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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  August 30, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years,and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and provide capital for key strategic decisions.
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we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? and now, bbc "world news america." washington, from i'm kathy k. the obama administration makes the case, action against the syrian regime. >> the united states government 1429nows that at least syrians were killed in this attack. >> the president himself says he has not made up his mind, and any u.s. response to the chemical attacks will be limited. >> we are not considering any open-ended commitments, any boots on the ground approach. >> saying goodbye to seamus
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mosty, one of the world's treasured poets, has died at the age of 74. >> welcome to our viewers on public television in america, and around the globe. inflicting messages from the obama administration about a possible military -- conflicting messages from the obama administration about a possible military intervention in syria. in muted remarks, the president insisted no decision had been made, and any action would be limited and narrow. is america going to attack the assad regime, and when? mark mardell starts our coverage. in a damascus
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suburb, witnessed second hand by the whole world is a challenge for america and its president, posing a question about the nature of its power. >> it matters because if we choose to live in the world where a thug and murderer like bashar al-assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the u.s. and our allies said no -- and in the world does nothing about it -- there will be no end to the test of our resolve, and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe that they can do as they will. >> he was fresh from a white house national security meeting, thece -- which reviewed intelligence. the u.s. intelligence assessment claims with a high degree of confidence that the syrian
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government carried out a chemical attack which killed 1429 people, among them 426 children. intelligence,sing it pieced together what happened in and around damascus. between sunday the 18th and wednesday the 24th of august -- 21st of august, intelligence personnel were operating in an area used to mix. early hours, there was a rocket and artillery attacks from regime controlled areas into eight rebel once. 100 videos graphically recorded the aftermath. a communications intercept or overheard a syrian official speaking about it. 21st, there was an order to cease operations. america hardly wanted to go alone. john kerry stressed america's oldest ally had called the
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attack and outrage. australia and turkey had given support. no mention of britain. hutchence,me against this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community, against the norm of the international community -- this matters to us. it matters to who we are. , and tors to leadership our credibility in the world. stressed theobama limits of action, and made it clear he has not made a decision. >> in no event are we considering no terry action -- military action that would involve boots on the ground, a long-term campaign, but we are looking at the possibility of a act.ed, narrow
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>> there have been protests against action, but it's not just that. more than 200 members of say they should be allowed to vote. an opinion poll suggests at least half the american public are against the strike. >> do you think it's too much of a hotbed, as far as the other nations that have their interests there? what is going on in lebanon, obviously israel, egypt. >> i think you should go before congress. the british prime minister had to do the same thing. i think we have to be careful and learn our lessons from iraq. >> president obama is almost painfully aware that his nation is weary of war. some politicians are asking, how can he be so sure any action will be limited? the answer, one official told
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me, is fuzzy. >> all these questions surrounding syria. i have managed to drag mark from the white house and in here. kerry laid out a lot of reasons, but he did not tell us how america got that intelligence. >> that's the trouble. he made it quite clear that this was done with iraq in mind. people felt of how duped after there were no weapons of mass destruction. in the end, that is correct. they said they were using human and signal intelligence to say that troops who used chemical weapons were preparing in that area. there's no hard evidence evidence we can judge the that is true. far more detailed than any evidence we have seen so far. but there's no hard evidence there that we can say, we can listen to that phone: no that happened. >> if they're going to take this
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say, that-- call and happened. >> if they're going to take this as a case, presumably americans will have questions to. >> there are questions from members of congress, not just about evidence. it is common sense that this was a chemical attack. could have used it. the congress is asking about where this goes. clear, this is not going to turn into afghanistan or iraq . military people are saying to me, how do you know that? what happens if assad retaliates in some way? you are notnow that going to get dragged into? one official said to me, the answer is fuzzy. on london and eye
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washington. how much of a blow is it to the americans that the brits voted the way they did last night? >> i'm sure they are pretty annoyed, and trying to keep it under their hat. there has been very little public expression of anger. britain is very sensitive about what america says. when john kerry called the branch america's oldest ally, but did not mention britain, that has smarted. it's really hurting in london. newfield the americans may make you may sayment -- the americans may make a casual comment. >> thanks very much for coming in. inside syria itself, u.n. inspectors spent their last day
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in the country. they're expected to leave for the hague tomorrow and begin the process of analyzing their samples. residents of damascus are stocking up on emergency supplies in preparation for an expected attack. jeremy bowen is one of the few western reporters in the city. here is his report. were ine in damascus the safest places they knew, following what america is planning for the assad regime on tv. while the cafés were still open, i sat with the syrian mp and assad loyalist. he said that britain's decision made syria stronger, and said the syrian army would never use chemical weapons against its own people. shelling echoes around damascus. aimed at the rebel strongholds
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in the suburbs. it delayed the start of the final day of work in syria of the u.n. chemical inspectors. twice they drove out of their garages and twice they went back in. finally, another trip to the suburbs became a visit to government troops and the military hospital. part of the government's case, the armed rebels used chemical weapons -- that armed rebels used chemical weapons. .> the bbc had this video these are desolate places now. many of the original residents have fled. >> we pray for an american attack, and that obama acts on his words. i support a military strike with all my heart. >> a short drive away, back in
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the city proper held by the regime, some better of citizens were spending friday here at the hotel pool. many see the rebels as dangerous islamists, and they said repeatedly that a secular syria was better than al qaeda's vision of the future. these women had decided not to leave the country. many of their friends had, either temporarily or long-term. >> are you nervous about your kids or yourself? that we wake up safely the next day, but we have to live day by day. the british and american say there is a simple solution here. >> give me one martin luther king, so i can walk behind him. give me one who says, i have a dream to make syria like this. >> do you think the americans are going to attack? .> i don't think so
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and if they did, it's not a good choice. i don't think that president obama -- i don't think that assad will stay on the side. >> damascus is getting a lot of the world's attention. this city feels expected, anxious, and lonely. all sides in this country's war are waiting for what the americans do next. they are standing so certain about the regime's responsibility and guilt that many will believe an american attack is coming closer. jeremy bowen, bbc news, damascus. , asurreal scenes in damascus city facing an attack, a city at war. yet people still at the swimming pool. more analysis on the options facing america.
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he was at the state department in the run-up to the iraq war. right toe syrians assume that america is going to strike their country? >> it's hard to imagine, based on the statements that secretary kerry made on monday, and the one he made today, that were not going to go to war. what is strange about the istement he made on monday that it seems to precede the diplomacy you would expect the secretary of state to make. you would expect that to be the capstone. instead, it seemed to be the beginning of a diplomatic effort that did not have as much success as was hoped for. >> the president sounded much more muted than his secretary of state. >> it is strange that the secretary would make this statement and the president would emphasize, no decision has been made yet. came to the egypt statements, secretary kerry was much stronger condemning what
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happened before the president was. going on be something inside the administration i don't quite understand. >> if there is a strike, how hard does it have to be to be effective? what does success look like for a u.s. military operation? >> i would think what the strike has to do is it has to humiliate the syrians, demonstrate the u.s. has the ability to act in a time and place of its choosing. the only reason the u.s. doesn't act that way is because it is determined it is not in their interest, and there has to be an element that the there is nothing that the syrians can do about it. there is been so much leaking about what the targets would be, and when the timing would be, and how we would attack, and what kind of ships and missiles. it seems to be that much of the surprise that would lead to that humiliation is not there. success is to isolate the u.s. isy will show the u.s. as it
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acting in the name of the international community. the international community is not with the u.s. if that is the syrian gameplay, what is the u.s. doing to counter it? >> humiliation will not necessarily stop president assad from using chemical weapons in the future. >> it will remove him from power in the near term. we need to move towards a negotiated outcome. nobody wants to turn the country over to this rebel coalition. we want to get to some process where the people can say, there is no way out of this. the sense that the regime has now is, we are powerful. we will deter the americans from invading. a sense of humiliation will reduce the confidence that we have seen lots of sign from the regime, because they think they are winning right now. >> think so much for coming in. an end of a week in which there
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is been lots of discussion about military strikes against syria. still no conclusion on this friday evening. let's get a quick look at other news. of mohamedupporters morsi have taken to the streets in their biggest protest in two weeks. security has been tightened to block areas in cairo and elsewhere across the city. the military backed government has arrested leaders. says north korea has rescinded an invitation invitation for a u.s. envoy to visit pyongyang. ambassador kang had been expected to seek pardon -- robert kang had been expected to seek pardon for it he was sentenced -- seek pardon. he was sentenced to hard labor. journalistd from a
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could risk lives. the go-ahead has been given to continue examining the material. watching bbc "world news america." it was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. is in the midst of a slowdown. -- india is in the midst of a slowdown. rebels and u.n. troops in the democratic republic of congo have stopped fighting after a week of escalating violence. battles between the rebel group force are focused around the eastern city. >> for more than a week now, united nations forces have been pounding rebel positions north of goma alongside soldiers of the congolese army. both sides have taken casualties.
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for now, m23 appears to have called a halt. thursday, a woman was killed and her infant son injured when a shell landed inside neighboring or wonder -- rwanda. this man witnessed the explosion. rwanda blamed the congolese army, accusing its neighbor of intel or the provocation. >> -- intolerable provocation. >> a line has been crossed. the point that our people are harmed is the limit. >> the u.n. and congolese military say the stray shell was fired by the rebels. the human secretary general called the rwandan president to urge restraint. have beena and uganda accused of providing covert support to the rebels, accusations they deny. rebels consist mainly of mutineers.
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they haveast years, had mixed fortunes. they briefly took control of goma. , leading tostalled this latest flareup. in the past week, she'll have landed on the city itself, killing and injuring civilians landed on the city itself, killing and injuring civilians. gabrgatehoe, bbc news, in nairobi. >> it was seen as the asian economic dream for two decades. according to the latest government figures, india possibly government -- economy has can do to slow down. -- continued to slow down. growth is going to read the down -- dramatically down. >> for years, emerging-market
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countries have been the great bright spot in the global economy. surging ahead while we struggle to grow at all. g-sevenup, the economies have grown by 1.4% since 2008. britain's economy is 3% smaller than it was then. in those same five years, emerging and developing countries have grown by 31%. china and india have grown even faster than that. at the loading bays of india's biggest port, things today are .eeling less buoyant >> it is already impacted. the europe market is very difficult to see. >> figures are the worst since 2009. it adds pressure to the government, at a time when the
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currency has already fallen 9% in a single month. india is not the only place suffering a crisis of confidence. it is largely down to this man, ben bernanke. the fed has been chomping -- pumping cheap money into the economy. since he has been talking about turning off the tap, hundreds of billions that has been flowing to the emerging markets has been flowing back. the problem for emerging markets is that they don't have the luxury. >> they have moved into safe haven investments. policymakersthat have seen is to slow the outflow of funds, even though higher interest rates may not be the best option for their economies at this moment. >> brazil had better news today.
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the fastest growth in three days. if you expect it to last. we are used to seeing plenty of ups and downs in the faraway economies, but now they account for so much of the global economy, we have to get used to their troubles affecting us too. stephanie flanders, bbc news. what happens in brazil and india does not stay in brazil and india. today, the nobel laureate, seamus heaney, has died. he had been suffering from poor health in recent months. his career spanned more than half a century. born in county derry in northern ireland, much of seamus heaney's writing reflected ireland back to itself at a troubled time in its history. nick time looks back. >> between my finger and thumb, the squat pen rests. >> the first: in seamus heaney firstm in seamus heaney's
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collection describes his father and grandfather at work. he enjoyed great success while still young. >> i was able to tell seamus that i had been looking through his early books, and i thought the poems were miracles. he choked and said, they would have to be miracles. he continued to write miraculous poems. >> northern ireland's trolls made him more widely known. troubles made him more widely known. >> where society has fallen from grace, this is limbo land at best. at worst, the country of the damned. >> many poets are private people. seamus heaney was a celebrity.
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his status was confirmed when bill clinton quoted some of his birth at a state banquet in dublin. >> i leave have ready to believe that a cripple's trust might walk. >> his books became bestsellers, and included his translation of beowulf. >> it hardened him to hear the din of the market. the harp being struck. the clear song of a skilled poet, telling mastery of man's beginnings. >> his fame was global, but he remained defiantly irish. his nobel prize was announced by mary robinson. the prize honored a man for his , and ther, good sense greatest irish poet since yates. >> seamus heaney died at the age
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of 74. from all of us here at world news america, thank you for watching. have a great weekend. >> make sense of international news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture
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new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> this is the indiscriminate, inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. this is what assad did to his own people. >> woodruff: secretary of state john kerry delivered a forceful argument for taking military action against syria, as punishment for last week's attack on syrian civilians. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: we discuss the options-- and the consequences of whatever action is or isn't taken-- with two members of congress who were briefed on the evidence by the white house. >> woodruff: and we get the perspectives of "newshour" analysts mark shields and david brooks. >> brown: then, the race to save the centuries-old sequoias at yosemite national park, threatened by wildfires burning


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