tv Counting the Cost 2017 Ep 49 Al Jazeera December 12, 2017 8:33am-9:01am +03
president trump has reiterated his call for urgent immigration reform after an attack on one of new york's busiest commuter hubs misfired a bangladeshi national was arrested after a pipe bomb strapped to his body went off in a subway near times square twenty seven year old was injured three other people suffered minor injuries those are your headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after counting the cost of a season of the world's largest humanitarian crisis millions caught up in civil war al-jazeera world examines the roots of the conflict in yemen and the complex history that drew our country into perpetual time. plenty of unity old separation of. the north and the south these dualisms are part of history. yemen the north south divide this time.
this is counting the cost on al-jazeera your weekly look at the world of business and economics this week the g.c.c. the gulf cooperation council the arab world's only trading bloc isn't living up to its name and how pressing the pause button on economic cooperation is affecting this oil rich region also this week plastic economy it's profitable business but the true cost to our planet and health is staggering and it is quite literally washing up on our doorstep and it's been twenty five years since the world's first text message was sent and that is something to talk about given the way the humble s.m.s. has evolved into an entire messaging industry. so when you're six months into a diplomatic crisis that splinted an entire geographical region an annual meeting
of leaders from that region takes on extra significance but when the gulf cooperation council summit ended abruptly this week so too did any hopes of a breakthrough in the blocks biggest crisis in decades the meeting in kuwait city was the first since saudi arabia bahrain the u.a.e. and egypt their trade and diplomatic ties with qatar in june a period which as you'll see in this week's program has affected not just diplomatic ties but economic ones too more on that after this report from. while the announcement that this year's gulf cooperation council summit would go ahead as planned in kuwait came as a surprise to many it also brought renewed hope for a diplomatic breakthrough that might in the gulf crisis upon his arrival in kuwait on tuesday but that is a mere shift i mean been hammered acehnese issued a statement expressing sincere gratitude toward kuwait's emir. and his wishes for the success of the current summit stressing that the current situation in the
region required the council's members to band together against all odds and challenges but even before the summit officially kicked off divisions were very much on display first the united arab emirates announced it had formed a new economic and military partnership with saudi arabia that would be separate from the g.c.c. then saudi arabia the u.a.e. and bahamian decided not to send their respective leaders to kuwait it could be that it is embarrassing for some of the leadership of the country is the quartet work i think until he has to turn up. and therefore they sent a lower level but it could be that they're really just wanted to have this as. just to show that the g.c.c. actually still exists and the summit is going to take place but nothing else is going to have been which is a really disappointing in that case. in the end a summit that is usually slated for two days ended after only
a few hours kuwait's emir said his country will continue mediating in the dispute or just so we're going to should be you were in recent months of seeing a lot of troubles but the wisdom of my brothers of the leaders of the gulf countries managed to calm things down and now meeting today will lead us to continue playing the role that will live up to the aspirations of the people in order to have certain mechanisms to sort out disputes with guarantees that will allow everyone to abide by these rules. she added that the gulf has faced painful and negative development over the past six months due to the rift it six months to the day since the beginning of the blockade against qatar some here in kuwait say the fact that representatives of all member countries actually showed up means that this summit should ultimately be considered a success others however say that today's developments call into question if the g.c.c. and institution which at its core is meant to highlight regional unity will be able
to survive much longer now that regional unity mohamed talks about it comes over time and through cooperation on a few different levels the g.c.c. charter was actually signed thirty six years ago by six or oil rich mana keys in the gulf kuwait oman qatar saudi arabia and the united arab emirates its stated aim is to be a political and economic alliance remember the g.c.c. countries possess almost half the world's oil reserves and all are currently putting reforms in place to wean their economies all thoise in the future but plans for greater cooperation haven't amounted to much although all countries peg their currencies to the dollar back in two thousand and nine there was talk of a monetary union but a man in the u.a.e. didn't want to part of it and the blockade of qatar is put a stop to free trade within the bloc putting the future of free movement trade and capital across the g.c.c. in doubts there is also a plan to generate new sources of revenue that includes a five percent value added tax but again it was supposed to be across the g.c.c.
that could now also be shelved so let's talk about all this now with him come out he is the head of middle east and north africa at the geopolitical risk consulting firm eurasia group and it's nice to have you with us i mean the g.c.c. the gulf cooperation council cooperation being the operative word i think is that basically just in name only now. i think virtually we have an oil organization that is able to do very little there is no consensus on the major issues not on foreign policy not in it on economics i think you will remain there in name but the fact of mess has gone down to almost zero and is that just a result of the blockade on gaza these last six months of qatar crisis and tensions between saudi arabia the u.a.e. and bahrain on one cap and qatar on the other really has created the first step towards partial descent to integration of the union i think that we still have it
there but i don't think that you're going to hear any headlines on cooperation or any strategy from the g.c.c. anymore if we strip out the cost of a crisis for a moment let's just talk about the fundamentals of the g.c.c. economies oil obviously it's all about oil but the countries did seem to understand yes we need to diversify we might need to bring in a value added tax or some sort of thing with the do you think these things were really going to happen that it was commitment to these sorts of ideas. i think there was serious commitment towards at least having some form of fiscal rebalancing process across the g.c.c. that really maintained the balance between the gulf economy is so that was definitely moving forward as with everything in the region i think we have to expect that there are some delays some structural problems the states have not really introduce any form of tax complicated taxation for
a very long time so we were bound to really confront difficulties i think at this stage we get a very different approach i think we get a state centric approach and some states move forward quite quickly with some of these reforms others feel more compelled to put them on the sideline i think it within the katara case we were probably see some delays the culture economy has its own set of challenges because of the economic crisis because of the political crisis with the g.c.c. so it would be more prudent i think to delay that and i think that's unlikely direction what were or what our growth prospects like for the other countries in the gulf given as a seed oil is a big factor in oil is still you know fifty sixty dollars a barrel. mark which is not what they want they want more of the asli we have a new structure where oil prices cannot support the growth levels that we've seen in the past that we're looking at two to three percent growth in most of the
countries perhaps lower if there's a dip in oil prices but the days of much higher growth are gone and there are they will probably not come back i am kind of a pleasure talking to you thank you for joining us and counting the cost. now late in the week we finally saw some tangible movement in the brags that negotiations between the united kingdom and the european union at this stage it was about the so-called divorce which would allow briggs that talks to move to the next stage pending a vote in the european parliament and deals were reached on a number of crucial sticking points most notably what will be the only land border between them the one that separates european ireland from the u.k.'s northern ireland and the end result there will be no hard border between the two the e.u. had insisted discussions could not move ahead until plans for the border were finalized and so the british prime minister to resign may have been locked in intensive talks with her coalition partners from northern ireland the democratic
unionist party after they vetoed an earlier version of the deal. after some tough conversations we've now agreed a settlement that is fair to the british taxpayer it means that in future we will be able to invest more in our priorities such as housing schools and the n.h.s. in northern ireland we will guarantee there will be no hard border and we will uphold the belfast agreement and in doing so we will continue to pursue the constitutional and economic integrity of the united kingdom and still to come on counting the cost we've heard of conflict diamonds but what about the steinman's look at how the industry itself is changing and how one of the largest diamond ever discovered is helping. the first one of the biggest deals in the t.v. and film industry could be taking shape several sources say the twenty first century fox and disney the world's largest entertainment company are in advance
talks over the sale of many of fox's entertainment assets what does all that mean well more and more people are relying on the internet of course for access to things like streaming video disney itself is planning on launching its own streaming service in twenty nineteen and this room and sixty billion dollar deal with fox could give it access to some big franchises things like x.-men and fantastic four and we'll have more on how the streaming industry is changing the media landscape on next week's show and our special focus on streaming wars now to one of the biggest corporate corruption cases in history in the name is brecht this brazilian construction company became an international giant through the years by using bribery and corruption to secure around one hundred projects in twelve different countries now after brazil peru has been the country with the most arrests related to the outbreak scandal as marianna sanchez reports now from lima. all of it has been working in daegu since one thousand nine hundred seventy nine
the carwash investigation in brasil says only rich financed all candidates who had a chance to be. precedence a congressional commission has been investigating president could change for allegedly receiving bribes for his presidential campaigns in two thousand and eleven and two thousand and sixteen but the president denies any wrongdoing. or that it is in police collaborating with brazilian prosecutors have only revealed two major corruption scandals related to pay too but analysts say the construction giant got so many public contracts here there was much more to come. the european union has named and shamed seventeen countries in its first ever tax haven blacklist it includes south korea mongolia namibia panama trinidad and tobago behind and the united arab emirates the lists follow the leaking of the panama papers and the paradise papers as well which revealed how companies and individuals hid their wealth from tax or thorazine but alex carbon the chief executive of the
international tax justice network doesn't believe the was judged all countries on the list fairly new in the same way that the. operate is much better at looking at more members than looking at it but even with that constrained could've played a level playing field to everyone else and instead what is done really is picked on the smaller weaker state now this week the world's top decision making body on the environment that is the un environment assembly passed a resolution on zero tolerance to plastic pollution in the ocean sounds good but unfortunately it's non-binding so the onus really falls on all of us to make it happen because in the words of the un environment executive director quote we're facing an ocean armageddon happened so we have the details now from the summit in nairobi. several resolutions were adopted in this world including the resolution on
plastic pollution that called for among other things a more collaborative effort and this meant of a committee of experts to look into the gaps and regulations and come up with the free walk and also setting up a mechanisms morny tearing mechanisms to measure what how much plastic is out there how much is being dumped and all this after intense negotiations and producing through evidence that has been presented by sam to stand environmentalists from across the world now this love affair we have with plastic really is talks that in fact we have produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century and it's reached a point where we are literally drowning in it it is carpeting the oceans it is choking on marine life and soon whatever wild caught fish you age will contain plastic as well we will look more at the plastic economy in just a moment but first here is money on the hand but the numbers. five trillion pieces
of plastic in our oceans more than a million plastic bags used every minute millions trillions for many of us these are huge numbers difficult to comprehend well here's an idea of just how big the problem has become for our planet eight million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year most of it used just the once and then thrown away that's the equivalent of a rubbish truck of plastic every minute at this rate that will grow to two trucks a minute by the year twenty thirty and for trucks going into our oceans every minute by twenty fifty by which time by weight they will be as much plastic if not more in our oceans than fish plastic like this more than five trillion paces is already there in our oceans creating these huge garbage patch is the largest of which is floating off the pacific coast of the united states so let's get into this
now joining us from brussels is john mark simone he is the executive director of the brussels based zero waste europe european angio advocating for more responsible waste management it's nice to have you with us john let's talk about the events that happened in nairobi first of all the united nations summit the fact that they came out with the declaration is good burger non-binding one is that well is that helpful it is helpful because it shows that there is will to go in a certain direction it is it will remember climate change from the beginning to where we are now it took time so i think there's a consensus that the problem is there plastic is a planetary problem so yes we have a declaration now it's important to turn. into measures but action into takes place at the local level national level and local level and before we get into that action i want to actually go big picture with you here and actually a bit of history almost how do we go. it to the stage where we became so addicted
if you like to plastic and the fact that they would be five trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans what was the trigger that made plastics so popular i guess that's a very good question i mean as you mentioned before world war two we didn't have much plastic in society all together there's i would say there's many factors i would factor of three first of all plastic is cheap then is a byproduct of oil refining which you know way like the price is one issue second a throw away culture of the american way of life like they're associating disposability that throw you away culture with modernity so i actually like this fast paced life associated with throwaway culture that plastic is kind of that. at it with a present a dave and thirdly the intrinsic properties of plastic is a material that is durable is that it's lightweight and also or it is
a catalyzer it allows for long supply chains for a globalized economy that we know today what we see though is that the reasons for plastic became so popular are also the reasons why we have the problem today. and that plastic is not that popular anymore because we're seeing how it's harming the environment howard how cheap plastic is also a problem and also that danger of actually having this long long supply chains because it's having another impact on local production so yeah and does something like and i'm using this term loosely but to something like big plastic exist you know how we talk about big oil and big pharma these interest groups who keep things going is there almost a big classic you know big companies in the u.s. in the middle east in europe who push plastics cores absolutely i would say i mean as i said plastic ninety nine percent of the plastic out there comes from fossil fuels so actually settled chemical interests that are behind also the plastic
production also enough to understand that the margins on plastic production are a lot higher than it was then margins on oil saw the petrochemicals but also the consumer good companies of course have an interest in putting more and more plastic in the market and if you look at the projections and also the planned investments for the next years clearly there is an interest in the u.s. . in the gulf countries as well and elsewhere to produce more plastic and somebody will need to deal with this plastic so what will need to consume this plastics of course as an industry pushing for this damage simona pleasure talking to you thank you so much for your time thank you now it's time you send a message on your phone think about where that started services like whatsapp they are ubiquitous these those sure facebook even thought it was with nineteen billion dollars to acquire it but all of the instant messaging actually started twenty five years ago this week when the first s.m.s. text message was sent to a mobile phone and the rest of your printer now explains this short message history
twenty five years ago human communication changed forever in the u.k. a software engineer used his computer to send the first have a text message to mobile phone just to where. merry christmas it was the beginning of a true revolution a revolution not just in technology but also in language and the way we communicate that first text message or s.m.s. share that mobile phones were capable of much more than just voice calls today's smart phone apps have their origins all way back with that eureka moments of the first text of the limitations of s.m.s. inspired the heavily abbreviated new language and more recently the rise of the m o g now in two thousand and seven u.k. users sent sixty six billion text messages by two thousand and twelve it was one hundred fifty one billion but by twenty fifteen internet based tech services like whatsapp and messenger were overtaking s.m.s.
and twenty fifteen what's happened messenger together handled sixty billion messages a day that's nearly three times more than the twenty three billion texts sent through s.m.s. and twitter of course a direct descendant of the original s.m.s. is now the world's window into the mind of the united states president so has the text message had its day well perhaps but it'll never really disappear because in an emergency in if you've got no wife i know three g. connection you can still send a simple text. point isn't it male papworth is that software engineer who sent the very first text message and he says even though the technology has changed the information conveyed it's just the same we implemented that managed to get that first fix him back in december ninety two and no it hasn't made me rich you know i wish it had like point zero zero zero zero one of a penny for every text messages being sent to unfortunately i don't technology these days of course has many uses even it seems in the fight to stamp out blood
diamonds that is a diamond mined in a war zone and then sold to fund a conflict the diamond trade currently still relies on paper based certification but that's changing to be is the world's largest supplier of diamond says it wants to use something called block chain technology to provide a traceable record for its gemstones and platform will trace the diamonds route through the value chain all the way from the mine to the consumer now a block chain is essentially a ledger or a a system of record keeping which chains together all the entries ones that cannot be changed or copied it's described as book keeping for the digital economy like chain was originally devised for crypto currency is but now technology financial retail industries and as we see even the diamond industry are finding ways to use that technology so this is important when trying to root out these blood or conflict diamonds but if you heard about peace diamonds one of the largest diamonds
ever discovered has been sold at auction in new york this weekend unlike so many others this one might bring a better life to the people of the village where it was found gabriel alexander reports from new york. it sits in a secured room glistening and ready for sale to the highest bidder and possibly help the people of the village far away where it was found this is a seven hundred nine carat diamond thought to be the fourteenth largest diamond ever discovered it was auctioned for six point five million dollars in new york but it was about more than the selling price but to fully appreciate this gem and realize why it's called the peace diamond you have to look at where it came from here in the village of corps yard now in sierra leone a place so poor it has no electricity water schools or hospitals it was a pastor who found the diamond in the village and he was in new york for the auction and still at
a loss for words on what it was like to find the diamond it's amazing i can that it would say explicitly that because i was not expecting this kind of. stone he decided to hand it over to the government a rare decision in a country where diamonds are abundant but often smuggled out of the country. sirrah leone has a long and bloody relationship with diamonds as depicted in hollywood and eleven year civil war fought partially over the riches from diamonds killed more than forty thousand people trying to now use diamonds for good the government decided to tour the diamond around the world to drum up support for its sale at an auction nearly all the money from the sale price will go back to the government to a fund to help villages ravaged by war but that one that's astounding here is improving the lives of the people at the end that is the hope on the resilience of
the nation so it is very important for us as a mission not deep what ev up proceeds we are going to garner from this is weighing to compliment the government's efforts in providing social. this is full civil war this one diamond maybe instead of causing conflict bringing a little peace and prosperity to the place it was found. that is our show for this week but remember you can get in touch with us you can tweet me. and use the hash tag when you do with news drop us an e-mail contemn the cost of al-jazeera dot net is the address and you can head online to al jazeera dot com slash you know take a strike. page which has individual reports links and entire episodes for you to catch up on that is it for this edition of counting the cost i'm come all santamaria from the whole thing thanks for joining us the news on al-jazeera is next.
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