tv Democracy Now LINKTV May 2, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
05/02/22 05/02/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we were not just let out. when the shells started landing, i thought my heart would stop and i would not survive it. amy: evacuated from the steel plant in mariupol, but hundreds more remained trapped. there is no end in sight to the war as house speaker nancy pelosi visits ukraine over the
weekend, we will get an update from jan egeland just back from ukraine. he also visited the site of a mass grave of murdered ukrainian civilians. but first, record scorching heat hits india and pakistan with a full week of temperatures over 100 degrees -- 104 degrees. >> this summer has arrived in april and the first of may. it is extremely hot. amy: we will speak with chandni singh, senior researcher on climate research at the indian institute for human settlement. we will speak with the scientist to help lead a new study that finds one and five reptiles face extincti. >> quantified homuch olutionary history of reptiles we stand to le, billion years. that is like almost four times
the age of the earth. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. house speaker nancy pelosi became the highest ranking u.s. official to visit ukraine over the weekend. her surprise trip came just days after president biden asked congress for an additional $33 billion for ukraine. during a meeting with ukrainian president volodymyr zelenskyy, pelosi vowed the united states would keep backing ukraine militarily "until the fight is done." >> believe we are vising you to say thank you for your fight for freedom. your fight is a fight for everyone. our commitment is to be there
for you until the fight is done. amy: on friday, the pentagon confirmed u.s. troops are now training ukrainian soldiers to use advanced weapons systems in germany. over the weekend, russia foreign minister sergey lavrov said the u.s. and nato should stop arming ukrainif theare "really interested in resolvg the ukraine crisis." meanwhile, the ukrainian government says about 100 civilians have been able to evacuate the besieged azovstal steel plant in mariupol after the united nations helped establish what it described as a safe passage operation. one evacuee said she had been staying inside a basement in the steel plant for two months after her home was destroyed. >> we lived in the basement starting from t 27th of february. we did not leave becse our house is close park 72 azov. our house is complety destroyed.
we have a two-story building. it is not there anymore. it burned to the ground. amy: hundreds more civilians and many fighters remain trapped at the steel plant in mariupol. russia has reportedly resumed shelling the plant. this comes as the united nations says the number of ukrainians who have fled the country has now topped 5.5 million. in other developments, a russian a rocket attack has destroyed an airfield in southern ukraine. meanwhile, a large fire broke out at a russian military facility sunday in the southern belgorod region, which borders ukraine. it is the latest incident suggesting ukraine is carrying out attacks inside russia. in other news from ukraine, the associated press is reporting ukrainian authorities have arrested hundreds of people accused of collaborating with the russians. ukraine is currently under martial law, which gives authorities the power to detain anyone without a court order for 30 days. the ap reports nearly 400 people have been detained in the
kharkiv region alone. dozens of pro-russian activists have also been detained in kyiv. republican congressmember adan kinzinger has introduced a joint resolution to give president biden congressional authority to send u.s. troops to fight in ukraine if russia deployed chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. kinzinger unveiled his plan during an interview on cbs's "face the nation." >> i don't think we need to be using force in ukraine right now. i just traduced an authorization for the use of military force, giving the president basically congressional leverage or rmission to use it it wmd's are used in ukraine. amy: a ukrainian journalist died thursday in kyiv a russian missile strike on an apartment building where she lived. the journalist, vira hyrych, worked for the u.s.-funded outlet radio free europe and radio liberty. according to ukrainian
authorities, hyrych is the 23rd known member of the media to be killed since russia launched its invasion. meanwhile, a former u.s. marine has died while fighting alongside ukrainian forces. willy joseph cancel died last monday. his mother said he was working for a private military contractor. the name of the company has not been released. european union energy ministers are holding emergency talks today about a proposal to ban the import of russian oil by the end of the year. hungary has threatened to veto the measure. this comes as big oil is reporting big profits as the war -- reporting significant profits as the war in ukraine disrupts global energy markets. over the first three months of the year, chevron reported $6.3 billion in profits. exxon mobil reported $5.5 billion in profits. meanwhile, u.n. secretary general antonio guterres has criticized how fossil fuel companies are responding to the war. in a tweet, he wrote -- "fossil fuel interests are now
cynically using the war in ukraine to try to lock in a high carbon future. a shift to renewables is crucial to mending our broken global energy mix and offering hope to millions suffering climate impacts today." in afghanistan, a powerful explosion ripped through a prominent sufi mosque in kabul on friday in the latest attack on civilians during the month of ramadan. the blast caused the mosque's roof to cave in on worshipers. the confirmed death toll is 10 but some officials say 50 people may have died in the blast. some 200,000 palestinian worshipers gathered at the al-aqsa mosque in occupied east jerusalem to mark eid. over the past month, israeli authorities have repeatedly raided the mosque. at least 42 palestinians were injured friday. meanwhile, israel has conducted a number of raids in the occupied west bank after the killing of a guard at an illegal jewish settlement.
the al-aqsa martyrs' brigade claimed responsibility for the shooting. two suspects were arrested. israeli authorities also fatally shot a young palestinian man in the back during a raid in the west bank town of azzun. millions of protesters took to the streets of cities and towns around the world sunday to mark may day, or international workers' day. in france, tens of thousands marched through paris, warning newly re-elected president emmanuel macron against rolling back workers' rights. unions say they're prepared to strike if macron presses ahead with plans to slash unemployment and pension benefits, while raising the age of retirement from 62 to 65. >> macron has just been reelected, but he was reelected to stop the far right, yes, but not for his program. today i think it is important to show macron and the rest of the
political world we are ready to protest to defend our social rights, defend what we stand for, defend minorities, minimum wages, retirement age of 60, and many other things. amy: in turkey, police arrested more than 160 people on sunday after protesters ignored a ban on protests in istanbul's main taksim square. in chile, three people were wounded by gunfire at a rally in the capital santiago after vigilante street vendors opened fire on may day protesters. elsewhere in santiago, thousands marched to celebrate 12.5% increase in the minimum wage approved by the newly elected government of socialist president gabriel boric. in buenos aires, thousands of protesters marched to demand a revers of austerity measures argentina recently agreed to in exchange for a bailout from the imf. here in the united states, hundreds of protesters marched in milwaukee, wisconsin, and
supported immigrant workers, protesters organized two days without latinx and immigrants, calling on republican lawmakers to stop blocking immigration reform and demanding president biden use executive powers to protect all immigrants. in sri lanka, opposition parties ended a week-long march to the capital colombo on may day, with thousands of protesters demanding relief from a devastating economic crisis and calling on president gotabaya rajapaksa to resign. for months, sri lanka has faced dire shortages of food, fuel and medicine amid mounting foreign debt and government corruption. on friday, president rajapaksa agreed to remove his older brother as prime minister as part of a plan to form an interim government made up of all parties in parliament. the leader of sri lanka's main opposition party rejected the plans insufficient. >> the country cannot be rescued
by making deals with thieves. i would like to tell you all that we have taken a position not to make any deals with a government of thieves for their partners. amy: in the state of georgia, prosecutors in fulton county are moving ahead with convening a special grand jury to consider whether donald trump should be criminally charged for his efforts to pressure georgia's secretary of state and other officials to overturn the 2020 election. jury selection begins today. meanwhile, in new york, a grand jury looking into trump's busiss practes has wraed up without bringing charges against the former president. the biden administration has sued the state of alabama seeking to block a new law barring gender-affirming medicine for transgender youth while making it a felony to provide such care. in a court filing on friday, the justice department argues the ban violates the 14th amendment to the u.s. constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.
it's the first time the administration has sued to stop state restrictions on gender-affirming care and comes as republican-controlled state legislatures are set to break records for the number of new anti-lgbtq+ bills introduced across the united states. in florida, three prison guards have been charged with murder for the beating death of a handcuffed man who was being moved from a prison's mental health unit. authorities accuse the guards of beating the man even though he was in handcuffs and being compliant. in a statement, the florida department of law enforcement said -- "the inmate was beaten so badly he had to be carried to the transport van." miami-dade state attorney katherine fernandez rundle announced the charges. >> misconduct, abuse, or criminal behavior have no place in florida's correctional system.
individuals who are sentenced to incarceration by our criminal courts have lost their freedom, but not their basic rights. amy: new governmt data shows the fbi conducted at least 3.4 million searches of private electronic data from americans last year without a warrant. that's triple the number from the previous year. the office of the director of national intelligence released the data friday, which showed how many times the fbi submitted queries to a database of emails, texts, and other electronic domestic communications. it is unclear how many individuals were spied on. in new york state, charges have been dismissed against two longtime peace activists who were arrested in 2019 for blocking the entrance to hancock air force base to protest the u.s. drone war program. over the last 13 years, about 150 peace activists have been arrested in actions outside the base as part of a campaign organized by the upstate drone action coalition.
the longtime cuban diplomat ricardo alarcon has died at the age of 84. he was a student leader during the cuban revolution who eventually became cuba's foreign minister and president of cuba's national assembly. he played a key role in talks between the united states and cuba for many years. i spoke to him in 2015 after the cuban embassy reopened in washington for the first time in 54 years. >> was the struggle of the peoples. first of all, the cuban people who have resisted -- a victory for the rest of the peoples,
including many, many american friends. amy: ricardo alarcon speaking in 2015. he died on saturday. and the longtime prison activist and educator kathy boudin has died at the age of 78. boudin was a former member of the weather underground who was jailed in 1981 along with her then husband david gilbert, in connection with an armed car robbery carried out by the black liberation army in rockland county, new york, that left a security guard and two police officers dead. she served 22 years in prison where she helped create programs for women who are infected with hiv. she was freed on parole in 2003 and spent the last two decades organizing to fight mass incarceration and to help people, especially women, returning from incarceration. she was the codirector and cofounder of the center for justice at columbia university. this is her speaking at new york
university school of law in 2013. >> if we could get under the stereotypes and the stigma that are attached to people who have committed violent crimes and be able to see the person underneath it and understand that holding them in prison has nothing to do with them being a public risk, whether they have transformed themselves, the community they conserve -- if we can get under that i know they are being kept in only for the purpose of punishment, then maybe we can look at the entire system and be able to change it. amy: kathy boudin speaking in 2013. her death comes months after her ex-husband david gilbert was released from prison in new york. their son chesa boudin has served as the district attorney of san francisco since 2020. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back on and yet is facing a deadly heat wave with temperatures reaching 110 degrees in new delhi. we will speak with a lead in --
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in india, where temperatures have soared to the highest level since recording began more than 120 years ago. residents of india's capital, new delhi, faced seven straight -- 100 degree temperatures in the capital thursday and friday. >> the summer that arrived in may and june last or has arrived now and april in the first of may. it is extremely hot. >> the situation is very bad. it is hot and power cuts are troubling us a lot. there is no electricity for the entire day. the power cuts are more so. to get relief from the heat, we have to come here. amy:
temperatures reached 110 degrees over and over again. this comes as delhi sought -- so is second highest day with an average height temperature of 104 degrees fahrenheit. cities in neighboring pakistan recorded scorching temperatures of over 160 degrees temperatures friday. the heat wave in the region has led to power cuts, triggered health warnings, prompted officials to close schools in at least two indian states, and caused widespread crop damage, including in the indian state of punjab known as the country's "bread basket." scientists link the early onset of the region's intense summer to climate change and say more than a billion people may be impacted by more frequent and longer heat waves. for more, we go to bangalore, india, where we are joined by chandni singh, senior researcher on climate change adaptation at the indian institute for human settlements. she is lead author at the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the ipcc.
she was also a lead author on the asia chaer in the most recent ipcc report and a draft author on the report's summary for policymakers. and a twitter thread about the heatwave, she noted -- "it is deep climate injustice that those who face the brunt of the current heatwave have contributed so little to the problem." chandni singh, welcome to democracy now! explain the extent of the crisis in india right now. >> thank you for having me. i think as you laid it out very clearly rit now, there is very severe heatwave going on not only- in pakistan asell, adding temperatures from 110 to 160 degrees fahrenheit, which is absolutely debilitating if you go out in the sun. what is most problematic, while some people have the oortunity to stay indoors and cool their homes, there are lots of livelihoods that necessitate you to goutdoors, either working
as construction laborers, agricultural laborers, or street vendors for examplhave to go out. they are saying the brunt of the heatwave. amy: can you talk about the relationship with the climate catastrophe? can you respond to people who just like, "that's weather"? there's been a lot of back-and-forth. what we know clearly is from the climate science, we are expected to and already have seen longer and more intense heat waves that are more frequent across the continent. that is clear. however, were difficult -- a lot of scientists are working to say whether the heatwave is due to --
the world meteorological organization put out a statement it is too early to attribute this particular set of heatwaves to climate change. it was picked up by a lot of media outlets. the second line in their statement reads at this particular heatwave is as expected because of climate change. it is a trend we are seeing. we can't say with a lot of certainty right now. amy: can you talk about how the heat is threatening india's wheat harvest, which is devastating not only for those in india but potentially for other countries seeking alternatives because russia and ukraine, which provides 30% of the world's wheat exports -- well, because of the war, that has completely interrupted that. >> wheat and india -- wheat
requires cold temperatures to be good and the seed to form. wheat has been harvested in march and april in india and across nor india, which is the breaast of the country. what we ve seen particularly wheat that was supposed to be harvested in april has seen a reduion in yield. isas direct implications on food securitynd farm incomes. many of our farmers are struggling with a nge of issues like water scarcity and poor soil and on top of that, the sd adds to the risk. we have been talking about compounding risk in the ipc which is yet heatwave but surrounding it you have water scarcity and also the fact --
multiple things coming together to exacerbate risk. amy: you talk about compounding risk and cascading risk. explain. >> the idea of compounding risk is multiple things happening simultaneously. last year we saw a cyclone on the east coast of india happening while we had the pandemic region come the second wave of the pandemic. multiple things coming together which can test youhealth infrastrucre, government systems that are expected to do with all kinds odisasters. that is compounding ri. on the others, thedea of scading risk which is what happens in one sector won't stay in the same sector. a classic example is agriculture and foodields in rural are cascading in cities. you have things that are moving from sector to sector which can also hava lot of ipple effects throughout the country
but even beyond the country based on trade routes. amy: talk about this issue that you tweeted about and you speak so much about, which is the issue of climate injustice. you said in a twitter thread, deep climate injustice those who face the brunt of the current he would have contributed so little to the probl. >> this -- i have grown up in delhi and i throughout my life have learned to live with heat. i think a lot of indians can say that. we have rategies. this time for a range of reasons, i was out around 2:00 p.m. walking and trying to get buzz and when i came back home -- the long bus ride was quite excruciating but i knew i was going back to a home where i had electricity, where i could cool my home. i had an air conditioner, lots
of clean, cool water. there was that to look forward to nui could recuperate from the heat exposure. thinking about as i was going on the bus, there were many passengers with the who i knew would be getting off, low income settlements with people who do not have sources to buy air-conditners of any kind or pay electricity bills that are needed to run these things. that is what i call deep injustice. the second deeper injustices that a lot of these people, their carbon footprints are extremely low. so if you think about the problem of climate change, it is not driven by low income settlements and poor people across the developing world, so i -- this is something in my own work with climate justice have
been talking about which is historical in matters of greenhouse gases have to step up because people are hitting the limits of adapting to heat. there is a certain limit of which humans cannot survive this kind of heat. it is a deep injustice. amy: you said while india's leaders have a role to play, cannot adapt your way out of the heat. framing it as india's imperative alone masks the role high emitters have played in bringing us here. we've got to mitigate and india can't do it alone." at the same time, have the u.n. secretary-general criticizing how fossil fuel companies are responding to the war in ukraine. he said, "fossil fuel interests are cynically using the war in greater try to lock in a high carbon future, shift to renewables is crucial to mending our broken global energy mix and offering hope to millions suffering climate impacts
today." can you talk about how these two issues come togeer? >> aolutely. one of the critical things a lot of climate change researchers and vil societorganizatis are thinng about now in the run-up to the cop 27, which is the conference of the parties going to happen in november this year in egypt where there will be a lot of climate negotiations at an inrnational level, there's a lot of concern financers th wouldave moved toward climate adaptati and mitigaon might end up going first of all toward covid recovery and the second of all, just managing and aling with the terrible war. there is a sense of -- or call clement researchers ar doing across the world, there is a sense of urgen. we don't have the luxy of doing things incrementally so first dealing with the war and the perhaps pandemic and then
climate action. there is a concern around finances getting diluted. the urgency going awaway from climate mitigation in particular. that is what i fear about india's stance. many are asking me about what should m prime ministerodi do. there's a lot india is doing. there's a long way for all untries to go ahead but it comes down to how much each country can do based on where they are in the developing strategy and the number of people they have to pull out of poverty. it is that india' responsibility alone. amy: chandni singh, thank you for being with us, senior researcher on climate change adaptation athe indian institute for human settlements and one of the lead authors of the ipcc's report on the asia chapter. thank you for joining us.
as we turn now to continue to look at climate change but how a devastating new report finds one in five reptiles are threatened by extinction, with turtles and half of all crocodile species most at risk. that's the conclusion of the first comprehensive study of over 10,000 reptile species around the world that took nearly a thousand scientists and 15 years to complete. the study was just published in the journal "nature" and found multiple factors are threatening reptiles, including deforestation, urban encroachment, hunting, and the climate emergency. this is environmental biologist leslie rissler with the national science foundation. >> species are declining at a rapid rate. some estimates 10 times, 100 times, 1000 times more than the background rate of extinction that normally happens on the planet, so we are at a really critical time in earth's
history. amy: for more, we're joined in san josé, costa rica, by bruce young, who is the co-leader of the new study assessing the global extinction risk of reptiles. chief zoologist and senior conservation scientist for natureserve. welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us, dr. young. if you can start off by talking about what surprised you most about the results of this study. codes thank you for having me. you described the major results, longtime coming. for me, i was expecting reptiles would be somehow different than many of the other groups that we have already sdied. the history or the context is that we finished assessing the world'sirds in the1990's. i participated in completing the global assessment in 2003.
the mammals were done by 2008. we just took a long time getting the reptile done for a variety of reasons. the whole time we were sort of nervous that all this information on birdsmammals come in amphibians that was driving lots of priorities the conservation world, reptiles were being left out. we know reptiles are usually diverse desert areas compared to other species and we ju worried that th were falling through the conservation tracts -- cracks. we look at the proportion species that were subject to the different threads, they are the exact same threats almost a birds, mammals, and amphibians. there's nothing new about what you need to do to protect reptiles. the other surprising finding we
found is around this term called surrogacy. it is something that conservation planners, because we don't have information on all species, there are millions of species, we use the species we do have information about to set our priorities for conservation. we hope the species that we are working our good surrogates for these other species. what wfound wa that birds, animals, and amphibians actuall serve as good conservation surrogates for threatened amphibians, threatened reptiles. that means if you do your prioritization based on those three groups which we've had information for for more than a decade, you're actually going to take care of a lot of the diversity of reptiles. that is kind of good news in essence that there isn't this whole new category of conservation that we need to address today.
amy: so if nothing is done to conserve reptiles, can you talk about overall what is happening to global ecosystems, how much time do we have to try to mend the loss of over 20% of reptiles on earth? >> yeah, like i said, the fate of reptiles is wrapped up with the fate of many other species. i can't give any numbers in terms of how many years we have. what we have found is that reptiles are actually the most diverse numerically in tropical rain forests. that should sound familiar. we know birds, mammals, and amphibians are also very diverse in tropical rain forests. when you hear about continued deforestation in the amazon, for example, that means we are losing reptile species there just like we are losing other
species. it is causing that problem with climate change due to the loss of all that carbon. amy: you talk about multiple factors. deforestation, hunting, the climate emergency. you are in costa rica and central america, which is historically the site the whole region for extractive projects like mines and hydroelectric dams. how have these industries, largely funded by multinationals, affected or contributed to the crisis? >> well, here in costa rica, it is a bit different than elsewhere. we don't have any minerals here. in fact, he goes back to the history of costa rica -- there was never gold found here, so it was a different kind of people that settled, europeans that settled costa rica compared to
the other countries. we do have a tremendous amount of hydropower. from a climate perspective, that is a good thing. costa rica is 99%f our electricy is generated from nobles -- renewables, prcipally hydropower. these are financed international financing mechanisms and carried out by the costa rican the trip city corporation, which is a nationalized firm. these dro projects do have a negative effect on the environment, no doubt about it -- rivers are changed, the flows and all that kind of thing are heavily impacted. for reptiles, it is not a bi ing because there are almost no reptiles that inhabit these
rivers that come off the mountains. there are crocodiles where these rivers come outo the ocean, but they areot affected by those dams. reptiles are relatively unaffected compared to many invertebrates -- oers and things like that that live in the rivers themselves. amy: as we wrap up, dr. young, can you talk about the u.n. convention on biological diversity, what makes it so important? it is coming up in october. >> our study reminds us of what is riding on this convention. we just described 1800 specie of reptiles that are threatened with extinction. that is a small part of the 40,000 species that the ic and red list lists with extension
across the globe. the tremendous part of our national heritage is riding on the success of those negotiations. this is a big moment. for the last 10 years, we were under the targets that were set in 2010. they expired in 2020. since then, there habeen the negotiation for the so-called post020 framework. what we learned from the it target experience, even though the government set those targets, there wasn't much implementation of conservation measures. in fact, when we looked at it, almost none of those targets were reached. so this time for the post 2020 framework, we're hoping for real targets with real mechanisms
that hold countries accountable for achieving those targets as i say, there's a lot riding on the sessions and negotiations that are due to come to head at cop in may. amy: bruce young, thank you for being with us, coleader of the new study assessing the global extinction risk of reptiles. chief zoologist and senior conservation scientist for natureserve. next up, we get an update on ukraine from jan egeland, just back from ukraine. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show in ukraine. house speaker nancy pelosi became the highest ranking u.s. official to visit ukraine over the weekend. days after president biden asked congress for an additional $33 billion for ukraine. meanwhile, the ukrainian government says about 100 civilians have been able to evacuate the besieged azovstal steel plant in mariupol after the when -- united nations hub
described what is known as a safe passage program. shelling is continuing today. for more on that he ministering crisis facing ukrainians, we're joined by jan egeland secretary , general of the norwegian refue council. he visited the site of a mass grave of murdered civilians. welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about what you found this time? you were only recently in ukraine and then you returned. why don't you start in bucha. >> bucha is totally vastated. it was a beautiful little town just north of kyiv. i was there -- these were suburban tns where there were a lot of gardens, parks,
beautiful place. now they are devastated beyond belief. for me, it is like syria where there are entire towns that now look like they look in 1945. this war is raging in a way we have not seen in a long time. it is urban warfare. it is devastating the lives of millions. amy: did you actually see a mass grave in bucha? >> we were on the very place just outside of a church they found the largest mass grave in bucha. those bodies have thankfully now been excavated and have been placed elsewhere. they have also been subject to forensic investigations so that thercan be evidence of
potential war crimes trials in the future. bucha is the place where perhaps the most bodies in places like where i visited, but also the other towns have had a lot of loss of human lives, civilian human lives. amy: as we speak in mariupol, cap perhaps 100 people have been able to get out of the azovstal steel plant, making their way to zaporizhzhia, but there are many hundreds more, both civilians, wounded fighters, both in the plant and outside of that. reports are 90% of mariupol is destroyed. you're the head of the norwegian refugee council. can you talk about therisis there and the other places that you went to? >> well, ariel both has been --
mariupol has been besieged for nearly two months. that means basically that you encircle a place and you do not allow anything to get in terms of supplies to the people who are starting inside and do not let the civilians escape from the besieged place. which means suffering beyond belief. there were children in these basements for very many weeks. they were awake night after night because of the constant shelling. what i fear is this will happen now with minimal town -- many more towns, cities in the east and the south of ukraine where the battle is now raging.
in bucha, where he visited, -- i visited, the russian forces have withdrawn. they have intensified their attacks in the east and south, which means militarily, cities will be encircled. and when they are encircled, there may well be the siege meant, which again, means places like donetsk with their headquarters in east before the invasion, that place is 80%, 85% destroyed. mariupol maybe 90%. destroyed cities not yet under the siege meant. the suffering will become even deeper, especially in the south
if the war is allowed to rage on like now. amy: you said hundreds of thousands of older adults, of senior citizens are trapped in the east. younger people are more able to move but many people in their 70's and 80's and beyond, some of whom have disabilities, cannot move. describe what is being done. >> that is the very nature of the east, where the battle is now raging with an enormous intensity. i visited the east just before the invasion, in the beginning of february. i was really struck by a war zone where not as it normally would be from afghanistan to somalia to congo -- across the middle east of africa and elsewhere, the majority are children. these are young populations. 50%, 60% children.
in the east where i was, there were areas where 60% was 60 years and older. a lot of them were retired miners, widows of retired miners. the younger population had already left and gone west because of the downturn of mining and industrial work. now a lot of the families who remain with children have fled, but the elder people stayed behind. i asked several of these elderly women, for example, that i met in small villages along the then frontline, why are you leaving? with one voice, "we cannot leave. where should we go?" one woman had two sons, one in
moscow and one in kyiv. "where would i go? this is my home. i will stay no matter what." the media is not able to cover what happened because it is in the middle of the crossfire. at the elderly people are still there. amy: president biden has as u.s. congress to give $33 billion more, overwhelmingly to military weapons, presumably, some humanitarian aid. can you talk about how you see this war ending and the polarization on the u.n. security council? what needs to be done now? >> it is not going to end through an arms race on either side. it is going to end with talks, the negotiating table where minority issues and ukrainian relations to foreign military alliances and so on can be discussed.
and to enable those discussions, it will end by cease fire where the russians that are attacking a great to generalized cease fire that could also enable humanitarian work to reach more people and civilians to be able and those who want to leave, that they can leave. then the diplomats should sit down and agree on the bargaining table, the future of the two neighbors, ukraine and russia. it is not going to end with an arms race between the west and ukraine, the one side and russia on the other. amy: your thoughts on your neighbors sweden and finland possibly joining nato? >> well, they're going to decide both countries very soon, whether they want to join nato. norway has been a member since
the initiation of nato. it is paradoxical how the invasion of ukraine has bolstered europe and its opposition to this. where humanitarians were neutral -- we are in a race against the clock to reach the people in the south and the north and in the east, especially, of ukraine. at the moment, we need more resources to win the race against the clock, but we also need agreement, humanitarian forces -- humanitarian forces are much better than humanitarian corridors, which are two fragile agreements to really be workable, generalized humanitarian cease fire is the best. we need it desperately. amy: can you talk about the
diversion of the crisis of humanitarian funding needed in other places? whether we're talking about irma, yemen, palestine, south sudan? how are these being affected by the amount of money in the fighting in ukraine? >> they are really affected more negatively than the world has understood. in three ways. first, because all attention and a lot of the resources are now going to this tremendous war and in the middle of europe. 13 million people now have been displaced. it is sucking up all attention and all resources. secondly, this is the war in the green chamber of the world. ukraine and russia come these areas have really -- the
majority of the grain. the prices are going through the roof now, so the somalis have to be in a bidding war for the remaining grain in the world with french countries like norway or united states -- rich countries like norway or the united states. thirdly, this war has made another cold war between russia and to some extent china and the west, which means how can we get agreements on syria and yemen and so on in the security council where there is now going to be a stalemate and a cooperation between the great powers? it is very, very worrying. amy: 5.5 million ukrainians have left the country. millions have moved within the country. what is the most critical need right now? >> the most critical need now is
to get enough resources to those who are closest to the battle. we were able, just as i visited a few days back, to get up 6600 boxes of supplies. i hear some of those people will be unreachable next week because of the battle. secondly, we need to bend additi to get the emergent relief to the front line, we need to get cash in hand to ukrainians who are fleeing and have no resources or -- we are also making progress there with funding from the united states and many other countries, now able to transfer small amounts of money each month to families
that have lost everything. often these are mothers and children, central or western ukraine or poland and other neighboring countries. amy: jan egeland, thank you for being with us, secretary general of the norwegian counsel. we end today's show with the words of longtime cuban diplomat ricardo alarcon, who has died at the age of 84. he was a student leader during the cuban revolution who eventually became cuba's foreign minister and president of the national assembly, cuba's parliament. he played a key role in talks between the united states and cuba for many years. i spoke to him in 2015 after the cuban embassy reopened in washington for the first time in more than half a century. >>, it is the result of many years of struggle by many people.
cuban people, but many friends the here in this country and around the globe. and i think it's a victory. it has to be recognized as a victory for us, for our people, and for all those who were opposing the u.s. policies during this half a century. at the same time, it should be recognized, the merit of president obama for having realized that it was high time to abandon a policy that he, himself, recognized as a failure. this is still -- we have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go ahead of us. but for the first time, it will be the americans and cubans dealing with each other on an equal footing. something very important, amy, that i think that everybody should remember -- last
saturday, the united states was the only country in the western hemisphere who didn't have an embassy in havana. and cuba couldn't -- was the only country in the western hemisphere without an embassy here. now what has happened is that the u.s. has joined -- has joined the rest of latin america and the caribbean. this story began when the u.s. succeeded in isolating cuba from the rest of the hemisphere, and now the first chapter has ended with the u.s. ending its isolation from the rest of the continent. amy: how did it happen? >> you should not overstate the role of diplomats, the profession. the real force that brought about this result was the
struggle of the peoples -- first of all, the cuban people, for having resisted for so long time all the odds that that u.s. policy imposed upon us, but also a victory for the rest -- the resistance of the rest of the peoples in this hemisphere, including many, many american friends. amy: you have been a diplomat for decades. cuba was just taken off the list of terrorist nations in the united states. how does that feel, not to be considered a terrorist anymore? >> frankly speaking, you had asked nelson mandela how did he feel about being in that list -- mandela was considered a terrorist probably for a longer period of time. his entire life, when he was in prison, when he got out of prison, when he was elected president of south africa, when
he got the nobel peace prize, he was on the list of the state department list of terrorists. and they took him out in 2008, i suspect, because they were suspecting mandela was going to die and was going to die in that infamous list. by the way, it was a senator from massachusetts, now secretary of state, who said at that time that it was a shame on the u.s. policy to have that list and in that list people like mandela. in the list or not being in the list, it doesn't matter. the embargo is a matter of other laws, other different laws that has to be removed. amy: longtime cuban diplomat ricardo alarcon, who has died at the age of 84. he was speaking on democracy now! in 2015 after the cuban embassy was reopened in
hello, welcome back to "nhk newsline." i'm takao minori in new york. civilians who have been trapped by the fighting in southern ukraine may finally be getting some relief. an evacuatation has begun for those sheltering inside a steel plant in the city of mariupol. they've been hunkered down for weeks with thousands of ukrainian troops, facing daily attacks from russian forces. officials say more than 100