tv BBC World News WHUT April 30, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> this is gmt on "bbc world news." the huge pool of mexico oil spill at its the coastline and louisiana. hundreds of species are under threat. what now for president obama's offshore drilling program? more bad economic news and southern europe. one and five spaniards are out of work. with one week to go, and who will walk away with it? >> i'm in shanghai with the opening of the expo. join me to discover why been here is important for doing business in china -- being here is important for doing business in china. >> hello and welcome to gmt.
oil washing ashore along the coast of louisiana as fears grow that america is facing the worst environmental disaster in decades. oil is leaking from an underwater well that was damaged last week. president obama has pledged every available resource to help. >> louisiana wait for the inevitable. one of america's most sensitive nationanatural habitats, and the pollution stretching over thousands of square miles. more than one week after the disaster, and this is how it looks now, moving slowly to involve the shoreline. it seems that nothing can stop the it. -- stop it. >> the effort said will be
required are just mindboggling. >> makeshift booms are being rolled out in an attempt to put up barriers. how effective they will be, no one knows. the military has been called in. a state of emergency has been declared. attempts to burn off some of the oil has not stopped the advance. this was the oil rig last week shortly before it sank, killing 11 oil workers. the explosion ripped away a pipeline, leading to an oil well 5,000 feet beneath the surface. it is now sprouting leaks, spilling out 5,000 barrels per day, the most advanced science cannot stop. >> the interventions, which are still under way. >> we could see 5,000 barrels per day for the next 90 days? >> it could be 90 days before
the relief valve is put in. >> possibly three months of high pollution with unimaginable devastation and economic damage. already, an emergency shrimping season has begun to get in the catch before it is poisoned by oil. >> i have cancelled three fishing trips because of this already. it reaches so far. >> america is bracing itself for the days ahead. >> let's get the very latest on the disaster from our environmental analyst, roger. >> they're facing very difficult conditions. in the north sea in the u.k., we have been used in drilling in shallow waters. we know how to cope with this sort of accident. we're looking here at 1 mile down. some say this is like working on the surface of the moon because we know so little about how to deal with it.
everything has to be done by robots down there. it is very difficult. bp is trying to cap it off. there are also hoping to drill in diagonally to relieve the pressure. there will come a point where the natural pressure releases, so the oil flow does begin to slow down a bit, but we do not know when that will be. >> is such a delicate ecosystem. do we know how much damage has been done? >> oil is a naturally occurring substance. people forget this. the ecosystem has been adapted with microbes that eat the oil. if the wind continues to blow it off shore, they will get off lightly. the problem will be if the oil flows onto the land, where the
ecosystem is very rich, and with very diverse wildlife. that's where they will hit massive problems. >> what will it mean for president obama's plans on offshore drilling? >> we have a uncertainty technologically, ecologically, and massive uncertainty politically. he has included offshore drilling as part of his package to tempt republicans to agree to his energy and climate package. if this goes badly wrong, it's impossible to say whether he will have to take it out, or perhaps even some democrats who have electreluctantly supported- will withdraw their support. >> thank you. we did approach bp. they were not able to talk to us. they did offer a statement. they said they're mobilizing the full resources to stem the flow of oil into the water, to contain the spill offshore, and to protect the gulf coast.
"we are determined to fight this bill on all fronts," says bp. that is the statement we received. >> thank you. new figures from spain show unemployment has risen further. one in five people there are not to work. spain already has the highest jobless rate in europe. this will add to the troubles of the government. madrid is still reeling from the downgrade of the country's credit rating on wednesday because of spain's huge deficit. parliament is devoting today's session in parliament wilportugh its economic problems. >> in the chamber of the parliament and portugal, a discussion about austerity measures. some politicians are resisting
more spending cuts. it is not just the public gallery following the events here. the global markets want to see portugal's finances under control. public sector workers are already rebelling against the free spirit in lisbon, commuters have to squeeze onto coaches this week when train drivers went on strike. the government knows its reforms are deeply unpopular. it also knows that it has to prove to the market that is committed to cutting the budget deficit. that is why an emergency debate has been called for parliament on friday to discuss precisely how it will go about that. the government has already brought forward several reforms, like a higher tax bracket, and a new cap on unemployment benefits. the finance minister now says tougher measures are possible. some believe a greek style bailout could still be on the cards. >> i think there's a chance. i think the markets are all betting on that chance. you pretty much have to wait.
>> i think we are working up to the real problem. the government worked up to the problem five days ago. i hope that as soon enough to solve the problem. >> it is really a problem of credibility. the government needs to show it is in control here. right or wrong, right now, the markets do not believe that. >> a man in china who has killed himself after attacking children at a school in eastern china -- he set himself on fire after grabbing two children. children and were saved by their teacher. they're now in a stable condition. this is the fourth attack in a month on schools in china. belgium is moving towards becoming the first european country to ban islamic full faith fails. the current political crisis in
belgium macy parliament dissolved before the senate can confirm that bill. two legal challenges have been mounted against a new emigration law by arizona and. it argues that the measure will lead to racial discrimination against hispanics. it requires local police to question anyone they suspect being in the united states illegally. 35 years after the fall of saigon, vietnam has marked the anniversary. on this day in 1975, the tanks for communist north vietnam smashed through the gates of the palace. millions of people died in the conflict. >> 50,000 people are joining this liberation. many of the veterans have tears
on their faces as they watched the dramatic re-enactment in saigon. of course, lots of people have lost their family in war. the war is still very much in the memory of the people here. the liberation today is a reminder of the atrocity of the war, and the people of vietnam really want to develop their country. >> back to you. >> thank you three. three main contenders to be britain's prime minister have clashed in their debate. the huge budget deficit was at the heart of the exchanges. also, immigration and political reforms. let's talk to our correspondent. there was a fiery debate, but there did not seem to be a
knockout blow last night. what do the polls say? was there a winner? >> there was not. the only memorable line was david cameron talking to gordon brown, saying he was just speaking desperate words from a desperate man. that is as near as we got to catch phrase. polls seemed to show up favorably for david cameron. most of them said he came out on top last night. for gordon brown, on the other hand, it seems to be agreed that he did not knock out any blows on his opponent. we will have to see over the weekend whether it translates into the formal polls. >> tony blair is joining the campaign trail. how hopeful the using that will be, when there's so much anger about the war in iraq -- how hopeful do you think that will be? >> this is a sign that labor is
getting desperate now. they're pulling out all the stops. that includes tony blair. tony blair is 8 gifted speaker. there's no doubt about that. -- tony blair is a gifted speaker. there's no doubt about that. he still brings with him a lot of baggage about the war in iraq, of course, and also about his lifestyle since he left government. many people feel a former prime minister should not be making big bucks abroad for things like consulting banks and private engagements. he is not a popular figure he used to become even though he can still deliver a good speech. >> thank you for joining us from birmingham. a statistician joins us. he joins me now from new york. how closely is everybody in the states following the selection and last night's debate? >> people in the united states do not pay as much attention as
they should. it is a fascinating story that has implications for american politics as well. i have been watching the debate. a lot of people who read my website have been as well. we do not get a three-way election very often. >> what did you think about the debate? >> i think mr. cameron did well. he was a very fair on the substance. he was in first place and all the polls. he played a bit safe. conservatives should have a good night on thursday. we do not know how good it will be forced labor. >> what are you predicting in terms of labor? >> i think the downside for them is a lot further down and people might realize. they go from 40% of the vote to maybe 25% of the vote, they will lose hundreds of seats. they may be down to less u.s. as few as 125.
they're in second place now. the danger for gordon brown is that people start to drift from labor to lib-dem. they have to do something. it could get pretty ugly for them. >> you do see a scenario where clegg could be the leader of the second-biggest country? >> they will probably be laboring in what they call the popular vote. some of the polls last night showed that although cameron -- clegg did the best among undecided. that is often where -- the people who are less to decidewo.
for that reason, it is possible. >> what is your experience when it comes to the polling day itself? do you think people change their minds? >> i think so. the polls in the state and also in the u.k. are pretty far off. there are people make up their minds of the last minute. especially when you have a three-way race where you have to make tactical decisions. i think the more candidates you have, it makes it a lot more complex. you could see a lot of different scenarios played out instead. >> it will be interesting. thank you for joining us from new york. >> thank you. >> coming up, shanghai gears up
to open the world expo. will be live in china's financial capital. we will do whatever it takes to save the country. those are the words of the greek prime minister as his government continues to draw up a tough austerity measures. it could include a three-year public sector pay freeze. it is said to be part of a rescue deal being negotiated between the greek government, the european commission, and the international monetary fund. public anger has once again boiled onto the streets. with the latest from athens, here is not somalcolm. >> it was warmly a small demonstration, but it was seething with anger -- it was only a small demonstration, but it was seething with anger. rise up, people is what they
chanted. rumors swept athens and that further austerity measures are inevitable. it has been reported that greece has been ordered to save at least 20 billion euros over the next two years. trade unions fear that several jobs will be cut, pensions reduced, which cuts extended to the private sector, and that consumer taxes will be increased yet again. the worry for the government is that these clashes are a sign of what is to come. it has been reluctant to carry out deep cuts for fear of provoking social unrest. resistance to the measures is likely to swell the numbers of demonstrators who will be out on the streets. the government is refusing to reveal what it has agreed to do in order to secure the rescue package.
it is determined to do whatever is necessary, so it does not default on its massive debt. >> this is gmt on "bbc world news." fears of an environmental catastrophe, a huge oil slick in the gulf of mexico reaches shore. southern europe reels from more bad economic news. one in five spaniards are now out of four. -- of work. in less than one hour, the world expo in shanghai will be opened. 189 countries will showcase culture and technology over six months, attracting over 70 million viewers. we join my colleague who is there now.
>> this guy has already laid up a little bit in preparation -- the sky has already lit up a little bit in preparation for the expos. the overall cost is estimated between $50 billion to $90 billion. also, new infrastructure for shanghai, things like new roads and metro lines. governments around the world have been playing their own power by funding their pavilions. those to not come cheap either. international participation in this event is high, although, some countries did have to scale back their original plans. would the opening ceremony coming up shortly, as you can imagine, security is tight across the city. our shanghai corresponding explains how the authorities are taking no chances. >> expo traffic police are
practicing for the big event. the city is expecting millions of visitors over the next six months. their job is to make sure it does not grind to a halt. outside, another drill. this is a drill for a terrorist attack. it will not say who or what they fear, but they want to send a message. this is all designed to show that china is ready to deal with any kind of threat to the world expo. this event is vitally important to china and nothing will be allowed to disrupt it. huge sums have been spent on training and security. senior officers say they have to take every precaution. >> [speaking for language] >> we expect 70 million visitors from all over the world. we have to make sure it is
absolutely safe. we are under a tremendous amount of pressure, but we are confident that we can do our jobs well. >> helping to relieve some of the pressure on the police, they sort out visitors problems. the operators speaks 17 languages. already, the expo is keeping them busy. >> sometimes they are lost in the middle of the street and they do not know which direction to go. they're pretty nervous. we tell them to calm down and we help them. >> reinforcements have been brought in to support shanghai's force. the city is proud to be hosting such an event, but it is aware of the risks, and is doing all it can to reduce them. >> it's been fascinating to walk around the expo and see how countries want to present themselves to the visitors, who
will overwhelmingly be chinese. the saudis have the world's biggest imax 3d screen. the u.k. has gone for a subtle pavilion, but something a little bit urban and edgy. i had a look inside with the designer. >> thomas, what were you trying to make people think when they see this? >> the expo is about the future of the cities. because london is the greenest city of its size in the world, they have been collecting 25% of the world's plant species. this is something we have never seen in the u.k. this has never been seen in china. nobody has seen this sort of project. this is a seed cathedral.
at the very end of each one, there's a trapped seed, like the amber in "jurassic park" that had the dna of a dinosaur, but we have 60,000 seeds. when you're inside, you experienced the daylight that gets trapped. >> can we have a look inside? >> yes, sure. >> this is remarkable. these are the inside ends. >> you can see the seeds trapped. there are these very slight differences in color and a slightly different colors of the seeds affect that. it has turned into a stained- glass somehow, but would 60,000 tiny pieces.
we did not know exactly how that would come out, but we wanted this very calm, reflective space. >> in some cases, there are more than 60,000 seeds. these each have more than one. >> we wanted you to be able to have a good look. sometimes they are so tiny. some of them are really beautiful as well. there are incredible blue ones in a very astonishing forms. it has been great to have a chance to show what no one has seen before. >> you would be heartbroken to see all of this dismantle after all of your hardware. >> we designed the pavilion to be here for six months. i've had my expectation is managed from the beginning. -- have had all my expectations managed from the beginning. i hope that it will live on. i hope that a few people in 10
years or 20 years will remember the expo and remember this seed cathedral, and maybe this triggers something. >> a quick mention of the u.s. pavilion, which had a rather difficult history. it needed to raise $60 million entirely from private sources. it was tricky in the current financial climate, but they got there and the pavilion is up and running. before i go, i want to make a special mention of what new zealand has done here. they import a huge jade boulder from new zealand. it is the centerpiece of the pavilion. it is going down very well with the chinese. >> thank you for joining us. the massive oil slick in the gulf of mexico -- the first oil has started to make landfall. that is it for this edition of gmt on "bbc world news." do stay with us on "bbc world
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