tv Worldfocus PBS July 7, 2009 12:00am-12:30am EDT
tonight on "worldfocus" -- president obama arrives in moscow for the first russia/u.s. summit in seven years. on the agenda, cutting nuclear arsenals and repairing frayed relations. in western china, more than 150 people are dead and hundreds injured after the worst ethnic unrest in decades. today, there are reports the violence is spreading. the political crisis in honduras worsens. troops block the runway to prevent ousted president manuel zelaya from returning while riot police turn deadly. and then we begin a new series called "a view from africa." tonight we start in zimbabwe with the lure of diamonds has also brought death. what role does the government play? from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here's what's happening from around the world. this is "worldfocus."
made possible, in part, by the following funders -- good evening. i'm martin savidge. only hours after president obama arrived in moscow earlier this morning for a summit meeting with russian president dmitry medvedev the united states and russia announced a preliminary agreement on a deal to reduce the number of their nuclear weapons. the deal represents a step forward, a big one, in relations between the two countries, which had been set back by the russian invasion of georgia last summer. american/russian relations and the new arms that's our "lead focus" tonight. appearing with russian president dmitry medvedev at the kremlin, president obama today announced a new era of cooperation between the two governments on nuclear arms reductions. >> as the world's two leading nuclear powers, the united states and russia must lead by example and that's what we're doing here today.
>> the current start treaty is set to expire in december. the new proposed agreement would result in slashing the supply of nuclear warheads by up to a 1/3 as well as new verification measures. >> this is a very significant restart of the u.s./russian arms reduction process. >> tom collina is the director of research for the arms control association in washington, an advocacy group that supports nuclear arms control. >> given that they had to have an agreement by the end of this calendar year when the start treaty expires, drove them to a more conservative negotiating position. and the good news that's likely to be achievable because they're not re-creating the wheel here. >> together, russia and the u.s. account for 90% of the world's nuclear arsenal. president obama is hoping russia will cooperate in efforts to rein in iranian and north korean nuclear ambitions. >> north korea has abandoned its own commitmentings and violated
international law and that's why i'm pleased that russia joined us in passing a u.n. security council resolution that calls for strong steps to block north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. iran also poses a serious challenge through its failure to live up to international obligations. this is not just a problem for the united states. it raises the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the middle east. >> russia and the united states also announced today that they've finalized agreements on using russian airspace to supply the u.s. military mission in afghanistan as well as a new cooperation on a range of other issues. earlier in the day, the president and michelle obama visited the tomb of the unknown soldier in mosco. both leaders were es and compliments and russian president dimitri medvedev as he put it, close some of the pages of the past. >> translator: the talks that we had today were only the first, but a very step in improving
full-scale cooperation between our two countries. these are the benefits of both states and if both countries win, then everybody wins. >> but the friendly words couldn't conceal the many challenges of the relationship between the two former cold war adversaries. the u.s. and russia had been at odds over an antimissile system proposed by the former bush administration, which would based in poland and the czech republic. the president said today, the matter's still under review. the two nations have also clashed over last summer's war in georgia. the president remains in russia until wednesday, when he travels to italy for a g-8 summit meeting. and now to our "blogwatch" tonight, we're beginning to hear from two russians commenting on the obama/medvedev summit meeting. the first, a russian humorist writes, "i think that common sense will prevail in obama's visit with the leader of our country will be successful. both, our side and the american side, are being represented by young, strong people. they should reach agreement."
one other anonymous blogger had a more pessimistic take. he wrote, "i am a pessimistic. more precisely a realist. obama and medvedev will dance before one another in front of the cameras. both are concerned about their image but nothing will come good will come from obama's visit." for more on today's agreement and on the state of american/russian relations we are joined tonight by nina khrushchev. she is the granddaughter of the former leader nikita khrushchev. and professor at the new school here at through york city. welcome. >> thank you. >> what do you make of the announcement today that this new arms' framework has been worked out? >> it's very positive. it's -- it is the agreement that is needed by both countries, by barack obama it was his major foreign policy success. and for the russians, it is a very necessary agreement because russia cannot really sustain the nuclear arsenal it has acquired over the years.
it needs reduction. but it all needs to put good pavement. so they are working with americans on that. so it gives them -- it gives them an opportunity to look important. and like partners with the united states. >> what about the missile defense shield system, which the united states has been backing, is that still a problem hanging out there? >> it is a problem hanging out, and that's why as you know, russians were waiting until the last minute today to announce that some wording was worked out about the nuclear missile agreement. certainly, it is a problem. but they very much appreciate the fact that barack obama is not charging on forward with this -- with this decision and very cautious about the fact that it will work only if -- if it tests -- it tests well and would prove significance and russians do listen to this kind of diplomatic language and willing to recognize and make concessions. >> here's a question for you. it's been 20 years since the end
of the cold war. how would you classify russia today? >> russia is a -- is an authoritarian system with a various democratic possibilities and opportunities. but as it was in the soviet times, the power's still structured from the kremlin down 6 with now, with now two people in power. and although i think that -- does take precedence over medvedev. and it has moved on, though. i mean it's -- it's not entirely planned. it's not entirely unfree and whatnot. so it has an opportunity to develop further but russia hasn't decided yet what exactly it wants. i mean, one day it wants to be the west. one day it doesn't want to be the west. and i think as long as russia's conflicted about it, it'll be very hard for it to move forward. >> and how do you think russians look at president obama?
>> they're conflicted. russians are very conflicted people. they love him. he has this incredible celebrity quality. russians, like everybody else, looks at him -- look at him as the new john kennedy. and they really appreciate the young face of american leadership and the change and the hope, message, that he represents. but also, russians are very suspicious of young leaders. because russian leaders have never been that young. and even medvedev who is younger than the previous leaders, russians do not consider it to be fully in charge. so there is a little bit of suspicion going on. and i think also russia has this kind of idea that somebody who looks as the other, it's also kind of a question -- a questionable issue. although, i wouldn't say that it's very important in the perception of obama, but his blackness certainly comes into >> i was going to ask you that and i wanted to be very delicate about it.
is race a factor in any way with some russians? >> it is but not in an american sense. it's not the slavery problem. it's a problem of anybody who is the other. somebody who is not like us. and i think that is a factor. so it's not barack obama's blackness. it's not that he's not blue-eyed and blond-haired. that's what -- because that's the way that american presidents are supposed to look. >> we have to end it there. nina khrushchev. it was a pleasure. thank you. >> thank you very much. from china tonight, extraordinary scenes of violence. in a far western region of that country, more than 150 people had been killed. more than 800 injured in writing of what began at provincial
capital and spread to the city of kashgar. worst violence in decades. our report coming from abc stephen mcdonald who is in beijing. >> reporter: police struggle to control the streets of the regional capital of urumqi. and the attacks weren't only restricted to cars and buildings. han chinese who were passing by were attacked by the crowd. one woman fell to the crowd and was not spared. the government blames uighurs abroad for promoting the clash which started yesterday. >> translator: this is a typical incident of baiting, smashing and looting overrode by overseas' forces. it was premeditated, planned and organized. >> reporter: thousands of protesters had marched through the streets, calling for an investigation into an earlier incident. they'd seen footage on the internet of uighur workers being bat to death by han chinese at a
toy factory in southern china. >> it's natural and spontaneous, the response of uighurs against -- the blooding, killing of uighurs. >> reporter: 2009 is the 60th anniversary of shin, xinjiang's liberation of china. the government calls it the peaceful liberation of xinjiang but many uighurs don't accept beijing's rule. and the authorities have warned that conflict could increase there this year. with nightfall, the authorities had declared effective martial law. but evidence of a bitter day of struggle was everywhere to be seen. stephen mcdonald, abc news, beijing. now for more about all of this, we are joined tonight by andrew james nathan. he is a political science professor at columbia university, who has written extensively about china. good to have you back. >> thank you. >> i don't think many americans are aware of who the uighurs are, or how they fit into china overall. how did they come to view in china? >> well, the uighurs are 1 of 55 national minorities that the
chinese government recognizes. always lived in that part of the world, which is now xinjiang of china. they live on the chinese side, as well as the other side, kazakhstan of that border. they're a turkette people. they believe in islam. they're not chinese in the way that we think of ethnic chinese and that's where they've always lived. >> and what are their grievances? >> their grievances are essentially that their identity is not recognized by the chinese state. although the chinese state says that it recognizes ethnic minority autonomy, but actually what they've done is to kind of bury the local people, the uighurs and this influx of han chinese from the rest of china. and their strategy is to develop the region economically but uighurs are in the backwater of that development. they're ghettowise. they're not getting ahead economically. their religion is not respected. and so they feel that -- that
they are not respected. >> ands violence the way that they think that they can gain that respect? >> well, i think that most of the uighurs are very moderate. their islam is moderate and their politics are moderate. but there has been a separatist movement. that wants an independent country, and although i think that that will never happen, and there's been a small movement labeled as terrorists even by the u.s. state department. and this particular incident, i think, is not a planned one. it was an outpouring of emotion. >> and we notice that, as a result of this violence, that's taken place, been a lot of coverage in the official chinese news agencies. and yet that's surprising, because normally events regarding violence inside of that country tend to be, we think, quashed. why do you think that we're hearing so much about it? >> i think that the main point that the chinese media want to make is that it's terrorism. it's islamic fundamentalism. this has been a long theme of chinese official propaganda.
and they want to stigmatize this as something dangerous and get support by doing so by the broad chinese population and even from the outside world. >> and when we see this kind of violence, when we see this unrest, what does that tell us about china today? >> china today, although it looks very stabile from the outside, is a turbulent place. it's hard for the leadership to keep control over it. you have the uighurs, the tibetans, other national minorities, peasant groups, worker groups, political dissidents. all kinds of trouble all of the time. so the regime has made a decision a long time since strong arm methods to keep control. >> andrew nathan, thank you very much for joining us. >> you're welcome. by the way, remember to tune in tomorrow night for our weekly online radio show. we will be discussing the current unrest in western china where the uighurs are writing. you'll find us at worldfocus.org. elsewhere, in asia, new information is being reported tonight about the latest north korean missile test firing over
the weekend. a south korean newspaper says the north may have tested a new type of scud missile. that's not only more accurate but travels further up to 620 miles. important to note because it would make some parts of japan vulnerable. japan's defense chief called the latest missile firings a serious provocation. we haven't heard much lately about iran's nuclear program or what, if anything, israel plans to do about it but a series of reports over the past few days about the options israel has. the israeli newspaper says israeli's now urging the obama administration and other major powers to prepare a plan "b," calling for what it described as paralyzing sanctions against iran in case any dialogue with that country does not produce any results. this weekend, vice president biden said the united states would not stand in israel's way if it decides to attack iran's
nuclear facilities. >> israel can determine for itself as a sovereign nation what's in their interest and what they decide do relative to iran or not. >> whether we agree or not? >> whether we agree or not, they're entitle dod. >> meanwhile, "the times of london's" reporting during secret talks with israel earlier in year, saudi arabia agreed let israeli planes fly over its territory during any attack on iran. saudi arabia has denied that report. and today, a top iranian parliamentary official warned of dire consequences if the israelis attack. >> translator: such a mistake would threaten peace and stability in the whole region of the middle east, as well as the world. if such action is taken, iran's reaction will be real and decisive. >> another story about iran that captured our attention came this weekend from "the new york times." it suggests that even though the street protests in iran have died down the debate there about the disputed presidential
election is more intense than ever. the article said "an important group of religious leaders in iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate. an act of defiance against the country's supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in that country's clerical establishment." one expert quoted in the article called the disagreement among that country's religious leaders, "the most historic crack in the 30 years of the islamic republic." and now to afghanistan, where it's been a deadly day for american troops. four u.s. soldiers died when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. south of the country and a seventh american soldier died after being wounded in a firefight with militants in the eastern part of afghanistan. and now to central america, where diplomats are still struggling to help honduras out of a political mess that only seems to grow deeper by the day. just yesterday, there was a
violent clash at the airport in the capital city of tegucigalpa, when a plane carrying the deposed leader of that country, manuel zelaya was turned away. deutsche welle has our story. >> reporter: the plane carrying ousted president zelaya circled the hondurian capit aian capita. it was forced to turn away. the only runway was blocked by military vehicles. earlier thousands of zelaya supporters stormed the airport to welcome him home. troops in riot gear fired tear gas against protesters as they break through fencing. for neighboring nicaraguans, zelaya sent a message to honduras. >> translator: i'm doing everything possible to support the people and i will not stop supporting them for one moment. >> reporter: and now in el salvador the ousted leader insists he'll return again and that he remains the rightful president. but new government says there's no question of him returning to power. >> translator: i believe there is time to consider dialogue to solve this problem. and at the right time he will
take the decision to turn himself in. >> reporter: but zelaya has refused backing from the president of argentina, ecuador and paraguay and the head of the organization of the american states. and since the coup, venezuela's hugo chavez has been one of zelaya's most vocal supporters. >> that was deutsche welle. another story that we wanted to bring you up to date about tonight was the spread of the h1n1 flu virus. officials have feared that the number of days in the southern hemisphere would surge at the start of winter there, that's exactly what's happened. chile's now reporting 14 deaths from the disease in argentina says 62 of its citizen his died. school holidays there had been extended to try to prevent the disease from spreading even more. tonight, we're going to
begin a week-long series that we call "a view from africa." it's part of our continuing coverage of that continent. our focus tonight, the search for diamonds in zimbabwe. in such a poor country, the discovery of the precious stones can mine fortun prospectors but in zimbabwe that search is often accompanied by violence. adrian arceneaux of the canadian broadcasting corporation as this in-depth report. >> reporter: in zimbabwe, if you can find your way down broken roads, pasland and abandoned farms and if you get help looking, you will find riches. in the country's heartland is what was assessed a few years ago as possibly the deepest, richest diamond deposit in all of africa. an alluvial field, meaning the stones just sit on the ground, ready to be scooped. local people knew all about the small, brown pebbles in the fields, but they didn't think
much of them. they just thought they were useful for killing birds. they were so round and so hard they were perfect for putting in slingshots. they had no idea they were diamonds. and when word finally spread, thousands of people descended on this place. doctors, lawyers, teachers, people all impoverished by robert mugabe's regime thought they found a miracle. so did the regime. when the government discovered the extent of the deposited seize from the mining rights from a private company, this is a mining conference weeks ago to boast of the potential. the new minister, mugabe appointee seems eager to shot wares of the world. with your permission we could get in there. >> absolutely any time. >> reporter: that was a hollow invitation. these images taken months ago are some of the only pictures ever shot of panners in the chiadzwa's diamond fields which have become the most controversial in africa. for allegations of murder and
theft in a government role in both. the military now controls the diamond fields and denied our access but a local mp affiliated with morgan tsvangirai let us to his convoy through the heavily guarded villages that surround the fields. there were people he wanted us to meet. ♪ people needing help for a crumbling medical clinic, a place that treated injured diamond panners. they told of brutal attacks when the army arrived last fall to seize the fields. this man says his hand was mauled by a police dog. and this man a former telecom worker, turned diamond panner, says he saw worse. were they shooting at the diamond panner? >> yes. >> reporter: did they kill some of them? >> yes. >> reporter: did you see them kill diamond panners? >> yes. i have several examples that i can tell you. diamond panners, yes.
some of them were killed because of this diamond. >> reporter: to learn more, we went deeper into chiadzwa, to to what's left of the main training center that the at the height of the diamond rush was teaming with thousands of panners and buyers. just as people started to relay to the mp what happened late last fall when the army was sent in to end the trade, nearby soldiers got curious. surrounded a group and wanted the meeting stopped. they detained the mp. he was gone for two hours. when he returned it was clear the visit was over, but the message was delivered. the people here believe they'd been a government-sponsored killing campaign and in the chiadzwa diamond field late 2008. the minister says is ridiculous. there's no mask graves, no 10, 20, 30 bodies? >> false and i don't know what to achieve by doing this.
>> people from chiadzwa have been here. >> reporter: but allegations of mass graves persist and near chiadzwa a cemetery worker tolu. and took us to a spot in an overgrown part of the graveyard. you say that there are 68 people in here? >> 68 people in there. >> reporter: and you saw that happen? >> yeah, i saw it. i saw it. >> reporter: in a nearby office he showed us the dozens of burial orders filled out in december. names, unknown. >> reporter: you saw one shot in the head? >> yeah, exactly. >> reporter: in the arm? >> the other one. >> reporter: someone else who says he saw those bodies is a local mortician with a list of 68 people prepared for burial. and how did those people die? >> buried in the field.
detained at the school yard. by the police. reporter: the zimbabwean government denies all of this, denies something else, too, that there are still illegal pandering in the fields but that this time it is military officials benefiting directly. >> we're on top of the situation and not been a single diamond, illegal diamond activity right now. >> reporter: not so. with just a few hours' notice a former military officer from chiadzwa was able to insignificant-looking industrial quality diamonds fresh from the fields. the minister of mines told us that there are no illegal diamonds on the market right now. >> that's a lie. >> reporter: records of what happens on the diamond fields are vague and suspicions rage. and all of zimbabweans seem to know is that in their hills are great riches that could solve so many of this nation's problems
if only they were shared. adrian arsino, cbs news, chiadzwa, zimbabwe. and that's "worldfocus" for this monday night. and a reminder you can watch all or part of the program all over again whenever you would like at our website, that's worldfocus.org. i'm martin savidge in new york. as always, thank you very much for joining us. we'll look for you back here again tomorrow and anytime on the web. until then, have a great night. "worldfocus" is made possible in part by the follow funders -- -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com