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tv   DW News  LINKTV  November 29, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST

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berlin. what we don't know about the old macron variant. omicron variant. coming up tonight, the european union hailing a meeting on the iranian nuclear program calling it extremely positive. this time the u.s. is asked --
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is taking part only indirectly. the russian human rights group that uncovered the fates of those who disappeared in soviet purges may now be in danger itself and the kremlin is not objecting. and k pop superstars bts are back on stage. fans celebrate as the boy been hells -- holds its first concert in two years. giving the crown permission to dance. i'm brent goff. welcome. a positive pandemic outlook coming from the white house tonight. joe biden saying he doesn't expect the new omicron coronavirus variant to force new travel restrictions. the world learned about omicron
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days ago but the u.s. president is not veering from his public health message. the best defense in the pandemic is and remains vaccinations in booster shots. >> the day the new variant was announced, i took immediate steps to restrict travel. while restricting travel can slow the speed of omicron, it cannot prevent it. what it does is it gives us time to take more actions to move quicker, to make sure that people understand you have to get your vaccine, have to get the shot, have to get the booster. sooner or later we are going to see cases of the new variant here in the united states and face this new threat just as we faced those that came before. the variant is of cause for concern, not a cause for panic. brent: meanwhile, countries
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around the world are closing their borders despite advice to focus on testing and tracing. banning all foreign arrivals on tuesday, morocco has halted all inbound flights. israel has completely closed its borders for two weeks. the u.s., brazil, australia, and indonesia, among countries barring partial lockdown measures. >> doesn't skewed for a jab -- qeued for a jab. the new variant, omicron, recently detected in the country. since the discovery was announced, several countries have placed travel bans on south africa and other neighboring states. african leaders react with
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widespread condemnation. >> call upon these travel bans on our country and our other southern african sister countries to immediately and urgently reverse their decisions and lift the bands they have imposed before any further damage i done on our economies into the livelihoods of our people. >> the head of the world health organization also opposes the travel bans. who officials have been calling for vaccine equity and improved cooperation for months, pro-cicely to avoid a situation like this. >> the emergence of the highly mutated omicron variant underlines how precarious the situation is. south africa and botswana should
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be thanked for detecting, sequencing, and reporting this variant. not analyzed. indeed, it demonstrates just why the world needs a new accord on pandemics. our current system this incentivizes countes from alerting others to threats that will inevitably land on their shores. >> many european union countries are among those who have recently issued travel bans and with the variant discovered in several european countries, their primary concern is on immunization. >> the highest priority is vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. boost, boost, boost as much as possible. the boosting and vaccination raises the level of antibodies and stimulates the memory cells for covid viruses.
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therefore this is the police of the immune system that you are reinforcing during that time. >> in south africa the vaccination rate is only around 25%. in other african countries it's less than 10%. some say the latest variant is the likely result of vaccine hoarding by rich countries, allowing the virus to spread among the unvaccinated, therefore mutating more quickly. brent: for more now, i'm joined by a spokesman with the world health organization who joins me tonight from geneva, switzerland. good to see you again. what is your take on this accusation that the emergence of a new variant may be directly caused by this vaccine in equity that we ha on the planet? >> it's definitely possible that there is a link. it's exaly the scenario we have been warning against since
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the day we had vaccines available. the more room we give the virus, the easier it will change and adapt because it wants to survive and multiply. at some stage a mutation or a variant that wcannot grasp anymore. we are going that direction now. yes, there is a part to that that is true. brent: the message to the public is getting vaccinated in get your booster shots, but most south africans have yet to get their first shot. does that mean countries that are suffering from a lack of vaccines, for them the new variant is more dangerous and dire than it is for western countries? >> th's difficult to say, we don't yeknow the severity of this variant. omicron is not yet fully known. it looks like it is more transmissible.
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that's what the preliminary evidence shows. it might also breakthrough immunity possibly easier. again, we do not yet know much about the variant and we don't know whether it is more or even possibly less severe. we will have to wait and see. yes, the more the virus spreads in a community or society that is less vaccinated, the higher the risk of more severe cases, more pple in the emergency wards and therefore blocking up the health care system and therefore also enabling in a chain reaction other diseases to come up. let's not forget, this is not an isolated show. if one society is hit by that, we come back to square one and then the virus mutates and changes and comes back to us all. yes, we need vaccines out there to as many people as possible, but on a personal level if you were offered a third shot because of your immune system
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may be requiring it, then yes, you should take it. but on a rional level let's try to sha as much vaccines as possible with those who need it most. brent: we have been in this pandemic now almost two years. covax was established to make sure that poorer countries had access to the vaccines and it has worked. we are two years into this pandemic. where is the failure here? at the u.n. level? or is that that criticism that rich countries are hoarding vaccines? i mean who is not doing what they are supposed to be doing? i would like to put it slightly different. covax works. when there is vaccines and financing available, these can be distributed to countries with lower income that are not in a
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position to purchase vaccines themselves. what doesn't work in the system is not enough vaccines are being made available or countries bilaterally by up vaccines so that there is not enough available for the covax system to purchase them. i would like to make that distinction. yes, the situation is grave. not enough vaccines reach the poor or low to middle income countries. brent: we know about this new variant because south africa has very good coronavirus sequencing and transparency. they alerted the world. what about these travel restrictions in southern africa? is it south africa being punished for doing what is supposed to do? >> the director general warns against this and here we have the president from south africa voicing this and it looks a lot like it. just because you ring the alarm bell, you should not be the messenger that gets killed or
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beaten in this case. there's a lot that countries can do. let's not forget that. the fact that around the world, in european airports, canada, the u.s., that we have found cases is simply because there was enough tting and surveillance done to find the cases and this is the way to go. there are many steps and possibilities where we can know what the picture is and not push a country and also if we cut flights, it means a lot of things. may notet help in that country. we may not get more evidence from that country. we may not get also something back from that untry. we a living in a globalized world. everything is interconnected. you cannot isolate a problem like that and just the finger at one position and that solves it. we are all connected. brent: as always, we appreciate your time and insight.
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thank you. >> thank you. brent: here in germany, the outgoing chancellor, angela merkel, and her successor, olaf scholz, bringing forward a meeting to the sixth teen -- 16 incoming states this thursday. with infection rates skyrocketing in the east and south of the country, the german armed forces are flying patients across the country to ease the strain on health care teams and to find beds and hospitals with more ability to cope. germany has confirmed three cases now of the new omicron variant and to further complicate matters are battling their fourth wave of infections. let's get to our correspondent who is covering that angle for us tonight. the emergency meeting has been brought forward more than a week. does that show the urgency and what can we expect to hear come out of it?
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>> it definitely shows that governing officials in germany have understood the severity of the situation. whether or not we can actually expect any results coming out of it with swift action and to follow that phone call tomorrow is another question and it depends on a variety of factors. first of all, whether there will be a clear allocation of responsibilities between germany's outgoing government and the incoming governing coalition. you know, because at the moment germany is in a leadership vacuum. it also depends on whether their 16 state premieres will agree on a common path forward, something that has been difficult in the past and under the federal system, the states have significant powers to decide their own restrictions, leading to a situation where the country finds itself with a patchwork of rules.
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one example from last weekend, there was a football game in the western city of cologne where it took place in front of a packed stadium with 50,000 people and in the eastern city of leipzig, it took place to empty stands. it certainly depends on a ruling that germany's highest court is expected to issue tomorrow morning on the legality of past lockdown measures, such as curfews and contact restrictions . governing officials will depend on that, what measures will actually be put on the table. brent: army major general carsten voyeur is set to lead the new emergency task force. do we know the reason for appointing a military official? >> it seems to be that logistics are crucial.
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whether it's booster shots or vaccinations in general or transferring patients from areas that have reached icu capacities to areas in the country that haven't yet, the german armed forces have played a significant role and will continue to play a significant role and the likelihood nomination of the general is a clear attribution to that. brent: leone, thank you. let's turn to the other stories making headlines around the world. jack dorsey has stepped down as the company ceo of twitter. their technical officer is set to replace him. the stock of the company has put -- consistently underperformed the market and surged with today's news. the jury in the ghislaine maxwell sexual abuse trial has begun and in the court cameras are not allowed.
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the british socialite is charged with recruiting and grooming underaged girls for financier jeffrey epstein. for accusers are expected to testify. he committed suicide in prison before he could face charges. the swedish parliament has reected their prime minier and last week she was the first woman to serve in the role for only a few hours after a coalition partner dropped out of the new government. this time members of opposition abstained, paving the way for her win. international talks on the iranian nuclear program resuming after a five month hiatus. the meetings in vienna included china, germany, france, britain, and russia. it's meant to bring iran back into compliance with their 2015 deal and make sure they don't acquire a nuclear weapon. the u.s. abanded the deal three years later under the trump administration and iran
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stepped up in richmond and limited access to international inspectors. now the parties are trying to update the agreement with the u.s. participating indirectly. for more now, we want to bring in our iranian analyst with the international crisis group. good to have you on the program. iran once all western sanctions, including those unrelated to its nuclear program, drop. iran must know that that's unrealistic. why do you think they are making this demand? >> as you said, the original agreement was premised under a core sanctions relief bargain and the u.s. put in place something like 1000 500 unilateral u.s. sanctions and their starting position going into these renewal talks is that those all have to be lifted. the biden administration has
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said that they are willing to discuss nuclear related sanctions but that some u.s. sanctions will remain on the books. i think that this finding a middle ground between what iran is willing to accept and what the u.s. is willing to offer is always going to be one of the key issues. brent: what is standing in the way though both sides basically going back to the way things were before the trump administration abandoned the deal? why can't they just go back to the deal they had originally? >> it's a bit easier said than done. on the u.s. side we have sanctions that were put in place that are arguably unrelated to the nuclear deal. sanctions on human rights are things the u.s. says would have happened even if the u.s. had stayed in the agreement or sanctions on the drone program that came into lace just a few
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weeks ago. those the u.s. would say would have nothing to do with the benefits perceived under t. at the same time, on the iranian side they have made signifint advances on their nuclear program or the past couple of years and one of the issues in the end is going to be how to restore the nonproliferation benefits of the agreement. back? well tt europeans in the u.s. say are now building up reservoirs of irreversible knowledge? how do you account for that? while it would be convenient and straightforward in theory to say a return to the deal is possible as is, the truth is the reality on the ground has shifted quite a bit. brent: let me ask you about the
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israel factor. the israeli prime minister has warned the u.s. against granting iran a new deal and israel has vowed to take unilateral military action is necessary. they have done this in the past. so, how serious should we take this threat? >> well, as you said, prime minister bennett today, just as the talks were getting underway, warning against black male, there was also a visit by the foreign minister in london today and in paris tomorrow. i think that the israeli concern is that the negotiations will do one of two things. one, offer iran too much sanctions, something the israelis don't want, they believe that money will be used on the ground against them and that the restrictions on the nuclear side will not be substantial enough and what israeli officials would say is
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only a matter of buying time. i think that what the world powers that are negotiating with y is that we acknowledge the deal has imperfections but buying a few years is better than buying into a new crisis. brent: we appreciate your time and valuable insights tonight. thank you. you are watching "dw news." still to come, k pop superstars bts back on stage. their first concert in two years, they are giving the crowds permission to dance. that story, coming up in just a moment. well, one of russia's most prominent human rights organizations is fighting for its survival. memorial is facing multiple legal challenges from russian authorities that accuse it of justifying extremism in violating rules around its status as a so-called foreign agent. supporters say it is being attacked for fighting totalitarianism.
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we have the report tonight on their uncertain future. >> making those who disappeared visible. a plaque installed by the human rights group showing the final address of one man's great-grandfather who was arrested and shot during the political purges of dictator joseph stalin in the 1930's. ivan and his sister say that it was only thanks to memoriale that they found out the details of their great-grandfather's death. this plaque is one of hundreds that remind muscovites of the victims of soviet political oppression. >> the project immortalized as the names without shouting about it, marking the existence of these people within the city, the country. each of these innocent people whose lives were ruined by the terrible soviet government sheen. the soviet secret police
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persecuted millions during the soviet era. >> memoriale's archivist puts the number at around 11 million. for decades now, memorial out -- memoriale has been working to create an archive of those shot or deported during soviet times and reporting on human rights across russia. but they are under political pressure, labeled a so-called foreign agent several years ago and now the prosecutor general's office wants them to close. human rights branch has been accused of allegedly justifying asked him is him, the ranch focused on history is on trial for violating foreign agent laws. >> these are all just technicalities. it's completely clear that the attempt to close us down is politically motivated. the authorities want full control of the past. >> the kremlin spokesperson has
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refused to comment on the case against memoriale. he says the court decision will be independent and has nothing to do with politics. the pressure on memoriale is part of a recent crackdown on all critical voices here in russia. in the past you months several ngos, media outlets, and individual journalists have been declared so-called foreign agents and many have declared that to being labeled a so-called enemy of the people during the stalin era. back at the memoriale offices, the case to close the ngo has led to an outpouring of solidarity, people bringing in letters of support and an ongoing petition to stop the closure that is at 100,000 signatures. >> there is still a lot of work to do, but we will carry on. maybe in a different form. maybe our work will have to be less large-scale. but you can't kill a memory.
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>>e memorial has been --e -- memoriale say the case against it is a future -- a litmus test for the future of their civil society. brent: switching gears, one of the biggest bands in the world, fans have not been able to see them live for two years. now bts are back on stage in los angeles and their loyal fans are treated to show. take a look. >> they are known as the army and bts fans have waited two years to see their idols on stage again. the band has given them hope in a world changed by the pandemic. >> i feel like this is a daydream, except it's real. >> they have inspired us and helped us through so much in our
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lives and are just a huge inspiration for us. >> we love bts. >> they always have a good message of love yourself and for anyone that's feeling down, they always have messages of good hope. yeah, that's what they mean to us. >> all ages. all ages. my mom is 82 and she's the one who got us into it. >> the pandemic forced bts to postpone the worldwide tour and hold online shows. the comeback is the start of a new chapter, says the band. bts is holding four concerts in los angeles and the sold-out tour called permission to dance. an order that the army gladly accepts.
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♪ brent: we keep saying it, it would be nice to dance again. top story we are following for you, countries around the world closing their borders to foreign travelers in an attempt to keep out the new omicron for him -- coronavirus variant. scientists say it could take to fully understand the risk of the new variant. you are watching "dw news," live from berlin. after a short rake, we will be back to take you through the day. will be right back. ♪.
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explained. >> hello.. it is "live from paris." your headlines tonight. angola is joining the growing list of countries with travel restricted to southern afrin nations. omicron carries a high level of infection but no deaths have yet been linked to theariant. chinese president xi jinping pledges more money and more vaccines for africa at the china africa forum. infrastructure and health are at the top of the agenda. and the ballon d'or


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