tv BBC World News PBS February 25, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PST
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> as rebels closed in on the libyan capital, colonel gaddafi blames crazed teenagers and al qaeda for the uprising. >> this is a fact. this is international terrorism. >> benghazi, an international response is on the way. welcome to "bbc news," broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. rescue work continues after the new zealander quick. nearly 300 are feared dead. after 27 years, the space shuttle discovery takes off for the last time.
he was meant to be making another appearance on libyan television. what khaddafi delivered was a short monologues by telephone. he blamed al qaeda for fermenting the demonstrations surrounding him in tripoli. fierce fighting has erupted between loyalists and protesters. we're on the tunisian border with libya. we have this report. >> liberation is sweet and the celebrations go on. much of eastern libya now belongs to the protesters. they know it is still too soon to talk of victory. the struggle for freedom and the
little prosperity goes on. state tv has been doing its best to prop up the regime. today, gaddafi phoned in to accuse al qaeda of planting the protests. >> o osama bin laden is duping your son. this is international terrorism. my brothers say this to bin laden and his followers. you listen to bin laden. >> and unpredictable, khaddafi -- gaddafi went on to compare himself to the queen. >> there are people who have been in power longer than me, like queen elizabeth of britain. and nothing has happened to her. >> it is hard to believe there is a revolution here.
this is tripoli, seen through the lens of state tv. others have reported the city is calm for now, but the scars from the battles fought your deep. tonight, one of the key henchmen has defected. the news is getting tighter. the situation is fluid and volatile. the picture these people paint is mixed, with some towns are under the control of anti- gaddafi forces and some being fought over. a mass protest is planned for tomorrow. colonel gaddafi is looking increasingly desperate as he clings to power. bbc news on the libya-tunisian border. >> the situation continues to deteriorate. many countries are sending ships and military planes to rescue stranded oil workers. the british government has sent the hms cumberland to benghazi.
from there, our correspondent reports. >> a passage to safety thanks to the royal navy. they come from across libya after news of the hms cumberland arriving. even though the port is the -- firmly in opposition hand, there are people here to step passport. some of these people have traveled hundreds of miles across libyan territory. some have come from benghazi. they're all glad the royal navy has come to rescue them. >> since last week, we of been almost imprisoned in the house, if you like, making sure we were not involved in anything going on. >> there was gunfire all around. we felt we were in a doughnut
where we were. all the smoke was happening at the military installations all the way around. it started with simple gunfire and it got worse with heavy artillery fire and things. >> in the center of benghazi is evidence of the bitter battle the opposition fought to control this city. this was the military base from which colonel gaddafi's forces shot at protesters. thousands of protesters simply overwhelmed it, beating elite troops with makeshift weaponry. in the hospital, they are still treating the victims. this man was injured by stray ordinance left around the base. we found one british doctor originally from libya who has come into the country to treat some of the protesters. some of them were shot with heavy-caliber weaponry, including anti-aircraft guns. >> it is unspeakable.
i would not expect that a human being would shoot another human being with this type of weapon. >> back at the port, thousands of citizens of many nationalities have been looking for evacuation on a series of ships. despite criticism of britain's slow response, the captain of hms cumberland insists they made all speed to get here. >> from all points of view, we have reacted very quickly. it was three days ago. we headed to crete, got a whole people of stores and a personnel, and beat down here, which i think is vast. >> there are british and other nationalities here as well. as they come on board, there is a surge of relief. >> we are coming from a war zone to get on a british ship as an american. i never thought i would look at
the union jack and say, wow, really good to see the union jack. >> in a few hours, they will be in malta. for most of them, it cannot come soon enough. bbc news, benghazi. >> president obama has called leaders to discuss the response to the crisis in libya. andrew north has more details. >> the americans are saying they're trying to coordinate their response to the crisis, but there were few details given in the white house statement on these phone calls, saying that, again, condemning what is going on, also saying they were looking at the possibility of humanitarian assistance, but no more specifics on the question of what kind of direct action they could take to try and stop and gaddafi's forces from attacking protesters, which is causing so much concern and
outrage around the world. a word that president obama has used himself. here in the u.s., one of the concerns now is the impact on gasoline prices. the oil price now has risen significantly, well above $100 per barrel. the u.s. does not import oil from libya. because of the risks to libyan oil supplies, that is driving up prices. gas prices are already high here. the president is saying he believes it will be possible for the u.s. to ride this out, but it is another way in which the crisis is starting to affect and impact people directly here. but, when it comes to this issue of what to do about it, ideas are now being discussed, possibly expelling libya from the u.n. human's right -- human rights council. it has been a member since last year.
the president will go to geneva to discuss that. even if that happens, it will not have an immediate effect. >> if you want to know who is keeping gaddafi in power, go online. you will find analysis on libya 's internal security operations and the mercenaries and para- militaries operating inside the country. this on the bbc news website. the russian prime minister vladimir putin has warned that certain prices of oil could be problematic. >> vladimir putin arrived in a strong position. he stands to benefit from higher oil prices. unrest in north africa could make europe more reliant on russian gas. this at a time when russia is arguing strongly against
europe's energy market. even for russia, the price can go too high. >> today, the price of oil is $118 per barrel. this is a serious threat to economic growth of the whole world. this could have a negative effect on the russian economy as well. we want a reasonable price. >> traders are worried by warnings of oil price increases. the chief economists tried to calm markets. some argue the price is now overblown. >> if you look at libya and africa, it is 1.4 million barrels per day. the market is discounting a further production outage. i think you have to have a number of countries completely shutting down production to use 5 million barrels a day,
including algeria, yemen, bahrain, and other countries. >> the spare capacity is mostly in saudi arabia. there are reports the kingdom is in negotiations with oil refiners hit by the libya destruction. prices could yet go into reverse. bbc news. >> the headlines this hour, the libyan leader colonel gaddafi has blamed al qaeda for the uprising against him as fighting intensifies close to tripoli. benghazi is under opposition control and thousands of foreigners have been evacuated. on the line from new york is benjamin barber, who advised president clinton on libya. the libyan ambassador to malta has said that troops could never
be one-sided. examined for us gaddafi's truth that al qaeda is to blame. >> just to correct some things so i don't want poor bill clinton to be a bike -- bill clinton to be responsible for me, i advised bill clinton, but not on libya. colonel gaddafi and his regime after his decision to yield his weapons of mass destruction did become an ally in going after al qaeda. the colonel himself was on the hit list of al qaeda and hundreds of people were arrested in islamic fighting fronts representing al qaeda who were imprisoned by gaddafi. he was an ally of the west against al qaeda. i don't think it is true to say al qaeda has much to do with what is going on now. it might be natural for him, as
a revolution me -- revolutionary founder, to claim we are ganging up against him. when we are dealing with gaddafi, we are not dealing with mubarak, a third-generation bureaucratic general, but a first generation revolutionary leader on the level of castro. he has memories of himself as a revolutionary founder and as somebody who has taken on the fight against islamic fundamentalism and al qaeda. to that degree, there is a kernel of truth in the colonel's fears of al qaeda and that al
qaeda might somehow be involved in an uprising against him. >> you met gaddafi on several occasions. many others have described him as a savvy, intelligent, as a deep thinker. it does not seem intelligent. he is attacking his own people. >> well, that is correct. the question is, who was attacking whom? who is being attacked? we want to say he is a villain. i think that is true. if you want to say it is barbarous that he is using heavy weapons against people round of libya, that is true. if you want to understand why he is doing it, we have to understand from his point view, the uprising started in benghazi, where clan rivals have tried to depose him. it was started by armed people who luted police stations and so on. from his points of view, it is an uprising.
this has spread now. i am not trying to say what he thinks is the case. i'm trying to give perhaps insight on what it is he is thinking. what i want to make clear is i don't think this is simply a lunatic and a fool and a buffoon. if he were, you would not have lasted 40 years. the reason he is so dangerous now, and he is very dangerous, is because he believes deeply in his cause. he sees the revolution he made in 1969, 42 years ago, as under assault once again. he sees himself as the defender of the revolution against fundamentalism, al qaeda, and now against the west appeared >> thank you very much for your thoughts. more than 200 people remain unaccounted for in christchurch following tuesday's earthquake. our correspondent reports from christchurch. >> it is hard to comprehend that
a seven-story office block once occupied the spot. the building was a modern structure of concrete and steel, the very things that were supposed to withstand an earthquake. it now ensnares the people who once worked there. seeing this up close make sense of what the rescue teams have been saying. the wreckage is completely un survivable. on the first two floors was a television station. above it was a foreign language school. the police feared up to 120 people could still be buried beneath the rubble. the lift shaft is the only part of the structure that did not collapse. two men survived because they happened to be waiting for the lift. this man was one of them. he has been keeping a vigil at the site and seems completely traumatized. there has been anchor from some of the relatives of the missing
that rescue workers have given up hope of finding survivors here. a british rescue team arrived on the day two britons were confirmed dead. >> as time goes on, hope diminishes. we have rescued people in other scenarios. >> families whose houses were destroyed have sought refuge at displacement centers. others like stephanie williams are too frightened to return home spirit >> you really thought you're going to die. everything was shaking. it was like an elevator when you go up really fast. that is what it felt like. the whole house just shook violently. >> churches and cathedrals have now become sad monuments to the 2011 quake, the disaster that also wounded the soul of new zealand's second city.
bbc news. >> estate of the emergency in algeria has been in a place for 19 years and it has now come to an end. authorities tried to suppress dissent in 1992. others have been calling for to be lifted. a saudi arabian national has been charged in the u.s. in connection with an attempted bombing plot potentially targeting the former president george w. bush. khalid ali-m aldawsari was detained in texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. the u.s. air force has awarded a $30 billion contract for a new generation of refueling aircraft. it has gone to boeing. eads has 10 days in which to appeal. the eldest of the u.s. space
shuttles has blasted off from cape canaveral in florida on its very last mission. >> 2, 1. booster ignition. the final lift off of discovery. >> the shuttle is on its way to the international space station. it is carrying six crew, supplies, and a sophisticated humanoid robots. discovery is the first of three shuttles soon to be retired. the first canadian astronaut in space was at lunch and i spoke with him earlier from florida. >> i have had a chance to fly in space twice on atlantis and endeavour. it is a tremendous vehicle. it is the most capable spaceship ever built. it is the most complex space ship ever built. to see discovery go at the end of its life today, so flawlessly, so gracefully, so beautifully into space to take people on their mission, it is a
great thing to see. i think it is a real fiting cherry on top of the cake of a great career of a wonderful design of a spaceship. >> i spoke to my correspondent in miami earlier that for some people, it is normal that the shuttle should be going into space. people of a certain age -- it is so special because of what it looks like. it does not look like what spaceship's used to look like. it looks like an airplane. >> it is an amazing design. it launches as a rocket ship. flies as an individual space station. it comes back as an airplane. it is a hypersonic glider. it is exquisitely complex. of the 500 people who've flown in space, almost 3/4 of us flew on the space shuttles. it has been -- in this stage of human history, the shuttle has been the great lifter of
humanity as we start to leave our planet. it will be remembered that way. discovery definitely has an exalted place in this particular phase of human exploration of the universe. >> that is the canadian astronauts. people in the irish republic go to the polls in a few hours, forced by the economic collapse. the prime minister lost support after seeking an international bailout last year. our correspondent's report does contain some flash photography. >> getting ireland working again. this man is the leader of the center right. the he is offering a new start for ireland in an old-fashioned style.
>> we pledge ourselves to fulfill what we said we would do to make this a better country for you and for everybody who comes out to us. >> if he does win the election, is not going to have much time to celebrate. he is going to have to try to revive ireland's economy after the worst economic crisis in its history. the country has gone from blue to light. 1000 people per week are emigrating. the tv election simply turned into a fight between those in government when the economy crashed [inaudible] [all talking at once] >> very anger inside and outside
the average political system. politicians have to be careful where they go. you don't see many of them on the so-called ghost the states, the half-built developments left behind when the property bubble burst. johnny says tomorrow's election will change nothing. >> there is no one politician out there working for us at the end of the day. what i am going to do is just sit back, because none of them are working for a spirit >> those who duke lacrosse -- working for us. >> and those who do vote do not have much choice. bbc news. >> prince william and kate middleton have carried out their first joint public engagement since announcing their wedding. they christened the new
lifeboats at a ceremony in north wales. >> reintroduction to rural life is being done gradually. kate middleton has not been seen in public with william since before christmas. here was a chance where they live to gain some experience at her future husband's side. if anything, william looked the more nervous, while kate looked for all the world as though she were the one who would been born to it. they sing a hymn in welsh, a little self-conscious lee. how much practice went into that? then, william spoke about the earthquake that has devastated christchurch. >> i want to say how much we are thinking of christchurch. he welcomed his bride to be to the world of working royalty. >> it gives me huge pleasure to introduce into this relationship
coming here and now, someone who will join the family and is about to become a an anglosonian. >> william named the new lifeboat and kate broke a bottle of champagne. there was a short walk about, lots of good wishes for the wedding. the consensus? she seemed a natural. >> i think she is going to be perfect. yes, a wonderful. >> some of the first steps on what quite literally will be the journey of a lifetime, and accomplished successfully. appearances like this by the couple will be in frequent, but already, they appear to be working together as a teen. bbc news. >> this is "bbc news." plenty more on our website. thanks very much.
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