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tv   BBC World News  PBS  April 22, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news." 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. and union bank. >> 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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>> and now, "bbc world news." libya's deputy foreign minister claim tribal groups loyal to gaddafi says they will deal with rebels in misrata if the army can't. outrageous violence, president obama condemns syria as security forces open fire on protesters. following a rou over migrants, the suspension of free movement of people across e.u. welcome to bbc news. later for you, why this small indiantown is the focus of on going anti-nuclear demonstrations. and a year from the gulf of mexico disaster, we get an alabama's man firsthand account of the fight against the spill.
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welcome and we begin with breaking news. a libyan government spokesman in tripoli has told the bbc that a nato air strike has hit a car park close to this compound in the center of tripoli. it's a sprawling compound which colonel gaddafi has used recently as a backdrop for televised addresses. we'll bring you more on that when we have it. meanwhile libya's deputy foreign minister has said that tribal groups around misrata loyal to colonel gaddafi have given the army an ultimatum. deal with the rebels in the city or we will. they're angry that their lives have been disrupted by the rebellion in misrata. >> the situation in misrata will be eased, will be dealt
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with by the tribes around misrata and the rest of the misrata people, not by the libyan army. you will see how they will be swift and quick and fast and the libyan army will be out of the is situation in misrata because the libyan people around misrata, they cannot sustain it like this. they have been seized by the rebels and the army has a solution, but it doesn't work. with the air strikes, it doesn't work. we'll aleve it for the tribes around misrata and the people to deal with the situation. >> misrata has seen some of the heaviest clashes. there rebel fighters are already claiming a significant victory clearing a section of the city. our correspondent is in the city and sent this report. >> free to walk their own streets, now colonel gaddafi's forces are gone. the rebels fought long and hard here. they told us they lost 100 men
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just to capture one devastated district. but the rebels had a key target here. omar took me to see it. this office block where insurance was sold before snipers moved in. >> this area is downtown. >> so the snipers were killing people from here? >> yeah, yeah. killing so easy. like they get people so easy because it's the highest building and you can see all the area in downtown, all of the downtown and uptown, too. >> how good does it feel to stand here now? >> so happy because my brother gets shot from this building. that's why i am so happy. >> his brother ali was one of many killed by the snipers. now here at least that danger is gone. the local people are back out on the streets now. both rebels and civilians are
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like checking the very heavy damage that's been done and there is plenty of evidence here of the kind of fierce fighting that took place. the rebels were kept out of this area for 25 days. they lost a lot of men retaking this ground, but now they're back in control here. they say they intend to push on. for the young, a glimpse of new realities, but many children from this area have already seen far too much. like the orphans who lived on the front line, 100 children, the youngest just 5 months old who were trapped in a basement for days. they have been moved to a safer location, but staff say they have brought their trauma with them and here, too, they are afraid. we met rami who wants to be a doctor, 10 years old and trying to console the younger ones.
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>> when we hear bombing, they feel frightened. i tell them it's military training. they fall asleep, but they hear more bombs and then i tell them the truth. >> today brought hope for some and a return to their neighborhood. here it was time to douse the flames, but the fighting isn't over. it has just moved a few blocks. >> the fight for the country continuing to rage, american officials have made their views on the situation known. u.s. senator john mccain arrived in benghazi on friday praising the rebel forces there as heroes while continuing his call for increasing military support. abdula is a doctor in misrata and he described the latest situation in the city. >> the situation in the clinic
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is the same as the usual the past few weeks. we have casualties every day among the civilians in misrata. the majority of the civilians are suffering from very serious wounds. we are talking about major trauma, severe burns, sometimes people come to the clinic even without a foot or a hand expressing to the doctors that they told that such wounds can't be made without weapons. >> evidence of fierce fighting today then? >> yes, yes. they're still fighting today. in the usual places in the city where the gaddafi forces tried to take control of the seaboards and to enter the city
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from the other areas, so it continues for sure. the city is still under and the gaddafi army are killing civilians every day. >> you haven't noticed that there are fewer casualties since the rebels took over a certain part of the city then? >> to be honest with you, yes. today and yesterday, there have been fewer casualties because the rebels have managed to eliminate and get rid of the major problem which is the snipers. they are firing into the areas. yes, because of that, there have been fewer casualties yesterday and today. >> i was talking to abdula, a doctor working in the hospital in the misrata. president barack obama has condemned what he called serious outrageous use of violence after human rights groups said government forces have killed more than 70 protesters. president obama also accused
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syria's president of seeking iranian help in repressing its citizens. tens of thousands of people had taken to the streets across the country after friday prayers when opposition groups say security forces fired on them indiscriminately. syria's state news agency denied that live ammunition had been used. our correspondent reports. >> protesters had wanted to make this their biggest day of demonstrations yet and around the country they poured out on to the streets chanting here for the downfall of the regime. this was the statue of the president's father who he took over from 11 years ago. a day after there was a state of emergency in place for nearly half a century. the world was watching to see how his forces would respond. these pictures filmed by the
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protesters themselves and throughout the day, the toll of dead and injured grew steadily. one woman told the bbc what it's been like there. >> the security forces got crazy and they started shooting at the protesters because the number of protesters, it was enormous. it was huge. that's why they started shooting at them. >> among the casualties was a 12-year-old boy. the pictures of his fatal injuries are too graphic to show. the white house has called the violence unacceptable and cold the government to have political reform without delay. the protests began five weeks ago. as they have escalated, the president has made a series of concessions as well as lifting the country's emergency, he has formed a new government, released have detainees and
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fired some officials, all called cosmetic by the protesters and too little, too late. >> he has attempted reform, found they don't have a receptive audience and it hasn't stemmed popular mobilization in the major cities including damascus himself. the action with the loyal unified army is to initiate what will be a bloodbath. >> he could try making further reforms, at least those interpreted as weakness. more repression or bloodshed is to be the opponents. there is an unprecedented and growing challenge to his rule. >> this professor is a senior fellow for middle eastern studies at the council on foreign relations. he joins us via web link from new york. welcome to bbc news. this uprising was no doubt inspired by the fall of mubarak
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in egypt. the major difference seems to be the loyalty of the security forces in this case to the president. is that likely to remain? >> that's correct. the military establishment in b and have continued to support him through these protests. we have not seen the kind of splintering between the political leadership of the country and the military that we saw in tunisia and then in egypt. that's largely because the leadership of the military and the security forces in syria is of the same sect that president asadowski is -- asaad is from. many see their survival intertwined with the president's survival. >> the current president's father refused to make any concessions at all, but his son seems to be taking a different
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approach. will that keep him in power? >> his son has been taking a slightly different approach. from his father's lesson, never to make concessions under pressure, but he is facing a different kind of pressure than his father did. he is facing this internal and sustained pressure from his population seeking change and the father had never faced that kind of pressure. he has made -- you hear a lot about the protesters in syria and the pro democracy activists saying that the concessions he has made are too little and too late. in some ways, one of the major concessions has been lifting the emergency law, but there are still quite a few other laws on the books in syria that give wide powers to security forces that provide immunity to security forces for any crimes
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that they commit in the line of duty and those are things that have not changed. that's why these concessions have been very gradual and have not met the demands of the protesters. >> and just briefly, is there evidence of help from iran? >> i think we're seeing propaganda on both sides from this. we have -- we have heard from the u.s. and other sides that there is assistance from iran. i have not seen tangible evidence of that. we also hear the syrian regime accusing groups in lebanon of aiding the protesters and certainly the syrian regime's propaganda machine for weeks have been saying that all of these protests are instigated by israel, the u.s., and also by former members of the muslim brotherhood. >> many thanks. you're watching bbc news.
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still to come, a year on from the gulf of mexico oil spill, we're in alabama for a firsthand account of a tripling -- troubling year. first, taliban fighters have attacked a checkpoint in northwest pakistan killing at least 14 soldiers. officials say hundreds of militants stormed the post in the region close to the tribal areas where taliban and al qaeda fighters shelter. our correspondent is in islamabad. >> american tanks in pakistan actually started under the watch of george w bush but have increased markedly in the frequency since president obama took over. the latest attack was friday morning when missiles hit a compound in the tribal area. officials say on the ground that around two dozen people were killed. among them were militants and four women and five children
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who were in the building next door to the compound was attacked were also killed. that type of bad publicity has marred this drone campaign since its inception. the taliban have told us that the drone strikes have made them alter their behavior. they have had an impact. the militants congregate in the same way that they used to, they have to move around much more. they also tell us the taliban is using the drone campaign as a recruiting tool, talking about the number of civilian deaths, telling people these are american attacks on pakistani soil and they should do something about it to fight the americans. there have been some successed in the drone campaign over the years, particularly the death of the pakistani talabani leader a couple years ago, but otherwise it's not seen that this drone campaign in itself is going to be deconversationive. if you want to clear an area of militants, you have to use ground troops at some stage and other strategies as well, but it is an issue that has
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certainly caused something of a resurgence in anti-american feeling here and in the coming days, there are more protests planned against drone attacks and against america. >> this is bbc news. a reminder of our top stories -- a libyan minister has warned that the army may withdraw from misrata and leave fighting to local tribesmen. a government spokesman says a nato air strike has hit a car park killing three people. president obama has condemned violence against demonstrators in syria. more than 70 have been killed in the deadliest day of protests. france says it wants a mechanism to suspend visa free travel around the european union after an influx of migrants. a french official says there should be a means to put this agreement into abeyance when
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there is a systemic failure at an external e.u. border. >> they left north africa for italy. but now migrants like these ones are causing a political storm in france. thousands fled unrest and fighting back home for a new life in italy. they lived in squalid conditions. some described it as a humanitarian crisis. the italian government has housed many of them in proper camps and given many temporary visas. that's what causing the problem. the agreement allows free movement of people between most european countries. armed with temporary visas, many of the migrants have been heading to france. in paris, there is anger. now a senior official of the presidential palace has told journalists there should be times like these when e.u. member countries can suspend the agreement. in other words, a temporary
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reimposition of border controls. that would be a dramatic change for the e.u. for many french people, migration is a sensitive issue, especially in this presidential election year. but suggesting a shutdown, even a temporary one, is bound to be highly controversial. >> well, now to idia and the violent protests that are being taking place against government plans to build a nuclear plant. opposition to the project has grown since the crisis in japan. one protester was killed earlier this week in clashes with police at the proposed site. our correspondent traveled to the nearby fishing port to find out more. >> this family mourns the death of their only son. the 30-year-old fisherman was fatally shot during violent clashes between local protesters and police.
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he was part of a demonstration against a mega nuclear power plant that the government plans on building in this area. his father says he has lost everything. >> he was a young healthy man. he supported our family. now he is gone. so who is going to feed us? >> the locals and villages, the violence of recent days is new, but the struggle is not. they say they have been fighting the redevelopment of this area into one of india's power hubs for four years,nd the leaders of the agitation say the battle will continue. >> this agitation will build and after what has happened here, it will definitely gain strength. but we want our protest to grow
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peacefully. >> the proposed site of the nuclear power plant isn't far from here, but given the frustrations and tension that's been vented in villages in this area in recent days, security has certainly been ramped up and given the camp that has been built around this local police station, it's unlikely that they'll be leaving anytime soon. the personnel deployed to guard the site are far from happy to entertain visitors. it seems that local leaders are also unwilling to talk about the simmering tensions here. the president of the district congress committee was happy to let our camera roll while he shared his thoughts, but he refused to make any official statements. these villages have so far remained largely untouched by india's industrial age and many
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here have told us that they want life to continue as it always has. but as the government moves on with plans to build what it describes as the world's biggest nuclear power facility here, life in the coming years may altogether be very different. >> the u.s. coast guard says flawness emergency training and a lax safety culture contributed to the explosion that led to the gulf oil spill. in a report on the incident, the agency criticized the practices and training of the rig owner transocean. it killed many people and millions of oil spilled into the gulf. this week marks a year since the beginning of the disaster. if the federal government took the policy lead, its local officials who have been on the front lines of fighting the spill. we return to the hard-hit town
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in alabama where we get this very candid first-person account. >> when are we going to start back rebuilding? when is our life going to start getting back on track? when are we going to start moving forward? there is still so much uncertainty that we don't know when that day is going to be. we can say, we went through this blow and we can move on. this is a poor, hard-working fishing community. this is not a summer resort. people live here because they make a living on the water. this is how it's been going on for many, many generations. people here have been independent their whole life. now it seems that everybody is going to be dependent on b.p. >> how are you doing? >> several months earlier when i take my b.p. claim to the facility to be processed, i felt like a bum.
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i felt like somebody standing in line to get welfare or government help or food stamps. now i know the humility that they go through and i understand that. i just want to be treated fairly. i don't think that they should have to hire lawyers and they should have to get into no big legal battle. i think the bottom line is that they can prove loss of income, which is easily done, then b.p. needs to cut them a check. simple as that. but every day you need another piece of paperwork or your claim is under review, but they just have not been treating fairly. that upsets me. i blame it on the federal government, the shape that we're in today. i really do. i didn't want to say that, but it's time for me to speak up. you can look at the meeting today that we had, the low
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number. it should have been 1,000 people at this place. you know when you're in the middle of a hurricane and the winds are blowing 120 miles an hour and you're holding onto this rooftop, your hands are going to give away or you're going to fall off this life ring. i have so many people falling off the life ring and turning loose that i'm very concerned about that and they giving up. that's exactly what b.p. wants them to do. it's no better now than it was a year before. it's worse. now people are getting into financial problems that's causing a lot of marital problems and family problems. a year ago, people was working on the program and making good money. but that was cut out. it's like the president is sitting back at the white house, he may say one thing, but what has he done? there is a big difference in speaking good and doing good.
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i rather have somebody that's a doer that keeps his mouth shut. i want to get physical. i want to beat the hell out of somebody. can you say everything you can say. you have done everything you need to do. i want to stay off it, i really do. but sometimes i got to be extremely honest. i don't want to scare people to death. i don't know. until b.p. steps up to the plate and do what they need to do, i don't look for no future. i don't know. i don't know about the future. >> and that was the first-person account from alabama a year after the oil spill. and a reminder of our breaking news this hour, a libyan government spokesman in tripoli has told the bbc that a nato air strike has hit a car park close to the compound in the center of tripoli. bbc news.
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>> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> 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. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies.
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