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tv   Al Jazeera English News Bulletin  LINKTV  December 21, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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♪ >> if you're not fully vaccinated, you have good reason to be concerned. >> president joe biden urges americans to get their covid-19 jabbed as he unveils plans to fight the rapidly spreading omicron variant. ♪ this is the world news from al jazeera. sudan's prime minister plans to step down only a month after he was reinstated under a deal with the military rulers.
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>> earlier this year, the government seized control of one of the biggest and highest gold mining operations in the world here in kurdistan -- kyrgyzstan. >> u.s. president joe biden has told millions of unvaccinated americans it is their patriotic duty to get inoculated against covid-19. the omicron variant now accounts for almost three quarters of all new cases. biden has warned the country may face a severe winter of illness and even death. >> 73% of new covid cases are attributed to the highly contagious omicron variant. testing sites across the u.s. are packed. in cleveland, this new drive up testing site was at capacity
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just hours after opening. >> while covid has been a tough adversary, we have shown that we are tougher. >> to combat the omicron surge, u.s. president joe biden on tuesday announced 500 million home rapid tests will be distributed to americans starting in january. until now, they have been expensive and hard to find. >> we are taking even more steps to make it easier to get tested and get tested for free. >> biden is also utilizing the defense production act to ramp up test manufacturing for clinical use. he is deploying 1000 troops to support overwhelmed doctors and nurses, and he is tapping into america's national stockpile of ventilators to ensure hospitals are well-equipped. still, biden says the best way to prevent severe disease and death is vaccination. >> all these people who have not been vaccinated, you have an
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obligation to yourselves, to your families, and, quite frankly, and i'm going to get criticized for this -- to your country. >> shortly after taking office, biden reversed his predecessor's withdrawal to unify the world against destination against covid. he agreed $500 million would be sent to the who to set up programs to get the unvaccinated their first shot, but it may already be too late. >> we are going to be far behind what is needed for the omicron surge, and that is because of how transmissible this variant is, and this may be one of the fastest spreading passage in -- pathogens in medicine that we have ever seen. all of these efforts they announced today are excellent, but my concern is they will not be rolled out fast enough. >> the search of the omicron
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variant is disrupting the struggling u.s. economy. sports leagues are canceling games. so are some broadway shows, but biden says it does not have to be this way. he pleaded with those skeptical of vaccines and government to reconsider. >> my administration is putting this in place not to control your life but to save your life. >> what is not part of the plan are lockdown seen in other countries. the white house hopes expanded testing will prevent the need for such restrictions in the united states. >> spoke to john nichols last hour. he is a national affairs correspondent for the nation and says the u.s. president is sounding alarm bells to avoid any lockdowns. >> it is somewhere this administration desperately does not want to go. however, it is also something that public health experts and doctors are suggesting may be
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necessary, and the important thing to understand about that is that is not a decision made purely about the spread of the disease. that is also a decision made with regard to the crowding in hospitals, if hospital beds are available. as hospitals go beyond capacity as they are overwhelmed, that's the point where public health people say to mayors, governors, and to the president, you have to lockdown hour we have to have at least some intervention here to slow the number of cases that are coming on to and impacting these hospitals, so i don't think we can rule it out. i think it is something that may return. if it does, it is something that i think president biden would acknowledge and accept, but it is something he would really like to avoid, and i think that is why he has put such an emphasis on getting vaccinations, getting testing,
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trying to take all the steps that might avoid that. >> portugal has imposed a number of new coronavirus restrictions as omicron cases surged. nightclubs and bars have been ordered to close for at least two weeks from saturday when people have been told to work from home. authorities will limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people per group on new year's eve. and negative coronavirus test will also be required to stay at a hotel or to go to events. the u.k. has reported more than 90,000 cases overall on tuesday. >> all i can say tonight is that naturally, we cannot rule out any further measures after christmas, and we are going to keep a close eye on the data can do whatever it takes to protect public health, but in view of the continuing uncertainty about several things -- severity of omicron, uncertainty about the hospitalization rate over the impact of the vaccine rollout
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and the boosters, we don't think today that there is enough evidence to justify any tougher measures before christmas. >> at least 12 people died from the omicron variant on monday. the number of people admitted to london hospitals is growing. >> rejoice, says "the daily mail" on tuesday morning. christmas is looking safe. ministers defy gloomy scientists, but it begs the question -- safe from what? omicron is ripping through the u.k. at the moment, and london is the epicenter. so much so that the mayor has declared an emergency situation. but "the daily mail" is a leading voice on the u.k. ride, and it shows the relief particularly amongst the rebellious libertarian wing of the conservative party that it is freedoms that are being prioritized. boris johnson said monday night, "we won't hesitate to take action." the problem for some is
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that it looks very much like the prime minister has hesitated to take action. while there are still big questions at the onset about the severity of omicron, it is too soon to be shutting people up indoors. the position when the questions are answered and if the answers are bad, it will be too late to do anything about it, and the health service will be swamped. the opposition leader whose labor party would have supported new restrictions if the prime minister had gone to them, says boris johnson is putting his fractious party before the public. of course, the specter of new business and social curves has not gone away. christmas may be safe according to "the daily mail," but new year and beyond certainly is not. >> extra support being provided for businesses hit hardest.
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quick i'm confident these measures will help hundreds of thousands of businesses and the millions of people they employ. of course, i will always respond proportionately and appropriately to this situation that we face. people can have confidence in that, but where we are now, we have responded, i think, generously today, the grants we have outlined, up to 6000 pounds, are comparable to the grants we have provided to hospitality businesses when they were completely closed this year. >> scotland is canceling new year's events as new rules are imposed from the day after christmas. there will be new limits on the number of people allowed to mix indoors and outdoors. no more than 500 people will be allowed to attend a public event for three weeks. other news, and there are reports that sudan's prime minister is about to stand down a month after he made a deal with the military that has been criticized by protesters as a betrayal. he was kept under house arrest
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for a month following a military coup in october. since that power grab, there have than mass protests, including this past weekend which marked the third anniversary of the start of the protest -- there have been mass protests. >> he has been put under tremendous pressure, as you said, to do that compromise with the military, but he was also pushed, according to his own statements, by the need to save lives and to prevent more bloodshed. as we know, he has been playing a difficult role since the beginning. they chose him as a man of
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consensus. there were high hopes that he would be a man to save sudan from the chaos that is with us and right now it has been witnessing for years, but as time goes by, they realize that he would not be able to fulfill those promises and to achieve those goals because the two sides that he is trying to reconcile are extremely polarized, and they get more and more polarized as they trade accusations about monopolizing power, about mistrust and so on. the civilian side getting more and more alienated in this picture because they think the military are encroaching on power, and that is why we have seen demonstrations come back to the streets a few days ago. we have seen the protesters in a very interesting development being able to breach the gates of the presidential palace. that has given the revolutionaries new momentum and
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has weakened the stance of the men who is betting on creating consensus between the two sides. >> if he steps down, or when he steps down, i believe he was saying earlier, is there a replacement, or is it just that the military supports someone else and consolidates their power? >> apparently there is nobody replacement, and partly, it will be some time before the military could replace him because it is difficult according to many analysts to find a man who can assume that responsibility at the moment. a man of consensus, a man who could create consolation between the two sides because those decisions that i described, that extreme polarization, the military have been happy with
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him because for them, he is a winning car because he is the man who does not publicized or is at least not affiliated politically. he is an expert, and economist, and so on. he is the man also who the west is pleased with him. many of the civilians also were pleased with him, so it was for them a winning card, but as time goes by, as i said, he says he has not been able to achieve his plans because the military are not allowing him to do so and also because his supporters among the civilians are not standing by him. >> thank you for that. in the news ahead, the jury is out in the trial against -- the trial of a former police officer who said she meant to use her taser instead of her gun when she shot and killed a black motorist. and how much should you pay for
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them to canvas? why these empty frames cost more than $84,000. >> look forward to brighter skies, the weather sponsored by qatar airways. >> hello. pleased to say a final warning has been issued for the typhoon making its way into the open waters of the northwest pacific. this is the area of low pressure at present. that will push its way further. another area of flow, we are close to japan, bringing it a wintry mix and the western parts of honshu, sheltered by the mountains. it will cool off as we go on for the next few days. wintry weather there now making its way across the korea peninsula, dry and fine across
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northern parts of china. it will cloud over as we go on a two thursday. there's the remnants of tropical storm. a warning has now been issued. a few showers back into taiwan thursday, but then it will quiet down as it has across parts of the philippines. we have the usual rash of showers into southern parts. still a chance of some lively downpours just coming in across the malay peninsula, i'm afraid, over the next eight or so, not as wet as it has been recently. india is dry and settled with fog to the north. >> i have come back to sarajevo to revisit a fascinating part of bosnian history. they were crazy, creative, even visiony.
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>> i loved them as a child. people still love them. >> it was basically too bad to be true. >> once upon a time in sarajevo on al jazeera. >> on al jazeera, these are the top stories. u.s. president joe biden has announced measures to limit the surge of omicron cases including expanded tests, support from hospitals, and more vaccinations, though he has stopped short of calling for another lockdown. the british prime minister says tightened measures will be considered after christmas. the government there has announced a 1.3 billion dollars support package for businesses
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affected by the omicron outbreak. sudan's prime minister reportedly close to standing down. he was removed in a military takeover than reinstated last month after signing an agreement with the military. supporters called that a betrayal. there has been no official announcement that friday's vote will be delayed, but the head of the electoral commission has dissolved the electoral committees. >> we are just three days away from the scheduled first round of presidential elections, and there has not been an official announcement by the high national elections committee that the vote has been delayed, but what we saw today was the elections commission decision to dissolve the electoral committees. basically, that means it has stopped the work of the workers, the temporary workers working in polling stations across the country, the administrators of
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these polling stations, as a clear sign, a clear indicator that this election is not happening. we have spoken to various political leaders and political analysts, and here is what one of them had to say. >> the elections commission had no choice because it is clear the election scheduled for december 24 is not happening, so the commission cannot have these committees continue their work for an unknown period of time, so this administrative procedure is normal, but it is an indication that libya will not see presidential or parliamentary elections in the near future. >> i think the fear is that libya will go back to square one. it took months and years for the united nations support position to bring about this government of unity over negotiations of trying to bring rival sides together, and the elections were supposed to bring forth a
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government that has the legitimacy of the people, so the fear is now that the situation will worsen, that libyans will not be able to vote for those they want to lead them, at least in the near future, the fear is that it may take a year or two and get back to the negotiating table, which may take a really long time for an election to be possible, but libyans want to be able to vote for their leadership. they also want a constitution that identifies the governance system in libya and what kind of powers the president has, so we will have to wait and see how the political situation develops in the coming weeks and months. >> the jury in the trial of a former police officer charged with killing a black motorist has been told to carry on
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deliberating if they fail to reach agreement. the killing of daunte wright triggered nationwide protests. >> all we have heard is that the jury came back with one question yesterday. they wanted to know about the timing when kim potter consulted a defense expert. that's because there were some inconsistencies in her story about how she reacted to the shooting at the time, but we really don't know a lot more. the judge says she wants to wrap up this case by christmas eve. that's on friday. but she really has no control over how long the jury takes. if they are hung, meaning not able to agree, they could deliberate for days until the judge agrees they are irreconcilable he -- irreconcilably at odds.
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the maximum she could face if convicted of both crimes is 25 years in prison or typically for someone like her who does not have a record, it would be seven years on the first degree charge. when the verdict comes down to the courthouse behind me, there will also be a verdict in the streets. minneapolis was really the epicenter of the black lives matter movement. it was here where george floyd was killed. the possibility is there for there to be peaceful protests. what is at stake for minneapolis is also huge, but for kim potter, she faces the potential of years in prison, and for a police officer here in the united states, that does not tend to go well. >> in another high-profile u.s. court case, jurors have deliberated for a second day. this is the trial of elizabeth holmes, accused of swindling investors out of hundreds of
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millions of dollars through her defunct company, made unfounded promises of rapid diagnosis of diseases including diabetes and cancer from a single drop of blood. there has been a brawl in ghana's parliament during debate over a poll tax. the proposed levy has been fiercely challenged by the opposition for the past month, who says the tax would hurt low income residents. supporters say it would raise $1 billion next year alone. the decision delayed until next year. the government of kyrgyzstan has taken control of a private old mine, saying it had concerns about safety in the environment. the canadian owners of the mind say it is a pretext for nationalization. >> the foothills of a mountain
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range, dramatic terrain that stretches across five countries. its highest peak is in the central asian nation of care to stand, where idyllic landscape hides what is described as an environmental disaster -- the central asian nation of kyrgyzstan. it has been the site of serious industrial accidents. earlier this year following public protests, the new government sees oppositional control of the goldmine from its canadian partners. >> this was done because they damaged our environment. they violated our laws. all this was proven after we initiated the criminal case. the mine is a very big organization, the organization that could decide kyrgyzstan's destiny. for the past 25 over 30 years,
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they worked only with corrupt practices and destroyed our environment. >> while negotiations are under way about the future of mining operations at the site, new management is trying to lessen environmental impact and improve safety conditions, especially the monitoring of seismic activities. >> they brought attention to improving the safety of mounted mining operations. we brought new radar systems, installed it on waste dumps, and earlier, we did not have them. we also bought 2 -- two new radars, which are undergoing testing and calibration. >> condor is the biggest industrial operation in the country, the single biggest generator of revenue, and the biggest private sector employer. everything here is just bigger. >> new management has added a fleet of these giant dump trucks.
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i have the power to extract more gold more quickly. >> pulling or from the ground and gold from the for his dirty work. -- pulling for -- pulling ore from the ground and gold from the ore's dirty work. there's a worry for the mountains. >> i think it has been good for our economy. at the same time, there is damage for the environment. we are concerned about glaciers. there's also talk about aliens of tons of waste. we have some concerns. >> dig for gold and grow the economy or preserve the natural environment -- a question that is likely to keep coming up as long as there is gold in these hills. >> protesters in georgia are threatening a mass hunger strike
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and less opposition leader and former president mikheil saakashvili is freed from jail. thousands marched to the capital to parliament trying to pressure authorities to hold a snap election. sarkis really was arrested last year after returning from exile in ukraine. he was convicted of an abuse of office which he says was politically motivated. doctors say he has been tortured while investigated. the philippines military is racing to deliver food and water to the typhoon-ravaged islands. survivors of the deadly cyclone are trying to return to their homes. 375 people, though, confirmed dead and dozens still missing. charities say thousands left homeless are in need of aid still. the ruler of dubai has been ordered to pay his ex-wife and more than 100 million dollars divorce settlement. a court said the greatest threat to the princess and her children is from her ex-husband.
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third two children in an earlier hearing, a judge found on the balance of probability that he had ordered two of his children to be kidnapper, hacked his ex-wife's phone, and subjected her to a campaign of terror. >> just days before new covid-19 restrictions forced the closure of museums across denmark, art enthusiasts take a peek at pieces questioning how happy we are with our jobs. and why there never seem to be enough hours in the day. the exhibit is called "work it out." the museum director tells us one particular piece has created quite a stir.
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>> when you work with artists, they challenge the way we perceive the world. you can never know what you get. >> the museum of modern art certainly had no idea what they would be in for when they loaned a danish artist more than 500,000 krone, approximately $84,000. the cash was supposed to be placed inside these frames, and attempt to re-create an earlier work and to illustrate income gaps affecting danes, but when the canvases were delivered, they were blank. the artist had decided on his own to create a new work, one he called "take the money and run." >> world saying, "oh, my god, we don't have the art piece and where is all our money?"
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>> the museum is displaying the piece, but they are also threatening legal action if the money is not returned. >> it sparked debate in denmark about the true value of an artist's work, which means the
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(sophie fouron) we're right in the middle of a lava field. this used to be a land and a neighbourhood. when you live here, it can be taken by lava, and it can rain any second of the day. there's a very raw and authentic vibe here, on big island. is it because it's the only island of all hawaiian islands that have active volcanoes? they also believe very strongly in the gods. it's not the


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