tv BBC World News Outside Source PBS February 17, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
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ross: hello, i am ross atkins, this is outside source. leaders are deciding whether to stick to a deadline to poll out thousands of tros. >> the problem is, to leave afghantan's conditions based. our presence in afghanistan is conditions based. ross: they say it is not covert related, but precautionary. people are being deliberately infected with covid-19 and the u.k. in what is being called a human challenge trial. we will explain how that works. ♪ ross: a warm welcome to those of you watching on pbs in america and everyone else watching on
bbc world news. we are going to start with the important meeting for nato's military alliance. it is the first time defense ministers from nato's members will meet since joe biden became president, and what is at stake is the deal the trump administration struck with the taliban in afghanistan. let's begin by hearing from nato's secretary-general. >> the promise to leave afghanistan is conditions based. our presence in afghanistan is conditions based. the taliban has to meet their agreements. what nato does now is, first of all, we do whatever we can to support the peace process and the full, limitation of the deal. we will only leave when the time is right. i think the main issue is the taliban has to reduce the violence and negotiate in good faith, and to break all ties and
stop supporting international terrorist groups like al qaeda. ross: the first meeting will take two days, and some will look back to this moment from last year when mike pompeo, u.s. secretary of state at the time, along with the u.s. special envoy and a political chief from canada signed a deal to bring about peace and end 18 years of war. under the deal which was called the agreement for bringing peace, the u.s. and nato agreed to withdraw all troops by may of this year. in return, the taliban promised to cut all ties with al qaeda and end a violence in afghanistan. violence in afghanistan has surged. our correspondent is in kabul.
>> blasting their way in. to a besieged building. afgh police on the hunt for suicide bombers, and civilians trapped inside. it's a training exercise, but it is all too real. if the u.s. steel breaks down -- u.s. deal breaks down, there will be more of this, they warned. the interior minister thanks his men. afghan police often come under criticism as corrupt and ineffectiv these are the elite. as soldiers, they are on the front lines as peace talks
stalled. president biden said what should american fort -- if president biden said wt should american forces do, what would you say? >> i would say the taliban agreed to cut their relationship with terrorists. did they respect that? did they keep peace? if not, the international community will remain an afghan as long as needed. >> a taliban call to arms. they insist they have kept their commitments. foreign forces must be out by may. or else this war will get worse. kabul, january 2018, one of the last large-scale attacks the taliban clmed. an ambulance packed with explosives. hundreds dead and injured.
he was 15 then. >> when i came out, i could see body parts. i could see arms, hands. it was a really bad attack. i was scared. >> the biggest threat now? targeted killings. every day a blast or more. many blame the taliban. >> so now, when i leave home, i sa goodbye to my family. i don't know if i will make it home alive or dead each day. >> these kinds of large-scale attacks in kabul had stopped because of the u.s.-taliban deal, but now the taliban is threatening that if the united states does not pull out its troops on time, this kind of devastating assault could happen again. that has created even more fear among afghans in the city. ross: this conflict reaches back
to 2001. instead, more than 150 thousand people have been killed. it began in response to the 9/11 attacks in washington and new york. the taliban had been ruling afghanistan sin the 19 90's and al qaeda leader osama bin laden planned the 9/11 attacks. a nato-led international security assistance force arrived, and the aim was to defeat the taliban in the long term and to help rebuild ce institutions in afghanistan. what followed was a long, long fight between the taliban and the afghan government along with its foreign backers. in october, 2000 six, nato had assumed responsibility for security across the whole country. in 2008, the u.s. temporarily increased its presence to try to
prevent further taliban attacks. by the end of 2014, nato had officially ended its combat mission, but troops stayed in place. security leadership was handed over to the afghan forces. at the end of last year, president trump said the u.s. would withdraw further troops, leaving just 2500 there. i have been speaking with a retired left tenant general who served as commander general of the u.s. army -- lieutenant general who served as commander of the u.s. army. he said troops should not be withdrawn on may 1. >> the conditions have not been met and i don't believe they will be met by may 1 for proper withdrawal. for sure, we are all going to have to do this together. we went in together. we have to come out together. secretary austen emphasized being together. so i think a decision is going
to be made later about when we will pull out. ross: is there a risk that we went in together almost 20 years ago and will end up staying there together indefinitely? >> that's a great point and certainly nobody thinks we should stay there indefinitely. but i think meeti conditions and all of us agreeing on that, we have to do it in a way that does not expose the afghan government and especially afghan women and girls, whose life has changed thanks to nato's intervention, and third, we have to address pakistan. as long as pakistan is able to provide safe haven to the taliban, we could be there a thousand years and we will never solve it. all of these things have to be taken into consideration. ross: the u.s. justice
department has charged three north korean nationals with being behind a series of online cyber attacks in which they took 1.3 billion dollars in cash and cryptocurrency. this includes the warner ransomware attack that hit the uk's health care system particularly badly. another targeted sony entertainment. they use fake messageshat lead to the transfer of funds. the charges were made in absentia and all tee suspects are believed to be in north korea. the queen's husband, the duke of edinburgh, has been admitted to spital as a precautionary measure. the prince, who turns 100 this year, is expected to remain there for a few days. >> the queen is here this evening. this, of course, has been very much the permanent home of the queen and the duke of edinburgh for the last 12 months during the pandemic. they have been shielding here,
looked after by a small number of members of royal staff. let's just have a look at that statement again, which was issued earlier today with a little bit of guidance. he was admitted to a hospital in central london yesterday evening . it was up or cautionary measure. he had been feeling ill for several days. -- a precautionary measure. he had been eling ill and a doctor decided he should be taken in, as i say, as a precautionary measure. he traveled by car. this was not an emergency admission. he walked into the hospital unaided. reportedly -- people at the palace has been keen to say this was not covid related. the queen and the duke of edinburgh have had their covid vaccination. the queen is here this evening. from social media, it would appear she has in working as normal. -- been working as normal.
she was seen inquiring about the royal navy today. other members of the family have been out and about as usual -- as usual as anything is in these times. prince charles and camilla have been in birmingham learning about vaccine trials and speaking to some of the people taking part in those trials. despite the positive messages, we understand the duke is in good spits, but he is 99 years old. he will be 100 in june. so of course there will be concerns. no doubt the queen is being kept fully up to date on the condition of her husband of 73 years. ross: now to a covid story that might surprise you. the u.k. is set to be the first country to deliberately infect volunteers with the virus. it is called a human challenge
trial. 90 people aged 18-30 will be infected by having some of the virus squirted up their nose. they will be kept in a hospital for two weeks with their health being constantly monitored. all of this is to find out how much virus is needed to cause sytoms in healthy adults. >> for me, the challenge is sothing that made sense. it is something i can do to help during this pandemic. we want to help particularly low income countries as quickly as we can. ross: this trial is just one step in a much bigger project. here is the bbc medical editor to explain. >> this is all preliminary to what will happen later, probably in a couple months time, when they will start to do what they call vaccine challenge trials.
those, half the volunteers will be given a vaccine and half a placeb then they will be two weeks later infectewith the virus to see how well the vaccines work. but before you do any of that, you have to find out how much coronavirus you need to infect someone. ross: here is one othe people involved in the research. >> human viral challenges, because they directly inoculate volunteers, are able to establish if the vaccines work quickly. much quicker responses to determine if the vaccines are working. ross: one question you may have is why do you focus on young, healthy people when we know they are much less likely to get seriously ill with covid-19? this is why. >> there is no doubt that the immune system of a younger
person is much different than the immune system of an older person, so you will get a different response. having said that, we can learn a lot about how the virus asked by tracking it from the beginning of infection. ande can use that information to design better vaccines. ross: this kind of human challenge trial is done every ye for the flu. >> these things are very well with healthy volunteers to find out whether vaccines work. they are a very good way of fast tracking which vaccines in development -- this is unlikely to be for current vaccines -- which of the future vaccines will be best. that could be crucial with the virus mutating in years to come. we may need to continually find and update vaccines. ross: still to come, we will talk about rush limbaugh, the highly provocative american talk show host who has died at the
age of 70. more details are emerging about a man who was caught crossing the heavily fortified border from north to south korea. >> it appears this man swam from north to south. remember, this is a highly fortified border. it looks as if he swam across the maritime border and hit land. and then he made his way through a tunnel, some kind of grain -- drainpipe. he has slowly tracked his way south and he was found at a checkpnt within the restricted area of the border. this all comes from the joint chiefs of staff. they are launching an investigation because they say the trips -- troops did not act
quickly enough and they are looking at this drainpipe to see if they can block it more than it has been already. ross: ross atkins, outside source, here is ever in the bbc news room. nato leaders are again discussing whether to stick to a may deadline to pull thousands of troops from afghanistan. for the next few minutes, we will look at the pandemic europe. in a moment, we will look at various virus hotspots. the eu is ramping up its procurement of vaccines. you may remember, the eu was having major problems with its rollout in part because of the supplies from astrazeneca. to help, the u.k. has further ordered 150 million doses of the moderna vaccine, but those will
only arrive later in the year. the eu is also stressing that the vaccines haveo be able to adapt to new strains of covid-19. >> it is not a vaccine is there and we are over. we will go into a race against the virus. we will always have to be vigilant if there are mutations to fight them with improved vaccines. >> overall cases in europe are going down. according to the world health organization, numbers dropped by 18% last week. we would expect that with restrictions in place. this graph shows new cases in the green bar. they reached a high in january and have fallen since. that is only part of the picture. several countries are struggling including germany, portugal, the
czech republic, but first of all, poland. last week, the government eased restrictions. since then, cases have been rising srply. they had the highest daily figure for months on wednesday. officials feel the situation could worsen in part because of gatherings like this. this is the scene at one ski report -- resort over the weekend. 20,000 people rushed to visit as it reopened. as you can see, there wasn't a lot of social distancing and not everyone was wearing face masks despite them being mandatory. the u.k. variant is putting the health system under huge pressure. in prague, there are only four inteive care beds left. >> the situation is not good. it has worsened again. yesterday's figure was 12,005
hundred cases d we only have a few icu beds available. we will have to decide which way to go next. >> next to portugal. it was struggling, recording almost half its overall total, 12,000 people have died. patients had to be airlifted from the mainland to the island of madeira to receive treatment. it's a similar picture with deaths, 90 on tuesday, the lowest figure since january 5. then we switch to germany. during the first wave, i am sure you know, germany was seen as a success story compared to italy, france and the u.k., which had far higher death tolls. the story is different with the second wave. the vaccine rollout is slow. case numbers, hospitalizations,
and deaths are all causing concern. in january, angela merkel was caught saying we have lost control of these things. a number of cases is -- of this thing. the number of cases is decreasinglowly. >> the statistics show that the mutations are spreading significantly in germany. the variant first discovered in the u.k.orries us. two weeks ago, it made up 6% of tested samples. now, it is over 22%. for more on germany, i have been speaking to the brussels correspondent for the new york times. >> i think angela merkel was quite honest at the second wave. she felt that it had been too late -- that restrictive measures had been too late. she faced pressure internally.
there was a sense they moved too slowly. they only stepped up the measures and extended them to march last week. and that is not just in germany. there is a sense there was a real reluctance to go full lock down the way several countries have done in the first wave. some may be paying for that. ross: why is it going so slowly? we know there was a huge row with astrazeneca. is there any form of resolution? >> it's not going to be resolved in the first qrter of the year. whether tones have become gentler and mildernd there has been a desire to finmmon ground since the worst of that fat image -- that spat in mid-january, the reality is, the country cannot deliver what it said it would. we had a temporary setback in
deliveries from pfizer, which was also slowing down supply in order to up rate its facilities. that being said, there are promising signs for the second and third quarter of the year. we can be sure the first quarter of the year is going to be much, much slower in terms of rolling out those vaccines. ross: south africa, which has become the -- begun its vaccination campaign this week, is the first country to use the johnson & johnson vaccine. alth workers are the first to receive it. the president has also had the job as part of an -- jab as part of an effort to allay fears about the vaccine. rush limbaugh, the highly influential american talk show host has die he was 70 and had been suffering from cancer. he was conservative and he was a staunch supporter of donald trump who awarded him the presidential medal of freedom while he was in office.
following the news of his death, the former president broke his silence by phoning into fox news for his first television appearance since leaving the white house. here is our correspondent in new york. >> he paid tribute to rush limbaugh, one of the most influential americans of the last 50 years, who not only transformed the media landscape of this country, but the political landscape as well. and donald trump is especially grateful, because in his role as kingmaker of the conservative movement, rush limbah was very influential in the rise of donald trump. he saw something very different from a fringe and frivolous figure who stood no chance of becoming president. and rush limbaugh is one of the key reasons donald trump won the republican nomination. ross: is it reasonable to say
that he also mainstreamed some political ideas, some analysis on the state of america which had, until he came along, remained very much outside the mainstream? >> he really took up where ronald reagan left off. ronald reagan got rid of the fairness doctrine, a regulation that rad stations had to have two stay balanced. they could not have right wing radio hosts when the fairness doctrine was in place. he really gave voice to a lot of reagan like ideas, the shrill antigovernment rhetoric. ross: some pictures to show you quickly. donald trump's first atlantic city casino has been demolished. in its heyday, it dominated the new jersey skyline. it hosted boxing and wrestling matches, concerts, you name it.
here it is today. as you can see, it only took a few seconds to come down. it took three thousand pieces of dynamiteo implode the building. it was just days after donald trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial, so of course his critics have seen it as a symbolic moment, including hillary clinton, who tweeted a waving hand them a. that it -- emoji. that is it for this edition of outside source. i will see you tomorrow. 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. ♪ ♪ man: you're watching pbs. narrator: stream the best of pbs on any device with the pbs video app. all your favorite drama, history, science, news, and documentaries all in one place. watch your pbs station live or catch up on the shows you missed. discover new favorites from pbs and locally produced shows from your station. get the pbs video app now and stream the best of pbs anytime. anywhere.