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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 26, 2021 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm james reynolds. our top stories: president biden holds his first telephone conversation with king salman of saudi arabia, ahead of the us releasing an intelligence report about the murder of saudi journalistjamal khashoggi. the president also marks america's 50 millionth coronavirus vaccine shot. some communities remain reluctant to take the jab. in a video call to health leaders, the queen urges people to be selfless and have the jab. it is obviously difficult for people if they have never had a vaccine, but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves. one of the world's biggest bands, k—pop�*s black pink, urge their fans to take action on climate change after being inspired by a david attenborough documentary. and, the pop superstar lady gaga
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offers a $500,000 reward to get her two french bulldogs back after a gunman shoots her dog—walker and steals the animals. joe biden has held his first phone conversation with king salman of saudi arabia since taking office in january. saudi arabia has long been a vital us ally in the middle east, but the us president vowed to reset relations with the gulf nation with an emphasis on human rights and the rule of law. the conversation comes ahead of ahead of the public release of a much—anticipated declassified us intelligence report about the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi in istanbul, in 2018. the report is expected to say the murder was likely ordered by the saudi crown prince, mohammed bin salman. earlier, i spoke to
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joseph westphal, who was the united states ambassador to saudi arabia under president barack 0bama. he told me what he expects the approach of the biden administration towards the kingdom will be. i think the president has a very, very experienced foreign policy team around him with tony blinken at state and a number of other people in the white house. he will likely put an ambassador into the kingdom as soon as possible, somebody that will have a direct connection to him, much like i had with president 0bama. so the kingdom, the leadership of the kingdom will know that the ambassador speaks for the president of the united states. when i was there as ambassador, i brought up a number of human rights issues with the king, mohammed bin salman, muhammad bin nayef, who was the crown prince at the time. and i would know that a strong ambassador and strong embassy and leadership in washington meant that none of the things that you've heard about,
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the ritz—carlton, the human human rights arrests, the khashoggi murder and all these other things, all of these events took place after we left office, when there was no ambassador for two years. there is a balance here to be struck, surely? the release that the khashoggi report might show that mohammad bin salman, the crown prince, was responsible for that killing. but on the other hand, he may at any point become the king, the leader of saudi arabia, and therefore, surely mr biden will want to keep a door open to him for direct dialogue? as he does with putin in russia and other world leaders, in china, and turkey and other places where we have strong issues concerning their human rights violations. but the president is pretty savvy about this, and he understands that — as you said in the beginning of your statement — there are a number of other concerns. climate change, he wants to go back to that agreement. we will need the saudi's support for that.
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the nuclear treaty with iran, if we go back to negotiating that, we'll probably add some things to that, we'll have to consult with saudi arabia. there are so many other issues that are important. the role of women in saudi arabia, human rights, as you mentioned, in terms of the broader context having said all that, we've made a lot of progress in the past, curtailing terrorism and a number of other areas where the saudis have been very cooperative. joseph westphal there. european leaders have agreed to take steps to speed up the vaccination programme and get millions more eu citizens vaccinated. the eu has been criticised for its slow vaccine rollout compared to the us and the uk. 29 million people in the region have had at least one jab so far — just 8% of the adult population. leaders also discussed proposals for a basic vaccine passport to help revive the tourist industry.
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the european commision president, ursula von der leyen, struck an optimistic note about speeding up the rollout programme. we are confident that we are able to reach our goal, that by the end of the summer we will have offered to 70% of the population, the vaccination, the adult population. these are 255 million people in the european union, and if we look at the planned figures, this is a goal that we are confident we will reach. in the uk, more than 18 million people have had a first vaccine dose, equivalent to one in three adults here. the queen has spoken for the first time about having it. she urged others to do the same, saying anyone who is nervous should think of others. 0ur royal correspondent, nicholas witchell, reports. they both had their vaccinations last month, though the duke is now in hospital being treated for a non—covid infection, the queen — unperturbed,
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was earlier this week on a video conference with health officials from across the uk. the vaccination programme had stirred memories. well, having lived in the war — it's very much like that, you know, when everybody had the same idea. and i think this has rather sort of inspired that, hasn't it? but how had the queen found her own vaccination? as far as i can make out, it was quite harmless. it was very quick, and i've had lots of letters from people who have been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine. and the jab was very — it didn't hurt at all. there was understanding for people who are nervous of the vaccination but a reminder that everyone has a responsibility to have it. it is obviously difficult for people if they have never had a vaccine, but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves. and there was a message to the scientists who developed the vaccines and all the staff
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who are administering them. it is remarkable how quickly the whole thing has been done and so many people have had the vaccine already. so you have to keep up the good work. nicholas witchell, bbc news. the pfizer covid—i9 vaccine can be stored in a normal medical freezer for up to two weeks, according to the us food and drugs administration. previously, the vaccine had to be kept at ultra—low temperatures between —80 and —60 degrees celsius. the vaccine developers say the change will ease the burden of transport and storage for vaccination centres. president biden has held a ceremony to mark the vaccination of 50 million americans against the coronavirus. he said the us was weeks ahead of schedule on the path to immunising 100 million people in his first 100 days in office — a key promise he made before his inauguration,
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but he also said the real challenge will come when the lines outside vaccine centres have evaporated and supply outstrips demand. the time is coming, maybe 60 to 90 days, when the supply is adequate but not enough people can access the shots or don't want them. to address that challenge, we're going to launch a massive campaign to educate people about vaccines, that they are safe and effective, and where to go to get those shots in the first place. in new york city, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, vaccination rates are lowest in the communities where the most people died. and now that a new variant of the virus has been discovered in new york, the effort to persuade people to take the vaccine has intensified but many people have questions about the science. laura trevelyan reports from the bronx. wanda and her niece sadia have very different views on the coronavirus vaccine. and i'm still on the fence about taking the vaccine... wanda's trying to get an appointment, while sadia is wary.
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it usually takes over two years for a vaccine to be made and it's been, like, how many months and boom! we have a vaccine. so, ijust feel like it's too fast for me. wanda's hearing this from her niece and many others. but as a community organiser in the bronx, wanda feels a sense of responsibility. i don't want to be a guinea pig, but i've also seen how more than 500,000 americans have died of this and it's also important that if i do community work and i'm in the community in the front line that i also set an example. the bronx is reeling from the impact of the pandemic. families have lost loved ones and jobs, and after this turbulent year, doctors are finding people have many questions about the vaccine. well, there's a lot of concern about what is this? how's it going to affect me? is this the government's way of doing something to us? so, that's really the main concern that i find amongst
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patients. the bronx is the new york city borough with the highest coronavirus death rate. black and hispanic new yorkers here died in disproportionate numbers. yet even though the bronx was hardest hit by coronavirus, it's lagging behind when it comes to people getting the vaccine, so this mass—vaccination centre at the iconic yankee stadium is an attempt to increase vaccination rates among communities of colour. you have to make an appointment online to be vaccinated here — you can'tjust show up. 80—year—old anthony mungin doesn't have a computer and he's been turned away eight times. now i have to go all the way back home and explain to whoever that i couldn't get an appointment, and that i got to try again. because so many seniors are having difficulty with online appointments, there's a mobile vaccination unit in the bronx that takes the doses directly to elderly people in public housing. but this week, there was a new problem.
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why are you not vaccinating today? we don't have the supply. and that's a problem across the entire state and country. there's lack of supply. if we had the supply, we would be out vaccinating, not only today, every single day, in public housing around the bronx. wanda's also having trouble getting a vaccination appointment, but she's persisting. i'm a big woman! and i also get high blood pressure and i could get sick any time, and i don't know if i get sick, if i'm going to make it. the vaccination effort in the bronx is taking time to get going as concern about vaccine safety, difficulty getting appointments and supply problems. a community which has suffered so much is still struggling. laura trevelyan, bbc news, the bronx. the former coach of the us women's gymnastics team has killed himself, hours after being charged with sexual assault and human trafficking. officials say the body
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ofjohn geddert was found in the afternoon, after he failed to surrender himself at the appointed time at a sheriff's office. the charges against the coach include verbal and physical assault, including the alleged sexual assault of a girl aged between 13 and 16. the victims suffer from disordered eating, including bulemia and anorexia, suicide attempts and self—harm, excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform, even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse, including sexual assault. lebo diseko is in washington with more. this happened after the attorney—general of michigan, dana nessel, announced those charges againstjohn geddert, which include the allegations of sexual assault of a girl between the ages of 13 and 16 and also include multiple allegations of verbal
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and physical assault against young athletes. 0n the issue of human trafficking, which was also one of the charges against him, the attorney—general said that he had basically used coercion and fraud and other measures to try and benefit financially from these female athletes, so those were just some of the allegations against him — 2a charges, as you said. how closely linked was he to doctor nassar, the team doctor who was sentenced to decades in prison for abusing female gymnasts? they were very closely linked and in fact, the case againstjohn geddert came about because the attorney general of michigan has been trying to find out who else knew about larry nassar�*s abuse. now, john geddert owned a gym in michigan where larry nassar had worked for many years and actually, three of the convictions against him relate to abuse that took place at that gym.
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one of larry nassar�*s victims actually said that the two worked — said they have a symbiotic relationship, they were kind of good cop and bad cop and that they enabled each other�*s abuse. so they were very close and actually, one of the charges against geddert actually related to allegations that he'd lied to law enforcement about how much he had known about larry nassar�*s activities. what kind of reaction has there been to the news aboutjohn geddert? well, one of larry nassar�*s earliest known victims, the gymnast sarah klein, actually released a statement where she said this is traumatising beyond words, and i just want to read you some of what she said. she said, "he tortured and abused little girls, myself included, for more than 30 years." and she said that geddert was a narcissistic abuser. she's called his suicide an admission of guilt. now, of course, we don't know that, but what we do know
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is that his victims or his accusers certainly won't get that day in court that many of them will have hoped for. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the $500,000 reward put up by nor) superstar lady gaga for the safe return of her stolen french bulldogs. prince charles has chosen his bride. the prince proposed to lady diana spencer three weeks ago. she accepted, she says, without hesitation. as revolutions go, this had its fair share of bullets. a climax in the night outside the gates of mr marcos�* sanctuary malaca nang — the name itself symbolising one of the cruellest regimes of modern asia. the world's first clone has been produced of an adult mammal. scientists in scotland have produced a sheep called dolly using a cell from another sheep. warren beatty and faye dunaway announced to the world - that the winner of best film was la la land. . the only trouble was it wasn't. the mistake was only put right in the middle of gushing - speeches by the team -
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behind the modern musical. not for 20 years have locusts been seen in such numbers in this part of africa. some of the swarms have been ten miles long. this is the last time the public will see this pope. very soon, for the sake of the credibility and authority of the next pope, benedict xvi will, in his own words, be hidden from the world for the rest of his life. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: president biden holds his first telephone ahead of the us releasing an intelligence report about the murder of saudi journalist, jamal khashoggi. the queen has said her covid—19 vaccination "didn't hurt at all". she has urged people to be selfless and have the jab. the us has called for restraint in armenia, after the prime minister led a rally of supporters, saying he was trying to avert an attempted coup.
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nikol pashinyan took action after the armed forces issued a statement calling for his government to resign. his opponents have set up camp outside parliament. mr pashinyan�*s popularity has dropped since azerbaijan last year recaptured swathes of its territory that had been held by ethnic armenian forces for nearly thirty years. mark lobel reports. with family by his side, armenia's prime minister nikol pashinyan rallies supporters in yerevan. ministers alsojoined him in solidarity after the country's top generals told him and his cabinet to resign. translation: some people want to drag the army - into unconstitutional processes. this is an attempted coup but the people will not allow a military coup in armenia! the pm's plea also fell on international ears. we urge all parties to exercise restraint.
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we remind all parties of the bedrock democratic principle that state's armed forces should not intervene in domestic politics. but calls for the prime minister's resignation were made within earshot of parliament, opposition supporters buoyed by the military top brass�* intervention after the prime minister's sacking of a commander angered them, on top of losing last year's bloody conflict with azerbaijan. that defeat lead protesters to storm parliament back in november, moments after a russian—brokered deal had been announced, confirming armenia's loss after six weeks of fighting in nagorno—karabakh. turkey—backed azerbaijan not only recaptured areas around the enclave, but also took a key town inside it. translation: we lost the war. there were 5000 victims, over 10,000 wounded,
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many still missing and prisoners of war. we also have a collapsed economy. translation: we turned our back on russia, - which we could not afford to do. we're pretty much welcoming turkey. i am against that. but russia and turkey are calling for calm inside armenia. translation: coup attempts can only destabilise the region, - and that is why we are against it. right now, call for calm appeared to outweigh calls that could lead to a coup. mark lobel, bbc news. the pop superstar, lady gaga, is offering $500,000 as a reward for the return of two dogs, after a gunman shot her dog—walker and stole the animals. the dog walker is being treated in hospital and is reportedly recovering well. but the suspect made off with two of the singer's french bulldogs — koji and gustav. a third dog, called miss asia,
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managed to escape. a pet detective and bloodhound handler in los angeles it is really not that common. i have not had a case that has happened here yet, and out of 700 cases in the last six years, only 4% of my cases are actually stolen, so it is not as common as, you know — i mean, i do not think it is common at all, so. why would thieves want steal french bulldogs in particular? i mean, they are worth a lot of money. you can resell them on the street for a lot of money. but really, in this situation, you don't know what is actually going on, if it is something targeted towards the dog walker because it's lady gaga's dogs, or is itjust a random coincidence that, you know, this happened? how would you, as a pet detective, go about trying to find stolen dogs like this? well, the first thing i would need to is go over the case with the owner or whoever is working her case
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— boots on the ground so to speak — so i could see exactly besides what everyone is being told with the news, if they have any other information inside or, you know, does the dog walker have any thoughts of who could this be and, you know, there arejust a lot of questions i would go through with them personally to see what is going on and where they were at at this moment, other than what we know from just watching the news. you have been doing this kind ofjob for a number of years. how common is it for stolen pets to be reunited with their owners? i mean, i think it's all about having your case set up correctly. i think stay positive and you have a really good chance of being able to be reunited with your pet. it is reallyjust about having a case set up properly and understanding why the pet was taken in the first place in order to be able to put a plan together to get them back. lady gaga has offered a reward of $500,000. there is an argument that this
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might simply encourage more thefts of dogs of wealthy owners. so, the thing with that is yeah, it's a crazy amount, but it probably will be why she gets her dogs back, you know? notjust a regular person on the street has $500,000 to give away as a reward, so no, i don't think that it will target more people. i mean, people already know that — i don't know, it is a hard situation to say, but i don't think it will target more people because not everybody has $500,000 to give away. i think it is just a very different situation and because the reward amount is so high, it will bring a lot of scams in and a lot of unnecessary information because of the amount, but i don't necessarily think that people arejust going to start going, taking people's dogs, because they will not get $500,000 for it, so. jamie katz. k—pop superstars, blackpink, have emerged as the latest force in the global fight against climate change. the all—female group, whose stars have billions
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of fans around the world, have decided to speak outjust months before a major conference on climate change will be held in the uk. the british prime minister borisjohnson has written to thank them for supporting the un climate summit known as cop26. they spoke to our correspondent laura bicker in seoul. all: hi, this is blackpink! # hit you with that do—do, do—do, do! cheering and applause. they are one of the biggest pop acts in the world, their videos are seen by billions and break youtube viewing records... this is a global challenge. each and everyone of us could make a difference, and we need to act now. ..so when they do a call to action like this, it can have a real impact. i think we all probably saw it but definitely, the documentary that sir david attenborough presented — a life on our planet — has helped us a lot and various other platforms such as that has helped us
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to actually learn more about what we could actually do to sustain our beautiful planet. basically, the documentary showed us how precious our planet is and how vulnerable it is right now, so we are losing more of the natural world every day and time is running out, we feel like, so we just really felt like we need to say something, you know? yeah, i think we've all still got so much more to learn but it feels good that we can be able to participate in such an important cause. ..est accepte! six years ago, a un conference on climate change in paris was seen a pivotal moment. countries signed up to limit global warming to no more than two celsius. these countries will get together again in glasgow in november. it could be a make—or—break moment for change, and that is why blackpink say they have decided to speak out now.
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the first step is to know what's happening with climate change because it affects all of us, and we want to learn more and we hope our fans do too. # hit you with that do—do, do—do, do! cheering and applause. a budget electric car selling in china for around four and half thousand dollars is now outselling tesla's more upmarket cars. the compact car is proving a big hit for china's state—owned motor corporation. the electric vehicle is being built as part of a joint venture with us car giant general motors. last month sales of the budget electric car in china were around double those of tesla. more on all our stories on our website and i am on twitter.
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i'm @jamesbbcnews. do stay with us. hello there. there always seems to be something to talk about with the weather across the uk. we started the week with heavy rain, particularly in the far north and west. then wednesday brought the warmest day of the year so far with temperatures peaking at 18 celsius. a little bit fresher for thursday, yes, but still highs of 12 or 13 degrees — that's above average for late february. all the warmth, however, has moved its way over to the near continent and a change of wind direction — a fresher westerly — meant that fresher feel to thursday's weather but again, those temperatures are still pretty good for late february. it does, however, mean that clear skies by day will lead to clear skies through the night, so we are going to see quite a chilly start to our friday morning. at dawn, those temperatures will be hovering around orjust below freezing in a few places. the only exception,
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the far north and west. a weak weather front toppling across high pressure will introduce a little more in the way of cloud, but it's all going to be about this high over the next few days, keeping the story relatively quiet. so yes, we will pretty much have some sunshine from dawn to dusk across the country, with the exception of north—west, the great glen. here, a little bit more of a breeze and maybe a little more in the way of cloud. but in terms of the feel of things, pretty decent temperatures once again — 10—12 celsius the high. now, as we move out of friday into the start of the weekend, the high pressure is going to firmly establish itself across the country. we'll have a weak weather front toppling across that high again in the far north—west. it will introduce more in the way of cloud and some light, patchy rain across central and southern scotland first thing in the morning, but a very weak affair, and either side of that frontal system to north—west scotland and central and southern england, there'll be decent slices of sunshine to be found and temperatures, well, 10—12 degrees in the north,
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1a in the south—east. maybe just that little bit cooler and disappointing where the cloud will linger. but the high stays with us for the second half of the weekend and so, again, that means a relatively dry, settled story, but plenty of sunshine by day is going to lead to some clear nights and if you're a gardener or grower, it's worth bearing in mind that we could see a return to some frost and some fog, which may well be slow to lift away. but there will be some dry, sunny weather in the forecast — not only for the weekend but, as you can see, for much of next week as well. take care.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: president biden has held his first telephone conversation with king salman of saudi arabia, ahead of the us releasing an intelligence report about the murder of saudi journalistjamal khashoggi. mr biden says he wants to recalibrate relations between the two countries, with more emphasis on human rights. the president has also held a ceremony to mark the vaccination of 50 million americans against the coronavirus. mr biden said the us was weeks ahead of schedule on the path to immunising 100 million people, which was a key election promise, before his first 100 days in office. the queen has made her most forthright comments yet on the coronavirus vaccine programme. she said her covid—19 vaccination didn't hurt
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at all and urged those hesitant about getting a jab to be be selfless and think of other people. the queen was speaking on a video call to health leaders. now on bbc news, the travel show. this week on the travel show — taking on the tuk—tuks in sri lanka. the best thing about driving a tuk—tuk is that you just can take in all the gorgeous scenery. climbing for coconuts in kerala. ha! this is tough! and a journey of a lifetime in pakistan. it feels quite serious now. i have not seen ed. i don't know what condition he is in.

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