tv BBC World News WHUT December 16, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EST
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>> and now "bbc world news." >> the plans to start withdrawing american troops from afghanistan next year is on track, the latest word from president obama. u.s. forces apparently making headway against the taliban but things are for agile -- fragile and precarious. bamut in some places, it was reversed. >> welcome to "gmt." i'm jonathan charles with a world of news and opinion. also on the program, wikileaks founder julian assange fights for bail in a london court. no more hope of survivors, boat
tragedy of australia raises fresh questions about the risk asylum seekers are prepared to take. it is midday in london, for 30 p.m. in kabul and 7:00 a.m. in washington where president obama will attempt a hard sell today trying to persuade americans a strategy in afghanistan and pakistan is on track. he is unveiling a review of military and civilian operations in the region. it says a responsible withdrawal of troops should be able to begin in july of next year. but in its that gains against the taliban are fragile and precarious. clinton somerville is in the afghan capital for us. >> president obama all the recalled president hamid karzai to give him a heads up on the review. has been agreement that military progress has been made fighting insurgents and taliban but this review will give more than just the military campaign here in afghanistan.
now more american troops fighting in afghanistan and ever before. but our day and all the firepower making a difference? the president's review will say, yes, progress is being made fighting the taliban in the south of the country. 30,000 extra american troops -- giving president karzai's government because for hope. >> a year ago time was an enemy and the overwhelming consensus among the talking heads was that afghanistan was doomed. that conclusion has proven false. time has not yet become a friend. but momentum of the opposition has been clearly arrested, and in some cases, reversed.
>> president obama once combat troops out by the end of 2014 with a draw down starting next summer. that will depend on the readiness of afghan forces to protect the afghan people. here in kabul there has been a marked improvement in security and it is afghan forces in charge. something like a quarter of a million afghan police and soldiers throughout the country. president obama's review is likely to highlight the successes but at the same time acknowledge that when it comes to the biggest battles with the taliban, american forces will have to do most of the fighting. to tackle corruption is -- hear his government has fallen far short of american expectations. it is also a worry for afghans. >> too incompetence, and corruption is widespread and more than anything else, when you don't have a sense of
direction, when you don't have a clear vision where the people of the country, which is the main asset, the main strength of the nation or the state, can associate with, that leads to weaknesses. >> from the afghan perspective, progress seems far less certain. casualties are at a record high and there is a growing impatience with the war in the presence of foreign troops. like president obama, people here would like to see american forces go home sooner rather than later. >> jonathan, one of the thing afghans would like to see from this review is a recognition from the united states of the role pakistan is playing fuelling the insurgency, encouraging the insurgency and giving the taliban sanctuary across the board in -- border in pakistan. only then could progress be made in finding peace here within
afghanistan's borders. >> i was reading what is review was saying from the documents we've gotten so far. you don't have to read between the lines so much before seeing how much challenge their remains for the americans. >> that's right. but i think there is a recognition here that we will not see dramatic change in strategy is -- it is still very much a work in progress. that surge was only announced back last november. they have been coming and all year. we are now kind of in the off- season for fighting with the taliban. the vocal to judge how successful this extra surge has been pared -- difficult to judge. initial indications that they are making progress. but still there is a great weight and see in terms of the u.s. strategy. >> talk about the need for more diplomacy next year. >> we heard that consistently from pretty much everybody, whether officials in the afghan government, the united states,
other international coalition partners. the solution to afghanistan's problems lies not just within the borders but outside the borders, particularly with its neighbors, india, pakistan, and others. >> thank you very much indeed. let us take a look at some of the other stories making headlines. it wikileaks founded julian assange will hear shortly whether he is free or must remain in jail in london. he has been in a british prison since last week after sweden issued a warrant over allegations he sexually assaulted two women there. joining me to -- -- discuss the lettuce is the director of the international bar association. what do you make of all this -- did bail and then appeal? does he have much chance to get out on bail? >> i do. i am surprised he was not permitted bail -- with the circumstances and the assurances the defense has given the court, i would have expected he would be given bail.
the magistrate judge re-hearing that agree to that and now it is being appealed. i expect that the high court judge would agree with the magistrate that a judge and permit him to be on bail. there will be a lot of restrictions on his movement but nevertheless it would permit him to be free, at least, in preparing for it his case. >> i noticed the defense lawyers saying -- if he had been convicted in sweden he would not be in prison. >> that is interesting what the general argument on the extradition request itself. for this extradition to work it has to be for a crime serious enough for the individual, if convicted, he would have at least a year in jail. so, they may be arguing that because this particular crime is not at that level, the extradition will not work under legal requirements. i think that is what the of
bringing this issue of four. >> thank you very much. we will follow this from the high court -- high court in london then it's up response seems to be on the way from russian authorities to violent rampages in moscow. vladimir putin says public order needs to be strengthened. speaking after a weekend rally of what authorities described as 5000 nationalists and hooligans but it left the more than 30 injured and raised questions about the growing xenophobia. 1500 were detained yesterday alone. our correspondent marc rosenberg is in moscow. the authorities are fairly or read about this. >> i think it is. vladimir putin is begin today -- still speaking in a live television phone in. the first question he was asked, saying it was important to express all -- suppress all manifestations of extreme isn't. there has to be ordered. and all citizens, no matter their faith or nationality, have to realize they are children of
one family. this follows a rise of racial tension in the russian capital over the last week. it follows the death of a
russian folk often killed in a fight with people from the north caucasus. last saturday a group of ultra- nationalist gathered by the rock of the kremlin. they made fascist salutes and chanted racist slogans and went on the rampage. yesterday moscow police in -- detain hundreds of people. we believe 1300 were detained -- as they tried to prevent further ethnic clashes. there were fears that people from the north caucuses from southern russia would clash once again with the russian ultra- nationalist. a huge number of people detained. >> is this telling us something deeper about what is going on in russian society right now? >> i think that, yes, there are divisions in russian society and
a lot of fear that this country, which is really an ethnic patchwork, there are so many different nationalities that it tension
does rise between the different ethnicities, between the different peoples here, then the that could put the future of russia in doubt. president medvedev speaking a few days ago said that ethnic violence on the scale we have seen the last few days in moscow reflects the future of the russian state. >> thank you very much indeed. in the past hour reports of loud explosions of ivory coast's commercial capital. at the sound of heavy weapons fire being heard. supporters of the president elect clashing with the rivals. the world's two most populous countries china and india agreed to a trade pact of $100 billion a year by 2015. it emerged after talks but to
the -- talks. they also said they addressed their growing trade imbalance which is currently in china's favor. thousands of shia muslims marking the climax of the ashura in iran. on wednesday 40 pilgrims were killed and a suspected suicide bomb attack. ireland has one of europe's most restrictive regime but when it comes to a woman's right to abortion but it is being challenged by a ruling in the european court of human rights. it said the ban on abortion violence the rights of pregnant women to receive proper medical care in life-threatening cases. the court's judgment was based in the case of three women who said their health was put at risk by having to go abroad to england for abortions. our correspondent in dublin is mark simpson. clarify it for all of us. >> this is a very complicated judgment but the bottom line is
it is a victory for pro-choice campaigners here in ireland. as you said, three women took their case to the european court of human rights and one of the three has won. it has been deemed to rights were violated because she was suffering from a rare form of cancer and she. that her pregnancy would actually -- feared her pregnancy would lead to a relapse and a cancer but she could not get an abortion in ireland and had to travel across the irish sea to england to get the abortion in 2005. she took the case to the hue -- european court of human rights and today it ruled in her favor. now it is up to ireland to at least clarify, if not change, its own abortion laws. >> still to come, should illegal drugs be decriminalize to and abuse? the man once responsible for britain that a drug policy thinks so. we will find out why.
u.s. department criticized venezuelan president hugo chavis planning to rule by decree. the socialist president asked congress to grant emergency powers which critics say would allow him to govern as an autocrat. he has a famously prickly relationship with washington. >> for and against, the debate has been passionate, tempers have afraid, insults and even fist of the loan. venezuelans say mr. chavis that a plan to vote by decree in stark terms. the president himself is more sanguine. he asked congress to grant him emergency powers, saying he needs them to deal with the aftermath of the floods which left tens of thousands homeless. he is likely to get his wish. a preliminary vote went overwhelmingly his way. not surprising given the current congress is dominated by chavis
as loyalists. the final vote on thursday -- in january it made way for new lead elected crop of lawmakers including many more from the opposition. >> this assembly doesn't have ethics or morals. of the legitimacy to approve this law. why? because and september's elections, many venezuelans devoted to a change in the assembly because it no longer represents the interest of the venezuelan people. >> the president's critics accuse it of autocracy and trying to use extra powers to bypass a new and potentially hostile congress. he certainly remains as polarizing as ever. the president insists he will act within the constitution at all times. but opponents worry that too much power in hands of one man cannot be good. bbc news. >> grant jury of the united
states accepted charges against the nigerian man accused of trying to blow up an american plane with a bomb hidden in his, rare -- underwear. farouk abdulmutallab faces a number of challenges. in -- charges. european court justices to rule whether nerco -- netherlands ban of farmers from cannabis coffeeshops. the dutch government's once the engine is a membership system to keep tourists out. critics say it goes against equality laws. a three up astronauts heading to the international space station blast off in cause expand. the spacecraft is scheduled to reach the destination friday afternoon. the launch came despite concerns about their reentry model of the craft after it was damaged. you give more details on that and a lot more science and space news on bbc.com.
this is "gmt" from bbc world news. i'm jonathan charles britta main storage, a review of u.s. policy in afghanistan, but possible troop withdrawal possible start in july but the gains are fred job. wikileaks founder julian assange will be told by a court shortly whether he can be freed or remain in jail in london. let's get all the business news. >> absolutely. banks. the big story, division forming among eu leaders certainly is the big story. eu leaders begin their end of your summit in brussels today and investors and markets want them to vote on a single vision on how to resolve the eurozone debt crisis. the leaders are expected to agree to a rule change that would allow a permanent rescue fund to be created further down the road. but there is a split over other measures, not least, whether to
increase the size of existing available bailouts. >> 2002, and euphoria at the turn of the year as your pots a single currency entered circulation. today, eight years on, christmas market stall holders may still accepted without question but the financial markets fell the 16 years of nations or for that matter european central bank has enough financial firepower to rescue countries like spain, greece, ireland, or maybe it late, the states can no longer afford to bar what they need. in the chair will be the european council president was spelled out what was in store last week. >> we have agreed to set up a permanent financial stability mechanism for 2013. >> the euro's largest bank roller germany -- angela merkel repeated she is against any idea
of eurobonds issued jointly by all 16 in the zone. but there remains a big flood whether bank creditors can be forced to write down some of their loans under arrangements that last until the middle of 2013. >> now we have a situation in which politicians say up to 2013, insolvency is not an issue. but after 2013, insolvency could be an issue and then we would like to have been private investors participate. this is an and guns that since -- inconsistency. >> if the full council agrees the rest in shield could be in place but it does not allay the worries about whether weaker year-old members could afford to service their debts in 2011. nigel cassidy, bbc news. >> while we are on the focus is challenging the europeans, investors' appetites for spain's and that is once again be tested with a sell-off of 10-year and 15-year bonds.
it was considered a fairly steady auction. but after moody's announced it was putting spain process credit worthiness under review, certainly that yield on the bond sale was high which basically means higher cost to the spanish government. interest-rate was 5.5% compared to 4.5% last month. ireland's economy avoided going back into recession and actually grew by half of the person. the finance minister said this is a sign of the economy has stabilized and is returning to growth. earlier this week ireland's parliament voted in favor of the $115 billion bailout package from the eu and the imf. bp shares recovered after falling in early trading in london. the u.s. government revealed it is suing the energy firm and its partners, eight of them, over the gulf of mexico oil spill. the lawsuit claims the companies failed to use the same equipment, did not properly monitor the well and violated
safety rules designed to protect workers and the ocean. goldman sachs paying out more than $110 million in bonuses next month. including a bonus of more than $24 million for the chief executive. the investment bank took $10 billion in government bailout -- $110 billion government bailout from the government. that has to cause a little controversy. subdued trading. investors -- the same story -- they are clinging on to those eurozone worries. the whole sovereign debt issue and what will come out of the eu leaders summit which kicks off today and continues tomorrow. it will be -- will we see unified action? that is what the markets are waiting for. >> looking forward to the christmas break. thank you very much. a tragedy as we open the debate
about the plight of boat people from asia. any hope of finding more survivors of of the wreck off the coast of australia is winning. they died after the wooden craft hit rocks in rough seas near christmas island. >> more harrowing pictures showing the desperate plight of the asylum seekers. when their boat was smacked against the rocks along the coastline of christmas island. over 40 men, women, and children were rescued but dozens are still missing,. dead. the australian authorities are worried that the boat operated by people smugglers' working out of indonesia was carrying more than the 70 passengers all originally thought. a wreck could have been as many as 100 people on board. families from iraq and iran. >> we do not know with certainty how many people there were on the boat. so, we've got to the pair ourselves that more bodies will be found and that there has
been further loss of life than we know now. >> australia's asylum seeker debate is often conducted as if the people heading to be stores were abstraction -- boat people almost shorn of human meaning. the would have seemed anguished faces of those trying to reach the shores -- or witness the lengths that they would go to get there. put simply, shockingly real. >> we condemn of the trade of people smuggling. it is an evil trade. but i believe the australians are responding to these events today as human beings. a saying of their human beings in distress -- seeing other human beings in distressed and imagining how would i feel if i was in those circumstances, how would i feel if i had lost my wife, husband, or my child and as such rough and dangerous seas. >> some of the more seriously
injured were flown to the mainland for treatment. the australian government launched a criminal investigation into the christmas island ship wreck. questions have also been asked about how the boat was able to unload australian agencies charged with the watching the countries see approaches. bbc news, sydney. >> governments around the world is struggling to come up with an effective policy for dealing with growing drug abuse. a former british minister who once had responsibility for drug policy was calling for all drugs used to be decriminalized. he said existing approach leads to drug trade and hands of criminal gangs. >> as drug minister for two years and more recently as labor defense secretary visiting the opium producing region of which can stand, views saw how prohibition failed to reduce the harm and drugs cause, feeling burglaries, giving the trade to gangsters and increasing hiv
infections. now argues it is time to legalize all drugs within a strict system of regulation. >> we should stops the -- thinking we can deal with it from a law and order point of view. we need to get people into treatment. they need to have prescriptions. doctors and pharmacists should it become the suppliers. >> he wants the government to debate of policy options, continuing the policy of prohibition, decriminalizing possession of drugs or, his preferred option, legally regulating production and supply. >> we don't think legalization is the answer because it ignores what people actually get addicted to judge -- drugs and the first place. a number of complicated factors. some are into generation and some related to issues of homelessness and mental-health. therefore to suggest that in some way legalization is the magic bullet, it is not. >> he may be out of tune with
government and public opinion on drugs but he points out that only eight years ago david cameron urged the government to at least consider legalization, saying the war on drugs had been tried and have not worked. >> that is almost it for this edition of "gmt." reminder of the top star -- major review of american strategy and afghanistan says the recent surge has succeeded in arresting taliban momentum and much of the country. wikileaks founder will be told by the court recently whether he will be free or has to remain in jail in london. to this is the scene live at the courts of appeal now. we will bring you the latest as soon as it happens right here on bbc what ms. baird and look at what will come up later on bbc news america. this year of the bloodiest yet in mexico's battle with drug cartels. we will take a closer look at the toll all of that is taken on the country. world news american on bbc world news nbc america. that is all for the moment. stay with us right. bbc world news. there is plenty more to come.
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