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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  July 27, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, shell, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions in capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> at shell, we believe the world needs a broader mix of energy. that is why we are supplying cleaner-burning natural gas to generate electricity, and it is also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol, a biofuel made from sugar cane -- renewable sugar cane. let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. >> and now, "bbc world news." >> this is a special edition of "bbc world news america," reporting from our studio overlooking the olympic park in london. let the games begin -- the greatest show on earth gets under way as athletes from around the world gather here in london. it is a day which those across the u.k. wrong in with pride, even as one prominent ringer got
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a surprising lack, and syrians take to the streets of aleppo in a sign of defiance as fears grow of a coming onslaught. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. after years of preparation, tonight, london is basking in the olympic spotlight. right behind me, the opening ceremony is taking place in that stadium. it is well under way, and athletes as well as spectators have come from all around the world to take part. here is a quick look at what they have been watching. it started with the queen, who was there, of course, for the opening ceremony, and there were the olympic rings forged in a scene reminiscent of the industrial revolution. of course, this has been a whole
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arc of british history and culture during this opening ceremony. you can see them there, the olympic rings, floating up above the stadium. we went into the industrial revolution, the dark satanic mills, that provided the wealth and energy for the british empire as well. it was quite an extraordinary scene there for the people seated inside the stadium, and for the billion people who have been watching around the world. quite an extraordinary sight there from the olympic stadium right behind me. we have correspondence for that right across the city of london to help share the enthusiasm with you, and we start with karen in east london victoria park, where they have been watching on big screens set up there in the park. >> yes, there are 1 billion people watching the world, and
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the bonus is just across to my right, over behind some power blocs entries is the olympic stadium itself. we are less than a kilometer away from the olympic stadium, so you can see a plume of light every now and again. you can see helicopters going over. and a lot of people here are from the burrow in east london that the stadium is located in, and they feel very much part of the celebration by being here, even if it were not lucky enough -- even if they were not lucky enough to have one of those very expensive tickets to get into the stadium itself. police say even more than 20,000 will be coming in and out through the evening, but people have come in during the afternoon with their children, with their grandparents, with everybody in their family and settled down on picnic blankets. it is a real family affair. there are children wandering
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around, even small babies in prams, and there has been all sorts of entertainment for them through the day. there is a supplier, as you can see, a very tall tower, which takes you on a 300-meters acquire, very fast above the trees. there is also this magnificent ferris wheel, the observation we'll glowing in the london night sky, but it has been remarkable. you have been seeing the crowd reacting to various parts of the ceremony. they went wild with excitement when they saw the queen into the ceremony, the illusion being that she jumped out of a helicopter. we saw the helicopter. two people did jump out of it, but i do not think it was the queen. but it has been a fantastic evening so far, and they are watching the athletes doing their laps at the stadium, and they will be staying for many hours to come. >> i suspect you are right. i do not think it was the queen herself that jumped out of the helicopter. we could see from the studio,
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and it got a huge roar from the 80,000 people were gathered in the stadium behind me, but for them, one of the biggest secrets and greatest moments will come when the olympics cauldron is officially lit. it is still a mystery who will get the honor, but the flame itself has taken quite a journey to get here. the bbc has been following it on its journey around the country. >> the twists and turns of this nation wide journey are virtually complete. the olympic flame leaving dry land to follow the occurrence which once followed henry viii to his capital. four-time gold medalist danced his way to the rolling barge and the fiery cauldron in her about. olympians spanning more than six decades, including michael a page and paul berger, both in their 90's, who wrote in the
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1948 games. behind her gathered dozens of rolling skiffs, some dating back to the 1900's. the early risers adding their voices to be millions who cheered the flames passing. in all, 90 votes representing the times rowing tradition would take part. the flotilla shepherded through by michael knight, the man who preceded over a somewhat larger event on a soggy sunday last month. >> to be part of this, carrying the flame back into london, to go into the stadium tonight. it is just fantastic. >> on the boat race course, young rowers joined the procession. communities lined the water's
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edge to urge them on. to central london's urban landscape with more lofty vantage points, under the famous bridges to the seat of government. >> in a way, the torch relay was a production with great locations. in those terms, we are now in the finale, a last chance for the people on the banks and on the bridges to glimpse the flame before it performs the task the world awaits. >> downriver, the times had become a and a reno, populated by londoners and their olympic visitors -- the thames had be come an arena. >> traveled a long way. go, london. >> below them, the story which has touched so many was drawing to a close. the really proved a huge success, but it was just a curtain-raiser for the main
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event. >> i was lucky enough to catch that torch down in south london, and i have to say, it was quite a sight, an extraordinary atmosphere, but the torch is not the only thing that has been getting the u.k. into the olympic spirit. bells rang out across the country heralding a day of celebration which was years in the celebration. big ben led the way with the young and old then joining in and taking part, but the joy is display got a little bit out of hand. olympics secretary flow of its handle, luckily missing a bystander. posting on twitter, he later said, "oops, bell broke. on one hurt." the first lady from the u.s. joins thousands. soccer star david beckham was in attendance. tomorrow, mrs. obama will watch american athletes take part in
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their first full day of competition. for more on the spectacle which those from around the world have come to see tonight, i am joined tonight by our reporter. when i watched in 2008, i thought to myself, "what an act to follow," but it has been quite an extraordinary spectacle. >> absolutely. some would say danny boyle took on the poisoned chalice, a difficult task of portraying britain's identity on a global stage. how'd you do it? tonight, you're sitting next to a very proud londoner. i was in trafalgar square seven years ago when london found out we were successful to get the 2012 olympics, and since that moment, there was conjecture -- what would be in the opening ceremony? having watched it for you tonight, it has been absolutely fabulous. we begin with bradley wiggins, the man of the moment, the first to britain to win -- briton to
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win tour de france. then, we have the national health care being depicted. real nurses coming in with volunteers and actors, but the really humorous moments will redeem all its people remember. daniel craig, actor who plays james bond -- fact mixed with fiction -- goes to visit the queen. we have behind-the-scenes footage from buckingham palace, and the moment when the helicopters stormed the field -- the helicopter cuts to a live helicopter over the stadium, and, of course, that's the double where we think -- is it the queen herself coming down descending by parachute? >> it has been the ark of british history over the last century and a half. opening ceremonies always are a chance for a country to show the world what it thinks about itself. we have written -- britain in
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the role, industrial, and cultural eras'. >> the journey through britten's musical history was what got me out of my seat, dancing along to all of those tunes --britain's musical history. songs we have grown up with. you really cannot go wrong by including a love story. it is a very slum dog element. the young couple exchanging text messages, which brings us right into how danny boyle galvanized the twitter age. the audiences that came to the dress rehearsal behind us this week, to save the surprise. and are we glad they saved it because tonight, we have been delighted by the show. >> it has been quite remarkable. thank you so much for joining me in the studio with our incredible view of the olympic stadium behind us. you are watching "bbc world news america."
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we will take you to one stall in the shadow of olympic park, which is playing a part in these ceremonies. in 1936, the olympics were the first to be shown on television. it sought a 13-year-old become the youngest female gold medalist -- it saw a 13-year-old become the youngest female gold medalist a libyan, a record which still has not been broken -- gold medalist olympian. >> the 1936 games remain the most remarkable of all of them feared it was allocated to berlin before hitler came to power, but he was determined to outdo los angeles with this magnificent stadium. - than the top tier and the roof, which was added for the world cup in 2006 -- minus then. he wanted to make it a showcase
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for his ideology of racial superiority, but he had not reckoned with the black american sprinter, jesse owens, who won the gold in the hundred-meter sprint, the 200 meters, the 4 by 100 meters relay, and the long jump. those gains were also notable because it was the first time the olympics were televised. television viewing rooms were set up in 25 sites around berlin. it is also the first time that the olympic torch, the olympic flame was brought by relay from greece to the side of the games. there was also one other notable event -- the gold in the springboard competition was won by the youngest female winner of a gold medal in a summer olympics to this day. but it is politics that still dominates the mind and history. the pop up ideology of adolf
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hitler, and the way jesse owens defied and defeated those politics by his exploits on the track -- the puffed up ideology of adolf hitler. >> we will get back to our olympic coverage in a moment, but let's take a quick look at some of the rest of the day's news. world leaders have called on the president of syria to not launch an all-out assault on his country's biggest city. thousands of government troops have surrounded aleppo, parts of which have been taken over by rebel forces, and dozens of people are reported to have been killed there today. our middle east editor has this report, which does contain some distressing images. >> that sound of a shell landing an exploding is too familiar in syria. these pictures are unverified, as they were downloaded from the web, but they show how heavy
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weapons can intimidate. this is said to be a town near damascus, but as the civil war spreads, it could be almost anywhere in the country. some people are getting out of aleppo, syria's biggest and richest city, a counterattack to drive rebels who are holding part of the city. shells are coming in here, too. the regime cannot afford to lose aleppo. this could become a turning point in the civil war. at night, a bakery was operating. food is in short supply. the rebels would like to make aleppo, which is close to the turkish border, the center of a liberated area, which is why the regime wants it back. in london, prime minister cameron met his turkish counterpart with more strong criticism of the assad regime. >> this regime needs to realize
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that it is wrong and it needs to stop what it is doing. international pressure against the regime and against assad is only going to build until he finally does. >> turkey's prime minister has his own worries -- the factors appearing in syria are changing the region's balance of power. one beneficiary of that could be the kurds, a stateless people live in parts of syria, turkey, iraq, and iran. they have taken control in some towns, alarming the turks, who have been fighting kurdish insurgents for years. it is another sign of how the civil war is already exporting political instability. this family got out of syria and jordan, but their 3-year-old son was shot dead by a syrian border guard, according to jordanian officials. his mother said he was a martyr who is now in a better place. >> a tense day in syria.
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the eurozone continues to take a beating. unemployment in spain reached the highest level since records began in 1976, coming amid fresh rumors that the country will seek a bailout to deal with its government debt. that has fueled major concern in world markets, and in response, the german chancellor and the french president say they are determined to do everything to protect the eurozone. our chief economic correspondent has the story. >> queues of the unemployed are growing. it is back to the 1970's. the spanish jobless rate has not been so high since this era when dictatorship was giving way to spain's modern democracy. violent protests have been seen on the streets of madrid. recently, fire fighters joined other public-sector workers to campaign against austerity measures, and the spanish government could be running out of time as it battles to reduce
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borrowing in the face of a deepening recession. >> the unemployment rate will continue to be a drag on growth. most investors are now inspecting and looking actually for aid from the spanish government this year. >> the french president and german chancellor said in a joint statement they would do everything they could to protect the euro. it is one of the biggest challenges for the franco-german alliance. they celebrated the 50th anniversary earlier this month. their response followed the dramatic pledge yesterday by mario draghi, the european central bank chief. "we will do whatever it takes to preserve the bureau," he said, "and believe me, it will be enough." >> traders drew one key conclusion -- the european central bank was ready to start intervening on a large scale by buying of spanish and other government bonds, having
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previously been very reluctant to do so. >> markets are reacting positively. they do think this could be a turning point in this crisis. if the ecb puts up more funds to support the markets, this could be the end of the market panic. >> but that still leaves the greek problem. international investors are pressuring governments to stick to their austerity plans. there is growing speculation the greek government cannot or will not deliver, which leaves a greek exit still very much on the cards. >> it might be bad news on the economy, but it is very good news here in london with the olympics ceremony well under way in the stadium right behind me. among them, those who are most excited tonight at the ceremonies are some of the young students who have been taking part right here in the shadow of the olympic park. one school which has felt
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particularly the impact of the games -- some of those children taking part in the ceremony tonight. >> they were in deep. danny boyle came to this school not so long ago, and he was so inspired by the kids he discovered year that he chose 31 of them to appear in tonight's opening ceremony -- he was so inspired by the kids he discovered here. i think the parents may be more nervous than the children. we saw them on the buses. they had a big way ahead of them before they took part in the ceremony, but it was an amazing moment. the parents stood on their feet, clapping, cheering. some of them were crying. this is the moment their kids have worked so hard for. hours and hours of rehearsal time, and finally, they have their moment to shine. some of the parents are with me now. what did you think of your kids?
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>> they were brilliant, amazing. great to see on tv. >> have you been to the rehearsal? >> yes, it was really magical. >> what did you think? >> it was amazing. >> [inaudible] >> what does it mean for the children to be involved in something like this? >> just a brilliant thing, really. >> has it been good for their sense of self and sense of confidence? >> yes, it has brought up a lot of confidence. >> thank you very much for joining me. it really is a special night here. some of them are leaving now, but the rest are enjoying the sites, walking a around the stadium. it is hard to explain not just what the opening ceremony has
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meant for the kids that performed, but what it has meant for the people of this area. the streets cleaned up, the work done, new shops, the infrastructure really improved. it is not just about the opening ceremony. it is about all of the extras that come with it. >> it is also about what it has meant for the whole country as well. we have been focusing on the opening ceremony, but let's look as well at the olympic games. athletes are basking in all of the glory of the ceremony right behind me, trooping through the stadium, but soon, they will have to happen to competition -- head into competition. the games are known for key rivalries, so what should we be looking out for over the next few weeks? >> london 2012 was down to deliver some of the most exciting sporting clashes on
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earth in a 16-day feast of sporting events. let's face it -- it is all the more exciting when archrival are battling it out for gold. there is just a taste of some of the athletes to keep us on the edge of our seats. athletics is arguably the most watched discipline at the olympic games, and here at london 2012, to thousand athletes will be taking part in 47 events, mainly here at the olympic stadium. in his own words four years ago in beijing, bolt blew the world's mind, but now, he faces a challenge from his own trading partner. the sorcerer's apprentice turned clash of the titans. inside the olympic aquatics
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center, 17,500 exciting spectators will watch as homegrown olympics are rebecca rages against her glamorous italian rival, the gossip magazine paper, in the 400-meter freestyle swimming. basketball -- virtually synonymous with one country and two words -- the usa and dream team, dating back to the 1992 olympics. but the usa is no longer the only team in town. spain is not a particular concern, an internationally renowned men's basketball powerhouse. -- spain is now a particular concern. 4500 ticket holders will pile in to watch olympic cyclist but passed at more than 100 kilometers an hour. a u.k.-australia rivalry is
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thought likely to dominate most of the cycling events this year. watch the cyclist -- the two men's rivalry, just one of many thought likely to give that extra sparkle to an already glittering -- glittering london 2012 olympic games. >> that is it for this special edition of "bbc world news america," live from the olympic stadium in london. thanks very much for watching. >> 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 to understand the industry you
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operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital 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
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