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tv   BBC World News  PBS  December 24, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PST

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> and now "bbc world news." >> eight bitter blow for laurent gbagbo as the u.n. calls alassane ouattara president of ivory coast. an italian anarchist group clinchers possibility parcels that exploded at the swiss and chilean embassies in rome. get off the road. beijing makes a bid to stop the gridlock. welcome to "bbc news," broadcast on pbs in america, and around the globe. home for the holidays. u.s. officials tried to reassure the public that it is safe to travel despite the political gap earlier in the week. disagreements over who should pay for the church of the nativity threaten to undermine christmas spirit in bethlehem.
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the united nations general assembly has recognized alassane ouattara as the winner of ivory coast's disputed presidential election. the vote took place last month, but the incumbent, laurent gbagbo is to, refusing to stand down. the central african bank has now blocked his access to ivory coast funds, and the u.s. secretary of state has repeated her call to mr. gbagbp to step down. >> the violence in ivory coast is stirring serious international concern. it has spread since the week after the presidential election, which appeared to hand power to alassane ouattara. since then, he has found himself protected by u.n. peacekeepers
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and unable to take power because of this man's reluctance to leave office. he is laurent gbagbo. he was sworn in by those loyal to him just after the election, but is increasingly isolated internationally. thursday, the u.n. general assembly recognized alassane ouattara as the winner, adding to pressure on laurent gbagbo to hand over power. sources close to him have been accused of atrocities. in geneva, the human rights board says it has concerns over more than 170 killings in recent days and fears more. >> unfortunately, it is impossible to investigate all the allegations of serious human-rights violations, including reports of mass graves, due to restrictions on movement by u.n. personnel. >> on top of political pressure, financial pressure may start hurting laurent gbagbo. the central bank of the west
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african unitary and monetary union will block funds to his administration. the u.n. has warned that ivory coast could descend into civil war, something its people have endured before. the country has been divided between north and south since 2002. november's presidential election was supposed to be the crowning achievement of the peace deal aimed at reunifying the country. the 9000 u.n. peacekeepers can do little more than surround the man who much of the international community regards as the rightful president, and wait for the external pressure on laurent gbagbo to mount. >> foreign embassies in rome are on high alert after parcel bombs exploded at the swiss and chilean diplomatic missions. in each bomb, the staff member who opened the parcel was injured. a note found stuck to the man at the to land and sea claimed responsibility by an italian
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anarchist group. >> in a leafy suburb of northern rome, italian police are dealing with the aftermath of a homegrown terrorist attack. forensic officers were called in to examine the remains of a parcel bomb at the swiss embassy. opened at lunchtime on thursday, it exploded. the man's hands were badly injured. for the first time, the swiss mission has been targeted. >> two months ago, we found a rudimentary device on the outer wall of the embassy. at the same time, we found graffiti on the walls which could have been a warning. of course we restore security level accordingly. >> a few hours later, a similar package exploded across town at the chilean embassy. an employee was badly injured when he opened it. there is indignation and surprise.
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>> the first thing i want to say is that this is a brutal -- this is a brutal and irrational terrorist attack. we did not have previous information that led us to think something like this could happen. >> police also found a vital clue -- a note inside the bomb saying it was from the fai, an informal anarchist federation. italians believe it has been behind similar attacks in the past. worrying to is the parallel with the mail bombs sent to embassies in athens last month. those attacks were blamed on greek anarchists. although the damage caused was minor, it caused widespread fear and forced greece to suspend international mail for two days. now it is the italian authorities battling an attempt to cause chaos in the heart of their capital. >> police in venezuela have used
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water cannon and rubber bullets to break up a protest against a law that increases government control over universities. dozens of police and national guard troops blocked a march by hundreds of students outside the central university in caracas. they say the new law will be used to promote president chavez pet social ideologies. dmitry medvedev has welcomed u.s. ratification of a landmark joint agreement between both countries to cut their nuclear arsenal. russia is due to start its ratification of the new start treaty on friday. toyota has paid $10 million to the family of four people killed in a run by lexus car in 2009. toyota says it does not admit or deny responsibility. the crash triggered a series of recalls involving millions of toyotas. the u.s. has accused north korea of using belligerent trespass as
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the two koreas continue their war of words after the artillery attack on a southern island last month. north korea said earlier it was ready for what it calls a sacred war, using its nuclear weapons against the sell-off. this report is from our bbc correspondent. >> south korea still reeling from the shelling attack has sent its northern enemy a blunt message. this is one of the largest military exercises ever held on southern soil, and the president is promising a massive counterattack in response to any further act of aggression. but north korea is talking tough to. senior officials at the defense ministry issued a warning starke by bellicose standards. "our revolutionary forces are making preparations to begin a
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sacred war if necessary." the shell attack in late november left for south koreans dead and the government with a difficult choice. do nothing, and it would be criticized for ignoring a dangerous foe. mount a tough response, and others will accuse it of provoking the north any further. -- even further. there is a high possibility that the south korean military exercises close to the border will prompt north korea to react. but so far, despite the threats and the rhetoric, south korea's large scale show of strength has continued without response. for now at least, it can claim to have called north korea's bluff. bbc news. >> beijing is radically scaling back new car registrations to prevent gridlock on the streets. the chinese capital is slashing its quota by about 2/3 after
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complaints about congestion and the smog it causes. >> bumper-to-bumper and going nowhere fast. this is part of everyday life in beijing. now authorities are revving up to clear the traffic jam amid concerns that congestion is not only joking beijing residents, but threatening the capitals health. >> we will speed up the construction of traffic infrastructure, increase the development of public transport, strengthen restrictions on the number of vehicles, and improve vehicle management. >> under the new rules, the number of new registrations will be limited to 240,000 for next year. that represents a cut of 2/3 on last year's quota. most of them will go to private owners and businesses, and will be allocated by lottery. but not everyone is convinced. >> this month's car sale -- the
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cars are sold out ahead of the new restrictions. but i do not think these new policies will have a big impact on car sales because these cars are a family necessity. >> a recent survey tied beijing with mexico city as the world's worst commute. nearly 5 million cars clogged the streets of the chinese capital. and the addition can only put its infrastructure under further strain. >> two months ago in hungary, the storage pond at an aluminum waste site overflowed. 10 people died and more than 100 others were injured. we returned to the settlements worst affected. see how people are coming to terms with the disaster. >> the first snow of winter has already melted to reveal a landscape still heavily scarred by the catastrophe.
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these houses cannot be repaired. caustic material and sludge is eating away the foundations. the are plans to build a memorial park here monday. >> we have been promised compensation for the house, but we will never get back the 15 years' work we put into it. now all of that is lost. >> pupils have been allowed back to primary school. the corridors are constantly watched. they can even open the windows. in winter, there is less threat from the dust. but the people are still haunted by what happened. >> it is the garden even more than the house. there are places i like to climb and hide. >> this is what victoria's garden looks like today. nearly 300 houses are slated for demolition. 700 people need to be rehoused. authorities have promised that
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new homes will be bought or built by the end of june. there is still a huge amount of work to be done. it is in the field as well as the villages. >> new topsoil is being brought in to replace what is spoiled. we will plant trees for renewable energy. we need to experiment to find out how this land can be used. >> people are waiting for better times. they know that the worst is over, but there are some stains which no amount of scrubbing can remove. bbc news, in western hungary. >> still to come, no francs. why the swiss are shutting their shops. british deputy prime minister nikolai -- nick clegg upset with the with some ministers have criticized the coalition
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government. these were secretly recorded by a "daily telegraph" reporter posing as a constituent. brown speaks to tory allies in the european parliament. >> the remarks are not particularly damaging compared to some of the other comments we have seen. jeremy brown said he believes the tory instinct towards immigration, tory policy on immigration, has been driven by it and charitable instincts. some troubles within the european parliament were nothing, not surprising given the liberal democrats have very different views on both immigration and on europe. they are in a coalition together. but we learned tonight that prime minister nick clegg spoke with irritation at the indifference of some of his ministers and says they are concerned far too much about personality and battles within the coalition rather than the
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positive achievements of working together with the tories. it has to be said it is not good to make the business of working together any easier. >> scotland yard has confirmed that a woman has died after she was attacked by a dog. the victim who was in her forties suffered multiple injuries during the attack in south london and was pronounced dead at the scene. officers said the dog, a belgian mastiff, was shot to death by police at the property. a prominent left-wing scottish politician has been told by a judge who will be sent to prison, convicted of perjury. sheridan is baled awaiting sentence by the high court after being found guilty of lying under oath after his successful libel case against the owners of a newspaper. this is bbc news. the headlines. more financial and political pressure is being applied to laurent gbagbo, the president of
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ivory coast to is refusing to stand down after elections last month. an italian anarchist group is claiming responsibility for parcel bombs which exploded at the swiss and a chilean embassies in rome. as europe remains on alert, the same is true in the u.s. white house officials spent most of -- much of the week insisting everything which can be done to guard against potential attacks have been done. officials especially seek to improve aviation security, since the attacks on christmas day last year to blow up an airliner over detroit. >> o'hare airport in chicago today. many holiday travelers had their first encounter with new screening techniques. the government says there is no specific intelligence pointing to an imminent threat, but america is visibly on its guard.
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it was a year ago that this man allegedly tried to blow up a u.s.-bound plane. he had been red flag to american officials by his own father, but was still allowed to board the flight in amsterdam with explosives concealed in his underwear. >> i am confident that the efficiency in the system as a result of the review after the christmas day bomber has been addressed. the reason why certain information was not shared and did not make it to the system -- we have taken steps to ensure that type of problem does not happen again. >> those steps have included triple in the no-fly list, which now has 10,000 names. they deployed advanced scanners at u.s. airports. the improved computer systems so agencies can cross check data. scanning cargo from yemen and somalia. >> it is monday, december 20.
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a terrorism plot foiled overseas. >> earlier this week, america woke up to news of 12 arrests by british counter-terrorism officers. it escaped the attention of the president's director of national intelligence, who was interviewed later that day. >> london -- how serious is it? what are the implications of it coming here? >> a confused looking james clapper turned to his colleagues for help. >> the arrest of the 12th by the british this morning. the british informed of that early this morning as it was taking place. >> i am a little surprised he did not hear about london. >> i am sorry. i didn't. >> that excruciating death is being blamed on his staff for not briefing him on a day when his focus was north korea. a different question is how the system deals with the next
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threat. abc news, washington. >> dublin is to give allied irish bank a second bailout to the tune of 7.3 billion year rose. this will make it the fourth biggest lender to fall under state control. our ireland correspondent has more. >> allied irish bank used to be the biggest in ireland. aib still has a large market share, but not enough money. after running up huge losses with ireland's -- when ireland property bubble burst in 2008, last year the irish finance minister had to step in. today, he promised a further large cash injection. >> it is essential to exercise this power. allied is a vital bank in terms of all of ireland, the whole of
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ireland in terms of its interaction with the economy. we are not good to exercise and the other powers this time. >> finally, next year and the irish government will have a 92% stake in the bank, making it the fourth irish financial institution to be brought into state hands since the country's economic collapse. >> that was under the you imf program. there was a substantial amount to boost their reserves of the bank. the idea is to provide enough buffer for future losses. >> at the start of arlen's financial crisis two years ago, the irish government guaranteed all of the bank debts in deposits. it seemed like a good idea at the time. but was it? >> for the irish government's own interests, it was a mistake. it meant that private debt and public debt have become one and
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the same. the irish bank system has effectively become the anchor that is telling the irish government underwater. looking at it from a global financial-services point of view, if banks in ireland had been allowed to default on their debt, it could have sparked a major global financial crisis similar to what we saw following the collapse of lehman brothers. >> state intervention is slowly restoring stability to the sector. but there is still a long way to go. and with the general election due to take place soon, ireland is injuring the new year facing financial difficulties. mark simpson, bbc news. >> thousands of christian pilgrims and tourists are visiting the site where jesus was born. but there is a warning from local authorities in bethlehem that unless urgent repairs are carried out, the centuries old church of the nativity might have to restrict visitor numbers in future.
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>> christmas where it all started, in bethlehem. yet again this year, thousands of tourists and christian pilgrims come to this town, and to the place where they believe jesus was born more than 2000 years ago. the focal point for all programs is the nativity church, first built in the fourth century. the arcana structure has been damaged by wars and rebuilt many times. it is controlled angeles a protected in an agreement between three main churches -- the greek orthodox, the franciscans, and the armenians. the tensions between the various denominations cause difficulty. the whole place can be closed down for several hours. as the month and bishops argued
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against themselves, there is concern one of the most important treasures in history could fall around them. the 500 year-old roof is the greatest cause for concern. local church politics are standing in the way of critical repairs. >> the roof is leaking. water is coming down. the roof is made of wood from the 14th century. it was repaired only once, in the 18th century. it needs to be restored again. if they leave the church as it is, it will become an invisible -- unvisitable in the future. >> church leaders are unable to decide who can pay for or carry out the affairs. a palestine authority has had to step in. work is set to begin in the new year. a dispute between priests not withstanding, they would love to
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see even more visitors spending their dollars in the local economy and staying in the town itself. lack of a peace deal between the palestinians and israel, which effectively controls access to this holy town, and that potential may not be realized for some time. bbc news, bethlehem. >> the details of some of the teams of the pope's historic christmas radio message to the british people, due to be broadcast on bbc radio 4 in a few hours time. pope benedict will be the guest in today's program. the thought for the day slot wants to cement the french ships established by his visit early this year. the pope says a child born in bethlehem brought liberation, not by political means. if you have some last minute christmas shopping, you are unlikely to go to another country to buy presents.
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but that is exactly what some swiss shoppers are doing. a week euro has provided them a bit of christmas cheer. >> it is the time of gifts in northern europe, and this year a dollop of extra german generosity is extending to the neighboring suisse. here just inside germany, and just inside the eurozone, the swiss franc is drawings with bargain hunters. they like the exchange rates. and they like the fact that they can reclaim the tax on german purchases. this shopper says swiss people come because of the low euro and because with every item bought the get a ticket with which they can reclaim a 19% sales tax. the swiss drive across the border, part of the german stores, and then return with their cars full of goodies. the swiss man said he does not save money overall -- he just
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buys more. it is the converse on the other side of the border in switzerland, just outside the eurozone. here in the swiss town, the swiss franc does not seem to go as far as it does over on the german side. this shop owner says it is a painful experience. they feel the loss of the buying power of swiss customers who go to germany. but they also feel the effect of the missing german customers who do not come to switzerland because of the high swiss franc. germany has a strong surplus at the moment, exports out weighing imports. that is one effect of the euro crisis, which is weighing down exchange rates. bbc news, berlin. >> weeks after the disputed election in ivory coast, the president will not accept defeat. he is now facing a cash crisis
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as well as international pressure. bbc news. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its
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global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> there is one stage that is the met and carnegie hall. >> o, that this too, too solid flesh -- >> it is the kennedy center. >> check, one, two. >> and a club in austin. >> it is closer than any seat in the house, no matter where you call home. >> the top of the world, and i'm there, i'm home. >> pbs -- the great american stage that fits in every living room. your support of pbs brings the arts home. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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