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tv   Americas Place in the World  BBC News  April 12, 2021 1:30am-2:00am BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: queen elizabeth has described the huge void the death of prince philip has left in her life, according to prince andrew. life, according to prince andrew— life, according to prince andrew. a, , a, a, life, according to prince andrew. . ., ., , andrew. iran says one of its nuclear sites _ andrew. iran says one of its nuclear sites have - andrew. iran says one of its nuclear sites have been - andrew. iran says one of its nuclear sites have been hit| andrew. iran says one of its l nuclear sites have been hit by what it calls a terrorist attack after a power was lost attack after a power was lost at a facility used for uranium enrichment. intelligence sources saying it was caused by an israeli cyberattack. thousands of businesses in england now reopen in a major easing of corona restrictions. gyms, salons and buyers can
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reopen. —— bars. lets take a look at the morning's papers. we start with the financial times — which leads on a story from china. apparently officials there are considering whether to mix and match different coronavirus vaccines. it's the first time beijing has acknowledged doubts over the effectiveness of its domestic vaccines. next up, the �*i'. it's main story is the reopening of non—essential shops in england. people are being urged to behave responsibly — as the economy begins to emerge from the latest lockdown. government scientists say infections could spike if people don't respect the rules. the guardian reports that young black workers have been hit disproportionately hard in the pandemic — with unemployment figures three times higher than young white workers. there's also an interview with scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon. she says downing sttreet won't be able to block a second
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independence referendum if her snp party wins the upcoming elections in holyrood. and the daily mail leads with comments from the countess of wessex about the death of her father—in—law — the duke of edinburgh. "it was so gentle," she says. "like someone took him by the hand and off he went." now on bbc news, president biden claims "america is back". well, suzanne kianpour reports on the team the president has tasked with tackling recent fresh crises, and the challenges they face. america is back. diplomacy is back, at the centre of our foreign policy. president biden intends to shape a new world order. we will repair our alliances, engage with the world once again. not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrow's. the world greets a very different leader from the american president it met four years ago. from this day forward it's
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going to be only america first, america first. and president biden confronts a starkly different world too, with a whole host of challenges. the myanmar coup, political unrest in russia, climate change, a stalemate in syria, iran's nuclear ambitions, all while the world grapples with a global pandemic that knows no borders. many believe the greatest challenge to american influence will undoubtedly come from china. the issue for most of this century will be will we do about an emerging china? and will they be intent on notjust competing but conquering? biden is flexing america's military muscles and tackling unfinished witness. the ten—year civil war
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in syria, the uncivil war is a stain on the global community. he has also indicated he plans to dismantle trump's legacy. on day one, i've signed the paperwork to rejoin the paris climate agreement. but overturning his predecessor's signature policies has raised concerns in some quarters. he's given away the store and we're getting nothing in return. and some critics worry about a return to the obama era. i fear that when he says america is back, he means back to the eight failed years of president obama's foreign policy. on his oval office desk, there is a thick portfolio of foreign policy headaches. just who will shoulder these global challenges for the president, and how do they plan to bring america back? good afternoon, everyone. even beforejoe biden assumed the mantle of the presidency of the united states, he set a new tone for america's foreign policy. but his top picks to deliver his vision were a trusted team,
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bound by years of working side—by—side. secretary of state tony blinken, national security adviserjake sullivan and white house press secretaryjen psaki were all key figures in the obama administration. now they are back. tony blinken has been training to be diplomat in chief since childhood. has father was a us ambassador to hungary and his stepfather, a lawyer, was a survivor of the holocaust. it's personalfor him. speaking french blinken�*s fluent french comes from an upbringing split that international lens shaped his vision for the united states and the world. now, we have to proceed with equal measures of humility and confidence. david milliband was british
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foreign secretary from 2007 to 2010, when blinken was national security adviser to then—vice president biden. first of all, they are a worldly team. they know the world and they have engagement around the world as part of their dna. the second thing is that they've seen what american leadership can deliver, but there is no hubris about this. they know that the economic balance of power in the world has changed and that this isn't going to be a world in which america can click its fingers and get what it wants. they form a community of like—minded people who like each other, who aren't intensely competitive with each other, which is very rare at the high levels of american presidential administrations, and who have this kind of camaraderie that i think will make them a particularly effective team.
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democratic congressmen is a longtime colleague of secretary blinken. they were in a band together and played on the same soccer team. he also served under him at the state department when blinken was deputy. he says already he is seeing a much tougher tone, particularly in their early statements on china. so they're talking tough now, can they keep it up? i hope so. yes, you have to. because competition with a great power like china is not resolved in three weeks. hello, everyone. enterjen psaki, white house press secretary. the voice of the administration. in charge of messaging biden�*s policies. hagar chemali is a former colleague from the obama administration. she always listens and takes recommendations from the experts.
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that is a real personality, she is very easy—going and easy to work with and very affable and gregarious. she's fast becoming known for her careful yet exacting communication style, and her hashtag. i don't have anything more for you. you don't appreciate putting words in my mouth, that wasn't what my effort was. jen psaki cut her teeth in this building as a spokesperson before moving on to become president obama's medications director. i travelled with her as part of the diplomatic press corps that followed then—secretary of state, john kerry. she was friendly but firm and she ran a tight ship. we intend to very directly to medicate with the iranians about the complete and utter outrage that is the unjust unlawful detention of american citizens. jake sullivan is a former debate champion and state department alumni. former australian prime minister kevin rudd knows sullivan from his time in office and he says he is a force to be reckoned with.
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jake is no intellectual slouch. you could putjake up in a public debate on most subjects and jake would probably prevail because he would have the most rigourous and logical approach. and sullivan isn't intimidated by the world's despots, say those who've seen him in action. he does want to approach authoritarian leaders, authoritarian regimes with a tough face. and he's not afraid of that. blinken, sullivan, and psaki will lead the charge for biden in the world. they're passionate americans and passionate about america's place in the world, and the rebuild which now has to be undertaken. can biden�*s new foreign—policy team bring american power, prestige and alliances back? and what would that look like? well, in these fractured times, it depends on who you ask. donald trump's secretary of state, mike pompeo, is worried. ah, i fear that when he says
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"america is back", he means back to the eight failed years of president obama's foreign—policy — whether that was the ridiculous iran nuclear deal, or the paris climate accords, or the complete appeasement of the chinese communist party, those are not places that we want to go back to, they are places that the american people demanded that president trump and our administration take us away from. i hope that when president biden talks about going back, that is not what he is thinking about. former polish foreign minister radoslaw sikorski is familiar with biden�*s team from his time in office. he is pleased by what he sees. it is back because america was beginning to behave like a — i don't want to overstate it, but instead of the world's policeman, which is to say a force for law and order, it was behaving under trump as the world's opportunist,
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and now america is back as the leader of the free world, and that's a good thing. and where exactly should america be exercising that leadership? almost everyone we spoke to for this programme agreed that the central international issue for president biden is the rise of china. how can the us repair how it's seen around the world? i actually think that question is basically chinese propaganda. the chinese communist party wants you to believe that america is in decline. that's nonsense. this is a strong nation, with deep democratic institutions. well, the china challenge for this administration is probably the biggest faced by any us administration since the second world war. the balance of power is slowly but steadily shifting towards beijing. it's why i've therefore described the 20205 as the decade of living dangerously in us—china relations, because when you start to achieve parity between states on the economy, on the military, on technology, then, frankly, you have
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much more volatility in their behaviour, towards one another. and with china's influence sprawling beyond its borders, that volatility has the potential to send shockwaves around the globe. kevin rudd, who has met china's leader on many occasions, believe xijinping is a man in a hurry. his doctine on china's foreign policy is to push hard and fast and far in the assertion of chinese interest and values, whereas trump by—and—large was indifferent to most of that in his america first strategy. this administration because it is anchored in those alliances is much more likely and intends to roll back against that.
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and some like president trump's deputy national security advisor, victoria coates, see china's hand in a recent hotspot, burma. right now, burma is a major headache. you have the previous ruling militaryjunta coming right back into power and really dispersing what there was of a democratic government, that is a huge problem. and i think that is a chinese action and china is going to be the major headache. mitt romney is a former republican presidential nominee, who sits in the senate foreign relations committee. he is concerned about the treatment of uighur muslims and chinese internment camps in xinjiang. i had a good chat with secretary of state blinken and i believe he understands that this is the challenge of the next few decades which is how to get china to take a different course than they have been taking. how can america work with a country that is carrying out crimes against humanity? there is no question
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of what we are seeing carried out by the chinese in xinjiang with regards to the uighur people is genocide. our nation has described it as such, it is an outrage, but fundamentally, if we're going to want to get china to recognise that the because they are on is not acceptable to the world, the nations of the world that live by the rules are going to have to come together, lay out what those rules are clearly and say to china, you can't continue to have free access to any of our markets if you don't begin to live by the same rules we all live by. getting china to abide by those rules means working with other nations and global cooperation, through nato and the un, and that is something that not all american welcome. new york congresswoman and trump supporter nicole malliotakis is highly sceptical. on these first few weeks, we are seeing president biden just re—enter into international organisations that president trump had tried to put a pause to in hopes that he would be able
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to renegotiate some of the terms, but president bidenjust went back without actually renegotiating anything, in the interests of america. the people who have won so far, and this new term, it's been china. it's been india. it's been russia. and it seems to me that president biden is re—entering these organisations and agreements without any negotiation. he's given away the store and we're getting nothing in return. the biden—putin relationship is already faced tension. he said the days of america rolling over to russia are done. he even called vladimir putin a killer in a us media interview. and the administration says it wants to prioritise human rights which makes the kremlin�*s handling of political dissidents increasingly problematic. donald trump's bromance with vladimir putin contrast sharply with the chilly
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reception of biden. you can already gain a picture of what it's starting off as from the readout of the biden—putin conversation. i have to say, as having worked in diplomacy for several years, i have not seen, between states that are not actually at war, this kind of tough language and i think it is something that president putin should mull over and draw conclusions from. when i was in helsinki in 2018 for the trump putin summit, president trump sent shock waves through the foreign—policy community when he sided with the russian president over his own us intelligence committee. trump denied that putin had meddled in the 2016 american presidential elections despite the weight of evidence to the contrary. this closeness saw america overlooking russia's annexation of crimea and ukraine.
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a border change that appeared worryingly similar to history repeating itself in europe. biden�*s reset of the relationship with russia now will have a big impact on europe and beyond. and russia's influence can be clearly felt in another region. the middle east, which has long eluded the quick fix remedies of american presidents eager to leave their imprint behind. a history of us colonialist intervention led barack obama to pull back but he left a power vacuum in syria, quickly filled by iran, russia and others. there is no question that the ten year civil war in syria, the un—civil war, is a stain on the global community. and notjust 8 million people displaced inside country,
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6 million refugees, half a million killed but appalling abuses, notjust of human rights of life lost in chemical weapons attacks and other atrocities. should the obama administration have done more? there's been a globalfailure of monumental proportions and diplomatic failure and a failure to meet humanitarian needs. this is a political emergency and a humanitarian emergency at the same time. emergencies don't happen without mistakes and there have been serious mistakes throughout the conflict. mistakes that president biden and his team are clearly anxious to not repeat. biden launched air strikes on iranian—backed targets in syria in late february. a show of strength from the newly invested commander—in—chief. we took the action to be very clear, notably to iran, that they cannot act with impunity against our people, our partners and our interests.
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the possibility for nuclear negotiations are still on the table. but president biden needs congressional buy—in. i happen to agree with the republican and the trump approach which is to put pressure on iran and make sure they pay a very heavy price for pursuing a nuclear ambition. right now they are enriching uranium at 20% and this is a pathway towards having a breakout nuclear weapon. that is unacceptable. iran is a paradoxical country. i would know, my father is iranian. when i covered the iran nuclear negotiations, one criticism was that the secretary of state, john kerry, wanted a deal at any cost and that came at a high price for americans, republicans say. i think iran sees clearly that we are no longer dealing with someone who is strong and tough and putting america first like president trump but we're going back to the obama administration and they can take advantage
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of that. i think that is very dangerous. we should be building on the abraham accords to isolate iran. further sanctions so that we isolate them so they have to renegotiate some of the terms. the abraham accords negotiated by the trump administration created an alliance between israel and arab states and is seen as a way to keep iran's activities in in the region, which was left out of the iran nuclear deal. but the new administration says priorities have shifted since barack obama left the white house. it is not that we want a deal. we know we have to have, we have to have verifiable permanent constraints on iran's nuclear programme. the president put a simple proposition on the table, when the last democratic president also believe, that iran cannot be allowed to nuclear weapon. but our goal
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is to not stop there. our goal is to use the 2015joint comprehensive plan of action, the so—called iran deal, not as a ceiling bit is a floor to lengthen and strengthen it and also to negotiate follow—on agreements to address other areas of iran's maligned behaviour including its ballistic missile programme. a key strategic us ally in the region is saudi arabia. in 2015, i was embedded with the saudi military as they flexed their muscle in yemen. in 2020, i returned to see a modernising kingdom. but political dissent is still severely punished under crown prince mohammed bin salman. a us intelligence report found that mbs ordered the brutal
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murder of a washington post journalist, jamal khashoggi of the saudi royal family. america has been quick to verbally condemn the 2018 killing. but meaningful action has been lacking. this was a permanent american resident and the idea that we would not take retaliation against them is ridiculous. biden has imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on ringleaders in the plot but the administration should —— stopped short of directly punishing the crown prince, choosing instead to deal with his father, the king. a major purchaser of us arms, a serious snub to saudi arabia could hurt us companies and four stability of the region. i think it was a shameful episode in our foreign—policy history not to have been much more forceful in our reaction to the initial reports that came that mbs had been involved with the killing. this is a journalist working on american soil, for an american publication and he was murdered and dismembered. this is something we cannotjust look beyond. they must be a consequence of that.
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america's re—engagement with the world will be critical to progress on climate change. in perhaps his most striking departure from donald trump, one of the new president's first executive actions was to rejoin the paris climate agreement. i think the commitment of president biden to make sure that fighting the climate crisis is governmental enterprise is significant and the appointment ofjohn kerry as the climate envoy shows that he wants international negotiations to be part of the answer. climate change used to be a polarising political issue in the us. but extreme weather events here have stoped shifts in public opinion. the devastation caused by west coast wildfire in texan snowstorms proved alkalising natural forces and when american livelihoods are threatened and the fragility of life is laid bare, people here are quick
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to call for change. but americans may be slower to shift their values elsewhere. and whether biden can bring the country in congress with him towards a more diplomatic and engaged american place in the world remains to be seen. look at the things that we did over the last four years in terms of reform within nato, in terms of defining the competition with china, in terms of the abraham accords and the new map of the middle east, i think these are all very visceral demonstrations of engagement by america in the world and i certainly wish them well and want them to continue that pattern of engagement but i don't think america ever went away. one thing seems clear from this natient period of the administration. he is an old school diplomat and he does not plan to lead from the shadow of donald trump or of barack obama.
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america coming back can't mean america going backwards. it must fashion a distinctive agenda that will not just take this country forward and take america forward but take the global system forward because if we have learnt anything in the wake of covid it's that a divided international system is a danger to us all. whether or not president biden will be successful in this diplomacy—first style of foreign policy depends not just on the talents of his staff. america's relationship with the world will also come to be defined by those nations with which it engages. hello there. generally speaking, it looks like monday should be a dryer day, and temperatures may be a little higher than they were over the weekend. it certainly was a cold weekend, and we had widespread wintry showers developing, even had some snow here
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for a while in greater london. a lot of those wintry showers are fading away, but we still have cold air across the uk. high pressure towards the south—west — and running around the top of it, this weak weather front has been bringing some damp weather into northern ireland, that's pushing into parts of wales and southern england. there could briefly be a little bit of sleet and snow as we run into the colder air. and we start monday with a widespread frost, perhaps some icy patches. lowest temperatures in scotland and northern england, where we have the clearer skies. maybe still some damp weather, a bit of rain or wintering us across parts of wales will soon move into southern england. that doesn't last long, cloud breaks, sunshine comes through, we're left with the odd shower. most of the showers will filter into western parts of northern ireland, much of scotland, northern, eastern england, and the midlands having a dry day, much better day than it was on sunday with some sunshine — and as a result, temperatures will be a couple degrees higher, as well. still cold and those temperatures will fall away quickly into the evening with those clearer skies, most places ending the day fine and dry. high pressure is building in across the uk for tuesday.
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you think of high pressure, you think dry weather — and for most places, it will be, but not quite everywhere. starts cold and there'll be a frost around. the sunshine coming through, some cloud developing especially in the west, maybe bringing a few showers into northern ireland, southwestern parts of scotland, wales, and western areas of england. the distribution of showers does keep changing a bit, but it does look drier towards eastern areas, and more parts of the country will see temperatures in double figures. now we still have high pressure in charge as we move into wednesday. things look a little different — yes, it'll start cold, there may well be a frost around, as well, and after a sunny start, cloud will tend to build up. but this time, it'll probably spread out a bit more, there won't be the depth of cloud, so we're unlikely to see many, if any showers around, and those temperatures in western areas could hit 13—14 celsius. it's fairly quiet weather over the weekend, there won't be much rain around, many places will be dry. but it'll still be cold — not quite as cold as it was over the weekend, mind you, but there's still a risk of frost overnight. goodbye.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: senior royals attend a church service after the death of the duke of edinburgh and talk of the loss felt by the queen and their family. she described it as leaving a huge void in her life. it's been a bit of a shock, however much one tries to prepare. a nuclear facility in iran's left without power in what's suspected to be a cyber attack — iran describes it as an act of terrorism. a major easing of england's lockdown — pubs, gyms, hairdressers and shops can all open for the first time this year. and it shines a light on the ignored in america,


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