tv BBC World News America PBS December 23, 2013 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
>> this is bbc world news america. reporting from washington, i'm nick. a civil war as the army prepares to lawn much major attack on rebels. members of the russian punk band pussy riot is released from prison but they say ate nothing but a pr stunt from putin and reaching goals after losing three limbs in afghan stafpblt he's running, biking and driving a few years after his injuries.
whrbg to our view order on public tell any things america around the globe. a situation of mounting urgency. that's how they describe the situation in south sudan. they're asking the counsel to commit more troops. violence has been he escalating since more than a week ago leading to fears of a full fledged civil war. they said today it will start a major military offensive to take back two towns that have been seized. we have this report. >> this is a time of desperation, once more they are fleeing conflict and relying on food handouts to survive and clear the fighting is not yet over.
president has promised his troops will retake the towns now in the hands of his former did you paoutdty. the first town to fall and by saturday most was in rebel hands too. the troops are motivated, but the big offensive hasn't materialized. as part of the chaos now developing, groups have armed civilians are rampaging through the country side. the un says it will protect the people who have reached its camps. >> it's been difficult but we've been re reinforcing. everybody who is under the protection of the united nation gets the best possible assistance we can muster. we have been literally digging and reinforcing the position for the last 36 hours. we'll not allow a repeat of what
is already struck. >> some of the victims, these indian peacekeepers were killed last week and so were ethnic. they were seeking revenge after their were killed and now increasingly revenge attacks are carried out by civilians. bbc news. >> for more on the situation unfolding i spoke a brief time ago with the former u.s. assistant secretary of state for african affairs. thank you for joining us. it looks like the security counsel will boost the number of peacekeepers bringing it up to about 11,000. this is the country the size of spain tens of thousands are seeking protection. is that kind of force be enough? >> it certainly won't be enough. really i think that it's good to have more forces on the ground. i welcome that move by the un
security counsel, but this is a problem that require as dip maltic resolution, particularly there's a divide within the sudan people liberation movement and the need is for diplomacy. i would say the united states in particular which has leverage and influence in south sudan to bring the parties together. >> president has spoken of aoepg political dialogue but at the same time he's amassing troops to launch a defensive. it seems like he's looking for a military solution. >> he feels like like he needs to deal with rebellious forces within his own military. it was a political conflict that then led to sort of a rebellion or mutiny within his forces, particularly the presidential
guard and that has led to the underlying tensions between different ethnic groups. i think the president has a responsible in some ways to try to pursue bringing discipline back within his armed forces, but more importantly he has at least 11 senior members of his party who are in detention and he needs to free those people who are in detention as part of the dialogue. >> one of the cliches that you often here is this country's going to be the next so many kwra is a monthly i can't. this country could be the next rwanda. is that an exaggeration? >> it isn't in terms of if ethnic violence within communities gets unleashed and
the political leadership isn't governing effectively to try to keep that under control, then indeed you can see reprisal attacks carried out by individuals and it's very difficult then to get that back under control. i don't believe that's the way south sudan is going, but i think that the warning is legitimate >> very briefly is there danger that america will be brought into this? >> well united states needs to be involved very much so. the united states helped to bring about the independence of the republican south sudan whether it's boots on the ground or dip low mats on the ground we should be fully engaged. >> thank you for your thoughts. >> thank you. >> in other news, african union troops have opened fire killing one person. about 40 people were also injured mostly in a stampede
that followed. african unions and french troops are battling to end the conflict between christians and muslims. protesters in thailand have tried and failed to prevent candidates from registering for the next election. the protestors are demanding the replacements of the government. investigation is underway as a british plane struck an offense building. four people in the building were slightly injured. the authorities say that the jet was using a bath way which was too narrow for it. now to russia where the release of high profile prisoners continued today. the final members of the punk band pussy riot have been freed from jail vowing to carry on their political process. it comes just days after a former tycoon and one of
russia's richest men were let out of prison. they say it's all a publicity stunt by the president putin. >> the best known face of the famous russian protest group pussy riot walked free long after night fall in siberia. after one year, nine months and 20 days behind bars she claimed she'd only been released because of the upcoming winter olympics. it's just of an enough. it's just is a man ticks. it's just ridiculous. far more people should be freed. >> 2,000 miles to the west her
fellow band member had been released a few hours earlier. both said they would continue to campaign. >> the human rights will be a bit more organized in the future. we're going to use the same things. >> the pussy riot women were jailed for two years after dancing in moscow's main cathedral in bright tights and singing a prayer to the verges inmary to rid russia of vladimir putin. they were jailed for two years as part of a crackdown on opposition activists. >> russia's most famous and long serving political prisoner was also freed three days ago, but today he told the bbc that he didn't think president putin had changed. >> i'm convinced that putin is making his decisions about
political prisoners now for reasons. it's not a sign of a real change in his politics but change is possible. >> in a matter of weeks russia's jails have been emptied of all the most controversial prisoners, pussy riot and the 30 green peace activists. the only rationale explanation is the winter olympics but goes to show how much power rest in the hands of one man vladimir putin. bbc news moscow. you can see the full interview on "hard talk" on bbc world news tomorrow. it's airing at the times seen on your screen. it's nearly three years since the civil war began in syria and since then there's been a steady stream of people leaving the country to escape the violence. more than 2 million refugees
have fled and the number is rising. the united kingdom is providing financial aide but not accepting any refugees. many syrians are willing to pay traffickers to gain access to the u.k. we have this special report. >> here's syria's war and could t comes to the gateway of britain. syrians join refugees of many nations hoping to cross the channel. as the war escalates more arrive. >> i called my doctor again. >> a chef, and this elderly man a professor. >> how do you feel now at the moment? >> i feel numb. i have had a life. i studied so that i can pursue what i love to be a teacher. i had a life full of respect for my students, now i have lost my
dignity. a man without his humanity. >> it will give asylum to most ref fugees but they believe britain will be more sympathetic and allow more tune opportunities. the refugees must land on u.k. soil before they can claim asylum and that means getting across the channel. >> here in france, the syrians have discovered that the tragedy they're escaping from is one of many conflicts sending people fleeing towards britain as refugees. among the syrians we've spoken with getting to britain is the beginning of their salvation and it's that which makes them put their faith in the people traffickers. according to the french government one trafficking gang smuggled nearly 4,000 people to britain in the last two years.
they break into and steal the refugees in. as we filmed a driver told police he just discovered refugees in his vehicle. these people fled one of africas most op pressive regimes. >> where are they from? >> after questioning, they'll be set free to try again another night. we decided to expose the underworld gangs praying on refugees in camps across the city charging up 2,000 pounds to cross to the u.k. we sent a bbc journalist undercover as a syrian refugees. within hours he had been introduced to the traffickers.
>> they asked if they could traffic him across. >> that's the promise and last year the french say it worked for an estimated 15,000 people. by night back among the refugees it's time to cue for a nightly meal provided by locate charity. syrians are regulars here. a few days after filming we heard from the chef. he successfully crossed to britain. but the older man, the professor and the pie poet is still there and lonely. >> i never thought i would end up here living this life. i feel like the dead amongst the
living. one man among millions cast from his homeland. bbc news cal lay. >> you're watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program, months after christians came under attack, the wounds are far from healed. >> the world's most popular firearm and the designer died at the age of 94. he was born in siberia in 1919. it was while recovering from wounds suffered during world war ii that he came up with the design for his rifle which has since been the weapon of choice for many. since his invention was never patented he didn't get rich. jonathan marcus reports. stkpwhrtd >> the dissting active sound of
the ak-47 echos from asia to the middle east. he was the young sergeant in the saoef yet red army when he began to develop his new rifle. he created a rugged, simple, a reliable weapon that could withstand the rigors of service in the field. his 1947 design became the standard equipment. versions were manufactured in several other countries including china, millions were sold worldwide. he was sensitive to any criticism that his gun had caused countless casualties around the globe. >> i created a weapon to defend the borders he said. he said it's not my fault it's used where it shouldn't have been. >> he was honored by the soviet union and its successor the
russian federation. he received very little if any money for his invention. the rifle with its distinctive curved magazine became a symbol in the hands of million tapblts and insurgents around the world. it is in many ways the iconic weapon of the 20th century. jonathan marcus, bbc news. >> in equip today security forces fired tear gas. it's understood many of those taking part in the protest were students in an islamic university. the most recent unrest comes as christians are preparing celebrate their christmasses day which falls on january the 7th. but they're still waiting for scores of churches which were destroyed in august to be
rebuilt rebuilt. >> play time known as fu-fu. just three years old and already a victim of sectarian hatred. he was shot twice in the stomach when gunmen attacked at a wedding in october in cairo. his seven-year-old sister was one of the four people killed. she collapsed at the feet of their mother. >> when the shooting started, i didn't think it was live ammunition. i thought it was fireworks. i fell on my children and kept telling them don't worry, don't be afraid. marian wasn't moving. i had no idea she was dead.
>> her husband shows me the last picture ever taken of marian in her new outfit on her wedding. he says attacks on christians go unpunished. and 4 hours drive away in upper egypt more evidence of religious intolerance at a church that was set alight. fire raged here for about nine hours and only a shell was left standing. the church had been renovated just six months before. and the devastation here was echoed elsewhere. church officials say over 100 religious buildings were damaged or destroyed in a single week in august. they say the attacks were systematic and premeditated. >> he blames the muslim brotherhood for the attack on the church which took place
under the noses of police. >> the church is no more than 12 steps away from the police headquarters. when people ask the police who were protecting their own headquarters to come and help they refused. they said they did not have orders to interfere with this problem. >> church burnings are not the only torment. a pharmacist was kidnapped in september and his wife had to raise $43,000 to get him back. he had been held for two days brutally beaten and mistreated and thrown in a pit. >> one of the kidnapers said, this is the death pit where you will now be buried. as soon as i was pushed in i could smell the dead bodies inside. the stench was unbearable and
the guy put his gun in my mouth and i felt these were my final moments. >> back at the destroyed church the congregation now pray under canvas in the courtyard. christians here are hoping for better days for egypt and for their community. they say the extremists are a minority and the faithful will be relying on god to keep them safe. bbc news, minute i can't. >> this holiday season many u.s. service members will be away from their families. after 12 years of war in afghanistan more than 20,000 american troops are dealing with wounds they suffered them. among them army captain. while serving in kandahar three years ago an improvised explosive device went off near him. with the help of his wife he's
been able to rebuild his life. we have his story. >> this is u.s. army captain's regular workout. all done with three artificial limbs, an impressive feat for someone who nearly died three years ago. >> we were just being on the ground i was in a lot of pain and yelling for my medic. >> he was a platoon leader serving in afghanistan when a homemade bomb exploded nearby. he was air lifted out on a military helicopter and the blast took both of his legs and the lower part of his right arm. the army called his wife to tell her what happened. she was at his side when he woke up. >> he was on a breathing machine so he couldn't talk, but he could kind of wrinkle his eyebrows and wiggle his nose at phaoefplt i knew he was still himself. >> i can't imagine coming conscious really for the first time and trying to assess and
deal with everything that had happened without her being there. >> and rachel's been there ever since. >> what role has she played in your recovery? >> a good question would be what role has she not played. >> the rehabilitation was difficult. >> i used to have to remind him to breathe. codo it but we would forget. >> larkin said you believed in him when he didn't believe in himself. >> yeah. i think something that i see a lot of in our guys coming back when they lose that role as a soldier or marine they struggle. >> it was hard to see that there was anything good left. she was there to convince me that there was. >> with rachel's help he set goals for himself at an ambitious pace from using his first wheelchair goading prophetics to walking. here he is taking his first
steps. >> his most important goal was set for the day the soldiers he served with came home from afghanistan. >> i wanted them to see me standing up like i'm going to be okay. i was your platoon leader and i still am and i'm not some guy in a wheelchair. >> from running and biking to driving, larkin's accomplishments have been astounding. now the goal is to be as independent as possible. he's starting as a congressional fellow for the army working on capitol hill. >> riding the metro and the escalator, the things i'm able to do that allow me to be in an office and they ask and they say what kind of accommodation do you need and i say i don't need any. i'm happy to be here. let's get to work. >> his resilience has been key to recovery and getting stronger every day. bbc news virginia. >> that brings today's show to a
♪ jingle bells, jingle bells ♪ narrator: coming up, it's everyone's favorite christmas present-- a monkey. ♪ ... open sleigh. ♪ (laughing) (george hooting, man gasping) man: it's what george wants for christmas, and i have to figure it out. whoa! wow! oh, no! (grunting) (bell ringing) stop! (hooting) man: yes, george. it's christmas. funding for curious george is provided by contributions to your pbs station... ooh. ...and from: ooh! (chuckles) hi! ooh! oh! hmm...
(hoots happily) ♪ ♪ huh? narrator: december is an exciting month because you know one day you'll wake up and it'll be christmas morning. (cheering) (hooting enthusiastically) ah! george didn't want the man with the yellow hat to miss even one second of christmas. (murmuring, snoring) (hooting frantically) (grunting) (hooting excitedly) (coughs, groans) (grunts) george, my spleen. (chatters apologetically) (sighs) thank you. and i am afraid it's still not christmas yet, buddy.
aw... remember, we talked about this yesterday? uh-uh. uh-uh. uh-uh. and the day before? uh-uh. and every morning at 5:00 a.m. since thanksgiving? aw. (chuckles) see, today is the 14th. so, how many days are there until the 25th? uh... aha! no, it's more than one. (chatters sadly) (chatters skeptically) there. that's christmas. (chatter excitedly) this is today. oh! all these other days come before christmas.