tv BBC World News PBS August 6, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
>> and now, bbc world news. >> a leading credit agency downgrades america's top-notch credit rating for the first time in 70 years. it follows further turmoil on the world's financial markets amid fierce of a workning economic slowdown. the leaders of the u.s. france and germany condemn syria's president for what they call indiscrimnat violence. welcome to bbc news. one year on from the start of their underground ordeal, chile honors the miners who became national heroes. and the earliest surviving film by alfred hitchcock once thoughts lost but found in a vault in new zeal nt.
>> welcome. the rating agency's standard and poors has jound graded the united states credit rating from its top aaa values by one value to ww plus. a u.s. official said the agency's analysis was flawed. the u.s. government has huge debts and the credit agency's feel that not enough has been done to deal with it. our correspondent in washington has the latest. >> this has been a very difficult week for america's finances. of course it started with that very tricky debt deal in congress at the 11th hour both parties were able to come together and approve that much-needed legislation to ensure the u.s. didn't run out of cash. now of course we have this historic downgraded of the u.s. credit rating. it has never happened before in the u.s. history over the last 70 years. now, s and p made this decision over the last few hours and it went to the white house saying we're going to issue this decision. soon enough u.s. treasury
officials were pouring over the figures and went back to the company saying you've got some figures wrong. you've miscalculate. over the last few years. they went ahead with their decision saying effectively the dit plan which was due to shave $2 trillion or so off american spending wasn't enough. and it pointed the finger at both republicans and democrats for creating this crisis. it wanted to see about $4 trillion in spending cuts, obviously it certainly wasn't enough. so what does it mean in reality? what kind of imbact does it have for spending and interest rates across this country? analysts are divided on that point. some say it could automatically raise those interest payments from federal debt by about $75 billion or so a year. others say that the size of the u.s. economy will be able to effectively minimize the impact of this one credit downgrade. and after all, there are also
two other main credit rating agencies, moody's and fitch. so unless they follow suits, the impact of this downgrade is not necessarily as big as may at first be feared. >> earlier global markets were sent tumbling again amid the growing concerns about the euro's debt crisis and the weak economic recovery in the u.s. and europe. european markets fell sharply although u.s. shares recovered to close slightly higher. >> 24 hours of turmoil on markets. share prices plunged yesterday in germany and the rest of europe affecting the america's including brazil and the u.s. overnight it spread to asia, japan, china, hong kong and back to europe and the u.k. today with almost 3 trillion pounds wiped off shares
worldwide. the crisis was triggered by growing fears that italy and spain would be unable to repay their huge debts which led to a rise in their borrowing costs that for a brief moment was stemmed on july 21 when euro's own government agreed to support package but then the fears of investors and creditors revived and italy and spain borrowing cost continued their rise to dangerously high levels. >> i would in fact encourage now everybody to stay calm and breathe deeply and see that the economy could recovery is going on. it is important that we protect it from the turbulence and this is going on day and night. >> it may be tempting to see priceses having very little relevance but they directly affect the value of our pensions and may say a good deal about the competence of companies to invest and create jobs. and in the case of bank shares when they fall they may tell you something about their ability to borrow and when banks can't borrow they find it hard to lend and when banks
can't lend the economy weakens. this afternoon there was a brief recovery in share prices after u.s. unemployment figures turned out to be marginally better than feared. >> what i want the american people and our partners around the world to know is this. we are going to get through this. things will get better and we are going to get there together. >> so if the problem is the excessive indebtness of a number of rich western countries, is there a pabeless solution? >> no there isn't a painless way i'm afraid. what's really amounts to is people will have to accept that governments will be smaller and will spend less so there will be less public sector employment fewer jobs in the public sector and less expenditure on things like health care and pensions and education. >> today royal bank of cot land announced that it was back in the red for the first six months of the year in part because of losses of more than
00 pounds on its loans to greece. >> it would be stupid not to be cautious, to be alert to those significant risks out there that can turn bad. but i think that the probabilities are that the world doesn't turn overnight from place it is slowly recovering to a place that is a disaster area. >> commodities market falls in the prices of copper, led, zinc and tin are saying that the economy is threatened and that we all risk being burned. >> the leaders of the united states, france, and germany have condemned the syrian government's use of protestors. security forces have shot dead at least 13 people in unrest across the country on friday. world affairs is in lebanon where he has been speaking to demonstrators. >> the few across the valley in
the direction of syria now a closed country. across the border some of the worst fighting has been going on in the city of hama. syrian television government controlled showed these pictures of the city today claiming that things were now quiet there. commentary tells the viewers that the demonstrators are armed and violent. syrian government's line is that the demonstrators are basically terrorists supported by hostile foreign forces. tonight, an opposition supporter denied that. tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating across syria today including in duma, a city a few miles from damascus. the bbc has verified these
pictures. from lebanon, i got through to the satellite phone to the man who filmed them. >> what's going to happen in the long run? do you really think that the government of the president is going to be overthrone by the demonstrators? >> there will be more clashes. there might be a civil war in siria. >> this country, lebanon, knows all about civil war. syria has often been deeply involved. there is a lot of nervousness here about any spillover from the syrian troubles. today in bay route there was a small demo by supporters. some lebanese politicians take a strongly pro-syriaian line including the former government minister. >> it must be difficult and embarrassing for somebody like you to have to defend a
government which shoots down its own citizens. isn't it? >> internal forces are working and want to bring him down. he does not want war. if syria falls, it will be totally fragmented and will destabilize the whole region. >> it's beginning to look as though things over there have gone too far for a compromise solution. the government can't back down without looking as though they're surrendering completely. and if the demonstrators were going to stop, surely they would have stopped already. people on both sides are starting to warn about the possibility of civil war but no one seems to know how to stop it. >> chile is marking the first anniversary of the mine strap. the rescue operation captured
the world's attention. acts of remembrance have been taking place nearest the san jose mine. the bbc says not everyone is celebrating. >> not been celebrated in the way that has been expected and the government would have liked. there have been protests here against the government which slightly mars the celebration. it started peacefully enough with a mass in a church on the outskirts. most of the 33 miners were there as well. but before that mass was over, protestors first tried to disrupt it and then activists tried to disrupt it dragged away by the security guards. then moved on to a local museum where the phoenix 2 capsule mentioned that was used to pull the miners to safety was due to
be exhibited and hundreds of students tried to break through police barricades and make him noticed. his popularity has plummetted and this slightly overshadows the events here today. >> a federal judge has convicted five policemen in new orleans in 2005. two shot ded, four police officers found guilty of civil rights violations of cleared of murder. they now face life imprisonment. cuba's supreme court has uphe would a 15-year jail sentence give ton a u.s. citizen for bringing in satellite communications equipment. an aid contractor says he was just trying to help cuba's jewish community. the move is likely to further
sour relations. the launch of an unmanned solar powered space craft from cape canaveral in florida had to be delayed chile engineers checked indications of a possible gas leak. it will take five years to reach the plane et. the biggest in the solar system. still to come we meet some of the thousands of children left homeless and schoolless after the japanese tsunami. >> a 17-year-old tourist killed by a polar bear has been named. four others were injured on the attack in a camp on the islands in norway. the injured were flown by amblass. >> air lifting the casualties
to hospital from the remote archie pell go. one british 17-year-old dead, four more members of the group injured, two of them severely. an expedition of british students on an arctic camping adventure of a lifetime that turned into a tragedy. it's the chance of seeing a polar bear in their natural habitat has one of the top attractions of trips here. nearly 3,000 bears roaming wild amidst the stunning landscape. blogs posted on the expedition website a week ago talk of an arctic adventure of sea ice and the polar bears they were dreaming of seeing. >> he was a fine young man hoping to go on to read medicine after school. >> the organization is based here expedition force young
people for an experience of self-discovery in some of the world's last true wildernesses. >> holidays to zones like this where polar bears roam free are dangerous. but as the habitats are melting, encounters with humans are getting more common. >> if the pack ice has gone away and there's a lot of open water then they would have to stay on the land and they get very, very hungry. there's nothing for them to eat. >> britain's ambassador and the chief executive of the travel company are both on the way to northern norway. the circumstances of the tragedy are being investigated. >> for the first time ever one of the international credit rating agencies has downgrade it had united states from the top aaa level. and the leaders of the united states, france, and germany have condemned the president of
syria for what they call the indiscrimnat violence being used against people. and an update on our top story, the downgrading of the united states aaa rating by standard and poors. apparently president barack obama was briefed in advance of this intention and he has been continuing to receive updates from top aides according to an administration official, according to the reuters news agency. so president obama was briefed in advance of the ratings agency standard and poors decision to downgrade the united states from its aaa credit rating. that comes as g-7 finance ministers are set to meet to discuss euro's debt crisis.
european politicians must get ahead of the curve to overcome the crisis. says that in itself is a problem. >> it's all very well talking about getting ahead of the curve but how do you do it buzz what is the curve and the scoif this. when you deal with big countries like italy, if they run into trouble and find it difficult to service that debt there is not an existing rescue fund that is big enough to help them. so what happens? and i think that level of uncertainty about what might happen if italy really gets into trouble has not been put to rest. and it's all very well talking about getting heavy of the curve and there have been lots of frantic phone calls between european leaders this evening but some of the fundamental questions have not been answered and some of the ideas they are putting forward defies the nations. there isn't a unanimity of
views and a certain of uncertainty and drift and that's damaging when it comes to the markets. now, sudanese human rights activists are lobbying the united nations to stop ethnic-based violence. on a visit to the u.n.'s headquarters in new york, a bishop claims the car too many was carrying out an ethnic cleansing campaign. >> at this rally in new york, protestors urged the world not to forget a worsening conflict. they called on the u.n. to protect their people who are being attacked in the province here. >> these people have come here to u.n. headquarters in new york because they can no longer appeal to the u.n. in their own countries. despite appeals from some members of the security council, it has refused to renew it.
>> they closed the u.n. mission when they is he seeded and joined the united nations. at the same time, the sudanese army stepped up a military campaign against former guerilla fighters, which it says are still allied to the new southern state. but a bishop from the province says this is much more than the leftovers of the civil war. >> there is a lot of killing going on and we consider this as ethnic cleansing. so that is why we are calling on the u.n. council and the security council to consider what is going on in sudan. >> his claims are support bid human rights groups. they say there is evidence of indiscrimnat bombing and mass killings by government forceses. backed by a petition with nearly half a million signatures, they insist the security council should push for some kind of international presence to monitor the conflict. the warnings contrasts with the
optimism here a few weeks ago. there was a lot of hope independents would bring peace. what it seems to have done is bring war. >> japan is marking the 66thth anniversary of the first atomic bomb attack. they hold a peace memorial ceremony to remember tose who lost their lives and to pray for world peace. >> this, the terrible aftermath of the first use of an atomic bomb on a civilian target in august, 1945. 66 years later and japan is remembering the tens of thousands killed in the bombing. but this year the ceremony had a more contemporary dimension. peace activists are drawing attention between and the reactor following the powerful
eereds quake following the tsunami. there is a growing sense in japan that nuclear energy is unsafe and the country should reduce its dependence on nuclear power. comes off the fierce criticism for its handling of the crisis. all eyes then were on the prime minister. his government recently sacked three leading nuclear power chiefs in the wake of the disaster. the government has also announced a series of steps to improve nuclear safety including setting up a new age sifment already two thirds of the country's reactors are off line. by this time next year they all cowlled br. but that would leave a serious hole in the country's electricity provision. meanwhile, around 80,000 people are still unable to return to their homes and there is evidence that radiation has been found in the food chain. today is every year they
remembered those who perished on august 6, 1945. but now it is the nuclear plant which is pushing forward the debate in japan. >> tens of thousands of children were caught up in the powerful earth quake and tsunami that devastated the country in march. many left without homes and schools. >> life for this little boy has changed so much. he and his family are responsible for distributing food handouts in their shelter like many others the family share one of these tents. >> the earth quake got bigger and bigger. when the tsunami came i was really shocked it was so dark and black.
i try not to think about the tsunami. i have my games to distract me. >> this is all that's left of the town. built around a busy hub, full of homes, businesses, and life. this is a really common site in this part of japan. nothing left of this house except its foundations and over here a great big pile of rubble more than 70,000 children lost their homes just like this in the disaster. they also lost their schools. they are now taught in schools in buildings rented by a college. japanese school children have to collect and serve their own leven. today we met one student. >> i lost my tv, games, and books. many of my toys are gone.
>> this is the old school. the tsunami risk is now considered too high to send the children back here. >> it seems incredible that the clock is still working. you can still see the full force with which it ripped through the ground floor. the schools, and just how high the water came. >> most of the children were here at the time they and their teachers were trapped up stairs overnight. >> it was smelling and freezing. we tore down the curtains to cover the children as they slept but we could see a big fire has started outside and coming towards us. we had to make sure that they didn't see that. back at the elementary school they are practicing their official song. most of these children have lost their homes and the town was destroyed. but here they believe education is the key to recovery and so they keep on singing.
>> film historians in new zealand have uncovered what they believe is the earliest surviving feature made by alfred hitchcock described by fans as priceless. >> the master of suspense who made classics, psycho, the birds, and rear window, sprin springs a surprise on his fans. >> part of his earliest known work, the white shadow, was discovered by the film archive. the three reels show the first 30 minutes of the film and are now being restored by sir peter jackson's production company. there was six reels in all. the budding 24-year-old hitchcock was credited as the film's writer, directors, editor and art director.
these rare films which starred betty comson in a double role as twin sisters provide the early clues into what became his legendary intense expressive style. film archivists say it's a wonder these reels have survived. they could so easily have been thrown away. >> luckily for us, a projectionist, a distributor, we will never know who, couldn't bring himself or herself to do that. >> no other copy of the white shadow is known to exist. so they have to handle the process with extreme care. next month a restored print of the mellow drama will be shown in beverlyhills 31 years after his death he can still create a nail-biter. >> you are watching bbc news.