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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 4, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from s like you. thank you. this is bbc world news america. tonight with sools shot than most people forced to stay home. tee prime minsays the weeks ahead could be the hardest yet. >> in england, we must go into a onal lockdown which is tough to contain this variant. nment ians the gov instructing you to stay-at-home. katty: southfrican officials say they are facing another new
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virus -- variant of the coronavirus and it could be more of a threat than the mutation found in the u.k. a phone call and the follow. how president trump's chat with geora's secretary of state could cas a shadow over tuesday's senate vote. raising a glass to britain's exit from t. european uni how australian winemakers hope to benefit from a post-brexit trade deal. ♪ katty: welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. the world's battle against covid is starting to feel like one step forrd, two steps back. in america millions of vials of vaccines have been distributed. that is the good news. only a third of them ve actually been administered. in the u.k., the prime ministeou just aed a tough new
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lockdown for england with most schools shut and people largely confined fact toir t homes. here is boris johnsonpeaking earlier. >> it is clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out. in england, we must therefore go into a national lockdown, which is tough enough to contain this variant. that means the government is once again instructing you to stay-at-home. katty: the prime minister will join me from westminster as r political correspondent jessica joins us. you are already under strict restrictions inngland. what prompted the prime minister to put the country back into lockdown? >> the prime minister is saying that this new variant of the virus, which is between 50%-70% more transmissible than the old variant, has led to a surge in
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cases. that was of particular concern in the southeast of england and in london, but we are told the new variant is now everywhere and thatar is why wseeing lockdowns announced, not just fornd eng new measures introduced today coming in overnight for scotland, so some form of lockdown, now comin in already in place across the united kidom area scotland, wales, northern ireland and england. what boris johnson stressedas that covid is putting more pressure on hospitals than at any point in the pandemictu. they have lyaised the alert level to lel five, the highest alert level, because there is a risk, not a certainty but a risk that the nhs could be overwhelmed in the next 21 days, the national health service. that is one of the mainr drivers concerns and crucially, johnn has done something he really didn't want tohi do, is close schools, as you
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mentioned, for most students. students who, the children of key workers or who ath vulnerable will be able to attend schools but for most people, learning will be remote in england until the february term. katty: will people abide by these restrictions do you think? >> i think that is one of the reasons ministers are emphasizing the stay-at-home message. that has absolutely been concern, that while many have been disciplined and stuck to the rules, there have so been people who haven't and that has been one of the reasons for the spread of the virus. it is legally enforceable, the stay-at-homesage across england. that means there are only leave y home for exercise, tocan shop for essentials, to get medical help, among those very specific rules. i think they are trying to encourage people to stay-at-home and stick to those rules over the coming weeks. katty: we don't know exactly how
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long that will last. thanks, jessica. you heard the concerns about the new u.k. variant of the otronavirus, and that is the only mutation that is out there. south african officials are worried a new strain of the disease has been found -- that has been found could even be eore transmissible than british on to stop the spread, flights from the country have been affected. here is andrew reporting. >> a strict new lockdown across soutafrica complete with a nighttime curfew, and a ban on the sale of alcohol. authorities, struggling to contain an aggressive new variant of the vus. the variant, like the one in britain, has made covid-19 far easier to catch and transmit. >> you see how short of breath you are. >> the result, hospitals are filling up fast.
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precious oxygen supplies are running low. eay evidence suggests the virus here is probably no more mtransmissible e deadly than the british variant, but that is still being tested. >> the jury is still out. g buterally viruses evoe to become more transmissible, but less virulent. hopefully this virus will obey that, as well. >> there was another worry. while britain's virus has one mutation, south afthca's has e, including one that might make the virus morerresistant to t vaccines. >> the current -- the concern is that there are three mutations,l which copotentially impact the antibodies introduced by the medicine to neutralize the viru >> so it is a serious concern. >> i think itt is a concern
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this point in time. hopefully over the course of the next few weeks we will have a clear answe >> the good news is, south african scientists are working fast to get that answer. the bad news is that there is a siificant risk that the virus here has changed to give itself at least a partial resistance to the current vaccines. still, exper say adjusting those vaccines should be relatively easy. in the meantime, a second wave of infections continues to spread fast across south africa. katty: it is tough for people in south africa. remember how we were happy to sa goodbye to 2020? i was longing to wish you a happy new year. we were excid about 2021. we are optimistic but we may have to wait a little longer. in america, democrats and even some replicans have been
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criticizing a phone call between president trump and georges secretary of state. in a recording of the hour-long discussion, trumcan be heard asking brad raffensperger to find h enough votes to change the result. the controversy comes as georgia voters hhed to polls on tuesday for a pair of senate runoff elections. here is our nth ameri editor. >> are you ready to show america that georgia is a red state? >> there is intense campaigning ahead of senate ections tomorrow which will determine whether it is the republicans oo democrats ontrol the upper house in washington. >> vote. >> over the weekend, there was a different type of lobbying going on. donald -- donald trump trying to persuade officials to rewrite the results of last november's election and give victory in the state to him, not joe biden. >> the people of georgia are egry. the peo of the country are angry and there is nothing wrong th saying that you have
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recalculated. >> mr.resident, the challenge you have, the data you have is wrong. a i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes . >> this brought charges from republicans as well as democrats that ts is a flagrant and illegal attet by trump to thwart the will of the ka harris is the next vice president. >> it was the voice of desperation. most certainly that. and it was a bald-faced, bold abuse of powert by the presid of the united states. >> georgia's secretary of state was asked, had the president acted illegally? >> did you consider it a lawful requeswhen the president asked you to find the votes? >> i'm not a lawyer. all inow is we will follow the
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law and follow the process. truth matters and we have been fighting for the last two months. >> an extraordinary development, every living u.s. d formense secretary, including two donald trump appointed, signed a letter warning against the military being used in any p grab. they felt it necessary to say this out loud andsp thaks volumes about the rumor swirling around washington about whatight happen next. this presidency is not endingqu tly. katty: the news of president request in to go unnoticed abroad. from mexico, switzerland and israel, front pages from around the world have been covering p thne call between president trump and the secretary of h state and efforts to overturn the results of last year's election. what does it look like from the other side of the pond? our seni t editor from economist joins me now from
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london. i wish i could say happy, i do. -- happy new year, i do. i hope this one gets i'm sorry you are back in lock down and that is tangential to wh i will ask you about, but are people still talking about donald trump, and how he is behaving in this transition period in london? >> i tnk the situation, both here in the u.k., but across wide swaths of europe, is so intense with the pandemic that pele are frankly a bit distracted and we often look at it the other way and say, mayb' he didn'get the granularity of what is going on. been marginally less prominent, the georgia shenanigans and that blatant attempt by the president to get a better result. that sai it does still land, because once you look past this
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intense time we are in, people are looking am what the new ica will look like. they have factored in that it will be joe biden but they aren't totally sure how the transition takes place. thbee same questions arg asked. you could say the lens feels ath little f back from where i am sitting. katty: i've had democrats, members of the biden transition team, saying it openly, saying if this were any other country, america would be saying this leader is undermining democracy. where are european voices saying the same thing about donald trump? have we heard european aders suggest donald trump ought to be conceding and enacting a normatransition? >> i do understd that question, but i would say, al have been from germany recently, we are following what isndoing onhy would they? you have to ask, i what isn it
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for european leaders at this point? if you lre someoe boris johnson, you have an extreme covid situation. katty: why does any country say people should act democratically? >> that may berue, but you usually have something you want to get outte in the nea strategy or even tactically, and rightge now, erkel is probably going the furthest in the direction you described. her first atement kind of said, let's hope this is delivered o but angela merkel has been pretty quiet partly because she is looking towards the ccession that is going to take place in her party to choose candidates to run for chancellor of germany this year. she will step down. it is probably not what she wants to focus on right now. matter, but she is invested int her relationship with china, for which he is getting heat. boris johnson has tf i and
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another lockdown, and an angry and confus country. france has a very tough pandemic . emmanuel macron is interesting. the french president, you might have expected him to say something like that but he would always, i think he will wait an see what happens and if nothing happens, he will simply prepare for the transition. it does always -- it is always raison d'etre with france. there is calon on the side of the atlantic and that is may be why you are not hearing the clarion call. katty: i was going to call it realpolitik and you called it thing.of the same we heard john speaking earlier about those 10 former american defense secretaries who issued a rare joint statement warning against the use of the military to dispute the u.s. election results. one of those who signed the
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letter was william cowan, who served in bill clinton's white house as secretary of defense. my colleague and i spoke to him. >> what do you make of the phone call the president made to the georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger? >> it is a continuation of who he is a who he has been, namelye uses intimidation, threats of wsuits, anything he can to try to bend people to his will, even breaking the law. he did this, an example, with the present of ukraine, and he has done it here, wch is so outrageous in terms of going to the secretary of state andng sa by the way, this election was fraudulent, therefore you know that, therefore you might be complicit or a co-conspitor and -- any fraudulent action. you have what i believe is a criminal act in making that
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allegation or suggestion to involve a secretary of state to commit an act in itself would be a crime. >> 12 senators are going to back up president during the electoral college vote count wednesday. there are 150 republican house members who are standing by him. does this phone call, sisuld hone call change their views on whether to support him wedne'y? >> i don' know. i doubt if it will to manyos of who areupporting him. hows hard to understand highly educated, well trained individuals can look at what has happened, where the president has gone to the voters in the voters have told him no, we don't want you, he has gone to the courts and the courts rejeed him. he has gone the governors and they said no. state that he has tried to of contact 18 different times, and has been told no, you have your facts wrong. the issue becomes, what is he going to do with the military? because circulating, having the
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notion come out about the use of martial law to deploy the military in a way that might have an impact uponis presence surprising to me, it is justnot shocking that we as a beacon of hope have been in the wor of darkness as such, that we are now having to take this kind of action,ct unprecedentedn of 10 former secretaries of defense saying to our military, make sure youlo fol legitimate authorized constitutional patriotic orders. katty: a quick loo at other news from around the world. the you and nuclear watchdog confirmed in iran has begun the act of enriching uranium. this will create a substance at 20% purity. weapon grade purity has a purity of 90%. president trump withdrew the u.s. from the iran nuclear deal
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in 2018, accusing tehran of breaking the conditions. there has been an easing and relations beeen saudi arabia d qatar. qatar's a mere will attain -- will attend a summit where he is expected to sign a agreement. several countries imposed accusing it qatar, of supporting terrorism, something qatar denied. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come, a courtn london rules wikileaks founder julian assange can't be extradited to america. a judge says he is at risk of suicide. e indian manufacturer of the awesome word -- the oxford astrazeneca vcines has the government is preventing it from exporting the drug to other countries. they institute says the ban is in place because india wants to prioritize its own population.
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here is our south asia editor. >> they are producing the astrazeneca oxford university vaccine in india and they will be supplying to many countries that is the plan. as of now, the vaccine has been approved i the indian government with certain regulatory conditions for regulatory use. these conditions mea company cannot sell these vaccinesri to ate party, and also, not export it because this company has committed to giving about 100 million doses coronavirus vaccine first to india. so they can't export at the moment. the impact is that many countries will want to have thia vacc they will have katty: judge in the u.k. ruled
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the wikileaks founder julian assange c't be extradited to the united states. she said his mental health problemse meant he would risk of suicide. american officials want him face trial for releasing tens of thousands of confidentialta mi and diplomatic documents a decade ago. our diplomatic correspondent has more. >> julian assange has long attracted loyal supporters and this was their reaction as they heard the news. for more than a decade, the wikileaks founder resisted extraditn, spending seven years holed up in the ecuadorian embassy in london before being aremoved almost two yearsgo and detained. the u.s. authorities want him to face 18 charges, mostly of es alleged role in theeaking of thousandset of se military documents. many focused on the wars in afghanistan and iraq, including
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this video, appearing to show a s. helicopter firing on civilians in baghdad. to some, mr. assange is a champion ofee free who revealed war crimes. to others, a lawbreaker agents.e lives of u.s. today, after years of battles, he was driven to court to years -- to hear his fate. he listened as the district judgeismissed his defense that the u.s. charges were political and a threat to media freedom. but when it came to his mental health and oppression, she ruled that in a u.s. high security prison, the risk of him committing suicide is substantial and as such it would be oppressive to exeter -- extradite him. mr. assange wiped his brow upon hearing the ruling. his paner andhe mother of his two sons burst into tears. >>ar w pleased the court has recognized the seriousness and
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atinhumanity of e has endured and what he faces. but let's not forget thent indictn the u.s. has not been dropped. >> the u.s. dement of justice said it was extremely disappointed and what appealed against the ruling. mr. assange was remanded in custody ahead of a bail plication this week. katty: ever since the brexit vote, the u.k. has been scrambling for new trade deals arnd the world. first.lia could be one of the the nation's famous winemakers are hoping they can benefit. ey shipped nearly $300 million u.s. dollars worth of wind to brain in the last financial year. demand for alcohol has onlyin grown dthe coronavirus lockdown. our reporter reports from australia. >> quenching the international thir for australian wine means hings on a massive scal
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accolade is one of the country's biggest produ each of these vats hds t equivalent of about 40,000 bottles. and much of it is destined britain. pumpednto shipping containers, it is sent to the other side of the world to be packaged and sold. brands made here are some of the uk's ain, leading the eu, allowed -- leaving the eu, allowed it to negotiate deals with au relish here.spect they but brexit isn't all good ne for australian winemakers, who don't know what it will mean from moving their products from the u.k. into mainland europe. erare questions over how labeling will change and the costs involved. disruptions on theofe any brexit. what we are looking for now is
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the potential of a free-trade agreement between the u.k. and australia. the tariffs imposed on australian wine imports into the u.k. are anywhere between 13 and 15 pence periter. chile and south africa have a zero tariff. >> most of this wine is of the cheaper end of the market, so uld a free-trade deal with britain help producers sell their more expensive brands competitively? detailsre still being fleshed out and the trade deal is unlikely to be signed until well to 2021. withpp china sg hefty tariffs on imports of stralian wine, u.k. salese may becom even more important than ever. katty: there was a lot of drinking going on during covid. you can fin more of the days news on our website and if you
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working on, check out twitter. thank you s much for watching this edition of bbc world news america. i'm katty kay and i wish you a happy new year and hope your 2021 is peaceful, prosperous, narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... language specialists teaching spanish, french d more. raymond james. the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station fr viewers like you. thank you.
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♪ nijudy: good e. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, presre points. president trump asking georgia officials to find votes raisesou seriquestions andti condem from both sides of the political aisle. judy: then, a troubling delay -- the coronavirus vaccine rollout remains sluggish across the country as surges of infections and deaths continue. plus, on edge -- a year after an iranian general is killed by an american drone, some iraqi militias grow increasingly hostile to the u.s. balance of power -- control of the u.s. senate and much of the future of president- biden's agenda rest in the hands


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