tv BBC News BBC News March 6, 2021 8:00pm-8:31pm GMT
this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at eight. pressure grows on the government over its pay offer to health service staff in england, more unions have joined the backlash. actually the pandemic really only enhances the case for a pay rise for nhs staff. hundreds of rangers fans gather outside the ibrox stadium in glasgow, despite lockdown rules — the team's on the verge of winning the scottish premiership. pope francis delivers an impassioned condemnation of extremism and violence during the first ever papal visit to iraq. 5249. the bill amended is passed!
applause 50-49. the us senate passes president biden�*s 1.9 trillion dollar covid relief plan by a single vote. the duke and duchess of cambridge talk about the impact of the pandemic in a special programme on the commonwealth. and coming up in half an hour — are we seeing a vaccine apartheid unfold, as less wealthy nations miss out on supplies? find out more in global questions. good evening. welcome to bbc news. the group representing health service trusts, nhs providers, hasjoined unions in saying the government's proposed 1% pay rise for health service staff in england is not enough. ministers have defended the rise,
saying the pandemic had placed unprecedented strain on public finances. here's our political correspondent, iain watson. if government ministers thought nhs staff in england would be grateful to be exempted from a public sector pay freeze, well, the reality looks rather different. those who run hospital trusts as well as the unions are calling for the government to look again at the proposed 1% rise, and claim that, as part of a long—term plan for the nhs, ministers had previously planned to put up pay by twice as much this year. the assumption is 2.1% which is actually enshrined in an act of parliament so we have got a strong legal basis here to say that that pay rise was there, and obviously that was all set out pre—pandemic, but actually the pandemic only enhances the case for a pay rise for nhs staff. the government say that enshrined
in law, an injection of extra cash for the health service, but not a specific pay increase. they argue, anyway, that lower paid stuff will get more than 1%, changes to pay grades will boost some incomes, and newly qualified nurses have benefited from multi—year pay deals. but some of borisjohnson�*s own mps say he must find an antidote to a politically toxic row. there could be a tax—free bonus as a one—off payment, that might be one way of addressing the issue, but what i do know is that the people that i represent expect and believe that there should be a reward. and that means, i'm afraid, more than 1%. the government's proposed 1% increase isn't the final word on pay. in may, independent pay review bodies will make their recommendations and if they're worried about recruitment of nhs staff it's possible they could say that pay should go up above 1%, but ministers are very clear that this could only be funded by making cuts elsewhere
in the budget. with some health unions considering strike action over pay, the political temperature could continue to rise. iain watson, bbc news. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight arejohn rentoul and lynn davidson. concerns are being raised that thousands of pupils and their households may wrongly be told to isolate because of inaccurate rapid covid test results. secondary school pupils in england are being offered lateral flow tests as schools return next week. these tests are less accurate than the ones carried out at official testing centres which are analysed in labs. 0ur health correspondent katharine da costa reports. like all secondary schools in england, these pupils in london are getting three rapid covid tests
in school followed by two home tests a week, but while tests taken at home could be backed up with a standard lab—based pcr test, under government policy that won't be happening in schools. but lateral flow tests aren't as accurate. public health england suggest that for every thousand carried out, between one and three will give an incorrect positive result, a so called false positive. and with around 3.4 million state secondary school pupils in england, the number of inaccurate tests could run into many thousands. richard patton's son had a positive lateral flow test result on wednesday. his school told him to take a pcr test which came back negative, but richard says nhs test and trace said the family still needed to isolate for ten days. it has affected my two kids because they can't go to school. it has affected my wife and myself — i can't work from home. my wife can but it is very difficult. it's incredibly frustrating that we know this is a false
positive and yet we can't do anything about it. the government says one in three people with covid don't have any symptoms and that a quick on the spot test like this could help identify asymptomatic cases and help stop the virus from being passed on. but some question the government's decision not to recommend a back—up pcr test following a positive result in school. we're currently at a time when the infection rate is low and so it is essential that positive lateral flow tests for secondary school pupils, as for adults, are subject to confirmation by pcr or by some other means but i'm shocked to think that is not being done. the department of health says it will keep rapid tests under review. while no test is 100% accurate, many will be reassured by mass testing in schools. 0thers warn the way they are being used risks undermining public confidence.
katharine da costa, bbc news. the department of health is expanding its �*workplace testing programme�* in england. until now, only businesses with 50 or more employees, have been able to get free lateral flow tests. now, companies of all sizes are eligible. the tests will be free until the 30th ofjune, and businesses have until the end of this month to register. the latest government figures show — there were 6,040 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period —— which means that on average the number of new cases reported per day in the last week is 6,118. across the uk, latest data shows the number of patients in hospital with coronavirus, is 10,898. 158 deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours , that's people who died within 28
days of a positive covid test. on average in the past week, 220 deaths were announced every day. the total number of deaths so far across the uk is 124,419. 0nto vaccinations now and nearly 437,463 people had their first dose of a vaccine in the latest 24 hour period. in total nearly 21.8m people have now had their firstjab. a large group of rangers fans have defied coronavirus lockdown rules to gather outside ibrox stadium, following their win earlier today. rangers are now on the verge of winning the scottish premiership. the scottish government said it's "extremely disappointed" and condemned the group, for what they said was "jeopardising" the safety of others. chris mclaughlin reports.
pictures that a year ago would impress now shock. this is glasgow in lockdown. hundreds of rangers fans gathering at ibrox to welcome their team, who went on to beat saint mirren. partying in the knowledge that their club is just one celtic slip—up from the title. there are 15,500 people with the virus in this country. 15,500. some of them could be there. so don't put yourself in that position. and uefa will be looking on — uefa are talking to us now about fans�* safety, about all the things we need to do to get crowds at the euros. it's not a good look. views echoed today by the justice minister. empathy to a point, but a reminder to fans that mass gatherings are not allowed. police have warned fans against similar scenes tomorrow. why? well, if celtic don't beat dundee united, rangers are champions. party indoors is the message —
but will fans listen? chris mclaughlin, bbc news. police say they are considered by the disappearance of a woman in south london. sarah everard, 33, spoke to her partner... sarah everard, who is 33, spoke to her partner on the phone while walking from clapham junction to brixton on wednesday night — which was the last time anyone heard from her. a friend said it was extremely uncharacteristic for her to go missing. well detective chief inspector ian kenward is from the metropolitan police. he gave this statement to reporters on clapham common— one of the areas being searched— this afternoon. i'm here today to appeal for information for the whereabouts of sarah everard. she was last seen on wednesday the 3rd of march. she had been to a friend's house in leathwaite road. we believe she left about nine o'clock and was heading home towards brixton. we are not clear on which exact route she took, but the a205 south circular would certainly be a sensible route to take
but we are not sure and we have not had any contact from sarah and neither have herfamily. you have had search teams in clapham common where we are now. why have you got search teams here, do you suspect she may have gone through the common? yes, we suspect she may have gone through the common. as i say, the south circular is one of the most natural routes you would take to get back to brixton, through the common. the reason we have search teams, we have a number of enquiries, so we are looking for potential evidence and it is one of many, many inquiries that are under way at the moment. detective chief inspector ian can work speaking earlier from the comet earlier. the disappearances of missing mother bennylyn burke and her two—year—old daughterjellica are being treated as a murder investigation, police scotland said.
that is just been released. bennylyn burke has been missing from kingswood in south gloucestershire. this minute and number of days now. yesterday police scotland said that a 50—year—old man had been arrested in dundee in connection with the disappearances. let me reiterate that for you. the disappearances of the missing mother, who is 25 years old, and her two—year—old daughter, are being treated as a murder investigation. that is confirmation from police scotland. more on that as and when we get it. pope francis has met the influential shia muslim cleric — grand ayatollah ali al—sistani — during the first—ever papal visit to iraq.
after meeting with other faith leaders, he delivered an impassioned condemnation of extremism and violence, saying that believers could not remain silent when terrorism abused religion. later, he celebrated a public mass at stjoseph's cathedral in baghdad. 0ur rome correspondent mark lowen has been travelling with the pope and has sent this report. peace in iraq will take time to flourish. but this visitor is determined to see it. along the narrow alley ways and into an historic meeting of two faiths, catholic and shieh islam, grand ayatollah ali al—sistani face—to—face al—sistani face—to—face with pope francis. at 90 and 84, it has taken long lives and generations to get here. the two religious leaders spoke of friendship to overcome
oppression, rare unity after iraq's secretarian and conflict. that theme of dialogue then spread further to the remains of the biblical birthplace of abraham. and in the shadow of its ancient citadel, pope francis met followers of other faiths. gestures respect to those often sidelined and victims of iraq's wars now brought together in a plea for peace. translation: hostility, _ extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart. they are betrayals of religion. we believers cannot be silent when terrorism abuses religion. from these windswept plains, the pope is using the symbolism of the ancient prophet, evoking the figure of abraham, revered by christians, muslims and jews to try to spur reconciliation between religions today. and then it was onto mass. pope francis hoping to persuade a dwindling christian
community to remain. iraq's patchwork of people came together today. but as this country knows too well, the spirit of coexistence can quickly fade. mark lowen, bbc news, in iraq. the headlines on bbc news... pressure grows on the government over its pay offer to health service staff in england. more unions have joined the backlash. hundreds of rangers fans gather outside the ibrox stadium in glasgow, despite lockdown rules. the team's on the verge of winning the scottish premiership. pope francis delivers an impassioned condemnation of extremism and violence, during the first ever papal visit to iraq. one of the largest legislative packages in us history has passed its biggest hurdle by the narrowest possible margin. the senate has approved
president biden�*s 1.9 trillion dollar coronavirus relief plan — the plan at the heart of his election campaign — by 50 votes to 49. the vote means millions of people will get a payment of fourteen—hundred dollars. and there'll be multi—billion dollar payouts to cities and states to help them deal with the effects of the pandemic which has now killed more than half a million americans. the bill only passed after democrats made a key concession to placate moderates in their own party. in the last hour president biden has welcomed the vote, saying it's essential to americans struggling through the pandemic this plan puts us on a path to beating the virus. this plan gives those families who are struggling the most the help and the breathing room they need to get through this moment. this plan gives small businesses in this country a fighting chance to survive. and one more thing — this plan is historic.
taken altogether, this plan is going to make it possible to cut child poverty in half. let me say it again. it's significant, historic, will cut child poverty in half. the duchess of cambridge has spoken of how the pandemic has enhanced public support for all those working on the front line. her comments were made during the bbc programme �*a commonwealth celebration�*. prince charles also pays tribute to the extraordinary determination of people throughout the commonwealth during the covid crisis. jon donnison reports. once you have had the vaccine, you have a feeling of, you know... for the queen, the country and the commonwealth, the global pandemic has meant it has been a year like no other. zoom meetings and lockdowns, the new normal. royal visits to commonwealth countries a thing of the past. this pandemic has shown us...
prince charles will be among several royals to join the queen for a special pre—recorded bbc programme to celebrate the commonwealth in this most difficult of years. the coronavirus pandemic has affected every country of the commonwealth, cruelly robbing countless people of their lives and livelihoods, disrupting our societies and denying us the human connections which we so dearly cherish. amidst such heartbreaking suffering, however, the extraordinary determination, courage and creativity with which people have responded has been an inspiration to us all. the duke and duchess of cambridge also feature in a video call with dr zolelwa sifumba, a south african advocate for the rights of health care workers. here in the uk, there has been masses of public recognition of the amazing work the front line are doing and it is sad almost
that it has taken the pandemic for the public to really back and support all those working on the front line. but there are two royals who are unlikely to appear in tomorrow evening�*s special bbc programme. they will, though, undoubtedly be getting a fair amount of airtime. the duke and duchess of sussex�*s much trailed appearance on the oprah winfrey show will go out in full in the us just a few hours later. jon donnison, bbc news. thousands of indian farmers are blocking a highway near the capital, delhi, in their latest protest against agricultural reforms. farmers have parked cars, trucks and tractors on the multi—lane expressway — blocking toll booths and disrupting traffic. they�*re marking 100 days since their protests started. the government says the reforms will benefit farmers. to myanmar now, where an increasingly brutal crackdown by police and the military has not stopped protests against the military coup.
today, security forces have continued firing tear gas on protesters gathered in yangon. the un�*s special envoy on myanmar has told the security council that there is "urgency for collective action". danny howard has this report. this is a scene that has become all too familiar in cities right across myanmar, from the northern mountain region to the major cities of yangon and naypyidaw in the south. young protesters have been standing up to police, banging on home—made shields, and marching for democracy. on saturday, security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades against activists in yangon to clear the streets. and there have been further allegations of police brutality. it�*s been over a month now since the protests erupted against the military coup on february 1st that overthrew aung san suu kyi�*s elected government. in that time, the people of myanmar have faced internet blackouts, night—time raids, unlawful arrests and death. 38 people were killed on wednesday alone, the deadliest day since the start of the coup.
hundreds gathered in mandalay on thursday for the funeral of one of the victims. angel was just 19 when she was shot in the head during anti—coup protests a day earlier. she was wearing a t—shirt with the phrase "everything will be ok" when she died. the pressure is being felt globally. on friday, the un special envoy to myanmar urged the security council to hear myanmar�*s desperate pleas, and called for swift international action to end the violence. the envoy said that the people of myanmar, including committed civil servants, are the real heroes and protectors of the nation�*s democratic progress, but she warned that the hope that they had placed in the united nations and their membership is waning. it is critical that this council is resolute and coherent in putting the security forces on notice and standing with the people of myanmar firmly in support of the clear november election results.
but china and russia are unlikely to impose sanctions. so far, the biggest international reaction has come from corporations, not governments. facebook, instagram, and now youtube have all banned accounts belonging to the militaryjunta. the army have threatened civil servants who continue to strike that they will be fired. but the protests show little sign of waning. every day, people continue to raise three fingers in protest in what has become a symbol of resistance and solidarity for democracy movements across southeast asia. ear cropping, where part or all of an animal�*s ear is removed, is illegal in the uk, but the rspca says there�*s been a sharp rise in the number of dogs, that have had the procedure. the charity blames the increase on celebrities and reality tv stars, who have dogs with cropped ears, and post pictures of them on social media. a warning — some viewers may find some of the details,
in charlotte gallagher�*s report, distressing. this is eton, who is a neapolitan mastiff. when he was just a tiny puppy, his ears were cropped for no reason other than how it looked. it�*s affected him in so many ways. if you go to touch eton around his head, if you�*re someone he doesn�*t know, he�*s incredibly wary. it�*s like he�*s waiting for something unpleasant to be done to him. ear cropping is a painful procedure. dr samantha gaines is from the rspca. in some cases, part of that ear structure will be removed, then it will be splinted and then taped, so that the ears then grow and heal back erect so that they stand up right. but in other cases, and what we're seeing quite a lot of now, particularly with american bully dogs, it'sjust where their ear is completely removed, so the entire ear flap is removed. in 2015, the rspca received 14 reports about ear cropping from callers in england and wales.
by last year, that figure had risen to 101, a rise of 621%. the rspca says celebrities with these dogs is driving what it calls "a worrying trend." leigh—anne pinnock from little mix, love island�*s jack fincham, and the premier league footballer jesse lingard all own dogs with cropped ears. jesse lingard and jack fincham�*s pets came from firms that specialise in personal security dogs. these animals are imported from countries where ear cropping isn�*t banned, and the companies aren�*t breaking the law. leigh—anne pinnock�*s came from a uk breeder that was later prosecuted for cutting puppies�* ears to make them look tougher. there is no suggestion the singer knew what was happening or condoned it. pinnock and lingard have not commented. jack fincham says he did not buy the dog, it was a rescue
and going to a re—homing centre, adding that he does not condone ear cropping and thinks it is cruel. some celebrities are speaking out against the practice. people that have got a platform and social media presence, who are looked at as role models, they should be telling people no, this is not a good idea, rather than showing off their dog and saying, this is what it should be like. ear cropping is illegal in the uk, but it does still happen. however, one of the biggest problems is dogs being bought from overseas with their ears already cropped, like you can see on eton here. the rspca is now working to ban these imports. it�*s a measure that�*s supported by some mps. we could introduce a ban very simply in the act that is coming up, the agricultural bill coming up.
we could introduce a ban on the import of dogs with cropped ears. the rspca believes unless this ban happens and attitudes change towards ear cropping, we will see cases continue to rise in the uk. charlotte gallagher, bbc news. finally, spring is on its way, and that means it�*s daffodil season. britain produces 90% of the world�*s crop, but this year, millions of the blooms will rot in their fields, because of a shortage of seasonal workers to pick them. growers say the impact of the pandemic and the post—brexit visa scheme, have led to the labour shortage. jon kay reports from cornwall. it is a beautiful springtime sight, but not for daffodil farmerjames walkers. it is heartbreaking, it is heartbreaking. it�*s just saddening to see flowers going to waste. when they�*re yellow,
it is too late to pick them, so 50 million daffodils are being left here to rot. everybody loves to see it, it looks really, really nice as you drive round the county, but to a grower it�*s a crop loss. like other farmers, james has come to rely on seasonal workers from europe, but this spring he only has half the number he needs. aurimas has officially settled in the uk, but his lithuanian friends have stayed away. there are some that don�*t want to come any more because of the brexit, especially this year. there are not many people in the field, as you can see. farmers hoped they may be able to turn back the clock and attract more local workers like they did in the past. how many british workers have you got here now? none. no british workers at all. we had five young lads who came to work for us and then it got wet
and it was windy and their backs ached, theyjust said they couldn�*t hack it any more. the government has given 30,000 visas this year to foreign fruit and vegetable pickers, but farmers say the scheme also needs to include flowers. ministers have promised they will make sure that all sectors have the labour they need in future. if you�*re wondering why the farmers don�*tjust use machinery to pick the daffodils instead, well, they say it�*s not really practical because there are so many different varieties of flower, all growing at different heights and blooming at different times. they say without changes, their industry could also wither and die. jon kay, bbc news, cornwall. now it�*s time for a look at the weather with tomasz. quite a chilly evening out there and it is going to be a cold night, especially where the sky is clear. a touch of frost on the way first thing on sunday
morning, for some of us. the weather, broadly speaking, is going to be very similar to today. for most of us it is going to be fairly cloudy. the night, additionally some rain reaching western scotland, the north as well, because the wind is blowing off the atlantic, weather fronts brushing the far north—west of the uk. but for the rest of us, with clearer skies and light winds, temperatures down to around —1. so it starts off nippy on sunday, variable amounts of cloud and sunshine. it remains damp in western and northern scotland. the rain could be quite heavy in the hebrides. in glasgow, 8 degrees, belfastjust makes double figures, for most of us it is around seven degrees. so a quiet sunday on the way for most of us. hello, this is bbc news with lukwesa burak. the headlines... pressure grows on the government
over its pay offer to health service staff in england. more unions have joined the backlash. hundreds of rangers fans gather outside the ibrox stadium in glasgow, despite lockdown rules. the team�*s on the verge of winning the scottish premiership. pope francis delivers an impassioned condemnation of extremism and violence, during the first ever papal visit to iraq. the us senate passes president biden�*s $1.9 trillion covid relief plan by a single vote. the vote as amended is passed. the duke and duchess of cambridge talk about the impact of the pandemic in a special programme on the commonwealth. now on bbc news, it�*s
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