tv BBC World News America PBS December 1, 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". laura: i am lan and this is "bbc world news america." the u.s. supreme court hears arguments in the most significant abortion case in a generation. the first case of omicron is found in the u.s. as the world scrambles to contain the spread of the variant. u.s. and allies carry out drills off the coast of japan in front
of a very important audience, china. >> we are 500 km off the coast of japan on the island of iwo jima. laura: world aids day. we go to liverpool to remember those who were lost too soon. ♪ welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. the u.s. supreme court has been hearing arguments today in the most important case on a potion rights and half a century. mississippi bans abortion after 15 weeks. conservative leaning justices seemed to be minded to uphold the mississippi law and that would be a devastating blow to
abortion rights activists. our correspondent sophie long reports. sophie: antiabortion activists gather outsid the last remaining clinic still providing the procedure in mississippi. >> murdering children is wrong, according to the bible. sophie: there are escorts here to protect those who remain this is a -- to maintain this remains a constitutional right. the difficult and deeply personal decision women who come here have made is judged publicly. this is the front line in a bitter battle that has gone on for decades. ever since the supreme court ruled women had the right to abortion until viability around 24 weeks.
mississippi seeks to ban abortions after 15 weeks. if the court rules in the state's favor, it would roll back the law that has been in place for half a century, roe v. wade. >> we are going out into the community, educating folks. sophie: division is deep. these students are spreading the antiabortion because they are committed to, even in cases of rape. >> i was in that situation. i was scared. i was thinking, even if i am pregnant, it is amazing there is possibly a baby inside of me. sophie: even with roe v. wade, in some states it is so difficult to access reproductive care, some women have to travel
thousands of miles across several states to get the help they need. >> are you ok? sophie: 19-year-old jessica, not her real name, has had to travel from texas to seattle. she was assaulted and could not get emergency contraception. her pregnancy test was negative but in the following weeks, her body continued to change. >> i was scared. i do not want any memory of that day, any connection to that person. i could not get any help for the pain i was going through. i could not get any support anywhere. i had to suffer in silence. >> when people are controlling pregnant people's fertility under the guise that they are protecting health, what they are
really doing is controlling that person's basic human rights and dignity. that is a form of human rights abuse. sophie: the supreme court's decision on the mississippi case will likely not come until spring. in the coming months, many will pray and others will hope it ll go their way. laura: joining us from outside the supreme court is barbara, who was listening to the arguments inside the court. based on what you heard justices say, does it seem as though the supreme court could be poised to uphold the law in mississippi? barbara: it does appear that way at this point, laura. if such a decision was taken, it would reject the standard set by roe v. wade, which is the limit of 24 weeks.
the bigger question is if the court will go further and overturn roe v. wade itself, which guarantees the constitutional right to abortion has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years. the chief justice tried to keep things focused on the mississippi law but other justices indicated they felt the issue was really roe v. wade. it is unclear if there would be a majority to overturn it. laura: the liberal justices were vocal to what they see as the risk. if this casts aside decades of precedent on abortion. >> will this institution survive the stench this creates in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? laura: the liberal justices are
warning that the legitimacy of the prim court itself could be at stake. barbara: yes, that ishat they were arguing. they said to overturn a long-standing precedent with out a compelling reason to do so, and so soon after changes in the court would make it look as if politics were at play. and that risks damaging the legitimacy of the court. laura: the ruling will not come until next year. it is an election year. so whatever the ruling, it will have an outsized political impact. barbara: yes. you could argue it might show the impact of politics because the conservative right has been working towards this for many year, towards a restrictive ruling on the abortion. the three appointments to the court made by trump have given it the conservative majority that might make that pass.
trump said that was his goal. if that happens, it would go against public opinion because polls show the majority of americans support abortion rights. the democrats would certainly take up the issue and use it for campaigning in the midterms. we do not know how big a role abortion rights will play in deciding midterms. ura: thank you so much. the first case of omicron in the u.s. has been reported in california. speaking at the white house, dr. fauci laid out what we know about the person who has it. dr. fauci: the individual was a traveler who returned from south africa in november and tested positive week later. the individual is in self-quarantine and all close contacts have been contacted and so far have tested negative.
the individual was fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms, which are improving at this point. laura: the first reported case in america comes as u.s. authorities plan on toughening testing requirements for international air travelers in order to curb the spread. new measures could require incoming passengers to provide a negative result from a test taken within 24 hours of departure. right nowhey have to show a negative test result taken within three days of boarding. president biden will give more details in a speech on thursday. next, growing tensions between china and the u.s. over taiwan. for months, chinese forces have been probing taiwan airspace. a commander of america's seventh fleet in japan says he would like more aircraft carriers deployed to the region.
our correspondent rupert was on board and sent this report. rupert: a pair of u.s. stealth jets in mock attack formation. a show for the tv cameras. adversaries.ge for america's- we are 500 km off the coast of japan, somewhere near the island of iwo jima, which was of course the site of a very bloody battle between the americans and japanese in world war ii. today, they sailed together as allies, facing the new challenge from china. america has brought their latest aircraft in order to do that. just incredible.
it goes right for your body. this is the most expensive fighter aircraft and this is the first deployment outside the u.s. no surprise it has been sent to the western pacific. ur months, china has been -- for months, china has been sending aircraft around taiwan. in western china, they are building full-scale replicas of u.s. aircraft carriers to practice sinking them. the response from the u.s. commander here is that no one should underestimate the resolve of the u.s. navy and their allies. >> the model of the ship -- it means strength from the sea. the other means truth through strength.
as we try to deter other nations who are showing strength, it is about understanding today is not the day. rupert: many project china will soon overtake american power in asia. the message from the u.s. navy is that they are still by far the best in the world doing this, and any adversary should be very cognizant of that fact. laura: as tensions grow in asia, nato leaders warned about russia's military buildup along the border with ukraine. antony blinken said america would respond if moscow takes military action. >> we do not know if vladimir putin has made the decision to invade. we do know he is putting in
place the capacity to do so on short order, should he so decide . so despite uncertainty about intentions on timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see that russia reverses course. laura: for more on u.s. intentions with russia and china, we are joined by the author of 50 books to know the sea. do you think putin is about to invade ukraine? >> i think it is unlikely he would make a move until at the earliest next year. for starters, he does not want to undergo another round of massive sanctions right before the olympics. i think he is also saber rattling, and it is a big sabr,
90,000 troops across the border. but i do not think he will go. 2008, he went into georgia. 2008 -- 2014, he went into crimea. i wouldn't rule it out, but i would not bet on it. laura: you talked about sanctions. russia was warned they would be hit with new high-impa sanctions. >> i think it is possible to construct another round of sanctions on russia, which has been under sanction for quite a while. this next round would probably personalize some of the sanction activity against very senior actors in the kremlin, potentially all the way up to vladimir putin. sanctions could also be applied on oil and gas. obviously, this gets quite complicated in europe with north
stream two coming online. at the end of the day, the russian economy is a one trick pony, oil and gas. so that is where sanctions would go next. laura: in china where there are already military sanctions, is the u.s. navy strong enough to deter china from invading taiwan? >> deterrence is always in the eye of the beholder. i think at the moment, china feels they are not quite in a position to overwhelm u.s. naval power in and around taiwan and in the south china sea. do not fort, the united states has many forward bases from japan down through south korea, and of course guam itself, u.s. territory. and we have a significant allies in the region, including japan. and by the way, great footage of
the carrier. i am a little surprised you did not show the british carrier, queen elizabeth, which also operates those beautiful aircraft. so the u.s. and their allies still have a strong hand of cars -- cards. but china is clearly ramping up and i think it is a matter of time. laura: the u.s. has always had a policy of strategic ambiguity towards taiwan. is that a weakness as china flexes its muscles? >> not quite yet. i think as nations move toward collision points, clarity becomes more valuable. at the moment, i think it is fair to say we should rest on strategic ambiguity. in other words, saying to china, we will perhaps react militarily if you attack. on the other hand, we do not want to embolden independence
movements on taiwan. it is a delicate dance and over time we will have to project more clarity. laura: thank you so much for being with us. >> a pleasure. laura: news from around the world, the women's tennis association has suspended all tournaments in china because of concerns of the well-being of china's star player. she had disappeared for three weeks after accusing an official of sexual assault last month. she has been seen in public but it is unclear if she took part willingly. a fourth student has died following a school shooting on tuesday. a 15-year-old student opened fire in the school with a semi automatic handgun. they are now in -- he is now in custody, charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
president trump reportedly tested positive for covid days before facing off against biden last year. according to mark meadows and a new book, mr. trump tested positive september 26 last year. the debate was on the 29th. mr. trump was hospitalized days later. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, a harrowing tale of survival. the bbc speaks with one of two people who escaped from a migrant boat that sank in the english channel one week ago. the eu has unveiled a plan invest more than $300 billion in infrastructure and climate projects around the world. it is seen as a counter to china's scheme.
our reporter has more. reporter: i think with the eu is trying to say is it is offering a values-based program of investments. it is not just cash and the bad the eu will give countries -- cash in the bag that eu will give countries. countries will not be stuck with onerous debts as a result. this comes during a criticism of china's belton road structure. for time, it was the only game in town but now it looks like eu is trying to counter chinese influence across the world. ♪ laura: it has been a week since the deadliest drowning in
english channel on record. at least 29 people died as their boat capsized after leaving france. one survivor says he is haunted by what he saw. he left the hospital on tuesday after being treated for hypothermia -- hypothermia. >> this man says he stared death in the face and survived. he is one of two survivors from wednesday's boat disaster in the english channel. >> we set out around 10:00 the night before and we were sailing for three and a half hours when water got into the boat. within 30 minutes, it started to sink. >> mohammed and the only other survivor swam for 10 hours
before being rescued by a french fisherman. >> the water was so cold. i saw people die in front of me. families, children as young as five years old, and a pregnant woman. >> they were british waters when there inflatable boat capsized, according to the survivor. that is denied by the foreign office. >> the location said we were on the british side. that is what we called british authorities. >> mohammed still suffers from hypothermia but he said the emotional trauma from that night will haunt him for the rest of his life. laura: december 1 is world aids day and this year it coincides
with the 40th anniversary of the first aids-related death in the u.k. the virus claimed thousands of lives in the 1980's and 1990's. many who died were young gay men. a special exhibit is in liverpool to honor them. reporter: brian was 29 when he died of an aids-lated illness. it was 1995, one year before lifesaving treatment became available. >> i remember him laughing his head off. >> we bumped into each other. from that moment on, we gelled. we were suddenly ryan and jerry. we stayed brian and jerry until the day he died. >> do you remember when brian told you he found out he was hiv-positive?
>> it was incredibly strange because i saw him and immediately knew he was positive. we stopped being the brian and jerry we always were. >> it was that look of thiness, i remember being overwhelmed by it. >> in the 1980's, hiv was not understood. because of misconceptions about the virus, families refused to give proper burials. by 1994, the u.k. had created a quilt and brian's panel was part of it. today it will go on display as part of a special exhibition to
mark world aids day. >> we are remembering how it was in the early days and dispelling myths and talking about what is -- what it is like to live with hiv today. educating people now about living well with h. you cannot pass it on if you are on effective medication. >> it is overwhelming. i feel shaky, to be honest. >> a desire to keep brian's memory alive is what unites them now. laura: remembering brianna and so many others who died. -- remembering brian and so many others who died. the taj mahal was built to honor
a beloved wife. and now, there is a new building for a wife in the style of the taj mahal. a true label -- labor of love and a romantic gesture for everyone to see. thank you so much for watching "bbc world n 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 newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, covid concerns-- the first case of the omicron variant is detected in the u.s., as world governments impose more travel restrictions. >> this is the most visible way in which politicians can be seen as being responsive to a public health crisis, because it's a lot easier to shut your borders than to get your vaccines out. >> woodruff: then, abortion battle-- the supreme court hears arguments on a restrictive mississippi law, setting up what could be the most important decision on the issue since roe v wade. and, the nuclear issue-- indirect talks resume between the united states and iran but hopes for a return to the 2015 agreement remain low. all that and more on tonight's