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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 11, 2021 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: uk government has warned that the omicron variant could be the omicron variant could be the dominant strain in the uk within a week with the senior minister saying the situation is seriously the us supreme court makes a supreme court and in place, and president biden says he is very concerned. hello and welcome to bbc news: fresh analysis of data on the omicron variant of coronavirus has revealed what the uk government is calling a �*deeply
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concerning' situation. the figures confirm that omicron is growing rapidly in all regions of the country and could be the dominant strain within the next week. the uk health security agency is suggesting that vaccine protection against mild symptoms is substantially reduced but that a third boosterjab is 75% effective in preventing any covid symptoms. here's our medical editor, fergus walsh. the omicron variant is spreading incredibly fast, despite our highly immunised population. the growth rate is even more rapid than last christmas, when the alpha wave hit and very few of us had been vaccinated. new analysis shows that having two vaccine doses is unlikely to stop omicron infection. however, boosterjabs will give around 75% protection against a mild infection. both two and three doses should give significant protection against severe disease, but to what extent
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is still unclear. it's the sheer growth rate of omicron which is worrying scientists. it may produce the biggest wave of infection so far in this pandemic. if we continue to double in this rate, then i would expect that without any mitigations, we could have 100,000 or 200,000 cases, or even more by the end of the month in the case numbers that we see every day. what we don't know is how many of these cases will translate into hospitalisation. what we do know is the more cases we have in the community, the more pressure that will put on hospitalisations. even if omicron is causing mostly a milder illness than delta, which some early data from south africa suggests, a huge wave of infection here could still result in a sudden peak of hospital admissions within a matter of weeks. the government is not ruling out further measures beyond plan b to control omicron, but no one yet is using
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the l word — lockdown. we absolutely do need to keep everything under review. i think the approach that we're taking is proportionate, we recognise the importance of balancing people's ability to get on with their lives with the need to protect them against this virus, but action is absolutely required, and as new data comes in, we will consider what action we do require to take in the face of that data. care homes were especially hard—hit in earlier covid waves. under new guidance, residents in england will be allowed a maximum of three visitors, and more vaccination teams will be deployed to offer boosters. the omicron puzzle is still being pieced together. for now, it remains unclearjust how big and how serious it will prove. fergus walsh, bbc news. the white house says president biden is very concerned by the supreme court's decision to leave
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in place a ban on most abortions in texas. it follows a ruling by the court on friday that abortion providers can pursue legal challenges to a controversial law that bans the procedure in the state of texas after the first six weeks of pregnancy but the court also ruled that the legislation will remain in place for now. the law has been sharply criticised by doctors, women's rights groups and the biden administration. our correspondent, barbara plett usher, has more details from washington. it isa it is a minor victory for abortion providers because it removes an obstacle, said the texas law has an unusual enforcement mechanism which was deliberately designed to prevent legal challenges in that it makes private citizens responsible for enforcing the lawn and since estate is not enforcing it, it cannot be taken to court. the supreme court has ruled it is not acceptable it has created a path for abortion clinics to bring their lawsuits and it's a narrow one and activists are dismayed that the justices have
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not blocked the law in the meantime. president biden as long as that he is concerned it is still in effect. anti abortion rights activists are celebrating it remains in effect but they are frustrated that the abortion clinics will be allowed to proceed with their lawsuits. the law has had quite an effect in texas. many women who are thinking abortion now have to leave the state to get one. sometimes they even have to go to neighbouring states to get them. their concern is broader than texas because the supreme court is looking at another case, a separate case, involving mississippi and in that case, the conservative justices on the conservative justices on the bench have indicated they may be prepared to rollback established abortion rights. 55 people have been killed and dozens injured in mexico when a lorry and its trailer crashed and overturned. around 160 people, including young families and children, were in the trailer. most of them were migrants from central america, seeking a new life in the united states. will grant's report
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from chiapas in southern mexico contains some distressing images. it was already known as one of the most dangerous journeys in the world for people fleeing violence and poverty in search of a better life. at least 160 people, among them families with children, were crammed into a lorry�*s trailer, which overturned on a corner and crashed into a bridge. the doors flew open, throwing those inside onto the tarmac. the driver, who it's said may have been speeding, fled the carnage. dazed survivors were treated at the site and taken to nearby hospitals, but many migrants ran away forfear of being detained and deported. they cannot bear the idea of returning to central america in the grip of extreme poverty, gang violence and climate change which is destroying their livelihoods. these people were ready to risk everything to reach to drug cartels who run the profitable people smuggling routes north.
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for many though, it cost them their lives. soon the process of identifying the bodies will begin and they'll be returned to their families in guatemala and honduras. but even these violent deaths won't deter many for long. for central america's poorest, the choice between a dangerous journey or a life of unending poverty and violence is no choice at all. will grant, bbc news, chiapas. let's get some of the day's other news: the us has placed financial sanctions on a chinese software company and two political leaders in the xinjiang region over the persecution of the uyghurs and other muslims. the two leaders are accused of taking part in the sweeping oppression of their own people. china denies incarcerating more than a million uyghurs in prison camps. there's been a huge explosion at a palestinian camp in the city of tyre in southern lebanon. state media say an ammunition depot belonging to the palestinian militant group hamas at a refugee camp in the city blew up. they say a number of people
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have been killed and wounded. ghana is introducing some of the world's strictest covid travel rules, by banning any adult who has not been vaccinated from flying in with effect from monday. there is no option to self—isolate. ghanaian citizens and residents abroad are exempt for up to two weeks, but will be required to getjabbed upon landing at the airport. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, has expressed deep alarm at the growth of the omicron variant, saying they face a tsunami of cases. she said that from saturday all household contacts of any covid cases should isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status and even if they initially get a negative pcr test. she also urged people to cancel work christmas parties. our scotland correspondent alexandra mackenzie reports. another christmas overshadowed by uncertainty. with a sharp increase
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in daily covid cases, the scottish government said the omicron variant is likely to be the dominant strain within days. to be blunt, because of the much greater and faster transmissibility of this new variant, we may be facing, indeed we may be starting to experience, a potential tsunami of infections. while out celebrating with friends, the advice came to think carefully about mixing in crowded spaces and about deferring work christmas parties. i can understand them making a knee—jerk reaction, because yes, you don't the nhs to be overwhelmed. i don't think people will follow the rules as much as they did maybe in previous years. whether they're getting used to it and accepting it. this glasgow restaurant is one of many that have suffered cancellations.
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we are sitting in a space that would have had a table of 10, but they cancelled this morning off the back of the advice they have been given by the government. we have picked up some smaller tables to fill it, but it's the uncertainty that really hurts us the most. this is not the news anyone wanted to hear, it is not the message the first minister wanted to deliver, especially again in the run up to christmas, on what should have been one of busiest party nights of the year. but the scottish government wants to act now, due to the rapid transmission rate of this new variant. if you have a room of 100 people and a single unknown omicron case is in that room, you could in the days after that find 50, 60 or 70 positives. that's what we're trying to prevent. some people were out in glasgow city centre tonight, others decided to stay at home and put the celebrations on hold once more. alexandra mckenzie, bbc news, glasgow.
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in an effort to tackle the omicron variant, from today face coverings are now compulsory in most indoor venues in england. masks must be worn in theatres and cinemas, museums and places of worship. they had already been mandatory in shops, on public transport, and in hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons but they are not compulsory in hospitality venues, like pubs and restaurants. our business correspondent caroline davies reports. the excitement of a christmas theatre trip — buying a balloon is optional. masks are not. # finding new adventures is the best #. this matinee performance of peppa pig in london was one of the first since the rules have changed. although there were plenty of masks here, there was a mixed reception to wearing them. obviously kids can't wear masks so it makes no difference really, because kids are coughing and stuff in there, so it's all a bit of hit and miss, really. we quite liked it, we were quite happy. i'm very happy to be wearing a mask.
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it was quite nice, it was all so close and it's good to wearthem. yeah. many theatres, including this one, have been continuing to ask people to wear masks while watching performances, but today, that becomes a legal requirement. theatres are also delighted that they're able to keep operating during the important festive period. our bookings are very, very healthy and i think with what has just been put in with the mask mandate, i think we'll be fine. masks are already mandatory in venues like theatres and cinemas in scotland, wales and northern ireland. how difficult will it be for staff to enforce? they can't keep coming in disturbing the film. we've got to get the message to the customers and hope that they kind of follow the guidance themselves, really. the government has acknowledged it will be difficult to enforce the rules and it doesn't expect junior members of staff to put themselves at risk, but that they should work with the local authorities and the police if needed. # and when he was only halfway up he was neither up nor down #. after a difficult christmas period
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last year many venues have welcomed masks, if it builds confidence and means the show can go on. caroline davies, bbc news. this is bbc news, the headlines: the uk government has warned that the omicron variant could be the dominant strain in britain within a week, with a senior minister saying situation is seriously worrying. the us supreme court leaves a controversial texas law banning most abortions in place. president biden says he's very concerned by the decision. president biden says he's spoken to olaf scholz and congratulated him becoming germany's new chancellor. the american president tweeted that he was looking forward to working together on a range of global challenges. it comes as olaf scholz is on a whirlwind tour of europe. he's been calling for unity to tackle the pandemic and tensions with russia. mr scholz said he was concerned about a russian build up of troops on the ukraine border. translation: we are course
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deel translation: we are course deeply concerned _ translation: we are course deeply concerned about - translation: we are course deeply concerned about the i deeply concerned about the events unfolding along the ukrainian russian border, and it has to be our responsibility to ensure everyone feel safe within their borders and that the borders within europe are available. meanwhile, the british foreign secretary liz truss has warned russia it will face severe economic consequences if it were to invade ukraine. she was speaking at the start of a meeting of g7 foreign ministers in liverpool where she said there'd be a show of unity in making clear to moscow that any military action would be a strategic mistake. with me is our new reporter mark lobel. what were the key message liz truss�*s is trying to to get across. well, she was adding to this growing concern about the situation in ukraine. as you say, president biden addressing it on his phone call with
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president putin a few days ago, because us intelligence and ukrainian fears, because us intelligence and ukrainianfears, division, the satellite imagery that has come out of the border between ukraine and russia, of around 100,000 troops apparently russian troops, on the border there. fears of an imminent invasion. so president biden said, look, they will be strong economic and other measures against russia if, he said it to mr putin, and we had also the spectacle of president macron, standing side—by—side with olaf scholz, we just heard him there, saying the us should be careful of self—levelling prophecies. he wanted no unnecessary tension on this issue. but liz truss has taken a slightly different attack, she says that this upcoming g7 foreign ministers meeting in liverpool this week there should be a show of unity among like—minded economies to show maximum deterrence to russia if they are considering this attack on ukraine. let's have a listen to how she put it.
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i share the view that it would be extremely serious if russia were — be extremely serious if russia were to — be extremely serious if russia were to take that action. it would _ were to take that action. it would be _ were to take that action. it would be a strategic mistake, and they— would be a strategic mistake, and they would be severe consequences for russia. what we're _ consequences for russia. what we're doing this weekend is with— we're doing this weekend is with like—minded allies to spell— with like—minded allies to spell that out. with like-minded allies to spell that out.— with like-minded allies to spell that out. she then went on to say _ spell that out. she then went on to say that _ spell that out. she then went on to say that they _ spell that out. she then went on to say that they would - on to say that they would consider economic sanctions if russia invaded ukraine, and generally wanted herself and eu allies to become less dependent on russian energy. and on nord stream to, but proposed pipeline between russia and germany, ms truss added to us pressure for germany to put that on the table should russia invaded ukraine. —— nord stream two. she said it would be a problem pressing ahead with it if russia invaded ukraine. russia so often a topic, as is iran. liz truss has also been speaking about iran because thatis
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speaking about iran because that is very much on a table in terms of the nuclear deal and how you deal with iran there. we have heard a lot about dozen in a gary ratcliffe lately, with her husband taking on his hunger strike.— hunger strike. there has been lots of pressure _ hunger strike. there has been lots of pressure on _ hunger strike. there has been lots of pressure on the - hunger strike. there has been | lots of pressure on the foreign office, ratcliffe's hunger strike for 21 days, urging the foreign office to act. how can they act? well, people like richard ratcliffe, relatives of people who are detained in prison in iran are saying that a £400 million debt owed by the uk to iran for historic arms sales in the 1970s needs to be paid they believe the two are linked and it will see their relatives freed. well, about that debt, these truss was asked, this is what she said. it is our policy that this is debt— it is our policy that this is debt that the british government needs to pay. there are complexities to working with— are complexities to working with eran, which are well known _ with eran, which are well known -- _ with eran, which are well known. —— iran. we are working through— known. —— iran. we are working through that. known. -- iran. we are working through that-— through that. she was asked about those _
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through that. she was asked about those complexities . through that. she was asked | about those complexities and whether those related to restrictions on financial transactions from us sanctions, whether those bank transactions from the uk to eran would infringe those under the uk would get in trouble and get punished by the us. she did comment on that. she would not comment on that. she would not comment on that. she would not comment on reports from the irani and ambassador to london he said that actually, british officials had been to iran in the last few days to discuss legal ways they could discuss but doubt. but i guess those comments, and this visit by british officials to iran, if these reports are true, would give some hope to the likes of richard radcliffe that relatives such as nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe may be one step closer to being free. aha, step closer to being free. a lot of people looking at that. thank you very much indeed, michael odell, for that update. —— mark lobel. downing street has rejected suggestions that borisjohnson turned down an offer by his director of communications to resign after it that emerged jack doyle was at the christmas party at no 10 last year, which would have
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broken covid rules. two sources told the bbc that mr doyle offered his resignation, but that mrjohnson would not accept it. this year's downing street christmas party has been cancelled. here's our political correspondent ben wright. besieged on three fronts — his authority, competence and integrity under scrutiny. after a torrid week for borisjohnson there is no sign the pressure on the prime minister is easing. for a start, continuing questions about a party held in downing street last december — one of three gatherings now being investigated by the country's top civil servant. cabinet secretary is i'm sure investigating all these questions so we will see the results of that in due course, but last christmas i was spending my time getting trade deals over the line. we now know this man, number ten press chief jack doyle, was at the event on december the 18th. sources have told the bbc mr doyle offered borisjohnson his resignation but the prime
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minister would not accept it — something downing street denies. the second political headache facing the prime minister concerns his costly flat refurbishment. downing street has said officials are now liaising with boris johnson's adviser on standards, lord geidt, following the publication of a report yesterday into how the work was paid for. hi, nice to see you. sir keir starmer, today meeting people helping in the aftermath of storm arwen, stopped short of calling for mrjohnson to quit, but... he's not fit for office and because he's not fit for office he won't resign, and the question really is for tory members of the cabinet, tory mps, to ask themselves, are they prepared to put up with this? for now, the answer is yes. many tory mps are miserable but they're not yet mutinous. one former cabinet minister told me
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he thought borisjohnson was being let down by number ten, with no common sense and little political nous, and tory mps are likely to stick with mrjohnson so long as he still looks like an electoral winner, and a by—election in shropshire next thursday will put that to the test. before that, the third problem facing borisjohnson. on tuesday, parliament will vote on new covid measures for england, including vaccine passports for some venues. more than 50 conservative mps have said they plan to rebel against the government, so there's little respite for number ten, which today cancelled this year's christmas party. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. asa as a director of original series at netflix, carolina garcia is responsible for bringing binge—worthy shows such as stranger things, atypical, and raising dion to our screens. born in argentina, garcia moved to the us with her family when she was a child and worked her way to the top of the entertainment industry.
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named as one of bbc�*s 100 women, she reveals what really makes a hit tv show. i believe that being a woman is a superpower. mr; i believe that being a woman is a soperpower-_ a superpower. my name is carol n a superpower. my name is carolyn garcia _ a superpower. my name is carolyn garcia and - a superpower. my name is carolyn garcia and i - a superpower. my name is carolyn garcia and i am i a superpower. my name is| carolyn garcia and i am the director of original series at netflix. —— carolina garcia. what i do is, i helped pick hopefully the best shows to bring to audiences, and i work with creators and writers to bring those stories to life, to hopefully create something but the world will love and enjoy. if we had a crystal ball, all of the shows that we programme would be the biggest hits in the world. unfortunately it is really hard to predict what is
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going to strike and what is going to strike and what is going to strike and what is going to feel, what is going to puncture the zeitgeist. so what i really rely on when picking shows as my intuition, my heart, and my instinct. so when someone is telling me a story, if i moved by that story, if i moved by that story, there is no algorithm in the world that is going to be able to predict that human movement in me. growing up, i think latino immigrants, iwillspeak immigrants, i will speak personally, immigrants, iwillspeak personally, you just want to fit in. you just want to be part of the americana and really be the same as everyone else. i remember growing up, i have a pretty cool name, my name is carolina, and i always was like, why can't my name just be sarah orjessica? or just, you know, whatever the american name was. because i
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just, i really want fit in, and now i'm like, oh, carolina, that was your superpower. being who you were was your superpower. you did not have to be anyone else. it is important to have examples, visible examples of people that look like you doing things that you aspire to do and to be. part of it is making sure that in the casting we are representing the full breath of who can do what role. so part of myjob is to pay it forward. and to open the door and create new opportunities for latino excellence to come through the door and fostered a talent.
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i think women especially, and i know this is true for me, growing up, i always wanted to think like one of the guys. it used to be there was only one seat at the table for a woman and women were often, you know, trying to make way for themselves to be that woman, and now we created more seats and now we created more seats and it's not at the expense of anyone else but it really is just about opening up opportunity for other people to comejoin the table. opportunity for other people to come join the table. honestly, the more the merrier. like, why not? the duke and duchess of cambridge have chosen a family photograph taken on a visit tojordan as the image for their official christmas card this year. the photograph was released on the royals�* social media accounts with the caption: "delighted to share a new image of the family, which features on this year's christmas card." kensington palace said the photograph was taken injordan earlier this year, but did not reveal the nature or date of the visit, or the name of the photographer. the festive card is sent
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to friends, associates and their charities. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @sipusey. hello. a big change in the feel of the weather through this weekend with some milder air spreading from the west. but with that, a fair amount of cloud, some mist, and murk and hill fog and some outbreaks of rain at times. on the earlier satellite picture, a slice of clear sky, and where that clear sky remains, quite a cold start to saturday morning. the coldest weather of the whole weekend, in fact. out west, more cloud, and with that some milder weather, which is slowly but surely
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going to crawl its way eastwards through the day. so, temperatures in eastern parts starting the day below freezing, western areas well above. belfast at six, plymouth at eight degrees, and as we go through the day, the milder but cloudier and wetter conditions will work eastwards. so early sunshine in eastern scotland, eastern england, that won't last long, things will tend to cloud over. briefly a bit of sleet and snow over high ground in scotland. but as you can see, it will turn back to rain because as this wet weather continues to track eastwards, it will introduce ever milder conditions. so 12 degrees for belfast, for cardiff, for plymouth, just six in aberdeen, seven in norwich. but actually, as we go through saturday night, we will bring that milder weather further eastwards. whereas we normally expect temperatures to drop through the night, they won't across some eastern parts of england, for example, ending the night at 10 degrees in norwich and hull, five there in aberdeen, very mild out towards the west. all the while some cloud, some outbreaks of rain, some clear spells across the northern half of the country. then through sunday, again, there's going to be quite a lot of cloud. that cloud producing some outbreaks of rain at times,
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especially through northwest england, northern ireland, up into southwest scotland. some brighter glimpses here and there and a very, very mild afternoon, eight to 14 degrres. now, we have to keep a close eye on developments during sunday night, because this small but potent weather feature is expected to pass closer to the far northwest, a deepening area of low pressure. that is set to bring some very strong winds across parts of northern ireland, but perhaps most especially in exposed parts of western and northern scotland, particularly for the western and northern isles, there could be some really quite stormy weather for a time. we will keep you posted on that one throughout the weekend. into next week, it stays relatively mild. a bit of rain around for a time, perhaps settling down later in the week.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: the uk's health security agency says the country could have more than a million omicron cases by the end
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of the month and that two doses provides little protection against the new variant. a senior government minister has described the situation is seriously worrying. the white house says president biden is very concerned by a supreme court decision to leave strict new abortion laws in place in texas. the controversial new law bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. the legislation is being challenged by abortion providers. the high court in london has ruled thatjulian assange should be extradited to stand trial in the united states, following assurances from washington about the way he'll be treated. the wikileaks founder faces charges linked to the leaking of classified military documents. his supporters say the us could not be trusted. now on bbc news, it's time for click. this week, what will it take to keep us all safe? will


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