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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  April 7, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ narrator: funding for presentation of this program is provided by.. the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation. pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you, thank you. woman: and now, "bbc world news".
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america." brazil records more than 4000 covid deaths in a single day. hospitals are struggling to cope and the contagious variant is being blamed. european medical officials say blood clots a a very rare side effect of the astrazeneca vaccine. the u.k. is going to offer young people an alternative jab. the global benefits of vaccine generosity. the imf says richer countries should do more to help poor nations access covid jabs. and a team of scientists say there may be a new force of nature and the old. -- nature in the world. ♪ welcome to world news america on pbs and around the globe. brazil has seen its worst day since the start of the covid pandemic. more than 4000 people died in a
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24 hour period. to date, the virus has killed more than 330,000 brazilians. hospitals are being overrun and would-be patients are dying before they can get treatment. burials are taking place throughout the night and some of the country's cemeteries. our reporter has more. reporter: even at night, the graveyards ibrazil are busy. so huge are the losses from covid. although the rate of deaths given the size of the population is not quite as bad as in the u.k. or italy, things are getting worse. and medical staff are desperate that even now, the message is still not getting through. >> it is quite hard to understand the need for social distancing when you have a president that says that social distancing is bad. reporter: president bolsonaro is getting a lot of the blame. rifrom the start he has played down the virus and he
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keeps blocking local authorities from taking any action. so the disea is now out of control. a big concern is a new variant known as p1, which is now spread fast. the result is this depressing picture of a rapid rise in the number of coronavirus deaths in braz, with more than 4000 in the last 24 hours. a much -- behind much of this is that p1 variant, which is more transmissible and seems to affect more younger people. although it is thought the vaccine should still be effective against it. in any event, the variant has been to most of south america including peru and bolivia, which has just closed its border to present. and it has gone further. british columbia is dealing with cases, as well as japan, turkey, the u.k., and many other countries. although vaccines are being given in brazil, they have reached only 8% of people.
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the fear is the more infections there are anywhere in the world, the greater the chance for new, more challenging variants to emerge. katty: it is a catastrophic situation. earlier today i spoke with the managing director of the international monetary fund about the situation in brazil. here's what she had to say. >> it is a very clear case why accelerating vaccinations is so important. there is no other way to prote brazilians, but also protect the world community from new variants of covid. katty: she went on to tell me that brazil could use this difficult moment to build a stronger foundation of its econand that the imf would be there to help. we will have more of that interview later in the program. but now i am joined by the abuser -- by the priscilla bureau chief from the new york
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times -- but now i am joined by the brazilian bureau chief for the new york times. a doctor there said they are literally choosing who lives and who dies. they are exhausted and need help. is that one hospital or is that what you are hearing from hospitals around the country? >> i think what we are seeing is a systemic breakdown of the hospital system in brazil. cities have had very good and capable medical teams say they simply cannot cope with the number of patients that are arriving. they are describing a situation where patients are going into hospitals increasingly sick and increasingly young, which means they are in critical care units for longer. it is a critical care system that is really being pushed to its limit and doctors are having to decide who lives and who dies. katty: as its getting so
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critical, we know that jair bolsonaro has been something of a covid skeptic. is the view of the government changing at all? will they take more measures to try and address the situation? >> president bolsonaro has consistently railed against lockdowns. he says they are bad for the economy and they cannot be the long-term solution to bring the numbers down. that means he is at wars with mayors, governors and scientists, who say it is the only thing that can give brazilians a fighting chance at significantly lowering the curve and get back to a state of normalcy that will allow the hospital system to cope with the number of patients they are receiving. it would also allow the country to speed up their vaccination campaign, which is really the only long-term solution to put this crisis behind us. katty: it has vaccinated less an 10%. is there any chance that as the
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government tries to negotiate more supplies, we could s that number improve, the number of people who have been vaccinated? >> it is very slow. right now we are looking at only 3.6% of adults who have received both doses of vaccine. so the government finds itself making up for last time. last year while many of its competitors were negotiating and brokering deals withaccine suppliers, president bolsonaro was exposing skepticism about vaccines, and essentially they were too late at placing orders and committing and getting in line for the early vaccine supplies. i think given how much concern there is about the variants in brazil and about the potential that new variants could complicate the worl's ability to bring the pandemic to an end, there may be a situation where countries like the u.s. send extra doses to brazil.
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but i do not see this happening in the immediate future. i think it will take a few months for brazil to get its act together on the vaccine campaign. katty: ok. thank you very much for joining us from rio. thank you very much. it's going to take time for them to get the vaccines. this doctor i spoke with earlier today in central brazil, just looked exhausted and at the end of the rope. they need help. the european medicines agency has said blood clots should be listed as a very rare side effect of the astrazeneca vaccine. the watchdog stressed however that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. in britain, officials now plan to offer alternatives for astrazeneca for people under the age of 30. our medical editor has more. reporter: turn up, get your jab. the message remains the same. but in future for the first time, the covid vaccine you
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receive will depend on your age. thats because evidence is emerging of a link between the ox serve astrazeneca -- the oxford astrazeneca vaccine and very rare blood clots. the u.k. regulator set up until the end of march, there had been 79 cases of rare clots with low platelets following a first dose of the astrazeneca vaccine. 19 people have died. that is out of 20 million who received the jab. that is one where clot -- one rare clot in every 250,000 vaccinations. >> these systems are detecting a possible side effect of the covid-19 vaccine, astrazeneca. in an extremely small number of people. the evidence is firming up. the balance of benefits and known risks of the vaccine is still very favorable for the vast majority of people. reporter: very few adults under 30 have died from covid, so that
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changes the risk-benefit balance from getting a vaccine. it's thought younger adults are at higher risk from clots after the astrazeneca jab. about one in every 100,000 doses. so they will be offered a different vaccine when there time c --ir times comes. are you worried this might damage vaccine confidence, especially in the young? >> these are very carefully considered decisions, and it remains vitally important the people who are called back for their second dose come for it. and it remains vitally important that all adults in the u.k. come forwarfor vaccination when they are offered it. reporter: the european medicines agency has come to the same conclusion. there is a possible link between the astrazeneca vaccine and very rare blood clots. mostly in women under 60.
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several eu countries had already restricted the astrazeneca vaccine to older adults. france to those over 55. germany to those over 60. scientists who analyze risk say this change of course should not put people off getting a vaccine. >> this vaccine is extraordinarily effective. it would be tragic if this led to distrust, even worse if it was her vaccines in general for covid, becauset has been shown to be amazingly effective. it has saved thousds of lives already. reporter: the prime minister believes the path to lifting restrictions should not be disrupted. >> i do not see any reason at this stage at all to think we need to deviate from the roadmap, and we're also very secure about our supply. reporter: it is thought covid vaccines have already prevented 6000 deaths in the u.k., and
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they remain the key to ending lockdown and returning life to normal. katty: the international monetary fund says it expects the global economy to grow this year at the quickest pace in 40 years. theyredited the global vaccine rollout and stimulus programs. but not all recoveries are created equal. as we turn to my interview, who told me about why richer nations should help poor countries. do you think rich countries understand the degree to which poorer countries also need to have access to the vaccine, and have it fast? >> this recovery is very uneven. it is a multistate recovery. and a big driver of accelerating the recovery everywhere is access to vaccines. we calculated ttur world w ill be $9 trillion richer
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between now and 2025 if we vaccinate everybody, everywhere, very fast. what does that mean? it means that today, the best use of public money is vaccinations around the world. it means that economies can get $1 trillion more in tax revenues if poorer countries catch up with vaccinations. katty: the key seems to be very fast, because there is some talk african countries could not have people vaccinated until 2023. that seems too slow. what specifically can richer countries do right n, today? in some cases, poor countries do not want money, they want vaccines. are you asking rich countries to
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hand vaccine supplies now? >> we are asking them to reallocate access of supplies to poor countries, yes, now. we understand that now they are already making projections as to when their vaccination will be advanced enough for this to be done. why? because producers need to be assured that they are not going to end up with access capacity -- with excess capacity and lose money on something that benefits the world. so advanced purchase commitment is the technical term. it means put the money in front of the producer and say, please produce as much as you can. if you have too much, that's fine. but if you have t little, the whole world will suffer. katty: you are the head of the international monetary fund. at the beginning of this pandemic there was quite a lot of speculation that the
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emergence of the coronavirus could lead to, if not the endf globalization, to globalization being out of fashion. have you seen that happen? >> it is exactly the opposite. the pandemic made us all aware of how interdependent we are. and it brought a soberness at the individualevel, at the country level, and internationally, about the importance of working together. what is pulling us out of the pandemic? it is the coordinated action to support the economies. and on that basis, protect us against the catastrophe. it would have been three times worse if we did not work together. and also, the fact that only scientists working together, only supply lines working to assemble this vaccine that gets into our arms, only that is what
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brought us to a point that we can enjoy some sunshine in our global forecast. katty: the global problem that needs a global response. managing director of the international monetary fund speaking to me earlier. the u.s. state department said today that it is prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the iran nuclear deal. that includes tifting of sanctions on tehran. the spokesman did not provide further details in a briefing earlr. tuesday, the u.s. and iran began indirect talks on restarting the deal. police in los angeles say excessive speed was the primary cause of a car crash involving tiger woods in february. they say he was traveling in speeds of up to 87 miles an hour, 140 kilometers an hour, at the time of the accident. derek chauvin, the police officer accused of murdering george floyd used
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inappropriate deadly force when kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. that is according to witness testimony today. the sergeant, a use of force expert for the los angeles police, told the court that mr. floyd was not actively resisting when the excessive force was used. you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come tonight, america announces it will preside -- provide palestinians with more than $230 million in aid, resuming a program that was cut off during the trump administration. ♪ amnesty international says that kremlin critic alexey navalny has been incarcerated in conditions that amount to torture. he has been on a hunger strike, acsing prison authorities of denying him proper medical treatment. here's more. reporter: this is something alexey navalny has been complaining about for a couple weeks now, in messages he is managing to get out of prin viais lawyers that are then
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being posted on social media, so widely shared. these are complaints particularly about acute pain in the small of his back, and radiating down his legs. alexey navalny has talked about numbness in his shins. he's said he is being woken everhour by prison guards to check that he is still in his bed and he has not escaped, which he says is sleep deprivation amounting to torture. he is now ithe medical units of the prison, which we were outside just yesterday as doctors, allies of mr. navalny, try to get him to speak to prison authorities to plead on his behalf. ♪ katty: the u.s. state department plans to give millionsf dollars to the palestinians, restoring some of the aid was cut off by the trump administration. most of the funds will go to the u.n. agency for palestinian refugees. the decision is part of a
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deliberate effort to repair u.s. ties with the palestinians that all but collapsed under president trump. here is our middle east correspondent. reporter: she grew up on these streets in a refugee camp. now, she's responsible for repairing them. but three years ago, her job at the u.n. refugee agency got much harder when the trump administration slashed aid. she's relieved the u.s. is reversing course. >> everyone used to get such great and generous support coming from the u.s. when we heard about this cut, it was really a shock for us. because man of our basic services were cut. reporter: thousands took to the streets to protest in 2018. fearing an end of support meant an end to support for them as refugees.
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originally, under what was set up to take care of hundreds of thousands of palestinians displaced by the 1948 arab israeli war. over 70 years later, many of there descendants still live in camps. the agency provides all services for over 5.5 million people in the occupied west bank, gaza, and across the middle east. israel is its main critic. it believes aid given to them would be better off given to other humanitarian organizations. >> perpetuation of the dream, bringing the descendants of refugees back to jaffa is what sustains this conflict. it's part of the problem, not part of the solution. reporter: president biden h shown he is ready to drop part of his predecessor's middle east policy, which palestinians saw is biased towards israel. but their leaders are having to act, too. they have called their first general election in 15 years.
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>> all of a sudden out of the blue, it all became possible. and that happened basically after ayden was eleed. -- biden was elected. and i feel part of the pressure being applied to the palestinian leadership today is the need for us to -- the need to renew his political legitimacy. reporter: the u.s. could take further steps after the four -- vote. they often feel helplessly caught up in international tussles of power. now they are hoping this announcement iabout more than money. it is a bout -- it's about a fresh start with washington. katty: change of administration in the white house, change of policy. will it change the situation now on the ground? an international team of scientists working on a project just outside chicago says they have found strong evidence for the existence of a new force of nature. they have discovered that
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subatomic particles are not behaving in the way predicted by the cuent theory of physics. our science correspondent reports. reporter: the theories of modern physics have given scientists a new understanding of how the universe works. but the current ideas are not able to solve some of the biggest scientific puzzles, such as how the universe as we know it came into existence. now, scientists at a lab just outside chicago have got a result that might take us a big step forward in answering those questions. they have been accelerating particles inside this giant ring close to the speed of light, and they found they might be behaving in a way that cannot be explained by the current theory of physics at the subatomic level. >> we found that the interaction of a heavy electron with a magnetic field is not in agreement with our current theory of physics, and clearly that is very exciting.
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it potentially points to new laws, new particles in physics which we have not seen to date. reporter: you have heard of electrons. well, there are similar particles called muons, which are much heavier and spin like tops. in the experiment they were made to wobble using magnets. the current theory suggests they should wobble at a cerin rate. instead, they wobbled faster. this might be caused by a mystery force, tt in turn, is created by another, yet to be discovered particle. scientists believe there are four fundamental forces of nature. one for gravity, another for electra city, and -- for elec tricity, and two for nuclear forces. together they explain the way the world works. in recent years, astronomers began noticing things in space that cannot be explained by the four forces, such as galaxies spinning faster than they should. and they cannot explain what the
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stars, planets, and everything on them, exists at all. the new results suggest there might be a fifth force which could explain some of these mysteries. >> i think it is quite mind-boggling. it has the potential to turn physics on its head. we have a number of mysteries that have remained unsolved and this could give us the key answers to solving these mysteries. reporter: evidence for the fifth force has been growing. just two weeks ago, researchers of the large hadron collider outside geneva had a similar result. >> the race is really on now to try and get one of these experiments to really get the proof that this really is something new. that will take more data and more division -- more measurements, and hopefully evidence that these effects are real. reporter: these very early results are not definitive yet, but they are generating a lot of excitement about the prospect of a giant leap forward in our understanding of the universe. katty: amazing.
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a mystery force is always so confounding when a galaxy spins faster than it should. before w go, we feel safe in saying that you have never seen a model train quite like this one. [bells ringing] katty: when a musum in hamburg germany was forced to shut down, he placed thousands of gallons -- thousands of bottles along the train. it creates a medley of classical music. the effort earned a spot in the guinness book of world records. i am not sure what the competition was. i did not know there was a record at all for model trains hitting glasses to create music, but there you go. there's a r narrator: funding for presentation of this program is provided by.. the freeman foundation.
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by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation. pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you, thank yo ♪ ♪ man: you're watching. narrator: stream the best of pbs on any device with the pbs video app. all your favorite drama, history, science, news, and documentaries all in one place. watch your pbs statiolive or catch up on the shows you missed. discover new favorites from pbs and locally produced shows from your station. get the pbs video app now and stream the best of pbs anytime. anywhere.
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judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. the road ahead -- president biden cushing to sell his infrastructure plan. the state of our streets, pipes, and bridges. then, getting a vaccine. new questions around


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