tv Worldfocus WHUT July 7, 2009 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT
tonight on "worldfocus" -- president obama confers with russian prime minister vladimir putin. and a speech in moscow lays out a plan how the two countries can coexist in peace. ethnic violence in western china escalates despite efforts by the chinese government to bring it under control. when will it end? we'll report from an impoverished area of johannesburg, where there are new signs of police. here vigilantes hand out justice but the problem is they don't always get it right. ♪ you must understand war is not the way ♪ >> and from israel. you young christians, muslims and jews. drowning out the drums of war. from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here's what's happening from around the world, this is "worldfocus."
made possible, in part, by the following funders. good evening. i'm martin savidge. as president obama ended a two-day summit in russia, he and that country's top leaders seem to have got a long way toward changing the tone of their relationship for the better. but despite the agreement to reduce their nuclear arsenals with a new treaty the president admitted that on issues that divide the countries, there won't be a meeting of the minds anytime soon. one of those issues, the american plan to deploy a missile defense system near russia in eastern europe. russia's foreign minister warned today that such a system could jeopardize progress on arms control. the obama visi, it's our "lead focus" once again tonight. >> reporter: speaking to graduates of moscow's prestigious economic school, president obama outlined his vision for a new era of russian/america cooperation. >> america wants a strong, peaceful and prosperous russian. this belief is rooted in our
respect for the russian people and a shared history between our nations that goes beyond competition. >> reporter: in his speech, president obama said that the u.s. and russia have several areas of mutual interests. such as stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and combatting militants in central asia. >> we want to work with international partners including russia, to help afghans and pakistanis advance their own security and prosperity. neither america nor russia has an interest in an afghanistan or pakistan governed by the taliban. >> reporter: michael fletcher of the "washington post" is traveling with the president. >> reporter: both the u.s. and russia have been victimized by terrorism and they see it, kind of that border area between pakistan and afghanistan, as this kind of terrorist haven. and so they see some common ground there and there's some talk about expanded trade opportunities and also there's talk about energy and even health care. >> before his speech, president
obama met the russian prime minister, vladimir putin, in the day's most closely watched event. before departing for russia the president had said that he had, quote, one foot in the old ways of doing business. the reference to russia's communist past. after today's meeting both the president and putin put aside their differences. with putin complimenting obama. >> translator: with you, we -- >> translator: with you we take our hopes for the further relation between our two countries. >> meanwhile, the mood on the russian streets towards president obama's visit was subdued. public opinion polls show most russians remain suspicious of the united states and are skeptical of obama. television coverage of the visit was sporadic with most popular channels declining to televise his speech. >> you know, it's one interesting thing to see here. nothing excitement about obama that you get when he travels to other country.
parts of europe, people thronged the motorcade throughout but that partially sort of reflects the kind of russian, kind of, you know, i don't know. just sort of, not disinterest but sort of wariness of obama. >> tomorrow, president obama heads to italy, where he will attend the g-8 summit and meet with pope benedict xvi. now for more on today's developments, we are joined by a specialist on u.s./russian relations, angela stent. she is the director for the center of eurasian, russian and east european studies at geortown university school of foreign service and she joins us from washington. thanks very much for being with us. what's your sense of the president's visit to moscow accomplished and where american and russia relations now stand? >> well, it certainly pressed the reset button from the u.s. point of view. the atmospherics are so much better. framework agreements were signe. they agreed to establish a bilateral u.s./russian commission. in other words, they agreed to begin to try and develop the relationship anew into something more productive than it's been,
let's say, for the last five years. >> and yet despite all of the warm words there was also a warning today by the russian foreign minister against the planned u.s. missile shield in eastern europe. is this issue likely to turn to a big problem? >> the most contentious issue between the u.s. and russia is going to be russia's neighborhood, the post-soviet space. and i think this could be an issue. the russians do not want these missile defense components deployed in eastern europe. the united states has said, we're reviewing the issue, but we're not going to stand up and say that we're never going to deploy them. >> and then the president also met today with mikhail gorbachev and then the opposition leader of the former world champion of chess, garry kasparov. what was the point of those meetings? >> well, when u.s. presidents go to russia -- well, at least in the last 20 years -- they have always met with different parts of the political spectrum and that's why president obama meet with these, it's shrinking opposition in russia. and i think with president
gorbachev it's really a sign of respect and to show that we appreciate you know that the soviet union imploded peacefully. >> and now that this meeting is getting ready to wrap up and this visit ends, what do you think is next in this delicate and often pretty difficult relationship? >> well, i think the challenge is to create a group of stakeholders in this relationship. it's to push this binational commission that's just been reformed forward. and it's to get down to the hard work and there will be many challenges -- iran, russia's neighborhood and even afghanistan. so we will have to wait some time to see whether this pressing the reset button has really worked. >> and when it comes to, say, the issues of iran and afghanistan, which are of course vitally important to the u.s., do you think that russia and the u.s. see eye to eye on this, or are they pretending to get along here? how closely are they seeing this problem? >> on iran, i don't think that we see eye to eye. russia has very different commercial and political interest on iran than we do. the problem is from the u.s. point of view russia can make it
more difficult for us to achieve in iran and we need to prevent that from happening. in afghanistan there's more coincidences of views. neither of us want to see taliban come back to power and on the other hand russia doesn't like it that the u.s. has a base in central asia and so present in russia's backyard. >> angela stent, we appreciate it very much. thank you. >> glad to be here. in western china today, the government imposed a curfew on the capital city of xinjiang province because of continuing ethnic tension. after rioting killed more than 150 people two days ago. as you can see this provsince here in the central asian countries to which the muslim uighur population is ethnically tied. it also borders the
predominantly muslim countries of pakistan and afghanistan. the conflict is between the members of the uighur population and han chinese, the main chinese ethnic group, that has been resettled into the region over the years. we want to take you into that province tonight for the latest. melissa chan of al jazeera english is there. >> reporter: they don't know what's happened to all the men. the police just came, they tell us, and took them away during the night. part of the over thousand uighurs arrested by chinese authorities. we want them free. we want them free. we want them free. over and over again, they tell us, this is all they want. this woman shows us her husband's identification card. she has no idea where he is. its neighborhood clearly feeling the consequences of the rioting from sunday night. and suddenly the sadness took a more aggressive and violent
tone. this government organized trip for foreign journalists, suddenly gone terribly off message. armed policewith guns and electric cattle prods. soldiers with shields and sticks moving in to contain the chaos. >> go, go, go, go, go. >> reporter: these are complicated ethnic tensions. china's western-most province populated by these turkic uighurs, but it's han chinese who run the government. some uighurs are separatists but others are angry over what they feel as their second-class treatment in this country. so ethnic han chinese have every reason to fear. the weekend's riots and murders were aimed at the chinese. this man tells us, riot police should have fired and killed more protesters. they were violent,e says.
if the officers had used their weapons fewer ordinary citizens would have died. it is very clear some people were hellbent on destruction this weekend. we saw the remains of buildings and vehicles and we could still smell the burnt plastic and metal. there are few men i saw who started to throw rocks and stones just a while ago. but it looks like, for the moment, things are under control once again. you have police on this side and on the far side of the road more police and you have the uighurs caught in between in this neighborhood. for a moment it ended in a standoff, but one partisan symbolic scene. no one could miss this moment similarity to the lone tankman from the tiananmesquare massacre. one hobbling uighur woman against a phalanx of soldiers. melissa chan, al jazeera, western china. by the way if you want more
discussions on china, tune into our weekly radio show. it's our topic tonight. and you can listen in at worldfocus.org. in iran today, the country's top three reformist leaders called on iran to end the crackdown that followed the presidential election. they are the defeated candidates -- mir hossein mousavi and mehdi karoubi, as well as the former president mohammad khamenei. they deplored of what they call the savage and shock attacks against the protesters. and also called an end to the arrests and for the release of those detained without committing any crimes. and there is growing outrage over the murder of a pregnant muslim woman in germany. last week, thousands of mourners attended the funeral of marwa el-sherbini in her native egypt yesterday. angry over what happened in a german courtroom. it was in that courtroom that the young woman was stabbed 18 times by the same man who was convicted last year of defamation for calling her an islamic and a terrorist for wearing a headscarf.
the man was appealing that conviction, which is what brought them both to the courtroom in dresden. the trouble began when the muslim woman asked the german man to give up a swing for her young son. and then in london today, there was a memorial service for those who died in the terror attacks in that city's transit system four years ago. at the same time, a memorial was unveiled in london's hyde park. 52 steeled pillars, one for each of the victims. prince charles was among those who attended today's ceremony. a new parliament report warns that london's buses and subways remain extremely vulnerable to attacks by terrorists. and another memorial service, got a great deal of attention around the world today. we were struck by this -- live coverage of michael jackson's funeral by the arab sa channel, al arabiya. which is based in the united arab emirates. it could have easily been an american cable television complete with split screen coverage of the hearse carrying jackson. interviews with expert
commentators and then lots of interaction between the anchorman and correspondents here in the united states. it was a sign of jackson's popularity overseas. and also a sign of just how small our world has become. in washington today, secretary of state hillary clinton met with the deposed president of honduras, manuel zelaya. she announced that the president of costa rica will serve as a mediator in the honduran political crisis. she said that both zelaya and the man who replaced him roberto micheletti have agreed that mediation and called on all parties to refrain from further violence. the political instability is having a ripple effect on the economy of honduras, as we hear from this report from lucia newman from al jazeera english. >> reporter: in these hills that surround honduras' capital, people don't know much about economics. but they know enough to know
that the backlash from the overthrow of their president will not leave them untouched. >> translator: we're worried because this means more crisis for u even before we couldn't find work. people were being laid off. so imagine what will happen now. >> reporter: the consequences are beginning to hit home. >> translator: there is no political stability for foreign investment. there is no certainty about which government or regime is a legitimate one and that will further complicate our economic situation that was bad even before all this happened. >> reporter: there is no running water here and to get it would almost certainly depend on international development aid. honduras' deposed president, manuel zelaya, is now appealing to the international community. and particularly to the united states to increase pressure on the military-installed interim government, especially economic pressure. the interim authorities seem to believe that they can resist,
that they can hold out, but not the people who live in places like this. honduras depends heavily on loans from multinational financial institutions to keep the economy and the budget afloat. now, that's been cut. and millions of dollars in bilateral aid from europe and from the united states are also now off limits unless the deposed president is restored to power. as the crisis enters its second week there is growing unease among honduras' economic establishment. >> translator: the economic groups were happy about manuel zelaya's ouster but they're very unhappy and worried about lack of governability and the control that the current regime has. they see that the crisis is being prolonged and that there wasn't a quick-fix like they thought. >> reporter: clearly, the military-installed regime also miscalculated the repercussions of overthrowing an elected president but there is just so much economic pressure that the
international community can exert without punishing the people in this country who are the most vulnerable and who had nothing to say about the military coup. lucia newman, al jazeera, for more on the political situation on honduras and the u.s. role, we're joined once again by christopher sabatini. senior director of policy at the council of the americas here in new york. welcome back, chris. >> thanks. good to be back, marty. >> all right, let's talk about, what's the significance of secretary of state hillary clinton's meeting today with president zelaya? >> the first meeting with the deposed president zelaya with the high-level u.s. official. so significant in two levels. first of all, it is giving a certain amount of legitimacy to the fact that he was removed unconstutionally and that he is the rightful president of honduras. but second of all, it actually indicates that the united states is, again -- or washington, d.c., is again becoming the focal point.
this would have not happened, say, four, five, six years ago. that both parties and including the -- the fact of the representatives of the government are in washington, d.c. not with the government. but fact that the u.s. has to play a role that indicates that really it's a large and significant player in the region. >> do we have a lot of influence over this whole drama that's playing out? do we have a lot of input? >> we have a lot of input. first of all, we've always had very close relationships with honduras. 67% of honduran exports in 2007 went to the united states. and we have about $94 million worth of aid and assistance that goes to the honduran government and to the honduran people. in addition, honduras receives about $3 billion worth of remittances a year, which is 25% of their gdp. and that -- most of that comes from the united states. >> so, then, what is our role, if we had that influence? how should we play? >> well, here's what basically happened was the organization of american states, the multilateral organization for the americas, voted to condemn the coup d'etat that removed
zelaya. and the general secretary traveled to two weeks ago to try to broker some sort of compromise and the interim government, the de facto government, did not comply. right now, basically, because of the oes is a multilateral institutions it has a number of governments, namely, the government of venezuela of nicaragua, ecuador and bolivia. that don't necessarily want to see a compromise. whereas the u.s. in this case is seen as an honest broker andas seen as a country who actually has a fair amount of leverage with both sides of the government. >> so how do you see this playing out? how is it going to end? >> well, first of all, hillary clinton, has named oscar arias, the president of costa rica, the nobel peace prize laureate of 2007 to be the mediator. this is profound. and first of all, arias is respected across the spectrum left and right of what he had done in central america before. but i think what it indicates now is a process, a diplomatic
mission, where both sidings are going to try to come to some sort of compromise. honestly, without sounding too optimistic, it shouldn't sound that difficult. zelaya would have stepped down if not run for re-election in january 27th, elections in november. move the elections up and zelaya's already agreed that he will not try to run for re-election and you basically resolve the situation with another election and both sides agree to step down. >> do you think that this will be done in weeks? >> i think it could be done in weeks, yes. >> all right, christopher sabatini, we appreciate it, thank you. >> thank you very much. tonight, we continue this week's series, "a view of africa," braing on our partners. this evening we take you to johannesburg, south africa, where the problem of crime is often portrayed as one involving the poor attacking the wealthy
in reality, though, it's more like the poor who more frequently prey on each other and take justice into their own hands. we hear about that from barry burak from "the new york times." >> reporter: there's a sprawling settlement on the northern edge of johannesburg, south africa called diepsloot. crime is rampant but barely a policeman around. sometimes justice falls into the hands of violent mobs. >> translator: i am the one who arrested this guy. he robbed someone and he was hiding under the bed. >> reporter: i've spent several weeks visiting diepsloot. the community here pulses with . ♪ but the people live in fear of being robbed, beaten and even murdered. down this pathway a thief killed a man for $2 and his lunch pail.
two days earlier robbers killed a man and wounded 12 others in this tavern. the closest police station to diepsloot is ten miles away. response to a call for help can take hours and sometimes no one responds at all. the police have come to rely on community volunteers. >> they say to you, take charge. that's what they say. they give us things like this. this is from the department of safety. it's from the department of safety. >> reporter: the vigilantes are very powerful and that can be a problem. they arrest suspects, judge them and often punish them as they see fit. there are others who also deal with crime for a fee. they chain suspects down and beat them into confessing. >> give 14 to 15 and confess.
he or she will confess. >> reporter: south africa is notorious for violent crime. under apartheid the police acted as agents of state repression. today, they are still mistrusted. usually considered corrupt. the new president says citizens cannot be blamed for sometimes taking the law into their own hands. in many ways, most already do. wealthier communities are surrounded by security stations and high walls. armed, private guards patrol. the poor have no money for such defenses. they often feel helpless and angry. and even petty crimes can ignite mob justice. sometimes mobs make irredeemable mistakes. most here now believe that isaac was not involved in the robbery
in which the mob attacked him. when his mother found out, she rushed to where her son was lying on the ground. >> translator: to me he was very critical and i don't know whether he was dead or alive. >> reporter: isaac was rushed to the hospital and that's where he died. for "the new york times," this is barry burak. finally tonight, while many american families are packing off their kids for camp as summer gets into full swing, we thought we'd take you inside a camp that marches to a different beat. it's in israel, where an unusual program brings kids from differing backgrounds together and then unifies them with music. we heard about it from our partner, israel's medialine, reporter matthew cullman takes a look and a listen. ♪ >> reporter: young people at a music workshop in tel aviv, it's an unusual scene in this part of the world. palestinians and israelis,
christian, muslim and jew, these teenagers are writing a song, recording a music track and producing a video together. ♪ we must understand war is not the way ♪ ♪ hatred will go away ♪ everybody be responsibility for what you take ♪ >> reporter: the words on the wall where they've been experimenting with the lyric reveal how they feel about growing up in a conflict zone. ♪ we want peace >> reporter: the project is the brainchild of rob, founder of the point blank music production deejay in london. >> i believe the power of music is a tool for social regeneration. i believe that the arts can have a place and that we're just doing our mall bit. >> reporter: the instructor is mohammed nazin. at point blank. and founder of a multifaith band from london. >> he's been the music leader. he's been the one who's been orchestrating everything that
you see here, teaching them, and making sure that the music came together. >> reporter: every summer, the windows for peace group brings together young people from both sides of the israeli/palestinian divide. 15-year-old schoolgirls natalie and sumara from bethlehem have been attending the window's workshops for the past three years. >> i hope, able, at least influence a couple of people and to get them to know how we go through and how we deal with this situation here in palestinian in israel. and how the two countries communicate or how they live together. >> it changed my life. because before i went to windows, i was thinking that israel people are really bad and they think of us bad and they don't like us. so when i met the group, it was like shock for me. now i really change all of my thoughts about israel. and i'm really happy about it. >> reporter: the teenagers who made this video know it won't solve all of their problems but
for the moment, at least their song is louder than the drums of war. this is matthew cullman reporting from the medialine from tel aviv. and that is "worldfocus" for a tuesday evening. and a reminder you can always join us anytime on the web. that's worldfocus.org. i'm martin savidge. we thank you for joining us and hope to see you back here tomorrow night. until then, have a good night. "worldfocus" is made possible, in part, by the following funders -- "worldfocus" is made possible, in part, by the -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com