tv BBC World News America PBS January 13, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> in washington, this is bbc world news america. prince andrew is no longer his royal highness. he's losing his titles after a judge ruled a sexual abuse case against him can ahead. as omicron spreads across america on the east coast, we see cases decline. we look at what we can learn from south africa and the u.k., where infections dropped first. a court in germany gives a life sentence to a former syrian colonel for his role in mass torture during the civil war. in sudan, thousands have taken to the streets in another round of pro-democracy protests. we will hear from our senior africa correspondent. britain's security services issues a warning. a chinese agent has been trying
to influence the country lawmakers. the very latest gripping the world of sport. novak djokovic makes the draw for the australian open, but could he be deported before he even plays? >> welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. we start in britain. buckingham palace has announced prince andrew is returning his royal and military titles to the queen. he will no longer be referred to as his royal highness. it comes a day after prince andrews lawyers failed to persuade a judge in america to dismiss a civil lawsuit, accusing him of sexually abusing a teenager two decades ago. the duke of york has consistently denied the allegations.
he will defend a civil court case has a private citizen. our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell. >> it was a day to take stock. for andrew, seen leaving his home near windsor castle to ponder the situation in which he finds himself. which r him, none of the options is a good on the days of standi proudly on the balcony of buckingham palace in military uniform alongside his family are over. his family, particularly, his elder brother charles and nephew william, had to put aside family feeling. the priority now was the families protection from severe reputational damage. just after 5:00, buckingham palace issued a short statement regarding the duke of york. with the queen's approval and agreement, the duke of york's military affiliations and royal patronage is have been returned to the queen. the duke of york will continue
not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen. at the same time, the palace let it be known he would no longer be known as his royal highness. what does it all mean? we will never see and july this again, his honorary kernel of the grenadier guards. he stepped down by mutual agreement from that position and roles in nearly a dozen other regiments. he's also giving up roles in the royal navy and raf. in military circles, considerable relief. tobias ellwood is a former army officer. >> the royal family has an intimate relationshi with the regiments going back in history. many of them honorary colonels and so forth. it is important the problems prince andrew has incurred have
bled over the regiments he was representing. >> from sources close to andrew, we were told he would fight on. the duke would continue to defend himself against these claims. the claims began more than 10 years ago with the publication of this photograph of entry with then 17-year-old virginia roberts. in this photograph of him with pjeffrey epstein. in his newsnight interview, andrew said he rued the day he becomef involved with epstein. -- he became involved with epstein. >> that is -- i kick myself for it on a daily basis. it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family. we try and uphold th highest standards and practices. >> two years on from that interview, andrew, duke of york, second son of the queen, ninth in line to the british throne, stands alone. nicholas witchell, bbc news.
>> the omicron variant continues to spread rapidly around the world. the countries where it appeared first are seeing cases decline. south africa, where omicron was first detected after a dramatic surge in cases at the end of last year. the country has seen a steady and rapid decline of new infections. a similar picture in the u.k.. omicron took hold a few weeks later. but you can see the cases in britain are now starting to trend downwards rapidly. let's look at the u.s. through the pandemic, it has lagged a few weeks behind the u.k. when it comes to new waves of infection. on the east coast in new york, new jersey, and in washington, d.c., cases have started taking downwards. in most u.s. states, omicron cases are still rising. in a blow to the white house plan to combat the pandemic, the u.s. supreme court blocked large employers to allow the mandate
for health care workers to stand. here is the president at the white house talking about the increase in covid cases. >> right now, vaccinated and unvaccinated people are testing positive. what happens after that could not be more different. because we fully vaccinated nearly 210 million americans, the majority of the country is safe from severe covid-19 consequences. that is why even as the number of cases among the vaccinated americans go up, deaths are down dramatically from last winter. > for more on the state of the pandemic, let's bring in the director of the jeep university global health and everson center. when you see that cases seem to have peaked in south africa and the u.k., at least in washington, d.c. and other big cities on the east coast are dropping, could this be a turning point in the pandemic? >> it is a good sign, especially
seeing the u.k., where they seem to have turned the corner, reaching a peak in the last week or so. we have been a couple of weeks behind the u.k. through the pandemic, in terms of what is happening in the u.s.. but the u.s. is a much larger population that is quite variable. there are some indications that were hitting a pea in the east coast. other places where infections are still raging. now we are really 784,000 cases a day averaged over e last seven days. we are nowhere near the end of this. there might be a few signs for optimism. >> meanwhile, president biden is going to send milita medical staff to overwhelm hospitals in six u.s. states. what does it say about the toll of the pandemic on american health care workers? >> it is horrific, in terms of the toll it has taken. the worst is really to come.
even though we might be nearing a peak in the number of cases, hospitalizations trail by another two or three weeks. more than 150. thousand americans hospitalized with covid right now. that is projected to double over the coming two or three weeks. our health systems are already fragile. many of them are already beyond the breaking point. we are now sending military and other resources available to keep things patched up. we need to do much more to protect -- protect these fragile health systems, but make sure as we crest the peak of this omicron wave, we take better measures going into the future. >> when top u.s. health officials say just about everyone is going to get covid, when we comeut the other side of that, can we still be at risk for a new variant, or will the worst potentially be over?
>> i think it is too early to tell. there's an optimistic scenario in which the level of infections by the omicron variant get us closer to what might look like population level immunity through these hybrid mechanism of vaccinations and infections that might provide some duration or allow us to buy time to inease rates of vaccination. so if everything goes in an optimistic direction, we can see movement. but we don't know the duration of the immunity, whether omicron will protect from future infection from new variants. we don't know what it will look like. much too early to tell. we should not let our guard down in terms of taking every public health measure possible. >> the biden administration is ordering another 500 million
coronavirus tests. late, but still useful? >> absolutely. we are in a marathon, not a sprint. the pandemic has come in cycles. it is what we are dealing with now. the problem in the u.s. and around the world is we keep addressing the urgent challenges and forgettingbout what is around the corner. this is not the last we are going to see in the u.s. or anywhere else. we will need testing and high-quality masks, therapies to be rolled out and scaled as quickly as possible. we will need more and more vaccinations, including second-generation vaccines that are even more effective. this is really more close to the beginning. >> thank you so much for being with us, as always. in germany, a former colonel from president assad's regime in syria has been found guilty of
crimes against humanity. --, who claimed asylum in germany was convicted of torture, murder, and abuse. an antigovernment protest crushed in syria in 2011. here is jenny hill. >>hose who oppose the syrian president paid a terrible price. the regime violently crushed street protests in 2011. civilis rounded up, detained, tortured, killed. by people like this, former secret service officer. he presided over the torture of 4000 people at the notorious prison in damascus. he claimed asylum in germany. today, he was jailed for life for crimes against humanity. >> it is like hell. >> he survived incarceration, interrogation. >> hld me directly lay on your stomach and raise your feet
in the air. and i should answer the estions. whenever he did not like the answers i gave, he ordered somebody next to me to start to hit me. >> it is a painful justice. many tortured to death. over two years, they heard terrible stories. torturers using special tools, electric shocks, crimes so serious, they can be tried outside of syria in a german court. >> thiverdict really matters. justice for the families of those killed. for those who survived torture. it is also a criminal court acknowledging the regime committed crimes against humanity against its own people. >> he was arrested by him and recognized him after both men came to germany. >> it is historic days.
a historical thing happened here. it is victory. >> even as he starts his sentence, survivors, relatives, campaigners want the world to know it is still happening. jenny hill, bbc news. >> we go to sudan, security forces fired tear gas at pro-democracy protesters marching on the presidential palace. the north african country has been gripped by protests since the military seized power. they were given fresh impetus by the resignation of the civilian prime minister earlier this month. the military responded with violence towards demonstrators. many organizations estimate since the protest began, dozens have been killed and others wounded. correspondent and sawyer reports. >> a march to the seat of power.
disrupted yet again violently. most sedans pro-democracy demonstrators remain resolute, even in the face of death. he lost his 17-yearld brother in protests, which erupted last october. leg many protesters, he blames military generals for the violence on the ground. >> the commander of the uniformed forces, any violence or violations against the protesters is on his hands. i accuse him of killing my brother. >> we won't stop rallying. if anyone is killed, five others will rally. even if we all get killed, it will continue. >> t protesters want the military to leave power. they were expected to handle. they had shared power were was meant to lead sudan to fold democracy. instead, they ousted the civilians.
after intense international pressure, they reinstated the prime minister. people felt left out. they rejected the deal. the prime minister eventually resigned earlier this month, throwing the country deeper into crisis. the u.n. has launched a fresh beat for negotiations. but the protesters don't trust the men in uniform. >>e don't mind going through talks. there's no solution without discussion. not with those generals. it is not possible or fruitful. it is political suicide. >> it is a revolution, they say. they won once when the long serving president was toppled. now they want them gone from politics. and they vow not to stop until civilians take full charge of the country. >> we have news from ethiopia.
the norwegian nobel prize committee has joined those calling on ethiopia's prime minister to end the country's civil war. -- won the nobel peace prize has a responsibility to see the end of theloodshed. a year after getting the prize for ending a long war, he sent troops to fight in the nohern region. turning to lebanon. truck drivers held a protest against lawmakers. drivs barricaded with their vehicles, angry about t high cost of fuel and soaring inflation. lebanon in the grip of an economic crisis. they lost more than 90% of its value in two years. karin torbay is in beirut for us. >> this is how many main roads in lebanon look today. blocked by taxi cars or garbage bins, or even tires.
there aren't any large gatherings. one -- what organizers succeeded to do is to obstruct the movement across the country. the organizers are mainly land transferred union members and are demanding petrol as a preferential rate. prices have shot up in the country over the last year following the lifting of subsidies. but the crisis is much deeper. this is a state with a sinking economy and rising poverty rates. most alarmingly, the government here paralyzed by political divisions and has no plans to solve the deepening misery in the country. >> karin torbay reporting on lebanon's misery. you are watching bbc world news america. britain's secret service warns a
political donor has been working to influence lawmakers on behalf of china. that is just ahead. >> delta airlines says demand for air travel is rising. the u.s. carrier thinks it can return to profit this year after a loss of $3.4 billion last year due to covid disrupting travel. samira hussain has more on this story. >> if you look at the results from this past quarter for delta airlines, omicron could not have come at a worst time for all airlines, delta included. although they did see sales were pretty good, they were robust. they beat analyst expectations. overall, a lot of delays and cancellations. delta airlines says some of it will spill into the first quarter of this year. they are hopeful for the spring and summer.
if you look at the trajectory of the virus, a lot of experts say we are entering into the peak, or leaving the peak, which means people will start feeling more confident about traveling again. >> britain's security service has issued a rare alert to u.k. lawmakers warning that a woman has been working as an agent for the chinese state. mi5 with christian leaves engaged in political interference on behalf of the chinese communist party. here is our security correspondent. >> a figure at the heart of westminster with access to politicianfor more parties, even a pme minister. but lawyer christine lee is accused of working secretly on behalf of the chinese state.
in a highly unusual move, mi5 issued this alert to parliantarians. they were warned she had been working with an arm of the chinese communist party to covertly interfere in u.k. politics through establishing links with established and aspiring parliamentarians. >> the fact this alert has become public in the way it has is really a strong illustration of how our intelligence and security agencies have been working together to really spot and identify these type of activities that could potentially do harm to our country and r democracy. >> there was no one here today at her london office. she's not yet responded to the claims. the allegation is she was funneling money to competitions, claiming it came from within the u.k., when in fact, it came from china in order to secure influence for the chinese communparty. formerabor front has received
more than 400,000 pounds from her after five years. in a statement, he said he'd been the easing and stopped receiving funding for parliamentary researches in 2020. although her son was working in mr. gardner's officuntil he resigned. >> this is really serious. we don't play it down. i'm not rning scared stories. i'm generally concerned and shot this has been allowed to happen. we nee to understand why and when you do something about it. and also after recognizing the chinese government posea clear and present danger to us and starts messing around. >> today's alert came after a lengthy and serious investigation by mi5. but christine lee is not being prosecuted. it is about spying in the traditional sense of stealing secrets. it's about influence. and e best way of disrupting her alleged activities was by issuing this usual warning.
inside british intelligence, concerns about chinese influence growing in recent years. today is a sign the fears go the heart of westminster. we are told to expect more warnings in the future. gordon corera, bbc news. >> fascinating. a new twist in the tale of novak djokovic in his bid to compete in the australian open. he's been made the top seed in the tournament draw. even though it is not clear if he will be allowed to play. australia's immigration minister is considering whether djokovic, who is unvaccinated, should be deported. our correspondent has the latest. >> the world number one is back on the court preparing for a tournament he might not get to compete in. but the draw for the 2022 australian open was made and he was in it as the top seed. >> novak djokovic on line number
one. >> he's due to play a fellow serbian next week. unless australia's government decides to deport him. the immigration minister is still considering whether to cancel the visa. ficials are looking at additional details submitted by djokovic's team after he revealed he provided false information on his declaration form and admitted to doing an interview with the french publication when he knew he had covid. the prime minister was asked about the delay, but would not be drawn on the issue. >> why has a decision yet to be made, and how long is your government going to let it drag on? >> we fear the most recent statement, and it has not changed, that these are personal ministerial powers and i don't propose to make any further comment. >> a strange day in melbourne.
more drama, more tension, more anticipation still no decision on novak djokovic his visa status. the longer it drags on, the closer we get to the australian open. the clearer the government is in a real bind about what to do with this. the country battling a rgeon covid-19 cases and testing clinics are overwhelmed. as the diplomatic and political storm continues, novak djokovic is still waiting for a decision on whether he will be able to defend his title. >> before we go tonight, anothe huge snowstorm heading for washington, d.c. a chance to build more snowmen. how about creating something different? this family in iowa tried their hand at a snow lighthouse. it even has a spiral staircase and observation deck. architects making something fun with their kids every year.
thank you for watching bbc world news america. have a warm night. 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: goodie, i'm judy woodruff. mandates at the court, investigating the insurrection. a far-right militia leader is arrested on the first "seditious conspicy" charges issued in connection with last january's capitol riot. plus. ballot battle -- voting rights legislation advances in the house, teeing up a senate showdown over the the filibuster. we speak to a democratic senator about the difficult path forward. plus. tense talks -- the threat of russian military escalation looms large, as diplomatic meetings with the u.s., nato and