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tv   BBC World News  WHUT  December 1, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EST

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>> this is "bbc world 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. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide
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range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> make sense of international news at >> calling for more sanctions. iran's all-important oil industry could be a target. just one of the options being considered. >> i hope we can agree today. peaceful, legitimate, economic pressure. >> hello and welcome to gmt. i am george alagiah, with a world of news and opinion. also in the program -- so far, so good. american records burma for progress, -- america records burma for progress.
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why there are fewer "made in china" labels around. manufacturing output down for the first time in nearly three years. it is midday in london, 7:00 a.m. in washington, and 1:00 in brussels, where william hague is pushing for more sanctions against iran at a meeting of fellow foreign ministers. the talks come two days after iranian protesters stormed the british mission in iraq. mr. hague suggested that iran's money spending oil industry could be targeted. he acknowledged there could be a variety of views on that. joining me from brussels is james reynolds. >> george, 48 hours since the diplomatic compounds were rated in tehran. britain has responded by ordering the closure of iran's
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embassy in london. this morning in brussels, the first time to see if europe will act together. >> this morning in brussels, britain's foreign secretary, william hague, our right to test europe's desire for for the steps against iran. >> europe has taken many measures already. i hope we will agree to additional measures that will be an intense evocation of the economic pressure on iran -- peaceful, legitimate, economic pressure. >> the attack on the british embassy is still fresh on everyone's minds. >> an enormous amount of support in this dreadful experience they have had. >> this is what british diplomats are still recovering from. the country's two compounds were stormed by protesters on tuesday. in response, britain has withdrawn its staff and ordered the closure of the iranian
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embassy in london. once europe to act together. >> the eu and iran do a lot of business together, but iran's key markets in asia and in china and particular. that means more european sanctions can only have a limited impact. >> iran is one of the world's largest oil exporters. it is how the country gets most of its revenue. >> that meeting is still going on. we do not expect to hear anything for a few more hours. we have just been hearing from tehran that a number of foreign ambassadors have been invited by the government of iran. >> i am interested in the point you made about the fact that most of iran's moves east, towards china, especially oil. are they going to be concerned about sanctions targeted at the oil industry?
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>> i don't think so at the moment. iran exports about 17% of its oil to the european union. if it could not do that, it would try to export more to india, japan, countries that led to buy more oil. they probably cannot act as one in this. their economy is suffering. it might be a little bit much to ask them. we will have to see what europe decides. >> i am interested in that, also. you are saying that it is capable of acting as one on this. the british clearly want to see some kind of united action. >> they are possibly able to act as one politically and diplomatically, perhaps even symbolically. when it comes to some of the
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nitty gritty economic measures, such as cutting off ties with banks, stopping buying oil -- those are very serious issues for each individual country to consider. each individual country does different amounts of business with iran. there will be various views expressed about various sanctions. >> james, thank you very much. thank you. now to some of the other stories making headlines around the world. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton has told burma's leaders that changes they have made are unprecedented and welcomed, but just the beginning. clinton sat down with burmese president thein sein for the historic talks, the first since 1955. she challenged the leadership to make much broader democratic reform in the country. if this is forthcoming, she said, the u.s. would match burma action for action. >> we are not at the point yet where we can consider lifting sanctions that we have in place,
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because of our ongoing concern about policies that have to be reversed. any steps that the government takes will be carefully considered and will become as i said, matched, because we want to see political and economic reform take hold. i told the leadership that we will certainly consider the easing and elimination of sanctions as we go forward in this process together. >> hillary clinton there. our correspondent is traveling with u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton, and here's her assessment of the talks. >> hillary clinton spent over two hours at the presidential palace here with the talks for burmese president thein sein.
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he described the visit as a historic milestone and said he hoped it marks the beginning of a new chapter of relations between the u.s. and burma. she described the meeting as productive. she said it was a step towards reform. more has to be done. this was just the beginning. mrs. clinton made clear what else was expected of burma now. she said political prisoners had been released, but more had to be freed. she said aung san suu kyi was now allowed to participate in political protests, but all political parties had to be able to open offices, and elections had to be free and fair. she said it was important to resolve the ethnic fighting and promote national reconciliation. she also said burma has to cut its ties to north korea. if the country did all that, clinton said washington was willing to help burma become part of the world once again.
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she dangled the promise of more aid. talks with the imf, micro finance programs, and she even said washington would consider elevating it to the level of ambassador. she also delivered a letter to burmese president thein sein. another letter, this time to the nobel peace laureate, aung san suu kyi. >> our correspondent, rachel harvey, is in thailand. rachel, what reaction, if any, has there been? >> in advance of this visit, there was some cautious hope among political exiles and also a certain amount of skepticism. there have been promises made
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and broken before. there's a big community in this city -- they say they have witnessed many abuses and they do not trust anyone connected with the military. although this is now a civilian- led burmese government, the men running the country are former generals and the military is still watching carefully very close in the background. hillary clinton has taken this opportunity to go to burma. she wants to try to reinforce the reformers and to try to give them the courage to go forward and carry on the pass of liberalization. it's a step-by-step process. >> there were plenty of caveat in what she has said publicly about relations between america and burma. there are those, i assume, that feel america may be going too fast and should hold back a little bit to wait to see more
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reforms. for example, there are still 1000 political prisoners. >> the numbers on political prisoners are hotly contested. in the region, we believe there are 1000 who still remain behind bars. there are also others -- ethnic minorities, human-rights, the right to freedom of assembly. steps have been taken. large steps have been taken, but there's a long way to go. there are people who believe this is a gamble on the part of the u.s. administration. they know the burmese leadership will take this as a sign of an acknowledgement, some type of legitimacy. that's the price the united states is now prepared to pay, but they will want to see something in return for this. the request and will hope that by going to burma, she will encourages the reformers. for their part, burmese
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leadership will want to see the kind of rewards that she hinted at, if they continue down this path. it's very much a kind of get to know you session, to lay the cards on the table, and get to know where each side stands. the next up is to go to aung san suu kyi. it's the beginning of something, rather than the end of something. >> rachel, thank you. a car bomb has exploded in the iraqi town, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20. authorities immediately imposed a curfew in khalis, which is 80 kilometers north of baghdad. british american tobacco says it will mount a legal challenge in australia to a new law forcing tobacco companies to sell their products in non-branded packages. it argues that being made to put cigarettes in plain packaging with graphic health warnings is
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unconstitutional. the change is due to come into force in one year. police in mexico have discovered a 600-meter tunnel used to smuggle drugs from tijuana to the united states. the tunnel, which is almost 5 meters deep, runs from a warehouse in tijuana to another in san diego. there are lights, a ventilation system, and rails. the macedonian capital has recently opened a new holocaust museum, only the fourth in the world after washington, jerusalem, and berlin. macedonia lost the highest proportion of its population, 90%, murdered in the holocaust. mark sent this report.
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>> the flicker of a haunting past. ,144 of these 700 macedonians' jews killed in the holocaust. an area that saw genocide again in 1990's. >> building such a museum will send a message to the balkan region that problems can be solved with education. >> the exhibit tells how jews settled in the balkans. when bulgaria occupied macedonia in the second world war, the jews were sent to their death at concentration camps. >> it's hard to believe that this was a thriving jewish area. today, just a couple of hundred
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remain. an important european jewish community almost totally wiped out. to many beyond the borders of macedonia, a largely unknown story. >> the 89-year-old knows the tragic details all too well. she lost almost 20 members of her family, and only survived by joining the communist resistance force. >> i did not even say goodbye to my family. i was hiding in another building. i heard screams. i cannot forget that. i dream about it. >> today, just one synagogue for the tiny but passionate jewish community. >> this is our homeland. this is our father's land. this is where our graveyards are. this is what we know. >> decades ago, only jews made up this skopje choir, but today,
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only two members are jewish. small in number, but a painful history, and determined to have their voice heard. >> reunions are staging a 24- hour general strike to protest against tax increases -- greek unions are staging a 24-hour general strike. thousands of protesters were marching through the capital. it is the first general strike since the country's new coalition government was appointed last month and the latest in a long line of stoppages this year. public transporters are at a standstill. teachers, doctors, and bank employees are also off fo work. still to come on gmt -- left out in the cold. why some russians are worried their vote will not count in this weekend's elections. >> it is the 10th anniversary of
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the scrapping of charges of britain's national museums. new figures show its one of the reasons why there's been 150% increase in the number of visitors. in an age of global austerity, can museum entry remain free? >> it has been a golden age for britain's national museums. huge new buildings, a new emphasis on creating interaction. it has brought record crowds and it has been freed. this is the natural history museum in london. spher >> it's a grand space. it can get a little crowded. an extra 3 million people pass through the doors at the natural history museum since the days of charging. that's almost a threefold increase.
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however, it just has a 15% cut in its grant. >> what does that mean for the age of free entry? >> as long as we can possibly maintain free admission, i would want to do that. if there was another 15% on the existing 15%, life would be tough. question in the 1970's, -- >> a 5 pound feed -- will people pay? >> probably not. not now that i am retired. >> for the nationals, such as the victoria and albert, the museum of science and industry, the national museum of scotland, and 48 others, free entry has certainly brought crowds. even in our age of austerity, the commitment at the moment is to keep it that way.
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>> this is gmt from "bbc world news." i am george alagiah. the headlines -- britain pushes for more economic sanctions against iran at the meeting of european foreign ministers. a historic visit to burma, as hillary clinton says more democratic reform is needed before full diplomatic ties with the u.s. can be restored. time for the business news now. what have you got? >> thank you very much. we are talking about china today. in index measuring chinese manufacturing activity shrank for the first time in nearly three years. this reflects the weakening demand from home and abroad as the eurozone debt crisis deepens. >> what we have seen in these figures is a sharper fall then
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anyone anticipated. the purchasing managers' index, which is a measure of factory output, manufacturing activity, has tipped from just over 50 to 49. that brings us into an area where the outlook looks like it is starting to contract. it seems to show that china is not in any way immune to what's happening in the outside world. export orders from europe and the united states are down. that is hitting china hard. so, too, are the orders coming from within china. china's own domestic demand is suffering. this is a real cause for concern for china's political leaders. what we have already seen them do is to raise the amount of money that can be lent by banks.
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they've cut the reserve ratio requirements by half of 1%. that will free up several tens of billions of dollars to pump into the system. at the same time, there are warnings from the finance minister. they are saying today that the situation is even more grim than it was in 2008. that is because the room for edneuver is pretty constrain for china. the last time around, they had a big stimulus package. now, that's much harder to revisit because of fears about inflation. at the same time, china is facing other problems. a slowing property market. it is worried about inflation on the one hand. now, even more worried about growth. >> the new head of europe's central bank, mario draghi, has given his first address to the
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european parliament. he has warned the risk to the region's growth has grown. he called for closer integration of the eurozone economies, if the region is to avoid another debt crisis. >> i am confidence that the new framework will restore confidence over time. i am quite sure that countries, overall, are on the right track. a credible signal is needed for the ultimate assurance over the short term. what i believe our economic and monetary union needs is a new fiscal compact, a fundamental restatement of the fiscal rules, together with the commitments that euro area governments have made. >> the heads of the bank of england also giving his view of the global economy. banks must raise capital to withstand a downturn exacerbated by the eurozone debt
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crisis. mervyn king says they need to build up capital further. >> the crisis in the euro area is one of solvency and not liquidity. the interconnectedness of major banks means the banking systems and economies around the world are all affected. only the governments directly involved can find a way out of this crisis. in the u.k., we must try to bolster the resilience of our financial system. better to withstand storms that may come in our direction. >> a mixed picture on the european markets. they are managing to retain the huge gains we saw yesterday. the ftse in london is high. dax is hovering around the opening mark.
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back to you. >> thank you. thank you. russians will be voting in parliamentary elections this sunday. seven parties are contesting the vote in the world's biggest country. what are the key issues? bbc has traveled to the town 500 kilometers from moscow known as the black part of russia because of its rich soil and heartland. steve looks at the concerns of the business community. >> at the cash and carry, they are loading up and heading out. this center supplies shops across town. it's a profitable business. it has turned the boehner into a tambov tycoon -- it has turned the owner into a tambov tycoon. >> [speaking foreign language]
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>> there's a giant mountain of bureaucrats who do nothing but create obstacles for businessmen. these officials want fancy cars, expensive clothes. how can we supplement our salaries? the problems begin. >> when he built this shopping center, he said he refused to pay kickbacks. he claims local officials tried to extort money from him and to put him in prison. he believes a corrupt system is pushing russians to the brink. >> [speaking foreign language] >> look at what happened to mubarak and gaddafi. i'm sure one day the russian people will force change. they will destroy this system which is so anti-business. >> it's not only big business in town that is having problems. we heard similar stories when we drove out of tambov into the
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countryside. it's known as the black part of russia because of the black earth, the rich, fertile soil around here. you would think farming would be a good business to get into. on this land, a successful business can quickly turn to nightmares. >> is used to be her farm. it is now a wasteland. everything here from fruit trees to farm machinery has been destroyed by fire. she said she received threats of arson after complaining about local corruption. >> before we go, a reminder of our top story on gmt william hague is pushing for sanctions against iran at the meeting of fellow european union foreign ministers. stay with us on "bbc world news." there is plenty more to come.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its global financl strength to work for a wideancoge of naanies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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