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 — and i assure you, this is not an easy decision. americans are to get a second coronavirus vaccine, after moderna was approved by the us food and drug administration. 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.
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 brief 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 — and 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 of work activities in january.
earlier i wasjoined by our news reporter paul hawkins, who gave some more details about the restrictions in italy. so italians are 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, i'm sure, are trying to do exactly the same so what about the uk? infection rates rising in england, wales and scotland, static in northern ireland. the 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 college of emergency medicine explains. we are now at a really dangerous point where we could tip into finding it incredibly difficult to manage. now we've got crowded departments with covid as the additional burden, which is a really scary and challenging place to be. and you can see this as we're increasingly getting ambulances queueing outside departments. pretty stark warnings there from that doctor. so that's italy taken care of and the uk. what about sweden? sweden, a big u—turn there. 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‘ re 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 public transport in rush—hour you have to wear a face mask and in addition remote learning for 13 —16—year—olds in education 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 sweden but of course nowhere as drastic as many other countries have had lockdowns and various other things. they're still not talking about having one — they 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. the us vice president mike pence has become the first seniorfigure 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. 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. i've been speaking to professor peter hotez dean of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine in houston. he said the approval was fantastic news. we now have two mrna vaccines that are going to be released to the public. we know there is a high bar, and going to be about three quarters of the american population to be populated, vaccinated from 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 new year, we have the astrazeneca oxford and and thej&j, 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 be needed to vaccinate the us population. that's interesting, so six or seven vaccines needed. what kind of timescale do you think is realistic? well, you know, we hope that the two adenovirus vaccines from j&j and astrazeneca oxford in the new year, j&j maybe february and same as astrazeneca oxford in the spring, so as we move into the summer, we'll certainly head towards that, but the good news is that hopefully with each passing month now, we'll gradually start to see more and more americans get vaccinated and, you know, unfortunately we never launched a national covid containment programme so we kind of backed ourselves into a 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 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, the other piece to this is we're going to need adolescents, maybe 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 resistance will be to this vaccination programme? so the kaiser family foundation just released a survey this week and it identified two groups that so far are pretty high in terms of the vaccine hesitancy index. one of them is a group they labelled "republica ns", quote—unquote, and that refers to the fact that in the us, our anti—vaccine movement has very much ties to the far political right that began in 2015 under this banner
that they called medical freedom, health freedom and unfortunately, the white house exacerbated that by downplaying the severity of the pandemic, claiming covid—i9 deaths were due to other causes. so that's why, you know, in the summer and the fall, this was mostly a disease of what we call the red states — meaning the republican—majority states. and then the other big group that we're concerned about is the african—american community, for very different reasons. 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 occured 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.
borisjohnson has warned that things are "looking difficult" as talks about a post—brexit trade deal go into the final weekend before christmas. the uk and eu are trying to resolve remaining issues before the transition period ends on new year's eve. hundreds of schoolboys have been reunited with their parents in nigeria after they were seized in a mass abduction from their school in katsina state. islamist group boko haram has claimed responsibility though this is still being verified and many details surrounding the boys' release remains unclear. aruna iyengar has more. celebrations as relieved pa rents celebrations as relieved parents hug their sons who have been missing for a week. other relatives anxiously waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. i feel very be reunited with their loved ones. i feelvery happy be reunited with their loved ones. i feel very happy for me to find my son in this episode that has happened. i'm grateful to almighty allah for him to
scare him out of everything doesn't get him out of everything to stop this is where the 344 boys whether their school in katsina by men on motorbikes and marched barefoot into the forest. is rush islamic militant group boko haram have claimed responsibly but others say armed bandits may have been to blame. boys arrived by bus, dusty, dazed and barefoot. they say they were beaten by their abductors and left hungry. translation: to be honest, there was no food or water for us, no rest and the friday we we re us, no rest and the friday we were taken we spent two days without sleep. food was leaves and then for two days without leaves we were given potatoes. nigerian president bihari has come under enormous pressure.
they say they freed all the 344 boys. translation: i came here to see you and rejoice with you all as god has saved us from this calamity. the abduction has gripped nigerian already angered by widespread insecurity. president buhari has repeatedly said that boko haram was defeated but the attack was reminiscent of boko haram's 214 attack was reminiscent of boko haram's 2i4 mapping of 270 schoolgirls in the north—eastern town of chibok. many of them are still missing. there is relief for the boys and their families but details still remain unclear including who was responsible, why they kidnapped the boys and whether a ransom was paid. aruna iyengar, bbc news. like so many regions of the world, central america has been hit hard by the pandemic. and the damage by hurricanes in november has left many there homeless. these hardships have helped fuel the mass departures
of migrants from honduras in recent days, as people hope to get to the united states. our central america correspondent will grant reports. it is an all—too—familiar site. a few hundred impoverished central american migrants travelling together before dawn, carrying only their children, a few possessions and hopes for a better life up north. certainly, they say, it can't be any worse than the one they're leaving behind. translation: we ask the new president of the united states to help us. we can't live here anymore. they lost everything to that hurricane is which battered central america and just two weeks in november. the two storms hit with phenomenal force, causing flooding across swathes of the region. and when the floodwaters receded, the extent of the devastation was laid bare. entire communities
we re laid bare. entire communities were ravaged. family members lost, homes destroyed, livelihoods gone. huge areas of crops and agricultural land have been ruined, too. many harvest completely washed away. un warns climate change is driving more and more central americans from their homes, exacerbating an already dire situation created by drugs and violence and the economic downturn from covid—i9. violence and the economic downturn from covid-19. people don't flee because they want to, people flee because they have to do, because they find no other option, they find no other recourse. in their communities or in their countries, too, you know, to live, to get by. so it's really a matter of being forced to flee. the challenge facing central america's politicians is huge was not both in providing short—term humanitarian aid following the storms and in finding long—term solutions to global issues of poverty, violence and climate
change. translation: it we do not want hordes of central americans seeking to go to other countries where there are better living conditions, we have to create walls of prosperity in central america. it isa prosperity in central america. it is a sentiment echoed by many such leaders over the yea rs, yet little many such leaders over the years, yet little changes for those facing the hardest of choices. remain in the region at the mercy of the gangs and collapsing economy or leave their land for a distant shot at prosperity in the united states. after the hurricane etter and hurricane iota, anymore will risk the latter. —— eta. this is bbc news. the 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 second coronavirus vaccine, developed by moderna, after it was approved by the us 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. 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 respond in due course. our thanks to lebo there. the new york times says it's found "significa nt 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. ashley carman is a senior reporter at the verge. i asked her how damaging it is for such a high profile podcast to be exposed as fraudulent. i mean, this is definitely not an ideal situation for the new york times, or for podcasting in general. i mean, right now, podcasting is such a hot space. we're seeing so many conversations around big narrative shows and i think this just kind of is an inflection point a little bit and sort of sobering to be like 0k, many news outlets outlets do narrative podcasts great and have an amazing fact—checking department, but also a reminder that we do need to treat audio the same way we would treat print or any other medium that is narrative
and journalistic. yeah, and so 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 sure, yes, it's definitely not an easy endeavour. it's something that you really do have to dedicate resources to. and of course, the temptation for people — notjust the new york times, of course, but anyone putting a podcast — is, well, if i've got a good story and it sounds great, there's potentially lucrative opportunities — notjust in advertising, of course, for the podcast but in spin—offs from podcasts? yeah, and i mean, of course the new york times wants to be as accurate and factual as possible and this was definitely not their intention. but i think sometimes, you know, all of us — i'm a reporter, obviously — so we are all storytellers and you want your story to be as good as possible. so i think sometimes if you get excited about a story, especially the idea
of a narrative one and maybe it being able to turned into a tv show or a movie or anything like that, you want the story to be as good as it can be and good a character is very — a tempting one. i can see how sometimes maybe it slips through the cracks if you don't have the right structure to address it. and just briefly on this specific podcast, what started to happen? what kind of alerted people that this might not be all that it seems? so, the canadian — canada — this character in the story, he's canadian, and the canadian authorities sort of flagged this idea that he had been in syria and executed people. that 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, once that came out, then the new york times was like, "0h, we need to take a deeper look at this". but they did mention that there were some red flags from the top editors at the paper during the process of creating caliphate, so it sounds like there were some red flags, no corroboration, and once canada came took over,
that's when it really came back into the limelight. thanks to ashley carman. 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 as more than 1,000 cars are still stranded on an expressway connecting tokyo with niigata in the north. it's thought a trailer got stuck late wednesday evening, leaving queues of up to 17 kilometres. with cars quickly becoming buried, the snow continued to fall on the traffic. —— leaving queues of up to 17 kilometres with cars quickly becoming buried as snow continued to fall on the traffic. a woman in her 30s and a man in his 60s were taken to hospital for respiratory problems and nausea but no fatal or serious incidents have been reported so far. it's the coldest spell of the year for the region, with snow beginning to fall earlier this week. it's also left more
than 10,000 homes in the north and west without power. rescuers have tried to deliver food, fuel and blankets to the drivers on the expressway. 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 dig out the vehicles one by one, but more snow is predicted over the weekend. chris hemmings, bbc news. 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 britainthinks, 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. 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!" 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 superspreader 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. two orangutans have arrived in 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 4—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. now, back in indonesia, they will undergo a rehabilitation programme before being released back into the wild in sumatra.
good news. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @lvaughanjones. iam i am lewis vaughanjones and this is bbc news. 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 through the weekend because there's a bit more rain in the forecast. it won't be persistent. it 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 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—40 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. we could see 12 celsius there down towards the south—east. but there could be some hail and some thunder mixed in with some of these 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. 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. heading towards christmas eve and christmas day, things turn a little bit drier and a little bit cooler, too. so 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.
this is bbc news, 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.