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tv   BBC World News America  WHUT  April 19, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america," reporting from washington. syria is not honoring the cease- fire. that is the u.n. chief's assessment. we are inside the country with the evidence. attacks with acid. women in pakistan have been scarred for life in a disturbing practice which is only on the rise. and breathing new life into stonehenge. in glasgow, one artist has given the prehistoric monument a twist that has visitors jumping for joy. >> what is more british than stonehenge experts -- than stonehenge, and not taking things too seriously?
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>> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america, and around the globe. the world should push for tough, comprehensive sanctions against bashar al-assad's government to force him to comply with the u.n. cease-fire. that is the call today from hillary clinton as the u.n. secretary general confirms the fact on the ground, saying syria is not honoring the cease-fire. he is still pushing for more u.n. monitors to be allowed into the country. our colleague in powell has seen evidence of the continuing assaults. >> on april 1, syria agreed to kofi annan's peace plan, saying it would not move further into populated areas. in a pattern of broken promises, it sent its soldiers. the story of what happened just down this road is perhaps worse than many other areas, but it is not unique. in villages across the north, people were not just single out.
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there were collective punishments, and many paid the ultimate price for having the audacity to call for change. this remains a dangerous place, where rebel fighters offer a thin veil of protection. but it was a chance to see firsthand what happened here. many people were crushed when their homes were shelled. even the school playground was not safe. no sanctuary, not even for children, not when the tanks rolled in. the government said it only response to terrorist threats, but this is how it does it on the ground. from land and air, two days of shelling, burning, and death, the same tactics that go on across syria today, even after the cease-fire was supposed to happen. abu mohammad was here that day.
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he helped collect the bodies, and laid them here, on the floor of the moscow, a grotesque scene in a place of worship. this is footage taken at the time. some of it is simply too terrific to show. people were burned beyond recognition. others died of terrible wounds. this place was full of dead bodies. it was terrible. some could not be identified, even our friends. they were incinerated. >> the call him a living martyr. it is a miracle he is alive. abu azaz was taken from his home, shot three times, and left for dead. >> there was an opposition clinic next to my house. they said my crime was that i did not tell them it was there, so they shot me. what would happen if the same thing happened to me in england?
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the world is doing nothing to help. >> there are now two mass graves in the town. at nine years old, safa has already learned to say a prayer for the dead. her father is one of those buried here. we believe 57 people were killed in just two days, and it does not end here. the cease-fire may have reduced violence, but it has not stopped. for the victims and their families, these are atrocities that cannot be forgiven or forgotten. bbc news, syria. >> in response to the events in syria today, there was a warning that a failure to implement the kofi annan peace would be catastrophic. here in washington, defense secretary leon panetta
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reiterated that the u.s. wants aside -- once bashar al-assad out, but did not offer a clear plan of how to achieve that. >> we must keep all options on the table, while recognizing the limitations of military force. we must be prepared to take whatever action is required. >> the u.s. defense secretary there. for more on what options there might be, i spoke with state department adviser richard ha as, currently president of the council on foreign relations. can you interpret what leon panetta is saying? is the u.s. starting to think it will have to get involved in some form of military engagement with syria? >> there is not a lot of enthusiasm for it, as you heard in his voice. the reasons are twofold. first of all, it is hard to design and operation where the likely benefits would outweigh the likely costs. secondly, the united states has
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to think hard about potential crises in north korea and iran. a highly discretionary intervention in syria is not something that barack obama is hankering for right now. >> in the court of public opinion, there will have to be something else, is there not? "maybe there for quite some time. -- >> heat may be there for quite some time. you have to quit and opposition. right now, you have something disorganized. you have to create a serious political opposition that will start talking publicly about why there is a future for syria in which all people, including those who support bashar al- assad, have reasons to move away from him, which would be inclusive and not a replica of
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what you saw in iraq. the united states is giving humanitarian and communications help. others are giving arms. i think it is premature to talk about a libyan-style intervention. it would be extraordinarily costly, and it is not clear what the end result would be. >> mr. panetta pushed for the prospect of regional spillover. we are starting to see that with refugees and skirmishes along the turkish border. how concerned are you about what is happening in syria causing regional unrest? >> is a real and legitimate concern. the terminologies that come to mind are iraq and lebanon. you have divisions in the country. you have outsiders with a stake in what happens. you have bordering countries that are worried about refugees. as bad as things are inside, there is a possibility for think the thing worse outside. again, you do not want to take the options off the table.
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fair enough. you want to look at army and humanitarian help. but it is very hard to dislodge a tyrant who has a real base of support, if he is willing to kill his own people, unless you are willing to essentially go to war with him and do what the world is not doing in libya, and sit there for a while and build up a new state. that is a large undertaking for people to contemplate. i have just come back from the region. while a lot of people are extraordinarily unhappy with what is going on, i did not notice a lot of volunteers to do the difficult work. >> that is exactly right. thank you very much, richard haas. across the syrian border in iraq, a series of deadly blast across the country, killing more than 35 people. in baghdad, at least five separate attacks targeted mainly shi'ite neighborhoods. the biggest explosion was in the
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northern city of kirkuk. imagine having acid thrown in your face by your husband or your son in law. the pain and this figuration are simply unimaginable. but that is what happens in pakistan to hundreds of women every year. the government is trying to clamp down on these brutal assaults, but many of the man get off scot-free. i warn you, there are distressing images in this story. >> she has been scarred for life. burns on 15% of her body. her name is shama, meaning candle. like many other pakistani women, she says her husband does stir in acid. she was too proud of her beauty, he said. >> i feel pain of what i was and what i have become. all the colors have gone from my
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life. i feel i am a living corpse. >> shama is one of the newest arrivals in the burns unit of this dilapidated hospital. the doctors try to relieve her pain, but cannot ease her despair. >> i cannot say anything about the future. maybe i won't be alive. i will try to get back to how i was. i have to work to build a future for my kids. if i cannot, i will do what one or two other girls have done. they killed themselves.
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>> this was one of those girls. here is how she looked 13 years ago, before acid was flung in her face. her former husband, from a powerful family, was acquitted of the crime. this was that woman after the attack. she endured almost 40 surgery's before committing suicide last month. in this hospital alone, there are one or two new cases of acid attacks every week. the laws here have been tightened. offenders can be sentenced to between 14 years and life imprisonment. but campaigners say most of these women never get justice. this former mp, who sponsored the new law, says most attackers still get off scot-free. >> it is the easiest way to punish a woman, because if the woman does not want to agree to what the man wants to do, you
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can just throw acid and destroy her entire life in one second, and that is all it takes. even if he gets caught, he pays the police off. you get away with it in most cases. >> in the burns unit, another victim has just arrived. the fabric of her clothing eaten away by the acid. she says her son and what did this after a small family dispute. he, at least, is now in custody. the government admits it needs to do more for women like her, and says implementing the new law is a major challenge. doctors told us many victims are forced to return to their tormentors, to the husbands or in-laws to this figure them, because of social pressure or money problems. few beds away, shama's children come to visit.
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"be good," she says. "pray mommy gets well soon." for their sake, she will try to keep going. her husband is still at large. >> a horrific crime visited on too many pakistani women. in india, the successful test of a powerful new missile is being celebrated today as a major milestone. it is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and could strike china's two biggest cities. the outrage -- after the outrage over the north korean test last week, you might expect similar criticism of india, but the international response was remarkably mild. >> 3, 2, 1. >> liftoff for the indian missile, named after the indian
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-- after the hindu god of fire. india can now launch a nuclear strike anywhere except the americans. >> the successful launch -- >> the prime minister hailing a national triumph. >> a game-changer missile which brings in the get into the big boys club. >> indian television channels have been celebrating the successful test, complete with alarming graphics showing missiles landing in unidentified cities. >> india hopes it is a weapon of peace, not war. >> mercifully, the missile is targeted at china, it's growing regional rival. india says the policy is about deterrence, but it needs to show it is possible. >> it is a technology demonstration. if we did not have a missile of this ability, the may 1988 indicia -- initiative would remain incomplete.
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>> but china is playing down india's missile tests. the ford spokesman says the countries should be partners, not competitors. it is only days since north korea tried and failed to test its own missile, provoking criticism in the west. the u.s. and its allies will not protest the indian missile launch. they consider it a friend and want it to become a counterbalance to china, and a bigger player on the world stage. bbc news, delhi. >> the u.s. army says a blackhawk helicopter has crashed on a night time mission in southwest afghanistan. all four people on baulked may have spent -- on board may have been killed. the crash may have been caused by poor weather conditions. to norway. on the fourth day of anders behring breivik's extraordinary
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details emerged. he told the court he had intended to behead a former prime minister and kill every member of the current norwegian government. from oslo, this report. >> it was the most disturbing testimony yet, a day when we delved into the warped mind of anders behring breivik. he told us how he trained for the attacks physically and mentally, playing on-line war for strategy games every day for a year. at first, he planned 3 bombs, but it was difficult to make them. he decided instead to kill everyone on the island. horrifically, he planned to behead the former norwegian prime minister, who was due to be there. on july 22, he woke up thinking, "today is the day i will die." he set off the vehicle bomb.
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"i had gone to that scenario at least 20 times. i acted instinctively." it killed eight. he wanted 12 dead. the aim was to get attention. media coverage is linked to the shock effect of the attack. the attacks were devastating. there are still repairing the damage here in central oslo. for everyone in court today, his testimony was especially chilling and difficult to listen to. he was cold and calculating, and it appears there is absolutely no doubt in his mind that what he did on july 22 was absolutely morally acceptable. is it still the right thing that he has this forum in which to express his views? >> it is important to remember that this is a court case. this is also about him and his right to say why he did what he did. >> and tomorrow his lawyers say there is worse to come.
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matthew price, bbc news, oslo. >> the strange course of justice in that trial. still to come on this program -- going to extremes in france. just days before voters go to the polls, the presidential candidates on the far right and left are stirring up passions. meetings between presidents and their constituents are common, but when one woman approached president ahmadinejad in iran, it provided an unusual moment. it occurred in a southern city, while the president was touring last week. correspondent james reynolds has this strange story. >> the president of iran has always made a point of his approach ability -- his approachability. he once gave out his private contact details.
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even he may have been surprised about what happened on a recent tour. a crowd surrounds his car. many reach for his hand and try to give him envelopes, perhaps containing appeals for help. the crowd manages to stop the motorcade. at this point, a woman in black decides to take her chance. wait a second. "this is the moment," she shouts. then she clambers onto the bottom of the car. she shakes off the presidential bodyguards. she makes a point to the crowd. she turned straight to president ahmadinejad. the video does not pick up whether she is criticizing him or asking for his help. ahmadinejad appears to tell her to go and find someone behind the car. she makes another point, and then she gets up. she walks away.
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some believe that her actions demonstrate that iranians are increasingly willing to demonstrate their frustrations with the ahmadinejad administration. but others will see it differently. what better way for the president to show up -- to show off his connection to voters than by holding a spontaneous meeting on the roof of his car? james reynolds, bbc news. >> in just three days, france will hold the first round of its highly-anticipated presidential election. right now, nicolas sarkozy is fighting for his political life. the latest polls show him trailing the socialist francois hollande. it is a confusing election. the far left and far-right candidates are also showing strong support. europe of -- europe editor gavin hewitt has this report. >> the far right and far left
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are performing strongly. this is the far right, thousands of fly-waving supporters packed in a paris convention hall to hear their leader, marie lepen. she is currently attracting up to 17% in the polls with a immigration and what she calls stupid you bureaucrats. >> we see the reality of the european dream, disillusionment, wrecked lives. the european dream has become a nightmare. >> she says she has cleaned up the party pep racist image, distancing herself from her father, who questioned the holocaust. marie lepen brings the crowd to her -- to their feet when she attacks international finance, globalization, and brussels.
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she calls on her supporters to shout their rage and say yes to france. interestingly, she is the most popular leader among 18 to 24 year olds. on a beach in march side -- in marseille, people gathered to hear the leader of the far left. a onetime trots pissed -- trotskyist, he has called for a citizens' uprising. he rejects the culture of austerity embraced by brussels. "we are writing a new page in the history of the left," he tells the crowd. what are the ideals he stands
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for? >> a strong redistribution of wealth. we want taxes to apply 100% over 350,000 euros a year of income. >> in the first round of the election on sunday, the far left and far right could get over more than 30% of the vote. what they have both done is to tap into the anchor with the economic crisis. >> passions running high on the left and right in france. now to stonehenge, like you have never seen it before. the pre historic monument is one of the world's most famous sites. today, a bouncy council replica was unveiled in glasgow. designed by a turner prize- winning artist, it was commissioned for the london olympics, to represent britain's history, culture, and sense of humor. our hearts correspondent was there. >> there is a new arrival on the
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galapagos islands -- the glass go skyline, and artwork by a prize-winning artist. and it is bouncy. the real stonehenge is 5000 years old and a sacred site. this inflexible replica is called "sacrilege." after its unveiling here, it will head to london. what is all this about? it is olympic year. they wanted something to say "britishness." what is more british than stonehenge and not taking things too seriously? >> it is an aspect of vertiginous. it is about having a sense of humor, being able to look at your past with a smile. the olympics lacks a sense of humor, i think. i think it could inject a bit of humor into the olympics. >> a british monument by the british inventors of the bouncy council. it is only a few minutes before
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local art-lovers and arrived, he and to engage in the work of conceptual art. >> is this art? [laughter] >> this is good. there is a gate, is there? i would like this for my backyard. >> you would like an inflexible stonehenge in your backyard? >> who would not? >> indeed. history, humor -- britain in its olympic year. bbc news, glasgow. >> i want one of those. that brings the show to a close. get updates any time on our website. thanks for watching. tune in tomorrow.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, union bank, and shell. >> this is kim, about to feel one of his favorite sensations. at shell, we're developing more efficient fuels in countries like malaysia that can help us get the most from our energy resources. let's use energy more efficiently. let's go. >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet los angeles.
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