tv Worldfocus PBS August 14, 2009 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
tonight on "worldfocus" the angry debate or health care reform inhis country is iggering another round of outrage overseas. officials in great briin fight back defenng their system from the critisms of america's right. fromustralia, a story on another issue that has rsed passions herhee -- t rig to di in perth, a adriplegic man has asked a judge to let h kill himself. tonight we have the rung. >>the president of taiwan raises the deatholl from typhoon morakot to more th 50 amidst mounting criticism his government s been slow to lp survivors.
and one night in bangkoks not st a hit song from the '80s. it could also describe howong it tes to go from one side of the city to the othe tonight, a reporfrom bangkok's notorious traffic. buckle up. fr the world's leading reporters and alysts, here is what'sappening from around the world. this is "worldfocus." made possible in parby the followinfunders -- goodvening, i'm martin savidge. for weeks now, it's be topic number one ithe united states. the prident's ambitious plan to reform the health care system. there is probably no more controversial part othat plan an the so-called public option supporters say it will hel dre down prices by offering an alternative to privatensurance pls. bucritics say it's socialized medicine and they coend that, if it's included in the fina package, elderly aricans will get ss care toward the end of their lives. th's just what they claim haens under britain's national health care system rightow.
well all of these comments have drawn the attention of lks in great brain including pril minister gordon brown, who this week joined a twitter caaign to defend alth care in his country. how theyee it there. that our "lead focus" tonight. >> i don't understandhis-- >> reporter: at town mall meings to discuss president obama's alth care plans people have had to be restrained as accusations fl that democrats nt to copy the nhs. described as a sociast mistake. i don't want this country turning into rusia, turning into a soalized country. >> reporter: presidentbama isn't proposing a natioal health service, but a tional heal insurance scheme which woulguarantee everyo's covere tm.ea--tsen treatments. so gord brown's tweet draud a careful li. >> the nhs often makingshe differce between pain and comfor despair and hope, life and death. thks f always being there. >> reporter: sarah brown also
posted, e lot of nhs more than we cansay." and there was this from health secretary an burna >> over the mo about the strong suppo for the nhs,n instition i will defend to my dying y. >> reporter: but for many peoe the attacks on our heal serviccoming out of america are beyond a joke. >> $22,750, in england govement health officls decided that's how much six mohs of life is worth. under their socialized system, a medil treatmt costs mo, you're out of luck. >> wher we do disagree,let's sagree over things thatre real. not these wild mispresentati misrepresentations thabear mow resemblae to anything that's actually been proposed. >> reporter: sarah palin, the publican former nominee for vice resident, wrote on facebook, there's an nhs-style alth insurance pl would see ath panels decing who gets eatment. somethin she called wnright evil.
thsands of british twitterers have retiated under the banner, we lot of s. >> oh, in america, if you are going to slag offon nh get your own first. we haveree health care for al you have healthy ch people. >> we love the nhsecause we love it. it's just fact. cured my cancer. >> repter: pofessor stephen hawkence in america to receive the presidential medal freedom ended up havi to confirm he's happy that his n care. he issuea statement saying "i've receed a large amount of high-quality treatnt. without whici will have not survived many people herare furious, our health service has been agged into ameri'srough over healthy form if britishight colain about the nhs, but it seemsweon't like it when anyone se does. >> that port from itn's jane deeth. >> for more on the reactioof the united kgdom to the health care debate here in america, we're joined by drew clark. mr. ark is the new york
correspondent for the "guardian,one of britain's largest newspaperspr welcome. >> thank you, nice to beere. >> allight, when britons look at how the natiol health serve has been made part of this sometimes a raucous date in this couny about health care reform is the reactioin britain e of bemument or anger? >> i think it started t with bemuseme and certainly creasing to anger. people are pretty perplexeof somef the language that's being used. our health care in the sysm in uk has been scribed as orwelln, as socialist. even by some as evl some way. so reallwhat started out as a debate of hoyou pay for something has turn into something far more ideologic where seems have created a massive gap in understding ross the atlantic. >> what do britonsake of suggestions that thehs would people like nator kennedy or ke stephen hawking die witho getting any treatment? >> i think thas caused a great deal of astonishment.
i mean, rst off, it's simply untrue. senator kennedy, who had exaly the same treatnts. as a 77-yearld as a -year-old or a 30-year-old. the only criteria apied would be whether his body is robust enough to takeertain aggressi tactics. bureally i think people see that aan attack not just on the nhs but on the integrityf the uk, as a suggestion at people in the ukon't care enoughelderly people. that they make tse kind of brutalruthless judgments death panels as sarah palin pts it and is not the nhs that people kno andnderstand in thuk. >> well, thereave been suggtions that these attacks in the nhs, have sohow managed toring liberals and conservatives together in eat britain, is at true? >> that'absolutely true. we had one outliar, on right-wing conservative polician who i think made some commenton american telesion saying he would rather have health care the united stateand slapped back into line very rapidly and vy aggressively bthe leader of thconservative party.
beuse under margaret thatcher back in the 0s and '90s spending was cut back quite heavily and seices suffered, so the conservatives a very keen to make clear, but th ard thnhs, it would be safe l in their hands if ey were to win the next election. >> i presume though that tre would be britons w say there are gitimate complaints against the nhs. rhaps they believe that the u.s. just has focused onhe wrong things >> absolutely, and that's wh's so frustratingo so many people there ar plenty of -- through which could attack t nsp. long waiting lists. there are poor screening programs with thin like cancer. there's nourprise that britons have prettbad teeth because nhs dentistry is not very go. and yet that doesn't seeto be enough andertain people seem to need to go beyond that d stop telling ls. >> andrew clarfrom the "guardian," thank yovery much. >> pleure. >> in our logwatch" tonight, we hear from garh wyn, who idenfies himself as a welshman
living in london. he is a 39-yr-old civil servt and big defender of britain's national healt service, the nhs he writes, "e american right seem to be getng their knicke in a twist, all over the fact that the obama adnistration wants to provide them wita basic level of health care and that the n is bad that people are being left to die in hospitals what a load of uer garbage.i su claim that the nhs is perft but itaved my life and that of my mother when i was born. it was fulous when my grdparents were alive and when they were ne death. my mother, father, uncs have all beenabulous treatment for cancer-related illness ve had wisdom teeth extracte a number of surgical pcedures, all for free." one final no about all this tonight, we wondered out the relativeife expectancy of residents of the unid states and greabritain. it turns out the united ates ranks 45th britain is 37th. >>of course, as you've already
heard, much of theproar about the healthare debate in this country has been about how mh care wl be available in the final mo. but what aut those who don't want it, who actually want t die? what rigs do they have? it ia debate raging around the world. and in australia today, the was an importa court ruling abt it. it involves a mawho was in a serious car accident, then suffed a catastrophic fall. jaketurmer reports from perth. >> repter: christian ross arrived at court surrounded by pporters, confined to a wheelcir and avie i breathing th a tube it was major operation to allowim to pleadis case. the 49-year-old bame a quadriplegic after a series of accident he's fed flew a nub his stomach and has repeatedly asked his stop feeding himand to t him die. bright water went to court find fout it was legally obliged follow his wishes. in thea supreme court chief
justice wayne martin ruleds long as mr. ss understood would e without treatment, then brigh water wouldn'tbe held rlly responsible r the consequenc. >> i want my right to e. reporter: the nursinghome also says itow knows where i stands. >> our prime concern h always been and wiontinue to be mr. ross' care and comfort. >> rorter: mr. ross' ca has become a toucone for rht to life and eurasia groups >> he know at leaste's got the certainty and brht water's got the certaintyta there's no going to be y criminal charges against m shouldcomply with theswishes and that's a very great result. >> the law in whi is being applied can be a danrous person. >> reporter: mr. ross says he'll talk to a doctor before makes a final decisn on whether he'll once again ask for the rsing home to stop feedin him. jaketurmer, abc news, perth.
from iran tonight, wd on an extraornary, some say, precedented, challenge to th country's supre religious lead, ayatollah ali khamenei. it came in theorm of a all tter written by former parliament aians who was reported on oppositi websites today. in it, they deunce the beatings, imprisonment, rture anprosecution of protesters who claim the june 1h presidential ection was rigged the oppositi claims that 69 antigovernment demonstrators have been killed by e au > moving a little north now from irato the former soviet republic of georgia and rd night that dozens of u.s. marines are heading to georg to help its troo train for deplment in afghanistan sometime next year. it's a particularldelicate mission because of russian sensitivities abt georgia. last week, rsia accused washington of rearming what lled georgia's "war machine. the pentag says russia was consulted about the decisiono avoid anmisunderstandings. you'll recall that russia an georgia ught a five-day war last summer.
and w to asia. and another sign of a rece thawetween north and south korea. south koa said today it will renew its ofr to give aid to the north, if it ges up its nuclear program. just yesterday, nortkorea freed a south koreanan who had been dained for several months. tensns in the region seem to have eased consideray in the termath of former president bi clinton's surprised to visit pyongyg earlier this month. he helped win threlease of two u. journalists being held there. >>and an update on a story we've been followingll week long. the teible flooding and loss of life in taiwan in the aftermath of a typho that struck the earlier this week. it's been called the worst flooding in the gion in 50 year and today the president of taiwan acknowledg that the death unt is much higher than previously reported. our report comes from r rtners in germany's deutsche welle. >> reporter: helicopters continue to crisscross the west effecte parts of southern
taiwan. airlifting survivors tsafety. with hundreds of peoplstill unaccound for, acees an emergency shelters axiously scam the new arrivalless in the hope o spotting ssing friends anrelatives. this man was traed forive days before rescuers foun him d his niece inhe rubble of thei mily ho in chung sun village in conul county. >> i found apiece of wood exprsing on my chest and i couldn't eathe. >> reporr: at a press coerence on friday, prident my ying jow ha mentione the tuation was wors than orighought. >> translator: typon morakot has severelyit taiwan and has caused significantoss of lives anproperties. e death ll has already exceeded 120 people. the estimated lifeoss in sw linvillessuage 380 people the oerall death toll is out 500 people. >> reporter: his statement comes amst growing anger the otr
floodingace of the rcue and reef efrts. critics say the government was too slow to recognize the sheer mag touched the isis, which has left hundds of villages cut off milides. many resents have now been without food a water f lams week. withver 250 roads block said and some 30 bridges down, aid works and rescue teams on the ground arefacing exemely testing conditions. tens of thousandsof army personnel haveeen deployed to the remo motainous region to help in the rescue effor. and now to our wkly rounable. r look back at the major new from orseas this past ek. our topics tonight include, afghanistan with as. offense under way against the taliban and national elections
set for next week. we'll assess what com next week. iraq, will the recent rge in suicide boings under the obama administration's plans to withdraw american oops by 2011? and willhe country even be able to hold together? and the story that juskeeps giving. the enormously comicated relatiship between bill and clinton. just what got heso angry this ek during her trip to africa >> wait, youant me to tell me whaty sband thinks? my husband is not e secretary of ste, i am. for more about all of th, we are joined tonight two of our regurs. deon rose, the managing edit of "foreign affairs" magazin and carla robbins, t deputy ge editor of "the new york times." welce to you both. >> thank you, martin. >>ll right, afghanistan pageant let'segin there. thbeginning of the week, general mcchrystal delivered a prettyerse kind ofssessment of where things were. he saidssentially the taliban hold the upper hand. i presume actually he wa blatantly honest. butase too honest? did he go too far >> well you wan your guy to be honest. we havthe a-team in pce now
in afghanistan,nd in fact up the naonal security command chai the real question is ving this diffict, difficult conflict the best attention, the right reurces, is it illossible to do anythingignificantly constructive and aually get somewhere, or aree just kicking the n dow the road before ulmately withdrawing and leavg the thing in chaos? >> how many troo do we need? so o a question here whether mcchrystal was going to as for more troops know that the cretary of defense sai no. >> he said he had asked for i now. said wasn't going to askor it, or he wodn't get them. the aren't a lot of troops. and the widraw in iraq is going to taka while itlf. d i would think there's a pretty big debate in washington, abou ether more troops is going to solve the more problem whether eugh troops to ever solve the problm. the problem youoing to define success. and we talk about the number of resoce. the number peop up in the chain of command. that's true. and athe same time the
congress went onecess and didn't pass the systems. built for pakistan d kistan's so intimately volved i this and thereas this commitmt that they were going do it and didn't doit. >> so what are you saying like a focus the u.s.? my was a lite surprise. i expected tm to the congress tdo the righthing on pastan. cause -- pakistan - well, y know, ey committed to it. but administration didn't sh m. that'sthe thing tat i find distbing and a lot of percepti in the gion in both afghanistan and inpakistan, a lot of promises not fulfilled and why shoul weput our lives on the line,even though we kw it'seally their fight. they don't getit. th think it's our fight and wooern not doing enough. >> it was pointed ou of course that we've got ts new offensive unr wayin the south of afghanistannd the taliban are being pushe out and i interviewed an eert who said yoknow we have not los a s piece battle i that war, and thatuddenly triggered a deja vu in mined a previous confct that we can all recall in southeast asia. are we fallg intohis kind of language?
he absolutely. absolutely. fact, theietnam had been ought up as an alogy for every single americ military endeavor in the lastour decas. time it's actuly correct. for theirst time, perhaps since then, this is conflict that has -- >> you sa correct. could it bvalid. >> yes. well, e analogy is valid and it poses a lot of same issues. an frankly,t scarce me with the dirtion that we're headi in because i thk that we're starting to ramp up our coitment with unclear goals, no particular plan for how to get out. and overly ambitious agenda that's essentially not going be able to be achieved. >> eept one real fundameal difference imy mind is that we shou win this war. in war really does matter. >> andhould have wonietnam too but it was ot possible to do soat an appropate cost and a time frame. >> okay i want to bng in iraq, because we ha two wa actuly that are going. we have this upsurge of vience, that is shiites goin on against- or rather,unnis attacking shias. shou this be a ncern forhe u., or do we look at this and say, no, that's an internal
manner? >> wl,he u.s. is there for a while mor and i'm not sure it's really going t go completely ever. and,yeah, we have to worry out it. beuse in the context o a u.s. withdraw, ifhat is your goa isou want the country to be able to hd gether. and good part o it is also a region stability issue. iraq is surroded by sunni/arab countries that arelso looking at what's going on inside and a big part of the proem here is that ty haven't resolved a fundamental differenc among commities. u've got problebetween the kurds and th shiite-dominate gornment. the probm between the snnis and the shiite-dinated governme. ere's a lot of iernal problem an they haven't en passed an oil law itself. >> but you ued the word "internal problem." >> buthey're not iternal problems ithe sense tha this is not a pla that's easy to walk away fro had is the middle flooecht's oil here the's strategic neighborhos around there thers saudi arabia, there's kuwait. a big, big challenge itselfp. and there, has been progress ma but i don't tnk they're tendintheir guard adequately.
one of the reasons thathe civil waracked off is becse th cut a deal whthe sui awakening cosels. they're not tending tm. >> whore not teing them, the iraqgovernment. >> t maliki gornment isn't buu.s. is the big dender of the sunnis that the point. sunni extremistsho basically lost their base supporrs p and trying to geon iniatives, atta back and provoekt soonis again and unless the shii-dominate government tend thesunnis. yo have a really serious problem that it could reigte. >> do you awthat deption? >> everythg that carla saids true but it doesn't answer estion that you raised i have two id, 8 and 5. we have two occutions the at 8 d 5. at some poin raises nations d kids. the queson is when t let them go and wlk on their o is going to be critical. and the queion thatarla raises is, yes, it's difficult to let them be on their own and
we dot really think they' going to beble to handle their problems, butwe're also not going to be able to be there rer and so thers t righ questis to be debating and just how much -- e questi is, wh are the cos and risks of staiing are thgreater know th the cost and risk of going. >> that's not the isue. were going to go. and ihink we shouldgo. but i thinkwe don't wa to blow the timbeing now and then by -- by thinking it's easy. it not asy. and therere lot of problems. >> timing's everything. but i want to move o toafrica, the secrety of state, she's in -- >> you want to move ontohe secretary state. >> i do. >> know you, martin. >> theoutburst. this was a moment the secrary of state asked a question in whichhe responds, i's about her husband. ho well do you think she responded to this? >> she didn't respond to it well. although you know outsbuf one of thosereally great words. have youver use tha word outburst man? ? she was asked abo her sband.
>> diplotic and she is the seetary of state. e questi that she wassked and has been i think misreported in lot of places. the question wassked was, you know, wha does mr. clinton think through t mouth of mrs. clinton? and she -- she snappe back at this d. now e kid then said, you know i meant mr. obam maybe hedid maybe he didn't. i have no idea. but you know she's secretary of state. she'supposed to be more diomatic. in her defense, shehad been wi rape ctims. she'd been focused on the issue how abused wmen are. she's really holding up that half othe sky in a very, very strong way. but when you're the secretary of state, particular i a fraught retionship as with the form present of thenited states, r husband, yo just sort of got to cill it and she didt chill that week. >> too much of it? >> yes is this pbs tmz, i mean, comeon. she was on state trip to rica. i lot o veryerious issues there. the estion of justhat the ited states plans to do or actually can do to affect these
ternal conflicts or the case back off abit. i think t entire story was dramatical incomplete pbs or tmz, i like that very much, giddon. thank you. gion rose, carla robbins, a pleasure. thesare, of course, the zy, hazy -- some might say lazy, hazy -- someight say -- days of suer. anif you're heading out to the beach, or a lake, is weekend, chans are you will encounter affic that will leave you fuming. rest assured you a not alone. in ft, in the thai capital of bangkok, traffic is unpleasant facof life year-rou. if it's ue that misery loves company, then we pmise you'll loveur final package tonight. comes to us from ella calla of al jazeera enish. >> reporter: it's earlmorning in suburban bangkok wh i meet morwan thehong and her sons as
they hurry into e car. in this city, leaving ju five nutes late can mean getting stuck in traffic for hrs. >> we caot predict the traffic in bangkok. >> reporter: bakfast is eaten in the back seat. a day ritual pan and bell are accuomed to, as their mother tackles the exessway to get th to school. thisorning, they make it on time morwan then beginser own journey to work. it takes an hour and aalf to avel 27 kilometers. and already she's alread planning for thiafternoon, whenhe does the whole thing in again. >>f i know that maybe i have a meeting, i just pl to have dinnern the car. so ian save my children time. >> reporter: a lg history of bad urban planning, count weld bangk's ever increasing ban
sprawl, means gridloc is part of liffor most residents. in the traff operation contr ceer many screens monitor the morning peak but tre's little the affic chief can do about it. >> translator: the cy plan is not inood order. throads into town are not continuous, the driverare not well displined and we don't have enough ma transportation. >> repter: over 3 million cars and 2illion motorbikeclog bangkok's ads. the t rail network and skytrain cover less than0 kimeters of a 1,500 kilometer area. extensions have en planned and deyed for over a decade and now it see there is no quick fix. >> tralator: it's not jst new cars. old cars are also a prlem. some households haveour cars that they park oa one-way streetblocking the road even more. >> reporter: traffic controls life in bangkok to a degree found in few other cities. cle to 2,000 new vehicles are
regiered each day, an indicaon of how important they are as a symbol of soal status. perhapthat's why locals tolerate delays with surprisingly few casesf road rage. you may well drive in comfort, if u're in it for the long haul. la callan, al jazeera, bangkok. >>and that is "worldfocus" for this friday nit and for this ek. a reminder, please visit our website. that is rldfocus.org. yoll find lots more of international reporting. i'm martin savid in new york. have aood night. dre safe and a great weekend. see you monday. "rldfocus" is me possible in part by the following funders -- -- caions by vitac -- www.vitac.com