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tv   BBC World News  PBS  August 25, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PDT

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, and union bank. ♪ >> union bank has put its global
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strength to work for a range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> a south american genre ignites the debate about the deadline to withdraw troops from afghanistan. is it encouraging the taliban? a plane burst into flames while trying to land in northeast china. more than 40 people are dead. and a health crisis in the wake of floods. more fears about the global economic recovery as u.s. home sales collapse. >> hello and a warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in the united kingdom and around the world. an american general says president obama's plan to start withdrawing troops from
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afghanistan next july is encouraging insurgents. but the head of the u.s. marine corps said that could all change when u.s. forces continue to mount attacks after that date. he said the u.s. marines in the south of afghanistan are likely to remain for a few years. >> the u.s. has more than 90,000 troops in afghanistan. president obama has promised to start bringing them home in july, 2011, in effect a beginning of the end of the war. now, the head of the u.s. marine corps has speculated bluntly about the effect of the president's deadline on the taliban. >> in some ways, we think right now it's probably giving our enemy sustenance. we think that he may be saying to himself, in fact, we've intercepted communications that say, hey, we only have to hold out for so long. let me give you a different thought. if you accept what i offered earlier as true that marines will be there after 2011, ok,
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after the middle of 2011, what's the enemy going to say then? what is he going to say to his foot troops where you've got leadership outside the country trying to direct operations within because it's too dangerous for them to be there and the foot troops have been believing what they're saying that they're going to leave in the summer of next year and come the fall, we're still there hammering them like we have been. >> in other words, general conway strongly suggests that u.s. marines will remain in afghanistan to fight the taliban well after july, 2011. the white house may not like the general getting so far ahead of president obama in public on this subject. general conway's outspoken words may bring back some memories of another u.s. commander, general stanley mcchris tal. he was forced to resign in june after he made controversial remarks to a magazine. after that, all generals were told to keep in line.
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administration official says they're not surprised by general conway's remarks. he is, after all, a blunt-speaking general who is about to retire. but his comments reinforce those made with more sublety by other commanders. don't bet on july 2011 as the beginning of the end of afghanistan. >> chinese media are reporting 43 people have died in a passenger jet that burst into flames while landing at an airport in the northeast. state television says the plane had 96 people onboard when it crashed. 53 were rescued. jane francis kelly reports. >> the plane reportedly overshot the runway and burst into flames as it tried to land in heavy fog at the airport. the jet had taken off from the provincial capital less than an hour earlier. emergency services rushed to the
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scene trying to douse the flames and rescue those on board. investigators are looking for the black box flight recorder. the cause of the crash is not known. china's last civilian air crash took place in 2004 with the deaths of 40 people. this is one of many airports being built in remote parts of china to help boost economic development. >> erling your, our correspondent in bay jick told me the authorities are still investigating what went wrong. >> what seems strange is the reports we have from local officials is that although weather conditions weren't ideal, the plane was heading in for a normal landing. they said they could see the landing lights, wasn't any sign that anything was amiss before the crash happened. >> some 53 people survived. have any of those survivors spoken about what happened yet? >> they haven't yet. most of them are being treated in hospital for cuts or broken
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bones and for burns. we're told that none of them have life threatening injuries, but of course they will be an important source of information for the crash investigators. china has had a pretty good safety record really in the last few years. the last major air crash here was in 2004. so -- when you think that since the beginning of the decade, the number of air passengers in china has tripled, that's -- that shows that actually as a result of tighter rules here and also the fact that most of the airlines here have quite young fleets, things haven't been going too badly. but the investigation -- investigators will be looking for the black box recorders and talking to survivors in an attempt to piece together what went wrong. >> now, as floodwaters sweep through southern pakistan, the country's prime minister says there's serious concern about the spread of epidemic diseases.
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according to the president, it could take years for pakistan to recover. chris morris sent this report from one of the regions suffering badly in the wake of the floods. >> in this area, they're taking matters into their own hands. water is seeping through the temporary flood defenses and these are their efforts to stop it. tens of thousands of people have fled from the city which lies across the field. >> we're doing what we can to protect our houses, he says. every little thing helps. diggers are ripping up the roads to help strengthen the defenses but will it be enough? all this is part of the new geography of southern pakistan. the wall behind me is nearly 15 miles long, built to protect the city and all across this region, similar structures are being
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constructed to try to keep these floodwaters back. we set a you have with some fishermen who have been launching rescue missions every day, saving hundreds of people stranded by the floods. their houses are now under water. we didn't have to go far before we came across this group, balanced precariously on a tiny boat. we were stuck for seven days he says, and we thought we could wait it out. but the water kept rising and we haven't eaten for two days. others are still out here, surviving on what they can. but most people have fled, leaving their most precious possessions behind. even their livestock. but the big question now, will the walls made of mud, stone, and sand really hold? >> they're going to walk around
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24 hours a day but there's another body of water, eventually it will come to. >> so a country facing so many challenges is praying the flood won't wreak any more havoc. >> islamist insurgents in mo gandhi shoe said they carried -- in mogadishu said they carried out an attack. at least 70 people have died in two days in some of the heaviest fighting for years. the bbc's correspondent peter grastr reports from neighboring kenya. >> even by somalia's standards, the attack was shocking. a group of gunmen stormed a hotel in what's supposed to be a safe zone. the he e-- hotel is close to the presidential palace and the
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reason it was so popular with government officials. the total death toll is 32, said the deputy prime minister. that includes six m.p.'s and five civil servants he said. two gunmen broke into the hotel and killed them all before they blew themselves up. rebels confirmed they were behind the attack and claimed the gunmen killed as many as 60. either way, it dramatically underlines -- undermines the security the government has work sod hard to present. the group has been working hard to overthrow the government and install an islamist group. they have been building up their ranks in assault on the government defenses. military analysts say it is unlikely the rebels will overthrow the government, as long as they remain there and honor their mandate to protect
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it. but there are reports they are losing military morale. but if they go and the government collapses, does the mandate. >> for the last few months, figures from the u.s. housing market have been unremittingly poor but tuesday's numbers took even the most pessimistic economists by surprise. sales of existing u.s. homes slumped from a month earlier, to the lowest level in 15 years and the biggest monthly drop on record. michelle reports from new york city. >> williamsburg, in new york, may have the city's highest concentration of stalled development. home to musicians and artists as well as those who want to buy into the lifestyle, williamsburg has proved a magnet for developers. but when the real estate market seized up, units meant for sale turned into rentals and some projects stopped mid construction. >> in the back of the apartment, we have the master bedroom with
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en suite master bath. >> a few miles away, an apartment buildsing. here they haven't given up. after sitting empty for most of 2009, jamestown properties, one of the original investors, took over the troubled mortgage. once in control they changed their approach. what was the biggest change you made when you relaunched? >> well, the most important component is that reinvention was our price point. the sponsor was able to bring our product back to market and at the market price. there was a 20% to 25% reduction in asking prices from the time we were first launched to our second launch, you will. it made all the difference in the world. >> sales in this building are up but they are the exception to the rule. looking at previously owned home sales in this region, the northeast dropped 30% in july. in the midwest, they fell 35%.
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while in the west and south, they were down by more than 20%. now that the government tax credit has expired this housing expert says the property market's weakness can't be disguised. >> it all comes down to whether we see unemployment improve significantly and to date, we haven't. even with seen modest, very modest, improvements. until we see that, we're not going to see housing improve. >> the view of america's housing market remains grim and the economic outlook uncertain. >> you're watching bbc news. still ahead, you're a cat lover, you might want to look ahead now. shock and paw as a woman puts a cat into a rubbish bin. clashes on the streets of beirut between members of the shia movement hezbollah and a sunni faction. two people werekied before the
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lebanese army was able to restore a fragile calm. >> these were scenes that hadn't been experience inside beirut since a week of heavy fighting between hezbollah and supporters of a pro-western governing coalition brought lebanon to the brink of a new civil war in 2008. rocket-propelled grenades and machine gunfire echoed through the neighborhood. the clash seems to have been sparked by an argument between a local hezbollah official and a member of a sunni faction. it escalated into a gunfight two. people were killed, including a member of his boll threasm lebanese army moved in to stop the fighting. they cor conned -- cordoned off the area and restored calm. the wounded were taken to hospital. both hezbollah and others were quick to insist the clash was just a personal dispute with no political or techtarian -- sectarian dimension. it was a surprise to many lebanese as the two groups have been allies in recent years.
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but it also ratcheted up tensions in the city where people are increasingly apprehensive and expect an indictment of members that could trigger a new round of sectarian conflict. one ma who didn't seem unduly unnerved was the hezbollah leader. as the fighting erupted, he was giving a speech beamed by video link to his supporters as a ramadan feast he made no mention of the clash but made clear his opposition to the u.n. tribunal. he said he didn't recognize it or its investigation and would reveal his reasons and evidence for this when he time was right. such comments would do little to reassure the nervous lebanese. >> you're watching bbc news. a reminder of our headlines so far, a senior american general has said president obama's decision to begin pulling troops
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out of afghanistan next year is encouraging the taliban. 43 people have been killed after a passenger plane crash landed in northeastern china. the plane burst into flames after overshooting the runway. as floodwaters sweep through southern pakistan, the country's prime minister says there's serious concern about the spread of epidemic diseases. the former u.s. president jimmy carter is on his way to north korea on a mission to win the release of an american prisoner. mr. carter plans to travel to the capital, pyongyang, on a private humanitarian mission to persuade authorities to free a prisoner. joining me now from seoul is john. john, what was mr. gomez charged with my binorth korea? >> mr. gomes is thought to be a devout christian. he had worked teaching english here in south korea and colleagues who knew him described him as a very regular
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churchgoer, somebody who was very devout in his beliefs. he is thought to have walked across the chinese-north korean border on a kind of one-man peace mission in january of this year, shortly after he was, as you'd expect, arrested by north korean authorities. they charged him with illegal entry and have sentenced him to eight years hard labor. >> is this a private mission by the former president or is it sanctioned by the u.s. government? >> we don't yet have any official confirmation from the u.s. government that this visit is even taking place. the white house has refused to comment. but there has been a number of media reports in the past two days that the most -- the most recent of which is carried by south korea's news agency saying that mr. carter's plane has already left. other sources, diplomatic sources, government sources, quoted by u.s. newspapers and
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television stations say that there visit is exactly that. a private humanitarian visit with the sole purpose of securing the release of this 30-year-old u.s. citizen. >> this isn't the first time a former u.s. president has been to north korea to try to get the release of american citizens, namely bill clinton. >> that's right, bill clinton flew there last year to secure the release of two u.s. journalists also arrested and detained after crossing the north korean border. north korea is often accused of using detained citizens for diplomatic leverage if you like. it can use these high profile visits by senior statesmen for propaganda value and there will be speculation, of course that that's what's happening here.
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i think if we do get confirmation that this visit is taking place as reported, the u.s. government will claim that this is purely a private visit for humanitarian purposes. >> thanks so much. people living in south africa's picturesque cape of good hope say they have been overrun with ba boons. the audacious primates are so hungry they break into houses to raid fridges and cupboards. animal rights groups say people should learn to live with them. >> the cape peninsula is picture postcard south africa, surrounded by the atlantic ocean, this is a place for holidays, fun, and relaxation. but something is troubling the people who live here. >> the kids come and do their shopping, buy bread, they take
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it. >> they become a menace. they're like a gangster on the street corner. >> they must remove them or shoot them all. >> this is what the fuss is all about, this humble ba boon, with his newly acquired face for a life of crime. >> they crept in behind the end of the sliding door and ripped with all their might and pulled it out of its tracks and smashed it on the floor. >> dave has been robbed several times by the baboons. in a typical raid, they smash a window before heading to the fridge in the kitchen. and it's not just house robly. a few kilometers away a group of tourists filmed themselves as their van was searched for food. the baboons on this peninsula are in trouble because they're trapped, surrounded by the sea and cut off from the rest of
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south africa by the urban sprowl of cape town. as the numb of humans living on the peninsula has grown, the baboons have found themselves squeezed into ever smaller areas. many have learned that humans and their waste are now the easiest source of food. this is part of the local authority's solution to the problem. teams of monitors doing the i78 possible job of chasing the baboons out of town. >> there are a lot of baboons. sometimes it's not easy to see them we must walk around when we get them and chase them. >> there's a broader debate about whether it's desirable for animal and human to live side by side. sometimes controversially, repeat baboon offenders have been killed by authorities and
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there are growing calls for the more troublesome troops to be removed or relocated off the peninsula. >> let's be pragmatic about it. we can say, let's get rid of the baboons, they cause a problem and it's far cheaper to shoot them. but i come back to what have we as a species learned from that. if we are still resorting to killing animals as a way to solve the problem, quong we've evolved much at all. >> for now this coexistence will continue, but everyone agrees the longer it exists the less healthy it is for man and baboons. >> david cameron and his wife have been celebrating a new addition to their family. she had a baby girl while they were on holiday.
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the baby came sooner than expected and was delivered via c-section. >> he'd been hoping for a day on the beach but just like politics, holidays don't always go to plan. >> she woke up this morning and thought she was having transactions. we thought we'd come to the hospital to get everything checked out and things sped up and it happened very, very quickly. the baby popped out 59 about 12:00. she's an unbelievably beautiful girl and i'm a very proud dad. >> the camerons posed for pictures when ai -- when they arrived at corn wall for the week. they didn't expect the baby to arrive until next month in london. but he prime minister joked with the reporters about an early arrival. david cameron has often spoken about the influence of family life on his politics. last year, his eldest son, ivan, died at the age of 6, after suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy. the new baby will have an older
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brother and sister, arthur and nancy. >> i told the other two children, who are thrilled, dancing up and down and diing so say hello to the new baby. >> any names yet? >> no, i think we'll have to -- not that i have any say in it, but i think we'll have to have something cornish in the middle. >> that's a promise that's gone down well here. >> staff said the camerons were treated like any other patients. >> everyone is, you know, professional, they have to work, the service has to continue, whatever situation occurs. >> have you ever delivered a prime minister's baby before? >> no. >> i better get back in there and make some more toast. >> mrs. cameron is expected to stay in hospital for another couple of days. tonight, mother and daughter are said to be doing very well here at the royal cornwall hospital.
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the family received messages of congratulations from all sides from the deputy prime minister, the -- and all the labor leader candidates. >> here's a story that lots of people are talking about here in the u.k. officials in coventry in the english mid lands say they tracked down a woman caught on cctv throwing this cat into a rubbish bin. it was seen by thousands after it was posted on line. the royal society for prevention of cruelty to animals said they plan to interview the woman. the cat spent 15 hours inside the bin before it was rescued. >> an ordinary street and at first, this looks like an ordinary encounter between a woman and cat in coventry. then this happened. grabbed by the scruff of the neck, lola the tabby is dumped in the bin. it took 15 hours to find her and after reviewing foot frg their
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cctv camera the owners were shocked to see how she got there. >> i can't understand what would go through anyone's head to do such a thing to her, to an animal. it could have ban lot worse, she could have been there a lot longer. >> the footage generated global interest on the internet and is now with the authorities. the pictures from these cameras initially put up to keep an eye on the family car are so clear the police have been able to identify the woman in them and she'll be interviewed shortly by rspca inspectors leading the investigation. in the meantime, they're urging members of the public to allow them to deal with the matter. >> that's pretty much it from us. our main headline, another american general has raised questions about president obama's deadline for pulling troops out of afghanistan. that's it from me for now, from me and all the team here at bbc
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news, thanks for watching. good-bye. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, and union bank. ♪
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