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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 28, 2021 12:00am-12:31am GMT

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this is bbc news — i'm christian fraser with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. no new coronavirus restrictions in england before the new year — despite record numbers of cases. the health secretary urges people to remain cautious. we will watch the situation very carefully and should, in the future, we need to act, of course, we will not hesitate to do so. america's leading health body halves the recommended isolation period for patiemnts with asymptomatic covid — from ten days to five. in france — home working will become mandatory for at least three days per week — as the rapid rise of omicron cases continues. cape town's city hall is bathed in purple light — to honour archbishop desmond tutu, south africa's anti—apartheid leader, who died on sunday.
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and — missing for almost a week — a happy ending for the search and rescue dog — who got lost herself — as she's reunited with her owner. the uk health secretary sajid javid has ruled out introducing any new covid restrictions in england before the new year. ministers had been under pressure to respond to rising infection levels after the devolved administrations in scotland, wales and northern ireland all implemented measures to stem the spread of the omicron variant. the health secretary said 90% of covid cases in england are now thought to be the omicron variant and he urged people to remain cautious when celebrating new year's eve, saying the government won't hesitate to act in the future
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if necessary. here's our political correspondent ian watson. with a record number of covid cases recorded on christmas day, there were fears of a rather bleaker new year. scotland, wales and northern ireland have all imposed further restrictions. so there was pressure on the government at westminster to make it clear if england would follow. for the time being, it won't. and for the remainder of 2021, the message will be caution, not compulsion. there will be no further measures before the new year. we won't be taking any further measures. of course, people should remain cautious as we approach new year celebrations, and take a lateral flow test, that makes sense. celebrate outside, if you can. have some ventilation indoors, if you can. please remain cautious. many businesses will drink to that. but at this pub in bristol, they say that even existing restrictions have hit them
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hard. we've already lost a very, very big trading period, already. a really key trading period. next month, it'll have little impact, because it's a quiet time of year anyway. government ministers are still worried about the effect that self—isolation as well as sickness is having on staffing levels in the nhs, which is one of the reasons they haven't completely ruled out new measures in 2022. covid is having a significant impact on staffing in our. emergency departments. the most common figure coming back at us is thati departments are reporting 20, 25% of their staff off— because off covid—related reasons at the moment, i and that's a really big deal. for emergency departments. westminster is now on a very divergent path from the administrations in other parts of the uk. but government ministers say they are analysing the data in england, not ignoring it. the prime minister was briefed by his scientific and medical advisers today, and downing street say he saw nothing in the data that would force him to push the red button on further
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restrictions in england. had he done so, then mps would have been brought back here to vote on them. that's now been ruled out. you can see why borisjohnson might have been quite keen to avoid that. the ayes to the right, 369. earlier this month, 100 of his own mps rebelled against the introduction of covid passes, and he may have faced even greater resistance to any new measures before new year. the prime minister is well aware of the sentiment on the conservative backbenches. it was a massive rebellion. without hard data to support any further lockdown measures, the rebellion would only be larger. labour is calling for the government now to publish all relevant data and scientific advice, they say to reassure the public that borisjohnson isn'tjust capitulating to his own party. there's often been a spirit of goodwill during the covid crisis, but you can't entirely keep politics out of a pandemic.
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0ne one of the concerns he has a number of nurses and doctors and auxiliary staff who are absent because they are isolating from hospitals. this will be of interest. the us health authorities have halved the recommended isolation period for people who test positive for covid nineteen, but don't exhibit symptoms. the centers for disease control now says that infected but asymptomatic people should stay at home for five days and wear a mask around others for a further five. it comes as new york city made it compulsory for everyone aged i2 and above to be fully vaccinated against covid, in order to access indoor entertainment and sports activities. it has also become the first us city to require vaccines for all private sector workers; jabs are already mandatory for state employees. new york city's mayor explained why the measures were being taken now. we make history in new york city. and we lead the nation with the strongest vaccine mandate anywhere, private sector vaccine mandate, reaching hundreds of
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thousands of businesses. and we put this mandate into action as 0micron was coming, but we had no idea it would be quite this intense, but we knew, with 0micron coming, with cold weather, it was time to do more. well, thank god we did, because these mandates have been absolutely necessary to keep this city going. the reason the city keeps going, the reason we are open when some other places are shut down, is because of our focus on vaccination, because we used mandates and incentives. we got to double down, because one thing we can all agree, and i've talked to a lot of business leaders about this, covid is bad for humans, it's bad for our health, but it's also bad for business. dr syra madad, is an infectious disease epidemiologist at harvard belfer centre. shejoined me earlier and i asked her if cutting the isolation period is a good idea. absolutely. we are seeing staff shortages
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around the nation at a time where cases are increasing at an alarming rate. so when we are looking at the science, this is not just based on non—science —based approach is commenced based on science and data, which show is that you can safely cut isolation periods in half if you are asymptomatic and add a tests based strategy to get to see if they can return to work. i think that's very important because we want to make sure that as people come in for health care needs, they have that health care worker there at their beds by providing that care, so it's important that this has happened. it's even now important that the cdc has opened it up to the general public, obviously more provisions and safety measures, but i think this is a good sign because it's following the science. part two to that advisory is people who have got their booster shot do not need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with the omicron variant, but they should wear a mask for ten days after exposure, which like the mayor was saying there, it's about keeping people in the economy
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where sensible. that is correct. absolutely. we want to make sure that we have sustainable and flexible policies in place that people can abide by. when you are asking people to isolate for ten days, if they are positive and have a break their infection, that is really hard, but if you are able to follow science and show that you are most contagious within that five day period and are able to safely return to normal activities in the general public with a mask on, i think that's a really great call. when i look across europe to my get the sense that governments are starting to harden their approach to vaccine mandates. you are starting to see that there in new york. families going out to her taking children out with them now have to ensure that children are vaccinated. do you see a 0—tolerance approach developing there in new york city? i think first, new york city tends to be the model for the rest of the nation and also ready for
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the rest of the world. what happens in terms of a public health policy here is usually early because we tend to be the epicentre of anything going on, we were the epicentre and comfort first hit the us and again we are the epicentre as we look at omicron cases significantly increasing. the public health policies that tend to be rolled out here are good models because we try to follow the science and do what is best for the public, and we know vaccine mandates were, and as we look at children, we are seeing an astounding rise in cases in hospitalisation in the paediatric population. so we know vaccines work. anyway we can protect our children so they can resume normal lives, i think that is a plus. as you say, it's about exporting it to other states in the country, the problem is that 40% of donald trump supporters are still in vaccinated. are still unvaccinated. does it help that over the christmas period the former president seems to have changed his view on on accines and boosters? you know, i think it is a vaccine first approach, but it's not a vaccine on the approach, so he certainly emphasised the need
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for vaccinating everybody, especially those that are unvaccinated and then boosting those who are fully vaccinated and ensure that we have masks on indoor public spaces. so these are all important measures that we need to do coupling together. that is the picture stateside. let's have a look at france. the government has announced new measures, to deal with a spike in covid infections. working from home will become obligatory again where possible, for at least three days a week — although schools will open on schedule in the first week of january. there are also no plans to impose an evening curfew, but there will be limits on the size of audiences for indoor and outdoor events. 0ur correspondent hugh schofield told us the latest. there was a cabinet meeting, a special cabinet meeting, this afternoon convened by president macron at a distance. he's down in the south of france and he spoke via video link with his
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government up in paris, because of, as you were saying, the huge growth of 0micron—related covid, and they're projecting a really very, very sharp increase in the data. even maybe they're talking about 250,000 cases a day by early january. it's the same, of course, here as it is in other european countries, and what's interesting is that, so far, this unprecedented wave of covid has not been followed by the kind of crisis in the hospitals that we've had with previous waves. they draw some cautious optimism from that, but they're also very worried, which is why they are instituting these new measures to try and slow down the rate. there's nothing drastic here. people had been talking about curfews, maybe particularly on new year's eve. there's no new year's eve curfew. people had been talking about delaying the start of the school term next monday.
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no, that's not going to happen. that is going to remain the day that school reopens after christmas holidays. but there are these other measures, for example, new limits to the number of people at stadiums — 5,000 at football matches and so on, 2,000 for indoor events — this new push on home working, mandatory three days a week, maybe four if possible for companies, and a new rule about consuming drinks and food at bars and restaurants. you can only do that sitting down. that's a return to a rule we had before. this is all for three weeks. so it's not a drastic change, but it is a change which will make people, the hope is, think twice about going out, think twice about their behaviour, think twice about maybe some of the habits of covering up and so on which they've dropped and lost in the last month, where we've seen people beginning to think that it was all over, but it obviously isn't. every government trying to pick their way through this current phase of this crisis. moving away from covid for a short
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period of time. south africa has begun a week of events to commemorate the life of archbishop desmond tutu. the anti—apartheid leader died on sunday, aged 90. the bells of cape town's st george's cathedral, where he was archbishop for ten years, will toll for ten minutes every day at noon — until friday. table mountain and the city hall in cape town will be lit up in purple every night ahead of his funeral on the first of january. purple to represent the colour of his clerical robes. here are the pictures from earlier today of south african president cyril ramaphosa arriving at the archbishop's residence, to to offer condolences to his widow leah and the other family members. 0ur correspondent nomsa maseko is in cape town — outside st george's cathedral. earlier she described what people have been saying to her about desmond tutu. people are reflecting about archbishop desmond tutu as a man who was small in stature but had a big heart. after all, he was the man who
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was chosen by nelson mandela to head the reconciliation process here back in 1994, when south africa became a democracy. a lot of people speak about the man who played a prominent role in ensuring that south africa does indeed become a democracy. so he wasn'tjust respected here in this country, but all over the world, and also with world leaders having paid their own tribute, speaking about the man, describing desmond tutu as a moral compass not just for south africa, but also for them in their respective countries. there's a growing political standoff in somalia between the president and prime minister. president mohamed abdullahi mohamed says he has suspended the prime minister, accusing him of corruption over a land grab case. the prime minister, mohamed hussein robe—lay says the president is attempting an informal coup.
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bella shegow has sent this report from mogadishu. the power struggle between the two leaders took a new turn today when, early this morning, vehicles from the presidential palace blocked roads close to the prime minister's residence, forcing the prime minister to get to his office on foot. mr roble then accused the president of sabotaging the elections. translation: i would like to make it clear i to the somali people that the somali federal government will be in charge during the transition period, and i therefore give order to all somali forces to work under the command of the office of the prime minister from today. and former president mohamed abdullahi farmaajo is no more than a presidential candidate, so therefore he should stand aside. today's move comes just three months after the president, mohamed abdullahi farmaajo, and the prime minister agreed
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to end a bitter feud sparked by the disappearance of a female intelligence officer injune. the fear now is that today's development will only deepen the political crisis and could trigger clashes between the forces loyal to the two men, such as the ones in mogadishu, where president mohamed abdullahi farmaajo unilaterally extended his four—year term by two years. bella shegow, bbc news, mogadishu. a very dangerous situation developing there in somalia. let's get some of the day's other news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: missing for almost a week — a happy ending for the search and rescue dog — who got lost herself — as she's reunited with her owner.
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the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow, in holland, were going to use money we picked up in belgium today, and then we'll be in france and again, it will be the same money, it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better.
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this is bbc news, the latest headlines... no new covid restrictions are to be introduced in england before the new year, despite a record number of cases on christmas day. america's leading health body has halved the recommended isolation period for asymptomatic americans with covid—19 — from ten days to five. 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
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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�*s 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 the sea. so you can see there that we've lost, for a seasonal business... you know, this is stock that people can't buy, until the last minute. it really hurts for a small business like ours. this is where the container came from, ningbo, nearshanghai. the trouble is, there aren't 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's a sensitive system. the evergiven, the ship that blocked the suez canal
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for six days in march, caused massive backlogs, but it's covid that's 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, and that'sjust not happening, because they can't. and the of sending shipping containers by sea has risen dramatically. it has absolutely gone crazy this year. so if you're looking at short—term freight rates from asia to europe, you're 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—19 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 of how dependent
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we've 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 the supply chains we take for granted. chris morris, bbc news. the english premier league has announced 103 new coronavirus cases among club players and staff — the highest weekly number recorded since testing figures were first circulated in may last year. the league has also confirmed it has reverted to emergency measures following a raft of top—flight postponements. here's bbc sport's chetan pathak. the 20 clubs met last monday to discuss the busy
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fixture list which has already seen a number of postponements in december, but it was decided to keep going, even though some managers were against that. the rest of the major european football leagues are all in the usual winter breaks at the moment. in scotland, we have seen the premiership brought forward because of covid. it started after yesterday's matches. spectator numbers have been capped. wales has imposed restrictions. nothing in england, the premier league is trying to continue as normal, despite, as you say, a record 103 premier league players and testing positive for covid including boxing day. the liverpool manager was asked about this earlier before tomorrow's trip. he's long voiced his frustrations about the number of games traditionally played during christmas and new year, but given that the coronavirus cases, he says it's not right he says it's not right that so many games are being played after boxing day, especially when it means some
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teams are playing just 48 hours after their last game. it was never in doubt that we all want to play on boxing day. it's a great fixture. everyone loves it, it's great for the people and players. really good for everybody. after that, we do not stop discussing, because if we don't discuss it, it stays like this, maybe it stays anyways like this, but the players need help and help needs to come from other areas, this case, the coaches and players, we have to deal with all of this, which is why we are pretty clear about that. jurgen klopp there, captainjordan henderson the number of shoppers in the uk looking for a boxing day high street bargain plummeted compared to pre—pandemic levels. footfall for the full day was a1% lower than in 2019 as many people shunned shops — according to retail experts. the british retail consortium said many sellers would continue to see a boost in online trade amid concerns over the spread of the omicron variant.
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a specialist search and rescue dog that's been missing for nearly a week was today found safe and well. juno was last seen during a walk near great yarmouth in norfolk. her owner's been out looking for her every day. mike liggins was there to see the reunion. belong to you, ian? she does belong to ian and he'd almost given up hope. but this is the moment juno and her own ian danks were reunited. i've just been incredibly emotional back there, as you probably got on camera. but, you know, i'm just totally humbled by what people are willing to do for people in the community. and that's what lowland rescue is all about. juno is a short—haired german pointer and has been trained as a search and rescue dog. six days ago, she went missing on a family walk at fritton near great yarmouth, and despite social media appeals and searches, there was no news. tell me about christmas without her.
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i'd rather not, to be honest. it's obviously been really tough on you. yeah. yeah, it's the little things. it's a quiet house, her bed's empty. today, search and rescue teams from across the countryjoined the search and news came through thatjuno had been spotted by one of the team's drone pilots. they think they found her. flying along the river bank, and there she was, she had appeared, yellowjacket. stopped, zoomed in, brought the drone down a little bit and she just sat up and she looked over at the drone, and she's alive because she's moving. so that was it. she gets a good meal now? we've got lots of leftover turkey, so, yeah, that's what we're going to do, after a quick trip to the vets! juno has lost weight, around five kilos, but is doing well and is now at home, resting in front of the fire.
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pa rt part of the family, these dogs. they get under your skin, don't they? a nice tray to end with. to stay with us. —— a nice story to and with. hello there. the big weather story for the rest of this week, and of course that means the rest of this year, is all about exceptionally high temperatures. this chart shows the temperature compared with the average. as these deep red colours spread northwards across the chart, that shows that temperatures will be significantly higher than we'd expect them to be at this time of year. daytime highs of 16—17 degrees, some very mild nights. there will be some rain at times as well, and during tuesday, it's this area of low pressure responsible for bringing some wet weather. and on the southern flank of that low, also some quite windy weather. so, as our area of low pressure slides eastwards, we will see outbreaks of rain through the morning across parts of england and wales. a lot of mist and murk and low cloud around as well.
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should brighten up from the west. northern ireland and scotland certainly turning brighter by the afternoon. once any early fog has lifted, there should be quite a lot of sunshine around. relatively light winds in the north, but down towards the south, particularly for western and southern coasts, we're likely to see gusts of 40—50, maybe 55 mph. and still quite a split in temperatures for the time being. 5—6 degrees in northern scotland, 12—13 in southern england. then as we head through tuesday night into the early part of wednesday, a drier, quieter interlude before another band of rain swings its way in from the west. a little bit chilly again across northern parts of scotland, very mild down towards wales and the south west of england. and for wednesday, that band of rain associated with the frontal system will continue to journey its way north—eastwards, so we will see some wet weather for a time on wednesday. clearing many areas quite quickly. that rain lingering, though, for a good part of the afternoon in northern scotland. behind it, there will be some spells of sunshine, some areas of cloud, too.
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but some increasingly mild conditions, 15—16 degrees in the south, 13 there for belfast, ten in glasgow. the milder air is journeying northwards. it will continue to do so on thursday. quite a cloudy day for many, some mist and murk, some rain especially in the west. best chance of any sunshine in eastern parts, but highs of 16 or maybe 17 degrees. but even northern scotland will be up into double digits by this stage. another quite windy day in prospect. for friday, new year's eve, a lot of cloud around, some rain, especially in the west. best of any sunshine in the east, and still milder than it should be for the end of december. highs of 11—16 degrees.
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this is bbc news. the headlines — the uk health secretary, sajid javid, has confirmed that no further covid measures will be introduced in england before the new year, but he urged people to "remain cautious". the announcement puts england out of step with the other devolved uk nations, who have introduced tougher measures. the us health authorities have halved the recommended isolation period for people who test positive for covid—19 without exhibiting symptoms. the centers for disease control now says that infected but asymptomatic people should stay home for five days and wear a mask around others for a further five. france has become the latest european country to tighten restrictions in the face of rapidly rising cases, but the government stopped short of imposing a curfew. employees have been told to work from home for three or four days a week where possible. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk.


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