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tv   BBC News  BBC News  November 21, 2021 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm ben boulos. our top stories: a second night of violence in the netherlands as new coronavirus restrictions draw protesters onto the streets in the hague. the world health organisation says it is very worried about the number of cases in europe, as the virus once again becomes the continent's biggest killer. success today does not mean success tomorrow because no country is an island. the missing tennis player peng shuai — new videos, chinese media says, were filmed this weekend fail to allay the fears of the international community. the us secretary of state warns
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of "real concerns" over russian military activities at the border with ukraine. we don't know what president putin's intensions are, but we do know what's happened in the past, we do know the playbook. as the netherlands battles record coronavirus infections, a second night of rioting has broken out as people object to restrictions on their movement. hundreds of people lit fires and pelted the police with rocks and fireworks in the hague. it follows friday night's violence in rotterdam, when at least 50 people were arrested, and several others received gunshot wounds. our correspondent in the hague, anna holligan, reports. explosion. another dutch city
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rocked by discontent. in the hague, rioters burnt bicycles and pelted police with stones and fireworks. officers used horses, dogs, batons and bikes to chase them away. earlier, anti—vax demonstrators brought music to the southern city of breda. while most dutch people accept the need for tougher rules, the distrust is spreading. in my opinion about the coronavirus rules is that it's not acceptable any more. we have to live with corona so please invest in the healthcare in holland so we can handle all the corona infections in the hospitals. the night before, there were rampages in rotterdam. riot police fired live rounds. a number of demonstrators
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were hit and hospitalised. an investigation is under way to find out if their injuries were caused by police gunfire. the netherlands is amongst several european countries battling record infection rates and many governments are considering or implementing tougher measurements targeting the unvaccinated. in austria, supporters of the country's far—right freedom party marched against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations. a 20—day lockdown will start next week. denmark's capital copenhagen witnessed discord, too. the uk is not yet seeing such a rapid increase in infections and these are some of the reasons why. many countries in europe were faced with delta a little bit later so they are dealing with it now and some of them opened up slightly later than we did so that is a factor.
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the second point is there's differences in vaccines. you've got high levels of non—vaccine uptake in some populations in some european countries. in the uk high infection rates also helped to build up immunity. now, the push to get boosterjabs in continues. as a fourth wave crashes across the continent, countries are struggling to ease pressure on the health services and the streets. anna holligan, bbc news, in the hague. journalist stephanie van der berg is in the hague and told us more about what's driving the protests there. well, the main point of the demonstration is not that they have a current lockdown like in the netherlands, where bars, restaurants and clubs and other public spaces are closed at 8:00pm, but the government announced that if that doesn't work, bringing down the record numbers of infections we are seeing the netherlands,
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that they might have to look at a system were unvaccinated people no longer will be able to have a green check in the corona app and therefore cannot access bars and restaurants, so they would be restricted in their movements, especially going out, and that is what a lot of people are protesting about, the possibility of having separate measures for the unvaccinated. thousands of croatians have also taken to the streets of the capital, zagreb, in the biggest gathering in the country against covid restrictions and mandatory vaccine certificates, since the beginning of the pandemic. from monday, only people with covid passports can enter government and public buildings in croatia. the world health organization has called for an urgent tightening of measures across europe, warning that half a million more deaths could be recorded by march, unless urgent action is taken. the un body says, at the moment, one person is dying from the virus in europe
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every 15—to—20 minutes. dr hans kluge, the who's regional director for europe, spoke to the bbc earlier. we are definitely worried. but the good news is that we know what to do. let's look to the positive side — portugal, spain, where i have been recently, they are implementing what i call a vaccination plus path. they are vaccinating, now they are boosting but also implementing the basic measures like masks. average 48% of the european population is wearing a mask indoors. any percentage above that will have an immediate effect. much more attention to be paid to ventilation. and, finally, two new treatment protocols which have to be standardised.
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the women's tennis association says photos and video footage of chinese tennis star peng shuai released on sunday are insufficient and do not address the wta's concerns. it comes after chinese state media released material showing the 35—year—old standing alongside other dignatories and waving as her name is announced. the clip follows two other short videos offered as evidence that peng is not under any form of duress; one that claims to show peng having dinner at a beijing restaurant with her coach, and another which has raised questions over a date being blurred. our china correspondent, john sudworth, talked me through the latest video. it first appeared on the social media account of hu xijin, a fiercely loyal communist party news editor here, but it has since also appeared on the chinese social media accounts of the tournament organisers in beijing so this does look like it is the first real evidence of peng shuai's
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whereabouts since she disappeared at the beginning of the month after making these allegations. there have of course been other bits of purported evidence, an e—mail, some still photographs, a video, but there have been questions about all of these. this one where we see peng shuai smiling, and waving, as her name is announced, standing alongside other dignitaries at this tournament in beijing on sunday morning looks therefore to be different. the question, of course, though is if this is in a way proof of life but what critics were asking for is not proof that she was alive but genuine proof that she is free and able to speak and move as she wishes and i think, although this video does appear to be genuine evidence, those questions won't go away. outside china, we hear a lot of the criticism, the concern that's being voiced. ijust wonder how much of that
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international reaction and concern about peng shuai is resonating within china — do we know? as you might expect, at the heart of this of course is an allegation made by peng shuai against one of china's most powerful politicians — you don't get more senior than a member of the standing committee of the politburo. zhang gaoli was a former vice premier. these are extraordinarily explosive allegations and despite all of the international concern coming notjust from the tennis governing bodies, not just from other fellow star tennis players, but from governments as well, all of that concern has been very, very muted in china. as you would expect, the censorship machine is in overdrive at the moment. this is about as sensitive as story as you can get and that
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is where the concern about her well—being comes from. anybody who has been watching china over the past few years knows that you cannot make allegations of this kind without facing some kind of political consequences. sophie richardson is the china director at human rights watch. i asked her what she made of the videos. we are extremely sceptical about the veracity of it and certainly would not think for a moment that it proves anything about peng shuai's safety or her well—being. it is worth pointing out that the chinese government really has form when it comes to notjust coercing confessions from people but finding ways to broadcast them. what you're correspondent described is entirely consistent with what we have seen used, for example, from swedish publisher, gui minhai, a few years ago, who was forced to go on camera and say that he was fine and happy to stay in china and was sorry for the mistakes
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that he'd made. this happens fairly regularly. that it is happening at such a high profile educates the world about what the rule of law does not involve inside china. obviously beijing is due to host the winter olympics in a matter of months from now. what do you think the rest of the world needs to do, what does the international olympic committee need to do to send a clear message that this kind of treatment, if it is as people suspect, is simply not acceptable? she's also an olympian and when a government does this, just before it hosts an olympics, to an olympian it is really not a good look. we have argued for a long time that the chinese government should not be awarded the games and, after 2008, made that argument even more strongly because the government failed to fulfil any of the human rights related promises it had made to get the games. we can see that the situation inside the country has deteriorated significantly.
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one really wonders if players now even feel safe to go and compete there. we have argued for a diplomatic boycott but i think this development may actually lead to athletes themselves not wanting to go to compete in a beijing, and i was just looking at a tweet from martina navratilova saying to the ioc where are you in protecting athletes�* human rights? so i think there is a real lack of confidence in some of the bodies governing sport to take care of athletes�*s safety and well—being. given the outcry there has been over this, even if say some big countries, big olympic players like the us, the uk, for example, were to boycott unilaterally those winter olympics, do you think that would deter china at all? do you think it would just carry on with what it is doing, regardless? i think one has to try to pull
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the levers that are available. let's think about this — this is the second most powerful government in the world that sees fit to notjust take an olympic athlete off the grid but it is currently committing crimes against humanity targeting millions of uyghur muslims. it has disappeared everyone from artists like ai weiwei, to senior tibetan monks, and this continues to happens partly because there is never any real consequence for the government officials responsible for it. and we've been arguing hard, especially in the case of crimes against humanity, that holding chinese government officials accountable is essential to breaking this cycle of total impunity and hopefully part of what comes out of this experience is notjust peng shuai's well—being and her safety but also a renewed diplomatic willingness to actually use the mechanisms through the united nations, through domestic courts to produce that kind of accountability to deter future violations.
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sophie richardson is the china director at human rights watch. the taliban in afghanistan say they have started paying government employees, who have not received their salaries since the group seized power in mid—august. a spokesman said three months of salary would be paid to civil servants through the banking system. an official said they were able to pay the overdue salaries after earning revenues of around $277 million in the past 2.5 months. germany and the netherlands have also indicated they are willing to explore paying health and education sector employees directly through international organisations. french authorities are sending police and counter—terrorism officers to the caribbean island of guadeloupe to quell street violence. dozens of businesses in two main towns were looted after protests against a covid health pass turned. gail maclellan reports. barricades burn after
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five days of protests in the french overseas territory. trade unions launched an indefinite strike earlier in the week to protest the compulsory vaccination of health workers and covid—19 health pass requirements. despite a curfew being imposed, shops were looted and buildings burned through the night. the french interior minister announced the departure of additional forces sent to the island to help restore order. translation: among them are about 50 agents - of the counterterrorism unit and the elite police force. we have ascertained that not only is there disorder but live ammunition was used against law enforcement officers and that looting, which has i dare say, nothing to do with the protest, is now taking place on the island. in the summer, hospitals on the island became overwhelmed with coronavirus cases. doctors, nurses and firefighters flew to the island
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to assist, and lockdown was imposed and tourists advised to leave. but the vaccination campaign has struggled to find support. unlike on mainland france where most people have had two doses of the vaccine, in guadeloupe, only 46% of adults have received one jab. gail maclellan, bbc news. a reminder of our top stories: a second night of violent demonstrations against covid restrictions in the netherlands, after the city of rotterdam was rocked on friday night. new videos reportly of the missing tennis player peng shuai, out with friends this weekend, fail to allay the fears of the international community. the us secretary of state antony blinken says his european allies share "real concerns" about unusual russian military activity
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on its border with ukraine. kyiv has raised fears that russia may be preparing an attack. russia's president vladimir putin has accused the west of escalating tensions. mr blinken�*s remarks came as american reinforcements for ukraine's navy sailed into the gateway to the black sea. we don't know what president putin's intentions r, but we do know what has happened in the past, we do know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from ukraine or any other country and then using that as an excuse to do what russia is planning to do all along. let's bring you a bit more on that story now. my colleague ros atkins has been looking in detail about the build—up of russian troops on the border with ukraine, and whether it means an invasion is being planned. take a look. many people watching eastern europe at the moment asking one question, is russia going to invade ukraine? the
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question, is russia going to invade ukraine? the answer is i don't know. _ invade ukraine? the answer is i don't know. i — invade ukraine? the answer is i don't know, i think _ invade ukraine? the answer is i don't know, i think we - invade ukraine? the answer is i don't know, i think we have - invade ukraine? the answer is i don't know, i think we have to i don't know, i think we have to be on — don't know, i think we have to be on our— don't know, i think we have to be on our guard and make sure that_ be on our guard and make sure that deterrence prevails. uk�*s that deterrence prevails. uk's most senior— that deterrence prevails. uk's most senior military - that deterrence prevails. uk's most senior military officer. most senior military officer doesn't know. blood applicant has the west guessing but what everyone knows is that tension is rising. —— vladimir putin has the west guessing. there is also a major lap of russian troops near the border with ukraine and america is watching. ukraine and america is watching-— ukraine and america is watchinu. ~ ., ., , watching. we do continue to see unusual military _ watching. we do continue to see unusual military activity - watching. we do continue to see unusual military activity and - unusual military activity and the concentration of forces in russia but now ukrainian borders and that remains concerning to us. we borders and that remains concerning to us. we have also heard one _ concerning to us. we have also heard one ukrainian _ concerning to us. we have also heard one ukrainian minister. heard one ukrainian minister warning of the high probability of the stabilisation of the situation in ukraine this winter. vladimir putin calls these fears alarmist the russia did invade georgia in 2008 and we know more broadly, putin does want to test the west. to understand how and why he is
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doing that, well, ukraine is the place to start. it was once part of the soviet union and even after independence it remained an ally and russia annexed crimea from ukraine and made a military incursion to support separatist. for that russia was booted out of the g8 group of rich countries and faced economic sanctions too, but it didn't back down, and now this year, this has been happening. first in the spring, thousands of russian troops were sent towards the border with ukraine now in november another buildup is happening and ukrainian officials estimate that "4,000 troops have been deployed, and vladimir putin will be well aware that the us continues to watch. ~ . , watch. we have seen in the ast, watch. we have seen in the past. russia _ watch. we have seen in the past, russia amassed - watch. we have seen in the | past, russia amassed forces watch. we have seen in the - past, russia amassed forces on ukraine's borders, claim some kind of provocation by ukraine and then invade, basically
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following through on something they were planning all along. that's what they did in 2014. if that is the us, ukraine too says it has learned lessons. they did the same in crimea. so we're not that this time. vladimir putin knew his actions in ukraine in 2014 would bring sanctions and condemnation but he had his reasons. we can see one of them in this article in july. president putin wrote: and certainly one of his motivations is a desire to maintain the influence and cultural connections that are rooted in russia's history. but for all that, this is also about security. have a look at this map from the website of the defence alliance nato. the
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light blue coloured countries are all nato members. ukraine is not a nato member but it gets major military support from the us and others, and all of this is too close for comfort for putin. in his eyes it requires a response. we keep that in mind when we consider how the us is connecting the current trip buildup. here is a recent tweet from the secretary of state antony blinken. he describes a hybrid campaign on the border which seeks to threaten security, so division and distract from russia's activities on the border with ukraine. and to understand why the americans are making that connection, we need to look at ella ruth. connection, we need to look at ella ruth-— ella ruth. this story is a very human drama _ ella ruth. this story is a very human drama but _ ella ruth. this story is a very human drama but the - ella ruth. this story is a very i human drama but the backdrop, thatis human drama but the backdrop, that is geopolitics. == human drama but the backdrop, that is geopolitics.— that is geopolitics. -- look at belarus- _ that is geopolitics. -- look at belarus. unlike _ that is geopolitics. -- look at belarus. unlike ukraine, - belarus. unlike ukraine, belarus. unlike ukraine,
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belarus remains an ally of russia. lukashenko and putin know each other well. that is relevant as we look at the prices on the border between poland and belarus. poland is in the european union and the eu accuses alexander lukashenko of encouraging migrants to use ella ruth as a route into the eu. lukashenko denies that thousands have come in and in desperate conditions have tried to get interpol and. other eu countries are affected too lithuania and latvia have also seen a rise in illegal crossings from belarus and for the polish prime minister, this isn't only about belarus and the eu, it's about russia. translation:— the eu, it's about russia. translation: , ., ., . ~ . translation: this attack which lukashenko _ translation: this attack which lukashenko is _ translation: this attack which lukashenko is conduct _ translation: this attack which lukashenko is conduct thing - translation: this attack which lukashenko is conduct thing has| lukashenko is conduct thing has its mastermind in moscow. the mastermind is president putin. others disagree with that saying it is simply lukashenko taking revenge for eu sanctions and whether they are or are not the mastermind they are certainly involved in this process. putin has spoken to
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angela merkel on the phone and is offering to mediate. they have a track record of testing the west. did so in crimea, georgia and even in space by destroying a satellite and a missile test, much to nato's irritation and this isn'tjust about military might, because to understand putin's plans, we also need to think about energy too. this is the to gas pipeline. it runs from russia to western europe but it is not switched on yet stoppage has just delayed giving at the ok, but here it is, stretching under the baltic sea and when it is on, it will increase europe or reliance on russian gas. to borisjohnson, that is a problem. gas. to boris johnson, that is a problem-— a problem. the choice is shortly _ a problem. the choice is shortly coming, - a problem. the choice is| shortly coming, between mainlining ever more russian hydrocarbons, in giant new pipelines, or sticking up for ukraine and championing the cause of peace and stability.
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reliance on russian gas is one security concern, but there is another. zero stream two will reduce the volume of gas delivered to western europe via ukraine and ukraine believes thatis ukraine and ukraine believes that is dangerous. as we are hearing, most issues in this part of europe have a security dimension and if nato is unimpressed with russia's actions, the feeling is mutual. translation: we actions, the feeling is mutual. translation:— translation: we need to consider that _ translation: we need to consider that western - translation: we need to - consider that western partners worsen the situation. they deliver modern, lethal weapons to key have and have provocative exercises in the black sea and other regions close to our borders.- close to our borders. putin sees a serious _ close to our borders. putin sees a serious challenge . close to our borders. putinj sees a serious challenge in close to our borders. putin - sees a serious challenge in the west's military proximity. and part he views its actions as
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defensive and if that helps us understand what he is doing, so does this from april. translation: i does this from april. translation: ., ., translation: i hope no-one will cross russia's _ translation: i hope no-one will cross russia's redline _ translation: i hope no-one will cross russia's redline but - translation: i hope no-one will cross russia's redline but we - cross russia's redline but we are the ones who will decide whether redline is. organisers of any provocation threatening a security well regret like they have not regretted anything for a long time. here we see the — anything for a long time. here we see the aggressive - anything for a long time. here we see the aggressive dimension to putin's approach. he asserts that russia will set the rules and enforce them, and the thought connects to the broader goal of putin's leadership, to establish russia as a global force. to do that, putin wants to test the limits of western power. what we don't know is what he wants to happen next. my colleague, ros atkins, with an in—depth look at the build up of russian troops on the border with ukraine. you can find out more details on that on the website whenever you want. you can reach me on twitter —
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i'm @benmboulos. thanks for watching, i will see you very soon. hello. it may have turned colder but along with that change, the skies in many areas on sunday will be a good deal bluer. in fact, that change took place on saturday in scotland once the colder air had moved on through. in fact, that's now spread south right towards the uk. along with the sunshine, though, there is a chance of catching a shower — and more especially across eastern areas of the uk. so this cold front is moving away so behind it the colder air, along with the clearer skies, across the uk but, yes, that colder air has arrived. now, it will feel very different from everything we've had so far this autumn, but it's not at all unusual for the time of year.
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and there will be a touch of frost in parts of scotland and northern england as the day begins, and as i mentioned earlier, once it's up, plenty of sunshine around, with a scattering of showers in northern scotland, wintry on hills and a few early on in north east england, becoming more widespread across the eastern side of england as we go on through the day. one or two heavier ones in there as well. whereas for much of south west scotland, northern ireland, wales, the western side of england, bar an isolated shower, it'll be dry and sunny. and there's a brisk breeze adding a chilly to average speeds around some coasts of northern scotland, north sea coasts, 40 mph gusts, and temperatures for the most part in single figures — just 10—11 around some of the coasts of wales and south west england. we'll keep a few showers in the east overnight and into monday and cloud increasing in northern scotland with a few outbreaks of rain moving in. with the cloud here, temperatures are holding up with the wind along the north sea coast, whereas elsewhere, there will be a more widespread frost as monday begins. now, monday for england
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and wales will deliver quite a bit of sunshine. some cloud increasing in northern england. still the chance for a shower towards the north sea coast, parts of south east england. notice cloudier skies for northern ireland and scotland. some patchy rain in northern scotland. with that, though, temperatures are edging up again a few degrees. so temperatures actually rally for a few days in the week ahead before, later in the week, we have another push of cold air spreading its way southwards and likely to be a touch colder than the air we find ourselves in at the moment. quite a lot of dry weather around this week — just a few showers here and there — and the showers, as the colder air moves in by friday, will be wintry in places.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: rioting has broken out for a second night in the netherlands over new coronavirus lockdown restrictions. hundreds of people have lit fires and pelted the police with rocks and fireworks in the hague. the protests mirror friday night's violence in rotterdam. the world health organisation says it's very worried about the rise in covid—19 cases in europe. it's warned without serious action there could be a further half—a—million covid—related deaths on the continent by march, estimating one person is dying from the virus there every 15 minutes. the women's tennis association says new videos, allegedly showing missing tennis player peng shuai this weekend, are not enough to guarantee she is safe. her whereabouts have been uncertain since she accused a high ranking chinese official of sexual harassment. the wta says it's prepared to cancel tournaments in china.

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