tv BBC World News America PBS December 13, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". laura: this is "bbc world news america." india braces for another covid surge after dozens of omicron cases are found there. the nation's top doctors are warning of a third wave of infections. amid somewhat reassuring signs from south africa, the number severe cases are lower than in past outbreaks so far. the governor of kentucky says more than 0 people are still missing after deadly tornado swept through the region. plus, the u.k. has become the place to make tv drama. we will look at why, and here's a hint. game of thrones had something to
do with it. ♪ laura: welcome to "bbc world news america." the pandemic is entering its third year and death tolls of covid here in the u.s. are fast approaching milestone of 800,000, the highest in the world. the omicron variant has been found in more than 60 countries, including india, where hospitals were overrun during the second wave of covid. experts are warning that a third wave driven by the very could overwhelm the country. our correspondent has more. the report contained some distressing images. reporter: seven months since covid ripped through this country. the virus newt form has arrived in india. this is where the early cases of
omicron were found. we can given rare access to india's leading genome sequencing facility. they are testing five more samples since omicron appeared as the government tries to contain it. here they are isolating th virus, and it is fed into a machine. >> so it is here basically that the information will enable investigators to make decisions that will have an impact and at the end of the day, help save lives. reporter: india was criticized for not warning the world quickly enough about the delta variant. >> we have learned a lot from our experience and we will be
much more proactive and much more prepared. reporter: this is the trauma india lived through. people were left to fight the pandemic on their own. outside a hospital in delhi, a woman tried to revive her brother. he died before a doctor could see him. inside hospitals, doctors and nurses worked day and night as the sick kept coming. they squeezed in extra patients, even into intensive care. >> we are running out of oxygen. >> it is so good to see you. >> it was e worst.
the sense of anxiety and dread building up. seeing the number of people starting to get infections again. reporter: travel restrictions and testing at airports have been reintroduced. half of the countries adult population is fully vaccinated, but hundreds of millions are still vulnerable. if the virus spreads rapidly in any country, it can mutate further. that puts the whole world at threat. laura: the omicron variant was first identified in south africa three weeks ago. dr. stehr say early indications suggest fewer people need intensive care at this stage compared to the same point in previous waves. in johannesburg, our africa correspondent sent this report. reporter: behind their masks,
south africans have watched the omicron varia's bear -- spread through this country. the early data is now being widely interpreted as encouraging. take the number of people needing oxygen and intensive care in the city where omicron was first detected. >> in the past three weeks, about two out of every three patients admitted for cases of severe illness. right now we have only one out of four cases that is severe. a marked difference. so it looks like at this stage, early days in, we don't want to over interpreted, but the signs are certainly looking good. reporter: that applies to other important indicators, too. >> this is the first wave, the second wave, the third wave.
comparing the fourth wave in south africa with other waves, we see less mortality rate than the other waves. we just make a comparison, i would say there is no need to be worried. reporter: you do need to be careful when comparing south africa and britain, the population here is far younger, on average 13 years younger and there are far fewer south africans over the age of 60. still, doctorsnd scientists here are cautiously optimistic about this new variant. south africa's president has just tested positive and is said to be experiencing onlyild symptoms. calls for a re-think of travel
bans is getting louder. >> is going to he a devastating impact on business, the airline industry. it's going to be hugely difficult to recover from this if it goes on much longer. >> only a quarter of south africans have been fully vaccinated. omicron may help change that. what i clear for now is that people here are taking this new variant in stride. laura: let's bring in the public health director in st. louis, missouri, for more on this. thanks so much for joining us. what do you read into this initial data from south africa suggesting that people are getting less sick from omicron, although it is a younger population? >> i do think it is too early to tell. preliminary data is just that, is preliminary. these are two very distinct populations, in south africa,
much younger. in the u.s. we have a much older population and this is a population that has been more at rest -- at risk for severe infection and death. while i am reassured, i do not believe w can make any concrete recommendations or policies based on this data at this time. we need to continue to include that data and do so in a way that is more generalizable. laura: what are you seeing in the moment at st. louis? are you seeing many cases of omicron, or is the surge driven by the delta variant steel? >> at this time, over 98% are attribut to delta. i announced the first case of omicron in missouri just a week ago.
that first case was right here in our city. however, we have not had any indication of any other cases at this time. we do have access to genomic sequencing technology. however, the overwhelming cases of this type is from delta. laura: here in thenited states, anybody wants to get a booster shot can get one, but that isn't the case in south africa or india. so how do you see the pandemic ending if the virus can keep you taking because not enough people are vaccinated? >> we want cnn, we won't get to the new normal, the fact that we cannot get extended booster shots to most of the rest of the world with this gross disparity between low income and high income countries -- we are
talking about less than 5% of africans fully vaccinated compared to over 60% in noh america. that level of disparity doesn't get us there. the conversation has to be around global vaccine equity, being able to donate vaccine, not those that are about to expire in a few days. but also to provide support around distribution, around access, around funding for education to combat misinformation and disinformation, which is this point is alan when you have highly diminatory travel bans that are targeting low income countries. laura: thank you so much for being with us. in other news from around the world, u.s. olympic engine nasty authorities have agreed to a record compensation settlement
for victims of former team dr. larry nassar. it comes after a five-year legal battle. hundreds of gymnasts were assaulted by larry nassar over decades. israel's prime minister has become the first israeli leader to visit the united arab emirates. comes after the coup -- the two countries established diplomatic ties last year. they talked about strengthening economic tiesnd their stance around iran's nuclear program. in hong kong, media mogul jimmy lyons has been jailed for attending a vigil to commemorate the 1989 tiananmen square killings in defiance of a ban. in a letter, he told the court he was proud to be punished for remembering the victims of injustice. he has been sentenced to 13 months in jail. president biden will go to
kentucky on wednesday to see the impact of a string of tornadoes that killed at least 74 people over the weekend and 30 people in other states. the tornadoes cause catastrophic damage. an amazon warehouse in illinois collapsed. the age of those who died in kentucky range from five months to 86 years. the search for survivors continues tonight. we have this report from kentucky. people would normally be back at work, but instead it's the third day of rebuilding their lives. the's doctor would be seeing patients, instead he is trying to save his surgery. >> we are trying to clear out a path to it, to get a truck in here, maybe get some equit out that can be salvaged. reporter: his staff have managed to find computers and stethoscopes. >> a lot of people are relying
on us, so that's why we are just trying to clear everything out and g to the patients as soon as possible. reporter: the scale of destruction is staggering to see in person. entire homes have been wiped out. residents get weather alerts, but nothing compares to this. >> elsewhere, emily got out of her home in time. she says it is a miracle her family survive. >> we went down to my grandmother in law's and stayed in their hallway for shelter. i just held my kids tightly and we prayed. >> the rescue operation is ongoing at the nearby candle factory after two people were found lying in the debris
through their mobile phone signals more than a day after the collapse president biden plans to visit kentucky this wednesday. pres. biden: this administration will make it clear, whatever they need, when they need it. when it is made known to me, we will get it to them as rapidly as we can. >> many tell us it could take years to rebuild and recover. laura: horrifying scenesf devastation in kentucky tonight. western powers have yet to hold meaningful talks with iran over rescuing the nuclear deal, despite weeks of indirect talks indiana, according to senior diplomats from france, britain, and germany. they say unless there is progress soon, the deal will be an empty shell. we ask about the former president pulling the u.s. out
of the deal and why iran continues its current position with the new american president. >> we have to be sure, because experience shows that if you d't reach a tangible conclusion, it is difficult to trust anymore the united states. because once we trust the united states, the result was completely negative. therefore that trust is lost now. >> that was the past. right now were trying to get back to the table with an administration that wants to deal.
>> if i was there, i would have told them that if your concern is time, please start removing sanctions. at least show us that you are serious, because we have a very bad experience. we don't trust them. laura: iran's ambassador to the u.k. delivering a strong message to the u.s. president about trust. you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program. a notorious nigerian crime syndicate with links to over 10 nations. we have the results of a year-long special investigation. in denmark, the former immigration minister has been sentenced to two months in jail for illegally ordering the
separation of young couples seeking asylum. reporter: this has been a once in a generation trial, a special court, 26 judges have presided over three mounts of hearings and over 100 hours of testimony. and then all culminated today with a guilty verdict being handed down, together with the two month prison sentence. the court found she had violated the ministerial accountability act. what that means is that she was the law was broken. fact that this all centers on the order she gave an 2016 that married asylum seeking couples when one of the pair was under 18 must not be accommodated together. ♪
laura: we go to nigeria now, to a disturbing story there. an exclusive bbc investigation has revealed notorious nigerian called with links to almost a dozen countries, and nigerian politics. itas been accused of brutal murders, rapes, and torture across nigia. investigation team spent 12 months investigating the gang. a warning, this report does contain distressing images. >> one of nigeria's largest slums. going to a ceremony called the gyration. >> we are literally traveling over ross sewage, but this is the only way we can access it.
members are forced to swear an there punished if they -- an oath of secrecy. they are punished if they break the rules. >> we don't kill in oath sents -- innocents. the bbc can reveal they have connections in more than 10 countries, in europe, africa, north america, and asia. but who are they, and who is behind them? >> [speaking foreign language] >> this morning, some with their heads decapitated. >> this is the heartland of the black acts mafia.
it is here where they first emerged 40 years ago. it was once about peace, but has grown into one of the most feared crime syndicates in the world. in your days as a member, what was your role? [inaudible] >> dr. stone, who is now working to end cult violence, say they have inftrated all levels of nigerian society. >> the army, navy, air force, the judiciary. >> i am invited to a meeting of
black acts butchers. most of these men were recruited as teenagers. they claim they are funded by politicians. >> [speaking foreign language] >> the bbc has been given thousands of documents that appeared in the back of these publications. this is a member of the ruling party in nigeria. he ran for office in 2019. the evidence suggests he was also the head of black acts and orchestrated millions of dollars of internet fraud. >> he was a fraudster, stealing money from people and laundering money.
he is the head of a criminal organization. >> this man hides his identity for safety. >> these people are capable of the most horrific crimes. >> the fbi arrested more than 35 members in the u.s. and south africa, charged with multimillion dollar internet fraud. they are no longer just a nigerian gang. the criminal organization has gone global. laura: the u.k. is playing a bigger role in bringing the best of tv to your screen. our media correspondent explains all. >> bridger 10, outlander.
game of thrones. all made in the u.k. this is just one of a number of new studios opening in south wales. >> the tv industry is absolutely booming at the moment. there has been a fourfold increase in drama production in the u.k. over the last seven or eight years. >> spending has gone from around 400 million pounds in 2013 to 4 billion pounds. tv drama now employs more people than the steel and coal industry. >> you've got jobs being generated by productions which are now taking place in cardiff, you have productions taped in scotland, new studios there in edinburg and you have new studios opening in liverpool,
yorkshire and across the u.k. >> driving this, new streaming services, the government's tax break and a reputation for success which owes much to northern island and game of thrones. >> i think the success of game of thrones and the success of what that show gave to belfast and the region was probably very influential. >> she's a fine woman, your sister. >> netflix, amazon, disney, a multibillion dollar global battle, and the u.k. is reaping the benefits. laura: before we go tonight, a bit of charity on ice. the portland enter hawks hockey team hosted teddy bear toss night this weekend. every time the home team scored a goal, fans through more than
7500 teddy bears on ice. what a wonderful tra 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 ♪♪
judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, deadly storms. several states begin the recovery process after devastating tornadoes kill dozens, destroy hundreds of homes, and leave thousands powerless. then, a major settlement. the abuse victims of former doctor larry nassar reach a multi-million dollar deal with usa gymnastics after a years-long legal battle. and, america addicted. new york becomes the first city in the u.s. to open safe consumption centers, where people can use illicit drugs under supervision in hopes of reducing overdose deaths. >> if we don't create spaces like this, if we don't acknowledgat