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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 23, 2022 9:00am-9:31am GMT

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and around the globe. i'm ben brown. our top stories. tonga's government warns there's a long road to recovery — a week after the volcanic eruption and tsunami. survivors recall the moment the wave hit. nobody knew that there was a wave coming so, you know, in every household that was on the road, we were just shouting out, "tsunami, tsunami!" — you know, "get to higher ground!" the uk says it's uncovered a plot by moscow to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine, as tensions rise over a possible invasion. intense fighting in syria, former conservative minister nusrat ghani tells the sunday times she was sacked from herjob, because of her muslim faith. the government chief whip mark spencer says her claim is completely false.
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two years to the day since china forced the city of wuhan and its ten million citizens into lockdown, we hear from a man evacuated from wuhan in the pandemic — and we have a special report on how beijing is containing the virus. hello and welcome to bbc news. the government of tonga says it's facing a long programme of rebuilding and reconstruction — just over a week after it was devastated by a volcanic eruption and a tsunami.
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foreign aid is arriving into tonga, but strict covid rules are hampering humanitarian efforts, as the local authorities try to keep the virus out of the country. tonga — which is made up of a group of islands in the south pacific — has recorded just one covid case throughout the pandemic. entire villages were destroyed in the tsunami and some are still without basic neccessities, like clean water. much of the relief effort for tonga is being coordinated in neighbouring fiji. our correspondent shaimaa khalil is in the fijian capital suva with this update. aid has arrived in tonga, and a lot of it is being coordinated from here in fiji. countries like australia, new zealand, japan and britain have sent everything from water supplies to shelter kits, generator, even sweeping machines as well. the concern now is that this is going to be a slow process. getting aid and distributing it to people who need it the most is very, very tricky on any occasion — add the fear of a covid—19 outbreak to that equation and you see how complex this is.
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the tongan government has insisted that the aid should be contactless. theyjust do not want a covid—19 case in the country. they don't want to be dealing with a covid—19 outbreak as they're dealing with the devastation, which means that supplies are there on the ground, but aid workers are not. so essentially, it's up to people in tonga to distribute that aid, whether it be volunteers or other aid workers inside the country. the concern now is how fast the aid is going to get to people and how far it can get, especially to far—flung places. there are also, of course, health concerns, the quality of the air, the quality of the water. they have been compromised by the ash in the atmosphere, not just the thick ash that you see, the fine particles that could be inhaled and can cause respiratory diseases. there are high levels of sulphur in the water, and these also can cause waterborne diseases. so apart from the aid distribution, the physical destruction all around tonga, there are also also the health risks.
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and un officials have said that the country, the pacific nation, will rely on food aid for a long time to come because the crops have been destroyed, farmers have lost their livelihoods, they've lost their homes. and one of the tongan officials have also said that the road to recovery for this pacific nation is going to be long and hard. so in the days to come, as this destruction reveals itself, as the extent of it becomes clearer, the challenges facing tonga are also being revealed. now let's hear from two people who were caught up in the eruption. john and marian tukuafu own the vakaloa beach resort — which has been badly damaged. this is their story. marian, she called me to come and pick her up, shejust said that the she's having difficulties breathing.
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and then she said that the sea is a bi, it's weird. so when i came, as soon as i left the house, wejust seen that there was a big ash cloud, a white one with the volcano. and then then we just came to the graveyard scene. and so i've seen the ocean. ijust i've never seen the ocean like that in my life. the wave was already starting to come on the road, and i've seen just more and more of the ocean. i'm ready to come in. so i was a bit scared to pick up my wife. so i went down and i went to scream for her. and then i had no response and my kids were crying, 0h, we're not leaving dad, we need mum, we need mum to come with us. so ijust like them just to get in the car and we left. but for the grace of the lord, she walked out of line and we just waited for her, and then we took off. as soon as we got to kind of follow the people just looking and i wasjust smiling and wejust
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just said to them that the ocean, the ocean is already gone. it's already coming. tsunami, get out. get out. yeah. so yeah, i think, well, people were just living their daily life, really. they didn't even know that the sea was coming like they didn't know there'sa tsunami. you just seen the wave like, you know, it was retrieving back. and then, you know, it came the the, you know, the way started to to come onshore and and every time it goes back, it comes stronger and stronger and it pushes like, you know, um, higher. so for us, it was just like, you know, itjust itjust came into mind that, you know, it's not going to stop. and also seeing looking out at the ocean, we've seen the volcano, the ash, you know, the cloud. it was just like all white, but we've never seen how big nobody knew that there was a wave coming. so, you know, in every household
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that was on the road, like we just shouted out, tsunami, you know, get to higherground. we just thank god that, like, you know, he led us. i mean, you know, even though the siren didn't work, but, you know, sent us as a siren for our village, you know, to inform people on the road. they were evenjust standing in the corner stores, just buying. and you know, and yeah, we thank god, we're still here, really. one thing that i definitely thought on that day was i thought the world was coming to an end. i've never seen tonga like that. the friday, the night that night before there was disquiet with different colours. it was yellow, was red, it was orange. and then as soon as something like that and then i seen the black ash cloud still seems like it was following us, the car and also straight off the i think it was about eight o'clock. then we had this gust of wind three minutes in and i was just scared
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that maybe the oceans coming all the way to four more to say. definitely. then we had this gust of wind three minutes in and i was just scared that maybe the oceans coming all the way to four more to say. definitely. i thought of the last day, but i thank god we still have today to laugh and to breathe. the british government says it's uncovered a plot by moscow to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine, amid rising tensions over a possible invasion. russia has sent tens of thousands of troops to the ukrainian border in recent months — and the uk has warned that the it will face serious consequences if there is an invasion. this moscow has accused the uk of spreading "disinformation". here's our diplomatic correspondent, paul adams. american weapons arriving in ukraine, 90 tonnes of what washington calls lethal aid. others including britain also sending supplies. hardly enough to defeat an invading russian army but the message to moscow is clear, "if you do this, it will come at a price". but now london and washington say they see signs of a russian plan to install a puppet government in kyiv after an invasion. pro—russian politicians, they say, in contact with russian intelligence officers involved in planning the attack. the foreign office says this man, former mp, yevheniy murayev, is being considered as a future leader by the kremlin.
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but four others named are thought to be in moscow. it is not clear what, if any role, they could realistically play. but russia's build—up goes on. it says repeatedly, it has no plans to invade. fighter jets now flying to locations in belarus, it says, repeatedly, it has no plans to invade. fighter jets now flying to locations in belarus, north of ukraine. moscow says they will be carrying outjoint drills. but diplomacy also continues. friday's meeting in geneva settled nothing but the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has promised a written reply within days to russia's expensive demands. further talks could follow. british ministers are expected to travel to european capitals in the coming days. the defence secretary, ben wallace, likely to visit moscow. downing street says it plans to ramp up pressure on russia. sanctions being discussed among allies, the government says, would pierce the heart of the russian economy. paul adams, bbc news. here in the uk, a muslim mp says herfaith was raised by a government whip as a reason why she was sacked
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as a minister in 2020. according to the sunday times, nusrat ghani says when she asked for an explanation it was stated her "muslimness was raised as an issue". chief whip mark spencer said ms ghani was referring to him and added her claims were completely false. deputy prime minister dominic raab said if— deputy prime minister dominic raab said if her_ deputy prime minister dominic raab said if her claims were true they should _ said if her claims were true they should be — said if her claims were true they should be investigated. our political correspondent helen catt gave us this update. the story in the sunday times today, about nusrat ghani. she was the first muslim woman to ever speak from the dispatch box in the commons, that was in her role as a minister for transport and a job that she lost in a mini reshuffle back in february 2020. now, according to the sunday times, she says that when she was asked
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for an explanation of that, a government whip had told her that her muslim—ness was raised as an issue during discussions about the reshuffle and that her status as a muslim woman minister was making colleagues uncomfortable. she's also quoted as saying that she dropped the matter after being told that if she persisted in asking about it, she would be ostracized and her career and reputation would be destroyed. now, last night, as you said, the conservative chief whip, mark spencer, came forward and identified himself as the person that was being referred to here. he said the accusations were completely false and defamatory, and denied ever using the words that ms ghani had said he did. he went on to say it was disappointing that at the time, she had declined to refer the matter for a formal investigation by the party. the allegations come amid serious tensions among the ruling conservative party, ahead of a crucial week for borisjohnson. let's speak to harry phibbs — he's the local government editor at conservative home. we will potentially get the report this week from sue gray, the civil servant looking into the alleged party in breach of covid restrictions in downing street and
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other government buildings. what you think the likely impact is on the pi minister and government? i actually think the impact _ minister and government? i actually think the impact of _ minister and government? i actually think the impact of that _ minister and government? i actually think the impact of that report - think the impact of that report might have been overhyped. sue gray is a civil servant, it is not for her to say whether the prime minister should be sacked or not, thatis minister should be sacked or not, that is for mps and it is for us in a democracy to choose who we have is the mps stop i think we will probably get into the definition, how you define a party might seem obvious to people but they have to come up with legal definitions and we had this about the meal, is a scotch egg and meal? things that might be obvious get absorbed in technicalities and you have a work meeting outside in a garden does that make it a party? people were being advised to work in a garden as much as possible. if you have catering doesn't make it a party? is
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it a work event if there is alcohol? she might get absorbed into that many shy and if the rules were broken who was responsible for the rules being broken. i think conservative mps will be interested in a broader picture, the direction of government policy and the political fortunes. certainly the opinion polls and the local elections. but also is it following conservative support is about the small state and free enterprise and individual liberty or do they not recognise it as being conservative in terms of the direction it is going on? that is a big concern for a lot of conservative mps. boris johnson a lot of conservative mps. boris johnson is _ a lot of conservative mps. boris johnson is in — a lot of conservative mps. boris johnson is in trouble _ a lot of conservative mps. boris johnson is in trouble if - a lot of conservative mps. boris johnson is in trouble if enough i johnson is in trouble if enough conservative mps write letters to the backbench committee, the 1922 committee saying they do not have confidence in him. it needs 5a to trigger a confidence vote. are you saying you don't think that is an
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immediate dangerfor saying you don't think that is an immediate danger for borisjohnson? immediate danger for boris johnson? my immediate danger for borisjohnson? my prediction, it is dangerous to make any predictions but if i was forced to i would say we properly will at some stage get to the 5a but i don't think that would be eminence, i think that might come later on. i think at the moment people want to give borisjohnson a chance to try to get a grip over things and get a clear sense of direction and see what happens with the local elections and broader political developments. it the local elections and broader political developments. if those local elections _ political developments. if those local elections go _ political developments. if those local elections go badly - political developments. if those local elections go badly later. political developments. if those | local elections go badly later on, how damage would he be then? it how damage would he be then? if things go really badly in the opinion polls and in the local elections and conservatives are worried about losing, that is one thing, but also people can be too
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cynical. the dead coming to politics because they believe certain conservative principles and also expect the government to do things they as conservatives believe in. so if they find the government putting up if they find the government putting up tax and spending too much and having too much bureaucracy and restrictions on individual liberty, why are we here? this is why we came into politics. i do think it is also about that broader sense of direction that a lot of conservatives are concerned about. thank you very much, good to have you with us. thank you very much, good to have you with us— islamic state fighters have continued one of their biggest attacks in syria since the group's self—declared caliphate was defeated. a british—based monitoring group says more than 120 people — most of them jihadists — have been killed in four days of fighting with kurdish—led forces
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in the northern city of hasakeh. it's thought the aim of the attack is to free thousands of suspected islamic state supporters held in a jail there. mark lobel reports. scenes syrians never wanted to see again. brutaljihadists attacking a prison containing thousands of militants on thursday. causing chaos. there was a swift and determined fight back by kurdish led forces guarding the area. taking on islamic state fighters in one of the group's biggest operations since their self—declared caliphate was defeated almost three years ago. from above, us—led coalition aircraft supported the syrian defense force's bid to regain control on the ground. many prisoners were recaptured
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with troops in pursuit of other fugitives that had fled to surrounding houses. families move to safety in fear of their lives. translation: there's been shelling and killing since yesterday. the jihadists killed four or five people in our neighborhood, liquidated them. while this was playing out in the northeastern corner of syria into friday across the border in iraq, is claimed responsibility for an ambush on a military post there in which 11 soldiers were killed. translation: they called me at half past eight in the morning to tell me my son died as a martyr. islamic state killed them as martyrs. in syria, it's claimed the prison is largely under
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control after dozens of arrests following running battles that claimed lives on both sides. however, is claim they're holding hostages. the kurdish authorities had long warned that they did not have the capacity to hold, let alone put on trial, many of the suspected fighters under their watch that included foreigners and many children detained in poor conditions. there's also a concern that will be echoed wider than these prison walls, whether this much—feared jihadist group is ramping up once again. mark lobel bbc news. it's exactly two years since china locked down the city of wuhan and its ten million inhabitants. the aim was to try to stop the spread of coronavirus from the place where it first emerged. as beijing prepares to host the winter olympics next month, it's turned to extreme measures again in the fight to maintain its strict �*zero covid—19�* policy. our china correspondent, robin brant reports.
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27 days into lockdown, confined to her apartment. hello... senlin is one of millions in china still subject to the ultimate covid control. translation: when covid hit| wuhan, the country didn't have much experience dealing with the outbreak. but now it's different. it's better. she's in xian, a city famous for its motionless army of terracotta warriors, but normal life for 13 million people there has come to a halt. there's fresh evidence, too, that some people have just had enough. a crowd clashes with police at a compound in xian, where they've been in lockdown for 35 days. a couple of men are taken away. assessing the overall impact on people's lives, economic and psychological, is almost impossible. all of this is part of a massive effort to stop a few thousand new covid
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cases from spreading. and in terms of the official reported case numbers, it seems to be working. china's leader, xijinping, hailed the economy's resilience earlier this week, saying he is fully confident about its development. so is zero covid in china the new normal? other small infrequent disruption, but not like a massive shutdown. so for china, it seems to be working. china is still manufacturing construction equipment. all these activities can be isolated, so that's why zero covid so far makes sense. but this country has deeper problems to deal with — a huge debt, a faltering property market, as well as the hyper—vigilance against more covid spikes. it's difficult to take a scientific survey, but there does appear to be widespread support for the government's policy on covid. because you get this, it looks quite normal. but no—one knows the answer
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to the big question. how long will it go on for? translation: i think the epidemic control in shanghai is very good. the government uses big data to quickly trace and control people who are close contacts. translation: the negative impacts of lockdowns are quite bad, people are worried. two years on, the borders here remain all but closed. international flights are at a bare minimum. china's communist party leaders are sticking with their zero—covid promise. in the run—up to hosting the olympics, china has shown how far it's willing to go. international mail is the new enemy. authorities in beijing this week claimed a package from canada brought omicron in. we were in contact with someone in another city who was ordered
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to stay behind her sealed front door simply after receiving a delivery from abroad. she didn't want us to name her, but deeply frustrated, she sent us a text message saying it's good for epidemic control, but it's not a good thing from the human rights perspective. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. matt raw was one of those evacuated from wuhan right at the start of the pandemic. what was it like they're at the pandemicjust began? two years on, it is killed so many millions in doing so many lives. it certainly has. i doing so many lives. it certainly has- i guess _ doing so many lives. it certainly has. i guess at _ doing so many lives. it certainly has. i guess at the _ doing so many lives. it certainly has. i guess at the time - doing so many lives. it certainly has. i guess at the time we - doing so many lives. it certainly| has. i guess at the time we were preparing for chinese new year and had been away for the weekend with my wife's brothers annual company works to and everything was normal
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—ish but there was something in the air, people were talking about maybe there is this virus, but it was on there is this virus, but it was on the other side of the city, on the other side of the river. so at that time we went really concerned about it. ~ , ., , , ., time we went really concerned about it. , ., time we went really concerned about it. when did you first start to have alarm bells? _ it. when did you first start to have alarm bells? when _ it. when did you first start to have alarm bells? when did _ it. when did you first start to have alarm bells? when did you - it. when did you first start to have alarm bells? when did you first i alarm bells? when did you first realise what was going on? i think it was when _ realise what was going on? i think it was when we _ realise what was going on? i think it was when we receive _ realise what was going on? i think it was when we receive the - realise what was going on? i think it was when we receive the e-mail it was when we receive the e—mail from the foreign and commonwealth office saying if you can get out, you need to get out of wuhan. usually messages like that don't come from governments unless they know there is something serious of food. so that is when we started to reply to them. now they have blocked the roads, shut to the airport, it's fine telling us to get out of wuhan now, but how?
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fine telling us to get out of wuhan now. but how?— fine telling us to get out of wuhan now, but how? must've been a really sca , now, but how? must've been a really scary. unsettling _ now, but how? must've been a really scary, unsettling time. _ now, but how? must've been a really scary, unsettling time. looking - now, but how? must've been a really scary, unsettling time. looking back| scary, unsettling time. looking back on it now, what you think about it? are you grateful and away you were able to get out pretty quickly? i think at the time we were grateful that we were able to get out. in hindsight, i think perhaps we probably would have preferred to stay there, certainly the zero covid strategy they have adopted in exchange for smaller lockdown is that a more isolated does it seem to have worked better. but then at the same time, are zero covid strategy only works if every single country in the world is on board with it so whilst economically countries can still continue, obviously, there are then issues with tourism, etc. if we
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want to go back to our home in china right now, we would have to quarantine for ithink up to a month, maybe. so it is the million dollar question, what is the right answer? good to talk to you with your memories of being one of the first people there who was evacuated from wuhan right at the very start of the pandemic two years ago. new zealand's prime minister has cancelled her own wedding after placing the country on the highest level of covid—19 restrictions. nine cases of the omicron variant have been detected, and under new restrictions, gatherings will be limited to 100 fully vaccinated people. here's jacinda ardern. my wedding will not be going ahead, but ijustjoin many other new zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic and to anyone who's caught up in that scenario.
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i'm so sorry, but you are, we are all so resilient, and i know we understand that we're doing this for one another, and i know that will help us continue on. hello there. high pressure has been dominating the weather story just recently, but there are some subtle changes as we go through the day. just want to point out to you, first thing on saturday morning it was cold and frosty, but there was plenty of blue sky and sunshine. fast forward a day, sunday morning has been certainly a greyer start. a lot of cloud around in norfolk first thing this morning and it looks likely that that cloud is here to stay. as high pressure just drifts off into the near continent and we've got that south—westerly feed driving in more cloud from a moister atlantic. and yes, some of that cloud is going to be stubbornly sitting with us throughout the afternoon. there might be some brief glimpses
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of sunshine from time to time, but if you keep the cloud all day, it will have an impact on the feel of the weather. on top of that, the winds are pretty light, so it's not going to be helping to break that cloud up. that said, further north and west, we're going to see the wind strengthening in western scotland, gusting to gale force by the end of the day. here we'll see highest values of nine degrees, but if you keep the cloud all day temperatures will struggle — five degrees at the very best. now, it'll be a similar story through the night. on the whole, most of us will keep this blanket of cloud and prevent those temperatures from falling below freezing. but where we do get a few holes, we'll see low single figures, maybe a bit of patchy, mist and fog forming. once again, it stays very mild for the time of year into the far northwest. and that's because there's a weather front as well that's pushing in. it will start to bring some rain into the northwest of scotland, and the winds remain a bit of a feature. but across england and wales still under the influence of high pressure, still a fair amount of cloud with us and very light winds. so for central and southern england, it's going to be a drab day. further north of that, there'll be some glimpses of sunshine and then we've
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got our weather front bringing some nuisance rain into the far north of scotland. seven to nine degrees here, but if we keep the cloud, perhaps once again, five or six at the very best. now, as we move through the middle part of the week, we're going to see more of a significant front, particularly on wednesday, bringing some wetter and windier weather into scotland. this one will sink south and potentially bring some rain for england and wales. not that much, but certainly more than we've seen just recently. so some rain around on wednesday, and then things will then get a little bit brighter and hopefully just that little bit milder as well.
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this is bbc news, the headlines. tonga's government warns there's a long road to recovery — a week after the volcanic eruption and tsunami. the uk says it's uncovered a plot
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by moscow to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine, as tensions rise over a possible invasion. former conservative minister nusrat ghani tells the sunday times she was sacked from herjob, because of her muslim faith. the government chief whip mark spencer says her claim is completely false. two years to the day since china forced the city of wuhan into lockdown at the start of the pandemic, beijing applies a �*zero covid' policy as it prepares to host the winter olympics. here's the sport now, withjohn watson. good morning. busy day of sport, football but we are going to start at the australian open. sixth seed, rafael nadal, is safely through to the quarter finals at the australian open. he had a titanic struggle in the first set against
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france's adrian mannarinbo. nadal eventually won the tie break 16—14,

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