tv BBC World News WHUT August 21, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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meles zenawi has died. welcome. i am david eades. also, u.n. observers depart the scene in syria. president obama warns the assad regime about moving chemical weapons. tributes for the funny girl who is it a trail. stand-up comedian phyllis diller has died. it's midday in london, 7:00 in the morning in washington, to look like in the afternoon in the ethiopian capital where it's been announced that the man who has run ethiopia more than two decades has died and the age of 57. persistent reports that he was in poor health. the kenyan prime minister already has said that he fears for the security of ethiopia.
islamist insurgents in somalia's say that the country will not crumble. >> the rebels began pushing into the suburbs. >> in 1991 rebels from the northern region and their allies swept into the ethiopian capital. it's the end of the marxist military dictatorship. he was propped up by the eastern bloc and one of the many prosecutors of the cold war. meles zenawi was a medical student before he took up arms against the regime. the legacy of the civil war and decades of feudalism was widespread and steep poverty and a little investment in infrastructure. it made ethiopia particularly vulnerable to famine. in 1984 it was the most
devastating. people across the front lines in the thousands to seek help and up to 1 million people died. meles zenawi said that this land -- set this land on a path of economic development. there have been clear limits to the tolerance of political dissidents. the results of an election were disputed 2005. nearly 200 people died in the government's crackdown on opposition demonstrations. in the next elections in 2010 meles zenawi won 99% of the boat and began the third decade in power. >> the parties who have been denied votes need to recognize the decision of a proud nation and its people. i advised them not to attempt to
override this a vote, >> in dob and has seen a rapid rise in economic growth and has attracted increasing foreign investment. china has been a big player. while western nations have had a worries about democracy, but also saw meles zenawi as an ally of the developing world in general. but will his legacy be greater or less stability? >> that is a big question. meles zenawi's debt has prompted fears about the stability of ethiopia. the president of liberia ellen johnson sirleaf says ethiopia can make a smooth and stable political transition. >> i don't have fears, because i believe there are many other
leaders in ethiopia who will get the support of regional leaders to make the transformation that is necessary moving toward an open society. perhaps those are one of the things the former prime minister was not able to do. but his choice was to focus on economic development and the delivery of basic services to its people. and so, the responsibility now to complete the political transformation will fall to his successor and the people of ethiopia. we feel they will rise to that challenge. >> if it is possible. kartoum. to a carto meles zenawi was ethiopia oppose the government in many ways. some are fearing the worst and
some are looking for a brighter things ahead. who is right? >> a very difficult question to answer him. it's not 100% clear who's gone to take over. it's fairly obvious that his deputy prime minister is in power for the moment, but it's also clear that the constitutional parliament should have its say on the actual successor. there will be a number of contenders. the future of ethiopia depends a lot on who is to take over full time. if meles zenawi was able to put in place a system to succeed him now that he has passed away. >> the word repressive has cropped up more and more in the last few years. post-election violence has not helped.
>> i think it's very difficult to supply many examples around the world who does particularly well into its third decade in power. but there's probably an element of that. i suppose opposition leaders set in earliergs said in on. he was praised brown the world for development and clear issues that affected his country and. but it became increasingly difficult for ethiopia's opposition politicians and journalists and human rights opactivists cooperate in the country. that got more severe as the years went on. position toward somalia, any sense that could change? al-shabab is probably excited about his death. >> yes. an ethiopian troops have gone
into somalia on a couple of occasions. so we could see why they might do that. it depends on who is a long-term successor. that individual could make a very difficult and different decision to some of the ones that. could make a very different decisions to some of those that meles zenawi made. we will have to see negotiations -- there were the negotiations between sudan and south sudan that meles zenawi took apart in. let's let's look at some other stories. the company at the center of a pay dispute in south africa with platinum miners says it's lifting a threat to the staff that don't return to work. the south african government
said that the ultimatum would not solve the problem which saw 34 people shot dead by police last week. ecuador's president has warned that it would be a diplomatic suicide if britain ended its countries london embassy to try to west wikileaks founder julian assange. he said it would set a dangerous precedents to allow the country to enter the british embassy. divers in the philippines have recovered the body of the interior ministry after he was killed in a plane crash three days ago. three others were on the plane when it crashed on saturday off the coast. president obama has firmly stated that the threat of chemical or biological warfare in syria is a red line for the united states. at the first time he has outlined the point at which his administration could feel forced to intervene militarily in the increasingly violent conflict. syria does hold the world's
fourth largest stockpile of chemical weapons. now this from our washington correspondent jane o'brien. >> this footage shows how rapidly the conflict has escalated. president obama has been regularly informed what could cause military invention. the knowledge that if the regime has chemical weapons and has threatened to use them in the event of a foreign attack has prompted some of the strongest rhetoric yet. >> we have been very -- the assad regime and others on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus. >> under a growing security concern, how to keep
those weapons safe with fighting on the ground. >> this concerns our allies in the region including israel and its concerns us,. we cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people. >> the u.s. says it will not arm the rebels because it does not know who they all are. but it is providing non-legal assistance and that is set to continue. -- non-lethal assistance. >> now to our correspondent in beirut. and in response to president obama's remarks? -- any response > >> not from damascus where i have seen. the issue came up a few weeks ago when syria said that they did have the weapons. at that time the syrians did respond. the foreign minister sent a
letter to the secretary general that the stockpiles of chemical weapons were under control, but they were secure, and that syria was abiding by international protocols and treaties with regard to their use. it has not responded to mr. obama's particular intervention as far as i'm aware. there have been statements from russia and china. it's not clear if they are directly related to mr. obama's statement. they said any kind of military intervention or any intervention into syria should not be a unilateral act. the united nations should be the framework for any action. otherwise it would be a violation of international law and the un charter. clearly stating they would like to keep any kind of action within the u.n. framework where they have a veto in the security council. >> we have a new u.n. mediator
who's barely got his feet under the table who swimming against the tide in any case. this call from president obama is bound to send certain diplomatic shockwaves through all organizations that they are tiring of the un battle. >> the americans had been quite preoccupied with the issue of biological and chemical weapons. their preoccupation until now has been about the security and of the stockpiles. we understand americans are fairly confident the syrian army does secure the stockpiles fairly well. but the contingency planning up to now had been in the event of a collapse of government, the control been lost and perhaps the weapons going to parties like jihadists or al qaeda or whatever. that has been the focus of the planning until now and probably will be the main impetus for any kind of intervention. it should be said that president
obama has mentioned that there is a red line. he spoke about being concerned about israel. the israelis are watching this closely. if chemical or biological weapons fell into the hands of hezbollah, they would consider that a basis for military action. this could become a regional issue quickly and should be handled with great care. >> thanks very much. still to come, a new shipment of animals to cuba, but does it have the resources to look after them? it may have been a long time coming, but the summer heat wave across europe has triggered a
series of wildfires around the mediterranean. glazes are being dealt with in spain, greece, croatia. thousands of homes have been evacuated. >> this is croatia. it's coast is a region of national duty. wildfires are putting all this at risk. -- national beauty on the coast. the forests are dry. if buyers are spreading ever closer to local businesses, putting homes and businesses in danger. firefighters pushed through the undergrowth to get to the heart of the flames, but they are desperately in need of help. >> this is just one in a series of fires in this area. we're trying to keep them under control. there's a huge one where our main force is.
>> in spain, the worst wildfires for decades have destroyed 50,000 hectares of land. in the last months, several areas of mainland spain, the canary islands, and mallorca have been scorched. now firefighters are battling flames in the center of the country. if in the greek isles, these fires have burned 18th thousand acres of land over three days and destroyed nearly half of the island's raritie trees. resin is used to make a number of things. it breaks in $18 million a year. while the fires rage and crops continue to burn, the islanders who produced the resin face a very uncertain future. >> this is gmt from bbc world
news. i am david eades. the headlines, the ethiopian prime minister meles zenawi has died at the age of 57 according to an announcement by the country posies state tv. president barack obama has warned syria, the use of chemical weapons could trigger u.s. military intervention in the fighting. you may have heard the announcement of few moments ago, let's start with apple. >> let's start with manchester united. the billionaire who is betting on red, talked about a match that surprised many in the financial industry. the world's most famous football soccer club investor, billionaire george soros now owns 2% of the entire manchester united club.
manchester united went public only on august 9. it listed on the new york stock exchange. the share prices been under pressure since then. the shares would have cost $14 back then. at the close of the bill yesterday, that was $13.60. it's been under pressure because of controversy around the family owns the club. how they structured the shares. you don't get a dividend if you are a shareholder. very little voting rights. you don't have a say in how the company is run. the club is not registered in the cayman islands. back then the club was saddled with $600 million worth of debt. although that has been knocked off by half because of money they gained. the question i have is what does george soros see? >> i suspect what would
have enticed him is revenue. manchester united is the biggest club in the world. it has three main streams. it has the money coming from the football rights. it has amassed a takings in terms of programs and so on. it is. a merchandising is the club has 700 million fans globally. >> that's a lot of fans. an uptick in the manchester share price today. many investors are looking at the george soros and feeling maybe they should also be on board. we will keep an eye on that. >> they lost last night. let's get to apple. >> dell has been losing out, some would say. we will hear from two former pc titans. dell today and hewlett-packard tomorrow. investors are not looking for
anything great with second quarter earnings. what they have been watching is what the companies are announcing about their long-term strategies. the reason they have been losing its people are buying far fewer pc's. the reason is they're turning to the likes of smartphones and tablets, which brings in the company apple, which makes the iphone and ipad. apple last night cemented its position at the close of the market as being the most valuable company in the world at $623 billion. the share price, the apple share price has risen over 50% this year and dell has fallen. dell is trying to refocus. >> they're trying to transition the company to be more of an enterprise vendor. the goal is around 2015 to get over half of their profits from enterprise computing. >> they are focusing on the
small to medium-sized businesses. we will look at those numbers and hp numbers tomorrow. >> now kevin peterson has been left out of england's squad for the world twenty20 tournament after allegedly insulting his teammate in text messages to south african players. they say that kevin pietersen was not even considered for selection in the squad because his future involvement is still being determined. for many years, cuba's national zoological park has struggled to a panelobtain animals from aroue world. there's a collection of lions and elephants expected from africa. some animal rights groups are concerned there may not be the expertise to care for the
animals in their new home. the hippopotamus is one of the big attractions. 146 wild animals being sent as a present from namibia. there are rival will transform the tour. on their way from africa, five young friends for currently the only elephants in cuba. there will be elephants an alliance and rhinoceros. it's going to make the park nice and bring more visitors. one animal welfare group concerned about conditions in cuba, but most of the new arrivals will end up in far less space than they had in namibia, but free to roam. workers were concerned of years
ago that the lack of funding and investment could force the place to close. the fact that 146 animals will be brought all the way from given the park a new lease on life. >> ask for animal care, it was a real struggle in the 1990's. cuba is still poor. each alliance now gets 7 kilograms of course meat per day. -- each lion. >> there's a lot of interbreeding among the animals. they're all related. we need new blood. it has been years. >> the development director tells me they need new ideas. the shipment is his chance to make this place someplace that
tourists will want to visit. >> just maintaining this park as it is, is expensive. now it will cost even more. but to lose it, it would be unforgivable. it's worth making all the effort in the world to keep it going. >> their leasing space to private businesses like this bike rental. that is now permitted with cuba opposed economic reform. economic reform. it is the animals they come to see above all. they're hoping this lions club will draw the clouds. bbc news, havana. -- draw the crowds. >> the woman who went from housewife to comedienne, phyllis diller, has died in los angeles at the age of 95. she took to the stage at a time when stand-up comedy was not
seen as something fit for women. now this report from los angeles. >> she had big hair, and outlandish wardrobe, and a laugh that became her trademark. phyllis diller's career spanned five decades. she broke into a comedy after working in advertising and radio as a writer. a pop culture icon in the 1960's, she was famous for making discouraging -- disparaging jokes about her looks and her cooking. >> i once entered a beauty contest. i must've been out of my mind that. i not only came in last, i got 361 get well cards. she appeared in several films and two television series. she also toured with bob hope to entertain the troops. she is credited with paving the way for female comediennes to be accepted on stage and on tv. the queen of one-liners. tour de france and fans, phyllis