tv BBC News BBC News November 28, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT
this is bbc world news, i'm simon pusey. 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 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. tennis officials say they're still concerned about chinese tennis star peng shuai's ability to communicate freely, openly, and directly.
#go # go easy on me baby #. and rolling in the success — adele's new album shoots to number one, becoming the fastest—selling album of the year. 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. this 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 is 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, while israel, with one case detected, plans to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night. our news reporter, mark lobel, says israel is alarmed enough to take such action. and the first party because of the success of the vaccine, and now potentially the first to ban arrivals of foreigners from countries over 14 days, because it is an extremely transmissible variant, and it also has, in a very complicated for israel, right at the start of the hanukkah vacations, the festival of light, the festival that lasts eight days with mostly vaccinated children who are unvaccinated taking part.
subject to the government's approval, it's probably the first to shut its to contain the spread and there will be reintroducing counterterrorism phone tracking technology to trace the omicron variant around the country. a few cases, suspected cases have been reported in israel already, what has been confirmed and one of those somebody who has only had the boosterjab, and one of the top health experts in the country was just saying a few days ago that the booster campaign across israel had been a major success as they fought the fourth wave of this virus there, and had started vaccinating 5—ii—year—olds at the beginning of this week. the israeli prime minister is now saying the country is on the verge of a state of emergency. how quickly things have changed in israel. the hope is that the omicron variant will be less deadly, even though it is very transmissible, and it won't show up in hospitalisations and deaths as much, but frankly, it is too early to know for sure now, so we see is very rapid
international reaction, and as you said switzerland also taking action, they had just widened their quarantine requirements for travellers from britain, the czech republic, the netherlands, egypt and malawi. not only do they have to provide a negative covid test, but they need to quarantine for ten days. it feels like we're going backwards with this new variant. it's growing very fast, on top of the dozens of cases in south africa, there were four cases in botswana, two in hong kong, one in belgium, and in germany there have been two cases, also one case in italy in two cases the uk. there has been a suspected case in the czech republic and in the netherlands, the health ministry that says a number of the 61 passengers are tested positive are probably carrying the omicron screen and in australia, there is urgent genomic twisting under way after two arrivals from south africa into new south wales tested positive, they are quarantining in sydney for two weeks.
this was only announced two days ago and already there are criticisms over the way the international community including european nations, the us and australia have banned flights from south african countries, and we have heard from the foreign minister saying the country is being punished instead of applauded for discovering this information, and gordon brown, the former british prime minister has weighed in saying that it's no surprise that we have this potentially deadly variant because rich countries have been hoarding vaccines. that means even though 12 billion will be produced by the end of the year, which would have been enough of the whole world, you will find that in the six countries that have been targeted mainly, southern african countries, less than 40% of the population have vaccines. what that means is in those countries there is a space for the virus to mutate, but the open question now is how this omicron variant is actually going to go down in those highly vaccinated countries.
france is hosting a meeting of european ministers in calais later today to discuss how to deter people from making perilous journeys in small boats across the channel to britain. at least 27 people drowned in the attempt last wednesday. the british home secretary priti patel was due to join the meeting but was disinvited amid diplomatic tension between britain and france. 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. 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. 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. the australian government is to introduce anti—troll legislation to make social media services, such as facebook and instagram, liable for hurtful comments published on their platforms. the new law will introduce a complaints mechanism, requiring the companies to take down material in which someone believes they are being defamed, bullied or attacked. if the content is not withdrawn, a court process could force a social media platform to provide details of the person who posted the material. 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 in a statement regarding the comments, the wta said:. yaqiu wang is a senior researcher on china for human rights watch, i asked her what she made of the situation. based on the wta assessment, i don't think she is free, even though she appear on those videos and pictures. chinese history of silencing critics, disappear them, and making them reappear on some videos, saying they are not doing that well. this fits into a history of the government doing that. i have concerns about her safety and freedom.
would you say this follows the rule book that they have 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. this 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 have been released purportedly saying she is at a tournament or a restaurant. what does that tell us? does it look fake to you? yes. definitely looks fake to me. if the government really wants to show that she is free, why not let her talk to her fans? 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 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 or coercion. for the ioc to engage in this kind of government orchestrated narrative is shameful. how much would you 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 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 cowering to the chinese government human rights violations. for the wta to say that, it is very encouraging and i hope other international
organisations follow suit. 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. travellers in south africa, where the new omicron variant was first identified this week, have been scrambling to find flights out of the country as world leaders begin to announce tighter border controls. the netherlands says 61 people who arrived in amsterdam on friday, on two flights from south africa, have tested positive for covid—i9. caroline davies reports. stuck on a plane as the authorities grapple with what to do next. jack fletcher was one of 600 passengers who were stopped at the airport yesterday after flying from south africa. they were kept in
the terminal for hours, waiting for the result of new pcr test. jack is one of 61 people that the authorities have said our positive despite being double jabbed and testing negative before he flew.— jabbed and testing negative before he flew. ., , , ._ before he flew. people praying, babies crying, and they - babies crying, and theyjust put me in the corner of the room acid a set we remain going and they said you are going to and they said you are going to a quarantine hotel in an dam and we were put into the back of like a van, like a minibus kind of van which had all, to be fair, there's not like clean —— clingfilm, to those in the backin —— clingfilm, to those in the back in hazmat suits. what have you been told what is going to happen next? no, e—mails, text messages, phone call, anything at all stop by the airport that it was a unique situation and they had done their best to make sure that people were comfortable. around the world countries are closing their
borders to arrivals from southern africa including the us. ~ southern africa including the us. . ., ~ southern africa including the us. ~ ., ~ , southern africa including the us. ~ . ~ , , us. we will make sure there is no travel _ us. we will make sure there is no travel to — us. we will make sure there is no travel to and _ us. we will make sure there is no travel to and from - us. we will make sure there is no travel to and from south . no travel to and from south african _ no travel to and from south african countries in that region. _ african countries in that region, except for american citizens_ region, except for american citizens who want to come back. over _ citizens who want to come back. over the — citizens who want to come back. over the course of the last few months, travel has been opening up. as the doors closed trying to get uk nationals out of southern africa before quarantine hotels start tomorrow is a struggle. south africa is a _ tomorrow is a struggle. south africa is a huge _ tomorrow is a struggle. south africa is a huge destination i africa is a huge destination for both business and also visiting friends and relatives and we are coming up to the christmas period, so there is a lot of stress for passengers out there and many of them will not be able to get home before quarantine comes in.— quarantine comes in. there are still many _ quarantine comes in. there are still many questions _ quarantine comes in. there are still many questions about - quarantine comes in. there are still many questions about the | still many questions about the omicron variant copy while the well�*s scientist work to answer them, the well�*s governments are trying to buy their countries more time. caroline
davies, bbc news. a powerful storm that's hit britain is now known to have killed at least three people. gale force winds of up to a hundred and sixty 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. adele's latest album, "30", has shot to number one in the uk and united states,
overtaking abba to become the fastest—selling album of the year. # easy on me baby. # i was still— # easy on me baby. # i was still a — # easy on me baby. # i was still a child... _ the lead single from it, easy on me, has already been number one for six consecutive weeks. now the success of 30 in its first few days ensures that all four of the british singer's albums have reached number one, a record for a female artist. so, she's back, but is she still as popular? here's sean mandell, a freelance entertainment reporter in la. she is incredibly popular but there is some comparisons going on right now between her album 30, which just came out, and her album 25, which was released in 2015, that was a really blockbuster rise to the top of the charts. in the us, for example, that had about 3.3 million albums sold in the first week, over
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 back in 2015. but there are a lot of factors at play that don't necessarily have to do with the album itself or the music itself which is to say streaming music is a big difference and a big factor in 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 the debut 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. very quickly, the grammys are fast approaching, is she going clean up this year? she has just missed the window for the last nominating period so we will have to wait until next year for her to get nominees which will undoubtedly pour in given her 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 in her two arms! staying on a musical theme, birmingham, in the english midlands, has a proud musical heritage, and now a series of maps to celebrate it, has gone on display at 30 railway stations across the city. ben sidwell has been on a musical mystery tour. it is a journey that takes rail passengers through birmingham's musical heritage. at hall green station one of the
biggest bands ever come out of birmingham, ub40, unveiled the first of 30 maps linking the railway to people and places that have helped to shape the musical history of birmingham. the idea is lovely. i think it is great to write our musical heritage. we are a musical city and have been for generations and it is great that you can see a map. i love the fact that my father's name is on there as well as us. it is brilliant. to really experience this journey you need to jump on the train. # nothing seems to satisfy. first stop for me, the birthplace of heavy metal to meet the man behind the musical route maps. this map will introduce them to the music of the area so the links to black sabbath, joan armatrading, as they are waiting for the train they can see some of the people who made the music here and link to the places, see some of the venues and listen to some of the music. it is making that link, so that
birmingham is an amazingly diverse city and that is reflected in our music and music culture. the next stop on our journey is hampstead which happens to be the birthplace of steve — but that is not why we are going there. we will meet a member of birmingham's reggae royalty. amlak tafari has been a bassist in steel pulse for the past 17 years. linking birmingham throughout all the different musicians and bands and musical heritage, the historical context in this way is an amazing project that young people and visitors to the country, they can all have a bit of knowledge by scanning a qr code and listening to music. every station in birmingham is set to have one of these maps so that when you are next on the train, keep an eye out because you never know which part the city's musical heritage you mayjust discover.
that's just about it from us for now. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @sipusey. you can also get the news on our website. you can also get the news on ourwebsite. but you can also get the news on our website. but for now, thanks for watching. i will see you soon. 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 two or 3 c and we could see seven 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 levels no 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 system moving into northern ireland and scotland. it is a warm front and behind it the air is going to be slightly less cold but it will bring a lot of clout, 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 four or five celsius. 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 of 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 east words through tuesday. some parts of central, southern and eastern england may stay dry through daylight hours, but as the temperatures recover into double figures, 11 or 12 celsius on tuesday. behind that rain band, it 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 has been detected across europe, with cases 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 travellers arriving in britain taking a pcr test. israel is planning to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday to tackle the spread of the omicron variant, after a case was detected. israeli prime minister naftali bennett has said that israel is on the verge of a state of emergency. the head of the women's tennis association says he 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 former vice—premier zhang gaoli of sexual assault. steve simon said it was �*clear her responses were
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