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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  October 12, 2020 3:30am-4:01am BST

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russia and the eu have led calls for armenia and azerbaijan to respect a ceasefire in nagorno—kara bakh, which should have taken effect on saturday. the russian foreign minister, sergei lavrov, said the truce must be strictly enforced. the eu says it's extremely concerned by reports of civilians being targeted. the us infectious diseases expert, anthony fauci, has complained that donald trump's election campaign team has used his comments out of context and without his permission. in a republican tv advert, dr fauci appears to praise mr trump's response to the coronavirus outbreak. two prominent opponents of the belarusian president, alexander lu kashenko, have been released from jail — on the the same day that hundreds of activists were detained after mass protests. security forces used water cannon and stun grenades against demonstrators, who are angry about the president's re—election in august.
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now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and welcome to dateline london. i am geeta guru—murthy. it has become the new conventional wisdom that the polls cannot be trusted. in the us the latest polls give joe biden a large lead, as much as 16 points in the popular vote at the last count. perhaps the unwritten story is that the polls may be right. if so then we may be underestimating the scale of a biden victory. in 1980 ronald reagan won a victory over then jimmy carter taking 44 seats to president carter's 6 seats. the spilt in popular opinion was then 51%—41% to reagan, and that is in similar
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territory to the split now between biden and trump where biden is at around 52% to trump on 42%. the president may yet recover, of course, which is what he appears to have done from the coronavirus this week. a mere six days after contracting the virus the president is back at work, proclaiming that he has a cure he wants to roll out across america. handling covid is not that easy, though. there have been signs of revolt against restrictions this week in brooklyn in the us, in israel, in madrid and in the north of england, to namejust a handful of places. to make sense of these difficult times, i?m joined today by agnes poirier of l'express in france and jeffrey kofman, the north american writer and broadcaster. and here in the studio at a safe social distance is my colleague, clive myrie. thank you all for joining us today. as they stand, the polls suggest a comprehensive victory
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for biden in the electoral college of something like 279 to 125. can that really be right? jeffrey? it is pretty clear that if the election was held today it would be right and it would be, as you said in your intro, it would be much stronger than that. if it was today, it would be reasonable to expect that biden would have a landslide in the complicated electoral college that determines who wins the presidency in the us. that 16 point poll you talk about, the cnn poll, is the largest gap but almost every poll in the last couple of weeks puts biden more than ten points ahead of trump. it is hard to see how trump can turn this around, in fact, he has had one of the worst weeks of his presidency. the debate last week was a disaster for him, his bullying did not win him fans and the way he has handled coronavirus, seeing himself above standard health protocols
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and dismissing reasonable behaviours has alienated so many more people and in fact what we're seeing now in the polls is a larger spread than ever. agnes, of course we have been burned by the polls before in the uk and the us and this is still very febrile. could there be the cliche of shy voters still out there, there are still lots of trump flags as we know across the us, it is dangerous to call it, isn't it? yes, and the margin of error can go either way. it could be a joe biden landslide victory but it can also be a narrow trump win. there are a few things that are very positive, for instance the number, i think it's almost 8 million of american voters who have already cast their ballot by mail and that is the highest ever number at this point in the election cycle. so that's one thing.
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there are little signs that on a personal level at least, joe biden is extremely popular with a very key part of the electorate, that is to say the over—65s. that was the case with trump actually against hillary clinton four years ago. we are likely to see a joe biden victory, but we have to be very careful. also, there is one thing i would like to do, because covering trump, as a political commentator, the last four years have felt so toxic, and now it is literally toxic for people going to the white house, we have seen workers in their protective suits, sanitising the white house, if only they could sanitise the whole us elections! and us politics. i think it would be good perhaps to project ourselves in the future and to think about the 4th of november and to see what a trump victory or a biden victory
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could actually mean for the rest of the world. but perhaps we will do that slightly later in the programme. absolutely, we will come back to that in a moment. i want to bring in clive myrie, obviously people could not believe that trump could win, many watching round the world, last time and he did, he clearly wants to focus on the economy at least in part, he has been derailed by the pandemic, will his base give him some sympathy on that account? there is a solid 35 heading up to 40% who will back the president no matter what and they see him as the man who has taken on the interest that they don't like, whether it's liberals or the left or in some cases african—americans, foreigners, immigrants... but that is something that they value and donald trump reaches out to those people and he gives them what they want. this election is not over until it is over, there is no question about that
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and we have to remember that donald trump is an incredible campaigner. what he needs is the other side of the argument, those people who are soft biden supporters, they are not that enthused with him, a lot of people who are not, frankly, but they do see him obviously as an alternative to donald trump, but many are not enthused enough potentially to bother voting at all. what donald trump needs to do and we will see that with his white house appearance later today, we will see that next week with, he says, with his rallies which will restart and kick off again in florida and we will see him beginning to reach out. i think he has probably learned some lessons, it might be tricky to say that, but i suspect he may have learned some lessons over the last few weeks that he has to go beyond his base, he has to start speaking in more emollient terms. but they've pulled out funding in places like the mid west,
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i think, places like wisconsin, suggesting he is trying to shift back to promote his base. the base is the bedrock ofany campaign. now, there are many people who are in the democratic alliance who aren't that keen on kamala harris because of her time as a prosecutor in california for instance, people who are not keen onjoe biden because they do not see him as left—wing enough. if they perhaps are the ones who do not come out and donald trump manages to secure his base, then he has still got a fighting chance. it is always fascinating, isn't it, agnes, the turnout question in america, as much as it dominates global interest, only about half the voters actually show up and that will be a key issue. if we look at the vice presidential debate, how much does kamala harris bring people in? given the age of the key candidates, the vice presidents matter this
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time, don't they? kamala harris is a left of centre, she's a centrist and so isjoe biden, now, as clive is saying, they are not left enough for some of the voters, then good luck to america. and the turnout is key, absolutely. when you think, compared to the presidential elections in france where usually the turnout is in the high 80s, of course it is not the same system, but still you would think that americans should care, especially after those last four years. so let me be slightly optimistic, i am hoping that at least 60%, that would be good that the americans care to cast their ballots, because otherwise, the whole world is going to be impacted. jeff, i know you have been following the polls closely, and the overall numbers for the democrat party,
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does kamala harris bring in the african caribbean vote, the indian vote, that is a part of her personal heritage, because there are other factors, the indian americans were quite pleased by the modi trump alliance, she's seen byt the african—american community as a prosecutor, which is not helpful? i would not want to overstate the role or the importance of the vice presidential selection in a race like this, this is really all about donald trump and i actually would disagree with clive‘s comments about trump reaching out, the base is of course critical, but trump continues to pander to his base and has done absolutely nothing to reach beyond. he does not have numbers with the base alone to win this election, he's got to get older people, women, university—educated white men, those three constituencies are critical to win the election for him, it is what he took from hillary clinton last time,
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numbers that worked in his favour. everything he's done in the last two weeks and really the last four years has alienated those groups and so i do not see any sign of him pivoting in these last 2a days before november 3rd and putting himself in a position where he is going to suddenly get this stampede of people and as agnes pointed out, a number of people, a good percentage of people have already voted, but i think a sobering number in the polls is that nine out of ten americans have already made up their mind, there are very few people now to be persuaded to change the outcome of this election. what we really need to look at and we should be careful about over—estimating the accuracy of the polls, they were off in 2016,
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i think it's fair to say, though, the social science of polling learns from its mistakes and if you look at the key website, the key places that amassed this data,, the new york times upshot, there is a broad consensus of where these polls are taking, even if the factors that led to the mistakes of 2016 were put in place. this is really biden‘s to lose. with the debate delayed, it's unclear how many debates we will have, how is trump going to get a broad message out to the american people that will actually change minds? it's pretty hard... audio breaks up. if biden wins, by how much, if it is narrow, it could be very ugly, a replay of 2000 and the florida recount but on a much more acrimonious scale. agnes, we'll come back to you for a quick look and what this could mean, but clive, a right to reply there.
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i suppose my point tojeff is that certainly those on the trump side would hope that he has learned some lessons over the last three or four weeks. his poll numbers have sunk to some of the lowest levels of his presidency and it has been a challenging time for him and he's looking at defeat straight in the face. if there is ever going to be a change in his personality, it would have to be now and i think his team have made it clear that he needs to be a bit more scripted, he needs to start reaching out, this is what they're telling him behind the scenes and perhaps covid has helped him realise that he could be leaving the white house in three or four months' time, now is the time to try and make an effort to get those people outside the base that he frankly hasn't paid much attention to for so long. it does not look like he is changing tack. agnes, your thoughts and the rest of the world
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is watching this incredibly closely, what does france and europe want? well, if trump wins, i think we will see the us leaving nato, leaving south korea, afghanistan, china filling a much bigger role in the world and europe to fend for itself, which is not necessarily a bad thing. ifjoe biden is elected, i think a mistake would be, no matter how much we would like to go back to the world we knew four years ago, before covid, before trump, this is not going to happen, even ifjoe biden is elected. because american society has changed because the world has changed. of course joe biden will probably take the us back into the paris agreement on climate change, back into the iranian deal, but i suspect he's going to be a quite tough president in terms of trade relations for instance with europe,
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with china, and we will not go back to the world order that we had set after the second world war. it's a new generation in power, joe biden is not that new generation but the american administration is. so i think it would be a mistake for europe to think, oh god, we're getting the america of before trump, no, trump has changed the world and we will now have to take it from there. fascinating. we will be talking more about that in the coming days. well president trump this week returned to the white house from being hospitalised with covid and told us ?don?t let it dominate you, don't be afraid of it?. to ‘live without fear‘. are they right ? and are they nodding towards or even partly responsible for the types of revolts we are seeing against restrictions? agnes, is president macron facing revolts against the closure of cafes in paris or has he deflected blame by devolving power on this?
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first of all, i can reassure you that cafe culture is not dead in france and certainly not in paris, my local cafe this morning was open and actually, as you know, if cafes and brasseries can have their kitchen fully functioning and they can still open and they can take part in the tracing system now, which is probably a good thing, because we have found test and tracing pretty challenging, like in the uk. yes, president macron is not on the front line of covid any more, he is putting his prime minister, jean castex, and the health minister 0livier veran to actually be on that front line of covid, because president macron goes is very busy on the european front as well.
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he is leaving it tojean castex, very much a man accent, who is going to deal with it and devolve powers. he is very legitimate, jean castex, when he tells marseille and other cities to actually come up with more restrictions in order to fight covid. all in all, and strangely compared to what we have seen in madrid or even in berlin or in the uk, there is no rebellion as it were against the new restrictions and there is very much, actually, there is a sense we have to live with covid, to learn how to live with covid and that a few places have been made sacrosanct, they will be the last to close and
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that is the schools. i think in france, but also in europe, we have discovered that children need to go to school, they are not the superspreaders that we thought and parents need their children to go to school in order for them to have some sanity and to be able to work and therefore sustain the economy. agnes, i am just going to bring injeff, we need our children to go to school, i second that completely. jeff, i know you have been to canada this summer, who gets the blame for these revolts against the restrictions, is that human nature or the culture of different countries or is it political leadership? i think it is a fascinating question and the answer is all of the above. i think that one of the things that is very clear when you look at where the revolts are and how they are happening is that a lack of clarity and consistency in messaging really undermines the authority of the government and that is
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clearly very apparent sitting here in london, where borisjohnson has really never really recovered from coronavirus himself and what it did to his government, saying that he has got his mojo back, i don't think anyone believes it. i don't even know candidly what the rules are, i know i am not meant to go out with more than six people, i do not know how many people in an office are allowed to gather, the rules, it is a quarantine roulette for travellers, what countries are on or off. you see in france and canada, more consistent messaging and therefore more consistent compliance and adherence, there is a culturalfactor, there is no question, you see that profoundly in the us and in israel where we are seeing revolts and uprisings against the government, the government does not have the moral authority over the people, and it has been undermined by the mixed messaging and the very divided society there.
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it is all of the above and i think here in the uk, there is a real problem, the government does not have a handle on this and all the bluster and promises, the world beating this and 200,000 tests a day that, no one believes that any more and it is really impossible to feel that you should be a good citizen. i have travelled a number of times out of the country and had to quarantine and they don't even check you at the border when you come in through heathrow, it is astonishing, they give you all the right forms, are they going to make sure i do this or that? no, it does not happen and it really is a quarantine, it is a game they are playing of appearing to do the right thing in this country and people are onto it and they are making up their own rules. all governments politically are going to get punished whenever they face the election
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if they face a democratic vote, because handling this has been complex, they are balancing the economy and health, surely we all know the rules and we have to work it out for ourselves, we cannot keep blaming the authorities? there's a certain amount of personal responsibility and a lot of governments are i suppose, erroneously, in some cases, expecting their citizens to do the right thing and where they believe that might not happen, there will be sanctions and we have seen that brought in in the uk, stiff fines if you are not quarantining when you should be and i suppose in defence of boris johnson he would argue and the government would argue that this is an unprecedented situation and governments all over the world are having trouble dealing with this. the plaudits being levelled at the germans and president macron in the last five or six months, spain, italy, we are seeing an increase in the infections in all those countries now and obviously, compare britain to the united states, nowhere near as bad as that. we don't know whether we can
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totally trust the numbers. they have clamped down very hard. but india, the next second most populous country on earth, the numbers are skyrocketing. governments around the world are having trouble dealing with an unprecedented event and they are having trouble finding their feet and it's taking time, but borisjohnson and the government here would argue that they are now talking to local authorities more and have extended the furlough scheme, which during the summer saved hundreds of thousands ofjobs and there are things they have got right. it is now two thirds, not 80% but they have managed to keep businesses afloat and in some parts of the world, that has not happened.
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that is lovely, lovely to hear. my brother is a channel 4 person, you are allowed finally in the desparate search for something to lighten the mood as winter sets in at least in the northern hemisphere what has caught your eye this week? agnes, tell me, have you found something to cheer us all up? yes, i have just returned from venice to look at the mose, as they call it, the flood barrier that they have been building for decades, at least it feels like it and i don't know if you remember, there was so much corruption, people behind bars, but it worked. it was an historical day last weekend for venice, because the high tide was prevented to flood venice and it was only a year ago that it was almost two metres high of water completely inundated the historical city. yes, it is a huge relief, huge satisfaction, venice is going to be dry. wonderful, can you compete with venice and paris within the space of a couple of days? i am going to go on a different direction and i just wanted
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to say between the four of us, but i have to say, that i have to tip my hat to the producers of the great british bake—off and i know it was bbc, now channel 4, but in the midst of this chaos, there is something very comforting about the fact that they have managed to create a bubble to build a programme together and have the kind of delightful joy and i think the best of british gamesmanship coming through, it is not a vicious nasty competitive show, it is just good wholesome fun and it is done with a sense of humour. there is something really reassuring that you can turn on your television once a week right now and see this slightly inane but playful and really distracting tv show continue as it has for the last decade. that is lovely, lovely to hear. my brother is a channel 4 person, you are allowed to plug them. clive, what has put a smile on yourface?
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i totally agree with that, great bbc programme completely nicked by channel 4, but that is how it happens. i will go with the queen's birthday honours list, usually you get political flunkies, you get donors, you get the flunkies of the political world who get these gongs and this year, because of covid, it is nurses, social workers and people like marcus rashford who managed to convince the government to change policy and continue free school meals for 1.3 million children. this is the best birthday honours list for a long time. wonderful to hear that, clive, i completely agree. agnes we were talking earlier about music and i personally am missing seeing live opera and i was thrilled to see the ballet start on stage at the royal opera house and you are telling me that in france they have managed to keep live arts performances alive a bit more.
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that is what i was going to say, the second sacrosanct places in france apart from the schools and i think the last to close and in a massive lockdown it is theatres, museums, concert halls and cinemas, because it is places where we do not talk, so we do not spread the virus so much, it is also so vital. films, literature, also music is what has sustained most of us during the lockdown. we need to help the creative industries and france is doing it, italy, germany, but i wish the uk was supporting its artists more, because we need them desperately. jeff, one live thing you would like to see? i would love to go back to live theatre, i agree. i live in london, this is the capital, the world capital of great theatre, and it pains me and i think agnes is right.
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the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on this and the skill sets that has been built up over generations, that are just languishing right now, it is devastating and it is not all going to come back and we have got to find ways to bring it back. if we can go to pubs and sit in a pub in london, why can't we sit in a theatre, there has to be a way to do this. i fear for what will happen if this goes to next summer. i went to covent garden for my last live thing and i am so glad i got to that before it all shut down. thanks so much to all three of my guests this week, agnes poirer, jeffrey kofman, and clive myrie. shaun is here next week and the week after, see you soon, bye for now.
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hello there. cloud and rain will be spreading their way eastward to. rain across scotland, north—west england, wales, and ireland, plus recognition through the morning and a few showers later, maybe some late sunshine, north—west england and wales. wendy towards the west, later rains arriving in south—east anglia later, maybe only around nine degrees. as we
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go into monday evening that rain will linger across east anglia in the south—east, and return back into northern scotla nd return back into northern scotland with some showers across the west through into tuesday morning, a touch of frost, southern scotland and northern england and the rest of the week, it stays chilly, some rain around on tuesday, but turning brighter on wednesday onwards. take care.
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this is bbc news — welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: searching for survivors — armenia and azerbaijan are urged to heed a ceasefire after another deadly attack in the disputed region of nagorno—karabakh. the top us government scientist, anthony fauci, says an edited clip of him used in a trump campaign tv ad is misleading. security forces in belarus use water cannon and stun grenades to break up mass protests over the re—election of president alexander lukashenko. nigerian police say they'll disband a controversial anti—robbery brigade following days of nationwide protests.


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