tv BBC World News America PBS December 14, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". laura: i'm larn new york city and this is b world news america. consvative lawmakers rebel against the u.k. prime minister over new covid rules. but boris johnson gets the plan through with opposition support. the u.s. house investigation lifts the lid on what donald trump's allies were thinking and textinguring the january 6 riot. his former chief of staff is in the hottest of hot seats. ♪ and one of the most influential genres of african music has made a key united nations list recognizing its cultural importance.
welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. we start tonight in the united kingdom. dozens of members of britain's governing conservative party have voted against new coronavirus regulations in defiance of the prime minister boris johnson. this comes as health advisors in the u.k. have warned that there could be a million cases of the new omicronariant by the end of december. the government got new covid rules through withpposition support in england will have mandatory covid passes, compulsory vaccinations for health-care workers, and new rules on face coverings. reporter: the government when -- win. but only with the help of labor mps.
the biggest rebellion boris johnson suffered, a huge number ofis own side ignoring his pleas and refusing to accept the case he's made for more restrictions. >> the ayes have it. >> of course it's difficult. every decision make has consequences. but we have decided that we need to buy time. we really need to slow down this transmittable virus so that we can get everybody vaccinated. >> labor say it is a reflection on mr. johnson in the way he governs. >> this is a significant blow to the already damaged authority of the prime minister. it confirms that he is too weak to discharge the basic functions of government. ese public health measures would not have gone through if labor hadn't shown leadership that the prime minister failed to show. reporter: after 20 months of on and off covid restrictions, many
conservatives have had enough. >> thiis a bridge too far. we think they were putting a marker down and it has been proven that they don't prevent infection. i think it was a cry of pain from the conservative party. reporter: no prime minister wants to rely on the oosition and he spent the day trying to persuade his own mps. he said the government had absolutely no choice but to act d that this variant was spreading so quickly that the numbers that could end up in hospital would be disastrous. he wanted them to back new measures, including compulsory vaccinations, masks, and needing a negative test before entering large venues. the health secretary had tried to win them around. >> i believe in liberty and that the curb should be placed on freedoms only in the most rivas
of circumstances. it is vital that we act early and in a proportionate way to do whatever wcan to build on the fences -- on defenses and preserve greater freedom for the long-term. >> there was no mistaking the anger among conservative mps. >> i am staggered by the government's approach over the last two weeks in which we have used fear to persuade people -- i believe that no government ould ever use fear as a tool to try to persuade its citizens. >> freedom is not an abstract ideology. it's what enables my constituents to see their family, to comfort the dying, to go to school. that is what freedom looks like. reporter: a democrat leader that joined a growing list of mps that today tested positive for covid's questioning how effective some of the governments measures are. >> the covid id pass cards will give people a false sense of security bause you can be double jbed, booster jab, and
still carry and transmit the virus. a better option is to insist on negative lateral flow test. reporter: the prime ministers authority has taken a hit and his supporters struggle he will -- worryhat he will struggle to get the party behind him. laura: trying to stop the omicron viant from spreading, the new study found that while it appears to cause milder illness, it is more resistant to vaccines and is highly transmissi noble. today, the director of the world health organization warned of what's to come. >> omicron a spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant. people are dismissing omicron as mild. surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus
at our peril. even if omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases would overwhelm prepared health systems. >> let's bring in global health expert frogeorgetown university lawrence coston. we saw tonight that in britain, because of new rules introduced because of the omicron variant, there was a huge rebellion by conservative lawmakers. do you think there is pandemic fatigue around the world at this point? >> covid has been really politicized throughout the world and we do have fatigue, approaching two years into the pandemic and the toll has been profound. it's not just the covid deaths, it is fr, loneliness, anxiety, grief.
we long to have the joys of tna cafe or seeing the face of somebody smiling, but not behind a mask. there is a feeling it won't end and people want to get back to life it will end, but it is within our power to make this a manageable disease if we do all the right things. laura: britain hoped it was doing th right thing with its wall of vaccinations. there could be almost one million omicron variant cases a day by the end of the year. >> this is a really wy virus. everything we have thrown at it, it seems to come roaring back, even with full lockdowns and it came roaring back. it is one of the most infectious pathogens on the planet.
going to be a huge surgeonis cases, not just in the u.k., but the u.s. and throughout the world. we don't know if it is a milder disease. we hope so. ift is a milder disease, i think the sheer number of cases will cause more hospitalizations and it will place a severe stress on health systems. we need to vaccinate. that is the most important. we know these tools work. laura: how about this covid pill? pfizer says it will protect against severe disease from covid. could this potentially be the light at thend of the tunnel and the way the pandemic ends? >> i wouldn't declare victory too soon, but the pfizer
antiviral is extraordinarily helpful. the clinical trials show that it can reduce hospitalizations in at-risk adults by 88%. i do worry about equity. there is a supply shortage just like we saw with vaccines at the beginning. and also, we need to take the medication within three to five days of the onset of symptoms. within that short time, you've got to have symptoms, a rapid test, and go through a five day regiment. i worry thathe poor, the uninsured, it will be a challenge to gain access. >> fink you for being with us. it is almost a year since the u.s. capitol was stormed on
january the sixth by trump supporters wanting to overturn the result of the election. now chief of staff mark meadows could be facing criminal charges for being in contempt of congress. mr. meadows stopped cooperating with the investigation into the day but before he stopped, he sent over text messages including those from fox news presenters, mr. trump's son, all urging mr. meadows to get the president to do something about the rioters. anthony, what do you think we learn about the mood on january 6? >> we learned about the pressure coming under the white house and mark meadows to do something more quickly to try to stop the attack on the capital. that was pressure not just coming from members of congress, but coming from conservative commentators and members of donald trump's own family.
there's a really interesting text message from donald trump junior to mark meadows saying he's got to do something and to speak from the oval office. meadows replied that he was pushing it. how hard was he pushing the president and what did the president say in response? we know there were no actions for almost three hours. but what was the pressure doing to donald trump? laur we know mark meadows might find himself in contempt of congress, but the attorney general of washington dc is suing various far-right groups for the violence on january 6. what kind of a law is he using to do that? >> and other civil lawsuit which means it's not a criminal case. the standards of guilt are not as high. a preponderance of evidence instead of no reasonable doubt about guilt. this comes from the ku klux klan era in attempt to keep these
kinds of attks in a similar way to the virginia law that was used by victims of the unite the right rally at happened in charlottesville where one person was killed. it's an attempt to hold people that organized the rally in d.c. the way they tried to hold people that organized the rally in charlottesville responsible for the violence for the bloodshed, for the financial cost of these attacks. it will be interesting to see if we get a similar result from charlottesville. there is also a criminal conspiracy case relating to the january 6 attack on the capital. >> all of these efforts to hold people accountable for january 6, and what have we learned about mr. trump and what he was doing that day? >> we don't know a lot about
what donaldrump was doing. reports are he was watching television during the early part of the attack on the capital. he did have phone conversations and there were reports about conversations with kevin mccarthy, thhouse mirity leader. but the question is, why didn't he take actions, why did he take so long toespond to this. the capital itself have been breached by his supporters. one of these things th the text messages telesis how much these things have changed in 11 months. republicans are united by donald trump and they were criticizing him on january 6 the hind the scenes. laura: in haiti, 50 people have been killed after a fuel tanker exploded in the north of the country. reports say the truck was in a crash and people were trying to collect leaking fuel when it caught fire.
they declared three days of mourning in haiti for the dead. authorities have identified 26 of the 27 bodies recovered after last month mass drowning in the english channel. 16 kurdish people from iraq and four afghans were among the victims. the inflatable boat sank when attending to cross the u.k. from france in what became the worst migrant tragedy ever recorded in the english channel. south sudan has seen heavy flooding which has forced nearly one million people from their homes. the floods are the worst in 60 yes. one of the areas most affected is unity state where 80% of the land is underwater. >> much of the state is underwater. down below, entire villages and farmlands have been destroyed, leaving tens of thousands with no shelter or food. most are seeking dryland.
as a way through the waters, getting to dryland here and they have never seen anything like this in decades. >> here now with the children. we don't have anything. wet everything during the flooding. even some of our children don't have shoes. >> they are facing conflict, hunger, and the covid-19 pandemic. the perfect storm for continued aid compared to heavy rains. they have already been displaced several times over by the country's vicious civil war. but every day, more and more people are here. peacekeepers put their guns down. this is their last line of
defense. >> even as we speak, water is continuing to rise. evaporation will take 15 years. naturally, that is not an option. we need to find a way of allowing people to live their lives as dignified returnees. >> global warming is probably to blame for the flats. there are more than unusual rains and this year, they become even more intense. towns like this will be entirely wiped out in the next rains. >> you are watching bbc world news america. growing anger on the border of india and myanmar after the indian army kills civilians in an ambush gone wrong.
the u.s. has led international condemnation of the 18 year jail sentence for a former opposition presidential candidate in belarus. sergei allegedly organized mass riots against the government. we can hear from our reporter who has more. reporter: at the ry beginning of the trial, the opposition leader has been given very serious charges against him. some of them had to do with civil unrest. he was accused of organizing and pushing people for their unrest. he's accused of sparking hatred in belarus society. this again comes as no surprise. i should also add that in the case, there were six participants in total and most of them have received a sentence between 14 years and 16 years.
his jail sentences -- sentence is the bgest. laura: we go to india now where people killed by thendian army have rejected government compensation. the 14 civilians were killed in myanmar where there is a long-running insurgency against the indian war. families want the soldiers prosecuted. this report does contain some distressing images. reporter: a bride of 10 days mourns the loss of her husband. promises made to ea other, now only memories. >> i waited until midnight for him to return home. i messaged, hoping he was alive. his friend picked up and said your husband has been shot.
we are taking him to the hospital. i insisted on talking to him, but he would barely talk. in the next hour, everything was finished. reporter: her husband was a minor on his way home from work. they opened fire, mistaking the man for insurgents. tics miners were lled and eight more civilians died after angry locals confronted the troops. narco land is a remote region. it has seen a lot of violence as insurgents have been fighting for independence. this is the deadliest in recent times. villages here are preparing for the coming festive season, the
christmas holidays. certainly, everythg has gone silent. people say the killing of the young boys is something unprecedented. this has really shaken the entire community out here. the indian army has set up a probe. they have also asked security agencies to be more cautious. ethnic groups in india's northeast have a controversial law. this would include protection from prosecution and soldiers that kill civilians. >> security forces are meant to protect humans. we want to tell india's minister that this is unprofessional, based on unprofessional intelligence and a total failure.
innocents are being killed. >> they were minor supporting a family of eight since he is unable to work. he wants nothing, just for them to return. other families want answers for how the indian army can kill their loved ones. bbc news nagaland. laura: if you've ever set foot on a dance floor, you know that condoleezza rumbaugh is one of the most popular genres of music and it has been added to an important united nations agency. joyce reports. reporter: rumba. the sound of the congo. this music has been around for decades and young musicians continue to keep genre alive.
some say that current day rumba is not what it once was. not so, say musicians. >> i believe the subsequent sees that with our little musical gift, we try to bring more harmony. we keep what is busy. >> it is one of the oldest groups. created by the famous local musician in 1956. the group was later named tipi ok jazz and continue to perform classic companies. >> and for us, there is a
difference between the rumba and watching people today. we never use a drum. we use maracas. when you play rumba, they must be comfortable. it's not like today with young people. it is not rumba. >> the congo river knows the two and they have also been enriched by the contributions from both sides of the river. so what can they make? >> the practice of music is not yet professionalized. the description should be seen as a challenge. this is an incentive for mower
-- more coherent and innovative policies to support our musicians. >> the condoleezza rumba has been popular dance music for decades. many hope this addition means the style will continue to be celebrated locally despite the arguments over what is pure rumba. >> recognition at last. since we are in the holiday season and reflecting on the spirit of giving, stockholm has a new wall of kindness. people are giving away things they don't need. whether it's clothing or baby strollers, people in search of winter essentials can find what they need on the wall. it is practical and a very generous way to illustrate the season of goodwill. i'm laura travail.
thank you for watching bbc world news america. have a great evening. ♪ 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; puuing 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 newshou tonight. after the storms -- families and businesses begin picking up the pieces in the wake of devastating tornadoes that left scores dead, including several children. then. investigating the insurrection -- text messages from former president trump's chief of staff provide more insight into the january 6th attack on the capitol. and. casualties of war -- new details emerge about the widespread deaths and injuries caused by u.s. air strikes in afghanistan and syria. >> the fact that we've seen thousands of these strikes, and we see recurring problems, creates a questions about, ok, who really should be accountable?