurdle for employers in rural minnesota is an opportunity for older workers. michelle fleury, bbc news, st. paul, minnesota. sophie: san francisco international airport is one of thelc most ing travel hubs in the u.s. aside from restaurants and shops it features a hair salon, spa, and evega studio. when you won't find starting today is plastic water bottles. the airport has banned them as part of effort to become the first zero-waste airport by 2021. a short time ago i spoke to its spokesman.an very much indeed for being with us.
obvious question, what happens passengers get thirsty? ti i guess the key message is bottled water is available for sale at sfo. it is just starting today, the o typackaging it comes in will begin to change. still seeing some bottles of -- plastic bottles of water available on the shelves. once retailers exhau the prevus supply, we will see t transition to recyclable aluminum, recyclable glass, or compostable packaging. this only applies to the smaller single-use bottles of water. if you are looking to buy something one liter or larger, that will bevailable. much of a difference will this actually make? e,a lot of peoyself included, reuse your plastic bottle anyway, and pretty much anything else will still bee availa a plastic bottle. >> our hope is that this is merely a starting point for us.
we have been wanting to make this me for several years. even t or three years ago, the re were not a great deal of alternatives to plastic water bottles, whereas now we have given retailers a list of approved alternatives. there is two dozen on the list -- aluminum, glass, compostable. we are hoping that that list continues to grow. we have heard from so many suppliers around the world that have a similar solution. we hope that as the industry matures and grows it will encompass other categories of beverages to inclu sodas, teas, juices, and larger-sized bottles as well. we hope that this is step number one. sophie: do you havr a timescale at? doug: we don't. we will be watching the industry.th our hope i by taking this move we will inspire other airports and other airlines. as the demand increases for alternatives to plastic bottles, so will the industry for that. we are hoping at in the coming years we will expand our policy to include those other categories.
sophie: what kind of reaction have you had to this move? i know customers probably won't teve felt the difference q yet, still a few bottles on the shelves, i believe. but what about businesses and vendors? doug: yes, we have been working with them for several years and they have known tha've been wanting to do this for some time. the reason we waited until now was precisely in their interest, understanding thate could implement a policy, but if we don't make our retailers t successful, it won'ppen. we wanted to do it at this time where we felt confident that there were good alternatives, cost-eff we think we are in that place today. the feedback is a good, we have been engaging retailers through the process. sophie: you set the goal of becoming the world's first zero-waste aport. are you on track to achieve that? doug: i don't know if we will hit that in 2021 but we are setting ourselves a very bold
goal. we made a similairmove by reg that our restaurants give away-to-go packaging in something that is compostable. another example of us trying to address what is entering our way --to waste streaaximize the chance that it enters recycling or composting and not landfill. sophie: great to speak to you. thank you for your time. doug: thank you. sophie: more on travel now, because the new ceo of virgin galactic has announced that theb company wiin commercial flights into space by the end of next year. the project has not been without its problems. in 2014, a pilot died after crashing during a test flight. there have been concerns over the project's envipanmental . the bbc traveled to the virgin galactic spaceport in the u.s. reporter: 20 mes past the town of truth or consequences in the new mexicoe desert,nd spaceport america. we are here to get a rare glimpse inside that.as
it bills itselhe world's very first purpomm-built cial spaceport, and it is home to virgin galactic, richard branson's company hoping to send fee-paying customers to space. the spaceport's exterior is the product of british architects. it has cost 179 million pounds to build.ch a bill was been floated by state government and local taxpayers. eventually five spacecraft will reside in the hangar, and it is here passengers will receive three days training before blasting off into the upper atmosphere. virgin's tickets cost 200,000 pounds for a 19-minute flight. so far, 600 people have signed up. but at a time of increased bout the environment, is it responsible to send wealthy people to space for fun? >> we actually don't have a very big rocket motor in the back. the per-person co2 commissions
--ra emissions for the a flight is around that of a business-class flight from new esrk to the u.k. there is an awarof our planet documented scientifically with astrouts, they come back changed, with the greater realization of the fragility of our ecosystem. reporter: the irony of this idea isn't lost on thace experts, gh. >> the fact that they have to go that far into space to have that emotion of feeling protect over the world they live in is sort of ridiculous. but you have to put it into perspective of the fact that space v travel y limited in how much it contributes to co2 emissions. in comparison to i aircrafis a tiny fraction of what aircraft put out there. reporter: there have been setbacks. in 2014 e of the spacecraft crashed during testing, resulting in the death of theri copilot and ses injuries for the pilot. on the two mile-long runway, the chief pilot acknowledges the
ti that flight testing has taken. >> it has taken longer than i guess we thought it would do initially. but with hindsight i don't think that is at all surprising. c isrter: virgin galac part of a new space race. amazon's founder and ceo jeff bezos' blue origin and elon musk'es spacex have plans to t fee-paying customers into space. the race is on. space could be about to get a lot more crowded, for those who can afford tti price of the et. sophie:hat is just about it for me. remember, you can find out more about all theases on our website, and if you want to see what we're working on, check us out on facebook. i am sophie long. thank you for watching "bbc announcer: funding for this presentation is made possible by... the freeman foundation; by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation,
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> yang: good evening. i'm john yang. judy woodruff is away. on theour tonight: a chan in values. the leaders of america's largest corporations endorse a new vision for business, saying social concerns are as important as profits. but can they practice what they preach? then, casualties of war. we a on the ground in gaza, where a generation lives with the lastin plus, the beat of his own drum. hip hop artist common on trauma, aforgivenes making it as a rapper. >> one of the things i'm learning through the process is to be kind to myselfyou know, and not just judge everything i do when i make mistakes. i try to learn from mistakes and acknowledge wheri