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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 28, 2021 10:00am-10:31am GMT

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this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. the hospitality sector welcomes the decision not to impose further covid restrictions in england before the new year, describing it as a lifeline but ministers say further restrictions hinges on the number of hospitalisations. at the moment, we don't think that the evidence supports any more interventions beyond what we've done but obviously we've got to keep it under very close review because if it is the case that we start to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act further and that's why we have to keep it under close review. the french government call their new covid measures "proportionate", as rules for remote working and public gatherings come into force next week. more young children are being forced work on the streets, as afghanistan's humanitarian crisis deepens — we'll bring
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you a special report from kabul. heavy snowstorms batter western states in the us — leaving thousands without power and causing travel chaos. it's all over — australia thrash england to win the ashes, after the tourists collapse in melbourne hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the hospitality sector in england has welcomed the decision not to impose further coronavirus restrictions this week — describing it as a "lifeline" to pubs, bars and clubs relying on new year trade for their survival. the uk health secretary, sajid javid, announced yesterday that the government would wait untiljanuary before re—evaluating
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the situation in england. but scotland, wales and northern ireland have all introduced further restrictions this week. people in wales and scotland are living with curbs on hospitality, including the closure of nightclubs. and all three nations have imposed restrictions on social mixing indoors. some of the scientists who advise the westminster government say ministers in england are acting "on the optimistic end of the spectrum" in terms of assessing the impact of the omicron spread. in the united states, health officials have halved the recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic covid—19 from ten to five days, amid a surge in cases. france and germany have both re—introduced tougher coronavirus restrictions. the french government has stopped just short of a stay—at—home order, but has called on employers to force their staff to work from home. demonstrations have taken place across eastern germany overnight against the new measures there.
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record numbers of coronavirus cases were recorded in england on christmas day. here's our political correspondent, iain watson. with christmas celebrations coming to a close, there had been fears of a much bleaker new year. with covid cases continuing at high levels, scotland, wales and northern ireland have all imposed new restrictions. but in england, the emphasis for the time being is on caution, not compulsion. we think some 90% of cases now across england are this new omicron variant, so it shows you just how quickly it has spread. we have had news in recent days that it's milder. now, that in itself isn't good news enough — that's good news, but we know that it spreads very rapidly, so we have to set that news against that. but whilst we should all absolutely remain cautious, we don't think there's any need for any further measures until the new year but, of course, we will keep that under review. many in the hospitality industry
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welcomed the fact that there'll be no new restrictions in england before new year — the night time industries association said it was amazing news — but some businesses say that even the existing restrictions have hit them hard, and they're still looking to the government for more help. it feels that, if there isn't some intervention that happens within the next sort of week or so, there'll be a lot of hospitality business like mine that will go out of business comejanuary, february, because we do not have the reserves to be able to weather the storm. with no new restrictions before the new year, parliament won't need to be recalled from its winter break. the ayes to the right, 369... 100 of borisjohnson�*s own mps rebelled earlier this month against the introduction of covid passes in england. if the prime minister had tried to push more measures through this week, he could have faced even fiercer resistance. as long as the nhs is not overwhelmed, then we stay, keep the uk open for business, keep our schools open — because the collateral damage to wider society and the economy
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of any lockdown measures are very much underestimated. but ministers are still concerned about the effect of self—isolation and sickness on nhs staffing levels so they've given no guarantees that there won't be more restrictions injanuary. and labour is calling for the government to publish the data and advice it receives when making its decisions. england is now on a divergent path from scotland, wales and northern ireland... ..but it's not yet clear whether that will also lead to different results in trying to keep the virus under control. iain watson, bbc news. i've been getting some more reaction from our political correspondent, ione wells. there's some good news and some news kept under review at the moment by ministers. firstly, in terms of the positive side, we did see those record numbers of covid cases on christmas day reported in england, at the moment ministers and scientists have been slightly more optimistic when it comes to hospital admissions, they are much lower than they were this time last year and that's the figure ministers had
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been keeping a close eye on to check whether those hospital admissions were rising at the rate we've been seeing covid cases rise. having said that, there are a number of things which are worrying ministers, for example the number of people who are not vaccinated, still filling up icu beds, that's a concern with the levels of people who haven't had their first dose let alone a boosterjab. secondly there is a concern about staff shortages particularly in the nhs because of the number of people going off sick and that's why they haven't ruled out restrictions in england in the new year and as you say, we've had some scientists today from, for example, sage, the government advisory group saying this is on the more optimistic end of the data being interpreted by ministers, but we did have a message from the environment secretary george eustice and he said while obviously at the moment they do not think any further interventions in england are necessary, the data would need to be kept under review if hospital admissions start to rise.
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we know the infection rate has been rising, we always predicted it would, we have known that for weeks, the key question is how many of those infections will translate into hospitalisations and there is early encouragement from what we know in south africa that you have fewer hospitalisations and the number of days of a stay in hospital if they go to hospital is also significantly lower than in previous variants so at the moment we don't think the evidence supports any more intervention beyond what we've already done but we have to keep it under very close review because if it is the case we start to see a big increase in hospitalisations then we would need to act further and that's why we have to keep it under close review. this leaves england very much out of step with the other nations of the uk? that's right. we've seen wales, scotland, northern ireland introduce restrictions when it comes to things like restrictions on hospitality, the numbers of people gathering both for private and public events,
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also reintroducing measures on social distancing, so as you say england very much diverging from the other nations of the uk and i think this ties into what is becoming a little bit of a political gamble for the prime minister. on the one hand, if he manages to succeed in keeping the economy open, something that has been welcomed by hospitality businesses today ahead of new year's eve, while also managing to keep the nhs from being overwhelmed and that's something which will go down well particularly with mps from his own party, i think a number of those were fiercely opposed to the idea of any more restrictions, we could have seen further rebellions in the commons if he did go ahead with them, having said that, if hospital admissions do start to rise sharply, particularly when we maybe see the impact on cases of some of that mixing of households over the christmas period, if they translate into hospital admissions, the prime minister could risk being accused of acting too late and following popularity and politics over public health.
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that's something which labour has already hinted at, and they have asked for the government to publish all its advice from the sage advisory committee but also all of the data to make sure the government is definitely following the science on this. health officials in the us have halved the recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic covid—i9 from ten to five days. the centers for disease control says this must be followed by five days of wearing a mask around others. the measure is expected to alleviate disruptions caused by staff shortages in many areas because of infections. new restrictions come into effect in germany today. demonstrators took to the streets in towns across eastern germany overnight to protest against the new rules. they include a limit on private gatherings to ten vaccinated people and the closure of all nightclubs. students of all ages will have to wear masks in school, and sports competitions will be held behind closed doors. unvaccinated people are already banned from much of public life and only two are allowed
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to meet in private. countries across europe are tightening restrictions as infections rise and the omicron variant spreads across the continent. in france — a record of more than 100,000 new cases on saturday — means tougher restrictions. remote working is now compulsory — where possible — and public gatherings have been cut to 2,000 people for indoor events. the bbc�*s azadeh moshiri reports. with the festivities over and memories made, france is now snapping back to the reality of the pandemic. president macron convened a remote cabinet meeting to review the latest data on the omicron variant. and his government's verdict is clear — cases are surging, and more restrictions are needed, at least for the next three weeks. starting on monday, all public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for
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indoor events, and 5,000 for outdoor ones. all spectators will also have to be seated at concerts. food and drinks can only be consumed while seated at bars and restaurants. and they will be banned on all public transport as well as cinemas. working from home will now be mandatory three days a week, where possible. and masks will be compulsory in outdoor city centres in addition to public transport. france's prime minister said he knows this all sounds like a film without an ending. translation: i know these measures can sometimes i make people feel fed up, but since the start of the crisis, the president, like his government, has sought only to protect you. the government is preparing for a huge wave of omicron cases, having already hit a record
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number in the last few days, registering more than 100,000 positive cases for the very first time. that's why france is offering a third booster shot after three months instead of four. but there is a fear that hospitals could buckle under the pressure, and that more measures will be needed. translation: with the omicron variant leaving the wave - to continue to expand would not only mean putting pressure on hospitals but especially that would mean putting pressure on all of society, because there will be 1 to 1.5—million people who would have to self—isolate each day. the government has warned it will introduce passes that would make vaccines mandatory for certain activities byjanuary 15th, that's if parliament approves. but it did stop short of imposing a lockdown on new year's eve. a silver lining, as france prepares for a fifth
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wave of the pandemic. as the humanitarian crisis in afghanistan deepens this winter, many families are having to take drastic action just to survive. hundreds of thousands of children already had to work in the country, now even more parents are being forced to send their kids out into the streets to earn money. secunder kermani and camera journalist malik mudassir sent this report from the capital kabul. wherever you go in this city, you see children working. wafting incense into cars. picking through rubbish. even when billions were pouring into this country, many children had to help provide for theirfamilies. now amidst an economic collapse, the number is growing.
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coughing. it's 8am and this 13—year—old is getting ready for work. he and his young cousins only started polishing shoes in the last few months. his father spends his days waiting for work as a labourer on the corner of the road. in the past, he earned just enough to get by. translation: i come here every day but do not earn enough to afford - a piece of bread for lunch. it's the same for everyone here. translation: i do not feel good that my child is working -
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but the situation is bad. we have no choice but to send them to work. pervez and his cousins walk the streets to stick together in case other boys start fighting with them. business is slow. with no customers, the boys take a break at a playground in the centre of kabul. they still have big dreams for the future. what do you want to do when you're older? when school starts again, will you go back carry on working? the boys
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walked past the kebabs enders. and the displays on the flower street. as well as civil servants demanding unpaid salaries. and huge queues outside banks. internationalfunding outside banks. international funding was outside banks. internationalfunding was cut off after the taliban takeover. afghanistan is foreign reserves risen and sanctions imposed. now the economy is in freefall. have you had lunch today? why? what will you do now? eventually they buy a single piece of bread to share between them. soon after, they find a customer.
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translation: even though i had my shoes shined in the morning, i let them do it to help them. have you ever seen at this bad in afghanistan, economically? translation: from morning to evening, most customers coming to my shop wanted to shine shoes. 150 people like that come here every day. the money pervez oz will help feed his family today. but food prices are rising. and the rent is overdue. are you happy you're your family? let's get more on the uk government's decision to not introduce more restrictions in england. it means night clubs and bars will remain open in england. michael kill is the chief executive of the uk's nighttime industry association.
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is this a relief to you and your industry?— is this a relief to you and your indust ? ~ ., ., ., , , industry? without a doubt. it is somewhat _ industry? without a doubt. it is somewhat a — industry? without a doubt. it is somewhat a relief _ industry? without a doubt. it is somewhat a relief from - industry? without a doubt. it is somewhat a relief from the - somewhat a relief from the perspective that we have suffered much anxiety and a very damaging trading few weeks for us when we are and were supposed to be building up cash reserves so we could survive the early part of next year which traditionally is very slow.- traditionally is very slow. there will be some — traditionally is very slow. there will be some within _ traditionally is very slow. there will be some within the - traditionally is very slow. there i will be some within the hospitality sector who feel in some ways it's the worst of all worlds where they are not being told to close, they do not get the insurance any kind of financial support and yet, people are being told be cautious, do not try and be outdoors, especially around new year, that it might be a self policing thing, people decide not to go out? i self policing thing, people decide not to go out?— self policing thing, people decide not to go out? i completely agree and i understand _ not to go out? i completely agree and i understand people's - and i understand people's perspectives, it's a hugely challenging environment and actually you understand, even with the support we are talking about released by the chancellor it is a drop in the oceans of the majority of people are very keen to trade,
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particularly around new eve, once we got past christmas day celebrations were people were concerned about infecting or the virus getting to some of their elderly relatives etc. many people are now focused on new year's eve and i mean it's notjust about new year's eve for us, it's bigger than that. it's the start of a recovery and we believe we have created safe environments for people to come out and socialise and we think it's the best scenario given the fact if we had closed, we would potentially have seen more house parties and more illegal events which would have been counter—productive. which would have been counter-productive. your organisation _ counter-productive. your organisation is _ counter-productive. your organisation is the - counter-productive. your organisation is the uk . counter-productive. your. organisation is the uk night counter—productive. your organisation is the uk night time industries association covering the four nations, rules are different in different parts of the united kingdom as things stand now, how much of a difficulty does not pose your members? it’s much of a difficulty does not pose your members?— your members? it's extremely difficult. we — your members? it's extremely difficult. we have _ your members? it's extremely difficult. we have worked - your members? it's extremely i difficult. we have worked closely with wales, scotland and northern ireland and it's usually
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frustrating. as you can appreciate come up with some of the measures put in place, particularly nightclubs have been closed and we are still calling for some very clear evidence of the reasoning behind this and even more importantly, now the prime minister in england has decided to stay on course with plan b. so there are some huge questions that need to be answered and we will be pushing for things to be clear or given more clarity but without a doubt, at the moment, it is devastating for the devolved governments and they are suffering hugely as hospitality businesses and nightclubs, and the like are going to find it very difficult in terms of surviving through to next year without robust and proportionate support. ok. and proportionate support. ok, michael, thank i and proportionate support. 0k, michael, thank you. heavy storms have battered western regions of the us, leaving thousands without power. almost 30 inches — 76 centimetres — of snow fell in california at the weekend, causing major disruption and road closures. other western us states too continue
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to be battered by heavy snow storms including the state of washington. sylvia lennan spence reports. breathtaking views of snow—covered forests — a true winter wonderland in the us state of oregon. in neighbouring washington state, much excitement as seattle, too, was blanketed in snow. i woke up this morning and i was like, "oh, my gosh, there's six inches of snow on the ground — i think i got to go skiing!" when we went to bed last night at midnight, i had trouble believing it would actually snow today. and when i woke up and saw what looked like maybe four inches, i was super excited. but it wasn't all fun and frolics, with seattle's mayor declaring a civil emergency ahead of the storms, to give shelter to those in need. travellers, too, were hit by delays and cancellations as airport operators tried their best to remove ice from planes, the battering snow hindering their progress. flights were cancelled,
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and many people stranded. we had to wait for two hours outside in 20—degree weather for a taxi that would be willing to take us to one of the only hotels with room availability. meteorologists say global warming is playing havoc with the climate, making storms more intense and unpredictable. la nina is happening, and that is bringing the jet stream just directly over the west coast. we have just been pummelled by very heavy lowland rain, significant mountain snow. so, yes, there is a degree of normalcy here — we see this kind of winter weather — but this is extreme snow, especially for what we're seeing in california, oregon and washington. while many stay home to avoid the plunging temperatures, others are making the most of the winter freeze — sliding towards the end of the year as best they can. sylvia lennan spence, bbc news. in cricket, australia has
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successfully retained the ashes, winning the third test against england in melbourne. in what was a dominating performance — australia's fast bowlers ripped through england's batting order to win by an innings and 1a runs. the victory means australia has an insurmountable 3—0 lead in the best of five test series, retaining the ashes once again. the sports writer and broadcaster, mihir bosejoins me now. painful to watch, wasn't it? absolutely, just staggering, that england should lose this match by an innings, when actually the bowlers have done quite well and restricted australia in the first innings to a very small lead. and i think what is so dismal about the series so far is that at no stage, apart from when the bowlers bowled australia in the first innings, has there been a fightback. and there has been only one man, this has been the story of
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the boy trying to keep the flood at bay, that has been the captainjoe root, who has made runs, the highest number of runs in a year, ever made by an england batsman and when he does not make runs, the whole batting collapses and cricket as a team game and the question is does england have a team? [30 team game and the question is does england have a team?— england have a team? do you put it down to the — england have a team? do you put it down to the exceptionally i england have a team? do you put it down to the exceptionally poori down to the exceptionally poor performance by england or was it an act exceptionally good performance by australia? {iii act exceptionally good performance by australia?— by australia? of course it was, nothin: by australia? of course it was, nothing to _ by australia? of course it was, nothing to take i by australia? of course it was, nothing to take the i by australia? of course it was, nothing to take the great i nothing to take the great performance from australia, they had a test, the second indigenous australian to play who took all of the wickets, smashing england this morning, ourtime in the wickets, smashing england this morning, our time in melbourne. absolutely. but nevertheless, this is meant to be the greatest of test series, a real test for both england and australia and you're supposed to
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put up a fight, and it's meant to a contest, what has come over in this test match is that australia have a team, they have readied themselves for it, they have made sure their preparations are right. as england is a team that has just got together, there were a few lads in the park, roaming around and the england lads said, do you want to play some cricket? play. that is the impression that has been given throughout this test series. the selection has been dubious. the way it has been made has been dubious, and one of course admits, the pandemic, preparations are difficult, there are all sorts of restrictions but that applies to both sides and i think that has made this a very, very painful series to watch. you don't mind your team losing, of course you want your team to win but you want them to show a bit of fight, a bit of resolve and this is what england has not shown. 0k,
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this is what england has not shown. ok, we will wait and see if it is a 5- ok, we will wait and see if it is a 5— series wipe—out but for the moment, thank you. you are watching bbc news. children whose parents smoke are four times more likely to take up smoking, according to a uk government campaign. the findings show 4.9% of teenagers whose parents smoke have taken up smoking, compared to only 1.2% of teenagers whose parents don't smoke. doctors have urged parents and other caregivers to give up smoking. in the uk, the number of people out shopping in the last two days plummeted compared to pre—lockdown levels. there were more shoppers out yesterday than boxing day but footfall was still down by more than 30 per cent. now to a good news tale. a search and rescue dog who went missing herself almost a week ago has been found. juno disappeared while out on a walk
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on the norfolk broads in england. she was finally spotted by a specialist team with the help of a drone. our reporter mike liggins was there whenjuno and her owner were reunited. belong to you, ian? she does belong to ian, and he'd almost given up hope. but this is the moment juno and her owner, ian danks, were reunited. so i'vejust been incredibly emotional back there, as you've 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. she went missing on december the 21st, on a family walk at fritted near great yarmouth. and despite social media appeals and searches, juno couldn't be found.
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there were fears she might have been stolen. tell me about christmas without her. 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. rescue teams from across the countryjoined the search. some 80 people with other dogs, drones and boats. and then, news came through that juno had been spotted by one of the team's drone pilots. they think they've found her. flying along the riverbank, and there she was, she appeared, yellow jacket. stopped, zoom in, brought the drone down a little bit. she wasjust sat up, and she looked over the drone. i thought, she's alive because she's moving. so that was it. a specialist dog handler was in the boat, which eventually broughtjuno back to safety. she gets a good meal now? we've got lots of leftover turkey. laughter.
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so, yeah, that's what we're going to do, after a quick trip to the vet's. after a checkup at the vets, juno was back home. her disappearance remains a mystery. and althouthuno is one of theirs, ian danks can't thank the rescue teams enough. they've given me phenomenal support over this last week, ranging from when i first found juno was missing, all the way through the searches with drones, boats, thermal imaging equipment. they're still supporting me now. so, yeah, absolutely. the support they've given me is phenomenal. and it would be wrong of me to not say thank you. juno will be resting at home for a few days, and when the family take herfor a walk, it will be on the lead, for now. mike liggins, bbc news, norfolk. record amounts of snow are falling in western and northern japan, blocking roads and railways and disrupting flights. thousands of homes are without power. one town in fukushima district has registered one and half metres of snow in recent days. forecasters say the amount of snow this season is twice
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that of an average year. there's no let—up in sight, with more snowfall forecast into tuesday along the japan sea coast. warnings are in place for residents to stay home. now the weather, with carol hello again. over the next few days the temperature is going to rise to unseasonably mild levels. today, what we've got is rain pushing its way into the north sea leaving a lot of cloud in its wake, thick enough for some patchy light rain or drizzle at times. the clearer skies across the highlands, northern ireland and parts of england and wales means that some of us will see some sunshine. but a windy day, especially with exposure in wales and the english channel. through this evening and overnight, there will be quite a bit of clear sky around, so especially in scotland, parts of northern england, we are looking at a touch of frost before this next system swings in bringing its rain from the south—west.

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