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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  July 19, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and provide capital for key
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strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news america." is kathy k, reporting from london. america has some soul-searching to do. obama speaks out on racial tensions and the george zimmerman verdict. >> trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. >> could there be new life in the middle east peace effort? secretary of state announces both sides have laid the groundwork for new talks. the space race. we introduce you to one woman who worked a friend the scenes to be a pioneer in the field.
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welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. president obama said the country needs to do some soul-searching in the wake of a verdict that found toward zimmerman not guilty of murdering trayvon martin, and unarmed african- american teenager. in a surprise appearance in the briefing room, mr. obama said the case might have turned out if whitley if trayvon martin had been white. he also had a personal message to those who were upset i the ruling. >> when trayvon martin was first shot, i said this could have been my son. ,nother way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. you think about why, in the african-american community at least, there is a lot of
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pain around what happened here -- >> for more on his comments, steve miller is a reporter for "time magazine." i was really surprised, listening to president obama this afternoon. were you? >> this is an issue the president rarely talks about. he went into detail about race in 2008, during the campaign, and since then, only gets involved when he is backed into the issue, speaking off the cuff. we got a different perspective, him speaking about his experience before being president, what it felt for him to grow up as a black man in america. it is a stunning set of remarks from the president today, and not a side of him we have seen before. >> what do you think he wants to achieve with this statement? from has been in pressure some of the black community in the united states and some of his base to lead a national
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conversation on race, he is trying to answer that call without launching off the national conversation. he said in his remarks today that he does not believe these national conversations amount to much. he said he wanted everybody to look inward, for communities to hold conversations about it, for law enforcement and community groups to meet and try to reach a productive dialogue that way. but to try to trick the pressure off his office to lead a national movement, which he does not believe will be productive and is certainly politically hazardous. >> you said it was personal. he was also remarkably frank about he himself felt as an african-american. one thing that struck me was, he seemed to apply there were two different legal systems in america. he seemed to say that if trayvon martin had been white, the aftermath of the case may well have been different.
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that is harsh language from the president of the united states. >> it reflects a certain reality that does exist, in terms of stereotypes that linger, prejudices that linger. it is not often you hear the president talking about that. he discussed being followed in a department store before he reached the senate, or people locking their car doors when he would walk by. two different communities, two different americas, is a theme he really talks about. at the same time, he pointed to progress, saying the generation of his daughters is better than his, and his is better than his parents'. that is the sort of hope a lot of people are looking for the president to provide. >> his last speech on race was during the 2008 campaign. will this be a defining moment of his time in the white house? >> i think this is an issue that, no matter what the president did -- if he never
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talked about race, race would be a defining moment of his presidency, a defining narrative. this is one of the few moments where we have heard him confronting narrative and try to shape it will stop he has tried to take a leadership role in the african-american community, speaking to youth about family values. that has hurt him a little bit on the left, people saying it may be patronizing. for the president, this is one of the rare moments where we have seen him try to shape his legacy and write the history books, saying it is not just that we have a black president. that does not mean this discussion is over. the arc of history bends long, and there is more work to be done. this is maybe his small but significant achievement moving that forward. >> in more news from the obama administration today, secretary of state john kerry announced an agreement has been reached between the israelis and palestinians for the basis to resume middle east peace talks.
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he is in jordan, where he has been meeting with both sides. he gave no details of the agreement, but said that both sides would hold initial talks in washington next week. the last round of direct talks broke down three years ago. a short time ago, i discussed this announcement with the state department correspondent. >> they have not spoken for three years, so presumably this is pretty good news. >> it is always good news when peace talks resume, but it is important to keep things in perspective. this is something john kerry really wanted when he took the job of secretary of state. he has taken six trips to the middle east. there have been endless meetings and phone calls, and a lot of diplomacy. until this morning, it looked like he was going to leave the region empty-handed. now, we have this announcement that talks will resume. what mr. kerry used convoluted language.
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, thatd, as you mentioned there was a basis of an agreement on which the agreement would take place. israeli andwhen palestinian negotiators come to washington next week, they will still just be holding talks about talks. we will not have detailed theussions yet about borders of a future palestinian state, or what would happen to palestinian refugees. it is certainly a breakthrough when you keep in mind that besides have not really talked in three years. >> the key stumbling blocks, the big issues, remain unanswered. we do not know in these talks about talks that they will overcome those. what has john kerry been able to do to get them to agree to even sit in the same room together? >> as i said, he has been pursuing this single-mindedly, with a lot of energy. he has kept his cards very close
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to his chest. we know very little about the details of what has been discussed. state department officials are frustrated that john kerry does not share much with them. >> maybe that is the best way to do it all stop >> maybe that is the best way to do it. he did not give many details about what had been agreed upon, or what is basis for negotiations was. but i think that when you look at the parties on the ground, president abbas and bibi netanyahu -- they do not want to be seen as the one blamed for saying no. they have agreed not to come to the table. remember, last time the two sides came to the table, it did not last long, because there was no plan beyond getting them into the same room, and we saw the shortest round of talks ever, around three days. it is unclear whether there is a plan beyond getting in to the same room again.
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perhaps with some determination from mr. kerry, as we have seen over the last few months, he will be able to keep the talks going long enough that they will make some progress. >> tens of thousands of protesters are taking part in demonstrations across egypt against the army's removal from power of the elected president just over two weeks ago. the muslim brotherhood called for a million man march, and thousands poured onto the streets. the australian prime minister had said no further asylum seekers who arrive in australia by boat will be allowed to settle in the country. kevin rudd announced a one-year agreement with the government of papa new guinea, under which asylum seekers would be sent there for assessment instead. a russian court has released opposition activist alexei navalny from custody weeks after he was sentenced to five
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years in prison. the prosecution and defense requested his release because he is a candidate in this year's moscow mayoral elections. detroit was once a thriving american city, home to motown and the model t ford. it is the largest american city to the clear bankruptcy. after a population that shrunk to less than a million now, detroit is simply broke. look at the painful decision and the impact it is going to have on citizens. >> detroit has welcome to a new reality. its financial ruin is complete. , mismanagement, and population decline have taken their toll. the city that was once a symbol of america's industrial might has gone broke. >> this is our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline.
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this is fundamental. if anyone liked the detroit of five years ago, 15 years ago -- how long has this gone on and people have not said, stop kicking the can down the road and do something? >> the automotive industry opens war on unemployment. >> they have sent telegrams to thousands of employees, calling them to the factories. >> detroit helped to the middle class. the city put america on wheels. the packard plant became an emblem of industrial might. now, it stands as a monument to better times. the packard was a luxury car. locals say it was like the rolls-royce or the cadillac. today, the brand is almost forgotten. ae ruins of the plant -- symbol of detroit's decline. the biggest losers could be retired city employees who collect a pension, and those
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still working in the public sector are also anxious about their financial future. not knows point, i do if i will even receive a pension, or if it will be pennies on the dollar. the middle-class is dying. the rest of america should take a look at detroit, because their cities are not far behind unless we change the way we operate in this country. >> detroit may not have a choice but to cut pensions. about half its debt, $9 billion, is owed in pension and healthcare obligations. 10,000 workers and nearly 20,000 retirees. sectorot just public workers who are affected. at the car wash on the west side of town, there is a sense that bankruptcy was unavoidable. >> i really do not like it. hard decisions have to be made, and they have to be made in decades.
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become a poster child for urban decay. something needed to be done to restore this industrial icon. the city's bankruptcy may also hold important lessons for the rest of the country. bbc news, detroit. >> for more on the factors that id to detroit's problems, spoke to a ford contributor -- a forbes contributor, who joined me from michigan. whatfore i ask you bankruptcy means, i want to ask you about the state of detroit. how bad is it there? ,> what has been going on is there has been a tremendous amount of new development in the downtown area. there is a thriving entertainment district. there are new restaurants. parks are springing up. people are buying up empty buildings, which was not the case before.
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when you get out to the neighborhoods, it is a dire situation. streetlights do not work. it takes more than an hour for police to come. half the ambulances are not in business at any given moment. it is a city of contrasts. very much of detroit, the past is still present. >> we hear about the desolation. i have been there and seen it. it does look like a war zone in parts of it all stop you are also describing a city where the private sector is doing something. why isn't that enough to stave off bankruptcy? >> first of all, it is quite late. this bankruptcy stems back about 60 years. the population is down to about 700,000. when the american auto industry started to decline, detroit declined with it.
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off the has really put restructuring that has to take place. it is a great question for america to consider. how do you take a 20th-century industrial city and turn it it into something vibrant and active for the 21st century. you still have all of these vestiges to clear away. >> everyone is asking, what happens in america in a post- manufacturing world? where are the jobs going to come from? if detroit is the model, it does not look great. is that man right, that other american cities are not far behind? >> some american cities have already found the key to remaking themselves. in pittsburgh, they knew in the 's that the 1980 steel industry was going to decline, and corporate leaders got together to try to fix it. had theland, they medical center, which had become a larger industry than
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manufacturing. it is cities that depended on one kind of industry for far too long and did not diversify their economies that are now left with a big mess to clean up. >> still to come on this program, the sacred ritual in south africa that is killing far too many young men. we take a look at a dangerous rite of passage. dramatic new images of police apprehending dzhokhar tsarnaev have been released. the leak taters are a response to the "rolling stone" cover, which critics said glamorous to the young man. >> the world is now seeing what the lease snipers viewed that night, the back garden where tsarnaev tried to hide.
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the red darts of a sniper's rifle illuminating his four head, he knows there is no escape will stop -- escape. a were leaked by a former police sergeant, sean murphy. a verye pictures and different picture from the cool, composed young man raising the cover of this "rolling stone" magazine. >> the officer was furious with the magazine for presenting what's the -- what he sees as a glamorized portrait of terror. in boston, there has been outrage. tsarnaev is facing 30 charges for the bomb blasts which killed three, including an eight-year-old oil. >> i am going to be in touch with the publishers to tell them how i feel about it all stop -- about it. >> many say he is being depicted as a rock 'n roll outlaw. >> it was a good idea.
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>> i do not think he did the terrible thing. >> you thought he was a rock star? >> i really did. >> it is clearly driving sales. we visited ind new york has completely sold out. perhaps that was the intention all along. but this soft focus image has hit victims of the boston bombing hard. bbc news. >> in south africa, circumcision has become a disturbing rite of passage, as an initiative -- an initiation ceremony. the procedure is sometimes carried out by traditional healers, and has landed many men in the hospital, with severe injuries that could last a lifetime.
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>> it is initiation season, and another group heads off to the mountains. in blankets, these south african boys are on a ceremonial journey to manhood. here,ill spend weeks surrounded by older men. a grueling right of passage will, for far too many, and like this. -- 36tensive care unit boys have been brought here in recent weeks, the ends of brutality, exposure, and above all, a botched circumcision. this young man told us his infected would be amputated. >> they say they will cut it off. i had dreams of a family and children, but i have lost my manhood. i am not hopeful about my life anymore. not helpful at all.
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>> around him, faces hidden in ashamed.e many others dirty knives and public outrage. >> in some cases, they ultimately commit suicide. it iss why i am saying time to do other things. , most initiates do not end up in hospital, but already this year, more than 70 have died, and there have them growing arrests amid concern that a tradition is being hijacked i charlatans. pride and relief for this group, back from the mountain as man. it is proving hard to police.
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this family has just buried their son. his brother is in hospital. they were circumcised it illegally by another youngster. "i am torn apart." -- a boy'sboys grave and a sense of lost. >> the space race at train the soviet union and the united states were intense. after sputnik, america was desperate to catch up. top minds were summoned. among them was mary sherman morgan. her story went untold for decades. her son talks to us about her incredible achievement. >> america's reputation was on the line. twosoviet union launched satellites into orbit. people knew we were far behind in the space race.
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people were saying there is only one country in the space race. it is the soviet union. it is not even the race at all. the book i wrote is about my mother. ." is entitled "rocket girl monday, we opened our newspaper and found the soviet government had launched sputnik into orbit. we were theed technologically superior country. but it did not shock warner von braun. he had this rocket that had by himself, called the redstone rocket. fellow german scientist, now american naturalized citizen scientist, discovered the rocket was not quite powerful enough to reach orbit. replace the fuel was something more powerful. they gave a contract to north american aviation, which had
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built the booster. they got this contract and gave it to their best rocket propellant expert, which at the time happened to be my mother, mary sherman morgan. there were 900 employees doing engineering work, and she was the only woman on the engineering floor. she was assigned to designing new and exotic rocket propellants. she did not have any education in it. she got to the point where she was so good at it, she became the best person when it came to calculating and designing new rocket propellants. she eventually came up with this cocktail. they sent a tank car of it to cape canaveral. america's first satellite went into orbit a few days later. in newspapers all over the world. >> she did not care about celebrity or being famous. she was the opposite of warner
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von braun. my mother had done such a great job of erasing herself from existence by not allowing anybody to write about her, not doing anything that might make her famous. , no onee passed away could verify she existed. hopefully, she will be .emembered as a pioneer a woman could work in a high technology field, have a family, do both and be successful at both. >> she got the balance so many of us are trying to get. she was a pioneer not only in her field, but for women before her time. that brings the program to a close. if you would like to reach me and the rest of the bbc team, you can find us all on twitter.
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thank you for watching. have a great weekend, wherever you are. >> make sense of international news -- at >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions.
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we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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