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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  September 7, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs.
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and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ laura: this is bbc, world news america. in afghanistan tonight, the taliban announced their new government. the new prime minister is being sanctioned by the united nations. the group fired warning shots on the streets of kabul today as hundreds gathered to protest the taliban. the u.n. secretary general tells me humanitarian aid can be an entry point in dealing with the taliban because leaders know they need international help. >> for sanctions to be lifted,
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they need the cooperation of the international community. >> president biden tours new york and new jersey, seeing the damaged caused by hurricane flooding. plus, a financial experiment is underway in central america. el salvador becomes the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. the taliban has unveiled their new government, cementing their hold on the country more than three weeks after the afghan president fled. today, hundreds of protesters, many women, took to the streets of kabul. they were beaten by the talan, who fired warning shots into the air.
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>> "death to pakistan," the crowd chance. they are furious at the countries support of the taliban. >> pakistan has directly attacked our country. we don't want pakistan to announce the government. afghanistan is a free country. we women and men are not the same as 20 years ago, who would be whipped into submission. >> i accept the taliban are afghans, but behind them is pakistan. they gave them this ideology. >> this is the biggest challenge
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to the taliban's authority we have seen so far, and it's not coming from a militia. it's coming from peaceful protesters, women and men. amongst the protesters, some are not afraid to directly criticize them. >> we believe in freedom of speech and democracy. >> are you afraid? >> we are not afraid of death. our voices will make history. >> at a press conference, the taliban rejected what they called propaganda. this evening, they finally announced their new government. they have announced a supreme leader and caretaker prime minister, and a man wanted by the fbi as minister of the interior. there are no women in the
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cabinet. what message do you think that sends? >> we haven't announced all of the ministries here. it is possible this list will be extended. >> back at the protest, convoys of taliban vehicles make their way to the site. eventually, fighters fired shots into the air to disperse the owd. dissent is not something the taliban is used to. bbc, kabul. >> many people are still trying to get out of the country, including americs. for more on u.s. diplomacy as the taliban forms a new government, we are joined by barbara. this government is not exactly what the u.s. was hoping for. the interior ministers on the u.s. terrorism list. >> no, it isn't. what they had been asking for
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was an inclusive government, not just taliban, but representative of other communities and interests, especially women. what they got was mostly tell van, no women, and a man on the fbi's most -- mostly taliban, no women, and a man on the fbi's most wanted list. the policy statement the taliban put out does indicate that they know ty will need as much help as they can get to run the country because it is in dire straits. it sends a signal to the international community that has some points the international community wanted to see. they will not be a safe haven for terrorists. they say they will tech human rights, although it is within their inter -- protect human rights, although it is within their interpretationf islamic law. >> speaking of that, what about
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the americans ft behind in afghanistan and reports of there being held hostage by the taliban? what is the u.s. secretary of state saying about that? >> he says they are not being held hostage. ut four chartered planes have been prevented from taking off. some republican lawmakers have said the taliban is blocking the evacuation. mr. blinken said the problem is some of these people do not have valid travel documents. the u.s. cannot identify them and that is a security risk of concern to the americans. there is also concerned about where the planes would land. he said he had been in touch with the taliban about this issue and that the taliban repeated their pledge to allow people with the right documents to leave. this is going to be a point of contention going forward.
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when the airport in kabul is reopened, that is a real priority, and they are working hard on that. laura: is this how the u.s. can now influence afghanistan, via now i like tar -- like qatar? >> the qatari's are an important intermediary. they have a good relatnship with the u.s. and have an office in doha which they have had for several years. no country did more, mr. blinken said, to help with the evacuation. that is where americans will continue to keep the pathway to afghanistan open, keep working to get allies t of the country. that will be the focus more than trying to use cutter to -- qatar to shape the situation in
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afghanistan at the moment. laura: now that the u.s. and its allies have left afghanistan, the role of the united nations has become crucial. the international organization is still operating there, and the taliban is relying on the u.n. for much needed humanitarian aid. the u.n. secretary general explained why he thinks the u.n. may be able to influence the taliban. >> secretary-general, now that the united states has withdrawn from afghanistan, the u.n. is warning of a looming humanitarian catastrophe. what are you most worried about? >> i am terribly worried about the situation for the afghan people. 18 million people are in need of assistance before this crisis. his people are suffering enormous -- these people are
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suffering a norm asleep -- enormously. so, the level of suffering is unimaginable, and our duty is to stay and to deliver, b the taliban must create conditions for us to be able to work. girls must be allowed to go to school. women must be allowed to work. they must resume as normal as possible a situation. in the sense that the taliban understands that humanitarian aid is essential and that they understand the international community -- laura: you think you can use humanitarian aid as leverage? >> there needs to be an engagement, and there needs to be a relationship of trust in
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which they understand that the u.n. can provide them with humanitarian assistance, but in order to do that, they need to meet criteria. these are discussions. i think there is an understanding of what needs to be done, but let's be clear, the situation is largely political. laura: in kabul today, the taliban put down a protest by women. can you believe the taliban when they say they are going to have an government customer -- government? >> i believe they want to be recognized. for that to happen, they need the cooperation of the international unity -- community.
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this was clear in our discussions. laura: is the role of the united nations in afghanistan more important than ever now that the u.s. and its allies are gone? >> we are there since 1947. we are there in all circumstances. we were there for the previous taliban. our commitment to the afghan people is a commitment to them in all circumstances. laura: world leaders are gathering here in september. what is the greatest challenge facing them? the twin crises of coronavirus and climate seem to collide. >> the greatest challenges lack of trust and disunity. we hit record time in the production of vaccines and today in my country vaccination has
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reached almost 80%. other countries are at 2%. this is totally unacceptable, morally unacceptable. we need mechanisms for an equitable distribution of vaccines. this mistrust is being felt in the climate negotiations. it might undermine the results. we need to reestablish trust and community. powers at odds with each other create a situation where there is room for improvement. this is the moment for the world to understand that we are in big trouble. we need to sound the alarm. we need to unite. laura: thank you for your time. the u.n. secretary general
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warning about the dangers posed by climate change. president biden was in new york and new jersey today surveying damage caused by tropical storm ida. mr. biden said every part of the country is now being hit by extreme weather. i do first hit louisiana as a category four -- ida first hit louisiana as a category four storm, and then caused flooding in the northeast. the president is using this storm damage to hammer his message on climate change. >> we have seen him bogged down in foreign policy in afghanistan for so long. he is trying to pivot back to his domestic agenda. key among it is the fight against climate change. we sought in louisiana, and now here in new york and new jersey.
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really pushing the urgency ahead of congress's upcoming discussions about the comprehensive budget plan, which will include not just infrastructure, but talks about climate mitigation efforts. he has not just speaking to republicans. he is speaking to his own party because there is a debate between moderates and progressives about how far the country could -- should go. the clear message from biden is that the government keeps spending after the fact for these disasters. congress has already asked for $14 billion to clean up from ida. president biden said there is no time to waste. laura: the president wants the u.s. to climate-proof its infrastructure. is that even possible in new york city with the structure flooded? >> these storms are happening
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and we look back to hurricane sandy and new york being undersea level and really having to revamp so many different subway lines. what we heard from new york is that they are continuing to do repairs, to get water pumps to pump out the water, to raise the infrastructure where they can. the covid pandemic has delayed many projects they wanted to get done. funding has been an issue over the course of the pandemic as well. storm proofing has to be done. as we saw from ida, the significant rainfall in just one hour, more than three inches an hour, completely overwhelmed the system. the infrastructure cannot take it. laura: briefly, there are more thunderstorms do you here in new
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-- do here -- due here tomorrow in new york city. have people even finished cleaning up from last week? >> people are trying to figure out what to do with their homes. their belongings are still on the street waiting to be picked up. they are waiting to find out if they can get housing assistance. as more rains come in, it is certainly a scary situation, especially in parts of new jersey where they are still boiling water. laura: in other news from around the world, proponents of myanmar's military rulers have called for an uprising. they said everyone should take part in a revolution. military rulers dismissed the call, saying it was an attempt to regain national attention. the high court in france has ruled that a giant sum meant --
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see meant manufacturer is facing charges that could include crimes against humanity. they are accused of paying islamist militants in the uprising in syria. angela merkel has addressed her parliament for the last time. she has been in office for 16 years. during an unusually heated debate, she used the event to campaign for her chosen replacement. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come, the death of a palestinian activist in police custody sparked protest on the west bank. there are tensions between palestinians and their own government.
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expanded unemployment benefits that kept millions of americans afloat durg the pandemic have now expired. president biden says states can extend the program, but so far, none of them have. >> you see that on one side there are progressive democrats who really wanted to see these benefits extended. on the other you have republicans who really don't want to see these benefits extended and their argument is this is discouraging people from going out and working. democrats are saying look, you have the delta variant causing a lot of concern. there was a lot of pressure on president biden to extend these benefits. he held back because he wants support for his overall economic plan, including the big
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infrastructure bill. laura:ow to the west bank where palestinians are taking to the streets to criticize their own governments. people protested earlier this summer, too. a well-known activist died after being arrested by palestinian security forces. our correspondent has more. >> he spent his final night on this mattress. his relative have created a memorial. two months ago, he came to them for help after his own house was shot at. these are the last pictures of him alive. his cousin had slept behind him -- beside him. he woke to see him being hit
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with a metal bar. >> he was fast asleep. they could've handcuffed him and taken him away without killing him. >> he was also known for his attacks. his death unleashed fury that had long been building. the protests have been violently suppressed. international donors have given large sums to train the palestinian police. they are demanding answers from leading politicians. >>he man was killed on the situation became politicized. it should not have been witnessed.
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>> he is unconvinced by the palestinian authorities promises of reform. >> they have it politically, economically. >> his trial is now underway. it's part of a cycle of protests. >> activists are organizing a legal demonstration. this hearing just resulted in yet another protest. people are raising their voices, demandg change. >> for years, palestinians have been locked in a conflict with israel. now many see themselves in another struggle, with their own leaders. laura: to el salvador now, which today became the first country
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in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. the u.s. dollar remains in use, but salvadoreans can now pay for everything from groceries to haircuts using the cryptocurrency. it is being promoted as a way to bring more people into the economy. already, there are fears this could backfire and it has complicated efforts by the government to get funding from the international monetary fund. >> supermarkets and pizza places in el salvador are now accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. it has been adopteds legal tender in the country and it has its own law, which says that all businesses should be able to take the cryptocurrency. more than 200 machines allow
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people to exchange cryptocurrency for cash. the government is offering $30 in free bit coin to encourage citizens to use this digital wallet. but el salvador's president is having a tough time pursuing -- persuading people that making bitcoin legal tender is a go idea. general enthusiasm is low. critics of the plan argue that using bitcoin is risky and volatile. and it can be used to launder money. >> people don't want it. there is no price-fixing. >> elderly people find it very difficult to use the technology needed for this virtual coin.
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>> i like going to the shops and using banknotes. >> the government sees bitcoin adoption as a way to facilitate exchanging money with salvadoreans living abroad. laura: the bitcoin experiment. one last story before we go. jim henson, who created the muppets, has been honored with a plaque at his london home. the american puppeteer who died in 1990 would have been 85 this month. he lived in north london -- bought a house in north london at the peak of the muppets success. he was the creator and voice of characters like kermit the frog
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and ralph the dog. i am laura trevelyan. thank you for watching bbc world news america. narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. narrator: nding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
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♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, taliban takeover. the militant group announces a new government amid protests and an economic crisis. then, the recovery continues. some gulf coast residents regain power but many remain stranded in sweltering conditions as the president surveys the damage in the northeast. and 20 years later, the new jersey town that lost more residents in the 9/11 attacks than anywhere else outside new york city reflects on that tragic day. >> the wounds of 9/11 are never going to fully heal and i think this community has embraced the families and 20 years later, it still holds firm

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