tv BBC World News America PBS February 8, 2021 2:30pm-3:00pm PST
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ narrator: funding for presentation of this program is 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. woman: and now, "bbc world news". laura: i am laura trevelyan and
washington, d.c. and this is what -- bbc world news america. south africa pulls the jab after an early study shows disappointing results against the variant. on the eve of his second impeachment trial, lawyers for donald trump asked the senate to dismiss the charges against him as unconstitutional. plus, night life but not as you know it. w the winter lockdown is leading people to enjoy the outdoors, after hours. the rush to vaccinate the globe, but the south african government has decided to hold off on using one million doses of the off -- oxford astrazeneca vaccine.
that study suggested it provides only minimal protection in moderate cases of a new, local south african variant. reporter: even the weather could not dampen the optimism last week, as one million doses of the astrazeneca vaccine arrived in south africa. the second wave of covid-19, driven by a more resistant and highly contagious variant, caused a spike in hospitalizations, far worse than the first wave. last night, scientists advising south africa's government delivered news that no one wanted to hear. . >> i think we need to suspend the use. reporter: plans to vaccinate
have now been put on hold. >> we have lost family members because of this. we need to get this vaccine so we can be able to carry on with our lives. >> we are sll attending memorial services. there are those that want to be vaccinated. so we can get rid of this. reporter: there is no doubt, this is a setback. the challenge now is for the government to vaccinate as many people as possible in the next few months, before winter, because that is when the third wave is expected to hit. reporter: in the meantime, scientists think all hope is not lost. >> we can still use it, provided we get confirmation from oxford astrazeneca that their booster will come to us. reporter: the new variant is
driving spikes across the region, striking southern africa harder than anywhere else on the confident. gravediggers have been kept busy, as the number of fatalities continues to rise, even in countries that seemed to have dodged the first wave. laura: as we just heard, new vaccines are in development to protect us against the south african variant. the next phase of this pandemic could become a game of catch up between the variance and the vaccines. reporter: around the world, there is now a race between the virus and the vaccines. the threat of new variants and efforts totay ahead of them. the outcome matters to us all. the first wave of countries, including the u.k. should see the majority of their population vaccinated this year.
others won't reach that stage until next year, and many will have to wait for the year after or even longer. >> this is a global virus, a global pandemic. until we are all protected, it could be that a variance in another country mutates so that the current vaccines are no longer effective. that will come back so you can people who are vaccinated, they will be at risk of these future variants. the virus is changing all the time, and when it infects human cells, it takes over and gets them to make millions of copies. but they want all be the same. each batch may have some random genetic mistakes. mutations that are usually unimportant, but a few might prove dangerous. >> the first track is to track these changes. studying the code of the virus. since december 2019, when it was first confirmed, scientists have monitored a family tree with hundreds of wrenches.
-- branches. each of the slime -- each of these lines. it is only by doing this genetic research that we can spot the variants that are oriented -- worrying. half a million british coronavirus samples have gone through genetic screening. these machines are among those that have done most of the analysis. few countries could work on this industrial scale. there is a lot we don't know about how the virus is changing worldwide. >> there are thousands and millions of cases globally. there are undoubtably other variants of covid that are spreading quickly. any one of those additional strains around the world could confer an advantage for the virus, allow it to reinfected people. that is what we want to protect against. reporter: one answer is to have
a global screening operation. mobile labs in south africa started -- studied the ebola virus. something larger is needed now. the faster the vaccines can be rolled out, anddapted as new variants emerge, the safer we were all be. -- we will all be. laura: lawyers for donald trump have filed their brief. they called the case against him an active political theater. they added that the trial would provide them an opportunity to explain what it is absurd and unconstutional to hold an impeachment trial against a private citizen. mr. trump was impeached last month on a single charge of incitement of insurrection, following the capitol hill riots. what can we expect tomorrow? joining us is our washington correspondent. what is the president's trial brief actually say about his role in those events of january
6? >> essentially, they say that he uses freedom of speech. like any citizen in america he has the right to free speech. it also said that he did tell his supporters to go home, and stu do so peacefully. a lot of people would say that that came rather late in the day, but that is the claim that his lawyers are making. democrats -- accuses democrats of being obsessed up impeaching donald trump. trumped arrangement syndrome, and they happen trying to impeach him for years. that is the case they are setting out. i think you will see them over and over again, as they did in their brief, say this is unconstitutional. he is no longer in office. the point of impeachment is to remove someone from office, if they are no longer there and impeachment can happen -- can't haen. laura: you are there on capitol
hill. when the storming of the citadel took place, how are democrats planning to harness the emotion of that moment to their attempted prosecution of the former president? >> i think that is something really important to bear in mind. the people that are going to be jurors, the senators, but the same people that were basically victims in this. the senate floor was attacked by those insurrectionists, thomas one month ago. -- almost one month ago. they will be using video footage, social media footage, also drawing on tweets and other evidence of social media. also, donald trump's words, putting that together and showing that to these senators, to make their case, bringing home what happened that day, what was said and what the result was. laura: there has been a lot of
haggling on capitol hill about the rules of this trial. what have you learned? >> donald trump's lawyers have issued a statement. you can hear echoes of their climes -- claims. they are pleased that there is a bipartisan agreement on what they call this unconstitutional impeachment trial, and the process for this. the rules are going to be that they will start on tuesdayith a 40 -- four hour debate. each side will have 16 hours over two days to make their case, they can't go over eight hours on either day. there is a sense that both sides would like to see this wrapped up fairly quickly. republicans don't want this to go on longer than it has to. for democrats, joe biden the president has an agenda that he would like to concentrate on. yet, the focus is once again on donald trump. democrats you have the option to put a vote in for whether or not
to bring witnesses. that will drag things out slightly longer. it will be interesting to see whether they take that up. laura: thanks so much for joining us. while the storming of capitol hill by trump supporters on january the sixth was fueled by this information of the result of the presidential election, mr. trump claimed that evidence of the election being ripped. let's go to the bbc this information reporter -- this information reporter. how significant a role did dis information play? >> it played a huge role. unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud spread like wildfire, not just after the
boat put in the months leading up to it with conspiracies like qanon, the baseless conspiracy that president trump is waging a secret war against satanic pedophiles and everything is rated against him. it's become very clear that these were crucial and inspiring the violence that happened. lots of his committed believers are using platforms like telegram to continue to evolve and talk about their conspiracy. even those who were more disillusioned when biden did become president are clinging to hope that perhaps at some point during this impeachment trial, the fourth of march is a date they have chosen, trump still somehow be president. laura: why is that date of march the fourth so significant? >> they are referring to some very complex historical moments, legislation, about when someone
officially becomes the president of the united states. they are looking back to times before, when it was always the fourth of march that was the chosen date back in the 1920's and before that. clinging to that and saying, see look what is going to happen. trump is going to be president and everything else is gointo be an old. hashtags like the fourth of march and 19th president are continuing to spread on platforms like tiktok. tiktok doesn't have as strict rules when it comes to clamping down on conspiracy theories like human arm, or disinformation about the election, in comparison to twitter and facebook. you are seeing lots of videos about the fourth of march continuing to be shared on their site, rallying the troops who then go on to talk on encrypted channels. laura: january the sixth was supposed to be a seminal date. what was supposed to happen is joe biden was not certified as president. how do that but -- how did that
lead to a schism between qanon? >> in the days following the inauguration we definitely saw a split. they are more vulnerable to other nspiracy theories. they are clinging onto hope, perhaps something will change, perhaps it will all work out in the end. trump will be president and the ring will be destroyed. i strongly suggest we are going to reach the fouh of march and their conspiracy date is going to be reached and nothing is going to happen. seeing the legacy left by these conspiracies is the real worry. what happens? does the comparison keep evolving? i expect it will.
a lot of these people have ruined their personal lives. laura: our disinformation reporter in london. in other news from around the world, military authorities who had seized power in myanmar are threatening action. in a statement read out on television, they warned against committing acts that can damage stability, public safety and the rule of law. tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations across the country, the third day running. the elected leader is still in detention. benjamin netanyahu has pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. he was making a second appearance in court since his trial began last may. netanyahu was charged last year over allegations that he accepted improper gifts, so to trade favors with media moguls in exchange for positive coverage. mrnetanyahu has blasted the
charges as fabricated and ludicrous. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program. president biden has change course on u.s. policy towards yemen. we get a rare glimpse inside the war-torn country, the efforts to bring about a cease-fire. ♪ laura: it is day one of the australian open tennis tournament, the most ambitious sporting competition there since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. the event is only happening because australia has been able to control the spread. reporter: after a three-week delay, and a dramatic and coroversial buildup, the australian is finally underway. there is a real buzz around elburn, tennis fans and streaming in throughout the day, substrate to the courts, others enjoy the outdoors and watching
on the big screen. it does feel different this year, with the covid safety measures in place around the park, from hand sanitizing, to encouraging people to cover their faces, and to social distance. the park has been divided into three zones. your ticket takes you to that specific place. that limits the number of people mixing and also helps with the contact tracing in case of an infection. ♪ laura: president joe biden has called for an end to the war in yemen which has killed around 100,000 people, according to one united nations estimate. it has been six years since the saudi led coalition intervened in the country's civil war to restore an internationally recognized government to power. rebels backed by i run are fighting to regain control. our international correspondent has been granted rare access to
yemen, and a warning, our report does contain some distressing real. reporter: a city cradled by mountains. a country overshadowed i worked -- by war. it is the seat of power, propped up by saudi suprt. when ministers flew in from exile in reality -- riyadh, this was the welcome. the first of three missiles. the woman screaming in fear is a local journalist. >> [speaking foreign language]
>> they saw so many people running. kids, women, injured, killed. for a moment, i thought about my family. reporter: yemen's foreign minister saw the full horror from the plane, along with the rest of the newly formed unity government. >> i was very optimistic. hoped to return to the country, start the process as a foreign minister. start preparing for peace process. dealing with these challenges. we never thought that would have such attack. reporter: in just 60 seconds, 21 people were killed including aid workers and airport officials.
the government blames iranian backed houthi rebels who control most of yemen. they deny it. >> the news was broken on this tv channel by their reporter at the scene. >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language] reporter: the person was killed on the spot, on one more dark day for yemen, leaving behind five young children. he died, died, died, says his mother. who begged him not to go.
>> she had so many plans. reporter: another home, another roomful of absence. >> sheet at a lovely smile. reporter: she was one of the 18 people killed at the airport,'s yemen deputy minister for public works. do you have any thoughts or words for the people who would carry out an action like this? >> i have -- it is not only our family that thus they reall beloved person. everyone definitely has someone. i am sure the person who did this thing has lost someone in his family. let's stop. reporter: can the conflict be stopped? it is deeply embedded here, and it is playing out against a
backdrop of regional rivalries. the new u.s. president, joe biden, is pushing for peace. he may need to be ready for the long haul. laura: can president biden help to end the war in the heart and yemen? one consequence of lockdown in the united kingdom has been how neighborhoods come to life after dark. the night walking which people can get a breath of fresh air and avoid the crowds has become a ritual. the advice is to stay close to home, where something bright and keep your distance. david has joined keen walkers who are reclaiming tonight. >> see you later. reporter: it has for many of us become a lockdown ritual, as darkness descends, instead of settling down, it's the moment to head out. short winter days, the only time we can escape her exercises after dark. >> hello.
reporter: she is a passionate night walker. >> my hearing becomes more sensitive. i sense of smell is more acute. you can really appreciate the air on your face, in a way that during daylight hours, these things go unnoticed. reporter: but short days and lockdown, walking and running in the dark has for many of us become a daily ritual. >> when things do eventually returned to normal, maybe we will rememr all of this as fleeting phenomena. but it is already starting to make people think. reporter: it's much busier in the streets is an? i joined a professor. her specialist -- specialism, how life is changing. >> i think it will change people's perception of safety in their own city. they will realize that perhaps
it is not as unsafe as they thought. reporter: here we have somebody else. you are not alone. thoughts also shared by carla, who feels this is a freedom we should consider more. this does fly in the face of advice, especially for women about not going out and walking at night. >> i agree. and i would challenge that and say, that everybody should be entitled to have and experience, and an adventure by night. but that should not just be the preserve of men. we have been conditioned as women to believe that we have no place out in the night. yet when you can create a place of safety for yourself, it builds confidence. reporter: if different neighborhood to neighborhood. but for some of us, the lockdown has made the dark a little less for bidding. -- for bidding. laura: theaters have been closed
in new york city since last march. one performing arts school has brought live music back for the pop-up concert series. the artist play an empty shop front windows and their music can be heard to a sound system outside. there will be 60 performances rangingrom chamber musicians to broadway stars. the program employs artists affected by the close theaters citywide. the event organizer says, we have an absolute star for this kind of art. this kind of human connection. the aim is to bring passersby a moment of joy. nobody misses broadway more than me. i am laura trevelyan, thanks so much for watching bbc world news america. have a great night. ♪ narrator: funding for presentation of this program is provided by.. the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation.
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♪ captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, judgment approaches-- more details are ironed out as congress a the american people prepare for the second impeachment trial of now-former president trump. then, reopening schools-- we speak to the c.e.o. of baltimore city schools about the challenges of returning to in- person classes amid the ongoing pandemic. and, the longest war-- we report from inside taliban territory in afghanistan as the u.s. troop withdrawal deadline looms and the war's impact remains in doubt. >> as you walk around these taliban-controll