tv BBC News BBC News December 17, 2021 3:00am-3:31am GMT
hello. you're watching bbc news. very good to have your company. i'm rich preston. our top stories: votes are being counted in a crucial british by—election with the challengers claiming a big upset for prime minister boris johnson. a second day of record covid cases in the uk with the us president, joe biden, urging americans to get vaccinated or get their booster shots. counting the cost of last year's wildfires in south america: as many as 17 million animals may have lost their lives. and omicron causes trouble in the world of sport with football and cricket matches postponed around the world.
hello. welcome to the programme. here in the uk, counting is under way in the north shropshire by—election in what's being seen a big test of prime minister borisjohnson�*s leadership. voters are electing a new member of parliament following the resignation of owen paterson, who stood down in the wake of a row over his conduct after he was found to have broken lobbying rules. the conservative party has had an mp in this area for almost 200 years, so any defeat is likely to intensify questions over borisjohnson�*s leadership. let's cross live now to the political editor for the region, elizabeth glinka, who's at the north shropshire count. elizabeth, what is happening? we are expecting an official result in the next hour or so, but what i can tell you is that as of now, the liberal democrats think they are on the cusp of a historic victory here
in north shropshire. they think they have it, and notjust buy a little bit, they think they haveit a little bit, they think they have it comfortably. a short time ago i spoke to the liberal democrat mp for edinburgh west. christine jardine. we democrat mp for edinburgh west. christine jardine._ christine jardine. we came into this election _ christine jardine. we came into this election in _ christine jardine. we came into this election in third _ christine jardine. we came into this election in third place - this election in third place and — this election in third place and owen patterson have a majority _ and owen patterson have a majority of more than 20,000. we have — majority of more than 20,000. we have turned that around tonight _ we have turned that around tonight. we have got half of that— tonight. we have got half of that swing and round 30 seats in the — that swing and round 30 seats in the south of england, in those _ in the south of england, in those seats could easily fall to the — those seats could easily fall to the liberal democrats. conservative mps will be looking over their shoulders tomorrow morning knowing we are within— tomorrow morning knowing we are within touching distance. how have ou within touching distance. how have you done _ within touching distance. how have you done it? _ within touching distance. how have you done it? the - have you done it? the accusation will be if it turns out you are correct and have taken this stage, how have you done it? the accusation will be this is a by—election, people arejust this is a by—election, people are just protesting against the government and you have been helped rather by some of the circumstances happening down in westminster, haven't you? the
circumstances, _ westminster, haven't you? the circumstances, let's _ westminster, haven't you? the circumstances, let's be absolutely clear, those are entirely— absolutely clear, those are entirely down to the conservative party, nobody else — conservative party, nobody else. they also through the kitchen _ else. they also through the kitchen sink at us. they wanted to win — kitchen sink at us. they wanted to win the — kitchen sink at us. they wanted to win the seat. i did try very hard — to win the seat. i did try very hard at — to win the seat. i did try very hard at it— to win the seat. i did try very hard at it was too late. they have — hard at it was too late. they have been taking people for granted for too long and that is what — granted for too long and that is what they would telling us on the — is what they would telling us on the doorsteps, they felt they— on the doorsteps, they felt they were taken for granted by this government, the chaos in downing — this government, the chaos in downing street and the carry on and behaviour was the last straw— and behaviour was the last straw for— and behaviour was the last straw for people who see this governmentjust not paying government just not paying attention governmentjust not paying attention to the concerns that they _ attention to the concerns that they have. but what they saw from — they have. but what they saw from helen who ran a fantastic campaign _ from helen who ran a fantastic campaign was someone who is out there, _ campaign was someone who is out there, working year around, iistehihg _ there, working year around, listening to them, taking on board — listening to them, taking on board those concerns and standing up forthem. board those concerns and standing up for them. we board those concerns and standing up forthem. we had board those concerns and standing up for them. we had a good _ standing up for them. we had a good showing in the recent iocat— good showing in the recent local government elections, and we have — local government elections, and we have a — local government elections, and we have a strong party network and it _ we have a strong party network and it has — we have a strong party network and it has been working hard, and _ and it has been working hard, and how— and it has been working hard, and now what i would like to say to — and now what i would like to say to the people of north shropshire is we will repay that— shropshire is we will repay that faith they have shown us.
the candidate helen morgan around —— arrived here a short time ago to chairs from lib dem activists. they are absolutely thrilled as you would imagine. she headed in to continue watching count as it goes on, we think as i said that we will get the official declaration within the hour. still no sign of the conservative candidate who of course has had quite a difficult campaign here in north shropshire. with everything that has been happening down in westminster, it has made it very difficult for him and you would have to say the conservative supporters here in north shropshire tonight are looking pretty glum right now. we have got the figures for turnout as well, i can give you those. the turnout here was over 38,000, that is 46.3% up by 10% on the most recent by—election down in
sidcup, and bexley. a decent turnout for a by—election, and yes, that result we think we will get within the next hour, a historic victory for the liberal democrats here in north shropshire. remember, they have overturned a conservative majority of almost 23,000. qm. majority of almost 23,000. 0k, elizabeth at _ majority of almost 23,000. 0k, elizabeth at the _ majority of almost 23,000. ok, elizabeth at the north shropshire count, thank you very much. with me now is lewis goodall who covers politics and policy for bbc newsnight. we are talking about this be liberal democrats wind. can you explain for our viewers around the world what this means for prime minister borisjohnson prime minister boris johnson and prime minister borisjohnson and his conservative party. let's not undersell this. this is, as elizabeth was saying, a truly historic result. people might not be familiar, even the united kingdom, with north shropshire, shame on them, but if they are not, this is a seed that has been conservative basically since britain was a democratic country, it is a
rule and bedrock democratic seat, an older population than average, heavily brexit voting seat. on paper there is no doubt the conservative party should not only win it, but when it had a level to get here we are with liberal democrats who came third in the general election in 2019 in the seat, we don't even have a single counsellor to their name in the seat, achieving the when we understand to be around 30%, thatis understand to be around 30%, that is over and above actually what they required. it will be one of the biggest swings in any by—election we have seen in recent years and one for the history books. it will be a body blow for boris johnson history books. it will be a body blow for borisjohnson and for his authority as prime minister. he was already having a terrible. over the last couple of months and it be particularly problematic for him not least because this was a by—election people within the party will say it should never have taken place in the first place. it only took place because the previous mp, owen patterson who had held the seat since 1997, became embroiled in
a corruption scandal, and we don't need to go through with that what happened, but to say the way the prime minister and the way the prime minister and the conservative party handle that made his resignation inevitable, he could havejust accepted a 30 day suspension on the house of commons which would have been over by now, and instead we are having a devastating result from boris johnson, on top of a devastating result of by—election in a totally different part of the country, an enormous swing to the liberal democrats and there are a lot of seat in the united kingdom with the liberal democrats in second place to the conservative, including places like esher and walton, which is a seat held by the justice secretary and deputy prime minister dominic raab. they will be looking very nervously at their seats when they wake up tomorrow morning and think, is the liberal democrats are on a comeback, what does that mean for me? it what does that mean for me? if this does turn out to be a win for the liberal democrats, this comes off the back of voting parliament where many of its own mps voted against the
coronavirus restriction measures. what does this do to borisjohnson public influence boris johnson public influence in borisjohnson public influence in the house of commons? it in the house of commons? it clips his wings. we had one of the biggest rebellions for a sitting prime minister in recent times, but 100 mps voted against what he was saying, it was clinically necessary for the safety, public health of people in the united kingdom. his black mentor turn around and said, i don't believe you, prime minister. but i think thatis prime minister. but i think that is a good idea. you are doing the wrong thing. his authority without mps will be even more diminished and damaged by this result because the big thing about boris johnson that people have to remember is there was never much love for him in the conservative party. we will to say he was a live wire, a maverick. he will never be chosen to be the leader. that changed in 2019 because that clinical position was so dire that they felt they need a magician, someone who would come along and transform their political position. it was a
gamble that paid off because he won by a handsome majority, the first conservative since 1987 and margaret thatcher to win. for a lot of conservative party, it wasn't out of love for the man. party, it wasn't out of love forthe man. he party, it wasn't out of love for the man. he doesn't have a great faction within parliament. the appeal will come from the fact is perceived to be a winner. if that changes, and we have already had two really terrible by—elections this year, if it will change over a prolonged period, you will be very vulnerable. a lot of people tonight will say does this mean borisjohnson is gone? it does not mean that. what it means is he looks vulnerable in a way that i was at a conservative party conference in october, a couple of months ago, and people were talking about ten years of boris. we still might have ten years of borisjohnson but he is certainly looking politically vulnerable in a way he did look a few months ago, and that makes his political position weaker. taste and that makes his political position weaker.— position weaker. we are probably _ position weaker. we are probably expecting - position weaker. we are
probably expecting the i position weaker. we are - probably expecting the result at sometime in the next 45 minutes. we will check back in. the uk has announced record covid infection figures for the second day in a row as the world health organization says the new strain, omicron, is spreading at an unprecedented rate. more than 75 countries have omicron cases. a top uk health official says the variant is probably the most significant threat we've had since the start of the pandemic. meanwhile, presidentjoe biden has said that the omicron variant has now arrived in the united states. our medical editor fergus walsh has this report. what do you want for christmas? for millions, it is a booster. these people in newcastle today were prepared to wait for hours for a covid vaccination bus. it was a record day for boosterjabs, but also covid cases. boosters offer the best protection against omicron, but there is huge uncertainty whether they'll blunt it enough to keep hospital admissions
below last january's peak. even if it is milder, because it's concentrated over a short period of time, you could end up with a higher number than that going into hospital on a single day. that is certainly possible. the numbers of confirmed omicron patients in hospital are still low for now. it will be weeks before we have hard evidence that will show how serious the omicron wave will be. we need about 250 individuals in hospital before we can make a severity assessment compared to delta. and also, a vaccine effectiveness assessment. the earliest that we will have reliable data is the week between christmas and new year and probably early january. one group at higher risk from covid are pregnant women who, today, were finally made a priority group for vaccination. between may and october during the first six months
of the delta variant more than 1,400 pregnant women were admitted to hospital in the uk with covid. 96% of them were unvaccinated. 17 of those pregnant women died. four babies died in the first month of life from covid. it also increases the risk of having a premature birth. valerie is 32 weeks pregnant and had her booster in oxfordshire on monday, but it meant a long queue. i had to wait for 1.5 hours in total in a queue, which is painful because i have pelvic girdle pain, which makes it hard to stand or to walk. in addition, i was very nervous, as was everyone there in the queue. everyone is nervous because they thought the boosters might run out because this was a walk—in clinic. the prime minister was again banging the booster drum at a vaccination centre in kent. he urged the public to be careful when mixing with others
this christmas. we're not closing things down, we're not asking people to cancel things, but what we are saying is that people will understandably not want to catch covid in the next few days, or ever, and the sensible thing to do is to get boosted now and exercise caution, that's what we're saying. and the queen is leading by example, cancelling a pre—christmas lunch for extended family due to take place at windsor castle. fergus walsh, bbc news. in the last few hours, president biden warned that omicron is starting to spread much more rapidly in the united states and urged americans to get vaccinated. due to the steps we have taken, omicron has not yet spread as fast as it would otherwise have done as has happened in europe.
but it's here now and it's spreading and it will increase. for the unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death if you're unvaccinated. for themselves, their families and the hospitals they'll soon overwhelm. but there is good news. if you are vaccinated and have a booster shot, you're protected from severe illness and death, period. number two — booster shots work. three — boosters free, safe and convenient. about 16 million people have one, have been boosted, so go get your shot today. go and get boosted if you have had your first two shots, if not, go get your first shot. four children have died in a house fire in london. it happened in sutton in the south of the capital. firefighters said the property had been ravaged by an intense blaze and that they'd tried to give the children cpr. they're all believed to be related. a usjudge has thrown out a settlement for the maker
of oxycontin, painkillers that would have protected its owners from further legal action over their role in america's opiod crisis. the sacklers�* company purdue pharma had agreed to pay $4.5 billion in compensation in a deal that would've granted the family immunity. a federaljudge said the bankruptcy court did not have the authority to make the arrangement. authorities in the us have issued a search warrant for alec baldwin's mobile phone as they continue to investigate the death of halyna hutchins. the cinematographer was killed on the rust film set in new mexico after a gun went off. it is believed there may be evidence on the phone relevant to the case. baltic and central european leaders have told the block is under assault from russia stopping the latvian prime minister highlighted russia's deployment of troops close to its border with ukraine. the kremlin denies it is planning to invade ukraine.
the english premier league has been forced to put a number of games on hold due to the pandemic. there have been outbreaks at clubs and calls in some quarters for the league to take a break completely. an outbreak at the spanish football team real madrid has also grown. the club says another four players have tested positive, including marco asensio. 12 missionaries held by an armed gang since october have been released in haiti. five others from the us and canada have already been released. they were all abducted in october after visiting an orphanage in an area east of the capital port—au—prince, which is run by a powerful criminal gang. the bbc�*s will grant has more. a two—month ordeal for the 17 hostages, 16 americans and one canadian is now over. the group had included several children including an eight—month—old. obviously it has been met with great celebration by the ministry in ohio who put out a statement saying
that they praised god that they are safe. "we glorify god for our answered prayers," they say. and certainly it has been in two month period of intense negotiations with the gang, 400 mazowo, who took this group in port—au—prince and at one stage were asking for $1 million per hostage. there is no word at this stage whether any ransom was paid. either way, this will be the result that the us state department would have wanted and the families, of course, and indeed the haitian government. nevertheless this remains a difficult situation for ordinary haitians. gang control of the capital is near universal and the instances of hostages and abductions continues to be very, very widespread and while this high—profile case involving foreigners is over, many ordinary haitians still face an extremely difficult security situation in their cities. will grant there.
stay with us on bbc news. still to come, a big payday for the �*boss': bruce springsteen sells his music rights for a reported $500 million. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, ourwomen, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict — conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border- was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world i
in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre - in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life — the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: vote are counted in a crucial british by—election — the liberal democrat challengers are already claiming victory in what would be a blow for prime minister borisjohnson. a second day of record covid cases in the uk — and nowjoe biden says the omicron variant has reached america. last year's wildfires in the world's largest tropical wetland in south america killed as many as 17 million animals, including snakes, lizards, birds and primates.
that's according to the first attempt to estimate the loss of wildlife by scientists in brazil. the fires burned between january and november 2020, and destroyed about a third of the pantanal wetland which covers parts of brazil, paraguay and bolivia. our science correspondent victoria gill has this report, and a warning that you may some of the images upsetting. almost 40,000 square kilometres of tropical wetland ravaged by fire. and now a wildlife body count has provided the first estimate of the number of reptiles, mammals, and birds that were killed in wildfires that burned throughout 2020. the researchers worked in an area of the pantanaljust 48 hours after fire had swept through. they walked more than 100 kilometres across mapped sections of the wetland, counting and examining every dead animal they found. they used their grim tally to estimate the total number that were lost. how difficult is it
for scientist to get a grasp of the damage was? it was really difficult for many reasons. fire was still happening in many regions and roads were, you know, devastated. there was a lot of smoke. so it was really hard to reach some regions and do the research. the pantanal is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. the vast majority what the researchers found was a small reptiles that are hugely abundant here, but the wildfires also killed mammals, birds, and reptiles that are threatened with extinction. if we see a higher frequency of this level fires happening in the next years we will sure have more impact to the vegetation and to the species that live in pantanal. the researchers say that snapshot of the scale of devastation here could make the case for proper fire management to protect the world's largest wetland. and as the climate warms, more must be done, they say, to avoid wildfires that the natural world might struggle to recover from. victoria gill, bbc news.
for the past three months the cumbre vieja volcano in spain's canary islands has been spewing lava, swallowing everything in its path but late on monday it fell silent. scientists have now said the longest eruption in la palma's recorded history could be declared over by christmas. tanya dendrinos reports. a sleeping giant in all its majesty. for months the cumbre vieja volcano has wreaked havoc on the island of la palma. now it has fallen silent. translation: it has fallen silent. tuna/mom- it has fallen silent. translation: �* , ., ., translation: it's a great feelin: translation: it's a great feeling for _ translation: it's a great feeling for me. _ translation: it's a great feeling for me. it - translation: it's a great feeling for me. it is - translation: it's a great feeling for me. it is a - translation: it's a great feeling for me. it is a joy l translation: it's a great i feeling for me. it is a joy and a message to the island to keep going. this isjust the beginning and together we can get up again quickly. the island's banana - get up again quickly. the island's banana plantations had been decimated by the eruption which started in september.
around 3000 buildings have been destroyed. thousands of people evacuated in what has been the longest ever eruption in la palma's recorded history. this incredible footage shows just how far the river of lava flows stopping the platform and has left behind has expanded the size of the island by more than 48 hectares of. then there is the mountain of volcanic ash. the work ahead is undeniable. translation:— the work ahead is undeniable. translation: �* ., ., translation: don't forget about us, even though _ translation: don't forget about us, even though the _ translation: don't forget about us, even though the volcano - translation: don't forget about us, even though the volcano has i us, even though the volcano has stopped, there is still a lot of work to be done and it will take years, decades even. scientists say if the lyle remains unchanged the eruption will be declared over on the 24th of december. locals now holding their breath for a christmas miracle. the american singer and songwriter bruce springsteen has sold his master recordings and music publishing rights to sony music, in a deal estimated at $500 million.
the music magazine billboard said sony would have ownership of the rock legend's entire catalogue, including classic albums such as �*born in the usa'. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. music plays. they call him �*the boss'. an icon of blue—collar america. one of the most successful performance in rock music history. so he's not exactly short of a few bob. but the boss has just got a lot richer. # i come home in the morning... he signed a deal believed to be worth somewhere in the region of half a billion dollars, selling the rights to his entire back catalogue. a big move but, perhaps, an understandable one. running a catalogue, especially the publishing side of it, is an enormous amount of work. and if no—one wants to do it makes sense to let them inherit the money instead of a difficult business to run. springsteen is by no means the first veteran artist
to sign such a deal. last year, bob dylan sold the rights to his back catalogue for an estimated $300 million. earlier this year, tina turner did the same for around 50 million. and there are reports of a similar deal worth $200 million that could be on the cards for the estate of david bowie. # this gun's for hire... as for bruce springsteen, he shows no signs of slowing down. it looks like this gun is still very much for hire. tim allman, bbc news. and a reminder of our top story, here in the uk counting is under way in the north shropshire by—election which was triggered by the resignation of the conservative mp owen patterson. he was found to have broken lobbying rules. a bad result could he put more pressure on prime minister borisjohnson. much more on all these stories on the bbc news
website or you can download the bbc app. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @richpreston. do stick with us here on bbc news. goodbye for now. hello. thursday brought an east—west split to the uk weather—wise. well, certainly in terms of where we had the blue sky or where we had the grey sky. across parts of eastern scotland and down the eastern side of england, some were treated to a largely sunny day from dawn until dusk, where it was the reverse across some western areas. a view from wales, cloudy from dawn until dusk. it's the cloud that's going to win out for friday and the weekend. high pressure, lots of settled weather to come, but trapped underneath this high pressure, plenty of cloud. now, where there will have been some clear spells overnight — parts of eastern scotland, northeast england — a frost to start friday, but also some mist and fog around, and particularly through parts of yorkshire, the east midlands and east anglia. some dense patches in places, perhaps affecting travel, and some may lingerfor much of the day in a few spots.
you get the idea for the forecast, though, for friday with lots of cloud around. the cloud thick enough to produce a bit of drizzle here and there. breezy with it through the channel islands into parts of south—west england, south wales. through here, though, there could be a few sunny spells, as there will be towards parts of scotland and again north—east england. temperatures on a par with thursday, although just tending to go a little bit lower, and that's a trend that continues through the weekend. friday night into saturday morning, a lot of cloud around, some mist and fog. again, the clearest skies in scotland, so this is where we're most likely to get a frost as the weekend begins, but there could be a few pockets, too, towards north—east england. with that area of high pressure i showed you earlier, a lot of settled weather over the weekend. a lot of cloud, it'll be mainly dry and again temperatures just starting to edge down a few degrees over the weekend. and still quite breezy on saturday through the english channel, channel islands, far south—west of england. could be a few brighter breaks here as there may be towards the far west of wales, more particularly into scotland. elsewhere, a good deal of cloud, fewer temperatures in double figures at this stage, it's mid to high single figures. and plenty of cloud around again on sunday, could be drizzly in a few spots,
but there's also a chance of seeing one or two brighter breaks here and there. now, for the most part, temperatures in single figures. it will brighten up into next week, but the trend is for things to turn even colder as we go through the rest of the week in the lead—up to christmas. apart from that, what exactly is on our way christmas weather—wise, remains to be seen.
hello. every good friday morning for you. the latest headlines. here in the uk, counting is under way in the north shropshire by—election, which was triggered by the resignation of the conservative mp, owen paterson. he was found to have broken lobbying rules. a bad result could heap more pressure on prime minister borisjohnson. the uk has announced record covid infection figures for the second day in a row as the world health organization says the new strain, omicron, is spreading at an unprecedented rate. presidentjoe biden has said that the omicron variant has now arrived in the united states. scientists estimate last year's catastrophic wildfires in the world's largest tropical wetland, the pantanal in south america, killed as many as 17 million animals. they identified the species of three hundred reptiles, birds and mammal carcasses after walking more than one hundred kilometres across mapped sections of the region.
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