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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 27, 2020 9:00am-9:31am GMT

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this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. borisjohnson promises big changes following his brexit trade deal, with a pledge to focus on spreading opportunity and delivering for those left behind. the rollout of the pfizer biontech covid vaccine begins for millions of people across the eu — starting with italy and the czech republic. storm bella brings gusts of more than a hundred miles an hour — and amber weather warnings for parts of wales and southern england. from world war two to the transformation of the postal service — postmistress kay white finally from world war two to the transformation of the postal service —
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postmistress kay white finally retires after after 80 years working in the same post office in shropshire. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the prime minister has promised that "big" changes are on the way for the uk following his brexit deal with the european union. in an interview with the sunday telegraph, borisjohnson has said he wants to focus on "leveling up the country" and "spreading opportunity" across the uk. mrjohnson said the brexit deal would provide new regulatory freedoms to "deliver for people who felt left behind". but some fishing leaders have accused him of "caving in" to the eu and sacrificing their interests. mps will vote on the deal in parliament on 30 december. this report from our political correspondent, iain watson.
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the prime minister has insisted he had been willing to go for no—deal when negotiations were going in the wrong direction, but he insisted the deal he achieved would withstand the most ruthless scrutiny by conservative brexiteers. glad tidings and greatjoy, because this is a deal... the full agreement with the eu runs to more than 1,200 pages and has now been published but it's attracting some criticism. the national federation of fishermen‘s organisations has described the reduction and the value of the eu's catch is paltry and says there is a profound sense of disillusionment and betrayal in fishing communities. changes to fishing quotas will be phased in over 5.5 years, with the value of the eu's catch falling by 25%. senior uk negotiators admitted they compromised somewhat over fishing, but said the eu had done so too. after 5.5 years the uk would be free to reduce eu access to its coastal waters further but could face retaliatory action. government sources says any measures taken by the eu would have to be
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proportionate and would be limited to the fishing industry. iain watson, bbc news. the coronavirus vaccine will be given to millions of people across europe from today, as countries including france, spain and italy begin the rollout of their vaccination programmes. meanwhile there have been confirmed cases of the more contagious variant of covid 19 in several european countries, as well as canada and japan. tim allman reports. time is of the essence in the fight against covid—i9. here at this nursing home in north—east germany, the vaccination programme has begun a day early. health workers said they weren't prepared to wait for the eu's coordinated roll—out, which was due to begin on sunday. clearly, for governments all around the world, it could be a real game changer. but as the vaccine spreads
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in vans and lorries across the continent, so, too, it seems, does the new variant strain of the virus. it was first identified here in the uk nearly two weeks ago, leading to tough new restrictions for millions of people. despite some countries effectively closing their borders to travellers from britain, the virus has been found in parts of western europe, and further afield. japan and now canada have confirmed positive tests. the new form of the virus is potentially far more infectious, but at this stage it doesn't appear to be any more severe or, crucially, any more deadly. the big question is, will the new vaccines be effective in combating it? it happens every year, for example, with influenza virus. we change the vaccine for influenza pretty much every year because of the revolution of influenza from year to year. the concern would be a similar type thing might happen then with this coronavirus.
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mass vaccinations are due to begin across europe today, and there are reports that britain's medicine regulator could approve the so—called oxford vaccine within a matter of days. a little hope and optimism as the new year approaches. tim allman — bbc news. in the italian capital, rome, health workers received their first doses of the pfizer—biontech vaccine. a medical officer and a senior professor were among the first three to get the jab at italy's national institute of infectious diseases. italy was the first western country hit by the virus and has reported more than 70,909 deaths since its outbreak in february, the highest toll in europe and the fifth—highest in the world. let's get the latest on the roll out of the vaccine. our correspondent, damien mcguinness, is in berlin.
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welcome news across europe that this roll—out is finally beginning this weekend. yes. that's right. i met a former airport. this close down a few months ago. it's now being used as one of the many mass vaccination centres in germany. there are 400 in total. they are set up in concert halls, stadiums, and an airport. they are purpose built specifically for people to go in there, to follow a track round, and to get the vaccine. that hasn't started yet today but what's been happening this morning in berlin, vans have been coming out of this vaccination sent out of that tunnel there, and they have been sent right around the city to ca re have been sent right around the city to care homes because that's the first priority in germany, that the elderly in care homes are getting the vaccine this morning. the very first woman to get the vaccine was actually yesterday at a nursing home in north—west germany. they got a batch slightly early. they decided to go ahead because they thought
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every day counts. that means the first person to get a vaccine in germany was yesterday, she was 101, she was congratulated by the health minister, and across europe today people will be getting the vaccine. is there hope in germany as in other european countries that this final roll—out of the vaccine will mean ultimately at the end —— ultimately the end of restrictions in the next few months. that's the hope. what will happen in germany is it'll be ca re will happen in germany is it'll be care homes, then it will be over 80s, that's the next phase. after that, late in the year, probably in about six months' time, we will have the broader population. the government in germany says by the summer everyone who wants the vaccine should have had the opportunity to get it, which means that by the end of the autumn, that's the timescale we are talking, we should have some sort of immunity in the population. that's the hope. a lot can happen in the meantime
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because there are lots of uncertainties. that's what the government is going for. by the time we come to next winter and next christmas, we are hoping not to have a repeat of the terrible numbers we are seeing here because germany itself actually came out relatively unscathed from the first wave, certainly compared to other large european countries. the second wave has hit germany hard. the total death toll has risen rapidly from 10,000 over the summer, now it is more like 30,000. that sudden steep rise within about six weeks has really shocked the country. the roll—out of the vaccine now is certainly a glimmer of hope for germany and the rest of the eu. good to talk to you, david, thank you very much. —— damien. a pilot in germany has traced an image of a syringe in the skies above to mark the launch of vaccination campaigns in europe. flight tracking data
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showed the small plane — a diamond da20 single—propeller piloted by samy kramer — tracing an image of a syringe above friedrichshafen, a town in southern germany and known for its importance in aviation history. mr kramer said he thought it was a fun way to raise awareness. weather warnings are in place for large parts of the uk as storm bella continues to bring heavy rain and high winds. gusts of more than 100 miles per hour have been recorded on the isle of wight, and there's an amber warning for wind in place for much of the south coast of england and parts of wales. emily unia reports. the river has gone back down, as you can see. returning to survey the damage — flooding forced debbie radford's father from his house on christmas eve. now the water's gone down and the cleaning begins. and it went over the sockets, so they have got to be dried out. in bedfordshire river levels rose
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on the great ouse and police told 1,300 households to leave their properties. the immediate threat to life outweighed the need to follow tier 4 coronavirus restrictions. people were allowed to seek shelter in friends' homes or emergency support centres. we have ended up doing what we have done in the past few years anyway, so oddly enough it has ended up being a more sociable christmas than we were planning on. overnight storm bella has delivered more disruption. high winds have brought down trees in wales, devon and sussex, making driving conditions treacherous. the met office has a number of weather warnings in place, including an amber alert for wind across southern and western england and coastal wales. emily unia, bbc news. elizabeth champion is a masters student at leeds university — you travelled home for christmas, are you worred the flooding means you might have trouble getting back home? what happened to you? it's been
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crazy. not the christmas i was expecting. a few nights ago we were told we might have to move out of oui’ told we might have to move out of our area. told we might have to move out of ourarea. a told we might have to move out of our area. a couple of neighbours we re our area. a couple of neighbours were told to evacuate. the water level is rising. we have been told most of the danger has passed now, but we were on the highest alert, so it was all quite confusing with what borisjohnson has it was all quite confusing with what boris johnson has been it was all quite confusing with what borisjohnson has been saying. it was all quite confusing with what boris johnson has been saying. which pa rt boris johnson has been saying. which part of bedford is this? mostly the area on the embankment, but i am slightly above that, so we've been waiting to hear. we've been told electrics might be going out. it's all been a bit confusing, really. a p pa re ntly all been a bit confusing, really. apparently some of your neighbours have been out digging trenches? inaudible can you hear me, elizabeth? sorry, poor connection. i gather some of your neighbours have been out digging trenches? that's correct.
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about 3am the night before, and they we re about 3am the night before, and they were up until 6am, putting up temporary sandbags and digging trenches. we kept them there just in case but we willjust have to see if we need any more. currently we think we need any more. currently we think we are ok. so, not an idealway we need any more. currently we think we are ok. so, not an ideal way to spend your christmas? definitely not, but it has been a great reason to procrastinate with deadlines. university isn't the thing we are focusing on at the moment, which is a safe thing to say for most people in the area —— most students. a safe thing to say for most people in the area -- most students. thank you for talking to us this morning. thank you very much. the health board which runs wales's largest hospital has issued an urgent appeal for help to deal with a high number of coronavirus patients. the cardiff and vale university health board tweeted that it was urgently looking for medical students for its critical care department. last week, public health wales warned of "an alarming rise" in coronavirus case rates across the country.
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the scottish government has pledged an extra £41 million to support businesses which were forced to close as they entered the country's top tier of coronavirus measures yesterday. the holyrood government says it's now allocated more than three the holyrood government says it's now allocated more than £3.5 billion to support businesses and help the economy recover from the pandemic. in the united states, police investigating an explosion which injured three people in nashville on friday say they're following hundreds of leads. a warning was broadcast from the motorhome minutes before it blew up. no deaths have been confirmed, but authorities are examining tissue found at the blast site — which they believe could be human remains. tanya dendrinos has the details. this is the scene that has left nashville reeling. an explosion leaving so many unanswered
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questions. the question is who is responsible and why?|j questions. the question is who is responsible and why? i am confident in the team we have that we will get to the bottom of this, that we will find out the story of this individual or individuals, we don't know right now, but this ultimate scrooge who on christmas morning instead of spreading joy and cheer decided to spread devastation and destruction. the multi-agency response is being led by the fbi. investigators working around the clock to piece together exactly what unfolded. we have over 500 investigative leads. we are following up on all of those. we are looking at a number of individuals. we are not prepared to identify one single individual right now. officers wouldn't be drawn on the persons of interest but they did scour this home in their hunt for clues on saturday. there was also a message of reassurance for residents left on edge after the shocking incident. nashville is safe. we feel
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and know that we have no known threats at this time against our city. we have been in communication and we feel fairly good about that. still, it is clear no one in this city will rest until whoever is responsible is brought tojustice. lots of different restrictions remain in place across the world, as countries try to keep the coronavirus pandemic under control. cases are rising in russia, but president vladimir putin says he won't impose a new national lockdown as he tries to protect the economy. our moscow correspondent sarah rasinsford reports. red square is at its picture—postcard best. no sign here of covid—19 cancelling christmas, despite the spiralling infection rate. there are precautions and many things have been scaled back this year,
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but there's no lockdown, and people told me they are fine with that. translation: i think there is enough restrictions. lots of people wear masks and gloves. i don't think we need anything stricter. translation: we don't need a lockdown, that would stop people earning wages and feeding their families. that happened in spring, and it was really bad. meanwhile, on another ice rink not far away, this is how moscow is dealing with covid. in october, we visited one of multiple giant temporary hospitals. there were free beds back then, but hospitals now across the country are close to capacity, and the death rate from covid is rising. vladimir putin is taking his own precautions. this year's press conference was by video link. the chosen few allowed close to him had to quarantine for two weeks first. but even loyal reporters told him
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things had never been this tough in russia. and mr putin promised he wouldn't make things worse with another lockdown. russia's doing its best to look festive, to lift people's moods despite the covid pandemic, but this crisis hasn't only pushed russia's health care system to the very limit, its hurting the economy, too, and that's an issue for vladimir putin, who has always presented himself as the president of stability. this club was closed for months after the pandemic first hit. the dancers are back on stage now, but their clients have far less money to spend. and covid rules mean closing at 11pm — not ideal for a striptease show. all in all, this man tells me business is down 60%. translation: we are hardly making ends meet.
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i had to get a bank loan to pay wages. if there is another lockdown and we have to shut, then that's it — we'll go bankrupt and people will lose theirjobs. so, russians are bracing for another tough year once the festive lights go out. the covid vaccine has brought a flicker of hope, but this virus is one thing the kremlin is struggling to control. sarah rainsford, bbc news, moscow. in ausralia, authorities in sydney are concerned about a cluster of coronavirus infections in the nothern part of the city. our correspondent in sydney is phil mercer. the sydney cluster of covid—19 has now grown to 122, and that number may not seem much compared to other countries but there are about 180 active coronavirus cases across the entire country. this cluster of cases in sydney is causing a great deal of concern for the authorities. it is focused in the northern beaches district of sydney. some of those coastal
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suburbs have gone back into lockdown. there was an amnesty for a couple of days over christmas but those regions are now back under those restrictions. other parts of the northern beaches have stay—at—home orders imposed on residents. there are restrictions on other parts of sydney as well. australia had been hoping for a covid—safe christmas but this outbreak in sydney is causing the authorities a great deal of concern, and these restrictions in sydney will last until wednesday and then they will be reassessed. so, in total since the pandemic began, australia has recorded 28,000 covid—19 cases and more than 900 people have died. the search is resuming for missing walkers and climbers in the mountains on the edge of the iranian capital, tehran. at least seven people are unaccounted for after heavy snowfalls and strong winds caused avalanches. the bodies of at least eight people have been found in the alborz range,
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which is popular with residents of tehran. the rescue operation is being led by the red crescent, who on saturday sent twenty teams to try to assist those in difficulties. helicopters were also used to bring people down from the heights. among those who died are a political activist, an academic, a doctor and a mountaineering instructor. since the introduction of a wide—ranging national security law, hong kong has seen a growing number of young activists seeking asylum abroad. china has warned foreign governments against supporting their claims for political refuge. the bbc has spoken to several young protesters who attempted to flee to the us consulate inside hong kong. danny vincent reports. these protesters attempted to flee to the us consulate in hong kong.
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these scenes are rare in the territory. this is the unprecedented moment four young pro—democracy protesters attempted to flee to the us consulate in hong kong. these scenes are rare in the territory. they said they were seeking asylum from political persecution. the us government says asylum can only be sought inside the country. they entered the building only to be turned away. a new national security law has led to a growing number of young people fleeing the city. they spoke to the bbc under the condition of anonymity. one is a us citizen facing protest—related charges. he showed us his birth certificate, a hong konger born in the usa. i feel helpless, hopeless and fear. i feel fear. i fear for my personal security and my life is under threat. there are agents around us, monitoring us. now every day our situation is getting worse and worse. activists say protesters are attempting to leave hong kong by land, by air, by sea. tony chung, a student leader, was the first political figure arrested under the national security law. he was detained outside the us consulate by
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plainclothes police officers. the teenager could now face life in prison. these protesters say they were turned away from the us and the uk consulates. both governments say it will not comment on specific cases. i have a sense of feeling of being abandoned. and they are not concerned for our safety. amongst us, some of us have taken high risk to seek assistance. finally, we were rejected. china has labelled fleeing pro—democracy protesters as violent criminals. it has warned nations like canada against granting asylum. it says foreign nations mustn't interfere in china's internal affairs. but young activists fear they will no longer face a fair trial. danny vincent — bbc news — hong kong.
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as the year draws to a close, so does one of the uk's longest careers. postmistress kay white has been working in the same post office in shropshire, england, for almost 80 years, and in that time, she's seen it all. from world war two, to the transformation of the postal service, she's been honoured by the queen as well. it all means that when she leaves, kay will leave a big hole in the local community as geeta pendse has been finding out. put your letter through. thank you. a life behind the counter. at 93, kay white is the oldest postmistress in the country, assisted by anne, her spritely 75—year—old niece. kay started working at her village post office in claverley at the age of 14. there we are. mrs drew, the postmistress, asked mother if i'd come and help in the office. and in those days, if your mother says you're going to do something, you do it. and so, that's how i came to be here.
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kay became postmistress in 1960, and whilst technology has changed, she still remembers doing the accounts by herself. mother used to say to me, "kay, isn't there anybody who could help you?" i used to say, "nobody would understand this lot!" laughter now, after almost 80 years, kay has decided to retire, leaving a big hole in the community. bells chime how important is kay to the village? she is very important. it's about being the heart of the village, where people come to share their news. the reverend garry ward says when the post office closed temporarily this year during the first lockdown, people really felt the loss then. some people pop in dailyjust to say hello and just to, you know, speak to kay. so, if the church is the soul, then the post office is definitely the heart of the village and kay is a very important part of that.
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every week without fail, kay pops over to the only other shop in the village — the hairdresser‘s — for her weekly wash and set. and it's safe to say that her departure has become something of a talking point. she started working at the post office when she was 14. linda has known kay all her life. the impact kay has made on the village is absolutely immense. she is an absolute character, and the person who will miss the post office the most is kay yourself, because it'sjust been her life. what's your secret, kay? you've been working here almost 80 years. i think you've got to like helping people and one another. how do you think both of you will you feel on that last day? it will be very strange, really, and you know, we should be sorry, you know? i never thought i would live till now. and i thought i shall die and the place will all be sold.
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and i shouldn't have had all this. i didn't think i'd be here! laughter as 2020 draws to an end, kay and anne will lock up for the last time, but there is no doubting the imprint this shropshire postm istress has left on her beloved village. geeta pendse, bbc news, claverley. what a career. you're watching bbc news. do stay with us. after a stormy start, the winds are from storm bella are easing down but we've had them in excess of 80 mph and that has caused some damage and disruption. we've also had heavy
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rain. that is starting to clear away. all parts are getting into the cold arctic air, and that will be with us until the end of 2020 now. there are issues with snow and ice. that risk especially in the north for the rest of the day but all part as we head into the night time. still a windy day despite the easing of the winds, and severe flood warnings remain. the rain is clearing away. we have sunny spells and showers following. plenty of the sunny spells, but snow is still falling in lower levels of scotland and the northern ireland areas. winds are easing but still pretty gusty. that will exacerbate how chilly it feels. no where near as mild as yesterday. temperatures a relatively high at ten, 11, but they are dropping away. the wind will exacerbate that chilly feeling. this
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persistent weather, including a risk of snow, for scotland, northern ireland, northern england. much cold over night. temperatures will fall to freezing and below. where we've had all of the rain, damp surfaces and showers, it could be treacherous forice and showers, it could be treacherous for ice and snow. the same area of low pressure, the remnants of storm bella with us, drifting southwards on monday, but dragging the cold air south, meaning there could be snow to lower levels even in the south, a couple of centimetres and showers over the hills. it is cold air. the showers are rushing into north—eastern areas, shower after showerfor north—eastern areas, shower after shower for parts of northern ireland, a colder day throughout. bits of sunshine between the showers, the devil is in the detail. for the rest of the week, and into the start of 2021, it remains on the chilly side. getting a bit drier, a few showers around, some sunshine, as well. but it looks like it'll be as well. but it looks like it'll be a cold and frosty end to the year
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with snow and ice risk warnings online.
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hello, this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines: borisjohnson promises big changes following his brexit trade deal, with a pledge to focus on spreading opportunity and delivering for those left behind. the roll—out of the pfizer biontech covid vaccine begins for millions of people across the eu, starting with italy and the czech republic. storm bella brings gusts of more than a hundred miles an hour, with roads in parts of wales, and devon and cornwall blocked by falling trees.

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