tv Al Jazeera English News Bulletin LINKTV January 19, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
>> u.s. president joe biden thinks russia will send forces into ukraine but warns moscow will pay a high price. ♪ >> hello, i am emily and gwen. this is al jazeera. five days on, the first flights carrying aid head to tonga after ash is cleared from the international airport. britain's prime minister, under
pressure to resign after attending parties during lockdown. a palestinian family at the center of an anti-expulsion campaign is evicted by israelis and their home demolished. ♪ the u.s. president says he believes russia will make a military incursion into ukraine because his counterpart vladimir putin has to be seen to be doing something. joe biden has promised costly sanctions in the event of a full-scale invasion and heavy human losses for moscow. he said to the russian president will come to regret military action. >> do i think he will test of the west, test the united states and nato absolutely, as significantly as he can? yes, i think he will, but i think he will pay a serious and
dear price for it. i think he will regret having done it. emily: let's take a closer look at how russia has been increasing its presence in the region. russia has amassed an estimated 100,000 troops around the north and east of ukraine. it includes areas that put moscow in easy striking distance of the capital kiev. for the past eight years, ukraine has been battling 35,000 russian backed rebels who control to eastern provinces. russia has military personnel stationed there, although the kremlin denies this. moscow has deployed in crimea, which was annexed from ukraine in 2014, and there is another battlefront that could open up on the front -- border with belarus. here is what has correspondent kimberly halkett. kimberly: the u.s. president made his most definitive
statement with regard to whether he believes if vladimir putin will invade ukraine, something u.s. intelligence has been indicating for some time, not only because the russian troops have been amassed along the border of ukraine by the tens of thousands, but we have seen the uptick since november on social media that seems to indicate that, as well. the u.s. president is now saying that he believes in fact vladimir putin has perhaps made the decision to somewhat intimately -- imminently make that invasion and that it would be a regrettable decision, the u.s. president also saying that if vladimir putin does this that there would be harsh financial sanctions, something the international community has warned and cautioned against, and it would be punishing and
have lasting effects in the short-term, midterm and long-term. emily: the u.s. secretary of state has been in key have reaffirming washington's commitment to kiev. we have the latest out of kiev. >> the message is the same, but this time it is from the ukrainian capital kiev that u.s. secretary of state antony blinken renewed calls for russia to choose diplomacy or pay a price in case of military escalation. >> today, there are some 100,000 russian soldiers near ukraine's borders, and in that sense, the threat to ukraine is unprecedented. the president asked me to underscore once again our commitment to ukraine's territorial integrity, its sovereignty, its independence. >> the history of the visit comes as washington confirms another 200 million dollars in military aid for kiev, a clear show of support for what the
u.s. says is ukraine's fundamental right to sovereignty. that has angered moscow. it says it is a threat to its own security, the u.s. and ukraine hoping this support will change president vladimir putin's calculations even though more russian troops around the move, this time towards ukraine's northern border. russia says it is ahead of planned military exercises with belarus, and the u.s. should not be concerned. >> declaring political support from the side of the united states and providing such military supplies can deter russian aggression. of course, russia will emphasize that providing these military weapons is a redline for them, but it is the only way to -- for ukraine to defend itself. >> tensions with ukraine and moscow have been growing. putin has demanded that the u.s.
pledge that nato not expand eastward, a demand that the u.s. refuses to accept. western countries have accused moscow of creating a pretext to invade ukraine. if hopes for more negotiation seems to have ended last week, there now seems to be room to a diplomatic end to this crisis despite the rhetoric and accusations. >> myself, i've find it unlikely that russia would attack ukraine in this manner as people expect with huge land force that would inevitably result in many casualties. i do not think russian society and the russian political system could take that psychological blow easily. >> ukraine would like to see the
-- decisive action against russia sooner rather than later starting with opposing harsh sanctions that would weaken russia's economy. >from here, antony blinken heads to berlin where he will discuss with european counterparts the way forward in preparation of another meeting on friday with russian foreign minister sergei lavrov. ask anyone here, and they will tell you that that meeting is the most important of the week. al jazeera, kiev. emily: for more analysis, let's bring in robert hunter, a former u.s. ambassador tomato. he joins us from washington, d.c. there's plenty to unpack here. i want to get your thought on this particular comment from the u.s. president. have a listen. >> if we end up having a fight about what to do and what to out to, but if they do what they are capable of doing with the force
amassed on the border, is going to be a disaster for russia. emily: the first thing that strikes me about that comment from joe biden is him spilling out differences within the alliance. how do you think nato will react to that? amb. hunter: i think we would be much better off if both sides come of united states and russia, would say less in public and do the negotiation in public. mr. biden said himself he does not know what putin will do, but by conjecturing he might go in, i think that might cause some heartache within the alliance, but it also does not do any good. the important thing right now is both russia and the united states have signaled that are going to talk and negotiate. they don't want this to get out of hand, and if they are able to get on with it, it will be possible to reach something on
this. russia is asserting its place in europe. we have a desire to have them involved in europe. it is a matter of doing the terms and conditions, so i wish people would stop saying so much in public. emily: the other element of that soundbite is biden talking about a so-called minor incursion. is he giving putin permission for this minor incursion? amb. hunter: i wonder what he is talking about. it could be that russia would augment the troops that are quietly and secretly already in the so-called don voss region of ukraine -- donbas region of ukraine. there could be more cyber attacks. there could be more efforts to undermine democracy. there could be use of advanced weaponry. i'm not quite sure what the
president has in mind because frankly, if russia does go militarily more in ukraine, there is a major problem. nobody is going to benefit from it. emily: do you think the president has done more harm than good after his comments today? amb. hunter: i think he is taking a harder line. the united states has already said to come of the president already said that he does not plan to send u.s. military forces. he could always change his mind, but that was very clear. let's do something other than beat the drums of war. the united states has talked about major sanctions. that is all well and good if you can reassure the allies we are serious. it might cause some feelings in moscow that they shouldn't do to much, but there are almost no examples of when, if a country wants to do something for
security, as russia claims incorrectly it would be doing, countries do not respond to sanctions. they are a great bluff. emily: we appreciate your time and analysis, robert hunter, former u.s. ambassador to nato. moving on, australia and new zealand's first international aid flights are en route to to nga. ash has finally been cleared from the airport's runway. the pacific island nation has been cut off from the world since a tsunami destroyed homes and poisoned water supplies. >> for the people of tonga, we are headed their way now with a whole lot of water. the ship contains over 250,000 liters of water, and we will be able to provide that once we arrive. we will be producing another 70,000 liters of water we can put ashore. emily: let's bring in wayne hay,
covering developments out of new zealand. what is the latest? wayne: it will be very welcome news for those on the ground in tonga because they have not been able to receive any outside assistance at all so far because of that ash on the runway and because it is a long journey in terms of getting ships from the likes of australia and new zealand. we know navy ships are on their way. they are due to arrive possibly sometime friday. there is another ship that is going to leave friday from australia and a third ship from new zealand, but in the short term, that new zealand hercules aircraft has taken off from auckland and is in route because of the hard work done by so many volunteers. we saw so many images of volunteers on the runway in the
capital of tonga sweeping that ash off the runway, which prevented any flights from landing there. that is all clear now, so the hercules is they are relief supplies. emily: what more do we know about communications being restored in tonga? wayne: that has been one of the main problems, hasn't it? remembering the eruption took place saturday, it took until late on tuesday for us to get any official word out of the tongan government. that was through an official statement when they described it as an unprecedented disaster. communication has been a real problem. they haven't managed to get in contact with some of the outlying islands in that chain in tonga. that undersea fiber-optic cable, as we know, has been severed in one location. a telecommunications company
said it will be at least four weeks before that can be repaired. they've managed to restore some phone lines via satellite. they are saying it is around 10% of capacity, so certainly not where it needs to be or where people want it to be. it will enable some of the relatives in countries like new zealand, this large tongan community, many coming to this relief center, to donate goods that could eventually be shipped to tonga. they will be able to make contact at some stage soon. emily: let's hope so. wayne hay, live for us in auckland. still ahead on al jazeera, we follow the plight of palestinian refugees living in lebanon as the u.n. launches an urgent appeal for cash to help them survive winter. we take you to tahiti where a rare coral reef has been discovered 30 meters beneath the
water's surface. ♪ >> there are no more warnings out for the amount of snow falling in japan, nor indeed in the korean peninsula. it is pretty normal winter stuff. the snow is lovely and fluffy if you are a skier. still cold if you are not. 18 in tokyo. for the west and china, there's an increase in the rain and snow potential the next day or so. it is fairly widespread marching in towards beijing with a high of only -1 come friday. the heaviest rain, this is friday's forecast, it should be further south.
java, there will be more flooding as a result of that. a lot of rain in jakarta recently. in contrast, it is very dry looking in india and sri lanka. these are showers in the foothills of the himalayas, rain or snow depending on where you are. air quality is poor in, for example, new delhi and lahore. another disturbance coming in from the west showing up on the new delhi forecast, gray and a bit windy, and then probably thundering, but it isn't very warm. ♪ >> the weather sponsored by qatar airways. >> mount vesuvius is one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in the world, but not everyone fears living in its shadow. >> perhaps there is something magnetic that people who don't live here can't understand. >> al jazeera goes to the red
zone near naples to understand this unusual love affair. living with the volcano on al jazeera. ♪ emily: you are watching al jazeera. a reminder of our top stories -- the u.s. president predicts russia will invade ukraine. he's warned his counterpart vladimir putin that there will be costly sanctions and heavy losses for his actions, but joe biden said he believes the russian leader is not keen for a full-blown war. while the u.s. secretary of state is in ukraine to reaffirm
american support, antony blinken warned that russia could invade. he will meet russian foreign minister sergey lavrov in geneva friday. the first international relief flights are en route to tonga. ash from the volcanic eruption has finally been cleared from the airport runway. the u.s. will start distributing 400 million masks for free across the country next week from its national strategic stockpile. health experts say they are the most protective face covering against the omicron variant. the u.s. has been reporting up to 800,000 new cases every day over the past week. to the u.k. and britain's prime minister has defied cause to quit during a raucous session in parliament. boris johnson said he won't be
stepping down over the so-called party-gate scandal. he's been under pressure to resign over those streets in his downing street residence during coronavirus lockdowns. >> in a highly charged atmosphere, prime minister's questions began with another thought -- another major body blow for boris johnson, news that one of his mps had defected to the opposition party. this following morning, newspaper reports of a widening plot to oust johnson by members of his own party. jokes at the prime minister's expense followed. >> i'm sure he told them to bring their own booze. >> salvo after salvo. >> he was breaking his own rules. absolutely pathetic. >> if he had any shred of compassion for all of those out there who have suffered, he would go. >> clamoring for explanations
from johnson about the increasing catalogue of rule breaking parties that took place under his watch when the country was deep in lockdown, but the prime minister seemed energized, fighting tooth and nail for his party and job. >> when the history of this pandemic comes to be written and the history of the labour party comes to be written, it will show that we delivered while they dithered, and we vaccinated while they vacillated. i am intensely proud of what this government has done. >> call after call for johnson to resign was met with the same message, to reserve judgment and wait for the inquiry into a growing list of rule breaking. >> mr. speaker, when a prime minister is spending his time trying to convince the great british public that he is actually stupid rather than
dishonest, isn't it time that he goes now? >> voices from his own party could do the most damage to his political future. mp david davis wants the theresa may government's chief brags it -- brexit negotiator delivering this strike -- >> i defended the prime minister against often angry constituents, but i expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. yesterday, he did the opposite of that. i will remind him of a quotation altogether familiar to him of leo amery to neville chamberlain. you have set there too long for all the good you have done a. in the name of god, go. >> despite the promise that plan b covid restrictions will be slashed next week, this was a
bruising day in parliament for the prime minister, seemingly impossible for him to escape the anger within his conservative party, and with the results of a possible damaging inquiry around the corner, boris johnson's day in office could soon be numbered. al jazeera, westminster. emily: france has recorded more than 400,000 covid-19 infections for a second day. numbers are soaring with over 190 2000 cases, and as portugal gears up for national elections, the government says infected people and those in isolation will be allowed to leave their homes to cast their ballots. one hour will be designated for covid positive residents. a palestinian family living in occupied east jerusalem has lost their fight to stop is really police demolishing their home. the family of 15 threatened to blow up the property if they
were forced from their neighborhood. hundreds of other palestinians there are facing the -- being in forcibly evicted despite international criticism of israeli policy. we have more from the demolition site. >> it was around 3:00 in the morning on a cold and raining morning, but 100 israeli security forces moved into the property. they cordoned off the area. they arrested some 18-25 people, some members of the family, some activists who had been supporting them, and they proceeded to demolish the home. as far as the municipality and police are concerned, they issued a joint statement. they say this was land appropriated long ago and has been destined to be made into a school, a special needs school
for children in the area, and they said at the family did not have a legal right. as far as western diplomats who had been protesting this, activists are concerned this is not a question of israeli law. this being occupied land, and therefore, this comes in the context of a wider attempt to make it more difficult for palestinians in this part of the city. slightly less clear-cut than some of the issues that have made this such a flashpoint, but nonetheless, attracting protests. we have to wait and see what the reaction will be. emily: the u.n. relief organization for palestinian refugees has launched an urgent appeal for additional funding to help those in lebanon. it is asking for a total of $1.6 billion to cover its needs. the agency says the economic crisis in lebanon and the pandemic have made palestinian refugees more vulnerable.
anwar lost a big part of its funding in 2018 when donald trump cut support, but it was partially reinstated by the biden administration. nearly 2 million palestinian refugees across the middle east rely on the agency for basic services such as food, health and jobs. we report from beirut. >> they've been refugees twice in the past. now these palestinians from syria are again homeless. thousands fled to lebanon during syria's civil war. they are struggling to survive. the financial support they were receiving from the united nations leave and works agency has been cut because anwar is facing a budget crisis. >> they use to give us $100 for rent. now it is $25. they've reduced food assistance to $12 per person.
everything is expensive. they threw us in the streets. >> that is where they've been for at least a week. they set up camp in beirut and say they will not leave until a solution is found to their plight. >> it is supposed to be our lifeline, but they are not giving us basic needs, and we cannot go back to syria. many of us are wanted by authorities. >> even before palestinian started arriving, it was underfunded. it was having difficulties meeting the demands of those in lebanon whose vulnerability worsened in recent months. palestinian refugees were living in poverty even before the economic collapse. they are not the only ones. the entire country, which hosts hundreds of thousands of syrian
refugees, is being affected by the meltdown. it says it needs nearly $200 million to meet the growing and basic needs. >> it has been living on an almost a month by month basis. last year, we had to stop all of our services, not just the emergency help. > palestinians have largely been marginalized with little access to job opportunities. >> i am a teenager, and i have lots of dreams and hopes, but because of what we are suffering in lebanon, i always stress about my future. >> palestinians say they are trapped, unable to return to their homeland or leave to go elsewhere. nearly 80% live in poverty. the u.n. estimates 162,000 people depend on aid. emily: aid workers are warning
that winter storms in syria, jordan and lebanon are endangering the lives of millions of refugees. a snowstorm in the northwest is raising fears that some people could freeze to death. many refugees are putting themselves in danger by using hazardous materials to keep warm. >> in the beginning, we were able to control the situation, but now there is so much snow that some of the tenants have caved in. emily: major airlines are canceling flights to the u.s. because of concerns that 5g mobile services could disrupt navigation systems. that is despite the rollout being scaled-back by at&t and verizon the. there are fears that 5g signals could interfere with instrume■ú