tv BBC World News America PBS July 31, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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it was a busy thrilling day at the olympics with a host of medals and an absolutely stunning first. the day belonged to michael phelps, who won his 19th olympic medal making him the most decorated olympic athlete of all time. to top it off, he got there with a gold. we go to our studios overlooking the olympic park with all the details. >> it has been a funny olympics for michael phelps because he has now won 19 olympic medals which makes him the most decorated olympia of all time. he came into the london olympics are for the back of beijing where he won 8 gold medals which was an extraordinary feat. there is a lot of pressure on michael phelps. the public really expecting a
lot from him. all he had to do this in london was to win and other three metals and when i say all, i say that a very lightly. winning and the olympic medal is a tough feet. -- winning any of the metal is a tough feat. he just missed out on the gold medal. he won his 19th within the forward by 200 and event. he won a silver earlier. he looked very angry at winning the silver and not getting the bronze. he was picked up in the last two
strokes. we see a very different michael phelps at london 2012 than the one that we saw in beijing. >> when it comes to the olympics, everyone supports their own home country but to get a sense with michael phelps that he is supranational. everyone wanted him to break the record. he did not get the gold in the butterfly but they were really rooting for him to become the most decorated olympian. >> the olympics are about big battles between names and making history. for the chance to see history being made at london, 2012. for the crowd at the center to my left, for everyone watching at home, it is that our vicinity to watch something they will talk about for years to come. -- it is that opportunity to watch something that will talk about four years to come. there is the success they have
seen with him before. it is expecting to see, will he do it, can he do it? >> a very busy day at the olympics. we will have more coverage later on in the program. in india, for a second day, half of the country has been plunged into darkness. more than 600 million people were left without electricity after a power grid shutdown. the gap between the demand for energy and its shaky supply has never been more stark. we have the latest from delhi. >> one of the world's fastest- growing economies ground to a halt today. in the nation's capital, even the traffic lights were not working. the police were deployed to man the already chaotic roads. they are grappling with the largest black out in their history. many people had no choice but to
stick it out. in the busy metro system, people found themselves trapped. >> we were stuck for about 10 minutes. when the doors opened, people were desperate to come out of there. >> the scale of the power cut almost defies belief. 20 out of 28 states have been hit. this has affected 620 million people. officials are blaming states taking more than allocated share of electricity. first this highlights a wider concern. they do not have enough power to feed a growing population. many say this energy crisis is a huge barrier to the country's economic growth. electricity is now back in most places but the cost to industry is now being counted. growth in india's economy is slowing down.
if the blockade continues, it will not affect people's lives, it could hurt the prospects of one of the world's most populous nations. >> for more on india's energy crisis, i spoke with the former american ambassador to delhi. doesn't this point to the paradox of the country? you have 6.5% growth but a country that cannot supply power. >> we talk about how important the issue is for growth and stability. the future prospects politically for either party. you have a major power outage that affects some where in the vicinity of 400-600 million people.
there are x-ray machines that are crucial for terrorism efforts. there on generators for two or three hours. they will not have any life after that. the security consequences, just to the consequences socially when they have a monsoon season now that is not producing the rain that they need, further adding to their economic woes. this is a very tough situation for them. >> $130 billion in their energy infrastructure for the first five years, for the time you were ambassador to india. i thought the situation had improved. >> there is initiative to attract new capital for energy. the growth has gone from 8.5% to
9% growth to it looks like 5.5%. the political system is gridlock in paralyzed right now and many people are predicting they cannot make some of these needed energy reforms. >> is this a natural consequence of the speed of growth you have had? >> they have a problem that they need to invest $110 billion in their distribution generation delivery system. they have a problem with coal, gas, nuclear, the nuclear industry. >> they have the money, so why aren't they doing it? >> foreign direct investment is a big deal for india. they have to be able to bring money in, especially as their economy slows down. when you have this kind of power
outages and shortages and energy, that could shave 2% off of the gdp. they have seen growth plummet. they have very many challenges in front of them on this one and it is a security challenge. the world is concerned about security when foes and enemies of india and the region see this kind of problem for the banking system, the transportation system, that is not good for india. >> the former ambassador to india, thank you for coming in. talking of national security challenges, republican hopeful mitt romney has completed and overseas store designed to highlight his foreign-policy credentials. much of the journey was mired in controversy. we have been with the presidential candidate and we had this report from warsaw.
>> no missteps for mitt at the tomb of the unknown soldier. the opinion polls are tight, he really could alice president obama from the white house. -- he really could oust president obama. >> i have been to a trip on three places far apart on the map. you cannot get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you can in these places. i believe it is critical to stand by those who have stood by america. solidarity was a great movement that freed a nation and it is with solidarity that america and poland face the future. >> as he traveled thousands of miles on a privately-chartered jet, there was plenty of turbulence. the campaign is notorious for
tight control, keeping mr. romney away from the press. perhaps that is why they are dogged by controversy. britain, he said some news about the preparation for the olympics was disconcerting. in israel, he said that culture makes all the difference. that went down badly with the palestinians. the press secretary had a parting shot for reporters trying to ask questions, "kiss my ass." he is suggesting that he is ready to take the helm of a superpower. unintentionally, it demonstrated he could be an unpredictable president. it has given his enemies plenty of ammunition. president obama's supporters say
that mr. romney has shown he can not handle being a president. he has taken days to respond to criticism. the fight has meant nothing to back home, they said. >> mitt romney is not a natural born politician. he is not a smooth operator. but we're entering a moment where people are sick and tired of the natural born politicians and they want someone who will run the country. >> he heads home that no damage has been home but it is hard to see how this has helped him to win the white house. -- he heads home hoping that no damage has been done. >> in syria, the country's biggest city could fall. rebel forces have been fighting heavily-armed government troops forcing thousands of residents to flee. abas the conflict injures its
14th month, the conflict is becoming more sectarian. -- as the conflict enters its 14th month. >> on the eastern shores of the mediterranean, in the christian heartland of lebanon, and in battle minority has arrived seeking refuge. in this region that was the birthplace of their faith, christian refugees fear for their future. this man, who wanted his identity concealed, supported the initial reform protests until he said sunni extremists and the opposition attacked his house simply because of his religion. >> i was out of the house when they attacked. they had fires outside my door and my wife and children had to flee. they jumped over walls to escape. my neighborhood was christian and muslim, but all of my
christian neighbors had to leave the village and then the country. the muslim neighbors were safe. they stayed in their houses. >> because the regime severely restricts independent reporting, it is impossible to verify it the attacks. under the a sawed off's regime for, the christians have been protected. -- under the assad regime, the christians have been supportered. >> there is evidence to back out what the patriarchate same. we spoke to three families who felt forced to leave. they did not want us, one woman said. she was referring to the opposition. we had no toys but to go.
it is important to remember that there are many different opinions. -- we had no choice but to go. >> before the violence, people were living normally. later on, we feared what the regime was doing because it was bombing everybody. they did not differentiate between muslims and christians and that is why we had to flee syria. >> do you think that christians have a future and syria? >> no, i see no future not only in syria but in all of the middle east. >> the opposition as prominent christian members but the growing influence of the christian brotherhood has prompted fears of a future
sunni-dominated state. >> we don't think that you can have their religious base because syria has different religions, different ethnic groups, different places. >> in an increase in the sectarian atmosphere, many christians will struggle to except that assurance. this is not just a battle for the land of syria but for its soul, too. >> you are watching "bbc world news america" still to come to -- a fencer comes by to share his olympic experience. the rome olympics which took place over half a century ago had some amazing moments. muhammed ali won boxing gold.
over the past few weeks, we have been looking back at previous games and in today's post card, allen johnson remembers the ethiopian who went for his greatest achievement at the 1960 olympics. >> when the modern olympics came here, they played themselves out in an ancient setting. in those games, the best for members was the marathon which finished in the shadow of the coliseum. among those lining up at the start was a small, unknown ethiopian. the remarkable thing about him was the fact that he had no shoes on. he was going to run the olympic marathon and bare feet. this was -- and he was about to show the world what he could do shoes or no shoes. there was some symbolic edge
with with was going to happen. back in the days of the dictator, the italian troops had occupied ethiopia. here in rome in a new postwar italy, -- would feel the olympic show. the race was run at night and in some places soldiers lined the route lighting the way with burning tortures and the ethiopian destroyed the field. he won sub-saharan africa first ever olympic gold medal and in his place, he danced with delight. >> now to fencing or tonight china's took home the gold in
the men's individual. it was a disappointing for the u.s. fencer. he was kind enough to teach me a move or two. he was defeated in his first match. tonight, he joins me from our studios. i will start by saying congratulations, you are an olympian. >> thank you. >> you were up against someone who managed to fans better than you do today, did you have a feeling of what went wrong for you? >> it got really comfortable for me and i noticed that towards the end of it, he was making some nice touches and then i made a few mistakes of my own and he was able to capitalize on those. it is my faults. he was dancing amazingly. congratulations to him. >> when i spoke to you, you had
said do you hoped to get the gold. did you miscalculate what you could get or did you have an off day and he had a great moment? >> honestly, i had a rough day. you win some and you lose some. my goal was to win gulf and i hope that i can still do that in the team event. he really fenced well, it was a little bit of both. >> you work so hard for this, you have been training for months and months and months to get to london. when you look at what happened today, do you feel that it was all worth it? was just being there worth the effort that you put into it? >> i believe so. it was an amazing experience to be out there, our family, and friends. i would not change it for anything, hopefully i will get back to training and the next couple of months and look for
2016. "what did you feel watching as he walked into the with the stadium about the opening ceremony on friday? >> it was an exciting moment. we have been waiting for it and although he did not do as well as he wanted to, he still made it to the olympics and that is a great accomplishment in and of itself. >> you were proud of your little brother? of course, very proud. we all work. >> i was watching you during the opening ceremonies and i was wondering, today, after your match, do you think that you want to go back in four years? i have not thought about it really, but i might go for it. i'm still pretty darn, i think i can come back for the gold. >> i don't wanted to end.
i'm definitely looking forward to 2016 which is far away but it will come out pretty quick. >> good luck in the team event. thank you so much. we have lost a national treasure, that was the reaction of the irish prime minister to the death of maeve binchy. the writings are famous for their humorous look on irish life. her books have been translated into 37 languages and have sold more than 30 million copies. >> maeve binchy's novels were stories of the ups and downs and complexity of women's lives. >> i think i write for women
because women to analyze every move that they're interested in feeling. i have young men had asking me if they are as complicated as we say they are. >> i don't believe that. >> "circle of friends" was just one of a number of novels turned into a book. it was not about getting rich, it was about women taking control of their lives. >> they are really there. they really know who you are. >> well, yes. >> the stories were sometimes tough but the storyteller was friendly and affectionate, both your readers and aspiring writers. >> it came out on every page, however hard it the story was telling. she was generous to her characters. a reader would know that they were in safe hands, they would be told everything they needed
to note to engage with these people and when they shut the book on the last page they would have that sense of that was time well spent. >> her style was straightforward fifth of the language and the characters came from her life growing -- her style was straight forward. the language and characters can from her life growing up in dublin. >> they were real characters for me. that was my reward. that is what i wanted for every story that i write. >> she wrote next to her husband and fellow writer. you can experience everything that life could throw at you through the eyes of someone who was warm, humorous, compassionate. >> indeed, all of those. maeve binchy has died at the age of 72. a national irish treasure. you can get updates on all of the olympic news and the results on our website.
if you would like to reach me and the bbc team, you can find us on twitter. from all of us here, thank you for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow night. >> funding was made possible by york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and shell. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and helping provide capital for key strategic
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