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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 29, 2021 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: russia's supreme court bans one of the country'smost renowned human rights organisations, sparking protests in moscow. the us records its highest daily numbers of covid cases since the start of the pandemic. china says its astronauts are being put in danger of a collision with satellites launched by elon musk. and once upon a time it was like that. but can broadway survive the closures this festive season, as covid wrecks the shows?
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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 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. "liquidate," the judge says,
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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,
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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,
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it's being silenced. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. earlier i spoke to simon adams. he is the president of the center for victims of torture. it's the largest organisation in the world that treats survivors of torture and also advocates for its global eradication. i asked him if the writing was on the wall for memorial. i think the writing was on the wall because this ruling is notjust about rewriting the past, actually, it's also about choking, strangling, banning one of the last independent human rights voices in russia. and although a court made the ruling, the real decision is very much one that's coming from vladimir putin and it is part of his campaign, as your reporterjust said, to actually control the past in order to control the present. yes, the message there from grigory yavlinsky was that it is one more step from authoritarianism regime to totalitarian — do you see it as that dramatic?
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i do, actually. i think the term �*0rwellian' is overused as a kind of political metaphor, but this is a little bit like something out of a 1984. as i said, putin wants to control the past because he thinks it will help him control the present, and memorial is a threat to that. it documents the crimes of the stalin era, the purges, the gulags, the torture chambers where million died and they've got a database of 2.6 million victims. but it also has a modern element, it has a human rights centre that documents modern human rights violations and it's compiled a list, for example, of 420 political prisoners, including one alexei navalny. for putin, there are no political prisoners in russia and there can be no discussion about what stalin did in the past, other than to say he beat the nazis in the second world war, and so, therefore, memorial has to cease to exist. you mentioned if you like the memorial sister organization — the memorial human rights centre —
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and there is a court case indeed in a matter of a few hours, in fact, a supreme court looking at the validity of keeping that going. the assumption would be it will follow suit, it will be told to liquidate as well, and that's the point you make about chronicling current issues? absolutely. i mean, if you were a betting person, i think you could bet that the so—called independent court in russia will find that memorial sister organisation, the human rights centre, is also — as putin himself has described them — an extremist organisation that supports terrorism simply by publishing a list of political prisoners in russia. so again, this is very bad, very bad for civil society in russia. simon adams there. as countries around the world struggle to contain the omicron variant, france has set europe's highest ever number of new daily covid—i9 cases. here in the uk there has been another record number of infections for a single day, more than 129,000 cases reported in the last 2a hours.
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that comes as countries around the world are having to try to contain the 0micron environment. —— variant. nearly 180,000 new infections have been reported in the last 24—hour period in france. it comes as the french government has announced that it will introduce tighter restrictions from next week, including remote working compulsory for those who can. but france hasn't been alone in breaking daily records in europe, as cyprus, greece, italy and portugal all have reported record highs too. the us has also set a single—day record of new infections, with over 440,000 new cases on monday, according to the centers for disease control. also in the us, president biden has announced the travel restrictions on eight southern african countries will end on the 31st of december. the travel ban was imposed last month when the 0micron variant was first confirmed in south africa.
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live to pittsburgh now. dr amesh adalja is a senior scholar at the johns hopkins university center for health security. let's begin with president biden's moved to knock these eight southern african countries off the banned list, as it were. a good move? definitely. this was a move that should never have been needed to be made, because we should not have initiated a travel ban. it was an ill—advised ban that really punished countries that were aggressive at finding a variant, and letting the world. we already knew this was spreading outside of south africa and the southern african countries well before it was described, so this was not something that we should have done. many countries in the world kind of followed suit. it is a bad practice. travel bands do not work and they give people a false sense of security and have lots of negative consequences. —— bans.
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do you say that almost a point of principle? is there a point at which a travel ban, it is recognised early, travel ban could work? it recognised early, travel ban could work?— recognised early, travel ban could work? it is my point of principle _ could work? it is my point of principle for _ could work? it is my point of principle for me. _ could work? it is my point of principle for me. i _ could work? it is my point of principle for me. i don't - could work? it is my point of| principle for me. i don't know about travel bans have ever been done successfully and i think the negative consequences outweigh any goods that could happen. i think travel screening is important to do but complete travel bans and a punishing country, isolating it further, and really giving people a false sense of security and expanding public health resources that could be better spent. we health resources that could be better spent-— better spent. we hear more every day — better spent. we hear more every day about _ better spent. we hear more every day about the - better spent. we hear more i every day about the economic damage that cobit is causing, and the centres for disease control now recommending italy five days of isolation, at least if you are asymptomatic and you have coded, and just be very careful for another five days. do you think that is a smart move? reducing the period at that period of isolation for covid patients? i at that period of isolation for covid patients?— at that period of isolation for covid patients? i do think that is a aood covid patients? i do think that is a good move _ covid patients? i do think that
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is a good move and _ covid patients? i do think that is a good move and i - covid patients? i do think that is a good move and i know - covid patients? i do think that i is a good move and i know other countries such as the uk have taken it down to seven days. i think this is scientifically based. we know that contagious this varies over your course of illness, and most people are contagious in the early part of that illness, with transmission becoming more and more unlikely as you get further along, and that one size fits all ten days did not make sense. i would have liked to see this coupled with testing, and isolation period, but it is definitely something that will allow people to be less disrupted with covid because we're going to see more and more cases with the 0micron variant, in vaccinated individuals. breakthroughs will become ubiquitous and just because a breakthrough is mild does not make it disruptive to a person's life. shortening the amount of time they have to be out of commission is something thatis out of commission is something that is good and is backed by scientific evidence and we would like to see more of this happening routinely. figs would like to see more of this happening routinely.- would like to see more of this happening routinely. as we have heard, happening routinely. as we have heard. there _ happening routinely. as we have heard, there is _ happening routinely. as we have heard, there is this _ heard, there is this exponential factor around 0micron, isn't there? we're already talking about 440,000
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odd cases in a single day. i know that anthony fauci spoke about possibly 500,000 plus. that is not an exaggeration, is it? ., . ., ., it? no, omicron are something we are all— it? no, omicron are something we are all susceptible - it? no, omicron are something we are all susceptible to, - it? no, omicron are something we are all susceptible to, the l we are all susceptible to, the mutations that have allowed it to get around prior immunity and prior vaccination, which will allow it to affect anybody at will. so we are going to see cases arise, people shouldn't be alarmed about that, that is the norm. there are four other carina viruses which cause about 25% of our current goals and they get around our immunity following that pattern. the key is to keep it away from high—risk people who are not vaccinated. but cases are going to lose importance and we are going to have to focus on severe cases and hospitalisations, because those numbers are going to ebb and flow and we will see spikes, especially as countries get it with 0micron. especially as countries get it with omicron.— especially as countries get it with omicron. thank you very much for _ with omicron. thank you very much forjoining _ with omicron. thank you very much forjoining us. -
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the parents of a chilean—born teenager killed by the stray bullet of a police officer two days before christmas have spoken of their anguish, describing her as an exceptional student with big aspirations for her future — one she so desperately wanted to lead in the united states. tanya dendrinos reports. a call forjustice. a call for justice. these a call forjustice. these are the devastated parents of valentina 0rellana—peralta, valentina 0rella na—peralta, sharing the valentina 0rellana—peralta, sharing the hopes and dreams of their 14—year—old daughter. translation: their 14-year-old daughter. translation:— their 14-year-old daughter. translation: ., , , translation: the only thing she wanted was _ translation: the only thing she wanted was to _ translation: the only thing she wanted was to become _ translation: the only thing she wanted was to become a - translation: the only thing she wanted was to become a us - wanted was to become a us citizen. i told wanted was to become a us citizen. itold her to wanted was to become a us citizen. i told her to leave this country. she replied, no, dad. it is the safest country in the world, the country of opportunities.— in the world, the country of opportunities. this body can foota . e, opportunities. this body can footage, some _ opportunities. this body can footage, some of _ opportunities. this body can footage, some of its - opportunities. this body can footage, some of its too - footage, some of its too distressing to show, reveals the chaotic moments before valentina's death on the 23rd of december. police were called
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to a violent assault at a los angeles store, opening fire on the suspect. but behind him, in a changing room, valentina was huddled with her mother, struck by one of the officer's rounds after trying on clothes for christmas. translation: indie christmas. translation: we heard christmas. translation: - heard people shouting, we sat and hugged each other. then something struck my daughter valentina and she fell on the floor. she died in my arms. i could not do anything. i could not do anything. the los angeles police department has committed to a thorough investigation of the incident, by the attorney—general�*s office has opened an independent enquiry. we should not have to sacrifice innocent life in the name of safety when
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it was foreseeable that two days before christmas, that there were going to be people in a shopping plaza shopping. this shattered family left with so many questions, mourning the loss of their daughter and a life she should have been able to bleed. —— able to lead. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: they say the show must go on, but broadway is struggling this festive season. how much damage is covid inflicting this time round? the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland we 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.
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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 world news, the latest headlines: protests in moscow, after russia's supreme court decides to close memorial international, the country's most prominent
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rights organisation. the us and a number of european countries have seen record high numbers of infections in the last 24 hours, with the omicron driving a huge surge in cases. 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, although the incidents have not yet been independently verified. former nasa astronaut leroy chiao gave me his analysis of the situation. there are certainly a number of satellites up there and now that we have seen the proliferation of what we call low earth orbit satellites, like starlink, this will become more and more of an issue but it is not unusual, it is not unusual for the iss to change its orbit to dodge a piece of orbital debris or something like a satellite and so it is, i don't want to say routine, but it's not unusual.
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of course we are tracking all of the objects that we can in space that are larger than, say, a soft ball and so are the russians and so are the chinese so this kind of thing when you are operating a space station is pretty much a normal part of your operations. i was going to say, is there any kind of air traffic control up there? it sounds like there isn't, but i was just looking at the figures. elon musk�*s starlink satellites, he's put up 1,600 of them. he's got authorisation from the us to put up 12,000. this does feel like a problem that is about to get potentially exponentially worse. the starlink satellites are in a higher orbit than the space stations, neither the international space station or the chinese space station station, so they really shouldn't be much of an issue, it will probably only be
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an issue when they are getting up to theirfinal orbit or when they are de—orbiting themselves, and i want to add to that starlink satellites have actually been made intelligent, if you will, in that when they are nearing their end of life they will plan a de—orbit and actually de—orbit themselves to come down and burn up in the atmosphere, trying to be more responsible and notjust leaving dead satellites, if you will, orbiting up there. it's probably fair to say that it's not as if there are innocent parties and guilty parties. every country seems to have one or two issues in this sort of sphere at the moment. i'm not trying to put you on the spot either, leroy, but does this feel a bit political to you? yeah, i'm not sure exactly why the chinese lodged a complaint with the un. they are certainly not a governing body, and of course the countries and other entities all co—ordinate together about what they are launching into which orbits and so it's a little bit surprising to me. i heard about the near—misses, if you will, and when we say near miss it's not like it almost literally hit the space station. around each vehicle up there,
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there is a box, kind of a �*keep out zone' that the governing entity monitors and if it looks like a piece of debris or a satellite might get close to that box as a precaution, usually the space station or other vehicle is manoeuvred, changes its orbit slightly to give it a little more margin. legendary american football coach and commentator john madden has died at the age of 85. the superbowl winning coach became one of america's best—known tv sports announcers and lent his name to a wildly successful football video game franchise. the national football league said he died unexpectedly but did not provide further details. nick hamilton is a sports and entertainment reporter at nitecast media and sirius xm. he joins me from los angeles. thanks very much indeed for
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your time. john madden is a legend in sport and entertainment, he really wrap it all into one, didn't he? absolutely, he was an ultimate trendsetter when it came to not just what he did on the sidelines when he coached but even when he moved into the booth from a media standpoint and ultimately as you mentioned in the videogame world when he created the biggest trend that we have seen in the videogame world since probably super mario brothers, when you look at what has impact has been, just on the field and even away from the field but he never left the game off all and its impact as we know even right now continues to live on. stand now continues to live on. and that is a _ now continues to live on. and that is a real _ now continues to live on. and that is a real thing _ now continues to live on. and that is a real thing of - now continues to live on. and that is a real thing of genius, isn't it, let's be honest, an older guy to be setting a trend in videogames is quite something. in videogames is quite somethina. , ~ something. absolutely. when you look at what john _ something. absolutely. when you look at what john madden - look at whatjohn madden created, this is a guy that truly reinvented himself stopping as whole generation that didn't even realise that he was the coach of the oakland
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raiders back in the 70s because a lot of us weren't even born at that time but we knewjohn madden from not only being on television but from being in a videogame in creating this craze in this legacy as each videogame becomes better. there is a debate on which year of the game was better, was a 2000, 2004, 2010 or currently the 2022 version, there are a lot of different answers, a lot of different questions, i should say, that are going on on social media right now in terms ofjust remembering the legacy ofjohn madden via videogames. he legacy of john madden via videogames.— legacy of john madden via videogames. he was a big character. _ videogames. he was a big character, clearly. - videogames. he was a big character, clearly. i- videogames. he was a bigj character, clearly. i notice the nfl commissioner roger goodall said he was a sounding board to me. he called him an icon. what was it about him, what was it about him, what with that in terms of his appreciation of the game that seemed to stand out. john madden to _ seemed to stand out. john madden to me _ seemed to stand out. john madden to me was - seemed to stand out. john madden to me was a - seemed to stand out. jifr�*u�*u madden to me was a teacher of the game. he wasn'tjust an ex— coach thatjust went the game. he wasn'tjust an ex— coach that just went along with the programme, he was a teacher. he wanted the casual fan all the way to the ultimate
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fanatic to understand the game off all and i think that is one of the reasons that led him to create the videogame, to improve the education of the game of football but also make it fun and john madden made it fun. you would hear his catchphrase and he would draw on the television and point arrows this way and that way and illustrate the game and really break it down but the other thing is the way he transformed the media space. john madden was a spearheaded individual that really opened the door for individual that really opened the doorfor production meetings, the door for production meetings, because he the doorfor production meetings, because he said ultimately, how can you understand the players and coaches if you don't get a chance to sit down and talk with them beforehand and really get to know them? so the production meetings that we see in sports right now, that was because ofjohn madden. in sports right now, that was because of john madden. because ofjohn madden. opening u . because ofjohn madden. opening u- the because ofjohn madden. opening up the game _ because ofjohn madden. opening up the game to — because ofjohn madden. opening up the game to the _ because ofjohn madden. opening up the game to the way _ because ofjohn madden. opening up the game to the way we - because ofjohn madden. opening up the game to the way we knowl up the game to the way we know well. thank you very much indeed for that. now as the old song goes,
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the neon lights are bright on broadway, but theatres are staying dark this festive season as a new surge of covid—19 hits broadway. the omicron variant has forced a number of shows to close as productions suffer outbreaks of covid—19. just today, 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 broadway's biggest shows shut down including hamilton, the lion king and and moulin rouge all citing covid. four broadway shows have announced they will close down completely. michael riedle 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
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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 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
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to buy tickets, they're thinking, "do i really want to go and see a show "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 plans to remove around ten thousand so—called "love locks" from a bridge over the river wye in derbyshire have been postponed. the county council had wanted to take down the padlocks on weir bridge in bakewell, to carry out
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maintenance work, but have now paused the scheme until 2023. campaigners are pleased, saying it gives them time to decide what to do with the padlocks. you can get more on that story on the website as you can with all of our stories including the situation in russia. 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, this is how mild or warm it could actually get — 17 degrees. compare that to the average of 8 degrees celsius.
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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 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 degrees celsius in the south—east of the country on wednesday and also on thursday. now, here's another weather front
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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 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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how much damage is covid inflicting this time round? 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 secretary of state antony blinken has called it an affront to human rights. there's been a record number of covid infections in the us and a number of european countries, as omicron continues to drive a huge suge in cases. the us recorded more than 440,000 cases on tuesday. france recorded almost 180 , 000. 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 its space station had two near misses this year.

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