tv BBC World News PBS September 25, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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companies from major corporations. what can we do for you? >> somewhere in america there's a doctor who can peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital is working together, there's a family who can breathe easy right now. somewhere in america we've already answered some of the nation's toughest health care questions. and the over 60,000 people of seaman's are ready to do it again. >> and now, bbc world news. >> hateful and offensive. barack obama criticizes iran's president to suggesting that the u.s. government was behind the september 11 attacks. britain raises the threat level from dissident irish republicans, warning an attack is a strong possibility. no global food crisis.
the u.n. talks about the high prices. welcome to bbc news broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. coming p later in the program, renewed hope for stability in colombia following the death of a rebel leader. a judge in california suspends the due guard kidnap case because of concerns offer the accused's mental competency. >> president obama has condemned what he described as offensive and hateful comments by the iranian president, mahmoud ahmadinejad at the united nations general assembly on thursday. there he suggested that the u.s. government was behind the september 11 attacks. in an exclusive interview with
bbc persian television, mr. obama drew a contrast between comments and expressions of sympathy. >> ground zero, the site in new york of the attack on america which murdered nearly 3,000 people and scarred the nation's psyche. for a foreign leader to come here and entertain the suggestion the american government inflicted this on their own people has caused outrage. president obama, in an interview with the bbc's person service, seemed genuinely angry in what he called outrageous and disgusting remarks. >> it was offensive, it was hateful, and particularly for him to make the statement here in manhattan was inexcusable. >> president ahmadinejad was quite unrepentant today, repeating his call for u.n. investigation into 9/11. something happened, and that event was the pretext of the invasion of two countries, he
said. hundreds of thousands of people have been killed as a result of don't you think we need to explore the real reasons for 9/11 to look at that excuse? speaking here at the united nations just five miles from ground zero, president ahmadinejad certainly knows how to rile and upset americans. but in this case he may have played right into president obama's hands. >> president obama wanted to talk directly to the iranian people over the heads of their leaders by giving an interview to the bbc's persian service which broadcasts to around 10 million people inside the country. the world's most powerful nations believe iran is building nuclear weapons and his message was that they were betraying the people. he was asked directly, what was the possibility that america or israel could carry out military attacks? >> i don't take war lightly. i was opposed to the war in
iraq. i am somebody who's interested in resolving issues diplomatically. if they take those constructive steps and serious negotiations, then not only should there not be a threat of war, but there also won't be the sanctions that are currently in place. >> despite the bad feelings and harsh words, diplomacy is being given a chance. president ahmadinejad suggested a meeting should be set for next month, although i was cryptic and had caveats. president obama can have little belief that the leader will change his ways voluntarily, but there is a feeling that some in the iranian government may also be getting fed up with isolation and sanctions. bbc news, new york. >> an american woman freed after more than a year in detention in iran has met president ahmadinejad in new york to press for the release of her fiance and a friend, who are still being held. sarah shourd said she had a good meeting with mr.
ahmadinejad and hopes that iranian government would show the same leniency to her two friends that they have shown her. britain has for the first time published its threat level for northern ireland-based terrorism, raising it from moderate to substantial, the third highest category. the home office said there was a strong possibility that dissident irish republican groups opposed to power sharing in northern ireland would attack the british mainland. >> violence on the streets of northern ireland has been rising all year, and now it could be about to spread. dissident republicans haven't attacked the u.k. mainland since 2001, when they exploded two car bombs in london. neither security services believe it could happen again. the threat level in great britain has gone up from moderate to substantial. the home secretary said the
change was being made public in the interest of transparency and to encourage people to remain vigilant. the head of mi-5, jonathan evans, said last week dissident republican groups posed a real and rising security challenge, saying we were giving insufficient with it to history. the position of i.r.a. used to attack the u.k. mainland. now history could repeat itself. >> they have been using this in game plans as a provisional i.r.a. there's nothing gnaw. they can't think any new ideas. so anything that was done in the past, you could be sure that they'll try and duplicate that. >> but the threat isn't the same. they don't have the same amount of weapons or explosives as the i.r.a. used to have. >> the threat from the republicans is a serious one but nothing like the ones in the past. it's something that provides the possibility of occasional
lethal attack, rather than sustained campaign on the mainland, but it's something which people in the government and in the security circles clearly take very seriously on the basis of evidence, rather than just imagination. >> dissident republicans don't have any political support here. 99% of people in northern ireland are against them. but there's no sign of the violence ending, and the fear is it could get worse. bbc news, belfast. >> delegates at the special united nations meeting have been told that good har vests and add yacht cereal stocks should mean that the rising cost of food should ease. it's a time of year when the harvest in the northern hemisphere should be pushing prices down. david reports. >> there have been ohm news signs that the world -- ominous signs that the world was heading for a food crisis. riots in mozambique earlier this month following a summer
of drought, which caused russia, one the world's big grain producers, to impose an export ban. but despite this, the u.n. experts meeting in rome concluded there was no crisis -- at least not yet. >> and when we're talking about such an important crop as wheat or rice, there is always a concern. i don't want to undermine that. however, look at the spillover effects. it's nothing like we had in 2007 and 2008, because a lot of other conditions in 2007 and 2008 which led to that sort of situation fortunately are completely not present this time around. >> the harvest in many places this year, including the sauce, has been good. this -- including the united states has been good. it may not be a crisis, but prices remain high and those responsible for feeding the hungry have had to find new ways of reaching them. support to buy food, rather
than food aid may be the way to go. >> what we have put in place to make things better for people in the poorest, least developed countries, is a greater awareness that access to food is critical. it's not just looking at places where there is no food, it's looking at places where food might be there on the markets, but people don't have resources to buy it because it's simply too expensive. >> the one thing that everyone knows is that the food market is very volatile and vulnerable to deep swings up and down. >> these are worrying times for the poorest people in the world who already spend nearly all that they can earn on food. there are many, many nervous eyes watching the upward rise in the grain price hoping it will stabilize soon. bbc news, rome. >> more than 300 homes have been destroyed by fire in brazil. it happened in a shantytown in a suburb. firefighters were called to the scene but it took them three
hours to control the blaze. an investigation is underway, but fires are common there where people regularly tap into illegal power lines to get free electricity. the spacecraft has successfully undocked from the international space station after a one-day delay caused by a technical hitch. one american and two russians are onboard. they'll return to earth in a few hours, ending a six-month stint in space. president obama has congratulated the authorities in colombia for their successful attack on a stronghold of the rebel movement there. the gorilla group's second in command was killed in an air strike this week, prompting the u.s. president to say that colombia could now see a period of continued stability. >> in the darkness of the colombian jungle, death came from the sky. for two days this week dozens of aircraft stripped the
hideout of some of their top commanders. a rebel defector told the military the camp's location. precision bombing did the rest. when the smoke cleared, little of the base was left. a few scattered possessions, a crater where once there was an underground bunker. and then the bodies, more than 20 of them, including one of colombia's most wanted men, the top military commander. front-page news and mission accomplished for colombia's military and praise, too, from its key foreign sponsor. >> the people of colombia have been plagued by this terrorist insurgency for a very long time. and as a consequence of the success of the security forces, we now have a chance to seek continued stability in colombia and in the region. >> as colombians didgest the
news, it may have dealt the rebels a potentially fatal blow. >> i think this is a strike that will break the center of gravity of the farc and after 40 years i am confident that we can now see the future also with great optimism in achieving peace. >> the killing of this man, the farc's best military brain, is a moment to savor for the colombian government. some have heralded it as the equivalent of the u.s. killing osama bin laden. a former colombian senator held hostage for six years is optimistic about the effect his death will have. >> he was a man that wanted war. he was very extremist wing, military wing inside the farc. and without him, perhaps there is a possibility of reaching or
to start, at least, a peace negotiation in colombia. >> the government's intensive military campaign has left the farc badly weakened. but latin america's longest-running insurgency is far from a spent force and some analysts warn it may respond to this latest blow with more violence. bbc news. >> and you are watching bbc news. still to come this hour, rehearsing for the next big oil spill. britain prepares for a deep drilling disaster. >> socialist governments have announced there will be hefty tax increases as part of measures designed to combat the economic crisis that has engulfed the country since 2008. the proposals must now go to parliament, where the real battle will begin. from madrid, our reporter reports. >> no one is happy in spain at the moment.
there's already been widespread protests that the cuts are hitting all sectors of society, as the government tries to get the budget deficit under control and a national strike has been called for next wednesday. now it's the rich who have been hit. with finance minister announcing two new tax bans for those earning over $120,000 euros a year. if you take home more than 175 euros a year in spain, the next year you'll be paying 45% tax, a hike of 23.5%. >> the budgets are austere, social and encourage economic growth. they reflect the change of model that we're trying to make. >> the government is hoping that this will bring in at least 200 million euros. and they also confirmed that public sector spending will be reduced by 7.9% next year as the government tries to hit its
target of a 6% budget deficit in 2011. although that's still well outside the guideline of 3%, it's still a significant drop from the revised figure of 11.1% last year. the full budget will be presented to spain's parliament next week and will be voted upon in early october. they have a minority government but has gathered enough support to probably get the budget passed by a small margin. it still remains to be seen how the international financial community will respond to these new announcements. bbc news, madrid. >> you're watching bbc news. the headlines this hour. barack obama has criticized iran's president for suggesting that the u.s. government was behind the september 11 attacks. he says the comments made by mahmoud ahmadinejad were hateful and offensive. britain has raised the terror
threat level from dissident irish republicans and an attack on the irish mainlands is said to be a strong possibility. a judge in california has suspended proceedings against the man accuseds of kidnapping and raping jaycee lee due guard. she was held prisoner for nearly 18 years. the judge says he has concerns about his mental competency to stand trial. >> what happened in this unassuming house in a small town near san francisco defied belief. hidden in squall i had outhouses, a small girl was allegedly held can'tive for 18 years. -- can't tiff for 18 years. 11-year-old jaycee due gard was snatched. she went on to have two children of her own by her can'ttor, phillip ga receipt do. he and his wife face 29 charges. now a judge has halted the
case, worried he is mentally ill. the judge said unresponsive behavior in court hearings made him doubt that he could take part in his own defense. in the year since they were arrested, prosecutors have been building their case and the couple has had psychiatric evaluation. further tests may now be ordered on phillip. his wife's case is unaffected. >> hi, i'm jaycee. >> as for that little girl, in is a rare picture of her now, free and reunted with her family. and the case against phillip could resume, but it could take much longer for the truth about this house to be explained. bbc news in los angeles. >> japan has rejected china's demand for a formal apology and compensation following the return home of the captain of a fishing boat which collided with two japanese coast guard vessels in disputed waters. the incident earlier this month caused the biggest rowe between the two countries for several
years. the chinese statement reiterated beijing's claim, calling it indisputable. meanwhile, four japanese nationals detained on thursday on suspicion of entering a restricted military zone in northern china are still being held. it was the biggest oil spill in u.s. history. the gulf of mexico disaster caused damage to marine life, coastal communities and big business. now the question is, could it happen here in britain? and if it does, could we cope? european ministers have agreed to review oil drilling as the british government considers whether three new deep-water wells should go ahead. this report from from our environment correspondent. >> a training exercise for the nightmare of another massive oil spill. just off southampton sections are inflated. it's a laborious task. there's no oil in the water, but everyone is acting as if there is. this is a rehearsal for what
will happen if there's an accident off the shores of britain. this kind of training matters more than ever now, as the oil industry moves into deeper stretches of ocean. the key question -- will any of this be enough if there's a blowout like in the gulf of mexico, but in british waters? the aim, as always, us to keep any oil from reaching the coast, and then to break it up by spraying chemicals. here they're practicing with sea water. but with deep wells planned off shetland, how hard would this be out there? hannah is just back from the gulf of mexico and says the atlantic would be far more challenging. >> it's difficult to clean up because it's rougher, so you can't get booms in, you can't spray dispersant because it blows away, so it's difficult to do things because it is rougher. it will naturally break it up itself. >> some campaigners want deep drilling stopped. protesters from green paes have
climbed on to a drilling ship to prevent it from working and they're planning legal action against the government as well. >> we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that deepwater horizon has shown us that if something goes wrong at these hard to reach places, it is very, very difficult t actually cap a well and mitigate the damage. >> the oil industry says it can cope with a spill. this vast warehouse which the oil companies pay for stores the equipment for an emergency. everything ready to be transported, including loads of chemical dispersant, though far less than was used in the gulf of mexico. >> we have the equipment that we've already got here in this space and elsewhere in the u.k. then there's other layers where we can go into europe, into america, to bring in more equipment, more dispersant, maybe more aircraft to apply dispersants. >> as the training goes on, an oil-skimming device is lowered into the water. the government says safety
standards are high and it doesn't see a need to stop drilling. there is huge demand for oil, but also more nervousness about the risks of getting it. bbc news, southampton. >> across colombia's northern border, voters will go to the polls this weekend in venezuela to choose members of the national assembly. more than 300 candidates are competing in the elections, and both supporters and critics of president chavez see it as a key test. as will grant reports from caracas, stopping the violence are among the voters' key concerns. >> these are the political wishes in venezuela. this may look like the kinds of supermarket you can find anywhere, but for years the venezuelan government has sold and subsidized food at low prices to the poor. with inflation the highest in latin america, your position blames the government for the highest cost in living. the government says that
initiatives like this now are selling products at regulated prices for reasons that the socialist party should contain control of. for their part, the opposition candidate has made the price one of the main issues of their election campaign. in may tens of thousands of tons of food destined for the government subsidized markets were found rotting in ports or dumped in landfill sites around the country. the opposition used the scandal to acues the government of corruption. while the question of food prices is important, many voters say their main concern is crime. >> we're asking for security. we want a better standard of living for us, the poor, and we want our money to go further. >> opposition leaders have brought a petition on violent crime to the assembly. they were met with a hostile reception from chavez supporters, but crime is one of the main planks of their
election platform. >> it seems to me that government doesn't have a real will to face the problems of violence in venezuela. so we are promoting ideas, we are promoting a plan, and the government tries to dismiss everything that we produce. >> there were around 14,000 murders here last year, over twice the number when mr. chavez came to power. mr. chavez says opposition media have been exaggerating the problem. the government points to a new national police force they have set off as evidence they are tackling the problem. still, the issue could affect the vote. he's a rising star of the ruling socialist party. she says the opposition of crime is a mere campaign slogan. >> we don't think it is a coincidence that opposition is
writing of such crime and hatred. it's important to remember the insecurity. >> the elections come around o. since mr. chavez came to office there have been more than a dozen. with many predicting a close race, it still isn't clear if mr. chavez will finish up or down. will grant, bbc news, caracas. >> the authorities in cuba have announced a raft of new economic measures designed to boost private enterprise. the the new plans mean cubans will be able to open businesses and hire employees. they were told less than two weeks ago that a million people are being made redundant in their state jobs. wendy reports. >> next month the cuban authorities will issue 250,000 licenses for private businesses, and it's news that could change the lives of thousands of cubans. the government will still be able to control which businesses can operate under private ownership, but for some, instead of $20 a month
from the state, they will be able to generate their own income, and that means tapping into the lucrative tourist market. until now restaurants were only allowed to have 12 tables and the menu was dictated by the state. that all changes in october and provided the ingredients are available, restauranteurs can serve up anything they want. expats will also be able to benefit from the new rules which allow them to rent out their homes and cars while they're away, although that doesn't apply to cubans living in exile. hundreds of other professions which were prohibited, such as accountants, fruit and vegetable stores and accountants have been added to the list, opening the way for a flourish of new jobs on the island and bank loans might be made available to help people start up their new businesses. there is, of course, a price to pay. the documents state that those who are self-employed will have to hand over between 10% and 40% of their gross salary in tax plus an extra 25% on top of
that for social security. cubans have been told that up to a million state employees are to be made redundant because the state can't afford to maintain companies and industries that are losing money. but in the wake of those massive layoffs, they're being offered the freedom to choose their own careers, make their own decisions and forge their own future. bbc news. >> and you're watching bbc news. for more information on upcoming news, take a look at our website. >> 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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