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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 11, 2021 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm mike embly. our top stories: hope as the world marks exactly a year since the pandemic was declared, with the vaccine now reaching some of the most cut—off communities. the motion is adopted. nearly $2 trillion approved by lawmakers to kickstart the us economy, with some of the money going straight into americans�* pockets. the brother of ghislaine maxwell tells the bbc that the conditions of her detention in a us prison are degrading and amount to torture. people injapan return to the ocean to pay tribute to those killed in the tsunami ten years ago to the day.
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hello to you. it's exactly one year since the world health organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic — that's the point the disease was confirmed as a truly global problem. covid—19 has so far claimed 2.6 million lives, but there's hope on the horizon as vaccines reach some of the furthest corners of the world. our global health correspondent naomi grimley has been looking at the pandemic one year in. it's been a year that most of us will remember for the rest of our lives. one of grief and loneliness on a scale none of us could've imagined. it's exactly 12 months since the world health organization officially sounded the alarm about the seriousness of covid—19.
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we have therefore made the assessment that covid—19 can be characterised as a pandemic. and yet, after a whirlwind of scientific discoveries, we're now seeing vaccines being distributed to some of the most remote communities on earth. in brazil, they've mounted a vaccination campaign reaching reservations and villages like this one, deep in the amazon jungle. translation: i'm happy. we are grateful for the vaccination, so we will not catch the disease and my people will get better. because of a new variant spreading there, brazil has seen some of the worst death toll figures since the pandemic began in the last few days. but overall, scientists are positive about bringing the pandemic to an end. so much more about the virus now. so i am very optimistic of the future, i think we have a better handle on the virus, and we're able
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to keep up, i suppose, with the race against an evolving virus. this graph shows some of the differences in pace, however, of vaccination rates globally. chile, israel, and the us have powered ahead. faring less well are brazil, russia, and china. in europe, there's been a huge amount of disquiet over disappointing vaccination rates. the situation in france has not been helped by negative remarks from president macron about the oxford—astrazeneca vaccine, which he later retracted. this family doctor is doing his best to persuade reluctant patients. translation: there's always a hesitation, i and we have to convince some patients. that's time and energy used. if we don't have support, both from government and media, it's hard to go up from there. patients trust us — but only to a certain extent. meanwhile, the international covax programme says it's
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delivered over 20 million doses to more than 20 developing countries, mostly in africa. but it's really only enough to vaccinate key medical workers. whether it's drive—through vaccinations in la or doctors and nurses in nigeria — get ready for an increasingly divided world, depending on who's been vaccinated and who hasn't. with over 2.6 million deaths in the pandemic so far, everyone can agree that much better protections are needed to ensure it never happens again. naomi grimley, bbc news. one year on since the pandemic was declared, three of our correspondents look back at what's happened in shanghai, rome, and johannesburg and what the situation is there now. we start in china, where covid—i9 was first discovered, with our correspondent robin brant. this is the place where it all began and it started as an outbreak in a small part of a city.
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it went on to become an epidemic and now it is a global pandemic. but here, 15 months on from that, in the country where it all started, things are pretty much normal. in shanghai everyone wears a mask, but the buses are running, the banks open and the restaurants are business. most of the schools across this country have been teaching face—to—face since last august. and people are travelling in the millions on the planes, on trains, but china is a country shut off from the rest of the world. almost no—one is allowed in internationally. it is rolling out vaccines. but it's doing it slowly. it's aiming to get almost half the population having had those jabs, but not until this summer. at the same time it's using some of that stock to help other countries abroad and also to try to win diplomatic favour. now, china's official version of how it dealt with coronavirus is one of success. and look at the official
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numbers, in a country of 1.4 billion people, 15 months on from the outbreak they have had 180,000 cases, according to the official numbers, and just under 5,000 deaths. this week marks a year since italy became the first country in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown and one year on the situation is again not looking good. with the infection curve arising here and the r—value, the spread of the virus going back above one again within the last week, italy is thought to be in a third wave. it's become the second country in europe to surpass 100,000, deaths after the uk, and fatalities remain high at 300—400 today. the government of the new prime minister, mario draghi, is tightening restrictions with different regions in different tiers — yellow, orange, and red — but he's under pressure to tighten further and faster with supporter growing for a more stringent lockdown despite the dire economic impact. italy's economy shrank
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by about 9% last year. the vaccination roll—out here is rather sluggish. italy has administered 5.8 million doses, but that's a lower dose of per 100,000 people than the rest of europe, including spain, greece, and portugal. it has been a year since - south africa recorded its worst case of coronavirus. the country went from a mere two cases at the beginning - of march last year to . currently reaching over 1.5 million infections. and with more than 50,000 deaths, this is the worst - affected countryl on the continent. a third wave is expected - here during the winter months and there are fears that less than half the population - will have been - vaccinated by then. to the us now, where a huge financial aid package to help americans struggling through the pandemic has cleared its final hurdle. president biden�*s plan worth almost $2 trillion, has passed both houses of congress without a single republican vote in favour.
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he'll sign it into law on friday. the so—called american rescue plan gives one—off payments worth $1,a00 to most americans. it allocates $350 billion to state and local governments, and $130 billion to schools. it also provides $49 billion for expanded covid—19 testing and research, as well as $14 billion for vaccine distribution. and the bill extends unemployment benefits of $300 a week until september. millions of americans had been set to lose their benefits in the coming weeks — not any more. so a huge moment for the us economy and an important political moment for president biden. he said there was now light at the end of the tunnel for the american people. this bill represents a historic, historic victory for the american people. i look forward to signing it later this week. everything in the american rescue plan addresses a real need, including investments to fund our entire vaccination effort — more vaccines,
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more vaccinators, and more vaccination sites. millions more americans will get tested, including home testing. schools will soon have the funding and resources to reopen safely on national imperative. the republican leader in the house described his opposition to the measures, calling the bill "a laundry list of left wing priorities." you send the government your tax dollars, but you only get a fraction of what you pay for at the very best. you know, we warned people on the internet about e—mail scams. it's like the ones with those e—mails where you get a promise you'll get millions of dollars — but first, you have to wire them some money. that's exactly what's happening here today. this is the reality of this bill before us. it showers money on special interests, but spends less than 9% on actually
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defeating the virus. kevin mccarthy there speaking for the republicans in the house. professor donna ginther is an economist at the institute for policy and social research at the university of kansas. thank you very much for your time. in your part of the world they know people were very badly hit by covid, i guess also in that part of the world not that many people voted for this president, how is all this going to play, do you think? the bowls show this is a very popular policy, 70% of americans support this american rescue plan, including 63% of lower income republicans and independent voters. help lower income republicans and independent voters.— independent voters. help for state governments is going l state governments is going to make a real difference, isn't it? , , ., it? is very important, state and local— it? is very important, state and local government - it? is very important, state and local government have | it? is very important, state - and local government have been at the cutting edge of addressing covid in terms of
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testing and now vaccinating people. and their tax bases were eroded severely. and as a result, when you cut state government, you cut state employees, and you contribute to more unemployment. so this relief or state governments and local governments is much—needed and will help maintain employment in that sector and help keep the economy moving along and allow the state and local governments to address covid as needed. a loss of the thinking behind this package seems to hinge on the idea that if you give money, if you give breaks to reach people that money tends to go into savings because they can afford to put it into savings, if you give it a poor people they tend to save it and that in itself is a stimulus. that's exactly right. so we have what we call a k shaped recovery in this economy, while the wealthy haven't lostjobs, but employment is down for low
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income people, 16— 20%. so this stimulus package is really focused on the people at the bottom part of the k who have really suffered and, quite frankly, some of theirjobs are not going to come back because the service sector jobs not going to come back because the service sectorjobs and other jobs the service sectorjobs and otherjobs may not come back after a year of covid.- after a year of covid. there is uuite a after a year of covid. there is quite a lot — after a year of covid. there is quite a lot that _ after a year of covid. there is quite a lot that is _ after a year of covid. there is quite a lot that is not - after a year of covid. there is quite a lot that is not here, . quite a lot that is not here, there is no improvement in the minimum wage, there is not that much on pensions, no real change in the relationship between employee and employer, how much of that is going to matter? i how much of that is going to matter? ~ . matter? i think that the minimum _ matter? i think that the minimum wage - matter? i think that the minimum wage was - matter? i think that the minimum wage was a l matter? i think that the - minimum wage was a missed opportunity. we were looking at data for the state of kansas and if the wage was raised to $15 an hour, thousands of people would have gotten a raise. maybe $15 would have caused some discipline defects in the state, but the minimum wage hasn't been touched since the obama administration and
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those low minimum wages means lower income and, you know, poverty for some families. professor, very interesting to talk to you. thank you. thank ou. thanks to you for being with us. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we'll find out why nasa's perseverance lander on mars has been recording the sound of the lasers it's been firing at rocks on the red planet. the numbers of dead and wounded defied belief. this, the worst terrorist atrocity on european soil in modern times. in less than 2a hours, then, the soviet union lost an elderly sick leader and replaced him with a dynamic figure 20 years his junior. we heard these gunshots in the gym. then he came out through a fire exit and started firing at our huts. god, we were all petrified. james earl ray, aged 41, -
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sentenced to 99 years and due for parole when he's 90, i travelled from memphis jail to nashville state prison in an eight—car convoy. i paul, what's it feel like to be married at last? it feels fine, thank you. what are you going to do now? is it going to change your life much, do you think? i don't know, really — i've never been married before! this is bbc news. the latest headlines: one year on from the moment the who declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, there's hope as vaccine supplies reach some of the world's most cut—off communities. president biden has scored an important victory after just fifty days in office, with the house of representatives approving his covid stimulus package worth almost $2 trillion.
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it's exactly 10 years since japan was hit by a giant 9.0 earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami which crashed in to the coast less than an hour later. people are gathering along the shoreline to remember the thousands who were killed. the disaster also triggered a meltdown at the country's fu kushima nuclear plant. our correspondent rupert wingfield hayes has been meeting people who's lives were changed forever on the 11th march 2011. a major earthquake hitjapan on friday afternoon... 11 march, 2011. on the northeast coast of japan, a huge earthquake has triggered a giant tsunami. live pictures are broadcast around the world as the wave sweeps through the little fishing port of yuriagi, destroying everything in its path. by the end of the day, one in ten of yuriagi's residents are missing. among them are kiyokazu sasaki's whole family, including his wife and 14—year—old daughter. ten years on,
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sasaki—san takes me to the place his house once stood. clutched in his arms, his most precious possession — his daughter's school uniform. all that he has to remember her by. translation: in the beginning, i was drinking heavily. i really don't remember much of the first three years after the earthquake. after four years, i started to tell my story. i had a fight with my wife that morning before the quake struck. so now, i tell people, "what would you do if tomorrow never comes?" i tell them to live every single day as if you don't have tomorrow. down the coast, the tsunami triggered a second disaster at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. explosions ripped through the reactor buildings, releasing a huge radioactive cloud. today, the two towns closest to the fukushima
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plant remain deserted, frozen in time. the plant itself is now circled by vast waste dumps. underneath these green sheets are millions of tonnes of contaminated topsoil. unlike with chernobyl, the japanese government has set out to decontaminate the land here around the fukushima plant. vast areas of topsoil have been removed, creating millions and millions of tonnes of waste. and here behind me, you can see new towns being built for the nuclear evacuees. and in large part, it's been a success — the radiation levels here are very low, and it is safe for people to return to live here. yoshihiro shiga is struggling to open the door to his deserted and badly—damaged workshop. after ten years, the roof is falling in. this is where his family made pottery for 300 years. but shiga—san now has no desire to see this place decontaminated.
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translation: this place may look like a mess. but i want it to be left alone. this is my home. i have so many memories here. i don't want others to come in and trample on everything. on the spot where his house once stood, sasaki—san has planted three pine trees to commemorate those he lost. nearby, a huge new seawall has been built to protect yuriagi from future tsunamis. but he, too, has no desire to return to live here next to the ocean that took his family from him ten years ago. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in yagi, northern japan.
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let's get some of the day's other news. brazil's former leader, luiz inacio lula da silva, has returned to the forefront of his country's politics, with a strong condemnation of president bolsonaro's covid—19 policies. at a speech in sao paolo, the popular left leader declined to say whether he would run against bolsonaro next year, after a judge annulled his corruption convictions, reinstating his right to run for office. the us senate has confirmed merrick garland as president biden�*s attorney—general. twenty republicans sided with democrats, including mitch mcconnell, who as the senate majority leader in 2016, blocked judge garland as president obama's nominee to sit on the supreme court. the lower house of the mexican parliament has passed uk police searching for sarah everard have said they have found �*what appear to be human remains' in woodland in kent. a serving metropolitan police officer has been arrested on suspicion of murder following ms everard's disappearance last week in south london. ian maxwell, brother of ghislaine maxwell, who's in jail facing trial in new york has said his sister
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is being held in degrading conditions which �*amount to torture�*. ghislaine maxwell is seeking bail ahead of her trial on charges of helping the convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. she denies the charges. our new york correspondent nada tawfik has the story. jeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell shared an intimate relationship. to epstein�*s alleged victims, the pair were a dangerous combination. ghislaine, they say, was the chief enabler of the convicted sex offender. and now herfamily is finally speaking out. ian maxwell defended his sister in an interview with the bbc. he said she was being treated in a fashion that amounted to torture. physically, she�*s a 59—year—old woman and we understand that she�*s losing her hair, and that she�*s also having trouble with her eyesight and her ability to concentrate, because this is a tremendous pressure to be under.
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his comments come as his sister is seeking bail for a third time, desperate to leave the federal prison here in brooklyn and to wait out the trial under home confinement. thejudge has previously ruled that she is a flight risk. ghislaine maxwell says she�*s innocent. her brother denies that she is seeking to flee or that she is a suicide risk. ghislaine is not a suicide risk. she has never been a suicide risk. there are daily mental evaluations of her. she has shown no indication that that is her intention. she�*s been completely overmanaged. and why is that? because jeffrey epstein, who was under federal custody at the time of his death, died in federal custody, and so this is a grotesque overreaction.
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for her alleged victims, though, it�*s not. women that i represent, these 20 victims, many of them have suffered for so many years. they have, some of them, engaged in self—blaming, feel ashamed. they are understanding now that it's not their fault, but this has been a long, long process. ian maxwell says that he met epstein once fleetingly, and that he only saw him and his sister together once. there are numerous photos, including this infamous one with prince andrew, which he was asked about in his bbc interview. i don�*t know anything about the photograph, other than that i�*ve seen it�*s been published. do you recognise the setting of that? was it taken in ghislaine's house in london? i do recognise that setting. he believes his sister still considers prince andrew a friend.
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the prince, meanwhile, has stepped back from royal duties to reduce his public profile. with the trial drawing near, the world may finally get to uncover the truth about epstein, his associates, and what�*s been called the most notorious sex trafficking ring in us history. neda tawfik, bbc news, new york. nasa scientists have released the first sounds of a laser being fired on another planet. they were made by an instrument on the perseverance rover which landed on mars three weeks ago. researchers say that by listening to the laser at work through an onboard microphone, they can gain additional insights on the rocks the robot is studying. let�*s have a listen to the probe firing—off its high—powered laser. ticking sound keith cowing is the editor of he says there�*s so much we can learn from listening to those laser sounds. listening to that, you could learn a hundred things about mars, the atmosphere, the rocks, all sort of things and having a sort of microphone there is a new thing. and we�*ve heard the sound of wind blowing on mars
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as well, just recently. i think this technology was used by the previous rover, wasn�*t it? what is different now? something that was not as sophisticated. this is quite a sophisticated system. if you add the fact the camera which is deployed is two metres high, if you take in the sound that you�*ve heard, the wind and what you see in the horizon, it�*s as if you are a two metres tall person standing on mars. you have to have a spacesuit but you get a good idea of what it would be like. coming up next is the helicopter experiment. i like the sound of that, what is the helicopter experiment? ingenuity, it�*s about this big, not that much bigger than a couple of sixpacks of beer, and it will fly on mars and the idea is to demonstrate that you can fly vehicles in a very in atmosphere but also this gives you a sort of ability to see ahead of where the rover is going, to look at the horizon,
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look at different places, see what the best route might be because satellite images only get you to so much level of detail stop this will get you very close. further missions may have something far more sophisticated than this but this is a real trailblazer, the first time they�*ve blown anything on that world. generally, how do you think it�*s going? what is exciting you and what is disappointing you? i�*m the disappointed in anything yet. it�*s only been 1.5 weeks and everything is working perfectly. i can�*t wait for it to move around and do the astrobiology research, that is what i�*m interested in. in india, thousands of pilgrims have gathered on the banks of the ganges river for the start of the kumbh mela. it is a major festival and pilgrimage in hinduism, celebrated in 12—year cycles, across four riverbank sites. officials have put a number of measures in place, including testing to try to stop the spread of covid—19. the government says devotees who flout guidelines will be prosecuted.
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more on the news on our website and also on our twitter feed. thank you for watching. hello. march may have come in like a lamb, but the lion has now arrived early. and, after a stormy night, we have a very windy thursday all around an area of low pressure that�*s sitting to the north of us, but the tightly—packed isobars right across us indicating that wherever you are, thursday will be a very windy day. but it�*s england and wales bearing the brunt of the strongest, most disruptive winds, particularly early in the day as we see this area of wet weather move across northern england, wales, the midlands, and on towards east anglia. first thing in the day, the strongest winds will be wales, western england, gusting up to 70 mph, maybe more exposed coastal hills, especially in wales, very rough seas and large waves hitting the coastline here, so that could be disruptive in terms of flooding. and the winds across england
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and wales as they continue to gust, 50—60 mph, maybe a little bit more in places during the morning, could be disruptive before easing gradually into the afternoon. weather—wise, wherever you are, it is sunshine and blustery showers from heavy hail and thunder. these are your wind gusts at the end of the afternoon, so they�*re easing a bit in england and wales, but still very windy in northern ireland — in fact, the wind�*s picking up again in northwest scotland, approaching 60 mph at this stage. single figures in scotland and northern ireland, 9—12 celsius in england and wales. and it remains very blustery overnight thursday and into friday. further showers around increasingly falling as snow into the hills of scotland, perhaps northern ireland, into the pennines, as well — some here with a covering of snow at the higher ground as friday starts. and these are your temperatures. and then, for friday, spot the difference — yes, there�*ll be drier moments and sunshine, but there�*ll be further heavy showers around, some with hail and thunder, and still falling as snow into the hills of scotland, northern ireland, northern
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england, perhaps into wales at times, too, the higher and, ifanything, perhaps a little bit cooler on friday. and then, into the weekend, well, still low pressure. a frontal system bringing more wet weather more widely overnight and into saturday. then saturday, it�*s sunshine and showers. bit of a lull first thing sunday, but this weather system bringing more rain at least into western parts as we go on through sunday. so, a selection of locations here for your sunday weather. and then, looking into next week, well, it turns drier and calmer once again, as that march lamb makes a comeback.
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this is bbc news. the headlines:
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it�*s one year on from the moment the world health organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. despite more than 2.6 million deaths and at least 117 million confirmed cases in just about every country on earth, the source of the virus has still not been scientifically confirmed. president biden�*s massive coronavirus relief package has cleared its final hurdle in the us congress. the economic aid plan worth almost $2 trillion was approved by the house of representatives without a single republican vote in favour. the bill includes a one—off payment of $1,400 for most americans. thousands of pilgrims are gathering on the banks of the ganges river for the start of the kumbh mela officials have put a number of measures in place, including testing, to help stop the spread of coronavirus. india�*s government says devotees who flout guidelines will be prosecuted.


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