tv BBC World News America PBS July 23, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
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in a colorado movie theater makes his first appearance in court. one columbine survivor is faced with tragedy again. >> to live through it twice, it is on real. -- it is unreal. it is not fair. >> forget about the canoing you did at summer camp. bbc is getting in on the act. first up, a ride down the rapids. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. faced with a foreign attack, syria will be ready to unleash its chemical weapons. that was the warning from the assad regime that served as the
first public acknowledgement country possesses such materials. it comes as fierce fighting continues in damascus. our correspondent reports from the border crossing between syria. >> there are huge numbers of heavily armed government forces in this northern city determined to stop the rebel army capturing the country's commercial center. outnumbered and out-gunned, the fsa occasionally scores remarkable successes. these pictures cannot be verified, but they're said to show heavy equipment taken out with assault rifles and rocket- propelled grenades. across the country, there is fierce fighting. many are killed every day. more than 1.5 million syrians
have been displaced by the fighting. there are 12,000 refugees at this turkish border camp alone. with the help of charities, they're able to cope for now. the longer the fighting continues, the more serious are spilling out of their country to avoid bloodshed. -- the more serious are spilling out of their country to avoid bloodshed. at this same house on the turkish side of the border, many young men are being treated for bullet wounds and other injuries. some are rebel fighters. others say they were taking part in demonstrations when they were shot. >> we were in a protest. the army shot at us with automatic weapons. the bullet hit me in the leg and broke a bone. >> there is growing international concern about syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. israel has said it would act if they felt there were falling into the wrong hands. today, the syrian foreign
ministry said the weapons were safe but warned they could be used in the event of foreign intervention. >> any unconventional weapon would never be used against civilians or syrian people in this crisis. these weapons are meant to be used only in the evidence of external aggression against the syrian republic. >> several governments are putting in place contingency plans to evacuate their nationals. the fighting inside syria it shows no signs of abating. bbc news on the turkey-syria border. >> the subject of the chemical weapons, president obama had this message today for the syrian government. >> given the stockpiles of chemical weapons, we will continue to make it clear the world is watching and that they will be held accountable by the international community and the united states should they make the tragic mistake of using those weapons.
>> for more on the developments in syria, i am joined by a senior adviser for middle east initiatives at the u.s. institute of peace in washington. syrians have little to feel secure about right now. there are assurances from assad not to use them against civilians. should anyone believe him? >> as the regime unravels, it becomes concerned about the threat of foreign intervention, direct intervention or intervention in support of the opposition. by pointing out it might be prepared to use chemical weapons stockpiles against barnett attacks, it could be hoping to deter western powers or other regional actors from playing a direct role in support of the armed opposition. president obama's statement underscores how little confidence most of the world has in the assurances coming out of damascus. one of the biggest security
concerns the u.s. has is precisely that these chemical weapons might be used or the syrian government might lose control of them. his warning was clearly aimed at making clear to the syrian regime there would be consequences either of those outcomes were to happen. >> obama was saying you have them and say you use them. make sure you do not. >> if the weapons were to be deployed, it would be a significant escalation in the conflict. the international community might feel it had no alternative other than to intervene. the use of chemical weapons is a critical trigger in terms of how the rest of the world would view the conflict. i think the obama administration was making that clear to the government in damascus and the regime. >> your organization has been working on what a post-assad syria might look like.
what do you think of the greater challenges? >> we believe the regime has a fairly short time horizon. we are aware of the range of challenges the post-assad syria will face will be large and include dealing with victims of abuse who want to know that they have access to justice. the work we have done with members of the syrian opposition, supporting them in their efforts to think about the future, has identified some options and strategies we hope will help a new syrian government address the challenges. >> let's leave it there. thank you for coming and speaking to us. staying in the region, now to iraq. across the country, there were a string of bombings and shootings that left more than 100 dead and
many more wounded. they were coordinated and appear to have been aimed at the iraqi security forces raising new fears about the country's ability to protect itself. the diplomatic correspondent reports. >> a planeload of worried iraqis during the turmoil in syria. on arrival in baghdad this morning, they found their country was rocked by turmoil, too. a network of attacks making it the single deadliest day of violence this year. this was a town 12 miles north of baghdad. two car bombs went off. when the police arrived, another suicide bomb. in all, killing more than 40 people. it left local residents feeling unprotected. >> if we had weapons, we would have defended ourselves, says
this man. >> where are the authorities? where are the security forces, asks another man. this multiple assault looks meticulously and chillingly coordinated. over 20 separate attacks in more than a dozen towns and cities. bombs, a gun attacks on checkpoints, even more to fire on an army base, apparently targetting security forces but also killing civilians. part of the plan seemed to be to spread chaos. in the northern city, there were eight separate bomb attacks. some were minutes apart. many leading the same telltale wreckage. the fear is with syria spiraling out of control, the week iraq government will fall. it is harder for the government of iraq to contain the various contenders for power in iraq.
the various patrons at play -- hatereds at play when you have refugees across the board. no claims of responsibility yet, but this has all the hallmarks of an al qaeda-style attack. designed perhaps to take advantage of the serious crisis to stir up trouble across iraq as well. >> today, the first court appearance displays of the man who stands accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in the pact, run a movie theater. james holmes will be formally charged next monday. authorities say the 24-year-old is refusing to cooperate. we have the latest from colorado. >> people versus james holmes. >> this is the man who stands accused of one of the worst ever mass killings in america. james holmes appeared in court for the first time since he was
arrested outside the cinema moments after the shooting. down at the wrists and ankles, he appeared groggy and showed no emotion. occasionally closing his eyes, he did seem aware of what was going on. there were reports he had styled himself as the joker, batman's evil on-screen nemesis. the charges he will face are expected to include at least 12 counts of first-degree murder. >> any violation can constitute a new criminal offense and or contempt of court. >> he has been held in solitary confinement. police said it was for his own safety and that he had not been answering questions. prosecutors are deciding whether to pursue a death penalty if convicted. >> victims will be impacted by this decision in an enormous way for years. if the death penalty is sought, that is a long process that will impact their lives for years.
they will want to have and we will want to get their input before we make a decision on that. but this is just the first stage in what is expected to be a long legal process. the police have three days to lay charges against james holmes. he will then be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. the faces of those who lost loved ones tell the story of the tragedy. hundreds came to the memorial service. the first opportunity for survivors and the community to come together and reflect on the magnitude. the names of the dead were read one by one. >> jesse childress. we will remember. >> nine people are seriously ill. >> i think the reason stories like this have such an impact on us is because we can all
understand what it would be to have somebody we love taken from us in this fashion. >> the authorities are still building a case against james holmes. he is due back in court in the week. it could be many months before people know what motivated the lone gunman to kill so many people. bbc news in colorado. >> one of the most striking details is where it took place. the city of aurora is next to denver and only 15 miles from columbine high school where in 1999, 12 students and a teacher were killed. two gunmen killed themselves. he was a high school junior who survived by hiding in the cafeteria. he dealt with the pain than and said years later, another friend was killed while watching the film is an aura. he spoke to us about the dual tragedy and painful memories
flooding back. >> i was sitting on the ground. i was holding my friend. we were crying. i told him i was sorry. i feel like this is just following me. >> my name is sam. i am 30 years old. i grew up in littleton. that is my home town. i was 17 and a junior in high d school at columbine when the shootings happened. i was in the cafeteria. i was locked in a kitchen office for about three are -- 3 hours. after i got out, everything was said and done. i lost). >> terrifying moments overnight in denver. >> with the recent shootings at the theater, it has built a lot of emotion in need. it has stirred up a lot of old feelings. i had some friends that were there. >> witnesses say the gunman opened fire.
>> one of them did not make it out. i was watching my friends go through the same thing i went through about 13 years ago. all the same little steps, the nfusion, the waiting, the silence knowing that you know your friend is probably not alive anymore but no one has told you yet. to live through it twice, it is unreal. it is not fair. that is what it feels like. my advice to the people of our raw right now is -- of aurora right now is to take it hour by hour, be with family and friends, loved ones. those are the relationships you will need to rely on later when you have bad days.
you can go back to these friends and family. they can understand what you are going through. i went through this so long ago. i think i am able to help them out more because of this. i felt so hopeless. the community is still dealing with it. people are still dealing with it. thousands of friends and family are still dealing with it. they have to for the rest of their life. the rest of us may forget, but i guarantee they never will. >> that gives me goose bumps watching it. samuel was speaking to us about how two tragedies in colorado have impacted his life. you are watching "bbc world news america. " still to come, with the countdown underway, one of my colleagues get wet -- gets
wet. forecasters are predicting a day without rain for beijing on tuesday. the city is struggling to clear up its heaviest rain falls in almost six decades. 37 died over the weekend. authorities are facing questions about the state of infrastructure in the chinese capital. >> this was the scene after beijing's biggest downpour in decades. some of the suburbs remain submerged under water. trucks were left marooned on the main highway. the rainfall over the weekend was the heaviest in 60 years. more than 30 people were killed in the flooding. some were crushed by collapsed buildings. among the dead was this policeman. he is being hailed as a hero by state media. his colleague said he had been wrestling villagers when he was electrocuted by a power cable in the water.
the authorities are facing criticism over the response to the floods. questions are being raised about the state of the infrastructure. some are asking why the drainage system failed in this modern city. across the country, there were similar scenes. in the southern province, heavy rains triggered landslides and destroyed crops. this was the dramatic moment when tourists were left clinging to a roof. they had been trying to cross a river when the only bridge was washed away. at least eight people were killed during the storms. bbc news in beijing. >> in japan, a government inquiry into the fukushima disaster concluded the plant operator and workers were ill- prepared for such an excellent. they also raised new concerns
about nuclear power safety. the world markets to the beating today. from europe to new york, the pain can be traced back to spain. after the long term borrowing costs reached a record high, increased concerns the country will need further international support. outlookwarned germany's was now bleak, an assessment that prompted insistence that his country would continue to play the role of the anchor of civility. what is significant about this interest rate on spanish government debt? >> the significance of 7.5% means spain is paying a huge amount to service its debt, in order to borrow money. at that kind of interest-rate,
is not sustainable. if it is not sustainable, what does that mean? it will probably mean sooner or later this country will have to get a general bailout. there has been a bailout of the banking sector. what has happened since then, markets have not settled down because there is no growth in the country. there is not likely to be growth next year. it will stay in recession. also, the powerful regions in spain are beginning to say that they are turning to madrid for help. all of this makes for very unpleasant reading. there are questions about whether what is happening now is sustainable in the long term. >> spanish economists described spain as the place where all the tension about europe was piling up. at what point will that give way? >> at the moment, spain is the eye of the storm. if this country does need a
general bailout, that will test the effectiveness of the eurozone's bailout funds. if there was not enough money, spain would be facing bankruptcy. the real fear about spain is the effect with italy. you can see italy's borrowing costs going up to the point that they may be unsustainable. the concern is if italy and spain both need rescuing, there may not be the funds available to do that. then the crisis becomes absolutely serious. >> thank you for joining us from madrid. a quick, poignant note from the u.s. the first american woman to travel into space has died. sally ride passed away on monday after a 17 death -- 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
she was aboard challenger in june of 1983. if it gains are kicking off officially on friday. -- the olympic games are kicking off officially on friday. the next story is a lead it to the games. bbc presenters have been tasked with trying out some of the sports. my colleague starts things off with a ride down the rapids. wrecks all olympic sports are difficult. some are daunting -- >> all of the exports are difficult. some are daunting too. he is in the canoe slalom. if you think preparing for the 2012 games are difficult, now he has got to get me through this course in one piece. ♪
>> they say presenting the news can sometimes find you in deep water, but never like that. all this week, we will show you what other presenters do when they try out olympic sports. i want to see that for sure. that brings today's show to a close. you can find constant updates on the london games and all the rest of the day's news on our website. make sure to check out our facebook page. from all of us at world news america, thank you for watching. please tune in again tomorrow. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, union bank, and shell.
>> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and helping provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presen kd te lcebyngost,es el