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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 24, 2013 6:00pm-6:30pm EST

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>> this is "bbc world news america." 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
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specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." for the first time, the pentagon allows american women to serve in combat roles. britain, germany, and the netherlands are to their citizens to get out of benghazi, libya in response to an imminent threat against westerners. >> just touched a button. it hands you the picture.
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>> it brought us a new age of instant photography. tonight, we focus on the man whose polaroids help capture our lives in real time. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. it is time for policy to catch up with reality. that was the message that leon panetta said today as he lifted a ban on women serving in combat. acknowledge in the sacrifices which have already been made by both sexes, he talked of a future where everyone would be given the opportunity to serve in front line rolls. what's the next greatest generation will be one of men and women who will fight and die together to protect this nation. that is what freedom is all
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about. >> leon panetta there. what do these changes mean and how does the u.s. military compare with other countries like britain? our defense correspondent has a closer look. >> thousands of women in the u.s. military had been facing daily dangers on the front line in iraq and afghanistan. when it comes to the fighting, it has mostly been done by men. women have been trained to kill but prevented from joining infantry units. the senior military commander confesses this makes little sense. >> women are fighting, they are dying, and have shown have great skills. the one thing they will probably look at is not changing training standards to accommodate women. >> now, president obama like to overturn the ban. he has the backing of u.s. military chiefs to break down
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the barriers. a u.s. marine captain has done two tours in afghanistan, it is not about gender. >> i want to make the point that we are not looking to just reserve a spot for women, we are trying to give people a chance to compete for the spot. some women cannot do it just like some men cannot do it. the policy being repealed it says that they have a chance. >> the vast majority of britain's armed forces have already been opened up to women but there is still one significant exception. women continue to be barred from what is called close combat roles. in the british armed forces, when men are already flying fighter jets and serving on warships. soon, they will be allowed on submarines. on the ground, they are working as bomb disposal experts and medics, often under fire. three british servicemen have already lost their lives.
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this is one retired general who does not believe they will be equal in battle. >> cannot afford to have anything but the fittest, strong is the most determined people engaging with the enemy. i would deeply regret the day when we find ourselves lowry standards -- lowering standards in order to be nice and assets this. >> america is opening the way for women to serve in combat. the defensthe ministry of defense has no changes planned. >> for more on the pentagon's announcement, i spoke a short time ago to a former army sergeant who served in deployment in iraq. thank you very much for coming in. let me pick up on what the lieutenant general was saying. he says it is not sexist but it would be lowering standards to
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put women on the front line. >> the military is not lowering standards. women have been serving in combat for a decade now. and one of the other issues that the military struggle is with -- struggles with is that only 25% of people qualify for military service. unfortunately, 75% are to physically unfit, not educated enough, or have criminal backgrounds. if we want to get the best in military service, we need to make sure that women are part of the population. >> you have to open the door for everybody. they would have to meet physical fitness standards. they're not actually lowering standards. few served in iraq. >> i did. >> you were shot at. >> we took small arms fire and
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direct fire. that is true. >> you were in a combat position? >> that's right, i went on patrol with the infantry. the only thing that mattered was the fact that i could speak arabic and help them accomplish the mission. my gender was meaningless. >> what was the attitudet and f your superiorsac to fhet th f you were effectively in a combat t position? it did they recognize the fact that you were serving on the front lines in a combat role? >> as a woman, i would not be in combat. eventually, when we realized that me going on combat foot patrols without a flak jacket was a bad idea. i started borrowing a front plate from someone who stayed back behind. >> you had to borrow a front plate to do a job that was putting you in combat because the u.s. military designated that you are not in a combat
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role. >> this was an era when, if you recall rumsfeld st., you go to war with the army that you have. >> the listing of the ban is just policy catching up with reality. >> i do. the military knows that. they have been testing body armor that is designed to fit women's stature. they know that women are out there. they know that equipment has to catch up to make it safer for women to serve in the roles they are already in. they are opening additional positions to women. women have been out there asthmatics, as intelligence personnel, as supply sergeants. -- women have been out there as medics. >> and thank you very much for coming in to join as and sharing your first hand experience from life in the front lines of the american military. >> thank you so much for having me. >> change has already come. european governments are worried
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about the threat of terrorism in benghazi, libya, they are urging their citizens to leave immediately. britain, germany, and the netherlands have intelligence of a specific and imminent threat against westerners in the city a week after foreign hostages were seized and killed in algeria and four months after the u.s. ambassador was killed in benghazi. no one is taking any chances. our security correspondent reports. >> and other terrorist threat in north africa. the foreign office told all britons in benghazi to leave immediately because of a specific and imminent danger. >> this is a turbulent part of north africa and the whole of the region, north africa is an area where various militant groups organize. want to prevent that threat but we have got to put the safety of
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british citizens first. >> libyan officials say the warning to them by surprise. >> this announcement hints at something that is not exist on the ground. this is not justified enough in our opinion. >> only a few months ago, a large group of well-armed men attacked the u.s. consulate in benghazi, killing the american ambassador and three others. over the last few months, the security situation has deteriorated after the attacks in benghazi last september. the start of this year saw molly coming close to control by islamists. an attack was launched on a remote gas facility in algeria. in a sign of just how many groups are active, he has not
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thought to be behind this latest threat. it is less than two years. with the guns of readily available and the state week, the city has become a dangerous place. >> i have not returned to the country because i have received a specific threat in response to an investigation i was doing. i fear if i go back, that threat will be carried out and i want to discover the consequences. >> a city that once welcomed the west is now too dangerous for its citizens put to the question is how far that danger spreads across the region. >> if the french government thought that the military operation would be easy, they were wrong. the very army that the french are trying to help stands accused of summarily executing
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some 30 militant fighters. this brings into question the support other countries are prepared to give to the mission. >> a familiar images, but the first from this war. a french air strike against vehicles in northern mali. the french mission is proving successful so far but it is what is going on behind the front lines that is triggering alarm. the government soldiers have been accused today of going on a rampage against civilians. we found this body on the front lines, an islamist fighter, one of dozens of locals allegedly killed by their own army. >> there is evidence of killing, rape against civilians. the fear is that as the french clear the way, the army which is thirsty for revenge will commit
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crimes against other people because of the color of their skin and they have been allied to the enemies. >> rare footage of the rebels that seized timbuktu. many are lighter skinned tribesmen. there are fears of an ethnic bloodbath if and when the ancient city is recaptured. an army hospital, this has been a key meeting year for the soldiers defeated by the islamist militants. they all terrorists, the sergeant tells me. now, we will win. it is that a victory depends on this outside military help. the british foreign office expressed deep concern about the allegation against their army. british troops are on their way here very soon to help train the military and improve their discipline and prevent abuses
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but it is all in the late. advance on the ground or moving very fast here. there are concerns that the mission to liberate northern mali could get very ugly. the army has promised to investigate any human rights abuses but its credibility is, shall we say, in doubt. after all, it staged a coup d'etat last year. the stakes are too high not to come on. islamist fighters are threatening algeria, libya, and on. it will not be quick or pretty. >> not pretty in deed. let's look at other news. john kerry has appeared before the senate foreign relations committee to seek confirmation as the next american secretary of state. he said he would do everything in his power to build on hillary clinton's record and president obama's addition. he's expected to be confirmed.
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the government of yemen says a senior leader of the local branch of al qaeda has died of wounds received last a member. it has not been confirmed by his group and previous reports of his death have proved to be false. this time, however, both the yemen state news agency and a diplomat at the embassy in washington have announced the news. the u.n. has launched an investigation into civilian deaths from from strikes in a number of countries including somalia, pakistan, afghanistan, and yemen. the inquiry will look at 25 separate from strikes including a u.s. attack in pakistan in 2011 where up to 40 civilians are reported to have been killed. in syria today, war planes continued to bomb rubble-held areas near the capital as president assad was shown on television and attending a mosque service to mark the birthday of the prophet.
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every day, thousands of refugees to flee the violence. the strain on those trying to shelter them is enormous. we have been to a camp in jordan. >> small figures and a vast crisis. every night now, they come in their thousands. most are women and children, terrorized by war. for the children, how frightening is it? >> they keep screaming. they cannot sleep. they cry all the time. >> in the distance and in the country behind them, smoke rises from an explosion. on this side of the border, they meet soldiers to try to help, not kill. >> at each border crossing, or forces are there to receive them. we take them somewhere south, to
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restore their sense of security. this is the place of safety become a camp where it nearly 70,000 syrian refugees are now being cared for by the jordanian government and the u.n. all day, people are continuing to rise. we're told there are tens of thousands more waiting on the other side of the border. all of this is putting a huge strain on the resources of the cap. >> we have about 60,000 who are ready to cross into jordan. we know that we have done as well as we can given the resources we have which is that we have no resources anymore. we need money now desperately to expand this camp. >> so far, the u.n. has raced just 3% of what they needed to care for the refugees. help of all kinds is needed. this woman cares for her
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severely disabled that you. -- disabled nephew. among many of the refugees, there is a sense that the world beyond the cap has abandoned them. -- beyond the camp has abandoned them. >> a child or a human being, no value at all. where is the humanity? >> these are images of one day and a life of this camp. newcomers a struggle with flinty ground. the young learn quickly the burdens of an adult world in turmoil. they mourn a 3-year-old who died
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a few days after arriving here. it was a tragedy that might have easily happened at home in syria but to bury their child in exile deepens the grief. at twilight, the people keep coming by any means they can. we watched add these families boarded boats on the syrian side. with their numbers growing and scant international aid promised, for how much longer can jordan offers sanctuary? >> a terrible situation. the u.n. has only 3% of the money they need to help those refugees. you are watching "bbc world is america," still to come off the power of the polaroid. decades after it started capturing the hour images, its influence spread much further than you know. north korea possible threat to target the u.s. as part of what
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it calls a centuries old struggle according to the white house is a need this provocation. that means that they are alarming and we don't know what to do about them. we have more from the south korean capital, seoul. >> six weeks after it launched a long-range rocket and a day after receiving sanctions, north korea has raised the stakes again with the news that it would carry out a third test. >> state television made its announcement saying that north korea was locked in an all out war of confrontation with his people's arch enemy, the united states and that its satellite and rocket launches and nuclear tests were all carried out with the u.s. in mind. that is given the u.s., number 3 on a voice something to talk about. he has just arrived in the
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region. -- that has given the u.s., north korea envoy something to talk about. another nuclear test would be highly provocative, he said. >> we hope they don't. it would be highly provocative. it would set back the cause of trying to find a solution to these long-standing problems that have prevented the peninsula from becoming reunited. >> of north korea has proved resistant to sanctions and not even its ally, china, has been able to stop their young leader, kim jong and, from showcasing their military might. they called the test high-level, a sign that they're moving ahead with a new iranian-based nuclear program which they revealed to the outside world in 2010.
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>> today, it is iphones, yesterday it was the polaroid that gave us an instant image. it took a lot of shaking and blowing. in a new book, the focus is on polaroid's founder, edward land. he left a lasting impression. even steve jobs drew inspiration from his invention. >> just a touch a button and it has to the picture. >> it was miraculous. you watched the picture come out in front of you while it process itself. it is still very strange. when i should these things, they think it is the world's best party trick.
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it got into people's heads in an extraordinary wa of "the story of polaroid." edward land is the founder of polaroid and the founder of this photography. he is a drop out of harvard. he had attention which turned out to have lots of application. andsight's, gunsights, after 50 years they moved into instant photography. this blossomed in the 50's and sixties and exploded in popularity in the 1970's. people were shooting a billion polaroid pictures a year. >> we are still a long way of the realization of a concept of a camera that would be like a telephone. something that you could use all
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the long. >> he was a larger-than-life character. he had happened -- he had a habit of turning the shareholders' meeting into a show. he would demonstrate that by the end of this afternoon, this thing that you had never heard before was something that you had to get yourself. it seems like we're talking about steve jobs. he was watching all this back in the 70's when apple is a tiny company. jobs said that he built apple on the polaroid model. >> polaroid, there is nothing like a cake of seeing or pictures developed before your eyes. >> the product of 1972 was really the product that brought one step photography into full flower. that is the one that we think about as the itd piure. it was the ubiquitous piece of
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our culture. celebrities use it, artists and used it. andy warhol carried a polaroid camera everywhere he went for years and years and years. he had one of the cheapest that polaroid ever made. it had a huge reach into american life. everyone who grew up in the 70's has a few pictures of dad or mom that they took. the mystique of polaroid does resonate with people. you take a picture of somebody and then you gave it to them and you have that moment of chatting while the picture developed. a digital photographs can be replicated a thousand times in a minute. a polaroid picture is special because it is like a painting. it is an addition of one. >> the absolutely fabulous
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polaroid. also, the life of the polaroid founder, edward land. that brings the broadcast to a close. remember, you can carry on watching bbc world news on your local network. thank you so much for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow. m/ alon net >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank.
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