tv BBC World News America PBS January 11, 2022 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
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viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". anchor: i am ld this is bbc world news america. desperate times in afghanistan. the u.n. calls for billions of dollars in aid as more than half thebbc reports on a growing cri. >> the markets in central kabul -- no one has any money. this is not just the case here, it is the same situation across afghanistan. laura: the u.s. once again breaks the world record for daily covid cases. record numbers are in spital with covid too. we will have the latest. today's unrest in kazakhstan,
russian peacekeeping forces are preparing to leave the country, claiming order has been restored. plus, this three is made as a man in the united states successfully receives a heart transplanted from a pig. a world first. ♪ welcome to world newamerica on pbs and around the globe. we begin in afghanistan. the start of a harsh winter is neck the humanitarian crisis even more devastating. the afghan economy has been crippled by international sanctions, imposed after the taliban seized power in august. the collapse of the previous afghan government and the collapse of western supporters left many unable to feed their families or heat their hes. quentin sommerville has this report from a country in crisis.
quentin: after 20 years of war, afghanistan faces a long, harsh winter and a cold and hungry peace. victorious, the taliban now guard food queues. more than half the country is going hungry. women barred from work and education have lost another fundamental right. the ability to feed their families. here in the province, we meet a woman. she supports a family of six alone. this wheelbarrow of basics is meant to less than 17 days or maybe less. there was no rights today. -- rice today. >> winter is very difficult. we don't have money to buy food or firewood. quentin: her granddaughter is always hungry. the baby's mother cannot produce
milk. baby formula is beyond the reach of almost everyone here. the taliban are international pariahs, so the economy is being crushed by sanctions. only humanitarian aid is allowed. so in kabul, even the well-to-do are queuing for world food program handouts. these wheelbarrows are full of the basics. for many of the people here, it is the first time they've had food in days. and the interesting thing is the markets in central kabul are full of produce but no one has any money. this is not just the case in kabul. it is the same situation across afghanistan. this should be the time when
afghanistan stops and catches its breath. instead, its poorest are sinking deepernto poverty. he moved here from another province. this house is home to four families. they cannot afford soap to wash the kids' face. they burn plastic to keep warm. it still is not safe for them to return, he says. we would have moved to pakistan, but it closed its borders to us. this is a cascading crisis, touching every part of society. 3.5-year-old abdul is doing much better than now. you should have seen him weeks ago, his mom says. a million afghan kids will be severely malnourished this year. much of afghanistan's health care system is close to collapse. she's a year and a half.
her big bright eyes do not miss. she was severely malnourished. her tummy and limbs still swollen. >> when we came here, her situation was very bad and she needed a blood transfusion. she's so much better than she was. the door has said we should wait until the swelling goes down. quentin: 10 years ago, i lived next door to the hospital. there was a great surge of material and dollars into afghanista western diplomats would say they are not trying to build perfection. who knows what they were trying to create, but it was not this. it was not a country where half the people, more than half the people are going country and babies like her are near starvation. should afghanistan now be left to struggle alone? for two decades, afghans of all ages were trapped in a tempest
of violence between western forces and the taliban. those battles are now over, but the afghan people suffering endures. for them, there's no respite. quentin sommerville, bbc news, kabul. laura: we go from that devastating humanitarian crisis in afghanistan to the pandemic. the omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world. the world health organization said it expects more than half the people in europe to be infected in the next six to eight weeks. here in the u.s., cases have been skyrocketing. the seven day average for new cases in america is above 700,000 for the first time. the real number is probably higher given it is not easy to get a test. ther are currently more people in u.s. hospitals with covid than at any other point during the paemic. about one quarter of hospitals in the u.s. say they are short of staff. the vast majority of those hospitalized with covid are
unvaccinated. as you can see, the number of hospitalizations among unvaccinated people has risen far above the rate of hospitalization for those who have had the vaccine. today in washington, president biden's top health officials face top questions from lawmakers about the administration's response. barbar was watching that hearing. reporter: with omicron raging across the country, the government's response to the pandemic is coming under a harsh spotlit. at a hearing on capitol hill, senators grilled health officials about delays, failures and confusion. top of the list was the shortage of rapid at home tests. the question on both sides of the aisle. >> what are you doing to address the frustrations and challenges we are hearing aboutovid testing? >> we immediately reached out to our manufacturers. reporter: witnesses talked throh the investment and logistics further pushed beyond 500 million tests, but admitted
the first batch would only be out by the end of the month. equally pressing was the issue of changing guidance from the cdc. there was rare bipartisan consensus. it's confusing. >> i'm in rural alabama but i get one of these home tests and i test positive. i'm asymptomatically. what do i do? >> stay home for five days. the next five days, if you continue to be asymptomatic, you can go out and wear a mask. >> a lot of these people don't have physicians. reporter: criticism is commonplace. the debate over covid has been politicized from the start. >> the lead architect from the response and now 800,000 people have died. reporter: this was a particularly sharp personal attack on anthony fauci. >> what happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there and i have life threats.
i'm confident we are on the right track. reporter: president biden had already been battling the effects of misinformation and resistance to vaccines. now omicron has thrown americans a curveball and the administration is scrambling to catch up. laura: joining us now is a member of mr. biden's covid advisory board during the transition and author of the book which country has the world's best health care? welcome to the program. a top u.s. official admitted today that most people are going to get covid. what is the american public supposed to do with that information? ezekiel: let's remember we made tremendous progress. we've got vaccines that work very effectively. we have new therapeutics including two oral therapeutic drugs and we have oral tests which we did not have a year ago. if you are vaccinated and
boosted, that infection is going to be pretty mild. we should remember the vaccines work effectively at what they are supposed to do -- prevent hospitalization, prevent icu admission and prevent death. that should be reassuring to people. yes, you might get covid, but it does not mean you will have very serious complications. laura: you have called for a strategic plan for what you call the new normal for living with endemic covid-19. what should that plan look like? dr. emanuel: you have to address the full range of interventions, as i mentioned. you need to get more people vaccinated. we have effective vaccines, people need to take them. we have a large number of people who have not been vaccinated in this country as well as 25% of the people who have been vaccinated have gone boosted. that needs to expand. we have to deploy the therapeutics so the time between
testing positive and getting a drug is shortened and people are alerted to where they can get those therapies. we also need to improve our air quality indoors. better air filtration system. people have be convinced to wear high-quality masks. the kn-95 masks are really important. they reduce the risk that you will get covid if you are wearing them and others around you are wearing them. so, these are some of the things we need to do. this is not one magic bullet is going to solve this problem. to get endemic covid and the ability to lead a normal life, go to restaurants, go to the theater, see friends. we have to get this under control. part of that is everyone does their part. laura: did president biden make a mistake in promising to shut down this virus when he has not been able to? dr. emanuel: look, everyone knows viruses mutate and they
try to evade every therapy or intervention we develop. they -- the administration did a great job in getting out the vaccines. we have a very low rate of covid cases in june and july, then the delta variant hit, then the omicron variant hit. we've got to adapt our strategies to those new variants. we are not going to -- we're live with it. laura: we will indeed. thank you so much for being with us. dr. emanuel: thank you. laura: president biden has begun the new year pushing for voting rights, calling this a defining moment for u.s. democracy. he was in georgia calling for the u.s. senate to create national rules for early voting and voting by mail, and to restore state voting rights meant to destroy discrimination. georgia is one of 19 states to pass new voting laws. here's president biden speaking earlier. pres. biden: jim crow 2.0 is
about two insidious things. voter suppression and election subversion. it is no longer about who gets to vote. it's about making it harder to vote. it's about who gets to count the vote. and whether your vote counts at all. it is not hyperbole, this is a fact. look, this matters to all of us. the goal the former and his allies is to disenfranchise anyone who votes against them, simple as that. laura: for more on what president biden is trying to achieve, we are joined by gary donahue. president biden began this push on voting rights last week on the anniversary of the attack on the capital. what is the link there? gary: i think he sees the attack on the capital last year, the attempts by republicans around
the country to have results overturned, to change the rules, even right up to that day during the capital attack where republican members of congress were trying to overturn things. it is this attempt to change the rules around the country since the election. these two bills represent a pushback against that. while there is enough democratic support, 50 plus one to get through that the senate, there is not enough republican support to overcome the potential filibuster. that is the problem he is facing and democrats arfacing at the moment. laura: so, if the president doesn't have the votes, where is this going? gary: well, almost nowhere certainly, i think, because a lot of people have been hoping for this kind of speech some time ago. there was a lot of focus by the white house another big legislative priorities. the infrastructure bill, the
build back better bill, the american recovery plan. they believe the white house dropped the ball on this and now it is too late. that is why you are seeing some civil rights groups and individuals give a pass to this speech today because they believe it is doomed to fail. they don't really want to be associated with that. i think the president's point of view, he sees this as a line in the sand, the battle is not over. of they may lose this but there are more battles ahead. in reality, a lot of people will see this as a huge blow to his legislative ambitions. there will be a lot of angry democrats left after this. laura: indeed. gary, thank you. we turn now to kazakhstan. nearly 10,000 people have en arrested after days of unrest. the country's president says order has been restored and the russian led forces who helped the piece will even the coming days. there are questions about how fragile can hold. our correspondent steve rosenberg reports from
kazakhstan's largest city. steve: the president addressed parliament and he said the situation had stabilized in all parts of the country to such an extent that the russia led peacekeeping mission had basically been completed successfully. he said that the foreign troops would begin withdrawing from kazakhstan in a couple of days. that withdrawal due to last 10 days. he also said this week that constitutional order had been restored to kazakhstan and danger to thcountry averted. so, as far as the president is concerned, the crisis is pretty much over. we know that thousands of people have been detained, according to the latest figures. nearly 10,000 people have been detained as the authorities have conducted an antiterrorist operation. and as far as casualty figures, that is unclear. i spoke to the mayor of the city
yesterday who suggested dozens of people have been killed, but we really don't have a clear picture of what happened here over the last few days. and which groups were actually behind the violence. laura: steve rosenberg reporting from kazakhstan. in other news from around the world, aid workers in northern edo be a -- in northern ethiopia say 17 people have been killed by a drone strike. this comes days after 50 civilians were killed by another airstrike. the late american author, poet and activist maya angelou has become the first black woman to ever appear on the u.s. quarter. . this image was inspired by her poetry and symbolic by the way she lived. it is the first in a series featuring prominent women in u.s. history. the u.k. prime minister boris johnson is being pressed to review whether he and his wife attended a party in may 2020. at the time, the u.k. was i
lockdown due to the pandemic and such gatherings were banned. two witnesses told the bbc the prime minister and his wife were at the party. you are watchi bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program, scientists fear antarctica's fragile marine life is under threat from invasive species feed we report on how the uninvited guests are upsetting the ecosystem. tennis player novak djokovic haswon a court battle to overturn his visa cancellation in australia over a vaccine waiver dispute. reporter: the first pictures of novak djokovic playing after a judge overruled his visa cancellation. the world number one has been held in a immigration detention hotel since his arrival. now he says he's focused on competing. with only a few days before the
australian open, the country's immigration minister is still considering whether to cancel the player's visa. the atp, which runs the mens tennis tour, says the novak djokovic controversy has been damaging on all fronts and has called for more clarity on the rules to enter australia. but it has also urged players to get vaccinated. preparations are underway for the first grand slam of the season. and despite the up people around him, novak djokovic seems determined to defend his title. ♪ laura: there are unwelcome guests in antarctica. species from around the world that hitch a lift on ships like mussels or crabs are threatening the marine ecosystem. a new study find the visitors are disrupting the habitat and the local wildlife. our science correspondent
victoria gill has more. victoria: a round of extremes and a haven for marine life. visitors could be bringing some unwelcome creatures to this frozen place. by tracking global shipping, researchers discovered antarctica is visited by vessels that come from 1500 ports all over the world, from research, tourism and fishing. those ships bring potentially disruptive species into this unique ecosystem. >> ships that visit antarctica don't just have one homeport that they visit and go back and forth. these ships travel all around the world, so that was really surprising. and in terms of invasive species, that means that almost anywhere in the world could be a potential source for new species visiting antarctica. victoria: antarctica's wildlife habeen isolated for millions of years.
but marine species like muscles, barnacles and crabs clinging to ships' hulls could harm or displace the native wildlife. on the antarctic island of south georgia, invasive rats threaten colonies of seabirds by devouring their eggs. an eradication mission dumping poison bait has been declared a success but it took nearly five years and cost 10 million pounds. the burgeoning antarcticourist industry is a key area of concern. >> wash our boots. it is a pristine place. can't take anything onto antarctica. victoria: when we explored its impact back in 2016, almost 40,000 pple traveled to the antarctic. i in 2019, nearly 70,000 people. calling for stricter security. the ships that visit antarctic
waters to be screened and cleaned more frequently. to protect what scientists say is the most pristine coast on earth. laura: we have news of a medical breakthrough in the united states. surgeons in maryland have transplanted a genetic and modified pigs heart into a human. it is the first time such an operation has been successfully carried out. doctors say the patient is doing well and his long-term prognosis is unclear. our medical editor fergus walsh has this report which contains images of the operation. fergus: this is the pig heart ready for transplant into a human. >> the organ looks perfect. its -- the extraction went routinely. fergus: surgeons in maryland spent eight hours performing the world first. scientists have spent decades ilding to this moment, which
some believe could revolutionize transplantation. the recipient was david bennett, seen here with his son and daughter. he was dying of heart failure and too ill to be considered for a human organ. here is david with his surgeon. he's said to be doing well, although it is unclear how long his new heart will last. >> we have never done this in a human. i'd like to think that we have given him a better option than what continuing his therapy would have been. but whether it is a day, week, month, year, i don't know. fergus: the science involved gene editing pig embryos. four pig genes were deactivated, which included want to stop the heart from grong too large once transplanted. six human genes were added to try to prevent the immune system from immediately rejecting it. the gene-altered embryo which
transferred into a -- with the subsequent litter grown for potential human transplant. i visited research farms in the u.s. breed editing pigs. the hope is it could solve the organ shortage around the 500 patients die each year while on the transplant waiting list. some would object to animals being bred but the number needed has been dwarfed by the millions bred for meat. fergus walsh, bbc news. laura: an exciting development. before we go, we want to pay tribute to the hero of the animal world who has passed away. we reported on the noble work of a rat from tanzania who helped detect landmines. his carakers to he sadly died over the weekend. over his career, he sniffed up over 100 landmines in cambodia.
r.i.p. i'm laura trevelyan. thanks for watching worl 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-daa-da-da-da ♪♪
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: ballot battle. the president and the vice president make a new and urgent push for voting rights legislation, but face an uphill fight in a divided congress. then, the surge continues. covid hospitalizations reach a record high, as the white house rushes to ramp up at-home testing. and, lockdown. we look at a chinese city under some of the world's toughest covid restrictions, to examine the human toll of a "zero covid" policy. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.