tv BBC World News America PBS December 31, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
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nuala: thick smoke darkens the skies as australia's bushfires push thousands of people to seek refuge on the coast. greece and lebanon are the latest countries to welcome in the new decade with celebrations in athens and beirut. nuala: hello, you are very welcom to "bbc world news." we have been seeing in thnew
year following celebrations all around the world. let's bring in live pictures from athens. it just turned midnight, as you can see in the greek capital. fireworks over the acropolis. a concert is taking place in one of the main squares of athens. the old and theew side-by-side. side-by-side. nuala: the acropolis is always a fantastic sight on that hill. really quite something to see it as it ushers in a new decade and a new year for the greek people in athens that are watching it at the moment. right, let's cross over from athens and move to beirut, to
lebanon. there is a big party that is taking place, as you can see here. some of thsmoke and the flares, really more like a dance party. let's listen in as well. let's listen in as well. nuala: just two minutes past midnight 2020 in the lebanon and greece. going to be following other cities andountries during the coming hours. let's turn to hong kong at the moment, because they are new year's elevations have been overshadowed by more protest. riot police began 2020 by firing tearas and antigovernment protesters who blocked roads and started fires in one district. the fireworks display was scaled down over security fears. there have been more than six
months of sometimes violent protests in the territory. a big gathering his plan for new year's day. let's bring you some breaking news coming to us. the leader of north korea, kim jong-un, has is that there will never be a denuclearization of the peninsula if the united states sticks to its hostile policy. the state news agency of north korea is quoting mr. kim as saying he will continue to develop powerful nuclear deterrents to contain a u.s. threats. the scope of the front will depend on washington's future attitude, he said at a ruling workers part of meeting, also according to state media. mr. kim said the world would witness a new strategic weapon in the near future. the united states have said they will send additional forces to support staff at the american embassy in baghdad. this is after protesters angry over u.s. airstrikes on iraqi militia gather around the compound. protesters earlier l fires on
the perimeter of the embassy and set fire to the guard tower. some demonstrators managed to breach the outer wall of the compound before teargas was fired to disperse them. reporter: furious crowds at an american embassy, the largest in the world under siege for the protesters and pro-iranian militiamen inside baghdad's protected green zone venting their anger, attending to breach the embassy walls. one entrance is first opened, but the crowd is pushed back by tear gas fired inside. this is a heavily fortified compound. soldiers inside seem alert but not yet alarmed. fires are lit outside to the air thick with smoke and anti-american slogans. but the crowd is not huge. sources inside the compound say the situation appears to be under control. no one has bn evacuated.
directing the protests are some of the country's leading shiite militiamen. they are backed by iran and deeply hostile towards america. >> this embassy has been proved to be an embassy of plotting against iraq, embassy of spying iraq, and an embas of running schemes and sabotage in iraq. reporter: tensions rose dramatically over the weekend as american warplanes carried out airstrikes against militia targets in iraq in syria. at these 25 fighters were killed. the u.s. blad the pro-iranian group hezbollah for a rocket attack on friday that killed an american civilian in the northern city of kirkuk. donald trump the finger and neighboring iran. iran killed an american contractor," he tweeted this morning. "we strongly responded and we always will. they will be held fully responsible."he also warned iraq to do more to protect the embassy.
but iraq's government is in a bind. the u.s. is still an ally in the fight against so-called islamic state, but its relationship with iran is much closer. the embassy is not thought to be in any immediate danger, but american reinforcements have already arrived. u.s. marines, part of a special crisis response unit, making the short journey from a base in the nearby kuwait. nuala: a little earlier i spoke to the atlantic council's iraq initiative director. >> it is alarming. it is a really sad turn of events. a lot of it is unnecessary because of this sort of back and forth hostilities between the united states and iran, and iraq is caught in the crossfire. i think, as i said in my tweets earlier from yesterday to today,
i believe that we are going to witness a new relation bad turn between the united states and iraq in 2020, different than what has been before and's 2003.-- since 2003. this is the first time we see demonstrations in front of the u.s. embassy in baghdad's 2003, and i believe that these demonstrators will not go away before they get what they want, which is a massive reduction of u.s. diplomatic presence. nuala: how do you think that will actually default? there are people within those buildings. a breached perhaps the outer wall but not the actual embassy itself. do you see some sort of mediation? i believe you think there will be a massive reduction of americans in that embassy, but tell me what you think is going
to happen. >> again, depends on who gets involved. the original organizes, the popular mobilization forces that initially organized what used to be a sit-in -- now it is no longer a sit-in, it is a more active movement -- then they were not interested in doing any damage to the embassy or harming u.s. personnel. but as you know, with gatherings itlike iraq is these days, anybody could come and ride the wave and you would see other actors that would probably not be violent to the original intent of the orgiz we have to be very vigilant. the iraqi government has to do its part at the end of the day. it is responsible for protecting the u.s. embassy. and also, i think the united
states needs to tone down its rhetoric right now, because the more u.s. officials talk, the more angry the crowd will be. either way, i believe that this will end up by obtaining a law from parament to ask or mandate the government to ask for u.s. forces' withdrawal, and i believe at started to be a massive reduction in military personnel, used to be for a temporary basis, and now i think it will be permanent. there are talks about it as the largest embassy in the world. i don't think it will be anywhere near that. nuala: lebanon says it had no prior warning that the former head of nissan, carlos ghosn, intended to skip bail in japan. he says he went to lebanon to escape what he called a rigged justice system.
it is unclear how he left japan. there are various theories. he was on trial for financial misconduct charges and surrendered a passports as part of his bail conditions. rupert wingfield-hayes has more. rupert: last march, carlos ghosn disguised himself as a construction worker as he attempted to slip past the waiting media on his release from jail. now he has succeeded in slipping out of japan, perhaps in another disguise. even his own defense team have been left dumbfounded, unable to explain how mr. ghosn did it. >> we didn't know anything about it. completeurprise. >> we still have all his passports. rupert: somehow come mr. ghosn managed to board a private jet, and last night he landed here in the lebanese capital, beirut. he said he had not fled japanese justice, but escaped from injustice.
"i am now in lebanon," he said, "and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged japanese justice is to where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, basic human rights are denied." this is a truly expert very development and what was already an expert mary --extraordinary story. japanese prosecutors say that by fleeing, carlos ghosn is admitting his guilt. many agreed with mr. ghosn and his defense team that the charges against him were essentially politically motivated, and mr. ghosn's real-time was trying to force a merger between japanese convenience on an french parents renault. in the 1990's, carlos ghosn help save the french carmaker renault. the 2000 see took on an even bigger job, turning around japan's moribund carmaker nissan. he rose to become one of the most global figures in the car industry. but in 2018, he was arrested at tokyo airport on suspicion of
financial misconduct. he was held in this tokyo detention center for more than 100 days, facing daily interrogations. >> thiis a conspiracy -- rupert: since his release on bail, carlos ghosn has angrily programmed his innocence, accusing his former colleagues at ms. sent -- nissan of conspiring with japanese prosecutors to manufacture a case against him. the media in japan had been preparing for what was expected to be the trial of the decade. instead, carlos ghosn is now far away in lebanon a country that has no extradition agreement with japan. rupert wingfield-hayes, bbc news, in tokyo. nuala: we can speak to an expert on the japanese legal system. he is a professor of law at stanford law school, joining me from new york today. thank you very much for joining us. i'm wondering, professor, how you would see the japanese
system. we are hearing in my colleague's report that mr. ghosn felt the system was rigged against him. how would you describe it? >> yes, well -- received heavy criticism partly as a result of this case in the spotlight has has shown on it. the famous fact is the prosecution rate in japan is over 99%. but what is important about this is what it means is the prosecutors virtually never proceed with a prosecution unless they are certain that they will obtain a conviction. what is interesting here is they proceeded aggressively with this case in the absence of a confession, presumably from carlos ghosn, who has protested his innocence all along. it is interesting they proceeded, where in a very complex case without a confession, often times -- can obtain a confession, but they do
so under circumstances open to criticism, as was the case here. carlos ghosn was detained for a long time, as reports indicated ov 100 days, so the prosecutors in japan can detain a suspect for up to 23 days, during which the suspect is subject to host: i am sorry about that. thatli line is glitching. it is interesting, however, to hear about the japanese system and of some of the criticism it has come under. nual u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo has exposed alarm at the decision of the chinese court to send the prominent church leader to nine years in jail. he is an outspoken critic of the chinese communist party, ving a sermon describing president xi jinping as a sinner that
offended god. in a tweet, pompeo said that he tried in secret on trumped up charges and he called on beijing to release the pastor and end i ts repression of religious groups. still to come, the duke and duchess of cambridge tackle climate issues over the next decade. >> the most aitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. >> tomorrow we will use money we picked up indulging and we will be in france and it will be the same money. >> george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in
hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33-year-old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspion of attempted murder. >> i think it was good. >> just good? >> no, fantastic. >> that's better. nuala: this is "bbc world news." the latest headlines -- the u.s. is sending reinforcements to defend its embassy in baghdad, having repelledn attack by protesters angry about american fx. lebanon says there was no warning that fugitive cardbus carlos ghosn was fleeing japan for beirut. let's turn to australia.
armed forces are committing more helicopters and aircraft and ships to do with brush fires in the southeast of the country. more than a dozen emergency level fires are burning across a 500-kilometer stretch,spanning two australian states. the flames are being fanned by externally hot and windy conditions. this footage is from saint georges sin in new south wales. this is typical of many images that are being shared across social media of blood red, smoke-filled skies. our correspondent has more. reporter: this is what uncontrollable blazes pushed by strong winds have done to towns across eastern australia, and this is what firefighters have been up against for weeks now. this crew trapped in their fire engine, as they fight and impossible battle. in a coastal town in new south wales, residents have fled,
taking shelter on the beach, desperately trying to escape the helli fireonditionss. 300 kilometers south in the state of victoria, thousands also escaped to the shores. at one point, people will told to jump in the water if the fe came their way. more than a dozen emergency-lel blazes spending 500 kilometers have stretched across the two states of victoria and new south wales. several holiday spots along the coast has been cut off, and the main road in the region is closed. military aircraft and vessels could be sent to help rescue efforts and to bring aid to those trapped in the worst hit areas. time and time again, people have told us that the scale of these fires is unlike anything they've ever seen before, and so, too, is the extent of the damage.
as these blazes continue to rage across eastern and southern australia, many are dealing with the reality of going back home, where they have lost everything. a village in new south wales has seen some of the worst devastation in recent weeks. everywhere you look is a sign of how the blaze has ravaged through the area. rose marie doyle lived in this house for 13 years with her late husband. she tells me she felt relatively safe living just across the road from the local fire station. but nothing here has been spared. >> and then i stood across the road and just watched it burned, room by room, which was really, really difficult. the last room to burn was where i left my husband's ashes. reporter: soaring temperatures, strong winds, and relentless drought have made it impossible to stop the trail of these huge fires, and with no rain predicted, australians will head into the new year with the
threat of more blazes looming over them. nuala: let's talk about climate. prince william has launched a multimillion dollar prize aimed at tackling global climate issues. every year for the next decade, the prize will be awarded to five individuals or organizations who come up with solutions to environmental problems. 2020 will also see two major environmental conferences, a convention on biodiversity in china and a climate-change conference in glasgow in the u.k. i'm joined from rhode island in the united states by the chief scientist at the environmental defense fund, or edf. thank you for joining us. i'm curious, do you have a person or organization who has had an idea that you would award the prize to you were in charge of it? >> well, we are working on just
such a thing at the environmental defense fund. we are launching a satellite in 2022 that will be able to detect methane much more accurately and quantify it on a global basis. that is the kind of thing we need more of. nuala: let's talk about that for a moment. a satellite that can detect methane, how useful would that be and in what way, do you think? >> well, we already have some satellites, but this would give us much greater ability to quantify and see it small-scale so we can understand where the methane is leaking from the oil and gas industry around the globe, whether it is places we can personally get to or not. that data does not currently exist. and then we can really applaud governments and companies that are doing good things and point out where people need to make major improvements, because the emissions are normatively powerful. i think accounts for one quarter of the global warming we--
methane a transfer one quarter of the global warming. nuala: there are tools already, and i wonder with this particular prize, does it come down to these inventions, or is it about governments using them in the proper way? >> i think it is all of the above. we need to see change at a rapid pace, and we already have enormous capacity to make that change. it is about nvincing people to get behind those kinds of actions as well as bringing new tools. but there is no single bullet -- silver bullet. it is going to be many ideas, and they are going to involve our government that is going to have civil society as well as the private sector. we have got to get everybody moving in this indirection. nuala: what does a prize do, do youhink? >> well, it focuses the mind. it brings people's attention. a clear objective always helps bring out people's new ideas.
the one thing you have to be careful with prizes is we don't have tools to -- don't think we don't have tools to make major improvements now. we do. we can get going with what needs to happen and have a big, positive impact on climate change. but we can't do it all, and that is what we need prices for. nuala: some migh say that if you look at recent development -- president trump pulling out of the paris agreement, comep 25, many people consider the end of it a failure, that they were not able to come to consensus, and perhaps something like a prize is a dramatic enough or radical enough to get governments and peoples of the places they need to be to combat crime and change. >> we -- combat climate change. >> welcome we need many things. if those prizes and up causing change in a particular area we are stuck in, it cod
be medically important. but it won't be the answer. even though the united states is pulling out of the paris accords, we are seeing reduced greenhouse-gas emissns in the united states --tate governments, private industry doing a lot. the actual emissions in the u.s. have dropped quite a bit. not enough, but quite a bit. we have the technology in place. it is cost-effective. we just need the political and social will to make that occur. nuala: thank you so much for speaking to us from beautiful rhode island in the united states. an orchestra in paris staged a free concert earlier, performing in protest against changes to pensions. let's listen. ♪ nuala: the orchestra of the best deal performing prokofiev's "romeo and juliet" on the steps
of the upper house. they had been on strike over month over changes to pensions which they say would force them to work beyond the limits. in his new year's address, president macron vowed to press ahead with the changes which could affect ulcerative industries from extending the age of retirement from two years to 64. around the world, the arrival of the new year has been marked by huge firework displays and also street celebrations. i want to go back to greece. the pictures from athens were in the past half-hour, 2020 was welcomed with a pyrotechnic display. the old decided the new, beside the acropolis. it was the sit of celebrations and a concert taking place in athens central square. we will follow the cities and countries around the world as they usher in the new year. thanks for watching. narror: funding for this presentation is
made possible by... man: babbel, an online program developed by language specialists teaching spanish, french and more. narrator: funding was also provided by... the freeman fountion. by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation. pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you, thank you. be more, pbs.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm nick schifrin. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight, backlash. the u.s. embassy compound in iraq is stormed as tensions in the region rise. then, behind taliban lines. life among the enemy in america's longest war. >> ( translated ): sometimes the boys join the taliban because of what they go through in the situation here. it affects them inside when their relatives were killed. >> schifrin: plus, the high and lows of the decade that was. expansive growth and rising inequality-- an economic review of the last 10 years. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.