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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 19, 2020 11:00pm-11:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. nearly 18 million people in london and surrounding areas move into stricter coronavirus restrictions from midnight. with a very heavy heart i must tell you we cannot continue with christmas as planned. in england, those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at christmas. the new restrictions are due to a spike in cases blamed on a fast—spreading new variant of the disease. overseas travel is banned for people in the highest tier — except for essential business — with others across england advised to "stay local". in other news... no post—brexit trade deal without a "substa ntial shift" from brussels: that's the message
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from the uk government with time running out for agreement. and president trump plays down the scale of a major cyber attack on us government agencies and questions whether russia was responsible. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world — and stay with us for the latest news and analysis from here and across the globe. the british prime minister has announced tough, new restrictions for parts of london and the southeast of england. from midnight — that's in two hours' time — millions of people have been told to stay at home, not meet in each others' homes and not travel outside their local area. non—essential shops will close for two weeks. borisjohnson made the announcement after scientists said a mutation
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of covid—19 was spreading rapidly in london and the surrounding area. our political editor, laura kuennsberg reports. literally i sat in my chair in floods of tears. and messaging my family, you know, what are we going to do? leslie nelsen was planning a family christmas round the table in norfolk. the spare beds are made up, the presents bought. she spent the last two in hospital and fears this year might be her last. now her sister can't visit and her sons can't stay. itjust seems so unfair for somebody like me, i am terminally ill, i will not be here next christmas. people can think 0k, that's all right, we will celebrate christmas in the summer. i don't know if i'm going to be here in the summer. my sister is going to be sitting at home by herself hundred miles away.
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and her presence are under the tree. but rising alarm about the new variant of the virus has left number ten feeling there simply is no choice. christmas plans have to be dropped and a third of the population is back under limited lockdown in less than two hours. it is with a very heavy heart i must tell you we cannot continue with christmas as planned. in england those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at christmas. the support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation. we have a particularly fast—moving problem with increased numbers in the area going into tier 4. but a generalised increase across the country. on wednesday you told me and our viewers it would be inhuman to change the plans. and now that is exactly what you have done.
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i want the millions of people whose plans have just been torn up entitled to feel that you just love this too late? listen, we of course bitterly regret the changes that are necessary but alas, when the facts change, you have to change your approach. professor whitty, if someone is packing a bag right now listening to or watching this, trying to leave the south—east by midnight tonight, what should they do? my short answer would be please unpack it at this stage. rules will only be relaxed for get—togethers on christmas day in scotland, too, and the next day, all of scotland's main land will be under the tightest limits. travel to other parts of the uk will be banned. it makes me want to cry, as i'm sure listening to it, many of you want to cry. because i know how harsh this sounds. i know how unfair it is. but this virus is unfair. but the new variant of the disease is already in wales so like the south—east of england, limited lockdown is coming into force at midnight. there are hundreds of people in wales who are suffering from this
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new variation and they are to be found in every single part of wales. and those figures are very likely to be an underestimation of the prevalence of this variation. in northern ireland, from boxing day, there will already be six weeks of tougher restrictions. but conversations are ongoing about changes to christmas plans. in the uk opposition had already called for a national rethink. i'm really frustrated because i raised this with the prime minister on wednesday and he dismissed that and went on to tell people to have a merry little christmas. only three days later to rip up their plans. and i think the british public is entitled to more decisive leadership than that. so plans are changing for millions. some rushing for a last—minute late—night trim before hairdressers across the south—east close again. itjust means that i'm probably going to work until 12 o'clock tonight just to fit a few more clients in. less than two hours until so many
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doors close again, less than a week until the strangest of christmases. the end of the year of bizarre traditions, few would care to repeat. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. the first of millions of doses of moderna's covid—i9 vaccine are being prepared for shipping to locations across the united states. on friday night, the us food and drug administration granted the moderna jab emergency approval for use. this vaccine can be stored in normal freezers, at minus 20 degrees celsius. the authorities hope this will make it easier to support smaller and more rural areas. the distribution at that new moderna vaccine has been done. there will be a central distributor. at the distribution centres, boxes are they have moved the vaccine from their sites to mckesson who will serve as a central distributor, at the distribution centers box are being packed and loaded today. trucks will begin rolling out
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tomorrow from fedex and ups delivering vaccines and kits to the american people across the united states. italy has announced a nationwide lockdown for much of the christmas and new year period, in an effort to slow the country's rising number of coronavirus infections. bars and restaurants will be closed and movement restricted. italy now has the highest number of covid—related deaths anywhere in europe, more than 68,000. here's our rome correspondent, mark lowen. paolo maccionni has lived through many vintages. the third generation to run the century—old family restaurant built on the ruins of ancient rome. but christmas 2020 might bring it all to an end. his hopes for a crucial boost after the worst year they have had dashed with another lockdown. translation: my work is my life. i have been doing it for so many years. it passed from my grandfather
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to my father to me. if this goes on, we are likely to close. it is terrible. i don't see a future now. not much merriness before a two—week shutdown from christmas eve, though some shops can open for four of the days. there will be strict limits on movement and only two visitors allowed per household. it is an urgent attempt to slow infections, the second wave has torn through italy crippling the poorer south this time, too. and leaving the country with the highest death toll in europe. visiting the grave today of herfriend carmen, we met anita pauletto, she was infected on the same day but pulled through. carmen didn't make it. translation: she was a gift to me, and i miss her. we cannot lower our guard against this cruel virus. the new measures are horribly tight. i will be on my own for christmas. but this is a matter of life or death.
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christmas goes to the heart of italian culture. faith, family, food. restricting it is a decision no italian government takes lightly. but by doing so, this country hopes desperately to avoid a next year as agonising as this one. who could have believed that curbing christmas is what might finally bring comfort and joy? mark lowen, bbc news, rome. the israeli prime minister benjamin neta nyahu has received a covid—i9 vaccination live on television. it comes ahead of a mass vaccination drive across the country over the coming days. the prime minister was innoculated with the pfizer biontech jab alongside the country's health minister. mr netanyahu said he hoped it would serve as a personal example and encourage the public to be vaccinated. at least nine coronavirus patients have been killed in a fire at a hospital in southern turkey. the blaze — in an intensive care ward
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at the hospital in gaziantep — is believed to have been triggered by the explosion of an oxygen tank. turkey has recorded almost 18,000 deaths since the pandemic began a year ago. well among the restrictions announced by the british prime minister — are new limits on travel. mrjohnson announced a general "stay at home order" for all of the new areas in tier 4 within england. simon calder, travel editorfor the independent newspaper in london, explains what that means for international travel. unfortunately, if you are booked to travel imminently and you are one of the one third of the english population, about 18 million people, who are in this new area, which is largely london, if you have been describing, these to england in south—east england, well, yes, you are not from midnight allowed to travel abroad. having said that, of course, if you have a pressing reason, if it is for work, for example, then that can go ahead. and, crucially, if you live
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somewhere outside this tearful zone, i believe that you will still be able to be able to travel into tier 4 in order to take a flight. heathrow, gatwick and stansted are located in that area. so, for many millions of people, i estimate we are into the tens of thousands of people in the affected area who are due to travel in the next week before christmas, and that is an extremely stressful time. there is no certainty at this stage, i've contacted all the big holiday companies come all the big airlines. nobody has got asked me yet to explain what they will be doing. my prediction is as follows. if you are booked on a package holiday to one of the few destinations in europe you can still travel to without any restriction from the government, that would be places like the canary islands, the a uk government source has said there will be no trade deal with the eu unless there's a "substa ntial shift" from brussels in the coming days.
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saturday was dubbed fish day by negotiators in brussels who are engaged in a race against the clock — trying to solve one of the most thorny issues left on the table. it's understood a decision might be reached before christmas. but uk sources say it is increasingly likely the uk will leave with no deal. our political correspondent nick eardley has the details. the view in london is that there is going to have to be a decision the next few days before christmas, and it is a big call for boris johnson. again over whether he signs up to this trade deal, there are two things in particular on which the talks are stuck. one is state subsidies, that the extent to which governments can poui’ money into domestic industries to try and give them some sort of advantage competition. both sides are worried about that because they don't want one undercutting the other. the second issue, one that's been issued since the start of these negotiations, it's fishing access. extent to which
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you both can come into waters after brexit, after the transition period ends. there has been some movement between the two sides on fishing, they are coming slightly closer together. but the view in london tonight is that they are still quite far apart. and the language coming from a government source tonight is interesting. they say that there has not been enough flexibility from eu states. not necessarily the negotiators themselves, but from eu states. the second thing they're saying is there's not a significant -- if saying is there's not a significant —— if there is not a substantial shift this will end up without a deal. when you get to this point there's always some hard negotiating going on. both sides are really pushing this to the wire to try and get exa ctly pushing this to the wire to try and get exactly what they want. but is not completely clear to me tonight that there is the political space on either side of the channel where the political will to get this done in the next few days.
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the headlines on bbc news. nearly 18 million people in london and south—east england move into stricter tier 4 coronavirus restrictions from midnight. people must stay at home, and non—essential shops have to close. the new restrictions are due to a spike in cases blamed on a fast—spreading new variant of the disease. well as we've been hearing, the new strain of coronavirus identified in the south of the uk spreads more easily than before. the world health organization have just tweeted about the strain, saying "we're in close contact with uk officials on the new covid—19 virus variant. joining me now to discuss this is lawrence gostin,
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professor of medicine at georgetown university in washington dc. professor, thank you so much for joining us on bbc news. let me ask you first of all how concerned are you first of all how concerned are you about this new strain which looks as if it started in the south of england? while i'm quite concerned about it. it seems that the virus has mutated so it has become much more transmissible, and it already was very easily spread. and to think that it could be more easily spread his worrying. but it is not catastrophic in the sense that thus far it does not look like it will make the virus more pathogenic, that is because more serious disease or death, and also very importantly it does not look like it would affect treatments or vaccines. but it's extraordinarily worrying to see this kind of turn of events. how is this different to the
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previous one? it means that the virus can spread much more easily. if you think about an infectious disease, there some diseases that arejust super disease, there some diseases that are just super infectious like measles. others that are really much harder to transmit like tuberculosis. the coronavirus was already a very easily spread virus, but now the new variant seems to spread even more so that even lockdowns, unless their complete and total which they almost never are can produce what we call the reparative rate so that we can go about our business. so it's really worrying about amplifying the spread of this virus. how likely do you think it is that this virus has spread beyond the uk?|j think it is that this virus has
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spread beyond the uk? i think it's highly likely. most countries in the world don't have very active genomic surveillance, and you are not going to find a variant if you are not looking for it. and you don't have the tools to look for it. if you think back to the beginning of the pandemic can we have done retrospective studies and found out that it was circulating coronavirus in italy can be us and other places way before the first cases were reported. so i have very little doubt that this has spread well beyond the uk. and it's much more likely that that virus will predominate in a darwinian sense that one that transmits less easily. do think this will have any impact on the effectiveness of this vaccines which of course have been produced using the old virus or with the old virus in mind? that's the good news, so far that does not seem to be any evidence that it will
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affect the vaccine, the spike protein has not really changed in this variance, and as far as we know and all of us believe, unless we hear further, the vaccine and all of us believe, unless we hearfurther, the vaccine is going to be just hearfurther, the vaccine is going to bejust fine. hearfurther, the vaccine is going to be just fine. so the hearfurther, the vaccine is going to bejust fine. so the message hearfurther, the vaccine is going to be just fine. so the message to the uk public and us public is can this is a very highly effective and safe vaccine in the population should feel very good about taking it. thank you very much indeed. earlier i spoke to stephen reicher — professor of social psychology at the university of st andrews and a member of the behavioural science advisory group to the uk government's scientific advisory group for emergencies. i asked him if the move from boris johnson should have come sooner
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i probably should have depend on before and i think even before the information about the new variant it was pretty clear that if we mixed together it could lead to a huge spike in the level of infections in the nhs and so modelling was suggesting that if everybody went to the limit of the rules and met with three helsel 05 days likelihood is that the rate would go through the roof to about three, three .5. even if only half of us mixed for, with two households, then the rate could well go up toi.5 two households, then the rate could well go up to 1.5 which is far too much. i think this was inevitable and the information about the new variantjust made and the information about the new variant just made it and the information about the new variantjust made it so much that nobody could ignore at all so yes is the right decision. would he thinks to happen next in terms of the action the government should be taking? obviously the restrictions that we are seeing now are going to be in place for another two weeks, i
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believe and they will have a reevaluation of what happens next. do you think we should move into stricter restrictions and moving through january chris for let stricter restrictions and moving throuthanuary chris for let me give you a comparison with australia. today in australia there's been an outbreak in sydney with 38 cases. in the uk there were 35,000 cases a couple of days ago, so just 38 cases. that led to a very strict lockdown and restriction on travel between states. this one beautiful quote from someone that said every one thinks let's go early, let's go hard and get this. and the one thing you learn throughout this pandemic that's very clear is that if you don't go early if you don't go hard to commit then you don't get the virus. it's important to get on top of things because the danger is if you don't do them and don't do enough all that happens is that the virus stays around, there's more restrictions
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that last for longer, people began to lose faith that the restrictions are effective, and you are in the worst of all worlds in terms of health and the economy. as he gets really important that we get on top of this virus, but not only in terms of this virus, but not only in terms of the restrictions, the other question is that when you left the restrictions was going to be different to keep the infections down? if it much more carefully about how test entry system in order to be able to find infections when they happen, secondly he gets to support people to self—isolate and thirdly got to reset things so that the spaces we go into our safe and particularly schools. notjust the spaces we go into our safe and particularly schools. not just test people and make them safe in advance. we need a coherent strategy that suppresses the virus alongside the vaccine coming along. hopefully large numbers of people getting vaccinated in the other months of next year. is a counter argument that says if you go hard and go
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early and go to early and too hard the damage the economy will be a lot worse and also people at the end of the day would get fatigued and tired of really strict restrictions, who would definitely self—isolate if you told them there are 38 cases in this country, you have to self—isolate now. they would not do it.|j country, you have to self—isolate now. they would not do it. i think the proof in the pudding is that when you look at the world for the coaches that have done well in terms of health and the economy you find they are the ones that went early and went hard. in australia at the moment the rules are meeting vary from state to state but 40 or 50 people can meet. when nobody can be in the uk. the shops are open, the gyms are open. going to have weddings at 300 people. you actually end hard to suppress the virus and then you can reopen quickly. the whole point is to get on top of the situation in the final point to be raised, this point about behavioural
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fatigue, that's something that's come up time and again and each time are proven to be a fantasy. to be a fallacy. early on in the paint of told we cannot lock down early, because people won't put up with it. actually and found people put up with it quite magnificently despite the fact that many people were suffering and probably the debtor and delay back in march lead to probably tens of thousands of extra deaths. even second wave, and again with delayed lockdown in october leading to a greater second spike, and october when you look at the figures and the analysis of resilience and adherence the figures are remarkably high with one exception. and the exception is in terms of self isolation are only about 20% of people self—isolate, and that's because practically it's and that's because practically it's an impossible thing to do without support. it is not that people are psychologically weak nothing the problem lies in human psychology, it
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lies in the absence of clear stricter measures and support for people so that they can go along with them. if you take that model and look around the world to be look to new zealand, look to australia to meet you but to taiwan or poorer countries like vietnam, they are doing far better than we are. in australia hundred 25 million people, 908 people who have died so far. in the uk which is about twice as many people, over 80,000 have the uk which is about twice as many people, over80,000 have died. sol think the figures and evidence is pretty clear. go early, go hard and support people to deal with the restrictions you asked them to abide by. in other news, donald trump has dismissed allegations that russia was behind a major cyber espionage attack that penetrated several us government agencies. writing on twitter, the us president blamed the media for exaggerating the gravity of the situation and said everything was under control. our washington correspondent nomia iqbal told me more
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about donald trump's response to the cyber attack. he downplayed it, he blamed the media or as he likes to read that to the media as the fake news media for he says are making a bigger deal out of it. he then continued the familiar pattern of effectively defending russia and instead suggesting that maybe china was behind it. and this is direct contradiction to his own secretary of state mike pompeo who was very clear on this. he said it is russia to blame for putting malicious code into software systems of the us government and governments and other countries and companies around the world. donald trump also used those series of tweets to suggest that the hacking somehow impacted evoking machines, so again continuing another familiar pattern of his which is to push out those unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. but his form ahead of the cyber security agency tweeted about an hour ago to basically make the point that you can't hack paper.
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so, it is interesting to see how mr trump views it and as far as russia is concerned, russia has done what it always does when it is accused of cyber hacking, which is to deny it. finally, a restaurant in singapore has become the first—ever to sell chicken made in a laboratory. the cultured meat — which was approved by singapore's food agency earlier this month — was an ingredient in chicken nuggets. the restaurant's owner described it as a revolutionary step towards solving climate change and creating the opportunity to feed the world without overwhelming the planet. it's time for a look at the weather with ben rich. hello. there is some more rain in the forecast of the next few days. that rain coming on top of what we already had over the last week or so. so much rain that
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in some places flood warnings are enforced to me could check the bbc weather websites to see if flood warnings are affecting your area. low pressure in charge of the moment feeding showers and from the west, some of the showers continue to be pretty heavy through the day on sunday. focusing in the western areas, further east not as many showers and more generally i think the showers will become fewer and further between for a time during saturday afternoon. at the same time this band of heavy downpours will swing in through northern ireland to the far west of scotland, it will stay quite blustery here as well with gusts of 42 may be 50 mph or more in the most exposed spots. just a touch down on saturday prospect values for some of us highest between eight and 11 degrees. during sunday night we will see these heavy showers pushing across from the south without a persistent rain would push in the southern england and wales, east anglia by the end of the night. and the southern parts temperatures climbing as the night
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wears on, 11 degrees by five o'clock in the morning. a little bit chillierfor the north. that sets in the morning. a little bit chillier for the north. that sets us up chillier for the north. that sets us upfor chillier for the north. that sets us up for monday because it's his frontal sister but continues to bring rain across parts of england and wales commit some of that ring getting to southern scotland but to the south of it feeding it's a mild airoras the south of it feeding it's a mild air or as further north some chilly air or as further north some chilly air working its way in. some tipster contrasts through the day on monday. rain pushing eastwards out of eastern england, quite early on a monday but continuing across northern england up until scotland at the same time showers across the far north. brighter into northern ireland you can see that temperature contrast. 6 degrees in glasgow, 14 england did well above the norm for this time of year. as we head deeper into the week another area of low pressure will bring more rain for some on wednesday. that will then start to slide a wake high pressure will build in sobhi dryerjust in time for christmas but it will also
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start to feel quite chilly for all of us. single—digit temperatures by thursday and friday, but for most places will be dry with some spells of sunshine.
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hello. this is bbc news. hi miriam mcsherry. we'll be taking a look at tomorrow mornings papers in a moment — first the headlines. nearly 18 million people in london and south—east england move into stricter tier 4 restrictions from midnight — people must stay at home, and nonessential shops have to close. for those in tier 4 — it means the relaxation of rules


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