this is bbc news. our top stories... the new omicron strain of coronavirus is detected across europe with cases confirmed in germany, italy, belgium, the czech republic and the uk — prompting new measures. we will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of omicron to self isolate for ten days regardless of your vaccination status. israel plans to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night — to tackle the spread of the omicron variant. the family and friends of one of those who died in the english channel when their small boat capsized, tells the bbc that she was kind
hearted and humble. and rolling in the success — adele's new album shoots to numer one, becoming the fastest—selling album of the year. hello and welcome to bbc news. coronavirus restrictions in the uk are to be tightened again after two cases of the new omicron variant were confirmed in england. from next week, face coverings will become mandatory in shops and on public transport, and everyone entering the uk will have to take a pcr test. it comes as cases of the new variant emerge in several european countries and in israel. our coverage begins with our political correspondent, iain watson. it sounds like the title
of a science—fiction novel — the omicron variant. but this latest version of covid, complete with many more mutations, is all too real. two cases have been identified here in the uk. the scientists say they need to learn more about it, but here's the reason the government's reacting swiftly to its presence. it does appear that omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated. so, for the first time since the summer, there will be new restrictions in england. from next week, wearing masks in shops and on public transport will be mandatory, as it is now in scotland, wales and northern ireland, and if you're returning from abroad, compulsory pcr tests are being reintroduced. and that's not all. we will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of omicron to self—isolate for ten days, regardless of your vaccination status.
and here's one reason why. there are quite extensive mutations on the spike protein, which is an important part of the virus, and the reason that is important is that is the bit which all the vaccines are against, so there is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant. and the new measures will be reviewed just before christmas. how likely is it that those restrictions could be ratcheted up in three weeks' time, rather than wound down, and can you say with any confidence at the moment that people can keep their christmas plans? i'm pretty confident, or absolutely confident, this christmas will be considerably better than last christmas. but the new measures aren't the entirety of the government's plan b. advice to work from home and vaccine passports in england are still in the back pocket. i was told that boosting the vaccination programme was more important because even if it turns out vaccines are less good at stopping infection from the new variant, they could still offer
protection against serious illness. we must boost the defences we have, which is why booster vaccines are so important, and go really hard and quick to get those booster vaccines across as many people as possible. the prime minister was criticised for not acting swiftly enough in the face of the delta variant. this time he is acting quickly, but the opposition say that in england, he should be going further than the restrictions that he's willing to introduce. the government's plan b has always been our plan a. we think that mask wearing should be commonplace in public spaces, especially indoors, we think that people should be able to work from home where that is possible. i think we should have been doing all those things already, so of course we want them to be doing that now. the government say the new measures are targeted at slowing the spread of the omicron variant, buying time for vaccines to be modified if necessary. butjust as the beginning of the end of the pandemic was being predicted, we are now facing
a period of uncertainty. iain watson, bbc news, westminster. switzerland has also toughened its quarantine requirements for travellers from several european and african countries, after the new variant was detected in south africa. while israel — with one case detected — plans to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night. let's get more details now from our news reporter, mark lobel. all foreigners arriving in israel are going to be banned, that seems quite strange? in the history of coronavirus it will be remembered as the first country to vaccinate and enter party. they may well be remembered now as the first country to ban arrivals for 14 days as a result of this extremely transmissible variant. it comes at a very complicated time for israel. it is coincided with the hannukah vacation, the festival lights that last eight days and
involves children, mostly unvaccinated, out—of—school and subject to government approval israel will become the first country to shut its visit de mey borders to visitors and to reintroduce counterterrorism phone tracking technology to trace the variant. if you cases have already been reported, or suspected cases, of omicron in israel, one of them confirmed, one of those suspected cases was someone who had already received their vaccine booster shot and this comes the week in which the top health expert in israel was saying that the poster campaign had been a major success in dealing with them fighting the fourth wife stop at the beginning of the week they started vaccinating 5- ii week they started vaccinating 5— ii —year—olds and now we have the prime minister saying the country is on the verge of a state of emergency. of course the hope is this variant will be less deadly in terms of hospitalisations and deaths but it is too early to know for sure and what we have seen as rapid international action. as you mentioned, even switzerland had just taken action, widened
requirements for quarantine, if you come from britain, the czech republic, the netherlands, egypt or malawi. not only will you have to show a negative covid—i9 test but you will have to quarantine for ten days. you will have to quarantine for ten da s. ~ �* . you will have to quarantine for ten dam-— ten days. we've heard about these cases _ ten days. we've heard about these cases in _ ten days. we've heard about these cases in the _ ten days. we've heard about these cases in the uk - ten days. we've heard about these cases in the uk in - ten days. we've heard about these cases in the uk in the| these cases in the uk in the last few hours. the cases seem to be growing across the world. growing very fast and on top of those dozen or so cases, 59 or so cases in south africa, if we look at where else cases have been recorded of omicron, four cases in botswana, two in hong kong, one case in belgium. germany, two cases, one in italy, two in the uk. there's been a suspected case in the czech republic in the netherlands, the health ministry there is saying a number of the 61 passengers who tested positive on a flight from south africa to ship all airport are probably carrying the omicron strain and in australia, there is urgent genomic testing under way on two arrivals from south africa
landing in the most populous state of new south wales. they are going to be in quarantine for 1h days in a hotel while they find out the details of they find out the details of the type of strain they have. step back, this has beenjust two days ago, this announcement was made. yet there is already huge criticism of these flight bans to south african countries. that were taken up by european and asian nations and america and australia because the south african foreign minister says his country is being punished instead of being uploaded or discovering this information. and it the former british prime minister gordon brown says it is no surprise that we have this very transmissible and potentially very dangerous variant. he says rich countries have been hoarding vaccines, he says with 12,000,000,000 in production, expected by the end of the year. that would have been enough of the world. and so you have two things, the six african countries, travel bans are affecting most have less
than 40% of the population is vaccinated. that leaves space for mutations but the urgent question now is how this variant will go down on those heavily vaccinated countries. really worrying is. thank you. let's get some of the day's other news. hundreds of environmental protesters in serbia have blocked roads in the capital, belgrade, and several other towns. they're angry about government plans to offer the mining giant, rio tinto, the rights to extract lithium in the town of loznitza. lithium is a crucial component of electric car batteries. the protesters say its extraction would pollute land and water supplies. a young child has been injured in burkina faso as police fired tear gas at demonstrators protesting against the government's failure to stem a rise in islamist violence. two journalists were hurt in the protests, which had been banned by the authorities in the capital, ouagadougou. angry youths set up makeshift barricades and burned tyres in several neighbourhoods, including in front of the ruling party headquarters.
more details have emerged about some of the 27 people who drowned this week while trying to reach britain from france. 25—year—old man, who'd left iraq tojoin his brother in england, and an iraqi kurdish woman, along with her three children. the bbc has been hearing from the family and friends of the first victim to be named — 2a year old maryam nuri mohamed amin. more details from our correspondent, lucy williamson. she left to start a new life with her fiance. a video from her engagement party less than a year ago still stored on her relatives' phones. maryam nuri mohamed amin tried several times to get a visa tojoin her partner in the uk, before deciding to surprise him by trying to get there another way. she was messaging him when the boat began to lose air. in erbil, in northern iraq, the family's anger showed through their grief.
her mother and sister inconsolable. translation: going to britain is very difficult. l she tried to get to britain legally twice. she went to the british embassy, but the process was delayed. she was forced to go the way she did. her friend iman left to absorb the news of her death. her humanity was so good, always advising me. and she was like someone i look... look up to for advice. so no one should try this. no one. no one deserves to die this way. but this disaster has changed little in the minds of people living in migrant camps here. they're just waiting for the right weather conditions to make the same journey, take the same risks. there's been a lot of finger—pointing across the channel over who's to blame for the growing crisis. european interior ministers are due to meet here tomorrow to discuss the problem.
but the british home secretary has been disinvited in the middle of a diplomatic feud between the prime minister, borisjohnson, and the french president, emmanuel macron. investigations have begun to identify the other victims, but questions are also being asked about why help never arrived and more broadly, ahead of tomorrow's meeting, why, after all the diplomacy, all the deterrents, lives are still being risked and lost in a narrow stretch of sea. lucy williamson, bbc news, calais. the women's tennis association says it remains concerned about chinese tennis star peng shuai's ability to communicate freely, openly, and directly. ms peng disappeared from public view for three weeks after accusing the former vice—premier zhang gaoli of sexual assault. on saturday, wta chairman and ceo steve simon, said he would not engage
in further email communications with her because it was �*clear her responses were influenced by others.�* in a statement regarding the comments, the wta said: "he remains deeply concerned that peng is not free from censorship or coercion and decided not to re—engage via email until he was satisfied her responses were her own, and not those of her censors." yaqiu wang is a senior researcher on china for human rights watch, shejoins me live now from new york. thank you forjoining us. based on your knowledge and research, what is your view of what is happening to peng shuai? based on the wta _ happening to peng shuai? based on the wta assessment, - happening to peng shuai? based on the wta assessment, even i on the wta assessment, even chinese history silence of critics, making them reappear on some videos, saying they are
not doing that well. this feeds into a history of the government doing that. i have concerns about her safety and freedom. ~ ., , ., concerns about her safety and freedom. ~ ., concerns about her safety and freedom-— freedom. would you say this follows the _ freedom. would you say this follows the rule _ freedom. would you say this follows the rule book - freedom. would you say this follows the rule book that i freedom. would you say this l follows the rule book that they had done in the past, this is a hugely high profile case. we have seen this happen before but maybe not quite so much in the public eye as peng shuai? right. the case got a lot of international attention but they were huge celebrities, movie stars, and happened to those people too, they were very well known in china. lots of videos _ very well known in china. lots of videos have _ very well known in china. lots of videos have been _ very well known in china. lots of videos have been released purportedly saying she has had a tournament or a restaurant. what does that tell us? does it look perfect to you?— look perfect to you? yes. definitely _ look perfect to you? yes. definitely looks _ look perfect to you? yes. definitely looks fake - look perfect to you? yes. definitely looks fake to l look perfect to you? yes. i definitely looks fake to me. look perfect to you? yes. - definitely looks fake to me. at the government really wants to show that she is free, why not let her talk to her fans? show that she is free, why not let her talk to herfans? or hold a press conference? let her leave china so she can speak to whoever she wants to.
we have seen the photo of her speaking to thomas bach from the ioc and they seem to be on the ioc and they seem to be on the chinese side so what does that tell us about the ioc and its relationship with china? i think it is shameful for the ioc to do that. everybody knows, the ioc knows as well, that this must involve some kind of state surveillance. for the ioc to this kind of government narrative is shameful.— government narrative is shameful. ., . ., shameful. how much would you evaluate the _ shameful. how much would you evaluate the international - evaluate the international reaction to what is happening, has it been strong enough? should various countries be harsher on china and what they are doing? it harsher on china and what they are doing?— are doing? it is very encouraging - are doing? it is very encouraging to - are doing? it is very encouraging to see | are doing? it is very i encouraging to see the are doing? it is very - encouraging to see the wta response. they have been very upfront and clear that human rights is bigger than business. we have grown so accustomed to international sports organisations and international business gathering to the
chinese government human rights violations. forthe chinese government human rights violations. for the wta to say that, it is very encouraging and i hope other international organisations follow suit. it is also really interesting to see the wta were so many interests in china in terms of tournaments taking a strong stance. lots of competitions and companies would not do the same because of that. thank you forjoining us. same because of that. thank you forjoining ve— forjoining us. thank you for havin: forjoining us. thank you for having me- _ this is bbc news — our main headlines. the new omicron strain of coronavirus is detected across europe with cases confirmed in germany, italy, belgium, the czech republic and the uk. israel is planning to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night to tackle the spread of the omicron variant. a powerful storm that's hit britain is now known to have killed at least three people. gale force winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour brought down trees and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes across scotland,
northern england, the midlands and wales. here's andy gill. storm arwen has left much of the country facing disruption and damage. there have been some near misses, road and rail travel has been badly affected and tens of thousands of homes left without power. the storm brought picture postcard scenery to the north yorkshire village of low row, but it's also disrupting life, especially for the vulnerable. patricia is 86. she lives alone and has difficulty walking. her power�*s been off since half past ten last night. it's cold, very cold. now, i've got some... somebody brought me a hot water bottle to put on my knees. and i've got two jumpers on. winds of more than 90 miles an hour battered the north—east coast of scotland and trains were cancelled across the uk. it's a fluid situation. we're going to try and keep people moving wherever we can.
but in many parts of the country we are encouraging people not to travel at all and certainly to check on the websites, on the apps, and for live information before they do set off. on one train in the north of scotland, passengers were stranded overnight. well, i got on the train at elgin just at the back of 3pm yesterday afternoon and about five o'clock, we hit huntley and stayed there for about 17 hours. on a farm near st asaph in north wales, a shed roof blew off, damaging cars. the met office has issued a yellow warning for icy conditions on sunday across much of scotland, northern england and the midlands. andy gill, bbc news, north yorkshire. taiwan currently has diplomatic relations with 1a countries and the holy see. one of those 1a countries goes to the polls on sunday — honduras — and one of the campaign issues is whether to keep ties to taipei, or switch to beijing. maintaining a diplomatic profile has been important for taipei to stand apart
from mainland china but as numbers dwindle — the solomon islands switched this year — how effective is the strategy as beijing continues to assert on reunification of taiwan with the mainland ? thomas shattuck is the deputy director of asia programme at foreign policy research institute and research fellow of asia program at foreign policy research institute. thank you forjoining us. in relation to taiwan, how significant is this election in honduras? it significant is this election in honduras?— significant is this election in honduras? it is a question of whether honduras _ honduras? it is a question of whether honduras will - honduras? it is a question of i whether honduras will continue its relations with taiwan depending on which candidate wins. it is a pretty big deal for taiwan and its relations with honduras.— for taiwan and its relations with honduras. ~ ., , ., ., �*, with honduras. what is taiwan's current strategy _ with honduras. what is taiwan's current strategy regarding - current strategy regarding this? . , ., , this? the current president has said she is _ this? the current president has said she is stopping _ this? the current president has said she is stopping what - this? the current president has said she is stopping what is - said she is stopping what is called cheque—book diplomacy where she is not going to try
and pay or give loans any sort of projects and compete against fishing because iwan knows it cannot of spent fishing so it is emphasising it has a historic relationship and it is a strong partner without strings attached whereas if the switch were to come from honduras to beijing, there could be strings attached to any finances are projects that they do so taiwan is essentially saying, we have been your partner for a long time, trust us to continue that, we are not going to act in a way that fishing has historically traded some smaller countries. i5 historically traded some smaller countries.- historically traded some smaller countries. is it pretty much mainly _ smaller countries. is it pretty much mainly history - smaller countries. is it pretty much mainly history and - smaller countries. is it pretty l much mainly history and those historic links because obviously, china is so powerful and normally countries outside north america would side with anyone that china does not lie, for example, taiwan?- for example, taiwan? yes. taiwan is— for example, taiwan? yes. taiwan is a _ for example, taiwan? yes. taiwan is a tough - for example, taiwan? yes. taiwan is a tough bargain l for example, taiwan? yes. | taiwan is a tough bargain to sell with its historical relationship. if you are not going to be offering aid to a relatively poor nation, i know beijing had earlier in the year
offered vaccines to honduras as a kind of character to draw them away from taiwan. taiwan had said we are not playing these games. we will see if taiwan is able to change the narrative because taiwan also has its vaccine that could potentially offer to honduras and the remaining allies it has in the region.— in the region. briefly, how do ou see in the region. briefly, how do you see the _ in the region. briefly, how do you see the next _ in the region. briefly, how do you see the next few- in the region. briefly, how do you see the next few weeks l you see the next few weeks going, and the election, i am not asking you to call it but what are the possible outcomes? depending on who wins, i think the us will obviously be involved. there is already reporting that a us representative went down to quietly talk to both of the candidates in honduras to say, keep thais the way that they are. and not make the switch. depending on who wins, we might see the status quo in these relationships continue because i don't think honduras is in a situation where it wants to anger the united states and the way the solomon islands did, and el salvador dead, panama
did when they made that switch. we have seen a lot of examples for washington has stepped in and made an example for these countries when they switch. the question is whether honduras �*s leader wants to start of the new administration with the united states.— united states. really interesting _ united states. really interesting to - united states. really interesting to hear. united states. really - interesting to hear about that. interesting to see what happens. thank you. hello, it's adele. the singer's new album, 30, has shot to number one, overtaking abba to become the fastest—selling album of the year so far. its lead single easy on me has been number one for a sixth consecutive week. her opening week success with 30 ensures all four of her albums have now reached number one — a record for a female act.
let's get more from sean mandell, freelance entertainment reporter joining me from los angeles. it the dell as popular as ever? she is. but there is some comparisons going on right now her album 30, and her album 25, which was released in 2015, that adds a really blockbuster rise to the top of the charts. in the us, for example, that had about 3.3 million albums in the first week, 800,000 in the uk, this time with 30 she has had over 260,000 in the uk. about 660,000 in the us. it's still a precipitous decline for her from those numbers still a precipitous decline for herfrom those numbers back in 2015. but there are a lot of factors at play that don't necessarily have to do with the album itself and the music itself which is to say
streaming music is a big difference and a big factor in what's going on here. because backin what's going on here. because back in 2015, adele actually held off selling her album stream available on streaming services for about six months after whereas this time around it was available on spotify and other streaming platforms immediately. how those numbers are calculated and added to the overall album sales tally is a bit controversial. so some people might look at that and say it's not actually as big a decline as it may seem and at the end of the day, she still is number one.— the end of the day, she still is number one. very quickly, the grammys _ is number one. very quickly, the grammys are _ is number one. very quickly, the grammys are fast - the grammys are fast approaching, she going clean up? approaching, she going clean u - ? ,, approaching, she going clean u . ? ,, ., , , approaching, she going clean u? ,, ., , , , , up? she has 'ust missed the window for _ up? she hasjust missed the window for the _ up? she hasjust missed the window for the last - up? she hasjust missed the i window for the last nominating period so we will have to wait until next year for her to get nominees which will undoubtedly pourin nominees which will undoubtedly pour in with a history of sweeping at the grammys. we are
going to wait a year. before another photo of adele with way too many grammys to be able to carry. too many grammys to be able to car . . , too many grammys to be able to car . ., , , ., carry. really interesting to see what _ carry. really interesting to see what happens. - carry. really interesting to see what happens. thankl carry. really interesting to i see what happens. thank you carry. really interesting to - see what happens. thank you for joining us. football and palmerias have won this years copa libertadores for the second successive year. they needed extra time to beat another brazilian side flamengo. the copa libertadores is the south american equivelent of the champions league. in winning palmerias portugese coach abel ferreira has becoome the first european to lead a team to victory twice while the clubs successful defence is the first time that has happened since argetine side boca juniors manged the feat 20 years ago you can reach me on twitter — i'm @ si pusey. and you can get more news on
the website. from me and the team, thank you for watching. hello. storm arwen brought wind gusts close to 100mph across northumberland. the storm has now pulled away south and eastwards and with pressure building from the west, the winds will continue to ease, but sunday will be another cold day, further wintry showers in the forecast and the risk of ice through sunday morning and an area of rain, sleet and snow originally across scotland and just clipping northern ireland, will move into the north of england and into the midlands and wales by the end of the afternoon. on either side of this there will be some good spells of sunshine but further wintry showers just clipping the east coast and more cloud pushing into northern ireland, but we will see some late afternoon sunshine here. by comparison to saturday, the winds will be much lighter but still fairly gusty down these eastern coasts for a large part of the day and in that way and it is going to continue to feel cold. temperatures for some
struggling to get much above 2 or 3 c and we could see 7 or 8 c for some western coast. the area of rain, sleet and snow starting to move its way south through sunday evening, clear skies behind it, another cold and frosty night and more cloud and outbreaks of rain, a little bit of higher level snow pushing into north—west scotland and maybe northern ireland. temperatures across northern ireland staying above freezing, elsewhere another cold and frosty night. this is how we start monday, with this frontal system moving into northern ireland and scotland. it is a warm front so behind it the air is going to be slightly less cold but it will bring a lot of cloud, initially some snow on monday, through the grampians, the southern uplands, more like rain come the afternoon. further south, mainly dry, often cloudy, the best of any brightness, i think across southern and south—east england, where temperatures again, just 4 or 5 c. further west, they are starting to rise a little and we could see nine or ten across parts of north—west england, north—west scotland and northern ireland. as we move into tuesday, we see another frontal system pushing in from off the atlantic and this one
is going to provide some heavy outbreaks of rain, initially in the scotland and northern ireland and gradually sliding its way south and eastwards through tuesday. some parts of central, southern and eastern england may stay dry through daylight hours, but look as the temperatures recover into double figures, 11 or 12 c on tuesday. behind that rain band, things will be turning colder again on wednesday with some wintry showers and feeling cold in the wind, still quite cold on thursday.
this is bbc news, the headlines: the new omicron strain of coronavirus is detected across europe — with cases confirmed in germany, italy, belgium, the czech republic and the uk. britain's prime minister, borisjohnson, has announced new measures to halt the spread, which include all travellers arriving in britain having to take a pcr test. israel is planning to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night — to tackle the spread of the omicron variant, after one case was detected. israeli prime minister naftali bennett has said that israel is on the verge of a state of emergency. the family and friends of one of those who died in the english channel when their small boat capsized, have told the bbc that she was kind hearted. maryam nuri mohamed amin was a 2k year old kurdish woman, from northern iraq, who was travelling to be with her partner.