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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  December 13, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at ten — long queues at vaccination centres as the covid booster programme surges ahead. the plan is to offer the booster to all adults in england, scotland and wales by the end of this month. borisjohnson appeals for the best possible response while refusing to rule out new restrictions in england. i've been at great pains to stress to the public that we have to watch how the pandemic is going and we take whatever steps are necessary. and we report on the fight against omicron in south africa, where the new variant was first identified. we'll have the latest on the sharp rise in new infections and the picture in all four nations of the uk. also tonight... more than two years after harry dunn was killed in a road accident, an american woman is due to face
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criminal proceedings in the uk. and plenty of controversy as lewis hamilton's team considers a formal appeal after max verstappen took the formula one crown. and coming up in the sport on the bbc news channel, the premier league confirms 42 new positive cases among its clubs, as manchester united shut down their training ground. good evening. the rapid expansion of the covid booster programme has led to long queues outside vaccination centres during the day. the plan is to offer the booster to all adults in england, scotland and wales by the end of this month. in northern ireland they're only being offered to people over 30 at this stage. at one point today, the massive rise in demand was too much for the nhs england website as people tried to book booster appointments.
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it's been confirmed that at least one person in the uk has now died with the new omicron variant, which is spreading at great speed — as our health editor hugh pym reports. they were queueing for boosters in plymouth this morning and there were lines of people hoping to getjabs in solihull. in hungerford, some had come a distance to have their booster today. we've come from near portsmouth, so about an hour and a quarter. and were you hoping to get a walk—in booster? we were hoping to but we've just heard there is a three to four—hour wait. well, i'm part of the vulnerable group and ijust want to make sure that i get it done. i don't want to ruin my christmas either, that's the main reason. maybe we won't make it today, then. we'lljust keep trying. _ the opening up of the booster programme and warnings about the rapid spread of omicron meant a high demand in many areas. people in this queue for walk—ins were told earlier it could be a four—hour wait. the has now come down a bit, but the message from nhs england
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is if you want to be sure of your booster, book it online. the ability to do walk—ins depends on capacity at each local site. the prime minister warned again about the potential threat created by the new variant. sadly, yes, omicron is producing hospitalisations and, sadly, at least one patient has now been confirmed to have died with omicron. so i think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, i think that's something we need to set on one side. the head of nhs england, with the prime minister today, said vaccination sites would operate seven days a week, sometimes 2a hours a day, with portakabins and tents used when required. this is a huge challenge for the nhs and for the country. the prime minister has told us and public health experts have told us that the rate at which the omicron variant is spreading
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presents a serious threat, and i have no doubt that the nhs's amazing staff will step up. with a surge of people booking in england, the website crashed at times. so is the new target — offering every adult in england a booster by the end of this month — achievable? gps have been told they can set aside some routine work to focus on more vaccinations. at this practice where there is limited space for people to sit after their jabs, they say there must be a clear message. we do need the government to get onside and make it very clear to the public that there are consequences. so, for example, there will be less gp appointments available, people will have to wait longer, people will also have to wait longer for hospital appointments, and may even have their operations, routine operations, pushed back. pharmacists are concerned. they say to step up the vaccination effort they must be allowed to drop routine form—filling and less urgent work.
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we also have the business as usual that we need to look after. we need to look after our patients on an ongoing basis. so if this red tape and unnecessary things are not managed, it's going to be very hard. we need to release our staff, our workforce, to be able to look after this and reach the deadlines. as well as queues for boosters, there was very high demand for lateral flow tests with ordering online temporarily suspended. though officials said there were no shortages. the scale of the booster challenge is acknowledged in all the uk's nations. in some areas, military assistance has been drafted in. senior health sources say the end—of—year target is highly ambitious and delivery may take longer. hugh pym, bbc news. there are some differences in the way the booster programme is being implemented in the four nations of the uk and the new restrictions likely to be brought in. in a moment we'll hear from our correspondents in wales, scotland and northern ireland, but first here's sophie hutchinson
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on the latest rules in england. in england, boosterjabs are available for everyone aged 18 and over, as long as you've had your second dose at least three months ago. and there are some walk—in appointments, but you have to be prepared to queue. otherwise, anyone aged 30 or over can book their boosterjab online from two months after their second dose. although the online system did go down earlier today when more than 100,000 people tried to book theirjabs. but from wednesday, that online system will also be opened up to anyone aged 18 and over. the aim is to give every adult in england the chance to book a booster by the end of the year. that's a big challenge. to get yours, go to the nhs england website and look for book a coronavirus vaccination. in wales, you have to wait for an invitation for your booster.
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don't call them, they'll call you. so far, everyone aged 65 and over should have received an offer of an appointment. people in their early 40s are now getting dates. today, the welsh government said it will try to fast forward the deadline, offering every adult a third dose by the end of december. that will mean extending hours, stretching staff, and offering more walk—in centres. there's no online booking system but there is more information at the website gov.wales/ get—your—covid—i9—vaccination. what about more restrictions? well, ministers from the welsh government will meet again at the end of this week, but they have already suggested more measures are likely. from today, everyone over 30 can book a booster online, and that will be extended to people aged 18—29 later in the week. there are drop—in vaccination centres in four health board areas — tayside, fife, forth valley and ayrshire and arran.
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nicola sturgeon, the first minister, has said she wants everyone to be offered a booster by the end of this month. her health secretary has said that in order to curb the spread of omicron, more restrictions are, as he put it, inevitable. we'll get more details of that tomorrow. if you want to get more information or book a test, go to nhsinform.scot. in northern ireland, anyone who is 30 or older can have a booster at a walk—in vaccination centre, like this one at the ulster hospital near belfast. you can book in advance if you're over 40, or have a health condition which means you're particularly vulnerable to covid. pre—booked appointments are also available at gp surgeries and many local pharmacies. the devolved government says it's recruiting hundreds of new vaccinators and is aiming to offer as many boosterjabs as possible before the end the year. for more information, you can go online at nidirect.gov.uk.
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at westminster, mps have been told that while people are weary, everyone needs to step up to make the booster programme work. there are dozens of tory mps who are prepared to vote tomorrow against part of the government's plans to control the omicron variant, introducing covid passports to access some venues. our political editor laura kuenssberg has more. a new national mission, according to westminster. a new national queue. notjust two hours to wait, but at the vaccination centre within a stone's throw of the commons, sometimes it was as long as seven hours. once you get to the door, you still need to sit in there because there is a queue and a 45—minute wait. 45 minutes even once you were in the door. but the government's aim now above all is to get boosters in our arms fast. the hope — avoiding closing the nation's doors once again. the renewed threat of omicron means that we've got more work to do
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to stay ahead of this virus. we can, if we all play our part, and boosters are the key. we've achieved so many phenomenal things over the last two years, and i know we are weary, but it's on all of us to pick up, to step up, and do some phenomenal work once again to play our part and to get boosted now. despite the chaos of the last few weeks... good evening. ..the labour leader, in his own national address, urged you to listen not, perhaps, to the prime minister but to the call to get boosters in arms. let's face it, a booster for every adult before the end of the month is a big challenge, which is why we argued that the government should have stepped up sooner. but time and time again, the british people have risen to the challenge. so let's pull together now and do the right thing once more. it's been a very shaky few weeks at the other table.
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borisjohnson just hasn't looked like he is fully in charge. and borisjohnson�*s own party knows it. there is precious little objection to the booster programme. but many tory mps are so frustrated at how number ten has been handling things of late that they will show that tomorrow by voting against the plan for covid passports, where in england you'll have to show your vaccine record or a negative test to get into some venues. the political mood has turned so dark that dozens of tory mps now feel free to bash number ten. more than 70 tories are expected to vote against the passports plan and are only too happy to talk about it. we have this instinctive . discomfort about this step that we seem to be taking, and it's causing... - it's giving us a lot of reason - tojust pause and reflect on this. it will be very difficult to vote for it. - it's a question of how effective they actually are, and evidence from other countries suggests that they are not very effective.
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but also i have a problem with the government requiring people to do that. we are not a "papers, please" society. this is not nazi germany, 0k? it's the thin end of an authoritarian wedge and that's why we will resist it. that dramatic criticism won't lead to defeat. labour backs the plan, so it will pass the commons tomorrow. but no government, no prime minister, wants to lose the argument with its own side. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. people in england have joined the rest of the uk in working from home where possible today as part of the restrictions to tackle the rising number of covid infections. network rail has reported a 20% drop in footfall at stations in london, birmingham and manchester as commuters stayed home. but many shops and businesses fear it will mean quieter town and city centres in the run up to christmas, as our business editor simonjack reports.
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ok, don't need this. make sure that the video call is unmuted — working from home, here we go again. the work from home message was heard loud and clear at this housing association in norwich, but half of its 1,1i00—strong workforce don't have that option. 50% of our staff have to work from their vans, in our tenants�* homes. for the 50% who can work in the office, we have really clear instructions that if you can work from home, do work from home and if you absolutely need to be in the office, then we have a desk—booking system which means we can monitor how many are coming in, and at the moment, it's less than 5% from today. so, we were here injuly when you were just getting everyone back in. yeah. this marketing agency boss told me six months ago how happy she was to have staff back in person, so today felt like a setback. we have just started to really find our feet as a business together again, and now all of a sudden we are back
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to working in our living rooms and trying to maintain a culture that we have onlyjust been able to recreate after the last lockdown. what i'll miss will be the people. homeworking is not for everyone, but sophie said she felt better prepared this time. we didn't get much notice, but what i remember and have learnt from last time is that a routine is super important, fresh air is really important and taking a bit of a time—out from your work day to kind of get outside, otherwise your house can feel consumed by work. and, of course, fewer workers like sophie means fewer customers for city—centre businesses. it's not exactly the same time this time around. for one thing, employers and employees have done it before, they know what's involved in working from home and, secondly, although hospitality venues like pubs are open, they are still seeing a big hit to business, and, crucially, they are not seeing the same level of financial support.
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cancelled party bookings and thinner passing trade means slimmer pickings at what should be a bumper time. people are spooked because of the working—from—home thing, and we haven't got the safety net that we had before, from the government, the furlough scheme�*s gone, the vat relief is going, and there aren't as many schemes to offer their support, so we are really quite nervous. compared to last week, road and rail traffic in england was down between 15—40%. economically, this is not a lockdown, but it's not welcome and, according to business groups, should not last any longer than necessary. simonjack, bbc news, norwich. the latest coronavirus figures for the uk show there were 54,661 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. on average, there were nearly 52,000 new cases reported per day in the past seven days. the latest figures show
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there were 7,372 people in hospital being treated for coronavirus. 38 deaths were recorded — that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid test. on average in the past week, 119 covid—related deaths were recorded every day. over the past week, on average 425,869 people have had a booster vaccination every day. and more than 23.5 million people in total have now had a boosterjab. the omicron variant of coronavirus was first identified in south africa around three weeks ago. doctors there say early indications are that while hospitalisations are rising so far, the number of deaths and people needing intensive care is lower than at the same stage in previous waves of the virus. from johannesburg, our africa correspondent andrew harding sent this report.
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behind their masks, south africans have watched the omicron variant sprint through this country. but although hospital admissions are climbing here, the early data is now being widely interpreted as encouraging. take the number of people needing oxygen or intensive care in the city where omicron was first detected. in the past three weeks, about two out of every three patients admitted were cases of severe disease. and right now we have only one out of four cases that is severe, in marked difference. so it looks like, at this stage, you know, early data, and one doesn't want to over interpret it, but the signs are certainly looking good. and that applies to other important indicators too. this was the first wave, right. the second wave.
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this graph shows the death toll from the past three waves. and this is us here now? yes, exactly. comparing this fourth wave in south africa with other waves, we see less mortality rate than the other waves. so if we just make a comparison, i would say there is no need to be worried _ we do need to be careful when comparing south africa and britain. the population here, for instance, is far younger. on average 13 years younger. and there are far fewer south africans over the age of 60. still, doctors and scientists here are cautiously optimistic about this new variant. south africa's president cyril ramaphosa has just tested positive, but is said to be experiencing only mild symptoms. as for the travel bans, imposed so quickly by britain and other nations, calls for a rethink
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are getting louder. over a period of time, this is going to have a devastating impact on business, on the whole of the airline industry, and it's going to be, you know, hugely difficult to recover from this if this goes on much longer. only a quarter of south africans have been fully vaccinated. omicron may help change that. but what's clear for now is that people here are taking this new variant in their stride. andrew harding, bbc news, johannesburg. let's ta ke take stock with our medical editor fergus walsh. we have the booster programme exhilarating, infections going up, what is your reading of where are?— going up, what is your reading of where are? . ., , , , ., ., where are? omicron is spreading far faster than any _ where are? omicron is spreading far faster than any previous _ where are? omicron is spreading far faster than any previous variant, - faster than any previous variant, the uk health security agency has done some modelling and estimates that perhaps 200,000 people in the uk have been infected with omicron today. that's four times the current
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number of confirmed cases. cases always lag infections by several days and many infections are never recorded but it shows the direction of travel. omicron cases doubling every 2—3 days, so you go from a small number to a huge number very quickly. we know that two doses of vaccine are not enough to stop you getting infected with omicron. but a booster will cut your risk of symptomatic infection by around 70%, and that protection builds pretty quickly in a matter of days. so it is no wonder that everything is being thrown at the booster programme. and two or three doses of vaccine should give very significant protection against severe disease. the south african experience is encouraging, but we need more data. and even if only a small fraction of the big number here get very sick, that's still a lot of people who could end up in hospital. and if
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huge numbers simply test positive with mild symptoms, that could impact society because so many key workers may be isolating at home. fergus, many thanks once again, fergus, many thanks once again, fergus walsh, our medical editor. let's turn to some of the rest of the day's news. the crown prosecution service says the american woman accused of causing the death of 19—year—old harry dunn by dangerous driving will appear before a british court by videolink. harry dunn died when his motorbike collided with a car driven by anne sacoolas in 2019 near an raf base in northamptonshire. she had diplomatic immunity and left the uk after the crash. our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford is at the foreign office. what more can you tell us about what is coming up, daniel? it is what more can you tell us about what is coming up, daniel?— is coming up, daniel? it is 'ust 19 da s after is coming up, daniel? it is 'ust 19 days afterthat * is coming up, daniel? it is 'ust 19 days after that crash h is coming up, daniel? it is 'ust 19 days after that crash that h is coming up, daniel? it isjust 19 days after that crash that anne i days after that crash that anne sacoolas left the country, the us surgery had diplomatic immunity but it left a burning sense of injustice
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and that was felt in government. the decision was made two years ago in december 2019 the charge anne sacoolas with death by a dangerous driving and what has followed is a long diplomatic negotiation involving the foreign office and also borisjohnson in downing street, presidentjoe biden in the white house had assumed this evening like an agreement had been reached when the crown prosecution service said anne sacoolas would appear at westminster magistrates�* court on january 18, it was understood that would be by video link from the united states. it was welcomed by harry dunn�*s family in an emotional statement and the foreign secretary at the home office but then there was a bit of a twist in the tail when anne sacoolas�*s law firm said there was no agreement at this time. so there may still be some negotiations to come. daniel, many thanks for the _ negotiations to come. daniel, many thanks for the latest _ negotiations to come. daniel, many thanks for the latest at _ negotiations to come. daniel, many thanks for the latest at the - negotiations to come. daniel, many thanks for the latest at the foreign | thanks for the latest at the foreign office. daniel sandford. to kentucky in the united states, where tornadoes devastated regions at the weekend. the state governor has described the �*unspeakable trauma�*, suffered by people, as he confirmed that at least 74 people have
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died, with at least 109 people still missing. search and rescue efforts have been continuing across western kentucky. our north america correspondent, nomia iqbal, reports now from the town of mayfield. people would normally be back in work, but instead it�*s a third day of rebuilding their lives. the town�*s doctor would be seeing patients. instead, he is trying to save his surgery. we�*re trying to clean out a path to it to get a truck in here, to maybe get some equipment out that could be salvaged. his staff have managed to find computers and stethoscopes. dr williams, he's really close to the town and the people here. he's been here for a long time now, so a lot of people are relying on us, so that's why we're just trying to clear everything out and get to the patients as soon as possible. the scale of destruction is staggering to see in person. entire homes have been wiped out. residents here are
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used to tornadoes. they get bad weather alerts. but nothing prepared them for this. elsewhere, emily got out of her home in time. she says it�*s a miracle herfamily survived, and this town is relying on miracles. we went down to my grandmother in law�*s and stayed in their hallway for shelter. ijust held my kids tightly and prayed. a rescue operation is ongoing at the nearby candle factory after two people were found alive in this debris by their mobile phone signals more than a day after the collapse. president biden plans to visit kentucky this wednesday. this administration has made it clear to every governor, whatever they need when they need it. when they need it. make it known to me. we will get it to them as rapidly as we can.
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he�*s offered support to help residents recover and rebuild. many tell us that could take years. nomia iqbal, bbc news, kentucky. the us olympic and gymnastics federations have agreed a $380 million settlement with the victims of larry nassar — the former national gymnastics team doctor — who was jailed for life for sexually abusing girls and young women. nassar�*s victims include hundreds of gymnasts who were sexually assaulted over three decades — including several gold medallists — among them simone biles. the settlement is said to be the largest ever for victims of sexual abuse in the us. max verstappen was crowned the formula one world champion yesterday after beating britain�*s lewis hamilton on the last lap, but controversy is still raging over the final race of the season in abu dhabi. hamilton�*s mercedes team have had two protests against the result
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rejected, but now they�*re considering a formal appeal. from abu dhabi, natalie pirks reports. there are some flashing images coming up. the hug that said we did it, at the centre of a media scrum, max verstappen and his team could finally celebrate his first world title. ~ ., ., . ~ ., title. we did win it on track. i and the team. — title. we did win it on track. i and the team. we _ title. we did win it on track. i and the team, we didn't _ title. we did win it on track. i and the team, we didn't do _ title. we did win it on track. i and the team, we didn't do anything i the team, we didn�*t do anything wrong, wejust raced the team, we didn�*t do anything wrong, we just raced when there was a green light, so that also made it really enjoyable for us to be celebrating. ihis really enjoyable for us to be celebrating.— really enjoyable for us to be celebratina. , . , ., ., . celebrating. his win was dramatic. the lewis hamilton _ celebrating. his win was dramatic. the lewis hamilton had _ celebrating. his win was dramatic. the lewis hamilton had been - celebrating. his win was dramatic. l the lewis hamilton had been sailing serenely to his eighth title, but with just six laps to go a crash behind him changed everything. it meant the safety car came out and the next decision from the race director proved pivotal. instead of making all the lapped cars overtake the safety car, only some of them did. it meant on new more grippy tires there was no one between the flying dutchman and hamilton with
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one lap left. commentator: he takes the lead! the — one lap left. commentator: he takes the lead! the seven _ one lap left. commentator: he takes the lead! the seven time _ one lap left. commentator: he takes the lead! the seven time world - the lead! the seven time world cham - ion the lead! the seven time world champion who _ the lead! the seven time world champion who was _ the lead! the seven time world champion who was on - the lead! the seven time world champion who was on old - the lead! the seven time world champion who was on old tires| the lead! the seven time world - champion who was on old tires was effectively a sitting duck. max. effectively a sitting duck. max verstappen — effectively a sitting duck. max verstappen for— effectively a sitting duck. max verstappen for the _ effectively a sitting duck. i— verstappen for the first time ever is champion of the world! the drivers hugged _ is champion of the world! the drivers hugged it out but as verstappen was celebrating, mercedes lodged two protests. hours later they were rejected but now the team is deciding whether to go ahead with their appeal. given how hard these two drivers have pushed each other this season, it�*s no surprise really that the race ended in a contentious fashion. but with all eyes on formula 1 last night, this isn�*t the ending the sport�*s organisers wanted. we night, this isn't the ending the sport's organisers wanted. we can't have debates _ sport's organisers wanted. we can't have debates and _ sport's organisers wanted. we can't have debates and stewards - sport's organisers wanted. we can't have debates and stewards having i sport's organisers wanted. we can'tl have debates and stewards having to look at _ have debates and stewards having to look at this _ have debates and stewards having to look at this several hours after the chequered — look at this several hours after the chequered flag has fallen. it is unsavoury, i think. chequered flag has fallen. it is unsavoury, ithink. a chequered flag has fallen. it is unsavoury, ithink. unsavoury, i think. a shell-shocked lewis hamilton _ unsavoury, i think. a shell-shocked lewis hamilton was _ unsavoury, i think. a shell-shocked lewis hamilton was the _ unsavoury, i think. a shell-shocked lewis hamilton was the epitome . unsavoury, i think. a shell-shocked lewis hamilton was the epitome of| lewis hamilton was the epitome of grace in defeat, but last night�*s fireworks may take awhile to die down. natalie pirks, bbc news, abu dhabi. that�*s it from us, now on bbc one
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it�*s time for the news where you are. have a night. well, quite chilly across some parts of the country right now especially northern areas scotland, northern ireland, the north of england to i 0h the north of england to i think some fog forming here as well through the early hours. windy with rain in western parts of scotland and very mild along the general coast, around 10 . also an berkeley and shetland. but i think the bulk will have another fine day but a dry day. a little bit of sunshine towards the eastern pennines but i think you�*ll stay cloudy but mild in the self, 11 or 12 they are for london and also for plymouth. let�*s have a look at the following couple of days. wednesday
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and thursday, a chilly not a lot of change, overall fairly cloudy and staying mild.
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this is bbc news. the headlines — figures from south africa, where the omicron coronavirus variant was first identified, suggest it causes less serious illness and death than the delta variant. south africa�*s president has also tested positive for covid—19. president biden will visit kentucky on wednesday after tornados tore across the us state this weekend. the state governor says 64 are confirmed dead and more than 100 people are still unaccounted for. the american national anne sacoolas is to face magistrates in the uk charged with causing the death of harry dunn by dangerous driving. ms sacoolas, who was given diplomatic immunity by the us, will appear by videolink. the us olympic and gymnastics federations have agreed a settlement worth $380 million with the sexual abuse victims of larry nassar, the former national gymnastics team doctor.

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