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tv   Al Jazeera English News Bulletin  LINKTV  December 1, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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cases doubled to 8500 in day. most of them from the omicron variant. the united states identifies its first case of omicron in a traveler from south africa with experts pushing for vaccinations over a travel ban. ♪ this is al jazeera live from doha. the european union unveils a $340 billion plan to rival
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china's bell and road infrastructure project. the women's tennis association suspends all tournaments in china over concern for player peng shuai. nearly a week after alerting the world of a new covid-19 variant, south africa's new coronavirus cases have doubled in a day. about three quarters of the 8500 are thought to be the omicron variant. many countries have imposed travel bans on southern african countries, which the u.n. secretary general has called deeply unfair and ineffective. >> what is an acceptable is to have part of the world that is one of the most vulnerable parts of the world economy condemned to a lockout when they were the
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ones that revealed the existence of a new variant that by the way already existed in other parts of the world including in europe as we know. this is a very strong appeal. an appeal to common sense. we have the instruments to have safe travel. let's use those instruments to avoid this kind of a -- allow me to say -- travel appetite. >> urszula bonta lane is calling on the european union to consider mandatory vaccinations to help fight the rise in cases. several e.u. nations have announced booster shots and plans to vaccinate children. the omicron variant has been reported in at least 24 countries. the united states has recorded its first case. our reporter is in washington with more. >> this man arrived in the
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united states in california on the 22nd of november from south africa. that of course before the travel bans were put in place. did not feel well. tested on the 29th of november. it was then he was positive. it was sent for further testing on the 30th. 3:00 p.m., public health experts had the sample. by 8:00 p.m., they confirmed it was the new variant. you remember when covid was found in the unit states, it was also first on the west coast. this man is in isolation but his close contacts have tested negative but of course track and trace is underway. he arrived before the travel bans were put in place. anthony fauci, the presidential advisor on covid wasas asked abt those covid ends -- about those travel bans. he said the intention was never to stop it arriving. that was simply never going to happen. darker we know it was just a matter of time -- >> we know it
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was just a matter of time before the first case would be detected in the unit it states. -- the united states. my colleagues and others have been saying we know what we need to do to protect people, get vaccinated if you are not already vaccinated. get boosted if you have been vaccinated for more than six months with an mrna or two months with j&j. and all the other things we have been talking about about getting your children vaccinated. asking in indoor congregate settings. >> the women's tennis association has suspended tournaments in china and hong kong. it says the decision was made due to concerns about the safety of former doubles world number one peng shuai. the wta said players and staff could face risks in china. a reminder of events since peng shuai's this appearance. on november 2, she accused a former chinese vice premier of sexually assaulting her by a social media.
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that post was later deleted. 11 days later, chinese state media released a video of the 35 real dining at a restaurant in beijing. the wta said the footage was insufficient proof of her safety. a few days later, some of the top names in the sport focused concerns about her safety. under increasing pressure from human rights groups, china responded by saying her disappearance is not a diplomatic question. on november 21st, the international olympic committee chief held a video call with her. said she appeared to be fine but could export not convinced she was able to speak freely. a senior researcher at human rights watch is applauding the wta's decision. >> so much respect because this is what standing up for human rights in china looks like. that is what integrity looks like. this is what leadership looks like. we saw the video clips and the
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pictures of her smiling but we have not heard from her directly. she has not talked to her friends. not posted. i would say she is alive. she lives in beijing. whether she is safe, whether she is free, we cannot tell. i absolutely hope a more international sports organizations, as this is will follow suit, follow the wta's lead standing up for human rights in china and not be complacent -- not be complicit. especially the committee who participated in the video. we have seen the 40 years with engagement of china -- 40 years of engagement with china. syria's crackdowns. crimes against humanity. serious crackdowns in hong kong.
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she is a huge star and she can be disappeared. that is definitely not working. we need to do something different to >> the european union has launched a $340 billion game to rival china's vast and influential belt and road initiative. the venture will see investment in digital transport and energy projects. having what the european commission president calls a true alternative. >> for major investment and infrastructure development around the world, we want to take a different approach. we want to show that a democratic value driven approach can deliver on the most pressing challenges. we want to show that it can on one hand meet local needs but also on the other hand, tackle the mobile challenges we have. and also of course benefit the european union because it is
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also about our strategic interests around the world. it is a new strategic approach to investment. >> dominic kane is in berlin with more. >> the point that e.u. is trying to make with the new initiative is helping countries bring their level of infrastructural development up and that is going to be a major boost for the world's economy and that it is not necessarily to be seen as a rival or alternative to with the chinese government has had in place for many years. certainly that is not the impression that arsenal of lender lied has been seeking to convey to people. this is how she referred to the new global gateway proposal when she spoke a while ago. >> we want to show that a democratic, value driven approach can deliver on the most pressing challenges.
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we want to show that it can on one hand meet local needs, but also on the other hand, tackle the global challenges we have and thus in a way benefit the european union because it is also about our strategic interests around the world. > what will the reaction be in beijing to what is being announced in brussels? we know from the chinese government's perspective, their hope is the belt and road initiative, which is the 80 rival as it were to what is being proposed in brussels is aiming to reach prude -- reach fruition on the 100th anniversary of the communist party taking control of mainland china. we know the chinese government has invested a considerable amount of money, the last time the announcement of money was made in 2019 when xi jinping
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announced $127 billion. no fresh announcement since then. the question is how this will play a what countries will wish to allied themselves with the chinese perspective and which will want to align themselves with that you use perspective -- the e.u.'s perspective remembering those in europe and united states have real concerns about china's investment in other countries around the world. that is how to view this announcement from brussels. >> let's talk to the senior fellow at the center for global development. he joins us from washington. thanks for being with us. what are the advantages this initiative would have over china's project? what would it offer that china does not? >> first of all, it does offer scale that rivals china. that is what will be attractive
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to the developing world. i think it holds the promise and at least in the rhetoric so far, we hear about higher-quality projects. the devil will be in the details for that. exactly what the sponsors mean for that in terms of quality and if it is delivering better infrastructure. certainly more environmentally sensitive infrastructure. these will be things to look out for. >> is the e.u. up to these challenges with all of its various decision-making bodies and some would say bureaucracies? >> it remains to be seen. we have an announcement. the e.u. -- it is not starting fresh. it has a track record of providing substantial sums of financing in the developing world. i don't think we should be too skeptical. this is a big number. i think it represents considerable ambition, but they
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are not starting from zero. >> the chinese initiative, the belt and road initiative, has been going for several years now. with the you the plane cash -- with the e.u. be playing catch-up to some extent with this project? >> there is an important challenge and china also with other countries in the west, the united states and even japan, it maybe there is a lot of new money chasing relatively few projects. it can be very hard to do these very large multibillion dollar infrastructure projects in developing countries. particularly in an environment as we see today where the -- are quite high. there will be a challenge in part catching up with china but they are chasing after the same projects with multiple countries
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and sponsors. >> when the e.u. says this is a values-based approach, a transparent approach, is this perhaps a not-so-subtle dig at china and the way it has been doing business? >> it certainly is. we know very well now that the chinese approach was plagued with key problems and a lack of transparency was one of them to every day, we learn about problems where there was not even an awareness of an underlying -- i think it is right to go after the weaknesses of chinese financing and point to a better approach particularly as a way to break chinese standards.
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>> thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> still ahead, mass raids in belarus. mass group -- rights groups accuse the government of cracking down on dissent. security or invasion of privacy? why some former israeli soldiers say they were ordered to photograph palestinians. ♪ >> look forward to brighter skies. the weather, sponsored by qatar airways. ? thank you for joining. your world weather report begins on the subcontinent. in india, both coasts will be dealing with a lot of rain. this disturbance in the arabian sea throwing rain. could see about 100 to 200
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millimeters of rain in the days to come. this cooking up in the bay of angola likely to become a cyclonic storm. flooding will be a concern. we have seen flooding. about 900 homes destroyed. a deadly landslide in west java. we have seen a lot of rain for central areas of vietnam. almost a meter of rain has destroyed 25 homes. high-pressure is carving out sunny skies across central and eastern areas of china to not much to report here. the rain has made a clean sweep across areas of japan. some snow for the western side of honshu. we have some chilly temperatures. see you soon. >> the weather, sponsored by
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qatar airways. >> a gynecologist working as a volunteer in areas of conflict. >> he is known for his kindness. >> delivering babies and treating women for medical services. >> you're truly a doctor of humanity. topo al jazeera world follows the doctor on a medical mission in syria, yemen and southern turkey. ♪ >> you are watching al jazeera.
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south africa's daily coronavirus cases have doubled to more than 8500 in a day. most of the infections are thought to be of the new covid-19 variant. the u.s. has reported its first omicron case. the women's tennis association has suspended tournaments in china and hong kong over concerns about the safety of former doubles world number one, peng shuai. she accused a former vice premier of coercing her into sex and was not seen in public for more than two weeks. the european union's launched the $340 billion scheme to rival the china belt and road initiative. it involves investment in digital transport and energy. the polish parliament on wednesday begin debating a new bill that would ban all abortions. it prompted protests by women's rights activists.
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poland enacted a strict abortion law last year. terminations are only allowed in cases of rape or incised or if the woman's life or health is in danger. tens of thousands of people protested after a 30-year-old woman died after being refused an abortion. the hospital has defended his decision. the e.u. has condemned the law and called on warsaw to ensure normal women die because of the restrictions. a collection -- a lecturer in sociology at the university college london says in antiabortion rights organization would not have brought the bill to parliament if there was no chance it would pass. >> the ngo would not organize this initiative if it did not realize that there was parliamentary arithmetic's to pass the law. there was some hope that this
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draconian law could be passed. i need to stress that the foundations of this new proposed bill are threefold. the current law that allows abortion under very limited circumstances will be scrapped completely. the abortion will be criminalized. the terminating pregnancy will be equal to a homicide. including the punishment of the woman who will then -- who could be found guilty of homicide and that brings a prison sentence between two and 12 years. that will be possible because of the third foundation of the law. the law will expand the definition of a person and a human being and incorporate a prenatal stage. the definition of a human being and a person will be from conception to natural death. this law will be extremely
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draconian. even in my opinion for the current government. the most likely scenario is the law will be pushed into the committee for further deliberation. it is likely to come back again. dirt could a human rights group says authorities in belarus have raided the homes of dozens of journalists and activists. more than 800 people are in prison for political reasons since the government crackdown last year. our reporter reports from minsk. >> a blogger and comedian was arrested last august when he had a meeting with teenagers about a new skateboard track. he was sentenced to 25 days for organizing a sporting event and faces serious charges like insulting the president and promoting extremist activities. >> he has 46,000 subscribers but he is not a politician.
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he is a person who loves and respects the truth. he is a lawyer by education and an honest and kind person. i believe such people should be cherished. i asked the investigator, if you are investigating -- if you are arresting these kinds of people, what kind of society are we going to live in? >> a question many are asking is the country faces a wave of arrest. on wednesday, dozens of journalists and activists were rated in what seems to be the biggest one-day crackdown in a month in response to protest against election fraud should lukashenko admitted many were arrested and tortured. many have fled belarus or living in fear. this is a country controlled by one man and many say given the crackdown after the elections and the recent migrant crisis, it is clear he will do anything to stay in power. someone who has not been silenced is maria.
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at the forefront of election protest, she has been jailed for 11 years framing to overthrow the state. >> something my generation did not understand. now i know what my daughters are doing. what young people are doing is what we should have done. >> from prison, his daughter communicates through postcards. coco maria knows in our family we love the beatles. she sent me regards from harrison, mccartney. >> her high spirit despite her prison sentence has inspired many in belarus. she famously ripped up her passport to avoid deportation. >> i wish that europe and the rest of the world will forgive all -- will give all political prisoners high priority. i am sure people who are her friends, the whole family, we are looking for change and it will come. >> the crackdown on belarusian society continues.
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this magazine for healthy living was banned. one of 270 organizations that have been shut down to 75 euros activist nina here during lester's demonstrations refuses to concede the protest movement has lost. >> the regime has betrayed its people. i'm sad about what has happened but i still believe like all other empires, this one supported by moscow will collapse as well. >> for hundreds of other prisoners, this moment cannot come soon enough. >> at least three members of the taliban have been killed at iran's border with afghanistan to several iranian border guards were injured during the confrontation. iranian media is reporting the violence escalated after the taliban opened fire on iranian farmers. in libya, the first round of
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presidential elections are set for later this month but some say the vote will only further deepen political divisions. the ambassador to the united nations says libya is not ready to hold elections. >> the conditions for free, credible democratic elections, which will be an important link for the return of -- the foreign fighters are still in libya. the old dividing line of conflict remains frozen. there is not a reunification in terms of the forces involved. the situation is not mature enough to allow this type of election that can lead to perennial stability and security in libya. >> our reporter is in tripoli with more. >> this school in tripoli will soon become a polling station. wednesday is the deadline for registered voters to pick up their voter cards ahead of the first round of presidential
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elections scheduled for december 24. it will be the first presidential election in libya's history and more than 2 million people have received their voter cards so far. but the vote has been marred by controversy. some say holding presidential elections without a constitution will only punish -- will only plunge the country into further violence. this crown has gathered in front of the election commission headquarters calling for the vote to be postponed until a constitutional referendum takes place. >> without constitutional foundation, you cannot conduct a proper and neutral and just election. this is a, b, c, d. you have to have a constitution.
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it is very dangerous for a democracy. very dangerous for a civil state. we think personally speaking this election is not going to end in a peaceful manner. >> libya has been engulfed in violence and political divisions since the revolution that toppled muammar gaddafi in 2011. with a warlord controlling the oil-rich reason -- oil-rich region of eastern libya and the government of unity in the west led by the prime minister pin both men are among scores of candidates running in the elections. across libya, people have mixed feelings. >> in my opinion, presidential elections right now should not take place. you should not have presidential elections before the parliamentary elections and there should be a constitution. >> i am in favor of these elections. at least the situation will get
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better. we want our country to move forward. it is the only way to end the violence. >> three weeks ahead of the vote, libyans are still deeply divided. there is international pressure for the elections to move ahead as scheduled. without a consultation in place, many feel prúoúóc?c?c?c?ióqoxox■
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