tv BBC World News WHUT November 1, 2013 7:00am-7:30am EDT
>> what we heard is that they had never seen anything on this scale, especially the fact that more than half of the 92 people who were found dead were children. that said, we do find dead bodies here and there sometimes, but we never found that many. so clearly, this is a real tragedy there. hundreds of thousands are travel across the sahara desert either into libya hoping to reach the north africa coast, perhaps to get on the boat across the mediterranean sea and then reach the gateways islands to europe hoping for a better life. >> thank you for that update and that harrowing story of what happened in the desert. now, the u.n. and arab league told the bbc that progress is
being made towards the peace conference. but they're not certain whether the talks will take place as planned in just over three weeks' time. the schedule included a meeting with president assad. the bbc is also in damascus and she asked him how successful his visit had been. >> i think we are making progress whether that progress would be enough or -- it is not certain yet. we are preparing for the conference and i hope that will go through. >> what are the aspects that give you hope? because many people are very skeptical. what have you seen that convinces you that this is making progress? >> i think people are realizing more and more that there is not
a resolution and they don't see any other way of forgetting -- of getting out of this horrible situation except through geneva. >> and what is still the major obstacles towards the holding of the conference on november 23? >> you know, the opposition is ill trying to put together their ideas and agree to come together and form an -- and we need a little more work for the - to make sure who is -- [inaudible question] >> other news at this hour, china says a separatist group was linked to monday's vehicle fire and an explosion in
tiananmen square described as a carefully planned terrorist attack the official named east turkistan in relation to this attack which killed five people in the central beijing. in the hours after the incident, the authorities arrested five people thought to be members of the local muslim population. the man who ran the coasta rica based digital currency liberty reserve has pleaded guilty in a new york court for involvement in a $6 billion money laundering scam. the case is being described as the biggest international money laundering prosecution in history. the american defense secretary chuck hague criticized nine u.s. states for failing to grant full benefits for the partners of gays and lesbian american knells. he said texas and south carolina are among states who refused to issue i.d. cards to same sex partner offense national guard staff.
that's despite a supreme court ruling earlier this year. now to a rape and murder which has shocked the nation. a 17-year-old girl was attacked and left for dead on a build site near cape town in south africa. she suffered horrific injuries and died later in hospital. today, one man has been sentenced to life in prison but doubts remain over whether he was acting alone. we are outside the crouse --s you in the western cape. >> he received two live sentences for raining, mutilating a woman. as he walked into the courtroom, i asked him how he was feeling he told me he is feeling good and he told me he is not guilty of killing her. the judge kept on emphasizing the brutality of this attack saying the way in which she was killed shows what kind of person
mess and that the judge sentenced him. his uncle slapped his hand and laughed saying this sentence is unjust and it is a mockery of the justice system but at the same time, a lot of people here are saying that they feel that justice has been served. >> let's move on with the business. the royal bank of scotland, actually it's the royal bank of american. 80% roaned by us. >> -- owned by us. >> it's a bit of a banking news story for the day. the royal bank of scotland, r.b.c., has said it will not separate itself. r.b.s. will create an internal bad bank and during that, it's going to ring some $60 billion of some bad assets such as
loans. the banks owned by the government following that massive bailout at the height of the financial crisis. just adding r.b.s. suspend two traders in connection with the possible fixing of the currency market. that news just out. we're going to keep across that and bring you more when we get it. let's talk about fannie mae, the u.s. mortgage giant is suing nine banks over losses relating o the libel scandal. they are seek more than $800 million in damages. several banks admitted wrongdoing and has settled with regulators. it is basically a global interest rate. it is used by many banks, mortgage lenders and others to set the price on borrowing trillions of dollars on financial contract which all end up down the pipeline us to as consumers for car loans,
personal loans and mortgages. africa's biggest privatization is due to be completed soon to a series of private corsorgs but the $3 billion sell-off has many upset -- upset many of the electricity workers. they threatened to plunge nigeria to darkness in a strike over unpaid redundancy. if you want to send me a tweet, follow me on twitter. ou can do so at bbc. -- that's it. more coming up in "g.m.t." in over an hour. >> how do you spell it? >> a-r-a-. >> there it is. thanks. >> still to come, the mayor of toronto under pressure to resign after police recover a video
allegedly showing him smoking crack cocaine. a leading football club say they will continue its plans to strike after the president said he will not drop a 75% super tax on people earning more than a million euros a year. that's unless they granted an exemption from the tax. what's going on? >> the final whistle has yet to be blown but the clock is ticking. >> good afternoon. >> french football officials leaving the palace in paris, still no deal to avert the strike. >> we have tried to say that this tax is not fair but the president wasn't flexible. he said that since it was voted upon, it couldn't be changed. but he has listened to us and that is very important. we never know what the future holds.
>> francois campaigned his proposal to reduce a 75% super tax on people earning more than a million euros a year. that's nearly $1.4 million. the clubs who pay the tax call foul and have threatened industrial action at the end of the month if they're not exempted. hence the talks of the presidential palace but so far, the president and his government are standing firm. >> it's been very clear that the solidarity tax will have to be applied to football, the same way as it has been to all companies while salaries are higher than one million euros. >> it's estimated the tax could cost the clubs 44 million euros, around $60 million around the two years it's expected to be in place. if neither side backs down,
france will see its first professional football strike in more than 40 years. desert. in the a teenage girl tells us of the migrant convoy which broke down in the sahara desert leaving more than 90 dead. there are doubts a sinner peace conference will make -- syrian peace conference will take place the opposition is still not ready to take part. thigh lan has taken the first steps towards a political amnesty. it could pave the way for the former prime minister to return to ex exile. -- exhale. he was charged with abuse of power. critics fear the amnesty will let him return to thailand without serving a two-yearail sentence. we are in bangkok. i asked him what is the origin of this particular amnesty.
>> well, there's been talk about the amnesty ever since the terrible event in 2010 where we saw more than 90 people killed, clashes between government troops and protests and demonstrators. there was a government opposing power at the time and a lot of turmoil that preceded it. so the idea of an amnesty is an awful lot of people have been charged, taking ordinary street protestors who have spent time for jail that it would be helpful in the process of reconciliation. what started as a very modest bill was suddenly two weeks ago in parliament expanded to include anybody who was investigated by bodies set up after that back in 2006. that would include the most controversial figure, the figure at the very heart of thailand's divide. it will invalidate the conviction against him in 2008 for a purpose of land by his
wife and would allow him to come back from five years of exile. that's a whole different ballgame and it sparked furious opposition from the main democrat party who determined he shouldn't come back and quite a lot of groups as well. there are different groups who are also saying a blanket amnesty whitewashes all of the things that's happening including his deporters. so it's a very, very controversial proposal. it's gone through parliament. is next stage is the senate and will consider it next week. it is possible this bill could go through in the next three or four weeks. >> now a member of the german parliament says the fugitive intelligence contractor edward snowden is willing to help an investigation into claims that chancellor merkel's mobile phone was monstered by -- monitored by u.s. investigation. he said the contractor is even
willing to travel to germany. though his lawyer had just said he will not be able to leave russia. when i asked her correspondent in berlin, first, a practical question. how the germans managed to meet snowden in russia. >> that, we do not know but i gather he went with a german journal, clearly, very secretly done -- journalist, clearly very secretly done. in about two hours, he will reveal exactly what was said by the fugitive in moscow, but in the meantime, the m.p. has put on his own website pictures of the two. and one of the pictures shows the two of them having what seems like a pretty relaxed meal , white linen tablecloth. but what's significant is mr. snowden seems to be laughing. it does seem to a pretty relaxed event. and what you were alluding to earlier, a promise, according to
him that mr. snowden would come to germany to take part in an investigation into spying activities. if the conditions are right. clearly, he wouldn't come here if that meant he was going to be extradited to the u.s. if those conditions were met, there is a possibility of some kind of video link or written evidence. >> steven evans there, in berlin. and also in germany, it is becoming the first country to allow in europe to allow babies with characteristics of both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female. from today, parents will be allowed to leave the gender blank on birth certificates. the move is aimed at removing pressure on parents to make quick decisions on sex assignment surgery for newborn babies. it's thought to one in every 2,000 people have characteristics of both sexes.
they are known as intersex. that's because they have a mixture of male and female chromosomes or genitalia which has characterization of both gender. and german passports which lists the holder's sexes m for male or f for female will soon have a third designation, it will be x for intersex holders. well, i'm joined by a policy .irector at ilga europe thanks for joining us. does this new move by germany go far enough? >> no, it doesn't. actually, it doesn't go as far as you just mentioned. so no passports will be changed. it's just a birth certificate. and it is the obligatory on parents to introduce this for their children.
what we don't like about this law is that why on the one hand it has provided a lot of visibility of intersex issues and that's welcomed. it does not address the surgery asks the medical of intersex. there has to be an amendment to this law. >> let me press you there on the politics of this. how difficult has it been to get even this far in germany? >> this was a unanimous vote. so it wasn't too difficult to get this part. what prove to be more difficult is to address with a we would like to have addressed and for society to open up the sex diversity and include intersex people. >> thank you very much for joining us, sylvan from belgium. >> now it's canada where the mayor of toronto says he has no reason to resign. that's after police said they have uncovered a video which
seems to show him smoking from a crack pipe. he previously denied the existence of the video. when journals reported it in may that's after they said they saw it but it was after they made public. lee carter reports from toronto. >> this is the way rob ford's day started. the populous toronto mayor who has always had an adversarial relationship with the press angrily ordered reporters off his driveway. >> i'm leaving! >> get off my property! >> but his day was about to get a lot worse. toronto's police chief dropped a bombshell on mr. ford by revealing that a video of the mayor had been seized by the police. >> we are now in possession of a recovered digital video file relevant to the investigations that have been conducted. that file contains video images which appear to be those images
which were previously reported in the press. >> those press reports were written by journal who is reported it appeared to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine but the police chief said there was nothing in the video that would lead to charges although the contents were, he said, disappointing. >> i think it's fair to say that the mayor does appear in those -- in that video but i'm not going to get into the detail of what activities is depicted on that video. >> that could be because the video is to be used as evidence in court against this man. he's a part-time driver and friend of the mayor who has now been charged with drug and extortion instances. mayor ford responded for less than a minute to reporters outside his office. he refused to resign but otherwise said very little. >> i wish i could come out and
defend myself. unfortunately, i can't because it's before the court and that's all i can say right now. get off my property! >> people who live in the city are more surprised than shocked by the revelation. it is the latest twist of the scandal. >> thank you. >> but it's only been in the last few days that opinion polls show mr. ford's popularity starting to tumble. >> watch out, guys >> several city counselors say they have lost confidence in the mayor of canada's largest city. lee carter, "bbc world news," toronto. >> it's the big moment in the year for hindus around the worldle they're stocking up on sweet, gifts and fireworks for the festival of lights. it is a highlight of the alendar.
>> it's the lead-up to the valley here in singapore and there's a real buzz on the street on ilonen ya as it is more popularly known. singapore is phone for the chinese population but there is a visible indian presence as well. they first came here in the 1800's and now make up some 8% of the population. i drew myself, my first grandfather came here in the 1930's in india. i speak to ganesh who runs a store here in ilonen ya. tell us about the buzz that you're feeling for this festival. >> the buzz, because tomorrow is the festival, it's going crazy over here. but the actual buzz started 33 days ago when we set up this temporary stall and people
started shop for the past 33 days. >> you've had this stall for the past 33 years. >> yes. it's just increasing every year as the people are just come buying and more things for the festival. >> and what do you sell? show us some of what you sell. what are people buying specifically? >> this is an indian cant without this, there's no festival. so people are just crazy of buying this and it comes in a lot of different shapes and designs. and for the kids, sparkles is having very important. so they buy sparkles and then tomorrow night, they will be enjoying with this. >> fantastic. happy devoli for all our hindu versus out there. >> finally, let me intduce you to a drug smuggling tunnel which zig-zags the lengths of six football fields. it's been found on the u.s.-mexico border. it is equipped with electricity,
ventilation and a rail system. more than eight tons of marijuana and cocaine was also seized. around 75 secret passages have been discovered since 2008. that's on the u.s.-mexico border. i have a full program with you coming up. stay with us here on the channel. >> make sense at international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, nion bank,
>> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in. working to nurture new ventures and help provide capitals 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 presented by kcet los angeles.
welcome to "newsline." i'm keiko kitagawa in tokyo. here are the headlines. members of an ethnic minority group in china say they're being harassed after authorities blamed some members for deadly car crash in beijing. germans want to know more about allegations u.s. agents were spying on their leader and a high-profile source may be able to help them.
and experts from japan and china are trying to put aside troubled relations and focus on how they can cooperate. members of an ethnic minority group in china say they are being harassed. government authorities are blaming uighur people for deadly car crash near tiananmen square. members of the group are concerned prejudice against them will spread. nhk world has more. >> reporter: a sport utility vehicle went off the road on monday, veered into a crowd of sightseers and then crashed and burst into flames. the three people in the suv were killed, along with two bystanders. investigators have described the incident as a well-organized terrorist attack. they say all of them are uighurs, as were the three people in the car a spokesperson for the chinese foreign ministry suggested members of the east turkish islamic movement may be linked
to the incident. the group is fighting for independence in the uighur autonomous region. uighurs in beijing say they're experiencing backlash. some say their landlords have pressured them to move. others say staff at a hotel refused to let them stay. about 9 million uighurs live in the uighur autonomous region, but the region is dominated politically and economically by chinese who make up the majority of the country's population. many uighurs chafe at chinese controls on their religion, culture and language, although the government denies imposing restrictions on these activities. uighur dissatisfaction has sometimes erupted into violence. in 2009, nearly 200 people were
killed in rioting. the group's leader called for an international investigation into the incident near tiananmen square. >> translator: the chinese government hasn't told the media what really happened at the scene. the coverage is based on the story the government made up. and it lacks credibility. >> reporter: u.s. officials expressed concern over the chinese government's abuse of the group's human rights. >> we believe, of course in human rights across the board. that certainly applies to the uighur community. and that's something that we communicate regularly. >> reporter: chinese law calls for severe punishment for acts of terror. officials say such penalties ensure the protection of human
rights and social order. authorities have cited the fight against terror as a motive for tightening security both in the capital and throughout the country. chiaki ishikawa, nhk world. chinese authorities are tightening the screws on a newspaper that ran articles on corruption at a major company. the reporter who wrote those articles has been arrested for damaging the reputation of the state-owned firm. the correspondent with the new express paper based in the southern province of guangdong. they've just stripped chen of his official reporting credentials. they've also ordered the media group that owns the paper to investigate who was responsible and remove them. a different reporter at the publication says the number of official directives is increasing. the reporter says these are make it difficult for
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