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tv   BBC World News  PBS  September 18, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PDT

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, union bank, and siemens. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> somewhere in america, there's a doctor who can peer into the future. there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital is working together, there's a family who can breathe easy right now. somewhere in america we've already answered some of the nation's toughest health-care questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. >> and now, "bbc world news." >> as afghans start to vote in particleamentary elections, the bbc uncovers evidence of attempts to rig the polls. pope benedict xvi warns that religion is being marginalized around the world. as the u.n. launches a new
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effort to help pakistani flood victims we complete our journey down the indus. and selling sperm on the internet? two monday -- men convicted. welcome to bbc news broadcasting to our viewers in the u.k. and around the world. voters in afghanistan are going to the polls to elect a new parliament amid threats from the taliban. washington has warned there are serious security threats. hours before the polling opened there was a big explosion heard in kabul, the capital and it was thought to be a rocket attack the and bbc has
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uncovered evidence that voters are being approached to sell their polling papers and more. >> once again, afghans are going to the polls. this time for paraphernalia -- parliament. officials want to avoid the corruption and fraud in last year's presidential vote but we found that candidates are again trying to fix 9 results. these two men are afraid to be identified, but their story undermines claims that this election will be any cleaner than the last because more than 10 candidates for parliament have tried to buy their family's voting cards. >> we are going to sell the cards. we are poor people and politicians haven't done anything for us. if kds -- candidates are trying to buy votes why should you expect anything different from them? so we will sell our cards for
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money. >> and it's not just real cards being sold. there are "4 downs" -- thousands of fake ones too. one candidate was so angry he gave us proof of what's happening. >> this is what we've been given, dozens of volting cards, both real and fake. this is just a sample of has on offer. we've been told thousands upon thousands of these cards are available here in kabul and in the rest of the country. come a little closer. first of all these are real volter cards. you can see here the fingerprint of course the voter. it's got their details, the province that they belong to. there are no pictures on these because they belong to women. they just have the fingerprints. abandon perhaps even more astonishingly, this is what is widely available now. these are fake. voters are told you fold it over and put in your own details. it shows that last like year there is a deliberate and
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widespread attempt to rig the election. we told election organizers about the cards. they insist new safeguards will stop the fraud. but we've been told some of their own officials have been asking for bribes to swing the results. >> as in elections all over the world, they will face difficulties and especially in afghanistan under our circumstances we must expect that there will be irregularities, problems, as well. >> it's true, there are problems in elections elsewhere. the difference here is that british troops are risking their lives to protect this vote and taxpayers' money is funding it and fraud, corruption, and the taliban are powerful enemies of the progress britain wants and needs in afghanistan. bbc news, kabul. >> on the -- on the second day of his visit to britain, pope benedict xvi has warned that religion, christianist in
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particular, is being marginalized around the world. in an historic speech at westminster hall, the pope said there are some people who wanted to see the voice of religion be silences. we look back at the day's events. >> majesty of westminster great hall echoes down the centuries in its symbolism. this is the spot where the catholic martyr thomas more was tried and sentenced to death by the newly protestant english state. the pope came here to praise thomas more for the integrity of his conscience, which led him to serve god above earthly authority. with britain's contemporary earthly authorities before him he warned of the dangers of the growing secularization of life in the west, the growing marginalized of belief in christian values was a threat
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to the very democracy of which westminster itself was such a powerful symbol. >> a vital contribution to the national conversation. in this life i cannot but voice my concern at the continuing marginalized of religious, especially christianity, which is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. >> and as he met ceci connolly -- successive prime ministers who had jore seen labor -- liberalizing change as well, it seemed, however poll ivet, as a warning and rebugte it is the prevailing message of his four-day visit. on this he finds some common ground with the leader of the
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anglican communion. he came to lambeth palace, also rich in historic resonance, home to the last catholic archbishops of canterbury. their personal greeting was warm but a gulf still separates the two christian traditions they lead. so their concern today is not with the fundamental and huge obstacles that still stand in the way of church unite but with the overriding message of this papal visit -- how to make christian values sean payton character of what the pope calls the public square. on this concern they are united and the archbishop of canterbury articulated his vision of the role faith should play in society. >> we do not have -- as churches seek political power or control or the dominance of
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christian faith in the public sphere. but the opportunity to testify, to argue, sometimes to protest, sometimes to affirm, to play our part in the bub -- public debates of our societies. ♪ >> it was a long day for the pontiff, are ending in another first, first visit by a pope to westminster abbey. catholic and anglican clergy symbolically joined together in worship. right hand in agreement with restoring belief to a place in
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public life. it's their shared purpose. two americans have been charged where attempting to pass classified secrets to venezuela waila. the u.s. justice department hasn't accused venezuela of any wrong doing. the iranian leader maugeeds has said americans should free iranians after the release of sarah shourd earlier this week. two other americans -- are being meld -- held in tehran. officials from north and south korea have been discussing how to reunite families that were split more than 50 years ago.
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there are signs that the reunions may take place in october, the first sign that tensions between the two countries are easing. more talks are being scheduled for next week. >> the united nations has launched an appeal for more than $2 billion to help pakistani flood victims. the officials say the amount of money requested reflects the enormous catastrophe which has affected some 20 million people. along the indus river, this report from southern punjab. >> these are somber times in this tiny village. the floods cut this place off from the outside world for a full month. that's something that's traumatized many here.
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from the damaged mosque, nass rillah took us through the area where he found this, a place he said no politicians and no aid agencies had been yet. how can we survive without food, he says, we hear rumors of aid distributions but when we go to see we are beaten and told to go somewhere else. until a few weeks ago this was someone's home and all around hee -- me are similar scenes. of course there was massive devastation right across pakistan but the people here are poor and even now feel very much forgotten. this man and his family were forced to move from what used to be their house to this borrowed tent. it's been a terrible time for us, he says. i walk to the main road hoping for handouts of food and water but it never comes. to add to his problems, his
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daughter had to have an operation after getting a severe infection. his other children are all ill from drinking dirty water, but in these circumstances he and countless others like him have very few options. bbc news in southern punjab. >>. hugo chavez of venezuela has insisted that he will not accept the u.s. government's nominee for ambassador and he warned the ambassador not to travel to venezuela because he wouldn't be allowed to enter the country. correspondent will grant is in caracas and joins me now. tell us more about this standoff between chavez and the prospective ambassador. >> back a couple months, larry palmer the potential ambassador was addressing the house committee and said that there was cuban influence in the
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venezuelaan military and he also said there was a lack of morale in the venezuelaan ministry. that because more than enough for president chavez to take him on really and said that he wouldn't be welcome. [no audio] >> apologies. i'm afraid we've lost that connection to will in caracas. we'll try to get that back as soon as possible the you are watching bbc news. still to come, as the threat from hurricane karl diminishes, hurricane igor heads toward bermuda. >> detectives investigating the murder of a leading pakistani politician in north london believe that his killing may have been politically motivated. dr. farouq, who had spent the last decade in exile until london, was found with stab
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wounds. >> suburban north london -- hardly the most obvious place from which to conduct politics in pakistan. outside, dr. farouq, a prominent figure inside pakistan's mqm party shall was stabbed and beaten to death. counterterrorism investigators are investigating but no clear motive has appeared yet. the party is the dominant party in karachi. farouq fled pakistan in the early 1990's and sought political asylum because he thought his life was in danger and that london would be a safe haven. the leader of 9 party has a body guard but the m.q.m. say they can't afford body guards for every leader. this killing has made them feel
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very differently. at the london offices tonight they are in mourning for their friend and colleague. in karachi where the m.g.m. dominate politics there was sporadic burning and shots fired. last month the assassination of an m.q.m. politician in the city resulted in serious riots and 80 deaths. if a political link to mr. farouq it did is found, there will be further trouble the it is unclear if the tribal politics of pakistan have come to london in dramatic fashion. >> a reminder of 9 headlines this hour. as afghans start to vote in parliamentary elections, a bbc investigation has found evidence of fraud and corruption. on the second day of his state visit to arbitrate -- britain,
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pope benedict xvi says he fears religion is being marginalized around the world. 9 u.n. has launched an appeal to raise an additional $2 billion to help pakistan recover -- recover from last month's devastating floods. >> two men have been warned they may be jailed. they were accused of running an unlicensed fertility company and claimed to have more than 300 sperm donors on their books. president >> their web site offered women the chance to fulfill their dreams of having a baby, but the firm "fertility first" was run from the basement of a house in barkshire. in one year alone 800 samples of sperm along with home insemination kits were couriered to women. but the men behind it had no medical training. the man on the left was a kitchen kitter -- fitter, the
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man on the right. trading in fresh sperm did not require a license until 2007. the men argued that they were simply offering a service but that was dismissed by the fertility regulator. >> you don't know whether or not the sample is safe. the father the donor, in fact the legal father and in later life any child born as a result of that donation has no right to find out about his genetic history when he becomes an adult. >> in a licensed facility sperm is deep-frozen for six months and checked and rechecked for six months for h.i.v. and other infections which can make -- ib take months to show up. the quality of the sperm is not
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known. women are being urged not to use internet sperm. but fertility experts say women can face long waits for treatment at licensed facilities because of a shortage of sperm. >> i can see why some of the women might be induced to visit the web sites and order sperm on the internet thinking it's perhaps safe and them -- they can be treated in their own homes, but without recognizing the dangers. >> the two will be sentenced next week and have been warned that they could be jailed. >> more on our top story now from kabul. elections are just getting underway. liz doucette, tell us more about what is happening. >> the polls have just opened. it's a bright, sunny day in kabul. we've had at least one
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explosion this morning that is a rocket believed to have landed in the city. there are reports of a few rockets hitting the city of jaubled but -- jalalabad but the day is just beginning and security is exceptionally tight. altogether hundreds of thousands of both afghan army and police are here and behind them the international afghan security forces though they -- this is very much an afghan operation. the government says the preparations for this poll were better than for the polls of 2009, presidential poll which was very controversial and marred by fraud. but there are very, very big chals facing these polls, the possibility of fraud and the possibility of security incidents, especially now that the taliban has noud to disrupt them. >> you have mentioned the concerns about security and the
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threats from the taliban. is there any sense that afghans are reluctant to two to the polls? >> no, i don't think -- afghans would love to good to the polls but these are life and death issues for the afghans in some ports -- parts of the country. the taliban has vowed to punish anyone who casts their ballot. they say if they see the purple ink on the fingers which is a check against people voting more than once they'll chop off the fingers. yesterday alone was a report of the kidnapb of 18 election officials and campaign workers in the northwest of the country. so in many parts of the country people are voting under a very dark cloud of fear. but we've seen in previous elections in afghanistan, and these are the fourth major elections since the fall of the taliban in 2001, that there are millions of afghans who are willing to brave these threats.
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they want to have the right to cast their ballots and wanted -- want their country to move forward politically. so for all the imperfections of this process, there are millions of afghans who want it to work and certainly the afghans and their international backers are holding their breath that it will work out not so imperfectly that it will be seen as a failure. >> the bbc has found evidence of corruption in the elections. has there been any call from the international stage to try to justify the validity of the elections? >> well, everyone involved in this process admits there are going to be irregularities. we heard from the us is representative -- u.s. representative that this is probably the worst time and worst place to hold an election in the world. so it's not going to be a perfect process. i think everyone agrees that
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the machinery of the independent election commission is better than last time, but there have also been persistent reports that the people who want to commit fraud, everywhere from candidates, commanders, members of the election commission themselves because we've seen and heard the persistent reports, also want to commit the fraud and they're better at it, have had more experience, so in a sense you have two competing systems in this election. the election commission trying to carry out the poll as best they can and those who want to disrupt it for one reason or another. we will see as the day goes on whether or not the afghans, the people are -- who are going to be the final judges, feel that this has been a legitimate process. there were certainly people who called for the postponement of the polls but had it been post poppede there certainly would have been a execution -- constitutional crisis. so better to hold them an --
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than not at all but there is are illusion here about the dangers. >> thank you very much. officials say hurricane karl continues to weaken as it makes its way over landfall. it's made landfall over veracruz in mexico but has been downgraded. officials have worned it could still be dangerous. hurricane igor, a second storm moving across the atlantic and possibly heading toward bermuda, has also weakened. >> high winds battered mexico's gulf coast. the storm passed over the huge oil installations in the gulf but it didn't seem to have inflicted any damage. the streets where karl made landfall are flooded. some residents were evacuated. others took refuge in shelters. a few braved the streets. but there have been no reports of deaths or injuries even as
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winds of up to 150 kilometers an hour buffeted the city, the storm was weakening. >> the worst is over. it's still windy and there's a lot of water. we're trying to remove fallen branches and leaves from the trees but there are too many. >> hurricane karl is only one of several storms forming in the atlantic this hurricane season. hurricane igor is on a course that could take it to berm you'dasm the waters are still calm around the island but the government has warned people to be prepared. shops are full of residents stocking up on essentials. but for now, holiday makers are still making the most of what may be their last day on the beach. >> one of the machines being used to try and rescue 33 miners trammed underground in chile has drilled down to where the man can be reached.
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now they have to widen the hole enough for the men to get through it. >> it's been another encouraging day here at the san jose mine. one of the two drills which is being used to reach the men cut through a tunnel which the mean -- men can access. however, the tunnel is only 30 centimeters wide. so the drill will be brought back up to the surface and used again to widen the tunnel to 66 centimeters, which should be wide enough for an escape shaft. however, the engineers warn that will take some time and are sticking to their timetable of early november to actually reach the men and bring them to the surface. a third drill should be set up and start work soon. what a weekend it will be -- chile will celebrate its bicentennial this weekend. surely the miners never manled
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this is how they would spend it, trapped 700 meters underground in a hot, dark, dank tunnel. the rescuers are sending empanads, chilean mealt pastries down, but they will not send down the other staping of celebration, red wine. >> that report from gideon long at the mine. you are watching bbc news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> i'm julia stiles. >> i'm kevin bacon. >> i'm kim cattrall. >> hi, i'm ken burns. >> i'm lili taylor. >> i'm henry louis gates, jr., and public broadcasting is my source for news about the world. >> for intelligent conversation. >> for election coverage you can count on. >> for conversations beyond the sound bites. >> a commitment to journalism. >> for deciding who to vote for. >> i'm kerry washington, and public broadcasting is my source for intelligent connections to my community. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los presented by kcet, los angeles.
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