tv BBC World News America WHUT November 30, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." to go home now -- the british government expels all iranian diplomats one day after its embassy was stormed in tehran. >> the idea of the iranian authorities could not have protected our embassy, or that this is all could have taken place without some degree of regime consent is laughable. >> occupied britain -- the government cut sparked the biggest strike in a generation. is the year of protests. and hitting a high note with young students -- can classical music change lives? a new program is certainly giving it a try.
>> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. it's a diplomatic dustup on a dangerous scale. today, britain ordered the immediate closure of the iranian embassy in london and said all of grandpa's diplomats must be out of the u.k. within 48 hours. the move comes one day after students stormed the british diplomatic compound in tehran. now relations are at their lowest in decades. our will affair as your hat -- our world affairs editor has the latest. >> serious as the attack was, there have been plenty worse over the years. but cutting off all diplomatic relations is extraordinarily rare in peacetime. perhaps it was to teach a lesson to a country that does not play by the rules, a country which seems close to having a nuclear
bomb. >> the iranian charge of london is being informed now that we require the immediate closure of the embassy in london and all iranian diplomatic staffs must leave the united kingdom within 48 hours. if any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil, they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here. >> so by the weekend, iran's embassy here in london, just like britain's embassy in tehran, will effectively be closed down. almost at the very last moment, iran's foreign ministry put out a statement, seeming to apologize for yesterday's attack. but it was too late and the apology was not strong enough. >> in six years, britain has gone from offering friendship to iran that was angrily rejected to shutting down all direct leads all together. the basic reason is the
political infighting in tehran itself. today, the speaker of iran's's parliament, he seems to harbor political ambitions, says the british action was hasty and criticized british interference in iran over the years. it may be hard for us to understand nowadays, but many people in iran still believe britain is immensely powerful. perhaps it is not surprising. a century ago, much of southern iran was directly under british control and britain blocked iran's first democratic constitution. by 1941, the shop was a pro-not see that the bridge overthrew him and installed his son instead. in 1953, the british americans staged a coup against the nationalist prime minister. when the revolution of 1979 came, the shah himself believed
the british were behind it. to us, all of this may seem like in -- may seem like ancient history. but yesterday's attack shows how it can still stir people up in iran itself, when one faction is making trouble for another, britain seems a natural target. >> for more on the events unfolding in tehran and the international response, i spoke with a senior fellow at the u.s. institute of peace. thank you for coming in. it is an amazing thing. you were in iran when the american hostages were released. it may remind you of think you have seen before. >> 30 to eat years later, the iranians are still using the same tactics to strike out a countries today challenge them. >> what is the fallout of what britain has done today, effectively closing its embassy? it does cut an important means of communication. >> it's not just that.
yet the six major powers in the world along with france college germany, russia, china and the united states trying to find a diplomatic solution to iran's controversial nuclear program. this will make it much tougher without the kind of relationship or avenue of discussion britain had with iran. there are not many good options out there now, making diplomacy more difficult at a time no one wants to engage in a military operation against teheran. that does not leave many options. >> what is the risk of doing what they have done? you could presumably push iran further into isolation and we could see more actions likely have and the last 48 hours. >> it seems a reaction that there would be other actions by other european countries, potentially even the european union and this could cut off one of the most important diplomatic channels as well as commercial relations. >> what is this telling you
about what's happening inside to run, and said higher echelons of politics? >> this could not have happened without iranian government sanctions. >> which is what the british foreign secretary said today. >> a host government is responsible for providing security to all diplomatic missions. this could not have happened without iran either looking the other way or its security forces being ordered to all look the other way when a small crowd of protesters shows up. this shows the iranian government doesn't care enough about its relations with the international community and it's still acting like a child. >> you understand iranian politics. do you think anybody within tehran is on board with this the west or are there some voices who might be saying hold on the second, we need these lines of communication. >> i suspect there is a divide. the problem is those exerting the most power are opposed to diplomatic retired -- to diplomatic dialogue and having a
channel through britain. a very important ally and tehran knows that. it shows that those are willing to take tough action are in a sentence. >> it's a fascinating story and i think we will be hearing more on this in the next few days. tense relations between britain and iran. now for some other news from around the world -- there has been violence in syria, footage has emerged showing civilians coming under fire. activists say six people died in the violence. the syrian government says it has freed more than 900 prisoners involved in the recent anti-government protest. supporters of the former ivory coast president have expressed outrage at his transfer to the international criminal court. he is going to face charges of crimes against humanity. the icc says there is evidence that this violence that followed his defeat last year was deliberately organized by his
supporters. the biggest walkout in a generation -- that's what labor unions are claiming in britain today. millions of public sector workers joined a nationwide strike to protest against the government's big spending cuts. it is they see now we have watched play out across industrialized world this year as workers feel the pain of austerity measures. >> it is the biggest strike for a generation. huge protests round -- wound their way through major cities in london, leads, birmingham and carcass. those involved are unhappy they're being asked to worked longer will pay more toward their pensions. they say the government is listening. >> i'm sick of the government lies about these gold-plated pensions about being overpaid and underworked. >> i think there will be more and more strikes.
all across europe. they don't seem to get. >> despite the numbers on the street, ports and airports seemed to be functioning well. but obstacles in england sought over 5000 operations canceled or delayed. the opposition labour party says it does not support the strike, but even so, that inside the house of commons, there were rowdy exchanges about whose fault it was. >> i don't want to see any strikes. i don't want to see schools closed. i don't want to see problems at our borders, but this government has to make responsible decisions. >> 800,000 low-paid part-time workers, 90% of whom are women will be paying more and you deny this, but it is true, mr. speaker. >> this strike comes just a day after the government announced economic rate was far lower than expected. the age of austerity will stock britain for longer than
originally thought and that could mean much more public sector strike in the future. >> as the people of london took to the streets today, the central bankers of the most powerful countries took to their tool chest in an attempt to went again stop the european debt crisis from causing even more pain. they joined forces to make more money available to banks. the news sent stock markets soaring, but how successful will be in the long term? >> the eurozone in a crisis that threatens the health of its banks and the rest of the world. for the european central bankers, they secured financial help from the federal reserve, the bank of england and central banks of other rich developed economies are rallying. the point is they -- there have been worrying signs a new credit crunch is looming. banks have become keener to put their money where it is supposedly completely safe -- on deposit with a european central
bank, rather than lend to each other. bank deposits at the european central banks have risen by more than 100 billion euros over the past fortnight. that dead money at the ecb stands at just under 300 billion euros. banks have found up harder to borrow dollars, the world's most important currency. to stop the banks from collapsing, the fed has cut the cost of lending dollars to other central banks which have pledged to lead to a local commercial banks what ever dollars a need. the central banks have put in place contingency loans should the need arise. have the central bank's save the world? probably not. the underlying problem is the sovereign debt crisis cannot sublet the dollar funding crisis. this action today doesn't do anything to end the sovereign debt crisis. we will need more action from
the europeans, especially the european central bank. >> the man who runs the biggest investor in government debt is taking it all quite personally. >> i feel more worried and scared, not just as a fund manager, but as a father. every day, when i kissed my daughter goodbye in the morning, she's 8 years old. i wonder what world she is going to inherit given headwinds we are facing at the level of countries, at the level of regions, and the level of the global economy as a whole. >> it central bankers have reply -- have supplied life-support, has this gang yet found a proper cure? it is still a work in progress. >> let's see if we can get a bit more optimism on this. i'm joined now by a reporter from the "wall street journal." how close were we to a credit crisis along the lines of what
we saw in 2008 that the central banks felt they had to step in? >> we have seen a series of actions that has been a slow motion crisis. you can see the stresses across commercial banks in europe and that is what leads to a full- fledged credit crisis that could spread globally very quickly. the actions they have taken are actually designed to buy more time. the japanese central banker actually said just that -- these are designed to buy more time for the europeans to come up with something. you can call it a band-aid on a gaping wound her say it's a pain killer for something that needs surgery and there are deeper problems. >> the markets seemed to like that. >> the markets like it because it shows policy makers are taking action and recognizing the problems. the problem is these are policy makers, central bankers who are not political authorities.
there are technocrats and usually have the latitude to do what's necessary and they are doing what is in their tool box that they can do. the real issue our political problems in europe. he have to do some things that are deeply unpopular and they're probably going to get some people thrown out of office once they do them. until they come to grips with the fact they will have to take a deeper steps that will exact a political price, you are not going to be able to deal with this problem more completely. the euphoria in the markets will pass when people focus on that. >> the markets feel like they are on speed. clearly what you are suggesting is we have a short-term problem which is that there is too little credit in the system. ironically, we have a longer- term problem in that there was too much credit before. >> there is certainly too much debt for a lot of these governments and they have not been able to properly manage their debts given the size of their economies. from that problem, leading to a full-fledged crisis, we have been able to prevent that at
least for the time being. it's probably going to come back and we will see the banking issue come up again because that's at the core of this -- that that all of these banks are holding. the government debt. even though we have been able to kick the can down the road, there is a much bigger problem that has not been dealt with. >> we brought you on for a bit of optimism. thank you for coming in. even though you are pessimistic, you could come again. as the world's economic leaders try every trick left to spark economic growth, these have actually been boom times. one of them was brazil. 10 years ago this week, a goldman sachs economist lumps them in with a newly developing country. a decade later, we travel to brazil to see how far it has come. >> how things change -- 40 years ago, brazil is a net importer of
food. now is an agricultural superpower. >> brazil has grown to feed everyone in the world. >> a modest ambition. >> we're the first in coffee, the first in the sugarcane. the first in the orange juice. the first and cocoa. >> you're not just the breadbasket, you are a whole growth restorer. but brazil did not put the b into brics on agriculture alone treated as iron ore, other minerals and recently struck oil. but the real game changer for brazil lies the other side of the world from the modernist capital. the key is the high price of commodities. that's down to the rapid industrialization of china and india.
this vision of economic harmony is not apparent to most brazilians. cheap chinese imports are squeezing out of local products because the commodity boom has driven the brazilian currency through the roof. >> i think if we are not careful, china will es and after that india will come. house brazil going to compete with china? brazilian heavy machinery is going to disappear unless there are measures taken. >> for the mollen, brazil continues to grow, 3.5% -- for the moment, brazil continues to grow. the bric nations represent the fastest-growing countries in an otherwise stagnant world. >> you are watching "bbc world news america." struggling to get by in russia -- as elections approach, its
basic needs that occupy most people's minds. hillary clinton has become the first senior member of the u.s. government to visit burma for than half a century. arriving in the capital, the secretary state said she's quite hopeful that the reforms signaled by the government could lead to a broader movement for change. >> hillary clinton's historic visit to burma starts here in the country's new capital. she will be with the country's civilian president, a former intel leader. she will hold talks with him for more than two hours. -- a former junta leader. just to gauge how serious the country's leadership is about reform and how much further they are willing to go. if she likes what she years, she may announce that washington is willing to take steps in return as a way of rewarding burma for
good behavior. but these are baby steps. there is no talk of lifting sanctions. whatever the united states does, it will do so in consultation with the opposition, namely aung san suu kyi. on thursday and friday, the american sector of state will meet with the nobel peace laureate. they will be discussing how to take the reform movement further. mrs. clinton will also meet with representatives of civil society and ethnic communities. on the surface, this visit is about encouraging democracy in burma. but for washington, this is about pushing back against china's influence in the country. >> in iraq today, the u.s. vice- president, joe biden, continue his visit marking the u.s. pullout. protest against his trip demonstrated the difficulties the two countries will face. followers of an anti-american
cleric took to the streets today chanting a note to america. -- no to america. in russia this sunday, the people cast ballots in parliamentary elections. but many elderly russians believe life was better before. the bbc traveled to a town 500 kilometers from moscow, in a region known as the black part of russia because of its rich soil and farmland. in the second of our ports, we look at the challenges the older generation faces. >> this retired gardener has just collectors state pension. now comes the challenge -- surviving the month on $230. at the supermarket, she has no spare money to spend on luxuries. >> there is a tough year for
three days. i would love to get a nice piece of meat, but it's just too expensive. i can only afford the bare necessities. >> if she needs clothes, it's off to the second-hand shop. she can pick up a pair of trousers here for $3. shopping done, it's back to her flat on karl marx street, where there are plenty of bill's waiting to be paid. heating and electricity are the most expensive. like most russian ventures, she has no savings. she lives a from tension to pension. >> if the pension runs out, i tried to borrow from friends. but there are other problems here like medical care. when you call for an ambulance, it doesn't always come. they ask you on the phone how old are you. you are over 70, they say goodbye granny.
>> this is the pension she gets every month -- just under one- third is spent on utility bills. she spends as much on madison, this on her telephone calls. she says she cannot afford a telephone anymore and says she will get rid of it. that leaves about $130 to spend on food, clothes and everything else she needs to get by. when life gets her down, she then serve frustration through her poems. she has written hundreds of them. >> the people in power promised paradise on a plate but they did not deliver and now it's too late. >> this russian pensioner is not expecting elections to make life better. she has lost faith in politicians and feels abandoned by the state.
>> not to a program which is out to prove music truly can change lives. children the most deprived neighborhoods across england are soon to get intensive classical training. in one scottish community, the lessons are already under way. ♪ >> five years ago, one child was learning to play an instrument. today, there are 450. ♪ it's a neighborhood with a reputation. however, it's now becoming famous. for music.
practicing for a school christmas concert may appear and remarkable, but this orchestra is different. the ambitious transformation of lives. at home, they practice amongst their five brothers and sisters. their mom has a musical family. >> i just never thought there would be interested in music. especially this kind of music. >> its a story repeated again and again. >> i'm impressed with my kids. but it's not just my kids. the orchestra is everyone. >> it begins when they are toddlers. total immersion. >> it's not 20 minutes a week. four days a week for hours every day.
>> she's a former young musician of the year and regular tutor. >> i'm almost emotional when i come here because i get a fascinating thing to see. they were always so grateful for me coming. i felt thank you for letting me see this happen. the fact this is working so well here proves it can work anywhere. >> research suggests the children are happier, more confident and better able to concentrate. but the real test is the long term, how far music really can change lives. >> big noise making big changes. that brings today's shows to get a close but you can get updates all the time on our website. from all this year, thank you very much for watching.
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