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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  December 10, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you livyour life. life well planned. 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.
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> i am nada tk and this is "bbc world news america." mass famine in madagascar. u.n. is calling for urgent eight is a prolonged drought has left more than one million people on the brink of starvation. >> this used to be one of madagascar's biggest and longest rivers. but now, it is dry and turned into a dust bowl. nada: the u.s. supreme court allows legal challenges to a controversial abortion law in texas, but the measure itself remains in place. a british court rules that wikileaks founder julian assange can be extradited to face charges here in the united states. he plans to appeal the ruling. plus, they fled afghanistan but
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will never stop fighting for their country. we meet the women lawmakers who are still making a difference months after the taliban takeover. ♪ nada: welcome to "world news america" on pbs and around the globe. we begin tonight's coverage in madagascar, wherthe native nations is warning the country is on the brink of famine. over one million people on the island are battling severe hunger with 30,000 of them facing catastrophic conditions as they struggle to find food amidst years of drought. poverty, poor agricultural practices, and climate change are some of the causes. our africa correspondent is one of the few journalists to visit south of the country where the you and is calling for urgent eight -- u.n. is calling for urgent aid. >> bailey able to stand or work,
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fighting off the infections that come from a lack of food. more than a quarter of the children in ts district of southern madagascar are are malnourished. she is 13 years old and should weigh 45 kilograms but is nearly half of that weight. they look like toddlers, but the twin girls are actually six years old. their grandmother brought them in this morning for their checkup. it did not bode well. despite treatment, they are still severely malnourished. >> the children do not have food at home. they don't get out of that situation. >> is a 10 mile walk in the scorching heat to get back home, but there is no over these to be found here. she tells me that despite her
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best prayers, the rains have felt, wiping out her family's crops and livestock. >> we could not find anything to eat here. the vegetation of this area is like you see. known greens and no harvest. we just eat anything as long as it is not bitter. >> families here happen forced to eat wild food, cacti, and insects temporarily fill their stomachs. the world food program has said this could become the first clement change famine if the hunger here persists, but some leading climate scientists say it represents a clear link between rising levels of carbon dioxide and this drought that has destroyed food supplies. though they both agree of global temperatures continue to go up, we could see more severe dry spells in the future. >> this used to be one of
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madagascar's biggest and longest rivers. but now, it is dry and turned into a dust bowl. this illustrates the size of the crisis here. what used to be a vital source of water for millions of people has disappeared. >> these are scenes you would expect to see when refugees flee war. but here, they are terrorized by a worsening climate. they came from villages where they owned herds of cattle and fed themselves from their gardens. now, they are forced to wait for handouts. but it is not just possessions they have lost. one tells me four of his young children died after not eating for a week. >> they died one by one, day by day. they starved to death. there was nothing to eat and nothing to drink. >> this should be the wet
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season. but i did not see a drop of rain here during visit. aid agencies warned the situation will get worse as people eat all that remains in their storage. after decades of self-reliance, there is now very little that stands between families like them and outright hunger. bbc news, madagascar. nada: today, the u.s. supreme court left i place and your total ban on abortions in texas but allowed legal challenges to proceed in federal court. the controversial law gives people the right t sue doctors who perform abortions after six weeks before some women they -- women even know they are pregnant. for more, let's bring in barbara on this. a partial victory, but how much given that it is a narrow path to challenge this law? >> yes, it is a narrow victory
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or minor victory for the abortion providers because it removes a hurdle. i think texas law had this unusual enforcement mechanism which was deliberately designed to prevent legal challenge. that is it made private citizens responsible for enforcing it. since the state was not enforcing it, it could not be taken to court. now the supreme court justis have ruled that is not acceptable. they created a path for the abortion clinics to bring their lawsuits, although it is a narrow path. they can onlyue a small number of state official. they are especially dismayed the justices did not block the law in the meantime. president biden said he is concerned it is in effect. the antiabortion rights activists are celebrating the system remains, but they are frustrated that the abortion clinics can now proceed with lawsuits. nada: there was really strong language from the chief justice john roberts, saying this was a calculated attack on the authority of the supreme court.
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what implications does this have beyond abortion? >> yes. he stressed there were wider implications. what he said is the texas law had been specifically crafted to nullify the supreme court's precedents on abortion and therefore was denying women constitutional rights. but he said that she was not the federal right in question. he said the issue was the role of the supreme court in the american constitutional system was at stake, so the institution itself was under threat, and the liberal justice so yes it's about the wider applications --justice sotomayor are talked about the wider implications. she felt theupreme court had not acted strongly enough in this case to counter it . nada: are we seeing an impact yet from this texas law on
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women's access to abortions? will this all be a moot point if the conservative justices do overturn roe v. wade? >> we are definitely seeing an impact. studies show that in texas abortions are 50% down from what they were last year. and many women who are seeking an abortion have to leave the state to get one. they even have to travel beyond neighboring states to find clinics that can help them. these clinics are struggling to keep up with this influx of women from texas, so it is having an impact. they do have a broader concern about the bigger picture because as you said, the supreme court is hearing a separate case which involves the state of mississippi, and in that case, the conservative justices have indicated they may be prepared to actually rollback on established abortion rights, and if they did so, the fear is that large parts of the midwest and south abortion would become extremely difficult to access. nada: barbara with the latest
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there for us. thank you so much. now, the british government's warning that the omicron variant in the u.k. is spreading rapidly. it could be the dominant strain there within the next week. the u.k. health secretary security agency also found that two doses of available vaccines provide lower levels of protection against infection compared to prior variants like the delta variant. unfortunately, the latest boosters -- but fortunately, the latest boosters are effective. >> the omicron variant is spreading and quickly fast despite a highly immunized population. the growth rate is even more rapid than last christmas when the alpha wave hit and very few of us had been vaccinated. new analysis shows that having two vaccine doses is unlikely to stop omicron infection. however, booster jobs will give around 75% protection against a mild infection.
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both two and thr doses should give significant protection against severe disease. but to what extent is still unclear. it is this year growth rate of omicron which is worrying scientists. it may produce the biggest wave of infection so far in this pandemic. >> if we continue to double in this rate, i would expect without any mitigations we could have 100,000 or 200,000 cases or even me by the end of the month in the case numbers we see every day. what we don't know is how many of these cases will translate into hospitalization. what we do know is the more cases we have in the community, the more pressure that will put on hospitalizations. >> even if omicron is causing mostly a mild illness than delta, which some early data from south africa suggests, a huge wave of infection here could still result in a sudden peak of hospital admissions within a matter of weeks.
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the government is not ruling out further measures beyond plan b to control omicron. but no one yet is using the l word, lockdown. >> we absolutely do need to keep everything under review. i think the approach we are taking is proportionate. we recognize the importance of balancing people's ability to get on their lives -- on with their lives with protecting against the virus. as new data comes in, we will consider what action we do require to take in the face of that. >> care homes were especially hard-hit in earlier covid waves. under new guidance, residents in england will be allowed a maximum of three visitors and more vaccination teams will be deployed to offer boosters. the omicron puzzle still being pieced together. for now, it remains unclear just how big and how serious it will prove.
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fergus walsh, bbc news. nada: some useful information there is omicron cases increase in the u.s. as well. in mico, at least 54 people have been killed and dozens injured when their truck crashed and overturned. more than 150 people, including young families and children, were in the trailer when it went over. most of them were migrants from central america seeking a better life in the united states. this report by will grant from southern mexico contains some distressing images. >> it was already known as one of the most dangerous journeys in the world for people fleeing violence and poverty in search for a better life. at least 160 people, among them families with children, were crammed into a trailer which overturned on a corner and crashed into a bridge. the doors to open, throwing those inside onto the road. the driver fled the carnage. the victims were taken to
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hospitals but many migrants right away for fear of being detained and deported. they cannot bear the idea of returning to central america and the group of extreme poverty, gang violence, and climate change which is destrong their livelihoods. these people were ready to risk everything to reach the united states, paying thousands to drug cartels. for many, it cost them their lives. soon, the process of identifying the bodies will begin at they will be returned to their families in guatemala and honduras. but even these violent deaths will not deter many for long. the choice between a dangerous journey or a life of unending poverty and violence is no choice at all. will grant, bbc news. nada: let's take a look now at some other news. the united states has imposed human rights related sanctions tied to china, myanmar, north
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korea, and bangladesh. the u.s. out of the chinese artificial intelligence company was added to a black list, accusing it of using facial recognition technology to target uyghurs. china denied the allegations. prosecutors in the trial of ghislaine maxwell have rested their case after a fourth women testified that the 59-year-old gleaned her to be abused by the convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein -- groomed her to be abused by the cvicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. the trial will take a break for a few days and the defense team are expected to begin their arguments next thursday. president biden has acknowledged that inflation iaffecting american families after the annual rate of the u.s. hit its highest level in nearly 40 years. mr. biden said he thought the inflation had now peaked and would come down faster than people thought. higher fuel, food, and housing
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costs contributed to prices rising 6.8% in november compared with the same month last year. now, a british court has ruled wikileaks founder julian assange can be extradited to the u.s. to stand trial. he faces charges related to the publication of classified documents. his extradition was blocked in january because of concerns about his mental health. but judges have reversed course on that after u.s. officials provided assurances regarding his treatment. dominic has the story. >> free, free, julian assange. >> a day of judgment, but is it the end of the road for a man who washington wanted more than a decade? today, the court of julian assange should go on in the u.s. for support to say he will kill himself in jail. the americans say they will treat him humanely. assange's partner says those assurances are worthless. >> the high court decided
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against julian on this occasion on the basis of political assurances. amnesty international has analyzed these assurances and have said they are inherently unreliable. >> it has taken 11 years to get here. in 2010, julian assange's we can expose the video of iraqi civilians killed by u.s. forces, just one of thousands of u.s. secrets. two years later, he flees into the ecuadorian embassy in london. in 2018, the u.s. prepares a prosecution. the next year, assange is removed from the embassy and has been in a british jail cell ever since. for his supporters, julian assange is a warrior for truth and justice. but extradition law says he must stand trial for his crimes. his lawyers will try to get the cases in the supreme court to overturn the judgment but that is not guaranteed. time is running out. if you cannot launch a final
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appeal, one of the most controversial figures of the internet age be on his way to trial in america. bbc news at the high court. nada: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, devastation in indonesia after a volcanic eruption one week ago. the bbc accompanies rescue workers as they search for survivors. ♪ nada: journalists maria and demetri won the nobel peace prize for their fights to defend freedom of expression in the philippines and russia. here they are at the official awds ceremony today. >> i did not know if i was going to be here today. every day, i lived with the real threat of spending the rest of my life in jail because i am a journalist. when i go home, i have no idea what the future holds. but it is worth the risk.
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the destruction has already happened. now, it is time to build, to create the world we want. >> i am not afraid. it is the most common question to my colleagues. but this is an admission. as governments continually improve the past, journalists try to improve the future. so this award is for all true jourlism. nada: in indonesia, heavy rains and flooding have made relief and rescue efforts more difficult following a volcanic eruption last week that killed at least 45 people. thousands were left homeless. search operations continue as some people are sll missing. our correspondent reports from east java. >> homes decimated.
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they were standing in the path of the eruption on the indonesian island of java. and now, heavy rain has created all of this mud. a nearby river burst its banks and destroyed more houses. dozens have been killed. volunteers believe the number of missing is higher than reported. >> for the past few days, we have been evacuating bodies. two days ago, we evacuated seven bodies. yesterday, we evacuated four more. the number from today will get updated. >> the indonesian red cross is working with other rescue teams look for missing people. but the volcanic ash means the ground a scorching hot, painful to walk on. trees were torn down by the power of the eruption. so the indonesian red cross are deploying this specialist
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vehicle to help with evacuation. >> the special thing about it, it never gets stuck. it can go through terrains regular cars can't. >> small tank but mighty. this is one of the two units deployed by the indonesian red cross. as you can see, here truck. -- here the width is comparable to a regular truck. it can also clear ways for rescue vehicles. it can help rescue people trapped under the rubble. so far, there have been no signs of life. they say they are doing all they
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can. >> at least we can reach further with this vehicle. when we find a victim, we can transport them to the main road, where an ambulance can reach. >> the worst thing for people who live near a volcano has happened to these people. many don't have homes to go back to and are living in shelters. those who have avoided tragedy this time are afraid of a familiar piece of the landscape that now threatens their very existence. bbc news, east java. nada: now to the bbc's 100 women series. an investigation for the bbc has found almost 90% of female members of ahanistan's last parliament have left the country. just a handful of the 69 elected officials remain. many of those are in hiding. some mp's in europe, north
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america, and the middle east are already making plans to continue their work in self-imposed exile. others are confronting a very uncertain future, as tom duncan reports. >> following a path with no destination, as a young member of afghanistan's parliament, serena was once a verbal defender of women's rights. she is now a refugee living in a camp. it is hard to fathom how quickly life has changed. sh does not know whe her family are headed next. >> three months ago, i could not imagine at all i would be a refugee. i have suffered a lot. i feel pain. i have been through better days. i am still in a bad situation. but whatever i am reminded of what every afghan is going through now, i forget my pain. >> a bbc investigation has found of the 69 female members of
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afghanistan's parliament, almost 90% have now left the country with most of those now living in europe. just nine remain inside the country, uncertain of their future. outside of amsterdam, another politician who fled contemplates what is next. once a strong voice in the parliament and a spokesperson to the president, she continues to make the food that reminds her of home. but she is going back. willing to campaign for the education of girls inside the new afghanistan. >> i let my people. i think this is the time where my people need me more than ever. and also, if we want to accompany our goals, we have to fight for it. we have to work for it. >> the presence of women in government after the fall of the taliban in 2001 changed afghan society. today, that society is
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fractured. most of the country's female leaders are now spread across europe, north america, and the middle east, leaving afghan women struggling to be heard under the taliban once more. tom duncan, bbc news. nada: before we go, you might want to put the kids in another room for this one because it involves santa. a bishop in italy is on the naughty list telling a bunch of children that santa do not exist. the bishop reportedly went even further, sitting in a recent religious festival that santa's famous red suit was just a marketing ploy by the coca-cola company. the roman catholic diocese in sicily has had to apologize to outraged parents, as you can imagine. apparently, the bishop was try to underline the true meaning of christmas and showing generosity to the poor come up clearly missed the mark. those parents are going to have real trouble trying to re-convince their kids. thank you for watching "bbc
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world news america." have a great weekend. ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. 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. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: abortion battle. the supreme court allows health clinics to challenge texas' near-total ban on the procedure, but leaves the law in place, setting up another legal showdown. then, rising prices. inflation grows at its fastest rate in nearly 40 years, complicating the president's agenda. plus, democracy in crisis. personal freedoms and representative government decline worldwide, as the shadow of authoritarianism grows ever larger. >> these authoritarian trends are being promoted from within. parties inside democratic systems that are pushing their own countries against the will
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