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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 19, 2021 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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hello and welcome to bbc news. governments around europe are imposing tight restrictions in reaction to the rapid spread of the omicron variant. the netherlands has announced a stringent christmas lockdown in an attempt to prevent a new wave of cases. all non—essential stores, bars, restaurants and other public places are to shut from sunday under the new measures. anna holligan reports from the hague. a final flourish of festive cheer before dutch cities shut down for christmas.
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department stores and toy shops weren't ready for this level of footfall, while hair and beauty salons squeezed clients in for a last—minute shave. translation: it was nice to go to the city for a little _ while before the lockdown. translation: it's too busy - everywhere, but i have to come to get presents before the christmas holidays. under the new measures outlined on saturday, all non—essential stores, bars, restaurants and other public places are to shut from sunday. essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies must close by 8:00pm, and as previously announced, schools are closed until at least 9 january. the prime minister delivered the message in a sombre tone. translation: omicron is spreading even faster than feared, and so we must intervene now to prevent much worse. this is what a christmas lockdown looks like on my local
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high street in the hague. most of the shutters have gone down, and they won't be rolled up again untilat least mid—january. this lockdown is being presented by the politicians as a response to the highly contagious omicron variant, but critics argue it needs to be seen in the wider context the slow response to the delta variant and the slow rollout of the booster vaccine programme, which has meant that hospitals here in the netherlands have no extra capacity to deal with an influx of omicron cases. the dutch are seeking to speed up that booster programme. the over—60s have been just invited to get theirs, and it is hoped that within a month everyone in the netherlands who wants a booster shot will have a chance to get one. this is usually a highly organised society. the dutch don't like chaos. this last—minute lockdown, coming just days before christmas, underlines the urgency of the situation here. there is some good news.
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father christmas will still be allowed to deliver presents. his message to the nation — merry christmas, happy lockdown. anna holligan reporting there for us. germany has become the latest european country to ban most travellers from britain. from sunday, german nationals and residents arriving from the uk will need to quarantine for two weeks, regardless of their covid vaccination status. meanwhile, there were protests in several german cities on saturday against covid—19 measures. thousands of people marched in dusseldorf and frankfurt, where there were clashes between demonstrators and police. here in britain, police have clashed with a group of protesters opposed to the latest covid—19 restrictions near downing street. a number of officers were injured. the uk has reported a surge of 90,000 cases of the omicron variant on saturday, which government advisors said could be just the tip of the iceberg. the mayor of london,
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sadiq khan, has declared a major incident because of concerns that emergency workers will struggle with rapidly rising cases. it's really important londoners understand how serious things are. the best thing londoners can do is to get both vaccines and the booster. they provide extra layers of protection. the really bad news is those in hospital — the vast, vast majority are unvaccinated. that's why it's so important to get the vaccines and the boosterjab. hundreds of demonstrators gathered in barcelona and bilbao in spain to protest against covid—19 passes that are now required to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and care homes. with a nationwide vaccination rate of nearly 80%, spain has largely been spared from the latest wave
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sweeping across europe. elsewhere in europe, hundreds gathered in the italian city of turin against the extension of a covid—19 state of emergency which runs to the end of march next year and the so—called green pass certificate. borisjohnson has come under huge political pressure for his handling of coronavirus in the uk. now lord frost, the chief brexit negotiator, has resigned from the cabinet. in a letter to the british prime minister, he has cited concerns over the direction of mrjohnson�*s government, particularly around the imposing of new restricions. the former brexit secretary said he believes we need to learn to live with covid, telling mrjohnson, "you took a brave decision injuly, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again. sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as i wished, and believe you did too." he went on to say, "i hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere." our political correspondent
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damian grammaticus reports. this resignation of lord frost is without doubt another blow to borisjohnson, delivered right at the time the prime minister is at his weakest since coming to office. lord frost, a one—time diplomat, was brought in to negotiate boris johnson's brexit deal. he sparred with michel barnier, shuttling back and forth to brussels. it helped mrjohnson secure the support of hardline brexit supporters in his party. the gap between us is quite significant. so lord frost, here on the left, helped secure mrjohnson�*s brexit deals and his win at the general election. he elevated lord frost to the cabinet. at that table recently, though, he has been arguing loudly against some of the prime minister's decisions, like the recent increases in taxes and spending, laying out what he said were his conservative beliefs in a recent speech.
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i personally will argue as strongly as i can that free market capitalism, low taxes, free speech and the maximum possible amount of economic and politicalfreedom for individuals are the best choices we could make as a country. the noes to the left, 126. there were 100 tory rebels when parliament voted on the latest covid restrictions. lord frost too had been against more measures, and a vaccine certificates in particular, so his objections are to the direction the prime minister is taking things. three, two, one... coming after the shock by—election defeat for the tories in shropshire north this week, the timing adds to mrjohnson�*s woes. the prime minister's authority has been damaged. now he has lost a key to getting him into office, and he looks more vulnerable than ever. damian grammaticas, bbc news. i spoke to nigel nelson, the political editor of one
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of britain's biggest sunday papers, the sunday mirror, to hear his reaction. it's really odd for lord frost to do what he's done, especially now. he's there to negotiate the northern ireland protocol, which is one of the last major bits of brexit to get cleared up. and suddenly he quits before the job is done, which is in itself a bit weird. on top of that, it's also interesting that he decided to quit over a week ago and yet borisjohnson wanted him to keep it secret because he thought a high—profile resignation like this would damage his government even more than it's been damaged at the moment. they're both friends, but lord frost was boris johnson's special adviser when he was foreign secretary. but he must be very angry with what's going on to do what he's done. he talks in his resignation letter about being unhappy
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with the direction of travel of the government. he doesn't specify specifically which bit he's unhappy about, but he certainly says he's against coercive covid—i9 regulations. so now he has decided to walk. given this has come out rather earlier than was intended, he is acting now. so we are witnessing a spilling over of the tory party's internal difficulties into the public. we had the commons rebellion over covid—i9 passports, as they're called, this whatsapp group in which a cabinet minister is kicked off by some of the rebels who voted against the restrictions, and now we have this resignation around the cabinet table. i think it shows the bitterness in various wings of the tory party. the fact that steve baker and dean dorris can have a row like that then she gets kicked off the group is indicative ofjust how nasty it has all become.
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the tory party has now become a kind of loose alliance of warring tribes, and so different factions want different things. the one thing that seems to unite every tory mp that i've spoken to is that they do want to get rid of boris johnson. the question is, really, how they go about doing so, because it's all a question of timing. i'm sure they'll all go home for christmas now and be plotting furiously. if they can get 5a signatures for a vote of no confidence then borisjohnson could be out early next year. the question is — they've got to make sure that if they strike they get it right, because you can only do one challenge every 12 months. so if they miscalculate, borisjohnson will be there for another year. some would say this doesn't bode well for the future of borisjohnson. you touched on it — 5a mps are needed to trigger a no—confidence vote in the prime minister. he was out blaming the media the other day, saying they are focusing too much on politicians and not policies.
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but isn't this resignation very much about policies and not parties? absolutely. when politicians get into a mess, they always shoot the messenger rather than listen to the message. the media was reflecting public opinion. the public are furious with parties going on in number ten with everybody else obeying restrictions, there is an awful lot of dispute about covid—i9, which regulations should come in. some people want more, some want less. and in the middle of this, there is no great leadership coming from where it should, which is number ten. borisjohnson is blaming the media. he isn't blaming himself for getting into the mess in the first
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place, but it is the public eventually he will decide whether they want to keep him on. and when tory mps go home at christmas, they will listen to their constituents and if they get the message that it is time for borisjohnson to go, i think you better start packing his bags. the death toll following the impact of super typhoon rai in the philippines has risen to 75 according to provincial officials. bohol, one of the hardest hit areas, reported at least 49 dead. howard johnson reports. philippine president duterte has conducted an aerial inspection of the areas ravaged by the swarm. pictures posted on social media show extensive damage to these islands. typhoon rai, the strongest hope in this year, destroyed homes, uprooted trees and toppled powerlines, leaving nearly 3 million filipinos without electricity. the popular tourist island of bohol, the government has declared a state of emergency. with internet communications are slowly being restored, more images of the devastation of this island have also emerged. numerous online
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disaster donation drives have been set up to support communities most in need. despite the awful circumstances, these newlyweds made the best of a bad situation by using the devastated city as a backdrop for their photos. super typhoon rai has now left the philippines and is moving over the south china sea towards vietnam, though the eye of the storm is not expected to make landfall there. polls have opened in hong kong in local assembly elections, the first since china imposed sweeping political changes. danny vincent is our correspondent in hong kong. he says these elections are very different from the last ones. i think that many critics across hong kong will say that the entire political system has completely changed. first of all, this is the first election since beijing imposed
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electoral reform on the system. it means that only people that are deemed patriotic to the country are even able to stand in this election. furthermore, many of the pro—democracy leaders that would be standing in this election, that have stood in elections like this in the past, are either in prison or in exile. so there's been a huge consequence of the 2019 protest movement. there's been incredible turmoil here in hong kong. many critics will say that this is not really an election process, it's more of a selection process, because the candidates that have been standing have already been bettered. but the authorities would argue that they've attempted to and successfully tried to remove what they would describe as anti—chinese or anti—china elements, which they said were present in the political system in the past. they say that elections like this are essentially attempting to restore stability to this city.
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so fewer people are able to stand, fewer posts to stand for, and yet china has been urging people in hong kong to get out and vote and in fact saying that they would punish those calling for a boycott. so have there been any signs so far of a lower turnout? well, what i can say is that over the last few weeks i have been covering some of the campaigning here, and i think compared to past elections, the mood is certainly relatively quiet. pollsters have predicted that the turnout would be lower than past elections. we're hearing that it could be as low as the lowest in 30 years. the last election here in hong kong had a very high turnout. more than 71 people voted in 2019, that was a local district election. the pro—democratic camp won by a massive landslide at that time, but the situation
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he has changed quite drastically in hong kong. like i said before, many of the candidates that would be standing in this election are either in prison or they're in exile. thanks forjoining us here on bbc news. let's catch up with the headlines. governments across europe try to rein in a sharp rise in omicron covid cases, as the dutch prime minister puts his country into a tough new lockdown. lord frost, the man in charge of the uk's brexit negotiations, resigns, citing concerns over the direction of boris johnson's government. let's have more about the decision by the dutch government to reintroduce a lockdown, and the measures other countries are introducing to deal with the arrival of the omicron variant. saad omer is director at the yale institute for global health. so, are the are the measures taken by the netherlands appropriate or should we follow more softer measures taken by other countries?
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it was kind of inevitable. when you start overloading your health system and there is a crisis situation that impacts not only the patients with covid but also other patients coming to your health system, governments have to take these measures. so at this point i think it is understandable. but from my perspective, this was avoidable. what happened in the fall, and the delta surge that was happening, and the early part of the omicron, that was avoidable. so the consistent implementation of the so—called softer measures, that could have perhaps at least decreased the need for these drastic measures. that's interesting. so you think it was inevitable, and of course we are now heading into the holiday season, we are going to see more people mixing inside, groups of different households coming together, how worried are you about the convergence of omicron, the delta variant, and flu?
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well, it is of concern. but i will remind folks that there is this uncertainty around the severity of the virus, but what we think is that it — the virus is unlikely to be more severe than the delta variant, which is plenty severe. even if it's less severe, the virus is highly infectious. so therefore, it will continue to circulate in the population and it could have an impact on hospitalisation, at least in some situations. so that, and the convergence with the flu season, is a concern. but — but i don't think governments are individuals are helpless bystanders. we now have tools to address the surge. we have the flu vaccine in most countries, especially most countries in europe and north america. we have testing — rapid testing widely available, that should be utilised before gathering. we have high—quality masks that have a lot of accessibility, not as perfect as i
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would like them to be, in terms of accessibility. and then we — we know about ventilation, et cetera, although it is harder to maintain perfect ventilation in winter, but we can have hepa filters or other kinds of filters that people can use to reduce the chances of transmission. so yes, we are concerned, but we don't have to be helpless bystanders. it's interesting, because a lot of your work, of course, focuses on global covid vaccine in equity, yet they're still struggling to get boosters to over—60—year—olds in the netherlands. how about a situation is it, and can we ever get on top of that scene in equity that you focus on? yes, ifocus a lot on inequity, but — but my perspective is that the key to this is not to play this as a zero—sum game, especially for high—risk groups, now there is substantial evidence, especially in the presence of omicron, that boosters should be delivered, and there is a strong case for the whole of that population to get boosters.
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what my focus is, and what a lot of us have been saying is, for the last year we should have been working, and there are ways to increase the size of the pie itself, that's where we fall short. i think it is false, straight off, that some people try to make, boosters for high—risk population versus low— and middle—income countries. there are ways to increase technology transfer, for example, or to increase production. and delivering on the promised vaccines to increase the availability of the vaccines throughout the world, rather than just having this kind of trade—off. saad omer from the yale institute for global health, there. the acclaimed british architect, richard rogers, has died at his home in london. he was 88. born in the italian city of florence, his family fled fascist italy on the eve of the second world war. he gained international attention in the nineteen—seventies for his part in designing the modernist pompidou centre in paris. david sillito looks back on his life.
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it's hard to exaggerate what a shock this building was. the pompidou centre's facade with its confusion of pipes, ducts and external corridors was revolutionary — the work of renzo piano and a young british architect called richard rogers. the building itself is inside out. in other words, what you usually see inside, which are those long, dank, dark corridors which you have in big institutional buildings — and it is an institution, theoretically, though i dislike the word, it's an institution — there's long, dark corridors on the outside. they're actually the fun. the inside out design made the interior airy and open and equally important was the public space outside. this was �*60s egalitarianism inspired by the piazzas of his home town florence in italy. his parents had arrived in britain in the �*30s. the young richard rogers struggled at school, he was dyslexic, but he got into art college and then trained as an architect where he met another future superstar of british architecture, norman foster. their high tech style, though,
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took a while to win favour. his inside out lloyd's building in london was not to everyone's taste. it's what his royal highness, the prince of wales, described as a carbuncle on the face of whatever you like to call it. but his moment had come. madrid airport with its huge bamboo roof won the stirling prize. the millennium dome was signature rogers, again, innovative technology to create a huge, flexible space. but not all his plans were popular. proposed transformation of london's southbank was fought off by residents, but it didn't stop politicians seeking his advice on reshaping cities. it was a very major part of my outfit which is about trying to create a world which is influenced for the better, through public space, through private space and so on. the welsh zenith, terminal 5 at heathrow. he was bold, colourful and has
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more than left his mark. the richard rogers vision was of a city that was open, sociable, welcoming. the british architect richard rogers who's died at the age of 88. paul goldberger is a pulitzer prize winning architecture critic, here's what he had to say about richard rogers' legacy. i think his legacy is really one of trying to make modernism exuberant. he really, he did not see technology and the modern style as dry and cerebral. he wanted people to connect with it emotionally. even if you go back to something like the pompidou centre paris, i mean, it's fun. it's fun to look at, it's crazy and wild but it's also fun. and everything that he did had a quality of great discipline
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and yet at the same time it was entertaining and you felt an emotional connection to it. his love of colour which went all the way through his work was another part of that i think. i think his legacy is that, as well as trying to show that modern buildings could still create a civilised city. that they did not have to be a vast landscape of horrible, brutal concrete. indeed and he really stripped them out and allowed you in and allowed you to see how things worked. what were some of the buildings that stood out to you personally? well, i love the madrid airport, barajas, that exquisite terminal is magnificent and very, very easy to understand that, it's not the kind of building that put some people off the way i know the lloyd's building in london does, although i've always loved it, but the madrid air terminal which has this magnificent set of columns that gradually change colour following the spectrum, going from red to orange to yellow all the way
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to yellow all the way to green and blue and indigo and so forth. it's absolutely breathtaking the way that works and, you know, that's i think in some ways maybe my very favourite rogers building. but i like the millennium dome. i love the kind of, just the determination of the lloyd's of london building in which he made it machinelike but showed that machines could also be kind of wild and crazy, like a tingly sculpture or something. and in every case it was always part of a larger city, it was notjust this isolated self—referential object. i'm interested in how you think his background influenced his work. we heard a bit in david's report there about how he had a hard time at school, he was at boarding school, he was briefly in the army, he was dyslexic which he said really just focused his mind on certain careers that he couldn't do. but how do you think his background has influenced his work?
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well, i think the most interesting part of his background in the way it played out in his life and his career is the fact that he was born of italian and british heritage, both. and so he really brought a kind of mediterranean sensibility into british architecture, so yes, he was a committed modernist, he believed passionately in technology and later in sustainability, but there was always this love of colour, this feeling that architecture, it was not — there was nothing evil about letting architecture be a little bit hedonistic and bring us pleasure too. so i think that italian side of him came out. the dyslexia is a different matter, you're right, it made him focus in a certain way and get rid of distractions and really hone in on the things that mattered to him, but he was a very thoughtful almost philosophical figure too, which i think meant more and more as the years went on. he really thought a lot about the future of the city
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and just what kind of planet and what kind of places we were making. paul goldberger sharing his thoughts on richard rogers who has died at the age of 88. fans of the late argentine football superstar diego maradona will soon be able to own some of his prized possessions, as an international auction takes place later on sunday. nearly 90 items, including cars and a box of cuban cigars will go under the hammer. sylvia lennan—spence has the story. from football boots, to flamboyant artwork, to the number tenjersey diego maradona wore while playing for argentina — all upfor grabs at the 10 auction taking place in buenos aires. widely recognised as one of the greatest football players of all time, maradona led a colourful life that gained him a huge following and many people are expected to try to snap up some memorabilia. translation: i estimate
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that at least 10,000, - 15,000, or even 20,000 people will see the event. probably many more and i'm coming up short because the maradonian world has those surprises. among the 87 lots that will go on the virtual auction block are luxury cars. including one which maradona once famously drove onto a football pitch. also for sale is a photo of the star with his friend, the late cuban leader fidel castro. but the top attraction is a house the footballer gave to his parents in the 1980s in one of buenos aires's wealthy neighbourhoods, with bidding starting at $900,000. it'sjust over a year since diego maradona died at the age of 60 from a heart attack after suffering several health issues. he'd battled drug and alcohol addiction for much of his life. but in argentina, the love continues for the man who led the country to a world cup triumph in 1986.
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just this week, a new life—sized statue of the star was unveiled at a buenos aires airport. translation: to me, sincerely, to see el diego representing - the country as people arrive is an inexplicable feeling. after my dad, diego is the best. he represents argentina worldwide. the auction is expected to last two hours, with proceeds going to pay the estate's debts and expenses. sylvia lennan—spence, bbc news. an auction of two halves there. time for a look at the weather with stav danaos. hello there. the weather is stuck in some sort of a rut, a lot of dry weather around but a lot of grey weather too, thanks to this area of high pressure and its low cloud trapped underneath it. there has been some pressure around, sunday is looking sunny again across more northern parts of the uk, further south it'll stay rather grey and gloomy once again. here is the area of high pressure sitting to the north
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of the uk, barely any isobars on the chart. that means winds will be lighter and fresher there across southern england and through the channel. so where we have the cloudy skies, lows of four or seven degrees, but really cold under the clearer skies, scotland and northern england, these are city temperatures, in rural spots we could be as low as —7 or —8 celsius. so a really cold start to sunday, some freezing mist and fog around, some fog through the central belt of scotland, but some sunshine, as you can see, stretching down into the north—western parts of england. wales doing well in the sunshine, parts of south—west england, maybe northern ireland seeing sunnier spells than we have seen of late, so not bad here. eastern, central and eastern england, southern england again, rather grey and drab, gloomy, some mistiness, a bit of drizzle here and there. it will be a chilly day wherever you are. sunday night, we hold onto lots of cloud generally, clearer spells further north and west, here it will turn frosty again with some freezing mist and fog patches. temperatures holding out around 3—7, where we have the cloud, and it will be breezier along some north sea coasts. into monday, maybe some subtle changes. i think for many, we're holding onto the cloud, but we could see clearer skies or sunnier breaks appearing
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across central and eastern england, parts of southern england haven't the sunshine for a good week or so now,

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