tv BBC World News Outside Source PBS December 28, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
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viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> this is bbc news with the headlines -- new covid infections in england and wales at a record daily highs the government defends its decision not to introduce further restrictions in england before the new year. the hospitality industry welcomes the move that created a lifeline for its future. >> new year's eve can go ahead as planned and that is great news. >> protests outside courts as the kremlin bands one of russia's best known human rights organizations. and china says its astronaut has been put in danger of collision with satellites launched by elon musk.
welcome. if you have just joined us, i'm sean light. good to have you with us if you're watching in the u.k., pbs in the united states or anywhere else around the world. we begin in the u.k. where the government says it will keep under close review its decision not to bring in further conavirus restrictions for england despite infection numbers rising to a level not seen before since the pandemic. there are restrictions on socializing and the other three nations. others have various restrictions. the latest data shows or have been record numbers of cases across the u.k. stopping europe, france has seen record highs in its cases and tougher restrictions have been announced as a result.
there have been demonstrations in eastern germany against restrictions there. let's get more on the situation from the u.k. from our health correspondent. reporter: a vaccination center in london, among the burros worst affected by omicron in the u.k.. staff says there's no shortage of demand for germs -- four jam -- for jabs. >> i don't want to get sick. i'm 57 years old. i don't want to pass it onto to my loved os. >> it's important because on a recently retired head of education at a university college. i prehed it to my staff so i have to do it as well. reporter: unlike the rest of the u.k. which has increased restrictions come the government in england is relying on vaccinations to get the country through the latest wave of covid. >> we watch very carefully all
of the data and we have good news that it seems to be milder in terms of severity, but we watch hospitalizations all the time. reporter: the data their monitoring are for hospitalizations which are increasing, but it is far from the peaks of previous waves and, and london, which has been worse -- worst hit by omicron, the number of patients in icu beds like this and others are still well below worrying thresholds. some scientists sayhe spread of the virus in england seems to be slowing. >> cases are still rising. suggestions that we might have peaked probably not borne out, but on the other hand, cases are not increasing rapidly as they were a week or so ago. they are not doubling every
couple of days now. >> but the virus and wales is growing exponentially, mirroring what happened in england. >> it is now heading toward the 100,000 mark. these stats we published today are just before christmas, so we haveo still watch and see what christmas mixing and new year mixing is going to do. reporter: back in england, the decision not to add further restrictions has been described as a lifeline by the hospitality sector. it's is allowing people to go out on new year's eve signals better times ahead. >> it's not just about new year's eve, it's bigger than that. it's the start of a recovery and we believe we have created safe environments for people to come out and socialize. we think it is the best scenario
given the fact that if we would have closed, we would have seen more illegal events which would have been counterproductive. reporter: but there are concerns about the wider impact of omicron. while many people are coming to the hospital with covid but not because of covid, staff are also getting infected. >> it is very clear as soon as you get omicron circulating significantly among the community, it will be circulating among nhs staff. we are having to redeploy staff to fill gaps bng left in covid-related absences. reporter: the government in england is urging people to remain cautious and, if possible, to celebrate outside on new year's eve. it will assess whether more restrictions are needed in january. anchor: the latest u.k. government covid data -- some figures still being affected by data over christmas and still
shows record numbers of cases. there were 109 thousand 420 one new cases recorded in the body for our time in tuesday in england and wales. the skull and government published their data separately and showed record levels also. across the u.k., the most recent thing we have stands at 8230 people in hospital on the second of december, let's get thoughts from matthew taylor, the chief executive of the nih confederation, a memory chip organization in england, wales and northern ireland. >> we need to be cautious about the data. the infection rate massively underestimates with going on in the community because that's just the people who have had a test and reported that test results. i think the death figure also reflects the fact that we have been in this christmas time.
hospitalization rates are going up. it seems to be the people with covid in hospitals may not be suffering from the level of acuity we've seen in the past, less need to use intensive care. but do remember if you have covid in the hospital, you are subject to infection control. that's to make sure those patients are not infecting other people. anchor: joining me now is our political correspondent in the u.k. they u.k. government seems to have a steady as she goes approach at the moment and gives the impression it feels increasingly confident that things are broadly speaking under control. guest: you do get that sense and there's a confidence in downing street and the government and westminster as a whole that they can ride this out and hopefully get through the worst of the peak of cases from the omicron
variant without the need to impose any more restrictions than they already have. i think it is a cautious confidence and they say tt they are keeping an eye on the data hour-by-hour and won't hesitate to act if we need to, but it is in stark contrast to the other governments around the u.k. -- scotland, wales, northern ireland -- who are taking a more cautious approach. they are acting in advance, they hope, of rising hospital cases to head off the worst of it. in england, the government is holding firm, holding out against imposing any new measures. that will impart be motivated by a desire to keep things open as much as possible to protect the economy and keep it going, to keep schools open, and also protect public health as best they can with what has been put in place. but there's also a political reality at play which we can't ignore and that is prime minister boris johnson is under
intense pressure from his own party to not go any further and impose further restrictions because people are ideologically opposed to them. they don't buy that they are necessary at this point given the high number of cases which is continuing to rise, but the early data suggesting omicron is perhaps less severe than other variants of the virus. they say that is a vindication of their argument. it is a precarious position because things can change very quickly. anchor: indeed they can. now, to france, which has reported a record number of new coronavirus cases on tuesday -- nely 180,000 new infections reported in the 24 hours of two tuesday -- the highest since the pandemic began. it comes as the french government announced tighter restrictions over concerns of omicron. on the third of january, remote working will become compulsory for those he can and public
gatherings will be limited to 2000 people for indoor events. emmett's rations taking place in eastern germany against new coronavirus restrictions there, placing limits on gatherings to 10 vaccinated people in the closure of nightclubs. students of all ages will have two wear masks and closed -- and sports competitions will be he behind closed doors. under that people are already banned from much of public life. you will -- u.s. health authorities have halved the recommended number of isolation days for people who've tested positive but don't exhibit symptoms. that isolation time goes from 10 to five days. and fish -- officials insist this is guided by science. why is this step being taken now? we put that questn to an aerosol scientist at harvard university professor and bioengeered. >> i think i understand the logic. it's important for people to
understand the omicron variant, like previous variants affects us in the airwaves and there's nothing that prevents that from happening. what is clearly true come as time goes onnd more of the population has been infected or vaccinated is our immuno resistance against infection and severity of symptoms is going up. one of the things authorities are clearly reacting to is the fact that i'll hospitalization rates are going up relatively slowly relative to case rates, case rates are climbing at a high rate. so there is both a pressure to react but an awareness that very likely our immune systems are coming to our defense. it is true that there are an increasing number of drugs and vaccines to defend ourselves, but the immune system is the imary defense we have right now and that is arguing for a
relaxation of the regulations by american authorities. i would also point out that the risks we are facing right now are being measured in terms of hospitalization, but economic and other collateral damages. i think the government of the united states and other governments are trying to balance a holistic strategy here and, in my view, it is probably the right thing to be doing right now. anchor: let's get some of today's other news -- turkish authorities detained 16 people of operating bookstores links to islamic state. the shop was accused of operating without a license. investigations underway after a private j crashed in a neighborhood in san diego. they have not confirmed how he
people died or their identities. at least one home is damaged and several others lost power. a huge operation underway in the canary islands to remove the last of the lava which flowed from a volcanic or option. activity from the volcano has stopped just in time for laguna cross. russia's supreme court has banned one of the countries best known and longest established human rights organization, memorial. it comes at the end of the year in which the kremlin has crackdown vigorously on its critics. joining us now is a senior lecturer in the department of air lashed all plen -- international politics in wales. thank you for being with us. why now do you think? guest: we have been seeing ever since putin returned to the
presidency in 2012 a steady increase of pressure on human rights organizations, civil society, one independent media, any entities that can hold the state to account. this is the most recent and most egregious of those steps over the last several years. anchor: the foreign agents provision is not unique to russia. we have other countries using this particular scme. presumably it is quite effective as black propaganda. guest: it works on several levels. if you say it is very effective at labeling an organization as somehow connected to foreign money, foreign organizations, foreign ideas was so essentially not russian. it also works at a more mundane and bureaucratic level because of the onerous requirements it makes of organizations and individuals in terms of forms they have to fill in and
reporting about their fincial situation and so on. even a small administrative ror can land them in court with the kind of judgment like we have seen. anchor: what is in memorials history? why has it been so important in russia? guest: ty are the first of the independent civil society organitions created during the gorbachev time, during perestroika. it was founded in 1987 by a number of dissidents, including a well-known nuclear physicist and campaigner for human rights. it has worked steadily the route that time, not only to uncover the crimes of the past, particularly of the stalin time of human rights abuses but to document contemporary human rights abuses of the russian state and this is probably one of the key reasons it is being targeted so strongly. anchor: the is quite interesting. the story of being prosecutor on
alleged child abuse charges, which has denied. he's been active in assisting what was done to people -- in assessing what was done to people during the stalin era. stalin has been dead for 70 years. why does that still matter? what is about that that causes the state such problems? guest: it matters because putin has titleut of his reputation to reconstructing the glories of the soviet past and the stalin era was a large part of that. it includes victory in the second worldar or the great patriotic war as they call it in russia. it includes making the country a great economic and military power. this legacy is important for patent and he personally pushes it very hard. it was part of an amendment to the constitution, not challenging the state's view of history, especially the second world war. he has made it a personal
campaign. anchor: thank you so much for speaking to us. young doctors at public hospitals in india are threatening to shut down medical services, accusing the police of excessive force during protests on monday. they say they were thrashed, dragged and detained by authorities in delhi where they were demonstrating against a delay against the graduation of doctors. [chanting] reporter: a peaceful march eventually turning ugly. hundreds of protesting doctors blaming the police for using force without any provocation. >> we know there was a brutality being done on doctors. a lot of female doctors have been manhandled by the forces.
[chanting "we want justice] reporter: results of a nationwide selection process remain unannounced after being challenged in india's top court -- on grounds of ensuring -- but they are short staffed by almost 40,000 doctors across the country, having seen terrible shortages dealing with the covid virus. they want to specialize and say for at least a year the admission process has been stuck. they say this is going to make the situation worse in hospitals, especially government hospitals, where most of these are employed. delhi police have denied using brutal force against the doctors and claim their own staff were
injured during a clash. meanwhile, a spike in covid cases seems to have propelled the government to make a quick appeal. >> i regret if our protesting doctors were mistreated by the police. while supporting them, we also appeal to doctors to return to work due to the ongoing covid crisis. the government plans to submit a report a supreme court before the hearing next week so the admission process can resume. reporter: it is owed to the young doctors for now. but one thing is certain, -- they are hurt by the way it was prone tested by the government. anchor: china has issued a protests about elon musk and his activities in space. beijing claims there have been too narrowly missed collisions
between satellites and the space station. the incident has not been independently verified. let's talk to a national physicist at the center for astrophysics. thank you very much for being with us. it's an interesting thing -- you have government's read about the regulation of space and entrepreneurs and commercial companies that want to exploit space and flexibly to do it on their terms. guest: that's right, though under the outerspace treaty of 1967, anything a private company doesn't space is the responsibility of the u.n. member states that licensed it too up in the first place. so there's a governmental role here. the question is is the u.s. correctly regulating what spacex is doing? the problem is these satellites are being moved around actively
much more so than most and so th chinese could not figure out in advance whether to dodge them or not. anchor: how crowded is it getting in the atmosphere above the earth? guest: it is bursting at the scene -- at the seams. low-earth orbit is huge but not infinitely huge. likely to think about the oceans -- throw all the stuff you want in there and it will never fill up -- wrong. because every thing is traveling at 17,000 miles an hour in all different directions, you know the old saying about how far you should be from the car in front of you -- now there are almost 5000 working satellites. we are tracking over 20,000 pieces of junk and little pieces of junk we can't even see on the radar, so it is a mess up there. anchor: to be fair to the chinese, the european space agency expressed some concern
about elon musk's activities a few weeks ago. not sure about how this should be reckoned with. guest: i don't think we need to focus on spacex because there's a bunch of other countries and companies putting up these large satellites. he's just the first to really go all out for it. need to solve this in an international way as a general problem of space crowding. we are just in a new space age, commercial space age where space is much more active and crowded and there arm anymore players. it's not just the superpowers. anchor: that is an interesting point. at the time of the treaty in the mid 60's, it was the cold war and presumably was all about rules to prevent one side occupying or colonizing and controlling. now it is a very different environment where there are so anymore players. guest: that's right.
the implicit assumption and laterally spaced regulations as your satellite is either a u.s. government satellite or soviet government satellite and it's a very different world now. the amount, the frequency of close passes is getting more and more frequency -- getting more and more frequent. the international space station has had to dodge chinese space junk several times over the past few years, so it's not all on one side. anchor: a real pleasure to speak to you. 17,000 miles an hour, goodness gracious. i think they need some space traffic. the u.k. government has defended its decision not to impose further restrictions before january. ministers have said they will continue to monitor the situation and the spread of the macron variant. news has been welcomed particular by the hospitality industry. some experts say it's unclear
what the impact will be. we spoke to terry george to get his retion. >> you have caught me in a good mood because this is what we have been praying for. we've had a terrible winter up until christmas because of the cancellations, lots of people actually getting the virus, conditions they have been suffing with. this week we are being told new year's eve can go ahead as planned and that is great news because people have been not wanting to come out, not wanting to commit themselves. but today, we've seen people starting to buy their tickets. we have had pple in the past asking for refunds and asking what the policy was if you didn't turn up. now they know they can come out on new year's eve and celebrate and we have seen an influx. we've been nervous not knowing whether to stock and get staffing in order.
today, we are frantic trying to make sure everything is going to be planned for the big night, new year's eve night. we are asking people to show their vaccine passports upon entering. they are coming earlier than 1:00, we give them a stamp to make sure they have proven they've got a vaccine passport. then when they go to the bar, they just show their stamp. that is what the government has told us to do and we follow the rules. we have followed the rules all the way through and it has been hard. we've had all these difficult hoops we had to jump and it's almost been impossible but thankfully, we are still here. anchor: i hope you stay cheerful over the new year's celebration and stay cheerful. you can stay with us on your smartphone or any other device you're using. this is bbc news. thanks for your company.
narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. narrator: funding was also provided by, the frman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for americs 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 ♪♪
♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary tist. a raymond 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 bl kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from
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