this is bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: protests in moscow, after the supreme court bans one of russia's oldest and best known human rights organisations — memorial international. new covid infections in the uk hit a record daily high, as the british government defends its decision not to introduce further restrictions in england. china says its astronauts are being put in danger of a collision with satellites launched by elon musk. opening night on theatre royal in manhattan. and that was then, but with a surge of covid—19, broadway is seeing a flurry of closures
this festive season — how will the great white way handle the set back? and a magical reunion — the cast of harry potter are back together for a 20th anniversary special, on new year's day. thank you forjoining us. for more than 30 years, the human rights organisation, memorial, has been chronicling the abuses of the soviet era to ensure the crimes and victims are unearthed and are not forgotten. but now the supreme court has banned russia's oldest human rights organisation, "liquidated it" to use their language, accusing it of violating a law requiring groups to register as foreign agents. it comes at the end of a year in which the kremlin has cracked down vigorously on its critics. our moscow correspondent
steve rosenberg reports. more and more, it feels as if russia is turning the clock back. "liquidate," the judge says, as she orders one of russia's oldest civil rights groups, international memorial, to shut down. the n60 was found to have broken russia's draconian foreign agents law. "disgraceful decision," the reaction from the gallery. it's100% a political thing. and the substance of this political decision is just one more step from authoritarian regime to totalitarian. for more than 30 years, memorial has been shining a light on one of the darkest chapters of russian history, what became known as the great terror. it's been painstakingly cataloguing the victims ofjosef stalin's
mass repressions. up to 20 million soviet citizens are believed to have been sent to the gulag, to stalin's prison camps. hundreds of thousands were executed. memorial was set up to keep their memory alive. the founding of memorial in the late 1980s was a symbol, a symbol of the soviet union opening up and facing up to its past, to the crimes ofjosef stalin. the shutting down of memorial is a symbol, too, of how in russia today the past is being reshaped, rewritten, and how civil society is under attack. vladimir putin has been using history to try to foster patriotism, so he focuses on the glories of russia's past, like the victory in world war ii. through this annual reading of names of the victims
of political repression, memorial has tried to remind russians of their tragic past. now, though, it's being silenced. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. let's go now to simon adams. he is the president of the center for victims of torture. it is the largest organisation in the world that treats survivors of torture and also advocates for its global eradication. he's in new york. thank you very much for your time. essentially, did you see this coming? was this a writing on the wall moment? i this coming? was this a writing on the wall moment?— this coming? was this a writing on the wall moment? i think the writin: on the wall moment? i think the writing was _ on the wall moment? i think the writing was on _ on the wall moment? i think the writing was on the _ on the wall moment? i think the writing was on the wall - on the wall moment? i think the writing was on the wall because | writing was on the wall because of this ruling is notjust about rewriting the past, actually, it is also about choking, strangling, banning one of the last independent human rights voices in russia. although a court made the ruling, the real decision is very much one coming from vladimir putin and it is part
of his campaign, as your reporterjust said to rewrite the past to control the present. it the past to control the present-— the past to control the present. the past to control the resent. , ., ., , , present. it is one more step towards totalitarianism, - present. it is one more step towards totalitarianism, is l present. it is one more stepi towards totalitarianism, is it that dramatic? i towards totalitarianism, is it that dramatic?— towards totalitarianism, is it that dramatic? i do. the term orwellian _ that dramatic? i do. the term orwellian is — that dramatic? i do. the term orwellian is over _ that dramatic? i do. the term orwellian is over use - that dramatic? i do. the term orwellian is over use as - that dramatic? i do. the term orwellian is over use as a - orwellian is over use as a political metafile this is like something out of a 1984. b pattern wants to control the passer he can control the present and memorial documents the crimes, the purges, the gulag, the torturers, 2.6 million victims. but it also has a modern element, that it has a modern element, that it has compiled a list for example of 420 political business, including one alexei navalny. for vladimir putin, there are no political prisoners in
russia and they can be no discussion about what stalin did in the past stop except for winning the second world war so therefore memorial has to cease to exist. there is a court case in a matter of a few hours looking at the validity of keeping memorial�*s sister agency. the point you make about chronicling current issue is what that organisation does? absolutely. if you were a betting person, you could bet that the so—called independent court in russia will find that memorial sister organisation, the human rights centre, which vladimir putin has described as an extremist organisation that supports terrace by quite simply publishing a list of
political prisoners in russia. this is very bad for civil society in russia. thank you very much — society in russia. thank you very much for _ society in russia. thank you very much forjoining - society in russia. thank you very much forjoining us. - france has reported a record high number of new confirmed coronavirus cases on tuesday. nearly 180,000 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hour period — the highest since the pandemic began. it comes as the french government has announced that it will introduce tighter restrictions amid concerns over the omicron variant. from 3january, remote working will become compulsory for those who can. here in the uk there's been another record number of infections for a single day — more than 129,000 cases were reported in the last 24 hours. despite that, the uk government has defended its decision to hold off on any additional restrictions in england before the new year, saying it will monitor the situation closely. there are restrictions
on socialising in the other nations that form the uk — wales, scotland and northern ireland. our health correspondent, sophie hutchinson reports. a vaccination centre in lambeth in london, among the boroughs worst affected by omicron in the uk. staff here say there is no shortage of demand forjabs. i'm a schoolteacher, i've got to go back. there are zero mitigations in class. and i don't want to get sick. i'm 57 year old so i'm quite frightened of that and i don't want to pass it on to my loved ones. it's really important because i'm a recently retired senior head of education at university college, so i preach it to my staff so i have to jolly well do it as well! unlike the rest of the uk which has increased restrictions, the government in england is relying on vaccinations to get the country through the latest wave of covid. we do watch very carefully all of the data
and we have had some good news that it does seem to be a bit milder in terms of severity, but we do watch the hospitalisations and we do watch the number of people in hospitals all the time. the data the government in england are monitoring in particular are the hospitalisations, which are increasing, but are still far from the peaks of previous waves. and in london, which has been worst hit by omicron, the number of patients in icu beds at hospitals like this and others are still well below worrying thresholds. despite the latest figures showing record high infections in the uk relating to the christmas period, some scientists say that the spread of the virus in england seems to be slowing. cases are still rising. i think suggestions a few days ago that we might have actually peaked, i think was probably not borne out yesterday, but on the other hand cases are not increasing as rapidly
as they were a week or so ago. i think we can be fairly certain that they're not doubling every couple of days now. but the virus in wales is now growing exponentially, mirroring what happened over the last few weeks in england. our rates are quite stable, around the 500 per 100,000 mark until a week or ten days ago. it's now heading towards the 1,000 per 100,000 mark. this data that we've published today is just before christmas so we still have to watch and see what the christmas mixing and new year mixing is going to produce. back in england the decision not to add further restrictions has been described as a lifeline for pubs, bars and clubs by the hospitality sector. it also says allowing people to go out on new year's eve signals better times ahead. it's notjust about new year's eve for us. i mean, it's bigger than that. it's the start of a recovery and we believe that
we've created safe environments for people to come out and socialise, and we think it's the best scenario, given the fact that if we'd closed we potentially would have seen more house parties and more illegal events which would have been counter—productive. but there are concerns about the wider impact of omicron on the nhs. hospital leaders say while many people are coming in to hospital with covid but not because of covid, staff are also getting infected. it's very clear that as soon as you get omicron circulating significantly amongst the community, of course, it will be circulating amongst nhs staff. we are now having to redeploy staff to fill the gaps that are being left in critical and essential services by staff who are off with covid—related absences. along with vaccinations, the government in england is urging people to remain cautious and if possible to celebrate outside on new year's eve. it will assess whether more restrictions are needed injanuary. sophie hutchinson, bbc news.
still a long way to go with covid and omicron, of course. let's get some of the day's other news: turkish authorities have detained 16 people on suspicion of operating a religious bookstore linked to islamic state. there were clashes with police, as they tried to shut the store down — it was accused of operating without a license. the parents of a fourteen—year—old girl who was accidentally shot dead by a los angeles policeman have demanded justice, following the release of body camera footage of the incident. valentina orellana—peralta was hiding with her mother in a fitting room of a clothes shop when the officer opened fire on a suspect who was attacking a woman. indonesia has lifted its ban on the boeing 737 max aircraft, three years after a domestic flight involving the plane crashed into the sea killing all on board. the incident involving the lion airflight, along with a later crash in ethiopia, led to the boeing plane being grounded globally.
announcing the decision, the indonesian transport ministry said it had evaluated the changes to the aircraft's systems. a huge operation is under way on the island of la palma, in spain's canary islands, to remove the lava which flowed from a volcanic eruption. activity at the cumbre vieja volcano has now stopped — as you can see, just in time for some of these buildings in la laguna cross. the leader of the palestinian authority, mahmoud abbas, has met the israeli defense minister benny gantz in israeli territory. it's thought to be his first visit to israel in more than a decade. a senior palestinian official said that during the two and a half hour meeting they'd discussed the importance of creating a climate that could lead to a political solution to the israeli—palestinian conflict. i'm joined now by professor david makovsky, director of the project on arab—israel relations at the washington insitute.
thank you forjoining us. always a delight. i am not sure what is more remarkable that he has not ventured into israel for more than a decade or that the ambition is so high. why are they having the meeting now? ., , . are they having the meeting now? . ., now? to be technical, mahmoud abbas attended _ now? to be technical, mahmoud abbas attended perez's - now? to be technical, mahmoud abbas attended perez's funeral. abbas attended perez's funeral into thousand 16 but the last working public meeting was 2010. why now? first of all jake sullivan visited israel last week, joe biden's national security adviser. he did raise the palestinian issue and inquired about progress. i think israel is not looking to widen any differences with the united states at this time. secondly, for mahmoud abbas, he has been relegated to the
margins that people have not discussed him and this brings him back briefly to the headlines. and also there is a consensus right now on the need to do economic measures. between israelis and palestinians. forthis between israelis and palestinians. for this israeli government, that is a hybrid from left centre right, this is one issue they do agree on stop if they were negotiations on solving the issue, on drawing a truth, the government would not fall apart. there is also differences on final status but economically, things to get moving because they've been stuck for so long. it moving because they've been stuck for so long.— stuck for so long. it is interesting, _ stuck for so long. it is interesting, he's - stuck for so long. it is . interesting, he's meeting stuck for so long. it is interesting, he's meeting benny gantz and you are talking about mahmoud abbas�*s position in the firmament at the moment, is a significant that he is not
meeting naftali bennett or is that a purpose of this meeting in particular?— in particular? that is a great question- — in particular? that is a great question- i _ in particular? that is a great question. ithink— in particular? that is a great question. i think what - in particular? that is a great question. i think what has i question. i think what has happened is that the two people who are most at the helm of this government, premise the bennett and the foreign minister, —— prime minister. they view the palestinian issue as the most controversial of all issues that can lead to the dissolution of the government. benny gantz is a defence minister, the defence ministry operator is who deals with the palestinian issue. meeting with mahmoud abbas�*s people this summer, they said we like benny gantz, he is an honest man, and basically benny gantz is the point person. he reflects functionally the position of the defence minister but also the defence minister but also the politics that bennett and the politics that bennett and the foreign minister do not want to touch this issue at this time and i think the
palestinians respect that. thank you very much indeed. and thank you for being with us. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: more bad luck for broadway, with some shows to shut, just as they need a big festive season. we'll talk to a theatre critic. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland they are going to use money that we picked up in belgium today and then we will be in france and again it will be the same money. it has 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 suspicionj of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. big ben bongs. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: protests in moscow, after russia's supreme court decides to close memorial international, the country's most prominent rights organisation. new covid cases in england and wales hit record highs, the british government says it will keep under close review its decision not
to impose further curbs. china has issued a complaint about the us tech entrepreneur, elon musk, over his activities in space. beijing says that there have been two near misses between its new orbiting space station, and satellites launched by mr musk�*s companies. the chinese have raised the issue with the un's space agency. here'sjonathan mcdowell, an astrophysicist at the harvard—smithsonian center for astrophysics. under the outer—space treaty of 1967, anything that a private company does in space is sort of the responsibility of the un member state that licensed it to go up in the first place. there is a governmental role here. the question is, is the us correctly regulating what spacex is doing? i think there is... the problem here is that these satellites are being moved around actively, much more
so than most, so the chinese couldn't figure out in advance whether to dodge or not. now as the old song goes, the neon lights are bright on broadway, but theatres are staying dark this festive season as a new surge of covid—19 hits the great white way. the omicron variant has forced a number of shows to close as productions suffer outbreaks of covid—19. just today star hugh jackman announced he'd tested positive, and as a result performances of the music man will be cancelled till january. it's the lastest in a long line of shows to do so. over the busy christmas period, 10 of the great white ways biggest shows shut down including hamilton, the lion king and and moulin rouge all citing covid—19. whilst four broadway shows have announced they will close down completely. so after two years of closures and set backs what's the mood on broadway?
let's talk to michael riedel, the revered and feared theater columnist for the new york post and bestselling author of singular sensation: the triumph of broadway. thanks forjoining us. that is such a grim picture, isn't it? oh yes, totally david. when we started to reopen here on broadway in the fall when we thought everyone is going to be vaccinated and everybody wants to go back to seeing a great broadway show again, this is an enormous setback. ﬁnd broadway show again, this is an enormous setback.— enormous setback. and a lot of shows are _ enormous setback. and a lot of shows are not _ enormous setback. and a lot of shows are not going _ enormous setback. and a lot of shows are not going to - enormous setback. and a lot of shows are not going to be - enormous setback. and a lot of shows are not going to be able | shows are not going to be able to survive this jerky movement thatis to survive this jerky movement that is going on and there are literally people who went to broadway shows, they were sitting in their seat at seven o'clock and then the stage manager would come out and say sorry, tonight's show has to be cancelled because of a covid outbreak among the cast and this devastating, devastating perception for this industry
who keeps new york float for all these years. this is the industry that makes $2 billion a year. industry that makes $2 billion a ear. ~ . , industry that makes $2 billion a ear. ~ . industry that makes $2 billion a ear. . ., ., a year. which is a lot of money. _ a year. which is a lot of money. i _ a year. which is a lot of money. i get _ a year. which is a lot of money, i get that. - a year. which is a lot of money, i get that. butl a year. which is a lot of - money, i get that. but covid aside, there have always been illnesses that might affect any member of any cast so there is always a way around that, isn't there? they can get their standards, their support cast in? ~ , , ., in? well the problem is that when you — in? well the problem is that when you have _ in? well the problem is that when you have so _ in? well the problem is that when you have so many - in? well the problem is that i when you have so many people getting attacked with covid, if you have standards attacked, the understudies attacked and the understudies attacked and the principles attacked, you lose your base at some point. so there are not enough people to go on with the show and the frightening thing, david, is that people i'd believe now and i've talked to a lot of my friends who are not in the theatre but who want to buy tickets, they are thinking, do a really want to go and see a show that is going to get cancelled at the last minute? and that has wreaked havoc, havoc, with ticket sales. and havoc, with ticket sales. and it is probably _
havoc, with ticket sales. and it is probably fair _ havoc, with ticket sales. and it is probably fair to - havoc, with ticket sales. and it is probably fair to say that if you go to see hugh it is probably fair to say that if you go to see huthackman you really don't want to see a show when he is not in at. the substitute does not really match up. substitute does not really match no— substitute does not really match up. substitute does not really match u. ~ ., ., ., match up. well not to drop name but i was match up. well not to drop name but i was in _ match up. well not to drop name but i was in touch _ match up. well not to drop name but i was in touch with _ match up. well not to drop name but i was in touch with you - but i was in touch with you today, and i heard that he had covid and i head covid too by the way, and i've been boosted up the way, and i've been boosted up the wires do and he and i both said that it is like a mild cold, and what we cannot compute and what america, what you guys, what the world has to get together with is, if it's just going to be a cold, you cannot shut down and industry. he told me he could have performed tonight because it was just a cold performed tonight because it wasjust a cold but performed tonight because it was just a cold but everything gets shut down and it is financial disaster.- gets shut down and it is financial disaster. that is a massive — financial disaster. that is a massive issue, _ financial disaster. that is a massive issue, i _ financial disaster. that is a massive issue, i agree - financial disaster. that is a | massive issue, i agree with financial disaster. that is a - massive issue, i agree with you one that. just very briefly, what does broadway do? we are hearing of shows closing, literally finishing, kaput, how is it going to get through this? it is it going to get through this? ., , ., , , .
this? it remains to be seen. we will see when _ this? it remains to be seen. we will see when we _ this? it remains to be seen. we will see when we get _ this? it remains to be seen. we will see when we get out - this? it remains to be seen. we will see when we get out of- will see when we get out of this pandemic, if we can get out of it, we will see if people are still willing to buy a ticket and sit with 1500 other people to see if they are going to be safe. if they don't feel safe, there is no broadway, there is no west end and that it. broadway, there is no west end and that it— and that it. that is a very stron: and that it. that is a very strong message - and that it. that is a very strong message to - and that it. that is a very strong message to end i and that it. that is a very l strong message to end on. and that it. that is a very - strong message to end on. thank you very much michael, thanks forjoining us. mr; you very much michael, thanks forjoining us— forjoining us. my pleasure, thank you- _ 0k, ok, let's look on the bright side for a moment. many of the cast of the "harry potter" film franchise have reunited for a 20th anniversary tv special, called "return to hogwarts" to be broadcast on new year's day. daniel radcliffe, emma watson and director christopher columbus were among those who recalled the studio sets as "the greatest playground in the world." azadeh moshiri has the full story, and a warning that this report contains flashing images. with just the wave of a wand, the gang is back together. back in the world of potter with its
lavish banquets, old classmates and old foes. stars from the beloved franchisor back for a 20 year anniversary special called return to hog warts. some of us haven't seen each other for like years, so some of us haven't seen each otherfor like years, so it's just been a joy. and unexpected joy- just been a joy. and unexpected joy. i really didn't know how it would feel.— joy. i really didn't know how it would feel. i've watched you crow u- it would feel. i've watched you grow on and — it would feel. i've watched you grow up and i've _ it would feel. i've watched you grow up and i've seen - it would feel. i've watched you grow up and i've seen every i grow up and i've seen every stage — grow up and i've seen every stage of— grow up and i've seen every stage of your life.— grow up and i've seen every stage of your life. one person is missing. — stage of your life. one person is missing, though. _ stage of your life. one person is missing, though. the - stage of your life. one person l is missing, though. the woman who created it all. jk rowling. but it's unclear whether the recent controversy surrounding the author over transgender rights has anything to do with it. even so, this new year's day could still be magical. something tells me there will be plenty of viewers for that. more of that on the website of
course. you can get all the latest on all the main stories here on bbc news. goodbye for now. the run up to the new year is going to be really exceptionally mild, near record breaking in fact. and notjust on one or two days but really quite a prolonged spell of very mild weather, some four days or so. it's not really going to cool off until around the third or 4th of january. but this is the map showing the warmth in the atmosphere. if you look at the subtropical atlantic here, just to the west of the canaries, south of the azores, there is a current of warm air that is spreading in our direction and spread across western parts of europe and then deeper into more central and eastern parts of europe. in england, for example, this is how mild or warm it could actually get, 17 degrees. compare that to the average of eight celsius.
now, at the moment, it's not quite so mild. in fact, in scotland with the clear skies in some eastern areas quite a nippy start to the day and not desperately cold for this time of the year. but still temperatures, i think, around freezing or below in some of the glenns, 5 degrees and some of the eastern parts of england. but 14 degrees in plymouth at 6am, so that's the mild air which is following this warm front here which will be moving across the uk bringing a spell of rainy weather for many of us. then that weather front will clear to the north, the skies should also brighten up a little bit. and temperatures mid teens, mid teens widely across england, wales, a little bit fresher in the north, but they could max out at around 17 celsius in the southeast of the country on wednesday and also on thursday. now here's another weather front that's coming in from the south, some wet weather particularly reaching parts of wales. in fact, that warmer weather moves further north too. we are talking about 16 degrees in hull, 17 degrees in the east and the southeast of the country. now, here's new year's eve, and it does look as though we are on track for one of the mildest new year's eves on record. i mean, it remains to be seen how mild it will be, but by day, we are talking around 15—16
this is bbc news. the headlines: russia's supreme court has banned one of the country's oldest human rights organisations. the court ruled that memorial must be disbanded for breaking the law on foreign agents. there have been protests outside the court and human rights groups say they are outraged by the decision from moscow. new covid infections in england and wales have hit a record daily high, as the british government defends its decision not to introduce further restrictions in england before january. greater restrictions have already come into force in scotland, wales and northern ireland. there's also been a record number of covid infections in france — almost 180,000 new infections recorded in a single day. the french government has already announced new measures there, including a mandatory work from home order. now on bbc news,