tv Eyewitness News at 5 CBS December 22, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
and then, i think that's a lure, isn't it? i suppose it could be, yes, couldn't it? which would go around like that. yeah, so this would swing around his head to attract the bird's attention, after he's loosed it, to get it back again. so, all the detail is there. it's some-- whoever's painted this has understood the falconry side of things very well, hasn't he? yeah. it's, um, painted in oils on this very large panel, which is actually several pieces of wood joined together. so, we think from the costume that it's about 1620. right. which is, incidentally, about 15 years after guy fawkes. yes, quite, yes. just to place it, you know, in the reign of james i. uh, in terms of authorship, well, we're beginning to be able to put names to pictures of this vintage rather more accurately than we had been able to, and in this case, it's just possible... there was an artist called john souch... right. working in chester at around this time, and-- who covered much of the north of england, and it's possible that it's got his dabs on it, as it were.
um-- condition. you asked me about condition. ( laughs ) not good. not brilliant, no. i think there's still quite a lot of original paint under here, and this area, which is water damaged, is as much in the varnish as it is in the paint. which is quite good news, 'cause i think there's some original paint under there. you don't really know until you start stripping it down. so, there is quite a lot of work to do on it to get it right, to get it looking absolutely spiffing. yeah. but, um... maybe £2,000 or 3,000 worth of work, as much as that. but then you've got to look at what value the painting is, and falconry's really popular in the middle east-- from whence it came, of course, you know. yes, yes. any picture with a falcon, the arab market is going to get very excited about. and, uh, i'd be very surprised if it didn't make £20,000 or 30,000. right. yes. insure it for £30,000. right. okay, yes. i know, it's a responsibility, isn't it? it is, rather. ( laughs ) but that's stewardship, isn't it? that's the thing about handing on family things.
you need to look after them. i think that's exactly right. yeah. it's difficult to find the precise word to describe these. the word "flamboyant" certainly works, the word "kitch" certainly works well with these, and i have to say, when i picked these up from around here and walked across the room, there was not an eye in the building that was not transfixed on them. they are all so compelling. what do you reckon? um-- which is the word you'd best use to describe them? well, i'm not sure that i could say that. ( laughs ) because it would sound like kind of what? different? different. go on. definitely, they're different. um... what about ghastly? is that...? yes, yes, that's about right, yes. i think they're also fairly ghastly. they really touch some bases. they're exemely well-made. they are certainly attractive in the sense that they attract attention. well, they certainly do that.
so, tell me, did you dig them up out of the garden? no. i just ask because they are so incredibly filthy that it looks as if they may have spent 50 years underground. you know, maybe i should wait for high tide and wash them down. ( chuckles ) i'm getting the imprsion that you don't like these a lot, and yet, they're yours. well, um, my late mother-in-law left them for me. i don't think she liked me very much, which is hence the reason i've got them. well, i think that they're better than you do, and i think whilst if we walked around the queue here and offered these for sale for a fiver, most people would turn them down at that, but i think these '50s signed murano flamenco figures-- made on the venetian island of murano in probably late '50s into the '60s-- but are superior pieces, would probably be worth at an auction-- if well-directed-- £150 to 200 each. oh, she did like me then, after all. ( chuckles )
i didn't realize. that's great. oh, no, i didn't thinkthey g like that. no, the charity shop's not getting them now, then. i'm having a nanny moment. ( laughs ) are you having a nanny moment? oh, very much so, yes. now, look. we've got 5 prams here. and i happen to know that this isn't the lot. no, unfortunately. now, i think i may-- am i allowed to call you a bit of a prammie? yes, you can call me a prammie. i'm proud to be a prammie. now, how many have you got at home? another 10 at home, and another one on the way. ( both laugh ) and, uh, where are they all? well, we live in a large house, so they've taken over the front living room, and in the hallway, and upstairs, too. but they live indoors, which is the perfect climate for a pram. absolutely, and do they get an outing ever? they get an outing most days unless it's raining. we don't do-- we don't do rain and prams. no, quite. and looking around,
well, that's a pram dating from the latter part of the 19th century-- slightly sort of mary poppins-esque. what i love about it is this fabulous barley twist brass handle at the-- at the front there, huge wheels, and, um-- the forerunner of everything else we see here today. so, the prams that we're looking at around and about here are mostly 1950s and '60s. yes, yeah. you've... concentrated on that particular period, have you? mmm. why? i think it's deep bodies and big wheels for me. i just love the shape of the pram. i just think they're absolute beauties of craftsmanship. in the 1950s, there were certain companies which were top of the range, weren't there? yes. and i would've thought-- was l.b.c. one of them? l.b.c. was one of them. um, marmet... this being a marmet. particularly in the queen. the queen is the actual model name. right. and they followed with a lady and a marmet princess.
oh, right. and so it goes, on and on. what i think is very telling is that, in fact, it was often a make of pram that would sell the job to the nanny. a-- a-- yes, that's very true. i think a house or a mom would advertise, saying, "nanny required." "nanny required. we have a marmet pram." yeah, or an osnath, exactly. or a london baby coach-- whatever. and that usually filled the vacancy. i was trying earlier to work out what the collective name for a group of prams is, and i've come up with the name a "push" of prams. oh, that's good. yeah, yeah. and as far as value is concerned, what do you put on something-- a classic pram from the 1960s in really tip-to restored condition? well, i think like any collector, it depends on the make and the model. if it's a-- if it's a pram that you want, you will pay, like any collector would. i paid-- the most i paid for my pram was the queen.
she was a model i always wanted, and i absolutely adore her. she will never be sold. so, to me, she's priceless. and i paid £700 for her. and-- and in this-- in that restored condition. if she wasn't in that condition, i would only-- especially if wheels need re-chroming, which, talking expense-- i would only maybe pay £250, 350. well, i hope you've got lots of grandchildren to push in these. hopefully, in a couple of years. daughter's just wed, but hopefully, yes. she's working on it. yes. fantastic. thank you very much for bringing in your push of prams. thank you very much. henry, i've interrupted your busy day 'cause i'm pretty sure you must have some strong views on the ultimate age of elegance. oh, yeah. what would you choose? well, mine would be the days of charles ii. wonderful, wonderful flamboyant ways. i mean, wigs, and hats with plumes, and all that. but of course, the days before it, in the city of worcester, where i come from, were very different. before charles ii came to the throne, we had oliver cromwell,
and, um, pots like this, you know, with poems on it-- it's a chamber pot, to do your-- do your business. yes. and-- and-- and the poem says, "fast and pray and pity the poor. amend thy life and sin no more." while you're doing-- so, you had to be pious even when you were answering a call of nature. the only fun in life was sort of tipping it out of the window on top of a roundhead's head. and so, of course-- then you'd get sent to prison. and of course, it all changed so dramatically with charles, didn't it? with charles ii and the restoration. charles ii came back and the restoration-- everything is peacockish and wonderfully exciting, and you get slipware like this thing. i mean, this is-- seen this before. well, this is a copy, a copy of the original aussie of the hour, at the moment-- but you have your drink out of this, and it's all full of fun, i mean, it's absolutely gorgeous. ornamentation, of course. ornamentation. design and beauty. but life was like that. it grew exciting, you know?
do you wonder what you'd have been doing back then, in those days? well, i would've been a cavalier. i-- i-- i hope-- no, because i helped charles ii escape after the battle of worcester. oh, you did, did you? yes, i did, yeah. right, okay. i remember that. and-- and so i would've become a cavalier. and, uh, this little piece is just a fragment of a pot that i found in a well in worcester. now, that's me dressed up in a cavalier's costume. fantastic. that's what i would've looked like. so, you would've liked the clothes, then, would you? oh, i would've loved to do it, with a waistcoat, and a wig, and a plumed hat, and, uh-- and you would carry your cane as you walk around the town. lovely gaiters and things like that. i can just picture myself dressed like that.
i think it's only appropriate when we're looking at the age of elegance and what makes up elegance to be looking at a fantastic costume like this and the wonderful pieces that you've brought in. where have they come from? well, these are all part of the collection of the little theatre in gateshead. so, these costumes are actually used on stage? absolutely. oh, yes. whenever possible. yes. we're always dying to get costumes like this on stage. mary has actually worn this one. it looked fabulous. i can-- i can imagine. i mean, it's so appropriate to our setting now, isn't it, really? i mean, it is a perfect flapper dress from the '20s. and obviously, when you look around at some of the details in this building, they're replicated right here in front of us with some of the motifs. yes, the beautiful beadwork. and the glitz of the beads comes alive, doesn't it, under the light? it's just fantastic. absolutely, yes. so, you go back earlier than these, do you? our earliest are probably about 1890, possibly 1880, and we've just continued to collect and accumulate--
you know, that one is about 1912 or thereabouts. um, that suit there is about 1947. so, do you have to do much to keep these costumes going? yes, yes. i mean, if they're in daily use. yes, yes. for example, um-- you can see some of the beadwork is going there, so we replace them if we can. sometimes it's not easy to find suitable replacements, because modern materials and sizes don't always match up with these vintage articles. this is actually very prada. it's very now. it's very, um-- it's remarkably revealing, and you'd have had to have had a heavy-- a heavy suit underneath. a heavy gray suit underneath. and-- and i think you forget, also, when you see some of these-- do you have the underwear that goes with dresses like these? we do, yes. yes, we have the petticoats, the bloomers, the shemises. oh, yes, we've got all that. you've got it all. yes. yes, yes. we have actually recently bought some replica corsets,
so that we can pull the waists in of our girls, so that they can try and get into those tiny waists. i mean, that is tiny, and it's the kind of thing that you would've worn as a day dress. that perhaps in two parts you would've worn promenading along the front outside the spa when it was first built. and one has to think about how much these are worth. they're working costumes. they're not museum pieces. they're working costumes. that's right, that's right. but they could equally be-- some of these are so exquisite that they could be museum pieces. um... well, certainly, this-- this duo here, probably at auction would fetch something around about £400. really? really? something like that. ( chuckles ) gosh. again, this lovely flapper dress, i think the price on that would probably be about sort of £500 to 600. really? whole value for the collection-- we're moving into the thousands. right. goodness. it's a good job, that. kept under lock and key. yeah, i know. very secure. to be honest, i don't think we could bare to part with them, because, you know, this is part of our history.
mmm. it's tiny. it's a tyg as big as a thimble. and is it yours? it's my-- ( laughs ) it's my wife's, actually. it is ridiculously small for a tyg. you know it's a tyg, or a loving cup, as it's also known. well, i thought it were a loving cup. it is, it is. and the idea is, you pass it down the bench. three handles, so one handle to the next neighbor, they then turn it to the next, and so it rotates as it goes down the line. but that is ridiculously small for a tyg, so... it's a miniature. yeah? and do you know who it's by? well, i think it's by macintosh, isn't it? is it, uh-- moorcroft built it and macintosh jumped in? macintyre. tyre. macintyre, is it? macintyre. and it says macintyre there, and william moorcroft was famously employed by them. that's where he made his name before going on to set up his own moorcroft factory. pretty little thing. decorated with what, cicklin?
oh, i'm not so sure i'd know. beautiful thing, but it is very, very small. the-- the real article... i'm afraid... a bit bigger. the real article, a real tyg, should be this size, and if it were this size, it would be worth... getting on for £1,500. yeah. so, we go from £1,500... down to... £1,500. mmm. that is £1,500? because if so, the smaller, the better. so, that's £1,500? it's small and exquisitely formed. well, you've brought along today this most astonishing sword. now, it's made by wilkinson, and i happen to know quite a lot about it, but i'd like to hear the story from you. i acquired this in the late 1960s, about 1968.
um, i'm a collector of edged weapons, and, um, a dealer i contact on southend-on-sea had this, and, um, i was quite astonished to begin the chance to obtain it, because i had bought a small german knife which he was fascinated with. we did a straight swap. now, i had a funny feeling i got the best of the deal. i just knew that at the time, because i had a bit of information about the sword. now, what they told me was this was the pattern piece that had been used as a model for the swords made for the personal bodyguard of haile selassie, emperor of ethiopia, in about 1928, 1929. and it's been in wilkinson sword's pattern room all that time. now, at about that time, wilkinson went into private ownership, and they cleared out a lot of their old stock. i was well-delighted to get hold of it. i thought, "whatever the story, this has got to be a piece worth having." well, that's an astonishing story about how you actually obtained it. haile selassie, of course-- "the lion of judah"--
came to the throne i think in about 1930. um-- he was regent until-- until about that time. right. and these swords were made by wilkinson, as you say, for his personal bodyguard. now, the interesting thing about this is that, um, wilkinson's pattern piece, which this is, was the only one that was made with a hilt and a crosspiece. all the others that were sent across to ethiopia were sent without furnishings, as it's called. right. so, they were sent naked, if you like. now, there weren't very many others manufactured. there were 20 manufactured for haile selassie's bodyguard, and of course, he was deposed in-- what? 1973, 1974, something like that. and so, we don't know what's happened to the others. they may not exist any longer. they may be sitting rusting in some ethiopian shed somewhere. who knows? so, this could be unique. it's the most beautifully made sword. typically by wilkinson's,
who made lots and lots of decorative and commemorative swords, this is, um-- has a wavy blade. this beautiful wavy blade, which is made of steel, of course, and it has this gorgeous, gorgeous gold and red flame effect running right the way down the blade. but the-- the unique thing about this, of course, is the pattern. it's the pattern from which the others were judged, so there is not another one of these, and that's what makes it interesting to me. so, in the late '60s, you swapped this for a knife? yes. worth...? £14-- 14 was the value of that. ( laughs ) £14? yes. okay, um, i think today... this sword-- it's so unique, it's worth between £2,000 and £2,500. not a bad investment. i'm surprised. my father was a vicar in smethwick and yorkshire,
and then it was in the vicarage, and then it was moved to clark eden, and i really remember it from the clark eden vicarage. i would be about 9 years old then. i don't know where it came from, only that it was actually a gift from somebody to my father. and it remained in the hallway in the vicarage as a centerpiece. my father absolutely adored it, and when he retired, he moved into a dormer bungalow, and he even had it put on the staircase in the dormer bungalow going up the stairs so that he could see it every day. so, he loved the picture. absolutely adored the picture. did he do any, um, research on the painting at all? i don't think he did. i've done more of the research. i've tried to find things out, and i come to a dead end every time. well, i can help you there. oh, wonderful. oh, yes. the picture is a copy, after a dutch artist who was working in rome in 1620--
an artist called gerard von honthorst. oh. and it is the nativity. this is a 19th-century copy of that picture. the real giveaway with this painting is the 19th-century florentine frame. right. we call them sort of palazzo pitti frames. they hand-carved florentine frames in the 19th century, and students and artists would copy the great masters that were hanging in the uffizi and the pitti palazzo. in 1993, there was a car bomb that went off just outside the uffizi, and unfortunately, the nativity by honthorst was destroyed. two other major pictures by manfredi were destroyed, and also, 30 great masters were damaged. so, the original painting, a totally priceless painting, is no longer with us, and sadly, also, on that particular day, when these great old masters were destroyed, um, 26 people were wounded, and 6 people died.
there are only 8 listed, recorded-- 8 copies listed, but undoubtedly there's more around the world. yes, yes, yes. the original painting that was destroyed was three times the size of your picture. good gracious me, i thought mine was... ( laughs ) was big enough. of course, this oil on canvas, um-- honthorst would've been really influenced by caravaggio, the great master of light, and this was probably painted by-- the original was painted by candlelight, but you get a real sort of radiant light coming from baby jesus, right through all the figures, right up to the top. a kind of ray of hope. the light of the world. so, in terms of value, the original painting by honthorse-- literally priceless. of course, it's no longer with us, but a copy-- a 19th-century copy after the picture-- is worth approximately £4,000 to 6,000. oh, good. lovely. thank you very much. thanks very much. that's lovely.
so, it's not a set of golf clubs, then? no... it's something the ladies aren't allowed to see, i'm afraid. okay, hide your eyes, girls, hide your eyes. oh... it's very naughty. have you seen one of these before? have you seen what it is yet? it's a lady on a potty. ( laughs ) it's more than that, isn't it? yes. because it's a lady with a purpose. now, what does she do? does she fly up this way? there we go-- wee! she's, uh-- does all sorts of things, and on her bottom here, she's got a blade, and what she is, actually, is a cigar cutter. a novelty cigar cutter. okay, so, how come you have got it? this is not a kind of girly thing to have, is it, really? it's been passed down through the family. my great, great granddad. uh, and that's about all i know about it, but i do know that the ladies in the family were never allowed to see it.
it was always on his watch chain in his waist coat pocket, oh... and when asked, "no, you can't look at it." it was his secret. it was his secret. his secret passion. then, when my mother inherited it, i was allowed to look at it, and told, you know, "it's the naughty lady." ( laughs ) i think she's great, and just the sort of thing that a grandfather should have on the end of a watch chain, actually. something naughty and rather rascally. um, she's dated from around 1900, 1910. made of brass. and in fact, i would've said she's-- because she's such a cheeky little thing, i think she's gonna have a reasonable value. i would put her at about-- oh, £100, 120. i think she's terrific. oh, really? yes. i think she's gorgeous. fiona: in this splendid art deco building, we're asking some of our experts to choose their ultimate age of elegance, and eric knowles, with the era you've chosen, you should feel very much at home. i do.
i mean, this is-- bridlington's art deco temple, it really is, and yes, i mean, those interwar years really do it for me. because it was the age of thoroughly modern millie, when it was stylish to raise your skirts and bob your hair, and people just wanted to have a party. i mean, they'd had the horrors of the first world war, and there's this new generation, this new emancipated woman, um, and, uh-- they were able to get out and follow their heroes and heroines on the silver screen, 'cause hollywood introduced glamour to the working classes in general. i mean, this figure-- this is josef lorenzl. i affectionately always refer to him as "legs lorenz." and here's this woman, i mean, she is the epitome of perfect health and form. and, uh, again, this was an age where people took, you know, a great interest in their own-- in their own health. so, um-- certainly the lines of this are beautiful, as indeed this-- this cocktail shaker. well, you know, here we are with a-- can i do it? 'cause i've always-- i mean--
you know, i've always fancied, you know, working at the savoy behind the bar, and, uh-- you're wasted, eric, look. no, i love a good-- a good manhattan, and i know just the perfect place in manhattan that does them. but again, you look at something like that, we're moving through this art deco period into modernism, because, you know, again, just to show you-- i mean, that could have come off of-- of a motor vehicle, it's such a strange-looking thing. and really, it is a cocktail shaker, of course. and of course, as you say, you know, after the first world war, we're talking about the 1920s, and people were-- you know, coming out of such a desperately tragic time, and drabness, and sadness, and they wanted glamour and exoticism, didn't they? they did. i mean, the women, they got rudolph valentino. um, so that was the exotic side of it. but when it comes to speed and streamline, everybody is moving forward. think of brooklyns, and bugattis, and bentleys, and, uh, "anyone for tennis?" um, people became-- you know, far more-- for want of a better word-- worldly.
and as far as elegance goes, i mean, talking about bugattis and that kind of thing-- that was the ultimate elegance, but also, for the women, it was the clothing, wasn't it? oh, the clothing. especially the sort of shimmy dresses. now, bearing in mind in their mother's day, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking-- wow, all of a sudden, legs are on the scene. um, and those dresses, they were designed to move, because, you know, people would go out dancing in a way that they'd never done before, and, uh-- and the dresses, you know, they were typically very, very streamlined. i mean, i look sometimes at their dresses and i see skyscrapers. ( camera shutter clicks ) as you know, this is a work table, but there's a little story behind this, isn't there?
well, there is, yes. it's always ever been known as granny's sewing table. it was left to me by my granny about 15 years ago, and i can remember it from childhood-- it being in her bedroom with all her needles and threads and buttons. she never threw anything away, so she kept buttons off things and kept them in tins, and there was always a piece of thread that would nearly match. if not quite perfectly, it would do. um, and i always admired it and always played with it, and when she died, it was left to me. and i think if it-- if it had been a work table, it might've had a bag underneath, but i can't ever remember there being a bag there. as i say, this is how it's always been-- including the sort of bowed top. right, yes. warts and all. warts and all, yes. what this is-- actually, it's a regency piece of furniture. and the wood is rosewood. but when rosewood was first introduced, it was known as princess wood, so-- 'cause we had kingwood. or, the french had kingwood. they found this wood, and it was known as princess wood.
so, it's a highly sophisticated piece of furniture. really? and, to me, it's just beautifully droll. it's made of, say, rosewood veneer and satinwood. we have the top, which is cross-banded in satinwood, and down the legs, it's simulated in bamboo in this lovely yellow color, and-- which is, again, solid satinwood-- and then it finishes in elegant rosewood-- rosewood legs inlaid with boxwood. now, what's so nice with this-- you can imagine this in the early 19th century, in around about 1810, that the regency, or the late georgian household-- that'd be sitting there. yes, you're right, it did have a long bag. and that would've been holding the wools and silks and things like that. yes. and then, the lady of the house, um-- would've been sitting there, elegantly, doing her sewing. this is a really good piece of furniture. i would put evaluation of this around £5,000 to £6,000.
never! yes. my-- my word. oh, granny would be so thrilled. she would be absolutely thrilled to pieces. she really would. it's-- it's just granny. fiona: in among all the objects brought along by our visitors today, we've had a bit of fun with our experts choosing their ultimate age of elegance. i wonder which one you'd choose. well, i thought i'd join in the fun, so, based on the criterion of fashion alone, i've plumped for the 1970s, and this vintage dress by that master of elegance-- none other than christian dior. so, from the very elegant spa at bridlington, bye-bye. ♪
small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington. renewed fears of sectarian conflict in iraq as a wave of bombings strike baghdad. nearly 70 people are killed and 200 injured. >> my baby was sleeping in her bed. why don't we have security in this country? >> the pentagon issues its deepest regret over an air strike last month which killed 24 pakistani soldiers. will this do anything to ease public anchor? running against the odds, for one olympic hopeful, training in gaza is yet another hurdle to reach in london in 2012.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. there is a new iraq determining its own destiny. those were the words of barack obama as he marked the withdrawal of the last u.s. forces. the future does not look good. a dangerous political crisis has developed between the shi'a prime minister and the sunni vice president. today, the violence returned with a bombing that killed nearly 70 people and injured 200. this is a stark reminder of the dark days of war and sectarian conflict. >> it was a reminder of the horrors of the past and a warning of what might loom ahead. at the height of the morning
rush hour, 14 blasts across baghdad. the targets were commuters, even in kindergarten. it would be hard to imagine attacks more calculated to heighten sectarian fears. >> my baby was sleeping in her bed, shards of glass had fallen on her. why don't we have security? >> baghdad is a city whose sectarian boundaries hardened after the american invasion. militias representing the shi'a majority and sunni minority to rise to tether. the attack was not just consigned to shi'a district, this is where they live closer together. iraq's stability is based on a power-sharing agreement. tension has been growing with the demand of the shi'a prime
minister, nordic maliki, for the rest of the vice-president. -- prime minister maliki, for the rest of the sunni vice president. there was this warning for the government from the former prime minister. >> we have warned long ago that terrorism continues to be acting in iraq against the iraqi people unless the political landscape is corrected and the political process is corrected and it becomes an inclusive process. >> the attacks come just four days after the last american combat troops left iraq with an assertion from their president that even sounded like a hostage. >> all of it has led to this moment of success. iraq is not a perfect place, it
has many challenges ahead. we are leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self- reliant iraq. >> there is now a very real sense of foreboding. american officials are pressing the iraqis to negotiate but that would take a will to compromise that has so far been absent. >> for more on what today's a wave of violence and boats for the future, i'm joined by a retired u.s. army general. -- for more on what today's wave of violence bodes for the future. is this more about the withdrawal or the sectarian divide? >> this is about the divide. the withdrawal was announced a long time ago. the coronation for this attacks -- for these attacks at some
time. it is very unfortunate but this is less important than how the iraqis respond. how does the government respond? are they resilient enough? are the security forces sufficiently good to figure out who did this? >> out who is the likely culprit? there has no -- there has been no claim of responsibility. >> al qaeda remnants are very aggressive. then, shia militants exist as well. most of the attacks were in shi'a neighborhoods. the tactics, techniques, and procedures reflect what al qaeda has done. >> let's look at the politics of this. the sectarian divide has been exacerbated by the comments of the time mr. and the arrest warrant for the vice president.
-- by the comments of the prime minister and the arrest warrant for the vice president. >> the timing is too precise. can you imagine if you take what is taking place in baghdad and move it to london or dc, we would be stunned that there would be a warrant out for a senior leader's arrest. the u.s. has departed and there is no one to step been beyond the ambassador. that is his role, to meter and provide some calm in this. >> how serious is this? >> it is extremely serious. it is extremely serious that the vice president has a warrant out for his arrest. i don't know what the evidence is for that wort but i find it amazing that the iraqi government immediately on the heels of the u.s. departure is dealing with this level of crisis. 70 dead, 200 wounded, no u.s.
forces there to help turn to the u.s. did a magnificent job of finding the guilty party. -- 70 dead, 200 wounded, no u.s. forces there to help. the u.s. did a magnificent job of finding the guilty party. >> there are concerns about iranian influence. >> that is you would step in and be a winner. it would be tehran. they are rubbing their hands together in great glee that this is looking like it is tenuous. that this might fall apart. let's give the iraqis some space to see how well they handled this. >> it is america able to exert any influence from afar? >> sure. we have been a part of that region forever. we will continue to be. we have friends in that area. we have tremendous intelligence-
collecting committed -- intelligence-collecting capabilities. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mary christmas. >> when nato aircraft killed two dozen soldiers in pakistan last month, what went wrong? the pentagon said it was communication problems with train the two sides. the pakistani contingent says that the investigation a short on facts. it will take more than this report to ease the already strained relations. >> it was an attack that shocked pakistan, all the more because it was perpetrated by an ally. 24 pakistani soldiers were killed in an aerial bombardment at a border post by nato forces.
for the first time washington confesses that those forces made a series of mistakes. >> the loss of life, the lack of proper coordination between u.s. and pakistani forces contributed to those losses. we express our deepest regrets. we further express saver condolences to the pakistani people, to the pakistani government, and to the families of the soldiers that were killed. -- we further express sincere condolences to the pakistani people. son was killed in the incident. he said that nothing will make him for give. >> if i had the means, i would set the whole of america on fire. when your son is killed, your only thought is to destroy the killers. the perception of the u.s. has
plunged to a new low. a huge anti-american demonstrations were held. the government has got some of his cooperation with washington. the question now is whether the acknowledgement by the americans that they made mistakes in the killing of the pakistani soldiers will be enough to get the relationship back on track because there are many in washington who feel that it is near impossible to win the war in afghanistan unless pakistan is back on their side. the u.s. is hoping that pakistan will reopen the supply route to coalition troops. the two main arteries were blocked after the attack. trucks were not allowed across the border and the feeling is that pakistan will need further concessions before it lets them through. washington is suggesting that it acted in self-defense when they were attacked and that angered people here.
>> i think that they should apologize. look, we made a mistake. >> the united states committed a crime. we will put them into the prison for that line -- for that long. these are 24 people, they are human. they are somebody's blood. >> it has been a turbulent year for u.s.-pakistan relationships. the trust on both sides are poor. some of that trust can never be rebuilt. >> now for a look at some of the stories making news. turkey has reacted fiercely to a vote in the french parliament making it a crime to deny that the killing of armenians by turkish forces was genocide. turkey has recalled its ambassador to paris saying that it would open grave and
irreparable wounds in relations. if you are telling them by now you will know the meaning of the word austerity. following an overwhelming vote in the senate, you will have to work longer, pay more taxes, and get less in return. the prime minister says that this is the key to the plan to save italy. protests in china against plans to build a new power plant in a small town appear to have escalated. these and verified pictures show demonstrators throwing bricks in a standoff with police. they think that an existing power plant has contributed to cancer cases and pollution. in syria, a team of observers from the arab league has arrived in the country amid reports of increasing violence. the full deployment is part of an arab peace plan that calls
for the removal of troops from the streets and the release of all prisoners. the violence continues and in the latest incident, four civilians have been killed. what if any pressure can be brought to bear against the assad regime? we're joined by the former u.s. ambassador to syria. what can the arab league monitors realistically do? >> we have to note that syria had refused the monitors. they wanted to put so many conditions on it. now we know that when the terribly threatened to go to the security council, that is when the regime thought, oh my god. they agreed to 150 monitors coming in, albeit reluctantly. no one believes that these monitors will be given any real freedom to go where they want when they want. the syrians will show them what they want them to see.
this is a ploy to buy time on the part of the regime in my opinion. >> will the arab league to go along with that and if so, how long? >> i don't think that they will go along with it too much further mainly because the powerful countries, in particular saudi arabia, have concluded that assad, it is worse to keep them then to have him go. if iran loses syria as an ally, that would be an important strategic move for the arabs. >> realistically, is there more that they can do? >> there is more that they can do but the real question is how much do they want to do it. right now, russia and to a lesser extent, china are willing
to go along with the security council resolution. russia has taken a step forward by at least introducing a "balanced resolution," basically blaming the regime and the opposition. it is hard to imagine that barack obama would like to introduce military forces into syria. there is no u.n. cover for this. the situation is evolving and i would not rule out even further sanctions. the syrian economy is in very bad shape. secondly, we might eventually see some sort of intervention. >> what is your sense of how serious the situation is? people are talking about the country on the brink of civil war. is that your judgment? >> that is certainly my judgment. many defectors are afraid that their families will be tortured.
also, there are many civilians picking up arms right now. one of the reasons that the syrian regime might have been more willing to let observers and, they want to show that they're armed. these are not peaceful demonstrators. of course, this is after they gunned them down daily for months. i think that civil war is likely. unfortunately, the regime will still hold the upper hand. >> thank you for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- the president is refusing to go on holiday and his opponents are being difficult over the question of his tax plan. in russia today, president dmitry medvedev delivered his final state of the nation address and called for sweeping political reforms.
>> this was dmitry medvedev's final state of the nation address and he used the grand setting to play the great reformer. president medvedev called for comprehensive reform of the russian political system. there would be direct elections for regional governors, at the moment they are all appointed by the kremlin. it would become easier for political parties to get registered. try minister vladimir putin had hinted that political change last week and this is why. -- prime minister vladimir putin had hinted at political change. protesters came out amid widespread reports of vote rigging. public anger is rising. the authorities are feeling the pressure which explains the promises of limited reform.
today, medvedev also issued this warning to the protesters. >> the people have the right to express their opinions in all lawful ways and that is guaranteed. the attempt to manipulate the citizens of russia are not acceptable. we will not let pravda caters and extremist drag the society into their game. -- will not let the provocateur ores and extremists drag the society into their game. >> the presidential elections are less than three months away and opposition activists say they are determined to keep up the protests. >> if you for get to the -- if
you forget be sent goodwill, the following might sound familiar. that congress and white house had been in political deadlock over a payroll tax cut which is expected to expire. according to the white house, if the congress does not act, 150 million americans will be affected. the republicans refused to agree to a plan by their colleagues in the senate. we're joined by a political correspondent for the "national journal." >> house republicans are in the process now of a green with the president and democratic demands and agreed to pass an extension for the payroll tax cut. the one minor concession they extracted is that they will appoint senators to sit on a
conference committee to resolve the differences. this will focus the debate on how to pay for this payroll tax cut for the entire 12 months of the calendar year, not just the two months. the white house and senate democrats have won but republicans would say that we get to fight another day. >> this is an astonishing situation, an astonishing deadlock. this is not increase your respective capitol hill. >> this is not elevate legislative politics. most americans will say if this was a deal that you could have cut days ago, why this uncertainty? why this this function? this congress is rated low.
nearly half the country believes that this is the worst country of their lifetime. this only reinforces that very negative perception. >> how does this play out? who wins? >> in the short term, democrats and the president have one. the republicans will say, next year this will be an argument about how we pay for this. they want to pay for it by offsetting spending cuts to the federal government. the white house senate democrats gave up on the surtax as a way to finance this. the debate will shift on how do you want to pay for this by cutting the size of the federal government? the democrats will fight on that terrain. the democrats have won this first one. paying for the next 10 months, maybe the democrats -- the
republicans will be able to reorient the debate. >> this will be part of the next election? >> yes, it certainly will be a part of the next year. the senate and house will have to pay for this. that is something that we will have to see played out but this is part and parcel of the republican nomination part of the presidency. >> now to a marathon of a different kind, trading for the olympics -- training for the olympics is a difficult task. imagine doing it in gaza. training facilities are about the last thing on a very long list of priorities. despite the odds, this athlete is trying to qualify for the 5,000 meters in london. we have been trying to keep up with his progress. >> the loneliness of a long- distance runner.
this is the fastest man in gaza but a few places to train and no one to train with. he tells me he has a coach but says there is no one at his level to run with. he will have to do most of his training by himself. he has only been able to run one big race in gaza this year, his first ever marathon -- the strip's first ever marathon. it is 26 miles long. the runners covered it top to bottom. as far as the training facilities, this is about as good as it gets. there is not a single track in the whole of the gaza strip and that is what he will have to run on if he makes it too london, 2012. all he has here is sand.
now, he is packing up and getting out of gaza for a few weeks. not easy in the hamas-governed territory which remains under israeli blockade. for most palestinians, the only way out is south, through egypt. that is where he is heading, to cairo. in terms of inspiration, it does not get much better than this. he is not here to see the sights. he is in cairo for a weeklong training camp. at last, the chance to run on a decent track. >> this feels so good. on a track like this, i can beat my split times. that means i know exactly how i am doing and what i need to achieve. it makes such a difference. >> after cairo, the next stop
is qatar and the arab games. he needs to think big. he has now been told that he will not get a wild-card place in the olympics so he has to get the qualifying time. that means knocking around 40 seconds off of his personal best. he will need to be inspired if he is to make it to london 2012. >> a remarkable story. you can follow his progress and those of the other olympic hopefuls in our olympic dreams series here. that brings the show to a close but remember, you can get constant updates on our website. you can also contact us on our facebook page. from all of us here, thank you for watching and see you back here tomorrow.