tv [untitled] December 19, 2013 3:00pm-3:31pm EST
president putin says he is ready to sign a pardon for russian tycoon mikhail khodorkovsky who spent more than a decade behind. and tax evasion. amnesty international says hardline syrian rebels have established a new form of tyranny enforcing a reign of terror with secret prisons where children as young as eight are. in prejudice london rejects an e.u. offer to fund food banks has put hundreds of thousands of people in britain going hungry on top stories.
from a studio center here in moscow which just past midnight this is international president vladimir putin says he will sign a motion to jailed russian tycoon mikhail khodorkovsky the businessman he spent more than ten years behind bars for embezzlement has reportedly already filed a petition to be pardoned. has this report. the president was hosting a media conference which lasted over four hours but the biggest news came after it finished he was surrounded by journalists and someone asked the question about. and suddenly the president said that the former had asked him to be released and he says the man is already spent over ten years behind bars and he is ready to sign all the papers to wear them free if you don't know who the coastie recently wrote a petition asking me to pardon him he spent more than ten years in prison this is a serious punishment he cites humanitarian reasons saying his mother is sick and i
believe taking jew account of all the circumstances it's possible to take a respective decision and in the near future i will sign a decree to pardon him artie's managed to reach. a mother by phone listen to what she had to say that i don't really miss. the news came absolutely out of the blue last time i spoke with him was back in august and he didn't show any intention of filing a petition i totally support any decision of his he needs to be said for his children and even grandchildren grew up without him. because of course he used to be among the wealthiest people in the world and i'm all the most influential in russia until he was arrested back in two thousand and three charged and found guilty of fraud and then in a second case of money laundering and in turn this latest announcement from the president what we did with applause by human rights groups would reportedly came as a complete surprise to us and even his family members. and here in the
studio are sorta range of opinion about whether putin did the right thing or not. people are debating whether or not they expected this especially on social networks for me personally i've been covering russia for the last eight years i was shocked first we should say that this is probably a p.r. attempt at the putin administration head of the olympics to gender some good press coverage some goodwill towards russia but also i think to deflect a little bit of the tension and anger away from the e.u. in the united states over their recent losing the bidding war over the ukraine with russia i just want to be the devil's advocate and say even if this was a p.r. stunt ahead of the olympics what's wrong with that like the olympics in itself is essentially why do countries want the olympics they want the investment they want to improve their country why does it have to be a bad thing you know i think it can be seen as
a clever move and i think this can be seen as a magnanimous gesture it will at the very least reduce the talking point criticisms that can be directed against russia it's a sign of weakness as the west will interpret it. first you have to understand the reason for the propaganda campaign and the gay rights issue the holocaust. the rioters and so forth these are attempts to isolate russia her while at the same time it justifies the so-called new cold war with a missile defense in poland czech republic turkey etc i disagree i think that the release of mr hodder will be viewed positively in the west i mean the strains of anti putin nineteen russian propaganda you know the l b l g b t rights issue is one this completely separate from mr holder. ok ok well what i say let me just on russia russia have a way these people become celebrity prisoners i mean a these are well known people in the west and this is
a great gesture of surprise from putin but is it is it actually a genuine change in direction for the country or this. no i don't think this is any genuine change for the country if we're talking about a move away from law and justice we roast russian citizens in both of these cases feel that their crime and their punishment was well deserved and i think that this could create a little bit of domestic backlash because the russian people will question why they haven't. served out there for sentence but i have to agree that i do not think that this will be received positively in the west i think that nothing in the russian the putin administration does can please. the west this point. i don't want to say but so far in london it hasn't quelled the anti russian sentiment in fact people after this announcement and you can debate it until the end of time whether
it was expected or not a lot of the western journalists found the most interesting thing that putin talked for too long today even despite this enormous news whether or not you expected it or not and i think putin is in a very very difficult position because it's a lose lose position if he didn't do this he would be criticized if he did this help me criticize he said today he envied obama it's just for that reason when investors are expressing their opinion on the presidential pardon through the markets and kitty pilgrim explains what it is that they're so happy about and what khodorkovsky might get up to once he is out. the my six index gained over one percent means that the index is now on its longest winning streak since september got telecommunications financials oil and gas stocks all right easing by one point three percent on average and international investors have been calling for more transparency and this is another stage inclusions campaign to make russia more desirable place to comment invest in the south the idea of twenty thousand has been the year to fight corruption with tons of asian also featuring putin's target is
now the proof is in the numbers our capital outflow a constant battle for the russian economy which has been stalling out with the rest of the globe of course by demonstrating that is becoming more transparent this is a way a chance of more money being being spent here most importantly tempted not transfers to foreign accounts now let's talk about what is next for once the richest man in russia now one would presume that despite his company getting auctioned off due to tax fraud and or investment crimes he still some of his billions somewhere but where that is the question really have a bank account in the states where a lot of his family are perhaps more exotic attack save a paradise are we don't know all his billionaire days was all his money invested in ucas is gone now after ten years in prison will he be eager to start investing in weeknight in his business career or will he want to retire leave russia and spend
the rest of the days with his family there is not forget when he was at the hotel russia was a different country and chances are he has no power or friends left we're just remind you when we come across and develop where he is now let's have a look at the background to all of this well in february ninety ninety seven he became chairman and c.e.o. of the you cause oil companies one of the largest state oil companies at that time producing a fifth of russia's oil well by september two thousand and three he was the wealthiest russian and one of the richest people in the world and it was at that time. he was arrested on charges of fraud and into the privatization of a formerly state owned mining fertilizer company he was then found guilty in may two thousand and seven and two thousand and five i should say and sentenced to nine years well later that year an appeal reduced the sentence by one year a second case against him began in december two thousand and six when charges of embezzling three hundred fifty million tonnes of oil when he was found guilty in
december two thousand and ten and sentenced to fourteen years but the court ruled the time already spent behind bars should be included well the news of granting clemency to cortical ski came off to present persian and face more than four hours of questions from journalists and after the break we'll be reporting on the highlights ranging from edward snowden and global surveillance to the chaos in ukraine all of those discussed during that media briefing all of this short break. i wonder if we can add democracy at least expansion is democracy of the kind of spouse by george w. bush to the aptly stuff utopian ideologies on par with communism on par with not says i'm on par with militant really gents you know the ideologies that can ultimately lead to an increase in violence i think the problem is the idea that by
and a session lasting well over four hours the subjects journalists pushed him on include developments in ukraine the newly adopted amnesty for prisoners in russia as well as the strain the ties between moscow and washington well either up is going to have told us about the president's responses. well the media card for itself was attended by over thirteen hundred journalists and of course they discussed a huge variety of topics that edward snowden was. the former n.s.a. contractor who leaked scores of controversial documents on u.s. surveillance programs across the world he received temporary asylum in russia his exact whereabouts are still unknown due to security reasons. we are now after snowden's leaks and america was shocked to learn her telephone had been wiretapped . she's absolutely fine so don't worry. when i russia's relations with the u.s. after leaks. you want to know how my feel about mr obama after snowden's leaks i feel jealous i feel jealous because he can do these things and
get off scot free still there is nothing to be happy about but on the other hand there's no reason to be frustrated however tough the criticism against the us may be all these measures have always been aimed at tackling terrorism but there must be some clear rules and certain agreements including those of ethics ukraine was another issue discussed the country's been going through rough times in the past few weeks with the protest taking place both for and against moving closer with the e.u. moscow is giving you a fifty billion dollars loan to the president that is being done primarily to help the country cope with the severe economic problems it's also experiencing and why they want to put an added he doesn't think that integration with the e.u. is the poor of the current wave of protests. those who are pushing forward the idea of signing an association agreement with the european union these people would
govern in ukraine not so long ago in new york was a foreign minister also headed the parliament to machine is a former prime minister you schenker was ukraine's president why didn't they sign these papers when they were in power no one was standing in their way. so you could have gone ahead and sign them and there'd be no problem today i have legitimate talents that the current protests are about moving closer to the e.u. it's an internal political struggle and signing or not signing this document is just a pretext. now another reason why news about that of course is a such a surprise is because the amnesty that they are currently are working on and that should affect up to twenty five thousand people that was discussed and for the first time during all these years no one actually asked a question about us even during the actual conference self but they did talk about . should benefit from the upcoming the sea and the so called arctic thirty activists who were arrested in the russian water and are being charged with going
isn't that these should expect all of these charges lifted against them and the president did comment on the organization itself. the ship it entered our exclusive economic zone was not responding and they tried to scale the platform after an attempt to stop this second boat started ramming our border guards is that a civil discussion about protecting the environment it's just p.r. or an attempt to blackmail racketeering or someone's order to disturb our work on developing resources that what happened should serve as a lesson and unite us along with greenpeace into an effort to minimize environmental risks instead of just making a fuss. the president also spoke about recent diplomatic breakthroughs like the one with the syrian chemical weapons arms to deal and any breakthrough or would be iranian nuclear program and also spoke about the need to protect traditional values
saying that conserve being conservative isn't about keeping society from moving forward but it's more about preventing it from rolling back. so. you got a fistful of them and as we've been reporting the major announcement from that amir put in during that media q. and a session is that he will pardon jailed tycoon mikhail khodorkovsky an american foreign affairs analyst martin seif joins me live now for more analysis on this putin taking a very big risky gamble here could not become a threat to him once he's released. i don't think holocaust can in any way be a threat to pose and putin he could become an embarrassment to president putin but i think this is a calculated not a garden gallery of a calculated move but by president putin and i think it probably will come off. russia certainly has a leader who loves surprises but of course. many see was jailed because of crossing
the political line do you not think that perhaps he could have political aspirations once he is free. i don't think so i think there are two possible paths we can look at here one is likely the other is extremely unlikely what is likely or at least feasible is that carter koskie will not remain in russia. will become a critic of president putin from outside russia and use the financial clout that he and his family still have to encourage criticism of russia in the international media that's a very feasible model but i don't think that the kremlin would have taken the decision the president putin would have taken the decision to call the cops here without factoring that possibility in the assumption would be that they wouldn't much to be critique of russia from outside russia that's not already there what is not going to happen is that called the cops he's going to be
a credible figure in russia i don't see him as a credible figure i think he was significant in the one nine hundred ninety s. the beginning of the twenty first century for two reasons first of all because of his vast financial wealth and political clout from putting together you cosyn the first place and he doesn't have the you close conglomerates. base anymore so that's gone and secondly he was a figure from the one nine hundred ninety s. he was able to amass so much wealth so fast as the all the guards did in the chaotic yeltsin era right after the collapse of communism this is now in his history in russia let's just do that you are in america what does this do for russia's image now in the u.s. will improve the already very sour relations now or will it be just what will it be received positively. it ought to be received positively because it is definitely
a humane move president putin has received on the russian government have received repeated criticism over the continued jailing of color cost you over a very long period of time. russia is not the united states russia is not. britain or france but russia is not. a stalinist dictatorship either it certainly is not that. as you say there's been so much negative criticism of russia you should be what ought to be peripheral issues in the west especially in the u.s. in recent years that it's come to very much so are the dialogues between russia and the u.s. and between russia and the european union and this is how the very serious strategic consequences both sides is a loser for this so i think this is a welcome move and it ought to get more play in america and europe than i fear it will receive but it's deserves to get positively martin great to talk to you on
this thank you very much a thoughts martin seif american foreign affairs analyst live and united states thank you children as young as eight years old are being held and tortured across a network of secret islamist prisons in syria according to shocking new reports the jails are operated by one of the fiercest rebel groups the islamic state in iraq and the levant it's practices and also so harsh that amnesty international has equated it to a reign of terror smoking room behavior and islamic can lead to lengthy sentences at these detention centers and even worse salena nasa and i'm just international research told us what people face in those jails. there is widespread torture torture of adults including and also children the most common form of torture is a flawed game. of flogging against detainees take place on a daily. on
a daily every day basically it includes flogging against children we have witnesses former detainees who told us that they have seen children as young as thirteen to fourteen being flogged scores of times the detainees are sentenced to death at a trial that does not exceed three minutes which is. outrageous really one former detainee us that he once counted the number of lashes falling on a child he counted until ninety four and he stopped counting any more. although paper and his forces are united in their goal to topple president assad in practice there's precious little unity fighting between rebel groups or to return power is more commonplace and it's the moderates taking a beating because last week for example the circuitry commander of the free syrian army was executed by radicals but authorities got to reports washington's
commitment to the rebels in syria means it's willing to talk to even the most hardline groups. washington is willing to negotiate with the so-called islamic front in syria just days after the front kicked the western backed supreme military council out of their headquarters and seized their warehouses to do we can engage these on a front of course because they're not designated and you haven't yet the islamic front includes groups that are demanding a hard line shari'a state to be a strategic mistake if the us administration or europe or their allies would be engaging in a partnership and a partnership meaning they would be collaborating with organizations that are the hardest and have not committed to become moderates or recognize the fact that if they come to power or part of power they will recognize human rights that did not happen while washington is we evaluate whom to support in the fight against assad all qaeda linked groups have made significant gains in the north of syria where
they've pushed out other rebel forces in the name of allah the gracious and merciful. when you're firing rockets it's our who fires them with your hands these strikes are only a drop in the ocean the lines of the islamic state are fulfilling their oath from iraq to lebanon is islamist forces are better trained and better armed some of them got their training fighting against the u.s. in afghanistan in the one nine hundred eighty s. when the u.s. was arming the anti soviet mujahideen in those days some got their experience and their arms fighting against the u.s. in iraq much more recently washington says the islamic front that it is willing to negotiate with does not include designated terrorist groups like job at a little slower and the so-called islamic state of iraq and live on but on the ground in syria there are so many different groups that the labels could be relevant. residents of the town of audra near damascus can't name the exact rebel
group that executed over eighty civilians there including children earlier this week. the u.s. has supported the syrian opposition on the premise that washington would be able to discern different shades of extremists there and figure out which ones are less extreme but even the report that there was no battle over the warehouses between the islamic front and the western backed supreme military council is one indicator of how blurred those lines are and how flawed is the assumption that one can distinguish with certainty between those groups in washington i'm going to are to. britain is being accused of putting ideology before common sense that's after london turned down the e.u.'s offer to fund food banks despite having more than half a million miles of the going hungry or his or smith looks at why. just a stone's throw from the seat of government in westminster is something that's becoming a more and more common sight in the u.k. this building's used as a food bank handing out emergency supplies to families so poor they can't afford to
eat as the cost of living rises the number of people turning to food banks increases with its funding tighter all the time but nevertheless the government has turned down a potential twenty two million pounds in funding for food aid why because the money comes from the european union britain we've caught i government with a very anti european ideology appears to be more keen to. warn europe to get credit for something than to get money which can how fate hungry people are if you are starving you need some food and you cry to die and this government's refusal to provide the carriage is literally taking food to the merits of. the european aid for the most deprived amounts to two and a half billion pounds but the position britain's taken means the country will receive just two point nine million and instead of using food aid as intended it's
expected the government will spend it on helping unemployed people find work all well and good to say critics but there are people who need survival basics now and this money is meant for them. with a new team with more than just over half and half in the meantime it is worlds apart with oksana boyko after the break this is international. the parliament of yemen has put forward a motion to ban drone attacks in the country the motion is now waiting approval by the president and it's probably impossible to enforce unless they could build a really big net or something isn't it strange that now after years of drone strikes in their country the parliament just wakes up to the fact their systems are getting blown up from the sky that we fear yemen doesn't have
a ton of cash and i could see how having the well equipped and funded us military to take care of the al qaeda problem for them for free could be really enticement i mean it must be scary to be a politician with lots of power hungry terrorists about this would be the first time in history that a stronger foreign power fought a weaker states battles for them but the problem is that according to the huffington post a former u.s. state department official in yemen says that every year drone attacks create eight from forty to sixty new terrorists why do they create terrorists because according to the human rights watch seventy percent of the people killed by drones in yemen are civilians you know if the yemeni government is really free from washington's grasp and really wants to deal with their al qaeda problem they'll have better luck doing it themselves or the good old rifles and bayonets pointed at the right targets but that's just my opinion.
on the welcome to worlds apart if you just watch the news bulletins on i think you'd probably be surprised to hear that we may be leaving in one of the most peaceful areas in our species history and here this is exactly what they want to do and sleeving intellectuals believe professor steven pinker laid out his argument in his two thousand a lot. and book the better angels of our nature and he joins me now on the walls apart professor pincus thank you very much for being on the show it's a great honor for me so thanks for having me now we're recording this program on monday just a few hours after the news broke about four harvard buildings being evacuated to due to a possible bomb threat and so far no explosives have been found but i wonder if you could update us on what is happening on campus. not much as far as i can tell.
most of the activity is from journalists there's a news helicopter flying overhead there are television trucks everywhere i see reporters on several corners but nothing is actually happening any harvard building according to the latest report that i got on my e-mail and i also know that some of the final exams have been scheduled for today i wonder if i don't know some student who may be falling behind on his studies do you think however students are capable of something like that off using a bomb scare as a way to get out of the final exam. almost certain that that is not the who who called in the hoax i might be wrong but my guess is that it's some nobody who wants to achieve a little bit of fame a little bit of influence who is probably watching the news right now happy that he has made so many people disrupt their lives because of something that he did that would be my guess now given these bomb scare of the main thesis if your book that
we are living in one of the most peaceful eras in our species history is a bit counter-intuitive isn't it is only counter-intuitive if you get your information from the news forgetting about the fact that news is about things that happened so yesterday and last friday and the friday before there was no bomb scare but that did not make the news so all of the. days and. places that are free of violence never get reported in the news no matter where violence happens it's guaranteed to be on the news and because the human mind estimates risk from examples especially vivid examples our impressions of the amount of violence in the world is biased only if you look at statistics on how much violence there is now and how much violence there has been at earlier periods of time do you have an accurate picture of the changes in violence over time i think the statistics the
data that you provide is very persuasive and you actually be a bad decrease in violence sustained decrease in violence to the better angels of our nature are peaceable inclinations taking over some of our of violent tendencies but i wonder if it's right to equate the lack of violence or the decrease of to the violence to peace because the number of people meeting a violent and may have significantly decreased but has that necessarily made the quality of the lives spared more peaceful well i think it has it for one thing if you don't have to worry about being raped doris assaulted or murdered or invaded i think that's a huge improvement in quality of life but in addition other measures of human well being measured globally also show increases people live longer more people go to school fewer people die of disease more peace.