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tv   BBC World News  WHUT  September 24, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT

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is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, and union bank, . >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> poor harvests and profiteering. food prices around the world are
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rising. >> russia harvested a lot less, and it planted a lot less than it should have for the 2011 harvest. >> the u.n. holds a food summit in rome to calm fears in the world's poorest countries. >> welcome to gmt. also in the program -- the first woman to be executed in the united states for five years. teresa lewis is put to death. 50 days underground. the trapped miners in chile mark a milestone as the operation to get them out gathers momentum. >> it is midday in london and 1:00 p.m. in rome, where the united nations is holding an extraordinary summit after weeks
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of spiralling food prices. the origins of that spike lie in russia. after drought and wild fires, the russians proposed a ban in exports. now, a two-year high. it has prompted fears of hunger and unrest in some of the world's poorest countries. is there really a shortage, or are profiteers manipulating the market? >> first, there were those parched russian wheat fields. then, a climate emergencies elsewhere. some say this was due to hedge funds. either way, crop specialists tell us the yield swings are here to stay. >> the good news is that a global harvest has been pretty good this year.
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the united nations food and agricultural organization says it does not see a repetition of the food crisis of three years ago, but it does want collective action to try to reduce turbulence in global food commodity markets. >> he told me why the russian job will cast a long shadow. >> russia harvested a lot less than expected to in 2010. it has now planted a lot less for the 2011 harvest. these are short-term factors, which will cause a spike in prices. it could last for 12 months, or maybe longer. we can confidently expect, i would say, prices of commodities will come down again when we get a pattern of high yields and less climate shocks in the future. >> that governmental committee in rome might call for higher
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emergency stops and greater transparency and serial transactions. the eu commission wants it extended to control such raw materials trading. others feel that those moves are misguided. >> i would say that is all the same thing happen in oil a while ago. it is a speculators driving it up. in the end, the speculators got burned. you can speculate, but it is a risky game. >> today, the smart money is on agriculture as food demand rises relentlessly. policymakers have been trying to curb speculation. they might end up introducing market controls. bbc news. >> the u.n. -- our guest is here
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in the gmt studio. explain to me what is going on here. is there genuinely a food shortage? is this about profiteering? >> the harvests of 2010 have been quite good. it is among the best of the past five years. >> why it's wheat at a two-year high? >> it shows how the markets are. there are some that harvests -- bad harvests in russia and canada. the traders panicked. this creates a situation that is quite irrational. it is detached from the fundamentals of supply and demand. it does impact food importing countries. >> it is not irrational from the point of view of those who want to make big profits. are you saying that there are people around the world who are
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manipulating the market for their own ends? >> since 2005-2006, a large number of institutional investors, pension funds, hedge funds, have basically disrupted the normal function of the market in which the physical markets react to indications from the markets where futures are traded. the markets are falling signals that are impossible to read. >> your duty is to figure out how to change the rules that govern the game to ensure that the poorest people in the world get access to the food that you say is quite clearly out there. >> we need more transparency about the derivatives that are being exchanged, and the over- the-counter trading. we also need to have better information about stocks. for the moment, speculation is
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easy because of a great uncertainty about how much stock each country retains. we need more information about this. we need to avoid the panic. >> you call it an artificial bubble. we know the u.n. has held a special meeting in rome today. will that make a difference? are you saying that there needs to be changes here? >> it's very important that the message gets across very clearly that there's no reason to panic and it is not useful to speculate. the stocks have been replenished in 2008 and 2009. they're quite good and there's no food shortage. >> looking forward and insuring that we do not make the mistakes that we have made in the past, you are suggesting that the rules of the game need to be changed. how you change those rules? >> in july this year, the u.s.
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has introduced the new legislation that limits the number of positions that financial speculators may have on the futures markets of agriculture commodities. i believe the eu should do the same. there are certain proposals on the table. for the moment, these markets are completely non transparent. >> thank you very much for joining us on gmt. take a look of some of the other headlines. for the first time in five years, a woman has been executed in the united states. teresa lewis was put to death by lethal injection in the state of virginia. she arranged of the murders of her husband and her stepson for insurance money. from lawyers argue that teresa lewis, 41-year-old grandmother, was mentally impaired. >> teresa lewis was executed for
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sending hitmen to kill her husband and her stepson at a trailer park in 2002. one of the gunmen became her lover. when the police became suspicious, teresa lewis quickly confessed. the case has attracted attention. executions of women are rare in america. teresa lewis had learning disabilities. her iq was 72, just two points above the legal minimum for execution in virginia. her lawyers say she was manipulated by the gunmen, and they said it was wrong that she should face the death penalty while the hitmen received life sentences. the appeals for mercy or turned down. >> tonight, the machinery of death in virginia extinguished the beautiful, childlike, and loving human spirit of teresa lewis.
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>> relatives of the victims say >> when you play god, you're taking it upon yourself to write your own future. when you do that, you get what you deserve. >> teresa lewis spoke by phone to a local reporter. >> i just want people to know that you can be a good person and make the wrong choice. >> after a final meal of chicken and chocolate cake, she was executed. her last words were, "i'm very sorry." >> demonstrators have burned tires and shouted anti u.s. slogans after a court in new york sentenced a pakistani scientist to 86 years in prison for attempted murder. he was arrested in pakistan in july 2008 and was convicted
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earlier this year. there are signs the crisis surrounding the commonwealth games in delhi could be improving. new zealand has confirmed that it will take part. officials say the conditions in the athletes' village has improved. the release of a chinese fishing captain who has been held since a vessel collided with two japanese coastguard ships in collided water's -- in disputed waters. growing tensions in africa's largest country will be high on president obama's agenda during his third and last day at the assembly in new york. james cotton reports from sydney's capital. >> it was once africa's longest
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civil war. over two million people. the fighting was over identity, culture, and resources. now, a referendum looms. pierre is rising that a war could break out again. with the referendum running behind schedule, the rebels know where they are pointing the finger of blame. >> i know it would complicate the situation, which is already complicated in sudan. there are a lot of the motions -- emotions. we are fearing that parties could go back to work. >> hillary clinton said the
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southerners will vote for succession if they get a free and fair vote. america is offering a package of incentives and further sanctions. there are some promising early signs. >> sudan -- [inaudible] we think it is high time for the american administration and president obama to lift the sanctions on sudan. >> with most of sudan's lucrative oil resources in the south, human rights organizations are questioning whether the north can contemplate lead in the south go.
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>> president obama's support for this meeting comes at a critical time. in sudan, one thing is clear. no amount of international pressure will work unless the sudanese themselves are prepared to sort out their own problems. >> very important talks at the u.n. about sudan. joining me from new york is our correspondent. who is going to be at this meeting, bob? >> president obama is attending. he announced that he would do so two weeks in advance to try to get more interest in the meeting and get other heads of state to come. we believe there will be four african heads of state, including kenya, ethiopia, and a few others. there will be quite a number of ministers there. i believed deputy prime minister
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clegg will be attending. the u.n. officials say that the meeting has really mushroomed. they were not expecting this kind of attendance when the first organized it. >> is the meeting born out of fear -- fear that things could go very wrong and turn violent in sudan over the next few weeks and months as we approach to this referendum -- as we approached this referend this r? >> as you heard in the report, the referendum could lead to violence. there's a real concern that the south will declare a unilateral declaration of independence, which could lead to war. the preparations are way behind. the registration committee had
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its first meeting this month. they have just ordered the materials. the country has enormous logistical problems. the issue about dividing the country -- should that be the vote? that is not settled. the issue of the oil wells is not settled. there's a general sense that this could become something very, very explosive. they want to try to put a brake on that. the idea is to send a message from the meeting today that the referendum be held on time, that it be peaceful, and that the results be excepted. >> thank you very much for joining us on gmt. >> they have spoken to the president, they have been briefed by nasa, and they have celebrated the birth of one baby daughter. we look back at 50 days underground for the miners in chablile. tie one boast one of the world's most beautiful coral
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reefs -- in taiwan. it is rich in marine life. the impact of climate change and overfishing has taken its toll. as there are signs that the reef is beginning to recover, a new threat is looming. >> it is almost prickly round. it is one of the world's most important coral reefs. it is believed to have one of the planet's most diverse marine habitat. in the past decade, much of the coral has been destroyed. a spike in the sea temperatures in 1998 killed 90% of the coral. destructive fishing practices, including dynamiting, fish poisoning, and overfishing has
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drastically reduced fish populations. the coast guard has started patrolling the waters to stop the fishing. these efforts, and the ability of the coral to regenerate has led to it now. the government of taiwan is trying to protect this area from human disturbances and allow the power of nature to restore it. the reef now faces a new potential threats. there are pressures to open the area. the largest and only marine national park. experts say that stringent measures must be first put in place to protect the environment. gooden
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>> this is gmt on "bbc world news." >> the u.n. holds a food summit in rome. a woman has been executed in the united states for the first time in five years. teresa lewis was put to death in virginia. >> it is now time for the business news. sally is here. >> thank you very much. investors are showing the size of their appetite for brazilian markets. the brazilian oil giant has the world's biggest share sale. that dwarfed the amount raised by china's agriculture bank earlier this year. until last night, it held the record. more from brazil -- >> petrobas may not have been
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well known before this week, but it is now. the state backed company has raised $70 billion in the biggest share offering in history. the oil company needs the funds for its five-year investment plan to develop the gigantic oil reserves recently found in deep waters of the brazilian coast. it will also help to push the south american country into the elite of global finance. >> this capitalization shows the power that the stock market of brazil will have from now on. it will definitely be the largest brazil has ever seen, and maybe the world's largest. >> the government views this as essential for brazil's ambitious growth plans, and it is likely to provide a boost for the president ahead of next month's election. the massive influx of foreign money to buy the shares has
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caused further appreciation of the brazilian currency. it is already seen by some investors as one of the most overvalued in the world. that is putting pressure on the rest of the country, as it struggles to compete in the global market. bbc news. >> in the u.k., a government mission has confirmed that it will investigate whether the banks -- critics say such a split could damage the competitive edge in the u.k. and make banks go overseas. independent commission on banking has looked at financial stability and competition in the banking sector after the financial crisis. the chief executive of rbs gave us his response. >> i do not think it should be the role of the government department to decide what bundling of products they should have. i think that the issue of size
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and shape of banks is entirely appropriate -- it is a red herring. in the financial crisis that we had, if you were a narrow bank, you were much more likely to go bust. if you were a small bank, you were much more likely to go bust. these issues were not at the heart of the crisis. executive of hsbccted o is expected to step down. he will be replaced by the current head of investment banking. the changes still need to be approved by the u.k. watchdog, and are not expected to be confirmed until next week. a committee of u.s. lawmakers will vote later on a bill to slap trade penalties on china. on thursday, president obama had a two-hour meeting with premier
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wen jiabao in new york. he told a chinese leader that he must do more to revalue the yuan. many believe the currency is up to 40% undervalued against the dollar, which gives china in unfair trade advantage. spain's socialist government will unveil its toughest budget in almost one decade in the next two hours. spain has been hit harder than most european countries by the economic crisis. it is expected to announce a wide-ranging public spending cuts, as well as tax increases for higher income earners later today. let's have a look at the markets. the european indexes are very lackluster. essentially, it will be their fourth straight day of losses. there are concerns about the fragility of the economic recovery. that is after the data that came out from the uss skate showing the number of jobless claims had risen -- came out from the u.s.
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yesterday showing the number of jobless claims had risen. >> 33 chilean miners waking up to their 50th day trapped underground. 50 days in which they've all become national heroes, maybe even international heroes. today's milestone is hardly a celebration. the rescue operation is gaining momentum. the drilling to free the men is going well. now, a look at the ordeal they have gone through, and the struggles they still face. >> this is the day the men were found alive. one of the rescuers drills reached the refuge where they were sheltering. there was a note attached to it. thee fine in the shelter -- 33. they president described it as a message of joy her hidden. -- message of joy.
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by that time, they had an underground for 17 days. they survived on a few cans of tuna fish and a few cartons of milk. this is among the first images of them, taken by a camera dropped down the supply suit. aboveground, they set up camp. there was in a realization that it would take weeks, if not months to rescue the men. on day 40, a new arrival. the wife of one of the miners gave birth to this baby girl. the couple had planned to call her carolina. the father sent up a note that he wanted her to be called "hope" in spanish. they could have never imagined this is how they would celebrate. at the same time, their loved
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ones were doing the same thing at the entrance of a mine. the president has been a regular visitor to the site. he knows the eyes of the world are on his country. >> we have done our best to rescue them alive, and we will fisucceed in this tremendous effort. when? we do not know. it will be sooner than what to expect. >> in the drills have been working day and night. the 50th day has arrived. several more days of working and waiting still lie ahead. >> that is it from this edition of gmt. stay with us on "bbc world news." >> "bbc world news" is
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