tv BBC World News America PBS December 7, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". laura: i am la. this is bbc world news america. former u.k. official says the government failed to help thousandwho wanted to leave afghanistan. the u.k. government denies that staff partied at number 10 downingtreet last year when the public was banned. plus a bbc series on influential well meant -- women gets underway. rebel wilson talks about fighting her way to the top.
welcome to world news america. as tens of thousands of russian troops sit on the border with ukraine, president biden warned president putin of strong economic and other measures if russia further invades ukraine. they spoke in a high-stakes video call. here's how the white house security advisor described the meeting. >> there was a lot of even take. -- give and take. the president was crystal clear on where the united states stands on these issues. there is a lot of work to do in the days ahead. we will pursue diplomatic channels but also prepare for other contingencies including through the preparation of specific responses to russian
escalation should they be required. laura: let's hear more from our correspondent who has more on what president putin wanted out of the meeting. >> his priorities is that he wanted some sort of legal guarantee that ukraine would not be allowed to join nato. that is something that he has been asking for quite some time. the americans have been saying they don't want to give that guarantee. the issue for president prudent -- vladimir putin is going to be that he would step back from the redline he was given. i would say there wasn't much couragement from the americans. while they were going to agree to get there teams working on this. laura: let's bring in our
correspondent to talk about this. what are the strong economic measures that the u.s. would impose if russia did invade ukraine? >> mr. sullivan did not spell them out, although he did say these were measures the u.s. did not take in 2014. we understand its various forms of financial sanctions as well as gas pipeline from russia to europe could be a possible target. he also mentioned other actions. he said if there was an invasion, the u.s. would increase its supply of defensive materials to ukraine. that the americans would fortify their allies in eastern europe with extra capabilities and deployments. there are already u.s. troop deployments in and out of eastern europe since the crimea
invasion to give them extra training and support. that would be stepped up if there was another russian invasion. laura: president putin does not want nato to expand eastward into ukraine. is that even in the cards or does the white house see that a a russian excuse for amassing troops on the border? >> broadly speaking, the issue of expansion eastward has been a bone of contention for some time because nato did expand eastward after the end of the cold war despite assurances to the soviet union that it would not. that is what the kremlin says. it is taking a last stand on ukraine. is it the cards that ukraine would join nato? not really. not anytime soon because of the sensitivities. nato will not rule that out.
because of t principle that sovereign states should make their own decisions. the americans do see this russian claim as a pretext for russian military pressure or even nil terry action on ukraine to prevent it -- or even military action on ukraine. laura: do you think this meeting lowered the temperature a little bit? >> yes, i do. they talked about the discussions as frank, businesslike, direct. the key thing is that they tasked both of their teams to continue with what had been discussed. that sounds like there is a channel for looking at diplomatic resolution to this. the americans said they were prepared to look at the strategic concns the russians had in the context of talks with european allies although they said that had been the case in the cold war and after as well. they did say any diplomatic
action needed to happen in an atmosphere of de-escalation meaning that the russians needed to dial down with their troop deployments for these diplomatic overtures to work. both of them agreed that they would continue with what had been discussed today. laura: thank you. let's turn to the disorganized and deadly exit from afghanistan by the u.s. and its allies. a whistleblower who tried to evacuate afghans said the process was dysfunctional and chaotic. he said some of those left behind were murdered by the taliban. >> this was kabul airport last summer as thousands sought to flee the taliban amid chaotic scenes, britain and other powers tried to evacuate those it could. according to a whistleblower, there was chaos in london also.
the center was handling requests from afghans who were at risk because of their links to the u.k.. marshall was a young official working there and he said the process of choosing who could be evacuated was arbitrary and dysfunction. he said up to 150,000 people applied for evacuation but he estimated fewer than 5% of these people have received any assistance. it is clear that some of those left behind has since been murdered by the taliban. one weekend in august when these afghans were trying to get out, mr. marshall said there were enough staff with too few working overtime and on one saturday he was the only person processing messages. he said staff lacked expertise and soldiers brought in to help could not access computers. we knew that many afghans had
struggled to get in contact with the office here. what this evidence does is tell us what was going on inside. it is a story of a system that was working. >> if this isn't failure? what is? >>'s we had 500 people, some of them were in the crisis center and elsewhere. >> as for some going on holiday -- >> if i had it again i would come back from my leave earlier. >> he singled out the foreign secretary who he said delayed making decisions. for the foreign secretary to make this request suggest he did not fully understand the situation.
>> we aren't talking about days. several hours to make sure we have the facts and that is reasonably swift turnaround. in terms of presentation, of course with the volume of claims coming in, i make no apology for saying i needed clear facts for each case presented precisely so we could make swift decisions. >> the prime minister insisted the evacuation was an outstanding military achievement. >> sometimes decisions took hours er than we wanted, but you have to be careful about how you do it. it was still an astonishing thing to get 15,000 people airlifted out in harrowing circumstances. >> all agree that not enough
people were evacuated in the summer and to this day, many have links to britain who have yet to leave and still face some danger. laura: french policeave arrested a saudi national suspected of involvement in the murder of jamal khashoggi. the suspect was arrested in paris and he is one of 26 salaries wanted by turkey. jamal khashoggi who was a prominent critic of the saudi regime worked for the washington post. 38eople have died and many more injured in a fire at an overcrowded prison. it is a second time a fire has broken out there. inmates say they shouted for help when this fire began, but police refused to open the cell doors. today, president biden and his wife paid a visit to the world
war ii memorial in washington, d.c. to pay their respects on the 80th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor in hawaii. the japanese attack killed over 2000 people and was a defining moment that led the u.s. to enter the second world war. boris johnson'sovernment is facing a major holiday headache tonight over christmas party at the height of last year's lockdown. a video shows downing street staff joking about a party that allegedly took laced december 2020 when the public wasn't allowed to party. the government says the bash never happened. >> party? what party? the party that number 10 said didn't happen. the building that force johnson said where tight covid rules were followed. the party the guests told us had
food, drink, and games. the party that we now see them joking about a few days later. it was a practice press conference. >> reports that there was the downing street christmas party. you recognize it? >> i went home. >> in a video, laughing and response to a question from an advisor about the drinks. >> what's the answer? >> cheese and wine. >> at the time when socializing is meant to be strictly off-limits. >> this fictional party was a business meeting. it was not socially distanced. >> she said laughing about the office making the rules not following them. in the real world, pubs have
been closed, socializing is strictly off-limits as covid took hold again. the lockdown was back. there were fines for holding parties and on that day, 562 people lost their lives to the virus. the problem for boris johnson is not just that a few dozen staff got together nor the laughter about it now revealed. but that all week, he hasn't been straight about what went . this was the prime minister's questions a week yesterday. >> all guidance was followed completely. >> a refusal to give more detail on friday. >> we followed the guidance throughout. >> all the guidelines were observed. >> tonight,utrage from the opposition. >> last year at christmas, many did not see their loved ones over christmas.
they had the right to expect the government to follow the rules. we now know the government broke the rules, they partied, and they are laughing about it. they're treating the public with contempt. >> they're trying to claim these things didn't happen. his position is untenable. >> near quiet from number 10 tonight. there is genuine concern in the party itself can that position hold through a silent night? laura: reporting there on the cheese and wine that is left a lingering hangover for boris johnson's government. now let's go to ethiopia. the prime minister said the energy -- enemy will be destroyed soon.
we have more from aerobic. -- nairobi. >> big claims are made, but nothing is certain. when the prime ministers forces say they regained control, that sit on the crucial highway to the capital, he used the media to send a message to his fighters. >> so far, the victory we have achieved is a great one. the enemy suffered heavy casualties. forces have surrendered. the enemy was unable to resist. our ultimate goal is to bring peace and prosperity to ethiopia. >> in a series of tweets, a spokesman said they have strategically withdrawn from the areas claimed by the government. communication is cut off in many parts of the country and this means it is difficult to
ascertain which side controls which area the moment. just a few days ago, it was the prime minister's soldiers as the people's liberation front fighters took town after town. it is not clear what is given the government this latest momentum, but it is known the use of drones and massive recruitment of soldiers -- the conflict has created a huge humanitarian crisis. thousands have been killed and 8 million are in urgent need of assistance with a small fraction of aid reaching the. talks have stalled. both sides. recent developments on the frontline show this war is far from over. laura: you are watching bbc
world news america. still to come, in turkey, rising prices are putting pressure on shoppers. why some economists blame the president. e death toll from indonesia's volcano eruption has risen to at least 34. lava has buried houses and forced thousands to flee. >> the lava buriverything on its way. many houses in one of the villages looks uninhabitable. the volcanic material turned into solid ground because of the heavy rain. it hasn't been raining today and it turned into ash again, but it is still quite warm. there are many areas where the ground is still too hot for evacuation effort. there have been a couple of
avalanches of lava mud coming from the top of the mountain that created panic for people who came back to their houses to collect their belongings. there hasn't been a follow-up eruption even though the indonesian geological survey has warned that it may happen at any time. laura: in turkey, the economy is ineasingly unstable following dramatic falls in the value of the turkish lira. inflation is skyrocketing. economists blame a policy pursued what -- pursued by president everyone. >> runaway inflation and a plunging currency. it has been falling so fast it is hard to keep track.
the exchange rate makes painful reading. the lira doesn't go far these days. many are counting their pennies. this is an istanbul neighborhood where the president grew up. traditionally one of his strongholds. this person seeshe prices and walks by. he has to borrow to survive. he is furious with the esident. [speakg foreing language] >> these days when the president utters a word about the economy, the lira nosedive's.
he insists that cutting interest rates will curb inflation. most experts believe the opposite. >> if you get a success by using this technique, you will get a nobel prize. >> this professor of finance says the president's policy is a costly mistake. >> i'm sure it will not work. we will lose years and years and i am so sad for the young people. they are getting more poor and they are losing all of their dreams. >> as losses accumulate, the turkish leader has told his people not to panic. some are still putting their money on him. according to a gold dealer for the past 30 years. [speaking foreing language]
>> here is what awaits those who oppose the president. a reception committee of riot police. even for demonstrations as small as this. the turkish leader is secure for now, but he is dropping in the polls as the lira drops. he faces elections in 2023 or sooner if opposition parties get their way. laura: let's go next to the annual 100 women series where we celebrate women who are making a difference across the globe. take rebel wilson. she told us about her dramatic
weight loss and how hollywood responded. >> i had like four successful movies come out. i had done this amazing stuff. the next year, all i did was lose 8pounds. the tension that gets, it was insane. th being in an award nominated film and producing my first movie. >> rebel wilson has a bond girl moment. >> i never thought i would be described anywhere near a bond girl. >> how do you feel about those headlines about your weight loss? >> is that a woman has to do i the world is lose weight to get attention? i know what it's like to be a woman who was invisible to most people because of not being seen as traditionally beautiful or whatever.
even though i was still very confident being bigger and i loved myself. i knew that deep down inside some of the emotional eating behaviors i was doing were not healthy. i did not need a tub of ice cream every night. that was me numbing emotions and using food which wasn't the healthiest thing. >> was that dealing with fame? >> i think it was not being a natural performer and having to perform every day and also things in my life manifesting as emotional eating. try to share enough that hopefully people can understand some of the struggles i have been through. i have been sharing things about fertility or talking about health transformation and emotional eating and what i suffered going tough that. it is ultimately to try to help people. >> the issue you have talked about, that is really personal
and intimate. >> polycystiarian syndrome. it made since -- sense that i'm gained a lot of weight. i am still on th fertility journey. it's emotional, you get hopeful then your hopes are dashed. for any woman, it would be great if i had my own children. i try and what will happen will happen. laura: before we go tonight, sparkling trs story. -- tiara story. these were said to have belonged to napoleon bonaparte's first wife. she wore these head part -- headpieces. they sold for $760,000 in london. she had matg jewelry sets. i am laura trevelyan.
thank you for watching bbc world news america. have a narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. 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. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, tense talks. president biden holds a virtual meeting with vladimir putin, amid rising fears over a potential russian invasion of ukraine. then, investigating the insurrection. the inquiry into the january 6th attack on the capitol intensifies as more trump officials refuse to cooperate. and, a history of discrimination. many black farmers still struggle to receive compensation after being excluded from federal government agriculture programs. >> we weren't able to pass on wealth, we weren't able to pass on a farm. and so to look at it and say, now your field is level? no. judy: all that and more on