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tv   BBC World News Today  PBS  December 3, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm PST

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♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. woman: the rules of business are being reinvented with a more flexible workforce. by embracing innovation, by looking not only at current opportunities, but ahead to future ones. man: people who know, know bdo.
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narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> this is bbce headlines. cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus are surging in south africa as data emerges about how vaccines are effective against it. >> it is possible that the variant is able to overcome and cause infeion even in vaccinated people. however, they develop more mild illness. that means the vaccines are providing protection still. >> prosecutors in michigan charged the parents of a
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teenager accused of a deadly shooting with involuntary manslaughter. eight a day of shame for pakistan -- a day of shame for a pakistani imam. pope francis visits cyprus, preaching a message of unity for all christians. and how an interpreter who worked with british forces in afghanistan found new home in the u.k. for his family thanks to the kindness of strangers. ♪ hello and welcome if you are watching opbs in the u.s. or around the world. we start with the latest warning from the world health organization. its chief scientist says the new omicron variant could become
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dominant around the world, but that does not necessarily mean we will need to reformulate our vaccines. the number of countries detecting the variant is increasing every day, but the who says it is too soon to know whether it causes a more serious illness and people should not panic. the surge in south africa, where the variant was first identified, has accelerated further. more than 16,000 new cases announced friday, up from 11,500 the day before. doctors say there's a high admission rate of young children. and after germany announced new restrictions for the unvaccinated thursday, ireland has announced limits on the size of attendances at indoor events for the entire population, and a restriction of no more than four households socializing at any one time in a private home. let's talk about what is happening in south africa, where omicron is spreading at an unprecedented rate. in the past 24 hours, 11he 5
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-- hours, 11,500 infections reported. the health minister urged people to get vaccinated. >> this fourth wave, which has started to enter -- which we have started to enter into, can be managed without too much casualties, loss of life, if we adhere to safety measures. >> as more cases emerge, so does the data around the effectiveness of the treatments. here is the world health organization's chief scientist with what we know so far. >> it is possible that the omicron variant is able to overcome and cause infections even in previously vaccinated people. we are seeing that now with a lot of previously vaccinated people, who are the first to get omicron. however, the fact that they are not getting sick -- we will have to wait and see -- but that means that vaccines are still
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providing protection. >> the u.k. is among several countries offering covid booster jabs, which will mean some adults receiving three doses of the vaccines. british health chiefs have chosen to use them a and pfizer shots, suggesting they give the best overall resnse. they suggest good science -- good signs that they still protect against the omicron variant. >> amid the gloom over omicron and its potential threat, some encouraging news. there was back in the summer that nearly 3000 u.k. volunteers got one of seven different covid vaccines as a booster shot three months after their second dose. for those boosted with pfizer after two doses of astrazeneca, their antibody levels were 25 times higher than the control group after one month. when pfizer was given after two
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pfizer shots, antibody levels rose eight full from a higher initial level. moderna and other combinations also worked well. the study did not look at omicron. it has mutations in the spike protein, which may make a difference, but the bigger the antibody army, the better. t cells, another part of the immune system, were also boosted. they can spot and destroy infected cells. the study shod that it worked well against data -- against the beta and delta variants, so it is likely to help with serious disease in omicron. >> moderna and pfizer had high antibodies. we are hopeful the vaccines will provide broad protection against multiple variants, although we cannot say for certain whether they will work very well against
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omicron or not. >> in south africa, the first real world evidence has shown omicron may evade some of our immunity. scientists have found a surge in the number of people being reinfected with covid, but there is still uncertainty about omicron. >> we don't know yet about whether there is genuine immune escape with this variant. we won't know for some time whether people become more unwell with this variant once they are infected. i think we already know it is more transmissible but we clearly need more definitive data. >> science is moving fast but it will take weeks before it is clear just how much a threat is posed by omicron. >> the parents of the teenager ethan crumbley, who shot four students in a michigan high school this week, havbeen charged with involuntary manslaughter. the gun used in the attack was
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brought -- was bought by the father four days before. here is the prosecutor. >> it is imperative we prevent this from happening again. no parent or community should have to live through this nightmare. i have shared previously and i will reiterate today that gun ownership is a right, and with that right comes great responsibility. based on the information and evidence i have received today, i am announcing charges against the shooter's parents, jennifer and james crumbley. the charges are as follows. james crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. jennifer crumbley is also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. >> let's cross to washington and speak to barbara, covering this for us. what more did we hear from the prosecutor? >> well, she said that the parents had been negligent, and we know, she outlined what their
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behavior had been in the days leading up to the shooting, so they had bought the gun for ethan as a christmas president -- christmas present, and a few days beforehand, he was called to the office, admonished for behavior in the classroom that raised red flags, so the day before, he had been caught on his phone searching for ammunition. his mother was alerted. she did not respond to the alerts, but she did text him later on saying, look, i am not angry. you just have to learn not to get caught. the next day, he was again called out by teachers becau they found a note he had been scribbling on, and it showed a picture of a gun and blood and a bullet and a bleeding body, and it said the thoughts won't leave me. please help me. so it seemed disturbing and they called his parents. the parents came in and they
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were told you need to get your son to mental health counseling within 48 hours, but they resisted taking him home. they kept him in school. they did not check his backpack to see if he had the gun. they did not even asked. he went to the classroom and, later, he came out armed and loaded and started shooting. when his parents heard there was an active shooter, his mother texted him and said don't do it. his father checked the drawer, found the gun was gone and alerted 91. the prosecuted was saying they had to be held accountable because they have some responsibility. >> ethan crumbley himself is just 15. he cannot drive, drink yet, yet he's been charged as an adult. help me understand these charges and the reaction there's been to him being charged as an adult rather than a child. >> yes. it is an unusual step to charge him as an adult, and the charges
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are very harsh. he is charged for about two dozen crimes. he killed four people and injured around six. he has been charged with murder and also terrorism, which is highly unusual. it is a case that's really shaken the county. his parents being charged is also very unusual. there have been instances where parents have been charged when they are young, children got hold of guns and shot themselves or children and have been charged with child abuse, maybe sometimes negligent manslaughter, but it is rare for the parents of a massive shooter to be charged as well, and the prosecutor said she wanted to send a message about gun responsibility and hold them accountable for their role. it is especially unusual because, in michigan, there is no law requiring parents to keep guns out of reach. >> this took place in the township of oxford. and i know, looking at one of their local papers, that they are canceling christmas events.
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help us understand the impact this has had on the community there. >> well, it is a terrible impact. you know, i have covered a number of mass shootings, and it always goes through the community like a shot. on the one hand, there's kind of, there's preparation for something like this. schools go through drills for what they ll active shooter's, but when it happens, someone says i cannot believe it happened. it is children involved, children shootg children, their mates are involved, their teachers. their safe space has been violated. so it is difficult to come to terms with not just as individuals but as a community. and this issue of the parents complicity, i suppose, is how the prosecutors have presented it, adds another level of shock and tragedy to it. >> barbara, thank you for your
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insights. the taliban has issued a new decree on women's rights in afghanistan. the order says women are not property but freeman beings. it also said women should not be forced or coerced into marriage, but there's no mention of employment rights or anything about education. our afghanistan correspdent has more. >> with the rights laid out in this decree not forcing women into marriage and giving them certain financial guarantees, these have been parts of islamic law for hundreds of years, but on the ground, they have sometimes not been implemented. in more rural areas here, it is not uncommon for women to be treated as peace offerings between feuding families.
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of course, any measure to in any kind of abusive behavior is a good thing, so this is a measure they welcome, but they also highlighted that many of these practices had already been outlawed by the previous government, and of course, the most striking thing about this decree is the complete failure within it to mention at all girls rights to an education, women's right to work, fueling suspicion that perhaps this decree is an attempt by the taliban to both simultaneously appease the international community, be critical of the taliban's attitude towards women's rights, and appeasing the taliban's own more hard-line elements, which don't want to see women playing any role in public life it seems. there have been comments in recent weeks byaliban representatives suggesting that perhaps all secondary school aged girls will be allowed to go back to the classroom next year, but those promises have been rather vague and people remain skeptical. >> pope francis has addressed
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thousands of roman catholic worshipers at a football stadium in the cypriot stadium of nicosia, the second day of his trip to the island. it has focused heavily on the plight of migrants. we report. >> to the world's last divided capital came a preacher of unity. pope francis, on the 35th trip of his pappas c, held mass in the cypriot capital of nicosia, split between two communities for half a century. 7000 faithful came, mostly domestic workers from the philippines and the middle east among the tiny catholic minority here, and in a place where reconciliation between greek and turkish cypriots has installed, a plea for peace. >> amid the challenges, we are
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called to renew. if we stay divided, everyone only think about themselves or their group. if we do not come together and have dialogue, walk together, we cannot properly heal from blindness. >> francis becomes the second pope to visit the country fractured since 1974, when turkey invaded the north, fearing greece would attempt to annex the island. many hope today's politicians will heed the homily. >> those are the messages we want to hear, and fortunately -- and unfortunately, we don't hear them often. >> i was excited because i was listening to stories and see videos on the internet about the pope in the vatican city, but i never expected i would see him live in cyprus. >> beyond politics, migration is the pope's other focus on this trip.
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cyprus is 8 you entry point for migrants and refugees, and the greek south acces the turkish north of sending them across the divide. 50 migrants will soon be relocated from cyprus to italy in a papal gesture of welcome. a meeting with the orthodox archbishop, aiming to bridge a schism between the churches that has lasted almost 1000 years. the path of friendship, one pope francis hopes all on this scarred island may eventually take. >> stay with us here on bbc news. still to come -- laos feels the benefit of china's belt and road initiative with a new train service worth $6 billion. >> it is clear that the worst victims of this disaster are the poor people in the slums around
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the factory. >> the children are dying. we cannot do anything. >> charles manson is the mythical leader of the hippie cult. they killed sharon tate and other people in los angeles. >> at 11:00 this morning, just half a meter of rock separated britain from continental europe. it took them just a few moments to cut through the final obstacle. then people in calais were shaking hands with their opposites in dover.
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>> this is bbc world news. the latest headlines. the numbers of new coronavirus cases are surging in countries where the new omicron variant is taking hold. in a rare move, u.s. prosecutors have filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of a teenager accused of shooting dead four students at his school. pakistan's prime minister has condemned what he called a horrific vigilante attack on a sri lankan man lynched after being accused of blasphemy, saying the lynching was a day of shame for pakistan. we report from islamabad. >> he was a working -- he was working as a manager at a sports goods factory in an industrial town in eastern pakistan. he was accused of defiling posters bearing the mes of the
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prophet muhammad and his family members. videos being circulated on social media show a mob of hundreds of men armed with sticks lynching this man. police officers have told the bbc that by the time they arrived at the scene after the attack, he was already dead and his body was being dragged out of the factory premises. later, it was set alight. people in pakistan have expressed their shock and anger, including the prime minister and pakistan's chief of army staff , and they have arrested more than 100 people. blasphemy against the prophet muhammad in islam is deeply emotional and highly politicized in pakistan. and it is not uncommon that attacks are followed by
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blasphemy accusations taking place in pakistan, usually against religious minorities, and also against muslims for settling personal vendettas, but it is the first time that a person of this group has become the victim of this attack. >> laos has opened a $6 billion railway at more than 400 kilometers long. previously, they only had four kilometers of railway track. it was built as part of china's belt and road initiative, designed to strengthen china's economic power in the region. our correspondent, jonathan head, explains. >> for poor and landlocked laos, this is a big moment. 21st century railway technology from its giant neighbor, china, an opportunity to demonstrate the friendship the two communist-run states have and to showcase what china can do for the region. >> this definite progress is a
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landmark achievement for china's belt and road initiative, a strategic connection that transforms laos from a landlocked country into a land linked country. >> chinese media has been giving this project extensive coverage. i new milestone in president xi jinping's belt and road initiati, aiming to improve links between china and its main markets and extend its influence and technology around the world. china hopes this railway will eventually join others. chinese built, of course, plan for the rest of mainland southeast asia, although not all countries have welcomed this expensive kind of investment as equally as laos. -- as eagerly as laos. they badly need new transport infrastructure, but is this the answer? thinly populated and with low incomes, most of the people 't be able to afford the kind
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of ticket prices needed to payoff off the huge debt incurred by the project. their government has already borrowed have really -- borrowed heavily from china and of the country to build dozens of ds, accused of causing massive environment damage. for all the pride taken in a railway line, which surpasses those in most neighboring countries, this may not be what laos really needs right now. jonathan head, bbc news, bangkok. >> finally, to the kindness of strangers. one woman in aberdeen in scotland who witnessed images of thousands of people fleeing their homes in afghanistan this summer was so moved by their play that she decided to step in and help. she has given a flat for free to a man who worked as an interpreter for the british armed forces and his family. we have the story. >> i am so pleased to meet you at long last. >> kindness out often --
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kindness often repeats itself. sometimes it takes only one person to change the lives of others. >> i am pleased to meet you. i am so pleased to meet you. >> when kabul collapsed, we were left behind. >> we first spoke to the former interpreter for british forces when he was hiding in afghanistan, fearful for his life. a day before the suicide bombing at the airport, he risked the trek there and managed to get himself and his family out. how are you and your family doing? >> we are ok and safe. >> reports about him resonated. 75 years ago, another british army interpreter was given refuge from germany. helen's mother, helen appeared >> i saw images of them getting
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on the plane. my mother had been a refugee during the second world war and fled from her home. and she only survive through the kindness of people along the way. and i just felt i had to do mething and give back something for the kindness and the humanity that helped my mother and her family survive. >> after 100 days in a hotel room together, the night before their move, he and his family, so far from their life in afghanistan, are finally about to start a new one. how do you feel about going to aberdeen? >> good. >> what are you excited about? >> toys. >> this is your new house. >> from the taliban, a dangerous evacuation, a new country, cramped hotel rooms, to his own bedroom. >> look in there. what do you see? toys. >> they left everything behind,
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her work as a gynecologist, her relatives. now she must start again. >> you make it the way you want it. you change anything and make it the way you want it. >> you are kind. we will never forget it. no words express it. still, we have good humans inside this world, and you are an example >> thank you so much. you are part of our family now. you are so welcome. >> and on the subject of all the places to get snuck -- get stuck during a blizzard, ikea is probably not the worst. it's ship -- its showroom in northern jutland was turned into a room for sleeping after a
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snowstorm. they offered up their scandinavian hospitality with the ultimate sleepover. some even got to pick their own be after their slumber, they dined in the store's canteen on what else but an ikea breakfast of cinnamon rolls and coffee. that is it for me. narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. man: bdo. accountants and advisors. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪
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narrator: you're watching pbs.
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♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. woman: the rules of business are being reinvented with a more flexible workforce. by embracing innovation, by looking not only at current opportunities, but ahead to future ones. man: people who know, know bdo.

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