tv DW News LINKTV February 1, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
berlin. tonight, derailing democracy in myanmar. the military seizes power, declaring a state of emergency for at least one year. soldiers have detained the leader. the u.s. is threatening sanctions. also coming up, the vaccine shortage shock in the european union. germany's leaders meet with vaccine manufacturers amid growing frustration at the slow pace of the country's covid-19
vaccination program. portugal's health system on the verge of collapsing. germany is one of several e.u. countries offering to help the country. now, the world's worst coronavirus hotspot. china threatens to retaliate after britain opens a new visa scheme offering residency rights for potentially millions of hong kong residents. ♪ i'm brent goff. to our viewers on pbs in the unit states and around the world, welcome. from europe to the u.s., there is condemnation of last nights military coup in myanmar. the army has seized power and deposed a year-long state of emergency. the move follows a landslide when in an election the army says was marred by fraud. soldiers have attained the
leader and other members of her government. in response, u.s. president biden is threatening sanctions. the united nations security council has called an emergency session for tuesday. >> after the arrests, the power grab. ella terry vehicles lined up in myanmar's capital. soldiers now patrolling the streets, a clear sign of who is in control. this was the moment a member of parliament was with the way in a predawn raid, one of many from the ruling national league for democracy party. the door of her home is locked. she previously spent nearly 15 years under house arrest in opposition to an earlier time of military rule. in a statement, she said i urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military. not easy in myanmar, but here in
thailand, myanmar's ex-pats have made their latency clear. honoring her and burning photos of the country's most senior army chief. >> i have been crying all day. he is the bad guy. how could he do something like this? >> while pro-military supporters flew flags in celebration on the streets of myanmar, the coup is a setback for many others. little more than a decade after the country began its transition to democracy, the army is back in charge. >> i feel the army assaulted the people when it staged this coup on the government. a government elected by our people. >> our country is just a bird learning to fly. now, the army broke our wings.
>> residents have been queuing a cash machines and rushing to stock up on east central's as myanmar is catapulted into an uncertain future. brent: tonight, am joined by tom andrews. he is the u.s. specialist on myanmar. it is good to have you on the program. but me start by asking you, what would you like to see the international community do right now in reaction to this military coup? >> number one, strong voices of condemnation, unequivocal statements rejecting what has gone on. have seen that across the world. very strong statements coming in. as you noted, the security council is going to be meeting in an emergency setti tomorrow. it is really tomorrow the words of condemnation as welcome as they are be followed up by action. we are talking about sanctions,
the position or the re-imposition of economic sanctions, an arms embargo, other options that the international community be have -- will have before it. it is very clear the international community has an extraordinarily important role given the fact that democracy advocates, political leaders, government leaders but also democracy advocates, human rights defenders have been locked up and silenced inside the country. it is very important for the international community to not only speak but act outside of the country in a language of the myanmar will understand and we know from expeence they understand the language of economic sanctions. brent: let me ask you about the reports you prepared ahead of last november's election. you accuse both the civilian government and the military of myanmar of persecuting opposition supporters and protesters. in that sense, does the army have a point where they tried to
justify this coup? the election was marred by irregularities. >> listen, in any and every election i am awa of, the have been issues and concerns. there is no exception here. issues and concerns. the bottom line is that you take the concerns you have, the problems you have, the objections you have about an election or anything else and you use a legal process to bring those concerns forward. you do not overthrow a fledgling democracy. you do not assault an entire people with a military coup. that is the point and it is the way in which they responded, the legal action they have taken that needs to be the focus of the world. brent: there have been some suggestions that may be even former u.s. president donald trump's refusal to accept the
u.s. presidential election results, maybe that provided a playbook for dictators around the world. do you think we are seeing that in action in myanmar now? >> there was not a coup d'etat in the united states, thank god. what we have in myanmar however is a systematic lockup of people that bief in democracy, advancing hun rights, government leaders in these predawn raids, cut off of communications throughout the country, the lockup of leaders mounting opposition on the streets. this is a true coup d'etat. have locked to the country down. we have seen nothing like this certainly in the united stes. what is important righnow is the united states, the u.k., the
e.u., the international community act in a coordinated shion to address this outrageous action. brent: your predecessor says she believes this coup has been blessed by china and russia. do you agree? >> i jus-- iimply do not know. we know that the security council is going to meet. it would n be meeting if china objected and prevented it from doing so. this will be an opportunity to lay this case out and make the ca for coordinated action. i do not think that china is going to be receptive to the kind of action i think is necessary, but regardless of where china stands or where russia stands, we know they have been allies and they have protected the military regime of
myanmar in the past, but we also know that because of the considered eorts and the pressure put on myanmar generals the neck and states, by the u.k., by the you, there has been a response notwithstanding the support provided to them by china and russia. i think right now we need to take the assets we have, the capacity to build and strengthen pressure on this government and use this leverage both in coordinated way through the unit nations, the security council, the human rights council and other entities but also bilaterally with the government of myanm and economic entities thatre doing busess with those military owned and controlled enterprises. brent: tom andrews, we appreciate your time and your insights tonight. >> thank you. brent: here are some of the other stories making headlines
around the world. delegates from libya our meeting today in libya to choose an interim government ahead of elections that are scheduled for the end of december. the political dialogue form is being mediated byhe united nations. it aims to select transitional leaders by friday. russian prosecutors have backed a request to imprison opposition figure alexey navalny for three and a half years on embezzlement charges. this comes a day after 5000 people were arrested in protest across russia: for the release of mr. navalny. the french prime minister has launched a public consultation aimed at boosting confidence and the police. it comes amid widespread accusations of excessive force among police and security officers. nationwide protests erupted late last year after officers were filmed beating and abusing a black music producer inside his studio.
now to the coronavirus vaccine supply shock in the european union. today, german chancellor angela merkel that with the prime ministers of germany's states and members of government as well as vaccine manufacturers. the e.u. has faced criticism for the slow rollout of vaccinations. one of the purposes of today's meeting was to look at ways to speed up the pace of vaccine distribution. for more now, we want to take this to our political correspondent. good evening to you. is there an outcome for this task -- for this vaccine summit? >> it is not a big outcome, but there is an outcome. the first conclusion from this summit is they will be -- there will be a new vaccination plan, a national plan in germany where the vaccine amounts and the distribution will be registered. this according to the german chancellor to give more security
to german regions that are in charge of carrying out all those vaccinations. two inviting people who will then go to the specific centers to receive their vaccination. this national plan is something that will be developed to try to give more certainty and more security. the second issue also related to certainty and security has to do with the doses that are going to be delivered to germany. angela merkel reiterated a big promise she had made earlier saying any german would like to have a coronavirus vaccine would be able to have it by the end of the summer. at least have an offer to have a vaccine by the end of the summer. this means germany has what angela merkel has described as more predictability when it comes to the amount of vaccines the country will be receiving in the next few months. official stated in the next few weeks some shortages will still remain. brent: we know this vaccination
rollout, this is a european or union program. -- european union program. has been the problem with germany's -- what has been the problem with germany's program? >> both elements are related. you cannot understand the problems in germany without understanding the bottlenecks at the european level. the fact of vaccine procurement was done at the european level and that means when there are difficulties with procurement, with receiving different vaccines and obviously this means problems for the distributions at a local or regional level. it is not only about the extent -- about problems at a local level. or have been organization problems. there have been bureaucratic issues that german officials have been dealing with. that is why this plan that has been announced, this plan that is going to be developed should be able to give more security to local and regional authorities
when it comes to the number of vaccines they will be able to receive and how they will be able to distribute those vaccines to the german population. brent: today is the first day of february. here in germany, we are still in the lockdown. alice the lockdown working? >> we are still in the lockdown. that goes at least until the 14th of february. those are still discussions that are ongoing. what is for sure is the trend is positive when it comes to the number of daily cases or the number of daily deaths from coronavirus or the 7-day incidence rate. there are many different ways of analyzing that. the trend is going in the right direction. what is not going in the right direction, the infections by those coronavirus variants. it is something that is a matter of concern for germany at that -- for german authorities and it will be an issue authorities will be discussing when it comes to announcing what will come after february 14, whether the
lockdown will be extended. brent: the latest tonight here in berlin. thank you. staying in europe, portugal is the world's worst coronavirus hotspot. in the past week, it has the highest number of new cases per capita and the highest death rate. a state of emergency has been extended until mid february. >> tight checks at portugal's borders. at this entry point from spain, only those with a valid reason are allowed through. that is certainly not the case in this exchange. >> have to check this guy. >> no cared not possible -- no. not possible. the border is closed. if you are resident here, you can come in. >> earlier, portugal had seen a time of relatively relaxed restrictions. now people are confined to their homes, apart from east central outings.
the government has entered crisis mode. >> i think it could be even stricter. there are still too many people on the streets. many portuguese still have not understood we have gone from being a good corunna country to one of the worst. >> portugal's intensive care units are struggling. some hospitals are running out of beds for covid-19 patients. others are short of medical staff or oxygen supplies. long lines of ambulances have formed outside some clinics. many patients have to wait for hours until doctors decide whether they can be admitted and where. >> we have never before triaged like we are doing now. sometimes we are having to treat people in the ambulances. >> authorities say the highly infectious virus variant first found in britain has caused half of all cases in greater lisbon. some patients have been airlifted to the madeira islands
, more than 1000 kilometers from lisbon. then there are the many who lost the fight. undertakers say they are at the breaking point as they constantly prepare coffins for the newly arrived data. the organizer of this funeral parlor issued a warning. >> it is chaos. it is really chaos. so many people are dead. thernkis no room to put away so many bodies. people should be careful. they need to know that covid-19 is killing for real. i have already lost my aunt, my cousin, my grandfather and my father. now, germany and austria say they have to help treat patients from portugal. that help could not come too soon for the portuguese. brent: in central america, honduras says it will receive its first batch of covid-19 vaccines later this month
through a program backed by the world health organization. it aims to deliver vaccines to low and middle income countries, the government in honduras is accusing rich countries of hoarding vaccines for their own people. >> a glimmer of hope in the bottle against the pandemic in honduras. in february, the country scheduled to receive its first shipment of vaccines against covid-19. the initial shots will go to front-line workers and the elderly. over 3600 people are known to have died after contracting the coronavirus in honduras. the deputy health minister says it is unfortunate there is no international law to regulate the distribution of covid vaccines. like the one made by biontech pfizer. >> the rich countries have practically monopolized the vaccine. they are denying developing countries access to more vaccine doses.
>> the honduran health ministry says some 4 million doses are needed to immunize 20% of the population. it is unclear whether honduras will meet that target this year. alongside the doses acquired through the initiative, the governments also purchasing vaccines directly from manufacturers. but global supplies are limited and expensive. >> we have to beg internationally. why? because honduras has a poor country has already used the money for other things. so we do not have money to buy vaccines from biontech pfizer. >> based on current orders placed on the government -- placed by the government, the honduran medical association estimates far less than 20% of the population will be inoculated this year. many hondurans believe the
government should shoulder their part of the blame. >> we put our trust in god above all and hope for positive results. despite the negative expectations of some patients. >> if the government had acted faster, we would have had vaccines here long ago. >> we are lacking good management. the problem is not a lack of effective vaccines despite the vaccine skeptics. >> the vaccines cannot come soon enough. new infections and deaths grew sharply in january in honduras. brent: in the united states, much of the east coast is being buried under snow in a major winter storm. in new york city and boston, vaccination programs have been suspended. those cities are expecting 22
inches or over half a meter of snow. icy roads have caused underage of car crashes. at least one death has been blamed on the cold. for more now, i am joined by james in new york. he is dressed for the season. we understand new york has been declared a state of emergency. how bad is it where you e? >> as you canee, i have just been outside in the snow with the guys o are tryingo plow througit. is comingown thick and fast. are expecti a total of 60 centimeters of snow. that is two feet in the local numerals. it is cing down about 10 centimeters of snow every hour. this is going to put it on track of gang one of the heaviest snowfalls the city has ever seen. like you sd, transpo is out. the subways a out.
the schools arclosed. the vaccination nters ar closed the airpts are close it is a scenario -- a serious snowfall. brent: new yorkers are used to paralysis when there is a winter storm, but we are talking about vaccinion centers that are being paralyzed. that is a double whammy for the city and the state. >> yeah, it is two days that the vaccines we going to be adminiered. at is not going to happen. there is ance that they don't get toeopen on wednesday. this is going to be considered a sensible decision. mayor bill de blasio says what we are dealing with is blinding snow. who is due to be vaccinated at the moment is people 65 years plus. the idea of sending out people in that age group toaccination centers in this weather, not such a great idea. brent: obviously not.
james joining us from a snowy new york city. ank you and stay warm. britain has started accepting applications from hong kong hours for a visa offering a fast track to citizenship. the move was introduced in response to china's controversial national security law. hong kong hours with the british national overseas data's and their family are eligible for the visa. as charlotte reports, for some, the path to a future in the u.k. still presents many difficulties. >> up until last summer, this man's wife and his young children had never set foot in england. they have left their jobs, homes and loved ones in hong kong to start a new life in the u.k. >> my parents support the communists. they will not leave. that means i have to leave my mother.
i have no choice. i have no choice because of my children. i have to raise them. i have to let them know the truth. they do have the right to live better. >> he says he has long been concerned about democratic freedoms in hong kong, but it was beijing's decision last year to impose a national security law that proved the final straw. >> we do not have freedom to speak. you're asking for something we should have. we are having before. we start to think there is no future in hong kong. >> hundreds and -- hundreds of thousands of hong kong years are expected to follow him and his family over the next few years. a visa scheme is open to those born before the hand over of hong kong to china. it offers some 5 million hong kongers a pathway to citizenship.
the true test is still to come. activists say there is not enough infrastructure to support the arrivals and questions remain over integration. officials admit this is a work in progress. >> clearly they are going to be some challenges. there is a lot of work going on to make sure allf the essential things around housing to settle and integrate and if children are iolved, get children into schools. everything you would expect in terms of enabling people to settle. >> china has slammed the visa offer, accusing the british government of meddling in internal affairs. >> i welcome the government in providing a safe lifeboat to many hong kongers, but i feel those who are not eligible like me are left out of the scheme. >> douglas is active in the pro-democracy movement. he fled hong kong after the
security law was introduced. he was born after 1997 and is not eligible for the visa without his parents. his savings are running out. and now so to is his tour visa. he will soon have to leave the u.k. paired with travel restrictions and a around the world, he and others like him are finding that doors are firmly closed. >> as we always say during protests, no matter we go up or down, we go together. i hope those who are eligible will think about those who are not and bear in mind that some are still struggling to find a safe place to settle. >> another douglas nor he knows when they will go back to hong kong. he is hopeful his children's futures are secure appeared for douglas, even the next few weeks are unclear. brent: here's a reminder of the top story we are following for you.
myanmar's military has seized control of the country, declaring a one-year state of emergency. soldiers have arrested leader aung san suu kyi. the united states is threatening sanctions. the un security council has called an emergency meeting for tuesday. you're watching dw news. after a break, i will be back to take you through the day. tonight, they are calling it europe's vaccine war. we will take you to the front lines. we will be right back. ♪
>> welcome to life in paris. i mark owen. these are the headlines. after a military coup in myanmar, claiming tens of millions of fraudulent votes. in november's election when the party 182% -- won 82%. supporters of alexei navalny arrested en masse, demonstrations across russia. prosecutors are seeking a three year sentence for the critic in the moscow court next tuesday. angela merkel called on vaccine