tv BBC World News PBS November 23, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PST
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. we begin this broadcast from cairo, where massive protests have become tense and violent. police fired tear gas on demonstrators who responded by throwing stones. it is not entirely clear how much domestic support the protesters have. international criticism of the egyptian military rulers is growing. the bbc middle east editor start our coverage. >> this street, running down from tahrir, the frontline since saturday. organized football fans with long experience are taking on the police. the gas keeps them back from the
interior ministry, which is a symbol of the old regime. life has not offered these young men any favors. this is not about the politics of next week's election for them. the gas flows them, but it does not stop them. they believe the system was built to benefit others. they show no desire to leave, short of the army's stepping down. >> he said these were whereas from police shotguns, and he was proud of them. year on the streets, some of the young, poor, and angry see the western allies as enemies -- here on the streets. best -- we were marched out.
one man threatened, "if anyone comes on my territory, i will kill them." just off of this street, a businessman was clearing his warehouse. the disturbances me more damage for an economy in ravaged by turmoil. they carried out some of the stock through the tear gas. many egyptians yearn for quiet and certainty. they just dream these days. then, suddenly, in midafternoon, a truce was declared. on the street, it felt like a victory. some left the frontline and moved back towards tahrir square.
it lasted until dusk, and then the violence started again. bbc news, cairo. >> for more on the scene in tahrir square, i spoke to another. it seems from jeremy's report their that the situation is tense and volatile tonight. >> there is just a huge war that goes up from this crowd -- a huge roar. protesters are moving up from the square. they are calling on the field marshal to leave in the same way they called for president mubarak to leave months ago. there was a very rare speech last night, where indicated he did not want to hold onto power, but even they see themselves as guardians of the protest. they are not going to leave 5t -- tahrir square until their
demands are met. there is some criticism of the united states because there was growing concern about the tear gas that is being used. the wave of the ambulance does not stop. you can see behind me the tents that have been erected in the middle of the square, and on them, it is written, "made in the usa." they are wanting to know what kind of tear gas is causing so much harm. >> , popular support to the protesters have this time? >> what is hard is to ascertain any certainty as to what tahrir square means. we went outside today and went to some of the busy cairo neighborhoods, including the working-class neighborhoods, and
everyone we spoke to said they were not sure what the protesters were still in tahrir square. they wanted to know what bassiouni was doing. some thought what was going on was making the situation worse. it is very much a divided nation. there is no doubt in the determination and the clarity of purpose of the demonstrators in the square, but this was a nation of 80 million people across the country who have all been caught up in the extraordinary changes, and they do not seem to have an agreed vision on how to move forward now. >> thanks very much. a tense and volatile situation in cairo, and as the revolution
continues in egypt, in bahrain, the government is being accused of using excessive force against pro-democracy protesters there. an inquiry by the king found that security forces tortured detainees to get confessions. we have the details. >> an unhappy overture. new classes in a shiite area south of the capital, just hours after the panel delivered its verdict. they arrived to hear the verdict, which when it came, was a start indictment of the methods that they say the security forces used. torture and electrocution, and to expose the detainees to high levels of the temperatures with
rape and humiliation of religious sects. this is the worst in the troubled kingdom since the 1990's. there is pressure on the government. it has acknowledged the use of excessive force and is promising change. >> we should reform our laws so they are compatible with international laws and methods. this is the commitment of the kingdom of bahrain, in accordance with the sign international agreement. >> the government has also said that those have broken the law will be held accountable, something the panel found was absent before. >> the commission sees not to bring to account the security services, it has led to the spread of accountability
culture, which encourages those officials to mystery detainees and prisoners. >> it was the heavy jail sentences against medical staff accused of being in league with the protesters. it was one of the most controversial official responses. the government says it will be here, too. >> it is not an appeal trial. it is a complete new trial in the civilian courts. >> they are continuing to show displeasure by trampling on pictures of the bahrain leader. the opponents are still looking for real political reform, as well. nick childs, bbc news. >> in a ceremony in saudi arabia, the president signed something drafted by the powerful gulf arab neighbors,
which calls for a transfer of power within 30 days in early presidential elections. it gives him immunity from prosecution. in a week of growing uncertainty throughout the arab world, few countries are being watched more closely than syria, where the brutal crackdown continues. more people were killed today. but despite the pressure on assad to step down, what else about the change? we have a guest. tell me what you made of the opposition figures in syria? >> they believe that syria has reached a tipping point. throughout months of killing and months of turmoil, there was an uncertainty as to come to the regime will be able to survive.
his days are numbered because they believe that between the defections with the military and their own growing support from the turkish government, it is more increasingly likely that the assad regime will find it almost impossible to maintain equilibrium. >> what was your impression when you met them? were they organized? do you think they make it credible opposition force? >> the problem is just like in the early days of the transitional council, in libya, there were those who were citizens, and there were outsiders, those who lived in the diasporas. that is a similar situation that we have. they are relatively divided among those who are from syria or who have made it across the border, and those from the
syrian diaspora have maybe a more passive view. >> turkey has been playing an increasingly critical role an increasingly critical of president assad. white are they taking this position? >> several reasons. i think prime minister erdogan want to be seen as on the vanguard. in fact, the entire turkish policy is to be seen as supporting the aspirations of the democratic people's in the middle east. that is what he is preaching at home. that is what he is preaching in the region. number one. number two, i think he invested so much in bashar al-assad, to make syria more of a client's state of turkey, he is deeply
disappointed and personally offended by how assad has treated them. >> in libya, just one month after the death of moammar gaddafi, the search is on for justice. the chief prosecutor of the international, a court visited the site of a mass grave. they say if they can demonstrate carrying out a real investigation, they can put one on trial there. >> brought to the side of one of the worst war crimes to take place in tripoli. a massacre. 106 people were killed in this warehouse, which was being used as a makeshift detention center. pro gaddafi forces threw grenades into it and then finished them off with bullets. one man later told us how he
escaped when his captors were loading their rifles. he said it was a son of moammar gaddafi that was responsible, but he blames all of the family, and he wants one punished by execution. the international criminal court chief prosecutor is in tripoli. it has been agreed that he can be tried in libya with the cooperation of the icc. we asked another it's a fair trial could be conducted here. >> there are different ways to do it. in sum, they are served evidence, and in others, they are not. >> would not be embarrassing with the icc of there was a
trial that was not seen by human rights groups to be fair? >> no, the issue is for everyone in the process is not ending well. >> it will be a long time before anyone is brought to justice here or anywhere else. bbc news, tripoli. >> from bahrain to libya, it is a very busy time in the middle east. dmitry medvedev, the russian president, has warned that missiles could be deployed if the u.s. pursues its missile defense plan. in a televised statement, he said modern weapons systems could be deployed if they fail to come to a deal. a pilot in new zealand made a miraculous escape after his
helicopter escape in dramatic fashion during an operation to install a christmas tree. there were cables that were attached to scaffolding that came crashing down. we wish him well. you are watching "bbc world news america." the republican field faces off on national security. looking at what policy could mean. last night, millions watched as a person badly disfigured in an explosion became the surprise -- surprise winner of "dancing with the stars." martinez was barely known before the series, but he beat off the challenge by a string of famous celebrities to go home with the coveted trophy and then paid tribute to serving soldiers in iraq and afghanistan. the bbc's a scheme in -- the bbc
reporter has more. >> you may not know the more, but j.r. martina's is like no one, a veteran who captured the hearts of the television audience. >> thank you to america for believing in us. >> but the real challenge was believing in it himself. he had been a promising high- school footballer before joining the army in 2002. he was driving in humvee that struck a land mine. trapped inside the vehicle, almost half his body was severely burned. >> i pushed it away and started to cry. i barely spoke. there was a lot of tears. >> and this is him today. his appearance actually restored by countless rounds of surgery.
the show judges loved his foot work, and viewers his sheer zest for life. >> i think all of the troops overseas that have never made it back home. they're trying to figure out a way to live their lives. >> this celebrity survivor now plans to write his life story, and it will inspire many. steve kingston, bbc news, washington. >> next year at this time, we will finally have an answer as to who will be the next president of the united states, but until then, the sparring continues, and republican candidates took to the stage, each vying to be picked to take on president obama. with a focus on security, they could give us an idea of what their policy would be should
they reach the oval office. mark, it was meant to be a debate, but it is another issue in the headlines. >> illegal immigration, 16 million illegal immigrants in the united states, and basically, the republican base, their opinion is to take them out. but newt gingrich made a distinction of his own view, going for a somewhat more liberal position. >> if you have been here 25 years and have kids and grandkids and have been paying your taxes, abiding by the law, and going to church, i do not think we are going to get you forcibly and throw you out. >> he said it is not about citizenship but about legalizing them, and that is a fine distinction.
nobody concentrated on that because he was not a front runner. he appears to be playing to the republican base, and that is interesting. >> what about their national security? we tend to think of this as a homogenous block. but it does not seem that that was the case last night. >> it was not the case, and that is why it is such an interesting debate. the consensus that was arrived at after 9/11 is breaking up, and some people are more isolationists' than those who want america to have a very big role in the world. there were debates about what to do about iran and pakistan and troops in afghanistan. >> we have not done a very good job of articulating what the end point is in afghanistan, and i think people are getting very tired about where we find ourselves today.
>> are you suggesting, governor, that we just take all of our troops out next week? >> i said we should draw down. we do not need 100,000 troops. >> generally very impressive. all of the of the debates that i emceeing, mitt romney walked away with them, and he did not really on this one. >> do you have a picture of who is going to be the front runner? >> this was pretty impressive. herman cain and rick perry, pathetic. it is still not clear how it would be, but it is a different picture now. >> thank you for coming to join us. now, for a photographer where it decades after her work was shot is now in the spotlight. working with her for teller -- her fellow photographer and husband, creating iconic images of the great depression.
the work is featured here in washington, and we are getting a new look at all images. >> be given their first opportunity to go to puerto rico. they saw it as their first foray into hard-core photojournalism, and i also believe it was les -- first attempt. they came back and had this in washington. >> in 1942, louise was here. there were themes that she'd
noticed. one of the most successful was a corner grocery. a very colorful picture that just captures things. what is going on in that picture? and the photographs that she made in color really speak to the world war ii experience. several of the boys are holding sticks, and children all of the country were very much aware and gearing up for war. one of the more interesting pictures she made in southwest washington shows a group of african-american boys playing football, but there is a white girl, and what is going on in her mind? what is going on in their minds? this is an opportunity.
a white person is observing. she got the opportunity to come back to puerto rico. >> they may have decided to come back to complete their work. we have a very iconic image of a woman, and we see if she is waiting to have her name picked. delete puerto rico in the 1953. they never felt so connected to a cause. photography being used in such a positive way. she would point out the artistic composition of bed when -- of
edwin's work. she was more of a documentarian. >> louise and her depression-era photographs, a time very different, but of course with those economic issues resonating today. that brings today's show to a close, but remember, you can get constant updates on our website, and i do have an update. your bulletins will be coming from london, with full coverage of the latest developments around the world. i will be back here on monday. for all of us at "bbc world news america," thanks for watching, and for those in the united states, have a very happy thanksgiving.
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