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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 19, 2020 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: italy imposes a nationwide lockdown over christmas and new year as it tries to halt the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. translation: we must intervene. but i assure you, this is not an easy decision. us vice—president mike pence gets a coronavirus jab live on air. now, moderna is approved to be the country's second covid—19 vaccine. a us senate report finds that boeing officials "inappropriately coached" test pilots during a review of the 737 max aircraft after two fatal crashes. and we speak to people in different parts of the uk to see how the covid restrictions are affecting their christmas plans.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. italy is imposing a nationwide lockdown over much of the christmas and new year period — a measure aimed at reducing the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. italians will only be allowed to travel for work, health or emergency reasons on a limited number of days. with some exceptions, all but essential shops will remain closed. italy follows countries such as the netherlands and germany, which have imposed lockdowns until january. translation: we must intervene but i assure you, this is not an easy decision. it is difficult to reinforce a series of necessary measures to better face the upcoming holidays and protect ourselves against of the resumption
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of work activities in january. with me is our news reporter paul hawkins. shall we start by getting just a bit more on what italy is doing? italy is in your's's worst affected country and the netherlands and germany, they are imposing lockdowns until january and looking down from much of christmas and new year so much of christmas and new year so italian is only allowed to travel for work, health or emergency reasons between the 24th and 27th of the 31st to the third and the fifth of the sixth of january and only essential shops will remain open and italians can only have a maximum of two people in their homes at the time to avoid a third wave. lots of countries are sure trying to do exactly the same so what about the uk? infection rates rising in england, wales and scotland, static in northern ireland. the
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question is will england follow wales and northern ireland into introducing a lockdown? there are reports of bringing in travel restrictions in england, downing street, there have been meetings this evening, friday evening, between boris johnson and his top team and the reason for a potential lockdown, 90% of national health service beds are occupied, the national health service under an immense amount of strain, as doctor catherine hudson from the royal couege catherine hudson from the royal college of emergency medicine explains. we were hoping she was going to explain, anyway. we are now at a really dangerous point where we could tip into finding it incredibly difficult to manage. now we have got crowded departments with covid is the additional burden which is a really scary and challenging place to be. and you can see this as we are increasingly getting ambulances queueing outside departments. pretty stark warnings there
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from that doctor. so that is italy taken care of and the uk. what about sweden? a big u-turn therefore throughout the whole pandemic one of the few countries going against the world health organization advice saying that you don't have to wear a face mask in public, the theory being that if people wear a mask then they feel overly secure and they are not likely to social distance. but now there has been a big u—turn on that and swedes are being told if you are on topic transport in rush—hour you have to wear a face mask and in addition remote learning for 13 -16 addition remote learning for 13 — 16 —year—olds in education and table numbers in restau ra nts and table numbers in restaurants cut to a maximum of four and the authorities are not stopping there. translation: a maximum number of customers will be introduced in shops, shopping centres and gyms. if this does not have the planned effect, the government will also plan to close these activities. big changes in
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sweden but of course no idea —— nowhere as drastic as other countries have had lockdowns and various other things. they are talking about having one but have not had one yet and are still saying we will not go for it yet. lastly, france. well, emmanuel macron is self—isolating and said he has fatigue, headaches, dry cough, he was at the eu summit last week and he has tested positive and leaders of belgium, spain, portugal and luxembourg are self—isolating. portugal and luxembourg are self-isolating. we wish him well. thank you, paul. the us vice president mike pence has become the first senior figure in the trump administration to be given the coronavirus vaccine, which he called "a medical miracle". it happened in front of live television cameras at the white house in an attempt to quash scepticism around the development of the vaccine and the safety of the immunisation programme. mr pence said he wanted to assure the american people that while they'd cut red tape, they'd cut no corners.
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history will record that this week was the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. but with cases rising across the country, with hospitalisations rising across the country, we have a ways to go. and i want to assure the american people that we're going to continue to make sure that our health care providers have all the support and resources they need to meet this moment. but vigilance and the vaccine is our way through, and building confidence in the vaccine is what brings us here this morning. americans will soon have a second coronavirus vaccine, developed by moderna, after it was approved by the food and drug administration. distribution of almost six million doses is expected this weekend with vaccinations possible as early as monday. rural areas are likely to benefit in particular, because moderna's vaccine doesn't need to be kept at ultra—cool temperatures.
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professor peter hotez is dean of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine in houston. thank you very much for coming on the programme. thank you for having me. what is your reaction to this approval than of the second vaccine? it's fantastic, you know? we now have two eminent ra vaccines that are going to be released to the public and we know there is going to be about three quarters of the american population to be populated, vaccinated and the transmission of the virus and these are two important first steps, the pfizer and moderna mrna vaccines and we will need a small fleet of vaccines in the yea rs we have small fleet of vaccines in the years we have the astrazeneca oxford and and thej andj, we have a vaccine we are producing in india now and with biological e and the novavax vaccine so six or maybe seven vaccines we think are going to
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be needed to vaccinate the us population. that's interesting so six or seven vaccines needed so six or seven vaccines needed so what kind of timescale do you think is realistic? well, you think is realistic? well, you know, we hope that the two adenovirus vaccines fromj and jand adenovirus vaccines fromj and j and astrazeneca oxford in the new year,j j and astrazeneca oxford in the new year, j andj may be february and same as astrazeneca oxford in the spring so as we move into the summer, we will certainly head towards that but the good news is that hopefully with each passing month now, will gradually start to see more and more americans get vaccinated and you know unfortunately we never launched a national covid containment programme to be kind of backed ourselves into a corner where we have become com pletely corner where we have become completely dependent on a biotechnology for the solution. we will have to vaccinate our way out of this. i was hoping we we re way out of this. i was hoping we were not going to be so com pletely we were not going to be so completely dependent on it but that was the way things rolled out with the white house not leading a national programme and so as we move towards vaccinating the us population,
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the other piece to this is we're going to need adolescent, may be kids vaccinated and we're going to have to maximise our communication strategy, which we really not had yet. how strong do you think any resista nce how strong do you think any resistance will be to this vaccination programme? so the kaiserfamily vaccination programme? so the kaiser family foundation just released a survey this week and it identified two groups but so farare it identified two groups but so far a re pretty it identified two groups but so far are pretty high in terms of the vaccine hesitancy index. one of them is a group they labelled republicans, quote unquote, and it refers to the fa ct unquote, and it refers to the fact that in the us the anti—vaxxing movement ties to the far political driver began in 2015 under this banner that they called medical freedom, health freedom, and u nfortu nately health freedom, and unfortunately the white house exacerbated that i downplaying the severity of the pandemic, pleming covid—19 deaths were due to other causes so you know, in the summer and the fall, this was mostly a disease of what we call the red states, meaning the republican majority
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states. —— downplaying covid—19 deaths. and the african—american community, we are concerned about for different reasons. we must leave it there but thank you very much peter falk talking us through what happens through next year off the back of the welcome news that a second vaccine has been approved in the us,. professor peter hotez, thank you so much. let's get some of the day's other news. the us house of representatives has passed a two—day extension of federal funding to prevent a partial government shutdown this weekend. the legislation now has to be approved by the senate. the interim measure would give more time for negotiations on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package. at least ten people have been killed in a suicide attack at a stadium in the somali city of galkayo. the blast occurred shortly before the prime minister mohamed hussein roble was due to speak there. the islamist group al—shabaab has said it carried out the attack. the british prime minister has warned that things are "looking
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difficult" as talks about a post—brexit trade deal go into the final weekend before christmas. the uk and eu are trying to resolve the remaining issues before the transition period ends on new year's eve. the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier says the process has reached the "moment of truth". more than 300 nigerian schoolboys have been reunited with their parents after they were seized in a mass abduction from their school in katsina state. officials said the boys were found in a forest in neighbouring zamfara, where they'd been left by their kidnappers. victoria uwonkunda reports. the schoolboys were taken by bus to the state capital, katsina. some were still wearing their school uniforms, others clutched blankets and some looked clearly distressed and confused. the boys were flanked by armed police as they walked to meet the governor. one told reporters that the kidnappers had
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barely fed them. at a news conference, the state governor thanked security forces. i also use this opportunity to praise and thank the efforts made by the entire security apparatus of the state, of the country, for what they did. more than 340 schoolboys were kidnapped on the 11th of december after an attack on the school in kankara town. the islamist militant group boko haram claimed responsibility. however, authorities say bandits were behind the attack. the government insists no ransom was paid, but that the boys were released after negotiations with the kidnappers. security has been an issue in north—eastern nigeria in recent years. and the recent kidnapping has
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echoes of the attack on a school in chibok in 2014, where almost 300 schoolgirls were abducted by boko haram. while many questions remain and the circumstances of the boys' release is still unclear, their immediate ordeal is over. the next step — reunion with their parents and families. victoria uwonkunda, bbc news. stay with us on bbc world news. still to come: trying to have our christmas dinner outside. we find out how people in the uk are planning on spending their christmas as the coronavirus restrictions hit. music and chanting. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took
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only a few minutes but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict — conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life, the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is bbc world news.
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i'm lewis vaughan jones. the latest headlines: italy imposes a nationwide lockdown over christmas and new year as it tries to halt the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. americans will soon have a corona “— americans will soon have a corona —— second coronavirus vaccine approved by the food and drug administration. us senators have just published a damning report alleging that boeing officials "inappropriately coached" test pilots during the process to re—certify the 737 max plane. the aircraft was grounded worldwide in march last year following two deadly crashes. our correspondent in washington, lebo diseko, told me more about the report. really scathing, lewis, essentially saying that boeing and the faa — that's the regulator — worked together to manipulate the outcomes, the results of these tests, and these are the tests that led to the plane being given the all clear to fly again.
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now, in 2019, a series of tests were done that looked pilot reaction times to that faulty software that was blamed for the two deadly crashes, and what the senators in this committee have found were that one, boeing improperly influenced at least one of those tests, that two, the faa and boeing went into those tests having decided what they wanted the outcome to be, and as you said, pilots were coached as they were doing this test to try and achieve a certain result. it's less than a month since the faa told americans that this plane was safe to fly again, boeing as well said that they stood behind it, and at the time, many of the families of people that died in those two crashes were very upset and said that they did not feel that the plane was, indeed, safe at all. there has been a statement from boeing, it's up on their website, that says that they are looking at the faa report, the senators' report, and they take safety very, very seriously. the faa, reportedly in us media, saying the same — that they are looking at the report and they will
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respond in due course. thank you, lebo. the new york times says it's found significant falsehoods in its blockbuster podcast on the islamic state group called caliphate. the central figure in the series was shehroze chaudhry, who claimed hejoined is in 2016 and personally carried out executions. but in september the authorities in canada — where he lives — charged him with a terrorist hoax. the new york times executive editor says he now believes he was a con artist. let's go live to new york and speak to ashley carman, senior reporter at the verge and host of the podcast ‘why‘d you push that button?‘ thanks so much for coming on the programme. yeah, thanks for having me. my pleasure. thank you very much. right, so this
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podcast, there is a huge boom, growth area of the news, the world of entertainment. just how damaging is that you have such a high—profile one basically be exposed as fraudulent? i mean, this is definitely not an ideal situation for the new york times orfor situation for the new york times or for podcasting in general. i mean, right now, podcasting is such a hot space. we are seeing so many conversations around big narrative shows, and i think this is kind of an inflection point a little bit and would have sobering to be like, 0k, any of these outlets do narrative podcasts great and had an amazing fact checking departments, but also a reminder we do need to treat audio the same way we treat print or any other medium that is narrative and journalistic. some of those measures, those fa ct some of those measures, those fact checking — the problem with all of that, as everyone knows, that costs a lot of money and a lot of time. for
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sure, yes, definitely, it's not an easy endeavour and something you really do have to dedicate resources to. and of course, the temptation for people not just the new york times, of course, but anyone putting a podcast as well, owning a good story and it sounds great with potentially lucrative opportunities not just in advertising but in spin—offs from podcast? yeah, i mean, of course people want the narrative to be as accurate as possible and it's not their intention to mislead, but all of us— intention to mislead, but all of us — and intention to mislead, but all of us —andi intention to mislead, but all of us — and i have been a reporter, obviously, we are all storytellers and you want your storytellers and you want your story to be as good as possible. sometimes if you get excited about a story, especially a narrative one, it may be being able to turn it into a tv show or a movie, or anything like that, you want the story to be as good as it can be. with good characters and this was a tempting one. i can see how it can slip through the cracks if you do not have
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the cracks if you do not have the right structure to address it. falling on this specific podcast, what started to happen? what started to alert people that this might not be all that it seems? so, the canadian, the character in this story is canadian, and the canadian authorities flagged this idea he had been in syria and executed people, but obviously didn't sit very well with them, so they prosecuted him only to figure out that that was entirely made up, and i think from there, when that came out, the new york times said oh, we need to take a deeper look at this. they did mention there were some red flags from top editors at the paper during the process of creating caliphate. it sounds like there were some red flags, no corroboration, and once canada came over, —— took over, thatis canada came over, —— took over, that is when it came into the limelight. we really appreciate you talking through that. thank you, ashley carman. thanks.
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winter weather is wreaking havoc in parts of the northern hemisphere. this week, the us was hit with a powerful winter storm. and injapan, a massive snowfall trapped drivers for more than two days. chris hemmings has more. authorities have declared an emergency is more than 1000 ca rs are emergency is more than 1000 cars are still stranded on an expressway connecting tokyo with nagata in the north. the trailer got stuck on wednesday evening, leaving cues up to 17 kilometres, with cars quickly becoming buried, the snow continued to fall on the traffic. a woman in her 30s and a man in her 60s were taken to hospital. no other serious incidences have been reported so far. it's the coldest spell of the region this year, with snow falling already. homes are without power. rescuers have tried to deliver food, fuel and blanket to drivers on the expressway.
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translation: i was really in trouble. i had no food, no drinks, i had to eat snow. emergency agencies have also been using a combination of heavy machinery and physical labour to heavy machinery and physical labourto dig heavy machinery and physical labour to dig out the vehicles one by one. more snow is predicted over the weekend. chris hemmings, bbc news. two orangutans have arrived in jambi, indonesia years after being smuggled into thailand. —— jambi, indonesia, years after being smuggled into thailand. poachers in south—east asia frequently capture the critically endangered animals to sell as pets. police say four—year—olds were intended to be sold to a tourism business. wildlife traffickers tried to smuggle the pair into thailand via malaysia in june 2017, but they were intercepted at the border. the orangutans have been living in a wildlife rescue centre in thailand, and now back in indonesia, they will undergo a rehabilitation programme before being released back into the wild.
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now, despite a rising number of covid infections, up to three households will be allowed to mix across england, scotland and northern ireland next weekend, with slightly tighter rules in wales. our home editor mark easton has been talking to people from all walks of life about their plans and whether they're now thinking of changing them. ‘tis the season to be jolly careful, says the prime minister. so, how will britons celebrate christmas in this strangest of years? and what's people's reaction to the decision to relax the regulations on festive get—togethers just as the pandemic threatens to overwhelm parts of the nhs? with the help of analysts britain thinks, we've assembled a focus group of people across the uk. well, season's greetings to you all. i'm interested to know how your christmas plans have changed, and specifically, how many people will you be sitting down with at christmas dinner? there will be seven. there will be six of us. six. five. four of us.
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by myself, so one. i work in the nhs, so i don't really want to put anybody at risk, so for that pure reason, i've decided that i want to spend christmas alone. that's very noble, i have to say. this year, there willjust be the two of us, and there's no point in getting a turkey for two, so we'll probably just have chicken. we're actually planning to have our christmas dinner outside, hoping that it doesn't rain. what, in the garden?! yes, so, our plan is to have two little tables outside, distanced, and have lots of blankets and maybe a little fire. what do you all think about the government's plans to relax the restrictions so that family and friends can come together, albeit with this warning to be especially careful? i don't think it's a good thing. i think we will pay the price for it come january. natalie, you're nodding, i can see. i think they should have just left it down on lockdown through the whole of the christmas period, and then start up, like, 2021, a fresh year. if there had been a lockdown christmas, people would have just said, "no, to hell with it, it's christmas."
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at least this way, there's guidance. the vast majority of people will be responsible and mature about it, but you'll get that minority who think, "well, i can, so i'm going to." and if there were no rules in place, it would be anarchy. this just seems like potentially another massive super spreader event that's been endorsed by the government. they don't want to be the people who cancel christmas. i think it's a big mistake. part of me's really looking forward to christmas, because i'm a big kid and i love christmas. i'm buzzing for it. honestly, the one thing that has been getting me through this entire year is, christmas is coming. well, thank you to all of you for your time and your opinions. however you celebrate, i wish you a peaceful, a merry, and of course, a safe christmas. mark easton there. right,
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that's it. you can get me online. i'm @lvaughanjones. i'm lewis vaughan jones, i'm lewis vaughanjones, and this is bbc news. bye—bye. hello. friday brought us another wet and windy day. the rainfall was particularly heavy and persistent in the west. river levels have been rising across parts of wales, south—west england, scotland, too. this was the picture in ceredigion. we've had plenty of flood warnings around, and there could still be a bit of disruption with flooding as we head into the weekend because there's a bit more rain in the forecast. it won't be persistent. there will be scattered showers and some sunshine in between as well. so, friday's rainfall was courtesy of this cold front, which is going to be clearing away towards the east. low pressure to the north—west of the uk, so showers rotating around that area of low pressure. and the winds coming in from a slightly cooler direction, so the bluer colours returning to the map. still mild for the time of year, but not as mild
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as it has been. so we start saturday, then, the early hours, some rain across eastern england which slowly pushes out of the way, and then a return to sunnier skies and plenty of scattered, blustery showers blowing in. always most frequent in the west and along the south coast as well. gusts of wind around about 30—a0 mph for some of us, perhaps touching 50 mph around those exposed coasts in the south—west. a blustery sort of day. again, mild but not as mild as it has been, with temperatures about 10—11 degrees for most of us, could see 12 celsius there down towards the south—east. there could be some hail and some thunder mixed in with some of the scattered, blustery showers as they rattle through on that brisk breeze. they're going to continue overnight, so clear spells and scattered showers moving through into sunday. it is going to be a slightly cooler night than we've seen recently, still frost—free, really, across the board with temperatures getting down to around about 5—7 degrees first thing sunday morning. through the day on sunday, pretty similar to what we'll see on saturday. again, some sunshine, some scattered showers, perhaps fewer showers compared to saturday and it looks like they will tend to fade away later on in the afternoon. a touch cooler as well, temperatures around about 8—11 degrees on sunday.
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the next patch of rain waiting there in the wings. moving on into monday, looks like this area of rain, a low pressure system, will move its way in from the west. some uncertainty about exactly how far north that gets as we head into the middle part of the coming week, but it is looking unsettled to start this coming week, certainly some rain, some blustery conditions to come around about wednesday. headed towards christmas eve and christmas day, things turn a little bit drier and a little bit cooler, too. there could be a bit more flooding for the first part of this coming week, and then cooler and drier conditions by the time we get to christmas. bye— bye.
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this is bbc news,
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the headlines: italy is imposing a nationwide lockdown over christmas and new year as it tries to halt the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. italians will only be allowed to travel for work, health, or emergency reasons on a limited number of days. all but essential shops will remain closed. americans will soon have a second coronavirus vaccine, developed by moderna, after it was approved by the us food and drug administration. distribution of almost six million doses is expected this weekend, with vaccinations possible as early as monday. a damning report has been published by the us senate, saying boeing officials "inappropriately coached" test pilots during re—certification tests after two fatal boeing 737 max crashes. the report also says boeing officials sought to cover up ‘important information' that contributed to the crashes.


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