tv BBC World News PBS August 22, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
>> and now "bbc world news." >> hello, and welcome to "newsnight" on the bbc. i'm in singapore. >> i'm in london. the headlines. colonel gaddafi's son tells the bbc that forces loyal to his father are winning the battle for tripoli. as fighting continues, president obama praises the libyan people for their extraordinary sacrifice. >> this much is clear. the gaddafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of libya is in the hands of its people. >> prosecutors in new york ask a judge to drop sexual assault charges against the former head of the i.m.f. dominique strauss kahn. renewed tension on the korean peninsula is a project aimed at bringing north and south together comes to a bitter end. it is 9:00 a.m. here in singapore. >> it's 2:00 a.m. here in london, broadcasting to viewers
on pbs in america and around the world. welcome to "newsnight." -- "newsday." >> one of colonel gaddafi's sons, has been arrested, and has appeared in the center of the libyan capital in a government military vehicle. he told the bbc that a trap had been laid for opposition forces and that soldiers loyal to his father are winning the battle for tripoli. dominic cain has the latest developments on this breaking story. >> the son of colonel gaddafi wanted for war crimes, and apparently in rebel captivity. now a free man celebrating with supporters of his father in tripoli. 24 hours ago, the international criminal court confirmed he'd been taken.
but this was his message for the world. >> i want know to refute all rumors and lies. nato and the west has high-technology. they stop the broadcasting and radio. they have launched electronic warfare. and through media, they have managed to smuggle into the country gangs and saboteurs. but the libyan people, men and women, have stood firm against them. >> as his supporters celebrated, he tried to refute suggestions the rebels control most of tripoli. >> we will have a tour in that city of tripoli, especially those alleged hot zones, and you will see by yourself what is happening, and i want to confirm to you that these places are calm and safe. >> he then is in the libyan
capital. the whereabouts of his father are unknown. dominic cain, "bbc news." >> a libyan american author, columnist, activist, and profess or the of relations at the university of texas, he joins me. welcome to "bbc news." you've been advising rebels in benghazi. what do you think their strategy is? >> the strategy is to pacify the country and take over tripoli and remove gaddafi's sources from there. it's not going to be as easy. and my advice was not to move too far, but they wouldn't listen, and they move too far and find themselves now in hot water. take more lives, u.
>> when you say they moved too quickly, what do you mean? >> well, you know, first of all, in misrata, they're still trying to overcome and they're feeding them with support and weapons and so forth. they locked themselves into tripoli now, and so -- the situation -- they control half of tripoli. they control the eastern half. they don't control the western half. in order to control the western half, they it's going to cost lives. it will take many lives. they ultimately will win because it takes far more lives than they anticipated. >> what do you make of our news that we've been reporting that gaddafi's son is free and at
liberty in tripoli? >> i think first of all that he was under control and that he's like his brother mohammed. this is the first time to do something like this. they're learning as they go along. i don't think you'll see another communique until they are actually in chains somewhere. it's going to take time for them to learn. did they make a mistake? yes. premature? indeed so. the real thing is how did they escape and why did they escape? that is the problem we have to deal with. >> appreciate you joining us. thank you very much for that. as rebels continue to battle
government forces in several areas of the capital tripoli, the bbc's correspondents, paul from benghazi. >> certainly a lot of jubilation here. in the early hours of the morning, everybody was watching on their televisions in tripoli. came out on to the streets firing their own volleys of automatic fire. i expect there will be a similar scene tonight. there's also relief, because this is the home of the revolution where it began, and in the early days, at least, the outcome seems very far from certain. there is also a quite sober assessment from the political leadership here about what happens over the next few days. we're still if the military phase of this. they're still sending reinforcements from here, but there is a wish on the political leadership, almost not to see too much bloodshed. we had an extraordinary news conference from the leader of the national council in which he
said he was worried about revenge attacks. he had been given assurances by military commands, but he was still nevertheless worried that they would live up to their assurance. he said if he did see people acting outside the law, thn he would resign his position. i think that is a glimpse of the tensions on this movement on the eve of the power. >> there are still critical questions about the rebel advances inside tripoli and how much they control, but the picture that seems to be emerging is that they have a large degree of control possibly over the majority of districts. that's what's emerging at this distance, but they are still proving to be very stubborn. this is somebody the rebels always anticipated. the more long-term concern is what's going to happen next, with the removal of colonel
gaddafi, is the rebel leadership, the political leadership in benghazi then in a position to step in and take things forward. there have been key concerns at the beginning. it's a very disparate group of people who came together at a moment of chaos, at a time when they united around the idea of getting the libyan leader. but the question is what happens next after they manage to achieve that goal? >> i think there is some nervousness even within n.t.c. about that. we had a revealing statement this afternoon from the chairman in benghazi who warned that he would resign if there were acts of revenge by fighters inside tripoli. i think they are aware that this is a very precarious moment, politically and millitarily. they have to try and exert control. they have to try and keep calm in tripoli. they want to try to avoid the pitfalls of the transitions that we've seen in places like iraq, and i think the west is watching very carefully to try and see how they handle it.
>> president obama has praised the libyan people for what he called their extraordinary sacrifice. he called for a peaceful and just transition of power. >> your courage and character have been unbreakable in the face of a tyrant. an ocean divides us, but we are joined in the basic human long for freedom, for justice, and for dignity. your revolution is your own. and your sacrifices have been extraordinary. now the libya that you deserve is within your reach. >> i'm joined here in studio by george grant, the director of global security at the henry jackson society. thank you for staying with us. talking about the developments that have happened within the last hour and a half, initially surprised, but perhaps not so? >> well, yes, exactly. there's no doubt this has been a remarkable sequence of events,
but i think you're absolutely right to ask that question. what would have been really surprising is if tripoli had fallen without any kind of struggle at all. in a weird kind of way, you know, this surprising event is just almost unsurprising, just the surprise at the rather extraordinary conflict. i think if we take a step back, 48 hours ago, tripoli was surrounded, that situation remains. and i think by almost any measure, tripoli will fall. the question is how and when. now i was saying over the weekend that if this is to be a purely military struggle, then it will be very bloody. and really could be di vast rouse. -- disastrous. it has to be that there is some -- the collapse is precipitated from inside tripoli from an
uprising, and that's going to be the key. but if the resistance from the regime element is as stiff as it now appears to be in some places, then let's not predict that that's going to melt away immediately. >> you just mentioned regime elements there. who are we talking about? >> well, it's difficult to say. there was a very interesting interview that took place with a captured regime colonel about a week ago now. he was saying that the regime is basically being held in place through mercenary enforced martial law and fear. that is something that i think -- i don't know how much love there is for gaddafi amongst even members of the regime. there's been numerous defections when people have had the opportunity. doubtless there are some hardcore elements, but i imagine a lot is through fear.
>> just very briefly, george, the role of the international community, what do you think it's likely to be when they talk about a transition of power in libya? >> well, i think first and foremost, it has to be the provision of technical expertise. best in the world, the new government, when it does come. going to need some assistance as well. they've learned an awful lot about reconstruction in the last decade. these are lessons that have to be implemented. in terms of the security solution, one would hope that the council will abide by its pledge to incorporate regime elements into a post-gaddafi security architecture, and one would hope that that would prove sufficient. if not, obviously the united nations security solutions will have to be looked at. but thing the immediate interim, i think financial and security assistance will be key. >> thank you very much for that.
>> and you're watching "newsday" on the bbc live from singapore and london. still to come on the program, a sill ball of hope and reconciliation turned sour. >> a lightning strike destroys richard branson's caribbean holiday home. actress kate winslet is among the guests who escape unhurt. >> libya was once responsible for about 2% of the world's oil production, but production has slumped since war began in february. it will be years before output is back to normal. brian my began reports. >> since march this year, anti-gaddafi rebels have been trying to reopen oil fields as a top priority, but there's been considerable damage to pipelines, oil fields, and storage facilities. this amateur footage shows an
attack on the oil field perpetrated by gaddafi loyalists after its capture by rebels. all production stopped as a result. although officials from the national oil company say some oil could flow within three weeks, more meaningful production is likely to take much longer. >> in order to be able to return exports to the full $1.3 million barrels a day, this may likely take six to 12 months, if not more. >> indeed, getting libya's oil flowing again will be as much about politics as about repairs. the biggest oil fields are in the east of the country, and have been under rebel control for some time. but the oil fields in the west are still the subject of u.n. export sanctions, as yet it's also unclear who's in charge here politically. >> what after gaddafi? sure, he goes very soon. who's going to come to power? does the west and the east combine and they unite? how much do we know about the rebels and the hierarchy between
them? we don't know anything about these questions. >> when the war started in libya, the price of oil rose steeply. with the war now apparently coming to an end, there's only been a small fall in the price so far. partly that's because fears about the global economy have already pushed prices down. but also there's still huge uncertainty about how and when libya can resume sizable deliveries. brian milligan, "bbc news." >> the headlines for you this hour, colonel gaddafi's son has told the bbc that they are winning the battle for tripoli. >> they appealed for an orderly transition of power.
the syrian government has been accused of operating a shoot to kill policy against its people. the commissioner said the regime in damascus has killed more than 2,200 people during its five-month violent crackdown on the opposition. speaking at a special session of the human rights council, he called on the government to halt its repression of peaceful protests. >> a u.n. convoy travels through the troubled city on monday, deployed to assist the situation on the ground. in this unverified video, the people following the cars appear to be chanting against bashar alassad. reports say at least one person was shot dead by government forces in the city on monday. it's actions like these which have drawn the outrage of the international community. the u.n.'s high commissioner for human rights accused the regime of deliberately targeting its
own people. >> the military and security forces have resorted to an apparent shoot to kill policy. snipers on rooftops have targeted protesters by standers. >> calling for a u.n. investigation. some think syria has rejected. the resolution will cause the crisis to lengthen, and will only cause more instability. on this basis, we call upon the council not to support the draft resolution in order to maintain peace and security in syria. all this comes a week after president assad had assured the u.n. that million tear operations in syria had ceased. in a statement, he said it's troubling that he has not kept his word. world leaders have been telling him immediately to halt military operations.
the ongoing situation is to be believed, that maybe be some way off. >> charged with sexual assault, dominique strauss kahn, the charges are to be dropped. they held talks this evening with the motel aide. her lawyer says she is being denied justice. the case is expected to be formally dismissed on tuesday. she accused one of the world's most powerful men of sexual assault. but today, a hotel maid was told by prosecutors her case would be dropped. a lawyer blasted the district attorney. >> he has not only turned his back on this victim, but he has also turned his back on the forensics, medical, and other physical evidence in this case. >> a short walk away, dominique
strauss kahn remained out of sight at the manhattan townhouse where he's been living on bail. in a statement, his lawyers welcomed the prosecutor's decision. with no other witnesses to the alleged assault, this case has turned on the credibility of 32 -year-old immigrant from guinea in west africa who last month gave up her right to anonymity. >> he come to me and grab my breast. no, you don't have to be sorry. i said stop, i don't want to lose my job. >> at first, prosecutors called the maid's account compelling. they said forensic evidence proved there was a sexual encounter. but then she changed her account of the movements in the hotel immediately after the alleged assault, and she admitted lying on an asylum claim. lawyers for mr. strauss kahn have indicated that any sexual contact was consensual. they say his accuser is exploiting the case to make money.
earlier this month, she filed a civil lawsuit. >> what all this comes down to is this. prosecutors do not believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a forced sexual encounter. tomorrow, they'll ask a judge to dismiss the case. steve king ston, "bbc news," new york. >> north carolina has given south koreans 72 hours to leave the resort at mount kungon. the resort used to be a symbol of cooperation between the two countries and a key sort of currency for pong i don't think. for more on this, we're joined from the south korean capital of seoul by our correspondent lucy williamsson. tell us what is the latest and have south koreans already left the resort?
>> as you said, north korea on monday morning gave nows that south korean assets would be able to be removed anymore from that tourist resort, and it gave three days for south korea's personnel to leave. that takes us up to thursday morning. i haven't had any concrete reports yet of south koreans crossing back into south korea. but the word we're getting from the government here is that they're not expecting south koreans to stay beyond that thursday morning. no reason to put themselves at risk, they say. but they are looking for a way out of it. according to south korea, that is not a legal move. according to north korea, it is, because they say they consider the property up there to be abandoned. >> so could this affect tensions once again between the two koreas? >> it's a very confused picture at the moment, because we've had that diplomatic to'g and fro'g. we've had the meetings between
north korean and u.s. representatives. it all looked to be moving a bit more quickly towards resuming six-party talks on north korea's nuclear armament. now we've had a little spat in the west city. we've also now had this agreement between north and south korea. it's very difficult at the moment to tell what the relations are. >> lucy williamson in seoul. thank you so much for that update. do you have news of trouble in paradise for richard branson's guests? >> the oscar-winning actress kate winslet has starred in a real-life drama on a caribbean island rescuing the entrepreneurs to richard branson's 90-year-old mother from a house fire. they were staying at his home in the british virgin islands. it was set ablaze by lightning early in the morning.
in the early hours of monday morning, fire spread through the home of sir richard branson. apparently hit by lightning, the building had gone up in flames. among the guests staying here, the british actress kate winslet. on screen, she had already gone down with the titanic. now off screen, she was facing danger. another guest was sir richard's 90-year-old mother eve. some heroics from kate winslet. >> she carried my mother out. everybody was well. and we're rebuild and stuff again. these things happen. obviously just a great relief that nobody was hurt. >> the house wasn't so lucky, though. destroyed in the flames. for her part, kate winslet said television like being on a film set, except the director never yelled cut. tim allman, "bbc news." >> let's get more now on the situation in libya.
george is still with me in the studio, director of global security at the henry jackson society. i want to talk with you about the national transitional council. how coordinated are they, do you think? >> well, i think actually they're surprisingly well coordinated, given the short time that they've been in existence, the circumstances that gave rise to their existence. and obviously, the context of libya. you know, they've managed to coordinate and advance -- i think really rather impressively given the limitations. i think what has been impressive is the way they reached out to regime officials inside tripoli before these latest developments. i think that clearly did take place. that was what facilitated the initial advance. and i think also in terms of the restraint that they've been showing, retribution, there haven't been really any major
reports of reprisal killings. i think that is all testament to how organized they have been under the circumstances. >> we'll come to know in a few hours the circumstances surrounding his appearance and his apparent liberty in tripoli, but we heard the national transitional council saying yesterday that he had been detained. a change of message there? >> well, as we were saying earlier, the only thing more extraordinary believing that he could have been detained and then escaped is to believe that the rebels would somehow believe that there was currency to be gained by pretending that he had been captured, when in fact surely they would have known that within a matter of hours it would become clear that he had not. i think that situation is still unclear. >> ok, george, i know you're going to stay with us. thank you very much for that. stay with us. you're watching "bbc news."