tv Al Jazeera English News Bulletin LINKTV February 25, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
anchor: brazil's covid death toll rises above a quarter million. there are warnings a variation which is even more contagious is pushing the health system to the verge of collapse. this is al jazeera live from doha. also coming up, european leaders vowed to speed up the rollout of covid-19 vaccines despite supply concerns.
armenia's prime minister calls his supporters onto the streets and accuses the military of an attempted coup after it is said he should resign. facebook bands myanmar's military over the its treatment of anti-coup protesters. we are going to begin with breaking news -- is being reported the united states has carried out an airstrike in syria, targeting structures that along to iran-backed fighters. it is thought that it was targeting a military base. u.s. officials have told reuters news agency the strike was approv by president joe biden. the strikes come after a series of recent rocket attacks against u.s. targets in iraq. we will bring you more of this as we get it.
there are fears that brazil's health care system could be close to collapse. health minister says his country is facing a new stage of the covid pandemic with a mutated variant of the virus that is three times more contagious. the variant first identified is now quickly spreading through other brazilian states and is threatening to overwhelm local health facilities. brazil is the worst affected country in latin america. it just reached a quarter of a million deaths. there have been more than 10 million positive cases. the government has distributed around 40 million vaccine doses and has plans to inoculate half the country's population of 210 million people by the middle of the year. we have more now from rio de janeiro. reporter: on friday, it will be
the anniversary of one year since the first case of covid-19 was confirmed and the country has the second-largest death toll in the united states, so people are very worried because hospitals are really filled up in many states and all over the country. one state has floods and an outbreak of dengue fever, so it is a complicated situation. brazil has an experience of that of mass vaccination and has a very good system, but with this virus, there has been a lot of misinformation. you have the federal government and the president downplaying the virus, saying he would not beng vaccinated, so there was a political infighting between the federal government and states, so there is a lot of confusion
and delays starting the program. once it started, in certain places it stopped because there were not enough vaccines. rio suspended its vaccination for a while. so far, brazil has only vaccinated less than 4% of its vaccination and that is a problem going on. the private sector says mayors and governors have asked the federal government to allow us to buy vaccines on our own and not just depend on the federal government buying for the whole country. anchor: a professor of medicine at sao paulo and places the blame on the government's response to the pandemic. >> what the minister of health is stating is not true.
the reason of the surge of the epidemic is not to to a new variant but because of did nihilism of the federal government that provided effective medicines instead to provide the vaccination for the population. now, now you are having the perfect storm. a number of people with the disease because there is no restrictions. the minister of health and the president don't use masks. yesterday, in the federal government, there was a party with more than 200 people.
l of them without masks, without any kind of social distancing. it is a bad example for the whole population. so the reason for the increase in the number of cases of deaths in brazil is not due to a variant, but do to the worst conduction of the pandemic in the world. anchor: the pandemic has caused a crisis of a shortage of oxygen supplies. despite previous warnings, the shortages leading to unnecessary deaths. some desperate families have turned to the black market for life-saving oxygen. the un's as it will take $1.6 billion to stabilize supplies. that of the european commission says the eu is on track to vaccinate 70% of adults by the end of summer despite the criticism of its slow rollout.
eu leaders put pressure on astrazeneca over delayed covid-19 vaccine supplies. the company says they will hopefully deliver 47 million doses by the end of march, but that's half the amount they originally promised. emmanuel macron has rolled back comments that the astrazeneca vaccine was partially ineffective, saying he would take the jab himself. the leaders have agreed for vaccine certificates that could allow for vaccinated people to travel without restrictions. >> in germany, we decided to develop a national vaccine certificate. such a certificate is defined by the european commission. the german health ministry got a procedure and they need about three months to create the required conditions. reporter: brussels on thursday
was the venue for two separate meetings, both of which have a role to play in the way the pandemic will be managed going forward. eu heads of government are discussing the next step. three specific areas top the discussion. the first has to speed up the production of the vaccine to get more vaccines into the arm of europeans across the continent. they spoke about the need to facilitate production, but it -- but they did not go into much detail. the second discussion was about vaccine certificates, how people who had the vaccine may be able to go beyond social distancing rules, perhaps to travel in the near future. a broad agreement about how to go forward but no precise details about how or when that would happen. looking into the future, you have a meeting in brussels at the same time, the european
parliament there, interviews with heads of several of the vaccine manufacturers, particularly the ceo of astrazeneca or several members of parliament had hostile impressions about the way they perceive the treatment of the eu was going compared to the way it was happening in the united kingdom. his answer did not please those members of parliament. they were asking the questions that shows the lev of resentment there is among some people at the way the rollout of the vaccines are proceeding in the eu relative to the u.k. and other countries. anchor: u.s. regulars have given the green light for the pfizer biontech vaccine to be transported at higher temperatures. they can now be stored in a standard freezer rather than the ultracold conditions previously required. that changes will allow vaccines to get to more sites across the u.s..
armenia upon split a coal crisis is deepening. the prime minister has filed -- has fired his military chief after officials called for his resignation. they say they call amount to a coup attempt. opponents have set up camp outside of parliament saying they won't leave until the prime minister steps down. reporter: on thursday, armenia's premise or was defiant in the face of calls from the military for him to stand down. >> 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. reporter: an estimated 20,000 people came out onto the streets of the capital after he called for a show of support. the army cannot take part in political processes. they must obey elected authorities. reporter: he has been under
pressure to resign after his country lost the war with azerbaijan over the region of nagorno-karabakh. >> i'm not a supporter, but i cannot let a corrupted regime conquer. reporter: a significant number of soldiers were killed for a population under 3 million. they were forced to secede -- to seed large areas that armenia had controlled for almost 30 years since the end of the last war with azerbaijan. that prompted weeks of protests led by the opposition. he came to power in 2018 in what was called the velvet revolution after an attempt by the previous leader to stay in control beyond his term limit. >> we are in a crisis and i hope to see other institutions and our police and the army to
demand to leave our prime minister without any power here. reporter: opposition represented of say they will spend the night in freedom square. >> the prime minister and this government have diminished in popularity but the alternative, the discredited political opposition has much less support. in general, there is little alternative to him or his government, but this is unprecedented in terms of a military threat. reporter: what is not clear is whether the army is ready to use force to back the call to step down. a replacement forhe army will be announced in the coming days. the crisis will be announced. anchor: still ahead, another
vaccination rollout but a different disease -- guinea starts protecting its people against ebola. the president of china says his government has eradicated extreme poverty, but not everyone is convinced. >> it's time for the perfect journey -- the weather, sponsored by cutter airways. -- qatar airways. >> you can see this area spilling across shanghai, southern parts of japan seeing heavy downpours, thundershowers here could lead to localized flooding, certainly one to watch for. that does extend down into parts of southern china. as it makes its way further east, it will clear through. it just makes way for the next
weather system. we will see some snow coming back into northern parts of china around nine degrees celsius, but it should be largely dry. looking dry across the philippines now. the usual rash of showers as you go to the next couple of days. the wetter weather continues across indonesia. we've got flooding concerns across eastern java. these heavy showers are not going anywhere quickly. not too many heavy downpours for the forecast of india and pakistan, but some wintry weather from the far north. >> the weather, sponsored by qatar airways. >> and ancient land and one stream to transport hot air balloons from europe and fly
them over his beloved country. in an nation reeling from decades of violence -- >> probably about 500 meters. >> can an international team of pilots get this man's dream off the ground? balloons over babylon on al jazeera. anchor: a reminder of our top story this hour. the breaking news is being reported the united states has carried out an airstrike in syria targeting structures that belong to iran huffing backed fighters. it was thought that it was targeting a military base.
u.s. offials have told reuters the strike was approved by president joe biden. warnings that brazils health system is on the verge of collapse. health minister says his country is facing a new stage of the coronavirus pandemic with a mutated variant three times more contagious. thousands of armenians have protested for and against the prime minister. he fired his military chief after senior army officials called for his resignation. he said that amounts to a coup. opponents have set up camp outside the office. u.s. president joe biden and saudi president king salman spoke before the expected release of an american intelligence report on their release of the murder of jamal khashoggi. they spoke about washington's commitment to help riyadh defend itself from irani and backed rebels. the intelligence report is widely expected to locate the saudi crown prince.
reporter: we were told joe biden would have a call with the saudi king and this would be compiled by the director of national intelligence. we know senators have been briefed on the contents of that. joe biden said he would release the dossier as soon as he was elected but he wanted to speak to the saudi king first. we are told in leaks that have come out already that it will very much point a finger at mohammed bin salman, suggesting he was responsible for older that for ordering the death. one senator come after hearing declassified briefing, said if there was a jury then mohammed bin salman would be convicted within 30 minutes. even lindsey graham, big supporter of donald trump and
supporter of saudi arabia said it would mean is essentially redrawing the rules between saudi arabia and the united states. it is that significant and we expect it -- we expect to get that unredacted dossier at sometime in the next 24 hours and it could have implications for long-term u.s.-saudi relations. anchor: guinea has launched an ebola vaccination campaign. the country is desperate to stop the virus which reemerged for the first time there since 2016. at least five people have dd in the latest outbreak. reporter: health workers vaccinate people against ebola in southeast guinea. a new outbreak was discovered near here two weeks ago. >> i'm very proud to be vaccinated. it is a joy to me to see the population get vaccinated, especially those on the front line. it allows us to be safe,
protected from this disease because ebola is not a good thing. reporter: 11,000 vaccine doses and 200 health experts arrived in the capital on monday. the government and world hope the campaign can stop virus spreading by april. >> to help the fight against ebola, we interrupt the train of transmission by targeting the first contact of ebola patients and health workers on the front line you are exposed, including those who apply the vaccines. reporter: ebola causes severe fever and in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding. more than 11,000 people died in 2015 after the virus spread to sierra leone. the outbreak was contained after an experiment of vaccine was distributed but not before health workers were attacked by people who didn't believe in the virus. >> is an extremely useful tool
to end the outbreak but it is not the only killer. the other essential aspect of an ebola response needs to happen as well and it always comes back to community engagement. reporter: the who has warned six african countries to be on high alert for ebola, including sierra leone and liberia. hope is this campaign will stop the virus from spreading further and potentially save thousands of lives. anchor: sri lanka's government has passed laws for people who died of covid to be buried. some protested to demand an end to the forced cremations. reporter: the notification comes almost from out of the blue, the
most obvious place to announce it when all eyes are on sri lanka was on wednesday. but this notification coming late tonight has been quite a surprise and it shows the government has conceded allowing burial or cremation. what this effectively means is all covid-19 victims, especially the muslim and christian populations for whom cremation has been an issue, they can now choose which form they would go ahead with in terms of final rights. as much as we heard the prime minister that they hoped to allow burials, the huge reaction from the government which basically backtracked from the announcement gave everyone the impression that the government
was not going ahead with permission to allow the burial of covid-19 victims. they said it was up to experts and there was no longer backtracking but this announcement on thursday night obviously comes a time when sri lanka is facing a lot of pressure from the united nations human rights council and it needs as many friends as it can get. in terms of islamic countries, we did hear quite a few country speaking in support of sri lanka. but within that support was referenced to the issue of burials. these are all interconnected and there are lots of layer upon layer of negotiations and wrangling behind the scenes, but at the end of the day, for all those families of victims of covid-19, it is something that has been a victory for them. they can now go ahead with the
rights they are used to and want for their loved ones. anchor: in myanmar, supporters of the military coup faced off against opponents. violence broke out in some parts of the city. tensions come as facebook has and myanmar's military from its platforms. reporter: early on thursday, about 1000 marchers took to the city, voicing support for the junta and its takeover of myanmar's democratically elected leadership. they were flying the flag of the military and met by protesting against the coup. later, photos appeared to show military supporters with knives and other weapons. this is say they threatened journalists and then came reports of scuffles. an attack by suprters of the junta against protesters was caught on cctv. the video shows a man being assaulted by an armed group.
despite this, protesters gathered said they would continue with their peaceful civil disobedience. initially, police attempted to block them from leaving the campus but they made their way out to join other protesters. a few days after, facebook limited content from me's military on its left form, but now it has banned them altogether. >> today we banned the remaining myanmar military and state controlled entities from facebook and instagram. reporter: for years, the military has waged a sophisticated commute occasions campaign, weaponizing various platforms and using them to incite and glorify violence. some fields the by facebook needs to be part of an ongoing process. >> as these accounts have been blocked and removed, as much as we might laud their removal, we
need to ensure they are preserved and facebook makes them accountable for future criminal investigations. reporter: while the military has used social media platforms as a tool for its agenda, it recognizes how vulnerable it will be if they are taken away. anchor: the indian coast guard has located a group of rohingya refugees that have been adrift for nearly two weeks. the boat departed from bangladesh on february 11 carrying 90 people. at least eight people have died as there was no food or water on the vessel when it broke down four days later. >> when we learned of the boat in distress, we immediately dispatched coast guard ships to provide food, water, and medical assistance. several of them were administered iv fluids. around 47 occupants had id cards
issued to them in bangladesh. stating that they are displaced myanmar nationals. a sense of concern was registered by units here. we are in discussion with the government of bangladesh to ensure their safe repatriation. anchor: india and pakistan have agreed to halt fighting along the disputed border of kashmir. there have been several exchanges of gunfire and the two sides agreed to diplomacy to avoid further violence. india revoked the autonomy of kashmir in august of 2019. both countries claim the region but control parts of it. >> this is an important development given the fact the two military -- that general military operations have not fought over the hard-line for months and there has been tension along the line of
control. just last year, pakistan reported 3000 violations in which 26 people were killed, two hundred 60 seriously wounded. but the conversation comes at a critical time when there had been an exchange of fire along the line of control for the director general of operations saying they should take steps which are beneficial and sustainable to reduce the violations along the line of control. at the same time, the pakistan military chief has said pakistan wants to extend the hand of friendship to its neighbors but it should not be construed as a weakness. a pakistan military spokesman saying tensions were running high. that was on wednesday before the director of operations outline can occasions. anchor: the president of china
has declared complete victory in his campaign to stamp out poverty. he let a ceremony in beijing marking the country's accomplishments, but many question the authenticity of the government figures and whether the initiative is sustainable. reporter: at a ceremony in beijing, xi jinping wanted those who played key roles in china's fight to end extreme poverty nationwide. 770 million people have been lifted out of poverty, he says, over the past 40 years. for the second time since december, hailed the achievement as a victory for the communist party. >> 832 countries and 128,000 villages have been removed from the poverty list. the task of eradicating extreme poverty has been cleared. reporter: ending extreme poverty
has been a goal of his government since he came to power. they were tasked with going door to door to document incomes in poorer households and poured billions of dollars into the building of new homes and factories. >> is a textbook case on how to get people out of poverty and getting people out of poverty is perhaps the most single important thing any state can