welcome to bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: more countries beyond africa confirm cases of the new coronavirus variant. as the travel restrictions mount, south africa's president slams the measures. the prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. no—one on the line and only photos to hold on to: how a kurdish father in northern iraq fears his whole family were among those drowned in the english channel. as rebel fighters claim they're advancing on the ethiopian capital, the government releases footage apparently showing the country's prime minister on the front line. and the creative director of louis vuitton dies from cancer, aged 41.
we look at the life and the work of the trailblazer virgil abloh. hello, thank you very much for joining us. several more countries around the world have detected cases of the new coronavirus variant known as omicron. it's the most heavily mutated version of the virus discovered so far and early evidence suggests that it has a higher risk of re—infection. canada and france have become the latest countries to report infections and a third case has been detected in the uk. at least 13 cases have been confirmed in the netherlands. they were all on flights coming from south africa where scientists first identified the variant. omicron is responsible for most of the infections found in gauteng province in south africa, and has been
found in all provinces there. britain, as the current chair of the g7 group of leading economies, is to convene an urgent meeting of health ministers to discuss how best to respond. all this as a number of countries have moved to restrict or ban incoming flights from southern africa, as caroline davies reports. schiphol airport on friday night. 600 passengers from two planes from south africa were disembarked and tested. now the dutch authorities have confirmed 13 people in this crowd did test positive for the omicron variant. those who tested negative were sent home. they include cathy hogarth, now back in the uk. she's self—isolating, but feels she was put at risk. i'm shocked. i feel quite vulnerable. on the planes, where, you know, social distancing is difficult — however, you are wearing a face mask, you are not allowed to walk up and down the plane —
you're sanitising all the time. once we got to the airport, all of that went out the window. even the buses, the transport that they put us on, was crammed full of people. why has that happened? schiphol airport said it was a unique situation and they had done their best to make sure people were comfortable. others have also been affected by the variant. the cardiff rugby team and their support staff have been unable to leave south africa because of two positive covid cases. one is thought to be the omicron variant. they are now isolating at a hotel. around the world, travel restrictions are tightening. from this morning, quarantine hotels in the uk took guests again. switzerland has announced that uk arrivals will need to isolate for ten days, be double vaccinated, and take a covid test. spain has said british travellers must be vaccinated to be allowed in. and morocco has suspended all incoming flights from late tomorrow for two weeks. getting home has become increasingly complicated for some. middle east have cancelled most of the flights in and out of south africa, so you can't
get back that way. there are some through europe, but the whole of european nations are trying to get back to their nations, too. so to actually try and get out of south africa now is really difficult. meanwhile, in the uk, although the restrictions are still limited, they're already having an impact. while christmas shoppers fill the streets, some are already changing their plans. one body for the hospitality industry said that they're already seeing cancelled reservations as fragile consumer confidence is knocked again. the travel industry is also concerned that people won't make holiday bookings as long as the travel rules keep changing. the uncertainty about the variant and where it's spread is already making business uncertain, too. caroline davies, bbc news. as you were hearing there, all sorts of restrictions and some bands being brought into play by governments. —— and some bans being brought into play by governments. the debate
over their effectiveness has re—ignited. in south africa, where scientists first identified the virus, the president cyril ramaphosa has called on governments which have imposed restrictions to reverse their decisions. these restrictions are completely unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our southern african sister countries. the prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. the only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and also to recoverfrom the pandemic. the emergence of the omicron variant should be a wake—up call to the world that vaccine inequality cannot be allowed to continue. cyril ramaphosa. for more on this, i'm joined by dr amesh adalja, who is a senior scholar at thejohns hopkins university center for health security. thank you very much indeed for joining us. i wonder if i could
pick up directly on cyril ramaphosa's point that the prohibition, these restrictions are not informed by science, he says. a lot afield would feel that they are, because we know that ——we know so little about this particular variant. i agree with the _ particular variant. i agree with the south _ particular variant. i agree with the south african - with the south african president that i do not think these bans are justified. president that i do not think these bans arejustified. even if there are important questions to answer about the new variant we know a lot about covid—i9, we know how it transmits, have treatments and tests and vaccines, have a lot of different tools at our disposal now in november 2021 but we did not have early on in the pandemic so i do not think that we should be going back to these blunt tools that penalise countries like south africa, which has been really diligent and transparent in alerting the world to this new threat and also, will damage the country's economy. i think we have better tools to do this but unfortunately this type of knee—jerk reaction is common
among politicians and i think it is unfortunate.— it is unfortunate. that's interesting _ it is unfortunate. that's interesting because - it is unfortunate. that's i interesting because when it is unfortunate. that's - interesting because when you say we know how to deal with these things, with omicron, the message i am hearing is don't really know how transmissible it is, we don't know how virulent it might prove to be, or indeed how effective or otherwise kind vaccines are in dealing with it.— dealing with it. even if it is more transmissible, - dealing with it. even if it is more transmissible, it - dealing with it. even if it is more transmissible, it is i dealing with it. even if it is i more transmissible, it is still going to transmit in the same way that other versions of this virus transmit, meaning that you can use things like masks and social distancing. we have tests that will detect this variant of people who are infected with it. have monoclonal and vaccines which we are not quite certain how well they work by early data from south africa shows even if there is a higher rate of breakthrough infection with the variant, you are still likely to be protected against what matters, which is serious disease, hospitalisation and death because it is hard for any variant to raise everything that a vaccine does for you and i think we know how to handle this in a much better way but
what you see is that people often will take some action in order to be saying that they are doing some action and not thinking about the long—term consequences of that action which could include other countries that discover new variants been reticent to report them because they worry they will not be praised for finding the new variant but punished. and i think it sends the wrong message that this is the wrong message that this is the way you deal with covid—19 and there are important questions to be answered but there is so much knowledge we have about the virus in general that should inform how we deal with medication. i that should inform how we deal with medication.— with medication. i think that's an interesting _ with medication. i think that's an interesting point _ with medication. i think that's an interesting point you - with medication. i think that's an interesting point you makej an interesting point you make about coming forward and being transparent about the information that's available. nonetheless, in the short term, ijust nonetheless, in the short term, i just want to ask you again on this as i don't know that i fully understand it, is it not sensible to do all you can whatever entity you are, to restrict the arrival of a new strain? , ., . ~' strain? first of all, i think b the strain? first of all, i think by the time _ strain? first of all, i think by the time that - strain? first of all, i think by the time that these - strain? first of all, i think| by the time that these get strain? first of all, i think -
by the time that these get put into place, the variant has likely already landed there so we have cases in belgium but have no contact with south africa, this is now in canada, this is something that spreads officially so by the time you actually recognise these first cases, variant has already spread to many other of the world, especially if it is indeed more transmissible, so they actually give people a false sense of security and develop public health resources to try to maintain this travel ban when what we should be doing is giving more vaccine to people and doing more testing and building public health infrastructure and not giving people a false sense of security that this travel ban is going to help. in the us we have had three on the beginning from the trump administration and they did nothing to stop the onslaught of the virus and i think it is really critical to understand that these are not effectual tools and they end up causing more harm than good, even though on face value people think it makes sense, when you are dealing with a spreading respiratory virus, it
is too late, the us travel ban goes into effect monday which doesn't make any sense in terms of if this was so necessary, why is there a lag to do it and what is it only include certain countries but not other countries but not other countries we have seen transmission.— countries we have seen transmission. we will get to see the effects _ transmission. we will get to see the effects or— transmission. we will get to see the effects or otherwise j see the effects or otherwise soon. rankoe indeed for that. thank you. soon. rankoe indeed for that. thank vom— soon. rankoe indeed for that. thank yon-— soon. rankoe indeed for that. thank ou. ., ~ around 62% of voters in switzerland have backed their government's covid strategy, including a covid certificate showing proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test. switzerland is currently battling a surge in infections and the certificates are currently needed to access bars, restaurants, and football matches. four days after the bodies of people who drowned in the channel while trying to reach the uk were discovered, the identities of all 27 are yet to be confirmed. many are thought to be kurds from northern iraq and, as the days go on without news, families there fear the worst. the bbc�*s murad shishani has the story of one man whose wife and three children are believed
to have been on the boat. for those waiting for news, the uncertainty is almost as difficult as the grief. this man's wife and three children wanted to come to the uk to start a new life away from their village, in iraqi kurdistan. his oldest daughter had wanted to study to become a doctor. translation: fathers | and mothers try to make their children better. i am a father, i love my kids. i want my children to have a good life. but the last time he heard from them was on tuesday as they were boarding a boat. he says he called hundreds of times with no answer. the next day, french authorities pulled 27 people from the water. and because of delays identifying the dead, rizgal does not know if his wife and children
are among them. translation: i don't know if they are dead or alive. . i won't believe a thing until i see my children here or i find them in hospital. rizgal had even sold the family house to pay people smugglers for the journey. it is an expensive and illegal way to get to europe. an estimated 40,000 people have left the region in the past year using the smugglers' network. i am on my way to meet one such smuggler. he was not involved with rizgal�*s family. they call them here in iraqi kurdistan region �*the middlemen'. he agreed to talk to me on condition of anonymity. he is directing me to a place of his choice, insisting that my time with him should be quick and short. do you regret being in this business after seeing what happened at the english channel?
translation: how can i not regret? _ they are iraqi, they are muslim. even if they were palestinian, iraqi, jordanian, syrian, they are still human beings. whoever it is, it is as though it is my son, or even one of my relatives. it's a crime against humanity. rizgal looks at family photos of happier times as he waits for news. but after five days, he is beginning to lose hope. murad shishani, bbc news, north iraq. the war in ethiopia has reached a critical point with tigrayan rebels from the north claiming they're advancing ever closer to addis ababa as they prepare to clash with government forces near the capital. the conflict, which began just over a year ago, has pitted combined groups from around the country against the prime minister abiy ahmed, who last week announced he would lead his
army in battle. it has created a humanitarian disaster and torn the country apart with little sign of any resolution. our africa correspondent andrew harding sent this report. a late night roadblock in ethiopia's capital and a hunt for rebels from the northern region of tigray. these patrols are manned by civilians, volunteers eager to support the ethiopian government at a time of civil war. they've already detained thousands of people under a sweeping state of emergency that's been heavily criticised as arbitrary by human rights groups. "we found a lot of suspicious items, including guns and explosive devices," says this neighbourhood organiser. access to the conflict itself is heavily restricted but the ethiopian government has released this footage, reportedly from the front lines, far north of the capital. it shows the prime minister himself surrounded by his
soldiers and visibly holding a satellite phone. "our role is to lead from the front", he says. "we had one victory here today and we will continue with many greater victories". but who is really winning here? tigrayan rebels are parading captured ethiopian soldiers, thousands of prisoners of war. the tigrayans insist theirforces have the momentum but they're fighting on many fronts and the tide could yet turn. the conflict is certainly spreading and with it a humanitarian crisis that began in tigray, turned into a famine and is now affecting other regions of ethiopia, too. again, access is a problem. as the volatile conflict spreads across north ethiopia, we are seeing more and more populations fall into a dire situation. now there are more than 9.4 million people who are in need
of food assistance, because of — as a direct impact of the conflict. back in the ethiopian capital, donations of food are gathered to send to government troops. and here, a ceremony for new army volunteers, young and old. an official from the governing party salutes this mother's courage. "i'm ready to give my life for my country at any time", says dinknesh nigatu. more recruits for the night—time patrols, too. but as ethiopians rally to the cause, the concern is that neighbours are turning on neighbours in a conflict that may be spinning further out of control. andrew harding, bbc news, south africa.
stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we look at the life and the work of virgil abloh, the trailblazing creative director of louis vuitton who's died from cancer, aged a1. it's quite clear that the worst victims of this disaster are the poor people living in the slums which have sprung up around the factory. i am feeling so helpless that the childrens are dying in front of me and i can't do anything. charles manson is the mystical leader of the hippie cult - suspected of killing - sharon tate and at least six other people in los angeles. at 11am this morning, just half a metre of rock separated britain from
continental europe. it took the drills just a few moments to cut through the final obstacle. then philippe cozette, a minerfrom calais, was shaking hands and exchanging flags with robert fagg, his opposite numberfrom dover. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: more countries outside of africa confirm cases of the new coronavirus variant, as the continent's hit by more travel restrictions. as rebel fighters claim they're advancing on the ethiopian capital, the government releases footage apparently showing the country's prime minister on the front line. both sides have tried to claim victory in the honduran election following the vote on sunday.
the electoral council has described the turnout as massive. security was tight amid fears there could be a repetition of the violence that marred the 2017 poll. let's get more on this now from our central america correspondent, will grant, who joins me live from the capital. i have seen it described, and it wouldn't be the first country in the region, as a referendum on corruption. do you think that is how it will have panned out in terms of the boat? i have panned out in terms of the boat? ., , , boat? i do, david, yes. the word on _ boat? i do, david, yes. the word on most _ boat? i do, david, yes. the word on most people's - boat? i do, david, yes. the word on most people's lips| boat? i do, david, yes. the - word on most people's lips was about change was not that wasn't just on voting about change was not that wasn'tjust on voting day of the days leading up. people are exhausted and what they consider a very corrupt government. he has been linked himself to drug trafficking cases in the united states and the other is there on drug trafficking charges in prison. adding to that the mismanagement, the economic
mismanagement, the economic mismanagement, control of the situation with covid people have been calling for change. that said he is also a very powerfulfigure and that said he is also a very powerful figure and knows that said he is also a very powerfulfigure and knows how to turn out his party, his party knows how to turn out their numbers, too.- party knows how to turn out their numbers, too. what might be the outcome _ their numbers, too. what might be the outcome for _ their numbers, too. what might be the outcome for him, - their numbers, too. what might be the outcome for him, for - their numbers, too. what might be the outcome for him, for the j be the outcome for him, for the president, as he departs the scene if indeed it is the opposition who take the throne? it is a very grim outlook for him personally. if his party, the national party, don't take the national party, don't take the presidency, and isn't afforded any protection, i would imagine it is a impossible scenario to see in the united states himself on some of those charges. we understand judges are being drafted against him, too. he has a lot to play for but i think his party do to and certainly the left—wing party of the former first lady castro are acting as though they have won this. certainly a large
call from the election authorities with both sides to show the strength. the suggestion _ show the strength. the suggestion for - show the strength. the suggestion for the - show the strength. the suggestion for the elect —— the suggestion for the elect —— the suggestion of a massive turnout says something, doesn't it? we reall are says something, doesn't it? - really are used to sing low turnouts. this is a country that has the lowest belief amongst its electorate in democracy. there are people that are simply not sure that democracy works for them. 70% of people who live in poverty and you can understand why they are so tired of the system to a big turnout suggests a big rejection of the status quo, i would say. rejection of the status quo, i would say-— would say. will, thank you indeed. the fashion designer and creative director of louis vuitton, virgil abloh, has died of cancer. the 41—year—old founded the brand �*off—white', and had worked with some of the industry's biggest names including kanye west. he came into the bbc in 2019 and spoke to radio1 dj benji b about breaking barriers and his creative approach.
it took me that period to question myself and be like am i going to believe in the mission that i can't be a designer at the highest level? am i going to believe that i am supposed to make printed t—shirt, streetwear? or am i going to believe that i'm only going to believe that i'm only going to believe that i'm only going to dj clubs that are willing to pay me whatever and to play whenever and i was like, yeah, i'm going to do that and like, yeah, i'm going to do thatand i'm like, yeah, i'm going to do that and i'm going to keep doing it for a long period of time until the one opportunity that comes across, yes i know and i'm going to say yes i'm going to show up on time, i'm going to show up on time, i'm going to show up on time, i'm going to do my best and that is going to do my best and that is going to do my best and that is going to lead to some other opportunity and i hope that through my narrative people see that in themselves, that anything is achievable and the different genres arejust anything is achievable and the different genres are just made to bejumped over. that different genres are 'ust made to be jumped over._ to be “umped over. that is vir: il to be jumped over. that is virgil abloh _ to be jumped over. that is virgil abloh speaking - to be jumped over. that is virgil abloh speaking to i to be jumped over. that is. virgil abloh speaking to the bbc two years ago. let's go live to new york and speak to alex frank —
culture writer and editor — and contributor of vogue.com. thank you forjoining us in what is a very sad time. just listening to what virgil abloh said, we had at the end, different genres are made to be jumped over. you might say glass ceilings are made to be smashed through because he really was a trailblazer.- really was a trailblazer. total trailblazer. _ really was a trailblazer. total trailblazer. virgil _ really was a trailblazer. total trailblazer. virgil was - really was a trailblazer. total trailblazer. virgil was a - really was a trailblazer. total trailblazer. virgil was a kid . trailblazer. virgil was a kid from chicago. he grew up in chicago. you know, people like him don't often become the heads of majorfashion him don't often become the heads of major fashion luxury groups in paris and virgil did. ithink it groups in paris and virgil did. i think it took an enormous leap of imagination and faith and determination to get where he ended up. and determination to get where he ended up-— he ended up. what was it then in a sense. _ he ended up. what was it then in a sense, apart _ he ended up. what was it then in a sense, apart from - he ended up. what was it then in a sense, apart from him - he ended up. what was it then in a sense, apart from him as| he ended up. what was it then | in a sense, apart from him as a character, clearly he has got charisma, what wizard —— what was it in his cv that took it to that height and in that direction?— to that height and in that direction? , ,., ., , direction? they were so many thins direction? they were so many things but _ direction? they were so many things but i — direction? they were so many things but i think _ direction? they were so many things but i think for - direction? they were so many things but i think for me - direction? they were so many things but i think for me the l things but i think for me the most central one is that virgil was very in touch with young
customers. virgil was of a scene that was emerging in the fashion space. young kids, young guys who were buying tons of fashion, buying sneakers, listening to hip—hop, and virgil was in touch with this audience, he was this customer at one time in his life. so i think you just understood something that a lot of people in paris don't fully understand and they think he was able to tap into something that if you are based in paris, running a company, maybe it is not something easy to tap into. virgil was able to do that. you witnessed _ virgil was able to do that. you witnessed for _ virgil was able to do that. you witnessed for yourself actually also his generosity of spirit in terms of wanting to help young people, it seems. virgil was a very _ young people, it seems. virgil was a very nice _ young people, it seems. virgil was a very nice guy. _ young people, it seems. virgil was a very nice guy. ask - young people, it seems. virgil. was a very nice guy. ask anyone in the industry and they will tell you that. in 2017, i went to ghana, the capital city, and i met a group of skaters. i was covering the cultural scene in
ghana and i met a group of skaters, the first crew of skaters, the first crew of skaters in all of ghana. they didn't have a skate park. so they were skating on really bumpy roads. i wrote a story with out them for vogue .com. virgil had roots in ghana. he read the story and quietly reached out to us. he didn't make a big fanfare about it. he quietly reached out to us and asked us how he could help create a skate park for the kids in ghana. this skate park opened when —— in no small part because of his support. titer? because of his support. very briefl . because of his support. very briefly- it — because of his support. very briefly. it is _ because of his support. very briefly. it is a _ because of his support. very briefly. it is a bit _ because of his support. very briefly. it is a bit of - because of his support. very briefly. it is a bit of a - briefly. it is a bit of a cliche asking about legacies but it is clear, i think at the start, trailblazer. i but it is clear, i think at the start, trailblazer.— start, trailblazer. i think he has an incredible _ start, trailblazer. i think he has an incredible legacy. i l start, trailblazer. i think he i has an incredible legacy. i was thinking today, in 15 years there is going to be countless designers, when they are asked in interviews what got them into fashion, what made them think that they could be designers just like think that they could be designersjust like him, kids designers just like him, kids just like designersjust like him, kids just like him, they are going
to. �* ., , , . ., just like him, they are going to. alex, appreciate your time. thank you _ to. alex, appreciate your time. thank you very _ to. alex, appreciate your time. thank you very much _ to. alex, appreciate your time. thank you very much indeed. l thank you very much indeed. virgil abloh who has died at the age of a1. you are watching bbc news. hello. for many parts of the uk, it's a cold and icy start to the new week. there are changes afoot — it briefly turns milder on tuesday. it doesn't last for long. the colder air moves back in from midweek onwards. and throughout the week, some spells of wet and windy weather at times. this is how monday shapes up, we have a warm front draped across scotland and northern ireland. ahead of it, we're in the colder air, behind it, something milder. on the front, we'll see outbreaks of rain preceded by some hill sleet and snow through the morning across scotland. ahead of it through the morning, a widespread ice risk for much of scotland and england. some patchy rain into northern ireland, maybe into the far north of england,
further south, it stays mostly dry for daylight hours. the best of the sunshine from east anglia down to dorset, but a cold feeling day here. further north, not as cold, 10 celsius the high in belfast and glasgow. overnight, the cloud increases, that mild air pushes its way southwards, bringing with it some outbreaks of rain and drizzle, but it won't be nearly so cold, a much milder night as we head into tuesday with lows across the northern half of the uk around 6—7 celsius. so, this is tuesday, we are in between fronts. notice how the isobars are closer together. so, the winds will be strengthening, but we are in this warm air, so a much milder day, a lot of cloud. there'll be some outbreaks of rain, the heaviest initially scotland through the morning, and that rain piles in to northern ireland, northern and western scotland, parts of northern england, a few showers further south, but by and large, the further south you are, the drier you'll be. but look at the temperatures, 11— 12 celsius on tuesday. it will be increasingly windy day. these are the average wind strengths, but would be likely to see some stronger gusts particularly through western coasts. now, this frontal system will be moving its way pretty swiftly across the uk through tuesday night and into wednesday, bringing all ofus a spell of more persistent rain, but also as it clears its way from south—east england, behind it,
we see those blue colours, that colder air starting to flood across, and it's quite a messy picture on wednesday, quite a few showers around, particularly for western and eastern coasts. those showers are likely to be wintry across northern and eastern scotland, and it's starting to feel colder again particularly across the northern half of the uk. we may still get 10 or 11 celsius further south. thursday should be mainly dry, but feeling cold, and then more rain arrives on wednesday. goodbye.
this is bbc news. the headlines: health ministers from the g7 group of leading economic powers are to hold an emergency meeting on how to respond to the new coronavirus variant. france and switzerland are among the latest countries to investigate suspected new cases of omicron and canada's confirmed two infections. as two infections. to grown rebels in ethiopia claimed as to grown rebels in ethiopia claimed that they are advancing closer to the capital, the government has released this footage which there is it is the prime minister on the frontline. he announced last week it would be leading his army in battle. —— tigrayan rebels. the fashion designer and creative director of louis vuitton, virgil abloh, has died of cancer. the a1—year—old, considered a trailblazer of the industry, founded the brand off—white and had worked with some of the biggest names in fashion and showbiz, including kanye west. he was the first african—american to become creative director of a major fashion brand.