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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 5, 2020 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news — i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: new lockdown on the streets of san francisco — to help curb a surge in coronavirus cases. brexit trade talks are paused after eu and uk negotiators fail to reach agreement. president trump orders the withdrawal of nearly all us troops from somalia — officials there call it a morale boost for terrorists. and — a special report from beirut — four months after the explosion which killed more than 200 people. the government knew that the dangerous chemicals were being stored here, so did the judiciary, so, too, did the port authorities will stop it was only delivered his people that were being kept in the
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dark. welcome to the programme, and we start with the news that the united states has recorded the highest number of covid—19 deaths anywhere in the world — almost 3,000 in a single day — the equivalent of two deaths every minute. the mayor of san francisco along with political leaders across the bay area are imposing new lockdown orders and business restrictions to try to contain the surge of covid—19 infections, saying it's time for action. we know san francisco is not at that point, as is the case with other baby areas. that doesn't mean we shouldn't wait to act —— we should wait to act. the
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measures we have implement it simply hasn't bend the curve away we needed to. we need to prevent this from being a holiday season that we look back on as one is a sickness and death. especially now when we have vaccinations that are really within sight. there is a light at the end of the tunnel. erin allday is the health correspondent for the san francisco chronicle. she gave us her assessment to the situation in the city. it's pretty bad. i think what we're really concerned about here is as the pressure on our hospitals and especially the intensive care numbers get higher than they ever have been at any point in the pandemic and we have tried to restrict things, we have tried to hold back this latest swell and nothing's worked, and we just keep seeing these numbers climb and of course, what is especially concerning is we just had thanksgiving here in the states and we have not even seen the infections come up from that holiday, which almost certainly will have resulted
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in a lot of new cases. give us a flavour of what restrictions now will be in place and if you think, well, if they go far enough. i think that is the question. so the new order that will be put in place in san francisco and other parts of where i'm living in northern california, they will be put in place on sunday. it is essentially a throwback to march and april and the very earliest stages of the pandemic when we were really fighting hard to try to stop this thing in its tracks. so it's the most restrictive measures we have had in many, many months. it's essentially a broad stay—at—home order, telling everyone to stay at home as much as possible and don't go out and don't interact with others and just kind of only go outside and go about your business if there is something you really need to be outside and doing, so it is very dramatic. i think the people are not really looking forward to this coming into effect — and it will be in effect through the end of the year, so that is through the christmas holidays and all of the other holidays so you know, it is definitely really impactful. as for if it helps, you know, i think that's what were all
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kind of fingers crossed at this point. this is all we've got, right? like, there isn't anything more that we have got kind of in our pocket to throw at this. nobody really has an appetite for even more extreme kind of lockdown where you start arresting people on the street situation. so we're going to just have to hope that this is going to be good enough. just for our viewers, erin, around the world, give us an idea about how san francisco and the area there fits into the broader us picture. is it one of the worst areas? and how is the rest of the country feeling? well, the strange thing is we are actually one of the better areas. i mean, we're doing better than a lot of a lot of areas are — even places in california — and we doing a pretty good job of keeping our cases pretty in check, relatively low. the problem we ran into is we have always had a pretty good baseline of virus around here, it has never really gone away completely and nobody knows, you know, why, whether it is geography —
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we were one of the first places to be hit by the virus in the united states and it has kind of lingered — but we have had, you know, pretty serious restrictions in place kind of all along. and we do have, especially in san francisco, the lowest fatality rate of any major city in the united states. i think some of these restrictions we are seeing are about kind of maintaining that record. we don't want to look like some of these other parts of the country, or even the rest of the state, that have experienced really, really bad and awful situations where their hospitals have been overrun and you see people dying because we don't have appropriate care for them. russia's vaccinations programme will roll out on saturday to clinics in moscow after president putin ordered jabs for groups most at risk. russia is using its own vaccine, known as sputnik v, which developers claim is up to 95% effective. but it's still in phase three safety and efficacy trials — with questions over how much of it russia can produce. mark lobel reports.
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are cautiously optimistic public looking on. has ledger i don't know whether the vaccine works or not but i am sure there is nothing wrong with it. i'm notan there is nothing wrong with it. i‘m not an anti— there is nothing wrong with it. i'm not an anti— axa that it is yet to be proved however that vaccine will be. —— anti— vaxxer. those able to apply online medics, teachers, those in contact during the day today duties will stop wheeler we one iap duties will stop wheeler we one jap costs less than $10 so it is definitely a good contender to be part of the solution but of course it cannot be the only solution to the world vaccine issues. president putin has now ordered the large—scale rollout of this vaccine across russia. having registered it can
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august, as the country with the world's fourth worst caseload for coronavirus and the recent grim domestic record of covid deaths in the day. so far, the sputnik v's vaccine trial results have not been approved by any international drug control agency but the vaccine has been pre— ordered by india, south korea, china, was ill and hungry. —— brazil. 0ne challenge would be to convince some of the somewhat sceptical russians of the reliability of sputnik v. translation: i am not going to get the vaccine jab, let everyone else get axa needed and if they will, i will survive. but the vaccine producers say this offers real help —— real hope for hospital workers who by the constraints put in their life from coronavirus are still finding way to smile and be safe this christmas season. us
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president—electjoe biden has called for urgent bipartisan agreement in congress to help people who have lost theirjobs during the pandemic. 2.2 million people have become long—term unemployed over the past three months. mr biden says americans need help now especially as many covid relief measures are set to run out at the end of the year. if congress and president trump failed to act by the end of december, 12 million americans will lose the unemployment benefits they rely on. merry christmas. the unemployment benefits they rely on to keep the food on the table, keep the lights on and the heat on, pay their bills. emergency paid leave will and, a moratorium on evictions will expire, states will lose the vital tools they need to pay for covid testing and public health. democrats in the us house of representatives
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have voted to decriminalise the use of cannabis. the first time the measure has succeeded in congress adopted the legislation would bring federal law in line with more than a dozen law in line with more than a d oze n states law in line with more than a dozen states that the bill stands little chance of passing if republicans managed to hold control of the senate in elections next month. negotiations between britain and the eu on a post—brexit trade deal have been put on hold, despite an earlier warning from downing street that time to reach an agreement was in short supply. the two sides' chief negotiators issued a joint statement saying they were still too far apart on key issues. borisjohnson and the european commission president ursula von der leyen will speak later on saturday in an effort to break the deadlock. 0ur deputy political editor vicki young reports. everything will soon be changing for this distribution company and thousands of others. injust four weeks, goods going back and forth across the border with the eu will need extra paperwork and checks. some fear that could lead to widespread disruption and congestion.
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it's difficult enough getting in and out of the uk at the moment with the delays at the border crossings and ferries. if you're adding eight, 16, 12 hours — whatever that may be going forward — who's going to pick up the costs? for every wheel that's not — if our wheels aren't turning, in effect, we're not earning any money. in kent, they're preparing a park for 10,000 lorries. a trade deal with the eu would mean businesses can buy and sell goods without paying taxes or tariffs, but there will still be more checks, whether there's a deal or not. reporter: will we get a deal? the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier has been in london all week... important day. determination. ..but the uk has accused the eu of making last—minute demands. we want the eu to recognise that the uk is a sovereign and independent nation and it is on the basis of that that a deal will be done. it is tricky, but we are working hard. david frost and his team
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are working incredibly hard on this in good faith, so let's see where we get to. but they didn't get very far. tonight, after another day of intensive talks, everything is on hold. a joint statement on behalf of chief negotiators lord frost and monsieur barnier said: "the conditions for an agreement are not met due to significant divergences. they agreed to pause the talks in order to brief their principals on the state of play of the negotiations". there is a lot at stake, and the irish prime minister says he fervently hopes there will be a deal. given the enormous negative impact of covid—19 on our economic and social life, the last thing our citizens need now is a second shock of the kind that a no—deal brexit would bring. for example, if the uk government wants to give financial help to tech firms, will it need permission from the eu? would there be a punishment if it went ahead anyway? this is all about businesses on one side not having an unfair advantage over their competitors — the so—called level playing field. and then there's fishing. eu countries want a guarantee that their boats can continue to operate in uk waters.
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if not, the eu might make it much harder for us to sell fish to them. translation: france, like all its partners, has a veto. we'll conduct our own evaluation of a deal, if one exists. that's normal. we owe it to the french, we owe it to our fishermen and to other economic sectors. tonight, discussions have stalled and no—one is quite sure when the negotiators will be back. vicki young there. 0ur europe editor katya adler gave us her assessment of the pause from brussels. like so much during the brexit negotiations, we can look at this as a glass half—full or a glass half—empty kind of way.
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0n the glass half—full side, both sides still say they want a deal and they want to work toward a deal, so it really depends what steps they now take and how willing they are on both sides to compromise to get a deal. don't forget, these compromises are difficult and they are political, so you could cynically say this crisis is quite useful for both sides to show to their domestic audience we have fought to the bitter end before they then agree a deal. 0n the glass half—empty side though, there are clearly very big differences and it makes sense because the eu and uk have approached these trade talks from very different directions. the eu — the priority has always been the single market. they worry about uk competition. they hope to bind the uk in a kind of common rule book, like on government subsidies, for example. but the uk after brexit wants to be competitive, it wants to be nimble, it doesn't want to tie its hands, and wants to hold onto as much sovereignty as possible. this is a deal still possible, yes. but is it definite? no. one thing is definite, and that neither side will sign
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up to a deal unless they believe they can sell it back home as a victory. quick reminder of our headlines. new lockdown orders and restrictions are imposed in san francisco to help curb a surge in coronavirus case. brexit trade talks have been temporarily put on hold without agreement. the lead negotiators say the eu president and the british prime minister will talk directly on saturday. president trump has ordered the withdrawal of nearly all american troops from somalia where they've been conducting operations against al—shabaab and islamic state militants. it follows the drawdowns of forces from afghanistan and iraq. somali officials say the us withdrawal would be a morale boost for terrorists. the pentagon says the us remains committed to counter—terrorism operations. let's speak to bronwyn bruton who is currently director of studies at the africa center
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at the atlantic council. she is also the author of somalia: a new approach. thank you for coming on the programme. what do you think the four will be of these us troops withdrawing from somalia? my opinion is that the impact will probably be less than anticipated. the us has around 700 troops in somalia and they are mostly engaged in training and elite somali special forces unit. they are obviously an important component of us response in somalia but they are less important than the 20,000 peacekeepers currently fighting al—shabaab. peacekeepers currently fighting al—sha baab. those from peacekeepers currently fighting al—shabaab. those from uganda, djibouti, and other countries. sorry to jump djibouti, and other countries. sorry tojump in djibouti, and other countries. sorry to jump in there but how strong is the threat from al—shabaab and islamic state?
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has been a powerful actor in somalia since 2007 and nothing that the us has done has changed that. —— al—shabaab has been a powerful actor. what people are seeing at the moment is that the somali government is that the somali government is incapable of preventing terrorist attacks in somalia without us support but the reality is they have been incapable of preventing them with us support. so the question is not necessarily will al—shabaab question is not necessarily will al—sha baab become massively more powerful but will become marginally more powerful as a result of this withdrawal? it is not a good thing if it does but i do not expect this to be the end of the mission and i do not expected be a significant game changerfor somalia expected be a significant game changer for somalia either. interesting. given that, do you think that the next president, president biden should reverse the decision or if you think it will not make that much difference, why bother? the us will maintain the potential to
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continue its campaign of airstrikes against high—value targets in somalia and that has been the thing that the american population cares about the most. as long as they have the most. as long as they have the capability to conduct missions, it may be that president biden will seek to put a few troops back in but i think the main concern is that the somali government has not, in the 13 ideas that the us has been attempting to strengthen their army, shown significant progress. so i think the main problem in the us is that they have not had a political strategy in somalia that would make a military engagement effective. and unlessjoe biden has an idea that mackay differ engagement in somalia that is better than the 0bama and trump administration approach which we re administration approach which were largely the same, then i do not see him putting troops back in. great to have your thoughts and thank you so much.
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it's four months since a devastating explosion tore through the centre of the lebanese capital beirut. a cruise ship was dangerously close to the blast. the orient queen capsized, and two crew members lost their lives. quentin sommerville has the story of those who survived. a warning: some viewers may find images in this story distressing. lebanon is living in a state of aftermath, a country turned on its head. this was its only cruise ship, the orient queen. four months ago, it took the full force of the explosion at the port. only the crew was on board. they watched as a warehouse fire took hold, not knowing what was to come. the ships home port, its safe harbour, lay in ruins. the orient queen was upright
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but the engine room was flooding and crew members were missing. 0n the quayside, chef michael villanueva was badly injured. translation: our ship's interior was wrecked. we had a hard time getting out. i didn't feel the second blast because i was slammed into a wall on the first one. when i came to, i tried to stand but my leg was shattered. now back in the philippines, four operations later, they have managed to save his leg. the port and much of beirut was in chaos. at the orient queen, they were still searching for missing crew. it took more than two hours to find the body of haile rette. the ethiopian crewman had been blown off the ship. he was found at a nearby pier. mustafa airout wouldn't be found for days. his father travelled from syria. his dna was used to
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identify his son's remains. the explosion tore away any remaining shred of credibility from a government that stored, for years, dangerous chemicals here, in the heart of the city. it's too much for the brain to accept and for the heart to even handle. hana abou merhi is the ship's owner. if this happened to metal and to concrete, can you even imagine? she is seeing the wreckage for the first time. like many here, she is overwhelmed with anger and disbelief that a disaster so easily avoidable was allowed to happen. i blame every person that knew what was there at the port for not taking action.
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so many lives, so many innocent people have lost loved ones, have lost their homes, their work, their dreams. it's notjust us, it's not just the orient queen, it's everyone. dozens of arrests have been made but an investigation that was promised to take only days four months later is still dragging on. this is a crime scene. the government knew that the dangerous chemicals were being stored here. so did thejudiciary. so too did the port authorities. it was only the lebanese people who were being kept in the dark, and few of them believe that the truth will ever emerge from this pit of corruption. the orient queen is lost. she will never sail again. and the reputation of the authorities that allowed this to happen is beyond salvage. quentin sommerville, bbc news, beirut. climate change remains one of the major issues
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facing humanity today. in germany, a group of activists are trying to combat the destruction of an ancient forest and they had a very special guest to help them. the bbc‘s tim allman explains. so renowned and so respected is pianist igor levit... ..he can sometimes be found in the studios of the bbc. here he is rehearsing for an appearance on bbc news in 2017. a very different kind of performance, though, taking place in the wilds of central germany. a rendition of danny boy in memory of the dannenroder forest, some of which is being torn down for a road extension.
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translation: even though the occasion is very sad, i'm doing a rehearsal, i feel like i'm playing a swansong for something that leaves us, i'm still thankful, happy and content to be here with you. protests have been going on here for more than a year. environmental groups, trying to preserve the country's habitat. the authorities, determined to allow lawful construction work to go ahead. "what is happening here is quickly "reduced to a conflict between activists and the police," this protester says. "this is an attempt to defend and protect ecosystems "and our livelihoods so that we can survive." something almost deeply poetic about it. the presence of igor levit certainly attracted some attention but the felling of trees continued. for these demonstrators, the day ended on a sad note.
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tim allman, bbc news. dramatic footage to share with you now. this is from minnesota where a light aircraft lands on a highway at night. this footage shows the single—engine plane managing to fit tween ca rs plane managing to fit tween cars driving along the road. very little margin for error there. it appears to have suffered engine failure, leading to a minor collision with a car but no—one was injured. it took several hours for officials to clear the damage. it was a wake—up call that sounded more like an explosion. hundreds of people in this british capital of edinburgh film the police in the early hours after hearing a noise known as fundus no. —— thundersnow. a flash of light and then boumann a low loud boom. shaking windows and waking people up. so what exactly is
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the science behind it? thundersnow is simply a thunderstorm with snow and like storms in the summer it is caused by instability in the atmosphere and a lot of energy. the difference last night is that we had cold air and that is why we saw snow and not rain. before i go, a little hollywood history. the handgun pf°p hollywood history. the handgun prop used by the late sean connery in the firstjames bond film has sold at auction. the deactivated pistol went for $256,000 in beverly hills, purchased by an anonymous bidder who has apparently seen every one filmgoing. it made its debut in doctor moe —— doctor know in the hands of sean connery.
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you can find me online at twitter. that is all from me for now. goodbye. hello there. it's been a wintry scene for many parts of the uk. we started with some widespread snow in scotland. that then turned to rain and so the most of any snow that's falling right now is really over the higher ground. but, more recently, there has been some snow through the midlands, particularly over the peak district. but it's been a messy picture because we've had these bands of cloud bringing wet weather swirling around an area of low pressure together with some stronger winds. that low pressure, though, will tend to move down into france, so, for a start, the winds will ease and through the weekend we should be turning drier as well. but we're still in cold air. with some clearing skies by the morning across some parts the midlands, eastern england, we are likely to find
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a frost and likely to find some icy conditions as well. elsewhere across the uk, it won't be quite as chilly, not going to be as cold as last night in scotland. there's more cloud around, there's wetter weather too. and the wetter weather across wales, western england will become confined to the south—west. we have a few showers breaking out, running into some eastern coasts of england but for many, it will be turning dry with some sunshine. the weather improving in northern ireland as well and those showers in scotland becoming fewer with sunshine especially in the south—west. another chilly day, not as windy as it was on friday but those temperatures 4—7 degrees. heading into the evening, clearer skies in the evening allowing those temperatures to fall quickly but we are likely to find some cloud and wetter weather just running into the far east of scotland and into the north—east of england as well. that'll keep the temperatures up here, perhaps, but elsewhere we're likely to find frost, probably more widely, and it brings the risk of some icy patches as well. not only that, but quite foggy by the morning
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and across the south—east of england, east anglia. that should tend to lift, perhaps only into low cloud, mind you. and we will still keep some cloud coming into the north—east of england, perhaps the midlands, bringing with it a few showers. the odd shower around elsewhere but also some sunshine. probably the best temperatures will be in wales and the south—west, 8, maybe 9 degrees but in the cloud further east, it's going to be colder, around 4 celsius or so. early next week, we've got one area of low pressure running to the south—west of the uk, another one threatening to come in off the north sea. and that will bring some wetter weather probably on tuesday into parts of scotland, but early next week, generally it is going to be dry. it is going to be cold and could be quite grey, with some patches of persistent fog.
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british prime minister will talk directly on saturday.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: the mayor of san francisco says she and political leaders across the bay area are imposing new lockdown orders and business restrictions to try and contain a surge in covid—19 infections. the us has recorded more than 1a million cases — the highest of any country in the world. trade talks between britain and the european union have been put on hold until prime minister borisjohnson and the commission president — ursula von der leyen — hold direct talks on saturday. they'll try to bridge significant differences in three key areas — competition, governance and fisheries. the pentagon says president trump has ordered the withdrawal of nearly all american troops from somalia before he leaves office next month. some of the troops would be relocated to neighbouring countries — allowing for cross—border operations. officials say the few that remain will be


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