tv BBC World News BBC News December 31, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. a force of nature — wildfires rip through parts of colorado, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to flee. we know that there are structures, both homes and businesses, that have been burned and lost. diplomacy or deterrence — president biden�*s phone call to president putin laying out the us position over ukraine. south africa says it has passed the peak of the omicron—driven covid wave. and, last minute checks and tests as the countdown to new year celebrations begins.
hello and welcome. wildfires in the american state of colorado have destroyed hundreds of homes and prompted the evacuation of 30,000 people in two towns north of denver. the national weather service described it as a life—threatening situation and ordered the residents of louisville and superior to leave. here's the sheriff of boulder county, joe pelle, at an earlier news conference. it has been a harrowing day in boulder county with two significant fires fuelled by dry conditions and very high winds. we seem to have lost the sound forjoe pelle. we will try and
get that later. christina sanjuan is a meterologist in colorado. she told me more about the situation on the ground. the latest update from officials have told us that they believe this fire was actually caused by a downed powerline. however, we have very strong wind gusts right now and the wind actually got up to about 110mph earlier this afternoon and it doesn't look to let up, really as we head into the overnight hours. really even as we head into the overnight hours. would you say this is a kind of perfect storm — you've got these very strong winds and also, very high temperatures — would you describe it as that? all the right components are there for ourfire danger to be so extreme. we are in an extreme drought in this part of the state here because we haven't gotten much moisture, and so you add that with incredibly strong winds, like what we're seeing out there right now, and itjust makes an already bad situation worse, in terms of the fire crews trying to get a handle on the fire. how are local people coping, christina, and have the authorities done enough to help? it's very devastating,
the videos that we're seeing coming out. people that potentially could go home to not even have a house in the first place. we do have lots of resources. i know that our governor had issued a state of emergency, so that's going to allow more folks to come and help. so they are responding appropriately and doing the best and everything they can. 30,000 people evacuated. that is a massive number. do you think we're likely to see that number rise? hopefully not. i have full faith that the firefighters will at least get some sort of containment on this so that it doesn't actually reach out into other parts of the state here. and also the good news, if there is any in this situation, would be that we're going to have some snow coming in tomorrow afternoon, so that should at least assist the fire crews. i guess it is all really dependent on those weather conditions and exactly what happens in terms of whether this fire is brought under control, because it sounds like
it's so big that it is going to be hard for fire services to really control it on their own? absolutely, and it also limits what we can put into the air in terms of doing water drops onto the fire because it's too windy to send anybody up in an air plane or a helicopter. so they're just doing the best that they can on the ground. would you say there are any preventative measures that could be taken in the future or is this just one of those things? it's kind ofjust one of those things. now, we warned people. we knew that we were going to have very strong wind, we knew that the fire danger would be incredibly high, but something as a powerline coming down and then that kickstarting the fire kind of is just one of those things that you wouldn't be able to prevent. christina sa njuan speaking there. us presidentjoe biden has again told russia's president vladamir putin that the us and its allies will "respond decisively" if russia further invades ukraine.
this during the second call between the two leaders in less than a month, amid concerns over russian troops massing at the ukrainian border. a kremlin spokesperson said that putin had made it clear that any new large scale sanctions would be a "colossal mista ke". louisa pilbeam reports. it was the us president who made the telephone call to vladimir putin at the russian�*s request. a call between two of the world's most powerful men that lasted 50 minutes. the white house released a statement following the call. a senior white house official described the tone of the conversation as serious and substantive, but said the russian president had given no indication of what he will do regarding ukraine. they also said both leaders have expressed their support for diplomacy.
this military activity is what sparked the telephone call. russia insists around 100,000 of its tanks and troops massed on the ukraine border are militarily drills and denies planning an invasion. putin is demanding assurances from the west that ukraine will not be allowed to join the military alliance of nato�*s 30 countries, which he sees as a threat to russia. the talks are the second in recent weeks in a bid to de—escalate tensions. earlier this month, the presidents spoke via video link, but president biden told the russian leader there would be severe economic consequences if they invade, but ruled out us military action. under the christmas lights in ukraine's capital, kyiv, the country's people are in the glare of a noble diplomatic crisis between two powers that many still believe could lead to an invasion of their country. louisa pilbeam, bbc news.
a woman who gave key evidence in the trial of ghislaine maxwell has spoken publicly, saying she hopes the guilty verdict will bring some solace to other survivors. annie farmer, the only witness to use her real name during testimony, said the case demonstrated that no—one was above the law. maxwell was found guilty by a jury in new york of grooming underage girls to be abused by her friend jeffrey epstein. her lawyers say they will appeal against the verdict. this report by our correspondent aleem maqbool contains some flashing images. good morning, america. guilty. good morning. guilty - — a long—awaited verdict... the downfall of the british formersocialite, now a convicted sex trafficker, has been headline news here and one of the four women brave enough to testify to put her behind bars, who was abused as a teenager, has been giving her reaction. i wasn't sure that this day would ever come and ijust feel so grateful that the jury
believed us and sent a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation will be held accountable, no matter how much power and privilege that they have. mr maxwell, can we have a statement on behalf of the family, please? there's been no sense of contrition as yet from the siblings of ghislaine maxwell, or regrets for the victims she played a part in sexually abusing. they released a statement, saying "we believe firmly in our sister's innocence. "we're very disappointed with the verdict." one of maxwell's lawyers, who questioned the motives of the women who came forward to testify, said this wasn't the end. obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated. but legal experts appear to agree ghislaine maxwell's chances of clearing the high legal bar to win an appealare slim. her crimes were carried out during her long association with the disgraced financier jeffrey epstein, who died in prison, but they mingled
with the rich and influential, including — famously — prince andrew. their powerful connections left many of their accusers wondering if they'd ever be held accountable. it's been such a long, hard journey to get here, so yesterday's decision, i think, will take a little while to sink in. i'm pleased that she will never — she will never be able again, ever, to hurt anybody else and, for that, i feel very pleased. all the while she'd been living her lavish lifestyle, she'd been hiding dark secrets. but finally, that's all caught up with ghislaine maxwell. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in new york. let's get some of the day's other news: the bodies of 15 people killed when a trailer carrying migrants overturned in mexico were returned to guatemala on thursday. in all, 56 people were killed in the crash in chiapas state earlier this month. of the 37 guatemalan nationals identified among the victims, the remains of only 19 have
so far been returned. dozens of migrants have died from violence or accidents in mexico over the past decade. a stranded boat carrying around 120 rohingya refugees from myanmar has arrived in indonesia after it was towed by the country's navy. authorities initially refused to help the boat, but local fishermen organised protests supporting the refugees. they also ferried food and water to those on board. bill de blasio has held his final news conference as mayor of new york. de blasio can point to a list of progressive wins under his leadership, including universal pre—kindergarten, the end of the policing practice known as stop—and—frisk, and paid sick leave. but he has grappled with setbacks. a federal criminal investigation did not result in charges against him, but nevertheless found the mayor or his associates accepted contributions from donors seeking official favors.
the dutch government has revealed a $28 billion plan to radically cut the number of livestock in the country as it struggles to contain an overload of animal manure. the netherlands is the world's second biggest agricultural exporter but is under pressure to reduce harmful emissions. anna holligan reports. dutch beef feeds the planet but it is costing the earth. the country's cattle because 70% of all methane emissions and the agricultural industry is the biggest source of nitrogen pollution in the netherlands. this farmer want his business to be sustainable. i this farmer want his business to be sustainable.— to be sustainable. i am not a farmer that _ to be sustainable. i am not a farmer that wants _ to be sustainable. i am not a farmer that wants to - to be sustainable. i am not a farmer that wants to take . to be sustainable. i am not a i farmer that wants to take down the major around us. i want to farm with nature. give me solutions, give me some tools solutions, give me some tools so i can be the solution for multiple problems. and that is what we are missing at the
moment, the tools. we are a proud nation. but now, we are the problem of the nation. the dutch government plan includes paying livestock farmers to relocate or leave the industry altogether and helping those who remained to shift to more extensive rather than intensive farming methods.— extensive rather than intensive farming methods. methane is a very important _ farming methods. methane is a very important greenhouse - farming methods. methane is a very important greenhouse gas| very important greenhouse gas and we should really try to reduce it. and we should really try to reduce it— reduce it. here, they are experimented _ reduce it. here, they are experimented with - reduce it. here, they are - experimented with technology that could cut those harmful gases. that could cut those harmful cases. , ., , gases. here is where we measure the feed intake _ gases. here is where we measure the feed intake of— gases. here is where we measure the feed intake of our— gases. here is where we measure the feed intake of our cows. - the feed intake of our cows. each cow is recognised... researchers found that simply stopping the feed can reduce dangerous gases by 15%, basically by making the cows burp less. basically by making the cows burp 1m— basically by making the cows bur less. �* , ., ., burp less. because of the date makes a whole _ burp less. because of the date makes a whole different - burp less. because of the date makes a whole different to - burp less. because of the date | makes a whole different to how methane is being produced by the cow. .,
the cow. back in the hague, the future of farming _ the cow. back in the hague, the future of farming is _ the cow. back in the hague, the future of farming is a _ the cow. back in the hague, the future of farming is a source - future of farming is a source of political debate stop some parties argue fundamental shifts are essential. irate parties argue fundamental shifts are essential. we are like europe's _ shifts are essential. we are like europe's butchers - shifts are essential. we are like europe's butchers and l like europe's butchers and farmers are very upset, which is understandable but it is also the result of decades of policies that push for intensive agriculture without looking at really what the impact was on environments, on climate but also on the farmers themselves. climate but also on the farmers themselves-_ themselves. could the climate crisis could _ themselves. could the climate crisis could beat _ themselves. could the climate crisis could beat the _ themselves. could the climate crisis could beat the dutch - themselves. could the climate crisis could beat the dutch to i crisis could beat the dutch to reduce their output? the current actresses - reduce their output? the current actresses are - reduce their output? tue: current actresses are out reduce their output? tte: current actresses are out of balance with climate and with nature and we really need to transform our agriculture sector which means we need to reduce the number of livestock and ensure that we go towards much smaller scale practices. farming groups available only accept voluntary measures and not forced removals and need time to cut emissions with technological solutions.
ultimately, less intensive farming maybe a little less milk and more expensive meat, a price not everyone is prepared to pay for a less polluted planet. anna holligan, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: last minute checks and tests as the countdown to new year celebrations begins. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we're going to use money we picked up in belgium today. and then we'll be in france and, again, it will be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his 0xfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police
on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic! that's better! big ben bongs this is bbc news. the latest headlines: more than 500 homes have been destroyed and thousands of people evacuated as wildfires spread through colorado. president biden has again told russia's president putin that the us will "respond decisively" if russia invades ukraine. israeli officials have approved a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
the health ministry says a second booster shot will benefit people with weakened immune systems who are more vulnerable to the 0micron variant. on thursday, the country reported the highest number of cases since september. to south africa now, the first country to identify cases of the 0micron variant of coronavirus last month. well, authorities there say all indicators suggest it has passed the peak of the fourth wave of infections. the government is lifting, with immediate effect, the curfew it imposed to combat the new variant. it's also easing other restrictions. the authorities said there had been an almost 30% drop in the number of new cases during the week ending on the 25th of december. i asked professor saad 0mer, director of the yale institute for global health, how reliable the south african data is. we know that the data is high quality and reliable and they have been interpreted by very seasoned south african scientists, so i think this decline is real.
how have they gone about doing this? they take lockdown seriously in south africa — the measures seem to have worked — but how have they gone about lowering these cases? a couple of things. first of all, yes, they had put in pretty drastic measures, public health measures. the other thing is that we — our previous work, not in south africa but elsewhere, showed that when there is this catastrophic rise of either a variant or a virus, people modify their behaviour — and pretty substantially — so that is likely to be a second factor. the third factor is the virus itself, and it seems that in other places as well, the rise has been sharp and there has been an early plateau or signs of decline in other places as well. an early plateau definitely sounds positive for the rest of the world. should the rest of the world be looking at the south african model or are countries just too different to be able
to replicate what one other country has done? look, this is a good news for everyone, this is a good sign for everyone. however, each country has its own nuances, each country has its own mobility patterns and, most importantly, each country has its own population—immune profile in the sense who's protected through vaccination and who's protected through previous infection, and it has its own baseline comorbidity profile in terms of even when the rates rise, who gets impacted and who clogs up the hospital systems. so while this is indeed a good news, this is — one should take it with some caution when applying to other places. yeah, i mean, taking to another extreme, if you look at china, they obviously have a zero—tolerance approach, completely trying to stamp out covid—i9. is there any sense in that in the west, or is thatjust too far away from where we are?
well, i think right now, most western countries are focused on mitigating the impact of this virus and i think that's a reasonable strategy based on where most western countries find themselves and, frankly, most countries other than china and new zealand, find themselves. i think that's a reasonable approach for now, to mitigate the impact of this variant. after this is down, i think there should be a serious consideration for controlling it to the extent globally that we are not surprised by newer variants, and that's only going to happen when there are substantially higher immunisation rates everywhere. returning to 0micron, should we be looking at a similar trajectory to south africa in other countries? well, probably. i think we are reasonably sure that the rise will be almost as sharp.
i do think there will be a decline or a plateau toward the end of january and early february in countries like the us, canada, uk — maybe uk will be a bit earlier than that — but, look, these are pretty high rates and it's like a flash flood — that 99% of the time, a stream remains low flow or empty, but then the flash flood comes in, it has pretty substantial consequences. so, therefore, we are likely to have a bit of a bumpy ride but the good news is that this variant is manageable in the sense that it will decline with a brief peak. professor saad 0mer. here in the uk, the number of new cases of coronavirus continues to set new records each day. the prime minister's urging people to test before attending new year's eve parties this evening. but there are concerns over
the availability of coronavirus tests as the government pledges to deliver eight million additional kits to pharmacies by today. matt graveling reports. big ben bongs. this is how london rang in 2020. but this year, like last, will fill very different from many people. the second year running, london's famous new year's eve fireworks celebrations have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. in comparison this year, restrictions have eased there are vaccination and test also available but with coronavirus infections in record numbers, how will people choose to celebrate? well, it does depend on where you are. no new restrictions have been introduced in england but the government is urging people to take a lateral flow test. and celebrate outdoors if possible. we are not as stressed about it
as we used to be. and also we are going you need to have a covid pass. are going you need to have a covid pm— covid pass. i've been a little bit worried, _ covid pass. i've been a little bit worried, i _ covid pass. i've been a little bit worried, i have - covid pass. i've been a little bit worried, i have asthma l bit worried, i have asthma little — bit worried, i have asthma little bit. _ bit worried, i have asthma little bit, that's it, so i have _ little bit, that's it, so i have to _ little bit, that's it, so i have to be careful. would you have to be careful. would you have not _ have to be careful. would you have not had _ have to be careful. would you have not had been _ have to be careful. would you have not had been for- have to be careful. would you have not had been for covid? | have not had been for covid? yes. in have not had been for covid? yes. ., . have not had been for covid? yes, ., ., , yes. in scotland, new rules mean many _ yes. in scotland, new rules mean many hogmanay - yes. in scotland, new rules - mean many hogmanay events are cancelled, mixing is limited to three households and social distancing measures are in place in hospitality venues. it's looking 0k, place in hospitality venues. it's looking ok, it's not looking anything like we would be hoping to have at this time of year. this is when we hope as well as the bells ringing, the till are ringing, and that isn't not happening this year. in northern ireland, only three households will be able to mix, my clubs are closed and dancing is banned in hospitality venues. groups of no more than six comedian pubs in wales, nightclubs are closed and indoor gathering is limited to 30 people. forsome, indoor gathering is limited to 30 people. for some, they are taking their celebrations on the road, crossing the border into england.—
into england. we've come up from other— into england. we've come up from other to _ into england. we've come up from other to spend - into england. we've come up from other to spend new - into england. we've come up i from other to spend new year's eve in london and hoping to come down here and see some fireworks and it is all banned in solid come over here and it. crossing the borderfor in solid come over here and it. crossing the border for new years is legal and while the welsh government is asking people to act conscientiously, the scottish government has urged people to travel to england to party. and there's still concerns over the availability of lateral flow test but the government has pledged that 8 million additional test will be delivered to pharmacies by today. wealth has already loaned 4 million test to england. health secretary sajid javid has pledged that the uk supply will be tripled early next year to 300 million per month. so the message for tonight? take a test before any celebrations and kick—off the new year in a cautious and sensible way. matt graveling, bbc news. we'll, as we've seen there, it may be a scaled—back welcome to 2022 but it simply wouldn't be new year's eve without some age—old traditions. but even the most familiar ways to ring in the new year around
the world need a bit of practice, as tanya dendrinos reports. anticipation for the year ahead. traditional rituals were performed by peruvian shamans in lima as they made their predictions for 2022. from local politics to geopolitics, there was plenty being visualised — including, of course, football. translation: the peruvian national team, we can see i that they are going to the world cup. albeit another year of more subdued celebrations, the global welcoming committee is ready. holidaymakers were lining the shore of copacabana beach in brazil, while in new york, the iconic times square ball drop was tested. those 60 seconds, when the entire world is watching that ball behind me, we're all counting down together in unison, filled with joy — it's truly this thunderstruck moment
where the world comes together in joy to count down the new year. nothing like it. across the atlantic, a beloved sound returned. big ben bongs. there will be no fireworks display for the second consecutive year in london but, after four years under wraps, big ben will be ringing in the new year. as for those making a wish... translation: less covid in the air. - everything is just covid. orchestra plays. no doubt a common thread the world over, now rehearsed and ready. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. just before we go a reminder of our top story, the wildfires in the american state of colorado, they have destroyed hundreds of homes and ponder the evacuation of 30,000 people in two towns north of denver. much more news of that on our website. thank
you for watching. stay tuned to bbc news. hello. the unusually mild weather is set to stick with us as we see out the end of 2021. we had temperatures up to 16 degrees on thursday — about eight degrees above average — and for the next few days, it stays exceptionally mild and quite blustery, too. the winds coming in from the south or the south—west and drawing in the air right from the subtropics, from the canary isles right up towards the uk and actually across much of central europe as well. so, to start off your friday morning first thing on new year's eve, we've got temperatures already well in double figures — some places not falling below about 13 degrees. now, through the day, then — new year's eve this is — we're looking for a bit of rain around. it's going to clear out of northern ireland into parts of central and southern scotland, also rain clearing away from the east coast. and actually, much of england, wales and northern ireland should see a bit more sunshine than we've seen over recent
days, so a drier, brighter feel. temperatures up to about 15, 16, possibly 17 celsius. just a little bit cooler across the northern half of scotland but there should be some sunshine here. now, we could well break some records. the warmest ever new year's eve was back ten years ago in 2011 — colwyn bay got to 1a.8 celsius — so we are set to see temperatures probably a degree or so higher than that. heading through new year's eve night now. if you've got plans, it's looking mostly dry, still very, very mild. could be some patchy rain across some northern and western areas as we see in the new year 2022 but new year's day once again looking very, very mild. we've got this very narrow band of showery rain which is going to cross its way slowly eastwards, followed by sunshine and showers for many areas. showers mainly towards the north—west, so quite a bit of dry weather for new year's day on saturday and again, you've guessed it, exceptionally mild — 13—16 celsius for most of us on new year's day. then that very mild air that's been with us starts to gradually ease away
towards the near continent. we've still got mild air with us certainly from a south—westerly direction, but temperatures probably starting to come down just a notch as we head through sunday and into the first week of 2022. so, sunday really is going to be a day of some sunshine but also plenty of showers. you can see a rash of showers across the uk and temperatures somewhere between about 10—13 degrees — still above average but not the exceptionally mild weather of the next couple of days. looking ahead into next week, then, fairly unsettled, not quite as mild as it has been lately. bye for now.
this is bbc news, the headlines: wildfires in the american state of colorado have destroyed hundreds of homes and prompted the evacuation of several thousand people in two towns north of denver. the national weather service has described it as a life threatening situation and ordered the residents of louisville and superior to leave. president biden has spoken on the phone with vladimir putin, urging the russian president to de—escalate tensions over the ukrainian crisis, but making it clear the us would respond decisively if russian troops cross ukraine's border. president putin says any new sanctions against russia would be a colossal mistake. south africa, where the 0micron variant was first detected, says the latest wave of cases may have peaked. the authorities say there was an almost 30% drop in new cases. the 0micron variant, while highly transmissible, had seen lower hospitalisation rates than previous waves. now on bbc news: