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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  November 8, 2021 3:30am-4:01am GMT

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sudanese security forces have fired tear gas at multiple pro—democracy protests in the capital, khartoum. they have also been dismantling barricades that had been erected and set on fire by protesters. the demonstrators had called for two days of civil disobedience to protest against last month's coup. the rappers travis scott and drake are being sued over friday's stampede at the astroworld music festival in the us city of houston in which eight people were killed. prosecutors in texas have filed lawsuits on behalf of relatives against both artists. the stampede happened while scott was performing. the united states will shortly reopen its land and air borders to travellers from much of the world. visitors who are fully vaccinated against covid—19 will be allowed to enter the country after a 20—month ban, imposed by former president donald trump in march last year.
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now on bbc news, it's time for dateline london, with shaun ley. hello and welcome to the programme, which brings together bbc specialists and the foreign correspondents who write, blog and broadcast for audiences in their own countries from the dateline: london. this week, is china putting power before the planet? a fishy end to the british—french stand—off, and sleepyjoejust biding his time? to discuss that, we're joined by the american journalist ned temko who writes for the christian science monitor. david shukman, the bbc�*s science editorjoins us from — where else this week — but glasgow. here in the studio,
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stefanie bolzen, uk and ireland correspondent for the german news site welt. welcome to you. let's begin with china. we knew that president xijinping wouldn't attend cop26, the climate change conference in glasgow. what we didn't know was that his country would absent itself from many of the key agreements, too. a pledge to cut methane by 2030? not there. a pledge to phase out coal? not there. as for agreeing that global temperatures should be allowed to rise no more than 1.5 degrees above pre—industrial levels, forget it. david, you're in the heart of things up in glasgow. tell us what china has and has not signed up to, and why it matters. china's the biggest polluter. something like 28% of global emissions come from chinese soil. so any effort to tackle climate change pretty well has to involve the chinese. so far, they have actually stuck to their guns in terms of existing policy. there were high hopes,
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especially from the uk presidency of this process, that in the run—up to it, there might be some new breakthrough chinese initiative. but that didn't happen. there were some minor concessions. for example, president xi said they would no longer fund the construction of coal—fired power stations outside china. they didn't say what would happen inside china. they planned to be carbon neutral by 2060, later than many western countries. they plan to peak their carbon emissions by 2030. there were hopes that they would do more. they've continue with the line, which they've always have had, to be honest, which was other countries industrialised first, notably the united states. they've been chucking carbon emissions into the atmosphere for 150 years or so, and the chinese like to point out not so much current emissions, of which they're number one, but historical cumulative emissions
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and, under that reckoning, the us is the number one with about a quarter of all emissions in the air at the moment coming from us soil. so, with that in mind, they say the richest nations, the western nations that industrialised first, they've got to move first when it comes to climate change. ned, china, as we heard, made this argument. i can imagine it's quite a seductive argument. it's shared presumably by a lot of countries in the global south. that in the end, the west caused this problem, or industrialised countries caused this problem and, by historical reasons, they are mostly western countries, many western european. your country as well. it is their problem first to solve. how would you rebut that argument if you were face to face with a chinese diplomat tonight? well, i think the gist of the argument is absolutely true and i think one of the ironies is that it is
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increasingly acknowledged by the united states, certainly post the trump administration again and by the west, who have redoubled their efforts in the last six years, since paris, to try and cut emissions, try and develop new technologies. as climate scientists will tell you, however, far too slowly and far too little. but for instance, recently, there has been a new focus on making good on a commitment of several years vintage now, to pour something like $100 billion a year into developing economies, precisely as a way of subsidising a greener transition there without forcing developing economies to sacrifice economic growth. but the chinese line here is essentially political, and, as i think david alluded to, it's from an old playbook. what i would say is that that playbook has become gradually
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less credible in the last 10—15 years. that is to say, back then it could be argued that china was a big economy, yes, but it was essentially a developing economy. now it is the second—largest economy in the world. it's a modern economy, it's a fully industrialised economy and, as david says, it's responsible for more than a quarter of all global emissions and i think more than half of coal emissions, and it's pretty clear that, without active chinese participation, even tighter western targets are not going to be sufficient to meet the aspirations of the paris conference. stefanie, the eu delegation is united on the challenge. even countries like poland, for example, are signing up to things that are difficult
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forthem, not least because poland is so dependent on coal still. but on china, there isn't one voice in the eu. it's a dilemma how best to influence china. when countries like germany are reluctant to challenge it on human rights and other countries have been jumping up and down on issues like that. this is, not only when itl comes to climate change but on many other issues, that's a challenge - for the european union, - simply because of the influence of china, investment that china has in europa _ generally, the eu is leading in the fight against - climate change and rightly so because it's a very- powerful continent and also, actually, the europeans- understood that the pandemic can be a unique opportunity, i so, when they adopted this massive recovery package. plus the budget until 2026, which is 1.8 trillion euros, i a third of this is earmarked. for investment into the fight against climate change, so there is a big will-
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to do this on paper but, - as you say, poland, hungary... poland might have pledged now to the phasing out of coal - but actually, in brussels there are a lot of rows l about this because these countries are saying, - we depend on coal, we have massive economic problemsj now because of the pandemic, we cannot spend _ more money on this. and on top of it — phase out. coal, which we urgently need. david, you outlined some of the things that president xi has said. i mean, you could argue that quite a lot of this, we talked about the old playbook, it's exactly that, it's almost part of the official chinese institutional pathological view of the west as the humiliator of china on many occasions, most notably during the opium wars. how are the british as the kind of chair of this event handling this? do you get a sense as you talk to officials off the record
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that they have a strategy for engaging china on this issue? it's a great question and it's very sensitive and very difficult. because however you look at it, relations between the uk and china are not exactly brilliant. you can pick from a long list of topics that cause tension. hong kong, for example. china's treatment of the uighurs. the fact that the royal navy has just sailed its new aircraft carrier through the south of china. these are all issues that create, if you like, a difficult atmosphere in the run—up to this event, and the fact is that the man chairing cop26, the british minister alok sharma, only managed to get to beijing once in the run—up to the summit. whereas, on previous occasions, for example, ahead of the paris summit in 2015, there were multiple visits by all kinds of world leaders to beijing. clearly, covid is a factor, but i think it illustrates how difficult it has been for the uk to have any
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influence and they cannot really cajole. i think they are trying to look at other parties, like the eu, perhaps the americans, to bring some influence. there has been a phone call between boris johnson and president xi but there is acceptance britain has limited influence and the hope must be that others can bring some influence to bear on china. who knows, maybe some of those countries that benefit from china's largesse could have a quiet word in the ear. thank you all very much. it was donald trump, who nicknamed his democrat rival for the presidency "sleepyjoe". some in mr biden�*s own party may be wondering whether the president has been asleep on the job. as congressional democrats continued to squabble amongst themselves over how to pass the president's signature infrastructure reform, the results in governatorial elections in two states suggest voters may be losing patience. the democrats lost virginia and came perilously close to defeat in newjersey. just on virginia, ned, i think i'm right in saying
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thatjoe biden won that state a year ago by ten percentage points. on wednesday night, they lost all three state offices. what's the explanation and why does that result, which is just after the election, why does it matter? why is it causing such jitters amongst the democrats? the first thing to say is that the two governatorial results probably matter less than a lot of people, including us in the press have suggested because they make good headlines. if you go back to the 19805, since then, every new president, republican or democrat, has lost these two states' governor offices in their first year in office. so you could argue that democrats and biden didn't do well but they did less terribly than the historical barometer
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would suggest, but that doesn't mean it's good news, and the reason it matters is this... first, as you say, it wasn't just the governor's office, it was other offices around the state as well. but much more seriously for the long term, or not the long—term, but for the next year, because this is all about the mid—term elections for both houses of congress, almost exactly a year from now, and the bad news in that context is the polling, and it seemed to suggest that, while the democratic base held up pretty well in both newjersey and virginia, two key constituencies that the democrats had peeled away during the four years of the trump administration because of the toxic antipathy that he generated in these areas, and that is to say the suburbs of major cities and independent voters,
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in both those areas, it seems that the democrats are losing their appeal, and without being able to reinstate that connection and perhaps build on it, it's hard to see how things look good for the midterms for the democrats. not least because, again historically, the trend is that first—term presidents of either party almost always lose seats in the midterms. david, joe biden hoped to arrive in glasgow with the infrastucture legislation signed and sealed. it didn't turn out that way. absent its pledge on an energy tax to clean up, and so on. how do the us green credentials look? i heard the us energy secretary jennifer granholm being interviewed last night and the best she could say was that, well, the market is transitioning. presumably, all the scientists would say, yes, but not fast enough! i think that's true.
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there was a very neat narrative earlier this year. president trump gets elected, comes into office, very quickly reinstates america's membership of the paris agreement, which donald trump had taken american out of. very quickly announces a summit. on that day, in april, announces his own plan for america to halve its emissions by 2030 — extremely ambitious, absolutely in line with the latest climate science in terms of what's needed to avoid the worst of global warming — and then the hope was that yes, he would turn up here having got everything sorted out in congress and of course that hasn't happened. and i think it has raised a question here. people talk about this summit as a delivery summit. it's a summit where people have made all kinds of promises to do all kinds of stuff, net zero by 2050, and all that kind of thing, but, actually, what everyone is looking for,
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what the science is looking for, what physics requires, is action very soon in the coming years and, until the building blocks are in place in washington, it's very hard to see how joe biden can deliver. i read there are ways and mechanisms and so forth but, at the moment, i'm definitely picking up in the corridors here questions about how america can deliver. there's no question that it's serious about the agenda but can it implement what it's promised? stefanie, this must look strange. from the perspective of politicians in germany where they negotiate across party but have been governing and are trying to construct another governing coalition to look at a system where it seems impossible, almost treacherous, for people to work with one another. i was in glasgow at - the beginning of the week, when the head of states - and government were there, and,
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as david says, there was a lot of tension around joe biden . because america is back, i that is what was promised, and now there is so little time left to deliver, _ especially - on climate change. if you follow the cop26 in glasgow, _ you know that every - pledge makes a massive difference but they also have to deliver it and, i by this time next year, maybe joe biden can't decide and legislate . for anything any more. he may not have the votes. yes, so, coming back to germany, - they are just negotiating another government. i they promised — the voters to come back before christmas with a new government as a christmas present but - things are not looking so rosy. two weeks ago, they were doing cool selfies of themselves - but now they are starting - to bicker and that's not a good thing but i hope by christmas l we will have a new government in germany and i'm sure we are going to talk- about that quite a bit.
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it will all be over by christmas, where have i heard that before? it looks like angela merkel might become the second longest chancellor. until the 19th of december, if it's afterwards, _ she will be a historic record. that is some upside. on that negotiation, part of biden�*s pitch was, look, i've spent my life time in congress. i'm the man, i worked across the aisle all of my political life. i'm the man who can deliver. he hasn't been able to get unanimity on his own side. the idea of anyone crossing the aisle to vote with him, which used to happen even in reagan's day, that seems for the birds. hearing stefanie talk, ijust wish from an american perspective that politicians could bicker. they barely talk to each other or look at each other these days. the short answer is, this isn't biden's old congress and certainly not the senate any more, but if i may come back to the significance... of these two elections.
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it isjust possible this is a wake—up call for the democratic party. the clock is ticking now. there is real fear. we will see whether this works among a critical mass of democrats in congress, if they can get anything done and they have broadly got a core agenda on which they agree, they had better do it now because, even with the majority, narrow though they are, in congress that they now possess, the raison d'etre of the current party republican is stalemate and if the republicans were to hold or take back control of congress, basically, biden should turn out the lights because in terms of modern or major infrastructure getting through congress, it's going to be a tough call. and the nightmare scenario briefly is he finds himself in that position,
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he can't legislate, he tries to regulate but is blocked by the supreme court, which has a conservative majority, and then he is facing donald trump again in three and a half years�* time. anything is possible. i am, for my sins, quite the optimist in the sense that the alternative is worse, and i like to think there is enough institutional fibre left in american democracy that we will get through this. it will be tested, i'm sure, over the next few years! i can't help thinking about that gershwin song, i'm biding my time. that's the kind of guy i am. let's move on. borisjohnson and emmanuel macron had what diplomats call a "brush past" at the g20 summit at the weekend. that's an informal meeting. perhaps brush—off would be more accurate. the two leaders were at loggerheads over fishing.
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unless the uk issued licences to french boats which had been denied them post—brexit, declared president macron, from tuesday, british boats would be banned from landing their catch. the british government warned this would breach its trade and cooperation agreement with the eu. yet, on monday night, paris backed off. stefanie, i was in the studio monday night, when i suddenly saw that the elysee palace had announced it was suspending the deadline and there won't be any action on tuesday. what's the explanation that lies behind that, do you think? it's not quite clear. there have been briefings and counterbriefings. - but what the french were threatening was a pretty big thing. _ not only that they would ban british ships from french - waters, but also that they- might make trade between calais and dover, where most of- the trade goes between britain and ireland and - towards the continent, they might not block it _ but would make it more difficult.
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also you have to see not only from the british side - but also from the german, slovak, hungarian — - they all sell their stuff - to britain, and that was quite something that raised - some eyebrows out there. so, borisjohnson, he kind of had a word with ursula von der leyen. do you think he may have been pushing at an open door to a certain extent? yes, to a certain extent, . but what i hear in brussels as well is that the europeans have shown their toolbox - because i think we will talk about it in a minute, - which is the northern ireland protocol, - so there was a kind i of thinking that maybe the french overdid it but, i in a way, the brits also need to know what could happen if they don't stick— to the agreements they have signed. i so there may be some value in it. david, you have been diplomatic editor of the bbc. you're science editor now.
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the science of fishing and the politics of the fish industry are really complicated. why is it something that provokes such passions, given that it's a tiny industry in global terms and in european terms too? well, the first thing it provokes in me is a shiver down my spine because, when i was based in brussels, the worst thing any of us ever had to coverjust before christmas were the annual fish talks. they always went through the night, they were highly sensitive, highly controversial.
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each national delegation had its own view, briefing against the others. the details were incredibly complicated, as you say. which fish type, which species, which area. and it came down to high politics. every minister, every fishery minister, wanted to leave with victory. they wanted to be able to go on camera on their own national tv networks and say, i have won. i have secured us more fish. almost every year, with almost every species, the agreement amongst the politicians for the quotas was always greater than the marine conservationists would advise. there would be a number from the scientists about what we think is safe, and then the politicians during the fraught early hours of the morning would always grant each other as it were more fish to take. this is a perennial problem. i think you have just got a number of proud fishing nations. it has become a political touchstone in the uk. it was a key issue in the brexit referendum. it remains an issue now. i think it's very easy for politicians on either side of the channel to light the blue touch paper over it, rightly or wrongly, and get some good headlines and i wonder if that's what we're seeing now? ned, the british government
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were very sensitive not to appear triumphant on this and the temperature has lowered accordingly. what do you think the best way forward is now? one could almost argue, let's give licences to the boats... it's a finite number, is there a way through this, do you think? even the french were saying, can you let us know what the criteria used were, please? as if this was all an administrative misunderstanding. your suggestion is fantastic. the problem is it makes much too much sense for it to happen. this is essentially a political row and on the british side we have a highly ideological government whose powering credo is brexit and making britain great again, global britain, etc, and we must not forget etc,
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that emmanuel macron has an important re—election date early next year with the voters of france and he does not want to appear weak or basically taken advantage of. so there is relatively narrow scope for manoeuvre. neither side wanted a blow—up now. although i hope it is the case, i doubt we have seen the last of this. just in the last 45 seconds or so, this could almost be a warm—up act for the main event? yes, it'sjust to be continued. now they talk about fish - and next week they will talk about the northern irelandj protocol, where the british side wants the european court ofjustice to be taken- completely out of the picture, and that is impossible, - also legally for the europeans. the court ofjustice decides - on matters of the single market
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and northern ireland is part of the single market, - so the suspicion is the brits put it in there because they know that you can't solve it and it's a political game - for the domestic audiences. watch this space. i'm glad you mentioned next week. that could well be a subject on next week's programme. we never decide until the week of the transmission. so do come back for next week. we're back and we will know what we are talking about. from everyone, have a lovely week. bye— bye.
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hello. after a bright and blustery sunday, lighter winds for monday morning mean it will feel colder out there. in fact, the start of monday looks to be the coldest part of the week ahead but the milder air isn't too far away from coming back with these set of weather fronts about to move in from the atlantic with thicker cloud and some patchy rain, heading into westernmost parts of the uk to begin the day, especially into northern ireland. where skies have stayed clear for long enough overnight across eastern scotland and eastern england, this is where temperatures will have fallen low enough with those light winds for a touch of frost. any early sunshine isn't going to last too long here as cloud increases. the rain from northern ireland will then gradually move across scotland as the day goes on, heaviest in the west, into north west england and wales — though much of the midlands, eastern and southern england, will stay largely dry during daylight hours. the milder air lifting the temperature in belfast to 15 degrees. still feeling quite chilly into eastern parts of england with the cloud increasing after that frosty start — around 10 degrees in norwich. further outbreaks of rain overnight and into tuesday through northern ireland and scotland, pushing into parts of northern england. it will be a much milder night
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overnight and into tuesday — double—figure temperatures for many of the larger town and city centres as we start the day. this weather front is only very slowly edging southwards on tuesday, so from it there'll be cloud and some outbreaks of rain into northern england and wales, eventually pushing into parts of the midlands and south west england. east anglia and the south—east, will stay largely dry — a few hazy, sunny spells. a brighter day in scotland and northern ireland, albeit a few showery bursts of rain spreading their way southwards during the day, and temperatures are definitely on the mild side of average, and that's where they're going to stay for the rest of the week. this weather front is still around into wednesday — in fact, there will be another pulse of energy running along it. it looks as if that will bring some outbreaks of rain into parts of wales
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and england on wednesday. a bright day in scotland and northern ireland. there will be a few showers just edging towards north—west scotland during the day. and again, those temperatures, for the most part, are into double figures. again, that's where they are going to stay for the rest of the week. a fair amount of cloud around, some sunny spells here and there, and another set of atlantic weather fronts beginning to take some rain southwards from scotland and northern ireland into wales and england as we head towards the end of the week. bye— bye.
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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm david eades. our top stories: chanting. security forces fire tear gas at protesters in sudan, as the demonstrators call for a return of civilian rule. we report from khartoum. prosecutors in texas file lawsuits against the rappers travis scott and drake, after eight people died in a stampede at a music festival. after more than 18 months, america finally re—opens its doors — and prepares to welcome fully—vaccinated visitors to the country. and 70 members of an italian crime family are sentenced in the biggest mafia trial in decades.


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