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tv   Global Questions  BBC News  July 19, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm BST

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even though the atmosphere on mars is around a thousand times thinner than the atmosphere on earth, we still see these weather—type events, so dust storm, clouds, fog, lightning even, so understanding the weather on mars will help us understand more about the weather on earth. until now oil and gas have driven the uea's economy, but it is trying to diversify with its burgeoning space industry. around half of all missions to mars have failed. but the stakes are higher for this country. it's a scientific mission and failure is an option. however, failure to progress as a nation is not an option, and what matters the most here is the capacity and the capability that the uae gains out of this mission. the spacecraft will take seven months to reach mars, and if it does succeed, a new player in the global space race will have truly arrived. rebecca morelle, bbc news.
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to bring you the latest figures about coronavirus deaths in the uk, they have risen by seven in the last 24 they have risen by seven in the last 2a hours. that is continue with the theme of covid—19. —— let us continue. now on bbc news. audiences from around the world question their leaders on global issues. hello, and welcome to london for this edition of global questions, with me, zeinab badawi. has coronavirus become a political crisis for president trump, dealing a major blow to his chances of re—election in november? his handling of the pandemic has drawn criticisms, even derision. and covid—19 has also laid bare inequalities in american society. that's global questions: coronavirus crisis — focus on america.
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well, i'm now inside bbc‘s headquarters here in central london, and as always, to bring you this edition of global questions, our questioners and also our two panellists join us via video link. don't forget that you too can join the conversation — it's #bbcglobalquestions. but let me tell you who is in the hot seat this week giving the answers. matthew mackowiak has worked with several senior republicans, and is a supporter of donald trump. he is chairperson of the travis county republican party in texas, and is also a political consultant and president of the potomac strategy group, based in washington. matthew hosts a regular podcast, mack on politics. and democrat moe vela
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is the first hispanic american to serve as a senior adviser in the white house during the clinton and obama administrations, including for the then vice president, joe biden, who of course is the democrat running against donald trump in november's presidential election. moe is now president of the vela group, a consulting firm based in washington. so, welcome to my two panellists and to our audience, who join us from all over the world. to you, wherever you are watching, a solitary clap from me. so, let's get down to business, our first question is from david evans from here in the uk, from bristol in england. david, fire away. my question is, how much was donald trump relying on the united states' strong economy in order to validate his re—election as president? right, 0k. moe, you kick off. first of all, david, thanks for the question. second of all, let's start with one minor correction.
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our economy is anything but strong, it's an absolute shambles, it's disastrous right now. if i was donald trump, i couldn't rely on the economy at all. we have the highest unemployment in decades, we are in a recession, the worst one since the great depression. and there is a direct correlation between our incredibly horrific economy and president trump's ineptitude in the coronavirus response. so, he can't rely on the economy, and i said this on fox business two mornings ago, i'll say it again here on bbc global questions, if the president wants to rely on the economy when it is good, he's also going to get credit when it is disastrous. you can't have it both ways, david. so, if i was him, i'd be staying far away from this economy, as he can't run on it. it is absolutely in a ditch. well, matthew, defend your position.
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well, there's no question that the coronavirus and the resulting economic shutdown have very badly harmed the economy, particularly in the march through may timeframe. but, moe, i have good news for you — the economy is bouncing back very quickly. we've seen record—breaking private sector hiring last month, retail sales numbers were the highest we've ever seen, we may see gdp growth at 15 or 20% in the third quarter. we are at, i think, around 11% national unemployment, that's very different from where we were in february, but we are bouncing back very quickly. so, yes, trump was planning on running on the strong economy in january and february. i think the opportunity that exists for him in september, october, then november when the election occurs, is to make the argument that we are coming back, and that he is the best person to rebuild the american economy. if you look at what former vice president biden has promised, he's promised significant tax increases, including on the middle class. he's promised a shutdown of the oil and gas industry in the united states,
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which would have profound economic consequences for states like ohio, pennsylvania and texas and others. so, i think trump is actually on pretty steady ground if he can turn this into a contrast race, a choice for election between him and biden as it relates to the economy. but look, coronavirus and the economy, all these issues are connected, and voters are going to have to come to their own conclusions in the fall once we kind of get closer to the election. let's just see what david from bristol makes of that. david, briefly. well, i certainly think it's true donald trump can't hold the economy at the moment. but as matt said, i think that maybe he will use this as an opportunity in order to show himself to be the best man for the job and use, whether or not it's deserved, his prowess at having got the economy to where it is, and say that he is going to bring the economy back up again. all right, thank you. well, let's go to the united states, where it's all happening. andreas in seattle, what's your question to our two panellists? to what extent do you believe
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that the pandemic has been overly politicised, and who or what do you believe is to blame? matt? andreas, that's a great question. unfortunately, yes, i do think that there are aspects of the coronavirus story that have been overly politicised. if you look at the criticism that's been directed at president trump and at some of the red states that have reopened, like georgia, florida, texas, arizona, you contrast that with california and new york, which have been very bad as well, and you don't see those democratic states getting the same level of criticism. i think there is blame to go around on all sides. i wish the administration had been quicker in february and early march to respond to what we saw was coming. but i also think that, at the end of the day, the coronavirus response was only going to be effective with the voluntary participation of the public. so, in mid to late march, when they started the 15
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days to slow the spread, which i think they extended to 30 days, the only reason that was successful was because 90% of the people took the voluntary steps of staying at home and wearing masks and socially distancing. so, it would have been hard to convince 90% of the public to do that in february when the coronavirus really wasn't affecting people directly. so it is a regret, i think, that the country hasn't pulled together in a unified way. we are five months from the election, it's a very political time, so i think it's difficult to do that. but you're seeing political aspects over the issue of whether you should wear a mask or not, which is ridiculous. everyone who cannot maintain social distance should wear a mask to protect themselves and others. so, yeah, there's politics in all of this right now, it's a little bit regrettable, but we are four months now from the most important election in a long time. so, it's inevitable, is it, moe? 0h, heavens no. listen, this is something i can speak personally about. there are very few people in the united states that can say, "i have sat twice on the white house
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continuity of government "and emergency preparedness working group." i have had the privilege of serving my country, as you mentioned, twice in the white house, and both times, i sat on the continuity of government working group. so i know first hand, with tremendous confidence and in—depth knowledge, how this president has failed our nation in his lack of attention and responsiveness, preparation, planning and prevention of this virus. i sat in there many years of my life, and we planned for these types of pandemics, we planned for terrorist attacks, and he dismantled that office. while he golfed in february and held campaign rallies, he could have been preventing and mitigating the spread of the virus. i actually admire matt for telling the truth on the masks. so, to the question of politicising this, the president is the number one leader in politicising this entire coronavirus.
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in what way? because he refused to wear a mask for four months, and made it a political issue. matt acknowledged that, and i appreciate that. the entire experience has been a politicisation by donald trump of this virus. he didn't want it to happen, he didn't want to deal with it — he likes to pretend it doesn't exist. that is, in itself, political. people are dying in record numbers and we are the most infected country in the world. in the world! andreas, comment on what you have heard our two panellists say. i understand both viewpoints, definitely, but i do believe that during crises like this, there is this kind of rally around the flag effect, where your look to your leaders and you look to those in charge for guidance. when you have those people, like president trump and vice president pence, not wearing masks, encouraging rallies,
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it doesn't inspire confidence. all right, thanks very much indeed. let's now go to india to our next question. what do you want to ask our two panellists? so, what reforms can be observed in reducing tensions and taking proper actions for the betterment of society in the us? a manifesto question there, moe. perhaps just give us some highlights of the kind of reforms that you think might reduce some of the tensions. we have heard a lot about inequality and that kind of thing. i've never seen it like this, and i've never seen the division so severe and so profound. you know, one of the main reasons i supportjoe biden, other than that he's my friend and my former boss, and i believe in him and i love him, is because we need to unify in the united states right now, and we need a unifying leader. to andreas' point a minute ago,
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we don't get that confidence from the current leadership. they are peddling in division, they peddle in negativity, and frankly, they peddle in hatred and racism. so, the only way that we are actually going to address these divides, this civil unrest, is to have a unifying leader that can actually find common ground among all of us. even if you don't vote for somebody, you can still actually learn to respect somebody. it'sjust going back to the american values of kindness, respect, empathy, compassion — these are values that have been nonexistent by donald trump in three and a half years. it's been the other extreme. so, in my opinion, the reforms we need will be in the form of a new leader that unifies our nation. your response, matt? yeah, look, the challenge is our country is divided. while i understand the democrats want to blame trump for that, and he certainly deserves some blame
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for that, the country is divided. it is politically divided, right? trump won with 46% of the national vote because of the electoral college, and his poll ratings have been very split. right? he's been in basically the low to mid 40s throughout the first three and a half years. and so my hope is, no matter who wins the election in november, the country will unify behind for the next four years. it's hard to see that, the democrats are so against trump, even when he is for things they were once in favour of, like border security, like getting tough on china, like rebuilding our manufacturing and bringing it back home, like even isolationist positions on foreign policy. those are all things democrats were once for that they now criticise him for. look, he's been a divisive figure, i won't deny that. i would argue a good part of that is because he's been attacked more directly and more relentlessly than any president in american history. again, does he have
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some blame for that? 100%, he does. i wish he were a more unifying figure. but look, his agenda is not one that's going to get 60% or 70% support from the country. he has things he promised — he's gotten a lot of them done, he wants to keep going in that direction, and that is going to lead to some division. i do think that the coronavirus and the racialjustice protests that we have seen over the last few months gave us an opportunity to have more greater national unity than we have had, and i think that's something that we should all regret. thanks very much. let's go to sanjana, who is in india. thank you, zeinab. my question is, do you feel america's healthcare system needs some improvements, following this current pandemic? if yes, what kind of improvements? right, matthew, health care. i mean this has been a big hot political potato, hasn't it, for donald trump, because he is trying to roll back the healthcare reforms that
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president obama brought in. so, what's your take on this? one of the problems with obamacare is that it was passed on a party line vote. because of that, the republicans were never politically invested in it, they were invested in fighting it. when you do something as big as obamacare, one sixth of the economy, the first major healthcare reform in 50 or 75 years, it needs to be bipartisan. ultimately, obama's administration decided they couldn't get what they wanted if they made it bipartisan, so they chose to go a partisan route. so look, coronavirus has risked healthcare for a number of people, there are a good number of people who have lost healthcare because they lost theirjobs. that's a problem. healthcare is connected to employment, and that does mean that sometimes people are trapped. but to me, it is less about health insurance and more about healthcare. just because you have health insurance doesn't necessarily mean you can get care. we do want as many people covered as possible,
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but from a republican viewpoint, we want competition and choice — that's how you get innovation and bring the price down. moe? let me just remind matt of something that his candidate is trying to do. talk about healthcare reform in the united states. his candidate, the president of the united states, is trying to roll back healthcare in the middle of a pandemic. just think about that for 30 seconds. that will tell you exactly who donald trump is, and it will tell you exactly how republicans feel about healthca re in the united states. it is absolutely despicable, so start there. number two, to answer the question, we absolutely need healthcare reforms in the united states — our healthcare system is broken. anybody who would deny that is living in some imaginary universe. the problem is — and we should share this objective,
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i'm happy to hear that matt actually agrees with democrats on this — everyone should have healthcare coverage and insurance. obamacare brought millions of people who were otherwise uninsured, brought them into coverage — that is a phenomenal start, but it is not the end. the goal has to be that everybody, regardless of their socioeconomic status, regardless of the colour of their skin, regardless of their zip code, needs to have access to quality, equal healthcare in the united states of america. how we get there — we need to come together and figure that out. we have got to have reforms, period. again, i will end by simply saying... i will tell you this, trying to get rid of obamacare in the middle of a pandemic is so low, even for donald trump's standards, is so inhumane, that i can't even...
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my blood pressure just went up just talking about it. matt, can you reduce his blood pressure? no! i don't know, it sounds like he needs some medication perhaps... no, my friend — ijust need to get rid of donald trump and the presidency, that's all. the legal challenge to obamacare predates coronavirus. it is a question of whether the programme is constitutional or not. two things. if it were struck down, there would be a period of time, it would not be immediate and people wouldn't lose health care insurance immediately. what is the republican party's proposal? we haven't seen anything from your party, not one proposal to replace obamacare. there are several bills out there that i would be happy to send you. there are not several. now, come on. my point is, again because obamacare was done with one party, there is only one party invested in it. if it was struck and there
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was a phase out period, i think it would force both parties together and do something on a bipartisan basis. i think that would be much better for the country. let's have another question now. from the united states. considering that international student education represent a large and lucrative industry in the us, what do you make of current immigration policy for international students, and what reforms should be brought in and why? thank you. let's go to you, moe, on international students, but perhaps you could also tap into the wider immigration debate? let me answer the specific question first. i think the president's complete 100% reversal on his absolutely racist policy of trying to get rid of international students speaks for itself.
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doesn't that just tell you everything? it was absolutely despicable, again. divisive, again. hateful, again. racist, again. we see the same playbook from the trump camp and the republicans over and over again. that's just not america. so, to everyone on this wonderful programme from all the parts of the world — we are so sorry that this is happening to us right now. it's embarrassing, frankly. we apologise to the rest of the world, you used to respect us. i know that for years everyone thought we were the leaders, we aren't any more, and it's embarrassing and sad, but we will be again. second, on immigration, in general. here's the deal — either we are going to be a compassionate nation, an inclusive nation... even george w bush had it right, my fellow texan, when he said that
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compassionate conservatism included a pathway to citizenship for daca students, for undocumented immigrants. that george w bush republican era is unfortunately not the trump republican — that's the old republican that i could respect and admire and actually work with. before i come to you, matt, the u—turn referred to by moe there on international students was donald trump saying that since courses were going to be online, international students in the us had to leave the country and do the courses in their own countries, and then he has backtracked on that. matt? i could do without the condescension from my co—panellist here. i agree on the reversal, i'm glad they did reverse it. it makes no sense to kick out international students who are participating in classes and coursework online, that makes no sense. i think more broadly, the trump administration trying to move
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away from a family—based immigration system to a merit—based or skills—based system. that is what the uk, canada, australia has — i don't think anybody would call those countries racist. maybe moe would, he likes to use the word racist a lot. only when it's true, matt. the goal is to bring immigrants in who have the skills that our economy needs when we need them. if it's nurses, for a period of time we bring nurses in. if it's agricultural workers, we will bring them in. but your candidate was trying to get rid of them, matt. to the questioner, about international students, the value to international students coming in, from a united states perspective, every student that comes in, that one spot can go to one person or to another. so when they come in, we want them to stay here. so, hib visa reform and expansion i think would make a lot of sense.
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you have good economic data that shows that if those people come in here and go to an elite university and they study and they stay here, they create jobs, they are innovators, they are employers — and that's a very good thing for the economy. but the challenge is if they come in and get their education and then they go back to india, china, or whatever it is, we have obviously taken that spot away and that's going back to help another country. you want to be thoughtful about what that international student programme looks like, what it means for the economy, and what it means for our education system. let me finish with this final question from social media. again we had a lot of people talking about the economic situation in the us, one person says it could actually lead to the us becoming a failed state. but this is one question, let me put it to you. because of the covid crisis, america is in danger of losing its superpower position in the future — what do you make of that? i think that is highly unlikely. i do think we are entering into a two—great—power era,
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with the us and china. i think we are at risk of being overtaken by china, certainly economically and militarily, if we do not take that on, from a strategic, diplomatic and economic standpoint. economic slowdown is not unique to the us. i think we are bouncing back, moe and i disagree on that, maybe he hasn't seen the statistics in the last few weeks, they have been very, very strong. does that mean everyone who has been economically harmed over the past few months has had their income repaired? no, the answer is no. it will take some time, several months, perhaps into the middle of next year. i think this is where trump has an opportunity to draw that contrast on the economy, to make it clear that a low tax, predictable, low regulation environment, a pro—energy future — this is how we will rebuild the american economy. biden wants to do with more bigger government, higher taxes, more central planning — that's his approach. moe was trying to point out that the obama—biden record was strong — it was the weakest economic
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recovery in 100 years. whenever you have an economic recession, you have explosive growth afterwards... come on, matt. you just brought up big government? we have the highest deficit in the history of the united states of america under your candidate. we've done on the economy. just your last pay—off there— moe, do you think the us might be in danger of losing its superpower status? we already have, we absolutely already have. i do interviews all over the world, the minute the camera goes off, journalists and people say to me, "what has happened to your nation?" that is what i hear consistently. i agree with them — what has happened to our nation? the old american values of compassion, inclusion and empathy and leadership and integrity and decency — that's the one that i am shocked that matt, who sounds like a good guy,
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by the way, but how you can get on tv and defend a racist and a man who has been so deeply indecent... moe, i'm sure that donald trump has said repeatedly that he is not a racist. just putting that there. that is your perspective there. his actions speakjust as loud as his words. moe vela, thank you very much, also your fellow panellist, matthew mackowiak, thank you both very much indeed. also to my questioners, who join us from all over the world. that's all from this edition of global questions: coronoavirus crisis — focus on america. brought you some of the heated debate from both sides of the argument. remember, we are the programme that brings you the trend lines from the headlines. if you want to be part of the conversation, you can e—mail us on until the next time, from me, zeinab badawi, and the rest of the global
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questions team, goodbye. hello there. what a difference a day makes. yesterday's cloud and rain, well, it's been replaced by sparkling blue sky and sunshine. just take a look at this weather watcher picture from whitworth in lancashire, glorious day here. however, different story down to the south east, we have had some heat, we have had some sunshinejust recently, but that was a thing of the past. this morning in finsbury, london, we started the day with some rain. the rain has eased away, but the cloud is taking its time to clear down to the kent coast. so the best of the sunshine further north and west, with a rash of showers driven on by brisk, westerly breeze into the far north of scotland. so this is how we are likely to close out our day. in terms of the feel of the weather,
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a little bit fresher, but i suppose if you've got the sunshine, you are not too bothered, but highs of 15—22 degrees. now, high pressure is going to build monday into tuesday, and that is good news, that means it is going to be a lot of quiet weather in the story. a few scattered showers continue during the early hours of monday morning in the north, but with those clearer skies, temperatures are likely to fall away, and so we could be greeted with single figures first thing on monday morning. a bit of a shock to the system, but there'll be lots of early—morning, sparkling summer sunshine, which will help lift those temperatures pretty readily. and so as we go through monday, again, still the risk of a few scattered showers into the north, but there will be lots of sunshine to look out for and temperatures will respond. so it will be a pleasant afternoon for many, with highest values, again, ranging from around 14 or 15 to 23, maybe 2a degrees if we get plenty of sunshine in the south east. that is the mid—70s. for the final day of the second test, well, it does look as though manchester may well stay dry and there will be lots of sunshine to look out for.
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that high pressure is still with us though, little change as we go into tuesday, just some cloud into the far north west later, an indication of a frontal system that is going to be a little bit of a hiccup through wednesday into thursday. could bring some rain into the far north west. high pressure builds, but as we head towards the weekend, it is just worth a quick heads up, things could turn a little bit more unsettled. a lot of uncertainty about that at the moment, so generally, we have got that little hiccup bringing some cloud and rain into the north west through wednesday, possibly thursday. dry and settled and a little bit warmer to the south.
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this is bbc news. the headlines at 6pm. china denies an accusation by foreign secretary dominic raab that they're carrying out human rights abuses against its uighur population. can i ask you why people are kneeling blindfolded and shaven and being led to trains in modern china? why? what is going on there? i do not know where you get this video tape. it is deeply, deeply troubling. and the reports on the human aspect of it, from forced sterilisation to the education camps, are reminiscent of something we have not seen for a long, long time. borisjohnson says he doesn't believe another nationwide lockdown will be needed — even if there's a second spike


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