tv DW News LINKTV July 23, 2021 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
berlin. after a to mulch was journey, the long-delayed olympic games are kicking up in tokyo. japan's emperor has officially open the games, which were postponed a year because of the pandemic. also coming up. >> this is what many roads in the area look like and many of the worst hit areas are still not accessible. >> china takestock after vastating floods. we are in hewn and province,
where the real death toll is likely much higher than the official number. haiti pays final respects to their assassinated presidents. the funeral held with heavy security after violent protests stoked fears of political volatility. plus, after catastrophic flooding in western germany, a day lose of information -- of disinformation. known conspiracy theorists a ronavirus deniers are raising fears that some are looking to capitalize on disaster. ♪ anchor: it is nice to have you with us. the long-awaited tokyo 2020 summer olympics have been officially opened by japan's emperor. the ceremony, which took place without a live audience, because
spectators are banned. one of the highligs, when jones formed a revolving club -- revolving lobe over the stadium. it has been a difficult time for the organizers after they were forced to postpone the games last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. even now, the decision to press ahead with the olympics is a controversial one. reporter: with a volley of fireworks from the roof, tokyo's long-overdue olympics finally declared open. inside, it was japanese tennis icon naomi osaka who lit the olympic flame, after the ioc president praise the perseverance of the athletes who have had to wait so long for the games to get started. but it was empty, off-limits to spectators, while outdoors,
protesters were voicing their opposition to the events. japan still in a state of emergency and dozens of coronavirus cases among athletes and delegates have turned many against the games. the organizers of these olympics have long been the set -- beset by problems. they hope attention will finally turn to the competition. they might be a year late and look a lot different than planned, but the games are at last underway. anchor: here in the studio to talk tokyo 2020 is our guest from dw sports. the games at long last have officially opened. i imagine the organizers are breathing a sigh of relief. tom: you would imagine so. it has been a long and bumpy road to get here. today's opening ceremony was almost a year to the day since the original start date, and
even three days ago, one of the leading organizers of the games was refusing to rule out totally canceling the event if the coronavirus situation in japan deteriorated to such an extent that the games became untenable. nelly have the opening ceremony in the bag it, they can focus on the events -- now that they have the opening ceremony in the bag, they can focus on the events. anchor: tell us how it unfolded. tom: the distinguishing characteristic was the eerie atmosphere. the stadium has a permanent capacity of 68,000, and the opening ceremony was watched by just 1000 vips. they washed a parade that was vastly reduced in terms of numbers as well, and there were also protests outside because obviously the pandemic is not over. only around 20% of people in japan have been fully vaccinated against covid-19, so for many
people there, the idea of bringing intensive thousands of people from abroad or a sporting event prevents a very high risk. nonetheless, we see in these pictures that the opening ceremony went off with a bang, and the organizers will be pleased they can finally start focusing on sport. anchor: all eyes turn to saturday's actual competitions. what do we have to look forward to? tom: you name it, it is happening. the first swimming and rowing heats, the women's and men's singles tennis competition, novak djokovic featured highlight in the men's singles competition, but there's also basketball, baseball, gymnastics, judo. put your feet up and enjoy the show. anchor: get my popcorn. thank you, tom. a cleanup operation is underway in a chinese province after
devastating floods. days of heavy rain have left parts of the region submerged. at least 56 people have been killed, tens of thousands displaced, and many still missing. the situation in the more rural areas outside the provincial capital is even worse than in the city. our correspondent sent this report. reporter: everything on this street has been washed away. locals like this woman have never seen anything like it. she narrowly escaped when she fled upstairs. >> i was so scared, the water came rushing through so quickly it carried away all houses. reporter: this rvivor was one of the lucky ones. her house is still here and aid workers can reach her.
this is what many roads in the area look like, and many of the worst hit areas are still not accessible. in low-lying areas, the situation is even worse. residents are searching for their cars or what remains of them. days after the floods, the power still out here, menu staying with relatives or in relief shelters. -- many staying with relatives or in relief shelters. >> i can't go home, we have no power, no water, no gas. i could not cook a thing. reporter: townspeople said they were not warned about the floods. this supermarket lacked -- left full of water and debris. comedy people have died remains unclear and more rain is forecast for the coming days. anchor: again, that report was
filed from a rural province. our reporter is back in the provincial capital, where the cleanup operation has made significant progress. reporter: the city center has been cleaned up quickly and many places look pretty decent. the situation much different in the countryside. these areas have been affected heavily by the floods. damage is huge and many of these places are still difficult to access. they still don't have electricity and drinking water supplies are a problem. it will take a long time until life gets back to normal in these places. we still do not know how many people have died in the whole province. the numbers we have are very preliminary and it is not clear whether we will ever know the real death toll and real damage of these floods. anchor: now to some of the other stories making news around the world at this hour.
at least 100 people have died in landslides and flooding in western india caused by monsoon rains. 54 deaths were registered in a district, and many more are feared trapped. red alerts have been issued for several regions in the state as heavy rains are forecast to continue. china's president has mada rare trip to the disputed region of tibet. chinese state media says he visited various sites in the capital. his unannounced visit is the first by a chinese leader in over 30 years. tibet is in a decades long dispute with china over its independence. in haiti, the funeral of the president has been disrupted by gunfire and protests outside the service in his hometown. the unrest sent foreign dignitaries scrambling for safety. he was assassinated at his home
by a hit squad earlier this month. his widow was wounded in the shooting. she attended with her arm in a sling and delivered the eulogy. the government declared a national holiday and many haitians gathered to watch the service. haiti has been rocked by civil unrest ever since the killing, and events around the death remain murky. let's speak to a professor of government and foreign affairs at the university of virginia. welcome. the killing has created civil unrest. how deep is the crisis in haiti following the assassination? >> the crisis is extremely grave. there is a polital crisis, economic crisis, institutional crisis, and security crisis. all of those crises have been of the president. athe moment, the situation is
volatile. we have a government but we do not have a real constitution functioning, we do not have a president or a parliament. the current government head by the present -- the prime minister, is perceived by many as illegitimate, and to a large degree, the international community. you have a crisis that is really acute, precipitated by all of those factors. the funeral today did not really help in terms of advancing the cause of reconciliation. anchor: by many accounts, moise was a divisive president. how was he viewed by haitians? >> i think the vast majority of haitians did not see themselves in this president. the fact of the matter is he was elected in a very dubious
election. he received barely 15% of the vote. the opposition from the beginning of his government saw him as illegitimate. the problems with moise were exacerbated because there were accusations of embezzlement of funds. that in turn generated massive protests in the streets. civil society, the youth organized, demanding his resignation. furthermore, you had crisis that was prompted by president moise to dissolve parliament, because we did not have elections, and to rule the country by decree. he wanted to have elections in september but also a change of constitution and there were supposed to be referenm.
that election is a very problematic thing, and the constitutional referendum is actually unconstitutional if you read the articles of the constitution. so that aggravated the crisis even further, and the assassination was really the culmination of all of those crises. it remains to be seen if the current government can create a more inclusive form of governing that could, to some extent, get the support of thparties of the opposition and civil society. this is an extremely difficult task. i am not sure this government is going to be able to do it. anchor: no doubt a dynamic situation still in haiti at this hour. professor o government and foreign affairs from the university of virginia, we appreciate your time. >> thank you very much. anchor: at least 117 people died
in severe flooding in western germany last week, and with the arduous cleanup underway, they are fears some volunteers could be looking to capitalize on the disaster. one of the areas worst hit by flooding, but the arrival of conspiracy theorist and coronavirus deniers has raised concerns that the group is trying to promote catastrophe viewed -- tester fee. reporter: -- catastrophe. reporter: they call themselves the veteran pool. many of the members are out of service military personnel. one of the representatives is a known conspiracy theorists. he insists helpers have no political motive. >> we will also be cleaning up, but at first only on request.
the most important thing was our habitat was as clean asossible so we can work from here, and then we ll go to the necessary eas. reporter: earlier this week, people at this emergency vaination center faced abuse from coronavirus deniers. vans mimicking police vehicles have been traveling around the area, spreading this inflammation -- disinformation. the actual police are monitoring the situation. so far, no signs of any criminal acts event relative to the police. ultimately he can only appeal to people to refer to reliable sources. the group has close connections to coronavirus skeptics and deniers in germany. during the pandemic, they attracted known neo-nazis and holocaust deniers, some of whom have a. in videos to raise hundreds of
thousands of euros for flood victims. so what does the network stand to achieve? >> due to the following numbers of coronavirus cases, at least recently there is a seeming lack of legitimacy as to why peopl are still part of these networks at all. but then of course, a catastrophe like this lends itself to these groups because you ca present yourself as a helper who wants to show the state has failed, and the infrastructure for this is there. reporter: this week, authorities already closed down a newly established childcare facility. it had been set up by a group linked to the other group. >> none of the necessary requirements were at hand. we tri to talk to the association, but iwas pointless. i ordered the facility to be
closed because they did not have an operating permit. reporter: authorities could not confirm exactly how the group secured the school building. organizers say they planned to stay for months. anchor: let's speak to a political correspondent for more on that. simon, these groups have made news during the western -- have made news during the floods. explain to us what the issue is with the group at this moment. simon: it is quite disparate movement, but it includes anti-vaccine people, general lockdown skeptics and people who say the state response to the pandemic goes too far and infringes on civil rights. they have been organizing for some time demonstrations around
the country, and the image they want to present is of peaceful demonstrators with dancing and singing in the streets. saying we want to be left alone by the state. not seldom, these demonstrators have turned violent and there is a significant far-right presence, and not everybody there supports the far-right or wants to be associated with them. they are standing alongside them, and they are in large groups, they tend to disobey the limits put on them by the police and so on. in the context of these floodings, they seem to have gone further with reports of people abusing emergency services and throwing rubbish. they are creating a problem for the authorities during the pandemic and floods. anchor: you talk about these
floods, why are they appearing as volunteers and helpers? what is the aim? simon: the suggestion is what they are trying to do is undermine the state generally, that's why you see vehicles that look like police vehicles that go around with loudspeakers telling people that, for example , the police and emergency services are pulling out and not helping people. the idea is perhaps they are trying to say the state is not going to help you, we can help you instead. they are calling for people to give donations. they are raising funds for that activity, as well as undermining the state. anchor: are the police or authorities doing anything? simon: certainly the police are telling people to be on the watch for false information, to use only trusted information
sources. politicians are angry, calling this repugnant and saying a lot of these actions are illegal, and certainly law enforcement should take serious actions. the interior ministry calling on people who want to make donations to help flood victims, to only do that through established charities and established channels. anchor: our political correspondence. thank you. germany has added spain to a list of countries with high incidence of coronavirus. it means travelers will have to quarantine at least five days if they are unvaccinated. the delta variant is driving an increase in cases. most of the new infections are among the new, unvaccinated population. we went to the city of fillon sia to find out -- of valencia to find out more. reporter: finally some summer.
after months of hard work, this architect ready for a break. in her hometown, covid-19 infection rates have risen sharply, especially among the under 30's. she is not worried at the moment. >> you have to weigh up everything in life, we have to take responsibility for our actions. on the other hand, we also need a bit of fun. we have to find a balance. we cannot stop living. i don't think we have reached a point where we need to stop going out again yet. report: but authorities have recently introduced a curfew here. bars and restaurants have to close at 1:00 a.m.. some except this, but it seems fewer and fewer young spaniards are willing to do so. this woman, who doesn't want to be named, got infected after going out partying. she is now in quarantine. >> to be honest, i never would have imagined i would get so many heavy symptoms atnce,
most of all fever. i am really not well. my whole body hurts. reporter: over 50% of adults in spain are now fully immunized, but the government has a strictly stuck to vaccinating by age group. most under 30s remain unvaccinated. pressure mounting again on the spanish health system. one in 10 covid tests come back positive and health -- and hospital admissions are up. this doctor believes this could lead to dangerous new variants. >> i'm not saying young people are to blame because they are partying again. they have been restricted for a long time. i would just say this, keep wearing your masks and don't be too blasé. young people are dying from this too. don't spread it to your family.
reporter: anna and her friends have decided they will try to not worry too much this summer, but they are concerned when summer comes to an end, the situation could get even worse. anchor: the surge of cases at popular holiday destinations like spain raises the question of whether summer vacations will spread the virus. earlier i asked lawrence young from warwick university medical school. >> is likely unless y have a robust quarantine system, we know from the outbreaks since the pandemic began, a lot of these outbreaks, most of them has been -- have been fueled by international travel. that's why we are seeing the spread of the delta variant all around the world. this is because of travel. you have to have very strict and robust quarantine rules in place alongse testing and making sure as many people are double vaccinated as possible. anchor: germany, for example, is
tightening its rules for people turning from the netherlands and spain. but our quarantines the right way to keep variants from moving across orders? >> quarantine is a very important tool if used effectively alongside testing and vaccinating. it is quit clear we have to haveome sort ovaccine passpo in the future to travel. the worry at the moment is with rising levels of delta variant infection across europe, with the fear we could be generating new variants, international travel is a risky business at the moment. anchor: some public health authorities in countries like spain are worried big outbreaks, especially among young people, could lead to new, more contagious variants. are you worried about that?
>> absolutely, as long as the virus is allowed to spread among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, the more likely it will change. it could become more infectious, and could become more resistant to the protective immunity induced by vaccination. we in the u.k. and other parts of europe are seeing the virus particularly spreading among younger people who may not have that many symptoms and are not necessarily aware they are infected and can spread infection. it is in that population variants could arise. anchor: we like to believe this is over but it is not. what is the right approach to avoid lockdowns? >> i think the right approach is a combination of ensuring you get as much of your pulation vaccinated as possible. everybody over the age of 12. also you insist pele take
responsibility, particularly wearing face masks at crowded, indoor areas, and just being careful about social distancing when you are iproximity to other people. we've got to go back to some form of normality, we've got to get around this virus and learn to live with it, but we are not out of the woods, there is a long way to go and we have to be very careful the next few months if we don't want to end in the situation where countries have to impose further lot rounds. anchor: are pcr tests still the right approach to test and measure the virus? >> they are. they are sensitive tests and much better in terms of sensitivity and accuracy than lateral flow tests. they are the gold standard. using those tests, particular as opposed to going into quarantine, is important, especially with traveling.
pcr tests are the most appropriate test for that kind of thing and we will just need to keep testing. anchor: professor lawrence young, appreciate your time and knowledge. thank you. a reminder of the top story we are following for you, the long-awaited tokyo 2020 summer olympics have finally opened. the official ceremony taking place inside a nearly empty stadium. it marks the end of a problematic buildup to the games. they were delayed by a year because of the coronavirus. you are watching dw news. i will be back after a short break to take you through the day. thank you for watching.