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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 20, 2020 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: new covid restrictions are now in place in london and surrounding areas — nearly 18 million people are affected. italy will go into a full national lockdown to slow the rising number of coronavirus infections there. the uk government claims there'll be no brexit trade deal without a substantial shift in position from the eu. and president trump plays down the scale of a major cyber attack on us government agencies, and questions whether russia was responsible.
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welcome to the programme. tough new covid restrictions for parts of london and the southeast of england have come into effect. the measures were announced earlier by britain's prime minister boris johnson. millions of people have been told to stay at home, not meet in each others‘ homes and not travel outside their local area. the announcement comes after scientists said a new variant of covid—19 was spreading rapidly in london and the surrounding area. our political editor laura kuennsberg reports. literally i'd 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
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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. and her presents 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. 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. though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation. we have a particularly fast—moving problem
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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. aren't millions of people whose plans have just been torn up, entitled to feel that you just left 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 and 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.
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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. there are hundreds of people in wales who are suffering from this 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. and 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.
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some rushing for a last—minute late—night trim before hairdressers across the south—east 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. our medical editor, fergus walsh, told us more about this new covid—i9 variant here in the uk. this new variant appears to be up to 70% more transmissible. that's really significant, crucially it does not appear to cause more significant disease, but it makes it much harder to control the epidemic. now it's thought that it could push the reproductive number — the r number — of coronavirus up by 0.4, it's currently between 1.1 and 1.2 across the uk. it was first identified in kent in september, it seems to be one of these spontaneous mutations.
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it now accounts for six in ten cases in london, and in the east of england but has spread throughout the uk. viruses mutate all the time, in itself is not a worry and sometimes when they become more transmissible they become less lethal. coronavirus is actually much more stable than flu, we need a new flu vaccine every year because it mutates such a lot. it's thought that the current vaccine will still be effective against this new variant. 350,000 people in the uk have now had their first dose, and the hope is that most over 65s and vulnerable will be protected by easter, but that's a long way off and it's going to mean a long winter of restrictions ahead.
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these new restrictions in place. they have only been in foran place. they have only been in for an hour. not much time to prepare. they've only had eight hours and now that said. london and the south—east of england mostly close. hairdressers, much of the hustings. earnings that they were hoping to make up that they were hoping to make up for. all this came as boris johnson had said a week ago, looking at christmas plans for everybody, that it would be inhuman to change those plans and now 70 million people have effectively had their plans cancelled. the prime minister says when the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our method of defence. this is what is causing the problem, causing hospitalisations where it is
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dominant to go up. however a snap poll conducted of a thousand people showed 80% of the public said they would be complaint with these measures. this new variant, this is something countries around the world will be taking a closer look. absolutely. the dutch government has a ready bad flights from 6am on sunday with passages from the uk travelling to their airspace. until at least the first of january and they will be consulting with other eu members about what else to do to contain this variant spreading. the british government have sent all the data they have to the who. they said they are in close contact with the government about that. ina with the government about that. in a current was first registered in the middle of september in london or kent and, since then, it may have spread to other countries
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according to the chief medical advisor. it is not dangerous than the former dominant strain and the chief medical officer said there is a working assumption the vaccines are going to be able to cope although suggesting more data is needed. he is confident there will not be a higher mortality rate. another review under the 30th of december that the prime minister stressed that plans will not change before the new year so new year and christmas celebration planned cancelled for now. in europe, italy has imposed new national restrictions to curb rising coronavirus infection rates over the christmas and new year period. the measures taken by rome come into effect on monday. people will only be allowed to leave their homes only once and are banned from leaving their region. to switzerland. on tuesday it'll start
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a "light" lockdown — bars a nd restau ra nts will shut for a month. people are advised to stay at home and not travel during the festive period. austria will go into its third lockdown of the pandemic starting on the 26th of december until the 24th of january. shops, restaurants and schools will be allowed to re—open the from the 18th of january. sweden for the first time is now recommending people wear face masks on public transport during peak hours. the number of people allowed to meet in restaurants has also been reduced. in france french president emmanuel macron is said to be stable after falling ill with covid—i9. his doctor says he's suffering from fatigue, coughing and stiffness. mr macron himself posted a video update on twitter, saying he'll continue working on brexit and other issues remotely. so let's get more on the situation in italy where the death toll from covid is the highest of anywhere in europe. here's our rome
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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 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
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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 at christmas. but this is a matter of life or death. 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. in the us, the first of millions of doses of moderna's covid—i9 vaccine are being prepared for shipping across the country.
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on friday night, the us food and drug administration granted the moderna injection emergency approvalfor 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. distribution of moderna vaccine has already begun. moderna has moved vaccine from their manufacturing sites to mckesson. who will serve as the central distributor. at mckesson distribution centers, boxes are being packed and loaded today. trucks will begin rolling out tomorrow from fedex and ups, delivering vaccines and kits to the american people across the united states. the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu 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,
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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 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. this is bbc news. the main headline: new covid restrictions come into effect in london and surrounding areas. nearly 18 million people are affected. 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. saturday was dubbed fish day by negotiators in brussels who are racing against the clock to try to solve one of the most thorny
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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 in 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 state subsidies. that is the extent to which governments can pour money into domestic industries to try to give them some sort of advantage in competition. both sides are worried about that because they don't want one under shoe, has been an issue since the start of these negotiations, is fishing access, the extent to
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which eu boats can come into uk waters after the transition period and is. my understanding is 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 apartand that they are still quite far apart and the language coming from a government source tonight is interesting. they say there has not been enough stability, not necessarily the negotiators themselves, but from some eu states. —— enough flexibility. the second thing they are saying is that if there is not a substantial shift in the next few days, this is going to end up with no deal. now, when you get to this point ina deal. now, when you get to this point in a negotiation there is a lwa ys point in a negotiation there is always some hard negotiating going on. both sides are really pushing this to the wire to try to get exactly what they want. but it isn't completely clear to me tonight but there is the political space on either side of the channel or the political will to get this done in the next few days.
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that was nick eardley. nigel nelson is the political editor for the people and the sunday mirror here in the uk. i asked him his thoughts on the latest of elements. welcome at the moment, ifind it almost inconceivable that we would go out of the middle of covid without a deal. but all the evidence is pointing towards the fact that this is exactly what is going to happen, and it will be an absolute shambles if we do. i live town in kent, i am expecting county to be gridlocked when there are 7000 lorries to be backed up to dover. they have not much longer to get things sorted out. the eu tends to like to ta ke out. the eu tends to like to take these things to the wire, but we still have these major sticking points. the line seems to be it is actually the eu that still has to budge. but it certainly the line being picked up certainly the line being picked up by certainly the line being picked up by some of the papers. what do you make about. i imagine they both have to budge. this isa they both have to budge. this is a compromise being. the whole point about brexit was that right from the start,
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brexit was incompatible with the principles of europe. and the principles of europe. and the kinds of things that were on offer to us, such as the norway style access to single market, that wasn't brexit, because we would have had to accept free movement of people. that was an absolute eu principle, it was their red line. we could have had a turkey type deal and joined the customs union, but that would have stopped us making trade deals elsewhere. so at no point we re deals elsewhere. so at no point were the things on offer compatible with brexit from our point of view, and to get those things changed, that was not compatible with european principles. so in a sense, we have not come a huge way forward there. we have to do compromise. if there is a free trade deal at the end of it, an awful lot of tory brexiteers will not like it, but even so,
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thatis will not like it, but even so, that is going to be the price of not having the chaos that will insular if we go out on world trade organisation terms. if we do go out on world trade organisation terms, how much of a failure do you think it will be? i think it will be total. and i think this is the point where the british people may well turn against the whole concept. there are contingency plans in place, and when you hear the kind of contingency plans, you realise what kind of chaos we are in for. so there are warnings out there of supermarkets not having fresh food on their shelves, we will have the gridlock that i have mentioned, with the law is not being able to get through because they will be stuck at dover for several days. there are questions over whether medicines will get through, that they could take three months to travel across just from europe. so what is going to happen, i think, from europe. so what is going to happen, ithink, is from europe. so what is going to happen, i think, is that if
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all those things happen, and thatis all those things happen, and that is the awfulness of a no—deal, if those things happen, people will turn around and say hang on, i am not sure i voted for this, and i didn't vote for not being able to buy tomatoes in the supermarket. and borisjohnson tomatoes in the supermarket. and boris johnson could tomatoes in the supermarket. and borisjohnson could be in severe trouble. our thanks to nigel nelson there. in other news, donald trump has dismissed allegations 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 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
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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. 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. with england announcing a tightening of its coronavirus restrictions, the issue of how well people stick to them is becoming central
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to the british government's efforts to manage the pandemic. ros atkins looks at the impact of rule—breaking. this is not going to be christmas as we know it, and governments across europe are asking people to help contain the virus. it is about trying to reduce that contact and make sure that everybody is as cautious and is personally responsible as possible. but is lawbreaking causing the covid—19 surge? is there a risk that rule breakers become a lightning rod for the upset this pandemic is understandably causing? well, i sought out four uk perspectives from a behavioural scientist, an epidemiologist, a data a nalyst an epidemiologist, a data analyst and a radio host. she presents a phone in show on the bbc and often shows a frustration with people not wearing masks properly on public transport. the reason i help people like that in genuine, bone deep contempt is but i think we have a duty to one another as much as we have a duty to ourselves. her
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concern is widespread, but how can we assess rule breaking? robert calf set of statistics for bbc news. his advice as to not see this in black and white. well, if you are supposed to self isolate in your bedroom for 1h days, there isa your bedroom for 1h days, there is a variety of different ways you cannot comply with that. you might go for a walk on your own at night or you might go into starbucks. those are very different things. we all know that circumstances can drive differences in behaviour. a survey looked at the attitude to quarantine upfront holidays. 10% said they wanted do it at minute rose to 20% if they needed to work, and 25% if they needed to work, and 25% if they needed to work, and 25% if they needed to care for someone. there is also a broader belief that overtime, people have struggled stick to the guidelines. this is soho in london in september. in october, the who said it is easy and natural to feel apathetic and demotivated, to experience fatigue. and this is borisjohnson experience fatigue. and this is boris johnson around the experience fatigue. and this is borisjohnson around the same time. everybody got a bit kind
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of, you know, complacent. not everybody agrees with this analysis. this guardian article from the summer want, don't blame public the covid—19 spread." a leading uk scientist who argues that government policy and inequality are biggerfactors than policy and inequality are bigger factors than selfishness or thoughtless behaviour. but if there is disagreement over the consequences, can weirdly say rule breaking is increasing? well, behavioural scientist professor susan mickey says no. it has kept pretty steady since the summer. so despite people saying that they are at up, bored, that this is really difficult, or tough, what you see is that people are still wanting to adhere, and by and large they are adhering. if that is the case, why is this so much attention on rule breakers? this is the professor again. attention on rule breakers? this is the professor againm you are looking out for something and you are likely to get irritated by it, you know, you will think that there are many, you will think that there are any you will think that there are many, many more people who are
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not adhering, then if you are not adhering, then if you are not especially looking out for it. nonetheless, rule breaking is happening, and on this, epidemiologist helen is clear. lawbreaking matters. these things that might seem like minor transgressions at the individual level, added together at the population level, are the things that are really driving transmission and driving this pandemic. which is why that connection between each person's actions under of the pandemic remains central to many government's messages this christmas. before we go, let's show you some pictures of a violent confrontation that took place at a zoo in russia. on one side was a panda called ru yi, on the other was a snowman. zookeepers in moscow used it as a test for the animal, placing carrots and branches in its body. ru yi used his formidable martial arts to destroy the snowman and was then able to eat his dinner. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @lvaughanjones.
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hello. there is some more rain in the forecast over the next few days. that rain coming on top of what we already had over the last week or so. we've had so much rain that in some places flood warnings are enforced. you can check the bbc websites to see if flood warnings are affecting your area. we got low pressure in charge at the moment, sitting up charge at the moment, sitting up to the north and feeding showers in from the west. some of these showers continue to be pretty heavy through the day on sunday, really focusing in across western areas, further east through eastern scotland and england, not as many showers. showers will become fewer and further in between for a time during sunday afternoon. at the same time disband a heavy will swing into northern ireland into the far far west of scotland. it was a
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quite blustery here as well, with gusts of 40, maybe 50 miles an houror with gusts of 40, maybe 50 miles an hour or more in the most exposed spots. temperature is just most exposed spots. temperature isjust one most exposed spots. temperature is just one touchdown on saturday's values for some of us. saturday's values for some of us. highs between eight and 11. during sunday night we will see these heavy showers pushing across northern areas down towards the south. loud and persistent rain will push into southern england, wales, the midlands and east anglia by the end of the night. in the southern parts, temperatures we re southern parts, temperatures were declining as night wears on, 11 degrees in plymouth by o'clock in the morning. a bit chillierfurther north. o'clock in the morning. a bit chillier further north. that sets us up for monday. as this frontal system continues to bring rain across parts of england and wales, some of that rain will get into southern scotland, but to the south of it, we will be feeding on some pretty mild hour, whereas further north, some chilly air working its way in. some temperature contrasts through the day on monday. rain pushing east out of eastern england, i think quite early on on monday, but something continuing across northern england, up into scotland, at the same sinus and
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showers across the final. something a little bit brighter into northern ireland but you can see that temperature contrasts, six degrees in glasgow, 14 in london, well above the norm for this time of year. as we had deep into the week, another area of low pressure will bring more rain for some on wednesday. that will then start to slide away, south, high pressure will build m, south, high pressure will build in, it will be drierjust in time for christmas, but it will also start to feel quite chilly for all of us. singledigit temperatures by thursday and friday, and the most places it will be drier, with some spells of sunshine.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: eighteen million people
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in and around london are entering a new lockdown, to help curb a variant of the coronavirus that spreads very quickly, though it's not thought to be more deadly. the prime minister said he made the decision with a heavy heart so close to christmas. a uk government source has warned there won't be a post—brexit trade deal unless there's a "substantial shift" from the eu. a senior brussels source insisted it was in both sides' interests to reach a fair deal. there are less than two weeks until the transition period ends. president trump has dismissed allegations that russia was behind a major cyber espionage attack that penetrated several us government agencies, as well as organisations around the world. mr trump alleged on twitter that the attack wasn't as bad as reported in what he called the "fake news media". well among the restrictions announced by the prime minister, are new limits on travel. boris johnson announced a general "stay at home order"


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