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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 4, 2021 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, i'm simon pusey. our top stories: american prosecutors charge the parents of a teenager accused of a massacre at a school, saying they share responsibility. i will reiterate today that gun ownership is a right and with that right comes great responsibility. the first data on the omicron variant of covid suggests vaccines are less effective at stopping it spreading but they do make the symptoms less serious. it's possible that the omicron variant can cause infections evenin variant can cause infections even in previously vaccinated people, howeverthey even in previously vaccinated people, however they develop only mild illness which means the vaccines are still providing protection.
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hello and welcome to bbc news. we begin in the us state of michigan where, in a rare move, prosecutors have charged the parents of an alleged school shooter with involuntary manslaughter. this was the scene at oxford high school on tuesday. four people were killed and seven injured in the shooting. ethan crumbley was charged as an adult with one count of terrorism causing death and four counts of first—degree murder. authorities have now issued a fugitive warrant forjames and jennifer crumbley. but, in a joint statement to the bbc, the family's lawyers said the crumbleys "are not fleeing from law enforcement" and had left town on the night of the shooting "for their own safety". here's the oakland county prosecutor announcing the charges a little earlier. it's imperative we prevent this from happening again. no other parent or community
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should have to live through this nightmare. i have shared previously, and i will reiterate today, that gun ownership is a right and with that right comes great responsibility. based on the information and evidence i have received, today i'm announcing charges against the shooter's parents, jennifer and james crumbley. the charges are as follows. james crumbley is charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. jennifer crumbley is also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. our washington correspondent barbara plett usher has been telling us more about the significance of these charges. extremely rare for parents to be charged in mass shooting tragedies and in michigan, there is not even a law that says that parents are required to keep guns out of reach of their children it is a very unusual step of the prosecutor said essentially, the parents were complicit. she said they
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had contributed to this tragedy and had to be held to account. she listed a number of things, one is that they bought the gun for their boy as a christmas present but then also in the day or so before this shooting, there were a number of incidents where he had then called to account for troubling behaviour and they did not intervene so in one occasion, his teacher noted that he had been searching his phone to try to buy ammunition. his mother was alerted and she didn't respond but she did text him later in a sort ofjoking way, saying i am not angry with you, you just need to learn not to get caught. and the next morning, again he was stopped by teachers because he had done a drawing which was alarming, showing a gun and a bullet and a dead body or a bloody volley and it said the thoughts don't stop, help me, so very disturbed drawing. he was sent to the principal�*s office and his parents were summoned in and told he needed to get
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counselling within 48 hours and they resisted the idea of taking him home and did not check his backpack to see if the gun was there and did not even ask if he had begun and he was sent back to the classroom and then, a few hours later, the mass shooting took place, the mass shooting took place, the prosecutor was quite hard on the parents, saying that they had a responsibility here and had to be held to account. apparently on his cellphone he had recorded a video talking about his plan or his desire to do this, although he had not put it on social media, it was found later, and then as i said the drawing was discovered and it sounded as if he was struggling against some inner urge, you know, the words help me on the drawing, then a couple of hours later he was sent back to the classroom, as i said, school superintendent said he did not have a disciplinary record and had not been punished for this. he went the bathroom and took the gun out of his backpack and loaded it and came out and started shooting and he killed four students and he injured six people, including a teacher,
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and he has been charged as an aduu and he has been charged as an adult even though he is 15 years old, which is a very unusual state of affairs as well. one of the reasons for that, the prosecutor said, is they did not think this had been an impulsive act, he had preplanned it, but also in michigan some crimes are so severe that underage people are automatically tried as adults and one of those is first—degree murder, which was one of the crimes with which he has been charged, as well as terrorism. barbara plett usher reporting earlier. to the coronavirus pandemic now. the chief scientist of the world health organization says the new omicron variant could become dominant around the world. the number of countries detecting the coronavirus variant is increasing every day but the who also says it's too soon to know if omicron causes a more serious illness and people shouldn't panic. the surge in south africa, where the variant was first identified, has accelerated further. there were more than 16,000 new cases announced on friday, up from 11,500 the day before. doctors say there's a higher rate of admissions to hospitals
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of young children. and after germany announced new restrictions for the unvaccinated on thursday, the republic of ireland has announced limits on the size of attendances at indoor events for its entire population and a restriction of no more than four households socialising in a private home. so let's take a closer look at south africa, where as we heard omicron is spreading at an unprecedented rate. south africa's health minister urged people to get vaccinated. this fourth wave, which we have started to enter into, can be managed without too many casualties, without too much loss of life, if we all observe the safety measures — the biggest risk being gatherings, especially indoor gatherings. that his south africa's health minister. —— that is south africa's health minister. as more cases emerge, so does the data about the effectiveness of the treatments. here's the world health organisation's chief scientist with what we know so far.
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it's possible that the omicron variant can cause infections, even in previously vaccinated people — we are seeing that now with previously vaccinated people who are the first to be reported with omicron. however, the fact that they are not getting sick — and again, we have to wait and see — but if they develop only mild illness, that means that the vaccines are still providing protection. let's get some of the day's other news. pakistan's prime minister has condemned what he called "a horrific vigilante attack" on a sri lankan man who was lynched after being accused of blasphemy. imran khan said the burning alive of priyantha kumara after he was beaten by an angry mob was a day of shame for pakistan. the us economy created far fewerjobs than expected in november. employers in the world's largest economy added just 210,000 jobs for the month — that's less than half the figure for october. the number of people in work is now 3.9 million below the peak of february 2020. european diplomats at talks to revive the international
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nuclear deal with iran say they're disappointed and concerned by tehran�*s stance. britain, france and germany gave the assessment at the end of a week of discussions in vienna. they complained that iran had backtracked on diplomatic progress made during previous rounds of talks earlier this year. for our viewers on bbc world news, that's all for this hour. a woman has beenjailed for life for murdering her partner's six—year—old son after months of abuse. emma tustin has been told she will serve at least 29 years in prison for killing arthur labinjo—hughes at their home in solihull. the boy's father, thomas hughes, has beenjailed for 21 years for manslaughter. the judge at coventry crown court said it had been one of the most distressing cases he'd dealt with, and described the couple as "spiteful and sadistic". as our home editor mark easton
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reports, arthur's death raises yet more questions about whether enough is being done to protect vulnerable children. arthur, are you going to play for england? he was a football—mad little boy with a smile that belied the truth about his life. i'm going to play for liverpool or i'm going to play for tottenham. six—year—old arthur labinjo—hughes was, in the words of the judge today, "the victim of cruel, manipulative and pitiless treatment". emma tustin and her boyfriend thomas hughes were today jailed for killing little arthur. tustin was sentenced to life for murder with a minimum of 29 years, hughes for 21 years for manslaughter. arthur was told to sit on the thinking step. arthur's put himself all over the floor. he's banged himself on the radiator. he's hit me, he's kicked me in the process of trying to get him back on the thinking step. the pair lied to police as arthur lay just a few feet away with injuries so severe, it was said to be the equivalent of a high—speed road crash. members of arthur's family were close to tears as they left court. his birth mother, currently in jail for manslaughter, had a statement read in court.
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we've been here many times before — a public inquiry in 2003 following victoria climbie�*s death, a national review after the baby peter connelly case, investigations into the deaths of khyra ishaq, hamzah khan, daniel pelka, ayeeshia—jayne smith, amid profound soul—searching as to what we should do to save vulnerable children from neglect and abuse and death. if you do have a concern about a child, contact your localauthority, keep contacting them, or contact the nspcc helpline — we're a confidential, free advice service and we're there to listen and form a picture for other agencies like social care, like the police, and we're there to provide advice and support.
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a report for the department of education last year found that the number of children who die from maltreatment in england remains at around 28 every year — that's more than one child every two weeks. so, why are things still going so tragically wrong? the report says the children's services department struggle because of outsourcing and because of cuts. it's notjust about the quantity of the work... professorjonathan dickens, who's among the academics who wrote the report for the government, says front—line social workers need to be supported to ask the difficult questions. social workers do need help in that concept that is sometimes called �*professional curiosity�* — asking the second question, the third question respectfully, politely, but persistently, and putting the pieces together if the story doesn't quite add up. what's described as a once—in—a—generation review of england's children's social care system is under way, with a debate about when to work with families and when to take
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children into care. resources have been stretched further and further as more children are coming onto the radar. there are more children in care in england — over 80,000 now — the numberfor some time. so, although funding has gone up, the demand for that funding has gone up disproportionately. a serious case review will look at the missed opportunities to save arthur. four calls made by worried relatives to the council, his school, social services and the police, a visit to his home finding no safeguarding concerns. questions, too, about the impact of covid restrictions. the appalling details of little arthur's life and death are too much for many to listen to, but we must listen, and learn. mark easton, bbc news. an independent review has described the chaotic scenes at wembley stadium during the euro 2020 final this summer as a source of national shame. around 2000 people without tickets managed to get into the stadium as england took on italy. the report's author, baroness louise casey, said the behaviour of a minority of
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england supporters was notjust disgraceful but also recklessly endangered lives. our sports editor dan roan reports. "appalling disorder, on a day of national shame" — the damning findings of the investigation into the scenes that marred england's biggest match since 1966. many fans left terrified after being caught up in the chaos. today, the woman whose report lays bare the gravity of the mayhem at wembley told me it was fortunate that no—one died. well, i think what happened was a very near miss and that near miss would be a significant loss of life or injuries — probably on a scale that, sadly, we saw at hillsborough. so, i think the benefit of it being a near miss is, actually, that we can learn from it to make sure it never happens again. the report found unprecedented levels of criminal and anti—social behaviour, and that 2,000 people got in illegally via 17 entry points. almost half of surveyed respondents saw illegal
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drug—taking and fans with disabilities were targeted, with a child wheelchair—user snatched from their father and used to try to gain entry by one thug pretending to be a steward. with hooligans hoping to reach the thousands of empty seats inside wembley, the report found a perfect storm of factors and a collective failure in planning. the police weren't on the ground early enough. they thought they were early — they weren't early enough. the stewarding at the stadium was not robust enough and there wasn't a fan zone. remarkably, the report found that england's defeat to italy averted a potential disaster with 6,000 thugs outside poised to storm wembley if they'd won. i apologise absolutely for the experience that many fans had on that day. what we should've done was sat back and looked at is a completely unique event and understood that people would potentially get there earlier and we needed, for example, to get law enforcement there earlier. while the report said no single agency was to blame, it found a number of organisations — including the fa and the police —
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failed to mitigate what it called "foreseeable risk". i am really sorry that so many people who came to london to enjoy a football match were met with unprecedented scenes of disorder. whilst we had policing presence in wembley across the day, we accept that the bulk of this was not present early enough to prevent scenes of disorder. today's report recommends that the fa leads a new national campaign designed to improve supporter behaviour, tougher security laws and more banning orders and the establishment of a new category for matches of national significance to acknowledge the unique challenges in making such events secure. the fa must stage england's next home game in european competition behind closed doors for what happened here. it's now clear that it could have proved much more costly. dan roan, bbc news, wembley. thousands of people in parts of north east england and scotland are still without power a week after storm arwen left
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a trail of destruction. the energy regulator, ofgem, has launched an urgent review into the response of the energy network companies. our scotland correspondent, lorna gordon, has been finding out how people have been coping in aberdeenshire. in the winter sun aberdeenshire looks stunning but this has been a brutally hard week for many here and seven days on from storm arwen, its impact is still being felt. have you got your power back on again? no, it's not on yet. we went off on friday. on friday, the day of the wind. oh, aye, there have been trees blown down a lot before but i mean, this is the worst i've seen. for some, no power meant no water either so bottled water was brought in for drinking and at night, this family huddled together for warmth. like many we spoke to, they were disappointed at the information they'd received. you just felt like crying sometimes. you just couldn't. .. i think it was the false
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promises as well, we kept getting e—mails of them saying it will be on at six o'clock, it will be on at 12 o'clock. and then last night, the army came, two army blokes came, but that was the first people that's been to check that you're all right. there's nobody. you're just being left to fend yourself. people here rallied around to look out for each other. this farm are receiving hot food from a good samaritan determined to help. we rely on good friends and good neighbours. excuse me. we're relying on good friends and good neighbours. if it wasn't for these, we'd be... it wouldn't be good. you've come together as a community? you have to. you have to in these difficult times. downed power lines meant the local primary school has been shut all week. children staying at home. i think one of the best part
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has been i've got to play board games with my family. one part that i didn't like is that my friend's den got destroyed. and if the power does ever go out again, their mum is determined to be prepared. i'm ripping out my electric heater and there will be a log burner in there and gas. we won't be left vulnerable like this again, and we'll have a generator. really? yes. big changes ahead? yes, definitely. engineers have been working round the clock to restore supplies. tonight, more houses here are finally being reconnected. people will be hoping what's been described as a once—in—a—generation event remains exactly that. lorna gordon, bbc news, aberdeenshire. scientists in britain have used gene editing technology to create female—only and male—only litters of mice. they say their technique could eventually be applied to chickens to ensure that only egg—producing females are hatched. our science correspondent pallab ghosh reports. half of these chicks are useless to
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the farming industry because they're male and don't lay eggs, so they have to be killed. that problem could be solved thanks to a breakthrough that enables scientists to reprogramme animals to produce only females. some 6 to 7 billion male layer chicks are killed every year shortly after birth at a point when they have a nervous system and are capable of suffering. we would like to be able to move to a system where those same eggs are laid but instead never hatch. scientists at the francis crick institute in london have found that the system was successful in mice and they think it'll work on chickens. the researchers here have found a way of deactivating a gene involved with embryo development. the system can be programmed to stop either male orfemale embryos from developing using a technique called gene editing. the sex of a mammal is determined by its chromosomes. females have a pair of xs,
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males have an x and y. the process involves inserting half the gene editing molecule into the father's y chromosome, and the other half into the mother's dna. after mating, male xy embryos containing both halves of gene editing molecule will not develop. but female embryos will grow normally. gene editing can be used to make other genetic changes. these piglets are resistant to a lung disease that often devastates herds. the government is considering whether to allow the use of the technology by the farming industry. pallab ghosh, bbc news. tens of millions of people are facing severe food shortages across a huge area of east africa, as the region faces the worst drought for many years. crops are failing and animals on which many communities depend are dying of thirst. there's been three years of poor rainfall in northern kenya, much of somalia and southern ethiopia. it's feared the drought will continue long into next year,
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putting millions of lives at risk. the bbc�*s senior africa correspondent anne soy reports from northern kenya. the devastating impact of drought. this is wajir in northern kenya. they've not had enough rain here for three consecutive seasons. water pans have long dried up. there are dead animals everywhere. even at ahmed ibrahim's home. he's 66 and tells me he's never witnessed anything like this. translation: the drought has been going on for- the last nine months. i had 150 heads of cattle but now left with about 30, which are very weak. i also had 400 goats. i'm only left with these few that you can see. a few times every day,
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neighbours helped to lift the remaining livestock so they can stretch their already weak muscles. tough decisions he has to make to balance between feeding his family and his livestock. translation: the remaining livestock will continue dying, | but the biggest issue is what will people eat? people who have lost everything, what will they eat? that's sadir�*s biggest worry, too. the 47—year—old mother—of—six is only left with these goats. livestock are a hard—earned source of livelihood and wealth. losing them leaves them poorer and hungry. translation: i believe god provides but at this rate, - we're at risk of dying because of starvation. this is a wildlife conservancy in northern kenya, and the effects of drought here are all too clear. and that is a very
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unusual sight — a dead giraffe inside a wildlife conservancy, yet we are told that at least 11 of those have been found within months. and it is notjust giraffes that are affected, it is all wildlife. there's no pasture, there's no water for them. more frequent droughts suggest climate change is already taking its toll on the region. the impact on people is devastating. loss of livelihood and a direct threat to survival. anne soy, bbc news, wajir. the actor sir antony sher has died aged 72. sir antony, who had cancer, was widely regarded as one of the country's finest contemporary classical actors, with a long association with the royal shakespeare company. david sillito looks back at his life. deformed, unfinished, sent before my time into this breathing world, scarce half made up. antony sher�*s richard iii, a scuttling, spidery malevolence.
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it went beyond mere good reviews to become the portrayal against which all others are measured. when they are gone, then i must count my gains. your hair's nice. howard kirk in the history man, the defining �*70s campus radical. perhaps we should just add his name... i think my biggest problem is being young and beautiful. it is my biggest problem, because i have never been young and beautiful. arnold, the drag queen in torch song trilogy, another olivier award—winning role. oh, i've been beautiful. antony sher was also an accomplished writer and painter, but this career had begun with rejection from rada. they sent a letter saying, "we strongly recommend that you think about another career," which, you know, at that time, you know, really puts you on the line. gay, jewish, south african — growing, up he felt very much the outsider. he liked the idea of disguise,
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and his home became the shakespearean stage. many of his greatest role directed by the man who would become his husband, greg doran. hail, rome! titus andronicus. victorious in thy mourning weeds. iago. the moor already changes with my poison. lear... do not make me mad! troubled, complex, compelling. the characters of sir antony sher. sir antony sher — who has died at the age of 72. before we go, pope francis said today he has a responsibility to tell the hard truth about the suffering of refugees, many held in conditions he compared to those in nazi and soviet camps. pope francis made the statement on the second day of his visit to cyprus, during which he attended a prayer service with migrants from dozens of countries. cyprus says it has the highest proportion of asylum applications per head in the european union. on saturday, pope francis
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will travel to greece. thank you for watching. i will see you soon. hello. we have a rather cold and windy weekend to come. and there'll be some wet weather at times, especially on saturday, some showers or some showery rain and hill snow. drier for many on sunday. throughout the weekend, though, a chilly wind to contend with. what's going on? low pressure close to scotland as saturday begins will run south through the north sea as the weekend goes on. around it, showers or some longer spells of rain and hill snow, especially on saturday. and it's also dragging in another push of chilly air from the north—west. and it's not what those without power or working to restore power after storm arwen want to hear, but it is going to be a rather cold weekend ahead, with temperatures starting like this for saturday morning. just a few spots close to freezing, just a hint of frost here and there. there'll be early rain across eastern england
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clearing away to sunny spells, but then this curl of rain and hill snow through scotland, northern ireland, pushing into more of northern england, wales and the midlands as we go on through the day. north west scotland starting to brighten up in the afternoon, just a few showers. the far south of wales and much of southern england, a lot of the day is going to be dry. it's blustery wherever you are. these are average speeds. some stronger gusts around particularly western coasts, 40—45 mph or so, so a risk of gales here. so, it will feel colder than these temperatures might suggest, which are already down compared with what we had on friday. saturday evening and night, its central and eastern parts of england with outbreaks of rain. some snow to the higher parts of the pennines and peak district. a few showers in the west, but some clear spells, too, and where you have the clear spells, a greater chance of a frost going into sunday morning, especially in the countryside. and on sunday, well, the low pressure's here. for many, it's far enough away to allow a drier day, but close to that across
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especially eastern parts of england, there'll be some outbreaks of rain around. they may just fringe into eastern scotland at times and also push a little further west towards the midlands. much of scotland, northern ireland, wales and the western side of england, bar the odd shower, will stay mainly dry. there'll still be a very brisk north—northwesterly breeze to contend with, so it will feel colder than these temperatures might suggest. and temperatures don't change much in the week ahead, and especially during the first half of the week, it looks like we're going to have to contend with more wet and, at times, very windy weather.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: prosecutors in michigan have charged the parents of a teenager accused of murdering four students at his high school. james and jennifer crumbley have also been charged with manslaughter.
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their son ethan carried out the mass shooting with a semi—automatic pistol bought by his father. the first data on the omicron variant of covid suggests vaccines are less effective at stopping it spreading. scientists in south africa have reported a surge in the number of people being reinfected. it's the first real—world evidence indicating the new variant may evade immune defences. and on the second day of his visit to cyprus, pope francis has addressed thousands of roman catholic worshippers at a football stadium in nicosia. the pontiff condemned what he said was slavery and torture being suffered by people fleeing war and poverty. now on bbc news, it's time for click. this week— poetry bot rights are classic. electric truck goes round the bend. and it's time we stop, hey, what's that
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