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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 12, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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i'm monitoring the situation very closely, since early this morning. this is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history. amazon says it's "heartbroken" after six of its workers are confirmed dead in a warehouse destroyed by a tornado in illinois. a warning that the uk faces a substantial wave of omicron infections next month that might overwhelm the national health service. piling the pressure on the british prime minister — a newspaper publishes a photo
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showing borisjohnson did take part in a virtual downing street quiz last christmas. and it's going to be a nail—biter — max verstappen beats lewis hamilton to pole position for sunday's formula one title decider in abu dhabi. hello, and thanks forjoining us. president biden has promised federal aid after tornadoes devastated at least five us states, flattening whole towns. the worst—hit state is kentucky, where the governor, andy beshear, says at least 70 people have been killed, many of them in a candle factory in the town of mayfield. there have been reports of deaths too in arkansas, missouri, tennessee and illinois, where six amazon workers have been confirmed dead, after the roof of their warehouse collapsed. our north america correspondent nomia iqbal reports. the scale of the destruction has been extraordinary. in the dead of night,
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dark funnel clouds roared across six states in four hours at a speed of 220 mph, obliterating everything in their path. this small town of mayfield in kentucky has been hit hard. workers on christmas shifts at this candle factory were buried by several tornadoes that came hurtling in the dark. it is thought up to 110 people were inside. a0 have made it out. this has been the most devastating tornado event in our state's history. and for those that have seen it, what it's done here in grace county and elsewhere, it is indescribable. a state of emergency has been declared in kentucky as a huge rescue operation gets under way, but authorities are facing huge challenges. the police station in mayfield has been destroyed and firefighters have lost equipment. there is no power.
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nearly 200 troops from the national guard are helping, and more than half of the population in this town are without electricity and water in one of the coldest months of the year. millions of americans knew extreme weather was coming. they have been issued with weather alerts for several weeks. this country is used to tornadoes. there was one here in kentucky earlier in the week. but this swarm of tornadoes has stunned people due to its speed and ferocity. in the southern state of arkansas, a nursing home was badly damaged, killing at least one person, injuring several and trapping more than a dozen others inside. in the midwest state of illinois, an amazon warehouse with up to 100 people inside was ripped apart after the roof partially collapsed. president biden has called it an unimaginable tragedy. we still don't know how many lives were lost or the full extent of the damage. but i want to emphasise what i told all the governors.
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the federal government will do everything — absolutely everything — it can possibly do to help. forecasters say the storm has now weakened, but americans are being urged to get ready for more severe weather as the storms continue to sweep across the country. jack sillin, a weather modeller from cornell university, has been out measuring high winds left over by the storm in new york state. in upstate new york we are seeing wind gusts registering up seeing wind gusts registering up to 50 miles an hour on lake ontario but things are settling 0ntario but things are settling down and a major issues now. how significant is the length of the old town nato is? it was amazin: of the old town nato is? it was amazing how _ of the old town nato is? it was amazing how long _ of the old town nato is? it was amazing how long they - of the old town nato is? it was amazing how long they could l amazing how long they could last from a scientific perspective. normal thunderstorms last 30 minutes to a few hours but the storms
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of the type that we call super cell is which means i last many hours due to the fact they have a rotating updraught. the storm that produced the biggest tornado in kentucky and arkansas lasted 11 hours and travel nearly 600 miles and survey teams still have to determine exactly how many tornados the storm produced and how long it was underground and we may not know those numbers for a few more days at. we we may not know those numbers for a few more days at.— for a few more days at. we are seeinu for a few more days at. we are seeing pictures _ for a few more days at. we are seeing pictures of— for a few more days at. we are seeing pictures of devastation, at least 70 killed and why is this so bad? it at least 70 killed and why is this so bad?— at least 70 killed and why is this so bad? it has to do with the volatility _ this so bad? it has to do with the volatility in _ this so bad? it has to do with the volatility in the _ the volatility in the atmosphere. tornados are produced when you have both warm, moist air produced when you have both warm, moistair coming produced when you have both warm, moist air coming up north from the gulf of mexico, dry air coming down canada and in the third key ingredient is that the winds really change as you go from the surface up until the atmosphere. we had all three ingredients in abundance over kentucky and the final thing that contributed to the ferocity was the fact that it didn't have to jockey or
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compete with any other storms nearby. it had access to the full environment hugging all the energy for itself anomaly with the multiple storms competing for atmospheric energy but in this case we had one cell able to have plenty of room to breathe and unfortunately focusing a lot of fury on parts of kentucky. we often linked _ fury on parts of kentucky. we often linked dramatic weather events to climate change. is anything that can be done in the future with storms like this or is this just mother nature we have to do a little bit of a distinction between this particular storm and storms of this type.- storms of this type. this particular _ storms of this type. this particular storm - storms of this type. this particular storm was - storms of this type. this . particular storm was caused storms of this type. ti 3 particular storm was caused by an area of low pressure, a natural occurrence in the us, any time of the year. but it's true that climate change is making storms like this more common. the analogy i made uses to say that your favourite soccer or football player, they scored a goal because they put the ball on the right direction but it was all the training and
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practice beforehand that made that more or less likely. similarly, this tornado was produced by a thunderstorm forming from a natural process but climate change is making things warmer, especially the gulf of mexico, it is shifting underlying probabilities are making situations like this more likely in the future. scientists have warned that without further restrictions, the uk is facing a wave of coronavirus infections in january that could be larger than any seen before. people aged between 30 and 39 in england will be able to start booking their booster jabs from monday. here's our health correspondent, katharine da costa. at vaccine centres around the uk, the race is on to get even more jabs into arms and boost our defences against what may become the biggest wave of covid infections we've seen so far. people were lining up to get their shots at this vaccine centre in grimsby. it's more worrying, i think, because you just —
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we don't know exactly what's going to happen, so it's basically just to be safe. ijust want to protect people, as well, that i'm going to be in contact with. the new 0micron variant is spreading fast, doubling every 2.5 days. new modelling has looked at what that might mean for how things might pan out in england under plan b. it is not a prediction but sets out a range of possible outcomes. so what does that mean for cases? researchers expect there to a substantial wave, bigger than last winter, when daily cases peaked at more than 50,000. there is still a lot of uncertainty about how many may end up in hospital, because we still don't know whether 0micron causes more severe illness and many people are fully vaccinated, which should help. by the and of april deaths may range from 25,000 to 75,000, depending on how well vaccines perform. but scientists are hopeful they will still provide good protection against serious disease. the research also looked at the impact of introducing
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new restrictions. working from home was enough to reduce the impact of 0micron in the most optimistic scenario, but in the most pessimistic outcome, it would take lockdown with schools open to prevent intense pressure on hospitals. what we do know is that very stringent restrictions come with their own downsides. they can be devastating for individuals, for families and businesses, especially in the lead—up to christmas, so policymakers have some very difficult decisions to make. the government focus now is on ramping up the booster campaign to 500,000jabs per day, with more age groups expected to be invited soon. scientists say three doses are now needed to protect against 0micron infection. we know that the booster doses give very effective protection. we do not know how long it will last. it may not be very long lasting. but the booster doses will be crucial. we cannotjust rely on the vaccine campaign to control those. we must wear masks and do all the other things we have
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learned to do too. health officials say this more contagion variant could cause more significant pressure for the health service. the scottish government is considering further restrictions from next week, the westminster government says current measures in england remain proportionate, and it will take further action if needed to protect lives and the nhs. katharine da costa, bbc news. the uk prime minister's office has admitted that borisjohnson briefly took part in a quiz at downing street a year ago, with two people sat next to him, at a time when coronavirus restrictions in london meant social mixing between households was banned. the sunday mirror has obtained a photo of the quiz, described by number ten as a virtual event. here's our political correspondent, chris mason. because of the covid restrictions in the uk, but most particularly in london, social gatherings between people who didn't live together were banned. for the last couple of weeks, the last ten days or so, there has been story
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after story after story relating to gatherings that took place in downing street and the broader british government which have raised questions about whether they were within the spirit or even the letter of the rules. the latest incarnation of this, as you say, in the sunday mirror, has just been published in the last hour or so and in particular a picture. the bbc was reporting the other day that there had been a quiz that had taken place, organised by number ten, with some people taking part virtually and others physically in the building. the prime minister popped into this room, one of the state rooms in downing street, to surprise his staff and host a round of this quiz. you will see there is a gentleman to his right, pictured on the left, who has tinsel wrapped around his neck. now, i'm told that neither of the two people you can see in the picture — there is someonejust to the prime minister's left to the right of the screen who you can't see now we have zoomed in. but those two people, we're told, are members of his closest staff who had come in to help him with the technology, the whole business of zoom or whatever it is,
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remote contributors. there were other teams and groups of staff in the different departments of downing street, i'm told, that did take part in the building but were doing so, i'm told, from their own desk. a new form of robotic surgery is being pioneered in the uk which aims to speed up recovery times and help patients spend less time in hospital. at guy's and thomas's hospital in london surgeons have already used robotic arms to conduct proceedures and the technology is expected to be rolled out across the country in the coming years. frankie mccamley reports. i got most of my family's picture here and this is my dad. nasser was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year. i wanted to get rid of it and that is the basis of how the operation came to be. he was asked if he wanted to be the first person in the uk to have his prostate gland removed by a new robotic system. it's nice to be part
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of something new within the medicalfield, that in future may contribute a lot of effectiveness, a lot of service to the community and, therefore, i had no doubt about it. using 3d, hd cameras and remote arms a few metres away from the patient, surgeons at guy's and st thomas's controlled robotic arms in order to carry out complicated operations. this hospital has the largest robotic surgery programme in the country, with six robots carrying out operations on all different parts of the body, from lungs to tonsils. surgeons here are pioneering new techniques that could soon be used across the uk. in five or ten years' time, most keyhole surgery in this country is going to be done with robotic assistance and it has been a slow growth over the past ten years or so,
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but we are now at the stage where some of these robots are so adaptable, they can help with so many different types of operations. how have the patients responded? the patients have been fantastic. they have been very positive and thankfully the results so far have been good. in nasser�*s case, his results were everything he and his family hoped for. he is now cancer—free and making every day count. frankie mccamleym, bbc news. 0ur north america correspondent nomia iqbal reports. let's ta ke let's take a quick look at our headlines once again. president biden has pledged federal aid after tornadoes devastated a string of us states, flattening whole towns and killing at least 70 people. there is a warning that the uk faces a substantial wave of 0micron infections next month that might overwhelm the national health service. the us state department's top official for europe, karen donfried, is to travel to ukraine and russia for talks about moscow's huge military build—up on the ukrainian border. foreign ministers from the g7 economic powers have been meeting in britain to try to present a united front to moscow.
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speaking to reporters in his home town of wilmington in delaware, presidentjoe biden stressed that he has warned vladimir putin of the consequences of invading ukraine. i have made it absolutely clear to president putin, and this is the last thing i will say, that if he moves on ukraine, the economic consequences for his economy will be devastating. devastating. number one. number two, we will find it a requirement that we will have to send more american and nato troops in the western flanks, all of those nato, countries who have a sacred obligation to defend them against any attack by russia. number three, the impact on all of that on russia and its attitude on the rest of the worlds view on russia would change remarkably. he would pay a terrible price. so, we will continue to provide for, we have and continue to provide for, the defence capacities for the ukrainian people.
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amy mackinnon is a national security and intelligence correspondent with the foreign policy magazine in washington. she was previously based in moscow. she spoke about whether sanctions will have an effect this time. sanctions are a fairly blunt object but us officials from the 0bama administration do certainly believe in 2014, the first time russia invaded ukraine, sanctions did deter putin from pushing deeper into territory but it's hard to know, it is hard to know what the kremlin�*s calculus is and whether or not this will determine them this time around. what other options do the us and west have? they're keeping cards close to their chest but this is not the first rodeo with sanctions on russia. some likely potential targets are russian banks, companies, potentially sanctions on russian sovereign debt and the oligarchs in the inner circle of president putin and removing them from swift financial systems and they have other cards on the table.
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a big buildup on the border, 100,000 russian troops. what are their objections at the moment? it seems that most russian analysts i have spoken to say this is a messaging exercised by the kremlin, they are trying to get the attention of the west and united states and therefore the call between president putin and president biden on tuesday was exceedingly important. what matters now is whether biden has delivered a warning to deter him from invasion but us officials tell us they believe that president putin has not decided yet whether they will invade, so there is a lot riding on what will happen in the next few weeks. germany and other eu companies depend on russia for their fuel, how does this impact on that factor? there are concerns that if this strays into the energy sector, russia could retaliate by limiting gas and energy flow to europe and that would exact
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a very big toll on the russian economy as well because they are dependent on hydrocarbons. let's look at some other stories in brief: people in the pacific territory of new caledonia are voting in a third and final referendum on independence from france. pro—independence campaigners are boycotting the vote. the territory's voters rejected breaking with france in 2018 and again last year. farmers in india have begun leaving camps on the outskirts of delhi, where they've been protesting for more than a year. after winning their battle with the government over agricultural reforms, many are now headed back home on convoys of tractors. a four—storey building has collapsed in italy on the island of sicily following a gas explosion. rescuers in the southwestern town of ravanusa are searching
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for at least ten missing residents including three children and a pregnant woman after the building caught fire. earlier an 80—year—old woman was pulled alive from the rubble. an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of five has struck eastern japan. the epicentre was to the east of the capital tokyo. witnesses say they saw buildings shake. there's been no reports of damage. now it's time for sport, with my colleague 0lly foster. the formula 1 championship will be decided sunday, and max verstappen is on pole for the abu dhabi grand prix, but alongside him on the front row will be his title rival, raining champion lewis hamilton. the pair a little on points at the top of the standings. we have not had that heading into the final grand prix of a season since 197a. hamilton is going for a record eight f1 titles, max verstappen his first, and it is a straight race to the line between the two, or if both fail to finish or out of the points, then max verstappen will clinch the title because of his nine race winds over
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hamilton's eight. at the top of the premier league, manchester city lead liverpool by one point with chelsea one further back. that is after all three of them won, all thanks to penalties. city made quite hard work of it against wolves, raheem sterling scoring his 100 premier league goal, a second—half penalty after a debatable handball decision. wolves played half the match with ten men, rothman picking up to yellow cards in the space of a minute before the break. steven gerrard was given a great welcome on his first return to enfield. the aston villa manager had 17 years as a liverpool player, but it was his old side that came out on top, just the one goal from the penalty, mo salah the scorer after he was fouled. his 21st of the season in all competitions. giroginho scored two penalties for chelsea, including the 94th minute winner as they beat leeds 3—2. arsenal beat southampton 3—0, even though they were missing their captain.
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manchester united won 1—0 at norwich, thanks to a cristiano ronaldo penalty. in the german bundesliga: in la liga: australia have won the first ashes test by nine wickets. they snuffed out england's faint hopes by lunch on the fourth day in brisbane. england were hoping to build on a brilliant partnership between dawid malan and captainjoe root. both were gone in a matter of a few overs from the start. england added just 77 runs for the last eight wickets before they were bowled out for 297. that left australia needing just 20 runs to win.
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they reached that with ease to go one up in the series. yeah, exceptionally proud. i thought, nathan lyon, i said last night, forget about it, you are never going to get your 400. so it was nice he got that done this morning. i said maybe next summer. but really happy for him, i think he bowled really well yesterday. bitterly disappointing, because we put a lot of work in last night, built up that big partnership, and that was really on me and dawid malan to make the most of that opportunity this morning. credit to australia, they put the ball in good areas. that is all your sport for now. the eldest daughter of america's first astronaut, alan shephard, has made a trip to the edge of space at the age of 7a. laura shepard churchley took off on board a commercial spacecraft in west texas, owned byjeff bezos�* blue 0rigin company.
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main engine start. three, two, one. from rural texas to the edge of space. laura shepard churchley following in herfather�*s footsteps 60 years after his pioneering flight as the first american to make the journey, in a spacecraft named after him. mission control has confirmed new shepard has cleared the tower and is on its way to space. it was a once—in—a—lifetime ride on board this fully autonomous six—storey—tall commercial flight, reaching an altitude of over 100 kilometres during a thrilling 10—minute trip. long enough to experience zero gravity, though. whoa! never seen anything like this. just like my dad!
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this tops an unforgettable year for human space flight, with private space companies aplenty, including space x and virgin galactic. blue 0rigin launched its first crewed space flight injuly carrying its founder, amazon's jeff bezos. captain kirk himself! star trek�*s william shatner, the oldest person to make it into space, followed in october. this third flight is blue 0rigin�*s first full capacity one, with six people on board, which descended safely back to earth. the 74—year—old's verdict? awesome! "awesome," she says. and following in her father's footsteps? i thought about dad coming down, and gosh, he didn't even get to enjoy anything i enjoyed. he was working. he was all business. right, he had to do it himself. i went on for the ride. have you seen how small his capsule was?
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he wasn't doing somersaults, he didn't have your windows. the only way he knew he was weightless was his straps were flying. right. because he was strapped in. underlining just how remarkably space travel has changed since 1961. how it will evolve in 2022 and beyond for the next generation — well, that's anyone's guess. mark lobel, bbc news. long queues have formed in bristol, as limited—edition t—shirts made by the street artist banksy went on sale. the artist announced on friday night that the shirts would go on sale at locations in the city. he said they had been created to show support for the four people about to go on trial accused of pulling down the statue of slave trader edward colston. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @sipusey.
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hello there. the second half of the weekend is going to remain fairly unsettled. a lot of cloud around on sunday but one thing you will notice, particularly in england and wales, is it will be very mild indeed. further north, there will be outbreaks of rain tied in with this area of low pressure, keeping a watch on this area of low pressure, it is going deepen as it passes the north—west of the uk to bring gales, even severe gales, to the far north—west of scotland. but it will bring some rain to the north and west and it will scoop up very mild air across much of the country, particularly for england and wales. we start sunday on a rather cloudy note. some mist and low cloud, a bit of drizzle as well, some brightness breaking into the afternoon. particularly across eastern areas, we have but rebound pushing across areas of the irish sea and eventually pushing up into central parts of scotland by the end of the day. north of here, the far
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north—east of scotland will be quite cool, but very mild for the time of year, further south, could see 1a or 15 degrees. sunday evening, sunday night, we see this deepening load bring a swath of heavy rain and gales to the far north—west of northern ireland and certainly for western scotland, especially the hebrides, that is where we will see the strongest of the winds. it will push into the north of scotland by the end of the night, leaving a legacy of blustery showers and slightly cooler air. england and wales will continue to see this weather front bringing outbreaks of rain, particularly across wales and in towards the south—west. here it's going to be mild, it's looking a bit cooler further north. for monday, we start the new week off on a bright note across the northern half of the country, here we will have some blustery showers, wintry on the hills, england and wales will be plagued by this weather front so it could be quite cloudy and quite wet in parts of wales and into northern england, i think the south—east quadrant could be a bit drier, perhaps a little bit brighter. very mild here, a bit fresherfurther north.
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that weather front clears away from england and wales into tuesday, we start to see high pressure building in the south, but you will notice low pressure to the north of the uk. that will bring wet and windy weather for a time, but after wednesday, certainly thursday and friday, it looks like that area of high pressure will win out, push northwards and clear the wet and windy weather away from the uk, and we will all be in the mild air. this upcoming week is looking pretty mild for this time of year. we will start off unsettled, particularly in the north, then it will settle down. it's likely to be really cloudy with limited sunshine and some mist and fog overnight.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: president biden has pledged federal aid after tornadoes devastated a string of us states, flattening whole towns and killing at least seventy people. amazon says it's heartbroken after six of its workers were killed when the roof of their warehouse collapsed when it was hit by a tornado in illinois. scientists are warning that the uk faces a substantial wave of 0micron infections next month that might overwhelm the national health service. the 0micron variant is thought to be spreading quickly and health officials have renewed their call for everyone eligible to come forward for a covid boosterjab. the uk prime minister's office has acknowledged that borisjohnson briefly took part in a quiz in downing street a year ago, saying the event was to thank staff for their hard work during the pandemic. it was when london was in lockdown and no social gatherings were allowed. household contacts of people who've tested


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