tv BBC News BBC News December 27, 2021 12:00pm-12:31pm GMT
this is bbc news. the headlines: the prime minister's scientific advisers will brief him today on the spread of coronavirus over christmas, as he decides whether to impose more restrictions in england before the new year. in scotland and northern ireland, further measures come into force today for pubs, bars and cafes. warnings the government isn't doing enough to help people deal with sharp increases in the price of gas and electricity the national trust warn some landscapes in the uk could be altered forever due to extreme weather conditions. and england's hopes of an ashes comeback are fading rapidly, after a dramatic second day of the third test in melbourne.
hello and welcome. borisjohnson is being briefed today on the latest covid data as he considers whether to impose additional restrictions in england before the new year. the prime minister will hear how fast the omicron variant is spreading and whether the nhs is coming under unsustainable pressure, even though omicron is now thought to be milder than previous variants. in scotland, new rules are in force. from boxing day in scotland indoor and outdoor events have new limits, and as of today, pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms will have to ensure a one metre distance between groups of people. groups of people meeting will be limited to three households, and table service will be required in hospitality venues offering alcohol. in wales, new restrictions from boxing day mean that no more than six people can meet at pubs, cinemas and restaurants.
outdoor events are limited to 50 people, and there is a maximum capacity of 30 for indoor events, including in private homes. two—metre social distancing is also required in offices and public places. nightclubs have also had to close. and from boxing day in northern ireland, nightclubs must remain closed and indoor standing events are banned. then from today pubs, cafes and restaurants will have to provide table service only, while no more than six people from different households will be allowed to sit together. our political correspondent ione wells is with me now. there is, we see the picture in the rest of the uk, england so far it has no additional restrictions beyond the once voted for a couple of weeks ago. what sort of meetings as the prime minister having, do you understand, to look at the latest data because obviously lots of the data because obviously lots of the data has not been available over christmas weekend for the public. that's right. we've had our paws to
the daily data over the past few days, the last figures were on the 24th of december when we saw record cases but we've not had any data for the last two days so today is a chance for the prime minister to meet with his top scientist, patrick vallance and chris whitty, to get an update on the cases and crucially the hospitalisations and that will be the key bit will look at because last time cabinet met to discuss whether or not there were any further restrictions needed for england, the big agreement across cabinet at the time was that they didn't want to introduce any further restrictions for england yet unless they saw data on hospitalisations and start to rise rapidly to the extent they could risk overwhelming the nhs. it'll be interesting to see where that data stands today although any further rise in cases tends to be seen in hospitalisation slightly later so it could still be a couple of days before we see that. we will be talking later in this hour about the scientific judgment
on the data and at what stage we might have the confidence to see this is a mild invariant and it has less health applications. we are not at that stage yet so in a sense it is a real dilemma about how heavily you come down. i heard one of the scottish executives, scientific advisers, saying every previous evidence of covid has been that you need to act quickly and are hard to restrain it, we seem to be political in a different environment now in england. is this something that has got harderfor the england. is this something that has got harder for the government? england. is this something that has got harderfor the government? i got harder for the government? i think that's exactly right, the uk government, making the rules for england, is telling this fine balance, navigating politically keeping their party and mps happy about this about not wanting to act until they have hard data showing hospitalisations are at risk of getting out of control but also there's a risk about living things too late, if the data starts to go that way. these next few days will
be crucial on that front. politically, there is an acknowledgement in government that while they are stressing the key thing to look at is hospitalisations, is also the public a little —— political difficult it sought the mass of restrictions from tory mps for things like covid passes, cabinet itself is also not very keen on further restrictions with lots of ministers and klich not being supportive of them at the moment, and of course there is the public and making sure particularly with more and more people being triple vaccinated, there are some concerns in government about how compliant people would be if restrictions necessary. all the political emphasis in the last couple of weeks has been on the booster programme, public information adverts featuring chris whitty, the prime minister saying it constantly, even people being, receiving the vaccine in some places on christmas day. do you think that
it is a residual wadi in government if we suddenly start talking about restrictions again people might so compliant —— do you think there is residual worry. they might think they will be all right even though they will be all right even though they might still be infectious. same they might still be infectious. some --eole in they might still be infectious. some people in government _ they might still be infectious. some people in government are _ they might still be infectious. ﬁne people in government are concerned whether people would be as willing to be compliant with any further restrictions if they've had their vaccinations and had their booster as well. another concern is also trying to drive more people who have not had anyjabs yet. we've seen campaigns by some councils like liverpool council putting out messages about how they have icu beds are filling up with people who are unvaccinated and in london where omicron cases are very high this has been described as the epicentre of omicron, we still know in some boroughs in particular more than one entity people have not had a single jab so that's a concern as well. the government is optimistic the booster
programme is not some people to maybe have their first or second in that campaign are still very much, the emphasis of the defence against omicron with almost everybody receiving a text message on boxing day reminding them to get theirjab. at the moment, that is the main line of defence in england. thank you very much. a hospital in israel will start administering a fourth shot of the coronavirus vaccine on monday, in a clinical trial to find out if a second boosterjab is safe and effective in containing the spread of covid. the trial in tel aviv will include about 150 health care workers who received their third shot no later than august this year. israel's health ministry has not yet decided whether to give the wider population a fourth dose of the vaccine. if approved, it will make israel the first country to administer a fourth shot to its citizens. in new york, from monday children aged 12 and up will have to show proof of full vaccination against coronavirus for indoor dining, entertainmentand many extra—curricular school activities.
new york has also become the first us city to require vaccines for all private sector workers, with jabs already mandatory for state employees. some businesses have threatened to take legal action. indian authorities are to impose a night—time curfew in delhi to try to contain a growing number of coronavirus cases. the restriction, which takes effect from monday evening, will last for six hours each night. delhi officially recorded 290 new omicron cases in the latest twenty—four—hour period. the business secretary, kwasi kwarteng, has held emergency talks with some of the uk's energy providers, last week they warned that household bills would rise by another 50% next year unless the treasury intervened. ahead of the meetings the boss of the country's third largest supplier, ovo energy, told bbc news ministers were showing "nowhere near enough urgency", and needed to step in to protect customers. our business correspondent,
vishala sri—pathma, reports. it's been a constant worry for households for the past three months — rising prices of gas and electricity around the world have meant we've all been paying more to heat our homes and cook our meals. 26 energy companies have gone bust since september, and more casualties are expected in the industry, as there's no sign of prices falling. our number—one ask going into the meeting is that the government and the regulator are taking the situation very seriously, and they're prepared to start taking action — not in the months to come, but in the days to come. because i think if we don't find a solution in the coming weeks, we're certainly going to be locking uk consumers into more and more expensive energy for years to come. labour is calling on the government to use money raised through higher—than—expected vat receipts to cut household bills. the party says higher energy and food prices have meant more vat being paid,
so the extra money should be used to help people struggling with the higher cost of living. the government said they are regularly engaging with the industry, and are continuing to support those most in need. the energy price cap is expected to be on the agenda, as well — it stops companies from passing rising costs onto their customers. the cap will be reviewed again in april, when bills could go up as much as 50%. not the good news families were hoping for this festive period — with many already struggling to keep the lights on. vishala sri—pathma, bbc news. rob gross is a professor of energy policy at imperial college london and director of the uk energy research centre. he says prices will have to go up. prices won't go up immediately because consumers are still underneath the cap and the cap is not due until, being reviewed until
the spring. but when the cap is lifted prices will have to go up because we have seen unprecedented increases in the global price for gas and as you just reported in that your segment, we use gas to generate electricity and we use gas in almost all of our homes. although the price cap can help temporarily, you cannot put a domestic sticking plaster on a global problem. that is really what is underlying this. let's go back to omicron, and speak to professor markjit, an epidemiologist at the london school of hygiene and tropical medicine. he's also part of spi—m a committee that provides disease modelling advice to the government. it sounds a bit more glamorous than it is, it is not that kind of spying, it is, it is not that kind of spying, it spelt differently! . can ifoster will
spying, it spelt differently! . can i foster will ask you about the situation, what you think it is looking like —— can i ask you first of all. maybe it which is that london as we said earlier that is begetting the fight at the centre of omicron in the uk at this stage and we are we've seen at the most recorded cases —— week can begin with london which is at the epicentre. london is ahead of the rest of the country because the first cases started there but where london goes the rest of the country will follow in a couple of days' time, the proportion of cases is the total population of london is greatest aired because they started ticking off about a week before the rest of the country. in terms of what we know about omicron, we had that encouraging news from the health security agency before christmas, about the number, percentage likelihood of being admitted to hospital assuming you've been vaccinated, with serious symptoms, on what stage do you think
we will have a clear idea of what is happening in terms of hospital admissions? i think that's the first data we are getting out and that's encouraging news, although when we got the same data from scotland, also having encouraging news, although those figures have to be interpreted carefully and we have to make sure we compare like for like, ideally we're looking at who are either not infected, had no previous infection compared to those with no previous infection with delta. there is still, it'sjust infection with delta. there is still, it's just tone infection with delta. there is still, it'sjust tone is milder but the difference is not as big if you don't make that comparison —— it still suggests omicron is milder. it suggests hospitalisations won't take off as quickly as the cases but we will have to watch it. we spoke about in the summer, some people spoke about vaccinations breaking the link with
hospitalisations, the prime minister used the phrase about weakening the link with hospitalisations. does that look like that's one of the consequences of the vaccination programme? definitely weakening is the right word, there always be a link because of the vaccines don't give 100% protection, especially against omicron. the risk of someone vaccinated getting hospitalised with covid would be much lower than someone who was not vaccinated. let me ask you something else because we spoke about omicron and delta, i read something over the christmas period that said one of the added complications for scientists and trying to model the outcomes has been notjust of the different variants but the same invariant is sometimes performing in different ways in different parts of the world. some parts of the world a particular variant at the very little impact, whereas in others that had a devastating impact. do we have any idea why that is?
there are lots of factors going on. partly it is the population, how old is the population, do they have chronic conditions, what proportion have been vaccinated, have they been infected before? all these things will have an impact on the impact of the vaccine, what other measures are being taken, how much is the population mixing? to some extent, if we know all these we can try to work out what might be happening. in the end, the best thing is to get uk data and what is happening in the uk, that is the safest thing to do. interesting to see if the prime minister or government will share that data with us little. for now, always a pleasure to speak with you. thank you very much for all your contributions through the course of this year. happy new year to you, i have a feeling we will be talking
again in 2022.— have a feeling we will be talking again in 2022. have a feeling we will be talking aaain in 2022. ., ~ ., , _ again in 2022. thank you. happy new year. the latest headlines on bbc news: the prime minister's scientific advisers will brief him today on the spread of coronavirus over christmas, as he decides whether to impose more restrictions in england before the new year. in scotland and northern ireland, further measures come into force today for pubs, bars and cafes. warnings the government isn't doing enough to help people deal with sharp increases in the price of gas and electricity sport now, and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre. how are you, i hope you had a good christmas. another england batting collapse has allowed australia to edge closer to winning the ashes on a dramatic second day of the third test. england are 2—0 down in the series and if they lose or draw in melbourne, australia retain the urn. it had looked promising earlier in the day with england's bowlers limiting the aussies lead to 82
after the first innings. but in a hostile final hour, england went into bat and stumbled to 31—4 at stumps asjoe wilson reports. a england's players were unsure for a while if they'd even be allowed in the ground. four covid cases amongst the support staff and their family. but after the tests, the test continued. and yes, england prospered. marnus labuschagne batting, ranked world number one, out for one. success for mark wood. and what about steve smith? well, here comes james anderson. he's got him, bowled him. england quickly dismissed australia's most esteemed batters. hey, we're in this! maybe? marcus harris persevered for australia. not always pretty, but past 50. and that feeling of optimism, it was sneaking away from england. as so often, they needed anderson. captain's grateful hands and harris was gone. but a late flourish helped
australia build their lead. when their innings finally ended, they were 82 runs ahead. and in the last hour, the true context of the day's play — england batting again, zak crawley out for five. the very next ball — dawid malan — lbw. haseeb hameed couldn't last. faint edge, he was gone. so jack leach was sent in to defend and defy. hm, 31for1i. and australia will be back for more. joe wilson, bbc news. there's been further disruption to the festive season fixture list, with two more premier league matches called off for tomorrow. arsenal against wolves and leeds versus aston villa have both been postponed due to covid. there have been calls from managers and players to pause fixtures because of depleated squads. chelsea played yesterday and face brighton on wednesday. head coach thomas tuchel thinks that while clubs are dealing with coronavirus, the schedule is unfair.
we're just filling holes where we can fill them, and we play teams who don't play international duties. and we have the covid situation, five changes were invented because of covid and now we are in the middle of covid and some teams get their games postponed and some do not, and we have three changes and this is a big disadvantage, and also in europe. just one game in the premier league tonight, with newcastle at home to manchester united. it's the first time newcastle have found themselves in the relegation zone at christmas, and with just ten points from 18 games, manager eddie howe knows they need to be better in the second half of the season if they want to stay up. there are enough games and enough talent in the squad but we are aware that we cannot waste games, time is against us. if the opportunities are there, we have got to take them. every game we do not win it becomes harder and harder
to achieve what we need to do. newcastle expected to be big spenders in the transfer window, which opens on saturday, but one move already looking like it's gone through is manchester city forward ferran torres to barcelona. the 21—year—old striker has arrived in the spanish city today for a medical ahead of a 55 million euro move. it comes just 18 months after torres left valencia for manchester city. lots more sport going on later today, harlequins take on northampton at twickenham, 70,000 tickets sold for that, and the welsh grand national is at 2.50. all the build—up on the bbc sport website. thank you very much, jane. west mercia police has issued a written apology to the family of the former premier league footballer dalian atkinson, who died from injuries he suffered while being arrested in telford in 2016. the ex—aston villa striker
was kicked in the head and tasered by pc benjamin monk, who is now serving eight years for manslaughter. in a letter, the force's new chief constable, pippa mills, said a uniform doesn't "grant officers immunity" from the law. three men in their 20s have died in a crash in northern ireland. it happened in county tyrone near omagh shortly before two o'clock this morning. the police say the three men died at the scene and a fourth man has been taken to hospital with serious injuries. the cost of global shipping has risen dramatically this year, as supply chains around the world battle with the impact of the covid pandemic. it's led to frustrating delays for businesses struggling to meet consumer demand, but also to tens of billions of pounds of profits for shipping companies. our global trade correspondent chris morris reports. on a misty morning in leeds just before christmas, at long last a container arrives all the way from china. cheering. this family—run business develops
and designs fun gifts, and this is the busiest time of year. 90% of their stock is made in china — it helps keep consumer prices down, but nearly all deliveries in 2021 have been late. several containers full of christmas gifts won't get here untiljanuary. if we don't get this stock to them today, the order is gone. it's been a year of good business but increasing delays and rising costs. it was delayed three weeks getting out of china, it was delayed another month on sea. you can see we've lost, for a seasonal business, you know, this is stock that people cannot buy until the last minute, it really hurts for a small business like ours. this is where the container came from, near shanghai. the trouble is they are not enough empty containers in china to meet the demand for sending goods around the world. covid shutdowns and delays have put global supply chains out of kilter.
we already know it is a sensitive system — the evergiven, the ship that blocked the suez canal for six days in march, caused massive backlogs. but it is covid that has done the real damage. container lines are run like train lines. they have schedules and they're meant to call at fixed times for fixed durations, that is just not happening because they can't. and the cost of sending shipping containers by sea has risen dramatically. it is absolutely gone crazy this year. if you're looking at short—term freight rates from asia to europe you are looking at a 366% increase. longer—term rates locked in 12 months in advance have gone up even more. the shipping container industry is on course to make vast record profits this year. ports are working longer hours to keep trade moving, more ships are on order, but it will take time for things to settle down. the huge disruption caused by covid—i9 has
exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. in some ways they've held up remarkably well, given the scale of the pandemic, but it's been a reminder for all of us how dependent we have become on getting shipping containers delivered around the world on schedule. one option is to increase local production, they're starting to do a bit of that here in leeds. but don't expect globalisation to retreat any time soon. this is still a hyper—connected world, and now omicron is creating more challenges for that supply chains that we take for granted. the number of shoppers in the uk looking for a boxing day high street bargain plummeted compared to pre—pandemic levels. footfall was down nearly 50% on 2019 as many people shunned shops and spent their money online. the british retail consortium said many retailers would continue to see a boost in online trade amid fears of the spread of the omicron variant. family breakdowns are one of the leading causes of homelessness in the uk,
but not enough is being done to help loved ones stay together, homelessness charities have told the bbc. adam eley has been to meet rhyss mackay, who slept rough in newcastle for almost five years without seeing loved ones but whose life has been transformed. i missed them lots, especially at times like birthdays and christmases. when rhyss left home aged 18 after disagreements with his mum, he lost contact with his family altogether. for almost five years he slept rough on the streets of newcastle. the longer it got, the harder it got to reach out and speak to them. i thought about them all the time, but i had deteriorated quite a lot. i looked very unwell, didn't want them to see the way i was. family breakdown is one of the leading causes of homelessness. west midlands—based charity saint basil's says more must be done to help families stay together, where appropriate. ultimately, if we are just putting a roof over people's heads and we are not dealing with the issues that led to them being homeless, all that's going to happen is those people are going to end up in that same situation again.
the charity has staff trained in mediation and provides put workshops. at once support to be doled out more widely. we workshops. at once support to be doled out more widely.— workshops. at once support to be doled out more widely. we would look at local authorities _ doled out more widely. we would look at local authorities to _ doled out more widely. we would look at local authorities to adopt _ doled out more widely. we would look at local authorities to adopt this. - at local authorities to adopt this. the local authority called on ministers to —— and on the government to provide more long—term investment by the government said it was spending more than £2 million to tackle rough sleeping in england. newcastle rees struggled with his mental health while living the streets. . ~ mental health while living the streets. , . , mental health while living the streets. , . ., streets. kicked, punched, spat on, felt like society _ streets. kicked, punched, spat on, felt like society and _ streets. kicked, punched, spat on, felt like society and given - streets. kicked, punched, spat on, felt like society and given up - streets. kicked, punched, spat on, felt like society and given up on . felt like society and given up on me, i was quite suicidal and i try to take my own life on more than one occasion. �* ., .,, to take my own life on more than one occasion. �* ., , ., , ., occasion. after almost five years on the streets. — occasion. after almost five years on the streets, his _ occasion. after almost five years on the streets, his life _ occasion. after almost five years on the streets, his life was _ occasion. after almost five years on the streets, his life was turned - occasion. after almost five years on the streets, his life was turned on l the streets, his life was turned on its head. he was being sentenced for shoplifting offences when his mum what through the doors, having found out his whereabouts. i was what through the doors, having found out his whereabouts.— out his whereabouts. i was not a state of shock, _ out his whereabouts. i was not a state of shock, i _ out his whereabouts. i was not a state of shock, i thought - out his whereabouts. i was not a state of shock, i thought i - out his whereabouts. i was not a state of shock, i thought i was i state of shock, i thought i was dreaming. i looked at her and she burst into tears, i told her i'm
going to prison but when i get out and going to make some changes and i am going to start speaking with my family again and we've been in contact ever since. the charity crisis says where it is right to reconnect the family can offer a sense of belonging. eater offer a sense of belonging. ever don't need _ offer a sense of belonging. ever don't need support _ offer a sense of belonging. ee: don't need support and a offer a sense of belonging. e2 don't need support and a network around them and so when we can make that happen it can be so powerful. rees says reconnecting with his family has given him the basis to build his life again. just family has given him the basis to build his life again.— family has given him the basis to build his life again. just having my family back _ build his life again. just having my family back on _ build his life again. just having my family back on my _ build his life again. just having my family back on my side _ build his life again. just having my family back on my side that - build his life again. just having my| family back on my side that makes build his life again. just having my l family back on my side that makes a difference to how i perceive myself and how i view life, i have a little boy at home, lovely partner, nice home, got a relationship and my family. everything that i wanted five years. —— five years ago. technological advances mean it may be possible to screen people for prostate cancer in the next five years, one of the uk's leading experts has said. around 50,000 people
in the uk are told they have the disease each year and one in eight will be diagnosed in their lifetime. at present there is no national screening for the disease, however the institute of cancer research says that advances in genetics and mr! imaging mean that a tailored programme may be possible in the next three to five years. over the last 12 months, the uk has experienced devastating floods, storms, wildfires and landslips and the national trust has published its annual reckoning of what it calls wildlife "winners and losers". amongst the winners in the uk were beavers, with a rewilded beaver couple starting a family, seal populations that flourished in suffolk and grassland fungi. among the losers were seabird populations, which were hit by storms and cold spells. forests, which suffered from extreme storms and ash dieback fungal disease. parts of the coast which saw major landslips, this one in dorset. moorland in yorkshire and northern ireland hit by a dry spring and wildfires. and spring blossoming trees and butterfly populations, which were affected by chilly
weather and late frosts. lovely to see those images, chris. i do mind that the days are slowly but perceptively starting to get longer. as the weather is starting to improve, too?— it is going to be quite dark today because of the cloud. let's look at the details. earlier in hull this thick cloud, still quite misty here as it is across parts of the pennines and into yorkshire and east anglia, still murky. in the afternoon we have rain for much of england and wales. quite a dark and gloomy afternoon. further north, scotland and northern ireland something bright up but a few scattered showers, temperatures close to normal across northern areas. overnight mist fog reforming
and some becoming quite dense and later in the night another area of rain moving in from the west. turning wet and some fairly brisk winds towards the end of the night and into tuesday, wet and windy for many, the rain slow to clear and parts of scotland and northern ireland not doing too badly. here it will be drier and brighter as well. that is at your latest. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... the prime minister's scientific advisers will brief him today on the spread of coronavirus over christmas as he decides whether to impose more restrictions in england before the new year. in scotland and northern ireland, further measures come into force today for pubs, bars and cafes. warnings the government isn't doing enough to help people deal with sharp increases in the price of gas and electricity. the national trust warn some landscapes in the uk could be altered forever due to extreme weather conditions.
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