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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 17, 2022 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. our top stories... the white house says russia's claim of withdrawing forces surrounding ukraine is false and that in fact it's sent in thousands more troops. heavy rains trigger landslides in brazil, killing more than 90 people. rescuers launch a desperate search for survivors. america's top covid advisor says it's time to inch back to normality, despite the risks that still remain from the virus. they are trying to balance the fact that the world and the united states and particularly certain parts of the united states are just up to here with covid, theyjust really need to somehow get their life back. and, more bad news for britain's royalfamily. police investigate one of prince charles' charities
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over cash for honours claims. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. for the last couple of days, russia has been claiming its troops have been withdrawing from border areas near ukraine. the united states has now pushed back against that, with a white house official calling that claim "false." these pictures were released earlier by russia's defence ministry showing tanks on the move — along with a statement saying some troops were returning "as planned" to their garrisons. but the white house says russia has in fact increased its military presence along the ukrainian border by as many as 7,000 troops. david willis spoke to me on the story.
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white house officials say in the last few days as many as 7000 additional troops have been added along the ukrainian border, as early as today. the point was made instead of withdrawing troops by russia was accumulating them along the border with ukraine. white house officials have also said they are increasingly concerned about the possibility of so—called. flag operations by russia. whereby russian troops would carry out some sort of attack against their own forces as a pretext for launching some
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sort of invasion into ukraine. white house officials say in recent days there have been reports in the russian media of the discovery of unmarked graves of russian soldiers, of the development of chemical and biological weapons by the us and ukraine, and other such claims, all of which they say are false. there will be more to come american officials believe in the next few days as russia seeks to sow confusion in this regard.— in this regard. strong words from the — in this regard. strong words from the us. _ in this regard. strong words from the us. any _ in this regard. strong words from the us. any sense - in this regard. strong words from the us. any sense of i in this regard. strong words i from the us. any sense of how the white house might proceed? president biden said earlier this week there is still plenty of room for diplomacy. with around 150,000 or so russian troops and circling ukraine, there is growing pessimism, i inc, amongst white house senior us officials about the
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possibility of a diplomatic solution. today the us secretary of state was quoted as saying russia could come as as saying russia could come as a project, pull the trigger at any time in regards to some sort of attack on ukraine. the europeans and the us are threatening of course tough sanctions against russia should it launch some sort of invasion. all it handy for the time being is wait and see what vladimir putin decides to do, whilst at the same time seeking to shore up the western alliance, kind of unity if you like. today in that regard the white house announced it was sending kamala harris to europe in the next few days to basically show allegiance with ukraine. meanwhile, on wednesday ukraine's president volodymyr zelensky, travelled across the country to rally his forces. the bbc�*s sarah rainsford was with him, and sent this report. today was ukraine's turn
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for a show of force, aiming its tanks and missiles at an imaginary invader. military exercises, as the president looked on. it's the kind of cross—border attack that western governments fear russia is planning here. some had even named today as the launch date. instead, volodymyr zelensky was on a morale—boosting tour. laid out for him to admire, weapons sent by allies, including britain. remote assistance. i asked mr zelensky whether the threat had receded now. translation: we react to the reality we have. l and we don't see any withdrawal yet. we've only heard about it. when the troops do withdraw, everyone will see that. notjust reconnaissance or the military, we'll all see it. but, for now, all we have are statements. so, they're preparing for every scenario. this exercise is all
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about simulating a massive incursion into ukraine. and, of course, in this country, that's notjust a hypothetical threat, because there are still tens of thousands of russian troops on ukraine's border. today, moscow produced this, meant to prove its tanks were heading home, never a threat. and this — vladimir putin, busy showing he doesn't need friends in the west, he has other options. so, nato is still sounding the alarm about the biggest concentration of forces in europe since the cold war. we face a dangerous moment for european security. russia has amassed an invasion force on the borders of ukraine. at the same time, there are signs from moscow that diplomacy should continue. ukrainians today put on a show of unity, a flutter of patriotism and defiance.
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this nation that's trying to turn west, but that russia won't let go. from military exercises, president zelensky headed towards ukraine's very real conflict, and we flew east alongside him, to where troops have been fighting russian—backed forces for eight years now. there, he told soldiers they were heroes, thanked them for standing firm in a crisis which the world is watching nervously, but in which it's ukraine that's on the front line. sarah rainsford, bbc news, mariupol. landslides and severe flooding have killed over 90 people in brazil. more than a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours in the worst affected area — the city of petropolis — in rio dejaneiro state.
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sam cowie is a journalist in sao paulo, who's been monitoring the situation. this is a scenario of absolute devastation. at least 94 people had been killed during these horrendous landslides. that was the latest tally recorded at 8.30 local time, the latest tally recorded at 8.30 localtime, it the latest tally recorded at 8.30 local time, it is 11.30 now. this is a death count which is expected to increase over the next few days. firefighters on the scene are saying and unaccountable number, an immeasurable number of people have died or gone missing. this brings back terrible, terrible memories of 2011, when 918 people were killed in this mountainous area of rio dejaneiro. these are
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many poor people living in precarious dwellings on the side of mountains, in this mountainous region. that is basically due to the fact brazil has a huge chronic deficit of affordable housing stock. this is a problem we see repeatedly happening. it is a re—occurring problem in brazil. it happened where i am in sao paulo. a few weeks ago dozens of people were killed. you don't have to be a geologist to realise this rain was coming and that people would die. he mentioned the 2011 flooding and heavy rainfall over the last few days and weeks as well. this could have been predicted. it doesn't deem officials acted on that information. == it doesn't deem officials acted on that information.— on that information. -- seem like officials. _ on that information. -- seem like officials. we _ on that information. -- seem like officials. we are - on that information. -- seem like officials. we are talking l like officials. we are talking 400 firefighters on the scene, 200 expert witnesses that have been called in to look for
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evidence. we have sniffer dogs. this is a curative approach to what needs to be a preventative approach for what is an historic problem in this region and across brazil. this comes down to that fact in brazil, these are all people. it is a fairly wealthy city. these people live on the outskirts of the city, maids, the cooks, the drivers, the handymen that service these wealthy houses in the core of the city. white frankly we see this happening over and again frankly we see this happening overand again in frankly we see this happening over and again in brazil because all people's lives here are quite frankly disposable. we have a very popular commentator who said, the headline of the story that has just come out today, everybody knew these rains were killing
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rio, except seemingly the politicians and the governors. presidentjoe biden�*s senior medical adviser on coronavirus, dr anthony fauci, has said it's time for americans to start moving back towards normality, despite the remaining risks from the virus. dr fauci admitted many states are facing tough choices. i do apologise, we will have to move on. there is no perfect solution to this. they are trying to balance the fact that the world and the united states and particularly certain parts of the united states are just up to here with covid, theyjust really need to somehow get their life back. you don't want to be reckless and throw everything aside, but you have got to start inching towards that and when you do that you then veer away from paying attention to something that might be important, so someone has got to ask the question which i do not have the answer to, what is the balance? really being strict to prevent any kind of infection or the negative impact on society of being too restrictive and people
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argue about that all day. i mean, is the impact on mental health, is the impact on development of children, the impact on schools, is that balanced against trying to be covid pristine and protect against infection? i don't have the right answer to that and i don't pretend to have the right answer. i asked anne rimoin — professor of epidemiology in the fielding school of public health at the university of california — how she interpreted what dr fauci said. i think we have to focus on what he actually said and what he said was, we need to be inching back towards normalcy and that is really key here. he is not saying we will take off all restrictions and go back to normal, but that we will be in a process of moving forward in the right direction and we still have very high case rates, we still have a lot of hospitalisations, 2000 deaths a day and we are not there yet, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel and that is great news.
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we have to think about what life looks like will be see a decrease in cases, we will have to start thinking about practical ways to pull back and give people the opportunity to enjoy life in a way that has some semblance of normalcy but be ready to move back if needed, if another variant or something else comes down the pipe. that is the problem. it is not possible to give a firm date because as we have seen, the virus can be unpredictable. you are absolutely right. no=one knows what will happen, all we can do is hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be ready to pivot as needed. eventually we will have to start moving in the direction of relaxing restrictions, because we will see cases go down, the risk will be lower and at that point, people will have to start thinking about their own risk and thinking, the government is not giving me guidelines here, so what is important to me?
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who do i want to protect? myself, my children, do i have people in my household who are immunocompromised or a great risk? just because you can do something, does not mean you should and people will have to start thinking about their individual risk and how they are going to behave. thousands of people in the north of england have been left without power after storm dudley. northern powergrid said "around 14,000 customers" were affected. around 4,000 are still without power. in scotland, many train lines will remain suspended on thursday morning while safety checks are carried out. another storm — storm eunice — will make landfall on friday, bringing possibly even stronger wind and rain. china's president xi jinping has urged hong kong's leaders to take "all necessary measures" to control an outbreak of coronavirus. more than 4,000 new cases were reported on wednesday — a new record. the bbc�*s tim allman reports.
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in hong kong, the hospitals are almost bursting at the seams. at this accident and emergency department, the patients queue up on trolleys outside. for more than two years, the authorities have tried to keep the virus out, but covid numbers are rising at an alarming rate. none of this lost on the central government in beijing, with president xijinping urging the hong kong authorities to get a grip. quoted in a local state—run newspaper, he told them to... they should... the effects of the virus are being felt in numerous ways. locals are facing food shortages, as many of the lorry drivers who bring supplies into the territory have tested positive.
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hong kong imports around 90% of its food, most of it coming from the mainland, but the authorities insist action is being taken. translation: the first task is to recruit more lorry - drivers who have not been exposed to infection risk, and second is to ensure that all cross—border drivers will have covid—19 tests every day. once the results are negative, they're allowed to work across the border. so far, hong kong has been relatively lucky, with only around 200 deaths since the pandemic began. but with medical experts warning the number of daily cases could reach nearly 30,000 a day by the end of march, that luck may be running out. tim allman, bbc news. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: more bad news for buckingham
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palace as police now investigate one of prince charles's charities.
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this is bbc world news, our top story... the white house says russia's claim of withdrawing troops surrounding ukraine is false and that in fact it's sent in thousands more troops. staying with that now. it's notjust the white house and us military analysts who've been watching the movements of russian soldiers and military equipment. journalists and other civilians have been poring over satellite images and other publicly available open source information, and sharing their findings on social media. earlier, i spoke to analyst kyle glen about the evidence of a supposed russian withdrawal. they seem to be making some kind of token moves away from the border, they are not necessarily that
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close to the border and as far as i can tell and others can tell at the moment, there is no real solid evidence to back up the russian claim that any of the troops are heading home. let us look specifically at this picture that the russian mod release, you and the wider open source community have been analysing this, can you talk us through it? they claimed to show russian troops moving away from the training grounds and boarding trains and heading home towards their bases. a lot of analysts have found that the footage actually shows the opposite, it shows tanks moving towards training grounds rather than away from them. those images are from someone i work with quite regularly who does good work with geolocation videos like that and we have located the coloured boxes that have been partitioned off.
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it is using kind of imagery that is open to everyone, from search engines to kind of match up the areas that you are looking at to the areas in the video. whether it is street signs or a mountain range or recognisable buildings, you can match up images from archive images to recent footage and that seems to be the same with a lot of the russian claims. they are either moving towards the areas moving away from them or they are releasing videos that are nearly 200 kilometres away from the ukrainian border. you have been looking at images in belarus where russian troops have been on men over and we can see some of those images now, talk us through these?
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russia have been moving a lot of troops into belarus over the last weeks and months and one of the areas that we spotted was an air base just to the north of the border of ukraine. looking at satellite imagery, which is the green and pink kind of pixels, the more intense the pixels are, it shows how urban an area is and when you look at a military base for example, if an area was dark and the next imagery is very colourful, you can make a safe assumption that something is awry at that base. —— has arrived. as well as land—based movements, you have been watching activity in the black sea, what did you see there? there was quite a large russian camp in crimea in recent days we noticed the camp starting to empty, less equipment in the camp and it was moving or seem to be moving to a dock
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on the black sea. recently we saw low res satellite imagery from the 15th, which appeared to show at least two russian landing ships, which quite recently arrived in the black sea at this dock near the camp. the assumption at the moment is equipment is moving from the camp onto the landing ships, which is significant, they did not arrive by ship. here in the uk, the metropolian police has said it will investigate allegations of cash—for—honours, linked to one of prince charles' main charities. the inquiry centres on the prince's foundation, and accusations involving a saudi national. prince charles' aides say he had "no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or british citizenship, on the basis of donation to his charities." nicholas witchell reports. i'm here! turbulent moments they may be for members of her family. one person, though, was, as ever, staying
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calm and carrying on. good morning, your majesty. how are you? well, as you can see, i can't move. well, many congratulations on the start of yourjubilee year. good morning. the queen was at windsor castle this morning, meeting military officials. there are still evidently some mobility issues, but her appearance dispels the rumours that she caught covid from the prince of wales. and the underlying message — it is business as usual, despite the problems faced by not one, but two of her sons. first, prince charles. there is to be a formal police investigation into his charity, the prince's foundation, over allegations that honours and british citizenship were promised to a saudi billionaire in return for cash donations to the charity. in a statement, the metropolitan police said...
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the man who is expected to be at the centre of the investigation is michael fawcett, chief executive of the prince's foundation until his recent resignation. he's worked for charles for decades. he used to be the prince's valet. in a statement, clarence house said... and then, to prince andrew, and the continuing questions around his out—of—court settlement with virginia giuffre, variously estimated to be costing him anything up to £12 million. it's not thought andrew has that kind of spare cash, so will the queen have to help him? if andrew goes to the queen for help, more than likely, the money will come from the duchy of lancaster, which is effectively the queen's cash cow. last year, it brought her
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about £22 million in money. and it's really rental income from a portfolio of land. it seems inconceivable that any public money from the sovereign grant would be used. but already there are calls for greater openness from the palace. andrew is going to have to confirm that the public haven't paid this, because that threatens to have wider implications for the royal family. for the royal family, the threat of a damaging court case involving prince andrew has been avoided. but a number of questions remain. )and before we go, let's just show you these pictures. in the united arab emirates, dog lovers have been competing — with their animals — in an off—road �*canicross' event. the race is being held in the mountains of hatta. pet owners run and hike alongside their dogs across almost 4 miles
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of mountainous landscape. similar events have been held elswhere in the world. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @ richpreston. a stormy end to our week — the first of the storms, storm dudley, arrived during wednesday afternoon and into the evening. and as we went through the latter stages of the day, wind gusts were quite widely around 70 mph, gusting in excess of 80 mph through capel curig. now, it looks likely that we'll continue to see some rain and snow, as well, over the next few hours, even snow falling at lower levels across the highlands — so there will be some accumulations, there will be some icy stretches to look out for first thing. so we keep the potential for some rain and some snow over the next few hours, further south across england and wales. quite breezy still, but the winds will start to ease down, and it will stay largely fine and dry here. but temperatures will hold up above freezing — so first thing tomorrow morning, around 4—7 celsius, noticeably colder into the far north. now, as we start off thursday,
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then it looks likely that we'll continue to see some showers slowly easing and, as we go through the day, still windy, but not as strong as they have been. a good deal of dry weather on thursday, with some sunshine coming through. temperatures in the north between 5—7 celsius — not quite as mild in the south, with 12 celsius the high here. but we have to draw your attention to what's happening during thursday into friday — this is storm eunice. now, this will intensify quite dramatically, this area of low pressure, and will cause some issues. now, in several areas across scotland and northern ireland, it's not the wind, it's the snow. we are likely to see some heavy wet snow falling on power lines that could have an impact, 10—30 centimetres of snow. as i say, the winds not quite as strong here, we're looking at gusts of winds around 25—35 mph. but the snow will start to tot up. now further south of that, the snow will ease and it'll be largely dry with some sunshine — but look at the gusts of wind.
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we are likely to see widely gusts in excess of 70—80 mph inland, and on extreme west—facing coasts, we could see wind strength around 90 mph gusts, potentially up to 100 mph. so the met office has issued an amber warning. be prepared for some significant disruption, dangerous, damaging gusts of wind. and, even as we head into the weekend, we keep plenty of isobars on the chart — showers on saturday being replaced by longer spells of rain.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines: the us has dismissed reports that russia is withdrawing from ukraine's border and instead accuses moscow of sending more soldiers. washington says russia's presence has increased by as many as 7,000 troops — labelling moscow's claims of a reduction "false". landslides and flooding in the brazilian city of petropolis have killed more than 90 people. many more have been made homeless. nearly a month's worth of rain fell in a matter of hours, causing mudslides that buried homes and flooded streets. rescuers are searching for survivors. presidentjoe biden�*s senior medical adviser on coronavirus, dr anthony fauci, has said it's time for americans to start moving back towards normality. dr fauci acknowleged covid—19 infections would likely rise as restrictions were lifted and said tough choices lie ahead.
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now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk.


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