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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 11, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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this is bbc world news, i'm simon pusey. our top stories: british scientists warn that two doses of vaccine offer little protection against the omicron variant — although boosters do cut the risk of serious illness. the us supreme court leaves a controversial texas law banning most abortions in place — president biden says he's "very concerned". the wikileaks founder julian assange can be extradited to stand trial in the us, according to the latest legal ruling in britain. britain's foreign secretary warns russia of severe economic consequences if it invades ukraine, ahead of a g7 meeting this weekend. # hey, hey, we're the monkees... mike nesmith, singer and guitarist with the 60s band the monkees, has died at the age of 78.
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hello and welcome to bbc news. there's a renewed push in the uk for everyone eligible to get a coronavirus booster jab to come forward for one, after british scientists warned that two vaccine doses weren't enough to stop people catching the omicron variant. early analysis suggests the booster reduces the chance of developing any symptoms by around three quarters. 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.
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both two and three doses should give significant protection against severe disease, but to what extent 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. but 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
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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 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 unclear just how big and how serious
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it will prove. fergus walsh, bbc news. the white house says presidentjoe biden is "very concerned" by the supreme court's decision to leave 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. julie f kay is an attorney and author of the book controlling women. she helped litigate the first direct challenge to ireland's absolute abortion ban before the european court of human rights. she's been explaining what this supreme court ruling does. this ruling was really more procedural at this point. as we all know, by now, the law in texas has been in effect for 100 days. it has almost ground abortion entirely to a halt in texas
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and the supreme court has been ok with that and it has been playing a really rough game with women's health and with access to abortion. so now it's saying that the lawsuit can go ahead, but it's not putting pause on what's going on in texas while we figure out whether this is constitutional or not. so, you're saying it's not really that surprising, but many people watching would say six weeks, i mean, that is a time many women don't know they are pregnant? right, these are the steps towards having a complete undermining of the federal right to an abortion in the united states. this supreme court has its eyes set on completely dismantling roe. it heard a case out of mississippi just last week that would prohibit abortion after 15 weeks. a pretty extreme change to the land of the law in the us and the texas case would be really devastating and would essentially allow states to ban all abortion. talk us a little bit
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through the us judicial system, if you may, because this obviously goes back to the trump era and the supreme court and the number ofjudges on that. just talk us through that. right. so we lost the abortion issue when we lost the 2016 election and president trump had promised his base that he would deliver supreme courtjustices and, because of that promise, they overlooked a lot of bad behaviour on his part. so we're now looking at the next era coming up, that some states will be choosing to ban abortion, as many as half the states in the united states will enact legislation to ban abortion once the federal right is no longer there. so we'll have some states, sort of �*blue states�* as we call them, and mostly on the coast, it'll look like a doughnut with a giant hole where abortion services should be that will have some states where people can travel to for abortion services, but the majority of them will not have legal abortion available.
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a tornado has hit an amazon warehouse at edwardsville in the southern part of state of illinois. emergency personnel are at the scene and there are local news reports 50—100 people could still be in the building. we will bring you more on this news as we get it. he we will bring you more on this news as we get it.— news as we get it. he was on the phone — news as we get it. he was on the phone with _ news as we get it. he was on the phone with me _ news as we get it. he was on the phone with me while - news as we get it. he was on the phone with me while it i news as we get it. he was on l the phone with me while it was happening, the tornado was hitting the back of the building, the trucks were coming in, itold himjumped out the truck and dark. we watched the building go up, stop hitting the cars i told him i was on my way, just to stay under, i came and now we can't find them. so. the wikileaks founder julian assange can be extradited to the us to stand trial, the uk's high court has ruled. assange faces charges in the states of publishing classified documents. his extradition was blocked in january because of concerns about his mental health, but nowjudges have said that
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assurances given about mr assange's treatment allow the move to go ahead. dominic casciani has this report. free, freejulian assange! a day ofjudgment, but is it the end of the road in washington for a man who has been wanted for a decade? today, the high court ruled julian assange should go on trial in the us for disclosing state secrets. his supporters say he'll kill himself in jail. the americans say they'll treat him humanely. mr assange's partner says those assurances are worthless. the high court decided againstjulian on this occasion on the basis of political assurances. amnesty international has analysed these assurances he and have said that they are inherently unreliable. it's taken 11 years to get here. in 2010, julian assange's wikileaks posted video of iraqi civilians killed by us forces, just one of thousands of us secrets. two years later, he flees into the
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ecuadorian embassy in london. in 2018, the us begins preparing a prosecution. the next year, assange is removed from the embassy, and he's been in a british jail cell ever since. for his supporters, julian assange is a warrior for truth and justice. but our extradition law says he must stand trial for his alleged crimes. his lawyers will try to get the case into the supreme court to overturn this judgment, but that's not guaranteed. time is running out. if he can't launch a final appeal, one of the most controversial figures of the internet age will be on his way to trial in america. dominic casciani, bbc news, at the high court. 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 from chiapas in southern mexico contains some distressing images.
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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 for fear 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 the united states, paying thousands to drug cartels who run the profitable people smuggling routes north. for many, though, it cost them their lives. soon, the process of identifying the bodies
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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 have been killed and wounded. the annual rate of inflation
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in the united states is now at a four—decade high — and although president biden has acknowledged that inflation is affecting people's lives, he said he thought the inflation rate had now peaked and would come down faster than people thought. prices rose by 6.8% in november compared with the same month last year. fuel, food and housing costs have all seen rising prices. a little earlier our washington correspondent nomia iqbal gave me this update. reasons for inflation going up can be pretty complex, but, ultimately, it's down to the pandemic and the impact the pandemic has had also on the supply chain here in america and, quite simply, living in america is getting more expensive. so in the last six months, as you mentioned there, things have gone up — food, housing, gas, gasoline prices have gone up by 58.1%, which is a staggering amount, the cost of meat, fish and eggs gone up by 0.8%. here in dc, the cost of groceries is already pretty expensive i would say compared to most other cities, but even now, you see the cost of a pint of milk is more than you think it should be.
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if you want to buy stuff for your home, buy furniture, that will cost you 14% more than it did a year ago, used cars, that's gone up 31%. so life is getting expensive. but as i say, the pandemic is largely to blame. that's had a huge impact, lots of businesses shut down, people were staying at home, millions ofjobs were lost, economic output plunged, and that, along with the supply chain, has all contributed to inflation going up. joe biden loves to talk aboutjob growth and rising wages, but what does inflation mean for him and for his economic policies going forward? well, yes, president biden has said that this is all temporary and that this inflation rise does not reflect what he expects to see happen the next few weeks or months of prices going down. the word �*transitory�* keeps getting used and �*temporary�*, but economists are saying,
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how long it is going to last? is it a few weeks, is it a few months, is it well into next year? and as you can imagine, it's become a real line of attack against him by his opponents, because when prices rise, when the cost of living goes up, of course it's going to be a political sore point for the party in power, and it is something that the opponents, the republican party, can use. i don't think it helps him that he's trying to pursue his spending bills, his build back better plan as well. but he has maintained that things will go down eventually, that this is just a peak, and the white house points out that whilst inflation has gone up, the unemployment rate has gone down and that the wages have gone up, so these are the silver linings they say, but then critics sort of hit back at that and say, well, wages haven't gone up nearly enough, as much as they should in order to keep up with the pace of prices.
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heavy rains from storm barra that swept across south—west france and northern spain have left dozens stranded and at least one person dead, with officials evacuating homes flooded by rivers breaking their banks — and no end to the flooding in sight. stephanie prentice reports. this used to be a suburban street, and these were family homes. the rain in spain has created chaos for many, when the river broke its banks, it's bad nothing. cars, homes, belongings all submerged. translation: i don't remember anything like this. it is impossible, the houses have flooded. , , ., . ., flooded. residents watched from hi . her flooded. residents watched from higher ground. — flooded. residents watched from higher ground, tracking - flooded. residents watched from higher ground, tracking the - higher ground, tracking the debris from their houses. police there say at least one person was killed after a landslide crushed an outbuilding at a farm. it is a scene buried in towns nearby,
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as well as across the border in france, after three weeks of rain fell in 12 hours, causing rivers to overflow and triggering landslides. footage uploaded by residents in bayonne show the river overtaking the centre of one town. this street is several blocks from the river. melting snow banks in the pyrenees mountains between the two countries have exacerbated the flooding and experts say it is expected to stay like this for the weekend at least. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: british scientists have warned that two doses of vaccine offer little protection against the omicron variant — although boosters do cut the risk of serious illness. the us supreme court leaves a controversial texas law banning most abortions in place. president biden says he's very concerned by the decision. the british foreign secretary liz truss has warned russia it will face "severe economic consequences" if it
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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". our news reporter mark lobel told me the key message liz truss is trying 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 president putin a few days ago, 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
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macron, standing side—by—side with olaf scholz, we just heard him there, saying the us should be careful of self—levelling him there, saying the us should be careful of self—fulfilling 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. 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 there would be severe consequences for russia. what doing _ consequences for russia. what doing this _ consequences for russia. what doing this weekend is working 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 went on to sa the spell that out. she went on to say they would _ spell that out. she went on to say they would consider - say they would consider economic sanctions if russia invaded ukraine and generally
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wanted herself and eu allies to become less dependent on russian energy and on nord stream two, that pipeline, the proposed pipeline between russia and germany, ms truss added to us pressure for germany to put that on the table should russia invade ukraine, she said that it would be a problem resting ahead with it if russia invaded the ukraine.— it if russia invaded the ukraine. ., . ukraine. so often the topic as is iran and — ukraine. so often the topic as is iran and mostly _ ukraine. so often the topic as is iran and mostly liz - ukraine. so often the topic as is iran and mostly liz truss i is iran and mostly liz truss has been speaking about russia as well because that is been on the table in terms of the nuclear deal and how you deal with iran. we have heard about the british woman there. what does liz truss have to say about iran. that hunger strike now for 21 days urging the foreign office to act. how can they act? people like richard radcliffe, relatives of people detained in prison in iran are saying that £400 million debt owed by the uk to iran for
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historic arm sales in the 70s needs to be paid, they believe that the two are linked and their relatives freed. about that debt, _ their relatives freed. about that debt, liz _ their relatives freed. about that debt, liz truss - their relatives freed. about that debt, liz truss was - their relatives freed. about. that debt, liz truss was asked unless listen to what she said. it is our policy that this is that— it is our policy that this is that that _ it is our policy that this is that that the british government needs to pay. there are complexities to working with— are complexities to working with ireh _ are complexities to working with iran which are well— known and we — with iran which are well— known and we are _ with iran which are well— known and we are working, we are working _ and we are working, we are working through that. she was asked about _ working through that. she was asked about those _ working through that. she wasl asked about those complexities and whether those related to restrictions on financial transactions from us sanctions, whether those bank transactions from the uk to run would infringe those and the uk would be punished by the us. she did not comment on that but she also would not comment on reports from the iranians ambassador to london who said that british officials have beenin that british officials have been in tehran over the last few days to discuss legal ways that they could pay this debt. but i guess those comments and
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this visit from british officials to iran, if those reports are true, would give some hopes to the likes of liquid —— richard ratcliffe that relatives may be one step closer towards freedom. a brazilian court has convicted four people for their role in a nightclub fire that left almost 250 people dead, nearly a decade ago. the 2013 fire at the nightclub in the southern town of santa maria started when members of a musical band playing that night lit flares that set fire to the ceiling. the convicted men were given sentences of up to 22 years. michael nesmith, singer and guitarist with 1960s pop group the monkees, has died at the age of 78. # hey hey we are the monkeys. the quartet rose to fame with a string of hit songs and starred in their own popular tv sitcom. in a statement to us media, michael nesmith's family said he passed away of natural causes. earlier i spoke to david browne who's a senior writer at rolling stone magazine. i asked how influential
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and significant he thought michael nesmith was on the �*60s pop music scene. you know, he was very influential in terms of, he was, i guess you could call him the serious monkee. the monkees were seen as a disposable pop group, in a way, but nesmith was one of the guys in the band who wrote a lot of his own songs, he was the kind of quality control guy in that group. so that was a really important role in that band at the time. you say quality control and one of the serious guys, he was also a bit of a tour de force regarding the creative control, right? right, they did not have control early on when they started. it was nesmith who led the charge and said, we want to participate on our own records, we want to write our own songs and play on them, and that was a real significant moment for the band. they broke away from don kershner, their original svengali producer, their auteur kind of guy, and went off on their own for a couple of years.
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nesmith was a real driving force behind the monkees having their own voice as a recording band. often when people think of the monkees, they think of them as being quite fun, they didn't really play by the rules in those days. but he would say maybe they were not too cohesive, they were not really a band, didn't have any kind of cause and they were sort of thrown together? yes, it was an interesting thing. they were actors, in a way, cast to play a rock band. then they became one as the time went on. kind of the exact opposite of what most bands do. most bands get together in garages and all that sort of stuff and they started on a tv show, and they became more of an ensemble, and he was one of the real driving forces in making sure that the train stayed on the tracks, but they lived up to that legacy of what they promised, in terms of record making. he was also a bit of a pioneer after the monkees, right?
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he basically came up with the idea for mtv even if it was not in that name. he had one of the most interesting sort of post—1960s, post—fame careers, of any one of his generation. basically, when the monkees were over by about 1970, he didn't really look to kind of capitalise on it or repeat it. he formed his own band, started making quirky country records, he ventured into the world of video, as you say, he started a company called pacific arts. they made early music videos, they even came up with the idea for, in a way, what became mtv. he produced movies like repo man. he did some sketch comedy tv specials, i mean, he really did kind of move on in a way, creating his own alternate artistic world that we didn't really need that nostalgia, he didn't need the monkees. that was very rare among
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his generation, tojust cast the past aside and remake yourself. in the cricket, england's ashes campaign has begun with defeat, losing the first test to australia after their batsmen were quickly dispatched, leading to a painful nine—wicket loss. on the fourth morning england lost eight wickets for 77 runs — as early optimism turned to outright despair in brisbane's gabba stadium. england went from 220 for two overnight to 297 all out the following morning. not a great start. and before we go, you might want to put the kids in another room for this one — it involves santa. a bishop in italy is on the naughty list for telling a group of children that santa doesn't exist. bishop antonio stagliano reportedly went even further, saying at a recent religious festival that santa's famous red suit was just a marketing ploy by the coca—cola company. you can reach me on twitter —
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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 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 6, plymouth at 8 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,
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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 6 in aberdeen, 7 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, 5 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, especially through north—west england, northern ireland, up into south—west scotland. some brighter glimpses here and there and a very, very mild afternoon, 8 to 14 degrees. now, we have to keep a close eye on developments during sunday night,
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because this small, but potent weather feature is expected to pass closer to the far north—west, 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 fora time, perhaps settling down later in the week.
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expected to stay like this for the weekend at least.
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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 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.
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