tv BBC World News America PBS January 27, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
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announcer: and now, "b world news". >> in new york cc world news america. millions going hungry in what the united nations calls the frozen hell of afghanistan. a special report. little optimism the latest offer from the u.s. and ukraine will be enough to satisfy vladimir putin. >> if it is not, if, as some fear, president vladimir putin's aim is toismantle the u.n. security order, as it is now to expect long-term friction between russia and the west. >> in england, you don't have to wear a mask indoors anymore. many stores are asking people to mask up. we explore the impact of confusing covid regulations on public health. as peru cleans up its second oil
spill in less than a fortnight, they have found a way of mopping up the mess. ♪ >> welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. we begin in afghanistan. the u.n. secretary general says it is hanging by a thread. more than five months after the taliban takeover. the afghan economy is close to collapse. millions face starvation. western diplomats will be meeting taliban officials and expand aid operations while pressing for human rights. the bbc has traveled to the town 400 miles south of kabul. it was one of the deadliest places for american forces and afghan allies during the war. >> the road in helmand province was once littered with roadside
bombs. now, there is relative calm. our taliban escort says this highway was held for american marines and british troops. abdul kareem laid minds. he's responsible for the killing of hundreds of coalition forces and civilians. >> when the people started, they were dropping bombs on us and killing us. all of the people held. even when i was planting mines, children around 10 years old helped. >> when i asked him to clarify if the children were forced, he'd insist they were not. >> no, they volunteered and said "we are members of the resistance." >> many families fled during the years of fighting.
>> a bullet went through the wall and hit here. the bullets were fired incessantly. >> he's now returned with his children to rebuild their lives. >> everything is expensive now. i cannot even afford cooking oil and bread. people learn to get by, but everyone is happy forces have left here. >> people genuinely felt occupied by the former government. and this is what they have left behind. homes destroyed. this is the price of freedom these people have had to pay. in the conservative heartland, the taliban in power may be welcome. but in many parts of the country, afghans continue to pay
a heavy price. the economy is close to collapse. poverty and hunger are affecting millions. across the country, the taliban are intimidating and crushing dissent. and this one time terror organization is dealing with a terror threat of its own. islamic state in the isk has launched a string of large-scale attacks across afghanistan in recent months. we have been called here by the taliban police. showing us and isis sleeper cell they recently had. >> in all parts of the world, these kinds of incidents are seen, even the place where you can see, the safest place in the world. i mean united states, new york my britain. anyone in those places, incidents like this happen. the taliban is trying to make it
the safest country in the world. >> despite his assurances, members of the shieh community say they don't feel protected by the taliban. they continue to be targeted by isk. in october, a suicide bombing of a shiite mosque claimed the lives of 50 worshipers. her husband was killed. >> what should i do now? i no longer have him. my partner has gone. i feel completely devastated. >> the family now face an uncertain future. >> it was rumored the schools were being bombed, children were very scared. i tell them to go to school and they say no. they were meant to protect us, then a bomb went off. is that what you call protection? bombing ordinary people?
>> afghanistan is a nation shattered by dades of war. sanctions on the new regime are biting hard. as the humanitarian crisis deepens and violence continues, the taliban are struggling to even begin rebuilding this fragile country. he to hakeem, bbc news, afghanistan. >> russia says it is clear the u.s. is not willing to address its security concerns in the standoff over ukraine. reacting to a letter from washington, the kremlin said there wasn't much room for optimism, but the door has been left open to further talks. steve rosenberg reports. >> the world is still puzzlg to piece together a picture of what vladimir is thinking. what he is planning, his intentions in ukraine and in europe. russian muscle flexing is one
piece of the geopolitical jigsaw. military exercises and 100,000 russian troops near ukraine's border are fueling fears of a russian invasion. so are moscow's demands. >> we just ask our partners in nato countries to get out from our borders. get out from our post-soviet countries. because it is threatening to the russian people, russian citizens. and time is running out. >> another piece of the puzzle. the kremlin insisted ukraine be barred from joining nato. but america has rejected that demand. so now what? what happens next depends on whether america's offer to negotiate with russia on some aspects of europe's security
will be enough to satisfy vladimir putin. if it is not, if president putin's aim is to dismantle the european security order as it is now, expect long-term friction between russia and the west. vladimir putin cut a lonely figure as he remembered the world war ii seizure leningrad. across europe, fears of a new war. but is russia's courage and very public saber rattling really a precursor to conflict? after all, this is a leader who normally employs the element of surprise. >> this is one of the reasons why i do not believe putin is going to invade ukraine. intended to start a military operation. the last to learn about it. >> at the ice festival, everyone we spoke to thought it unlikely that the cold war with ukraine and the west was about to turn
hot. >> russians don't want war. we have experienced that. we know how terrifying war is. >> the russian public has no appetite for war. they are hoping neither do the leaders. steve rosenberg, bbc news. >> two years into the pandemic, it is confusing to follow the conflicting regulations and advice on wearing masks and isolating. in the u.s., the federal government recommends one thing. the state government does something else. in england, more confusion. masks no longer legally required indoors, but many stores ask customers to mask up anyway. our correspondent has more. >> it has been 18 months since we started wearing these, face coverings to help fend off covid. is this the beginning of the end of mass wearing in england, at least?
here, as restrictions eased, commuters seemed keen to carry on wearing them for now. >> on the train and underground, for the next few months, for sure. just to be safe. supermarkets as well. >> i will be wearing a mask on the train. i decided for the moment, with the numbers of cases, i would still rather protect myself and everyone else. >> the government advises masks should be used in crowded and enclosed spaces, but the legal requirement has gone. the health secretary says thanks to the vaccination program, it is time to move on. >> we are able to begin a new chapter. omicron in retreat. and we begin the road of trying to find all the best ways to learning to live with covid. >> this gift shop isn't wasting any time. >> it is really lovely to be able to get a little bit of lipstick on again and not worry about having masks sticking to
me so today has felt quite liberating. >> you think the time is right for change? >> definitely for us. we are ready to rip the masks off while being really respectful about the people. >> down the road, business as usual for this hairdresser. >> at the moment, we feel it is better to stick with wearing masks. we want people to come in and have them feeling comfortable we are still taking precautions. it is a mixture of how people feel at the moment. >> the mandatory wearing of masks has been contentious through the pandemic. today's move is too early for some. and for others, it can't come soon enough. so how are people likely to behave now? >> regulations make a difference. if you put in place regulations, people will do things, people are less likely to do things. we still can be very clear about the messaging to say look, it is
important we do this, it is effective if you do it, it makes a difference. >> to wear or not to wear? in england, it is largely up to us to decide. anna simpson, bbc news. >> for more on the impact of this conflicting covid guidance and what one should do, we are joined by lawrence coston, professor of medicine, georgetown university runs their national global health law. welcome back to the program. what do you make of this really confusing situation where the law says you don't have to wear a mask indoors, but some stores like hairdressers are saying mask up? what is the effect on public health? >> it is good to be with you. i think it is utterly confusing when you hava political leader who says the rules are off, you can do what you want, and you have businesses doing something
else. the u.k., different rules in scotland, england, and wales. it is likely to be highly confusing. weee the same in the u.s. with mixed messages from federal governments, city and state governments. if there is a political divide. liberals basically want to keep masking. conservatives want to throw their mask away. the govement is caught in the middle and utterly confused. >> does it reallyust engender a sense of pandemic fatigue? you talked about the u.s. in new york, the judge overturned the mask mandate. to have an appeals court reinstated, thoroughly confusing schools and businesses. is litigation an american aspect to this? >> america has kind of honed the
art of litigation. almost anything covid has been litigated and courts have gone every which way, as we all know. spring court struck down biden's large business test mandate. the courts are making it even more confusing. there's over a century of really good law that says cities, states, and governments can protect the public's health, but there is pandemic fatigue. people are ready to see a smile behind a mask and go to a cafe with family and friends. that is why clear, consistent messaging is important. i think it is too soon to throw caution to the wind and go out there like omicron is not very prevalent. >> if you think about autocratic
governments, like china, where in beijing, a handful of covid cases, they have locked down neighborhoods because there is only a week to go until the olympics. is it possible they are better for public health rules, at least in the short term? >> yes, probably in the short term. i think in places like china, it comes at way too high a cost. zero strategy. i met my student who arrived from beijing here in the u.s. today she was kind of breathing the free air of freedom in the u.s. and complaining about china. in china, they are going about as normal. we need to meet in the middle somewhere in that. >> larry guston, thank you for being with us. >> you are watching bbc world
news america. still to come. kazakhstan goes bearish on bitcoin amid worries about crypto mining's impact on the environment. >> it's been three days since the president of rock aboard was overthrown by a military coup. a curfew has been imposed along much of the country. our correspondent sent this update just before the curfew began. >> right now, people are rushing to go home because it is almost curfew time. from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30, they are not allowed to circulate in cities in the country. people did not seem preoccupied by this coup. they seemed relieved, i would say. i was with a police man when i arrived, he was stamping my passport, and he saw i was a jonalist.
he asked what i was going to report about. i told him there was a coup. he laughed out loud. it was funny to him. i thought they had really moved on. the era is now finished. cracks turning to kazakhstan. despite the recent strife, it has become the world leader in bitcoin mining. the cryptocurrency network depends on computers to minor create bitcoins and trade them. pairing that system requires massive amounts of energy. kazakhstan's government welcomed bitcoin minors at first, given the environment till impact, they are trying to rein in this booming industry. our cyber reporter reports from cause extent. next no place symbolizes kaz extends crypto boom more than this. -- cause extends crypto boom,
they built one of the largest crypto minds in the world. 50,000. >> these computers are part of the network of volunteers keeping bitcoin and other digital currencies going. there are no banks or financial authorities. every transaction has to b checked, verified, and added to the public block chain list by these computers. as an incentive, they are rewarded with more bitcoin. kazakhstan is the second-biggest mining country in the world after the u.s. he's currently building her latest bitcoin farm. how much money does it cost to build a container like this? -- how long does it take to construct one of these? >> about five days. >> cause extent's historically
cheap -- cause extent -- kazakhstan -- and things werreally turbocharged when china, the foer epicenter of mining, introduced a sudden ban last summer. miners flooded over the border, but the boom has come at a cost. the country is now using 8% more electricity and concerns for the environment are growing. this mine is directly into a power station. >> this is an interesting penny drop moment. i have bought it coin, i use a phone, a couple of taps and i have this currency. but now i see the physical real-world side of bitcoin. very noisy and warm. this is how the whole thing worked. without this, bitcoin would not exist. >> early this month, the government introduced a tax levy on the electricity miners use.
the boom has been unsustainable. -- [speaking foreign language] >> kazakhstan is recovering from violent protests that erupted after a sudden increase in fuel prices. there was no direct link to crypto mining. the incident showed two important points. firstly, what can happen when energy supplies are threatened. secondly, how important cause extent has become to the world of crypto. when the government cut the internet for days, the network slowed down significantly. the price of coins dipped. >> in other news, the first female president of honduras has been sworn in.
the ceremony attended by thousands of her supporters in the national stadium. in her inauguration speech, she said she inherited a broken country. she promised to implement social justice and transparency. she comes to power 12 years after her husband was deposed in a military coup. since then, there have been a series of right-wing governments. an unmanned rocket launched by elon musk's space exploration company is to crash into the moon and explode. it was launched in 2015 but did not have enough fuel to return to earth. it will be the first uncontrolled collision of a rocket with the moon. young people exposed to radiation from the meltdown of the fico shema -- fukushima nuclear disaster. an earthquake triggered a tsunami that caused the disaster. they are seeking nearly $5.5 million from the tokyo electric power company.
let's go to peru. the authorities are working to clean up the second oil spill to hit the coastline in less then 10 days. officials call it the biggest ecological disaster peru has seen in recent years. seals, fish, and birds have been killed by the leaking oil. lean up teams have employed a rather unusual method to mop it up. stephanie prentiss now explains. >> volunteers have been inching forward in the attempt to clean up the coast here. but efforts have taken two steps back as another leak has seeped into the problems of teams on the beaches. on the coastne, local fishermen say smells like death. mopping up the oil is slow work. doing it quickly is no small feat of ingenuity. a major spill nearly two weeks ago led to a national cry for help and one unusual campaign asking people to donate their
hair in the cleanup effort. that is because human hair repels water but absorbs oil. peruvians across the country headed to hairdressers or the streets for a free cut. the hair then formed into cylinders and shipped to the coast. the feeling, every little helps. some even donated the dogs for to save marine wildlife. >> we are not pet groomers, but there is the will of the people. in the end, the hair grows, everything grows. what does not return are the deaths of the animal. >> while the nation has come together to tackle the disaster, who is to blame for it has proved divisive. the oil provider is denying the responsibility. the agencies here pursue it. but for now, the local people and wildlife few the full effects of the darkness that washed up.
stephanie prentiss,bc news. >> today is holocaust memorial day. in cities around the world, people gathered to remember the 6 million jewish victims of the holocaust. survivors from the nazi concentration camp outfits returned to march for soviet forces in 1945. remove and spoke about being on the first train transporting jews to auschwitz from slovakia. during the second world war, the nazis murdered one million people, most of them jewish in poland. the governments of europe have been marking the day. in austria, occupied by the nazis in world war ii. the israeli foreign minister and prime minister commemorated the victims of concentration camps. in poland's capital, warsaw, a ceremony held at a monument commemorating the 1943 uprising in the warsaw ghetto. a solemn day.
thank you for wching bbc world news america. narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... man: bdo. accountants and advisors. 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: 30 them, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the future of the court. justice stephen breyer's retirement paves the way for president biden to fulfill his campaign promise and nominate the first black woman to the u.s. supreme court. then, a wave of violence. many cities grapple with a steady increase of crime. we examine the potential causes and solutions. and a long recovery. we return to tornado ravaged western kentucky to examine the lingering aftermath and the difficult past toward healing. >> is not a one week or two week or six months, and when the fanfares over, the wis