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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 27, 2020 12:00pm-12:31pm 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, as his chancellor rishi sunak says the deal brings reassurance to those worried about the impact on businesses. for those who were anxious about the economic implications of leaving, they should be enormously reassured by the comprehensive nature of this trade agreement, ensuring tariff—free, quota—free access for british businesses to the european market. 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 continues to bring heavy rain and high winds.
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more than 1700 customers remain without electricity in south—west england and wales. and after 80 years working in the same post office in a village in shropshire, postmistress kay white finally retires. hello and welcome, if you're watching in the uk or around the world. borisjohnson 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, he 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
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of "caving in" to the eu and sacrificing their interests. mps will vote on the deal in parliament on 30 december. speaking earlier the chancellor rishi sunak said brexit offers britain a chance to do things differently in financial services. this deal represents one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements ever signed and it is a good deal for british families, businesses and jobs. it gives us a fantastic platform to go forward, maintain tariff—free access to european markets, but also capitalise on new opportunities, whether that is signing new trade deals, and i think we have already signed 58, covering £200 billion worth of trade and more to come, or trying new things, like free ports for example, which will create jobs, drive investment and increase trade. our financial services industry is something we should be enormously proud of. it is something we are globally best
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in class at, contributes an enormous amount to our economy and employs over a million people across the country, notjust in the city of london. i made a statement about the future of our financial services industry a little while ago, talking about our future, making sure that it remains the most competitive dynamic place to do business anywhere in the world, that we remain open to creating new relationships, with lots of different trading partners, for example switzerland, most recently, but also that we remain the most technologically advanced place to conduct financial services. i think that ambitious vision was warmly welcomed by various stakeholders. things a bit differently and we are embarking on that journey, for example, examining how we make the city of london the most attractive place to list new companies anywhere in the world, but this deal also provides reassurance, because there is a stable, regulatory cooperative framework, we mentioned it in the deal, which i think will give people that reassurance that we will remain in close dialogue
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with our european partners. the shadow chancellor anneliese dodds says labour will vote for the deal — but warns much more needs to be done by the government to bolster the economy. we are going to vote for that implementing legislation. as i havejust said, businesses have been under so much pressure over recent weeks. i have talked to hauliers just a few days ago who were saying that the current situation is unlike anything they have ever experienced. we are not going to add to that legal uncertainty. the vote that is coming up in a couple of days is to provide that legal certainty around this deal, so that at least we have that framework, but is that going to be sufficient for our economy for the future? no, it is not. our leader, keir starmer, has made that very, very clear, much more will need to be done and as i said, in those areas like financial services, for example, this is a very thin deal.
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government needs to act speedily to sort that out, but also, for example, in customs, they need to make sure that provision is there so that trade can move freely. these are not new problems that have only cropped up now. we have known about them for months, if not years and yet the conservatives have not got a grip on them. the health board which runs wales‘s largest hospital 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. this morning a doctor from the university hospital of wales tweeted to say the hospital has covered its critical care staffing. we are going to talk about the pressure on hospitals in the uk.
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saffron cordery is the deputy chief execuitve of nhs providers. they work with hospitals and trusts across england. shejoins me now from basingstoke. given what we heard there from wales, how much pressure do you think hospitals generally are under at the moment? we are seeing a real rise in the pressure on hospital services, but also other types of nhs services, notjust hospitals. ambulance trusts in particular coming under extreme pressure, and mental health services. everybody affected by the impact of covid—i9, and talking to trust leaders overnight, they are under no illusions about how challenging this is at the moment. part of the issue is demand. many more people coming through the door with covid—i9, but also other conditions as well. we can see that to an extent as a
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success of the campaigns run over the summer to make sure people do keep coming forward if they have a suspected heart attack or a stroke. so it is really important people use services but it is also big demand and real pressure, particularly in london and the south. that comes from added demand for the services, localised at the moment but we could see it growing. it is really important to remember that what is going on in the community will also be going on in health care settings. if someone is unwell with covid—i9, they cannot go to work, or if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they need to self—isolate. this impacts hugely on staffing levels across the nhs. that is worth remembering. and the final thing, we have this new strain of covid—i9, and it is much more transmissible, so we have those three things coming together adding
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to demand. we are hearing frequent warnings that the nhs is in danger of being overwhelmed. we're getting closer to that point, do you think? we are in a very challenging place for the nhs, we are in a very challenging place forthe nhs, i neverwant we are in a very challenging place for the nhs, i never want to say the nhs is going to be overwhelmed, because we see the nhs being endlessly innovative and ingenious at spreading incredibly thin resources . at spreading incredibly thin resources. but it is worth remembering that things are incredibly challenging. in terms of the levels of covid—i9 in patients across england. we are nearly at the point that we were in april in terms of numbers. people will say that is what the nightingale hospitals were four, overflow when things get stretched, but they don't seem to be being used? they are not being used yet, and the important thing to
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remember about the nightingale playback, they are an insurance policy and you only want to use your insurance policy when you absolutely have to. —— about the nightingale playback. the challenges we have s around staffing as well as physical bricks and mortar. it is the same poole of staff to work either in hospitals and nhs hospitals. inaudible. they are being affected just as the rest of the population is. i would say it is really important to remember, we are saying that things are challenging now, but we would ask the public to remember that they can help contain the spread of the virus. they can do that by respecting the rules that are in place for the tear that they are in. i think we also have to remember...
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you talked about the vaccine being rolled out across europe. it is already being rolled out here, and we think we will have people vaccinated by the late spring, so there is some hope... a quick question on the vaccines, because there is some talk about delayed getting the vaccine to gps and clinics, and shortages of the vaccine. are you seeing that?” haven't heard all shortages at this point. the logistical challenge of getting the vaccine to gps and in community settings, the vaccine is particularly fragile for want of a better phrase. it needs to be very carefully transported and stored in very particular conditions. we know thatis
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very particular conditions. we know that is a bit of a challenge. but i think overall, it's worth saying that with the vaccine there, that is the big hope. we have to remember that with the rules in place, they are there for a reason, and they are there to stop the spread of the virus. but right now, we are where we are. for the new tearful rules to have any kind of impact on hospital admissions, —— tea four rules. the journey to hospital is a week or two. we don't want to see the same situation in two weeks' time. the number of admissions rising. right now, hospitals and services are doing their best to track patients who are unwell, maintain control and
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social distancing, and the other really important measures, but they are also trying to keep... inaudible. it's a really critical time for the nhs. thank you for your time. the czech prime minister, andrej babis, has become the first person in his country to be vaccinated. mr babis received the pfizer—biontech vaccine at prague's central military hospital. he previously said he wasn't sure he could be vaccinated as he had his spleen removed as a teenager. he also walked back on an earlier claim that he would personally oversee the vaccination programme, after his former health minister turned down the role. the plan is to inoculate around 70% of the population. 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
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institute of infectious diseases. italy was the first western country hit by the virus and has reported more than 70,000 deaths since its outbreak in february. it has highest death toll in europe and the fifth—highest in the world. 0ur europe correspondent damien mcguinness has been telling us about the vaccine rollout in germany. yes, that's right, so i'm actually at a former airport, this closed down a few months ago. it is now being used as one of the many mass vaccination centres set up across germany — 400 in total. and 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 around and to get the vaccine. that hasn't started yet today, but what's been happening today this morning in berlin, vans have been coming out of this vaccination centre, out of that tunnel there, and they are being sent right around the city to care homes,
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because that is the first priority here in germany. the elderly in care homes are getting the vaccine this morning. the very first woman to get the vaccine was yesterday, at a nursing home in north—western germany. got a batch slightly earlier, they decided to go ahead, they said every day counts. that meant the first person to get a vaccine in germany was yesterday, a ioi—year—old woman, she was very happy to get it. she was congratulated by the health minister. and now across europe today, other people will be getting the vaccine. and is the hope there in germany, as in other european countries, that this final roll—out of the vaccine will mean ultimately the end of restrictions in the next few months? that's certainly the hope, yes. what is going to happen here in germany is it will be care homes now, then it's going to be the over 80s, that's the next phase. after that, later in the year, in about six months' time, we're going to have the broader
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population. the government here in germany say that, by the summer, everyone who wants the vaccine should have had the opportunity to get it. which means that by the autumn, hopefully, that is the timescale we are talking, we should have some sort of immunity in the population. now that's the hope. obviously a lot can happen in the meantime, because there's a lot of uncertainties here. but that's certainly what the government's going for. the hope is of course that by the time we come to next winter, next christmas, we're not going to have a repeat of the terrible numbers that we've seen here, because germany itself actually came out relatively unscathed from the first wave, certainly compared to other large european countries. but the second wave has really hit germany hard, and we've seen the total death toll rise very rapidly, from 10,000, which it was for many months over the summer, now it's more like 30,000. and that sudden, steep rise within about six weeks has really shocked the country. so the roll—out of the vaccine now is certainly a glimmer of hope
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for germany and the rest of the eu. a pilot in germany has traced an image of a syringe in the skies to mark the launch of vaccination campaigns in europe. flight tracking data 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 on such an historic day. the latest headlines on bbc news. borisjohnson promises big changes following his brexit trade deal, as his chancellor rishi sunak says the deal brings reassurance to those who were worried about the impact on businesses. the rollout of the pfizer biontech covid vaccine begins for millions of people across the eu — starting with italy and the czech republic.
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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. 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. western power distribution says there are still more than 1700 customers without electricity in the south west of the country and parts of south wales. there were power cuts to more than 21,000 homes — most of which have been restored. heavy rain has already caused flooding in bedfordshire and northamptonshire over the christmas period. authorities in the us are investigating whether a campervan explosion in the city of nashville on christmas day was a suicide bombing.
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three people were injured in the blast, and dna tests are now being carried out after human remains were found near the site of the blast. no motive has been established, and no—one has claimed responsibility. lots of different coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the world, as countries try to keep the 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. 0ur moscow correspondent sarah rainsford reports. red square is 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, but it's no lockdown, and people told me they are fine with that. translation: i think there is enough restrictions. lots of people wear
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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 was 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 press conference was by video link. the chosen few allowed close to him had to quarantine for two weeks first. but even a loyal reporter told him things had never been this tough in russia.
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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 limits, it's 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. this man tells me business is down 60%. translation: 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.
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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. the scottish government has pledged an extra 41 million pounds 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 and a half billion pounds to support businesses and help the economy recover from the pandemic. 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, 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
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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. 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 ii, 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.
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kay started working at her village post office in claverley at the age of 1a. 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. 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.
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it's about being the heart of the village, really, 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 come 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. every week without fail, kay pops over to the only other shop in the village — the hairdresser‘s — for a 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 immense. she is an absolute character, and the person who will miss the post office the most is kay herself, because it'sjust been her life. what's your secret, kay?
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you've been working here almost 80 years. i think you've got to like helping people and one another. how 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 be sold. and i wouldn't have to deal with 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 an extraordinary career, 80 yea rs what an extraordinary career, 80 years in the same job. i what an extraordinary career, 80 years in the samejob. i think life in that village really will not be the same after she has finally
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departed. kay, 93 years of age. stay with us. hello. after a stormy start to the day, the winds from storm bella are starting to ease down, but we have had them in excess of 80 mph and that has caused some damage and disruption, as well as that, we have had more heavy rain. that, too, is starting to clear away and all parts are getting into the colder arctic air and that will be with us until the end of 2020 now. so, there are issues with snow and ice, that risk especially in the north through the rest of the day, but for all parts as we head into the night time. the winds are easing. still a windy day, though, and the flood warnings and severe flood warnings still remaining. so, the rain is clearing away,
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we have got sunny spells and showers following. plenty of the sunny spells across central and eastern areas, but the showers further north falling as snow, even at lower levels across scotland, parts of northern ireland and northern england, a bit of a wintry flavour over the hills further south. as i say, the winds are easing, but still pretty gusty and actually that will exacerbate how chilly it feels, so nowhere near as mild as yesterday and in fact temperatures having started relatively high, tens and 11s in the south, are dipping away. that wind will exacerbate the chilly feel and then through this evening and overnight, this spell of more persistent rain now comes to scotland, northern ireland, runs into the north of england, the north of wales as well, in fact we could see a smattering of snow over the moors further south, so it is going to be much, much colder overnight. not as windy, but temperatures will fall to freezing or below and so where we have had all the rain, the surfaces are damp and the showers, it could be quite treacherous with the ice and snow. now, that same area of low pressure, the remnants of storm bella with us, drifting southwards on monday, byjust dragging the cold air south, that means there could be snow
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to lower levels even further south and certainly a few centimetres in the showers over the hills. it is cold air and you can see those showers rushing into northern and eastern areas, shower after shower for parts of northern ireland, a cold day, four orfive, but with some sunshine between the showers suggest the devil is in the detail. but, for the rest of the week, as i say, and into the start of 2021, it remains on the chilly side, getting a little bit drier, fewer showers around, a bit of sunshine as well. but it does look as though it will be a cold and frosty end to the year with snow and ice risks, the warnings are online.
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this is bbc news, the headlines.
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borisjohnson promises big changes following his brexit trade deal, as his chancellor rishi sunak says the deal brings reassurance to those who were worried about the impact on businesses. 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 continues to bring heavy rain and high winds. more than 17 hundred customers remain without electricity in the south west england and wales. now on bbc news... click gathers round the virtual christmas tree to explore the best tech that the season has to offer. ho, ho, ho! merry clickmas! this week, we've got the whole crew celebrating virtually. as we look at some merry mixed reality, traditional tabla playing, and some festive flying.


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