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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 20, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm EST

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>> this is bbc world news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. the newman zone foundation, -- newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation. and, mufgg. >> the oldest trees they are the sweetest fruit. we believe in nurturing banking relationships for centuries.
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strong financial partnerships are best cultivated for the y ears to come, giving your company stability and resources to thrive. we build relationships that build the world. >> now, bbc world news america. >> this is bbc world news america. i am katty kay. islamic state demands $200 million for the release of japanese hostages. if it does not get the cash, it says it will kill them. a presidential palace is seized by shiite rebels, who demand changes for the government. obama has a long wish list for his state of the union and congress is in republican hands. he will not get much of it.
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>welcome to our viewer on public television and around the globe. the japanese prime minister says the threat by islamic state militants to kill japanese has to just -- hostages is unforgivable. a man speaking with an english accent threatens to kill the men unless the ransom is paid. rupert wingfield-hayes has the covered. >> he is a well-known japanese freelance filmmaker who was last seen crossing the border into syria, believe to be on his way to interview members of islamic state. he is a self-styled military contractor. some call him a war tourist.
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this is a photo showing him in combat fatigues and carrying an assault rifle. this is meant to turn the japanese against any involvement in the fight against islamic state. it has demanded $200 million the same figure, pledged by shinzo abe for countries fighting against islamic state. the government has made it clear it will not give in to terror. mr. abe rejected the demand. >> this is unforgivable. i feel a strong resentment. i demand they immediately release them. >> according to western analysts the video is designed to create fear and people in japan and all countries involved in the fight against islamic state. >> we have seen this with reviews videos.
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-- previous videos. they try to get western audiences to turn against the government and force the government to stay out of the middle east, to which ross support or participation in military action in the region. >> the video has been running all day and is already having an impact. >> i have seen the pictures on the news. the fact that it has reached japan is really scary. >> other countries, including france and italy have paid large ransoms for the release of hostages. both deny it. >> in the past, they have handed over large sums of money to get the citizens back. the amount being demanded is vast. more importantly, they went to syria willingly, knowing how dangerous it is.
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that is likely to mute public demand to get them back at any price. >> well, for more on the threat, i spoke to the admiral who is now a dean at tufts university. what you make of the $200 million being asked for? it seems absurd. >> i think it is absurd and symbolic. what i am concerned about is that it lends credence to the narrative that western nations are to enter into negotiations or think about dealing with these terrorists. it would be a huge mistake. >> you support the japanese prime minister's response. >> i do not believe it is credible or useful to negotiate.
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all it does is incentivize terrible behavior. >> you might be survived -- surprised to see the japanese involved. so much focus has been on the american and european involvement. we have seen more arrests in connection to the pairris attacks. what you make of what is going on at the moment? >> as a nato allied commander as a military commander iwatch the gradual rise in islamic radicalism in belgium and frankly, the terrorists are in belgium for the same reason it that nato is, it is centrally located between france, germany the netherlands, and the united kingdom. it is great access.
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there is a radical islamic network operating in belgium that has facilitated over the last five years. it is shocking to see it catalyze so swiftly. >> do you think the nato presence in belgium exacerbates the threat of islamic radicalism in the country? >> i think it provides an attractive set of targets including the supreme allied commander. highly visible and symbolic. thousands of nato employees working there. that is not the specific reason terrorists are there. it provides a target-rich environment. >> what do you make of the response since the attacks in paris of the european authority's ability to handle the threat? >> i applaud the use of hard
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power. over the long term, the solution is soft power and integration. it is jobs and opportunities. it is getting people out. in the immediate moment, forceful action is required. over time, you need to balance the hard and soft power. at the moment, i applaud the lean forward we have seen. >> to yemen rebels have taken over the complex after heavy clashes. the leader of the rebels said that the country is at a critical and a finding moment. later today, the united nations expressed grave concern and called for a cease-fire. we have more on the situation. >> on the hillside shiite
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rebels have reinforced the grip on the capital. they are further weakening the remaining military backing for the president. they launch their most direct and dangerous attack on the president's authority. they shelled his home. he was reported to be inside and unharmed. the leader gave a speech on television that was rambling and filled with accusations to the resident and government. there are reforms that they say could have transformed the lives of yemenis. there was a peace deal last year. they would withdraw and return to the northern stronghold.
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the last days of heavy fighting have only seen the group titan their hold. -- tightedn their hold. >> this is an attack on a civilian area and an awful development. this is very unfortunate. >> the negotiations have so far failed to restore calm or stability. there is a new six federation yemen. the rebels want to return to a division of north and south. they have tightened the screws on the president. how far they are prepared to go and where the president and the people stand is now unclear. sebastian, bbc news. >> i discussed the situation
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with the former american ambassador to yeme. n. >> who is in control. >> there is no question. they have been since they entered in 2014. >> the president is still there. >> he remains in good health and is still the titular president of yeme. n. he is a figurehead. the rebels decide to leave him and power and decided they would be in a better position influencing the government. >> why take the actions of the last couple of days, actually moving in on the presidential palace? >> it is not clear. the constitution is looked unfavorably upon because it does not recognize their control. they control several regions and are not going to give up any
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territory for the sake of a constitutional deal. >> it seems to me that we have had so much attention focused on islamic state and iraq and syria recently. washington's haseye has been taken off of yemen. >> we tend to focus on it when there are moments of real crisis. there is not much we can do, frankly. it is alarming and it empowers al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. >> the rebels are vehemently opposed to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. >> what we are going to see is this coming to a head and then moving into areas not traditionally occupied by the shiite group.
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traditionally sunni and places where al qaeda has taken up residence. we will see some head-to-head conflicts. it will get close quarters. >> you are saying we coulds have the rebels -- we could have the rebels do america's job? >> i'm not sure it is america's job. there is unintended consequences. the have expanded into untraditional areas. many tribes turn to al qaeda when they did not before. you are seeing a more empowered al qaeda. >> how big a threat is yemen today to western interests? >> it will always be a threat, given where it sits geographically. the fact that it sits astride the major shipping lanes makes
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it important. let's look at additional news. nationals have been charged for conspiring to kill americans abroad. the men took part in attacks on u.s. forces in afghanistan in 2008. the air asia plane that crashed in the java sea killing 100 622, climbed -- killing 162 climbed too fast. investigators are analyzing the flight recorders to determine the cause of the crash. the austrian university is try to identify consideration -- incinerated remains. the have not found enough dna. experts have identified the remains of one of the training teachers who was murdered south
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of the southwest city. still to come on the program, it is not just the slopes drive people to switzerland. the world economic forum dissent escends on davos. an update on a story we brought you from kenya. officials apologize after the police fired tear gas at primary school children. ed thomas has the details. >> this was the disputed land. as you can see the children are back out. these are in contrast to what happened yesterday. take a look at the edge of the wall. it has been reduced to rubble. the pictures of what happened here, riot police throwing tear
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gas, has gone around the world. the kenyan government has gotten involved and given an apology to the students. they say the land belongs to the primary school and not to the wealthy investor who claims to own the land. there was immense pressure on the government to act. save the children, the global charity, said that what happened here was a sad day for kenya. it looks like the children will get a primary school and the playground back. this is not the end of the story. 20 lawyers came to take statements. they want to launch a civil action against the police who were here and all the officers who were in charge to account. >> well, a study in international drug prices has found that poorer countries pay
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more than rich countries. the international group said that countries like morocco and tunisia pay for the pneumonia vaccination. glaxosmithkline says they can barely cover the costs for manufacturing the vaccine. tonight, obama will deliver his sixth state of the union. he has previewed a number of proposals he is speaking about including increasing taxes on americans to pay for tax breaks for the middle class. with congress in republican hands, obama faces stiff opposition. john has more. >> obama is expected to throw down the gauntlet on taxes. >> the president sets out his plans for the coming year.
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why wait to deliver the speech when social media is there to set the town. -- tone. >> i am were relaxed and better at it. >> the white house has been doing more with youtube videos. >> had we make sure that everybody is sharing in the growing economy. >> obama is pushing for major tax increases on the rich. he would hit the financial institutions and raise capital gains tax. he would close the inheritance tax loophole that only the wealthiest use. the beneficiaries would be communities like this. anacostia might as well be one million miles away from the capital building. >> what do you think about obama's plan to tax the rich? >> i like it. i grew up in washington, d.c. you can see poverty.
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it is hidden by the beautiful buildings. there are a lot of people starving. >> the president wants to extend help to small businesses. carolyn runs a sandwich shop and wrote to the president. >> i've benefited from a small business loan. it paid for my closing costs. i want to thank the president for the things he has done that has helped us out. >> the president goes around the country to sell his policy and he is going to idaho and another state, india for republic day. that suggests that this is more about starting a debate than seeing the tax policy excepted. the president does not have the votes. these men do.
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they are the republicans. they can kill the plan stone dead and the president seems to be daring them to try. >> i am joined by the senior congressional reporter for politico. to the extent that there is, around the state of the union we do not know what is in it. the white house has told us what is going to be and it. other going to be surprises? >> i am not sure. in addition to the tax plan that you just mentioned which has been a centerpiece of his tax policies since he came into office. international trade is something both parties could get done this year. what else is the resident
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signaling to move towards? how far does the president go on issues that republicans like like corporate tax reform? that is something republicans are pushing hard. you will listen to the emphasis that he puts on those issues and calling for military force on isis. the amount of emphasis the president puts on will be something that everyone will be chewing on. >> even with the american deficit having gone down 10% of gdp to 3% of gdp, the republicans are saying they do not want to sign onto any new taxes for anybody? >> this is a political argument ahead of the campaign and to frame the debate going forward.
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republicans begin to talk about tax reform. it sounds like, if the president does want a deal on tax reform he will have to give up on the idea of higher tax rates for the wealthiest 2% of earners. that is the only way to get anything through congress. >> you mentioned isis. how much will national security figure in? >> you have to make a clear message about sustained conflict and preparing congress to authorize force on isis. how much time the president will a lot to this -- allot to this, he has to make a key point. >> viewers might be forgiven for thinking that obama will not get much done. do you think the speech will prove otherwise? >> he will have a long way to go
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to get his agenda done. he will be speaking to the democratic race and riling up his party. the democrats do not have the votes in congress. we will not see a lot accomplished in the next years. >> it is not just the state of the union. the issues of financial inequality and growth draw attention. we have this report. >> the mountainside resort of davos is famous for skiing. it is where the powerful gather for a powwow. the journey up to davos is one with a record number up her disappearance expected to attend including 80 billionaires -- number of participants are expected to
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attend, including 80 billionaires. the richest 1% own half of the world's wealth. the world's wealthiest 85 people own asthma money as the poorest to 3.6 billion. that is why growth and inequality are at the top of the agenda. >> i would call it the issue. we have success with-- if we do not address the issue, we will disintegrate societies. >> it is about how people at the top of the wealth mountain 10 assist those at the bottom. the world economic forum has reached out to those on the front line in of addressing
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economic hardship. complex his truck picked up unwanted food from those who are moving and delivered it to food banks. >> there has to be a way to do good while doing well, from a financial standpoint. it is the best way to operate a business. >> they do not hope to tackle the issues with a few days of meetings. there is a real sense that businesses and politicians recognize that a more balanced world is in everybody's interest. michelle, bbc news from davos. >> the world economic forum, where the wealthiest gather to discuss inequality. they could not have chosen a prettier place to do it. that brings the show to a close today. you can get more on the website
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and about yemen and the state of the union. you can find me on twitter. for all of us here, thank you for watching. tune in tomorrow. ♪ >> makes sense of international news. >> funding of the presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation.
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mufg. >> build a solid foundation and you can connect for centuries. we believe that partnerships should endure the test of time. with time comes change. what matters is that you are strong enough to support it. we build relationships that build the world. >>
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