tv BBC World News America PBS May 23, 2022 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
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as a diplomat resigns, saying the war has made him ashamed of his country. more cases of the monkeypox reported at the who says the outrage -- outbrk in europe low risk to the general public. we will explain what the val infection is. and the story of the english hotel where the owner is throwing open her doors to ukrainian refugees because of her own family history. ♪ welcome to "world news america," on pbs at around the globe. the beginning in japan, president biden singh the united states would defend taiwan with force if china invaded, this on his first trip to asia as president, having white house officials scrambling. the chinese foreign ministry said that taiwan was chinese
territory and beijing dismissed the remarks. we have more now from tokyo. >> the prime minister from japan in the president of the united states. >> a president came to launch a new asia-pacific trade pack and it was the answer to his last question in the press conference that is now making all the headlines. >> are you willing to get involved militarily to defend taiwan if it comes to that? >> yes. >> you are? >> that's the commitment made. the idea that it can be taken by force is just not, just not appropriate, it would dislocate the entire region. >> white house staffers immediately began rolling back his comments. no, president biden had not changed policy on taiwan. he only meant that america would help taiwan to dend no matter, in beijing the
reaction was immediate and furious. >> we deplore and reject the u.s. remarks. taiwan is an inseparable part of the chinese territory. the taiwan issue is a purely chinese interl affair that will not stand for any foreign interference. america's official position on taiwan is called strategic ambiguity. they don't say they will defend the own island but they don't say they wouldn't. they are supposed to keep the chinese government guessing. there are many who say that policy no longer works and it is ti for america to much more explicit but there arethers who say that's a really bad idea. >> and the fact that the united states has fallen. my own view is that it would provoke the attack that we seek toeter. >> the truth is, china's massive
military buildup is causing real anxiety here in tokyo and in washington. both are trying to come up with a new strategy to counter the threat to taiwan. in the meantime, president biden seems to have been speaking his own truth. that a friendly democracy must be defended. rupert hayes, bbc news, tokyo. >> to claim -- gain clarity on the policy, i spoke to the taiwanese director for the u.s. offense secretary and is now at the center for strategic and internationa studies. for the third time in a year, president bideand his staff are trying to walk back what he said on taiwan. is this now a deliberate change in policy? do you think the u.s. would use military force to defend taiwan if attacked by china? >> thank you for this wonderful question. i do not see his remarks as indicating any change in u.s.
policy towards taiwan. i would however note that the remarks do demonstrate a couple of larger trends that we are seeing with respect to how the united states thinks about taiwan. the first is that the united states has a rock solid relationship with taiwan, but we are also seeing at the same time there is growing suppo within the unitedtates and internationally for taiwan. i would say that in the united states the support is not being provided by just one party or even just political leadership. opinion polls show that the majority in the united states believe that if china were to invade taiwan, the united states should use force to defend taiwan. as china looks to ukraine it would be a mistake for them to assume that the lack of u.s. and nato conventional intervention in ukraine, basically boots on the ground, means that in the case of a taiwan scenario that the united states wouldn't intervene.
>> if youre beijing, though, is there any longer strategic ambiguity about u.s. policy towards taiwan? >> from the perspective of beijing, even though president biden has suggested that the united states could potentially be militarily involved, there is still a lot of ambiguity as to what that means. some could say for example that our military support to ukraine right now is a form of military involvement. but we are not putting boots on the ground, right? we are providing intelligence. on the other hand what beijing fears the most in an invasion of taiwan is that the u.s. will go in full force and be actively trying to deter and fighting back chinese military activities against taiwan. laura: if you are beijing watching russia get bogged down in ukraine and all of this u.s. assistance going there, what
lesson do they draw about a possible intent to grab twan? >> that's the million-dollar question everyone is trying to answer. in d.c. and in london. there are a couple of lessons we hope they are drawing, that an invasion would be incredibly costly and spark not only u.s. efforts to push back, but also a coalition of like-minded countries. in this case mainly developed democracies, but it could be more than that. but we are also worried that maybe china might not be taking these lessons. maybe they think that unlike russia they are more militarily powerful and can invest in capabilities that unlike russia the chinese economy is much bigger and they could withstand sanctions in a way that russia is not able to. laura: thank you so much for
turning us from london. >> thank you for having me. laura: they ssian diplomat resigning over the war in ukraine saying it is that she is ashamed of his country. he had been based at the russian mission to u.n. in geneva coming on the same day that a court in ukraine issued a life sentence to a russian soldier in the very first war crimes trial since the russian invion. james waterhouse was inside the court and has more from kyiv. >> this wasn't just a trial. it was ukraine's day in court, with all eyes and cameras on the 21-year-old. by legal standards, his journey to this dock has been quick. more than two weeks ago the russian soldier was questioned over and alleged war crime. >> we started moving and on the way we saw a civilian talking on the phone. i was ordered to shoot and fired
one round. he fell down, we moved on. >> today the court heard how he shot a 62-year-old man three times to four times in the head, one of five russian soldiers who had stolen a car and driven into a village in the northeastern region, claiming that he was ordered to kill him over worries that he would give away the position. >> this is clearly not an ordinary trial. russia denies. the 21-year-old is facing the ukrainian court and his case will not be the last. >> after 40 minutes he learned his fate, a guilty verdict and a life sentence. >> the court had to study all the evidence meticulously to make an absolutely legal decision, the whole world is watching the case.
>> i am not satisfied by the verdict. if a person is found guilty and sentenced, i believe a life sentence is too much. >> the kremlin has voiced disappointment but their response was already in motion. plans are being drawn up to try captured ukrainian fighters as war criminals. james waterhouse, bbc news, in kyiv. >> if you have been wondering what monkeypox is, it's a viral illness normally found only in africa but over 100 cases have been reported in north america and europe. president biden tried to be reassuring today saying that the smallpox vaccine is effective against it and that the u.s. has enough supplies. our medical, fergus walsh, explains what it is. >> more than one dozen countries in europe, north america, and australia have reported cases of monkeypox, the biggest outbreak ever seen outside africa.
but it is not another covid. experts stress that the risk to the public is low. what is it? a virus found in animals, including monkeys and rats, and several african countries that occasionally infect people. the first outbreak in humans was over 50 years ago. it usually causes a mild illness , though it can occasionally be fatal. >> we have seen a few cases in europe and the last five years in travelers but this is the first time we are seeing cases across many countries at the same time amongst of those who have not traveled to the endemic regions in africa. >> what are the symptoms of monkeypox? symptoms can take up to 21 days to appear after infection. key among them is a rash, often on the face or genitals. this develops into blisters and, finally, scabs, and can be
mistaken for chickenpox. it usually resolves within two weeks to four weeks. how do you catch it? it does not spread easily. it requires close contact, mainly skin to skin, and exposures to the blisters that contain the virus or contact with clothing or the betting of an infected person. it can spread through coughs and sneezes but is much harder to catch then covid. many of the current cases are in gay or bisexual men. >> it's important not to stigmatize, infections don't choose the characteristics of the people. anybody who has had close contact with anyone who has had monkeypox is at risk of acquiring the infection. >> the smallpox vaccine gives a small level of protection, they are from the same family of viruses. the u.k. has bought more doses
and some staff sexual health clinics have already had the jab . in london around 10 staff at the chelsea wet -- chelsea westminster hospital are self-isolating at home purely as a precaution. clinics have now brought in stringent ppe requirements when dealing with the virus. fergus walsh, bbc news. laura: monkeypox is not covid, though. the taliban has begun enforcing in order acquiring all-female tv anchors to cover their faces while broadcasting following a ruling that women have to wear a veil in public. 10 months after seizing power they have made numerous announcements limiting the rights of women in afghanistan. rachel stanton has more. >> a new normal on afghanistan tv screens. female presenters and othe women on the air now have to wear face coverings. the ruling comes two weeks after
the taliban ordered more women to wear face veils in public or risk punishment. >> if such decrees are issued and imposed on women, then women across afghanistan will be eliminated. a presenter must feel calm and relaxed to convey the truth but for the first time, i had to present my program wearing a mask and i wasn't feeling good at all. >> in an act of solidarity with his female colleagues, then anchor of the main evening bulletin board a face coverings while broadcasting live. other male colleagues were face masks in the office in support and broadcasters said they were told they had to comply with the order. >> we are told you are forced to do it, you must do it, there is no other way. >> a spokesman for the ministry of vice and virtue said they had no intention of removing women
from the public scene, sidelining them, or stripping them of their right to work. when the taliban took control of the country last year they vowed to honor the rights of women but since the takeover, many restrictions have been put in place. >> it's not thinkable that in 2022 we are seeing the same kinds of abuses against women and girls that the taliban imposed in 1996, when they last took power. their overall strategy seems to be to complely erase women and girls from pubc life. >> for now the afghan women presenting the news remained defiant. rachel stanton, bbc news. laura: changing times in afghanistan. other news now, state television in iran killed and 80 are missing after an say unfinished 10 story builg collapsed. emergency rescue teams were at the scene of this busy
commercial street, searching through the rubble for survivors . inflation and sri lanka hitting a record high, the conmer price index rising 33.8% in the year through april as they struo afford basic supplies like food,ggle fooled - fuel, and medicine. the country is askg for emergency assistance from the international monetary fund. according to you a new report from the united nations 100 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced by conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution, equivalent to 1% of the global population. conflicts in ukraine, ethiopia and the democratic republic of congo are forcing millions to flee. we turn now to zimbabwe, whetr has been an international meeting about what to do about the elephant population. authorities there have suggested killing some of the animals, saying that there are just too many of them. not everyone agrees.
>> the summit comes as some countries are battling the problem of too many elephants and they say that poor and rural communities are on the front line. in zimbabwe in the last 18 months about 130 people have been killed by elephants and the population has doubled since 1980. this summit has been called to try to gain consensus about the solutions from these different african countries as zimbabwe says they want the ban on ivory stockpiles lifted and the band has been in place since 1989. most african countries are not agreed to. can you, for example, believes that any sale or increase in sales will lead to more poaching, a problem nobody wants. bbc news. laura: across the world the cost-of-living is going up, for many reasons, including inflation, supply chain problems
arising from the pandemic, and climate change. fertilizer has become much more expensive. prices have much more than doubled in thlast year, a big problem for farmers. our correspondent jonathan is in thailand tonight where he has been hearing from farmers about the impact of the rising costs of fertilizer. >> in fields sparkling with monsoon rain, this woman and her neighbors scatter the fertilizer that should ensure them a good yield. much of the crop here is exported, mainly to the middle east and africa. these rich soils make the centra plains ofhailand one of the world's most inductive rice growing areas. the fields can grow three crops for you, literall eating the world, but to do that they do a lot of lies are and at current
astronomical prices, the business of rice farming is barely viable. >> she showed me the notebook in which she keeps track of her debts. she owes the equivalent of $500 from last year. with rice prices low and fertilizer rising, she's less likely to cover her costs. we followed her to where she buys her chemicals. these have been an essential part of the so-called green revolution that brought spectacular improvements in food production to the region. they do come at a costs to the environment, though. >> it's really expensive. last april we saw a 60% nitrogen
alert and now we are selling at three times the price. >> costs may go even higher. thailand imports more than 90% of their ingredients for their fertilizer, but the government has actually been keeping the price down below world levels, something manufacturers say cannot go down -- go on much longer. >> they have to help the farmers, of course. they can stand that for a certain amount of time. but the equivalent price from seven to eight years ago -- >> are your members making more at the moment? >> some of the members thathe li put it that way? they are losing money. >> losing money. >> so are the farmers. if they are to keep on growing
the surpluses, fertilizer prices must come down or rice will have to go up and that is a worrying prospect for the many countries that depend on the table. -- this staple. bbc news, central thailand. laura: since the russian invasion of ukraine 53,000 ukrainian and refugees have arrived in the u.k. after living in the spare rooms of complete strangers but one woman in somerset has gone further than just an expert room. >> it has been welcoming hollans , they opened in 1962 and has been open every single summer ever since. but for the first time there will be no tourists this year. the hotel owner will still have plenty of guests, though. she is turning all 54 rooms of
her entire hotel into a home for ukrainian refugees. >> it was loud and bright and i understood that it is war. >> she left herome in southeastern ukraine when the explosions started. e is one of the first to arrive here. >> it's a very bad situation. they haven't eat. they have only ukrainian money. they cannot pay with cards because they haven't internet. >> this is one of the rooms but it's full of stuff. what's in her >> when we told everybody what we were doing, they decided they wanted to help. >> these are all donations? what's everything.
>> some people are using google translate to geto the door, when they get here they need help and we are grateful like we have some people who can speak english as well, helping to speak to people over the internet, reassuring them, just making sure that they know that when they get here they will be safe and taken care of. >> she came to the u.k. from cyprus in the 60's. this family photo taken a few years later. many of her relatives back home also became refugees when turkey invaded cyprus in 1974. she says that when she saw pictures of the war, she began planning how to help, remembering what her own family had gone through, forced to leave their homes almost half a century before. >> they left with t-shirts and flip-flops. they don't have nothing with them because they think they are going back the next day and it has been 48 years and they are still waiting to go back. so, when we heard about ukraine
and russia, the war, we feel the same as we used to feel for our people as well. i said to my family, we must help if we can. >> and you are helping a lot. >> well, as many as i can. we are going to help them. >> there are more and more ukrainians arriving herevery day. all forced to leave their homes by the russian invasion. most arrived with a single suitcase and with no idea if they will ever go home. this seafront hotel now becoming a sanctuary for 60 people of all ages so that they can begin to rebuild their lives that have been so disrupted by the war. andrew plant, bbc news. ura: the kdness of strangers.
before we go, today is world turtle day. in cambodia conservationists released 500 endangered baby giant turtles into the mequon river. they were blessed by monks before hand and the hatchlings will eventually grow to be as long as a king size bed where they will thrive and prosper. i'm a laura trevelyan, thank you so 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 am judy woodruff. biden abroad. the president says the u.s. military would defend taiwan if china tax. -- attacks. overshadowing a new trade pact meant to counter china's influence. vote 2022. georgia republicans had to the polls in a heated primary animated by former president trump's lies about the 2020 election. >> there is a fight for the future of the republican party in georgia. donald trump still a very popular figure within georgia republicans but what that means is going to be on the ballot. judy: another