correspondents around the world. >> welcome to life in paris, world news and analysis from "france 24". i'm mark owen. these are the headlines. street protests as a moscow court convicts alexei navalny, sentenced to 2 1/2 years for violating his patrol while out of the country with presidential approval to undergo treatment in germany for nerve agent poisoning. opposition to the military coup in mnmar is making itself heard. residents calling for the release of the de facto
president, aung san suu kyi. and the latest on the coronavirus situation. russia's sputnik vaccine is now set to be more than 90% effective. it's raising questions in europe where there's a shortage of vaccines and even in france, the question has been asked, why not turn to a chinese alternative? more on that to come. in is life in paris. ♪ mark: thank you very much for being with us. there is international condemnation of the conviction of the anti-corruption campaign in russia, alexei navalny. subzero temperatures, people have taken to the streets to voice their protests against the verdict. a moscow court has sentenced navalny to 2 1/2 years in jail
for violating his patrol. he he was on parole for another conviction in 2014. navalny was in germany with knowledge of russia for life-saving treatment for the poisoning of a nerve agent that happened in august of the last year. navay and h supporters say he's a victim of a setup of the state, pointing the finger at president vladimir putin. our correspondent in moscow joins us now live for more on the situation. theo, tell us the latest where you are, sir. reporter: i'm just by the main street in moscow leading down to the kremlin. i was by the kremlin earlier. absolutely incredible police presence here, hundreds, if not thousands, of riot police on the streets. very few protestors because very few people able to access, in
fact, nobody able to access the square where the opposition called this protest next to the kremlin. it's completely barricaded off. many, many police officers around it. so there's no way there's going to be the sort of mass assembly that the opposition were hoping for, after this conviction. what there are, dozens of police vans and police occasionally picking off people standing in the street detaining those who look like they might be heading towards the protest. in the last hour, i've seen about a dozen people taken towards police vans on the streets of moscow. so that's the situation here. certainly not the protests the opposition were hoping for and a real crackdown from the kremlin, as we have been seeing over the last two weeks, ever since navalny returned to moscow. mark: at the weekend, mass demonstrations were seen as well as as many as 5,000 arrests.
you've been observing this. how are things expected to develop from here? reporter: it's very difficult to tell. the kremlin crackdown is likely to contie, as are the opposition calls for protests. so we'll just have to see how this progresses. what's certain is that navalny may be in jail but he's not over influencing rusan political life. his supporters are able to cause protests, theyre able to carry on with their anti-corruption they'll be doing it with a vengnce after ts priso tm which they say is unwarranted and politically motivated. mark: we were discussing this on the "france 24" debate. one of the issues that comes up is whether vladimir putin is being harmed politically by what is going on.
reporter: yes, i think he's -- seems he certainly is rattled by this. this is something that navalny talked about in his closing speech to the court today. he said that all of this case against him, all this repression of protests, is because of the hatred and fear of one man and he was, of course, referring to putin with tt. as he often does, he took the opportunity, possiy the last time he'll be appearing in front of a national and intnational audience for a while, to take digst put. he said thatutin would go down in history as putin, the poisoner, in reference to the way that navalny was allegedly poisoned with t nerve agent.
mark: th mertes, keep us up to date, please. following theevelopments in the wake of the 2 1/2 year jai sentence for alexei navalny for breaching conditions of his parole. pa of his breach was tha he was comatose receiving the life saving treatment of the poisoning he sustained he says at the hands of the russian security service in august. that treatment given to him in germany. vladimir putin denies an attempt on navalny's life in august and the court of russian justice puts navalny in jail and his supporters prevented from taking to the streets. as we heard from our correspondent in moscow, by strict and highly organized russian policing. we will keep you acrust of all the developments in this story.
people protesting in myanmar. aung san suu kyi remains under arrest. the military acted amid unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud that gave her party a landslide victory in november. >> a show of oositioon the stres after pro-democracy activists urge people to express anger at monday's military cou drivers honked hns and residents banged pots and pans while others shouted best wishes to detained political leaders, including aung san suu kyi. earlier, banks reopened and phone and internet services resumed but this root to the city's international airport remained closed off. >> the military took power early
on monday declaring a year-long state of emergency. it's already announced a major cabinet reshuffle including the appointment of 11 new ministers and sacking of 24 deputy ministers. aung san suu kyi hasn't been seen since she was detained and is thought to be under house arrest at her official residence. it's understood that hundreds of members of parliament are held in government housing in the capital. >> it's very, very important that the generals be held accountable for this illegal action and there's a range of options that the international community has. those are being considered right now. there's lots of discussions going on but we're going to move into the action phase, i hope, as quickly as possible. >> the coup came after the country refused to accept november's election results which gave suu kyi's party
victory. mark: the u.n. security council calls for a strong response to the seizure of power. at the u.s. state department, officials said the takeover was determinedo constitute a coup d'etat, and washington has threatened to reimpose sanctions. more from new york. porter: thisecurity council meeting myanmar was virtual. we had a snowstorm in new york and due to covid-19, almostll u.n. meetings are virtual right now. this meeting was called by t u.k. which holds the rotating presidency of the security council this month and china, myanmar's primary backer in the council, reportedly asked for it to be a closed meeting so the council was not even able to agree on a statement. diplomats said china and russia wanted more time to consider a draft drawn up by the u.k. that condemns the coup and calls for the immediate release of aung san suu kyi.
now, the secretary general special envoy on myanmar addressed the security council andalled for the immediate release of suu kyi. she said that recent developments were a serious blow to democratic reforms in myanmar. during the security council meeting, fresh information came out that suu kyi is now at home under house arrest. the u.n. secretary-general spokesperson said the results remain the same and that the u.n. is calling for her to be released. those calls were echoed by western powers. the u.k.'s ambasdor, barbara woodward, said the u.k. condemns the military coup and detention of myanmar's elected leaders. she said the hope is that we can all speak with one voice. that is not the case at the moment, while the u.s. state department has charactered what happened as a coup. china is remaining tight lipped. the hopes that the security council will be able to meet again on myanmar. n.g.o.'s have been really critical of the lack of response from the security council.
a spokesperson to human rights watch said that the u.n. security council's abysmal failure to address myanmar's past human right abuses assured that it can do as it wishes and it should demand the release of detained political figures and that targeted sanctions should be imposed on military leaders responsible. mark: jessica with the latest top-level diplomatic responses to the military coup in myanmar. we're watching for developments. next, the highest health authority in france has ruled the astrazeneca vaccine is not recommended for those over 65. it's the second word from the oxford astrazeneca team after germany ruled out giving it to that age group. the trial of 30,000 americans could be decisive. president of france says the vaccination is gathering pace.
mark: french president emmanuel macron. it's claimed that russia's vaccine, sputnik v, has a two-dose effectiveness of over 90%, according to "the lancet." it seems to contradict the skepticism that surrounded the heralding of the jab by president vladimir putin in august. back then, of course, he was saying it was the first worldwide. putin says russia can produce 500 million doses of it a year. with the shortage of the first
properly approved and tested vaccines here in europe, the question is asked, should france think about using it? at this vaccination center in paris, everything is in place. the only section currently of any use is the waiting area. though three vaccines have been approved in france, supply problems at european producers means doses are rare. so attention is turning to other horizons. russia, for one, says it's ready to send the e.u. 100 million doses of its sputnik vaccine. russia says sputnik v is 91.4% effective 28 days after the first injection. the country has indeed submitted
its authorization request to the european medicines agency. some 15 countries have already approved sputnik v including argentina. but the rush to develop it meant that russia skipped key trial phases. on tuesday, however, british medical journal, "the lancet," published the results of an independent phase iii trial suggesting a 91.6 effectiveness rate for sputnik v. another potential option, chinese vaccines. two are in use within china, one of which has been approved in hungary. chinese producers, though, have not requested approval by e.u.-wide regulators. mark: the team searching for the true cause of the covid-19 outbreak in china has visited an animal disease center in in the city where the virus took hold. they praised the facility in
wuhan. earlier, the w.h.o. officials in geneva pushed back against suggestions that china is being less than forthcoming about how the pandemic started. >> excellent facilities, very informative. >> in wuhan tuesday, the briefest of updates from the world health organization's covid investigation team, followin their visit to the hubei province center for animal disease control and prevention. w.h.o. investigators kept far from the press as their chinese minders keep tight control over access to information. monday saw the u.s. secretary of state once again criticize beijing for a lack of transparency over the origins of the pandemic. >> there's no doubt that especially when covid-19 first hit but even today china is falling far short of the mark. mark: the w.h.o. itself has faced no shortage of criticism over its handling of the crisis.
its current investigation was delayed for months amid negotiations with beijing. with public skepticism sparking visible exasperation among top officials. >> who is responsible here and who is acting responsibly? to say you won't accept a report before it's written? if you think you have answers, please let us know. mark: the virus was first discovered in wuhan in december 2019 but as the pandemic spread worldwide, chinese officials and state media have sought to cast doubt on its origins,. the w.h.o. team has visited the site of the wet market believed to be at the start of the official outbreak. it plans to visit the institute of virology from where some believe the virus may have leaked. don't forget that scene from the world health organization when it arrived in hubei province spent two weeks in quarantine at the order of chinese authorities
being allowed to start their investigation into the actual source of the covid-19 outbreak over a year ago now. time for business. kate joins us. the u.n. security council convenes an emergency meeting on the military coup in myanmar, kate is looking at the impact of the struggling economy there. >> it's already one of the poorest countries in the world and instability and threat of sanctions could discourage overseas countries from doing business there. condemnation by western nations could have a ripple effect. reporter: there's a tense atmosphere on the streets of myanmar's capital following monday's military coup with the future of the country uncertain. the outlook for the economy is bleak. credit ratings agency fitch has downgraded its forecast from 5.6% to 2% for 2021. local businesses are worried about the potential eect on
their prospects. translator: it would be more difficult for international countries to work here if myanmar isut under sanctions. if they happens, they will leave myanmar to maintain their image. reporter: western leaders have condemned the military's actions and washington is threatening sanctions if democracy isn't restored. although there is limited trade between the two nations, business between the u.s. and myanmar was worth $1.3 billion in the first 11 months of 2020 but analysts warn the repercussions of the coup could be devastating. >> so many boycotts of the country, potentially, major sanctions tacked on, in many cases where there are already sanctions but the tightening of the screws affecting a number of countries. reporter: last year, singapore accounted for 34% of overall
investment. then hong kong at 26%. experts say that companies thinking twice about investing in myanmar could turn to china as an alternative, further weakening the economy of what's already one of the region's poorest countries. >> checking in on trading action. wall street has closed sharply higher. the dow jones jumping around 500 points. the nasdaq adding to gains from yesterday, closing up over 1.5%. shares of gamestop slid 30% on monday, down 50% today. as wall street closed, alphabet, parent of google, reported its fourth-quarter profits hitting $15.2 billion as ad revenue soared. amazon reported fourth-quarter profits doubled to $7.2 billion and that its founder, jeff bezos, would step down as chief executive later this year to be replaced by andy jace, head of amazon's cloud computing business. earlier, the major european
indices closed higher, gaining over 1.5%. data showed g.d.p. in the single currency euro zone block shrank .7% in the final quarter of last year. moving on to some of the day's other business headlines. pfizer expects the covid-19 vaccine developed with biontech to bring in $15 billion this year, representing almost a quarter of its overall sales in 2021. along with moderna, pfizer and beent bint, biontech, said they would take profits from the vaccine. oil giant exxonmobil reported losses of nearly $20 billion in the final three months of 2020 and $22 billion for the year as a whole, the worst yearly results in its history.
rival b.p. lost $18 billion, its first net annual loss in a decade. both oil giants have struggled as the pandemic slashed demand for energy and oil prices dropped although crude prices up 50% over the past three months. tesla has issued a recall for nearly 135,000 cars in the united states. regulators say the models, including sedans and s.u.v.'s, have faulty processors that could affect the touch screens and possibly increase of risk of crash. tesla said it would repair the issue at no cost starting in late march. the u.s. senate has confirmed pete buttigieg as the transport secretary for the biden administration. only 13 senators voted against the appointment. secretary buttigieg will oversee spending on infrastructure as well as emergency aid given out for public transit systems and airlines struggling in the pandemic. a sector that could see major
changes if the administration pushes through new fuel economy standards. buttigieg is the former mayor of south bend, indiana, and one of the democrats who challenged biden for the democratic nomination. he marks the first openly gay senate confirmed cabinet secretary. mark: power to his elbows, they say, and possibly another presidential contender in years to come. kate, thank you very much, indeed. if kate ran for president, i would vote for her. great to see you. time for focus. alexei navalny sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison this tuesday in moscow but the silencing of navalny doesn't mean the protests against vladimir putin will stop. our report from moscow takes you to the heart of the demonstrations. behind the scenes of the anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by navalny. there are people prepared to risk all to make noise against the system.
>> on sunday, all over russia, tens of thousands gathered to demand alexei navalny's lease and vladimir putin's resignation. >> there have never been this many road blocks in moscow for a protest. it's true but today they've blocked the whole city center. >> the police made more than 5,600 arrests, an unprecedented number. though already at demonstrations the previous weekend, more than 4,000 people had been arrested.
>> this is anya, she took part in an action in defense of political prisoners and got sentenced to 10 days in jail. >> they didn't have enough space in the cell so i spent two days at the police station and now we're waiting. >> in front of this prison in moscow, four days after the first big protests against navalny's detention, alexander and other volunteers are trying to help protestors who have been given short jail times. >> i managed to photograph the police bus parked on the side of this prison. 17 people are being held inside of it. it's cold outside and the bus is not heated. they've had no food more than 12 hours. many family members do not know where their loved ones are being held.
there have never been so many people sentenced in such a short time. that's why the prisons have run out of space for them. after the first protests, more than 150 people were sentenced up to 15 days in prison in moscow alone. others risked tougher penalties. criminal investigations are ongoing with charges carrying jail sentences up to 10 years. authorities are targeting protestors, activists, journalists and navalny's collaborators and relatives who have been arrested one after the other. >> all over the world people are allowed to express their opinion in the street but not here. people who go out to demonstrate are excreted as extremists -- treated as extremists. repression is just beginning. >> the russian investigation committee accuses them of violating covid restrictions. in moscow last week, police
raided around 20 homes and offices. >> the aim of this is to scare us, to say, look, we went to their place, we could coming to yours. they won't be able to scare everybody. when he came back to russia, navalny said, i'm not afraid. you don't be afraid, either. and i say, navalny's not afraid, i'm not afraid. >> a little earlier that evening, police searched the offices of navalny's anti-corruption foundation and the studios of his youtube channel. >> they always break everything but yesterday they didn't have any difficulty opening the door yet you see here how they tried to rip it off. >> the following morning alexandra, the producer of navalny's youtube channel, came to work as usual. >> i think that right now it's important to explain why people
are coming out to demonstrate. it's not just because they support alexei navalny. even among my friends, there are people who are not frankly fans of him but they consider they have a right to go out into the street to demand their freedom. navalny's team is not just five people. it's a huge number of supporters and volunteers. how many people's places are they going to raid? a thousand? mr. prisons are already full. what are they going to do with >> following alexei navalny's example, thousands of russians are risking freedom to protest against vladimir putin's regime. the question is, how long will their courage last? mark: the situation in russia regarding alexei navalny, we're watching for developments. stay with us, this is "france 24". ai■>ú■og■■■■■■■■ amys