tv BBC World News PBS October 7, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
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what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> rebel forces launched their biggest assault on gaddafi's stronghold. more anti-government protesters killed on syria's streets as both moscow and washington issue explicit warnings to president assad. the women peacemakers of the world at the nobel -- as the nobel peace prize is announced. welcome to bbc news broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. i'm chris rodgers. coming up later, we'll have the latest from the trial of michael jackson's doctor. as the court hears about the star's final moments. top gun prince harry heads to the californian desert for combat training in his apache helicopter.
>> fighters for the new government in hibia are continuing to battle gaddafi loyalists in his hometown sirte. after they advanced to the town center. the two sides battered each other with rockets and tank fire. along queues formed at checkpoints as civilians tried to flee the bombardment. the battle for sirte comes maybe two months after the former rebels seized control of virtually all of libya. ousting colonel gaddafi. the bbc's jonathan head is there. >> the long awaited attack on colonel gaddafi's hometown began at dawn. tanks rumbled into position. and began bombarding houses held by gaddafi loyalists. they brault up everything for this offensive.
taking the town has become a symbol of the new government's authority. within minutes, it was shrouded in black smoke. it was time for the fighters to move in. the gaddafi forces inside hadn't given up yet. government fighters had to contend with snipers, positioned on high points around the town. they answered with plenty of their own gunfire. these are young volunteers with very limited training. and they have taken casualties. ambulances ferried back and forth from the front throughout the day. by midday, they were inside the housing estate. colonel gaddafi built for the people of his birthplace. tearing down the last symbols of his rule. this is the very center of sirte. as you can see, it's still contested by small numbers of gaddafi loyalists who refusing to give in. so these government fighters are brought in, artillery and heavy machine guns. but it really is a matter now of clearing out the remnants
who are still holding out here and the last patches of sirte they control. some of the amateurish skills which have plagued the government's side were still on display. and those gaddafi remnants are proving very tough to beat. the prize which has eluded libyan authorities is within reach but they haven't seized it yet. jonathan head, bbc news, sirte. >> gunmen have shot dead the prominent syrian kurdish opposition figure michal al-tamu. four men entered his home in kamalishi and opened fire. the u.s. state department blamed the syrian authorities for the deaths. the russian president has called on syria's bashar al-assad to launch promised reforms or step down as the country's leader. med sed he have said the decision -- medvedev said the decision should be made by their leadership and not by
nato. activists said seven people were killed in protests after friday prayers. >> friday, all too familiar pattern in syria. once prayers in the mosques are said, anti-government protesters take to the streets. they demand the end of bashar al-assad's regime. the chants are peaceful, peaceful, our revolution is peaceful. some banners openly back the new opposition syrian national council. but the shootings continue. human rights activeists say thousands of demonstrators came under fire in several parts of the country. including a damascus suburb. killing at least eight people and wounding scores more. up until now, russia's been saying time is needed for president assad to implement promised reforms.
moscow is both a close friend and major arms supplier. but now the warning that time could be running out. >> if the syrian leadership is incapable of conducting such reforms, they will have to go. but this decision should not be taken by nato or certain european countries. it should be taken by the syrian people. and the syrian leadership which should understand its responsibility for the fate of the syrian fate. >> the decision earlier this week by russia and china to veto a united nations security council resolution condemning the violent crackdown brought expressions of anger on the streets of syria. with protesters burning the country's flags. they will be hoping president assad is taking note of moscow's changing tune. >> protesters have been marching in the jordanian
capital demanding political reforms and an end to corruption. hundreds of activeists from islamist and left wing parties marched to the city carrying anti-corruption slogans. activists say changes proposed recently don't go far enough. the mexican navy has arrested eight suspects in the murder of 32 people whose bodies were found in the eastern city of vera cruz on thursday. and also accused of involvement in the killing of 35 others whose corpses were dumped on a major road in the city last month. the navy blamed the killings on a drug gang known as the new generation. an international credit ratings agency has downgraded the credit ratings of italy and spain. putting new pressure on two of the euro zone's biggest economies. fitch said spain was threatened by high regional debt and italy's response to europe's debt crisis had eroded market confidence.
two women from liberia and one from yemen have been jointly awarded the nobel peace prize. they include the president of liberia and a democracy activist from yemen who at 32 is the youngest ever recipient. they were praised for their nonviolent struggle for women's rights and safety. this report from south africa. >> their faces may be unfamiliar but they're now members of an elite club. meet the most influential women in africa, and the arab world. winners of the nobel peace prize. ellen johnson-sirleaf, the liberian leader, famed as the first female president-elected democratically in africa. a populist, she's politically astute. this former economist is trying to turn her country around. her known -- no nonsense approach may have lost her friends at home but it has won her international acclaim. thousands of miles away, news travels fast. during birthday celebrations
south african nobel laureate archbishop desmond tutu. in characteristic style co-hardly con taken his excitement. -- he could hardly contain his excitement. a fellow liberian leymah gbowee shares this prestigious prize. a tireless peace warrior in troubled times. >> this prize is won by the women of liberia and by extension the women of africa, because our story is the story of living through wars of 14 years. >> this is an historic moment for africa. where being a woman is rarely a blessing. and where their role as peace brokers has been of the arash spring, tawakul karman, a
yemeni journalist and peace campaigner. the past three months she's camped out here, fearful that if she leaves, she will be gunned down by government troops. true to her faith, but a fighter for freedom, speaking to the bbc, she's dedicated her prize to the activists of the arab spring. >> i am sure that this word is victory for the peace of our revolution. >> three women, one prize. and a world where big man politics has tended to dominate. karen allen, bbc news, south africa. >> it's now 10 years since u.s.-led forces began their attack on the taliban in afghanistan. the military assault was in the short term a success but the past five years alone more than 10,000 afghan civilians have lost their lives and more than 2,700 troops have been killed since the conflict began.
it's already overtaken vietnam as america's longest war. joining me now from west palm beach in florida is a former u.s. ambassador to nato. hello to you. today, in an interview with the bbc, president hamid karzai said the government and nato failed to provide afghans with security and said it was one of the biggest shortcomings. would you agree? >> well, i think so. i think we've seen a number of positive steps that have come out of this. the number of kids in school have increased, and the economy, that you've seen, better economic and agricultural production. you've seen building of roads so there's a lot of progress. but it's all very tenuous. and 10 years on, you can't say that international forces were to leave that you would have stability and security left behind. so i think there really is a failing that we have not yet fully addressed. >> adding to that an ex-commander of the coalition forces said nato allies remain far from reaching their goals. so the question remains, why leave? or do you think it's a retreat?
>> well, i agree. i think it was a mistake from the beginning to put out a deadline for withdrawal. pause that sends all the wrong signals -- because that sends all the wrong signals, to the people we are trying to defeat, the taliban, that wait, they will succeed and to the people of afghanistan who have been left behind before. and with the international forces there, they would like to think that this time, we're going to stick with them. so i think what needs to happen is a much longer-term commitment. maybe not at the scale and level of resources that we're putting into it now. we can't sustain that. but i think a long-term commitment to helping the afghans really build security so there is sustainability. and we don't see everything we've achieved in the last 10 years just come undone. >> but do you think it's more -- do you think america and other allied forces have quite simply given up on afghanistan? and see this as a never-ending war? >> i think that's true of some of the elements of our public. our public is tired and also dealing with our own economic crises at home, our own political crises as well.
but if you talk to the soldiers and you talk to civilians who have served in afghanistan, they do feel that we're making a difference. and they're very passionate about the work there. likewise if you talk to the afghans themselves, they still want to see their country succeed. so it is a tough one. we can't just keep pouring resources in. but we also have to recognize that a tremendous failure to walk away and let afghanistan fall apart again. >> mr. karzai also pointed out to the bbc that he sees pakistan as a continuing problem, harboring the taliban who have -- helping the insurgency. what can america do about pakistan? >> yeah. i think that it's got to be a combination of both pushing them and urging better performance from them. we've seen that they've harbored bin laden. we've seen that they supported the haqqani network. we can't have any illusions about some of their work. and you have to insist that stop. withhold some assistance and help the pakistans to try to provide leverage and at the same time, provide some assistance and help in order to
really forge a partnership. as ditch as it is, there's no solution -- as active as it is, there's no solution without pakistan. >> former u.s. ambassador to nato. thank you. this is bbc news. still ahead, california, here i come. prince harry starts combat training. in the west coast heat. 12 british banks and building societies including lloyds and r.b.s. have been downgraded by a leading credit rating agency. it reflects concerns that the government might not be willing to bail them out in the event of any future cries crisis. -- any future crisis. >> etc. been a day of downgrades -- it's been a day of downgrades amid more gloom in the euro zone. the spanish government's credit rating was marked down by the agency fitch and it did the same with italy's state finances coming into line with other ratings. some of portugal's banks were
downgraded by another agency moody's because of fears about the economic outlook. and with a reminder that the u.k.'s banks are not immune from europe's stresses and strains, 12 british banks and building societies including some well-known names were also downgraded by moody's. it thinks because of policy changes, these institutions are less likely to be bailed out by westminster. the government is pressing ahead with a reform plan which will require major banks to keep high street operations separate from riskier investment banking activities. the idea is to keep depositors' cash secure if there are any big prorks in the future. -- problems in the future. and reduce the likelihood of more fundouts funded by taxpayers. moody's said it thought the government would provide some support for bigger banks but it was more likely now to allow smaller institutions to fail. the downgrades do not reflect a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system. the chancellor made it clear he was not unhappy with moody's
verdict. >> the credit rating agencies and others will say, well, actually, these banks have got to show that they can pay their way in the world. >> analysts said there was no question that the depositors' money was safe. but warned that today's ratings move underlined the challenges ahead for some banks at a time of heightened risk across europe's financial landscape. hugh pim, bbc nution. -- bbc news. >> this is bbc news. these are the latest headlines. anti-gaddafi forces have launched their biggest assault yet on his stronghold of sirte from loyalists with rockets and tank shells. the nobel peace prize has been awarded to three women including the liberian president and an activist in yemen. they were recognized for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women. a court in los angeles has heard recordings of police interviews with michael
jackson's doctor conrad murray. dr. murray who denies the involuntary manslaughter of the singer sounded calm as he spoke about his efforts to help michael jackson sleep. we can speak to our correspondent who has been following all the latest developments who joins me now from los angeles. peter, what did we hear in these tapes? >> well, this is a two-hour recording that was made two days after michael jackson's death. dr. conrad murray was with a detective. and he describes how he was employed by michael jackson. he was going to be michael jackson's doctor during his "this is it" tour which michael jackson was rehearsing nor and due to start in a few days' time and describes the night before he died. how he had been rehearsing until about 1:00 in the morning. he got home and extremely tired. he was exhausted. he wanted to get some sleep and the doctor tried several sedatives and the night just went on and on. 2:00. 3:00. 4:00. michael jackson just wouldn't go to sleep. and it got to a point where the singer was begging his doctor
for his milk. this is the chemical, this is the propofol that was given to michael jackson, that the authorities say was ultimately responsible for his death. >> he said please, please. [inaudible] medicine. >> what is it? what is the medicine? >> called propofol. >> propofol. ok. how do we spell that, dr. ? p.r.o.p.o.f.o.l. >> and what is this propofol? >> it is a sedative that can also be used for anesthesia. >> and how is that -- is it injected as well?
>> intraveinous form. usually most patients are given a certain amount of the drug. >> so the doctor gave michael jackson the propofol. and an anesthetic that's normally only used in a hospital setting. and he said he went straight to sleep. he popped out of the room he says for a couple of minutes. and he came back to find that the singer was unconscious. and at that point he tried to resuscitate him, mouth to mouth resuscitation and he was pressing his heart to try to get his heart moving again. really putting a lot of pressure on his chest. but it didn't do any good. and at the same time, he was calling -- he called michael jackson's personal assistant who called a bodyguard who rushed to the scene. it was the bodyguard who eventually called the emergency services and the paramedics arrived and they continued the efforts to resuscitate michael jackson. and after several minutes, i think they all realized that these efforts were futile. >> after about 20 minutes, of
effort, was limited, because his condition was -- [inaudible] so short. and c.p.r. right away. and i could feel several pulses with my compressions. i knew that his circulation was being kept going with my effort. >> michael jackson was eventually taken to hospital and that's where he was declared dead. during this interview with a detective, you can hear the doctor saying several times that he lotched michael jackson. he said he was my friend. and i was trying to help him. >> peter, thank you. peter bowes there in los angeles. the u.s. economy created 100,000 jobs last month. better than expected. but not enough to change the unemployment rate of 9.1%. some suffering more than others.
black unemployment is at 16%. twice the rate for white people. north america, mark model has been to president obama's hometown, chicago, to look at the problem. >> in the gym you take a few hits. but easier than the harsh world outside the ring. in the city of chicago, long been tough and poor but now its hard has been ripped out by a new poverty. >> a lot of the kids with college education unemployed. >> i see theanger and frustration with the people in the community. they have no hope anymore. >> you can come from another country and you can soar right past a black person. why is that? >> everywhere, there are signs of what's happened. once homes that were boarded up and everyone can tell a tale of pillars of a poor community suddenly finding themselves out of work. the reminder of the wild celebrations that surrounded
obama's election at a restaurant that's now closed down and boarded up. the plight of african-americans and the president's own hometown is worse than in the nation as a whole. 21% black unemployment. a third living in poverty. for 23 years this center has said the desperate, the piles of free food are the only meals some will get today. but there's a new poor here. among the clients and among the volunteers. misme rivers is helping -- michael rivers is helping how to. because he has nothing else to do. he worked here for more than 20 years. a foreman as at a meat curing plan and always had a steady job ever since he left school and four years ago he turned up to work as usual. >> they had everything just shut down. >> overnight, he lost his $50,000 a year job. then his car, his family, he's moved in with his mother. >> do you get unemployment benefits? >> those i exhausted. >> so how do you live? >> off of $200 a month food
stamps. >> traditional manual jobs have all but disappeared. but what hits hardest right now is the continuing government cutbacks. a disproportionate number of black people work for the public sector. today's figures show more than 65,000 such jobs went -- lost last month alone. this is how robert blackwell made his money. with a business putting on ping pong tournaments. he now has a management consultcy as well. part of chicago's rich black set, he says there has to be a growth of black businesses. not exactly the best time. >> neither government nor large corporations have a very good track record frankly of doing business with blacks. therefore, there's nowhere for these people to go who come off frankly the public sector employment rolls. >> although a friend of the president, he says more free enterprise, less red tape, would help. but doesn't think unemployment is a -- is obama's fault. >> he's not god. ens not the emperor. ention -- he's not the emperor.
he's the president. >> few would blame the hometown hero for their plight. the economy is almost seen as a force of nature but under a black president, black unemployment is getting worse. mark model, bbc news, chicago. >> prince harry has arrived in california for the final stage of his training as an apache helicopter pilot. the prince will undergo an eight-week intensive program aimed at replicating afghanistan's harsh terrain. while the prince says he's keen to return to front lien operations and creating quite a stir among the locals. from california, jonathan biel reports. >> hardly the setting for a royal visit. but this small town in the californian desert will be home for prince harry for the next few months. the apache helicopters he will be flying have already arrived. the conditions, high and dusty, perfect to train for fighting in afghanistan. this morning, the ministry of defense released this photo of
the prince arriving. it's the same military base where they filmed "top gun. ks but here, captain wales as he will be known will be getting no movie star treatment. there will be no red carpet. >> he has training to do as a volunteer combat war fighter. so we will -- we will treat him as we do all of our british -- visiting personnel. >> no special treatment. >> there's none planned. >> prince harry has already learned to fly the apache back in the u.k. here in the desert, he will be learning to fly it in combat. firing its weapons for the very first time. and bringing him a step closer to a return to the front line. the third in line to the throne made no secret of his desire to return to afghanistan. he was there in 2008. but was forced to leave early when a media blackout was broken. but he also will be getting plenty of attention in el centro and a chance to sample the townas rather limited life
off base. they're already hoping to get a glimpse after real british prince. >> it's been all over facebook and everybody is hoping the next princess diaries. >> all the women in san diego are going nuts. because we've been telling them that he's coming and they're very excited. >> even if he passes this intensive training, the final decision will still have to be taken at the highest level as to whether to send the prince back into combat alongside his comrades. jonathan biel, bbc news, el centro, california. >> a reminder of the mane news again. libyan troops loyal to colonel gaddafi are holding out in a small part of his hometown of sirte. a sustained offensive on friday saw fighters of the anti-gaddafi transitional council using tanks and rocket launchers and then into the town center. to push gaddafi loyalists into an area measuring some two or three square kilometers. and that's our main stories so
far. this is bbc numings. -- bbc news. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. union bank. and shell. >> this is kim. about to feel one of his favorite sensations. at shell, were developing more efficient fuels in countries like malaysia that can help us