this is bbc news. i'm nancy kasia —— kasia the eu... dressmaker members are reportedly killed after an israeli operated oil tanker is attacked by a drone off the coast of oman. with coronavirus cases rising in parts of the united states, we will get a special report from a county in arkansas where only a third of its population has been fully vaccinated. hollywood star carla johansen sues disney for breach of contract after it streamed her film black widow at the same time as its cinema release —— scarlett johansson.
hello and welcome if you're watching in america, the uk and around the world. amazon has been fined almost $900 million for breaking the european union's data protection laws. it's the biggest fine ever imposed under the eu's privacy regulations, and more than twice the penalty many observers were predicting. the online retail giant has been criticised in recent years for the information it collates from the shopping history of its customers. amazon says the punishment isn't merited and that it plans to defend itself vigorously. here is our business correspondent amir hussein in new york. it is certainly a bigger amount that was predicted and it shows that
luxembourg, which is where amazon is headquartered in de you, is willing to really show its might and to enforce these rules. it has been a lot more favourable to these multinationals establishing itself there. this is a big way for the eu to release any message that you need to release any message that you need to abide by these rules. what the eu is saying is that, really, amazon did not do enough to get people's consent before using their personal data. amazon for its part has said that this actually has absolutely no merit and that it is taking a very different kind of interpretation of the law and that's why amazon says that it the law and that's why amazon says thatitis the law and that's why amazon says that it is certainly going to contest this in the courts. samira hussain there. _ the israeli foreign minister yair lapid has called for a harsh
response to an attack on an israeli—operated oil tanker in which two crew members were killed. he accused iran of being an "exporter of terrorism." the us state department has also expressed concern over the attack, which happened in the northern indian ocean, near oman. us and european sources familiar with intelligence reporting have said that iran is the leading suspect, but it is too early to say for sure. the operating company called the incident a suspected piracy incident. with more, here's the bbc security correspondent frank gardner. well, this is quite a serious escalation, and certainly it doesn't look like piracy. an investigation was begun fairly soon afterwards. it took place late in the afternoon yesterday, about 150 nautical miles, that's about 250, roughly, kilometres, northeast of the omani port. and what israli television is saying, quoting an israeli official, was that it was attacked by an explosive drown. now, usually in piracy attacks, it's very unusual
for anybody to be killed. piracy attacks are quite rare now because most of the ships either have escorts, or they have armed guards on board. so they are nothing like the level that they were at ten years ago. so the suspicion is that this is some kind of state backed to terrorism, and certainly the israeli media is pointing the finger at iran, and in the past, iran has denied any part in such attacks. the ship itself was carrying no cargo. it was on the way from the port in tanzania going to the port of the united arab emirates, and it has been escorted for the last leg of its journey by the us navy. there is no question that there is an undeclared shadow war taking place between iran and israel where they had been attacking each other�*s interest. in the case of israel, they had made no secret of the fact that they are trying to slow down iran's nuclear programme, and although they have never admitted it openly, they have certainly hinted
that they have played a part in the sabotage attacks, for example, on some of the nuclear facilities. but offshore in the red sea, the arabian sea, the northern indian ocean, there have been a number of mysterious explosions on board ships. iran, for example, has a fairly stationary ship that's at the bottom of the red sea, that had some explosions on board, and there has been israeli ships under attack as well. so it's this undeclared shadow war, where the two countries have very carefully calibrating what they deal, not to cause too much pain but enough to keep the other one, make the other one uncomfortable. our security correspondent frank gardner. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the first person to be convicted under hong kong's national security law has been sentenced to nine years injail. tong ying—kit was found guilty of inciting secession and of terrorist activities. the law came into force after a series of mass pro—democracy protests in 2019,
some of which turned violent. the world food programme says food convoys held in ethiopia's afar region are finally on their way to the northern region of tigray. access into the region was cut off last week after the only available route for aid delivery was made inaccessible following an attack on a world food programme convoy. humanitarian agencies have been warning that many in tigray are facing catastrophic levels of hunger. the philippines has agreed to restore a military deal with the united states, just a year after saying it would end. the visiting forces agreement allows us troops to train and take part injoint exercises in the philippines and was agreed after talks between president rodrigo duterte and the us defence secretary, lloyd austin. north korea's economy has had its steepest decline in more than 20 years, due to harsh covid restrictions and un sanctions. that's according to an assessment from south korea's central bank,
which says it contracted by 4.5% in 2020 to levels of poverty not seen since north korea suffered a famine in the 1990s. north korea was the first country to close its borders to china in january 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak, but china is also its biggest trading partner. troy stangarone is a senior director at the korea economic institute in washington and joins me now. thank you very much for making time to talk to us. just tell us a little bit about how significant this decline actually is and why. i think the bank of _ decline actually is and why. i think the bank of korea's _ decline actually is and why. i think the bank of korea's estimate, - the bank of korea's estimate, 4.5%, is probably on the very conservative side. we have seen that trade between china and north korea has dropped about 80% and china is primarily its largest trading partner. we've also seen domestic restrictions put in place, similar to other countries, market stalls
restricted to ours. likely see much more decline in the economy, retracting from oestrogens from covid and trade, so this is probably much closer than maybe 7.5 or 10% that others estimated and i think that others estimated and i think thatis that others estimated and i think that is probably more we are looking at a stop point so it could be a lot worse than we think, but what is trade with _ worse than we think, but what is trade with china _ worse than we think, but what is trade with china looking - worse than we think, but what is trade with china looking now -- | trade with china looking now —— retracting from restrictions. they are obviously a hugely important trading partner.— are obviously a hugely important tradin: artner. . , ., trading partner. trade between china and north korea _ trading partner. trade between china and north korea came _ trading partner. trade between china and north korea came to _ trading partner. trade between china and north korea came to a _ trading partner. trade between china and north korea came to a complete| and north korea came to a complete halt last fall. it started back up some earlier this year, and the february and march. there are estimates or suggestions and may start back up in august, but right now but we have primarily seen is imports of food and fertiliser and some plastic use for agriculture, super merely what we are seeing is trade being restricted to the basics
that north koreans need to get by on day—to—day basis. that north koreans need to get by on day-to-day bash-— day-to-day basis. and what does it mean for the _ day-to-day basis. and what does it mean for the ordinary _ day-to-day basis. and what does it mean for the ordinary lives - day-to-day basis. and what does it mean for the ordinary lives of- mean for the ordinary lives of ordinary people, because some people might remember those awful scenes from 1990 and the famines? is this coming anywhere close to that? we coming anywhere close to that? - are definitely seeing an increased in feud —— infood —— in food insecurity... the university our us deferment of agriculture... trying to combat this, there has been reports of food aid from china, and also reports domestically the government itself is releasing some of its stocks to try and make out for some of the declines in food, so these right now seem to be taking at least, preventing, starvation, but we are seeing a situation where even north korea's kimjong—un has said
the food situation is precarious in the food situation is precarious in the country. d0 the food situation is precarious in the country-— the country. do we have any indications _ the country. do we have any indications of _ the country. do we have any indications of what - the country. do we have any indications of what other - indications of what other steps north korea might be taking to do with the pandemic but also... kim jonu-un with the pandemic but also... kim jong-un has said _ with the pandemic but also... if; “n jong—un has said specifically that they have these food issues cub that suggests north korea's potential looking towards receiving more aid, but ultimately, really would north korea need to do is engage more on covid—i9. untilthey�*re korea need to do is engage more on covid—i9. until they're able to lift restrictions and allow aid groups to come in, it is going to be difficult to do that. but also at the same time, they face the challenges from the delta variant, which is much more transmissible, so without really engaging the international community on covid—i9 and both testing and vaccines, it is going be difficult to lift restrictions domestically and get back up to preventive levels. mil domestically and get back up to preventive levels.— domestically and get back up to preventive levels. all right, troy stangarone _ preventive levels. all right, troy stangarone from _ preventive levels. all right, troy stangarone from the _ preventive levels. all right, troy stangarone from the korea - preventive levels. all right, troy - stangarone from the korea economic institute in washington, thank you
very much your time. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: a shock defeat for the world's top tennis player. novak djokovic is knocked out in the olympic semi finals. a covid outbreak in china has spread to five provinces and at least 13 cities, including beijing. recorded cases are so far low, with only around 200 people infected. but according to state media, this represents china's worst outbreak since wuhan in 2020. this moment, there is an almost emergency mode in china and people being tested in large cities. china's approach afar is still trying to reach zero tolerance of infections, but whether in this day and age that is still a feasible way to go is the question right now. the
moment he realised there was infection, i think dozens of flights at the airport were grounded, we are talking a thousand people make lives delayed and business delayed and now, with millions of people being tested again in the whole of the city, the effort, the —— is the effort in proportion to the risk is the question? this is bbc news. the latest headlines: amazon is fined almost $900 million — the biggest fine ever — for breaking the eu's data protection laws. two crew members are reportedly killed after an israeli operated oil tanker is attacked by a drone off the coast of oman. president biden has suggested using financial incentives to encourage more people to get vaccinated, as coronavirus infection rates surge across the united states. the trend is being fuelled by the delta variant —
and unvaccinated americans. in baxter county, in the state of arkansas, only a third of the population has been fully vaccinated — and it's now one of nation's coronavirus hotspots. angelica casas has visited one of the hospital there. 39—year—old timothy could never have imagined being hit this badly by covid—i9. another perfect example of doing fine, well enough at home, got sick, but not sick enough, and then all of a sudden he came in and he was more short of breath than usual. can you tell us what it has been liked to walk in these always? —— lock these hallways?
it has been very hard and very scary, because you see the same rooms that other patients have passed in that you have tried to save and the rooms continue to fill up as fast. back then, it was not preventable, now it has become preventable. that makes it even harder this go around than it was last time. it just never had itjust never had to happen. it makes it extra hard. baxter county has had the lowest vaccination rates in the us and efforts are under way to reach those who are still undecided. we felt it was really important to get the vaccine, we've seen cases have been rising. i get the vaccine, we've seen cases have been rising.— get the vaccine, we've seen cases have been rising. i am not worried about myself. _ have been rising. i am not worried about myself, it _ have been rising. i am not worried about myself, it is _ have been rising. i am not worried about myself, it is people - have been rising. i am not worried about myself, it is people aroundl about myself, it is people around me. �* ., , ., , about myself, it is people around me. �* ., , ., about myself, it is people around me. �* ., ,., me. but not everyone is on board. arkansas governor _ me. but not everyone is on board. arkansas governor asa _ me. but not everyone is on board. arkansas governor asa hutchinson me. but not everyone is on board. - arkansas governor asa hutchinson saw that first—hand this week. i would like to see our vaccination rate go up, but i know we have some
people here who have put it off, some people resisting it. we should all stand langford unproven untested vaccine? it doesn't — unproven untested vaccine? it doesn't even seem to really protect people _ doesn't even seem to really protect people because people i've got the vaccine _ people because people i've got the vaccine and got sick!— vaccine and got sick! state-wide, 9896 of the _ vaccine and got sick! state-wide, 9896 of the people _ vaccine and got sick! state-wide, 9896 of the people that _ vaccine and got sick! state-wide, 9896 of the people that are - 98% of the people that are hospitalised have not been vaccinated. according to new studies, 81% of the unvaccinated population is convinced they will not get it. i'm not going to do it. i do not take any vaccines. i social distance. back at the hospital, timothy has one last message, to health care workers and his family.
elsewhere in the us, audiences returning to broadway shows will have to wear masks and show proof that they have had coronavirus vaccinations. the broadway league says performers and people working backstage at theatres will also have to be vaccinated. shows are set to return in the autumn after a long absence. during the pandemic, broadway's 41 theatres were forced closed, as new york city struggled to cope with spiralling infections. the hollywood star scarlettjohansson is suing disney for breach of contract, after it streamed her superhero film black widow at the same time as its cinema release. the film set a post—pandemic box office record, grossing $218 million in its first weekend. but box office receipts then fell sharply and ms johansson argues she was deprived of potential earnings. disney said it had "fully complied" with her contract, and her case had "no merit whatsoever". i'm joined now by anousha sakoui, a journalist at the la times specialising in the entertainment industry.
great to have you. thanks for talking to us. could you just explain what really happened here between scarlettjohansson and between scarlett joha nsson and disney? between scarlett johansson and disne ? a . ~ between scarlett johansson and disne ? ,, , disney? back trippier is during the andemic, disney? back trippier is during the pandemic. with — disney? back trippier is during the pandemic, with all _ disney? back trippier is during the pandemic, with all the _ disney? back trippier is during the pandemic, with all the cinemas - pandemic, with all the cinemas closed, big media companies like disney, warner bros., they launched their own streaming services and they wanted to use their biggest films and funnel them into the homes instead of in theatres. that would help them into ways, one, to get people to see the films when they might not be going to the theatre or cinemas and also to boost audience for their new streaming services. what scarlettjohansson is arguing is that her film, black widow, she lost income as a result of that strategy of making that film available in the home, but her compensation was largely driven by box office receipts, and so she is suing them. box office receipts, and so she is suing them-— box office receipts, and so she is suing them. right, so housing if it is this case? _
suing them. right, so housing if it is this case? -- — suing them. right, so housing if it is this case? -- how _ suing them. right, so housing if it is this case? -- how significant. suing them. right, so housing if it is this case? -- how significant is | is this case? —— how significant is this? this happened during an extraordinary time, a pandemic, but could set a precedent for ordinary times? ,, , , ., ., , times? sure, because throughout this art ument times? sure, because throughout this argument that — times? sure, because throughout this argument that has _ times? sure, because throughout this argument that has already _ times? sure, because throughout this argument that has already happened, | argument that has already happened, we have the complaint, firstly, it is quite unusual to see such a big stark go up against a big studio in a very public fashion like this and also disney in his response cub who said the claim was meritless, they outed her salary, saying she already earned $20 million and that this was during a pandemic, that this should be may be enough for her, so clearly scarlettjohansson does not agree, so she is fighting that in the legal, so it is quite unprecedented to see these numbers aired also publicly and to have such a fight over a very valuable property for disney, which is the whole marvel cinematic universe. you disney, which is the whole marvel cinematic universe.— disney, which is the whole marvel cinematic universe. you are right, this is not — cinematic universe. you are right, this is not something _ cinematic universe. you are right, this is not something we - cinematic universe. you are right, this is not something we see - cinematic universe. you are right, this is not something we see a - cinematic universe. you are right, this is not something we see a lotj this is not something we see a lot of, and certainly not playing out in public. but with more and more
emphasis on streaming going forward, do you think this sort of tussle is something we're going to see more of as well? , ., ., , as well? there is already speculation _ as well? there is already speculation when - as well? there is already speculation when other | as well? there is already - speculation when other actors will come out and try and get additional compensation, because many of the ways the deals are structured now to pay actors, they don't take very much upfront but they get a lot and what we call the back and cub which is after the film is released, but because technology has spurred a change in the way we consume films and television, the way they would normally get that revenue has changed, but they are not necessarily getting that money, and so we are seeing a rate a site similar, profits of the walking dead, which also went to streaming in a sleigh differently, but is one of many fights where streaming is at the heart of it. of many fights where streaming is at the heart of it— the heart of it. thank you so much for exniaining _ the heart of it. thank you so much for explaining hollywood - the heart of it. thank you so much for explaining hollywood to - the heart of it. thank you so much for explaining hollywood to us. . for explaining hollywood to us. thanks for your time. mr; for explaining hollywood to us.
thanks for your time. day seven of the olympic games produced high drama. the track and field programme got under way with an ethiopian winner in the men's 10,000 metres. and there was success for the us, sweden, australia and canada in women's football. but crushing disappointment for novak djokovic in tennis. lucy hockings is in tokyo for us. welcome back to tokyo where, yes, on day seven, we have reached the midpoint of the games, but the sports are somewhat being overshadowed right now because what we are seeing here in tokyo and around japan is a real spike in covid cases, and this afternoon, we saw a news conference here in tokyo given by the prime minister. the prime minister said that the coronavirus rate is going up, it's unprecedented in speed, and it's been fuelled by the delta variant, like it is elsewhere. the prime minister also warning the medical system is at risk of strain, and telling people they should be at home, staying at home and watching the games from there.
here he is speaking a little earlier. translation: kanagawa, osaka - we are going to issue a state - of emergency to those provinces, and hokkaido... for those prefectures, we are going to implement priority measures with the period from august 2 to august 31. this is the period for the measures. a state of emergency in tokyo and okinawa is also extended to august 31. this is the decision that was made. the prime minister there. let's get more from the very latest on the figures which are going up from mariko oi. the latest numbers for tokyo came in at 3,300, which is slightly lower compared to yesterday, but still well above 3,000, which was unheard of until this week. in all ofjapan, it was
another record high, topping 10,000 once again. we have just been hearing from the prime minister as well as dr omi, one of the country's top medical advisors, officially declaring the expansion and extension of the state of emergency here in tokyo and the surrounding prefectures as well. how effective that will be remains to be seen, because, of course, the japanese capital has been under a state of emergency for two weeks now, but we are still seeing that surge in covid—19 cases. we've been hearing from the ioc and other government officials, emphasising that this recent surge has nothing to do at the olympics, and some of them seem to imply that it's because of young people who are not listening to the government's request to stay—at—home, and they have also been encouraged to get vaccinated when there is not enough jabs around. i found it a little unfair, so i decided to go where a lot of young people hang out to find out what they thought of the government's comments.
translation: i haven't even received a ticket to get vaccinated. _ my parents onlyjust got theirjabs. translation: | can sense | that we are getting too used to the state of emergency, so it's not stopping - people from going out. translation: she just- had her first shot yesterday, and i've made my appointment, so we are getting vaccinated when we can. translation: if the government really wants to stop _ the spread of the virus, . they have to lock us down and offer financial support, | because, without it, people would go out to go to work - because they need to earn money. now, japan's vaccine roll—out has been really slow and inefficient from the beginning. they've managed to pick it up, but now, they are facing the supply shortage. mariko oi there. one at the big stories from the games in the last couple of hours is that the world number one tennis player, novak djokovic, has been knocked out in the main semi final by germany's alexander zverev. it dashes the serbian's dreams of winning his first singles gold medal and completing a golden slam. that is all four tennis majors
and the olympic title. here is our tennis correspondent, russell fuller. it is a surprise, lucy, and i think zverev completely appreciated the magnitude of the moment. he knew that novak djokovic was trying to do what only one tennis player in history had done, and that was steffi graf, winning the golden slam in 1988 — and having won the first three grand slams of the year and having won his first four matches in tokyo, he was very much on track ahead of the us open, which starts at the end of august. but from the middle of the match, zverev started swinging, swinging for the hills, if you like, trying to be much more aggressive, and he won ten of the last 11 games of the match, as djokovic ran out of energy in the humidity. indeed. a few other sporting headlines for you, and we have had the men's10,000 metres run in the past few hours, a shock win from ethiopia, winning the gold medal, the first of the olympic athletics programme. and he defeated the world champion and world record holder,
joshua cheptegei of uganda, who had been the favourite. we have seen a really wonderful story today on the bmx track, where a former teaching assistant who partly crowd funded herjourney to the olympics became team gb�*s first female gold medal winner in the sport. beth shriver followed up team—mate kye whyte's stunning silver medal in the men's race, to become the first british medallist in the sport since it was made an olympic event back in 2008. south africa won the women's 200 metre breaststroke in a world record time, and that delivered the nation's first gold medal of these games. in what is considered the biggest draw of the games, one of many, anyway, dina asher—smith failed to find her best form in the heat at the olympic stadium. we saw the britain's athletics captain, there she is there, seeming to run... she finished second to america.
that's all from us here in tokyo. back to you in london. don't forget you can get in touch. good evening. storm evert has brought disruptive winds through the day for the southern half of the united kingdom. some of the gustiest winds occurred through the morning across southwestern areas into the south of wales. some of the strongest winds further east into the afternoon, where even in land, we had 40—115 mph gusts of wind. it's notjust been a story about wind. we have also had some really torrential rain in central and eastern parts, northern england as well. and those storms, thunderstorms, will continue to rumble on into this evening. and the actual storm itself, storm evert, is moving out into the north sea, but you can see in its wake still quite a bit of rain. this is a weather front as well coming into eastern scotland, northeast england — temperatures 10—15. so, it's not a particularly cold night, as you can imagine,
with all of the cloud still and that breeze. but there will be a subtle change in the wind direction this weekend. we are going to pick up this northerly wind. it's not a warm direction at any time of year. and with our weather fronts around, still giving some moisture into the atmosphere, we are expecting it to be a rather showery picture, particularly for england and wales, fewer showers for scotland and northern ireland. but even that said, some places will escape, and there will be some sunshine. but for eastern parts of both scotland and england, you can see through the morning, we've got that band of rain. our weatherfronts breaking up into showers through the day and providing some moisture generally to the south of that with some heavy downpours. the winds are a bit lighter than they've been today, so we will see hail and thunder in those slow—moving downpours. fewer for scotland and northern ireland, but quite cool with cloudy skies in the north, given that northerly breeze. 19 or 20 in northern ireland and scotland with fewer showers. the night time period on saturday sees those showers tending to ease away a bit. temperatures dipping again. a little bit lower because of that
northerly wind direction, but certainly not cold. but sunday, again, brings with it the risk of some rain, and our weather front still around just giving the chance of extra showers across northern england, into wales and the midlands. but perhaps the really torrential downpours at this stage we think will be more confined to southern areas on sunday. so there will be more areas escaping and staying dry, notably in the north, but cooler 15—16 celsius with that wind direction. into next week, it stays on the coolish side. still some showers around, but a relatively dry start to the week. the warning details are on the website.
the headlines... internet giant amazon has been fined almost $900 million for breaking the eu's data protection laws. it's the the biggest fine everfor a breach of the privacy regulations. two crew mebers have been killed after an israeli operated oil tanker was attacked by a suspected drone off the coast of oman. the israeli company said that one of the dead was british and the other romanian. a covid outbreak discovered in the chinese city of nanjing has spread to five provinces and beijing, with state media calling it the most extensive contagion since wuhan. almost 200 people have been infected. japan's prime minister has warned that covid is spreading at "unprecedented speed" across the country and could increase the strain on hospitals — though he says the tokyo olympics are not to blame. now on bbc news, hardtalk
with the president of malawi, lazarus cha kwera. welcome to hardtalk, i'm sarah montague. it's a year since lazarus chakwera became president of malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. the preacher turned politician won power promising to create a millionjobs and to clear the rubble of corruption. but a year on, the economy is being hit hard by the effects of covid. his government admits it has no idea how manyjobs have been created, and he's been criticised for nepotism, including giving jobs to his family. he's about to take on the presidency of the southern african development community, but can malawi's president even honour the promises he made to his own country?
lazarus chakwera, welcome to hardtalk. thank you very much. now, let's start with the situation as regards covid, because there are currently 11,000 active cases reported in your country. there've been 1,500 deaths, but that will be underreported. what's your assessment of the situation at the moment? you know, it is possible that it is underreported, but we go by what we have officially. and if you look at the figures, this third wave has pushed us to that level. because even positivity rate had
come back down to almost 0.5%, and now that rate has gone all the way to 26, 25%. and there are some specific places where more positive cases have been indicated, like the blantyre city. now, one has to understand that for a country like ours and for all that we are doing in order that we might respond to this pandemic, the figures you mentioned, you could see that in some places it is at one day's figure in terms of people dying. we want to value every life. and that is why we have also embarked on notjust testing and not just hospitalising people and making sure we give them whatever is necessary for them to get well,
because the recovery rates have been over 85%, but we want to make sure that people get the vaccine whenever that is possible. we'll come on to vaccines in a minute. but you mentioned blantyre, and when malawi—liverpool and the wellcome trust did a study last year, they found antibody levels of about 12%. that was last year. so, it does suggest the actual infection rates in the country are so much higher than is being reported. do you accept that that probably is the case? it's just testing, the ability to test, that is limiting the picture that you know? when you are doing a scientific study, you go with figures, not probabilities. and these are the testing sites we have across the country and the results that we have had to work with. but more testing — if you were capable of testing more, you'd find more. obviously, and there are more testing, at sites that are being set up in order for us to have that.
well, let's look at the hospitals, because you said earlier this year, "our medical facilities are terribly understaffed, our medical personnel are outnumbered." the effect of the pandemic has had a really profound effect on the whole of the health system, hasn't it? what we are doing right now is to make sure that we have more people employed, more service and caregivers employed, and get the hospitals and centres that provide services equipped well. in fact, we just passed a budget in which all of the district hospitals will be looked at and renovated and equipped. so, this is a response to something that has already been there and for far too long... ok, but i want to ask you about, it's already under pressure, the health system. and then you have covid comes along, which is why young hong of the united nations population fund
said the pandemic, the effect of it was on the availability of manpower. it also exerted pressure on the entire health system, including stock of certain medicines, equipment, basic medical supplies. so, i'm wondering, if this third wave continues, can the hospitals cope? can you tell me which country has not been under pressure because of covid? this is a worldwide pandemic, and malawi is doing all it can within the resources that it has. thank god that we're able to speak these figures right now and these deaths right now. but every person's life is valuable, and we want to continue to do with what we have in order to save more lives. right, now, you brought up vaccines because, as you say, that's the way out of it. only 0.2% out of the country's population of 18 million is fully vaccinated. 2% have had one dose.
why is it so low? where do you lay the blame for that? i don't blame anyone else. what we are saying is, let the vaccines be more readily accessible from the north to the south. we cannot afford to have people die or even get infected while others are being inoculated with high percentages. in africa, less than 1%. you mentioned malawi, 0.2%. we want more, and able to save as many lives as possible. ok, well, you're here in the uk, which is one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world. there's almost 56% of the total population, that's the total population, not just adults, fully vaccinated, 70% has at least one jab. does it seem fair to you? well, you ask that question,
but you can have the answer to that question. this is the unfairness that is there, the great divide that is there. and we are grateful that uk is able to do what you just described. but how many countries can you talk in that fashion, in africa, in latin america, in southeast asia? but what i'm wondering is, because you said, "we are at the mercy of the international community," so i wonder, do you come to a country like the uk and think that they are being merciful or merciless? may ijust speak as it is? if we were able to produce our own vaccines, if we were able to do stuff, you know, in a global village where everyone is dependent on everyone else, using that word does not mean that somebody is "merciless".
itjust means that we need to have equitable distribution, we need to have access. we cannot wait until uk vaccinates all of its population and then say, well, then, the vaccines can be made available to other countries. when nobody�*s safe, nobody will be safe. but the uk is doing that. so, i wonder what you're saying or plan on saying to your hosts while you're here. well, we are grateful for, for example, we have astrazeneca vaccines that we've begun to distribute, and just three days ago we had another lot come into the country. and so we are thankful for what we can use. but it's tiny. i mean, the numbers are tiny relative to the need. for those who get help, it's never too late. we will make sure that we have help when it's needed, and it is needed now.
it is needed now. so, when, on the current schedule, do you expect the population of malawi to be vaccinated such that you have the virus under control? we're trusting that, with the 1.3 million doses expected in the next couple of months in total, based on what has been... 1.3 million in two months. yes, we hope that we can continue to roll out this programme and then get more vaccines. now, we havejust passed a resolution to notjust work with one vaccine, but with several. and so we trust that we can have several vaccines made available. have you asked the uk, your hosts here, to give up some
of their spare capacity? i'm going to ask them because i have a meeting with them. and we have done so in the past, and they have helped. in terms of the effect it's having on malawi, cos it's notjust on health, it's also on the economy. right. gdp had to be downgraded last year. it was forecast to be nearly 5%. it was downgraded to 0.8%. it's projected to rebound, 3.8%. but is that going to have to be downgraded further, too? with the flux context we're dealing with, you may be right, but... ..if we can have our people... ..fed, if we can have our people face this with a little more resilience, like we have always shown to be a resilient people, if we can have certain services
begin to be delivered to the people, and the world situation changing so that we are able to move on with the industries that are being set up, we will have the economy coming back. ok, but the forecast at the moment is for 3.8% gdp. is there any way that... ? that is the forecast from 0.8. what is the forecast in the uk? what you do here with very little is much, because in terms of actualfigures... ..cannot be compared with malawi. but malawi, if it grows that much, it means that there will be help for the masses that are needing that help right now. ok, but the reason i'm asking this is that a year ago, when you were elected, before you were elected, you promised that you would
create a million jobs. now, at the time, there was...the pandemic was already under way when you made this promise. how manyjobs have you created in the past year? when we started, for example, with the affordable inputs programme... ..we had thousands ofjobs. young people were employed across the country... ..with millions of people accessing the affordable input. it was 3.7, actually 3.5 million people able to access inputs. that put a workable... ok, it was a simple question. ..population able... it was a simple question. let me finish. you promised a millionjobs, i'm wondering how many you've created. let me finish. because of other people being laid off, since industries was scaling down due to the pandemic,
because we were able to create jobs for those people who need wages... ok, so.. ..the 600,000... so, your argument is if you had saved jobs, you would've lost more jobs. we could have lost more jobs. the 600,000 that lost theirjobs compared to... ..the 300,000 that were able to be employed, that was going to be possible in an ideal situation. 0k. so, what i'm saying to you... so, the net is what? the net is how manyjob losses? job losses? it's 600,000. so, you promised a millionjobs... right. ..and the country has lost 600,000. yes. and what we are able to do now with all of those that have wages, earnable income through the provision of loans, through the provision of cash
transfers, through the provision of food that they were able to grow, that was translated in a population that would be working, not necessarily employed on a regular basis, but having a wage. right, well, tell me this. people voted you in on the back of a promise to create a million jobs. that is not the only promise. ok, but it was a significant promise, a significant pledge of your campaign. what do you say to those people who voted for you thinking that you would create jobs? the majority of malawians, i say it, 80% are smallholder farmers. and they voted on the basis that we would have affordable farm inputs, which we did provide. and malawi now... was it an empty pledge, i wonder? malawi now has, on record, the best yield so far.
and so, the majority... this is about the fertiliser. the majority of farmers... but let me... but from what you're saying... you're saying it was just one pledge. did it not matter? was it an empty pledge? no, no, no. it is not an empty pledge. i am saying we will fulfil that. but how many people have lostjobs here? it's irrelevant. i'm asking you about malawi. i'm asking you about your country and promises you made. i want you to understand the context in which we are dealing with these things. when you make a promise, which i did, and then i explain to people every time, this is why we have not been able to do this. you knew there was pandemic a year ago. no, no, no. the country had declared a state of emergency. we started to say that in 2019. there was no pandemic at that time. so, because... and we did not want to go back
on that because time... but your predecessor... so, your predecessor, who... you won on the back of promises like this. the former president, peter mutharika, says of your government, "they're creating 1 million poor people instead of1millionjobs." he should be the best and the first one to know what they did by destroying the economy of that country and expecting it to be resuscitated in one year. you cannot take him seriously because he is not even telling one iota of truth in what he meant. apart from not creating the jobs you promised, the other effect on ordinary malawians' life over the last year is that prices have shot up. and one of the things where it's very evident is in the price of cooking oil. you introduced...reintroduced vat in october last year — 16.5%. according to the consumers association of malawi, cooking oil has gone up by 50%.
and there are countless organisations asking for you to remove vat from cooking oil. will you? yes, but let me give you the context. you will. you will remove vat from cooking oil. let me now give you the context. when we promised that we would raise the tax band to 100,000, we wanted people to have more disposable income. when we said that we would want minimum wage raised to 50,000 — and this has been done, by the way — we wanted more people to have disposable income. when we said we would give people loans so they can start businesses, when we said... i gave an order to have smes be prioritised, we wanted to respond to that. but here's the catch. what you're saying is not the whole story, and what is being told
is not the whole story. but... we are right now... ok, butjust to be clear... ..with the ministry of trade and industry and then with people that are bringing in these things, we want by november sitting of parliament to be able to look at those figures and to tell you that after that has been dealt with, you would know that not only is a problem with cooking oil, the problem is actually how you bring in goods and services, and how on top of everything else that is being brought into the country to make sure industries work. there is a deliberate, deliberate effort not to make things like those work. and we will be dealing with that, like ijust told you. in your acceptance speech last year, you promised a new malawi, and you said, "i challenge those
who sit in parliament to act professionally, to set a good example. the time of giving free hand—outs is past." is the appointment of your daughter, violet, as a diplomat to brussels a good example? i am really amazed that you could use that as an example of something that's not even true. violet is not going to brussels. and so, the sources... so, is it not true that she's third secretary at the mission in belgium? she's not going to... ..as a third secretary to a mission in belgium. check your facts, investigate those things. 0k. is it true that on this delegation to london, which is actually a virtual conference — but you're here, as i understand it, paid for by the british government — you have ten people, you wanted 61 to come, reportedly. it was reduced to ten, and of those ten, you've included
in the ten your wife, your daughter and your son—in—law? everyone has a responsibility, like you just mentioned. it is not that i have included them, they are part because i brought my wife, and i did not invite myself, by the way, to this conference. i have done conferences in malawi virtually, and over ten of them. this was an appeal to me to be present here personally in order that we might deal with certain things. as the president of the country. yes. your foreign minister is back at home, and in the delegation you've brought your family. no, ididn't. no, no, no. don't even use that. i brought malawians that are doing something along with me on this trip, and they're just as valuable. ok, so, what, of the ten people
in the delegation, four... there's three of them, apart from you, are members of yourfamily. and that's acceptable, is it? and i say this for somebody who a year ago accused the government, got into power on promising to clear the rubble of... i can tell you each one of those have specific functions. and the specific functions are such that, for me to be able to attend a meeting like this, i need their services. "if there is a foreign trip for the president, the democratic progressive party," your opposition, "will flood his entourage with dozens of cash—hungry hand—clappers because it's a chance for someone to steal from malawians. if there's a vacancy at a foreign embassy that requires a professional and career diplomat, the dpp will send someone unqualified whose only credential is being related to someone at state house by tribe or blood because it is a chance for someone to steal from malawians."
i'm quoting your words. are you talking about qualification or not? what i said, the president in malawi, lazarus chakwera, appoints ambassadors and their deputies. the foreign office, which i do not have any influence over, they go through processes of appointing people that will serve those others as support staff. and i want you to know, because i want to grow strong institutions and i want to be able to have ministries and departments and agencies operate with minimal interference from a president, those processes are being followed. so, can i ask you just finally and briefly, are you proud of your first year in power? have you made malawi
a better country? i am extremely thankful for malawians. because of their choices, we have now laid a foundation in which we'll be able to truly — like we have said when we launched our vision 2063 — we'll be able to truly industrialise our country, be able to bring poverty out of the way so we have a middle—income country, and be able to look forward to a multiplicity ofjobs because of creating inclusive wealth. and that is going to be within the context of peace. that foundation has been laid with a population that is hunger—free. we're already onto that. with infrastructure development, we are already onto that. and these are the plans that now
are taking off even as we speak. lazarus chakwera, thank you for coming on hardtalk. i am so privileged. thank you. good evening. storm evert has brought disruptive winds through the day for the southern half of the united kingdom. some of the gustiest winds occurred through the morning across southwestern areas into the south of wales. some of the strongest winds further east into the afternoon, where even in land, we had 40—115 mph gusts of wind. it's notjust been a story about wind. we have also had some really torrential rain in central and eastern parts,
northern england as well. and those storms, thunderstorms, will continue to rumble on into this evening. and the actual storm itself, storm evert, is moving out into the north sea, but you can see in its wake still quite a bit of rain. this is a weather front as well coming into eastern scotland, northeast england — temperatures 10—15. so, it's not a particularly cold night, as you can imagine, with all of the cloud still and that breeze. but there will be a subtle change in the wind direction this weekend. we are going to pick up this northerly wind. it's not a warm direction at any time of year. and with our weather fronts around, still giving some moisture into the atmosphere, we are expecting it to be a rather showery picture, particularly for england and wales, fewer showers for scotland and northern ireland. but even that said, some places will escape, and there will be some sunshine. but for eastern parts of both scotland and england, you can see through the morning, we've got that band of rain. our weatherfronts breaking up into showers through the day and providing some moisture generally to the south of that with some heavy downpours. the winds are a bit lighter than they've been today, so we will see hail and thunder
in those slow—moving downpours. fewer for scotland and northern ireland, but quite cool with cloudy skies in the north, given that northerly breeze. 19—20 in northern ireland and scotland with fewer showers. the night time period on saturday sees those showers tending to ease away a bit. temperatures dipping again. a little bit lower because of that northerly wind direction, but certainly not cold. but sunday, again, brings with it the risk of some rain, and our weather front still around just giving the chance of extra showers across northern england, into wales and the midlands. but perhaps the really torrential downpours at this stage we think will be more confined to southern areas on sunday. so there will be more areas escaping and staying dry, notably in the north, but cooler 15—16 celsius with that wind direction. into next week, it stays on the coolish side. still some showers around, but a relatively dry start to the week. the warning details are on the website.
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. amazon is fined almost $900 million — the biggest fine ever — for breaking the eu's data protection laws. two crew members are killed after an israeli operated oil tanker is attacked by a drone off the coast of oman. with coronavirus cases rising in parts of the united states, we'll get a special report from a county in arkansas, where only a third of its population has been fully vaccinated.