tv BBC World News America PBS May 12, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
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narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglted needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ laura: i'm laura trevelyan in washington, and this is "bbc world news america." finland's leaders announced their support for nato membership and russia threatens retaliation. russia says it will take steps of a military technical nature in response. the bbc sees evidence oalleged war crimes committed by russian forces in ukraine, with unarmed civilians shot dead near kyiv.
the u.s. passes one million deaths from covid. president biden says each casualty is an irreplaceable loss. astronomers have found conclusive proof there is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. that's still ahead. welcome to "world news america" on pbs and around the world. in ukraine, the bbc has found clear evidence of possible war crimes committed by russian soldiers close to kyiv. in shocking images, two unarmed civilians are shot in cold blood. russian forces were trying to advance on ukraine's capital at the time. after the russians were treated, the bodies of dozens of -- the russians retreated, the bodies of dozens of civilians were discovered.
this does contain disturbing images. >> these are russian soldiers on their way to loot and kill. but their every move is caught on multiple cameras. and so is the security guard as he approaches them. the men talk, even smoke, and then the soldiers leave. but suddenly, two turned back. they shoot the security guard and a second man multiple times in their backs. he somehow survives. his boss dead, the guard staggers back to his hut and starts phoning for help. the russians drove a stolen van, with the words russian tank special forces. this is the man we saw shooting, now helping himself to a bring -- drink. he has no idea he is being filmed. no one ■does, until it)s too
late. all this time, the guard is hiding, bleeding heavily. weeks later, we found his clothes and mattress bundled up outside. he died before help could reach him. i met the men who tried to save him, sashand castilla -- cost ya. they sold air conditioning before the war. >> [speaking foreign language] >> [translating] we tried to calm him down. we said it's ok, you live -- you'll live. >> they showed mhow it looked with russian tanks rolling past their positions. it's not just the burnt out buildings and businesses on this road that you see, but things like this. two russian tanks just lodged in the forest, the v's painted on the front. it's a really stark reminder of just how fierce the fighting was
all along these roads into kyiv and how terrified he must've been as he was lying there bleeding and calling for help. his daughter shared this image of her dad as she would like him remembered. >> [speaking foreign language] >> julia is abroad now. she tells me she wants her father's killers to face justice. >> [speaking foreign language] >> [translating] they killed a 65-year-old. what for? i'm not so much furious as full of grief and fear. rthese -- these damn russians are so out of control that i'm afraid of what they might do next. >> he never returned to his home or his pets. another life, stolen by russian troops, now notorious for their brutality. bbc news, kyiv. laura: finland's president and prime minister said today they
have supported their country applying to join the nato military alliance, a move prompted by russia's invasion of ukraine. joining nato would be a major break with finland's policy. in response, russia said it would be forced to take retaliatory steps to stop the threat to its national security. we have more from helsinki. >> there's no doubt about it. there's been an about turn in political and public opinion since russia invaded ukraine. so, as much as vladimir putin may rail against nato, it has been an own goal. it's ironic that his actions in ukraine have driven the people of finland to go from about 20% support in public opinion polls for joining nato suddenly 276%, according to the last -- suddenly to 76%, according to the last poll.
speaking to minister, he told me the finns were practical people, just looking to defend themselves better. >> we have a security mechanism in europe. it is built to avoid war and avoid conflict. now we have seen that this security order does not function in europe. russia didn't trust this mechanism. russia didn't use this mechanism. instead, they planned a war against ukraine. of course, this is something we cannot accept and we are currently living in this kind of limbo for europeasecurity structures. there is no structure to prevent wars in europe at the moment. >> since we heard that from finland's foreign minister, the st-cold war security order was really turned upside down across europe, but nowhere more so than here in the east. what we've been hearing from finland's leading politicians today also is that they feel it's not just in their interest if they join the military
alliance, nato, but they feel they have a lot to offer as well. for years finland has been operating alongside, if not inside nato. it has a sophisticated, well-equipped military and absolutely, first and foremost, for nato, if finland and sweden join, that will bolster its presence in theast, including in the baltic sea, exactly what vladimir putin wanted to avoid. laur that report from finland. now to major news in the united states, the white house announcing that one million lives have been lost to covid, the highest official total in the world, although the world health organization believes other countries may have higher unreported totals. president biden hosted a virtual summit with other world leaders. here's what he had to say. pres. biden: one million covid deaths, one million empty chairs
around the family dinner table, each irreplaceable. irreplaceable losses. each leaving behind a family, community forever changed because of this pandemic. around the world, many more millions have died. millions of children have been orphaned. with thousands still dying every day, now is the time for us to act. laura: joining us now for more on the global covid summit and the u.s. passing the milestone of one million deaths is president biden's covid-19 response coordinator. thanks for being with us. one million lives have been lost here in america due covid, yet the white house cannot get congress to authorize $5 billion to fight the pandemic abroad and at home. are we in real ouble here because of dysfunctional american politics? >> thanks for having me back. first and foremost, this is a solemn day for the u.s.
so much pain and suffering the country has gone through over the last two years. as the president said so eloquently, it has to be a moment that we mark and we honor those who passed away, by renewing our efforts to fight this pandemic moving forward, for bringing the suffering and deaths down as much as possible. and it is absolutely true that we need congress's help in that effort. this is not something the administration can do alone. we need congress to step up and support those efforts so we can continue protecting the american people. laura: you have just come out of the global covid summit, where the german chancellor pledged 1.5 billion. the u.s. was only able to pledge a few 100 million. is america in danger of falling behind in its role of leading the glal response to the pandemic? >> throughout this whole pandemic, certainly, since the biden administration office in january of 2021, the u.s. has been a leader.
we have put into billions of dollars -- put in billions of dollars to covax. we continue to do a lot, to engage in making treatments more widely available. moving forward, i think what you will see from the administration, an ongoing commitment to global leadership, to partnership. but it's true that it's going to be made easier if congress steps up and funds the global effort. congress needs to be reminded there is no domestic-only strategy to big mobile pandemic -- to a global pandemic. we need to bring this to a close, not only in the united states, but around the world. laura: is it the case that the united states has millions of unclaimed vaccines because countries don't have freezers to store them in? >> i think it's less about storage. i think we have a lot of capabilities of making sure the vaccines are stored properly. i think the broader problem is that there's a lot of work that goes into getting vaccines into
people's arms. you need a vaccination campaign. most countries do not have a broad adult vaccination program. it requires health workers and logistics and supply chains and a whole host of things that require resources. we know how to g that done with resources. i'm confident we can get vaccines into people's arms. laura: it was warned that the united states could potentially see 100 billion new covid cases this fall -- 100 million new covid cases this fall. w could that possibly happen? >> we are looking at a whole host of projections out there. we are in the middle of planning , and we are planning for the summer, fall, and winter. what we are examining our -- are models and preliminary estimates that suggest that if we continue to see evolution of this virus, as we are seeing, as we continue to see waning immunity from
vaccinations, and if we do not get the funding we need from congress that will not allow us to have a true broad-based vaccine campaign for the entire nation, then we could see a large wave of infections. exact numbers are obviously not known. the bottom line is that america will be vulnerable without those efforts. laura: what to you is the biggest lesson from the pandemic? >> well, there are several. one is that science can deliver us the tools, but it isp to us to use those tools effectively. if you think about what t scientific community has produced in two years, a host of safe vaccines, treatments, tests, knowledge about how the virus is spread. it's up to us to gather the resources and the know-how to get that scientific knowledge and the gains from that to the people both here in the united states and around the world. laura: thank you for joining us from the white house.
in shanghai, the extended covid lockdown is only becoming more severe. the authorities are further restricting access to hospitals and food. people who test positive must go to government quarantine facilities. some neighbors have confirmed, cases are being forced together, too. he is locked down at home, where he sent us this report. >> it's now into its seventh week. it does feel like the darkest time. we are seeing some of the most extreme measur imposed as the authorities try to contain the spread and try to get towards their target of what they are calling societal zero. no new cases emerging outside of quarantine. here, we are restricted on the food we can get over the next few days. no commercial deliveries, no group buys, just government approved food deliveries.
there's restriction on access to hospitals. anyone needing anything other than emergency care in the next few days will need approval from the local communist neighborhood committee -- the local communist neighborhood committee. they've had to go by private car. it shows you how desperate, frankly, the authorities are to get toward this target that has slipped. i think one of the most severe measures we are seeing announced now is bigger swathes of people living in apartments who are near positive cases, being swept up, and take into quarantine centers. the authorities now say anyone living on the same level in an apartment block, maybe even just in the same apartment block, even if they are negative, will be taken to centralized quarantine facilities. laura: that report from lockdown
in shanghai. north korea has also ordered lockdowns across the country after officially acknowledging its first covid outbreak. china has said it's willing to help pyongyang tackle what could turn into a major health emergency. in a sign of the seriousness of the outbreak, north korean leader kim jong-un was shown -- kim jong-il was shown wearing a mask for the first time. >> knowing what's happening is always impossible. weave to go off what they tell us. what they said this morning is they have these cases that were identified four days ago in the capita they believe they are omicron. we don't know how many. we just know it's enough for them to order a national lockdown, which is something they haven't done before. up to this point, they claimed not to have a single case, which is very difficult to believe, given what we know about how this virus is spread,
particularly at the beginning of the pandemic. it begs the question why are they admitting they have this outbreak. the possibility is that this is just too serious and outbreak for them to be able to hide that they know they need to be able to control the spread of it. in order to do that, they need a national lockdown. you can't lockdown a country without telling people. as far as we know, no one in the country is vaccinated, which makes them incredibly vulnerable. this is a dangerous situation. this is a country with poor health care, where many people are severely malnourished. they also don't have adequate or a test and trace system that is capable of mass testing that you need in order to be able to control the spread of this virus , which leaves them with very limited options. as we see in shanghai and the lockdowns there, lockdowns are not as effective at controlling omicron, but the north korean authorities have very few tools available to them now. laura: let's turn to the u.s.
territory of puerto rico in the caribbean, where, after two hurricanes enter -- and an earthquake, many on the island still don't have power. the u.s. government will spend $10 billion rebuilding the electricity grid. many are trying to take advantage of the sunny climate and move to renewable energy. our north america business reporter is in puerto rico and sent us this special report. >> nestled in the caribbean sea is the island of puerto rico. it gets several hours of direct sunlight a day, more than enough to meet all of its energy needs. but less than 3% of the island's power comes from renewable sources. head into the mountains and stable access to power remains a luxury. people like these two just live without. they use their car battery to
powee television at night. a kerosene lamp is lit. when darkness comes, mundane chores become enormous tasks. their movements may seem routine, but it belies embarrassment at what their life has become. >> [speaking foreign language] >> sometimes we are ashamed to look for help, she says. it's embarrassing. two back to back hurricanes five years ago shattered the island's electricity grid, leading to the longest blackout in u.s. history. the same destructive elements can also be the solution. in anotherountain town 100 kilometers away. arturo is using the sun to bring power to the poorest communities. >> we have been told for so long that the ricoh is a small island , that we don't have natural resources, that we cannot exercise the right for self-determination.
what we are saying is we have plenty of natural resources, clean energy sources that can be used to power puerto rico. >> the island is largely powered by fossil fuels, oil and natural gas, brought in on ships. by installing solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses, arturo has shown that solar is a viable option. sure, it may be cost prohibitive for mos but the benefits are reliable access to electricity and energy independence. case in point, this barber shop in town. four years since they first installed solar panels here and the people who run the place contue to be thankful. >> [speaking foreign language] >> thank god, says orlando. i recommend everyone gets solar power, because it's the best. the bill is now five dolla. it is stupendous. natural disasters, neglect, and mismanagement have left puerto
ricans with a nonfunctional electrical grid. last year, the transmission and distribution of electricity was privatized. residents say it become more expensive and the power cuts have become more frequent. unsurprisingly, the company that has taken over says solar is not the answer. >> we need all sources of energy. that idea of a more decentralized grid with more renewable energy is part of the future he, for sure. that doesn't get away from needing a solid, robust electric system. >> the dire state of puerto rico's electricity supply is a drain on its people and its economy. but in some places on the island, it's actually enabled clean, communal power to take over from fossil fueled corporate interests. what happens next will have enormous implications on puerto rico's economy and its environment. bbc news, san juan, puerto rico. laura: all eyes on puerto rico
and its experiment with solar panels. in other news, israel has given preliminary approval for nearly 4.5 thousand new homes in the occued west bank. the move comes despite white house opposition. the biden administration said the new settlements would exacerbate tensions and undermin trust between palestinians and israelis. they are built on land captured by israel during the 1967 war. thousands of the united -- of dehydrated birds have been dropping out of e sky. the extreme heat is posing a danger to humans also. heat waves have killed more than 6500 people in india since 2010. scientists say climate change is making the heat waves harsher and more frequent. new york's police watchdog was recommending disciplinary action against 145 officers in connection with their conduct
during black les matter protests in 2020. a review board said 88 of them should face formal charges. dozens of officers failed to follow proper protocols, and didn't use body cameras properly. now to an amazing discovery in the milky way, the first ever image of the supermassive black hole believed to be at the center of our galaxy has been taken by an international team of astronomers. this achievement will allow them to learn more about how the galaxy was gated and how gravity works created and how gravity works. our science correspondent has exclusive access to a telescope that was used in the research. >> for decades, astronomers have been on a quest, searching the skies and into the very hearof our galaxy for a mysterious and elusive black hole. now they found it and have taken this picture. a black hole is at the center of
the image. it is revealed by swirling hot matter, pulled in by powerful gravitational forces. >> it is dark. you were not meant to see a black hole. it traps light. here we are, capturing something that's meant to be invisible, seeing at the literal edge of space and time. i think that's truly remarkable. >> a black hole is created by a dead star collapsing in on it elf. it has such strong gravity, not even light can escape its incredible whole -- pull. >> lack -- black hole is the glue that binds our galaxy together. it explains where we came from. . it will explain where we are going to. >> more than 500,000 computer simulations have been run, but compared to the actual image, scientists believe this is the closest to what the black hole in our galaxy looks like. no single telescope can see the object, so several have been
linked together to create a giant observatory on earth. here, high in the mountains of southern spain, scientists have been part of that search. >> we are in the heart of a telescope that is 40 years old. >> inside is a man who came up with the idea of photographing a black hole when he was a student in the 1990's. >> if the fulfillment of a dream and the beginning of a new chapter. >> studying black holes in great detail. they are no longer fantasy. you can test all of our understanding and our models. we can do precision estimates. >> how do you feel now that you have finally produced this image? >> it's wonderful. >> researchers say this is just the beginning. theory has now become reality and they can now kick on to find out how this black hole really works and even how our own galaxy came to be. laura: amazing.
for we go tonight, let's turn to cambodia, where fishermen led to unimpressive -- landed a giant catch that led to an impressive rescue of a giant stingray. they released it back into the river. i'm laura trevelyan. thanks for watching "bbc world news america." narrator: funding for this presentation of this program 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. ♪ ♪
amna: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. on the "newshour" tonight, the cost of covid -- americans reflect on hardship and loss as the united states approaches one million deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. then, joining the alliance -- russia's war agnst ukraine prompts finland's leaders to seek nato membership as soon as possible. and -- judy: i'm judy woodruff in charlottesville,irginia, where we are thinking about the legacy of “newshour” cofounder jim lehrer, and having a conversation about political polarization and democracy in crisis. prof. milkis: the system is in dire straits when each side think the other side is an existential threat to american democracy. amna: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."