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tv   Worldfocus  WHUT  July 9, 2009 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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tonight on "worldfocus" -- >> day two of the g-8. in italy world leaders continue to grapple with two global problems. the economic downturn and climate change. can a consensus be reached on both? in the heart of somalia's lawless southern coast, a new law has come to town. strict muslim sharia law. the question is, is it really what local residents want? we wrap up our series a view from africa with a visit to what some say is the most corrupt country in east africa, kenya. critics say bribery is a cancer that impacts every level of life. and a cell phone scand from great britain the story of how one big news operation is in a lot of hot water over allegedly hacking into the voicemail of celebrity cell phones.
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good evening. i'm martin savidge. we're going to begin here tonight with that meeting of world leaders in italy -- the so-called g-8. for one thing, they agreed to put more pressure on iran to compromise on its nuclear program. they also condemned iran's crackdown on dissent, which, by the way, continued today. but the g-8 found themselves in sharp disagreement with leaders of some of the major developing countries who also attended that meeting. the issue -- climate change and how far to go in fighting it. the developing countries want more financial help from the g-8 to help them cut down on greenhouse emissions. and they want a plan that takes into account their need to grow, especially during this global recession. in tonight's lead focus, we go to italy, where climate change has been a top priority for president obama. president obama has been pushing hard in italy for an agreement
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on global warming, so much so, that today, he personally convened a meeting of 17 world leaders to tackle the problem. the countries they represent are responsible for about 80% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. afterwards, the president spoke with reporters, assuring them of america's commitment to battling climate change. >> i know that in the past, the united states has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities. so let me be clear, those days are over. one of my highest priorities as president is to drive a clean energy transformation of our economy. and over the past six months, the united states has taken steps towards this goal. >> the issue of climate change has been a contentious one at the g-8 summit. the major industrialized countries have reached an agreement among themselves to cut greenhouse gases, but a group of developing countries, the so-called g-5 nations, have balked. those countries are brazil, china, india, mexico, and south africa. >> each of our nations comes to the table with different needs,
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different priorities, different levels of development. and developing nations have real and understandable concerns about the role they will play in these efforts. they want to make sure that they do not have to sacrifice their aspirations for development and higher living standards. yet, with most of the growth in projected emissions coming from these countries, their active participation is a prerequisite for a solution. >> today the g-5 nations met the president halfway, agreeing on a general guideline to limit an increase in the world's temperature. still, they refused to adopt specific targets to reduce their emissions of carbon. the g-5 countries have been demanding western aid and access to new, clean burning technology in return for agreeing to cut those emissions. >> i am the first one to acknowledge that progress on this issue will not be easy. and i think that one of the things we're going to have to do is fight the temptation towards cynicism. to feel that the problem is so
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immense that now we cannot make significant strides. >> climate change wasn't today's only big issue. trade was also high on the agenda. the g-8 members are expected to resume stalled talks to liberalize trade. they fear that a recent spate of protectionist measures prompted by the global economic crisis will plunge the world deeper into recession. resistance to ambitious cuts in greenhouse gases isn't coming only from the leaders of developing countries. some companies in europe say the cuts will force them to raise their prices, which could make their exports less competitive. we get this angle of the story tonight from deutsche welle. >> reporter: greenhouse gases are no longer an issue only for environmentalists. germany's environmental minister is calling for industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gases by up to 95% by a the year 2050. that's a tall order for factory owners and industry leaders in germany, who say the costs will make try less
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competitive. they believe europe isn't the problem anyway. currently, the u.s. and china each account for about 20% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. germany emits about 3% but already reduced its co2 output more than required by the kyoto protocol. power plants and other industrialized countries in the eu will have to buy emission certificates to cover their complete co output starting in 2027. they claim t about 10 billion euros to total annual costs and that germany would lose business as a result. >> that was deutsche welle. for more on where the world stands on the issue of climate change and global warming, we're joined once again by michael novacek, provost of science at the american museum of natural history here in new york. good to have you back. >> nice to be here. >> let's take a step back. where do we stand? and are we making any real headway when it comes to this issue of global warming?
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>> well, i think there's a lot of effort being made. there's effort being made in going to alternative energy in many countries. there's efforts being made to curb our emissions. how much result that that has is another question. after all, we're already in the phase of global warming. the earth has -- the temperature has risen significantly in recent decades, so this is -- this is a big issue. and what the result will be we'll have to see. >> let's talk about what has transpired the past two days. the g-8 countries agreed yesterday to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by 80%. i believe by the year 2050. can we wait that long? >> that's an aggressive proposal, obviously, to reduce anything by 80%. sounds very significant. you're asking a good question, though. is that time line a little stretched out? a lot of proposals also include a certain goal by 2025, which to me sounds a little bit more important so we know where we are in a very short time. we've got to work on this
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problem and work on it quickly. >> and the other issue that came up is that there were a number of developing nations, i'm talking about china and i'm talking about india, that did not embrace this plan. so what are they balking at, and what are the implications because they do balk? >> it's a complex sort of problem. first of all, i should say that some developing nations seem to be on board. they have fairly aggressive plans like mexico or brazil or south africa. but when you include china and india, you've got -- you've got a more complex problem. >> they are massive countries. >> yeah, you have massive countries with big economies that are growing and don't want those economies, which are revitalized, don't want them to be restrained. there's also a claim after all the developing nations like the u.s. have a legacy of carbon emissions and pollutions so they're responsible for cleaning things up basically. and finally, china and india might argue, well, on a per capita basis, on a per person basis, we have and we will produce much less carbon emissions than a country like
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the u.s. >> but, quickly, 20 seconds or less, if they don't buy into this, what are the implications for the environment? >> this is a big problem, because now developing nations produce more carbon in the atmosphere than developed countries, at least recently. and by 2025, for instance, it's predicted that they'll be responsible for 85% of all carbon emissions. so that's a serious issue. >> michael novacek, thank you. >> great to be here. >> developing countries like china are exercising more and more power on the global political stage because of their increasing economic clout. "fortune" magazine takes note of this in an article in its current issue. that coincides with the release of its annual global 500 list of the world's largest companies. it quotes a u.s. government report on global trends as saying, "in terms of size, speed, and directional flow, the transfer of global wealth and economic power now under way -- roughly from west to east -- is without precedent in modern
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history." in 1998, just 6 chinese companies were on the fortune 500 global list, while 185 american companies were included. ten years later, 37 chinese companies made the list, while u.s. companies had decreased to 140. for more on the new "fortune" global 500 list, we're joined here by brian dumaine, "fortune's" global editor. he oversees the magazine's international coverage and its european and asian editions. welcome. >> thank you, martin. >> let's talk about china. first of all, do you think we overestimate china? after all, there's still many more american companies that are on this list. >> that's true. the united states still has 140 companies on the list, as you mentioned. and china's only 37. however, it's all about growth. the chinese economy is growing despite the recent economic crisis. projections say perhaps 6% or 7%
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this year. the united states is stalled. europe has stalled. even japan has stalled. so china looks like it's going to be -- >> it's the future. >> it's the potential, absolutely. >> what about japan? did we overlook japan somewhat? they are still second on the list. >> they are second with 68 companies on our list out of the 500. and they have very powerful corporations. i mean toyota is just one example. and they're a country to be reckoned with. but, again, it's a growth story. if you look at where the most growth is going on, it's not in the developed world, it's in the developing world. >> and getting back to china, i think there is this hope in the world that as china rebounds from this global economic downturn, that it will help draw the rest of the world's economies with it. do you buy into that? >> well, not completely. it will help somewhat, but china is becoming more inward focused. it's been an export-driven economy but their exports are down 25% because of the global
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crisis. the government is putting billions and billions of dollars into creating demand domestically. now, that's good for the china economy but it's not necessarily good for the rest of the world. >> there's been talk recently coming from china about pressing for perhaps a new currency that would replace the dollar when it comes to big international dealmaking. do you think that is a real threat here? >> well, because of our deficit spending, the chinese are concerned about the dollar and their investments in the dollar. and they would like to have some sort of alternative. but i really don't think that's going to happen for a long time. i think the dollar will remain the currency of choice, at least for the foreseeable future. >> because they own so much of our debt, wouldn't that undermine sort of their own investments? >> yes, they'd be hurting themselves if they took a dramatic shift away from the dollar. this is something that could happen gradually over time but i wouldn't expect anything soon. >> brian, thank you. >> it's been a pleasure.
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by the way, for more on the g-8 and the issues at this summit, you can read a commentary by "worldfocus" blogger nina hachigian at worldfocus.org/pivotalpower. the top communist leaders of china said today that maintaining order in western xinjiang province is the top priority. after days of ethnic rioting that left more than 150 people dead. to underscore the point, thousands of chinese troops marched through the provincial capital today in a show of force. while the violence has subsided, the animosity between the muslim uighur population and han chinese has not, as we hear from tom iggulden of abc in australia. >> reporter: china's paramilitary takeover is complete. troops have sealed off the muslim uighur area, but tempers
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in the city remain at boiling point. this uighur man was viciously beaten by a group of chinese. he was able to stagger to his feet and was led away by a policeman. the crowd also turned on the camera crew, angry by what they say is bias foreign coverage of the unrest. in this uighur district, locals claim han chinese mobs stormed the neighborhood and attacked them. they're protecting themselves with almost anything they can lay their hands on, including rocks and axes. >> translator: they came to kill people. i was wounded. they came to our neighborhood lookg for uighurs. they hit and chopped. >> reporter: at this han-owned car dealership, they are cleaning up after being firebombed. it's located in a uighur part of town and the manager is suspicious of his neighbors. >> translator: i can't believe there are bastards like this in our country. i can't describe my feelings.
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>> reporter: in the uighur neighborhood behind the dealership, life is also returning slowly to normal. this woman's son and two friends were arrested. >> translator: i don't know where my husband is. many people are missing here, and no one knows where they are. >> reporter: the future looks bleak for those convicted of murder during the riots. authorities have warned they'll be executed. with thousands of troops still on the streets here, both sides are talking peace for now, but when the soldiers return to the barracks, unless the chinese government can do something about the underlying tensions here, more violence seems to be only a question of time. >> that was tom iggulden reporting for australia's abc. >> in iran today, thousands of people defied authorities and staged anti-government demonstrations in at least two locations in the capital of tehran. this is how the protests were seen on iran's government-controlled television the demonstrators on the run. we know that about 700 people gathered in front of tehran
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university and chanted "death to the dictator." in another demonstration about 200 people gathered on a street, where police used tear gas to break them up. they were the first significant protests since security forces crushed massive demonstrations almost two weeks ago that followed the disputed presidential election. once again today, authorities cut mobile phone service to try to prevent pictures of the protests from getting out. this was the most violent day in iraq since u.s. forces pulled back from the countries' cities and towns early last week. at least 50 people were killed in attacks today in baghdad and in tal afar in northern iraq near mosul. this was the scene in a kurdish neighborhood in tal afar, where suicide bomber in a police uniform blew himself up at the home of a police investigator. as people gathered in the aftermath, another suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt. at least 38 people were killed and almost 70 injured in the two bombings there. and in baghdad, roadside bombs near an outdoor market in the sadr city area killed 13 people and injured dozens more. also in iraq today, u.s. forces released five iranian officials held for 2 1/2 years in northern
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iraq on suspicion of helping shiite militants. iraq's foreign minister said the release of the officials would help improve the dialogue between iran and the united states. and this was also a deadly day in afghanistan. on a main road in the central part of the country, militants detonated a truck bo, killing 21 civilians and 4 policemen. at least 13 of the dead were children from nearby schools. officials said the explosion was so powerful it sent debris from the truck flying for more than a mile. in southern afghanistan, the u.s. military said two american troops were reported killed yesterday in another roadside bomb. as we've seen, some of the militants in afghanistan and neighboring pakistan want to impose a strict interpretation of muslim law known as sharia law. and they are trying to do this as well in east africa, in largely lawless somalia. we hear about that tonight from zeina awad of al jazeera english. >> reporter: getting ready to
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fight what they consider to be the good fight, but for these militant islamists, they're off to a different kind of battle. they are in every neighborhood street by street to impose their version of a binding society. >> translator: these soldiers are here to enforce god's words. when he says we should join in good. we managed to put a stop to this belief and are now quoting people to do good, in which pay praying is the best of all good deeds. >> reporter: al jazeera was given an insight into a world where men are punished if they do not comply with a call to prayer. and women are forced to wear the veil, a dress that is historically alien to them. somalia has a strong tradition of meditation and rituals. but it's a tradition that's being threatened by the strict interpretation of religious law. >> translator: a lot of things
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have changed here. more people are praying and shops are closed during prayer times. >> reporter: but it's not all harsh measures. the administration is also using soft power to reach the people. it hosts public lectures for the residents, and it set up a radio station broadcasting religious programs. all as it consolidates its grip in the heart of somalia's lawless southern coast. zeina awad, al jazeera. we continue our coverage of the continent tonight with this week's series "a view from africa," and a big problem in neighboring kenya -- corruption. the country is called the most corrupt in east africa by transparency international, a group that monitors and tries to orruption around the world. it says 45% of kenyans pay bribes to gain access to the most basic public services. tonight, andrew simmons of al jazeera english takes us to a part of nairobi where corruption is a fact of life.
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>> reporter: this is life at its lowest. lucy's only source of income is this maze she's trying to sell. her husband was killed during the violence here in kenya's largest slum after the last election. her hopes now rest with her eldest song nelson. he's 17 and bright. but she says the only way of keeping him in school is to bribe to get a scholarship. so far she's living off favors, borrowing from friends and sometimes succeeding in persuading the school not to send him home. "i feel so bad," she says. "i don't even have enough money for the first bribe to obtain a scholarship application form." nelson wants to be an engineer. for that he needs a qualification. >> school is very important for me because it will make my future. my future life. i just want to complete my education. >> reporter: away from caberra, anywhere you travel by kenya,
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you can find corruption. from the slums, the law and order system itself to the corridors of power and you can see it every day on the roads, even parking your car. do i get a receipt? no? it's not official, is it? >> just for lunch. >> she's offering half price parking, trying to pocket $1 for herself. on realizing she's being filmed, she asks for the official price and offers a receipt. those who are supposed to impose the law often break it. imprisonment are common. sometimes the traffic charges are trumped up, other way, cash discreetly is a way out. kenya's chief mini buses used by millions are a big source of income for corrupt police. owners and drivers have to make allowances for how bribes will
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reduce their profit. >> you see there you can use about 2,000, 2,000 for the police. >> reporter: this man believes the reason corruption is endemic in kenya is the standards set by many in power. his watchdog group claims billions of dollars that should have gone into development have been stolen. >> basically we have a failure of the system of the rule of law. you have a police department that does not have any interest in punishing fraud and draft from within its ranks or within government. an anti-corruption commission that produces reports it cannot and will not take any further and has no prosecution powers. >> reporter: and kenya's anti-corruption commission admits that without more effective laws and support, it can't turn around public apathy about its very existence. back in caberra, lucy's mood goes beyond one of apathy. her family's future depends on
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keeping her son in school. selling maze won't be enough to pay the bribes. andrew simmons, al jazeera, nairobi, kenya. >> one more note from africa tonight, tens of thousands of construction workers building soccer stadiums and rail stations in south africa for next year's world cup have gone on strike. the workers are demanding a pay raise of more than 13%, while the companies are offering about 10%. many workers in south africa don't make very much. that country's minimum wage is about $200 a month. finally tonight, a scandal in britain. not exposed to the country's notorious tabloid press but all about one of those tabloid newspapers itself. the issue -- allegations that the paper, rupert murdoch's news
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of the world, hired private investigators to tap the phone calls of celebrities. it allegedly happened under the watch of an editor who's now a spokesman for the opposition conservative party -- the tories. we hear about it from andrew thomas of itn. >> reporter: was hacking into the private mobile phone messages of well-known figures endemic at "the news of the world"? and did the tories' top spin doctor know about it? in 2007 this, man, a former journalist of "the news of the world" was jailed for accessing the voicemail of employees of the prince of wales and using what he found as the basis for stories. the editor resigned, taking responsibility as the man at the top but denying all knowledge of illegal payments, saying just one journalist knew about them. one journalist knew about him. his paper and its owner said the same. but was illegal hacking into messages widespread practice? "the guardian" today said
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gwyneth paltrow, jay goody, john prescott were among its many, many victims and "the news of the world" paid off victims to prevent the extent of the hacking and those who knew about it becoming public knowledge. many now have questions to answer -- why didn't the m.e.t. police prosecute more widely? >> you have a very, very worrying picture here and an unanswered question about why did police inquiries start and then appears to stop short of its goal? >> reporter: did more people at "the news of the world" know about the scam? if so, what does it mean for the paper? if "the guardian" is right and thousands of people have their privacy attacked for no good reason by "the news of the world" and "the sun," then you can get what you call in america a class action lawsuit where they all get together and they have a massive lawsuit against the newspaper company. >> reporter: but a lot of the fallout this morning has been political. the key in david cameron's inner circle is a man now alleged to oversee not just an individual
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bad egg but a newsroom culture of obtaining information illegally. >> it's extraordinary that the leader of the opposition, who wants to be a prime minister, employes caution and at best was responsible for a newspaper that was out of control and at worse was personally implicated in criminal activity. >> as the director of communications, he does an excellent job for the conservative party and behaves properly and in an upright way in everything he does. thanks very much. >> reporter: tabloid newspapers are famous for pursuing people, hounding them, some say, until they resign. now the boot's on the other foot. >> andrew thomas of itn. and that's "worldfocus" for this thursday evening. a reminder that you can also catch us on the web and find much more global news at worldfocus.org. i'm martin savidge in new york. as always, thank you very much for joining us. we hope to see you back here again tomorrow and any time on the web.
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until then, have a good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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