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tv   BBC World News  WHUT  March 24, 2010 6:30pm-6:53pm EDT

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation.
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and union bank. >> union bank has put its -- union bank offers unique insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> saudi security crackdown. more than 100 militants arrested and accused of plotting attacks on oil facilities. edition resigns over his mishandling of child sex allegations.
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britain's finance minister delivers a pre-election budget. very warm welcome to "bbc world news" broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. coming up later, moments of collision. dramatic pictures emerge of two red arrow planes colliding, and a saudi woman's powerful column attacking radical muslim clerics could win her more than $1 million -- a saudi woman's powerful poem. hello to you. more than 100 suspected militants said to be linked to al qaeda have been arrested in saudi arabia. the interior ministry says two sells for cooperating with al qaeda in yemen, and with a network targeting security forces has also been dismantled. saudi citizens and other
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nationals were said to be planning attacks on key buildings and oil facilities. authorities said they seized weapons, cameras, computers, and documents. more detail from cairo. >> not an enormous amount of information yet from the interior ministry in riyadh, but they have confirmed 101 arrests. 47 of the saudis, and the rest from somalia, yemen, and bangladesh. they say that have been tailing the ringleaders for some time, and they say some of these men have been prepared for suicide missions. we have not been told yet what installations they were targeting or whether they were being read or belonging to western companies, but i guess that is it fair assumption given how many western companies operate in the kingdom. they seized a lot of weapons and ammunition, and they recovered computer equipment and a large amount of money. i think, given that there are yemenis among those arrested, it does confirm saudi suspicions that al qaeda is operating from
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bases in northern yemen, exploiting the instability on the southern border of the kingdom and using connections within saudi arabia to plot a tax of the kind depots today -- plot attacks of tehe kind deposed today. >> and man was killed as guards repelled a second attack by a same part gang. the spanish navy ship are arrested six men and destroyed three skiffs. at least six people have been killed, 31 did. a car bomb exploded in a colombian border town. part of the local office of the attorney general was destroyed, and -- on a major drug trafficking route. 20 new homes have been approved for israeli settlements in occupied east jerusalem. the decision was announced as
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prime minister benjamin netanyahu was in the u.s. for two private meetings with president obama. israeli settlement plans already put relations under severe strain and blocked the resumption of peace talks with palestinians. united nations specialists are said to reexamine how much meat production contributes to climate change. a report four years ago concluded meat is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport. a new analysis presented to the major american science gallery suggests that earlier analysis is exaggerated. the vatican has accepted the resignation of a senior irish bishop whose handling of child sex abuse allegations has been severely criticized. a report released a year ago found that bishop john magee's et al. protection policies were inadequate and dangerous. that is days since the pope apologized to victims. >> john magee was a senior
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figure in the church. but today, his resignation was accepted. he is the latest bid to force out of his position by a scandal that has left the catholic church having to apologize for decades of abuse -- the latest bishop forced out of his position. irish catholics were given a letter written by the pulp and read out to congregations across the country. -- written by the pope. it acknowledged that serious mistakes had been made in allegations of abuse had been handled. >> it recognizes the terrible things that took place. >> reports have been brought to light as a secret history of sexual abuse found in church-run schools and homes. those failures have been under investigation ever since. in a statement today, bishop of magee took full response ability
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-- bishop magee took full responsibility for failing to respond to claims against two of his priests. some feel it did not go far enough. they want the church to acknowledge that there was a cover-up, and that the child sex abuse scandals in ireland and many other countries have done huge damage to the reputation of the catholic church. >> britain's finance minister delivered his last budget before the general election amid international concern over the size of the uk's budget deficit. it is one of the largest in the developed world. the chancellor said that although it has been a testing time, the government made the right calls during a recession. >> with his ministerial box in hand, darling said out for the last budget -- set out for the last budget before a general election takes place, but will
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it be labor policy last budget? that is why he spends so much of his speech defending the government's record through the financial crisis. he argues that the country was at a crucial crossroads with its fragile recovery at stake. >> the choice before the country now is whether to support those who would suffocate our recovery and put our future at stake or support the government that has been right about the recession, right about the recovery in building a prosperous future? i commend this budget to the house. >> because an election is just weeks away, there were perhaps inevitably, some sweeteners for voters, such as a tax cut for home buyers. but the opposition wanted to focus on the fact that britain has the largest budget deficit it ever had in peacetime, and they called for quicker action
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to cut it down. >> the biggest risk to our recovery is five more years of this prime minister. five more years of falling confidence. five more years of bloat and debt and taxes. more years of britain) business here most of the cabinet looking at their blackberries and cannot think of a reason why the country should have another five years of this prime minister. >> the looming general election will center around the election it -- the question of how fast to cut the budget deficit, but with the gap between the main parties narrowing in the opinion polls, it is not yet clear who is winning. >> portugal's credit rating has been downgraded by the leading credit rating agency, fitch. this is because of concerns about its budget deficit. earlier this month, portugal passed an austerity budget aimed at cutting its debt. the downgrade heightened concerns about the health of some of europe's heavily
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indebted economy is -- economies. germany and france are edging closer to a deal. the imf will now be part of its financial package. france had opposed a bailout but appears to have accepted germany's terms for the deal. lawyers for oprah winfrey say she has reached an out-of-court settlement in a defamation case brought by the former headmistress of the school she batted in south africa. she was sacked over allegations that another teacher was involved in child abuse. she said statements by the talk show host had damaged her reputation. the united states has agreed to speed up requests from pakistan for military equipment amid signs of improving relations between the two countries at the end of a day of talks in washington between the u.s. secretary of state and pakistani foreign minister. the claim is that u.s. suspicions of pakistan had gone
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away. he said the mood was completely different from his previous visit to washington. >> the people of pakistan, the armed forces of pakistan have shown the result, the determination, and the commitment. we will win in this struggle because defeat is not an option that we are planning for. we have a clear objective. we have a plan. we have a strategy, and that strategy is working. today, we have a partnership, and hopefully, this partnership will turn the tide in our favor. hopefully, in our favor. >> atom is there to report and what accounts for this new mood. >> we have seen an attempt to persuade pakistan that america's commitment in that part of the world is not only about
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afghanistan and not only about al qaeda, but it is about a broader engagement and that the americans are going to stay put for a good, long time. we often hear from skeptics that the sooner america's -- as soon as america's immediate security concerns are sorted out, the americans will go home. the americans are keen to persuade the pakistanis that they are around for the long haul, and what we saw was an attempt to persuade everybody that this is getting bigger and broader and deeper. agreements on energy and infrastructure, building of the diplomatic mechanisms between the two countries, also what is intended to give weight to the idea that this is bigger and more important than just finding out tight and the taliban -- fighting al qaeda and the taliban.
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>> two red arrow plans were on an exercise when they collided. >> they are pilots from the world's most famous of aerobatic team, so what happened next was completely unexpected. the moment of collision was caught of a mobile phone camera, the person filling it clearly in shock. the two pilots were on a training exercise at the atlantic air force base in crete when the crash happened. >> one went swimming aboard, and the other when downward and smashed into the ground. i saw a flash and pieces of the plane flying in the air like a grenade. >> it was a very lucky escape. one of the pilots dislocated his shoulder after rejecting from his plane, which was completely destroyed. the second pilot landed safely, unharmed.
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the day before, the team had given a breathtaking display at the very same airfield. they had arrived on the island on sunday for the first stage of training. with that level of skill, it is hard to imagine how such an accident could happen. britain's ministry of defense says an investigation will shortly be under way and that the pre-season training will resume as soon as possible. >> good to have you with us on "bbc world news." still to come -- no rainfall and rocketing temperatures. why millions across southwest china are facing a water shortage. first, though, there has been sharp criticism regarding children and immigration center in britain. 420 children were held between last may and october. the british government says the alternative is to separate children from their families.
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>> this is the main immigration removal center for women and families. it holds around 300 immigrants, mainly failed asylum seekers. it has a troubled history. in 2002, disturbances and a fire destroyed many of the buildings, and there have been allegations of abuse. today's report accepts that conditions have improved, but it expresses worrying concerns about young detainees. over the last six months, the report says as many as 420 children were detained, even though half were later released back into the community. it says 68 children were held for over a month. >> you have to ask questions about whether the right questions are being asked at the point of detention and whether detention really is necessary, and for the shortest possible time. >> the report also criticizes the large number of single women held for long times with
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nothing to do. one detainee called the bbc to complain about the situation. and you have women in detention for about three months, six months, 12 months. even two years being kept here. >> several detainees have launched legal action, claiming a breach of their human rights, but ministers say removal centers are needed to deal with illegal immigrants who refuse to leave the u.k. voluntarily. band and the alternative would mean putting children into care and separating them from their families -- and any alternative would mean putting children into care and separating them from their families. >> latest headlines for you on "bbc world news." more than 100 alleged militants suspected on key installations have been arrested in saudi arabia. an irish bishop has resign for failing to report child-abusing
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priests to the police. in talks with key world powers, china has agreed to discuss possible new sanctions against iran for the first time. the u.s., russia, britain, france, germany are trying to persuade tehran to return to negotiations over its nuclear program. china relies on iran for much of its energy and traditionally opposes sanctions, but it did go along with three earlier sanctions resolutions. barbara, how significant does this deal to you? >> the significance of this really is that this is the first substantive discussions that we understand have happen in many months amongst the six powers that deal with concerns about iran's nuclear program. the statement came out from a meeting january 16, but after that, there has not really been. americans have been circulating proposals for tougher sanctions
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and i've gotten responses from britain, germany, from france. they have gotten indications separately from russia that they might go along with sanctions, but only as a very last resort, but china has not responded to those proposals. they have been saying quite clearly that they felt this was not the time for sanctions, but what has happened now is china has rejoined the talks. we understand there was some substantive discussion about next steps. there was a telephone conference today, and there will be one next week, but that does not necessarily mean there will be sanctions. it means china has rejoined discussions in a substantive way. >> indeed, and china relies pretty heavily on iran, and iran has managed to stall for time. how serious did china seem to be about this? >> china does have serious reservations about sanctions for several reasons -- because of
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its investment in iran's energy sector -- but also, i think because of skepticism about what sanctions can actually achieve. there have been three rounds of sanctions that have not changed iran's behavior, so there is skepticism from china on that point, as there is from other countries in the security council. there has been concerned about iran's behavior. china and russia have been in particular trying to get iran to go along with the proposal that the six had proposed and that iran was trying to change, so there is a sense that china does want a solution to this problem and therefore is engaging substantially diplomatically, the sanctions are a different question. even if china does agree to sanctions in some form as well as russia, it is believed that the resolution itself would probably be quite weak, and the argument for it is if there is a week -- weak sanctions with a
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lot of support, that might set the groundwork for tougher sanctions from the european union. >> thanks for that. this week, we have been looking closely at how crucial an issue water is becoming across the world. in southwest china, millions are running desperately short of fresh drinking water. our world affairs correspondent family buchanan tells us about it. >> heat and dust. this is southwest china. they have not seen a job like this in 60 years, and in these villages, a truck is the only source of safe drinking water. the dry weather began last autumn, made worse by soaring temperatures. the water shortages affect more than 50 million people. there's not enough for the cops here, which have already failed this year.
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farmer leak and his wife are planting again and praying for rain -- former lee -- farmer lee and his wife. >> the earth is very dry. the crops it did not grow. we prepare the fields as we might be able to have some corn in the summer. if it rains, it might grow, but if it does not, it is a waste of time. few here -- >> few here expect the weather to break. this man says he and his wife have been left to till the land on their own. >> because the drought has been so serious, a young people have gone to find manual work. there is nothing to do in the village, so they go to make a living. only the old people are left behind. >> the drought is deepening poverty in rural areas, and it is the same story along the yangtze and yellow rivers.
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as far away as beijing, people are feeling the droughts. sandstorms have shrouded the city is in an unhealthy cloud of sand and grit -- shredded the city's -- shrouded teh cities. >> global climate change is obviously the main cause of the drought, but it is related to over-exploitation. people thought it would be a waste if they let river water flowing without using it. they began building dams, and natural forests were cut down. >> water has to be fed into the wells rather than pull out of it. nature is upside down. everyone here wonders how long they can go on like this before lives are put at risk. >> he is seen by many as latin america's martin luther king.
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he was assassinated 30 years ago. our correspondent has been there examining archbishop romero's legacy. >> he was celebrating mass in 1980, but a turning point in the history of this central american country. a few days before he died, he said that if he was killed, he would rise again in the salvadoran people. 30 years later, how present is his figure among salvadorans? he dedicated his years as archbishop trying to end the use of violence involving the country, a conflict that would later sparked a civil war that would kill 70,000 people. his death and the