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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 20, 2020 3:00am-3:31am 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. president—electjoe biden announces further picks for his governing team, including potentially the first native—american cabinet secretary. the president elect and advise president—elect are committed toa president—elect are committed to a diverse cabinet and i am honoured and humbled to accept the nomination for secretary of the nomination for secretary of the interior. and queueing for what's known as the "fat one" — long lines in spain, ahead of its annual christmas lottery.
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hello and 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—i9 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's spent the last two in hospital
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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'm terminally ill, i won't 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
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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. aren't the 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 to or watching this, trying to leave the south—east, what should they do? my short answer would be, please, unpack it at this stage. rules will only be relaxed for get—togethers
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on christmas day in scotland, too, and the next day, all of scotland's mainland 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, willm ake 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. 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
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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. 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. 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 once and are banned from leaving their region. to switzerland. on tuesday it'll start 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
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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 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. 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. 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
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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 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
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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 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, he blamed the media for exaggerating the gravity of the situation and said everything was under control. earlier i spoke to alex stamos who is the director of the stanford internet observatory.
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i asked him if he thought donald trump was correct in saying this was hyped up by the media. no, it is not true. in fact, if anything, the media has not really played up the truth scale. played up the true scale. this is possibly the most effective cyber espionage campaign in history, with the possibility of 18,000 companies having access that would have been taken advantage of by the russian intelligence services. now, they did not actually go into all those companies, they did not access data from all those organizations and government agencies but the capability they had to do so was incredible and unprecedented. wow, that is quite a significant claim you are making, potentially the biggest in history in these circumstances in the us. in the simplest terms you can — i know it is difficult — what exactly has happened here? what happened was, the russian intelligence service, known as the svr — theirforeign intelligence service — was able to put a backdoor in a very popular piece
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of software called solarwinds orion. this s a piece of software that most consumers have never heard of but is actually quite popular among big companies and government agencies that have to run networks of many thousands of devices. what this offer does is it lets you to touch all of those devices and to manage them centrally. as a result, this was a backdoor in a piece of software that already had a huge amount of power on the networks it was infecting. so starting with march, when the people who ran this software would pull an update, just like people update their phones or update their computers, this software was updated. it brought the russian government into their network. that does not mean the russians actually did anything and that is one of the key things that's been looked at right now is, of the 18,000 companies that could have been affected, how many actually were affected ? but that is a process that might take months or even years because there is nowhere near enough talent anywhere in the world to go after 18,000 organisations of this size.
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a couple of times you have said the russians and that is what the us state department have said as well. donald trump suggesting on twitter that, no, it might not be the russians, it's the chinese. what do you make of that? well, i do not have access to the raw data that people are using for attribution but a number of organisations have said that they feel very strongly that this is russian intelligence. that includes fireeye, which is the company that originally found the backdoor because they themselves were attacked and they did the initial attribution. that includes the intelligence agencies in the united states, which then you heard mike pompeo represent their attribution. i have no reason to doubt, this is totally consistent with the kind of activity you have seen from the svr in the past and there's absolutely no evidence or any credible voices who are saying that china had anything to do with it. alex stamos. a uk government source has said
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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 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 borisjohnson 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 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 undercutting the other. the second issue, one that has
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been an issue since the start of these negotiations, is fishing access, the extent to which eu boats can come into uk waters after the transition period ends. 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 apart and the language coming from a government source tonight is interesting. they say there has not been enough flexibility from eu states, not necessarily the negotiators themselves, but from some eu states. the second thing they're saying is that if there isn't a substantial shift in the next few days, this is going to end up with no deal. now, when you get to this 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's not completely clear to me tonight that there is the political space on either side of the channel or the political
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will to get this done in the next few days. this is bbc news. the headlines: new covid restrictions have come into effect 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. warehouse workers are packing vials of the newly—approved moderna vaccine in readiness for distribution to thousands of sites across the united states. general gus perna, who is leading operation warp speed for the us government, said trucks would start to roll out on sunday. he said shipments would begin to reach health care providers as soon as monday. but he's had to apologise to state governors, saying he'd made an error estimating the number of doses cleared for shipment. this week many have heard concerns about allegations of
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vaccine doses being cut. i want to assure everybody, and i want to assure everybody, and i want to ta ke to assure everybody, and i want to take personal responsibility for the miscommunication. i know that is not doing much, these days, but i am responsible, and i take responsibility for the miscommunication. meanwhile, the us centers for disease control and prevention said it's monitoring reports of allergic reactions to the vaccine and made recommendations on how people with histories of allergies should proceed. anyone who has had a severe reaction to a covid—19 vaccine should not get the second dose we can now speak to dr james mcdevitt, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at baylor college of medicine in houston. thank you so much for coming on the programme. thank you, good to see you. let's start with this idea of allergic reactions to the vaccine. just talk us
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through, in simple terms, who should be worried and why. two very quick point before i talk about the nuances around allergic reactions. number one, if you have concerns about taking a vaccine, don't get your advice completely, talk to a doctor or a professional, thatis a doctor or a professional, that is critical. number two, i get a lot of questions that say i have diabetes, lung disease, should i take the vaccine, the a nswer to should i take the vaccine, the answer to that question is unequivocally yes, go take the vaccine. the issue around allergic reactions with the pfizer and moderna vaccine is if you have a severe allergic reaction you should not take the second dose. a severe allergic reaction is not simple hives or soreness at the injection site, it is difficulty breathing, swelling of the airway, sometimes a drop in blood pressure, something that requires emergency treatment and administration of medications to reverse, and it seems like common sense that
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you would not take the second dose, and that is standard vaccine practice and has been for many years, that is not surprising information. that is pretty comprehensive, you have talked us through that, and we appreciated. there are a couple of different news lines coming out about the strain at the moment, i want to start with something we have been covering, in england, this new variant of covid—19 that is up to 70% more transmissible. how worrying or expected is that? it is worrying in that gosh it was already a very contagious virus, and now we saw this early on in the pandemic, where there was a mutation that because the virus not to be that deadly, not to be more dangerous, but to spread more easily. and in this new variant it makes it more contagious. if you get it it doesn't increase the likelihood you will be sicker, but that is all the more reason to mask and distance, and avoid indoor
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settings and not going into crowded spaces and mixing households, still it is critically important. let's finish with the issue of logistics, i suppose there, we heard the man in charge having to apologise and taking responsibility for some of the issues there. this is a huge rollout programme. there will inevitably be delays and problems. frankly, i don't know what that means, i don't know how concerns to be. when we initially heard in the us that we would have by the end of december at about 44 million doses between the two main vaccines, our plan was whatever we get, let's get half of it, but we were told unequivocally, don't treated that way, get all the vaccine we promise that will be vaccine right behind it. i have not heard them say this is not the case, but i got my vaccine last tuesday, i am
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supposed to get my second dose onjanuary supposed to get my second dose on january everything supposed to get my second dose onjanuary everything i sure hope that dose there. if it is not, it's not the end of the world, worst case i would have to do repeat my cycle all over again, getting some immunity from that first dose, but the tragedy is we would have wasted vaccine that could have gone to other people. ic. we must limit their calibre thank you very much for coming on. president—electjoe biden has chosen congresswoman deb haaland to be the next secretary of interior. the new mexico democrat is a member of the pueblo of laguna tribe. if confirmed by the senate, she would be the first indigenous american to serve as a cabinet secretary. speaking earlier she said her nomination was a profound moment, given that a previous interior secretary once proclaimed that his goal was to "civilize or exterminate" native americans. i am proud to stand here on the ancestral homeland of the lenape tribal nation. the president—elect and vice president—elect are committed to a diverse cabinet and i am honoured and humbled to accept their nomination for
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secretary of the interior. groing up in my mother's pueblo's household made me fierce. my life has not been easy. i have struggled with homelessness. i relied on food stamps and raise my child as a single mum. these struggles give me perspectives though so that i can help people to succeed. sarah deer is a native american scholar, advocate and attorney. i asked her how significant is this nomination. it would be difficult to overstate what a significant moment this is, especially for native women and i think that a lot of folks have a perception that tribal governments are still sort of operating in the past but the nomination of a native person brings us into the present. we have been invisible in the federal government forfar too long. this high visibility appointment, it is just a real profound
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victory for a lot of us in indian country. you have met her, i believe. what kind of character is she? what do you think she will she bring to the role? she a very warm and thoughtful. they would be the first two words i would use. when i got a chance to visit her office in washington, dc, it felt more like a family room or a living room where she had discussions with people, notjust a typical politician. what is in her in—tray as it were? what are you expecting from her in terms of policy? i think that the bureau of indian affairs is only going to be one part of herjob. she oversees a number of sub other agencies as well if she is to be confirmed but she will have authority over public land management, national parks and indian tribes, and we hope that she would bring to this role an understanding of what the planet needs right now, what the science says about the climate.
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and many indigenous people have a profound connection to the environment and she will be consulting with those people as she makes her decisions. and one other issue, of course , which permeates everything — covid—19. of course. the tragedy right now is that native people are dying at very, very high rates of covid. very devastating in some communities, losing people every day and one of the sad parts about that is that we are losing our language with these deaths, we are losing heritage. we had some very knowledgeable elders who have passed from this virus and so we are looking for leadership notjust from the interior department but from the federal government altogether in terms of getting those vaccines out into the reservations.
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it is one of the biggest lotteries in the world, el gordo — or the fat one. millions of people in spain take part, hoping to win prizes that will change lives. the draw takes place on tuesday, and the pandemic doesn't seem to have dampened enthusiasm, as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. this year, perhaps more than any other year, people could do with a little luck in their lives. hundreds of people queueing up for hours at this kiosk in madrid. it's considered the luckiest kiosk in the country, selling lottery tickets for more than a century. translation: it's a dream for the end of this year. people want to leave misery behind, poverty, i don't know. everybody has a different wish. some want a house, some want to help the family, or whatever. el gordo dates back more than 200 years. the prize is big, more than 2 billion euros.
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but there are usually lots and lots of winners. hence the long queues, although the shadow of coronavirus still hangs over the proceedings. translation: well, i have been waiting in line for two hours and the security measures were respected a lot less at the end, a bit more at the start. the truth is that there was no police or security personnel to ensure social distancing. like many countries in europe, infection numbers are rising, restrictions are being tightened. but despite it all, el gordo remains a real festive tradition. tim allman, bbc news. at least nine coronavirus patients have been killed by a fire ina patients have been killed by a fire in a hospital in southern turkey. the blaze in an intensive care ward in a hospital has been triggered by
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the explosion of an oxygen tank. turkey has recorded almost 18,000 deaths since the pandemic began. before we go some pictures of a confrontation that took place ina zoo confrontation that took place in a zoo in russia. on one side was a panda on a mac and the other was a snowman. zookeepers in moscow used it as a test for the animal, placing carrots and treats in the body, and the panda used its its extensive martial arts to destroy the snowman and eat it then a. —— eat it's dinner. a reminder of our top story. new covid restrictions have come into effect in london and surrounding areas — nearly 18 million people are affected. you can find plenty more online andi you can find plenty more online and i will be back with the headlines in a couple of minutes time. you can reach me on twitter —
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i'm @ lvaughanjones. hello. there's 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 in force. you can check the bbc websites to see if flood warnings are affecting your area. we've got low pressure in 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 this band of heavy rain will swing into northern ireland and into the far west of scotland. it will be quite blustery here as well, with gusts of 40,
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maybe 50 miles an hour or more in the most exposed spots. temperatures just a touch down on saturday's values for some of us. highs between 8 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 were declining as night wears on, 11 degrees in plymouth by 1:00 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 in some pretty mild air, whereas further north, some chilly air working its way in. so some temperature contrasts through the day on monday. rain pushing east out of eastern england, i think quite early on on monday, but some continuing across northern england, up into scotland. something a little bit brighter into northern ireland but you can see that temperature contrast, 6 degrees in glasgow, 1a in london, well above the norm
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for this time of year. as we head 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 in, it will be drierjust in time for christmas, but it will also start to feel quite chilly for all of us. single digit temperatures by thursday and friday, and in most places it will be drier, with some spells of sunshine.
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this is bbc news — the headlines: 18 million people 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. 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. 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. the retail and hospitality sectors have faced unprecedented challenges this year because of the pandemic,


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