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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  September 26, 2021 2:30am-3:01am BST

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this is bbc news — the headlines. china has like a welcomed home the huawei executive who spent three years under house arrest in canada while fighting extradition to the us. minutes before meng wanzhou touchdown at the airport, tear canadian men who have been held by beijing were greeted by prime ministerjustin trudeau on arriving home in canada. german politicians have been making their final appeals to voters ahead of sunday's parliamentary election as the country gets you to a post angela merkel world. the front relative succeed her, olaf schultz of the social democrats, took part in a town hall meeting in berlin. the volcanic eruption on la palma has led to the closure of the airport on the spanish island. the authorities say the accumulation of ash made it impossible to operate, but clean—up work was under way. it mainly handles the tories charter flights and connections to other islands in the
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canaries. — tourist charter flights. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and welcome to our weekly brains trust, with bbc specialists and the correspondents who file stories, broadcast and blog to audiences back home from the dateline: london. this week, advance australia fair or foul? after angela, what will be the legacy of germany's longest—serving chancellor? and too little c02, too much hot air? boris johnson wrestles with the contradictions of keeping us fed and warm but not too hot. joining us this week, latika bourke is an australian author and journalist, with columns in the sydney morning herald and the age. stefanie bolzen is uk and ireland correspondent for the german media site welt. here in the studio, our science editor david shukman. good to have you,
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david, and good to have both of you with us. thanks forjoining us. and indeed to have you at home as well. it was perhaps unfortunate that when borisjohnson came away from his audience at the white house with joe biden, he was touting an agreement to lift a decades—old ban on the import of british lamb. unfortunate because the governmment�*s been wrestling with the consequences for food supplies of a shortage of c02 — particularly important for the slaughter and storage of meat. ironic that ministers should be worrying about a lack of carbon dioxide when its abundance is a major contributor to global warming — the subject of borisjohnson�*s address to the united nations thursday. david, the food industry has been struggling to get c02, until a deal government did with an american company who supplies a lot of it, yet we've got so much of it in the atmosphere! you have to pinch yourself, don't you? how on earth did we end up in this position? just when there's growing concern about the amount of carbon dioxide entering that driving up global temperatures,
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leading to new extremes, the subject of the climate summit in glasgow cop26 in november, just as that moment, a shortage of c02 has struck. it is the result of rising gas prices. the fertiliser industry decided it would not be able to sell its fertilisers to farmers if the prices were too high. and as a by—product of their production of fertiliser, there's c02, which is purified and goes into the various food processing industries, so, yes, the government has got its way out of this particular pickle by throwing some money at the companies that said the gas price was too high and they could not afford to keep the production going. longer term, of course, no one knows how long that is going to last. when will the gas prices start to fall? when will that government support no longer be needed? all in the countdown to cop26.
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stefanie, in germany, an issue that applies across the world, it is also particular affecting europe. i wonder if this question of keeping fossilfuels floating has had an impact on german foreign policy, in relation to russia? yes, of course it has, and we all know the controversy between the us and germany about the nordstrom 2 pipeline, the gas pipeline between russia that provides directly gas to germany, and as it happens, it arrives on the baltic coast, in the constituency of angela market _ of course, this has been a very tense issue, and this has been always also an argument to say german government is far too pro—russian, because of the dependence on russian gas.
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and it is if you look at the number. half of german households get their gas from russia. it is interesting this week, because the russian gas provider has been keeping contractual commitments, it is not like some blame russia, that they are keeping it down to make it more difficult, but there are those who say, look, you should more quickly approve the regulations that are still missing to start the nordstrom pipeline, so we can provide more gas. and this is a tricky issue for germany as well because they need the approval of other european states and the european commission, but theoretically the german agency that is in charge of this regulation could already say, oh, no, we open these pipelines, and it will be a new test,
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to germany as well in terms of russia, and then on the other hand, other european partners. indeed. latika, one thinks of the last federal election in australia years ago, when many think australian labour's prospects were nixed after links to this. have the freak weather conditions changed the debate? yes, although i thinkl international pressure is coming more than those weather conditions. - polling is already very high i amongst the australian public to do more on climate change, and in the last 24 hours, - there's been some big progress for us on this issue. _ the treasurer has come out. and backed australia actually cutting its carbon emissions, net zero by 2050, and that l is really significant - because the australian government has never said this before. - the prime minister has actively avoided making this sort - of commitment in the lead up to cop26, so now the - expectation is that actuallyl australia might move to net zero before cop26, but i think the international friends-
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of australia might — to steal a line froml emma bunton — say, i what took you so long? david, this will presumably go well in downing street if this is the case, but borisjohnson has got enough problems at home with the effects of his energy policy, subsidising consumer prices, production costs. there is a price cap for consumers, but it will go up. is that the best way to square this circle? every government faces the dilemma of, how do you limit the cost of living for families — for voters, let's be blunt — while also trying to tackle climate change? if you were to take a purest economic view, you would say the most logical thing to do is a carbon tax. there are some carbon taxes on some fuels, but here in the uk, on petrol and diesel, those taxes have not risen for years now because it would be
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so politically difficult to do so. look what happened when emmanuel macron stuck a tax on fuel in france. the yellow vest protest. it is a balancing act. governments are trying to pick their way through. stefanie, has it come up much during the campaign in germany? very much. the question of climate change but also the question of what businesses do with it, and this is going to be one of the big challenges after sunday night, when we'll have the results, and i think we are going to talk about this later a little bit, but who is going to form a coalition. and the junior partners in this case are the crucial parties to look at, and on the one hand you have the liberals, in the german case very pro—business. they are less ambitious when it comes to tackling global warming. and then on the other side, you have the green party. we heard before in the bbc
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report from katya adler about young people. so many young people in germany, this is their top priority. they will vote for the greens because they want this to be the number one challenge to be solved for the future, but of course german businesses are saying this is very expensive, who is who to pay this? in the end, the consumer will pay for it. and also is in the uk, this is the big question, who is going to pay for it? and how can governments be courageous when it comes to cop26? 0minous ahead of that summit, david. the pressures are numerous. i was talking to somebody yesterday and made a list of all the challenges the british government faces when it comes to cop, and the list gets longer and longer. the headline is, the science has never been clearer. i have been reporting on this topic for 20 years, and we have switched from the scientists being relatively uncertain
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about what is going on to now being categoric that if we want to avoid really dangerous climate impacts, particularly in the middle of the century and further on, we need to be cutting emissions globally by half by 2030, so it is a very tight timetable, and a few days ago the un totalled up what all the different governments are trying to do on climate and they came up with a projected increase, not a decrease, in carbon emissions by 2030, so that is the strategic landscape that borisjohnson faces going into cop26. there are many others. can they deliver the promised money to the developing world, which for them is absolutely critical for delivering this agenda? and at the moment, we are still not at that level. david, thanks very much. boris johnson wasn't too busy stateside to find time to tell "some of our dearest friends" —
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the french — to get over it. the "it" being aukus. that deal, between australia, the uk and the us, gives the goverrnment in canberra access to nuclear—powered submarines. it wrecked a $37 billion contract for france to supply subs to australia, and president macron, for one, was pretty sore about it. latika, this is perceived as being, really, a china—containing agreement between the us and the uk and australia. it was not that long ago china was australia's biggest trading partner, which kind of makes you wonder, what exactly australia is getting out of this? china remains australia's largest trading partner. i this is part of the anxiety. the australian economy - is so heavily reliant on china, but its security is so heavilyl reliant on the united states, china's strategic competitor. australia, for the last decadel or so, has found an increasing confrontational china, i and ever since australia came out and asked for- a who inquiry into the origins of coronavirus, china has i sought to make an example
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of australia and punish australia with billions i of dollars in trade tariffs, just unilaterally slapped i on wine, barley, l coal, you name it. for the moment, the australian economy is propped up- by iron ore sales to china. should and when that end, australia will find itself - in a precarious place economically. - defensively their future l is with the united states. that's what this deal is about. latika making an interesting point about the economic backdrop to this, david. it is interesting, how the americans have played this. i remember a speech lloyd austin, the us defence secretary, back injuly in singapore where he more or less said to the british, "we don't need you in the pacific, guys. very grateful if you do a bit more in europe."
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is that basically putting the chinese off the scent? it might have been that. it certainly isn't what the british government wants to hear. the whole global britain agenda post—brexit is precisely about being everywhere, particularly in the fast—growing pacific region, and coincidentally or not, the royal navy's new aircraft carrier hms queen elizabeth is right out in the pacific. it has just been visiting japan, it was in the south china sea rather publicly, as a show of presence. talk about a contested space! absolutely right. and it is certainly the agenda of the royal navy to have what they called a blue water ability, the ability to go anywhere in the world, particularly a region that is contested, that's strategically significant, where britain itself is perceived to have interest, so i don't think the americans suggesting britain keeps its nose out is going to go down very well.
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stefanie, the french were certainly put off the scent. they say only on the day aukus it was announced the message came back from canberra, "yeah, we are very happy with progress so far on this deal." how is it going down in the rest of europe? what impact might it have? i think europe definitely was a bit of collateral damage. it was interesting to see, as far as i know, that the fact that this was a really secretly negotiated deal. it was not rejected, that allegation, in sydney. so the french president obviously, he is also in a very awkward space because he's facing election next year, and the french were also let down by the europeans, because the european commission for a day or a two did not say word, and then finally ursula von der leyen came out and said, "this is also a disappointment for europe." at the same time, i think, interestingly, it helps france, because we know that emmanuel macron's very ambitious and he has been pushing the agenda of european defence union, however you want to call it, for quite some time,
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and he can now even stronger make the argument that europe needs to step up, that they need to really strengthen their defence capabilities and co—ordinate more, and this obviously affects very much the german government as well. we will see what the next government will be like and where this will lead. obviously, while it has been very painful for france, in a way, the government in paris confirmed. latika, the forced multiplication argument is clearly apparent, allowing the us to get more bang for its buck to share some of the burden around the pacific region. how do australians feel about the prospect of being drawn into conflict, not necessarily armed conflict, but conflict of some kind, by this deal if it is really driven by us strategic objectives towards china? australian attitudes towards . china are at their lowest ever, and in fact they view
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xi jinping only more| favourably than kim jong—un, so australia feels very much. that china is pushing - australian to this position, where it is needing to seek stronger security and seekl a stronger alliance - with the united states and the united kingdom. so australians do not necessarily think this| is about going to war, i but this is about saying to china, we can and we will protect ourselves, i and we are also notj going to be bullied. and that is a big, big theme, it is a big narrative _ in the australian psyche right now and has been for- the last few years. china has been trying to retaliate against . australia for huawei. we were one of the first - to block huawei from building our national broadband network at 56 and we got america - and the united kingdom to do the same thing. . china is very bitter- towards australia, and most view china's behaviour. as unreasonable and that australia's defences
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are justified here. . are there tensions within the region? this is a really fascinating relationship to watch. - new zealand has taken a very different course | to australia on china. new zealand is part of this . intelligence sharing network. the three countries that contribute are| australia, the uk and us. no coincidence! canada and new zealand are largely considered i the freeloaders of the five. what has angered australia is jacinda ardern's public. posture, where she was seen to undermine australia - when china was retaliating with these trade sanctions| after the who inquiry bust—up. there is anger- towards new zealand. they are seen as riding i on australia's coat—tails. australia would defend new zealand if there .
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was a security issue. on the other hand, that relationship is so close, it is like family. you can bicker, you can have a disagreement. l we know australia is - a partner with new zealand. there's nothing long—lasting. or damaging, but it is notable new zealand is not part of this alliance. - it does not want nuclearl submarines in its waters. and it has already said to australia, "do not l consider parking them here." interesting. drew thompson, a former pentagon official, was quoted as saying, "this created an escalation with china," but the other question is, how might china seek to retaliate if it does? we've heard some bloodcurdling language about a new cold war. this is the kind of thing you might expect. the fascinating thing we have not yet really seen is whether. ..
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i've got cop26, the climate summit in mind, because china is the world's big polluter. you cannot consider tackling climate change without the involvement of the chinese. one of the successes, one of the few successes in all of the years of climate negotiations, the paris agreement, one reason that worked is because china was voluntarily, eagerly part of it. if you are coming up to the glasgow summit, what is the mood music going to be if this spat with china escalates? historically, the chinese have tended to compartmentalise different aspects of their relations with the outside world. in particular, climate, has tended to be separated from whatever else is going on. we do not know and we will know in the next few weeks whether that will continue. watch this space. david, thanks very much.
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angela merkel may yet leave office as germany's second longest—serving chancellor in the country's isa—year history — outlasting her predecessor, helmut kohl. although sunday's elections should identify her successor, mrs merkel may be around for a few months longer, as acting chancellor, whilst the political parties wrangle over the make—up of a new coalition government. stefanie, is it going to be a case of angela's ashes already scattered within a few months to the political history books? or is there a lasting legacy we can point to on german politics and indeed may be on european politics? because there seem to be some very different views on, really, whether she has had a significant political difference. we might have seen the title of the economist this week, with the headline the mess merkel leaves behind. increasingly, people look at her legacy and they think it's not very impressive. she has been managing one crisis after the other. first, the euro crisis ten years ago, then the refugee
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crisis, and the last one was the pandemic, so therefore i am quite convinced that germans will miss her. some people in public life say they miss her already, because, this quite silly, i think, term of "the mother of the nation", she gave the country stability and security and she was always very, very cautious. but she never took any risks. personally, i am disappointed. 16 years is a long time. and if you look at her record in terms of reforms, structural reforms, and when it comes to climate change, i think because she took some snap decisions like in 2011 after the fukushima disaster, she decided to phase out nuclear energy.
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therefore there is so much fossil fuel needed, and it will take germany a long time to leave the coal— burning sector. and also when it comes to other things like pension reforms or the labour market reforms, like her predecessor, he did these reforms — she never did those. saying that, i bet you germans will miss her, and also if we have a messy outcome of the election on sunday night, if she stays until the 17th of december, she will be longer in office than helmut kohl. i am sure she would enjoy that. she has 80% approval in germany. she has not confronted any sacred german issues and things that perhaps needed to be changed, but how big a globalfigure has she become, if at all? one wonders these days how much europe or indeed the uk included matter in the pacific region? in terms of a german—australia
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relationship, not so much. - and in fact, in the recent- years, there has been criticism about perceived softness. towards china that has been german—led and german—driven and the eu not taking _ the stronger stance towards china. - that is gradually changing. ithink, though, she is| a titan of world politics and she will be dearly, - dearly missed on the world stage, not least for her- calming effects on negotiations when things have become prickly. i she is so unfussy, - she is so down—to—earth, she has a great sense of humour that she brings— to these things. from australia's point i of view, they will greatly miss her connection, - her ability to communicate with russian president vladimir putin. - she is well—liked in australia. fourth—most favoured - foreign politician, number one isjacinda ardern.
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her big moment was accepting so many syrian refugees. - many in australia saw that as the sort of big risk they expect from a german leader. - i don't see her as risk—free, . i see her as somebody who has endured in a very unstable i time, at a time when my own country's politics has been driven by instability, - and she has dealt with far greater crises than some i of the politicians who have not managed to see out stable - terms in their countries i and in their governments. david, we're not quite there on the climate question. interestingly, i think internationally she will be credited with the calming effect we have just been hearing about, and there were two moments in particular — the four years of donald trump. he pulled america out of the paris agreement,
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and angela merkel was among those who provided a steadying hand to keep the process on the road. and then thinking further back, the disastrious summit in copenhagen, it fell apart without agreement. again, i was there, and we were all aware of her steadying influence. but domestically, a more mixed record. we have heard about the continued burning of fossil fuels. i've been to one of these unbelievably big open—cast coal mines in germany — machines on a staggering scale, gouging of the dirtiest of the fossil fuels. germany is still very, very dependent on that as a source of power, and if that is one of the legacies, that will look a little bit negative in the coming years, i think. stefanie, just a brief thought in terms of what may come afterwards, when she eventually leaves office. if the social democrats are top of the poll, is that because they are particularly successful or does it tell us something more broadly by german politics?
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it is a bit of a surprising development in the campaign. the spd, like other social democratic parties in europe, have been suffering. they were the junior partner of merkel. nobody expected them to poll so well. currently, they are leading. it is a much tighter margin, this is because of the... so it is split? yes, it is because the finance minister, the candidate, he presents himself... stefanie, we are going to have to leave it there. to stephanie, latika and david, thank you to all of you. goodbye.
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hello, there. part two of the weekend looks sunnier generally than what we had on saturday because more of a breeze around to break up the cloud, so a dry and a largely warm day for most places but there will be rain arriving in the west later on. now this cold front will herald a change — behind it, much cooler air, ahead of it we've got that warm and muggy air mass. through sunday night and monday, that cold front spreads across the country bringing a band of rain, squally winds, and opens the floodgates for something much cooler, much more autumnal for the upcoming week. now this weekend, we're looking at balmy temperatures into the low 20s for many of us. to next week, we're generally around the mid to high teens. a bit closer to where they should be for the time of year but at times even a little below average. so, for sunday, we start off on a dry note with variable cloud, some good spells of sunshine around. chance of one or two showers across the midlands and the southeast — otherwise, most places dry and then we start to see this cold front pushing
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into northern ireland and then western scotland, bringing some heavy rain and strong winds, so temperatures here — mid to high teens, eastern scotland, much of england and wales — another very warm day for the time of year. now, through sunday night, that band of cloud and rain slowly edges its way eastwards — some heavy rain on it, some squally winds, too. but for much of eastern england it should stay dry throughout the night, and feeling very mild again. but behind this rain band, it will be turning cooler with some blustery showers. so for monday morning, it could be pretty atrocious for the morning commute with this band of pretty heavy rain spreading eastwards — strong and squally winds — eventually, the rain band will clear the east coast into the north sea, so monday afternoon doesn't look too bad — bright with some sunshine — many showers, though, across western areas, some of which will be quite heavy and blustery, and it will be cooler — temperatures 13 to 18 degrees, a little bit closer to the seasonal average. into tuesday, we could see this other feature running up from the southwest around our area of low pressure, so although it could could start fine and dry across much of scotland and england and wales, it will turn cloudier
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and wetter across northern areas through the day. this rain could be quite heavy and persistent, winds quite strong — particularly close to the coast. it will be dry through the daylight hours across eastern areas — 18 or 19 degrees before the rain spreads in from the west. and then the upcoming week remains very unsettled, very autumnal — strong winds at times with spells of rain, followed by sunshine and blustery showers.
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this is bbc news. the latest headlines. huawei vows to defend itself in an apparent prisoner swap involving canada. campaigning comes — campaigning comes to an end in germany as the country decides who would wants to lead them in the post merkel era. a global party with a political message. the 2a hour concert calling for action on poverty, the environment and covid—19. and the la palma volcano covers the airport in ash, closing it off to all planes. a big upset in the boxing ring as britain's antonyjoshua
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loses his heavyweight crown.


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