we're going to go over. hundreds of millions of euro to controversial foreign consultants president government coming under heavy fire for its vaccine distribution. microstates to russia. approved back seems to fail. on the b.b.c. reveals plans to reverse the dominance of american cartoon. targets the to get children watching more british based culture. good morning live from moscow this saturday it's kevin owen here for the next 30 minutes with the latest from our news h.q.
for you 1st france has suffered its worst week in the pandemic since november reporting more than 25000 new cases on friday and m.p.'s want to know why foreign consultants with deep ties to president mccrone pocketing huge contracts for a vaccine rollout plagued by delays and failures. reports. as the vaccine rollout in france gains ground questions being asked about the role of private companies and consulting firms involved they said to be playing a major role in the strategy which to many has been a major disaster several companies were hired by the french government between them they have signed contracts worth millions and millions of euros the lion's share went to american firm mckinsey the lucrative contracts signed with mckinsey and not initially disclosed to the public was supposed to help ensure vaccine doses could be transported across france work you might think is perfectly suited to france's
vast network of civil servants so the fact that it's been contracted out to us firm is that many with a bitter taste in their mouths. in government as in our hospitals consulting firm sort of policing public administration at astronomical cost why such contempt for civil servants. what an admission of an effectiveness and helplessness and our whole state apparatus what is it for absolutely amazing what is mackenzie doing there we have a ministry of health a ministry of the interior and a ministry of defense that know how to manage crises if we know how to mobilize them this is decay of the state. mackenzie appears to be a particularly poisoned chalice the firm recently agreed to pay more than half a $1000000000.00 to settle lawsuits brought by u.s. states it was accused of fueling the opioid epidemic for its work boosting the sales of oxycontin a painkiller not a squeaky clean reputation for
a firm helping the vaccine. it's a big scam yes for me it's a scam i don't have much to say personally but it's a scam and i'm not really surprised after all it's the government so it is bizarre it's not spoken about in the newspapers here you've spoken about it and we don't talk about it on television or in the newspapers the things that are said in our country it can mean nothing but in another country it's a scandal what can we do here in front of no government toying consultancy firms. uncommon these days but what has surprised me is just how quickly this appears to be accelerating my calls government to sign some 575 contracts with consultancy firm since october 28th covering everything from economic recovery to.
public sector accounts of big business. for around 10 percent of their overall profits so how do people feel. especially since there was a call for tenders all of that was it for french firms to will not because i don't understand why would it be a group that would benefit from these funds that's the story you just told me something actually i trust the government listen listen. i think these are things to deserve to be thought about we do need a private company to think about how we do transportation we still have the french railways air france on getting business. i think we could use them more wisely more courage to do more for france 1st you don't for example he doesn't give enough to france we give the impression that micron is no longer the president he does nothing french government has played down the role played by groups like mckinsey
consultancy firms have been used for several years by multiple governments when the elaborate and implement big projects require a strategic or logistical support and advice but what's really got people angry here is just how close the consultancy firms like mckinsey are to president with toys going back many years and with such sons lining the pockets of a private american consultancy firm at the same time when the economy here is being laid low by the pandemic many are now asking questions so much even r t s. summary knows become vaccinated with russia sputnik the code vaccine after deliveries of e.u. approved alternatives failed to arrive the microstate surrounded by italy isn't to the e.u. member so was excluded from block deals with pharmaceutical giants overshot supplies it had negotiated getting a tiny part of each to livery to italy but seeing delays the medical director at
some arena hospital told us there are no doubts about russian vaccine quality. will fuck with. the sputnik vaccine because there is an agreement between us and italy through the european union for the supply of money and pfizer vaccines that unfortunately are delayed at the moment therefore given the excellent diplomatic relations with russia we have chosen to get the sputnik the vaccine faster we saw some excellent reviews from renowned international medical journals like the land set or the spawn sanny in rome that have already tested the quality of this vaccine . officials say the russian major can eventually vaccinate some 15 percent of its population of around $34000.00 some renos labor minister also spoke to us told us more about why they made the choice. being an independent state even within the territory of italy and the european union we have the right to make independent decisions and have excellent relations both with e.u. members and countries outside e.u.
borders at the moment europe showing an increased interest in the sputnik vaccine and we've reached out instead of staying only inside the e.u. markets we acted in the interests of our own citizens and i'm sure that over time more states will draw conclusions and make similar decisions for a part we have complete confidence in the russian vaccine we can see that technical administrative and bureaucratic this is taken with regard to the production and distribution of certain products significantly slow down the approval process in different countries so we think these processes should be excel aerated due to the critical circumstances in the e.u. we simply did not have a vaccine and we had to make a choice but it comes as e.u. states also step up talks to get sputnik they austrade chancellor sebastian kurtzer spoke on the phone with putin about supplies as soon as the european medicines agency approved russia's jab we spoke to one top austrian for ologist about how the scientific community is responding there more to russia's development. i think that
the lancet publication shows that sputnik the is a high quality vaccine we have promising data 91 percent effectiveness which is high demonstrates this this is a vector based vaccine which means it is injected using a virus into our immune system to form immunity the difference between the other vector vaccine since sputnik v. is that it uses 2 different viral vectors and this is important as in some cases the immune system can create antibodies to the vector making the 2nd jab less effective. has 2 different viruses it makes the vaccine more effective. road to follow has been having in the south caucasus over the last couple of days later many in president is now discussed the national unrest with parliamentary group leaders as you are of and sees another day of mass opposition protests calling on prime minister nicole passion and to quit the controversial sacking of the armed forces chief
a couple of days ago reporting from the forest where the protest as come to parliament is comes. across the. morning sun shining where you are the birds singing as well looks like a nice early spring day question is it the weekend are a lot of people going to come out given the good weather and the cold to take to the streets so what's likely to happen and what's happening now. good morning kevin well the situation on year of on the streets is relatively peaceful at the moment however still no resolution in sight for i mean is turmoil after the prime minister any called pasha not accused his top military of a coup attempt well you know if you doesn't opponents of the prime minister again camped overnight in front of the national parliament and with tents and barricades it's become the center of a street up rising against the country's leadership the opposition has vowed to bring even more people to the city center and announced a mass rally planned. afternoon and we're going to be across that right now let's
have a listen to the statements from opposition figure has. been the. pressure from the public will rice and we will eventually make a posh union resign we have an unprecedented situation in our country a government that has lost cannot continue to be the government they need to have the courage to think like statesman enough like adventurers from the streets and to resign. at the time of the 28000 protests people were in a good state and now everyone is depressed everyone is shocked we've lost the war we've lost thousands of people we've lost territories our prisoners haven't returned so far they're still searching for thousands of people who have gone missing in such a climate it's very hard to do something for a healthy society. but street protests are just part of a larger a power struggle that has gripped the country in the last couple of days and there
is a top armenian military figures published a joint statement calling for a partial to resign it was supported by the country's political opposition including 2 former presidents that's one the prime minister has said that he's opponents are attempting a military coup against him and want to see boot out the head of the general staff of the armenian armed forces for being too political and not loyal and that would have been a show of force for the prime minister but he cannot follow through with this until the president of the country signs off on that order and that's when the latest meeting with a presidential office came into play yesterday 3 opposition leaders match with the armenian president who tried to convince him not to sign off on that order that would dismiss the armed forces chief after the meeting it is still on clear whether the president is going to move forward with the sacking as he is still has its own to take sides the bottom line is that the ongoing. rices and the country is far
from over. things very uncertain there will become about you later see what happens without call for that mass rally later on i 70 people turn out what they've got to say to constantly roscoff for this morning in the armenian capital here of where the country has been on edge since november over a peace deal with as a pleasure he was saying there on the disputed region we're going to cut about the government victory in that war but armenian saw the agreement in the end to stop it as a humiliating defeat had to be agreed to the protesters reacted to the truce by stormy at one point the government building in. much of the current volatile well volatility too has been fueled by a top level dispute over weaponry the prime minister earlier claimed that russian made missile systems have failed during last autumn's brief for the but the russian defense ministry says armenia did not use that weapon in the conflict over nagorno-karabakh a lot of kids already chalk it up to make
a very good chance of getting divorced mom. why the iskenderun that fired did not explode or only exploded 10 percent off. the prime minister and the government of army no longer able to make adequate decisions in this fateful and critical situation for the armenian people given the current situation the own forces of the resignation of the prime minister and the governments. of both off the. top.
it was we discussed the latest 2 with the vice president of the country's national assembly and an armenian that left hand in general a veteran of previous wars in the go in a car about. the regime that for 30 years the military has been poorly managed in terms of equipment and maintenance this led to the army becoming weed it isn't the army it used to be and pushing and came to power without a team experience the prime minister was an absolute 0 in military affairs as well as in economics and politics and this management disorganization noncompliance with the mobilization plan the destruction of command and control systems and the dismissal of military officers all this led to the fact that the general staff lost all patience and demanded the supreme commander his resignation as he was
destroying the army this destruction resulted in the loss of 5000 soldiers and tens of thousands of wounded. to communion. it's post-war turbulence when the military makes political statements it can only be called a military coup in the military must carry out its immediate task of protecting the borders of the republic politics is not a military matter our colleagues from other countries are emphasizing that this is unacceptable the prime minister has problems with a few military officials following the war and i must say the authorities and the prime minister are in control of the situation putting the blame on one person is wrong it's not fair and there are millions understand that and we all have our share of the blame it's. b.b.c. is pumping extra cash to reverse dependency on american cartoons like the simpsons the broadcaster said the extraordinary target of 90 percent of its cartoons being british in the future in just the latest self of
a very adult battling for children's minds here the average daschle reports. let's face it cartoons shaped all of our childhood the simpsons tom and jerry rug rats the looney tunes you name it with full response far too many hours glued to the t.v. . am. actually doomed according to the director of the b.b.c.'s children's department too many cartoons washed here in britain all while not british but i think we can do set our characters in the british setting or at least european when i'm talking now i'm saying what about roast beef instead of turkey we should be thinking about all these things children grow up with these cultures why not infuse more of our culture the drive us to develop homegrown animation series aimed at young says a 7 to 12 but should children be told what to watch in favor of promoting british
culture or should kids be left to be kids just kind of shift focus i don't think the british people like identity because they don't have any culture to speak out like that and just running around london right they can step outside make things worse and still chat that they need to be understand which coaching isn't have that retail for a young age sometimes kids like to hear something that so many of told them at school which times it doesn't but if it really makes a difference it's good to keep it to them to see the coaches but i don't think it's very depends on what the budget comes around they can watch it every couple of it's pretty extraordinary certainly obviously as broad as possible is going to be the best answer to anything the b.b.c. is even toying with the idea of recreating british versions of the world's most popular cartoons imagine if we could have a version of the seams as for children and families in the u.k. it would be amazing. but is that even possible now it's come up with new things i think i'm kind of the age of
remakes disney have done a lot and i've had enough. so i quite like mr best new story to town and i think we've been through enough this year tonight as news stories that could probably come up but i would say that yeah would be great to see that like medium come to the u.k. and be more like british and that type of humor i don't know if that would go abroad do you see climate change it seems to be pretty well maybe the b.b.c. is on to something here after all there's been huge successes like peppa pig in fact it was so popular that kids across the atlantic were hit with the pepper effect and began imitating british accents it's all the 1st time that foreign cartoons have come under fire a few years ago critics lashed out at a russian cartoon musher in the bag accusing of having a more sinister side being wait for it a propaganda tool. trying to. do just. 7
what it really is something here the cartoons are really used to indoctrinate children's minds and promote interests early start the better i guess. dozens of us democrats have signed a letter asking president joe biden to give up his sole authority for nuclear launches donald coulter examines why the donald trump is nuts for the democrats that's just an undisputed fact but it seems like they feel he isn't the only head of state who's lost a few of his marbles. you alone possess the authority to order the use of nuclear weapons this thing one person with this authority entails real risks past presidents threaten to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president's judgment nearly 30 democrats signed that letter which outlined 4 different ways to reduce presidential power over the nuclear button congressional oversight creating
a special counsel consulting the speaker of the house why the need for all these new rules if the guy they say is bonkers isn't in the white house anymore the dems say they just don't want to repeat of the past 4 years but some republicans think the reason is a bit more senile i mean cynical sleepy joe wasn't just a political nickname it appears to be a governing strategy a growing number of democrats who are not concerned about giving joe biden the codes for the nuclear system it's not just republicans though back in election season one poll said most voters in a number of pivotal swing states felt they had to choose between 2 old guys who were both mentally unfit for the presidency and judging by biden's campaign trail it was making things easy for him self. evident oh i know i'm a creative go you know this you know thing no man has a right to raise a hand tool and. other than self defense and that's rarely ever occurs and so we
have to just change the culture period and keep punching at it and punching out of . the snow sister valerie and i. mean so the democrats might be scared with that guy behind the nuclear button but it's not much different than having biden at the head of their expanding war agenda the very same democrats for example are saying america's longest war in afghanistan should be even longer. to pull out within several months now is a very challenging and destabilizing efforts we've got to be able to assure the world and the american public that afghanistan will not be a source of planning plotting to project terrorist attacks around the globe there's the minimum i'm not sure we can do that without some presence there and there's this year's national defense authorization act which the democrats put forward to the military budget to a total of around 740000000000 dollars today the house and a strong bipartisan message to the american people are service members and our
national security are more important than politics they're clearly not trying to put forward some kind of pacifist agenda so why should biden be at the head of military operations but not have his finger on the nuclear button it could be because mutually assured destruction isn't fun for anyone but in the killing is going on far away anything goes. but the classified u.s. intelligence reports directly implicated the saudi crown prince over the brutal murder of journalist american shell g 28 it was to set the tone for the bud administration's ties with a traditionally strategic partner asset freezes of saudi officials are now being considered although apparently not against the crown prince himself with secretary of state anthony blinken insisting warm relations with the kingdom and weapons sales continue it. i would say the relationship with with saudi arabia is an important one we have significant ongoing interests we remain committed to the defense of the kingdom. but we also want to make sure and this is what the
president said from the outset that the relationship better reflects our interests and our values and so what we've done by the actions that we've taken. is really not to rupture the relationship but to recalibrate well we now have made public the report from the u.s. intelligence office about the killing of jamal khashoggi the conclusion of this highly redacted report is that the killing was personally approved by the crown prince that he approved some kind of plan to kill or capture jamal khashoggi at the time of the. the crown prince probably and environments in which aides were afraid failure to complete a sign tasks might result in him firing a resting fist suggest the aides were unlikely to question mahmoud bin soman soldiers under sensitive actions without his consent now the report cites the
control over decision making in the kingdom held by the crown prince as well as the fact that someone from his personal security detail was involved in the killing now there is no concrete evidence in the report it simply says that based on their assessment of the situation in these details it's highly likely that the assassination was approved and now it's important to note that this report was released after a phone call between joe biden the king of saudi arabia took place and now in the aftermath of the report we have 76 individuals who have been banned from traveling to the united states they have been blocked from getting visas by the u.s. state department because they were accused of being involved in this plot furthermore the u.s. department of treasury has imposed sanctions on 17 individuals also believe. to be associated with the killing now the white house under joe biden has certainly shifted its tone compared to how the trial of ministration dealt with the issue of saudi arabia this killing and other things take
a listen to the president's intention as is the intention of this government is to . to recalibrate are engaged with saudi arabia and to have counterparts communicate with counterparts of course this is a crime as i said before shock the conscience i expects. that we will be in a position. before long to speak to steps to promote accountability going forward for this horrific crime now at 1st the kingdom of saudi arabia denied involvement but later we had the crown prince coming forward and taking responsibility for the killing certainly interesting to see how the position of different saudi officials have evolved over time.
now the killing of jamal khashoggi in the very brutal way in which it was carried out certainly shocked the world many look at this and say this could be a point that is remembered by historians as a rather negative turning point in the relationship between the united states and it's a longtime ally the kingdom of saudi arabia rejected the u.s. claims it again condemned the killing of thing that those responsible for the cross have already been punished. the ministry knows that the government of the kingdom of saudi arabia completely rejects the negative force and an acceptable assessment in the reports pertaining to the kingdom's leadership and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions further president biden's knows he
will outline quote significant changes to relations on monday but author and antiwar writer nicholas davis told us the kingdom will stay integral to american power in the middle east really a lot of the headlines from their reporting around the world. note primarily that there is no record caution snow punishment no sanctions for in selman and you know this this really seems to replicate many cases in which americans are charged with war crimes saudi arabia spent billions tens of billions a year on on us weapons are acts as a proxy for the us in that region. it's a closely aligned with israel the us has been fostering closer relations between all the gulf shakedowns and years rail to essentially. you know support
the us empire in that part of the worlds. but we're talking about this one exactly 28 minutes past the hour now thanks for checking in this weekend whatever you're doing hope you have a great staff. were more politicized than ever or more polarized than ever of the 21st century when speed is measured in megabytes per 2nd. because he'd seen him electronic mail electronic money electronic media infinite possibilities for exchanging information i mean me and my misery nationalized freedom of speech and social media bent censorship and double standards who should judge what can be said online. the
internet audience know totals almost 4500000000 for most all of them are active social network users put one wrong move on their pages deleted digital annihilation don't exist anymore. not who runs the show on the web how can anyone stand up to the tech giants if even the heads of state face the threat of being banned is there any limits to all that virtual tell yo the. movie but i will have reasonable way and.
i'm not sure if that's really going underground for a special edition in a week when the united states became the 1st country to suppose half a 1000000 coronavirus related deaths the highest total in the. wolds but another epidemic is also raging there the continuing opioid crisis joining me now from bring in new jersey is an international leading voice on mental health and addiction patrick kennedy the nephew of the late u.s. president john f. kennedy thanks so much for coming on going underground 1st of all the figures $81.00 found was in in 12 months to june what has happened in the united states about the opioid crisis because it's out of the headlines now well we we had an epidemic going into this pandemic and of course the pandemic has has moved off the front pages because of the urgency to address coronavirus but right underneath coronaviruses is all of the facts of isolation economic hard.