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tv   BBC World News Outside Source  PBS  January 11, 2022 5:00pm-5:31pm 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 live your 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". ♪ ros: i'm ros atkins. this is "outside source." another downing street party is into question after hundreds of people were invited for drinks into the prime minister's residence during district court lockdown. novak djokovic's vaccine row with australia. >> he will stay in australia and play in the australian open. ros: president ben' battle overs voting rights continues. he says they are crucial to saving democracy in the u.s.
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boris johnson is under pressure to explain why a party took place in the downing street garden in may 2020, right in the middle of the first lockdown. around 30 people attended. the opposition is calling on mr. johnson to come clean. let's look at this in detail. boris johnson has faced many questions about whether covid rules were observed in downing street. prime min. johnson: i can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who are setting the rules have not been following the rules. ros: that was december 2021. 19 months earlier, england was in its first lockdown, and already there had been over 36,000 covid deaths. the 20th of may was the hottest day of the year so far, and at 5:00 p.m., culture secretary led the government's daily covid update and reiterated the rules. >> you can meet one person outside your household in an outer blic place, provided you say two meters apart. ros: also a downing street, boris johnson's staff were at
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work. among them martin reynolds, a principal private secretary to the prime minister. on the 20th of may, martin reolds sent any mill to around 100 downing street staff. ever since, no one has leaked , until this week, to itv news. "after what has be an incredibly busy period, we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have socially distance rink in the number 10dend this evening. please join us at six clock p.m. and bring your own booze." not everyone wanted to pit the bbc has seen one message from a downing street separate to another which read, "why is martin encouraging a mass gathering in the garden?" another asks, "is this for real?" it was. here is laura kuenssberg. laura: 30 people attended including the prime minister and his wife pit with a lo table is set on in the garden for drink and snacks. ros: drinks and snacks. "the daily member" spoke to one
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witness you provide further detail, saying there were long tables laden with drinks and picnic food. on monday, the prime minister was asked about it. >> did you and harry attended downing street party attended by martin reynolds? prime min. johnson: all that, as you note, is the subject of a proper investigation. ros: indeed it is. civil servants to grayson best to getting whether there were parties in downing street that broke the rules. the former leader of the scottish conservatives is not in the mood to wait. she tweed, "nobody needs an official to tell them if they were at a boozy shindig in their own garden." >> there were plenty of my parliamentary colleagues who have no idea what anyone was thinking, or how. this is utterly indefensible. ros: the opposition labor party also wants answers. >> there is no need for an investigation into the simple
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central question today -- did the prime minister attend the event in the downingtreet garden on the 20th of may, 2020? ros: the prime minister has declined to say, when each time to the investigation. in december, as the allegations mounted, mr. johnson did repeatedly offer assurances. prime min. johnson: all guidance was followed completely. we follow the guidance and continue to follow the guidance. all i can tell you is that all the guidelines were observed. ros: were they, though? were the rules followed? we know there was a christmas party in downing street on the 18th of december 2020. the prime minister says rules were broken, but has how that could be. as for the 20 may, the conservative mp says there's not an issue here. >> they were simply spilling out from their own offices into a secure garden. ros: that is one view. here is another from a law professor.
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>> at the time it was illegal for a person to be outside of the place they were living without reasonable excuse, and that reasonable excuse could include where they needed to work. but as we can see from the email, this doesn't look like work. ros: that will be for sue great's investigation to judge. there is also the question of whether boris johnson knew about the email. >> i think it is actually unlikely he could have invited 100 people to a party in the downing street garden without the ascent of the prime minister for-- assent of the prime minister. ros: unlikely as it may be, boris johnson ventured into the garden and two his surprise found 30 people there. but there have been enough party allegations to draw this conclusion. there is at least a carelessness amongst people in government over standards issued and possibly more than that. ros: the metropolitan police is watching, too.
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it says it is aware of widespread reports relating to alleged breaches at downing street on may 20. it is also presumably aware of its own tweet on the same day as the party -- "you can relax, have a picnic, exercise, or play sport, as long as you are on your own with people you live withjust you, and one other person." in december the met opted against further investigations of the original party allegations. we'll see if it draws the same conclusion this time. while sue ogray, the police, and others consider legal dimension, there is a human dimension, too. think back to the clip of boris johnson. prime min. johnson: i can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules. ros: and so it is proving. jean adamson's father died of covid-19 and the funeral was on the 15th of may 2020. >> to think that downing street
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were turning a jolly and breaking their own rules at that time, it just beggars belief. ros: this subset is registering. sky news reports one senior tory saying it is as bad as it gets. another tells her, "mood terrible. even those who profess loyalty to him are in despair." political pressure is growing. after weeks of reports and denials, jim pickard shared this exchange from a press briefing with the prime minister's spokesperson on tuesday. one journalist asked, "do you want to take this opportunity to respond to all the allegations the prime minister is a liar?" the prime minister has addressed this with the question on numerous occasions," was the reply. "i don't have anything to add." but while the prime nister has answered these questions, he has not addressed the substance -- he won't say if he was there on may 20, he won't say if december party didn't break the rules,
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and on tuesday, this was the government's message. >> the prime minister is going nowhere. the prime minister retains the confidence of the people of this country. ros: whether that is the case is difficult to gauge. what we do know is that on may 20, the gathering in the prime minister's garden was byob, bring your own booze. during the lockdown you can't bring your own rules. soon enough, sue gray will tell us if the prime minister and his colleagues broke them on may 20. let's get the latest for you on a novak djokovic in australia. the government is still deciding whether to cancel his visa. new questions have emerged about the player's travel history prior to arriving in australia which could be an issue. let's hear from the serbian prime minister, who has been speaking to the bbc's balkans correspondent about how she is hopeful djokovic will be allowed to defend his title at the australian open. >> from what i understand right
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now, the minister of integration is basically checking novak's medical exemption. and the final decision is yet to be brought. i don't think this is the end of the saga. but i'm hoping, and that is what i said to prime minister morrison, i'm hoping that novak will be allowed to stay in australia and played the australian open. reporter: both you and the president have packed up and how there is an atmosphere in australia with electns coming up and asked and whether that has come into play with the decisions being made about novak. having spoken to scott morrison, have youhanged any views? how do you feel about how he is going to approach the issue? >> well, i have to say that i had very positive and constructive conversation with both the minister of forei affairs whom i spoke to on saturday morning, and he prime
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minister, who i spoke to last night, yesterday evening. both very positive, very constructive, and i am very appreciative, i'm very thankful for that. whether it is a political issue within australia, i don't know, to be honest. but it was important for me and for the serbian public to say that it has nothing to do with australian serbian relationship. ros: words in defense of novak djokovic from the country's government as you would expect, djokovic's defenders and serbia are being less vocal abt some aspects of the story that reflect not so well on them, like his apparent failure to self-isolate after the positive test in mid-december. >> it is not some thing which has been foregrounded in the serbian media, let's put it that way. all the way along, the serbian prez has been really partisan -- press has been partisan about
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this. when weather quivered yesterday, "--when we had the court verdict, the headline was "novak beats australia." anything that will show their icon in a bad light has been further down the page. to be fair to the serbian media, they have also been doing things like printing his negative test results and his positive test results in full on the page for everybody to see, and also talking about this question of whether he knew that he tested positive on the 16th of december when he went out on the 17th of december 2 present prizes -- 17th of december two present prizes to young tennis players. ros: i was interested listening to your interview, that this is a complete intertwining of sport and politics, with the serbia's leader cane for this not to impact on serbia's relationship with australia. reporter: and fair enough,
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because there is a very large serbian dies for -- diaspora in australia. you saw people dancing outside novak djokovic's quarantine hotel, for example. there are strong links between this region and australia. until very recently, the australian football league, soccer leagues, were organized along ethnic grounds which included the ethnicities from this region. there are important links, although ana brnabic felt that sometimes they didn't have a stronger relationship with australia as they would like to come given those links, and perhaps this might be an opportunity in a crisis to have something good come out of it and strengthen those ties. ros: djokovic is getting ready to play the tournament. here he is practicing at the rod laver arena. what kind of reaction to you will get from the crowd? i guess we will find out on monday when he pla kick here are some australians speaking to bbc. >> we are a country of booers,
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we do like that. [laughter] i'm sure he can handle that. >> we are really excited that he is here. it is cool to have all those top players. we are super excited for him. >> if he plays, i will not watch him, because he is not vaccinated. >> people of been through so much over the last two years. the most locked-down city in the world. it is completely understandable that can be as angry as they are. however, if measures have been put in place and he pass those measures that the two medical boards of the government have put in, he has done what he had to do. ros: on top of all of that, questions are being raised about whether djokovic made a false declaration on his border entry form when he arrived in australia. the media there is reporting he ticked a box to say he had not traveled in the two weeks before arriving on the fifth of january, but there is some evidence to suggest that is not the case. on christmas day he was in belgrade. his picture was tweeted by portuguese journalist with
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djokovic posing with the serbian handball player. here he is in spain, training on the second of january. he signed autographs for fans there. questions about novak djokovic's movements in the final two weeks of december are not going away. reporter: of course i asked prime minister ana brnabic about this and i asked novak djokovic's mum because we spoke toer earlier today as well. both of them said there were questions only novak himself could answer. his mum said "he is a grown man come he doesn't tell me everything about his movements and what he is up to. i don't generally know what he has been doing and what his movements were. novak will have to answer those christens for himself." this is the problem all the way along. we have inspected letting about what is going on wh novak djokovic from speculating about what could happen with ministerial intervention in australia. it would help everybody an awful lot if nov djokovic himself
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came out and was 100% straight about what he had been doing, tests, when he knew about results, where he had been going. we could have a much better picture of this, and i think people would think better of novak djokovic for it. ros: finally, a little bit of context -- i think i can guess the answer, but i would like to hear it from you. how big a star is he in serbia compared to other public figures? reporter: i asked ana brnabic about this and said is it unusual for the prime minister to be personally involved in an immigration issuin another country? she said, yes, it is, but this is novak. they wouldn't do this for anybody else, but novak is so important for serbia, the grtest ambassador for the country, what a brnabic said to me, and i think that is a fair reflection. ros: in a few minutes, a medical first in america, where doctors have translated a genetically modified pig's heart into a uman patient.
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there are some huge coronavirus case numbers being reported in europe. the world health organization has described the omicron variant as a tidal wave across the continent. an epidemiologist based in spain. >> we need to complete the cycles, the schedules of vaccination for those who are unvaccinated. we also need to move into a clear notion of use of the mask, physical distance, no big gatherings, and introducing restrictions for some countries in europe have started doing. not in the way of lockdowns, but yes, in the way of limiting the unprotected social interactions. we need to take omicron seriously. we have a real tidal wave, a tsunami of cases, because omicron is highly contagious. it may be less severe individually, but the amount, the sheer amount ofases is
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producing is creating huge pressure. ♪ ros: i'm ros atkins with "outside source" in the bbc news room. our lead story is the u.k.'s prime minister boris johnson facing fresh questions after hundreds of people were invited for drinks at downing street during strict covid lockdown rules in 2020. president biden is in atlanta to try to drum up support for getting his parties legislation on voting rights through congress. he says the reforms are crucial to saving u.s. democracy. he touched down within the last hour or so, along with his vice president kamala harris. they've been laying a wreath at the crypt of martin luther king, jr., head of a key speech on voting rights. the president is expted to throw his support behind ending the filibuster rule, which allows senators to block legislation simply by running
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down the clock. before the party for georgia, this is what the president had to say. pres. biden: this is one of those defining moments, it really is. people are going to be judged -- ere were they before and where were they after the vote. history is going to judge you. it is that consequentialism the risk is--it is that consequential. the risk is making sure people understand how important this is, just how important this is. ros: two pieces of legislation are at stake. first, the freedom to vote act. that would make a wide range of documents acceptable as proof of id where states require that to vote. would also make election day a holiday. second, the john lewis voting rights act. this would make it easier for courts to strike down the states arrangements if they were seniors committed against black and minority voters--seem to just committed against black and minority voters. a simple majority of 51 votes in the senate would do, and the democrats in derry have that. their problem is before youan get to a vote, the debate must end, and cutting short a debate
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requires a supermajority of 60 votes out of 100. that is far harder for the democrats f gary o'donoghue explains more about how the filibusters work. gary: it was originally designed to ensure that there wasn't the sort of tyranny of the majority, if you like designed to make e majority persuade other people to their point of view. in some ways it had good intentions, i guess. but it has been used more and more recently to block things. because within the electoral map and the way things are drawn and all that kind of thing, you don't really get 60 senators from one party elected anymore. it is pretty much anything between 45 and 55. you don't really get to that 60 point of being able to break the filibuster. that is the problem that the democrats have the moment. there is no sense in which they can get the votes really to change that rule at the moment. ros: gary, white has the
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president-- why has the president made this a priority? gary: because he has had to, because of the pressure from below, from some of the pressure groups, members of congress, the left of the party. this is a huge priority for a lot of people in the democratic party and democratic voters. they believe that there is a process going on across the country of republican states is instituting new laws and making it harder, particularly for people of color, to vote. they believe it is unpicking progress that was made in the 1960's wh voting rights legislation and taking parts of the country back to a form of jim crow. that is as strong as some people are putting this, that it is creating a two-tiered system. it is a difficult one to argue because there are some parts of voting laws that are very restrictive in some areas and very restrictive in democrat areas as well like new york. but they are trying to point out
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that these things do seem to be aimed at mainly democratic voters, things like -- crazy things like into georgia where you cannot give anyone in the queue to vote anything to drink or eat. ros: well, there will be some absentees from the president's visit. stacey abrams, democratic and for governor in georgia, won't be there. we are told it is a scheduling conflict. others have been out right could go. the cofounder of black produced matters say "we don't need him to come to georgia and use voters as a prop." the head of the naacp and georgia says, "we don't need any more speeches, we don't need anymore platitudes, we don't need anymore photo ops. we need action." clearly some frustration. here is gary expanding that others will be attending. gary: there will be some key civil rights leaders. al sharpton will be there, jesse
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jackson will be there, others from other groups. but you're right, and i think this is an indication that the reality of what is happening and that this thing is not going to get through in the senate means that some of these groups and individuals don't want to be part of that failure. they don't want to be part of that process. it is a big jamboree in atlanta and a big speech, and then it all comes crashing down two or three days later in the senate. i suspect that is what is going on there, a recognition of the reality of the electoral and congressional maps of this. ros: straight back to the u.s., because the surgeons had made history after a pig's heart was transplanted into a human for the first time. the 57-year-old man is said to be doing well for days after the surgery, and if this proves to be successful, it could be that animal organs are used more frequently in human transplants. this report is from our medical editor fergus walsh and contains
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pictures of the operation. fergus: this is the gene-edited pig heart ready for transplant into a human. ba>> the extraction of the organ went routinely. fergus: surgeons in maryland spent 8 hours performing the rld's first. scientists spend decades building to this moment, which some believe could revolutnize transplantation. the recipient was david bennett, seen with his son and daughter. he was dying of heart failure, and tooll to be considered for human organ. here is david with his surgeon. he has had to be doing well, although it is unclear how long his new heart will last. >> we have never done this in human, and i would like to think that we have given him a better option than what continuing his therapy would have been.
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but whether it is a day, week, month, year, i don't know. fergus: the science involved gene-editing pig embryos. four genes were knocked out, including one to stop the heart from growing too large when transplanted. six human genes were added to prevent the immune system from immediately rejecting it. the gene-altered embryo was transferred into a sow, with the subsequent litter grown for potential human transplant. i visited research firms in the u.s. breeding gene-edited pigs. the hope is that they could solve the organonor shortage in the u.k., around 500 patients die each year while on the transplant waiting list. some will object to animals being bred as spare parts, but the number needed would be dwarfed by the millions bred for
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meat. fergus walsh, bbc news. ros: let's pick up on fergu's report. david bennett, jr., is mr. bennet's son. he spoke to the bbc about the moment the surgery was offered. >> they told him around christmas time that there was -- it was pretty much hisast option. he had less than six months to live. the only option was a pig heart. he told me, i thought he was suffering from delirium, i didn't believe him at first. but when i began to research the possibility, the research that has been done thus far by the university of maryland, new york, germany, a host of other places, i began to realize that this was a reality. certainly it is highly risky, and there was no telling. we were walking into the unknown. but it provided a lot of hope and optimism for my family. ros: long made that optimism continued.
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congratulations to all involved in the operation. that does it for "outside source ." thanks for watching. narr prestation 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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♪ ♪ 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 live your 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


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