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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 25, 2020 7:00pm-7:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. queen elizabeth has been reflecting on the hardships of the pandemic in her christmas speech as she and prince philip break tradition by staying in windsor. people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year and i am so the challenges of the year and i am so proud of the quiet spirit. european union ambassadors get details of a post—brexit trade deal in a christmas day briefing led by michel barnier. thousands of lorry drivers are spending christmas day in their cabs near dover as 800 military personnel continue to test stranded hauliers. pope francis gives his christmas day address urging all nations to share covid—i9 vaccines and calling for peace in war torn regions.
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hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. in her christmas day message, queen elizabeth has praised the scientists and medical staff, to whom, she said, we owe a debt of gratitude this year. she said this christmas was tinged with sadness because of the distance between people, many of whom just wanted a simple hug or squeeze of the hand. nicholas witchell reports. from windsor castle on christmas day without the customary companionship of families coming together, a christmas broadcast on which the queen reflected on the time of exceptional difficulty. on a mac for
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christians, jesus is the light of the world. but he can't celebrate his birth today and quite usual way. the pandemic has disrupted so much for people of all faiths but the queen said it has also brought us closer. in the united kingdom and across the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and i am so proud of the quiet, indomitable spirit. to our young people in particular, i say thank you for the part you have played. she thanked front line workers and the amazing achievements of modern science. we owe them a debt of gratitude, she said. she recalled that this year was the centenary recalled that this year was the ce nte nary of recalled that this year was the centenary of the burial of the unknown soldier in westminster abbey, and unknown hero of an earlier generation who has become a symbol of selfless duty. he represents millions like him, who
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throughout history have put the lives of others above their own and we will be doing so today. for me, this is a source of enduring hope in difficult and unpredictable times. for many, the queen said, christmas would be a particularly difficult time. of course, for many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness, some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family members, distance for safety, when all they really want for christmas is a simple had, or a squeeze of the hand. if you are among them, you are not alone. let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers. the reference to a hug or a squeeze of the hand was a human touch, that kind of language that the queen does not often use publicly, deployed today in the
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christmas day message of hope and reassurance. after a historic brexit trade deal, the european union's chief negotiator, michel barnier, has been briefing ambassadors from the 27 member states on the details. the document setting out the deal runs to over 12 hundred pages. the prime minister who was in downing street yesterday when the deal was confirmed has also received a copy. here's our political correspondent leila nathoo. i have a small present for anyone who may be looking for something to read in that sleepy post—christmas lunch moment, and here it is... tidings, glad tidings of greatjoy, because this is a deal. some light reading. the post—brexit deal agreed yesterday between britain and the eu runs to more than 1,200 pages. this morning, the man who negotiated it for the eu side, michel barnier, briefed ambassadors of eu member states on its details.
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mission accomplished. what's in that blue folder sets out how the eu and uk will trade and co—operate from the new year — to finally have something on paper is a success for both sides. the deal was done in the nick of time with the uk already out of the eu and transition arrangements expiring within days. mps and peers will have until wednesday to digest the detail before being called back to parliament for a debate. there are unlikely to be any hold—ups in westminster, though — labour is set to back it. we will certainly be better off with this deal, and we have to make it work. no deal would have terrible consequences for our country, and the labour party could not enable that to happen. during the long months of negotiations, both sides seemed determined not to give ground. what is now on the table is a compromise, but those
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who campaigned for brexit have broadly given the deal thumbs up. if the contents are as described by the prime minister, then i think it is a very satisfactory outcome, and actually a very good one, given the rather bum hand he had been dealt when he took over from theresa may. britain's new relationship with brussels is now more defined. eu ambassadors are weighing up how the future looks with the uk on the outside. the deal will need time to play out in practice, but both sides will be relieved it was, against the odds, done. leila nathoo, bbc news. drivers parked at the former manston airfield and on roads in kent are being tested for covid. to make extra military personnel have been deployed. over 10,000 tests have been carried out, with just 2a positive and the rest now allowed
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to cross the channel. for one half thousand hgvs are over the channel. for one half thousand hgvs are over the channel. our correspondent frankie mccamley has been in mansten airfield for us, with the latest on the situation there. this is not the christmas thousands of drivers here were expecting. some have been stuck here at manston airfield for up to four days with no access to washing facilities and just portaloos dotted around the side of the airfield. we have heard a beeping protest as drivers are getting more and more frustrated. i have spoken to some who say theyjust want to be at home, some say they feel like this is a political protest and they are caught in the middle. you can see just behind me some local people are coming here, rallying together, trying to provide hot food and drinks to give these drivers just something on christmas day. every half an hour,
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we are seeing around a dozen lorries leave this site, take the ito—minute journey over to the port of dover. each have been tested negative, have tested negative for coronavirus and each will be carrying a letter, signed by uk and french authorities, allowing them access to mainland europe. last night, we saw around 800 troops deployed to try and speed up this testing process, that does seem to have worked because a lot of the roads in the area surrounding dover that have cleared and residents are now able to travel. but this is not back to normal — there are still thousands of drivers stuck here. they may be getting water, drinks and food, but this is not where they were hoping to be, especially on christmas day. a number of scientists at the lighthouse laboratory in milton keynes, are believed to have been affected along with admin and warehouse staff. the lab, which is being asked
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to process about 70,000 tests a day, say it follows covid secure work procedures. chile's president has described the start of a national coronavirus immunisation programme as a moment of hope and excitement for the country. chile, mexico and costa rica have become the first countries in latin america to begin vaccination campaigns. argentina is also planning to start inoculations in the next few days. tim allman has more. in chile, potential salvation comes from the skies. the first 10,000 of an ordered 30 million doses of the coronavirus of axing, arriving at this airport in santiago. the country's president was there to welcome them, as the precious cargo was moved onto a helicopter. translation: it's a day of much excitement, seeing this helicopter transporting hope,
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because the truth is that many people have worked a lot over this time to secure the vaccine. our compatriots will have a secure, effective and timely vaccine. the first compatriot, a health worker called zulema riquelme. president pinera, there to witness this important moment. in mexico, they queued up for theirjobs. doctors, nurses, members of the military. this country has had more than 120,000 covid fatalities, the fourth highest death toll in the world. so palpable was the excitement, the whole thing was shown live on television. argentina will begin its vaccination programme imminently. but they have sought help from russia rather than america or western europe, a decision that has led to a few raised eyebrows. translation: the first vaccines have arrived in the country, 300,000 doses of the sputnik vaccine. there was some scepticism, but as we always say,
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we do not want to get entangled in any type of discussion other than preserving the health of our people. another plane touching down, another batch of the vaccine arriving, this time in costa rica. as the country's president put it, this may be the beginning of the end of this pandemic. tim allman, bbc news. india's prime minister, narendra modi, has announced around two point four billion dollars worth of benefits for farmers amid mounting pressure on his government to scrap controversial reforms. mr modi has today been addressing millions of farmers across the country virtually, accusing his political opposition for misleading them over contentious new laws that will loosen the rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm products. our south asia editor, anbarasan ethirajan is in delhi. the government here of prime minister modi has been trying to reach out to various sections of the reformers highlighting points regarding the new agrarian reforms which were passed in september this
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year, one of them has been inviting more foreign investment, private investment in agriculture and second thing is they want to abolish antiquated procedures like people are using some of the agents to sell their produce, which means farmers they have to pay money so these agents will be removed from the system and then the farmers are allowed to sell their produce for example from different states, now they have certain restrictions like a farmer from southern india can now sell to the farmers or the merchants in northern india. these are the key points of the government's agrarian reforms and that is what the government has been trying to sell to the other farmers. on the other hand, what the farmers are saying is that india is predominantly an agricultural nation, more than 60% of the 1.4 billion population depend on agriculture. many of them are small landowners, so, the reforms will benefit only big corporations and we don't have the power to take on these big
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corporations in setting the price, when did the market ever give an advantage to poor farmers and the rest of the world? this is a classic case of deregulation of markets and the poor farmers and they are up against it, whereas the typical case of globalisation versus developing countries problem. at least three people have been injured in a big explosion in the city of nashville, the us state of tennessee. the cause of the blast is not yet known, but the police have confirmed that it came from a parked vehicle. metro police said they confirm the explosion was an "intentional act," and were investigating the report of a suspicious vehicle when the explosion occurred. a bomb squad has been sent to the area. smoke could be seen
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billowing from a building in the downtown area. the mac this morning, the police responded to shots being fired in the downtown area. they were also told that a bomb would detonate within 15 minutes. upon hearing that, they evacuated buildings nearby. they had emergency communications to get people safe. shortly after that, the rv exploded. an australian expeditioner has been medically evacuated from antarctica following a five day mission involving ships, helicopters and planes. china, the us and australia combined efforts to bring the the patient back home in an operation described as "complex" but a success. details of the patient‘s condition were not made public but officials says
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it was not related to coronavirus. people living near a river in bedfordshire have been urged to leave their homes due to flooding. bedfordshire have been urged to leave their homes due to floodinglj had leave their homes due to flooding.” had of the arrival of storm bella, people have been warned of flooding is which will bring heavy rain and winds of up to 70 mph. the latest headlines on bbc news... queen elizabeth has been reflecting on the hardships of the pandemic in her christmas speech as she and prince philip break tradition by staying in windsor. european union ambassadors get details of a post—brexit trade deal in a christmas day briefing led by michel barnier. thousands of lorry drivers are spending christmas day in their cabs near dover as 800 military personnel continue to test stranded hauliers. in his christmas message, pope francis has urged world leaders to share coronavirus vaccines,
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saying walls of nationalism could not be built to inhibit the fight against a pandemic that knows no borders. he called for generosity and support for victims of the pandemic. our rome correspondent mark lowen has been following the story. this time last year, there were 50,000 people in st peter's square watching the pope's christmas urbi et orbi to the world from the balcony of st peter's basilica. this year the square is completely cordoned off by police, we are in the middle of a christmas lockdown, and the pope spoke from inside the palace. the world has changed, and many people's faith has been shaken and coronavirus was very much at the heart of the pope's christmas message. he called on people to care for and to offer generosity to the victims of the pandemic. he also called on world leaders to co—operate,
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so that there should be access to vaccines, for all countries. he said "we cannot erect walls", perhaps a message to the outgoing donald trump administration there. interestingly, he singled out among the victims women who had suffered from domestic violence during months of lockdown. he talked about how his thoughts were for families who could not come together, and those forced to remain at home, so the pandemic very much at the centre of this urbi et orbi message. he called for peace in the world's hotspots, but this is a year in which the world as a whole has been fighting a way, and the pope's message was to people, to arm themselves with compassion. some good news now, in this most difficult of years the first concert to be held inside notre dame cathedral in paris since it was severely damaged by a fire last year. there was no audience and the socially distanced singers wore hard hats and boiler suits
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because the cathedral is still a building site as well as classical pieces they gave a heart warming rendition ofjingle bells. they sing jingle bells this christmas is, of course, one like no other with many families unable to be together because of the global pandemic. so how have we adapted our plans? judith moritz has been finding out. for so many, covid means christmas behind closed doors. this boy was born during the pandemic, he has a heart condition and his grandparents are vulnerable. even though rules mean the family could get together, they have chosen to keep it virtual and open presents via video call. there was a point where we were thinking about having
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parents up on christmas day, but following the recent raise, you know, raising cases, and just the general uncertainty, we have decided to avoid it this year. how are you, raymond and olwen? 0k. happy christmas. coronavirus has changed christmas for church goers too. the congregation of this church in carlisle met on zoom instead of in person, though the sense of community was no less heartfelt. at st mary's near congleton, the church is big and draughty enough for everyone to space out. they had to book a pew, one per household bubble, to ensure social distancing. well, i think it is wonderful. i think the place has been going for a thousand years now, so we couldn't let it down and miss a christmas, we had to find a way. i think it is amazing this can be
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so safe to come and allow the older generation and younger generation to be part of each other. only the choir was allowed to sing. people have had to make special arrangements to make the church look beautiful, just everything's happened but in a different way. last christmas no—one could have imagined the way this year's festival would look or they would be praying for next year's celebrations to be back to normal. we've been back in touch with some of the doctors, nurses and experts we've talked to bbc news since the pandemic took hold in march. we're asking them how they will be marking christmas in these extraordinary circumstances. florida has been one of the worst affected us states and over the year we've heard from dr andrew pastewski, the icu medical director at the jackson south medical centre in miami. christmas is obviously very
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different this year. we have a large extended family with my mum, my dad, my cousin is all here in florida with us. we will be seeing them this year. we will keep christmas day to our immediate household, my wife, my kids, and my brother who has been with us since march. we are going to set upa with us since march. we are going to set up a plate and facetime family members individually while we eat. we will enjoy ourselves. we are frying a turkey. this is the first time i've done it, so hopefully the next news story will not be about a doctor in miami who bends to the ground. we are going to try and enjoy as a family. keep it small, keep it tight. we know this won't be the most fun christmas but we know that the end is in sight and we will have more christmases together so we wa nt to have more christmases together so we want to make sure this one is safe. backin want to make sure this one is safe. back injuly, want to make sure this one is safe. back in july, we want to make sure this one is safe. back injuly, we spoke to you a couple of times and you said it felt like you are fighting a losing battle and then it was slightly better. when you have one day off like christmas day, someone with a job like yours actually enjoy
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themselves? how hard is it for you to switch off from the tragedy you are dealing with the rest of the time? there is never a switch off. at the back of my mind, i know patients are not having a good christmas, and the family members are christmas, and the family members a re u nfortu nately christmas, and the family members are unfortunately only talk to them over the phone, who are worried about their sick families, they won't have a good christmas. there is no way to just switch it off and just live in the moment, but it is nice to watch the kids, who have that ability and don't really know what is going on, tear open the presents, screaming at the latter that we had the alpha leave them, that's what you can appreciate. at the back of your mind, were still wondering, are any of those families going to get that phone call today, that theirfamily going to get that phone call today, that their family member died. i'm sorry to take it back to your day job, but tell us what it is like at work at the moment. i believe the intensive care unit is full. yes, we
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110w intensive care unit is full. yes, we now have three intensive care unit areas. this seems worse than the second wave. the second was unbearable, because we'd the number of patients. we didn't know back then that we could remove people from isolation. now we know that after ten days, we can. we are hustling every day to get people out of the coronavirus isolation areas. the numbers are overwhelming. over the past week, it has doubled. we have had to spill over to a second area and then a third area. we are keeping patients waiting in the emergency room. we don't think the end is coming anytime soon. we think it will get worse with the holidays. we are now seeing deaths from the thanksgiving surge. is getting to be very, very difficult. it is painful because we see the end. we have got the vaccine. front line workers are starting to be vaccinated, we are vaccinating front line workers and some of the elderly. my dad has a
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schedule to get his vaccine on january the 2nd. it is exciting to see that the end is coming, but at the same time, we are not crossing the same time, we are not crossing the finish line at a sprint. we are limping in because of the lack of distancing, lack of masks. it is going to be a bad few months while the vaccine is getting administered before the sceptics turned round. —— before the sceptics turned round. —— before this gets turned around. you still think it will be a fair amount of time before things improve significantly, at least where you are? you've got to get the vaccine up are? you've got to get the vaccine up to are? you've got to get the vaccine uptoa are? you've got to get the vaccine up to a large number of people. in order to do that, it takes a lot of time. feel safe during that three to six months, then things will go well. if we are not safe, and were definitely not being too safe here, over christmas, so the next three months while we are getting the vaccine out, we will be struggling at the hospital to take care of the sick people. so, i think it's going
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to bea sick people. so, i think it's going to be a pretty rough patch before we start to see it slowly get better. lets go back to what you are doing today, being with your family and kids. how much more do you appreciate what you have got? these little moments, because of what you have been through this past year, because of what everyone has gone through. one thing about coronavirus which really hits you is when someone has a child around the same age and they are sick or that they have died and you have to explain that the family member. you think about your own kids find out that dad is not coming home, and it's the kind of thought to try not to have very often because it makes it overwhelming. but just very often because it makes it overwhelming. butjust to be able to appreciate it and be read there with them. it's really the only fuel we have right now to keep going in this fight. what is just one of so many
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at the front line of the pandemic this christmas. as promised, the weather was pretty quiet on christmas day. now the weather is about to turn. storm banner is about to bring heavy rain and severe gales on boxing day night. in the short term, the weather is not too bad. in the small hours of saturday morning, it is the case of increasing winds around coastal areas. some heavy rain already reaching parts of western scotland. but the bulk of the uk, a fairly calm night. overcast in some areas, just a few showers here and there and not cold at all. this is mild air being swept in by the storm. through the course of
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saturday, the weather is looking pretty decent, especially around eastern parts of england, may be the midlands, the english channel coast as well. some sunny spells here, but generally speaking, a fair amount of cloud in the sky. double figures in the south of the country. at this stage, the weather is clearly, quickly deteriorating as storm banner approaches. through the course of the evening, boxing day, the weather will go downhill in the north—west of the uk and then quickly the bad weather will spread from north—west towards the south—east. particularly along this cold front, we will see some nasty conditions across wales and also england. that is where the worst of the wins will be. the met office has issued an amber warning, this is for some parts of wales and along the english channel. damaging winds of up english channel. damaging winds of up to 80 mph arejust english channel. damaging winds of up to 80 mph are just possible also because england there will be gale false winds causing problems. still mal is also likely to bring some flooding, particularly up across
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parts of wales and south—west of the country, and those damaging winds as well. as we go through sunday morning, that cold front sweeps up towards the north sea and then the winds will dramatically die down. as far as sandy is concerned, it is a mixture of sunny smiles, chilly conditions, and just about cold enough for some wintry weather here and there as well. we'll find ourselves in the centre of that storm. we are still in the middle of the low pressure on monday, and there is a possibility of some light sleet or snow, almost anywhere across the uk, even in the south of the country. goodbye.
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this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world.
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queen elizabeth has been reflecting on the hardships of the pandemic in her christmas speech as she and prince philip break tradition by staying in windsor. people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year and i am so proud of the quiet spirit. european union ambassadors get details of a post—brexit trade deal in a christmas day briefing led by michel barnier. thousands of lorry drivers are spending christmas day in their cabs near dover as 800 military personnel continue to test stranded hauliers. pope francis gives his christmas day address urging police in nashville, tennessee say a huge explosion in the city centre was a deliberate act.
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