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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 19, 2020 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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this is 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, as the moderna injection is approved. a us senate report finds that boeing officials "inappropriately coached" test pilots during a review of the 737 max aircraft after two fatal crashes.
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hello and welcome. italy is imposing a nationwide this is bbc news, the headlines: italy is imposing lockdown over much of a nationwide lockdown the christmas and new year over christmas and new year period — a measure aimed as it tries to halt the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. at reducing the sharp rise italians will only be in coronavirus infections. allowed to travel for work, italians will only be allowed to travel for work, health, or emergency reasons health, or emergency reasons on a limited number of days. on a limited number of days. all but essential shops with some exceptions, all but essential shops will remain closed. will remain closed. italy follows countries americans will soon like the netherlands have a second coronavirus vaccine, developed by moderna, after it was approved by the us and germany, which have imposed food and drug administration. distribution of almost six lockdowns until january. million doses is expected this weekend, with vaccinations translation: we must intervene — and i assure you, this is not an easy decision. possible as early as monday. it is difficult to reinforce a series of necessary measures a damning report has been to better face the upcoming holidays and protect ourselves published by the us senate, saying boeing officials against of the resumption "inappropriately coached" test pilots during re—certification tests after two fatal boeing 737 max crashes. of work activities in january. the report also says boeing officials sought to cover up important information that earlier i wasjoined by our news reporter paul hawkins, who gave some more details about the restrictions in italy. contributed to the crashes. so italians are only allowed to travel for work, health or emergency reasons
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between the 24th and 27th despite the rising number of covid infections, the 31st to the third, and the fifth to the sixth of january. 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, they're static in northern ireland. the question is will england follow wales and northern ireland in introducing a lockdown? there are reports of bringing in travel restrictions in england, downing street, there have been meetings this evening, friday evening, between the uk prime minister 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.
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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. right, so that's italy taken care of and the uk. what about sweden? sweden, a big u—turn there. for ages, 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 to that, remote learning for 13—16—year—olds in education and table numbers in restaurants cut to a maximum of four and the authorities aren't stopping there.
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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 those activities. big changes in sweden but of course nowhere near as drastic as many other countries have had lockdowns and various other things. they're still not talking about having a lockdown — they have not had one yet and are still saying they won't 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 slovakian pm has tested positive. 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
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to benefit in particular, because moderna's vaccine doesn't need to be kept at ultra—cool temperatures. professor peter hotez is dean from the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine in houston. he told me 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 vaccinated to interrupt 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 vaccine and the j&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 to seven vaccines needed.
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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,
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which we really haven't 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 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.
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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, trying to tackle 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.
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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
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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 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 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. this is where the 344 boys were last friday when they were abducted from their school in katsina by men on motorbikes and marched barefoot into the forest. islamic militant group boko haram has claimed responsibly for the attack, but others say armed bandits may have been to blame.
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the boys arrived back home by bus, dusty, dazed and barefoot. they say they were beaten by their abductors and that they were left hungry. translation: to be honest, there was no food or water for us, no shelter, no rest and the friday we were taken we spent two days without sleep. our food was leaves, then after two days without food, we were given fresh potatoes and pieces of ground nut cake. nigerian president muhammadu buhari has come under mounting pressure to deal with insecurity in the north of the country. the army says it acted on credible intelligence and freed all the 344 boys. translation: i came here to see you and to rejoice with you all as god has saved us from this calamity. the abduction has gripped nigerians, already angered by widespread insecurity. president buhari has repeatedly said that boko haram is technically
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defeated, but the attack was reminiscent of boko haram's 2014 kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls in the north—eastern town of chibok. many of them are still missing. there's 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. us senators have just published a damning report alleging that boeing officials "inappropriately coached" test pilots during the process to recertify the 737 max plane. the aircraft was grounded worldwide in march last year following two deadly crashes. our washington correspondent, 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
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led to the plane being given the all clear to fly again. now, in 2019, a series of tests were done that looked at 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 that, 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
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on their website, that says that they are looking at the faa report, at 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. 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. 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.
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our central america correspondent will grant reports. it's 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. "we ask the new president of the united states to help us", says migrantjuan fernandez, "we can't live here any more". they lost everything to eta and iota, the two hurricanes which battered central america in just two weeks in november. the two storms hit with phenomenalforce, causing flooding across swathes of the region. and when the floodwaters receded, the extent of the devastation was laid bare. entire communities were ravaged. family members lost, homes destroyed, livelihoods gone.
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huge areas of crops and agricultural land have been ruined, too, with many harvests completely washed away. the un warns climate change is driving more and more central americans from their homes, exacerbating an already dire situation created by drug gang violence and the economic downturn from covid—i9. 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, to, 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, 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: if 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's a sentiment echoed by many
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such leaders over the years, yet little changes for those facing the hardest of choices — remain in the region at the mercy of the elements, the gangs and collapsing economy, or leave their land for a distant shot at prosperity in the united states. after hurricanes eta and iota, many more will risk the latter. will grant, bbc news, mexico. around 200,000 people in the uk are thought to be suffering from so—called "long covid," persistent health problems up to three months after they were infected with the virus. for some like 38—year—old natalie, the effects of long covid on her body have been devastating. today there were calls for more research into this emerging problem as new guidelines were published for doctors on how to diagnose and treat long covid. our medical editor fergus walsh reports. natalie has worked as a frontline doctor during several deadly epidemics, including ebola in africa.
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but it's covid which has left its mark on her. just over a year ago, i biked up the hill and now, now i can't even get on a bike. the 38—year—old was never admitted to hospital but now has long covid and is so physically weak, she can't go to work. i was fit, i was active, i could run, i could walk any distance i wanted to, really. and now, i can walk 200 metres. i've asked my contractor to put a bannister on my stairs because i can't get up to the top of my stairs sometimes. so you're fitting out your home for someone with disabilities? at my age, yes. i thought this is what i would be doing, when i was, you know, in my 70s or 80s. mri scans have revealed damage to nathalie's spinal cord. you 0k, nathalie?
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butjust how a covid infection has done this is not fully understood. uclh trust in london has opened a long covid clinic for patients with neurological problems. they come from all over the uk with a wide variety of symptoms. they may complain of fatigue or dizziness, light—headedness, palpitations or a fast heart rate. sometimes, patients complain of pins and needles or numbness. they often describe memory problems, so they may have difficulty focussing or concentrating. they may have difficulty remembering words or getting words out. there i was, ten weeks ago, i couldn't get out of bed. eli, who is 54, has lost nearly all his strength. covid has affected his memory, brain function, even his vision. but after enduring five months in hospital, and being so close to death, he feels fortunate. i call myself ‘the miracle boy'. i've been through something
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which i've survived. i survived by a very thin line. god flicked the switch and decided "0k, give him another chance. hhe's got something do in this world, come back." what about those legs? how fatigued do they feel? one in ten people with covid still has lingering symptoms after 12 weeks. most make a gradual recovery. nathalie says the disease won't hold her back and she is determined to see patients face to face once more. fergus walsh, bbc news. 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
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chaudry was a con artist. ashley carman is a senior reporter at the verge. she told me how damaging this affair has been. 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 amazing fact—checking departments, 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 that, as everyone knows, that costs a lot of money and a lot of time.
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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 out podcasts — 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 all of us are 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 a good character is a very tempting one and 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
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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
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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 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.
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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. 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, and now back in indonesia, they will undergo a rehabilitation programme before being released back into the wild in sumatra. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @lvaughanjones.
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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
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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 or 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
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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 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. 00:28:22,588 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 bye— bye.
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