tv BBC World News WHUT April 14, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT
>> union bank offers unique insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> this is "g.m.t." on bbc world news. at least 400 reported dead after an earthquake hits western china. information on the scale of the damage is still emerging. 80% of buildings at the epicenter may have collapsed. a country on the brink of civil war, the interim leader of kyrgyzstan says ousted president bakiyev must stand trial for spilling blood.
where is nigeria's president? the acting president tells the bbc he's not spoken to umaru yar'adua for months. >> suspects his return to nigeria almost two months ago, have you seen him? >> no, i have not. >> have you spoken with him? >> no. >> and the man who would be egypt's president, the former head of the u.n.'s nuclear watch dog says he wants the country's top job. >> hell sexow welcome to "g.m.t.." at least 400 people are thought to have been killed in an earthquake that struck inside its remote western province of thing hey. officials near the epicenter
say most of the buildings there have collapsed. reports are still coming in. with the latest that we have, here are s our report. >> the extent of the damage is now becoming clear. one witness to the earthquake says it was terrible, houses went down in a flash. many people are still buried beneath this rubble. in the town close to the epicenter, over 80% of the houses are reported to have collapsed. hospitals, temples, and schools have all been damaged or destroyed. >> we are hearing that children are among the dead. there have been some schools which collapsed. we don't know the exact number of children yet, so children are among the dead. the temperatures at night would be freezing, so the greatest need would be for shelter and warm clothes.
>> the first images from the earthquake zone revealed a desperate rescue effort. soldiers, emergency workers, and local residents trying to free people using only shovels and their bare hands. help is now on its way, but the needs are vast and the lodge stex difficult. the earthquake hit a remote area, damaged roads and apparently made it difficult to get in supplies. and the rescue effort there has been hampered by a series of aftershocks, as well as a lack of power and phone lines. we're taking with us rescue equipment and communication equipment, this firefighter says. with at least 10,000 people injured, local officials say they also badly need doctors, nurses, and medicine in a race to save those who survived.
>> joining me now from beijing is our correspondent, michael bristow. and michael, caroline making it it very clear how difficult it is to get information from the region. what's the latest you've got? >> well, the casualty figure hasn't risen for the past couple of hours. it's still 400 people who are confirmed as being dead and more than 10,000 who are injured. the report from the scene makes it clear that there's still many, many people trapped under the rubble. one school seems to have collapsed, collapsed, and people are trapped under a hotel, and so the actual casualty figures are a little bit unclear at the moment. just at the moment, they're managing to arrive there. the fire brigade seems strong. the capital of qinghai is where the earthquake happened, just arrived to check buildings, to see if people are still alive.
there are other scenes from across china that have been flown into the earthquake area as we speak, and they'll be arriving over the coming hours. >> as was the case back in 2008, i think it was, michael, with a huge earthquake there, this will be seen as a test for the government and how well it responds. >> it will indeed. in fact, just a few minutes ago, china's president and the prime minister issued a joint statement calling for all efforts to make sure everything possible was done in order to save the people who are still trapped beneath the rubble, and already it looks as though china's rescue operation is moving in throughout this afternoon, several hours, just a few hours after the earthquake happened. we saw tv pictures of rescue workers boarding planes in cities across china. they were loading equipment, other equipment that they would need in the rescue effort. they're on their way to the
scene of the earthquake. so it does appear that china moves quite quickly in order to get as many rescuers to the epicenter of this earthquake as soon as possible. >> all right, michael, thank you very much. now with news of the continuing struggle to control kyrgyzstan and the rest of the day's main headlines, it's over to lucy hockings. >> george, thank you. the interim leader of kyrgyzstan has said ousted president kurmanbek bakiyev should stand trial over the recent deadly political unrest. roza otunbayeva says bakiyev had blood on his hands and had missed his chance to leave the country. mr. bakiyev fled to the southern strong hold jalalabad amid violence protests, which led to more than 80 deaths. let's get an update from jalalabad in the south of the country. we can talk to our correspondent there. is this s mr. bakiyev prepared to resign? >> yes, he is, and he said that clearly. but to the -- the latest is we
just had confirmation tw from two human rights activists who met president bakiyev earlier today. these human rights activists are carrying out an independent investigation of events of the seventh of april here in kyrgyzstan, and they said that mr. bakiyev has told them that he is ready to stand a fair trial provided he won't get lynched. he mentioned the case of the country's interior minister who was badly, badly beaten by the crowd of protesters last week. so he said that he will be ready to stand trial. he also said that he is willing to sign necessary papers which will give the lent meals to the new opposition government. but he also warned that if attempts are maids to cease him by force, then there will be more blood shed. >> rayhan, thanks for the update. more than 65 people have been killed, hundreds of others have
been injured when a cyclone struck northeast india. strong winds destroyed thousands of homes and uprooted trees in west bangor. the area is about 500 kilometers northeast of the state capital, calcutta. there's a heavy police presence outside a court in south africa, where proceedings have begun over the murder of the white supremacist. two farm workers have been charged with his killing. one of them is 15 years old, and the court is deciding whether he can stand trial. the murder of him has been linked to a dispute over pay. police in australia have arrested the captain and chief officer of a chinese ship which ran aground on the great barrier reef earlier this month. two men are due to appear in court on thursday charged with causing damage to the marine sanctuary. hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in southwest iceland over fears of a volcanic eruption. several,have been registered in
the area. human plumes of steam have been seen rising there. it's likely the eruption is taking place under the ice sheet and could lead to disruptions and floods. the area has become geologically very active recently with another eruption just last month. >> the latest news is that we have confirmation that the eruption is taking place at the highest point in the glacier, which means that there will probably be quite a lot of water coming down, and we already have seen about 1.5-meter rise in the water level in the past couple of hours in the nearby river. >> does that mean there's a real concern of flooding? >> there is a real concern of flooding in an area which less than a 1,000 people live, i believe. most of them have been have been waited, so there's no immediate danger, but is t is quite likely that a flood will take place in some form. >> the waters and the people who've been evacuated?
>> they've been taken mostly in by family, but also there's an emergency center where people can go if they don't have anywhere else to go, and i believe there would be about 400 people there right now. >> thailand's anti-government proceed tests say they're ready for the final round in their fight to overthrow the government. the so-called red shirts are seeking an immediate election and says they'll concentrate their demonstrations on just one fight, an affluent shopping district in bangkok. the decision comes after the country's deadliest civil violence in almost two decades. toyota is in the spotlight again. the japanese carmaker has halted sales of its lexus gx 460 in the united states. the report came after the consumer reports gave the vehicle a rare don't buy safety risk rating. it says the lexus may be prone to rollover. it was determined to identify and correct the issue. back to you, george. >> lucy, thank you.
the mystery of the disappearing president deepens. in an interview with the bbc, nigeria's acting leader, goodluck jonathan, has said he hasn't heard from or met the country's ailing president since being disappointed to oversee the government way back in february. plagued with ill health, president umaru yar'adua has not been seen in public since last november. >> it was on his first trip to washington as nigeria's acting head of state that goodluck jonathan revealed he's had no direct contact with president yar'adua. nobody knows his exact state of health, but speaking to the bbc's service, goodluck jonathan says he hasn't seen or spoken to the president for months. >> not have any discussions. >> since his return almost two months ago, have you even him? >> no, i have not.
>> have you spoken with him? >> no. >> goodluck jonathan has been using his visit to tell the world he's committed to democracy as presidential elections loom next year. the last poll in 2007 was criticized by international observers. this time goodluck jonathan says the way votes are counted will change, making the process less open to fraud. >> incredible leaders, who will lead you? and that is one of the reasons why we promise the election from now onward. >> one of the issues that people argue is that with the current leadership of the independent electoral commission, the election may not be done as well as you would perhaps and the
international community would like it. >> i agree with you that the president cannot conduct an unfair election, but they're going to resume this more so than others by the end of june. >> nigeria's political uncertainty has been the back drop to clashes in the very heart of the country. hundreds have died in and around jos, which lies between the country's mainly muslim north and its predominantly christian south. but for goodluck jonathan, religion has little to do with it. some of them are not part, muslim, so if anything is set,
effective, and if muslim now touch this, it gives the very wrong -- >> for the acting president, calming ethnic tensions, tackling corruption, and ensuring fair elections are tasks whose vast size is matched only by the country himself. stephanie holmes, bbc news. >> this is g.m.t. coming up -- helping kenyons to help themselves, but is microfinance really the great hope for the world's poor it was thought to be? >> america's first lady, michelle obama, has made a surprise visit to the ruins of the haitian capital, port-au-prince. a high-profile reminder to the
world that hundreds of thousands of people remain in a desperate situation. the trip is part of mrs. obama's first solo tour abroad, and it's been very well received. our correspondent reports from port-au-prince. >> from her circling helicopter, michelle obama saw one of the many camps at port-au-prince which people have been forced to live in since the i think. this was the start of mrs. obama's first solo overseas trip. he and the american vice president's wife, jill biden, are there to underlie the commitment to help the country recover. >> i think it was important for jill and i to come now, because we're at the point where the relief efforts are underway, but the attention of the world starts to wane a bit. >> to make this center, they sang a welcoming song for america's first lady and also hold her hand. >> she obliged with gusto,
pleading with the crowd who have their lives turned upside down by the earthquake. >> in this converted school bus, mrs. obama sat and painted with the children. haitians are hoping michelle obama's visit will help focus the world's attention on their plight and help in the effort to rebuild their country. haitians have welcomed mrs. obama's visit as a gesture of solidarity, but as the rainy season begins and thousands must move from the camps or risk mudslides, what people long for is a stable home. after a day discussing the challenges facing haiti, michelle obama went on to mexico, where the recent drug violence at the u.s.-mexican border is bound to be raised. a the main headlines -- a
powerful earthquake in western china has killed at least 400 people. more than 80% of buildings have collapsed in the town nearest the quake's epicenter. the interim leader of kyrgyzstan says the ousted president bakiyev must stand trial for spilling blood. the former president says he will submit to trial as long as safety is assured. people have started moving in to a new housing development in kenya, nothing unusual there, but this one is a little different. it's organized and financed entirely using microcredit. the credit behind it wants to offer some of the poorest people in one of africa's worst plants a chance for a better life, but the project is not without its critics. >> this is a castle.
>> compared to the tin shack they used to live in, and jane bought it with microcredit. she escaped prostitution with the help of a lone to buy her first sewing machine. now she stitches together some 40 dresses a month to keep her kids clothed and fed and in school and under a decent roof. >> this story is as much about capital as it is about jane. the town, and not just jane's home, is built entirely on microcredit. 130 families now live out here, and it will eventually house 2,000, and the organization behind it is a good family in
swahili. >> our mission has been to try to rehabilitate the very poor members to come out of south africa. and that is why this is to us. >> this is a noble experiment in social engineering, but neighboring communities argue that there's no industry here and no job, but more than two hours from nairobi on a good day too far to commute, an experiment that critics say simply can't work. >> when she can, deep in the slum to sell dresses, she's got no regrets but admits it's not easy making a living from so far away, and that's why this is so doyle leave. in so many ways, it's a
complete antithesis of this place. in fact, it was intended that way. it's disorganized, it's dirty, it's crowd, it's insecure. but there's still a reason why people keep coming here, and that's because they can make money. >> everywhere you look, there's some sort of business. it might give some a chance to escape. >> joining me from washington is the head of a consulting group, microfinance group based within the world bank. thank you for joining us. one example there of how microfinance can work, your group looked at the whole sector worldwide. what's your judgment about this? >> as you know, it's become very popular, and really, the key thing about microphone is to understand its true value proposition, and that is that
recognizing that poor people have very active financial lives. they need credit, savings, insurance, payment services, and access to those services help them smooth their consumption and really, i think, the important thing about microfinance is being clear about where the impact can be found and humble where the impact may be a bit more limited. >> he's quoted as saying the big boys are kind of moving into microfinance, and he called them the new loan sharks. i mean, prep sightly the thing that he was trying to get away from. >> greater scrutiny is welcome. but again, i think we need to remember the fact of the majority of microfinance
fibers. we're seeing clients continue to come. we're seeing providers expand services beyond credit to savings, to insurance, so we're now -- >> forgive me, but i gather the average around the world actually is near a 30% n. mexico, the average is 70%. the highest interest rates anywhere in the world is 125%. and they're looking to curtail. >> zpwths we look at every day, this costs more than big loans because the transaction costs are simply higher. it is more expensive to make 10 loans of $50 than it is to make one loan of $1,000. this said, the industry as a whole is fighting hard to ensure that providers becoming as efficient as possible through the use of technology, for example, so that we can reduce those costs to continue to make small credit affordable
over time. >> all right. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> the man emerging as the main challenger to president mubarak in next year's elections in egypt has told the bbc his priority is moving the country to more democracy. the former head of the nuke ar watch dog is warning that this will become a dead-end street without proper accountability. here's our middle east editor. >> here's an egyptian politician who served four years in prison after he stood in the last presidential election. the policeman warns that the gathering itself are illegal. this is opposition politics cairo-style. the chants are now old enough for many people to leave rumors that he hasn't survived an operation. to prove that he had, egyptian
tv showed the president, almost 82 years old, chatting to his doctors. he's been in power since 1981, and even his supporters accept that change is coming. >> anyone income power for so long creates around him those whom become more comfortable. and it is important for the people to see change. that's human nature. >> it's widely believed here that president mubarak wants his son to ccede him. but the return home of mohammed al baradei might change that. as head of the nuclear watch dog, he challenged the juskedses for the u.s.-led en vacation of iraq. his fans want him to run for president and the idea isn't going away. in his job, the notice belle peace prize winner explained they need constitutional reform first. he said he'd rather boycott next year's election than take part in a crooked one. he's being pushed by an
internet campaign he says is panicking the regime. >> my priority is to get people to move finally into democracy, who is going to be the president. does it even matter at the end of the day if you have a system biopsied on an institution? the person is not maybe the most important. >> why is change necessary in egypt? >> what's happening is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. 42% of the people live under a dollar a day. that is shameful. >> in the poorer districts, the government is more worried about the muslim brotherhood, the biggest organized opposition group. but now there's a new face and a new factor at work in egypt's politics. in recent years, it hasn't punched its weight, and the president mubarak's suck or, that may change, which at the very least will mean
uncertainty for egypt and its allies, including israel, who have come to rely on mr. mubarak to keep this place quiet. >> a reminder of our top story, chinese state television says at least 400 people have died and 10,000 others have been injured in a strong earthquake in the mountainous province of qinghai. stay with bbc world news. >> 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.
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