Skip to main content

tv   Worldfocus  PBS  August 3, 2009 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT

5:00 pm
>> tonight on "worldfocus" -- despite weeks of protest contesting the iranian presidential election, the supreme leader formally endorses mahmoud ahmadinejad for a second term. while the u.s. considers cutting off gasoline supplies to iran. in afghanistan, a bomb goes nava crowded street in har off, killing at least ten people. it follows a deadly weekend for u.s. and nato forces that left nine soldiers dead. in china the largest army in the world launches a new kind of military operation, a charm
5:01 pm
offensive. how they hope to win the hearts and minds of more than just the chinese people. and you're never too old. in japan, a story of how a huge grain population is spending their golden years from rugby players from tv journalists, even a 74-year-old porn star. from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here is what's happening from around the world. this is "worldfocus." made possible, in part, by the following funders -- good evening. i'm martin savidge. we begin tonight with iran, which continues to deal with political pressures and dessent from both within and outside of the country. after iran's disputed election the country's supreme leader endorsed the declared victor. ayatollah ali khamenei gave his blessing to mahmoud ahmadinejad
5:02 pm
andta clears the way for ahmadinejad to be sworn in on wednesday for a second term. but later, there were reports of new clashes in tehran, between security forces and protesters who oppose ahmadinejad. as you may have heard a large trial began this weekend for those arrested in the violence in the protests that followed the election. they include many prominent politicians and religious figures. in tonight's "lead focus" we hear more about the trial from itn on this report that was filed on saturdayed. >> reporter: in a tehran court, of what the iranian are calling revolutionaries. said these men were part of a conspiracy to bring about a velvet revolution. this trial cape as a surprise. said 20 defendants would appear. instead over 100 were brought to court. many shackled often and in prison uniform. senior officials and former ministers amongst them. on the front row, senior cleric,
5:03 pm
muhammad ali tari, whose blogs are widely read. he was arrested shortly after the election and reportedly confessed. he declared it great election. and our opposition leader mir hossein mousavi was delusional. mr. atari is a former vice president of the government of mohammed qatari. sitting alongside him, who once served as deputy foreign minister. also in court, abdullah rama zan da ze. a former government spokesman. and a former senior lawmaker,mofin midadari. the reformist politician and journalist mohammed, is also on trial. as is a former industry minister, the general prosecutor said secret documents showed he had suggested setting up an antidick tearership with opposition parties. this trial is an attempt by the authorities to diffuse the
5:04 pm
growing criticism in iran of the abusive treatment of these detainees. by bringing about charges of rioting, holding illegal rallies, clashing with security forces and acting against national security, the authorities are trying to legitimize their ipprisonment. but a general prosecutor went much further with his conspiracy theory today, stating that the foreign media played assailant role in training the rioters and provoking unrest. canadian news reporter bahari. mr. bahari later appeared at a press conference, where he said the media was a key element in this velvet revolution. he's not been seen by his family or his lawyer since his detention six weeks ago. it's not known how long the trial will last, but coming just days before president mahmoud ahmadinejad is to be sworn in for a second term, it will undermine the opposition movemen movement. now, we mentioned that there
5:05 pm
was pressure from outside of iran as well especially on the issue of iran's nuclear program. new evidence of that pressure comes today in a report in "the new york times." it says, "the obama administration is talking with allies and congress about the possibility of imposing an extreme economic sanction against iran. if it fails to respond to president obama's offer to negotiate on its nuclear program. cutting off a country's imports of gasoline and other refined oil products. it goes on to say, "the option of acting against companies around the world that supply iran with 40% of its gasoline has been broached with european allies and israel." legislation that would give mr. obama that authority already has 71 sponsors in the senate and similar legislation is expected to say through the house. joining us to discuss the possibility of new sanctions in iran and developments there is trita parsi, founter and president of the nonprofit national iranian counc nil washington, d.c. thanks for speaking with us. >> thank you for having me.
5:06 pm
>> what do you think will happen if the united states were to try to impose gasoline sanctions on iran? >> well, i think first of all, it's going to be very difficult to impose effective gasoline sanctions on iran because you would have to get the corporation of all of the countries and the security council, including russia and china. if one tries to impose gasoline sanctions through it would have to be -- to be effective enable brocked a, without security council authorization and then would that be considered an act of war and would that be a very, very risky strategy for the obama administration to undertake. >> and then there's the question that if the sanctions were imposed, what would the affect have or be on the opposition movement? >> well, that's the other aspect of this. that the government obviously is better equipped tody with the cost -- the impact of the sanctions of ordinary people. and these gasoline sanctions are extremely broad based. so it is quite likely that it will be the ordinary people,
5:07 pm
including the people that have been protesting on the streets, demanding that their votes be counted. that will be primearily affected by this rather than the government itself. >> so, in other words, the people would become angry at those who impose the sanctions and perhaps forget so much about the anger against their own government? >> well, even if the anger may be split in part, reality is, who is going to be bearing the impact of the brunt of this? the government seems to be far more capable of able to protect itself. whereas, ordinary people have no such capabilities. >> the other news from iran this week and of course is the trial of the anti-ahmadinejad protesters. and televised of what called confessions. what affect are the trials having on the iranian people and on their government? >> well, those who are supportive of ahmadinejad may find them to be very credible and useful, but i think that the larger majority of people are not being convinced by these confessions and the iranian
5:08 pm
government has had a history in the past of staging such confessions and this seems to be fitting that pattern. t in a way, it may actually do away with any of these staged confessions in the future because of the fact of the people that they put on the stage individuals a couple of years ago were vice presidents and ministers in the government itself. >> and still hanging out there is the overture that was made by the obama administration to iran to attempt to engage in negotiations with that country. how is that affecting iran's government? >> well, if anything, what i think has affected the government in iran is the fact that the nonthreatening posture adopted by the obama administration has enabled help to -- in existing divisions within the iranian government to come up to you surface. during the bush years in which the united states took a much more threatening posture towards iran, that enabled the government to close ranks. because it was a sense of a common threat. had president bush still been in
5:09 pm
power i wouldn't be surprised in the opposition would have swallowed its pride and anger and stopped protesting against the election, perception of an election fraud. >> just about out of time, but do you expect that iran will have an answer for the u.s. soon. >> i think it's going to be very difficult because we're talking about a government that currently is lacking legitimacy in the eyes of many people. that is being contested. and may not have the capacity to make decisions of this magnitude. >> trita parsi, thank you very much for speaking with us. >> thank you for having me. in western afghanistan today, a deadly bombing aimed at a district police chief left at least ten people dead and some 30 injured. it happened in harrah, that's the main city in that region that's here in the border with iran. the remote controlled bomb went off on a crowded street near a
5:10 pm
fruit market and apparently targeted the police chief as he drove into town. that official was in critical condition. this month has also gotten off to a deadly start for american and nato forces in afghanistan. with the total of nine killed over the weekend, they include six americans, two canadians and one french soldier. with afghanistan's elections less than three weeks away and the number of foreign troops in that country increasing steadily we turn again to karin von hippel. for some analysis. she joins us from washington. nice to have you back. >> thank you. >> we had a record number of casualties last month and august is already a bad sfarpt why are so many more troops dying, and has there been a exchange in the mission that causes this? >> unengineer i think this was anticipated, not only is the summer of the fighting season in afghanistan, but also of course we deployed -- or starting to deploy an additional 21,000 u.s. troops. the european, another nato allies, are bringing in extra
5:11 pm
troops for security for the elections. and so on the military leadership side, they anticipated more casualties because there will be more fighting. now the hope was that the greater fighting will provide greater security in the long terp. and so the offensive that has been under way over the past few weeks should hopefully lead to security in the longer term. >> and i want to ask you about this bombing that took place in western afghanistan. this is an area that we haven't traditionally seen been very violent. is that part of the signal coming from the taliban. >> yeah, i think that the messagis that nowhere is safe. so traditionally, the west and the north have been safer than the south and the east where the violence is quite heavy. but really even in the north, more recently we've seen brart attacks. and so i think the taliban message is that you know the afghan government can't provide security anywhere in the country and the international troops really can't prevent this from happening. >> as we mentioned the vote is on august 20th.
5:12 pm
and you're going to be in afghanistan? >> right. >> to be in an election observer. what will you be look for during the voting? and what is the best that we can hope for from that process? >> right, i mean it'll be quite challenging for international election observers because of the security. now, there are a number of afghan monitors that are already out in the regions and they'll be deployed in greater numbers on election day. generally, you look for fraud. you look for intimidation. you look for security, you know, preventing people from voting. so the northings that you look for in these types of environments, but really the hope for is that the election will come off so that we can have a safe democratic transition in afghanistan. >> and what's at stake beyond just which person wins afghanistan's presidency? >> well, this is the second presidential election. it trans -- transitions are incredibly important in emerging democracies and democratic transitions. season so if this election can go off as fairly and fruitly as
5:13 pm
possible, it will mark a very important step in the transition to democracy in afghanistan. >> and currently, the front-runner is? >> it's still carsaye. although his challengers are increasing their own support in the last few weeks. so it's anybody's guess right now. >> and before you go, i want to ask you, what's the status of the massive offensive that was launched in the south in the helmand province? >> right the americans and the brits have gone offensive. both declaring victory. but really what they need to do and they're very aware of it is to try to hold and build in those areas that have been cleared. and so development project, infrastructure projects so that people feel safe, that they can return home and start trying to have some sort of normalcy so that the taliban don't come back and take these areas again like they have done in the past. >> karin von hippel, we appreciate very much your insights. thank you. >> thank you. in neighboring pakistan today, members of the minority christian community staged
5:14 pm
protests after eight christians were killed over the weekend in an new, wave vience against the my muslim extremists. 100 of muslims stormed a christian neighborhood after reports that a koran had been desecrated. dozens of houses were burned in the rampage. six people died in the fires and two others were shot to death. today, christian schools were closed throughout pakistan to protest the violence, while hundreds of people took to the streets doe mand justice. christians account for only about 1.5% of pakistan's 167 million people. among those reacting to the violence, "worldfocus" contributing blogger feisal cap atia, a writer and entrepreneur based in karachi. he says, "i am ashamed. we're always worried about our image these days and the image of our country. we tout the fact that islam is a religion of peace. we scream to the raptors when a hate incident against muslims takes anyplace in the world. are we going to stay silent when our own country are slaughtered
5:15 pm
in the name of islam? let us unite and stand with the christian community in cued ra and other minorities who face persecution for what is their right to prey to whomever they wish." from china tonight, we want to bring you something you won't see every day. a look inside the people's liberation army, that's the biggest army in the world with well over 2 million soldiers. over the weekend, the army's official newspaper marked the 82nd anniversav that force, by saying that it needed to maintain stability as the gap widens between rich and poor and as china deals with ethnic unrest. western-style offensive as you are about to see in this report from tony cheng of al jazeera english. >> reporter: a rare chance to see the world's largest military force at work.
5:16 pm
china's people's liberation army, the pla, with this special training demonstration for foreign journalists and although it didn't look like it, this was part of a charm offensive. the chinesearily's trying to open up, making itself more transparent at home and abroad. but these recruits, in no doubt, is their duty to their country that comes first. >> translator: the soldier's duty seto win all battles. if one day our mother land is attacked. once we receive order, i fight to the death. >> translator: we cannot let chin ab, divide. that happens we will take orders from the party do what needs to be done. >> reporter: still for the senior commanders and their advisers the days of the cold war freeze are long gone. china may have relied on manpower in the past, but today's modern army needs to win hearts and minds from august the 1st, the people's liberation army is going online.
5:17 pm
>> translator: this is the erav the internet. and a website can grab more people's attention. by opening a website about the military, people at home and abroad can get a better understanding of china and its national defense force. >> reporter: and in the modern era, old and new have become friends. part of a program to forge better understanding between the soldiers of the two remaining superpowers. but the u.s. is still adease with china and congress has very stated its suspicion over dramatic rises in chinese military budgets. china's also taking on the role of international policemen. this is as global profile rises. chinese peacekeepers taking a major part in the force in darfur. for some their deployment may be controversial but in chin it is seen as a duty that comes with the nation's increasing profile.
5:18 pm
the pla does, however have, a darker past. 20 years ago in june 1989, the people's liberation army turned their guns on those they were supposed to protect. when chinese troops used delayed force against students here on tiananmen square it changed many people's minds about the military. and it became clear that the pla ultimately answered to the party and not the people. other disasters, however, have served the pla well, after last year's earthquake. in the remote mountains cut off by the quake, the sheer manpower of china's army was used to full effect and the genuine affection for an army that returned to its original brief to serve the people. tony cheng, al jazeera, beijing.
5:19 pm
we also hear in this country how people are living longer and working longer as the population ages. though, so far as popular cult sure concerned, sports, ple are usually the news, older exception, rather than the rule. but in japan, as we're going to show gloutonight's "worldfocus" spotlight story, they look at all of this quite differently. from the sport of rugby with its quirky surroundy moves and plays, to many other roles that old people seem to be playing quite well, thank you. our story's from mark willis reporting for the "lateline" program of australia's abc. >> reporter: it's said rugby is the game they play in heaven, but even with an average age of 68, these football fanatics aren't keen on drilling a golf ball through the pearly gates just yet. prowling out on the wing today on this over 60's championship match is a game -- the oldest man on the paddock at 84.
5:20 pm
>> translator: i love rugby. i recognize i'm still very healthy and i can play just as well as my teammates can. >> reporter: his sidestep may are more like a slow shuffle but he still relishes charging into the pack and although he complains that his opponents are a little soft. >> translator: they treat me a little too gently. i feel like they try not to bump me with their full weight. i prefer they treat me like an ordinary player. >> reporter: is just one the many thousand of japanese refusing to let the full-time whistle blow until they're good and ready. in terms of age, these 60-year-olds, 70-year-olds, and 80-year-olds are mere spring chickens, because now this japan, are there now 36,000 people aged 100 or older and the united nations estimates that in the coming decades there will be more a million sentenarions living in japan. experts attribute japan's
5:21 pm
incredible number of elderly it a traditionally low-fat diet in fish. and a well-planned health care system. and the ranks of this growing population are continuing to swell at an exponential rate. >> by 2050, 30%. 1/3 of the japanese population will be age 65 and older. >> reporter: and as people live longer, more and more are making surprising new career choices. >> doughnut. >> reporter: as a new reporter for the tv in the southern island of kirbu, he is being presented with the station's trademark pink jacket. at only 83, she was the youngest journalist in the newsroom. >> translator: i've been living t for my life.ars, and i've felt so i thought this would be a job which could help people in my community. >> reporter: it's not exactly "lateline." in their reports a tv journalist
5:22 pm
is encouraged to dress up and flaunt their hidden talents. in her case, singing. ♪ using older people to report on the tv was the idea of station director and cameraman. >> translator: i was thinking of broadcasting in the traditiona ama accusic dialect as many people don't speak it anymore so i thought why not use elderly people as reporters? there was an immediate and positive response from our viewers. >> reporter: it might seem like a gimmick, but the station reaches a large elderly audience. many politicians clamor to get on and that includes the prime minister tear a eso. when the prime minister nopd for a chat, he was grilled by the station's chief reporter, 105-year-old sheeno maury.
5:23 pm
another older japanese is also making his mark in front of the camera. 74-year-old tokuda is a little more active than most retirees. he's risen to become japan's leading elderly porn actor. >> translator: in japan, there's a sense of oppression in society. so i want to prove that elderly people can be active and vigorous. that's why i got involved in porn acting. >> reporter: despite a heart attack a few years ago, the former travel agent has now starred in more than 200 adult films. often with female co-stars five decades his junior. elderly porn in japan is a billion-dollar industry. one which director kono is keen to cash in with his 74-year-old superstud. >> translator: mr. tokuda is very different from a different young man in his 20s or 30s. he has a lot of life experience so that's why i asked him to appear in my films. >> reporter: another long day of
5:24 pm
shooting is about to begin, but it's time for the script meeting. although there doesn't seem to be much a script, not in paper form anyway. >> translator: i think it's perfectly fine to have an unusual person like me in this industry. i want to be a role model for men my age and to encourage them. >> reporter: back at the over-60s rugby championship, his team is copping a -- leading a charge for the opposition is their 82-year-old. but for this bridely old winger winning is not objective. it's just playing the game he loves. >> translator: i want to continue playing rugby until i'm at least 90, and if possible, i want to play until i'm a hundred. >> reporter: and if he makes it to the magic 100 mark, he'll be joining tens of thousands of other japanese already defined farther time. mark willisy, "lateline." and that brings us to our last story tonight about what can be accomplished in this
5:25 pm
world at a very young age. for this, we take you to salsburg australia, home of wolf gang amadeus mutsa. almost 220 years after his death the composeaur's importance seems to grow. he left more than 600 works. and now his scholars say two more pieces were probably written by mozart remaining in obscurity. their debut this weekend at mozart's home played on mozart's own keyboard. ♪ ♪ ♪
5:26 pm
♪ ♪ >> musiccologists say that mozart probably composed those pieces when he was 7 or 8 years old. and on that note genius, that's "worldfocus" for a monday evening. for much more global news and to watch any other programs on the web, go to i'm martin savidge in new york. as always, thanks for joining us. we'll look for you back here tomorrow. and anytime on the web. until then, have a good night. "worldfocus" is made possible, in part, by the following funders --
5:27 pm
-- captions by vitac --
5:28 pm
5:29 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on