tv BBC News BBC News March 21, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm GMT
this is bbc news with the latest headlines... the government criticises the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen for suggesting that exports of the astrazeneca covid vaccine outside the eu could be blocked more questions over whether people can plan forforeign holidays as some experts warn coronavirus restrictions could stay in place for years. i think it would be premature to do that. it would be potentially risky. we are seeing growing variants and i think we have done a huge amount of work — the taxpayer, the nhs staff. my constituency has been in lockdown since september and i don't want us to throw that away. a snapshot of life in england, wales and northern ireland — today's the deadline for millions of people to take part in a once—in—a—decade census. homes washed away in australia as heavy rain and flash floods
batter the east coast, thousands of people are ordered to evacuate. more than a thousand people are allowed to ignore lockdown and social distancing restrictions at a music festival in the netherlands, despite the rest of the country being under lockdown. and at half three — the media show takes look at a revolution in media, with amol rajan, the bbc�*s media editor. good afternoon. the government has warned the european union that any attempt to block the export of doses of coronavirus vaccine to the uk would be "counterproductive". defence secretary ben wallace told the bbc there's a risk of reputational damage to the eu if it stops vaccine manufactured
there from leaving. frustration is widespread in continental countries that they're not receiving the doses they need. here's our political correspondent, jonathan blake. jab afterjab, the uk's population is getting vaccinated against coronavirus. despite some delays, more than half of adults have had their first dose, and covid cases remain relatively low. but in europe, rising cases and slower take up of the vaccine has seen restrictions reimposed in some countries, led to a warning that the eu could block vaccine supplies being exported to the uk. alarmist language, according to one cabinet minister, who said it was time to work together. you know, if you're a country around the world and you see this type of language being deployed by the commission, it will be counter productive, and what we know about our manufacture of our vaccine, it is a collaborative approach. the astrazeneca ip was developed oxford, parts of the supply chain are in europe, some of it is in india.
i think, you know, trying to sort of balkanise or build walls around this would only damage both eu citizens and the uk. after a week of tension over this, from the eu side today a call for calm, but no going back on the threat to restrict supply. what's terribly important this week, as you say, there is an increase in infections across europe, alarming for everybody, but the leaders will meet this week and they will make an assessment of the current situation about the roll out of vaccines, and perhaps make decisions. but as the president of the commission said herself, everything is on the table but there is no decision. opening borders and allowing people to travel is one big reason why the vaccination programme is so important. if other countries continue to lag behind, the chances of foreign holidays this summer could be less likely. some already say it's unrealistic. i think the government is right to say we should be guided by the science. i've been troubled by the fact
that the prime minister privately seems to be saying to some of his rebels that he's keen to get this done quickly. we do need to be careful, we do need to be cautious and, you know, frankly i haven't booked a foreign holiday for this summer and i won't be doing so because i don't think we're there yet. ministers are stressing that the 17th may remains the very earliest it will be possible to travel abroad, and that booking anything now is risky. there's still hope that summer holidays can happen, but it's by no means guaranteed. jonathan blake, bbc news. figures show that there have been a record number of coronavirus vaccinations in the uk for a third day in a row. in a tweet, the covid vaccine deployment minister, nadhim zahawi, said in the lastest 2a hour period alone, there had been 873,784 daily doses. that includes both first and second doses. the government has been warned
that its decision to slash billions of dollars from its overseas aid budget is illegal. the former top prosecutor ken macdonald said the commitment to meet a un target of spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid was enshrined in domestic law. our diplomatic correspondent james landale gave us more details. it comes down to an analysis of the existing law. the international development act. the government says this allows for the target — the 0.7% of national income on aid every year — to be missed. but what this judgment says is that, "well, look. yes, we can miss it inadvertently, by mistake, and then come to parliament and explain why you made that mistake and what you are going to do to correct it." what thisjudgment says is what you cannot do, is say that we are going to miss the target in future deliberately. we are going to reduce the target down to 0.5. lord macdonald says, "look, you can't do that. the law does not give you the power to do it." you can only do that if you put
new legislation through parliament and that's why what has happened is unlawful. the palestinian authority is launching a coronavirus vaccination programme today after 60 thousand doses arrived from covax, the global initiative to ensure equal distribution. the jabs will initially be given to people over 75, cancer patients and health care workers. let's return to the story about whether it is recommended or advisable to think about trying to book a summer holiday for this year. government advice from the defence secretary ben wallace this morning was that it would be risky. let's speak now to tim hawkins, who is chief of staff at the manchester airports group, which includes manchester, london stansted and east
midlands airport. thank you for joining us. not really the news he wanted to hear, perhaps? h0. joining us. not really the news he wanted to hear, perhaps?- wanted to hear, perhaps? no, it feels very _ wanted to hear, perhaps? no, it feels very premature _ wanted to hear, perhaps? no, it feels very premature to - wanted to hear, perhaps? no, it feels very premature to me, - wanted to hear, perhaps? no, it. feels very premature to me, taking the views from scientists about prospects of travel this summer. i'm not sure what purpose it serves but i'm sure many people will have been disappointed. as i say, i think it is very premature. the government has a task force to look at these issues. we are contributing to that end we are putting our ideas in about how we can stage a restart of international travel over the summer months and i think that really needs to be the focus, rather than talking to be the focus, rather than talking to the press about the prospects of travel over the summer. we to the press about the prospects of travel over the summer.— travel over the summer. we say premature. _ travel over the summer. we say premature, perhaps _ travel over the summer. we say premature, perhaps realistic- travel over the summer. we say - premature, perhaps realistic bearing in mind that we have got new variants and many european countries going back into lockdown? the government — going back into lockdown? tue: government has going back into lockdown? tte: government has been going back into lockdown? tt2 government has been very clear about this view. they would take a very cautious approach into reopening
international travel. it has already demonstrated that cautious approach. we are waiting for a report of the travel task force on the 12th of april and the government has already been clear that international travel cannot start until the 17th of may, so we are some months away from the 17th of may. we are probably four months away from the peak summer season, so there is time and there is an opportunity to come up with a framework to enable safe travel over the summer. you framework to enable safe travel over the summer-— the summer. you have had a terrible ear the summer. you have had a terrible year alongside _ the summer. you have had a terrible year alongside many _ the summer. you have had a terrible year alongside many other _ the summer. you have had a terrible year alongside many other groups. l year alongside many other groups. you have announced 900 job losses, you have had the furlough scheme does matter what you need? we do need this framework _ does matter what you need? we do need this framework from - does matter what you need? we do need this framework from the - need this framework from the government. i think we need to have a framework which enables the restart of travel just as soon as it is possible to do in a safe way. that is why you think it is extremely disappointing to hear some of the views that we have, which do
seem to prejudge or, come idly seem to be quite premature, about the prospects of travel. these are people's jobs first and foremost. there are 1 million people's jobs first and foremost. there are1 million people people's jobs first and foremost. there are 1 million people working in thejobs that there are 1 million people working in the jobs that are supported by the uk aviation industry. i know from the people that i talk to just how desperate people are to take that opportunity to travel abroad. putting some of these very negative comments aside, i think we are hopeful that the travel task. will set out a positive plan ahead with some stages to the recovery. we might not get everything up and running straightaway but by the time we get to the peak season, it would be very helpful that the vaccination programme in the uk and abroad will have delivered a great deal of immunity and a safe way to travel. it seems logical that some sort of vaccination passport scheme will have to exist just to vaccination passport scheme will have to existjust to get all international countries on the same
page. the british government —— do you want to hear the british government commit more than they are at the moment? we government commit more than they are at the moment?— at the moment? we think that the im ortant at the moment? we think that the important part _ at the moment? we think that the important part of— at the moment? we think that the important part of the _ at the moment? we think that the important part of the framework. at the moment? we think that the j important part of the framework is certification around vaccination aura around recovery from covid—19 or that you have had a negative test. i think those will be important components of the new framework. the government is working hard on this. we know that because we are working with them on obvious solutions are trying to design them. we hope to see them come through in the travel task force report on the 12th of april. just the travel task force report on the 12th of april-— 12th of april. just a final thought and not a particularly _ 12th of april. just a final thought and not a particularly optimistic| and not a particularly optimistic one, if this summer doesn't work, what does it mean for you with the end of the furlough scheme, although that has been extended? tote end of the furlough scheme, although that has been extended?— end of the furlough scheme, although that has been extended? we have been throu~h a that has been extended? we have been through a terrible _ that has been extended? we have been through a terrible time _ that has been extended? we have been through a terrible time over _ that has been extended? we have been through a terrible time over the - through a terrible time over the last 12 months as a business. two thirds of our costs for the summer to be lost would be very difficult
but we don't think we are in that position. we think there is still plenty of hope and plenty of expectation around the summer. as i say, bad framework for restarting travel, we believe can be brought forward by the middle of may and then executed over the summer. thank ou ve then executed over the summer. thank you very much — then executed over the summer. thank you very much indeed _ then executed over the summer. thank you very much indeed for _ then executed over the summer. thank you very much indeed forjoining us. thank you very much indeed forjoining us. details of every adult and child in england, wales and northern ireland are being collected today as part of a once—in—a—decade census. by law, everyone has to be accounted for — in order to provide the government, local authorities and other organisations with information needed for future planning. the bbc�*s home editor, mark easton, has the details. voiceover: the census builds a picture of your community. when you fill in yours, you help make decisions about services like local transport and healthcare. almost every decade since 1801, the uk has held a census, a detailed snapshot of our society that helps governments plan and fund the local services we need. schools, gp surgeries, roads, transport and housing. but for only the third time
in its long history, part of the country will not be participating in this census day. in scotland it has been delayed for a year because of concerns the results would reflect the abnormal circumstances of the pandemic and prove less useful in the longer term. lockdown means people are not necessarily staying in their usual household, or have left the country during the health emergency. but the event goes ahead in the rest of the uk, with the justification that understanding the impact of life under covid will be vital in distributing funds where they are needed most after the pandemic is over. it's easy to complete the census online. you can do it on a computer, you can do it on a tablet, you can do it on a phone. this census, for the first time, will be conducted primarily online. 90% of households will have received a letter with a 16—digit code to access a secure website page. but paper forms are available for those who need them. the 2021 census includes one new question, counting military
veterans, and extra categories on sexual orientation and gender identity. it's a legal requirement to complete or be included in the census by the end of today, although officials will go door—to—door to offer support before prosecuting those who refuse to comply with a fine of up to £1000. mark easton, bbc news. earlier i spoke to peter benton from the office for national statistics who is responsible for the delivery of the census , he told me how this year's census was going so far. it's going really well. the responses are pouring in but i have to say, i will never be satisfied until we have every last one, so thanks to all that have done it and please do keep doing for those of you who have not yet. i was just reading and some of the reported earlier on that some people haven't had their 16 digit numbers. they are having problems getting through to the call line as well. what is the percentage
that we are talking about? there may be a fraction that haven't got a questionnaire or a letter in the post yet but if you haven't, don't worry. you can go on our website, you can pick your address and we will send you a code via text message, so that you can fill it in. today is census day. people need to try and record who usually lives there but if you don't get it done until tomorrow or tuesday, you don't need to worry. we will start following up and get as good account as we can for all of our local communities. that's interesting. so, it is mandatory. today is the deadline but, actually, it's not a deadline. no, it absolutely is but we recognise that there are circumstances, where for some people, they may be unwell and they can't do it today and tomorrow is ok. but if you are able to do it, you need to do it. the census provides a unique snapshot of every local community — our ethnic mix, the age breakdown... and that is fundamental for planning all of our local services. what about personal information, details,
how do you a that that is protected? so, we are familiar with censuses from history. they are actually locked away for 100 years. the 1921 census returns have not yet been released. all we will publish as aggregate statistics. the details of our names and addresses are never passed on to government or local councils. they are locked away securely. the statistics that we publish paint a fabulous, rich picture of our local communities but the details are safely locked away. parts of australia have been hit by the worst flooding in a century — and more torrential rain and wind is forecast in the coming days. days of torrential downpours have caused dams and river levels to surge across large stretches of new south wales. the australian prime minister, scott morrison, has offered emergency funds for those who've been forced to flee. about a thousand people
in the western suburbs of sydney have been urged to evacuate their homes , and thousands more have been told they need to prepare to leave. from sydney, phil mercer reports. in new south wales, officials had warned sydney was potentially facing a rain bomb. torrential downpours have turned roads into rivers and fields turned into lakes. homes have been swamped, and emergency crews have responded to thousands of calls for help. for the first time in years, sydney's main reservoir is overflowing, putting suburbs at risk of flooding. we worry about do we escape or stay here? we don't know. this is the worst i've seen it. last year, just after christmas it was pretty bad
as well, but not this bad. there's going to be a lot. of people that maybe don't get their houses flooded, l but they won't get to work, the roads will be wrecked as well. across new south wales, australia's most populous state, residents in many low lying areas have been told to leave. communities to the north of sydney have been badly affected. i just want to say to everybody in new south wales who is experiencing that fear and anxiety, that our thoughts are with you and we'll get assistance to you as soon as we can, to help people communicate. near the town of taree a house was washed away down a river by floodwaters. it's a day the owners will never forget. they were supposed to get married, but the bride and groom were kept apart by the floods. the wild weather has delayed the roll out of covid—19 vaccinations. more storms are expected in the next few days. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. it has been a bit of a wash—out for the sport as well in the past 2a
hours. let's see how it is looking today, sarah? scottish champions rangers remain on course for an unbeaten season after a 1—1 draw in todays old firm. celtic went ahead in the first half through mohamed elyounoussi. but the sides were level before the break, alfredo morelos' first goal in 13 old firm derbies levelled things. rangers now have five matches left to complete a whole season without defeat. chelsea have got one foot in the fa cup semi—finals — they're1—0 up at home to sheffield united with just a few minutes left. thomas tuchel�*s side had a slice of luck to take a first half lead, ben chilwell�*s shot deflected in the unfortunate 0llie norwood of sheffield united. and the blades did have an excellent
chance to equalise in the second half — david mcgoldrick really should have done better with this header. the last of those fa cup quarterfinals gets under way at 5 o clock with leicester city hosting manchester united. the game is live on bbc one. and the visitors to the king power stadium have gone 29 away games without defeat in all domestic competitions... every game has been a game that you really have to dig deep to win and this is one. leicester another away. of course, we drew in the league of course, we drew in the league against them. and we know we have to defend well against them. we know we have got a game on our hands. and there's also a couple of premier league games today as well —
a london derby has just kicked off at 3pm between west ham and arsenal. the hammers going well this season — 5th in the table, with their guests in 10th. and they are already 2—0 up. and at 7.30pm this evening, under pressurejose mourihno brings his spurs side to aston villa. fast bowlerjofra archer will miss england's upcoming one—day series against india and the start of next month's indian premier league because of his ongoing elbow problem. the elbow "deteriorated" during the five—match t20 series, and archer will return home for treatment. the three—match series starts in pune on tuesday with lancashire spinner matt parkinson now added to squad. archer is due to play for the rajasthan royals in the ipl, which runs from 9 april to 30 may. it is disappointing but it is clearly something that we need to get to the bottom. we will make sure
that we use every resource that we can. we need to get to the bottom of what is going on and hopefully get him back fighting and fit for the future of england. 0bviously, he is going to miss the early stages but we will be led by the medics as to where we go from there, really. first and foremost, we need to make sure that he is ok. there's a couple of games just under way in rugby union's premiership — leaders bristol are at 5th placed northampton saints — no school there so far. —— no score. —— no score. and sale in 11th host london irish in 6th — sale have got a converted try already — 7 nil up. both about 15 minutes into those matches. former wales rugby union fly half gavin henson made his rugby league debut this afternoon in the challenge cup. the 39—year—old turned out for 3rd tier side west wales raiders against widnes vikings in the 1st round of the competition. the 7—time winners though, easily saw off henson's part—time side — 58—1; the final score.
you can follow the day's other ties on the bbc sport website. that's all the sport for now. ican i can tell you that chelsea have just gone through to the semifinals of the fa cup. 2—0 was the score against sheffield united. 2—0 was the score against sheffield united. you can find more on all those stories on the bbc sport website. a music festival is going ahead in the netherlands this weekend, despite the rest of the country being under lockdown. the two—day event is an experiment to see whether there's a safe way to allow large social gatherings without increasing the spread of coronavirus. 0ur correspondent anna holligan is at the festival in biddinghuizen near amsterdam. the dutch government is supporting this and trying to use these events together. research that might help events to get started again. this could be used as a prototype in the future. here is what has been going on...
surreal as it might look, a reminder of what life was once like and an opportunity to pilot a way back to this. i was really happy, we can go party again. what does it feel like? euphoric! 1500 people managed to get a ticket for this and everyone here had to show a negative test before being allowed in. everyone is meant to be wearing a mask and as you can see they are not. either they have not realised or do not care. the risk with an event like this is when people stop following the rules that could potentially affect everyone outside this control environment. soon they were all mixing and the masks had mostly vanished. once you are into the mood of dancing and partying, they fly away in no time.
they become a party hat. as all these people are tested and no negatives, of course this is not a normal situation. you have to see them as test bunnies during an experiment. this is not normal life. there will be people who think it is unethical to use these young people like guinea pigs. what do you say to them? all these participants know there is a minor risk. they are well aware of it. we believe we can see the risk is not much higher than staying at home. these are motion sensors designed to track the group dynamics, and the government is paying for the scientific research. this event will inevitably raise eyebrows and questions about how ethical bases, especially when neighbouring nations are locking down. here in the netherlands the infection rate has gone up
by 25% since last week. in what sense is this valuable when the risks are still so great? yes, it will only give us the data to reopen the society if you plan it right, you can do safe things. this is not an unsafe event. the entertainment industry in the netherlands and around the world has been shut down by measures to stop our social interactions. the isolation has huge consequences, for businesses and our mental health. it might look as though people are behaving in an irresponsible way, but actually, it is partly their behaviour that is being monitored. how long they spend around other people. afterwards, they will be tested in five days' time and if this event has not turned into the source of a mass outbreak, it will
be used as evidence by the entertainment industry to say that not just festivals here entertainment industry to say that notjust festivals here in the netherlands but all around the world can be hosted in a covid—19 safe way. these people may be used as guinea pigs but none of them are complaining at the moment and the hope is that they stick to the rules when they go back into society — they avoid vulnerable people and they avoid vulnerable people and they are tested again in five days' time. then the data could be invaluable for them and the rest of the entertainment industry. the french authorities say 72 migrants have been returned to france after their boats got into difficulty in the channel. 0ne boat had 38 people on board; the second was carrying 3a — including several women and children. the home secretary, priti patel, will outline changes designed to make the asylum system �*firm but fair�* later this week. the us defence secretary, lloyd austin, has held talks with the afghan president, ashraf ghani, during
an unannounced visit to kabul. they discussed the peace process and concerns over rising violence. the visit comes at a crucial time for the afghan peace process. the us presidentjoe biden is reviewing his administration's plan for afghanistan ahead of a may troop withdrawal deadline which was agreed by his predecessor donald trump. buckingham palace is reviewing its diversity policies in all of the royal households. palace sources have told the bbc that although the work has been under way for some time, it would now include looking at the allegations of racism made by the duke and duchess of sussex in their recent tv interview. the sources said there are already policies in place, but there's an acceptance that more needs to be done. the work is said to have the full support of the royal family. and finally wales has found itself welcoming an unexpected visitor. a giant walrus has been spotted in pembrokeshire, thousands of miles from its home
in the arctic circle. it's thought it's the same animal that was spotted off the coast of county kerry in ireland last week. biologists believe there's a chance it fell asleep on an iceberg and was then carried south. winds that is quite a theory, isn't it? winds that is quite a theory, isn't it? now it's time for a look at the weather with ben rich hello there. most of us have seen at least some spring sunshine during this weekend, although cloud amounts have varied. this is the earlier satellite picture. you can see it was a little bit cloudy across parts of south—west england earlier today. it did brighten up. north—east scotland very similarly brightened up throughout the day. now, as we go through this evening and tonight, where we do have clear skies, that is where temperatures are going to drop. parts of eastern scotland, northern england, the midlands, wales are particularly prone to a touch of frost. not as cold where we keep more cloud, perhaps the south—east of england, the north—west of scotland and northern ireland. now, as we head into tomorrow,
northern ireland and scotland can expect a lot of cloud feeding in on the south—westerly wind and the odd spot of drizzle possible as well. down across england and wales, will see some spells of sunshine and large areas of cloud to with temperatures between ten and 1a degrees. so, a fine start through the week ahead but it will turn wetter and windier from mid week onwards and then briefly, quite a bit colder at the end of the week.
planning hello. planning this is bbc news. the headlines... the government criticises the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen for suggesting that exports of the astrazeneca covid vaccine outside the eu could be blocked. more questions over whether people can plan forforeign holidays as some experts warn coronavirus restrictions could stay
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