tv BBC World News America PBS December 17, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
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which is why at and it -- at an usg, we believe financial partnerships should endure the test of time, because with time comes change, and what matters in the end is that you are strong enough to support it. we build relationships that build the world. >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is bbc world news america. reporting from washington, i'm katty kay. allen gross is that on -- i'm kathy kaye. alan gross is back on american soil after five years. to normalizegin relations between our two countries. >> we go inside the pakistani school where more than 130 children were killed in a taliban attack. the scenes are bloody and hunting. and it is deja vu in greece.
lawmakers failed to elect a new president, and that spells political and economic turmoil to come. welcome to our viewers on public television here in america and elsewhere around the globe. after more than half a century of hostilities, today the united states and cuba took an historic step toward diplomatic and economic ties. in simultaneous appearances, president obama and the cuban leader role castro announced the moves that were the result of more than a year of secret talks brokered by the vatican. click -- >> it took three hours for alan gross to fly to
america, but 50 years for the countries to find accommodation with each other. his freedom was being wrapped up in a much bigger prize. >> i am incredibly less finally to have the freedom to resume a positive and constructive life. -- i'm incredibly blessed finally to have freedom to resume a positive and constructive life. but for now i will close with one of cecil b did milk characters, it is good to be home. >> -- cecil b demille's characters, it's good to be home. >> sweeping sanctions imposed by the u.s. are still there today. now barack obama says the time is right for change for change. >> today, the united states of america is changing its relationship with the people of cuba. and the most significant changes in our policy in more than 50 years, we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests,
and instead we will begin to normalize relations the between the two countries. >> fidel castro was the revolutionary leader of cuba at the time. now it is his brother rebel in charge -- his brother raul in charge. today, the president agreed to -- the cuban president agreed to speak at exactly the same time as his american counterpart. >> we have agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations. this does not mean that the main problem has been resolved. the economic, commercial, and financial club -- blockade, which causes enormous damage to our country must end. >> the people of cuba gathered around televisions to listen to their president. this gallery worker told us she feels emotional and hopeful. i had hoped that relations would open up, she said. this man says it is a step forward for u.s.-cuba relations. but this man on the left is very
wary, and he is a significant cuban-american senator from florida. >> the cuban government will use all of this to their advantage without creating any political opening. mark my words, five years from now, cuba will still be a dictatorship, but a much more profitable one. >> havana today looks at a time warp theme park, with 1950's cars everywhere. obama will need congressional approval to get sanctions lifted, and that is far from certain. it could still be a while before these old gas guzzlers can be replaced by the crisis, the chevys, and the fourth of today. fords of today. beforet still be a while president obama finds himself in havana cutting the ribbon, but the direction of the travel is clear. >> relations between
the united states and cuba deteriorated after 1959, but the 50 year risk was -- wrist was triggered by -- the 50 year that daytriggered by at the bay of pigs. >> the story is of one man, fidel castro, and how the fear and loathing he provoked in america's arrived long beyond the end of the cold war. to understand why, you have to understand the american view of cuba's history. at the end of the 1950's, the young castro was determined to overthrow the american backed regime he saw presiding over corruption and organized crime at the expense of the country. castro's new government promised to give the land back to the people. many of the wealthy fled, their property confiscated, a grievance to this day. castro said hostility from
america drove him into the arms of the soviet union and cuba seen -- soon became a cold war battleground. in 19 51, at the bay of pigs, america sent a -- an army into exile. a year later, the stakes were far higher. reconnaissance planes discovered soviet missiles on their way to siphon cuba. the world was staring into the abyss of all-out nuclear war. 30 years after that heart stopping moment for the world, in 1991, the end of the cold war did not end cuban-american isolation. cuba did not imagine common-ism for capitalism, but havana cigars cannot be sold in the u.s., the limited imports are allowed. tonight, president obama deliberately phrased cuban doctors sent to help ebola in africa. many with their lives to flee
cuba for florida, which helped maintain american entity for >> much of the nt toward the cuban government -- much of the nat toward the cuban government toward the cuban government is aimed at fidel castro. he is still alive. but he is seen only rarely now. in power, he outlasted nine american presidents. the current president in washington holmes both sides can draw a decided line on the past -- the current president in washington hopes both sides can draw a decide line on the past. three american lawmakers traveled to cuba this morning to pick up alan gross. we are joined by one of them. congressman, with book recently and you gave -- we spoke recently and gave no indication you were about to bring alan gross back. >> this was obviously closely held, and we were worried that someone would still the beans
and spoil the whole out for -- the whole effort. the plane to havana was a very emotional flight, because we had with us judy gross, allen's wife an's wife who had been working for years to free him was arriving. her spirits began to rise and we walked off the tarmac into the building at the airport and saw alan gross, it was an overwhelming moment. because he's very then and very frail, but that she is very thin and frail, but his spirits were very high, and he gave her a bear hug that you would think a much bigger guy would give. it was a special moment. >> you support the president shift and the opening up of relations with cuba, but not all of your colleagues do. senator marco rubio said it's just financing the castro regime
and there's no guarantee america will get anything in terms of human rights improvements in cuba. how do you respond to that? >> i think it is pretty straightforward. the burden is on the critics like senator rubio to show how the current policy that's been in place for 54 years has actually succeeded in creating more opening and more democracy in cuba. it has been a miserable failure. we have the castro brothers surviving eight presidents now, and our policy of isolation and punishment as punish the cuban people, but it has helped sustain the regime. when something is clearly broken and failing, you try something else. i believe a policy of engagement will not help the regime, but it what it will do is open up more communication, more trade, and more travel between the united states and cuba. that will create more
opportunity and more desire on the part of the cuban people to have the kind of change we all want to see. will it happen overnight? no. do you expect the regime to change its views? no, but i think engagement will produce results that 50 years of failed policy have not. >> many around the world thought that america's relations with cuba were crazy. the cold war ended two decades ago. why has it taken this long? relic are right, it's a of the past. i think in some ways because cuba is a smaller country, like china -- unlike china, which is a huge after in the world with a huge economy. we changed our policy in the 1970's with kissinger's opening to china. that was a big deal. but of course, it was nixon opening up to a communist country, and we engage with china now. cuba, because it's a smaller country, we didn't have the same kind of pressures to do that.
but in fact, our lack of action and lack of engagement has strengthened the castro regime. think armed, over time, the cuban people -- harmed, over time, the cuban people. >> across pakistan today, candles were lit and vigils held for the more the 130 schoolchildren massacred at a on tuesday.shawar the country's prime minister no one sharif has promised to -- no hassharif --nawaz sharif promised to step out terrorism. on tuesday morning, the gymnasium was being used as a testing hall. within moments, the gunmen came in.
the pakistani army. where wes a place picked up 100 bodies of children. >> today, a few discarded possessions marked the signs of the children's desperate struggle to escape. >> the shoe that has been left behind. the book that has just been thrown on the side. assault lasting over many hours. the attackers making their way from one part of the school to another. , infinal stage came here the building that houses the school offices, including those of the headteacher. >> the walls are covered in bullet holes. .> we have bullets on the walls this is the room of the principal.
he was shot here from outside. >> by this time, the militants were under intense fire from the army, trying to retake control of one of the own -- one of its own schools. >> in this room, that is where you see the impact of the explosion here. >> were they all wearing suicide vest? >> yes, all of them. >> and there were seven of them? >> yes. >> it is a scene of utter devastation. >> the attack will never be forgotten by those who lived through it, or those who came to their aid. teachers nearby rushed the army -- the teacher nearby rushed to the army school
when she heard the gunfire. >> we came out on the road and we saw the people crying. >> she told us how she helped children as young as three out of the school grounds and into her vehicle. >> how many children did you save? >> we saved 14 or 15 children. of those she rescued was her own needs. the two older nephews were among the dead. >> one of those she rescued was her own neice. the two older nephews were among the dead. click -- >> [indiscernible] >> is that with the children are saying to you, that they are not going to school again? >> yes, they are not going to school again. soon,- >> lives taken too young people who were not even safe in their own school. >> for more on the fallout from
yesterday's attack, i spoke to marco grossman. he previously sent a representative to pakistan and afghanistan. that she'd grievously served as a representative to pakistan and afghanistan. i asked him -- he previously served as a representative to pakistan and afghanistan. >> i think what will happen here is that the people of pakistan will rise up and say enough, and if they will hold to that, they will force the government to do something. one of the things that was so important about what the prime minister said today was that terrorists are terrorists are terrorists, and it's no longer choosing between good taliban and bad taliban stop -- and bad taliban. next but he has been -- >> but he has been saying in public for a while that terrorists are terrorists are terrorists, but the hunting place they still listings between the afghan taliban and pakistan taliban. >> that is right, and you would hope that all of these dead children would be enough to finally let this government get
a grip on its entire government, its army, and its intelligence services. i think it will take the package -- the pakistani people getting up and saying this is enough. you and i might have 100 things that we might do, but this is for packet any to do now. -- for pakistanis to do now. and i people are watching hope they will sustain this for some and that they will say it is enough. -- will sustain this and that they will say it is enough. >> does it make any difference to the taliban what people think of them? >> i don't pick it matters at all or they would not do such things. what needs to happen now is that the people of pakistan recognize that they want a strong sovereign country. what does sovereignty mean? sovereignty means you control your borders. when people talk about getting rid of the save havens for the afghan taliban, the pakistani taliban, it's about sovereignty. the pakistani military are in
kabul today and have talked about cooperation. seem to haveoes change that process. how important is that? >> are important, but it has to be the afghan commitment to dealing with the pakistani taliban, and there has to be a commitment to ending not just the pakistani sally upon -- pakistani taliban, but their support. >> could use it in go across the border? >> the military has been quite an incredible job in these past few weeks. i think if the afghani's and pakistanis could work together, that would be a powerful thing. and it's about kabul and islamabad, but also about new delhi. i think the prime minister somed ask india to take time to think about their counterparts as well. >> the military budget to pakistan has been falling. america has given over a billion dollars in 2013 to pakistan.
isn't there more leverage that the u.s. has? >> i hope there is more leverage today that they -- now that the pakistani government has had to deal with it. counterterrorism cooperation between the united states and pakistan enhances pakistani sovereignty. it does not finish it. today ought to be proof of that. >> you are watching bbc world news america. still to come, greens can't decide on a new president, getting more high-tech -- more heartache to a country that has done their share of turbulence. known their share of turbulence. has marked the third anniversary of the former leader, kim jong-il. nation paid tribute.
in formation they step forward with flowers to remember kim jong-il, who statue was on the right alongside the statue of north korea's first later. noon in the square, the golf signal the silence and the city stood still. people bowed their heads and traffic stopped. ,his resident of pyongyang says i came to the statues of our great leader to bow to them, to mark the third years and our great general passed away. i am now a student and after i graduate, and will devote myself to building a strong and prosperous country. in the ceremony at the monthly him for kim jong-il, kim jong-il sun paid homage. it was about acknowledging the
past, but also continuity in a dynasty of leaders. putays, scores of people their effort into the secret history of our immortal leader. there hearts -- their hearts burn with yearning for our great general, everyday, every moment. it is impossible to know what is genuine emotion here, and what is aged. outside, -- what is staged. outside, the choreography of what has changed in the past three years. one thing happen, though, power still resides with the leader and everybody fears being out of step. stephen evans, bbc news, korea. >> sony pictures has canceled a planned release next week of the comedy movie called "the interview" about a fictional plot to kill north korean leader kim jong-iun.
let's go live to alastair. he's in los angeles. it looks like the hackers have won. >> it would look so. the theaters decided not to run the film, and sony gave them the option to decide. they stepped in just a short time ago and said they would not release the film on christmas day. it was a short statement, but they sent the attackers hack where they took huge amounts of data and unreleased film was an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. and that these attackers sought to destroy our spirit and our morale, all apparently to sport the release of a movie they didn't like. thwart the
release of a movie they didn't like. it appears they got their way. quite amazing, the power of hackers, it looks like. -- >> amazing, the power of hackers, it looks like. greece appears to be on the road to crippling recession. plunging back into uncertainty, the markets are nervous. the greek parliament failed to back the government choice for a new president, but if someone is not approved by the 29th of december, there will have to be a snap election. clegg's the greek armament today -- >> public sector workers heading to the parliament today. some say that after a time of reform there is a risk of political instability returning. the greek parliament tonight failed to elect a new president in the first of three votes. if greece is agree
heading for snap elections. that is already rattling nerves in brussels. why? because this man is ahead in the polls. ofxis the frat is the leader the radical left party. european officials are making clear they prefer known faces. if he comes to power, he promises to write off part of the greek debt and to renegotiate the bailout deal on which greece still depends. >> the bailout agreement is based on the principle and the idea that a country can repay its debt through recession and austerity. rediscoveringece growth this year, a legacy of six years of recession remain. the improvements in the economy may not be enough to save the government, and they are
publicly committed to seeking help with greece's debt. be -- if there were three a breakdown of negation, recession would be again upon us. >> and implement is down, but it is still 25.7%. -- unemployment is down, but is still 25.7%. woman lost her job as a security guard and has not found anything. >> the hardest part was when i had to live on the street and my life collapsed. it is hard, especially for a woman. people take advantage. if greece was as heading for a snap election, but there are still to further votes before the end of the month, and european officials and leaders will be watching anxiously. >> there is a lot of uncertainty around the state of the european economy, and what is happening in greece does not help.
that brings today's shows to a close -- today's show to a close. thanks for watching. i will see you tomorrow. ♪ >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, and mufg. >> they say the oldest trees bear the sweetest fruit. at mufg, we've believed in nurturing banking relationships for centuries, because strong
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> today, the united states of america is changing its relationship with the people of cuba. >> woodruff: a historic shift. the u.s. and cuba will restore diplomatic relations, after more than 50 years of hostility and isolation. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. also ahead, sony pictures cancels the release of their satiric comedy about the assassination of north korea's leader after threats of violence and terrorism if it made it to theaters. >> all the other studios in hollywood are frightened that they could be next. they're trying to beef up their security and be more careful about theor