tv BBC World News PBS January 24, 2012 12:30am-1:00am PST
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>> and now "bbc world news." >> hello and welcome. >> french approval, but turkish anger as the senate passes a controversial new law. president obama welcomes the move by the european union to impose new economic sanctions on iran. >> calls for calm in kenya. as the violence continues in syria, and we will have a special report. >> it is 12 noon in singapore. >> it is 4:00 in the morning in london. we are broadcasting to viewers on pbs in america and around the
world. >> turkey has reacted with fury to the latest move by french law makers to condemn the mass killing of armenians by turks in 1915. the turkish and justice minister has described the vote as unjust and lacking any respect for his country. turkey's ambassador in paris threatens to downgrade diplomatic relations with france. the armenian foreign minister said the french vote would go down in history as protecting human rights. >> this is the moment french senators passed a law forbidding anyone to deny what they say was the genocide of armenians in 1915.
anyone who now says it did not have been faces a year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 u.s. dollars. turks living in france are outraged. they feel the charge of genocide is a direct insult to them. they're being used -- three months ahead of elections. >> it makes me sick. this is a strong symbolic act which stigmatizes us. >> for supporters, the change in law could not come sooner. >> in france, there is already the law -- it can exist for cambodia, the armenians, and all the other genocides. >> turkey denies the genocide took place. it says there were heavy of loop
-- heavy losses of life on both sides. it is already suspended military economic and political ties. france believes the differences can be overcome. >> nobody can ignore the reaction of our ally turkey. turkey is a great country and respect its people and its leaders. >> the bill now needs to be signed into law by president sarkozy. that could take place by the end of february. >> president obama has welcomed the european union down on all imports of iranian oil. the eu is iran's second-biggest market. iran has threatened to close the straits of hormut if it is
disrupted. that is more than 20% of all the oil traded worldwide. our world affairs editor sent this report. >> tankers loaded with oil from the gulf heading towards the narrow point of the straits and the open sea beyond. immediately after the european union's decision to stop buying iran's oil today, some politicians inside iran itself were threatening to block the gulf at this point. we went out on a local -- these waters are vulnerable. this is a it. if the weather were just a bit better, you could see the mountains of iran just over there, only 18 miles away. through this narrow strip of
water passes a fifth of all the world's oil supply. iran is attempted to try to cut off this are tree, but no surprise that the western world simply cannot let it happen. yesterday, this ship came through. three weeks ago, iran may be carried out a 10-day drill in an effort to show it could block of these waters if it chose. that might look like cutting off its nose to spite its face. if the price of oil shoots up, that would suit iran very nicely. there is more to this confrontation than just oil. the u.s. sanctions are intended to head of iran's nuclear
ambitions. >> iran continues to defy u.n. security council resolutions and and wretches uranium to 20% -- in rich's uranium to 20%. it is very important for us to agree to these measures today to increase the peaceful, legitimate pressure on the iranian government. >> what ever happens it is hard to seek iran giving up its nuclear program. its leaders believe that if iran becomes a nuclear power, that would give the strong protection against the west. the complex standoff and it is starting to make the entire region during nervous. -- a very nervous. >> to kenya, where criminal charges have been filed against for a high-profile kenyans.
what more can you tell us? >> the president of kenya is appealing for calm after the international criminal court ordered these prominent politicians to stand trial for trials against humanity. it was after the disputed 2007 elections. two of the men charged are actually running for president. >> at the international criminal court, a decision which has major political repercussions for kenya. the judges ruled that four of the six suspects are to stand trial. for this. four years ago, kenya was shaken fall in the disputed election. well over 1000 people were killed and half a million displaced. amongst those now due to stand trial for crimes against
humanity are two prominent politicians. former minister and this man, the country's deputy prime minister. they both see nothing wrong with buying for the presidency and standing trial at the same time. >> there is nothing with them the rules that bars me from continuing with my political agenda. >> there has never been any justice at home for the atrocities that force people to flee for their lives. rather than pursue justice, the politicians tend to focus on interesting themselves in power. there are calls for an end to the impunity. >> it does not make sense to have four people standing trial and then every day, at -- they evicted to from your land.
there is no law in this country. >> many kenyans are hoping the trial will help insure the future elections are more peaceful. the upcoming election is already controversial. two of them and you want to be president are about to stand trial for crimes. >> a u.s. marine in charge of the unit which killed 24 unarmed iraqi civilians into a thousand five has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty. prosecutors said he lost control and had his men stormed into houses using gunfire and grenades. the victims included women, children, and wheelchair-bound man. he faces a maximum of loss of pay and a demotion. a former c.i.a. officer has been charged with leaking classified information to journalists.
he is accused by the u.s. justice department of disclosing the names of agents interrogated a suspect al qaeda finance year. -- financier. mexican security forces have been arrested 11 members of a powerful drug gang. they were arrested during a helicopter raid on friday. the game worked -- the gang worked for the most wanted man in mexico. violence has continued and syria after the government rejected a plan by the arab league for a new government of national unity. more deaths in the city of homs, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting. our middle east editor was taken there by government officials. his report contains some graphic images.
>> is burying its dead. -- the regime is burying its dead. and almost a year of rebellion, the regime says 2000 of its people live been killed. the present bashar al-assad claimed last spring, without convincing evidence, that he faced a violent uprising. 2012 deals very different already. on the edge of damascus, more funerals of 11 demonstrators. the u.n. says more than 5000 protesters have been killed by the regime. many more wounded. the regime's casualty's or coming into the military hospital. three dead soldiers as well. the damage is being inflicted by
these men as former comrades, defectors from the regime forces. they were killed in an hour ago, said the ambulance driver, during a fight with armed men. it is not a war in syria. in parts of homs, it is starting to look like one. >> it takes time. >> a lot of shooting. >> yes. we got used to that. >> what do you think about bashar al-assad? >> something i cannot tell. do not ask me about the president. did not ask me about him. >> it feels exhausted and despairing. the violence that is part of the uprising, protesters say, is a backlash against some any civilian deaths.
-- so many civilian deaths. >> there was a terrible a example of what could go wrong. in lebanon, the country was torn apart by civil war. the big fear is that something like that could happen here. the challenge now? find a way to stop the slide into a future no one wants. >> we are live from singapore and london. still to come, the search continues in the wreckage of the costa concordia. >> let's there be light. and the skies over britain, ever glimpse of one of nature's greatest displays.
politicians in the past have been guilty of allowing newspaper owners and editors to have too much influence. we listened to the exchanges. >> he has been chairman of the bbc trust for nearly a year now. back in the 1980's, he was the conservative party chairman. and the 1990's, he was britain's last governor of hong kong. in 2003, he was appointed chancellor of oxford university. he brought his experience to the 11 senate inquiry. his first targets, party leaders. >> i think political parties, their leaders over the last 25 years of often demeaned themselves by the extent which they have paid court on their
proprietors and editors. i am in favor of talking to editors and journalists, but i am much in favor -- i am not in favor of groveling. >> he said newspapers should be left to sort out their own problems without new laws from parliament. >> it is possible politicians should be kept out of these areas. unless the press comes up with a convincing scheme, we will be going in that direction. >> those comments were certainly add weight to the effort by the newspaper group's to resist any form of control. the director-general told the inquiry that there was no evidence of phone hacking at the bbc. >> good to have you with us.
turkey condemns the passing of the bill in france making it a criminal offense to deny genocide was carried out against armenians during the first world war. >> president obama has welcomed the move by the eu to impose new economic sanctions on iran. the united states says the european union is expected to step of discussions this week about lifting sanctions on burma. ministers have suspended the balance on leading burmese politicians following the recent release of hundreds of political prisoners. are met -- for more now, let's crossover live to bangkok.
how significant is this recent initiative by eu ministers to ease on some of these sanctions against burma? >> i think it does represent a shift within the eu body. there are always two schools of thought. those who are slightly more hawkish. they say holding back a little bit longer before offering new burmese government any kind of reward. and those who thought it was important to try to support the reformist protest that appears to be under way back. it seems that second you has won out. that is because of recent trips by both the british and french foreign ministers. those voices to help a lot of sway within the debate. the language coming out of the eu is markedly different from that of the past. things like extra and a rate change, this rapid process of reform, the kind of language was very positive in terms of diplomatic speak.
yes, they want to see more, but the offer of the prospect of further easing of sanctions and restrictions. >> many nations within the eu have basically been lobbying to lift sanctions on burma so they can better compete with the likes of the chinese, the south koreans, the indians and tied businesses which have dominated trade with burma. >> there is a political momentum. the other one is the economic and cissus. of course, there are business groups who are lobbying hard to try to get into burma. you see the opening for potential investments and there are rich rewards to be had. politically, there is also the view that when you -- and this needs to be a very carefully choreographed process.
as the french foreign minister said when he was in burma, for each of the major steps towards reform better taken by the burmese government, the bills will be matched by the european union, the united states has said a similar thing. this is a careful dance. a carefully choreographed moved towards a new relationship between the west and burma. a lot of what is happening is being done in conjunction with the device being offered to -- the next key date in the diary is those elections on april the first. >> thank you so much. at least one person has been killed and 30 injured in clashes with police in china. chinese police opened fire on thousands of protesters as they marched.
china's official news agency confirmed the deaths, but did not mention a shooting. there was a rumor that a mob would set himself on fire. gunmen in the philippines have opened fire on three boats, killing 15 people. it was a likely clash between rival fishermen. the attack took place -- is thought that the fishermen were attacked after straying into the rival groups fishing grounds. three others were wounded. the search of the stricken cruise liner goes on. what is the latest? >> the italian authorities now say they are prepared to start pumping fuel from the wreckage. the bodies of two women have been recovered, bringing to 15 the number of confirmed dead. 17 people are still missing. >> 10 days after she struck a rock, rescue workers have set
up an oil barrier. part of it is absorbent, so they can soak up anything from the vessel. they had been afraid from the start of a possible oil leak. with the ship declared stable, it can get under way and start siphoning it off. >> the scientific committee concluded that the rescue effort and the pumping operations are compatible. it means we have given authorization for the field pumping operations to began. >> on the stricken ship, there were more destinations. they're doing all they can to get inside to search for those missing. the bodies of two women were found on monday close to what was the ship's internet cafe. on a nearby island, at a man
slaps himself against a new landmark. life here has changed dramatically. while underwater, these images have been released by the italian coast guard. they show what appears to be a crumpled part of concordia. >> in egypt, newly elected mps have gathered for the first session of parliament since the downfall of president mubarak. some of the new members of parliament improvised, adding pledges to continue the revolution. at least two people have been killed and dozens injured after tornadoes ripped to the southern u.s. state of alabama. a state of emergency has been declared after the severe weather left a trail of damage, destroying homes and businesses and leaving tens of thousands
without power. greek authorities, published a list of names of 4000 tax dodgers. together they wrote nearly $20 billion in unpaid taxes. some are currently serving jail sentences. astronomersateur have been out in force hoping to catch a rare glimpse of one of nature's most spectacular displays. the northern lights. it is a view of the night sky nearly seat -- usually seen in the arctic circle. the lights are visible over scotland and large parts of northern england. >> of the aurora borealis or northern lights can often be seen dancing in disguise -- and the skies. last night, this activity was so intense, it was seen in northern parts of the u.k. with photographers capturing
colorful lights over a wide area. this one with its green and orange was taken. tonight, but they are hoping for a repeat. >> this is very special. numerous people go to finland and iceland. >> it is probably one of the surreal things i have ever seen. >> it was a special moment in someone's life. >> this natural phenomenon is caused by a highly charged particles from solar storms, at hitting the earth's atmosphere. this evening, people are scanning the sky to catch a glimpse of the natural wonder. this is a rare sight this far south. >> the number might happen when charged particles makes the atmosphere globe. this happens very rarely from our latitude.
>> conditions are perfect for seeing the northern lights tonight. clear skies and a view of the northern horizon. the displays could last from a few minutes to hours on end. they are dependent on the weather and space. so far, people have been seeing them. not yet here. those who are interested watch and wait. if nothing else, it is a good night for stargazing. >> you have been watching newsday on the bbc. >> the french senate has approved a bill making it a criminal offense to deny a genocide was committed by turks against armenians during the first world war. turkey has described the vote as unjust and irresponsible. you had been watching newsday.
thank you for being with us. we will see you again soon. >> make sense of international news. bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu newman's own foundation and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions in capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations.
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