tv BBC World News America PBS July 12, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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cannot train enough people in time, so the army has been called in to help. and making all the right moves -- these young chess players are proving they have what it takes to topple the competition. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. we start tonight with what might -- what must be every climbers nightmare. a massive avalanche in the french alps claimed at least nine lives. reports of a six-foot wall of snow and ice crashing down the side of the mountain at a ski resort. among the debtor three britons, three germans, two spaniards, and a swiss. we have this report. -- among the dead. >> high in the mountains early in the morning where a large
slab of ice broke, sending a wall of snow and debris hurtling said lee -- suddenly down the alpine slopes. a large group of climbers was trapped in its path and lucky to be caught -- and lucky to be caught in just the wrong place -- and lucky -- unlucky to be caught in just the wrong place. rescue teams began to arrive to evacuate the injured and search for the missing. >> we saw the avalanche and the injured climber. those who managed to escape the avalanche were walking up. i went there with them, and we tried as best as we could. >> it happen in the french alps, close to the popular skiing resorts. the climbers were trying to a san europe's highest peak -- a
send europe's highest peak on the second most popular route -- trying to ascend europe's highest peak. it has been confirmed that one of the dead was the former head of the british mountaineering council, a climber with vast experience. this is footage taken two weeks ago, close to where the avalanche took place. treacherous conditions after heavy rain and high winds. two british climbers were originally thought to be missing today had actually turned back and a ride safely at the resort. others have had second thoughts before deciding to tackle the mountain, fearing that an avalanche could happen. >> you could actually see where there had been an avalanche on saturday. conditions were not great due to the high temperatures during the daytime and heavy rainfall in the evenings with the storms at night. it literally looked like it was
going to happen any time. >> this beautiful area around montblanc is popular with casual tourists and serious climbers alike. it is dangerous, but this is the deadliest avalanche in the french alps in more than 10 years. the climbers who died today knew the risks they were taking, and the rescue team knew how hard it is for anyone to survive for long buried beneath the snow on one of europe's highest peaks. >> to the uk now where i just 15 days, the olympics will officially kick off in london -- in just 15 days. in recent days, it is the operation to carry out the security task which has raised concerns. the government in the u.k. has admitted that a private contractor may not be able to train enough security staff in
time. gordon reports. >> in uniform, on duty, and at the games, the british military called on to fulfill a crucial security gap because a private contractor cannot deliver. >> g4s has let the country down, and we have literally had to send in the troops. >> when the government identified that the need was there, we acted to ensure that we covered that requirement so that we can ensure that we have the venue security and the general security for the games that we all want. >> the extent of the problem became clear in the last two weeks when venues like the aquatics center were locked down, meaning that anyone entering had to be checked ion. the company failed to deploy a staff to support that process. last december, organizers realized they had seriously underestimated the number of guards they needed, more than doubling the total to 23,700. the company took on a contract
to supply more than 10,000 of those, while the military agreed to provide 7500 personnel. yesterday, they told the government it could no longer guaranteed numbers. >> here at this old school, they are still recruiting and training thousands of staff on a tight timeline. critics have questioned whether it is trying to do too much too late in the day, based on the business model designed to keep costs down. >> the troops may still be arriving here, but the chief executive of g4s has been summoned to appear next week to explain what has gone wrong with the 284-million-pound contract. applicants have described the chaotic process. one told bbc that even after being trained for months, he was not being used. >> i have been told many times that i would have a job at the olympics, and then two or three days later, a call them up and
ask what is happening, and they do not know. >> in a statement, g4s, whose contract includes financial penalties, said they had encountered delays in progressing applicants through the final stages, but they are working extremely hard to process these as quickly as possible. >> some of the troops who have been deployed had just returned from afghanistan. others will have to count for holiday. >> i was down there a week ago, and many see it as a great national event and what to do the right thing in order to ensure our security. >> today, another sign of a security operation unprecedented in peacetime. officials are adamant that this will not compromise security, but it will not prevent questions being asked about this embarrassing last minute call-up. >> for more on the security
concerns heading into the learning games, i am joined by the director of the homeland security program at the center for strategic and international studies. thanks for coming in. how much of a headache must this be causing the organizers of the learning games? >> this is a massive problem. this is the largest logistical issue in the history of the united kingdom, and that to have a shortfall of over 50% of the security guards is a significant failure. >> it is not just about the numbers of people coming. it is 15,000 athletes, 6000 officials, 22,000 media. it is not just that. it is the symbolism of the olympics. how big a target is this? >> it is a significant target. not just a target for terrorists. a lot of our reporting focuses on that debt, which could range from anything from a hijacking to a wmd event, but we are also
talking regular activity like pickpockets. these forces have to protect against the full range. over 380,000 people were accredited to serve, and each of those individuals had to go through a screening as well. this is a large target not just for terrorists, but for the common criminal as well. >> is it really the style of al qaeda to attack a set like this? >> their style is to go where we are most vulnerable, so they will continue to seek out those areas. and even like the olympics will have a massive amount of security. 900 million u.s. dollars spent on security. it is very deep, very robust even with this shortfall, it will be a difficult target, but we should not underestimate their desire. >> final security precautions -- there will be patrols, security parameters, but how much more of an opportunity for incentive does this mess up around security give potential terrorists? >> i think it shows that the system can be vulnerable, and it
can be weak. you are trying to train 10,000 security guards. there are not a lot of security guards sitting and looking for jobs. you have to hire them, recruit them, train them. the fact that the company was not able to do that demonstrates there is a vulnerability in the system that could potentially be exploited. >> thank you very much. in other news, more than 100 people have died and dozens have been injured after a gasoline truck crashed in the delta region of nigeria. authorities say people rushed to collect fuel seeping from the tanker, but it exploded, burning many beyond recognition. reports say that a mass burial of most of the victims has taken place at the scene of the disaster. rwanda's president called his critics ignorant and arrogant, following accusations that his country is helping a rebellion in the neighboring democratic republic of congo. he says his country has nothing to do with the rebel group that has forced an estimated 200,000
congolese from their homes in the east. many of them are rising in rwanda. our correspondent analyzes the latest developments. >> passions rise as a new rebellion takes place close to the rwanda and uganda borders. several thousand demonstrators marching from the local headquarters of the united nations peacekeeping force to demand that they do more to recalls the route -- repulse the movement. >> the effort like a referee in the middle of the village. this woman says her church is in the village. they demand it take their baggage and returned. >> the protesters, like the drc government, accused rwanda of supporting the rebels who have recently taken several towns, prompting fears that they may attempt to attack the provincial
capital. today, the president insisted camethe m-23's weapons from deserting congolese soldiers, not from rwanda. >> it is a mix of both ignorance and arrogance. people not listening. it is just that. >> the president not only repeated his government's denial that it backs the rebels but challenged the allegations. >> we do not know what they are about or what they want. it would not make sense because for us, things were very good, and we are working together. >> united nations peacekeepers said they have given the highest priority is sending off any threat. the united nations secretary
general has called on congolese ever wanted leaders to diffuse tensions over the rebellion, and one that is reported to have agreed to third-party monitoring of their border. for now, though, the standoff continues. >> now to another battle, but this one takes place inside the u.s. military. we have heard a lot about the death toll on the battlefield. according to "time" magazine, more u.s. troops committed suicide and have been killed in combat. military suicide rates are going up. every day, one u.s. soldier takes his own life, and it is the story behind that statistic which "time" focuses on this week. jim, thanks for joining us. these are extraordinary statistics. one thing we are really struggling with is the fact that suicide is more common then wrote accidents as a cause of death among troops. >> yes, it is the second leading
cause of death in military theaters worldwide, and it has claimed more lives, as you said, then afghanistan. there have been more suicides this year than all years combined. most troubling thing is nobody really knows why this is happening. >> that was going to be my next question -- i mean, what is causing all these suicides? >> one of the interesting things to look at is a lot of people assume it has to do with ptsd or battle trauma, but interestingly and depressingly, only about 1/3 of the suicides this year -- the soldiers had not been deployed to combat, had not seen combat. only 43% of the size where tracking -- they had seen one deployment. soldiers who had seen three or four -- it counts for 8.5% of the suicides, so there is something happening within the military culture where it is not a precondition that you are a
combat veteran to be a candidate for suicide. >> it is not just soldiers in the field. it is when they come home. according to your statistics, it is predominantly men and predominantly white men? >> it is predominantly men, predominantly white men, predominantly enlisted men, although officers to kill themselves, and one of the best series so far is it is not necessarily do to combat stress or combat trauma, but it is the letdown of returning stateside and wondering if it was all worth it, what we did this for, and an unraveling of not necessarily battle camaraderie, but military unit camaraderie, kind of reaffirmation into not necessarily a civilian context, but a stateside context -- kind of re-acclamation. >> we used to hear about this after vietnam. has america not learned anything
since? what is being done about this? >> that is interesting. unfortunately, the u.s. military, believe it or not, has not tracked silicides closely -- has not track suicides closely until the 1980's, so we do not have good numbers. that is one of the things that is most distressing. it has always been assumed even in vietnam suicides that it had to be combat veterans, that it was related to ptsd, and now, i think all the army -- everybody is going back to the drawing board and figuring out why this is so. one of the most depressing things as well is that a vast number of these suicide cases had seen a mental health professional up to 72 hours before they commit suicide. two anecdotal cases we described in great depth in this piece -- they had seen mental health professionals within 24 hours of them actually committing suicide. >> extraordinary step. i'm sure there will be some
reaction. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> news coming in from syria tonight, there are reports of more than 100 people have been killed in what activist groups are calling a new massacre. stay with us for more details on that story as we get them. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program -- they are the miniature masters of the chess board. we will introduce you to students who are showing that age is no obstacle when it comes to checkmate. now, more than 70 years of broadcasting history came to an end today when the last came from bushn house. the bbc has moved to a new home during warning, this report contains flash photography.
>> for over 70 years, bush house was a suitably imposing home for a service that stood above all for reliable and impartial news, round-the-clock, around the world, and in many languages. bush house became a sort of united nations of the airwaves, but behind the imposing marble halls re corridors, city offices, and studios. these days, the bbc world service has an audience of more than 160 million, but john mccarthy, held hostage in lebanon for years, it proved a lifeline. later, he made programs. >> it was so special to be able to walk around. it is a great building. architecturally, it was wonderful to be here.
and interesting. and moving around, different accents and conversations in a language i could not recognize was very exciting. it was a very special place. >> but today, the last program from bush house went out just after noon london time. the studios may be deserted, but the broadcasts go on elsewhere. the world service is swapping bush house for a new home across london, alongside other bbc channels at a rebuilt broadcasting house. >> traveled to rome, and you will have no lack of tourist attractions to choose from, but tonight, we could be below the city for a rare tour. before it -- below the former home of former leader in year mussolini is an area feel. soon visitors will be able to
return. our correspondent descended for a sneak peek. >> calm in the heart of rome. this used to be the playground of one of the great dictators. it was his home for 18 years. this is the place where he relaxed as he lived out his extraordinary rise and fall, and he was surrounded by his wife and children. but amidst all this luxury, perhaps in his bed in the quiet of the night, the dictator began to worry about his safety. what if he were the target of an air raid? >> mussolini had a need for security, but there was also an attempt to imitate hitler. he had been to germany and seen
bunkers, and he wanted to copy hitler. >> so mussolini decided he needed to go down, not just into this basement area, but down much, much deeper still. he wanted to go into the deaths - depths below the villa's foundations. this is the bunker that mussolini began to build. cylindrical corridors for maximum strength. walls four meters thick. layers of concrete reinforced with iron. and an escape route up into the garden in case a bomb demolished the villas and blocked the main entrance of the bunker. i -- in this debt, dank, a cheery place, mussolini hope he and his children would be safe
-- in this gap -- in this damp, dank, eerie place. >> in his diary, mussolini wrote that he was worried it would not be finished in time. >> indeed, the work was not finished by the time the dictator fell from power in rome in july 1943. today, the villa looks as grand as ever, but it hides a strange structure that is evidence of the darkest fears of benito mussolini. >> that is quite a look back in history, is it not? chess is a game that has been described as everything from intellectual gymnastics to an art form. the people at public school 124 might be between six and 11 years in age, but last year,
they competed in the highest category of a national high school competition, and they won. recently, we followed the group there as they traveled to this year's national championship in nashville, tennessee. >> we are located right in the heart of chinatown. we have very strong, competitive students. they are backed by strong, competitive parents who really believe that chess is good for them. they tried to get them started early -- in second grade, third grade, sending them to after- school programs, and then also on saturday when they get competition. if you walk through the hallways, you will see that all the trophies are not sports- related, but they are all straight from chess.
i started this 30 years ago. to get a 1000 rating for a kid was remarkable. it was unheard of. they were the stars. >> i was playing chess in high school, and i wanted her to play chess because i think long-term in dealing in the business world, any industry, you need to think ahead and strategizing. >> in real life, it helps you
think ahead. >> when he wins, he is very happy. when he loses, he is very hard on himself, so i always tell them -- look, there are great grand masters who lost thousands of games before they got to that level. you go back to your coach, looked at the game, see what you can learn from it, and hopefully, you can apply it to the next game.
>> that is a fantastic achievement, and we think that you are champions, school 124. that brings today's show to a close, but remember, you can find constant updates on our website. to see what the team is working on, make sure to check out our twitter feet @bbcus. thank you very much for watching. we will see you back here tomorrow. funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. union bank. and shell. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard