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tv   Counting the Cost 2019 Ep 6  Al Jazeera  February 12, 2019 8:33am-9:00am +03

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people who have depended on the tigris and euphrates for centuries can no longer make a living on rivers blighted by and pollution algis their world reveals how the manmade decline of one of history's most famed ancient environments is leaving its people struggling to survive iraq's dying rivers. hello i'm sam is a than this is counting the cost on al-jazeera the weekly look at the world of business and economics this week digital divisions world wide web foundation president and c.e.o. adrian lovett explains why the internet and the danger of splitting. also this week venezuela's health system remains starved of money as an international tug of war gets underway for control of a key asset. class senegal's money matters a west african country famous for a pink lake and
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a strong musical heritage by its currency is now become an election issue. in a bid to control the internet of the future some say a kind of digital iron curtain is falling on the one side there's the u.s. on the other there's china other countries are lining up to this is also a battle about five g. or fifth generation wireless technology that increases the amount of data that can be transmitted wirelessly the so-called internet of things could also combine things like artificial intelligence and virtual reality the problem is politicians don't understand it and haven't got a clue how to regulate it all control it is even no clear consensus about its very definition it's also worth remembering that the internet wasn't built by a government or a large company the founding fathers were interested in things like providing a force for good. and joining me from london now is
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a degree in love it adrian is the chief executive officer of the web foundation the worldwide web foundation was established in two thousand and nine by the inventor of the web so tim berners lee good to have you with us are we seeing now a sort of global divide emerge around chinese technology and whether you accept its mission it comes things like five g. or whether you oppose it. i think there is a there is a divide there's and it's not a simple kind of black and white tools for the left and right split there's a there are arguably a number of internets emerging now wendy hall from universities and absence does and great work on this talking about how there is a sort of the original internet if you like that is based on openness and permission list space which is you know associated with the pioneers of the internet there's if you like a european internet emerging which has some of those features but also elevates a focus on privacy and protection of individual citizens perhaps at the cost of
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innovation and there is as you imply a chinese model which is not only restricted to china where the emphasis on the surveillance and arguably social cohesion within that now this is going to remain a complex picture but i think that in the first two of those at least there are the seeds of of a future internet that we can defend that we can be proud of that we can say is consistent with the founding vision of the web but there's certainly work to do to achieve that and what does that divide ultimately mean for uses i guess you your user experience will be very different depending where you're logging in from right yes certainly does and then of course let's not forget that although we're reaching this point in fact just last month that for the first time more than half the world is online the first problem is the other half are not there is there's a real problem for the three and a half billion people who don't have access to the internet at all we have to work on that but for those who do you're absolutely right there's a there's
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a. a whole range of different experiences and research that we did in sixty five countries recently found that more than half those countries don't have pretty basic data protection for their citizens what progress has been made in the sort of pushback against some of these tech giants having too much influence well i think you know the example in europe of the general data protection register the g.d.p. ours it's called that came in last year is an example where actually there's a what is largely seen now as a pretty sensible and moderate piece of legislation very expensive but it's but it's moderate. and which you know initially companies were saying well we can work with that and i think most of them have found that actually they can and they should and indeed are applying the kind of standards that are now required in europe to in many cases to to their users in other parts of the world so i think
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there has been a shift in the direction of travel in the last year or so i think this is further to go on that but we are seeing progress and you know i think actually the other aspect to consider is people who work in these big companies you know whether they're at senior levels or the rank and file programmers engineers and so on and many of those people actually are very concerned that their own companies do better and they're calling on their own companies to do better so that's a very powerful voice from within the industry as well talking about a shift how crucial is the issue of five g. darter going to be and the question of who controls it. well it's hugely important in one respect control of it is key and we going to need the same kind of. approach that was applied in the founding years of the web to ensure that there is . an approach that is open that is distributed and decentralized to ensure that
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those safeguards are there but i think it's also important to remember that you know as i said earlier for for half the world five g. is a it is a pipe dream for half the world you know while some people are worrying about. getting into their driver the scars of the next few years half the world has yet to send its first e-mail so i think it's important that we keep this in proportion the web and the internet were intended to be for everyone and if you're in a. decreasing minority of your fellow citizens who are not connected when most of them are then you're missing out on some pretty fundamental things like being able to access health care. services and to vote and to participate in in public life in various ways so you know those kind of challenges are not you know five g. is not the solution to those five g. will happen it needs to happen in the right way but we also need just as much energy behind ensuring that everybody gets connected including the hardest to reach
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including women who are less likely to be connected than men and less likely to be active online and including rural areas as well as servant in different parts of the world so there's a there's a real job to do there especially focusing on you know getting everybody connected to the web my thanks for your thoughts on that adrian love it thank you still to come on counting the cost the pacific island nation that's looking at legal action against big polluters thousands of kilometers away. but first the head of presidential elections in senegal later this month the country's seventy four year old currency has become a focus of debate it's called the west african c.f.a. frank a problem for some is viewed as a legacy of colonialism nicolas huck has more from dakar in senegal. just enough until next month i would john is calling her younger brother and jack to thank him for the money he sent down in france having left his life in the car for
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a better one in europe he tells her it's not what he expected but he's still able to send a few hundred years every month to his sister to look after the family. it's not easy but without him we couldn't make ends meet there's no work for him here we need him there he's doing this for the money. in january italy's deputy prime minister luigi accused frowns of fueling the migrant crisis by controlling the economies of former african colonies through the local currency the c.f.a. france is one of those countries that by printing money for fourteen african states prevents the economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on the coasts i didn't like the comment from the foreign minister i found it very patronizing africa the need any foreign minister want to speak on our behalf i the comment came days before the start of
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the presidential campaign in senegal and the c.f.a. is now part of the debate with each candidate taking positions on the matter some are going for it others against it like it who asks why should white people in paris take decisions on their currency the central african franc or the c.f.a. has a fixed exchange rate with the euro so europeans can bring euro's to africa easily swap them for the c.f.a. but state regulators make it difficult for africans to take out of their country and swap them into euro zone. under the new arrangement dating back more than seventy years france's central bank controls the treasury of all fourteen countries leaving these nations with a limited supply of liquidity. this hearing sees a certain level of stability to the currency allowing i went jogging to shop at her favorite friend's supermarket because french companies profit from this arrangement
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it allows them easy access to a growing market of over one hundred million people but there's also growing resentment towards this currency not just here in senegal but throughout francophone west africa france get out the graffiti found in various avenues of the capital is behind the messaging. many dog food and want to common currency but for wished african countries only with out fraunces involvement we have our own currency like morocco and algeria they are doing much better than us. france is so far yet so close while money travels more freely than people europe continues to attract young african men for john's family the journey is worth the risk. one area which desperately needs a venezuela's crumbling public health system in the coastal city of barcelona
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fourteen children have died this week alone from contaminated food or water hospital workers say there's a dire mean for medicine throws a bo has this exclusive report i this is the producer tricks emergency room at the last city hospital in the venezuelan city of. about three hundred kilometers east of us here dozens of children are in desperate need of proper treatment most of them have been diagnosed with a more b.s. is a form of dysentery transmitted by contaminated food or water lady check on starter is three months old she suffers while her mother says she has been abandoned the air my daughter has diarrhea she almost had a heart attack we have nothing you arrive here and there is nothing i was in a crisis because i thought i was losing her children here have diarrhea with blood in it and they are vomiting but nobody is helping us i want this government out now
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it has destroyed us we were allowed to film because staff here say they want the world to see that they are unequipped to save children's lives just this week four thousand children have died the figures could climb you can see how desperate the situation is here there's several children on each one of this very people are telling us that there's no medicine and there are not enough syringe is among other things many of the children that are arriving here are dying from one day to another madeline in my teen years baby boy was one of them he was two months old on tuesday. night he died he's forty remains in the hospital because she hasn't been able to get together the money needed to buy a coffin in the dinner but i don't i don't live there is nothing here they have no medicines they don't have food and now my son as did. people who believe the outbreak was cost when a switch by broke and contaminated the local water supply there was no chlorine or
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other chemicals in supplied to treat the water parents with their children continue to line up for treatment staff at the hospital say they don't have the resources to help. with any of them here three years ago we stopped receiving goals and alcohol there are not enough syringes or serums to hydrate children. the government of president. denies there is a humanitarian crisis in venezuela however he recently announced he is reforming the country's health care system. this is a public company recovered by the revolution because while it is going to produce all the medicines made for its public health care system and social security we can reach everyone like it should be in socialism the situation in the last city hospital is one of the reasons why the self declared entering precedent of venezuela. says humanitarian aid is urgently needed but some aid officials advice
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if it does a rival it needs to be carefully managed. to put in work on the work of humanitarian aid is a mechanism that every country has it's a mistake to make politics out of this there are great needs in venezuela and it has to be controlled managed by the united nations and other agencies so it reaches those who need it. a crisis that has people at this hospital watching and hoping that their children will survive. throws a bow reporting there and those are the harrowing scenes across the country health service deprived of resources over the last five years now one of the main sources of money for venezuela currently is an asset that lies outside of the country and is itself the center of an international tug of war but as well as cash cow which generates most of its foreign currency earnings is a refinery called citgo it's based in the u.s.
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and it's a big fight brewing over who controls it in the future russia's rosneft owns forty nine point nine percent of citgo through a one point five billion dollars collateralized loan the rest is owned by venezuela's state oil company p.t. vs say the cash it generates is crucial to madeira and the opposition leader. who wants to replace the board. well the u.s. decision to sanction venezuelans oil assets two weeks ago was a move designed to keep citgo revenues out of president nicolas maduro as hands this was his response of the time. i see the transatlantic of united states today decided to take the party to steal citgo from venezuela and that's an illegal path i gave instructions to the president of. a owner of citgo to start with political and legal actions in the american courts and around the world to defend the property and the riches of said god well joining me now from london is dara
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mcdowell is the head of europe research and principal analyst on russia at the risk analysis company various maple crafts good to have you with us let's talk a little bit about citgo because that's a major earner of course for the country if the u.s. is successful in supporting those attempt to try and take over the management board of citgo what happens to the money does that mean that wedo will have the power to distribute the oil revenues to the people because he's in a bit of a bind isn't he him selfe one of the issues surrounding that is that we have had quite a bit of russian investment within venezuela. jury english. major presidencies and so there will be a question as to what claims russia is making what role it's going to play and how receptive all the other players in venezuela are to moscow claims in that sense i'm
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glad you mention russia's investments in venezuela more broadly of course russia has an interest in p.d. vs a and in go through collateralized debt. how much of a card then does russia have to play in the struggle over the management board of sit naturally of course that you know if the there is a change of leadership in venezuela and white who takes over. there will be potentially some sort of claim to dismiss a lot of the obligations made under chavez image of madeira as illegitimate or or this sort of thing russia will naturally fight that legally. again the question of which claim will actually out in the end is something that will take a long time to resolve through international institutions but this shows the kind of spoiler role that russia can play in the country at the moment it's only doesn't really have the hath or the resources to save major at the moment or two to really
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stabilize the situation in venezuela but it has enough of an interest that it can make any sort of transition difficult and that's the card that moscow is probably looking to play over the coming weeks and i guess who plays the spoiler role is a matter of perspective on depending on whose side you're on and seeing which administration right now is the gist of it but could the ownership of citgo ultimately turn into a legal tussle specially if russia feels hey our debts are not being paid back properly of course and you know that something about what why or why we see the limited russian presence in caracas at the moment where we've seen things like wagner's private military contractors on the ground why we're seeing this rhetoric from the kremlin about the sovereignty of venezuela and not wanting to back any sort of regime change and part of that is you do traditional russian foreign policy goals anyway they don't necessarily like to see autocratic countries coming under
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threat from below but secondly it's a signal to the u.s. into the e.u. and to to other powers that you know that russia does have interests. in venezuela they should be respected or at least compensated for somehow or otherwise moscow can look at these legal options these are their mechanisms for ensuring that even if there is a transition that it's an extremely difficult one and that they begin presenting obstacles to caracas rather then you know while coming any sort of new administration why does russia loan money to what some regard as risky bets well there's two factors to this part of this is due to the internal politics of the kremlin and the various players within there some of whom might believe that there is some sort of genuine advantage to this but generally speaking it's a way for for russia to present itself as
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a superpower on the cheap. you know while these loans aren't insignificant in the grand scheme of things they are going to buy bankrupt russia if there is some sort of default however by making them and by you know positioning itself as an ally to this country on the other side of the world they can you know keep on some of the superpower trappings of the old soviet days pretend you know it's still a global power rather than a regional one. and to do so without without risking too much do you read into some of the recent statements by some russian officials about how the two sides in venezuela really have to talk to each other and they signal to all the paps rusher is kind of reviewing its stance to make sure it's not putting all of its weight behind one side that might ultimately lose and this goes back to you know there are investments there russia does have interests in venezuela. you know after an initial you know strong backing of madeira or at least. making the rhetorical
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noises that the russian foreign ministry felt that it had to make now there's a point of like well you know there's no point in sending additional good money at . bad there is no way that we can really save this regime at a cost acceptable to ourselves so it's time to to start getting ourselves. to start making ourselves a part of the dialogue to make sure that if we see some sort of transition in venezuela that russia has a seat at the table and that's what these investments are about at the present using that leverage to make sure that the kremlin has if not a decisive say then at least some input into what happens next in caracas all right thanks for your analysis darren mcdowell there thank you and finally for the people of ghana want to rising sea temperatures intensify clones and erratic weather patterns are becoming a part of daily life where they're being forced to spend more money not only on protecting themselves but also on keeping their businesses afloat and now the new
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ones who is considering legal action against big polluters thousands of kilometers away as andrew thomas reports. warming sea is mean fewer fish in the waters around than a water so people are building fish farms in la instead it is very frustrating cost to build one fish farm is around fifteen thousand u.s. dollars there are other costs of climate change here more frequent cyclamens mean big repair bills mitigation in preparation for disasters and rising sea levels also have big costs and while these own contribution to global climate change is small even so it's doing all it can to reduce it further there are a solar farms and coconut plantations oil squeezed from coconuts can fuel generators as a clean way to make electricity one coconut will give you one liter of oil
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and with what we've got you know it's often now where a for t.v. program for a few coconut powered televisions will make little difference to the global climate vanuatu's government believes the world's big polluters should compensate it for the damage that climate change does here and that if they won't voluntarily through treaties and agreements and they'll try to force them to through the threats of legal action the government is considering suing big polluting countries and fossil fuel companies we're working with a number of lawyers in different parts of the world who are also looking at our evidence base that we're going to need to prove in court that would be hard suing a company needs to happen in that company's national court giving them the home advantage taking legal action against the country means going to the international court of justice it only considers cases where the country being sued agrees to the
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case being heard but there is another avenue here that can take and that is to ask for an advisory opinion. and that isn't legally binding but it does set the direction and it gives the world a sense of exactly how the i.c.j. sees the legal issues than i want to sleep there's hope the possibility that countries or companies might have to pay compensation one day will increase their potential financial liabilities now scaring off investors unless they take action to minimize those risks so those legal action is the threats to would rather settle out of court and that's our show for this week but remember you can get in touch with lance via twitter use the hash tag a j c d c when you do or drop us an e-mail counting the cost of down to zero dot net is our address there's more for you online at al jazeera dot com slash see to see that and take you straight to our
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page which has individual reports links and entire episodes for you to catch up on . that's it for this edition of counting the cost time sammy's a than from the whole team here thanks for joining us news and al-jazeera is next.
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on the streets of greece violence is on the rise. migrant farm workers of victims a vicious. is helping the pakistani community to find a voice the stories we don't often hear told by the people who live them undocumented and. this is. a team of chinese scientists embark on a. rare resources and new species. reveals
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china's underwater. zero. you what you are just their homes the whole robin these are all top news stories congressional negotiators in the u.s. have reached a funding deal just days away from the latest government shutdown deadline now the agreement covers border security president trump has been addressing supporters at a rally in el paso texas near the mexican border he's promoting his long promised wall but the deal doesn't appear to have met his demands as walking up to the stage they said that progress is be.

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