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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 29, 2021 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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welcome to 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. 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. archival footage: opening night on theatre row in manhattan. - and that was then, but with a surge of covid—19 broadway is seeing a flurry of closures this
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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. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. 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
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cracked down vigorously on its critics. the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has described it as an "affront" to human rights. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg reports. more and more, it feels as if russia is turning the clock back. as she orders one of russia's oldest civil rights groups, "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.
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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
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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. sophia kishkovsky is a freelance journalist who worked for almost two decades in moscow and she is now based in new york. thank you forjoining us. tell us a little bit because you know, an extremely well. what is it about this organisation thatis is it about this organisation that is wrangling so much with the authorities in moscow that it needs to be liquidated, as they put it? it it needs to be liquidated, as they put it?— they put it? it is considered uncontrollable. _ they put it? it is considered uncontrollable. in _ they put it? it is considered uncontrollable. in fact, - they put it? it is considered | uncontrollable. in fact, they refer to themselves not so much as an organisation as a movement. it started very much as a cross roads movement of
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people looking for stories of their own families who died in their own families who died in the great terror. when russia opened up, they were able to find that information during the robert rock era. —— gorbachev. russians have face prosecutions on a local level in recent years and it is also a symbol. it is the most important human rights and civic activists organisation in russia so by shutting it down into this way, it is a signal to all human rights organisations, all civic activists left in russia. it activists left in russia. it seems one of the messages coming out about it is that there is a time to recognise
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there is a time to recognise the achievement of the soviet era and the success in the war, for example, in the second war. does memorial bother with those issues at all?— issues at all? absolutely. the wall is so _ issues at all? absolutely. the wall is so central— issues at all? absolutely. the wall is so central to _ issues at all? absolutely. the wall is so central to the - wall is so central to the russian experience. —— war. in its database of almost 3 million people, war and oppression are very much connected. prisoners of war who ended up in the gulag after returning from germany where they were held as prisoners of war and in early december, a presidential human rights commissioner that needs annually and questions were asked about what is happening to memorial and vladimir putin specifically pointed out that there was information in this database about people who were
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identified as victims of stalinism but in fact he said they were people who had killed they were people who had killed the jewish people they were people who had killed thejewish people during the second world war. memorial said they removed from the database and said it was a mistake because of the millions of people mistakes had been made. do you think, obviously, these sorts of errors which memorial focuses on, are extremely important to a good many people. —— areas. but i russians that bothered about this? fit russians that bothered about this? �* ., ~' this? at the moment, i think not, this? at the moment, i think not. because _ this? at the moment, i think not, because of— this? at the moment, i think not, because of the - this? at the moment, i think not, because of the many - this? at the moment, i think- not, because of the many people obviously, when there are millions of victims of stalinism, there is a personal aspect that there is also a large part of the russian population that is a descendant
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from people who were the camp guards, for example so some people do not want to hear about this at all.— people do not want to hear about this at all. thank you very much _ about this at all. thank you very much indeed - about this at all. thank you very much indeed for- about this at all. thank you i very much indeed for sharing your insights on memorial. 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 2a 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 0micron variant. from 3january, remote working will become compulsory for those who can and public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events. 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 2a hours. despite that, the uk government has defended its decision to hold off on any additional
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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 0micron 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
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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 for hospitalisations, which are increasing, but are still far from the peaks of previous waves. and in london, which has been worst hit by 0micron, 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
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started to peak, 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 the 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.
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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 have 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 0micron 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 0micron 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.
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sophie hutchinson, bbc news. 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 0rellana—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. 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
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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 2.5—hour meeting they'd discussed the importance of creating a climate that could lead to a political solution to the israeli—palestinian conflict. professor david makovsky is the director of the project on arab—israel relations at the washington insitute. i asked him why the meeting is taking place now. first of alljake sullivan visited israel last week, biden�*s national security adviser. while clearly the topic was iran, 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, i think for abbas
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himself, he has kind of been relegated to the margins, that people have not discussed him and he has not been an interlocutor, so i think this brings him back albeit briefly to the headlines. and also i think there is a consensus right now on the need to do economic measures between israelis and palestinians. for this israeli government, that is a hybrid from left—centre—right, this is one issue where they do agree. if there was actual negotiations on solving the issue, on dealing withjerusalem and the like, the government would fall apart. and abbas, there is also differences over final status but i think economic issues could at least get things moving because they've been stuck for so long. it is interesting, he's meeting benny gantz and you are talking about mahmoud abbas�*s position
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in the firmament — is it significant that he is not meeting naftali bennett or is that a purpose of this meeting in particular? that is a great question. i think what has happened is that the two people who are most at the helm of this government, bennett and the foreign 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. i meti 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 politics that bennett
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and the foreign minister do not want to touch this issue at this time and i think the palestinians respect that. professor david makovsky there. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: more bad luck for broadway with some shows forced to shut as 0micron cases surge just as they need a big festive season. 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 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, i 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
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on suspicion - of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. big ben bongs this is bbc news. our top story: protests in moscow after russia's supreme court decides to close memorial international, the country's most prominent rights organisation. china has issued a complaint about the us tech entrepreneur, elon musk, over his activities in space. beijing says that
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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. and so there is a governmental role here. so 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. it's really bursting at the seams. space is big, right? and low earth orbit is huge,
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but it's not infinitely huge. it's what we used to think about the oceans, right? 0h, throw all the stuff you want in there and it will never fill out. wrong. because everything is travelling at 17,000mph in all different directions, you know, you know the old saying about how far you should be from the car in front of you, right? you need to leave some space, so they are now almost 5,000 working satellites. we're tracking over 20,000 pieces ofjunk and there are little pieces ofjunk we can't even see on the radar. so it's a mess up there. now, as the old song goes, the neon lights are very bright on broadway, but theatres are staying dark this festive season as a new surge of covid—19 hits the great white way. the 0micron 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 tilljanuary.
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it's the latest in a long line of shows to do so. over the busy christmas period, 10 of the great white way's biggest shows shut down, including hamilton, the lion king and moulin rouge all citing covid—19. four broadway shows have announced they will close down completely. michael riedel is the feared theatre columnist for the new york post and gave me his thoughts on where broadway goes from here. 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. and a lot of shows are not going to be able to survive this herky—jerky movement that's going on, and there are literally people who went to broadway shows, they were sitting in their seats at 7:00 and then the stage manager would come out and say, "sorry, "tonight's show has to be
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cancelled because of a covid "outbreak among the cast" and this devastating, devastating perception for this industry that keeps new york afloat for all these years. i mean, this is a business that makes $2 billion a year. which is a lot of money, i get that. but, look, covid aside, there have always been illnesses that might affect any member of any cast so there's always a way around that, isn't there? they can get their stand—ins, get their support cast in? well, the problem is that when you have so many people getting attacked with covid, if you have stand—ins attacked, 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 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're thinking, "do i really want to go and see a show
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"that's going to get cancelled at the last minute?" and that has wreaked havoc — havoc with ticket sales. and i guess it's also probably fair to say that if you go to see huthackman, you really don't want to see a show when he's not in it. the substitute does not really match up. well, not to drop a name, but i was in touch with hugh today, emailing him, and i heard that he had covid, and i have covid too by the way, and i've been boosted up the wazoo, 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 an industry. he told me he could have performed tonight because it was just a cold, but everything gets shut down and that is a recipe for financial disaster. that is a massive issue, i agree with you on that. just very briefly, though — what does broadway do? we are hearing of shows
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closing, literally finishing, kaput, how's it going to get through this? it remains to be seen. we 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 1,500 other people to see if they're going to be safe. if they don't feel safe, there is no broadway, there is no west end. 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. azadeh moshiri has the full story. 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 its old foes. stars from the beloved franchise are back for a 20—year anniversary special called return to hogwarts.
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some of us haven't seen each otherfor, like, years, so it's just been a joy. yeah. like an unexpected joy. i really didn't know how it would feel. i wouldn't be the person i am without so many people here. i've watched you grow up and i've seen kind of. every stage of your life. 0ne person's 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. the death of famed nfl coach and commentator john madden has been announced. he was 85. madden became a fixture as a beloved television analyst after he retired from coaching. he won 16 emmy awards during a 30—year television career. madden led the then—oakland raiders to theirfirst super bowl victory over
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the minnesota vikings in 1977. he was inducted to the pro football hall of fame in 2006. that is bbc news. 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 january 3 or 4. 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's spreading in our direction, it'll spread across western parts of europe and then deeper into more central and eastern parts of europe. in england, for example,
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this is how mild or warm it could actually get — 17 degrees. compare that to the average of 8 degrees 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. i mean, 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 in some of the eastern parts of england. but 1a 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 degrees celsius in the south—east of the country on wednesday and also on thursday. now, here's another weather front that's coming in from the south,
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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 south—east 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're talking around 15, 16 degrees. you get the sense that it's notjust the one day that's going to be mild. we are talking about multiple days here with mid teens across many parts of the country. so a new record—breaking, i think, new year's eve on the way. bye— bye.
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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 while us secrretary of state antony blinken has called it an affront to human rights. there's been a record number of covid infections in france — almost 180,000 new infections recorded in a single day. the us has also seen a record high with more than 440,000 cases on tuesday. both countries are struggling to contain the 0micron variant. china says its astronauts are being put in danger of collision with satellites launched by elon musk. the spacex founder is facing a social media backlash in china after beijing claimed it's space station had two close encounters this year.
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