tv BBC World News America PBS November 30, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
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narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> i'm nora travailing in washington, this is bbc world news america. new details about the world's latest covid threat. it turns out omicron was in europe earlier than previously thought. we will have the latest. after seven years of war in yemen, hundreds of thousands fled their homes. as houthi rebels gained ground, we report from the makeshift camps of people replaced by flighting -- fighting. >> war creates a crisis. the way this war ends is not in
the hands of yemenis, because big regional powers have intervened. >> the head of britain's secret intelligence service goes public with concerns against china, russia, terrorism, and much more. the american born and activist josephine baker takes her place amongst the heroes of france, her adopted home. ♪ >> welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. the omicron strain of covid was already in europe over a week ago, before it was identified in south africa. tests carried out in the netherlands showed two people who tested positive were infected with the variant.
south african officials raised the alarm on november 24. it raises questions about how quickly the latest variant is spreading. medical officials around the world are scrambling to find out if the vaccines we have can stop us getting sick. we have the latest. >> as the omicron strain continues to spread around the world, with cases around europe, canada, and now in japan, the question is how effective will the existing vaccines be against it? the answer, according to the boss of moderna, which produces one of the most widely used jabs, is not as effective. seven months, there is no word whether it is the same level we had with delta. he added i think it is going to be a material drop, i just don't know how much, because we need to wait for the data. that could take weeks, or even months.
several major vaccine manufacturers have said they are ready to treat their shots if needed. china, which produces its own vaccines, has taken similar steps. >> it is still currently unclear if these mutations can lead to vaccines being less effective. however, china has already made the technological preparations to adapt our vaccines. >> despite questions of the effectiveness of current vaccines against the new variant, countries are renewing their efforts to administer the jabs to their population. the u.k. is speeding up a program of third booster shots. greece is introducing finds for those over 60 who have not been vaccinated. >> i have no doubt this political decision will save human lives. vaccination becomes more than
just compulsory, it saves lives. it is necessary for health. it is necessary for the whole society. >> meanwhile, health officials in the netherlands have confirmed omicron was in the country by the 19th of november. that was before the flights from southern africa linked to an outbreak. >> one of the two had -- one in africa, the other had not. this means this person most likely did it himself -- how the train -- the chain of transmission is not known yet. >> while efficacy against omicron have been questioned, the tests used it to identify infections from the new strain. an analysis can confirm omicron is present, meaning the true scale of the spread and how serious its effects are may not emerge for some time.
>> joining us now for more on what we do and don't know about this new variant is an infectious disease epidemiologist and director of yale's institute for global health. we learned omicron was present in the netherlands on november the 19th, before south african scientists detected it. what do you read into that? >> my perception is the same. a lot of the experts have said targeted travel bans, where you target a small region rather than shutting down all travel, like israel, japan, and if you take an approach of most of europe and the u.s., you are unlikely to be effective. part of the reason is it wasn't certain the virus came from southern africa in the first
place. it was detected. and these kinds of policies to deter reporting. not a huge surprise that it was detected elsewhere and they looked at all of their samples and found it was probably circulating in another country, in this case, the netherlands. >> we don't know where the variant came from. modernity boss was saying -- moderna's boss was saying th jab would not be as effective against this variant. do you think there will be some effectiveness? >> i haven't seen the interview of myself, and i don't know the context. on the other hand, the biontech ceo, who is actually a scientist, is not himself a scientist. he went on to say they expect a reasonable level of efficacy of their mrna vaccine.
the bottom line is it is a little too early to predict the precise level of effectiveness of the current vaccine against this variant. my best guess would be that if there is a diminishing of effectiveness, it is not going to be so drafted as to change the risbenefit of vaccination. particularly when it comes to severe disease. >> meanwhile, china has pledged one million vaccine doses to africa. the u.s. has delivered 275 million doses more the logistics of getting shots into people's arms?
>> sending a dose to>> an airport and -- would be sufficient to get the vaccine. if you need -- if europe needed logistical efforts, the u.k. and u.s. needed communication efforts, let's assume in south africa or in bangladesh, the same level of import or same level of efforts to that communication and behavioral dimensions would be needed. logistics are challenging and high income countries. they are also challenging in low and middle income countries. >> thank you for joining us. now to yemen, where houthi rebels are pressing hard to capture the city of merit. the last stronghold of the internationally recognized government. it lies at the heart of yemen's
oil field, and it would be a major turning point in the seven year conflict. at least 800,000 people displaced by the war have fled to the city, and more are coming. jeremy bowen made his way there and has this report, which includes distressing images. >> the planes are not much of a refuge. but it is all there is for more than 45,000 people who fled the houthi offensive in the last three months. at this camp, the newest arrivals are in flimsy tents, with little food and salty water. children don't have schools. in the desert, the nights are cold. they've lost almost everything, except enough trauma for a lifetime. between them, these two women have fled the fighting with their families 11 times in four years.
she said her six children freeze in their ripped tent. >> we witnessed everything. here in panic every time. the kids are terrified when they hear missiles or shooting. >> she was wounded. her daughter was badly hurt in a houthi attack. her two month old son was killed. these are pictures of dead people. >> she gets them to draw their frightening memories. >> my kids saw bodies blown to pieces. in the evening, my seven-year-old says he sees ghosts. they are haunted by the people they saw killed. >> they blame the houthis. mostly women and children are in the camps, the men are dead or fighting. what lies beneath all of this is the war.
war kills people. war makes people move. war creates a crisis. the way this war ends is not in the hands of yemenis, because big regional powers have intervened. the people here are suffering because of the faultlines that run right through the middle east. >> government soldiers took us to the front line. it has become the key battlefield of the war, but it is more than yemenis fighting for strategic oil-rich territory. >> houthis started a push at the beginning of the year around here. it is really intensified since about september. these were government forces later that evening. they are backed by saudi arabia, who hoped for a quick victory when the intervened in 2015.
now they can't find a way out. they believe they are winning despite losing almost 15,000 dead since june. their big ally is thereon. it continues across the middle east. these have been pushed back by the who these. the commander says that doesn't mean they are losing. >> it is true that there are advances by the enemy. but war is like this. it is a normal thing in war. however, our men are resisting because they are protecting their country. >> but at marib hospital, the in inflicted is clear in the operating theaters in the wars. most of the patients i saw were
wounded government soldiers. >> this is an important part. >> a team of british surgeons is here bringing expertise and equipment the hospital doesn't have. >> there are local doctors, they are exhausted, they are doing long shifts, and the injuries are getting quite complex. they are providing the minimum treatment with basic equipment they have. >> as soon as they are fit again, these men will be rushed back to fight the houthi advance. they will make a deal with the winners. and among the wounded, some defiance. you will fight again? >> yes, why not? >> you've got one arm. >> why not? it is just fighting hunger no
hunger -- go. we are yemeni. >> the war pushes into every life. marib, the city of more than 2 million has nutrition centers each with 11 beds. two others were in areas captured by the who these. 10 of them, two of them are severely nourished. six months old, weighing 2.5 kilos, less than many newborns. in 10 days of treatment, she has gained 100 grams. this is what war does. it destroys lives. not just babies, for everyone. jeremy bowen, marib.
>> the heartbreak of yemen's endless war, at least three people killed in a shooting at michigan high school. six others wounded, including a teacher. a 15-year-old suspect in custody. a semi-automatic handgun has been recovered. oxford high school is about 35 miles, 55 kilometers north of detroit. former president donald trump's chief of staff has agreed to appear before the congressional committee investigating the january 6 capitol hill riot. they said mark meadows would appear soon for a deposition. he will also provide records to the committee. mr. has urged his former staff not to cooperate with the investigation, calling it a witch hunt. it is not often you see the head of britain's secret intelligence service in public. richard moore, who runs mi6, made his first major speech, saying china is now the top
priority for his organization. russia and terrorism are also major concerns. our security correspondent has more. >> mi6's mission is to work in secret, gathering intelligence from around the world. but today, its head ventured out to detail the threats he sees. china was his top priority. it is designed to take the island of taiwan posed a serious challenge to peace and the drive to master technology and control data risks giving it too much leverage over our lives. >> china is controed by an authoritarian regime, and often their interests clash with ours. what i'm saying is we need to be very robust in fighting our corner. >> today's rare interview came ahead of the chief of mi6's first major speech. going public is about trying to build support for the secret
service, including trying to get businesses, especially in the tech sector, to help. something vital in the competition with china. russia remains an acute threat. its aggressive activity has seen in the salisbury poisonings on the upward trend. a troop buildup on the border of ukraine has led to fears of a fallout invasion, -- full out invasion, leading to warnings. >> moscow should be in no doubt of the support of the sovereignty and integrity of the ukraine. within its internationally recognized borders, including crimea. >> when it comes to terrorism. the speed of the taliban takeover in afghanistan caught everyone, including the spies by surprise. the fear is now terror groups could once again find a safe haven to attack the west. >> the threat we face will likely grow now that we face
afghanistan. al qaeda -- will seek to increase their foothold and rebuild ability to strike western targets. >> it is the job of mi6 to peer into the darker world of threats. today, it's chief used this unusual appearance to warn the world looks more dangerous than ever. gordon corera, bbc news. >> out to the shadows. you are watching bbc world news america. packing away a period of caribbean history. barbados cuts its ties with the queen, becoming the world's newest republic. elaine maxwell was number two in the hierarchy of jeffrey epstein's employees. his former pilot has testified on day 2 of her sex abuse trial in manhattan. she denies the charges. >> larry for tzatziki all
morning laid out in great detail what his companies looked like, and who flew on those planes. elaine maxwell was there frequently as number two with a staff of her own personal assistance and that she flew the helicopter on her own. he confirmed the public figure such as prince andrew, donald trump, and bill clinton were all guests on his plane. and so were two accusers. he said he never actually witnessed any sexual activity aboard those flights. elaine maxwell the entire time was attempted, putting on her glasses to examine exhibits and she has pleaded not guilty to the charges. >> barbados has become the newest republic after replacing
the queen as head of state. in a speech to mark the occasion, prince charles acknowledged british history on the caribbean island had forever been stained by the atrocity of slavery. from bridgetown, here's daniela routh. >> the shifting sands of constitutional change, this is now the republic of barbados. practically, things look the same. symbolically, it is very different. the show of self-confidence and a clean break from aspects of a colonial past. >> the order of freedom in barbados. >> the first major event hosted, the national honor ceremony in bridgetown. the honor system has been restructured and references to the british crown removed. >> national hero of barbados. >> among those recognized, rihanna, violence most successful export, who came home to witness the birth of this new
republic. she was honored as a national hero. >> barbadian's are proud people, we are probably the proudest people i know. and no matter where i go in the world, i take that pride with me. no matter where we go. the world will know -- i will be to the day i die. this is still the only place i've ever called home. >> last night, the prince of wales watched a ceremony that formally removed his mother, the queen, as head of state. he used his speech to emphasize enduring friendship and directly acknowledge the wrongs of our shared history. >> from the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains are history, the people of this island forge their path with extraordinary fortitude.
>> the move to a republic has involved reflecting on the past, but also focusing on the future. the barbadian prime minister has described today as a moment that transforms this island's mental landscape. there are rumblings of republicanism in other parts of the caribbean. this new republic will be hired carefully by its neighbors. daniela rus, bbc news. >> josephine baker has been honored at the pantheon mausoleum, the resting place for the nations heroes. the first black woman to be memorialized there. she made her name during the 1920's. lucy williamson reports. >> idealist and idle, singer and spy, josephine baker adored by paris a century ago, was the star of france again today.
her symbolic coffin made its way towards the pantheon, carrying handfuls of earth from the four corners of her life. paris, missouri, paula go, and the village in france where she raised her children. >> you are entering our pet -- our pantheon because you loved france, and you knew the way. there was no one more french than you. [applause] >> baker crossed the atlantic to escape segregation. in paris, she found fame with audiences hungry for american idols, using her celebrity to fight racism and pass messages for the french resistance during the second world war. >> this is one of the greatest honors france can bestow, a seat in the resting place of its resting heroes. josephine baker is the first black woman to be honored here, a member of france's wartime resistance movement and lifelong
campaigner against racism. that campaign shaped her family. baker adopted 12 children from around the world, calling at her rainbow tribe. >> these children represent an example of a real brotherhood. they show to people it is possible to live together if we so wish to. ♪ >> the pantheon today echoed with her trademark song, a love song to paris. as the city that revered her a century ago claimed her forever as its own. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. >> a fitting final resting place. before we go, here is a new hobby for the extremely intrepid. how about jumping out of a plane into a volcano? sebastian alvarez has done it. he's a well-known wing suit
flyer, and spent a year getting ready for the stunt, which took place in his home country of chile. he had to wait for perfect weather conditions to make sure his descent into one of chile's most dangerous volcanoes was safe, or as safe as it could be. definitely not one for me. don't know about you. thanks f narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. man: bdo. accountants and advisors. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪
captioning sponsored by newshourroductions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: covid concerns. health officials cast doubt on whether travel bans can slow the spread of the new variant, instead emphasizing the need for global cooperation. then, high stakes. congress faces a potential government shutdown, and democrats struggle to push through the president's domestic agenda. and, on trial. elizabeth holmes returns to the stand in the silicon valley criminal fraud case against her former company, theranos. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been p