tv BBC World News America PBS February 2, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
america. . the russian opposition leaders sentenced to at least two years in jail, during a contentious court hearing he denounced russia's leader. amazon's jeff bezos is stepping down from his post as ceo later this year, he will become executive chair of the company's board instead. tributes are pouring in for a 100-year-old remembered for raising hundreds of millions of dollars for coronavirus workers in the u.k. ♪ welcome to world news america. the russian opposition activist has been sentenced to jail, the ruling could add further fuel to the protest that have swept the country. the u.s. and the u.k. have
called for his immediate release from moscow, we have this report. reporter: four years the russian authorities claimed the valley was no threat to them. outside the court, they were taking no chances. inside, handcuffed, he was brought into the courtroom. then the kremlin's most for osha's was locked in a glass cage. he had been accused of a parole violation. now a judge would decide whether a suspended sentence he had been given for fraud, six years ago, should be rned into prison time. the case is widely seen as politically motivated. he dismissed it as complete lies, and he is convinced the kremlin is behind it. in court, he delivered a stinging attacked on vladimir putin. he said he was in the dark
because of the hatred and fear of one man, the president. president putin would go down in history, he said, as the poison or. later, the court ruled against him. he wasent to prison for 2.5 years. >> we will submit an appeal. which deals wh the execution of decisions of the european court, which monitors the execution of european court decisions. reporter: is the latest twist in the most dramatic of stories. he survived a poison attack, allegedly by russian security agents and was airlifted to germany. on return into russia, he was
immediately arrested. that spark protests across the country, and his support and against vladimir putin. today police detained protesters. the kremlin pains many of those taken to the streets as hooligans and provocateurs. until today, the authorities had avoided sending him to prison, so he would become a political martyr. the calculation has changed. to the kremlin, he is now seen as a bigger threat at the pretty, and behind bars. laura: pivotal moment in russia. . the u.s., new coronavirus cases are fallen, and although the number of deaths remains high, the u.s. is now vaccinating 1.3 million people a day.
after next week, the biden administration will send vaccines directly to local pharmacies. spread of more aggressive variance remains a concern. joining us now is dr. tom friedmanthe former head of the center of disease control. thank you so much for being with us. do you think the u.s. is vaccinating enough people at one -- 1.3 million people a day? >> the fact is that vaccination alone is not going to bring this under control anytime soon. we need to double down on protection protocols, that means minimizing your timeshare indoor air with people who are not in your household and masking up. as we ramp up vaccination, we need to make sure we are not leaving some groups behind. we are seeing much lower rates of vaccination among black americans, the rates among care home and nursing home workers.
these are groups that require specific outreach. it is not just vaccines, but how well targeted they are. the sooner we vaccinate, the sooner we can reducehe death rate and ultimately the number of cases. laura: here in new york city, black people are being vaccinated at a much lower rate. you talk about targeted solutions, what do you suggest? >> the best practice globally is what is called a micro plan. the health department figures out, with great detail, who is going to get vaccinated, where and by whom. who are the best messengers, and what are the best messages. we have recommended a set of indicators to track that on a weekly basis, so you can adjust your program and improve it as you need to, figure out ways to reach communities that may be hesitant to get a vaccine. laura: now that the vaccine is
going to be shipped next week to pharmacies, at least one million doses, do you think that will make a difference? people like their local pharmacies, will fill our competent? >> the more places people can get vaccinated the more people are going to get vaccinated. right now we have a lot of demand an insufficient supply, yet some groups that need vaccination are not getting it. that is something that is going to have to be improved over the ming weeks and months, but it is going to be many months before enough people are vaccinated to make a big difference in the shape of the pandemic. the number of cases overall. laura: as you see the number of cases dropping, the number of hospitalizations dropping here in the u.s., the debts are still stubbornly high, what you think is going on? are people spending more time, as they should masked and socially distanced? >> i think we had huge spread
over december holidays, people traveled and spent time endorsed. lots of spread and now that is coming down. we have seen variants that spread more rapidly, and this is a huge morning sun. we need to not take r foot off the brake or the virus will come searching forward. laura: when you look at what the biden administration has done in the last two weeks, they are being aggressive, but are they being aggressive enough? >> i think they are doing everything they can. the fact is we don't have enough vaccine, and that is not something that can be fixed quickly. we have not had a smoke system of rolling the vaccine out to cities and communities, and they are working hard with states to make that happen. the prior administration had a plan of wanting their finger at the state. i am encourage the biden administration is saying we are in this together.
laura: dr. tom friedman, thank you so much for being with us. amazon's jeff bezos is stepping down from the ceo of the mecca company. he will be replaced by a person who joined amazon in 1997 and runs the web service cloudeam. joining us now from new york as our business correspondent. was this a shock? reporter: it is hard to underestimate how much of a shock this was, certainly for wall street. many analysts were paying attention to this company because it was releasing its quarterly profit figures, and that we learned news that jeff bezos had sent a memo to employees, announcing his decision to step down this summer and hand over the reins of this online retail juggernaut to any chassis. i think people are tied -- trying to digest what exactly it
means. is this the end of someone who has played such an outside role at the company, both as founder, but also as ceo? or is he still going to be involved in the big, important decisions? i think the conclusion initially is that, while he may not be involved in the day to day, people still be present certainly for any big decisions. laura: he is leaving, just as amazon has had a blockbuster time during the pandemic. reporter: i think perhaps that factored into his decision. that this was a good time to hand over a strong performing business to his successor. there might have been some clues, if you look back over the last couple of years, his divorce, other interests. all of these were seen perhaps as distractions, given how big a
company amazon is, and how much time it takes. that was reflected in the memo. he talked about, this would free him up to pursue some of his other interests, that includes the washington post, but also he has a rival project to spacex. this will give him some of that time, and the choice of his successor underscores the importance. there is this web service business that has been a huge profit center for this company, and continues be. the fact that the new ceo comes from that division, i think is significant. laura: thank you so much. president joe biden is changing the course the u.s. takes on
immigration, erasing that zero-tolerance policy of the trump administration. 's focus on reuniting children separated with their parents. let's go to erica pinero, an immigration attorney, and is currently in mexico. thank you so much for being with us. but you make of the administration announcing this task force, to try and reunite those families who were separated? >> we are obviously in a better position than we were under the trump administration, when they were still continuing to separate families. i have to admit, i was a bit disappointed by the task force itself. working directly with these milies, we see every day they remain separated feels like an eternity. i think t biden administration is making this seem a lot more complicated than it is. we were able to reunify dozens of family under the trump administration, and the biden demonstration can do the same for hundreds, even 1000 by jus issuing visas for the parents to
come back. i am hopeful that families will be reunified, but i am afraid this is a bit of a stall tactic by the biden administration. laura: the biden administration is also keeping some of the trump rder controls, apparently because they are concerned about a new wave of migration, fueled by the pandemic. but do make of that move? >> by not releasing any information about a plan for orderly and legal asylum processing, i am afraid the biden administrations creating a surge. right now there are tens of thousands of asylum-seekers stuck at the border, and they have been stuck for the last few years of the trump administration. as advocates, we have been communicating with them to wait for a by demonstration plan for processing. new asylum-seekers are arriving every day.
the more we go without information, the less migrants are going to listen to advocates. that document information is being filled by smugglers and other criminal groups who seek to take advantage of those individuals. right now, the cdc order stands. that eliminates asylum processing at the southern border. asylum-seekers right now are being expelled to mexico or their home countries, in the thousands. laura: president biden is also proposing this immigration bill, a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people in this country. this has been proposed several times before. you think this time there is any chance of it becoming law? >> i don't. i don't think we can expect every single democrat to support the bill. it's enormously complex. i think the folly has been to try and have comprehensive immigration reform, when it probably is better and more
expedient to attack these issues one at a time, instead of trying to put them into one bill. what has happened in the past, when bills have been proposed to give benefits to immigrants, but ends up happening is we just have more securityt the border, more money for military station at the border, and very few tangible benefits for immigrants. laura: thank you so much for joining us. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program. former detainees tell the bbc about systematic rape and torture in china's reeducation camps. we have a special report. ♪ nigeria, africa's most popuus nation has announced it is expected toeceive 57 million covid vaccines by the end of april. the aim is to inoculate 40% of the polation this year,
another 30% in 2022. remember, 70% is the magic number for her community. ever nigeria correspondent has more. reporter: the challenges are huge. the majority of the population does not have access to a regular supply of electricity. my power has been fluctuating throughout the day. keeping vaccines refrigerated is going to be very tricky. the pfizer vaccine needs to be refrigerated at very high debt matures. these are details people are anxious to find out how the government is going to be able to maintain these vaccines at a decent temperatureto make sure they don't spoil after that but in this huge investment to get millions vaccines available. the worry is that they might not be able to store them appropriately. ♪ laura: women in china's so-called reeducation camps have
been systematically raped and tortured. that is according to first-hand accounts obtained by the bbc. independent estimates say more than one million men and women have been detained in the camps which china claims are education centers to de-radicalize uighurs and other muslim iras -- minorities. ever correspond that has spoken to several former detainees. >> reliving a story she could barely bring herself to tell. she was held at a so-called reeducation camp. these satellite images show the site where she says she was held, sharing her with other women, with a bucket for a toilet. she is haunted by one image. masked men coming down the corridors, like this one, after midnight. >> they were three men. not one, but three.
they did whatever people their mind could think of, and they did not spare any part of my body. to the extent that it was disgusting to look at. they didn't just rape. they were barbaric. they had bitten all over my body. >> the u.s. has granted her safe refuge after investigating her claims. she has waived her right to an amenity, and now feels free to speak out about the full extent of the abuse she says she suffered. >> they had an electric baton. i did not know wh it was. it was pushed into my private parts and i was tormented with electric shocks. >> it is estimated over one million uighurs and other
muslims are held in camps. these never before broadcast pictures were filmed secretly in a camp und construction, published by a magazine on religious liberty. we have interviewed a former guard. he is the first ever to c forward, the risk of him speaking to bbc is so great, we have reconstructed the interview with an actor. >> those who were taken inside were locked in a cell which tells -- holds eight to 16 inmates. there were cameras watching them all the time. they had to study books and memorize them in chinese. if they fell -- failed, the punishment was severe. >> many former camp inmates flee to istanbul. some talk about choosing between punishment or being complicit in these crimes. >> i worked six months as a
cleaning worker for the women. chinese men would pay money to have their pick of the pretty, young inmates. >> this was the first time she has told anyone the full extent of what she says she was forced to do. >> my job is to remove their close completely, and handcuffed them on the beds so they cannot move. >> we can't say if the rate is approved by the camp commanders, or even by those more senior. the accounts of the many women i have spoken to include gang rape in public. the uighur rights group say their full stories don't emerge until later. >> survivors of the camps have told of horrific torture, very often sexual abuse is told in less detail. it is traumatic to remember, and
women are often afraid of bringing shame to their own mily members. >> the chinese government said in a statement, the camps are for vocation and educational framing, to tackle extremism and terrorism. they don't address directly the accusations of rape and torture. have added, the chinese government attaches great importance to women's rights. lies in absurd accusions do not hold water. >> it is very obvious. their goal is to destroy everyone. and everyone knows it. these women are done. >> much of the testimony of the women is too disturbing to broadcast. but it is important, they say, the world knows what is happening. laura: for shocking abuse of
china's uighur women. the world war ii veteran in the u.k. who raised millions of pounds for health service workers has died at the age of 100, after testing positive for covid-19. the queen who knighted him in july has offered her condolences, and britain's prime minister called captain, national inspiration. >> it began as a family charge. 100 laps in the garden to mark a 100 birthday. and so began the extraordinary journey. born in kingsley in 1920, he served in burma. after the war he ran a business, and before the virus the closest he came to fame less than appearance on tv. >> to girls. coming up 16, coming up 14.
>> everything changed when a family set up a fundraising page four captain tom. the hope was to raise 1000 pounds for nhs charities, to support the nurses and doctors. just over one week later, the total had passed one million pounds. by the time he celebrated his 100th birthday, it tops 30 million. ♪ he also had a number one single. ♪ a duet with michael ball. captain tom had become known around the world. he received more than 140,000 notes. he was made an honorary colonel. he received a knighthood. the raf staged a birthday flight. >> delighted with all of the
people who have come to wish me a very happy birthday. it really is awesome. >> and a time of illness, death, lockdown, captain tom's optimism and determination was a beacon of good cheer. [applause] >> i never anticipated anything like this. it really is amazing. i say to everyone, thank you to everyone, wherever you are. ♪ laura: national treasure in britain, indeed valued around the world. before we go, pennsylvania's
famous groundhog as predicted: >> six more weeks of winter there will be. laura: winter is here to stay for six more weeks. up to 20 for so his shadow this morning, predicting more winter weather, just as the northeastern united states got blanketed with its second sunday -- snow day. normally thousands of spectators gather, but due to covid, they were represented by cardboard cutouts. i am laura trevelyan, thank you so much for watching bbc world news america. have a great evening. ♪ narrator: funding for presentation of this program is provided by.. the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation.
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♪ judy: i'm judy woodruff, on the newshour. immigration reset. the president signs executive orders reversing trump administration policies on family separation, border security, and legal migration. covid relief -- negotiations continue on a major coronavirus relief bill. we speak to republican senator john barrasso about the ongoing talks. and, reopening schools -- debates over the risks and benefits of returning to in-person classes reach a fever pitch. >> all we're asking for is for the federal government to