tv BBC World News America PBS October 17, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
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>> this is "bbc world news america," reporting from washington. i'm katty kay. undercover in syria, the bbc finds evidence that injured people wer shocke and killed in their hospital beds -- were shot and then their hospital beds, even at the -- as protests continue. numbers on job abuse in the u.s. >> clearly, it is a major epidemic that we need to get a grip on, so it does not continue to spiral out of control. >> a new theory -- some van gogh did not kill himself, but was shot accidentally -- vincent van gogh did not kill himself, but was shot accidentally by two teenaged boys playing with the gun.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. there are reports of bloodshed in the city of homs in central syria. the relentless protests are remarkable. the bbc investigation has found evidence of injured protesters being shot dead while lying in their hospital beds. this is one of the first journalists to get in to homs. she went in undercover. this is her exclusive report. >> despite the daily death toll, the protests in syria continue, but the tactics have changed. they're held at night to minimize casualties. the protesters called for reform today, as the name of each
atrocity and massacre carried out by the assad regime is called out, the crowd called for the death of the president by hanging. these protests are taking place every night in homs now, with apparently abated of enthusiasm, which is impressive, not the least considering they have been going on for seven months now and so little has been achieved. this, i am reminded, is not the point. >> i have not seen anything like this in my life -- the old, the young, the women -- everyone calling for freedom in syria. this revolution shall win. inshallah. >> the army has encircled homes and attacks every day. people have no food, and author, power, and commission -- communications are cut off -- water, power, and communications are cut off in the areas where
protest take place. but everyone was walking in the street -- >> everyone was walking in the street. there are children who were being ordered to kill their own people, their own flesh and blood. >> protest take place after midday prayers. the army always -- protests take place after midday prayers. the army always attacks. the doctors -- the injured can no longer be taken to hospitals. >> to our astonishment, we found that when we did that the injured were either arrested or killed. >> a man would go into the hospital with a treatable injury to his hand or his leg, and his family would be summoned to collect a corpse with a shot in the head or the chest. >> homs is the capital of the syrian resolution, but it has thousands dead. they say they are winning.
one protester says that will carry on, even if bashar al- assad has to kill every one of them. >> she is joining me now from london. how determined where the protesters you spoke to to carry on with the demonstrations -- were the protesters you spoke to to carry on with the demonstrations? >> they are very determined. >> over 3000 dead, over 1200 in the city of homs itself, where i have been. more deaths, the more determined they are -- the more deaths, the more determined they are to go on. >> did they think it would be able to overthrow the assad regime? >> they say they are winning. they say the whole people are against bashar al-assad and he cannot last much longer. the arab league has made -- suggested that syria has got to
stop killing its people and given it a 15-day ultimatum. the syrian opposition has gotten themselves together. there is an opposition party that could be a credible alternative to president is odd -- president assad. i met a lot of soldiers who have defected and have joined what they call the free syrian army. they said it will prepare -- they will defend the protesters. >> we have not had much reporting out of the country. you were there earlier during the protest. what difference did you find in the country between your visits? >> two things, i think. in june, the protest was far less vehement, if you like. there were still prepared to go along with president assad if he would introduce -- they were still prepared to go along with if he wouldciassad
introduce reforms. they had seen what happened in libya. they were frightened of the same thing happening in syria. this time, i had a different -- ent please.fern -- plea. they want russia and china to be forced to stop sending weapons to syria and they want more support from the international community. >> thank you. now to a shocking bbc destination revealing widespread -- widespread job abuse in the world's richest democracy -- widespread child abuse in the world's richest democracy. the u.s. has, by far, the worst record of child abuse in the industrialized world. the death rates are significantly higher than in europe. the bbc investigates what doctors and children's campaigners are calling an epidemic of child deaths.
>> in 2009, >> thompson was beaten to death -- emma thompson was beaten to death. >> she was 4 years old. she had her whole life in front of her. >> her boyfriend -- the mother's boyfriend is in jail for life for raping and killing emma. >> everybody had a chance to save emma. everybody missed the signs. there were signs the doctors missed, cps missed. >> emma's fathe recallr last time he saw her -- father recalls the last time he saw her. >> [unintelligible] she just said "yes." she just said "yes." >> but emma's is just one
story. every year, hundreds of children die in the world's richest democracy, killed by people who were meant to care for them. >> clearly, it is a huge public health issue, a major epidemic that we need to get a grasp on so that it does not continue to spiral out of control. >> the doctor runs a dallas children's hospital neglect clinic. >> your days i am still shocked -- there are days that i am still shocked. torture cases where siblings are locked in the bathroom for months. >> job abuse is a crime like no other. it is difficult -- child abuse is a crime like no other. it is difficult to detect. it is extremely hard to come to terms with. no family, no community wants to admit it is failing its
children. in the u.s., it has become a national crisis. at this congressional hearing, they determined that many more are dying each year than in western europe. experts say prevention is key. crystal is a nurse who ch ecks on t, because in the state of texas, he fits the profile of someone who is at high risk. his parents just turned 18. they say they need help. even >> now sometimes i get frustrated -- >> even now, sometimes i get frustrated. i do not know what to do. some of them feel like they are teenagers and should this be going out, having fun. instead, they are stuck inside with the baby that is crying. >> because of budget cuts, problems like this are being --
not being cut. report of abuse are increasing. >> had we not put more effort into preventing this -- how do we not put more effort into preventing this? supporting parents while they are in need would be one way. our government does not do it. it is not a priority. >> until that changes, every five hours, a child will die from abuse in the u.s. before we left texas, another boy was beaten to death outside dallas. brendan was two years old. bbc news, texas. >> a child dying every five hours. to discuss why child abuse is a bigger problem in the u.s. than anywhere else in the industrialized world, the president of every child matters. let's start by making the comparisons between the united states and other western nations. >> first, of course, we have
much larger numbers because we are a much larger country. i heard someone say five deaths a day. we think it is closer to seven deaths a day, up 47% higher, based on research out there. there are about 2500 children killed each year in the united states because of a boost -- of abuse and neglect, about four times the number of u.s. military killed in iraq and afghanistan since the start of those two wars 10 years ago. as far as other countries are concerned, we use a rate per 100,000 children comparison. our rate is about triple canada's, about 11 times in's, about -- italy's, about four or five times the rate of great britain's. >> and that even accounts the difference -- for the difference in the population. >> this is a rate issue.
the u.s. just has a very high fatality rate. >> why is it so high? >> have much higher rates of childhood poverty, which contribute -- we have much higher rates of childhood poverty, which contributes to the issue. we have high populations of prison. we have high substance-abuse issues as well. we have a very weak safety net in the united states, unlike other industrialized countries. we do not have universalized health care, we do not have paid maternal and parental leave. we do not have home visiting at a scale that makes a difference. there are too many people not prepared to be parents, a lack of social safety nets to provide assistance. we also do not have a strong child protection system. it varies from state to state. it is not a federal system.
some states do much better than others. >> is this problem fixable? it seems that other european countries and other industrialized countries have lower rates of children dying from child abuse. can america fix the problem? >> it can if it wants to. this is more a political issue than one of social science or social work or child protection. we know that if you work with families early on, you can substantially reduce child abuse and neglect rates. if you reduce teenage pregnancy, you will reduce, over the long term, rates of child abuse and neglect. there are vast -- there is vast research on this topic. we have case workers with too many cases. there are confidentiality issues that hide from the public demand -- the magnitude of the problem.
national media pays very little attention to this. it is ironic that it requires a foreign news team to cover this issue across the united states. >> thank you so much for coming in. >> thank you, i hope that you will visit our web site. -- website, everychildmatters.org. >> visit bbc.com to find more information on the abuse and have victims are affected. there is information on how it can be identified and stopped. go to bbc.com/news. in china, there has been outrage over video footage of the two- year-old girl left bleeding after she was knocked down by a van. a total of 18 people opast by and the child was hit the second time before anyone -- passed by and the job was hit the second time before anyone stopped to help her.
>> a child in the market, a trock hits her -- van hits her.t her.hehits the driver stops, then continues. a second van runs over the youngster. over 18 people walk, drive, or ride by the injured girl. some stop to look, but no one helps. finally, a woman, a rubbish collector stops to help. she was taken to hospital with serious injuries. her parents are understandably distraught. people are outraged. millions have left comments on the internet.
police have detained both of the van drivers. one man says he did not see her. that might be so, but it is his reaction and a lack of compassion by all the passersby that is causing some serious soul-searching in china. >> and in other news around the world, the somalis group al- shabab has called on kenya to withdraw troops from kenya. al-shabab warned canyons not to let what it called the flames of war spilled -- kenyans not to let what it called the flames of war spillover into its country. the military operation followed a request by the somali government. the israeli supreme court is expected to announce shortly that it has rejected a last- minute appeal against the release of over 1000 palestinian detainees from israeli jails. many of the prisoners are to be released tomorrow in exchange
for the israeli soldier gilad shalit. preparations are underway on both sides to welcome the prisoners home. race car driving is an inherently dangerous sport, but there are fresh concerns about driver safety after british indycar driver dan wheldon died on sunday. he was involved in the 15-car pileup during an indy 300 race in las vegas. this report is from -- this report contains distressing images. >> dan wheldon was one of the biggest sports stars most britons had never heard from. he was a star in indycar. wheldon had taken on a particular challenge -- derive from the back of the grid, through a field of 33 -- drive from the back of the grid, through a field of 33 other cars, and win millions.
early in the race, the car in front of him braked suddenly. he could not avoid the traffic. his car flipped into the air and smash, cockpit first coming into the crash barriers -- and smashed, cockpit first, into the crash barriers. >> he was a great human being. i just cannot believe that he is no longer with us. >> indycar shares formula one's demand for nerveless concentration. the cars are heavier and faster, reaching 220 miles per hour, and there is greater crowding on the track. >> in close proximity, when an accident of that kind happens, it is inevitable that there will be a multiple pile up -- pile- up. for 15 cars to be taken out of
the race just illustrates how congested that was. >> dan wheldon is going to win it! >> he was on the go-kart circuit as a child. he won indycar's single biggest race, in the indy 500. -- race, the indy 500. the other drivers moved in slow formation around the track that took his life, the melancholy sound amplified by the absence of one car's roar. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, she is the richest woman in france, but is the l'oreal heiress, liliane bettencourt, unfit to run her own affairs? to thailand, where floods
continue to wreak havoc across many parts of the country. authorities have ordered the evacuation of a vast industrial park outside of bangkok. >> water as far as the eye can see. 1/3 of thailand's provinces look like this, temporarily lost to the floods. the army has been tasked with surveying this now unfamiliar landscape. we went with them, heading north out of bangkok. the capital is safer now. just 50 miles out, the province has been hard hit and the community has been completely cut off. the army offload some basic provisions and make notes to return. the further north we have gone out of bangkok, the worse the situation is. if you see around here, it is a complete sea of muddy brown flood water. you can see the rooftops, the tops of factories, the tops of
trees, but everything else is flooded. even if it was to stop raining now, it would take several weeks for the water to recede. the bad news is that another storm system is coming. the government has made protecting this huge industrial estate at top priority. there are more than 200 factories here, employing tens of thousands of workers. volunteers tried to reinforce defenses. the message went out that more sandbags were needed. this, the response. it is all in vain. there is a breach. water seeps in under the embankment. frantically, they tried to stop the flow, but it is no good. the evacuation order is given. this particular battle has been lost, but there may well be more to come. rachel harvey, bbc news, bangkok. >> the richest woman in france,
the heiress to the cosmetic giant l'oreal, liliane bettencourt, has lost a legal battle with her daughter over her mental health. the court decided the 88-year- old was no longer mentally fit to manage the family wealth, estimated at $20 billion. >> she is very old, very rich, but now liliane bettencourt has been told she no longer has control over the family fortune. it is a victory for her estranged daughter, who, for years, has said that her mother is squandering her billions, giving it away to flatter worse -- flatterers. one man received gifts worth 1 billion euros. there were concerns about political donations. last year, one minister in president sarkozy's government resigned over reports of illegal party funding. the l'oreal heiress was said by
her daughter to have lost control of her faculties. medical reports have confirmed liliane bettencourt is suffering from a form of alzheimer's, and she has been placed under a form of -- under the authority of her family. >> it will be very hard to break the news. for her, it will be unbearable. >> the saga may appear to be over, but it probably is not. liliane bettencourt's legal fight-back is already underway. >> van gogh painted beautiful stars, cut his year, and then killed himself. it is the story every child learns in art class. the only hitch -- it may not be true. a new book claims he was
accidentally shot by a teenage boy obsessed with the wild west. >> nobody else produced pictures like a vincent van gogh -- like cinvenvincent van gogh. his paintings are famous, as is his life story. he cut off his ear. he was a troubled soul. the authors of this book are contesting that he was shot by a 16-year-old boy with a cowboy fixation. they argue that the bullet that wounded the artist was fired from a distance and entered his body at an angle that suggest van gogh was not the one who pulled the trigger. >> he went with his back of painting equipment, his canvas, his pains, his easel. -- paints, his easel.
he was going out for another day of painting. i am absolutely convinced that, when he walked away that day, and came back five hours later with a gunshot wound, that, when he left, he did not intend to shoot himself. >> the two authors spent a decade researching letters, photographs, and a huge selection of archive material to help them arrive at their conclusions. but they also admit that surprisingly little is actually known about the fatal incident, other than what was said by the one person who was definitely there, vincent van gogh, who insisted, "do not accuse anyone. it is i who wanted to kill myself." >> a mystery that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. you can find constant updates on our website. you can get in touch with me on twitter. from all of us at "bbc world news america," thanks so much for watching.
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