tv BBC World News America PBS May 6, 2022 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
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narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for americs neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> i'm neto freak i am neto feick in new york. emergency declared in sri lanka as protesters amassed by the thousands demanding the president and prime minister resign. the country has been crippled by economic crisis and the price of goods is soaring. our correspondents in colombo have been speaking with government leaders and enrage protesters.
in ukraine 50 more civilians have been evacuated from a steelworks plant in mariupol that has been under attack by russian forces. it's the final days of the presidential campaign in the philippines where an anticorruption human rights lawyer is facing the sun of the country's late dictator. that still ahead. welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. we began in sri lanka where the president has declared a state of emergency for the second time in five weeks amid weeks of protest demanding the governor -- government step down over mismanagement of the worst economic crisis in the country's history. for decades the country's politics has been dominated by these brothers. one serves as president, the other as prime minister. now in an exclusive interview
with the bbc the son of the prime minister was also a prominent medical official admits the government could have been better prepared for the crisis. he has speaking with the bbc's south ia editor. >> in, they said there was no other option but to go to the imf. the rotation was being floated because people were sending money abroad for illegal channels. why didn't the government listen? >> economic positions cannot be taken by politicians. the finance ministers particularly acted on advice from economic officials. the parliament set officials gave wrong advice. >> many people have lost their jobs. they are having to because of
the escalating cost. what you tell them? >> we need to work it out. there is no point in blaming each other. eawill that actually solve the issues? >> what about responsibility? >> responsibility and accountability must be there. but at the moment, i do not see any politician talking about reform. at the same time, people are responsible for taking positions now. they have to look at the positions that the next generation does not have to face the same challenges. >> talking about a long-term plan, there are thousands of people protesting not far from where we are sitting now. what will you tell them? >> they all have to work together. this is a time i think the community and the politicians and political parties have to work together on one agenda. >> that is the view from the administration. for more on what the protesters
are demanding i have been speaking to approach -- a reporter in the capital, coloo. you are there with thousands of protesters speaking with them about the interview from rajapaksa. >> any protester here will tell you they want the rajapaksa family to resign. even if you hear words like that from the private managers -- prime ministers son taking responsibility in some ways for what is happening but also blaming economic advisors, the only way they can really take responsibility is by quitting the government. protesters here say they will stay and come out every day and make their voices heard until the government stepped down. there is a huge anger towards the government. people here blame the rajapaksas
for the mismanagement of the economy and accuse them of corruption. the family denies that and says they have not put the -- the family denies that. they say they have not put the interest of sri lankan people first, borrowing money without thinking about the applications. a lot of anger here. >> we know that the rajapaksa family is a dynasty in sri lanka that has dominated politics for decades. this ultimately blake -- break their hold on the country? good question. people here are desperate for a new government. but, despite the calls, and i have been covering this story now for over one month, people are saying they want the rajapaksas to resign. yet they are still in power. earlier this week we heard that
the prime minister stepped down. we are hearing reports of tensions potentially between the two brothers. but at the moment, they are still in charge. the opposition party hopes to table a motion of no-confidence in parliament that could, if the opposition wins, unseat the prime minister. but getting rid of the president in sri lanka is more complicated because you need impeachment proceedings. but even getting to the point of tabling that legislation seems to be taking time. parliament is not due until the 17th of may. one indication of whether they still have enough support is the election this week of the deputy speaker. now, the deputy speaker is someone not part of the rajapaksas'party but appointed by them. he quit earlier in the week. there was a reelection and he won again. many people say the fact he won again shows theovernment does have the numbers in parliament
to win any no-confidence motion. in another twist tonight, he quit again. we don't know where that leaves us. it is unclear what it would take to unseat the rajapaksas. many people say, what is the alternative? who else is around to get sri lank through this economic mess? >> that is the political side, viously having an immense effect on the economic situation. how dire is that at the moment? >> well, i mean, the reality for millions of sri lankans this dire. -- is dire. we are talking about daily power cuts that go for hours. no lights on, no air conditioning, you can't wash close. we are talking about people queuing up for hours to get petro or diesel. i was a some people in the queue yesterday. it had taken them at least three hours and they were not even at the front yet. they were not sure when they got to the front if there would be anything left for them to fill their tank with.
and we are talking about basics, food, staple items, fruits, and vegetables that have gone up in prices and some cases by as much as fe times. so people are struggling. the hardest thing for people i talk to here is the uncertainty. nobody knows what is happening. nobody knows what is happening in terms of getting petro and food on the table every day. nobody knows how long this will last. >> thank you for that. moving to ukraine now. today 50 more people including children were evacuated from the steel plant in mariupol that is under siege by russian forces. dozens are still trapped inside. the city and country has been the site of routine shelling by the russian military. now, the steelworks plant has become the last holdout of ukrainian forces fighting to
defend the city. the bbc's laura bicker is in ukraine with more. >> russian attacks continue despite promises of a cease-fire according to this unverified footage released by a ukrainian unit. kremlin backed troops are still fighting on this vast steel plant according to ukrainian intelligence while ukrainian soldiers and hundreds of civilians shelter inside. they have been using this sprawling network of tunnels as a refuge for more than two months with very little food or wate around 100 women and children have been rescued from the depths of the plant. there is a complex under -- operation underway to free more civilians. now comes a plea to save the troops who have used the steelworks to try to make one last stand for the city. svetlana's only son is there. she does not want to be
identified to protect him. >> it is horrible to know your son is fighting and has nothing left to fight with in a city completely raised to the ground and seized by the occupiers. i would give everything in exchange for him to survive. for everyone still there under the bombardment survive. we beg. we beg all world countries to help us and save our heroes. it is not them complaing and begging >>, it is us. >>svetlana was asked by her son to flee as russian bombs leveled this once thriving port. ukrainian officials claim more than 20,000 people have been killed. the relatives of others still fighting cannot bear to see these images. her husband and a two go sons-in-law are also in the ukrainian aslov unit. >> every image is a wound in my heart and soul. my wish is they survive this.
of course they will keep fighting. they are holding on doing the impossible. >> outnumbered and outgunned, this small defending force has become an important symbol for ukrain they may never surrender but their families are hopeful they at least get a chance to leave alive. >> now that complex evacuation from mariupol is being coordinated by the united nations and red cross. the help for ukrainians across the country is coming from many places and people. for examp, a group of self-funded pilots from germany known as ukraine air rescue. volunteers a fly medical supplies to the ukrainian/polish border and evacuate vulnerable refugees on the return journey. the bbc's seer -- sarah thierry followed them on one of their missions.
>> a rescue just about two minutes from the polish border. >> they are private pilots from germany volunteering to fly medical supplies to the polish/ukrainian border. >> we had an emergency request from a hospital in ukraine, all of a sudden, they need 10 times the supplies delivered in no time. >> they are transporting donations of cancer treatment and insulin no longer available because of the war. also medicine to treat the wounded, body bags, and forensic kids. -- kits. >> these are for the freed up villages. little girls 15 and older have been raped. with these kits you can prove they have been raped within a certain time span and then it can be decided if they are to be
given the pill to prevent pregnancy. >> ukraine air rescue is funded by private donations. there pilots often pay for gas out of their own pocket, between 1500 to 300 euros per flight. on the return to germany they are evacuating vulnerable ukrainians who would struggle to flee by train or bus. >> we are trying to reach out unaccompanied children. i hope we can make a difference. >> anton has arthritis and can barely walk. he will soon see his wife and daughter in germany. they flood over two months ago. >> this is my first flight. this is my cinema. my daughter, wife. >> in germany, he wants to teach
children with disabilities how to paint. >> my livestream -- life dream. when this silly war is really over, my vision would be relief flying to the ukraine, hundreds of airplanes from europe letting people know this is what we can do when we stand together. >> there has bn a huge explosion at a luxury hotel in the colonial era district of the cuban capital, have anna -- havana. at least eight people have died with 30 injured. miguel diaz-canel says preliminary inveigations indicate it a gas leak. we turn now to the philippines where voters will go to the polls monday to pick their new president. while the decision will have a drastic impact on the country's
future, many candidates have a connection to its past. more than 30 years ago ferdinand marcos was ousted at the country's dictator. after a massive rebranding effort his son is leading the polls for the presidency. the bbc's jonathan head reports. >> he is a setting vice president with a fine record public service and no taint of corruption. on paper, he should be a dream candidate. yet throughout this election she has found herself trailing the front-runner. >> people say this is among the most passionate campaign ever in the philippines. people have taken time off work. her arrival is a man with a name once the byword for greed. it has been 36 years since
president marcos and his notorious wife in velda were drift --imelda were driven into exile in a revolution. now their son bongbong wants to reverse history and retake the presidency. he may lack his father's charisma. the cheering here is more for the entertainment that comes with every filipino campaign. yet he is ahead in the polls, one reason is his alliance with this woman, sarah dutere, like a running mate running on the name of a famous father the current president rodrigo duterte. >> at the very least, 50% of how he has gotten this far is that the dutere machinery is strong. he is a well loved president. the people are happy with the
guy. >> amazingly, even here in addition health, manella where several local men were shot dead during dutere's violent drug war. elizabeth's son michael was one of them but she says she does not blame the president. something else has swung this and other poor neighborhoods firmly into the marcos camp. fantastic tales of his father's era rculating on social media of living in crime free bliss and of the vast wealth, not stolen, but kept hidden to be returned to the people. >> we know that marcos deposited the philippines'money in an offshore account that was not under his name. he was just at the signatory. if bongbong wins he can get the funds back for us.
>> she has been studying the pro-marcos social media campaign fr its starts several years ago. she has washed it swell into a torrent of craftily edited videos recasting the marcos era as a golden age of prosperity. >> i think it was a perfect storm for the marcoses, not just because they have enough wealth to wage the information war against the filipino people and filipino history. it is also about the failure of the administration that rebuilt, especially among the lower economic class. the reformist government failed them. it did not improve their situation. >> many robredo supporters have been going door-to-door across the country to try to challenge the seductive marcos narrative that dominates social media due to see if they can change voters minds before next monday.
it is a spirited effort but they are running out of time. jonathan head, bbc news, manila. >> history front and center in that election. now south africa. it has been nearly one month since flash floods damaged this region killing more than 130 people and killing -- displacing tens of thousands. dozens are still missing. >> the unimaginable happened to their family. 43-year-old and nine children were killed by the recent floods that swept through kwa zulu-natal. a month later some bodies are still to be recovered.
they were sleeping when the water swept through their home flattening everything. >> this is too much grief to comprehend. you have to split your grief. you think of this one, you think of that. you think of your niece, your cousin. it's too much. >> athe community gathers for the last funeral to offer support, the families say their group is far from over. >> this day has mixed feelings for the family. they are able to bury some of their family members. four children are still missing. the family tells me they are fast losing hope of their bodies being returned home. they are not the only ones. dozens of a flood victims are still missing across the province leaving families on unbearable limbo. meanwhile, some funeral parties across the province are sitting
up unidentified bodies. there is no consensus on what to do with them. the government and private donors have offered millions to help cover the funeral cost but the claims process is said to be bureaucratic and slow, leading to more delays with burials. it is a long road ahead for the people here. from those who have lost family to those who have lost their homes or livelihoods. the president has acknowledged more funds will be required to rebuild to help mend all that has been broken in the province. >> now, for years, hong kong managed to control the spread of covid. when the omicron variant overwhelmed the city's health care system hong kong recorded the highest death rate anywhere in the world. many affected by the city's most
honorable, the underprivileged, and the elderly as the bbc's danny fenster reports. >> for mr. fong, home is a three meters squared cage. the city's extreme poor live on subdivided apartments. hong kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. until recently six people lived in this room. when omicron hit he lost two roommates in one week. >> one person died on that bed. the other person also died. he slept on that bed. we called the ambulance. it got through but nobody picked up. >> for the poor, living with covid means living in tiny apartments where the virus can easily spread. self-isolating is almost impossible. >>[speaking not english language] it was too late.
he died at 8:00 p.m. that night. he suffered a lot. he kept saying he was unwell,e had asthma and underlying illnesses. >> hong kong is coming out of the fifth wave of covid-19. the city is stuck between two seemingly opposing policies. the most vulnerable in the society have suffered. >> nine families live inside this narrow dwelling. we are taken to another subdivided apartment. since the latest outbreak, they have been living in isolation, supported by social workers. >> he has been living in his cramped apartment for 12 years. he has barely left his room for three months. he's unvaccinated. >>[speaking non-english
language] >> many in the elderly -- of the elderly in hong kong are reluctant to get the. -- the jab. >> whether or not to get vaccinated is the key question. it depends on whether your health can handle it. now the government forces people to get vaccinated: for the fourth jab. it feels never ending. the elderly live alone without neighbors. if they died no one will know. >> china is determined to eradicate covid. in hong kong, the fifth race -- waves lead to the highest death rate in the world. here's the impact will last well into 2022. >> before we go, a new study sparked a little hope for the world where rest see memo. there are -- sea mammal.
some scientists have given up on saving these purposes -- porpoises saying even if they could be protected from phishing inbreeding would wipe them out. new dna testing shows the population should be able to narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. 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. ♪ ♪
♪ judy: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the news hour tonight, the conflict continues. ukrainians begin to rebuild parts of their battered country as russian forces focus on the east while first lady jill biden begins a four-day visit to nations on the edge of the war zone. then, speaking out -- former secretary of state hillary clinton discusses what the ukraine war means for vladimir putin and warns of major setbacks if the u.s. supreme court overturns roe v. wade. secretary clinton: as horrible assault as this is on women's rights, it is perhaps only the beginning of this court trying to undo so much of the progress of the last 50 years. judy: