Skip to main content

tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 20, 2021 4:00am-4:31am GMT

4:00 am
this is bbc news. a reset for transatlantic relations as president biden recommits to nato and pledges to earn back europe's trust. america is back. the transatlantic alliance is back. and we are not looking backward, we are looking forward together. america's top diplomat speaks exclusively to the bbc about the biden team's approach to the world. whatever it is, not a single nation can reveal whether defectively. we have to work
4:01 am
together. aastonishing new images sent back from mars by nasa's perseverance rover, showing the red planet's surface in detail. and the reality star kim kardashian files for divorce from her husband — the rapper kanye west — after seven years of marriage. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. president biden has told world leaders the translatlantic alliance is back, following years of strained relations between the us and europe under donald trump. addressing the annual munich security conference, mr biden said the world was at a pivotal moment, pitting those who thought autocracy was the way forward against those who understood that democracy was essential. in a moment, we'll hear from the us secretary of state, in an exclusive international tv interview. but first, that pledge from president biden.
4:02 am
i'm sending a clear message to the world. america is back. the transatlantic alliance is back. and we are not looking backward. we are looking forward together. it comes down to this. the strong foundation on which our collective security and our shared prosperity are built. the united states is fully committed to our nato alliance and i welcome europe's growing investment in the military capabilities that enable our shared defence. you know, to me and to the united states, and us, we'll keep article — we will keep faith with article 5. it's a guarantee. an attack on one is an attack on all — that is our unshakeable vow. the g7 has promised a total of $7.5 billion to help the rest of the world receive coronavirus vaccines.
4:03 am
the increase in funding was agreed at a virtual summit. the jabs will be distributed through the un's covax scheme, which isn't expected to start deliveries until the end of the month. critics have accused the g7 of acting too late. in his first international interview, the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has told the bbc that the country is also fully engaged in helping resolve global issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and iran's nuclear ambitions. mr blinken has been speaking exclusively to yalda hakim. he is america's new top diplomat. secretary blinken started his career in the white house advising president clinton and then president obama in senior positions on the national security council. as national security adviser to then vice president biden, he was in the situation room during the raid which killed osama bin laden. he has been biden�*s top foreign policy adviser for nearly two decades. now, the president has tasked him with reframing america's relationship with the world. in his first major interview with an international
4:04 am
broadcaster, i have been speaking to secretary blinken. what role can washington play in resolving conflicts and helping the international community navigate a path out of the coronavirus pandemic? we are determined, once again, to engage in the world, to show up again, because in the absence of american engagement and the absence of american leadership, then one or two things happens — either some other country tries to take our place, and probably does so in a way that does not advance the common interests and values of the democratic world. president biden and secretary blinken have used the virtual g7 meeting to draw a line under trump's america first policy. blinken told me he is eager to engage with america's well, i think you heard the president say it — america is back.
4:05 am
blinken says the us is willing to meet iran for face—to—face talks on returning to the nuclear deal abandoned by trump. we have a policy in recent years of so—called maximum pressure on iran that has not produced results. in fact, the problem has gotten worse. no upfront concessions. blinken addressed america's complex relationship with china, now under pressure from claims of human rights abuses of the uighur people, and condemned a lack of transparency. it is a striking thing to see china have one of the least open information spaces in the world and yet, of course, it takes advantage of the fact that many of our countries have fully free and open information spaces and china uses that to spread misinformation. there is also the issue of troop withdrawal from afghanistan, which the biden administration has put on pause. we're in the midst of a very rigorous review of the policy toward afghanistan but what we do know already, in the initial conclusion we have come to, is that it is vitally important for us and others to press the parties to make good on the commitments
4:06 am
that they have already made. antony blinken has had a front row seat to history over the past 30 years. now, he is leading the foreign interest of a deeply polarised country during a global pandemic. it is a diplomatic in tray that is not for the faint—hearted. yalda hakim, bbc news. and you can see yalda's full interview with secretary of state anthony blinken this weekend across bbc news. earlier i spoke to ian bremmer, president and founder of the political risk consulting firm eurasia group. i asked him how he would deal with europe with a number of populist governments and movements. well, that is one of the least problems on his agenda right now, you know? you have in italy, you've got super mario, who is the exact opposite of a populist now taking over one of the most important economies. you have significant redistribution of wealth making the european union stronger in response to coronavirus.
4:07 am
and you have a pretty easy transition from merkel to her successor, because she has been seen as doing a pretty good job in response. no, i do not think it is populism in europe that is the big problem, it's populism in the united states that biden has a much bigger challenge with — and that's true both within his own democratic party and, of course, in the challenges in trying to reach across the aisle. let's look at china, then. what is the challenge there? well, in china, one challenge is that china is getting a lot more powerful and they actually have a long—term strategy, and it's not aligned with that of the united states, both in terms of trying to be a dominant artificial intelligence and technology superpower in the next couple of decades, a zero—sum relationship with the us on things like hong kong and taiwan, the south china sea, east china sea, and of course the use of sovereignty in terms of treatment of the uighurs, for example, that flies in the face of a stronger focus on human rights in the case
4:08 am
of the united states. no, there is no question that the united states really wants to work more closely with allies and a multilateral approach in dealing with china would be more effective. but despite the fact that most allies are happy to see biden than they were to see trump, their actual interest in working with the chinese are a lot greater with those of the americans, and that a european challenge, right? i mean, there is no question that the united states sees china across the board as the most important national security threat to america. the europeans largely don't feel that way. they are largely more aligned economically with the chinese. they are going to hedge a lot. diplomacy sometimes is a game of inches, of slow progress over many years, but is there one problem out there that the biden administration will think "we can fix this in the next two or three climate. and i would say that
4:09 am
because by far the most important appointment that biden has made has been a new cabinet appointee, john kerry, former secretary of state. thought he should have been president himself. this is going to be a climate foreign policy. it's by far the most significant change from biden from the trump administration, and there is a prioritisation of dealing with climate — notjust in the us but of course in europe. you saw it from borisjohnson pm today at the munich security conference, you've even it increasingly from xijinping in china. if there is a place where you could see major progress in the first year of the biden administration, that's where you will see it. ian bremmer, thank you so much. let's get some of the other main stories. a young woman has become the first protester to die in the anti—coup demonstrations in myanmar after she was shot in the head. 20—year old mya thwate thwate khaing khine was critically injured last week when police tried to disperse protesters using water cannon, rubber
4:10 am
bullets and live rounds. the president of argentina has resigned after being accused of helping a friend jump the queue for vaccines. the former health minister said the inoculations with the result of unintended confusion. the uk supreme court has ruled that the taxi app uber must classify its drivers as workers rather than self—employed. uber had argued its drivers were independent contractors. the ruling could leave it facing a hefty compensation bill, as well has having wider consequences for the gig economy. the un human rights watchdog has asked dubai for proof that one of its ruler�*s daughters — sheikha latifa — is alive. the uae says princess latifa is being cared for at home. she had accused herfamily of holding her hostage in secret recordings obtained by the bbc. mark lobel reports.
4:11 am
iama i am a hostage in this villa has been converted into a jail. the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of dubai's princess latifa continues, last heard of from a smuggled mobile phone in solitary confinement. she blames her father, solitary confinement. she blames herfather, dubai's blames her father, dubai's powerful blames herfather, dubai's powerful ruler. rens released this footage, having not heard from herfor months. now the un wants answers. from her for months. now the un wants answers.— wants answers. given the serious — wants answers. given the serious concerns - wants answers. given the serious concerns about i wants answers. given the - serious concerns about sheikha latifa, we have requested that the government's response comes as a matter of priority. we did ask for proof of life. tiara ask for proof of life. two ears ask for proof of life. two years ago. _ ask for proof of life. two years ago, the _ ask for proof of life. two years ago, the uae - ask for proof of life. two - years ago, the uae released these photos as proof sheikha latifa was ok when similar concerns were raised after she tried to flee the city—state. but the other person pictured here, the former un human rights commissioner mary robinson, says she was horribly
4:12 am
tricked after taking part. campaigners don't want to see the same mistake again. we would like to see the united nations bring an independent team to visit princess latifa wherever she is in the uae, verified proof of life themselves, be given free access to her and if she so wishes, to be able to bring her to a country of her choosing. after mounting international pressure, the uae embassy in london released a statement, saying: but that has made her supporters even more nervous. our concern is supporters even more nervous. oui’ concern is now supporters even more nervous. our concern is now that they may well be drugging her, and she is no doubt in a worse situation than she was before. the situation is very hard but
4:13 am
i have hope, and i'm not giving up. i have hope, and i'm not giving u. �* , i have hope, and i'm not giving u, �* , . , , i have hope, and i'm not giving up. as the princess was my current condition _ up. as the princess was my current condition remains l current condition remains unknown, the us secretary of state told the bbc he will look into the case and that the us takes human rights seriously. adding further pressure on the uae to provide more than just a written statement about the fate of one of their own. mark lobel fate of one of their own. mark lobel, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: remarkable new pictures from mars — of nasa's robot perseverence, touching down on the red planet. nine years and 15,000 deaths after going into afghanistan, the last soviet troops were finally coming home. the withdrawal completed in good order, but the army defeated in the task it had been sent to perform.
4:14 am
malcolm has been murdered. that has a terrible effect on the morale of the people. i'm terrified of the repercussions on the streets. one wonders who is next. gunfire. as the airlift got under way, there was no let—up in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flowed down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being. it could start flowing again at any time. the russians heralded their new—generation space station with a spectacular night launch. they called it mir — the russian for �*peace'. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: presidentjoe biden has used a virtual global security
4:15 am
and pledge to earn back europe's trust. his new us secretary of state, antony blinken, has been speaking exclusively to the bbc about america's stance on coronavirus, climate change and iran. president biden says he'll sign a major disaster declaration for texas as the full extent of the crisis caused by a severe freeze and a huge power failure becomes clear. nearly half of all texans, around 13 million people, have had water services disrupted. hospitals in some hard—hit areas have had to transfer patients elsewhere due to shortages. the state's energy grid is up and running again but many homes are still without power as workers rush to repair damaged or frozen powerlines. a little earlier i spoke to maria mendez, border reporter for texas public radio, about how the dangerous conditions are effecting those attempting cross into the us. yes, this storm has impacted migrants. immigration has still, in a sense, continued reported they have had to go into the rio grande to try to protect migrants
4:16 am
who have been trying to cross, despite freezing temperatures and authorities have been worried about their offices and migrants alike getting hypothermia and, you know, other migrants who are still waiting to seek asylum in mexico though have been braving this cold weather, basically in tents. so a lot of immigrants have been trying to help them stay warm. do we know how many people have been trying to cross the border in such terrible weather? i don't have any big figures, but there have been a few reports in the last week or so from different field offices for federal authorities, the case that i mentioned earlier was from the eagle pass area and another really significant case that wasn't here on the border but was north of us, in san antonio, local authorities intercepted a call for help from migrants that were in a refrigerated truck and in that case, you know, when they arrived on scene they said that
4:17 am
hundreds of them fled into the cold weather and again authorities were concerned about them being out there without proper equipment, as the area there was still seeing snow. what about migrant reception or detention centres, have they been affected by a disruption to power supplies and water supplies? yes. immigrant advocates have been saying that they are concerned about the conditions in detention centres because they have been hearing from migrants in some centres that they lost power and, you know, federal agencies have confirmed they experienced some intermittent outages. they did say they have
4:18 am
generators, but advocates say the migrants have reported being really cold. and another detention centres where power remained other advocates have said that migrants have told them that they lost water and only had a limited supply of bottled water. and even in normal conditions hygiene is always an issue or a concern in detention centres, so there has been a lot of concern about that. we have reported a lot in recent days about the storm's effect in the state of texas, but what about this or�*s effect on northern mexico? mexico actually imports a lot of natural gas from texas and so what happened on sunday and monday was the natural gas lines rose and so mexico was also left without a lot of his energy supply so almost 5 million mexican consumers, mostly in northern border states, were left without power. it's also affected manufacturing industry along the border. it is estimated that they will have losses of at least 2.7 billion because of
4:19 am
these outages. maria mendez there. the duke of edinburgh is expected to remain nasa has released remarkable new high—definition colour images from mars taken by its rover perseverence, which landed on the red planet on thursday. it shows the robot heading down to the ground to make its landing. perseverance has a large amount of data in its memory banks which it is gradually offloading to earth. 0ur science correspondent rebecca morelle has the latest. nasa's perseverance rover being lowered to the surface of mars — an image taken from above, two metres away from touchdown. that image and the details therein really pull us humans here on earth into the result of all of that hard work. you are brought into the surface of mars. you are sitting there.
4:20 am
0n the upper—left of the image and the lower—right of the image, you can see these little dust plumes in that, on the surface of mars, are kicked up by our engines. and here's one of the landing site — the shadow of perseverance is clearly visible. and this close—up of its wheel is intriguing the team. we'll be looking forward in the coming weeks and months as our instruments get checked out to look closer at these rocks. by the edge of the wheel is a rock and one of the first things we noticed was that it has a lot of holes or �*bugs' in it, and so the science team is now thinking about what this might mean. it's the start of the rover�*s two—year mission, and its main objective is to search for signs of life. rover whirrs. perseverance is in an area called thejezero crater. it was once a huge lake. you can see the river flowing into it and out of it. and this purple area is a beautifully preserved river delta where microorganisms could once have lived. this is one of these
4:21 am
existential questions — "are we alone in the universe?" and what i can say is all the raw materials, the building blocks are there for there to be life, so it would be — if there's going to be life, it should be in this type of environment. the rover survived a perilous descent, travelling at the speed of a bullet before a supersonic parachute helped it to the ground. and this is where it was made — it's a fabric factory in tiverton, devon. it was a nerve—racking moment for them. i could hardly watch. and then it sort of really hit home, you know, there's lots of things that could go wrong. but it all went right and all of us — the whole team and everybody working at heathcoat — was elated that we had another successful mission. over the next few days, the rover�*s instruments will be switched on and many more images will start to come back, including a video of its descent. then perseverance will be ready to start investigating its new home.
4:22 am
rebecca morelle, bbc news. well, earlier i spoke to thomas zurbuchen, who's the head of science at nasa. i asked him how he coped with the excitement whilst waiting for the first data from the perseverance to arrive. oh, yes, you should have seen the teams. i was hanging out with the teams just till hours ago and both online and also in—person, and everybody is showing that they have pieces of data that we have. much of the data is still on the way down, and, yes, the excitement is tremendous. frankly, that picture we've seen, that one shot that was just described was just one of a whole movie that will document for the first time the full entry, descent and landing process, in the history of space exploration, and we've never seen that. when i look at a picture like that, i go, "wow!" when you see it with expert eyes, what do you see? i also go wow, because i know all the things i could go wrong. i spent hundreds of hours
4:23 am
looking at the risks, talking to individuals, i know these plumes that were talked about, you know, with this jet pack interacting with the surface of mars, we were really worried about it kicking up rocks. and all these challenges are there, the parachute, the pressures on the parachute, how fast will it inflate, we will see that from the movies. and to me, just the fact that it all worked perfectly just makes me so proud of the team. i means, teams are perfect and individuals have flaws. teams can be perfect. is this when the fun begins? oh, yeah. this is a beginning, right. we have gone on this amazing path for nearly seven months, we're now on the surface of mars, and now every single metre on the surface of mars, we want to collect the most precious samples and bring them back to earth, together with the european space agency, and for us, that is what it is about now.
4:24 am
what i understand, the eventual idea of the mission is to answer the question, are we alone? to find evidence of life on mars billions of years ago. talk us through how you would go about answering the question using this rover? so this is a really important result that we found in the last 20 years or so of mars exploration, and that is these river deltas, the one that we're close to two commoners away from, that that river delta was in fact all of water, 3 billion years ago. if you are on the earth and you looked at mars, the earth and mars looked very similar. there's water standing, there's a magnetic field, there's an atmosphere. and that is precisely the time on earth where these single—celled organisms started evolving. so, the question is, did that happen on mars? so we will use sophisticated instruments to investigate the environment and take samples that we will carry with us until we are ready to deposit them so we can pick them up and bring them back to earth.
4:25 am
really, all the instruments there, our robotic geologists and astrobiologists will be involved with the return mission. what will happen if the perserverance rover breaks down? it better not! we have curiosity out there for almost a decade now. perseverance is 200 pounds heavier and has different instruments but we have a lot of experience with the machinery and we have redundancies. we built these missions to last. so we do not expect it to break down, but if it does, of course, we will make sure it breaks down when we have already deposited on the surface some of these samples so a european fetch rover and pick it up and then bring it into orbit around mars and then eventually back to earth.
4:26 am
pulses of heavy rain working in, and we are going to see those rainfall totals continue to mount. the heavy strain of the high ground, across western areas. a number of flood warnings in force in scotland, one or two for england and some in force as well in wales and across the south of wales. the met office and the amber weather warning, through the course of saturday over the hills and the high ground, 200 millimetres of rain will be forecast with all that rain falling on the high ground,
4:27 am
working down into those river catchments, increasing the risk of flooding in wales. further north and west, drier for a time when scotland and across eastern england. a mild start to the day wherever you are on saturday. 0n to the day wherever you are on saturday. on saturday, most of us will have at least some rain on times. windy and mild, however, across parts of eastern england and perhaps central england as well, it looks like it will be brighter, hazy sunshine, and very mild indeed stop real mixed fortunes from place to place. probably a nice sunrise in scotland across parts of eastern england, further west the rain will be pouring down and turning heavier for pouring down and turning heavierfor a time in northern ireland, turning western through the afternoon stop temperatures for all of us will be on the mild side, 12—14 pretty widely. across eastern england, 16 degrees also possible, very very mild for this time of year. the front still on the charge through saturday night and onto sunday, although the activity will
4:28 am
start to wane somewhat, the rain will not be as heavy and it will start to turn a good deal drier for scotland and northern ireland, with much more in the way of sunshine for the second half of the weekend. across parts of england we will probably see some rain, perhaps wiggling back towards wales. but doesn't mean it will be as extensive or as heavy. another wild one coming up, another windy day, and across eastern england we will see higher temperatures across sunday. highs of 15 degrees or so. into next week, another of these slow—moving fronts. moving into western parts of the uk. again, the risk of further localised flooding into the new week.
4:29 am
4:30 am
this is bbc news, the headlines: president biden has told world leaders the trans—atlantic alliance is back, after years of strained relations addressing the annual munich security conference, mr biden said he wants to lead the west, against what he called, a global assault on democracy. the us secretary of state, antony blinken has told the bbc that america is fully engaged in helping resolve global issues — including the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and iran's nuclear ambitions. in his first international interview, mr blinken stressed the importance of worldwide vaccination against covid—i9. nasa has released new images sent back from mars taken by its perseverance rover. they show the surface in detail and the robot heading down to land on the red planet. it's hoped it will find microscopic signs of ancient life from billions of years ago. now on bbc news, over the last
4:31 am
few years, moroccan migrants who are trying to reach the eu have become youtube celebrities


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on