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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  May 28, 2021 12:00am-12:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. president biden says he'll publish the results of a new inquiry into coronavirus origins. china says any suggestion it leaked from a lab is a "co nspiracy" the eu says it's nearly ready to launch new sanctions on belarus as an international inquiry into the arrest of a journalist is launched. has the recent fighting between israel and hamas revealed fault lines in america's relationship with its main regional ally? and dark matter — the most mysterious substance in the universe. now scientists have mapped it out.
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hello, and thanks forjoining us. president biden has ordered a review of intelligence about where the covid—19 outbreak originated from. it follows renewed speculation in america that the virus leaked from a laboratory in the city of wuhan. the world health organization is preparing further studies into its origins having previously said it was "highly improbable" to have come from a lab. but china has accused the us of playing politics with coronavirus. here's our china correspondentjohn sudworth. for more than a year, the theory that the virus leaked from this wuhan laboratory has largely been dismissed as a conspiracy. the invisible enemy, the china virus... the theory�*s association with donald trump made it for manyjust one more
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piece of disinformation. but in the mouth of president biden, well, that feels different, and suddenly the world's media are taking it seriously. well, i think it's very important because it will feed into... a welcome change for those long trying to argue that all possible origins need to be investigated. well, it matters because it has had a huge impact on everybody's lives around the world. we need to find out how this started, so we can prevent it happening again. if it turns out it was a lab leak, we need to make sure our bio—safety and bio—security policies are solid and that they're in place and implemented. china now finds itself repeating its earlier denials. translation: the united states does not care about _ facts and truth at all. nor is it interested - in serious scientific tracing. but instead wants to use i
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the epidemic to politically manipulate and to stigmatise. many scientists still favour a natural origin. coronaviruses are known to have jumped from animals to humans in markets like this in the past. lab leaks, though, have also happened before, and the wuhan lab has collected, studied and experimented on coronaviruses on a huge scale. when we tried to report on this science, we were followed, obstructed and prevented from filming. have you found the origins of the coronavirus? but the world health organization team that visited wuhan all but ruled out a lab leak. today, one of them told the bbc if the us has evidence that lab workers got sick, it should share it. they've been saying that for almost a year now, so if there is real evidence, then i think the responsibility
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of the us is to share it because then it can be followed up. the debate will continue, but evidence is what matters, and there's little prospect of china allowing another investigation on its soil. john sudworth, bbc news, taipei. earlier, i spoke to professor yanzhong huang, a senior fellow for global health at the council on foreign relations and an expert on china. i asked him what he made of biden�*s call for a deeper investigation. i think this announcement is not based on new data supporting the lab leak theory, it'sjust based on a revisit, a reassessment of the hypothesis. he's taking some political risk presumably given that he is currently trying to rebuild relations with china. yes, being critical on its human rights record, particularly towards the uighurs, but also
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saying that china can be a valuable partner on things like climate change. climate change depends on data, it depends on countries being candid about their emissions and all the rest of it. why is he trying to sort of provoke china in this way? after all china is not known for wanting to be particularly transparent on this issue. i just wonder what would be changed by knowing what the origin was even if he was able to establish that. i think there are both pros and cons of making such an announcement. and certainly as far as the us—china relations are concerned by poking china in the eyes, that won't help improve the already fragile bilateral relationship, you know, especially as far as, you know, this cooperation over climate change is concerned. but i think it might also be interpreted as a preemptive strategy to sort of...
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given that china, there's potential, there's the charm initiative being launched at the world health at the world health organization, this could be, i think, a preemptive strategy to basically put china on the defensive. and in the meantime, you know, this issue could also generate a lot of this consensus for the us and its allies to work together. the british foreign secretary, dominic raab, has welcomed an international investigation into the diverted ryanair plane that led to the arrest in minsk of the belarusian journalist roman protasevich. the eu says it's almost ready to launch new sanctions on the country. sarah rainsford is in minsk for us. more strong words from the international community and more moves towards concrete actions against the authorities here in belarus, too, with talk of a package of sanctions almost ready
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against the authorities here, and possible economic measures soon after that. there is one sanction that's already kicked in here, with the national airline belavia here now banned from flying to europe, so there's an increasing sense of isolation in this country from that move. i spoke to people today trying to return their tickets, talking about the fact they felt trapped in the country now, but interestingly they also told me they welcomed the move, they welcomed the sanctions. they hope that could increase the pressure on the authorities that they tried to do with their street protests last year. of course, they were forced off the streets by the massive security forces�* lashback crackdown that followed. one other consequence of the sanctions could be pushing belarus closer to russia. vladimir putin a critical backer of alexander lukashenko, keeping him in power until now. and vladimir putin and alexander lukashenko are set to meet tomorrow in sochi in russia. the us secretary of state,
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antony blinken, has condemned the overhaul of electoral rules in hong kong. the sweeping changes, approved on thursday, limit the number of directly elected legislators. they also mean candidates will be vetted to keep out those critical of beijing. martin yip in hong kong explains. this electoral reform bill pretty much prescribed by beijing was passed by a landslide 40—2 in the legislature. the only remaining pro—democracy politician said no to it. so did another who claimed himself to be neutral. beijing has hailed this passing of the bill as the beginning of good governance after what it calls "chaos" in past elections. the question now is if hong kong's legislature would ever hear pro—democracy opposition voices again, as in the past year, we saw dozens of politicians and activists both young and old being detained or imprisoned under various charges.
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some of them are charged with subversion or collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, which, if found guilty, could mean life imprisonment. even if they could be able to walk free from jail at some point, they could still be disenfranchised for life. lo kin—hei, head of hong kong's democratic party, has said they will find a gap to survive. for the democratic party, we're still debating or still discussing within our party on our role forward. whether or not we will join the election, it is still too early to call. other parties remain undecided on whether they should run in future elections. because, under the new law, if you want to run in the election, you would first have to be vetted by a committee that includes the national security police. if you fail this process, that could well mean that the police have secured
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enough evidence to prosecute you, while if you pass, that could be the voters' turn to question if you are indeed a pro—democracy politician. martin yip in hong kong. now to the tokyo olympics. the event is still set to go ahead despite rising covid case numbers acrossjapan, and now the japanese doctor's union hasjoined the calls for the event to be cancelled. the union's chairman said holding the event could risk the creation of a new variant. earlier, i spoke to professor jules boykoff, a former footballer and an expert on the politics of the olympics and sport from the pacific university of oregon. i asked him why, in the face of so much pressure, are the games still going ahead. there's a cascade of disgruntlement against holding the tokyo olympics this summer. the reason why is fairly straightforward, it's money. the international olympic committee has a lot at stake and the summer olympics are their golden cash spigot. they're not exactly thrilled
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about winching it shut because of a little pandemic. at least that's how they're treating it. to make it a little more clear, 73% of the committee's budget come from broadcaster revenues, another 18% comes from corporate sponsors like coca—cola and ali baba. and so when more than nine out of every $10 flowing into the international olympic committee's coffers come from those two sources, you can understand why they're fine with a made—for—tv event so long as they can pull it off, broadcast it, collect those revenues and move on. the australian open went ahead relatively successfully, albeit with a lot of restrictions on the athletes concerned. why could that happen and the tokyo olympics not happen? well, people have pointed to the australian open, though it wasn't perfect, that's for sure, nor the recent indian cricket tournament had to be stopped in the midst of it, those are relatively small tournaments compared to the 11,000 athletes and around 80,000 individuals that would need to travel to tokyo for the olympic games. they talk about there being a
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bubble for the australian ppen. this would be el bubble grande, and it would be very difficult to control especially because of fact that less than 3% of the population injapan is vaccinated. so, even if you throw those athletes in a perfectly sealed bubble, it won't be perfectly sealed because you need to have workers coming in from the outside to deliver the food, deliver other items, and so while it might seem antiseptic on the surface, if you start thinking about the basics of life, it becomes pretty tricky to hold down that bubble. last brief thought, if there's so much political pressure, why doesn't the japanes prime ministerjust go ahead and pull the plug? the japanese prime minister has stated publicly that that is not his purview. it's only the international olympic committee who can decide to cancel the olympics. that's written right into the host city contract that every single olympic host city signs with the ioc. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, signs of success in bhutan, keeping the coronavirus
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virus under control. in the biggest international sporting spectacle ever seen, up to 30 million people have taken part in sponsored athletics events to aid famine relief in africa. the first of what the makers of star wars hope will be thousands of queues started forming at 7am. taunting which led to scuffles, scuffles to fighting, fighting to full—scale riot, as the liverpool fans broke out of their area and into the juventus enclosure. the belgian police had lost control. the whole world will mourn the j tragic death of mr nehru today. he was the father of. the indian people from the day of independence. the oprah winfrey show comes to an end after 25 years and more than a500 episodes. the chat show has made her one of the richest people on the planet. geri halliwell, otherwise known as ginger spice, has announced she's left the spice girls. argh, i don't believe it! she's the one with the bounce, the go, girl power.
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not geri, why? this is bbc news. our main headline this hour — president biden orders intelligence agencies to redouble efforts to investigate the origins of covid—i9, including any possibility it could have come from a chinese lab. the united nations human rights council has agreed to open an investigation into this month's conflict between israel and the militant group hamas. american political support for israel has historically been one of the rare areas of bipartisan agreement. but the latest conflict has revealed a new dimension in american politics, with support for the palestinians coming from the more progressive members of the democratic party. laura trevelyan reports now from israel. devastation in gaza.
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hamas began this confrontation by firing rockets at israel, ultimately killing 13 people, two of them children. the israeli military response killed 215 in gaza, including 66 children. in the us, president biden was lobbied by lawmaker rashida tlaib, who's of palestinian descent. public pressure to stop the bombing of gaza from the progressive left of the democratic party. watching closely in east jerusalem was kefah, a palestinian—american teacher and a member of democrats abroad. she feels the palestinian voice is finally being heard in america. it was very uplifting because i grew up in the states, and basically, the dialogue did not include us, and if it did, it always had us in a negative picture, us being the palestinians. and to see the left finally rallying and calling for change and calling for the same things that we're calling for. clashes between israeli police and palestinians injerusalem
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in the run—up to the latest conflict also drew condemnation from the progressive left in the us. laura wharton is an israeli—american political scientist and jerusalem city councillor for a left—wing party. she's been watching as events here are compared to the reckoning over racial justice in the us. i would say that a lot of americans, especially american jews and the american jewish left, saw the police, you know, beating up palestinians and saw the riots and so forth and saw george floyd, which is justified in many ways, because it's similar. the thing is, there are also fundamental differences. it's more complicated because we're at war. here injerusalem, tensions between israelis and palestinians over access to holy sites and to land helped fuel the latest deadly conflict. in the aftermath, the biden administration is underlining that it doesn't want to see palestinians evicted from their homes or morejewish settlements in eastjerusalem
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and the west bank. marc zell, the chairman of republicans overseas, loved president trump's unapologetic pro—israel stance and doesn't like the new tone from washington. you know, we're like the native americans coming home. - that's really what...we're the indigenous people. i the arabs are latecomers! but the biden administration says you're taking the land of palestinians. yeah, that's exactlyj what they're saying. they've got it - completely backward. though support for israel's right to exist and defend itself is a cornerstone of us foreign policy, the pro—israel the pro—israel bipartisan consensus of the past is shifting rapidly, reflected by the range of views among americans living here. laura trevelyan, bbc news, jerusalem. the french president, emmanuel macron, has asked rwandans to forgive france for its role in the
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1994 rwandan genocide in which 800,000 ethnic tutsis and moderate hutus died. he said france did not listen to warnings about the impending genocide. speaking at the genocide memorial in the rwandan capital, kigali, mr macron insisted france was not an accomplice in the killings. the bbc�*s olivier weber reports. music — la marseillaise. the sounds of the french national anthem echoing in kigali. this was emmanuel macron's first visit to rwanda, only the second french president to make the trip since the genocide in 1994. mr macron then headed for the gisozi genocide memorial centre, where 250,000 victims are buried. translation: france did not understand that by wanting i to block a regional conflict or a civil war, it stood de facto by a genocidal regime. a report by a french inquiry panel in march said a colonial attitude had blinded then—president francois mitterrand and his officials
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and that they had serious and overwhelming responsibility for not foreseeing the genocide committed by the hutu government backed by france. translation: and so, | with modesty and respect by your side today, i come to recognise our responsibility. responsibility, but no official apology from france. most certainly a call for forgiveness. translation: only those who went through that - night can perhaps forgive and so could give us the gift of forgiving ourselves. yet emmanuel macron insists french troops were not involved in the massacres. a genocide survivors�* group said it regretted the lack of a clear apology from mr macron. translation: we remember the french who went - to the checkpoints, who walked with the far and who helped then to distinguish between the tutsis and the hutus. we cannot forget that easily.
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we need to be honest. they have participated. it was time to say sorry. but president paul kagame welcomed the speech. this was a powerful speech with a special meaning - for what is taking place now and which will resonate - well beyond rwanda. this was a visit meant to mark the final stage of the reconciliation between france and rwanda, a way to move on from three decades of diplomatic tensions. olivier weber, bbc news. as the spread of the coronavirus continues to rage in india, their small himalayan neighbour bhutan has largely kept the virus under control. the country shares 700 kilometres of porous border with india and has a fragile health system. despite this, bhutan has vaccinated more than 80% of its adult population
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in around three weeks. and although it's a small country with around 760,000 people, many live in remote himalayan villages. michael kugelman is the deputy director of the asia program at the wilson center and a leading specialist on bhutan. he's been telling me more about bhutan's remarkable vaccination programme. from the start, bhutan's response to the pandemic has been very impressive. you had very swift and effective action from the government, and you've also had very clear and consistent communication from authorities on what the population should do to deal with the pandemic. and another advantage for bhutan is you have a lot of public trust within society toward political leaders and government institutions. so, when the government were providing advice on how to handle the pandemic,
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the people were trusting them. another key factor which has enabled bhutan to be so successful in its response is this spirit of altruism and compassion that's very known in bhutan where essentially you have the entire country, government officials including the king himself and the public, mobilising to help those needed assistance with the pandemic. you had the king who essentially launched a $20 million relief campaign targeting citizens affected by the pandemic and they moved very quickly to vaccinate the public. so it's important to note that many people are vaccinated initially, but most of the people vaccinate initially only received one dose and not to. so that kind of much talked about happiness index is not just a kind of pr thing to appeal to foreign investors and tourists, it actually affects the cultural approach to shared problems? that's exactly right. some people feel that this gross national happiness thing is some sort of cute little
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abstraction and is fun to joke about. but indeed i think it was a major factor that enabled bhutan to react so effectively to the pandemic to this point. an international team of astronomers has reported a breakthrough discovery about dark matter in our universe. little is known about the substance. scientists are pretty sure it exists, but still don't know exactly what it is. but now researchers believe that dark matter might be more spread out across the universe than was first predicted, which could mean einstein's theory of general relativity needs a revision, as our science correspondent pallab ghosh reports. look up at the skies, and you see stars. but this telescope, in the deserts of chile, is able to see the universe as it really is, filled with a mysterious substance called dark matter. it can't be seen, but this instrument can detect dark matter by the way it distorts starlight. this is a map of matter in the universe. and that's allowed astronomers to produce this map of how it's spread across the expanse
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of space. it's an element of, you know, unveiling mystery. something you, you couldn't see before, and suddenly, it's there, and you think, "wow." so, what is dark matter, and where is it in space? well, let's start off with our own sun. it's one of 100 billion stars that make up our galaxy, the milky way, which, in turn, is one of countless others throughout the universe. dark matter permeates space, with galaxies like tiny gems on a tangled cosmic web. the bright areas are where dark matter is most concentrated, and it's here that galaxies form, but the map is not what astronomers expected. the matter should be slightly more clumped together. instead, it's smoother than predicted by einstein's theory of general relativity, which helps determine how the matter should have spread out after the big bang. if the structures in this map are smoother than
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we expect them to be, which is what the results seem to hint at, it means that einstein's theory is wrong. so, you might think that that's a bad thing, that maybe physics is broken. but for physicists, it's extremely exciting, because it means we can find out something new about the way the universe really is. building on the work of einstein, carlos frenk was among a group of scientists that developed the current model of cosmology. hearing now that there may be something not quite - right with the theory, - well, it's very disconcerting. it's very alarming, and, - in a way, frightening to see that maybe my whole life's work might crumble in front of me. i but, at the same time, i it is immensely exciting. astronomers believe that we are at the start of a new revolution in cosmology that will give us a fuller understanding of how the universe began and how it will evolve. pallab ghosh, bbc news.
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and some dark matter may have leaked into the studio and swallowed the word relativity. it was that general theory i was referring to from einstein. have a good rest of the hour will stop. hello there. we saw plenty of sunshine today, and it felt much warmer across the board than what we've been used to this month so far. there are some subtle changes overnight. we've got a weak weather front pushing into western areas. that's going to bring the thicker cloud to many, but also outbreaks of rain across the west, initially for northern ireland, and then that rain will spill its way eastwards through the night across western scotland in towards western england and also western wales. there'll some mistiness and murkiness around, too. but the further east you are, although there will be more cloud around, it should tend to stay dry here. those temperatures no lower than around 8—11 degrees for most, so milder
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than last night. so, here we go — here's the pressure chart for friday, then. we've got this weak weather front across western areas pushing into high pressure, so that's always going to weaken it. so, it looks like the rain out west will slowly peter out through the course of the day, but could stay rather grey, damp and misty here. further north and east, we'll see the best of any sunny spells and dry weather, but where the sunshine does appear and pushes temperatures close to the 20 celsius mark, then we could see the odd heavy shower developing, particularly in towards east anglia. and temperatures not as high as what we've seen today. now, for the bank holiday weekend, though, we're going to see lots of sunshine around, particularly for england and wales, as high pressure continues to build in across the country. for saturday, there will be a legacy of cloud left from that weather front, so patchy cloud and sunny spells sums it up nicely. maybe the odd shower mixed into there, but most places will be dry. where you get the sunshine, temperatures reaching the low 20s celsius again. further north, where skies stay cloudy, then the high teens celsius. for sunday, though, i think it looks sunnier across the board. little bit of fairweather cloud bubbling up through the afternoon, and there will be light winds as well around this area of high pressure, so it's going to feel
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much warmer than what we've been used to. 22—23 degrees across the south, 20 celsius there across parts of scotland, too. now, for the bank holiday monday, we'll see this weather front push in from the north—west, affecting the north west of scotland, parts of northern ireland. but for the south and east of scotland, much of england and wales, it's pretty similar to sunday. plenty of sunshine, light winds and feeling warm — in fact, even warmer. we could make 211—25 degrees across the south or the south east. and it stays fine, settled and sunny, particularly for england and wales as we head through the first week ofjune. temperatures holding up at around the mid—20s celsius across the south east.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines... china has warned the us not to politicise the issue of the origins of the covid outbreak. president biden has ordered a new intelligence probe following reports it could have emerged from a chinese laboratory. but, beijing says any suggestion of a lab leak is a "conspiracy". the un civil aviation agency says it will investigate belarus's diversion of a ryanair plane and the arrest of an opposition journalist on board. it's been revealed russia has denied entry to flights by two european airlines because they planned to avoid belarusian airspace. doctors groups injapan have said that the olympics should be cancelled if current coronavirus infection rates continue. medical groups have warned the event could introduce new variants to japan and strain medical resources ——medical groups have warned the event could introduce new variants.
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