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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  December 15, 2021 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

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♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... woman: architect. bee keeper. mentor. a raymd james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. 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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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ >> i am laura trevelyan in new york city and this is "bbc world news america." destination in afghanistan. as winter sets in, millions are at risk of starvation. the u.k. records its highest number of daily covid cases ever dung the pandemic as britain's prime minister says booster shots are vital. president biden's goes to kentucky to see the devastation caused by this weekend's tornadoes. our reporter is on the scene. standing rescue in hong kong as first responders save more than 100 people trapped on the roof of a burning building. and this become the first country in europe to legalize
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the use of cannabis. the neighboring nations follow suit? we will have the latest. ♪ welcome to world news erica on pbs and around the globe. it has been four months since the taliban took control of afghanistan, and the economy is in freefall. according to the w.h.o., one million african children under the age of five are at risk of starvation this winter. charities worn 2 million people will suffer from acute starvation. our correspondent has been to a hospital in an afghan province where doctors are in dire need of supplies for children. here is his report. >> a nation struggling to survive. hospital struggling to cope. the war is over in afghanistan,
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but hunger is the new threat. these mothers, desperately waiting for nutrition packs for their malnourished babies. >> [speaking foreign language]. reporter: a million children are at risk of starvation. with international funding cut off following the taliban takeover, afghanistan's aid-dependent economy is collapsing. life for many here has always been hard, but withood prices and unemployment rising, more families than ever recorded are going hungry. >> [speaking foreign language] reporter: we have come to the remote province of gor, a
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ten-hour driveo the nearest big city. the snow here is picturesque, but there is less than usual. drought is adding to the crisis. we are visiting the province's only hospital. staff are being paid for the first time in five months, after the international committee of the red cross stepped in. but most patients have to buy their own medines, supplies solo. >> we don't have anything. no medicines. reporter: how difficult is it for you, the doctor? >> we are suffering. sometimes crying. reporter: if you want to get an idea of how dysfunctional things here are, this is the malnutrition award. temperates here can drop to -10 celsius at night, even lower at times. they have only got enough wood in this heater to last a couple of hours.
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in the path to the ministry of health used to buy them the fuel they needed. now it simply doesn't have the money. the doctor is the head of the hospital. he has been paying out of his own pocketor six extra nurses just to keep essential services running. >> [speaking foreign language] reporter: it is not just hunger they are battling here. with the onset of winter, cases of severe pneumonia are on the rise. >> [speaking foreign language] reporter: on the measles ward, we find the starkest example of pressure on the resources. vaccine campaigns were disrupted
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by covid and the war. outbreaks of this preventable disease are common. last night a young child died due to a lack of oxygen. >> they cannot afford. we cannot buy theylinders. they are expensive. reporter: how much is the cylinder? >> about 500 -- 5000 afghas. reporter: you couldn't afford an oxygen cylinder $50 and because of that child died? >> yes. reporter: a new life born into an uncertain world, even when billions of dollars of international support were coming in,ospitals here were badly under resourced. now staff are doing what they can, but they say they need help. bbc news, gor province. laura: so much need in afghanistan. now to britain, which has seen its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
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78,000 new coronavirus infections were recorded on tuesday. as the omicron variant is causing cases to double every few days, b premised on boris johnson says it is vital that people get stars, but he is not imposing more restrictions given how many people have already been vaccinated. laura kuenssberg reports. reporter: are we staring down the barrel of a terrible out week of the virus? are we looking at the science of an impossible pressure for the nhs? is the prime minister watching out of control, as his authority and credibility follow way. >> is the party over for you now, prime minister? reporter: boris johnson is eager to emphasize again what he says you must do. pm johnson: the wave of omicron continues to roll in across the whole. in the united kingdom, we are throwing everything at it. wherever you are, we will be there with a jab for you. so please, get boosted now.
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>> this is a really serious threat. how big a threat, there are several things we don't know, but all the things we do know are bad, and the principal one being the speed at which it is moving. it is moving at an absolutely phenomenal case. reporter: demand for the booster searched, but so has the very end. more cases recorded today than at any point during the whole pandemic. as jabs go in arms at surgeries, car packs, even cathedrals, the fear is that the sheer number will cause intolerable disruption and there could be more limiton our lives. there have been more cases today than there ever have in. if now is not the time for extra restrictions, when will be? pm johnson: the booster does provide an excellent level of protection. and we think that given the balance of risks and the balance of continuing uncertainties about omicron, this is.
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reporter: the right approach to take. reporter:. reporter: to the medic, can i ask you, do you think it would be better if there were more restrictions immediately? >> i think what most people are doing is, and i would say this seems very sensible, is prioritizing social interactions that really matter for them. and to protect those ones, de -prioritizing those that do not matter for them. that will become increasingly important. reporter: the country's top doctor at haynes several times to say, if it really matters to you, stay-at-home. but boris johnson doesn't want to close the doors at pubs, clubs, or restaurants, and perhaps would n have the authority to if you tried, because last night he was pounded by his own side. [crowd booing] 100 tory mps rejecting covid passes and proud. one of them even filming herself casting the vote against.
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the plan only passed embarrassing for first johnson with help for labour, a point too tempting for keir starmer to ignore earlier today. >> if it wasn't for labour votes, his government would not have been able to introduce vital health measures that we need to save lives and protect the nhs. so weak is his leadership. we vaccinate, they vacillate! [cro cheering] they jaber, we jab. reporter: yet the government and we all are grappling again with a fast-moving crisis, which the tories can be accused of having to deal with their own mistakes rather than what matters. with the. risk of the virus to our wealth and health, any wrong move could have a terrible cost. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, downing street. laura: in the u.s., the centers for disease control is warning we could see a surge in covid infections by january. to kentucky next, where pres. biden was this afternoon,
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surveying the damage caused by the tornadoes which were the deadliest in the state's history. more than 70 people were killed and more than 120 are still missing. our correspondent is in kentucky right w with this report. reporter: this is one of the poorest towns in the state. it has been left an upper callista gruen. many people are wondering what is next -- it has been left an apocalyptic ruin. many people are wondering what is next. 70% of the town is destroyed. president biden came to see the damage for himself. >> there is no red tornadoes or blue tornadoes no blues states or red states when this stuff happens. i think, at least in my experience, it either brings people together, or really knocks them apart. reporter: president biden signed an emergency declaration for the state. it will provide funds for the -- from the emergency management agency known as fema to provide
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food, water, and generators. but many have been relying on strangers for support. sally has managed to find her wedding ring and pictures of her children. she is trying to clear out as much as she can ahead of another storm that is being forecast. >> we have recovered more than we first thought. at first it looked like a pile of rubble, but as you dig through, you are able to find some things, and we have found some that were very important to us, which makes me happier. when you think everything is gone, it is quite heartbreaking. reporter: some people say they want more than just their neighbors helping. i went to a shelter earlier, and some volunteers there who did not want to speak to me on camera, claim that the government response by fema has been really slow. they also say that they hope the president is not just here for a photo op. the president has also visited the town of mayfield, one hour away. kentucky is a republican state. how he and the democratic
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administration respond to the disaster will be scrutinized by conservatives, the very people he is trying to reach. namir iqbal, bbc news, kentucky. laura: wherever you live in the world you may be seeing the effects of rising inflation. the price, of everyday goods is going up as there are shortages after the pandemic. in the u.s., the rate of inflation is the highest in 40 years. today the chair of the federal reserve, jerome powl, signaled the fed will take a more aggressive approach to fighting inflation. our correspondent joins us from wall seet to explain it all. sosamira, the federal cutback on its massive support for the u.s. economy. how will that reduce inflation? guest: part of the reason why we are seeing such high inflation is really because consumer demand is really high, and there is supply chain issues which has created this crunch.
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that is why you are seeing the price increases. a part of the reason why we seeing such increased consumer demand is because of the support that the federal reserve has been giving the american economy. there has been all kinds of things that have really allowed the american people to have a little bit more spending money. so by reducing some of that help that it is giving the american economy, it is hopefully going to start ringing down some of the prices. i must say, one of the things to remembers that even though the federal reserve may tak these actions, it will take several months for them to actually see some sort impact for what they are doing. laura: so, if interest rates go up three times next year, as fed policymakers expect, what is that going to mean for all of us? guest: there's two things the federal reserve wan to do to try to curb inflation. one is to reduce bond buying, which it said it will do.
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the second, the biggest will in their toolbox, is to start raising interest rates. they have been a near zero for most of the pandemic. it wants to increase those borrowing costs. what that means is that it will become more expensive for companies to borrow money, and if that happens, you might see an impact in terms of how much companies are borrowing, how much they are investing into their own companies, and th could have a ripple effect around the world in terms of what america is purchasing to put back into their economy. but those are necessary steps that need to be taken in order to try and help curb the inflation that is really at record high. laura: samira hussein on a very festive-looking wall street, thank you. there was a dramatic rescue operation in hong kong today. more than 100 people were trapped on the roof of a burning skyscraper before first responders saved them.
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the fire broke out on the lower floor, before spreading to the bamboo scaffolding. our reporter martin yip sent this up from the scene. reporter: it was lunchtime when smoke started following into the shopping mall. this video shows diners in a restaurant, not sure what to do. a shopper told the bbc she heard no fire alarm. the fire department cfirmed later that they were informed they had to turn it off. as people made their way out some found it hard to go down the staircase because of the smok instead, they went up onto the podium. some office workers ended on the roof, more than 30 levels above ground, that it didn't take long before firefighters came to their rescue. the fire brigade spent four hours to put everything under control.
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this renovation was built in the 1970's, a building that stands on the harbor front overlooking the famous victoria harbor. >> our firemen discovered the fire scene at the time of our arrival. so to a fireman, we find it -- it is one of the reasons we need to stress to the occupants inside the building. reporter: the fire department says it willnvestigate further to determine the cause of the fire. martin yip,, bbc news, hong kong. laura: in other news from around the world, scientists on the canary islands say that vocational on the palme has stopped erupting for 24 hours for the first time since september, but they warn it is not the end of the danger. previous pauses have been followed by more activity.
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the vulcan has destroyed nearly 3000 buildings on the island, and devastated its banana crop. vladimir has dounced a diplomatic boycott of aging's olympic games during a video call with chinese president xi jinping. the u.s. and other countries will not send political delegations to the games in protest against china's incarceration of muslim uyghurs, in xinjiang province. ♪ you're watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program -- french forces pull out of timbuktu. but who will help mali's government fight insurgents now? the u.k. government has taken 11 african countries off of its red travel lt. a controversial list was reintroduced in november after the emergencof the omicron variant, but african leaders called it unnecessary and discriminatory.
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our correspondent has more. reporter: this was the first christmas in two years where nigerians felt they were finally going to be able to either travel to the u.k., and a lot of the nigerians in the diaspora that were hoping to come back to nigeria. so there was a lot of frustration on both sides and in both countries. i am not sure that relations can be permanently damaged simply because the relations are so strong, and the u.k. remains the most popular travel destination for most nigerians, but i certainly think it introduced a level of uncertainty. it would have ruined christmas for a lot of people who canceled their plans and a lot of others who are currently encouraging hotels, and have spent a lot of money. ♪ laura: in mali, a key military base that was used by french forces, has been headed back to mali's army.
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france sent 5000 troops in the region in 2013 to help fight is lited insurgents. but as the french head out, the u.s. state department is worried that the mali state government might bring in harsh measures to fight extremism. reporter: a symbolic moment for the french malian relationship. french officers handing over the keys to a military base in timbuktu and to their destiny. almost nine years ago, france, with then-president francois hollande intervened in the country as part of a plan to regain the nthern half of the country from islamist groups. timbuktu was successfully liberated after an eight-month islamist occupation. the operation was designed to follow up on that success, expanding fresh military operations over a vast area of the sahel, with more than 5000
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troops. [gunfire] violence continued to intensify and spread throughout the region, including burkina faso and niger. with numerous different groups, some links to al qaeda, and the islamic state group roaming the region, from their bases in the sahara desert. but as the number of malian killed reached triple figures, and no end in sight, the frencmilitary were increasingly no longer welcome. france was also losing 55 french soldiers died in mali alone. thfrench president emmanuel macron announced a major drawdown of french troops in june of this year, after a military takeover in mali in august 2020. reactions to the withdrawal have been mixed, as uncertainty over
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future security remains. >> i think that withdrawal, i see it as a negative, in my opinion, because we need security. we are in a war and we need security in timbuktu and everywhere in mali. >> 88 years in mali, the french army has done nothing. it has to be said. i would say a decade of loss for the malian nation. a decade completely lost like that. >> what you need to know is that foreign troops will not be here forever, so it is time progressively to give the defense of our territories to our armed forces. reporter: french forces have already left bases in the northern malian towns. the french deployment to the
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sahel will falter 3000 troops next year. but as they are leaving their base in timbuktu, who will hold the key to the future of mali remains uncertain. laura: malta has become the first country in europe to legalize cannabis for personal use. now several other european countries are on the cusp of doing the same. but opponents have called for the mu maltese president to veto the measures. reporter: in some mysterious way, the illusions of the drug state seem to fashion their waking lives. it is a debate that goes back decades. is cannabis, and essentially harmless recreational substance, certainly no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco? or is it the gateway drug that can have long-term damaging effects, particularly on the young? the answer, at least for lawmakers in malta, seems to be the former rather than the
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latter. they have voted to legalize the drug, allowing adults to carry up to seven grams, and grow up to four plants at home. >> the decriminalizati of people. secondly, we are going to give, -- to curb drug trafficking by making sure that people who make use of cannabis now have a safe way from where they can obtain cannabis. reporter: seral countries have already legalized cannabis. canada among them. it allow recreational use in 2018. and then there are nations that have effectively turned a blind eye -- the netherlands is famous for its coffee shops where the drug can be openly sold. but malta will be the first country in europe to legalize cannabis, at least in small amounts. >> i think it's a great idea, because it helps people with
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pain and depression. >> i personally don't agree with it. i disagree with it. i think it would make us lazier as a society. but i do not agree that anyone that is using it should be jailed. reporter: the main opposition party opposed the plan, warning it would normalize an increased drug abuse. but where malta leads, others may follow. luxembourg and germany are also promising changes in the law. tim allman, bbc news. laura: before we go, for the very first time in history, a spacecraft has touched the son. here are the pictures to prove it. nasa's parker solar probe fluid through the sun's upper atmosphere to collect samples iapril. one of the most audacious missions ever mounted. scientists say it will help us have a better understanding of exactly how the sun works, and its impact on the solar system.
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i am laura trevelyan, thank you so much for watching "bbc world news america." ♪ narrator: funding for is 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 per 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 ♪♪
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, rising rates-- the chair of the federal reserve signals an earlier increase in interest rates as inflation surges. then, picking up the pieces-- president biden visits western kentucky as the region undertakes a fifth arduous day of recovery. plus, covid's toll-- more than 800,000 americans have already lost their lives to covid-19 as hospitals brace for another potential wave from the omicron variant. and, heightened tensions-- china's increased focus on taiwan sparks a debate in the u.s. about how and if the united states cante


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