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tv   BBC Newsnight  PBS  May 21, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT

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>> in is "bbc news" night. >> 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
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small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "become news d.c. bbc news night. >> three months since the fall of egypt, president mubarak says the people get a taste of democracy. should the west worry? >> ordinary people freer and more powerful within the country, want greater freedom and power for egypt itself on the international stage. >> some hoped he might be the next president of france. but now dominique strauss-kahn could face the rest of his life in jail. so how does this change the french political landscape? >> and marked for amputation, men choosing to have their arms cut off to be replaced by a bionic version. we are joined by the recipient of a new bionic arm.
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>> hello, barack obama laid out the case this week for a significant engagement in middle east and north africa by the united states. he promised support for democrat movement. egypt has already seen a move to democracy after president mubarak fell three months ago. as people call for more say in the runnle of their country, it seems they want more power and freedom for egypt on the world stage, and not necessarily in a way that president obama and the west may look. >> the tough scare. once a chaotic traffic junction, now world famous as a cradle of ref lupings. since the heady days of january and february, a succession of foreign politicians, who would have ones picked up a phone to arab dictators, have come to
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pay tribute to the forces of democracy. >> the protestors who triumphed here were challenging the systems of alliances that helped maintain authoritarian regimes. now people want greater freedom and power for egypt itself on the international stage. >> america offered a massive aid package to help support egyptian democracy. it can't yet know how democracy will change relations in the middle east. >> as a revolution society after the 25th of january, which internally has formed a society and still in the process of doing so, it had to be reflected also externally. >> welcome to a new egypt. i think it is the proper time now to find a new strategy not
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only for egypt, but for the whole region. >> high above a grimy cairo office block, a lonely flag. it's presence of a shameful alliance. outside, the first embassies of the jewish state in the arab world, protestors can now vent anger that they often suppressed. >> we have had dreams about coming to this embassy. we would be tortured by special security forces. so you can't even say you are supporting palin. >> we want the embassy to close here in egypt. >> forever? >> yes. >> it was president anwar sadats journey that transformed the middle east after four arab-israeli wars.
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peace brought egypt a huge economic dividend, including billions of dollars in american military aid. but has a predictable partner of the west, it lost one of the influence it once enjoyed. many egyptians remembered nasa, fiery champion of arab unity in the 1950's and 1960's. some harvick back to earlier days when egypt was a greater power. glory they think can return after the revolution. >> it is coming up to a place where egypt was influential. in the last two centuries egypt was governing the whole eastern part of the arab people, even in saudi arabia. egypt had influence in africa. egypt arrived to the grand
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lakes in africa. >> the nile was again becoming an important access to egyptian diplomacy. they want closer ties with up stream african states it sometimes cold-shouldered before the revolution. also the suez canal. after the revolution, iranian warships passed through for the first time since the fall of the shah. to the alarm of many, there is talk of egypt restoring relations to the long-broken islamic republic. >> as egypt has transformed and in the process of transforming, that had to be reflected externally in its foreign policy. a policy that is independent, and a policy that is open to all countries of the world. >> the biggest and to some most alarming coup so far for
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egyptian diplomacy, is the agreement it has brokered between fought, -- fatah, which recognizes israel, and hamas, which does not. the agreement has put the diplomatic momentum on their side. >> we interveedveend and -- intervened and succeeded. this was needed and historically late. it should be supported by everybody. >> so hamas should not be regard as a terrorist organization? >> no. not so. that was the point of view of one side. hamas is part of the palestinian political landscape. and for them and for the palins to enter into meaningful negotiations, they have to be one. i hope that the united states would lead the way to tell
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israel there there are things you must do. for palestinians, there are certain requirement. negotiations led by the united states and supervised by the united states requires the u.s. to draw the attention of all sides, including israel, that we are now entering a serious phase. >> the american university in cairo, educating egypt's elite since 1919 is a reminder of how long the united states has been spreading its influence in the arab world. but influence to what en? those who served dictatorships here, including president mubarak ause wife and two sons. but many of those were revolutionaries on the square. that reflects the dilemma that president obama faces. >> if you look at the elite and
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the people who are enthusiastic about the role that the united states can play in promoting democracy are delighted. i think there are, at the other end of the spectrum, people who are concerned that -- the way they would probably put it is egypt is not ready for democracy. this growing independence that we may celebrate in principle is going to be hard to manage in practice. >> it is the muslim brother hood, once banned, now installed in smart new headquarters. would the brotherhood seek to cancel its ties with israel? it is reluctant to spell that out. >> so you will end the peace treaty with israel? >> all arabs need peace. israel does not. >> does that mean that the peace treating should be ended?
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>> we are seeking for peace and security for our region on --. >> this one is much less ambiguous. >> there is a peace treaty between egypt and israel. both parties have to respect this treaty. it is not in the cards of the egyptian foreign policy todd and also tomorrow to do anything that would affect this situation. >> in the square last week, which has just opened to travel for an anti-israel rally did not happen. egypt can't easily change its foreign policy, but it won't be the depend an alley. >> dominique strauss-kahn, the head of the international
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monetary fund, who has received widespread praise for what he has done has sensationally quit his job this one after he was accused of attempted rape of a made. he was paraded by the nypd. the man who some hoped could be the next president of france could spend the rest of his life in jail if the charges are found true. we discuss how france has reacted and how this changes the country's political landscape. >> what do you make of the sight of a possible future president in handcuffs, unshaven in a new york courtroom? >> thause what a dreadful image to wake up to. political life stopped in france. this was the biggest political event since april 21, 2002,
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when the ladier of the extreme right went through to the second round of the presidential elections. on sunday morning, many jaws dropped in shared disbelief. but now things have gone worse. we see these images which are extremely violent to us because it is illegal in france to actually show anyone handcuffed at such an early stage in a case. and also because this man was considered as the next president in france -- >> let's put it in perspective here. the allegation is of rape, which is a very serious violent crime. would it have played out like this in france? >> no. and we should remember that he is insent until proven guilty. that is what the french recent so much, that he is treated as a guilty party while so far we
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are talking about alcombations. >> hang on. he is being treated like any other suspect. >> that's true. any other foreigner would be treated the same way. but we are not used to seeing somebody who is just being charged in handcuffs. it is a shock, and there is a sense that there is something shameful for france and for him. it is a personal tragedy for him. and of course i was going to add that if the allegations turn out to be true, then it is even more awful. >> let us deal with the conspiracy theories. is it widely held, this view that somehow the whole thing is a fix? >> there is a very common disbelief. people just find it unbelievable that he could have done such a thing.
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if it is unbelievable, then there must be another explanation. that is something you encounter a lot among people who like him or don't like him, who would have voted for him or wouldn't have voted for him. it is just so unbelievable that you have to find another explanation. they talk about provocation, a frame-up, a set-up. you hear all sort of things. >> and you? >> if there was a trap, then he was extremely stupid to fuel into it. that is also what many people say. >> who is said to be behind these plots in this world of conspiracy theories? >> i don't know. i don't find them believable, so i don't know. i can't tell you. it seems to me very far-fetched to imagine that somebody would have sent a chambermaid to provoke him into doing something stupid. it seems a bit crazy to me.
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but the whole situation is crazy. >> we don't know how this is going to pan out. and as you say, he is insent until proveen guilty. but what are the likely longer term implications for this on french and political life? >> it does redraw the political landscape totally. until saturday at lunch time, dominique strauss-kahn was likely to run for the presidency and was likely going to win the presidency. nicolas sarkozy was far behind him. now the french party has to find a new and serious contender. they do obviously have a few able people, but they don't come near him at all in terms of popularity. and now, strangely, we have nicolas sarkozy, who strikes as
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a presidential figure in contrast. there is another who has made momentum against the french elite. you could get a nightmare scenario of going through the second round of the president elections. just imagine. >> thank you both very much indeed. >> what would you give your right arm for, or your left? a viennese surgeon has amputated arms to replace them with bionic versions. here is neil. >> this is milo. he lost the use of his right arm in a motor bike accident a decade ago. surgery brought back some movement, but his hand still
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has no function. so frustrated is milo with his withered hand, that he has now opted for a radical solution, elective amputation in favor of a prosthetic hand. >> i lived 10 years with this hand, and it cannot be better. the only way is to cut this down and i get a new arm. >> the procedure is offered by this man. he calls the work bionic reconstruction. >> when you see patients like this, and they have a history of like 10 years, and you see the hand function is non-sufficient for him. but at the same time you know what an artificial hand could do for him, then the thought is very close that you think why don't i just fit him with an
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artificial hand? >> advances in bidenics are being -- advanced in bionics are being made all the time. this is fairly limited. this is the next generation. it is able to rotate and has wrist moving, too. >> the bionic hands work from the same pulses that would move a real hand. >> could you close the hand? great. >> last year, 24-year-old patrick was the first person in the world to choose to have his hand amputated and a bionic replacement fitted, again here in vina -- vienna. he lost the use of the left
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hand after an accident at work. he can poor a drink and tie his shoelaces using the very same nerve signals he once used to control his real hand. >> my reaction was oh, my god, i've got a new hand. i can do the functions with the pro's thought he could hand. i did not do things for three years, and you put on the new hand, and one minute later you can move it. it is great. >> it seems like patrick's new hand helps milo decide. he meets with his surgeon for a final consultation. >> did you sleep well last night? >> yes, very well. >> like a baby? >> like a baby, yes. >> milo must undergo tests to confirm his hand has no meaningful function. coming the morning of the
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operation, and there are no second thoughts. his mood is one of calm resolve. there is even time for a joke. [inaudible] >> but removing living parts of the body, even ones that are dysfunctional raises profound ethical issues. it is always difficult to make sure in these cases that the patient fully understands the consequences of their choice and that they are fully committed to it, and that they won't regret it. we will eventually get to the point where prosthetics function better than original hand, and you may say people with healthy functional hands wishing to have a cybernetic
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replacement. >> to biologyly reconstruct a hand for him would be a never-ending story, and in the end he would still have a non-functional hand. so i have no problem cutting off his hand. >> the surgery goes smoothly, although it will be several weeks before milo will be able to try his new hand. so far, there are no regrets. >> how did you feel when you woke up and your hand was gone? >> i haven't had any problems. it is ok. i feel good. i am happy that it is over. i look forward. >> well, milo wouldn't be fitted with his bionic arm until the swelling subsides in a month or so. i am joined by the man who has
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had the bionic arm fitted. you were in fact born without the left arm. >> you can grasp like a normal hand. you can pick up objects, maffing all the fingers. you can tell it to do grip patterns. you can rotate. it goes all the way. you can basically screw in a lit ball without letting go. you can give it different control signals. you can tell it to park these four function and only use the thumb, which is useful for donning and doving clothing. you can set it back to moving all the fingers. what you can do is you can tell it to only move these two fingers here.
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that is very useful for picking up smaller objects, like a pen like this. >> and how are you telling the fingers to do that? it is nerves, muscles, what is it? >> it is muscles. the muscle that would actually be used for this kind of movement if the hand was there. this is opening, and this is closing. >> let me get this right. you say i want to pick up the pen, your bring brain is -- your brain is saying i want to pick up the pen. it is being done by a muscle. are you telling that muscle you have to move? >> no. it is fully preerlized over time. you have to learn it. i wanted to flex the muscle there. but over time this intermediate
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step goes away. like reverse parking. you don't have to think about how to do it. you just do it. i am at a point where i think open, and it opens naturally like you would with your hand. >> and there are lots of settings you can tut this on? >> right. there are four different grip patterns that my hand does. fouks, tet park the four fingers and only move the thumb. if i send three quick consecutive opening signals to the hand. you can do many more from a library of grip patterns. >> am i to understand that this is one of the good things that has come out of iraq and afghanistan? >> it sounds a little cynical, but as far as i know, this is the case. soldiers wear body ar more that
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protect them against injuries. soldiers come back with horrible injuries, especially amputations. there is a demand for them. >> you were touching your hands together as if it is a normal hand. >> absolutely. >> would you trust it enough -- espositoing one -- supposing one of your friends had a baby, would you trust it enough to cradle a baby? >> yes. i have pictures of me cradling the baby in this hand. i know a man who actually changes the diapers of his baby with one of these. >> what do you make of these guys on camera that we saw who are having operations to remove malfunctions -- malfunctioning
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hand and replacing it with one of these? >> i can completely understand. from way understood, their hands were almost without function, like a piece of flesh. these people are in psychological and physical agony. to do away with that and to have something more functional that will take away the suffering, in this particular case i think it is a reasonable decision to provide them with something that offers more function. >> the suggestion was made in the film that you will eventually by a hand that functions better than the real one. >> the argument that an artificial hand has more function and the existing hand, that cannot be enough. >> you can already do something that rest of us can not do. brilliant.
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thank you very much. that is all for this week. from all of us, goodbye. >> hello, and welcome. >> see the news upfold. get the top stories from around the globe, and click to play video reports. go to "bbc news" to experience the in-depth expert reporting of "bbc news" online. >> funding for this recitation 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
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a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> "bbc news night
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