tv BBC World News PBS August 3, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> hello and welcome. >> aaa rated, the u.s. avoids an economic and downgrade after a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending. syria's brutal crackdown claims dozens of more lives. the u.n. says that the president has lost all sense of humanity. >> hosni mubarak prepares to face trial. growing fears for somalia's famine victims. the threat of violence undermines aid efforts. >> we are broadcasting to viewers on pbs in america, welcome to "newsday."
the credit rating agency moody's has confirmed that the u.s. is to keep its aaa status after the country avoided defaulting on their debt. president obama has signed an agreement raising the american government's debt limit. they have assigned a negative outlook to show that there is still a risk of a future downgrade if the government's fiscal discipline weakens. the deal failed to diffuse washington's debt bond. >> there has been little to smile about in the past few weeks as the president and his opponents were deeply divided over the economy and they tried to cobble together a deal.
failure followed failure but now it has done. the president became to power promising hope and change has been pushed into cuts. >> it is likely that the uncertainty includes increasing the debt ceiling for both businesses and consumers has been unsettling and just one more impediment to the full recovery needed. this is something that we could have avoided. >> america is deep in the red paint every dollar the government spends, 40 cents is borrowed money. the government will hit the debt ceiling today. this deal raises it by 2.4 trillion. the return to spending cuts of at least 2.1 trillion. >> this is a victory for republicans and they turn the this is a routine vote into a crisis by insisting that there would be no more borrowing.
>> this is a welcome change in behavior and i gladly supported. this is a change in behavior from spend, spend, spend, to cut, cut, cut. >> now, listen to the democrat'' reaction. >> almost everything else about this deal stinks. it stinks to high heaven. >> the left is distraught. >> i think it will be a mistake. a weak economy makes it hard for people to get excited about this president. they see him fall in public opinion rather than leading it. >> this is a victory for the conservative two-party movement. this has become a force that democrat -- that dominates the republican party. they ensured that the main demand, a dramatic reduction in the government's spending went to the top of the agenda.
>> all of the tea party organizations were against the deal. all of the members in the congress voted against the deal. all of them said it was not enough. they pushed the debate, they were not smart enough to declare victory. >> they pulled back from the brink just-in-time but the basic problem remained, two parties with very different visions of america and a system that forces them to agree. the crisis there -- the crisis is over, their struggle is not. >> reports from the syrian city of hama suggests that the residents are fleeing the onslaught. many have been killed and the last three days. there is growing concern around the world with the u.n. security -- the u.n. secretary general saying that the syrian president has lost all sense if humanity.
>> the crowd on the streets after prayers on the first day of ramadan. undeterred by days of bloodshed and clashes with government forces, pictures we cannot verify but clearly there are thousands of them. down with the regime, they shout. from today, more footage, newly dug graves and some have died in the past few days. on television, this is an entirely different story. no mention of the scores of civilians killed, instead, the president visiting injured soldiers at a military hospital. this soldier tells the president that he was ambushed when manning a checkpoint. the government insists that it is their soldiers that are attacked by on the gangs and
saboteurs. in one television report, the focus was on protesters weapons. even a man carrying a sickle was noted disputing claims that this is an unarmed peaceful uprising. and marched against the protesters are government tanks and heavy weapons. whatever blood is shed, the outside world is clear. this time, they don't want to intervene. looking at arab uprising, why has the international reaction to syria been so different? the speed of the egyptian revolution caught many countries by surprise. the crowd swelled interior square. president obama took ages to ditch president mubarak. libya was a different story and.
nato strikes had u.n. and arab support to stop the massacre and because colonel gaddafi has few real friends. when it came to syria, the lessons in syria reduced the appetite. western nations want no more strain on their resources. the arab world fears a wider conflagration. >> this is an important day for egypt. >> at the former egyptian president is due to go on trial over the killing of protesters during the uprising in february. it is thought that he will be flown to the capital in the morning. our world affairs editor reports that the trial is seen as a test of the military council's commitment to change.
>> the demonstration that brought down a president is over. the police and army moved in yesterday to get rid of the city and they did not do it particularly gently. a television reporter for channel 25 managed to keep on filming as he was bundled into an army vehicle. together with a bunch of others that had been arrested and sometimes beaten up. a bbc producer managed to take some photos of the police and army operation until she was picked up. she was held for 20 hours before being released. by this morning, the familiar gridlock was back, just like the old days. the police were completely in charge and no one stopped us filming. there was no demonstrators and nothing much was left of the
protest banners that used to hang from the traffic lights. when the president went, the military government made up of his former colleagues promised a new congress and a new president within six months. that was six months ago and there is still no sign of any elections. >> people are deeply divided about the future of the arab spring in egypt. one man he used to demonstrate is an optimist. >> we have to wait. >> that will happen. >> if there is a will, there is away. >> now that the president is about to go on trial, attitudes have changed. for 30 years, he was one of the fixed points in world affairs, foreign leaders never questioned the basis of his power.
now, they prefer to forget him. this is the hospital where he has been treated. in the next few hours, his scheduled to be brought to cairo for the start of his trial. until late last night, this whole area was full of demonstrators. now, you can see who is in charge. the fact is there has not really been much of a revolution in egypt at all. the former president might be coming up for trial tomorrow morning but in every other way, the system that he created is still just as much in force as it ever was. >> now to the crisis in east africa. the prime minister of somalia has are is the country's militants to do the right thing and let aid get through to those affected. half a million people are at risk of starvation across the horn of africa and 12 million require urgent help.
the situation is complicated by years of civil war. >> a visiting mogadishu, it is best to be prepared. city thating into a has forgotten the meaning of safety. in the front lines, we find the famine's latest fugitive. tens of thousands of come here seeking food and hoping for security. they are in bad shape. the familiar images are shocking. they're both fighting for life. all of the mothers have fled from territory controlled by the islamist group.
the militants killed her son. they tied him up and then they shot him, he said because he was carrying a bag of food aid and they said it came from the infidels. the world is getting the supplies, soup kitchens in every district. it is not hear that the famine will be defeated. this is an almost impossibly difficult and dangerous place for foreigners to operate. you can see how much we need to operate. the real battle now is to find a way to move across the front lines and get the aid where it is needed most. >> here is one way. the food is handed over to trusted local charities that you have access throughout somalia. >> everyone knows and we're confident that we can deliver food to anywhere.
this could be the solution. the needs of certainly overwhelming. the politics are massive. somalia is not an easy place to help. >> still to come, the second world war never ended. there are relations between japan and russia. the 20 year-old plan bring in multicultural history back to life. nato is sending hundreds of additional troops to close the
vote amid rising tensions. hundreds of ethnic serbs who refused to accept the declaration of independence have been maintaining road blockades. >> on alert, the peacekeepers in northern coast of vote. on the ground and watching from above. a major security operation with hundreds more soldiers on the way and this is why. their protests in about a move by the authorities to take control of the border posts. the protests have a lot of support. these demonstrations have already led to a week of violence. a tense situation, the negotiator has called for calm. >> the only way to resolve this is to talk.
we're asking to meet someone who will talk to us in order to remove and to explain to the people and influence why this is the best solution. >> tensions are never far from the surface. nato has nearly 6000 troops there, more than 12 years after the war that ended serbia's rule. this is a reminder that the conflict might be over but not forgotten. >> at least one person has been killed in flooding in the philippines. the country has been hit by another monsoon causing severe flooding. at least 60 people have died in the past two weeks.
>> the headlines for you, the u.s. has kept its triple a rating after president obama signed a new deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending. >> the president has lost all sense of community after the brutal crackdown by government forces which claimed dozens of lives. the markets are reacting to this u.s. debt deal. they are shifting their attention from the debt ceiling arrangement to the slowdown in the u.s. economy and this is currently weighing on asian stock markets at this hour. you have the likes of japan, south korea, hong kong, australia. there was poor consumer spending data which caused wall street share prices to plunge.
regional shares are falling from multi month lows and analysts are forecasting more losses at the global economic recovery which is stalling. the dollar is marginally higher against the japanese yen but there are major movements in the commodity markets where gold is seeing another record high at 1006 had a $61 per ounce. investors are focusing on the weak u.s. economic report. in other news, 66 years after the end of the second world war, russia and japan are yet to sign a trees -- a peace treaty. the sticking point is an island disputed by the two countries. the countries are slowly becoming intertwined. the southern part of the island was an important part of the japanese empire. our moscow correspondent reports on the tragic history. >> the japanese are back.
this time as traders, not invaders. this is one of a few japanese owned businesses now based on the 1,000 kilometer islands. the capital is very russian, the rundown infrastructure is typical of many parts of the former soviet union. the main museum is a prominent reminder of the south of the island's 40 year history in the japanese empire. another reminder is the people the empire left behind in 1945. this woman married a caribbean and was not welcomed by the japan. they were later imprisoned by the authorities. >> of course, my mother was japanese. my father was a political prisoner. >> the journey takes only five
hours. the southern tip of the island's >> the northern coast of japan is just 40 kilometers away. >> the major northern city is modern after russia and it is here that some of the japanese have recently returned to make their homes. this woman's father worked on the white house and missed the last boat to japan in 1945. her parents brought up the family and died. she promised to mother that she would return to japan and 10 years ago, she did. >> i felt very sorry for my mother. she had to bring up 8 children and did not have enough time to learn russian.
>> ironically, when she makes her tea, the gas she is using probably comes from -- this was offshore from the island where she grew up. the russians have found vast reserves of natural gas which have been liquified and pumped into ships. this has been operating for more than two years and 60% of all of their producers goes straight to japan. 7,000 kilometers from moscow, the economy is struggling to a benefit in little from the wealthy neighbor. a dispute over the islands means that russia and japan have never signed a peace cheater -- peachtree -- russia and japan have never signed a peace treaty. >> the problems are not only impacting the u.s. but the eurozone economies as well.
>> borrowing costs for spain and italy has risen sharply. there is concern about the eurozone debt crisis. the spanish prime minister delayed his holiday to monitor the situation. the financial crisis will be discussed in the italian parliament on wednesday. >> the prime minister of spain said that he delayed leaving for his holiday in order to follow the country's economic indicators. they show that the borrowing costs hit record highs during the day's trading, close to levels that sought breeze, and portugal, request bailouts -- that saw greece and portugal request bailouts. the prime minister hopes that the spanish economy would be