tv BBC World News America PBS January 18, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
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viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ >> i'm laura trevelyan in washington and this is bbc world news america. u.s. secretary of state has ukraine, the white house warning that russia could attack i neighbor any moment. fears for tonga's outlying islands, aerial images since the volcanic eruption reveals the devastation. in the u.k., boris johnson denies being warned that a garden party broke covid rules. the prime minister tries to apologize at every opportunity, admit misjudgment and hope people believe him. the total number of people in mexico for missing reaches 100,000, a special report on
families searching for their loved ones. and for sale, and italian villa with renaissance murals. are there any buyers? we report from rome. ♪ laura: welcome to world news america on pbs at around the globe. we begin with rising tensions over ukraine. the white house is warning russia could launch an attack on its neighbor at any point. the situation is dangerous. the secretary of state is on his way to kiev and plans to mee with the russian prime minister on friday. moscow has sent 100,000 troops to its border with ukraine and moved forces to its neighboring ally, eers, or joint military exercises. our diplomatic editor james has the latest.
>> russian forces training near the border with ukraine, some of thousands deployed there since autumn, raising fears in the west that russia's planning an invasion. fears dismissed by moscow, but exacerbated by the arrival of russian forces this week in belarus, north of ukraine. moscow says these are joint military exercises to repel external aggressors. but nato's secretary-general said the risk of conflict is real. >> the main task is to prevent the attack on ukraine and that is exactly why we sent a clear message to russia that if they decide to use force against ukraine, it will come with a high cost for russia. >> britain is sending short range antitank weapons. downing street says they have sent about 100 british troops as well. ru is estimated to have about 100,000 troops on the
border with ukraine, mostly in the north and east. there are fears they could link with crimea, which russia annexed in 2014. with russian troops in belarus, there are fears they could also target the capital from the north. but what is the west prepared to do to deter russia? would it abandon the pipeline from russia to germany that could leave energy prices soaring across europe? tay, germany's foreign minister was in moscow and says her country was ready to pay a high price and there could be consequences for the pipeline. the foreign minister of russia says that would be can a productive and rejected what he called speculation about russian aggression. >> we are not threatening anyone, but we hear threats directed at us. cannot accept demands related t military operations on our territory. >> the white house said the situation was externally dangerous. >> we are not estate -- we are
now at a state where russia could at any point launch an attack on ukraine, mo stark than we have been. >> u.s. is looking for a diplomatic solution with the secretary of state holding talks with his russian counterpart in geneva this week. and while, russian training continues. today the european defense minister told us this would be disaster for europe with refugees and blood. laura: joining us from here in washington is the state department correspondent, barbar. -- barbara. the u.s. cemetery of state is heading to ukrai, he will meet with the foreign minister later in the week. this achieve? >>-- what could this achieve? >> he said he is going to meet with allies to talk about a potential response if there is an invasion and he will test
whether diplomacy could still work to find a solution, that we don't reallyw where it is going to lead. a state department official told us meeting between mr. blinken and his counterpart had a phone call on tuesday, hastily arranged. the official said mr. blinken would explore whether the russians were serious about diplomacy, but it was too early to tell. the americans are spicious the russians will use the discussions or claimed the discussions do not actually meet or address their concerns. they did say last week after meeting with nato that the diplomacy had not met their concerns, which is to prevent ukraine from joining nato. he called it a dead-end. yet here we are with another meeting between two top people that's friday. -- diplomats friday. laura: britain is sending
antitank missiles and troops. it is the u.s. going to do the same? >> the united states has provided weapons to ukraine for a while, they said if there is an invasion will increase that supply. what they have not gone into specifics about what that would mean. they also said they would support nato reinforcements in eastern europe, which is what prident putin does not want. he does not want more nato troops or to claim it's on the eastern flank. they've also said they will impose tough financial sanctions with european allies, which would go beyond what the response was to the russian invasion of crimea in 2014. laura: with russian troops on the border with ukraine and now in belarus, there are several pathways june invasion of ukraine. >> that is how the demonstration is -- to an invasion of ukraine. >> that is how the administration is viewing it,
but the state department said these are neither military exercises or normal troop movements. they presented them as a show of force to increase ruffin -- russian levege and they said if they do decide to invade they will conclude them. they have not concluded that russia has decided to do that but they have raised alarm about the threat level. the russians have reported they are not going to invade, and they have denied they are preparing a pretext to invade as the americans have alleged. laura: thank you for that analysis. we turn next to the island nisha destination of tonga where many of the small islands were damaged by the volcanic eruption and tsunami sunday. the chain of islands have had communication disrupted after the line connecting them to the world rare disrupted.
look at this image of this island. on the left is how it looked for the blast -- before the blast, the right is the aftermath. much of the island center is submerged and other islands were affected as well. this is the western part of their main island. the erosion covered the area in volcanic ash, blanketing the landscape in soot. howard johnson on the relief efforts underway. >> state of emergency has been declared by the tongan authorities and here's why. newly released images captured by an australian surveillance flight show badly damaged buildings, knocked over shiing containers and communities covered in volcanic ash. >> we have seen that the airport and most of the main island where the capital is has been covered with volcanic ash. so unfortunately, this will require a lot of cleanup. >> with airport runways
off-lits, australia and new zealand's have been dispatched with humanitarian aid relief, but it's expected to take days before they arrive. the severing of an underwater internet cable is hampering communications. aid agencies are slowly beginning to understand the extent of the damage. >> it does not seem to be as catastrophic and we had first imagined it might be, there is still widespread damage, particularly to the western part of the main island. >> for the tens of thousands of tongan expatriates around the world, like this rugby player, there is concern for loved ones at home. >> i have not spoken to my mom, it has been a week. in all comes down now. we are still waiting. i can't do anything from here. it has been tough in the last couple of days. >> in an age of instant
communication, the slow response to the devastatingruption is causing unbearable anxiety. howard johnson, bbc news, manila. laura: the anxious wait for news from tonga. to the u.k., where the prime minister denies being warned that the party that took place during lockdown was against covered roles. an advisor says he raised concerns with the prime minister at the time. here is our deputy political editor, vicki yog. >> prime ministers are surrounded by people oering advice. but in the end, they have to use their own judgment. boris johnson has admitted it joining colleagues for drinks in the garden when the country was locked down, something he now regrets. >> i carry full responsibility for what took place. but nobody told me. i'm absolutely categorical, nobody said to me this is an event that is against the rules.
>> and what about staff partying into the early hours the night before prince philip's funeral? >> was having to apologize to the queen about those parties the night before she put her husband of over 70 years, she laid interest, was that a moment of shame for you? >> i deeply and bitterly regret that happened and i can only renew my apologies both to her majesty and to the country. for misjudgments that were made. and for which i take full response ability. >> mr. johnson was nothere on that occasion. the questions remain about the places he did attend. he insists it was a work event. but his former top adviser who has turned against him says he warned him it was a party and he needed to grip this madhouse. he will now speak to the inquiry.
not for the first time, there are conflicting accounts of what went on in downing street duri the pandemic. the senior official is investigating and will be looking for written evidence. for now, the prime minister's approach is to apologize at every opportunity, admit misjudgments and hope that people believe him. for now, support among senior ministers is holding up. he has a hero according to the man in charge party discipline. and answering questions on all of this for the first time was the chancellor, the n many mps thk could succeed mr. johnson. >> of course i believe him. he set out his understanding of this matter in parliament last week, and i would refer you to his words. as you know, they are conducting an inquiry into the matter and i support the prime minister's request for patients while the inquiry concludes.
>> but others are going public with their concerns. junior health minister maria cofield is the latest oppose online, saying she is very angry. it is clear, she says, that there was a culture in number 10 or even if rules were not broken, the spirit of the rules were and this is on exce it will. this evening, the prime minister was spotted returning to the commons, just six mps have expressed no confidence in him but that does not tell the whole story. laura: a febrile mood over the pond in westminster. u.s. telecom giants at&t and verizon have agreed to delay the rollout of 5g mobile networks across the country. this follows a warning from allies that the technology could interfere with older aircraft nicking them unsafe. they have warned of massive
disrupons to commercial and cargo flights. >> t -- -- the man who took hostages in a synagogue in exas on friday was known by mi5. he was assessed not to present a risk when he came to the u.s.. his family says he has mental health problems and was known to have a criminal record. the rebels in yemen say as many as 20 people have been killed in strikes on the capital. 14 people are reported to have died in one building alone. the strikes are thought to be in retaliation from monday's attacks on the united arab emirates where three people were killed in drone strikes. let's go to mexico where almost 100,000 people are reported to be missing according to the national search commission.
was of them disappeared during the drug wars of the last 15 years, killed by cartels and dumped in unmarked grave distrustful of the government and the police, many families are searching for their loved ones themselves. will grant and camera woman julia churned--joined a search party and the report contains images you may find disturbing. >> i know my son is alive. i don't know if i'm going to find him. but i look for everyone. if i find one, i think i recover a little piece of mine, my son. >> she has been searching for her son since 2019. just one of nearly 100,000 disappeared people in mexico. these victims families have risked their own lives to look for their relatives, even asking cartel hitmen for the location
of unmarked graves in the vast mexican countryside. the arch is backbreaking and heartbreaking. >> this is by far the most harrowing task of any mother in mexico, already coping with the unbearable limbo of a missing child, they must carry out these search and excavation works themselves. >> to just walk, observe, i don't see, i observed. i don't hear, i listen. i feel fears. when you go to someplace that there are bodies, you feel it. >> the tip-off has led them to a drug cartels abandon safe house. nearby they find personal effects, a bank card, bits of a mobile phone, but no bones or human mains. the best that most relatives can hope for is this. their loved ones remains being
pieced together for positive identification by scientists. human rights groups say there's a deep crisis in mexico's forensic medicine, but understaff and underfunded services in the worst affected states are failing to locate and identify the victims. >> it is important for us to recover the public's trust. people in mexico have historically lost their confidence in the authorities and it is important that we get that back. we do that by making sure our processes are fully transparent, and by showing that we have nothing to hide. >> but many relatives are angry at what they see as official indifference, including by the president. one group recently re-created a ma raved outside the national palace in mexico city to demand greater action. back in sonora, no one expects
much support because they say there s state complicity in their children's disappearances. >> ty know where they are, they know who they are. but they are -- the authorities and the cartels, they go like this together. that is true and everybody knows that. >> after two days of digging and hoping, the group does find a skull and human bones. a bittersweet moment. one family may soon have their worst fears about their's and relative confirmed, yet they n now give them a dignified burial and at last start to grieve. will grant, bbc news northern mexico. laura: the tragedy of mexico's disappeared. you're watching bbc world's america. still to come, microsoft buys a
company that makes call of duty and candy crush for more than $70 billion. ♪ laura: the price of crude oil hit a seven-year high in trading today as there are concerns about the disruption of supply. the surge in oil prices is leading to concerns about inflation. more from new york. >> there are geopolitical tensions that have caused some of the price increases to oil, that when you look at what is happening around the world in terms of the economy, the demand for oil continues to remain high despite this recent wave of infections due to the new variant of the coronavirus. many analysts were expecting that we would see demand for oil file -- fall summit -- somewhat
come up with is not happen. but inflationary pressures that have been impacting things from onions to a slice of pizza is also being impacted on how much it costs to fill your car with gas. ♪ laura: the tech giant microsoft is buying a company that makes video games like call of duty and candy crush for more than $70 billion. it will be the largest deal in gaming history. the company, activision blizzard, has seen business sword during lockdown, with millions around the world turning to gaming to relieve boarding -- boredom. here is our reporter, stefan powell. >> call of duty, a multiplayer wargame, one of the biggest and most profitable entertainment franchises in the world. made by the u.s. company
activision blizzard, it has more than 400 mlion people playing every month and 190 countries. that kind of young fan base is one of the reasons microsoft, now a veteran tech firm, have swooped, paying over 50 billion pounds for the company. the largest acquisition in gaming history. but why? >> more and more companies are looking at ways to break into or expand their gaming strategies. even netflix is doing the same thing, they have launched a gaming footprint specifically around mobile games. >> activision blizzard has been at the center of a storm after employees walked out in protest after numerous sexual harassment claims and an allegedly toxic environment. the companyeo apologized and took a pay cut, but what does
this mean for gamers? at the moment, the xbox consoles are lagging behind sony's playstation 5 in sales. by buying call of duty in the company behind it, microsoft are fighting back by owning more and more exclusive rights. the question many players want to know is will they restrict access to these major titles? like many of the games themselves, tech companies are fighting their own battles, but for content and gaming is fast becoming the most lucrative market in entertainment. stefan powell, bbc news. laura: to italy, where a 16th-century villa was up for auction today for more than half $1 billion. it has murals by caravaggio, statues bite michelangelo and the same family owned it for more than 400 years. but when it went up for sale this morning, the owners ran into a problem. there were no enters as our
correspondent reports. >> it was to be, they thought, the world's most expensive home ever sold when it went under the hammer today. it is a 16th-century villa owned by the late prince and when he died in 2018, his we, his widow, princess rita, she is it because of an inheritancell dispute with his sons. they put it up for auction and it is an extra and replace. we had big limbs into it this morning, it is dripping with treasures. there is a michelangelo statue of the god pan in the garden, and when you go into the small room, there is the only ceiling mural ever painted by caravaggio, a painting of jupiter, neptune and pluto as they reach for the celestial spiel -- sphere. it was chilly when we were sitting inside with the princess is morning, paint needs some
work, but it is extraordinary. there are 150,000 documents, including lack -- letters by marie internet. there was once interest by madonna and bill gates, but he can only view it on a sunday and she did not want to. so there were no bids when it went auction. it will come back for a second attempt at sale in early april, whether it attack -- attracts a sale who knows. there is pressure for the italian state to buy it but that would be a dent in their budget. l laura: before we go, as from the hundred acre wood. today is winnie the pooh day celebration of the lovable bear created by a.a. milne. but the copyright has expired,
though walt disney still owns copyright for its version. narrator: funding for this presentationf 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, ballot battle. the senate begins debate on voting rights even as republicans remain united in opposing the legislation and any efforts to allow a simple jority to rule. then -- covid surge. calls for new approaches to managing the virus grow louder, as hospitals struggle, and parents of young children navigate an uncertain time. and -- economy in a tailspin. skyrocketing inflation grips turkey as its president implements unorthodox counter-measures. >> anyone who took econ 101 in college would know that inflation climbs up, interest rates have to follow that.
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