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tv   The Listening Post  Al Jazeera  December 13, 2020 5:30pm-6:01pm +03

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pride rose to fame at a time of heightened racial tensions in the u.s. he started out picking cotton in his native mississippi then served in the army and played professional baseball before moving to nashville he composed dozens of top country music hits and won 3 grammy awards. color again the headlines on al-jazeera this hour the u.k. prime minister boris johnson has warned that britain and the european union are very far apart on key issues in brics the trade talks johnson said people should be prepared for a no deal on december 31st they head of the e.u. commission urged all parties to go the extra mile despite the exhaustion after almost one geo negotiations and despite the fact that lines have been missed over and over we both think that it is responsible at this point in time to go
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the extra mile. we have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether no reach an agreement can be reached even at this late stage we always happy to talk make progress where we can i do think as i say there is a deal to be done if partners want to do it but we remain very far apart on these key issues and you know they are u.k. copy looks into the e.u.'s regulatory a bit we've obviously got to take back control of the fisheries fallout is up to people for. the 1st doses of pfizer's corona virus vaccine are being loaded onto trucks in the u.s. they will then be sent to facilities near the $145.00 sites that will receive them the elderly and health care workers will be the 1st to get the vaccine germany is
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imposing stricter coronavirus locked on measures that will last until the middle of january chancellor angela merkel says they're necessary to reduce the surge in cases most stores and schools will be closed and social contacts are limits its supporters of pakistan's opposition parties have defied coronavirus restrictions to demand the prime minister's resignation 11 parties are calling for new elections they're angry over imran khan's handling of the economy and the pandemic there are fears some students in nigeria are still missing after gunmen stormed a secondary schooling kidnapped a number of them about 800 students attend a school in katsina state many fled during that attack police say 200 have returned yet to date with the headlines the listening post is coming up next thanks for watching.
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could you. explain that. to you ok to qatar see how much sick. to say constructive talks have taken place between the 4 nations and they want to reach a final agreement. hello i'm richard gives birth in europe the listening post where we don't cover the news we cover the way the news is covered here are the media stories we're looking at this week there's news of a possible reconciliation in the arabian gulf the end of the blockade of kentucky the french president still is president sisi of egypt with the legion of honor but
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make sure there are no french journalists there to cover it science reporters have proven their value in covering the pandemic they've also taken some heat and finally what are the chances that the planet earth will be accepted for membership in a got electric federation is there enough food to go around it looks like some people are starving based on our track record not great. it's been 3 and a half years now since 4 arab governments led by saudi arabia cut off relations with qatar and imposed a blockade on the country now there are headlines suggesting that a rapprochement is that had when this rift opened up back in 2017 critics which included the united arab emirates bahrain and egypt all demanding that this network al-jazeera be shut down while accusing qatar of backing political movements that trade in terror in the years since the information sphere has proven to be
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a crucial battleground from the competing television channels old and influenced by the governments involved to the armies of trolls and influencers on twitter and facebook to the millions of dollars spent on lobbyists trying to get washington onside now with riyadh showing signs of making peace with doha there is some careful message management underway and everyone covering the story has to read between the lines our starting point this week the arab air. for almost 4 years now a saudi led coalition of arab countries has tried to isolate qatar politically and economically blocking trade with qatar forcing it to import food from iran and turkey turning the airspace over their countries into no fly zones for qatari passenger planes and turning their air witness into delivery platforms for anti qatar writer.
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is just one example the channel is saudi control based in dubai abu dhabi the capital of the united arab emirates has a majority stake in sky news arabia the channel is a central protagonist in what has turned into an antique atari media coalition. after more than 3 years of that kind of talk there is change on the air certainly in saudi control although you still have to read between the sound. of humming to shatter cannot nominate. the tone also appears more conciliatory on al-jazeera is an arabic language news channel which like this channel is funded by the government of qatar. b how did the who had been
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a little bit of. a problem with us are we are. the other way how did the one who is a very very serious situation very serious crisis multiple levels. and also. we restart different blocks emerged within the gulf surely that the entries are actually divided and that they don't all have one policy out that while culturally might be united. definitely not the information war all countries in 2017 where ready for such war they have the experience on how to control the social media sphere the media sphere to use their trolls to use their armies so these governments they were all ready for the fight. saudi arabia and qatar have not been on the same political page for decades.
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independent brand of foreign policy took form in the early ninety's. and its launch of al-jazeera arabic in 1996 changed the relationship qatar had with its neighbors in the gulf al-jazeera journalists offered the kind of reporting critical of authority that the saudis and other arab governments did not tolerate on their home state funded they still. in 2017 when muhammad bin salma m.b.'s was made saudi crown prince the gloves came off the blockade was in place. as the saudis. bahrain and each issued a list of demands the guitar he's happy to give relations group to be normal. has not turned turkey and iran for trade and has drawn closer to the islamic republic directing its planes through iranian airspace. the saudis with. the
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political transition now unfolding in washington and the management of m.p.'s his reputation also appear to have factored into this current shift in riyadh's tactics mohammed been said my name was synonymous to so many negatives in the region he was there when several saudi businessmen were in a hotel in riyadh his name is there in yemen we saw his name involved with jim i should she so he has so many negative things associated with his name so i think most of the people who followed his policies so that there was a time when it had been said man will start a new strategy and i think that that is the easiest issue he can solve with. term. and you administration will likely be harsher on saudi arabia and. the saudi crown prince to find solutions to some of the foreign
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policy issues to make his. international wrong so this will also help his ambitions to be the next king of saudi arabia. the list of the 13 demands the coalition made conditions to and the blockade started with qatar curbing its diplomatic ties with iran and bringing an end to me. military cooperation with both iran and turkey countries the saudis and emma rocky's consider their adversary in addition the coalition demanded qatar sever all talks with what the quartet calls terrorist organizations including the muslim brotherhood ties qatar has denied also on the list was al jazeera and the requirement that guitar shut the network and its journalism down those who follow politics know that and just was the main focus of all these countries they moved
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from targeting agency data cleaning to targeting al jazeera and washington d.c. trying to convince congress to shut down and just get out to constrain their movement in washington and the u.s. just survive and it will survive for a very simple reason there is no foreign official who respects freedom of speech will go to qatar doha and tell them please close and just to end this rift there are a lot on the saudis i and sky arabia on the u.a.e. side and then there's a whole bunch of different. smaller networks but the flagships are a lot of sky arabia and neither has had the experience the quality. money the resources. staffing that. on the other hand as i say its reputation. of being above the fray
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has changed so now i think what a lot of people do is they watch and they watch some other only assume the truth is somewhere. actually not predicting what will be what the future threats to i just you know will be i think times shown us that just you know it's. just you know also i think kind of seen as a response now to this investigative journalist just don't was kind of. policy on the other hand i think they were also trying to really also defend themselves i think that was directly under attack and you know it happened as you know it was an attack. on. the rift has also transformed the online space in the gulf just prior to the blockade network of twitter accounts was born in saudi arabia and the emirates are tweeting and retreating hash like qatar funds terror or we demand of the closing of the
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channel of papers there was evidence of some prokop term driven by bots too but not to the same extent it's been 3 years plus of toxicity online between. gulf arabs that will not be easy to just turn. on twitter also on other social media outlets which actually increase the and dug in isn't it to not only these governments but also between the peoples of the g.c.c. states which actually have common cultures among themselves and there was a cast which basically you know lies any sympathy towards. that people to stand against. siri thing that i think was also very interesting and also very shocking was using
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tribalism as a tool to mobilize people against their government or against their leadership so i think the blockade has definitely changed the. identity of identity internationally and this is the thing that is difficult to repair now there door is for the people. in the media. and media stream down there and then the other. may be go back to normal the qataris always wanted the situation without. the u.a.e. i think. for some i mean this is an. unbridgeable divide nobody invaded and occupied something so this isn't. remembering. something but there is real bitterness and the bitterness is not going to go away that quickly. one
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of the countries in the attic attack or tat that's been less visible in this potential of a professional has been egypt presidency seems been busy with a few other things including a state visit to france and actually rob you've been keeping an eye on that you know how did this visit turn into a media story one of the big reasons richard was when the french government attempted to hide one of the main events in this visit when president sisi was presented with france's highest award the legion of honor it was a gala event held at the palace capping a 3 day visit and there were no french media present which is absurd the palaces website had no mention of it and the french president's office that is micron's office failed to provide any footage or images to french media french outlets only found out about this event after an investigation by a t.v. show which was tipped off by coverage in egyptian media. is. yes well i just returned to iraq to iraq you know all told so this you could you know. evil don't get to discern or it's not always ok to me yes well look in terms
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of process. here so what are we to make of the secretive approach that the french government took but there's been a lot of pushback against president macron hosting let alone celebrating presidency over the past couple of months france has been grappling with debates about freedom of speech and religion we've covered some of this on our show and mccrone has spoken about the fact that france op holds people's right to not just speak but to offend he's also talked about french secularist principles saying that the country is in a battle against what he calls islamic extremism and that the religion is in some sort of crisis so how would marc ross square that against what's happening in egypt under c c well that's where the problems in marriage egyptians can be arrested and tortured simply for participating in protests they can be jailed for social media posts that supposedly offend people's religious sentiments and if you're an activist origin list there's a target on your back and readers on mahmoud hussein has been in jail for 4 years
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in egypt but the government has yet to charge him with any crime so clearly the french government realized that lecturing people on secularism and free speech why putting an award on an authoritarian leader of a deeply conservative religious country is not a good look so they just pretend it didn't happen next. journalists around the world will remember 2020 as the year they took a crash course in reporting on medical science they had no experience in covering a pandemic and we've documented some of the shortcomings in their reporting now we're turning to journalists with some actual credentials in this field science and health report it's been a year to the month since they 1st recognized the potential dangers of the outbreak in was leaving the rest of us to play catch up historically underappreciated and usually underrepresented in newsrooms science and health reporters now find their expertise is in demand their rise to prominence has been accompanied by
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a new level of scrutiny in the kind of work that they do and the critics have come out of the woodwork the listening post flo phillips now on science journalism the highs and lows in the age of covert 90. 4 20 pm december 31st 2019. hopefully this is nothing out of the ordinary but at permit mail posting about unexplained ammonia is in china is giving me a hash tag sars flashbacks. boston usa in the last few hours of 2019 helen brown's well senior infectious disease reporter for stat means started tweeting about the reports coming out of. it was something i definitely thought we'd be watching this was something that was setting our whole our bills. 12 31 am january 15th 2020 years where we are on the sars like virus found in china still many many questions. 2 weeks later in berlin. fishnet
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a molecular biomedicine expert and correspondent for science magazine joined the discussion about the still undefined virus it was really becoming clear that the pandemic was just not going to be stopped it was clear to everyone what it was about. they have now been told by january 29th. the government signed the 9 isn't going to get this long people bash even gets into. starting on spawn. by the end of january health and science journalist video krishna was trying to get the word out in india despite facing significant political challenges because the entire polity was union with only one on the scene not it's a new country no longer. do you need to find me even if you gave. 3 science journalists from 3 different countries all sounding the alarm on the
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virus that would come to be known as coded 19 well before the rest of the world realised what was coming. their readership and online followings have skyrocketed as they've taught you terms like flattening the. they've schooled you on the importance of lockdowns a mass testing they've documented the failings of governments to act when the data was that foothold to see and they know how to deal with scientists in early february helen brown's well challenge dr anthony found many considered to be the voice of reason on the trumpet ministrations coronavirus task force present given everything that's going on the risk is really relatively low. when i look at this fire of. pressure for all i care.
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but there's no. it's not going to stop. you seem pretty frustrated in that forum one was that. you know i had been hearing for several weeks stories in the u.s. and other countries outside of china saying that they thought that the. outside of china was low and it made 0 sense to me because viruses spreading really effectively from person to person in china so when dr frenchie said that he thought the risk was for the united states at that point at pushed back because it made no sense he did say you know could this become a pandemic absolutely but it felt like they didn't want to alarm people at that point wasn't can make them it was already you know spreading in the united states just had been repeated. your work has also proven to be prescient an article you wrote back in 2013 included a quote about a bat in china carrying
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a potential pandemic this was peter dash the researcher that i talked to the quote comes from him so i was just doing my job as a reporter reporting his views so you know if anything he predicted it again and again in the in the last 10 years or so when i was doing my reporting this sentence came up from scientists where they were telling me you know it's not a question of if there will be a big pandemic the question is when scientists like peter are crucial for reporters like fishnet because like most areas of reporting science journalism starts with the sources and there are 2 sources that many science journalists have in common the 1st is called pro med it's the place where both brands well and 1st heard about an outbreak in which. it's an online portal where infectious disease experts share and discuss information on unusual health of bents it's not designed for
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journalists but has become invaluable for many health reporters who have the background to understand the significance of what's on that the 2nd source. these journalists have in common is what they call pre-print. they're kind of testing ground for academics a place where they share their research online before it gets peer reviewed and published in normal times a lot of scientists hold that research back play it safe until they're sure of that work because at 19 has changed things scientists are flooding the servers with information they hope will help curb the virus maybe even cure it and some of that material is making it into the headlines when that happens and potentially invaluable but often unverified information reaches the public because it can easily end up being misconstrued by both the press and politicians and their
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research supposing you brought a late inside the body in which you could do either through the skin or. in some other way. and i think you said you're going to test those interest rates one of the things that i found tragic. stand to make in the coverage of the pandemic yes how politicized the whole thing has become which side of the divide people are on which is a misunderstanding of what's going on in certain parts of the country anyhow lightly and i signs nominee to be nontraditional and maybe i need has been asking our. population to lie. or not or you'll die or a great medicine to lose your unity up when we were. on common. ground there. god.
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got a plan. in the country on this one the wonder room floor do you believe in line with the politics so that it doesn't look back the minute the story goes online need not go in time bills and politicians you know would you employ those and questioning i mean in dismissing the story without actually lending law what's wrong actually that's been. one of the reasons the politics tends to trump the science is because that's the way the politicians want perspective the official say make available at that point things where scientific experts are usually count numbered by political. reflected also in the press corps covering a shortage of reporters trying to have science of the story i'm not sure the time just need to take the lead but i certainly think they should be you know at the table and i think that is something that also bothers me when i see the press
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conferences there are a lot of important questions that science journalists you know to ask the political journalists don't know to ask do you have true or people in georgia who are soon going to have a choice about going there saddam now the monarchy that tattoo retail businesses need a bit of time to shop did a bit of time to prepare to wipe out all the opening of german. provision title which one to the soprano can. put it to. the presidential order. in by on of the reason it just seems like this press conference would really profit if there were also science journalists there the only body not einstein i know by we don't act instantly. i'm not a scientist well i'm not free to expense and we have indeed immediately think with joe at this point does not have a single scientists briefing us and does not have a single science journalist in the audience speaking of the other cats and you look at so don't know what they're talking about and the politicians journalists don't
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will. on the asking the wrong question. another way to put it rather than dispatching medical specialists to diagnose the biggest story of our time to surgically dissect political narratives it 19 most news organizations are sending in the equivalent of family doctor the general practitioner. that's hardly the best use of available resources when the story you're covering is a pandemic. and finally as this problematic year draws to a close with its biggest news stories still swirling around us the pandemic racial and social unrest climate change how to makes you wish you could just leave it all behind maybe jump on one of you on mosques rocket ships and find another planet to live on except one of those rocket ships just crashed and burned this past week
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somewhere in texas 2020 wins again vinnie thomas a us based comedian is thinking along similar lines in this viral video he imagines what it would be like if the planet earth was to apply for membership in a star trek like the lactic federation sort of like a european union except for outer space and he concludes that earthlings would be long shots unless we clean up our act we'll see you next time here at the listening post how fast are your teleporter. no teleport. flying cars. a high speed train that goes around the planet no you don't have that either ok what about does everyone have health care is there enough food to go around it looks like some people are starving you do have enough food then why isn't it logistics you want me to write. logistics ok starving because of logistics i mean things could be worse right imagine if you were still fighting
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over resources. oh you do you have big wars when you have a pandemic right now you have a pandemic oh no it's jason bring the step bring the sanity thank you. you need to use the bathroom we haven't done that in centuries we don't do that here oh you still have prisons oh and jason they still have prisons ok well i think that should be enough you've given us a lot to think about we'll see you soon by jason burn their application it's just gusting the whole planet. american people have finally spoke in america as i slip when america is off balance or because more dangerous the world is looking to next year of sadness. with the election behind us will the republican
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party dump truck the fuel weekly take on us politics and that's the bottom of. this is al jazeera. hello i'm rob matheson this is the news hour live from doha coming up in the next 60 minutes the braggs at trade talks will go on the u.k. and e.u. leaders say they're far apart on kenya shoes but they won't give up on negotiations . the u.s. begins shipping the 1st doses of coronavirus vaccines and hopes to immunize 100000000 people in 4 months germany is going into lockdown again as.


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