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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  November 19, 2020 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. a report into possible war crimes by australia's special forces in afghanistan outlines "unlawful killings". the australian military isssues an apology and admits discipline broke down. credible information regarding deeply disturbing allegations of unlawful killings by some. the race for a coronavirus vaccine clears another hurdle. pfizer says its vaccine is almost 95% effective. more than a quarter of a million americans have died from the virus. we'll hear from the man whose job it is to tackle the pandemic. officials in the us state of georgia say they'll complete their presidential vote recount just hours from now. we'll look at what effect that
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might have on the outcome. there's credible evidence that australian special forces unlawfully killed at least 39 civilians, farmers and prisoners in afghanistan. that's the conclusion of a long—awaited investigation by the australian defence force into misconduct by its forces. the inquiry investigated 57 incidents and heard from hundreds of witnesses. it uncovered "a shameful record of a warrior culture by some soldiers", according to the chief general, angus campbell. he apologised to the afghan people. to the people of afghanistan, on behalf of the australian defence force, i sincerely and unreservedly apologise for any wrongdoing by australian soldiers. i've spoken directly
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with my afghan counterpart, general zia, to convey this message. general campbell also outlined a culture of toxic competitiveness within the special air service regiment. the report says that none of the alleged unlawful killings were described as being in the heat of battle. the findings allege the most serious breaches of military conduct and professional values. the killing... the unlawful killing of civilians and prisoners is never acceptable. it's my duty and that of my fellow chiefs to set things right. it's alleged that some patrols took the law into their own hands. rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told
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and prisoners killed. our correspondent in sydney, shaimaa khalil, is following this. will this report lead to criminal prosecutions? yes. it's a very long process after what we have just heard, these very disturbing findings from that long—awaited security report that took four years to put together. we heard from the prime minister last week and he said a special investigator will now be appointed. within the home affairs department to ta ke the home affairs department to take those findings, collate evidence and then bring them to the public prosecutor. this is going to take a very long time. he said there are many incidents as we have heard this morning from general angus campbell, many incidents to investigate further and that process is going to be highly complicated. but it's really interesting to watch general
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campbell today because after his address, he was asked whether he asked if it of the report to be that bad and he said despite knowing something was wrong there was something deeply wrong, he said i did not expect to hear what i heard about some of the practices and some of the alleged unlawful killings by members of social forces in afghanistan. what changes can we expect in the australian forces? a couple of things. one is so think general campbell spoke about within his address a numberof about within his address a number of times. this is the result of a culture. he said as a result of the toxic competitiveness but a result of the culture that encouraged this kind of unlawful killing. he said there is going to be an oversight panel that is going to be outside the army poss mention of command that is going to look at what needs to change within the special forces and in the practices and it was interesting he said this is been happening now for a few
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years but there are some pockets of resistance within the army regarding change. but we also know that the prosecutions would take place, the special investigator is going to start doing that but really i think the focus today is going to be about this highly uncomfortable reading of the redacted report that has been released. especially the fa ct been released. especially the fact that it was not just the violations but the nature of the violations, the fact that they were quite deliberate, the fa ct they were quite deliberate, the fact that a number of these special forces personnel almost acted with an air of impunity. one thingl acted with an air of impunity. one thing i think that is going to stand out from many people here is the fact that none of the alleged perpetrators, none of the alleged circumstances where printers did not know what they were doing so it was deliberate —— deliberate but also general campbell mentioned what he described it as a shameful practice of blooding which means and some of these alleged incidents, junior soldiers were coerced to kill
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prisoners as an initiation, a practice called blooding. so not only are those prisoners allegedly killed but actually some of those soldiers were coerced into killing them. he said and described this practice as an only unlawful but appalling and shameful and so but appalling and shameful and soi but appalling and shameful and so i think very uncomfortable reading there, notjust so i think very uncomfortable reading there, not just for the military but also again for the government. both are going to come together to find out exactly what needs to happen and the steps and he said many will now be kept undated about what needs to be done in terms of changes in the culture of the military. thank you very much for that, from sydney. to the latest on covid—i9 now. in the past few hours, it's been confirmed the number of deaths in the us has passed a quarter of a million. with cases still rising, the biggest school system in the country, in new york city, has now scrapped all in—person teaching. but there's some good news
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about the coronavirus vaccine being developed by pfizer and biontech. final trials show it is 95% effective in people over the age of 65. what's more, it has passed safety checks, making it ready for approval by authorities around the world. it's due to roll out later this year. our medical editor fergus walsh reports. yet more good news on vaccines. last week, pfizer/biontech were the first to show their vaccine protected against covid. now we have more detail. pfizer says the vaccine is more than 94% effective among the over—65s and showed the same consistent protection among volunteers from different ethnicities. there were 170 cases of covid—i9 across more than 40,000 volunteers. 162 of those were among the volunteers who got dummy or placebo jabs, and only eight in the vaccinated group. there were no serious safety concerns, but a small minority
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of volunteers suffered significant headaches orfatigue. i think this is good news, and also very encouraging that the vaccine seems to show equal protection in elderly people because that was a question we couldn't answer after the first announcements last week. our immune system usually declines as we age, so it's highly significant that the vaccine protects the elderly, who are most at risk from covid. the pfizer vaccine has to be stored at —70 degrees, which creates some logistical problems, but it remains usable for a few days in a normalfridge. it's thought regulators could approve the vaccine by early december. nonetheless, it seems increasingly likely that some covid immunisation will begin before christmas. fergus walsh, bbc news. in the past two weeks, pfizer and biontech and moderna have announced hugely successful trials of their covid—i9 vaccines.
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others are in development, while a third major trial, from belgian company janssen, is going on in the uk. according to the who's vaccine tracker — there are 155 vaccines around the world in pre—clinical trials. some of the leading contenders in the race for a vaccine are pfizer and biontech in germany, the university of oxford and astrazeneca vaccine in the uk. and in the united states, moderna and novavax. the oxford university/astrazeneca vaccine had a successful phase one and two testing period. phase three testing is being carried out on participants in countries including the uk, brazil and india. sinovac, the chinese pharmaceutical firm, says its vaccine is nearly ready and will be rolled out early next year. sinovac is one of the four chinese vaccines in last—stage human trials. in russia, vladimir putin announced that the country has approved the world's first coronavirus vaccine from the gamaleya research institute.
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the drug has not been tested in large numbers and not by the most rigorous of methods. let's hear now from america's top infectious disease expert, dr anthony fauci. he's been speaking to my colleagues christian fraser and laura trevelyan about the pandemic. it's a very serious situation because there are lagging indicators. for example, when you see cases, then a couple of weeks later you see hospitalisation, then a few weeks later you see deaths. so when you see the massive increase in cases that we're seeing now, particularly as more and more people will be doing things indoors, which we know makes the risk even greater for surges, we're in a very difficult situation. we have to turn this around. you mentioned appropriately that there's light at the end of the tunnel in that we have at least two and likely more effective vaccines, but we've got to get people in united states, and i'm sure in the rest of the world
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including the uk, to continue to double down on some of the fundamental public health measures that we know work in mitigating against these type of surges. the universal wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding congregated or crowded sessions, particularly indoors, doing things outdoors preferentially over indoors, washing hands, they sound so simple and we know they can work. but there's a degree of what we're referring to, and i know you have in the uk also, of covid fatigue. the people just are worn out with these kinds of restrictions. we've got to get them to hang in there a bit longer because help is on the way and vaccines are coming. and they will be extremely helpful in our endeavour. i want to talk plenty about the vaccines, but i've got to address the politics because it's the elephant in the room.
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and i know it's very difficult for you at the moment, but the picture you just painted, if the death count is going to double, it's an uncomfortable comparison, but we're talking about one 9/11 every single day. and when you're in a conflict like that, the commander—in—chief has to lead from the front and should be leading from the front now. given that he's not talking to you and you're not allowed to talk to the incoming president—elect, at what point do you say enough? yeah. well, what i'm doing and some of my colleagues are, as much as we possibly can, to being the voice of what needs to be done. and that's why i'm here with you and that's why i've been doing this all day, to get that message out. you do what you can do with what you have. this is what we have, and this is what we're trying to do. we're trying to get the message out on the one hand. on the other hand, we're working very hard to get those vaccines deployed so people can
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start benefiting from them. if the food and drug administration here in united states gives emergency use authorisation, how soon until health care workers get it here in america and how soon till the rest of us get it? well, the plan is that hopefully by the end of december, the first tier of people, and that is going to be the recommendation of our centers for disease control and prevention, our cdc, who get advice traditionally from an advisory committee on immunisation practices, plus also weighing in with the national academy of medicine. i don't know what their decision is yet. i don't want to get ahead of them, but almost certainly it's going to include health care workers in the first tier. but i'll leave that decision to them. by the end of december, they will start getting vaccinated. and then as we go through january, february, march,
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april, we hope that we get the people of the higher priority through so that by the time you get to the end of april and go into the spring, april, may, june, you can then get the bulk of the people who are not in any of those priorities, the 25—year—old woman who has no underlying condition who wants to get vaccinated. hopefully as we get into the second quarter of 2021, we will have those people vaccinated. stay with us on bbc world news. still to come, president trump still refuses to concede the election, but the recount in georgia is unlikely to go in his favour. music.
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benazir bhutto has claimed victory in pakistan's general election, and she's asked pakistan's president to name her as prime minister. jackson's been released on bail of $3 million after turning himself in to police in santa barbara. it was the biggest demonstration so far of the fast—growing european anti—nuclear movement. the south african government has announced that it's opening the country's remaining whites—only beaches to people of all races. this will lead to a black majority government in this country and the destruction of the white civilisation. part of the centuries—old windsor castle, one of the queen's residences, has been consumed by fire for much of the day. 150 firemen have been battling the blaze, which has caused millions of pounds' worth of damage.
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this is bbc news. the latest headlines — a report into possible war crimes by australia's special forces in afghanistan outlines dozens of ‘unlawful killings". the australian military issues an apology and admits discipline broke down. the race to roll out a coronavirus vaccine clears another hurdle. pfizer says its new vaccine is almost 95% effective. more now on the australian war crimes report. i'm nowjoined by rawan arraf from the australian centre for internationaljustice. rawan, what is the significance of this report and that apology we just heard ? i think it is quite significant. we have to remember about this inquiry is that it has been running for a very long time. you had extensive media reports that really serious allegations of war crimes and affected many different families throughout afghanistan, particularly in provinces where special forces
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we re provinces where special forces were active in kandahar. it is significant for a number of reasons and of course this is the beginning, the reckoning. for many years the austrian public has been aware through extensive reports that some serious crimes are being committed in their name in afghanistan so i think that is the reckoning and we are interested to monitor the process going forward in ensuring that the victims and the families of the victims that have been affected are directly able to take part in the legal proceedings and justice processes that will follow. and what do you think needs to happen as a result of this to make things better? one of the interesting things that came out of the defence force press c0 nfe re nce came out of the defence force press conference and of course an announcement last week by the government that it's about individual and collective responsibility and accountability. i think the most important thing that we have seen the development of really positive developments is the establishment of this
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office of the special investigator. we are told the office will be staffed with experienced investigators, legal counsel and other support personnel and the government did recognise that investigations of these kinds are investigations of these kinds a re really investigations of these kinds are really complex and require international cooperation. so i think this is a really positive development and what this in is supposed to do is investigate the allegations of incidents of war crimes and refer for prosecution to the come was richer a public prosecution so i think this is a really interesting process going forward and we are very encouraged by. of course you wa nt to encouraged by. of course you want to ensure that the investigations that are conducted effectively and genuinely and that victims are included in the process as far as possible and the impacts and theirfamilies are as possible and the impacts and their families are recognised and considered. how much interest and attention have since had an australian? give us since had an australian? give usa since had an australian? give us a sense since had an australian? give us a sense of the scale and the importance of this report and the conclusions. i think that there has been really huge public interest in relation to
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this. i think it's also going to be reckoning for the austrian people as well this is why it is an important part that you have investigations into allegations of war crimes. because... the defence of humanity as a whole and this is a problem —— but part of accountability and i think certainly there is going to be more that will come out of the next few years and more shocking allegations of crimes that will come out as a result of what we have all seen in these reports and any trials it will come about as a result. 0k, will come about as a result. ok, thank you very much. it's now two weeks since the us presidential election, and donald trump is still not conceding to joe biden. he's still making unsubstantiated claims of "massive" voter fraud. in one of his tweets today, the president claimed that in detroit there were more votes than people and that he won the state of michigan.
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twitter added a warning, pointing out that claims of election fraud are disputed. the trump campaign has also put up $3 million for a partial recount in two heavily democratic areas of wisconsin. meanwhile, the time limit for georgia to carry out a manual recount of votes, which was triggered by the narrow margin of mr biden's victory, expires in just a few hours. i'm joined now by our correspondent will grant in washington. these latest challenges and particularly in georgia, is it likely to affect the overall outcome even in the state of georgia in terms ofjoe biden's when there? there can be small pockets of changes but i think they may be little more than hundreds here in there and what donald trump needs to affect any kind of change in georgia would be in the thousands. and that simply does not appear to be happening. as you say, the
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hand count we should be hearing back from sometime on thursday. but while there might be a slightly eat into the lead for joe biden, which is narrow below 0.5%, which triggered the recount in the first place, it will not or certainly will not be fitted to change the result of this state. i'm also intrigued by the challenge in wisconsin because it seems the areas they have chosen are heavily democratic areas that would be very unlikely to have a different result emerge as a result of a recount. i think actually that is unlikely to go the way that donald trump predicts or hopes. to an extent, they have paid these three men dollars needed to trigger that parcel recount i think because obviously so much bluster and so much noise has being made that he could hardly back down. notable they have not paid the $8 million required for a full state
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recount. those two are the most populous ones in the most important counties in the state. so there might be a margin of change there but again in no way is expected to change the situation from president—electjoe biden, who of course is calling now for and has been for the past 11 straight days, four donald trump to recognise the reality thatis trump to recognise the reality that is in front of him. and i think increasingly top republicans are joining the chorus on that. ok, thank you very much, will from washington. police have arrested three senior medical officers in the kenyan capital, nairobi, for allegedly running a child—trafficking syndicate. it follows a year—long undercover investigation by bbc africa eye into the theft and sale of babies. from nairobi, the bbc‘s ferdinand omondi has the latest. two days after a bbc investigation into child trafficking in kenya, these suspects were arraigned in court.
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prosecution said they were being investigated for possible links with child trafficking in nairobi. the court will rule on thursday on an application to have them detained to aid with the ongoing investigations. the court appearance came a few hours after the inspector general of police had announced that three medical officers in a public hospital were under arrest on suspicion of colluding with child traffickers. after bbc africa eye exposed an illegal trafficking ring in kenya, the interior secretary, fred matiang'i, has thanked the media for exposing the rot. he has also expressed his satisfaction with the pace at which the inspector general of police has taken action to ensure the crime is ended. police say that local public hospitals and children's homes within nairobi are involved. i am happy that the members of the public, and i want to thank you very sincerely, those who have volunteered information to us on that crime. and i thank the media for exposing these and for bringing it out.
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thank you very much. we don't blame you when you ask questions and when you bring information like this out. the inspector general has done a good job in moving and rounding up these people. i am satisfied with what he has done, and i support the speed at which he's moving to ensure that everyone who was involved in this crime is brought to book. police commanders have been ordered to investigate both public and private hospitals, as well as children's homes in their areas ofjurisdiction. these actions were triggered following this bbc africa eye documentary, which uncovered a series of illegal networks in which children are stolen from homeless mothers and sold on the streets for as little as $450 us. they also uncovered evidence of newborn babies offered for sale in illegal private clinics, as well as at a public hospital in nairobi. the expose that i've seen, as i said before, all the government agencies involved in children protection are being mobilised
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and they'll get to the bottom of this issue. and no efforts will be spared in ensuring that we protect our children and ensure all our children and mothers their safety. there are no reliable statistics on child trafficking in kenya. however, a nongovernmental organisation which tracks missing children, missing child kenya, has recorded almost 600 cases in the past three years. it's a highly secretive and lucrative trade which leaves behind widespread trauma and painful memories to mothers who may never see their children again. ferdinand omondi, bbc news, nairobi. there is more on the website, the team found there. you can reach me and most of the team here also the media. find me on twitter. thank you for watching, see you soon.
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hello there. much colder today than it has been of late thanks to an arctic blast, but this arctic blast is going to be quite brief because milder air looms in the atlantic and will arrive on friday for many areas. so today, cold. it will be windy as well to start with, and we'll have a mixture of sunshine and showers. the pressure chart shows why it's windy — northerly winds, lots of isobars across northern and eastern areas, hence the gales — but this ridge of high pressure will continue to nudge in through the course of the day, so the winds becomes lighter and will also kill off many of the showers, too. behind me there is that milder air with the frontal system that will start to make inroads on friday. so, today starts cold, windy, gales across northern and eastern areas, wintry showers continuing across scotland. these will tend to ease down. and we'll have some showers across england and wales, these becoming confined towards the south east. many places seeing a lot of sunshine into the afternoon. the cloud will start
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to thicken up, though, across northern ireland ahead of this next frontal system. a chilly day to come, much colder than of late. temperatures are 4—10 degrees, but when you factor in the wind, certainly across northern and eastern areas, it's going to feel much colder than those values suggest, perhaps even subzero across central and eastern scotland. now, as we head on into tonight, it turns cold across central and eastern areas with a touch of frost. rain will start to push in to western areas. could see a few showers moving in ahead of it. and these will be wintry with some snow over the scottish hills as it bumps into the cold air. temperatures slowly recovering out west with the rain, but it stays quite chilly further east. but that cold air gets pushed out of the way as we head through friday, as the milder west to south—westerly winds move in off the atlantic. so it's a chilly start across northern and eastern areas, dry, too, but the rain out west will slowly spill its way eastwards. could see some transient snow over the scottish mountains as it moves its way eastwards. behind it, it turns a little bit drier for northern ireland, for wales and the south west of england by the end
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of the day. and here, at the end of the day, it'll be much milder — 12—13 degrees. still fairly chilly across the east — 9—11 degrees. now, as we head on into the weekend, it stays pretty unsettled. low pressure to the north of the uk, higher pressure to the south. across the north, it's going to be windy with gales on saturday across scotland with some showers, but lighter winds for england and wales, perhaps one or two showers on sunday. i think it's going to be mild for many of us on saturday. turns colder, though, across the north of the uk on sunday.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines: a report into possible war crimes by australia's special forces in afghanistan outlines dozens of "unlawful killings". the australian military issues an apology and admits military discipline broke down. new data from pfizer and biontech says their coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective in the over—65s and works well in people of all ethnicities. the pharmaceutical firms want to get approval to use the jab as early as mid—december. the us death toll from covid—19 has now passed 250,000. there are more than 11 million cases in the country. it comes as new york city closes public schools again from thursday over fears of a second wave of the virus. a recount in the state of georgia — which is due to be completed today — is unlikely to change the result that gave joe biden victory. that's according to officials there.


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