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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  July 12, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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woman: this isa. "bbc world news americ" is madible by... the freeman foundation; udy and peter blum-kovler foundation, pursuing solutglns for america's ted needs; contributions to this pbs station from viewers like thank you. nada: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am
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nada tawfik. president trump's labor secretary is out of a job. alex acosta announces he is resigning after coming under more scrutiny for cutting a plea deal for jeffrey epstein. singer r. kelly faces deral charges including exploitation of a child and kidnapping for activities that stretch back to wo decades. and focusing in on the moon. 50 years after man took his first steps there, the photography which made it possible. nada: for those watching on pbs and around the globe, welcome to "world news america." all week the pressure has been building on u.s. labor secretary alex acosta, and today he resign. nacosta said he d want to be a distraction over his role in a pleath deal reached
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disgraced financier jeffrey epstein at decade ago. earlier thisio week, addl charges were brought against epstein in new york for sex trafficking. the labor secretary held a press conference to defend theag ement he made in florida. but today it was all too much. the president praised him whilen uncing his departure. a brief time ago, i spoke with jeff mason, white house reporter for we saw the pre come out with mr. acosta. what does that say about his departure? jeff: it says a lot insofar as the president has seen a lot of cabinet secretaries and staff membs go who he has fired or have resigned, and the fact th he gave him a sendoff suggests that he does like the secretary, updoesrt him, and perhaps was disappointed he decided to resign. but he accepted the resignation, and there were probably political reasons for nada: the polireasons i guess being this cloud over the
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ite house of the epstein case, president trump making it clear he had a falling out with mr. epstein. how much does the white houso haverry about that? jeff: number one, having his labor secretary on his way out means every time there is a news story about epstein, there is not necessarily this connection emphasized about acostell. that is one reason he said he wanted to leave, that he wouldn't be a distraction. as for president trump, he said he had a falling out with epstein years ago, but they had one point did cialize in florida and new york. nada: what about this revolving door we are seeing ithe white house? now we have so many cabinetll positions with acting officials. jeff: the president likes acting. i think he kind of the word. same way he likes the word if"t." the chief of staff is acting, he has acting advisors and secretaries. that is descriptive of president trump likes to staffne his circle. he likes that the flex ability
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-- he likes to have the flexibility to say you are not going to be here that long. this is the former reality tv show person who used to fire peop on a whim on "the apprentice." he still does that. he didn't fire acosta, but he wants the next person to be in an acting capacity as well. nada: how much worry is there in washington that this is becoming a pattern with the president not having enough chciks on ofs before they are appointed and then having to show them a door? jeff: the president has faced a lot of criticism for not vetting his senior staff and cabinet officials enough. that has come up with a multitude of the people weapon in his cabin or inner circle, -- who have been in his cabinet or his inner circle, so it is a fair question to ask. there is concern among dicocrats and crof the president and his administration. on the other hand, two-and-a-half years into the trump administration, there was also a sense that this is how he bdoiness, this is how he governs, and if you don't like it, americans have a chance to
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change it up in 2020 nada: thank you so much. jeff: my pleasure. nada: a state of emergency has l been declared isiana as the area braces itself for tropical storm barry. landfall is expected on saturday and there are fears it could be a major flooding event. obviously, the members of katrina will always hang over new orleans and the surrounding area, t officials are warning residents to prepare and braced fothe impact. the bbc's sophie long is in louisiana and joined us a short time ago. sophie, can you give us a sense of how residents and officials are preparing for the storm? sophie: nada, the state governor declared a state of emergency on wednesday, so people have had plenty of time and warning toop prepare for al storm barry. as you can see in new orleans, we are experiencing strong windu s and it is raining quite heavily as well. the fear is, forecasters sayt thatuld reach hurricane strength, windspeeds of 170
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-- overle 74 per hour before it reaches landfall. we're expecting that late ght or tomorrow morning. people here are no strangers to big weather events. the state of louisiana has picalienced three t storms and two hurricanes in the last decade alone. but the conditions that proceed prede this one are unique. you see the mississippi river behind me, it is very high. it has been like that for months because of a particularly wet spring. forecasters are predicting that there could be a tidal surge in thmaftermath of tropical st barry. if that happens, it coing water levels up to 19 feet. that is dangerously close to the 20 feet that the city's leveesn pe with. at is the big fear, that we could get some overspill. people here know how catastrophic that could be. many people here remember hurricane katrina and the aftermath in 2005 when there
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alwere major overspills alg the river mississippi. officials are confident it won't happen this time, that people are filling up sandbags tome protect their and businesses. the mayor has told people to get their supplies and be inside by 8:00 this evening and stay there. they could needed to be inside their homes for up to 72 hours. nada: all right, sophie, thanku ry much for that from new orleans. in other news around the world, at least 17 people have died across nepal after torrential monsoon rains causeds. landsli nepalese whether authorities -- weather authorities have warned that the heavrains are expected to continue. this is the moment a u.s. coast guard crew dramaticallded spected ofe smuggling drugs. ere id was part of a series operations in the n pacific ocean. the force says between may and ly of this year, they ha seized nearly $600 million worte of coc and marijuana.
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another bige storye following is the arrest of singer r. kelly in chicago on more than a dozen federal charges, including sex trafficking and child pornograph prosecutors in illinois and newc york have sed the singer in two separate cases of grooming and imprisoning youngirls and women and filming the sexual encounters. and filming the sexual he already faces state charges, and has denied all of the allegations against him, which stretch back decades. brief time ago i spoke with wendy murphy, a professor of sexual violence law at new england law. thanks for being with us. looking at these charges, some all the way back to 1999. what does it say that prosecutors are just bringing this case forward now? wendy: well, i think what it says is that the public in particular has been very dissatisfied with the criminal justice system's response to r. kelly's crimes over the years.
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the numbers of vicms and the horrific nature of the sex crimes he has committed -- especially we're talking about ayoung girls being involv well -- we let it go.en able to i think that is a good thing. certainly the me too movement has played a role in keeping the public's interest high and rejuvenating a couple years ago. feeling ke somebody got away with something is not a very comfortable feeling. but feeling like a guy like r. kelly got away with an awful lot rg bad behavior against a number of victims, the is intolerable. that is probably the prime reason you saw not only new state charges this year, but two different jurisdictions bringing federal charges as well. nada: as you say, new york and illinois, federal charges in both districts.
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what can we expect now? will this definitely head to trial? wendy: good question. this is the sort of situation where you expect it to go to trial because ev if r. kellyre makes a ally good deal with all the prosecutors involved in the three different cases he is currently fang, it is still going to be a lot of timbehind bars, especially the federal cases. feral resources, federal charges, the federal rules of evidence are much harsher, much tougher than the state charges. because he probably won't get the kind of deal that would allow him to walk free or even avoid a significant pris sentence, he may well rolled the dice and just go to trl in all of these cases. nada: if it does go to trial, whsides the women and girl are mentioned in the indictment, could we possibly hear from other prior witnessesaid the same thing happened to them? wendy: absolutely.
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one of the things i have seen in my many years in this business is that when victims don't feel comfortable coming forward because they are afraid, especially if they think they are alone or one of ly a couple of victims, they will stay silent out of fear, frankly. but when this happens, when theo at the news stories and see, wow, that is a lot of law enforcement pport here, there are other victims, i'm not the only one, this guy did all of these horrific things to young girls and young women, i'm going to come forward, too, beca le i ams afraid now. in fact, i'm going to feel heroic if i come forward. frankly, i think it is great t say to them, please come forward, you were a child, you were taken advantage of, you were exploited.
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t your fault. if you come forward, you will not only be heroic for yourself, you will be for all the other victims. it is a powerful and important message in this case. nada: all right, wendy murphy, thank you. in the battle over border security, perhaps no issue has been as contentious as separating children from their parents. hundreds of minors are stillg beld, and there are increasing reports of deteriorating conditions in detention facilities, including overcrowding and an unhealthy environment. today a house oversight committee heard from some of its coeneagues who had recently to the border, including alexandria ocasio-cortez. rep. ocasio-cortez: children being separated from parents in front of an american flag, that women were being called these names under an american flag. we cannot allow for th. >> what will we say to this generation of children and parents we imprisoned for seeking safety? wehould be the ones beggin for forgiveness. na: democratic congressman
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gerry connolly from virginia sits on the oversight committee who held today's hearing and he joined me from capitol hill. congressman, thank you for joining us.on rep.lly: my pleasure. nada: we heard a lot of concern, but what will congress actually do now? rep. connolly: we want to tighten regutions that govern the homeland secur and health and human services department, because thewe testimon heard from inspectors general of both agencies, which was very, very chilling. they describe conditions that e dickensian. it is like a charnel house, not like a detention center at is at all humane. congress must act, and today's testimony certainly gave vivid evidence of why. nada: your party has also come under criticism for not in the past, for ample, having enough
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provisions to make sure that migrants have better treatment in the facilities. do you think your party could have done more? rep. connolly: i think we could iways do more, but let me say that i think thean exponential difference between what happened during the obama administration, when there were record deportations, but certainly migrants were treated in a humane way. we have never had testimony like we have had today in terms of the condition of children, the deliberate separation of children from their families. that most certainly did not occur under previous democratic or republican administrations. that is unique to donald trump, and it is something that no american can be proud of. in fact, no american should find it acceptable under any circumstances. nada: president trump has confirmed that this weekend ice will conduct raids across the country to round up illegal immigrants. what do you make of that?
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what kind of impact will that have in communities across the country? rep. connolly: you know, i think donald trumpas engaged by repeating this threat several times. i think, frankly, it is fascist and demagogic attempt to create enormous fear throughout the immigrant community.-a i think it is rican, i think it is anti-democratic, and i think it is, frankly, reprehensible. nada: what do you make of the fact that this was announced ahead of time? rep. connolly: i think it is designed to inculcate fear, which is all part of thi administration's policy. you know, make people afraid. t ke people afraid by the stories going one southern border. make people afraid of cooperating with the census.e make peoraid that a deportation team may arrive at ur doorstep and take your mom or your dad or your brother oryo sister or your cousin or your aunt and uncle away. nada: thanks for joining us. rep. connolly: my pleasure. nada: you are watching "bbc world news america."
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still to come on tonight's program, el salvador's total ban on abortion has sparkevea controial case. we will have a specialeport. the u.k.'s metropolitan police has launched an investigation into the alleged leak of official communicatirom britain's outgoing ambassador to sir kim darroch's emails which criticized the trump administration led to his resignatn. reporter: who leads-- laked the documents that party president ambassador and put the specion relaip under strain? how did our man in washington's frank assessments andf splahed across the "mail" on sunday? within ds, the ambassador
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announced he would leave his washington residency after the president fired back, calling him stupid and pompous and making clear he wasn't welcome. the whitehall inquiry was starting to root out the ltrder, but the olitan police announced they would take over. the commissioner said, "i'm satisfied there has been damage caused to u.k. international relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice." there was even a direct appeal. "you can stop this now," he said. turn yourself in at th earliest opportunity. explain yourself and face the consequences." >> i'm assuming it is a function of how serious it has been taken, that clearly there has been damaged tos britain' national interest here. obviously, the police have more tools on their disposal to find the culprit that it is very
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important to find who is the perpetrator of this leak. reporter: today the president was trying to be nice come with some warmer words for sir kim. pres. trump: i wamh the british ssador well, but they have got to stop their leaking problems there like they have to stop them in our country. reporter: stopping leaks is one challenge. finding the sourwi of this one ll be tough enough. da: human rights organizations are calling for an end to el salvador's total ban on h has been in place since 1998. the laws are some of the strictesin the world, and on monday, 21-year-old woman who supporters say had a stillbirth will face retrial on charges on killin gher baby. orrin reports. orla: san salvador, a city where
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catholicism has deep roots, and where the church has had commanding influence and helped to ensure the total ban on abortion. a ban that has criminalized women like her. ane went into labor alone at work and called mbulance which never came. she says she fainted during the birth and came to surrounded by police accusing her of killing her baby. last year, her 30-year sentence was commuted, and she walked free to be reunited with herly fa after a decade behind bars. human rights groups say she is one of many women who lost their babies and were jailed forin killthem. she was already a devoted mother when she was convicted.
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her son, now 15, was just fourye s old when they were parted. orla: do you feel like you missed out on a lot of his life, a lot of your son's life?
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orla: she says she was jailed for a crime she did not commit by a society where men still have the upper hand. some women and girls here do seek terminations, but the process has been drivende unround. this doctor told me that many of the women who come to him have actually miscarried, but are too scared to go to hospital in case staff call the polic he says most of his patients have bn raped. >> there is souch sexual violence here. it affects almost 60% of m patients. many are used by gang members. i see minors raped by a brother, uncle, father. i am frustrated as a salvadoran and doctor that victims are
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being nished by the law. orla: and supporters say this woman is being punished for a stillbirth. she asked us not to show her face orla: she told me she was raped as a teenager. she didn't know she was pregnant until her baby was born in a toilet. she was arrested in hospital and never allowed to see her son's body. after three years in jail, she is now facing a retrial. campaigners say they will fight on to free 16 women still behind bars because of the abortion ban. many fear it will be a long march to justice and reform of the law. orla guerin, bbc news, san salvador. nada: the campaign to end the el salvador abortion ban. we are days away from the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. events have been taking place
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around the world to mark the occasion. in new york, the metropolitan museum of art as of it a massive exhibitith photos and memorabilia related to the moon. it gives us a sense of how our relationship to the earth's nearest neighbor has evolved over the years. >> before photography, the moon was basically a pretty disk in the sky that cast a beautiful, romantic light. once astronomers started looking at the moon through telescopes, they discovered that it was a place just lik there were mountains and valleys and craters and there was a whole landscape there to be discovered and explored and possibly visited someday. this, we believe, is the earliest photograph the moon. it was made by a physician and professor at nyu who set up his
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camera with a telescope, used an exposure of several minutes, and got a daguerreotype, a photographic image on a polished metal plate, that shows the actual craters of the moon for the first time. photogphy played an incredibly important role in the history of lunar imaging. it allowed us to go from specation about what the moo e to discovery of what it looks like. i don't think that we would have reached the moon without photography. all of the nasa missions of the 1960's were documenting the finar landscape in order t a place for the lunar module to land. without the careful documentation, they might have st crashed. this is a photograph of the f r sidee moon. it was taken in 1959 by the soviet explorer that orbited around the backside. what is so amazing is it shows us something that no human eyes had ever seen before. it is only through the camera able to get this view.
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it was very important to nasahe and to.s. government to send human beings to the moon. they could have just sent robotic missions to photograph the moon, and they did. but sending a man to the moon, as jfk said in 1961, was the goal of the space program of the 1960' photographs that they took isthere allowed us to see place from human's eye point of view, and that was incredibly important in terms of the cultural understanding of what it means to be on another planet. nada: stunning photos from that exhibit. i cannot wait to see the cameras that the apollo 11 crew used. i am nada tawfik. thank you for watching "world announcer: funding for this presentation is made possible by... the frfoundation; by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation,
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, l secretary or alex acosta resigns amid criticism over his handling of a sex crimes casena against bille jeffrey epstein. then, fearing a massood, the latest on a slow-mtoing tropical expected to drench louisiana, threatening leveesround new orleans. plus, as theegal marijuana industry expands, questions remain about racial diversity in the business and who will reap the economic benefits. >> we're hoping that we can correct that by keeping the money within the community, employing people from our community, and allowing the ney to circulate as many times as humanly possible. >> woodr mark shields and ramesh ponnuru
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