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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  May 26, 2020 1:00am-1:30am BST

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a very warm welcome to bbc news. the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm mike embley and these are our top stories: britain's prime minister says he regrets the "confusion and anger" caused by his special adviser‘s long journeys during the anti—virus lockdown. no, i don't, no, idon‘t, i no, i don't, i don't regret what i did. as i said, i think reasonable people may well disagree. the who suspends testing of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid—i9, warning the drug could damage the health of some people. 60 ventilators for a population of 11 million — haiti's tough battle with the pandemic. from the siege of aleppo to the hospitals of britain
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we talk to the syrian refugee doctors helping fight the disease. after the plague, here come the locusts. south asia is battling a new airborne invasion. hello to you. in an extraordinary press conference, the top adviser to britain's prime minister has given a defiant defence of his behaviour. dominic cummings has been widely accused of flouting coronavirus lockdown rules. he says he doesn't regret driving his family hundreds of miles from london at a time when his wife was showing symptoms of covid—i9, to get help with childcare. here's our political editor, laura kuenssburg. morning. the rule is unwritten, but it is real. advisers aren't meant
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to be the story. when ordinary people were obeying the rules and staying home, mr cummings. already, this is day four of headlines about dominic cummings. he's made a career out of trying to rewrite political convention. even for him, this was astonishing. using the downing street garden, normally reserved for world leaders, to explain, or to apologise, or perhaps fight back. sorry i'm late. i know that millions of people in this country have been suffering. thousands have died. many are angry about what they have seen in the media about my actions. i want to clear up the confusions and misunderstandings. first, i was worried that if my wife and i were both seriously ill, possibly hospitalised, there was nobody in london we could reasonably ask to look after our child and expose themselves to covid. my wife had felt on the edge of not being able to look after hi m safely a few hours earlier. i was thinking, "what if the same, or worse, happens to me? there is nobody here i can reasonably ask to help."
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i thought the best thing to do in all the circumstances was to drive to an isolated cottage on my father's farm. at this farm, my parents live in one house, my sister and her two children live in another house, and there's a separate cottage 50 metres away from either of them. my tentative conclusion on the friday evening was this. if we were both unable to look after our child, then my sister or nieces could look after him. i did not ask the prime minister about this decision. he was ill himself and he had huge problems to deal with. every day, i have to exercise my judgement about things like this and decide what to discuss with him. i thought that i would speak to him when the situation clarified over the coming days. on sunday 12 april, 15 days after i first displayed symptoms, i decided to return to work. my wife was very worried, particularly given that my eyesight seemed to have been affected by the disease. she did not want to risk a nearly 300—mile drive with our child, given how ill i had been.
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we agreed that we should go for a short drive to see if i could drive safely. we drove for roughly half—an—hour and ended up on the outskirts of barnard castle town. i felt a bit sick. we walked about ten to 15 metres from the car, to the river bank nearby. we sat there for about 15 minutes. we had no interactions with anybody. this is where it began. on the 27th of march, watch dominic cummings running out of work. he'd just discovered his wife had fallen ill. worried about child care, they drove that night more than 200 miles to the family farm in county durham. mr cummings, the next day, developed severe symptoms, but his wife recovered and was able to look after their four—year—old. at some point, he told the prime minister he had gone north. but it's not known when. and on the 12th of april, having somewhat recovered and taken medical advice, the family went on that test drive, 30 miles away. and on the 13th, the family
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drove back to london. do you regret what you did? because many people in this country have made heartbreaking sacrifices in the last couple of months in order to stick to the rules that you were part of putting together. and many people may have listened to you and think you made your own interpretation. and do you understand for some people, it seems as if there was one version of the rules for you and one version of the rules for everyone else? no, i don't regret what i did. as i said, i think reasonable people may well disagree about how i thought about what to do in these circumstances. but i think that... i think that what i did was actually reasonable in these... in these circumstances. will the public tolerate his reliance on the small print? walking away, did he believe his explanations have got him off the hook? his boss wanted to make announcements about the next stages of easing the lockdown. but while he might still have looked unfamiliar
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with the details, he had to defend him still. good evening. you knew that your chief advisor had gone against the spirit of the lockdown rules, whether driving 30 miles to a local beauty spot when he was in county durham, supposedly to test his eyesight, or not self—isolating straightaway when his wife had symptoms. dominic cummings would not express any regret, will you? i didn't know about any of the arrangements in advance. we had a brief conversation in which i think dominic cummings mentioned where he was. i have to tell you, at that particular stage, i had a lot on my plate and really didn't focus on the matter. i do regret the confusion and the anger and the pain that people feel. i really did want people to understand exactly what had happened. and so that's why we had the statement and the very extensive questions that we did today. the prime minister is standing by his adviser.
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famed and feared for believing that rules are there to be broken. that has always come for big political danger for dominic cummings. now it couldn't be closer to home. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. the world health organization has temporarily halted the testing of the drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for covid—i9 because of safety concerns. the drug, traditionally used to treat malaria, has been described by president donald trump as a game—changer in the battle against the virus. imogen foulkes reports from geneva. there are so far no known treatments or vaccines for covid—i9, but there are many clinical trials of many different drugs to try to find them. one drug, hydroxychloroquine, is already in use as a treatment for malaria. some, among them president donald trump, think it could work against covid—i9 too. he's even taking it himself. i'm taking it, hydroxychloroquine.
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when? right now, yeah. couple of weeks ago, i started taking it, because i think it's good. i've heard a lot of good stories. the world health organization has repeatedly said there is no scientific evidence so far that hydroxychloroquine can treat covid—i9, let alone prevent infection with it. the who had been running clinical trials to test anecdotal reports that it might be beneficial. now, those trials have been stopped after a study suggested the drug could cause heart problems and might even increase deaths among covid—i9 patients. the executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the solidarity trial while the data, the safety data, is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board. the who said the decision
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to suspend trials was a precautionary measure. now, it will gather more data on safety before deciding whether to continue testing. however, it said patients taking hydroxychloroquine for established reasons, such as malaria, should continue to do so. imogen foulkes, bbc news, geneva. a british couple is co—ordinating efforts to help a hospital in haiti prepare for a spike in coronavirus cases which they think could overwhelm the country's healthcare system there. the country has just 60 ventilators for a population of 11 million and is ill—prepared for the pandemic. the bbc‘sjon hunt has more. while in britain we may be past the peak of the pandemic, in haiti, cases are rising sharply. at this hospital set up sharply. at this hospital set upa uk sharply. at this hospital set up a uk charity, they are having to improvise, making ppe out of raincoats and diy masks.
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this is made out of a ladder. this is made out of a ladder. this man is an a and e nurse from sorry, working for the charity. —— from surrey. from sorry, working for the charity. -- from surrey. there is so much to do here. they need the help they can get —— they need all the help they can get. the charity's founders they wanted their biggest challenges is access to oxygen. there is no access to a ventilator at the hospital, only 15—20 icu beds for the whole country. so we are focusing on provision of oxygen but that can be a struggle. getting the number of oxygen concentrator is out into the country which arrived over the weekend. the charity is also doing community outreach work to teach social distancing and proper, good hand washing. you can have ten people living in a one bed house, that means self—isolating is just nearly impossible. and communities of
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function really closely together. with donations from the uk they have been able to set up an isolation ward for covid—i9 patients and a triage system. the peak of the pandemic is due in haiti in the next two weeks. john hunt, bbc news. let's get more on this. sandra lamarque is the head of mission for doctors without borders in haiti and joins me now from port—au—prince. thank you very much for your time, really appreciate you talking to us. the health system was already very weak. how are you going to cope with this? you're right. the country is not prepared to deal with an epidemic outbreak of such proportions. so what we're trying to do, we have just opened the hospital in care for patients suffering from covid—i9 and specifically for severe cases. we have also helped public hospitals protect themselves by setting up dryers facilities and isolation beds
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—— traige facilities, but this is not enough and more effort is not enough and more effort is required. barrier measures are difficult even in countries with advanced healthcare systems. in the slums of port—au—prince it must be nearly impossible as well as that porous border with the dominican republic. haiti is one of the most densely populated countries in the caribbean. it's impossible for people to stay isolated. and it's nearly impossible to implement. people need to go about their business on a daily basis. access to hand washing facilities, sanitation is also extremely limited in this area. the situation at the border is another worry. every week we estimate 20,000 people cross the borderfrom estimate 20,000 people cross the border from the estimate 20,000 people cross the borderfrom the dominican republic to haiti and of them, are importing the virus, u nfortu nately. at are importing the virus, unfortunately. at the border there is no proper system in place to test people or screen
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them for fever place to test people or screen them forfever or put place to test people or screen them for fever or put suspected cases in quarantine. so due to this, people are probably importing cases from dominican republic next door, which is at the moment the main cluster in the moment the main cluster in the caribbean. it is difficult, problems everywhere you look. the hurricane season is supposed to be particularly active this year and none of this has stop the gang violence. i think you hospitals are still dealing with gunshot wounds daily, aren't they? one hour ago exactly we received four gunshot wounds in our emergency centre, in one of the most violent slums in port—au—prince and over the last week we have received a couple more as well. this is worrying because not only are we worried about covid—i9 itself, we are worried about the continuity of access to healthcare for every pathology, for pregnant women, for
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asthmatic people, and this is a worry, actually. last week, two prominent hospitals in port—au—prince, the capital city, had to close down because they did not have personal protective equipment for the staff and the feared infecting their staff or other patients are so their staff or other patients are so they had to close down, limiting even more access to healthcare for the population. and sandra, very briefly if you don't mind, what do you most need and where are you going to get it from? canada? we mostly need oxygen equipment, we need personal protective equipment, and it's really hard to get that into the country due to shortages worldwide. well, i really hope the right people are listening. sandra lamarque, thank you very much. and cue. northern and central india have been hit by huge swarms of locusts, some stretching more than five kilometres in what's been described as the worst locust attack in the region in a
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quarter of a century. there are concerns it could devastate crops worth hundreds of millions of dollars. rich preston has this report. across northern and central india, clouds of locusts are invading. in rajasthan state, millions stormed the capital. in neighbouring utah protests, locals and farmers do what they can to try and did her the bugs. as they invade farms, devouring crops. —— uttar pradesh. at the start of this year, east africa was badly hit bya year, east africa was badly hit by a vast locust swarms. it is thought the locusts currently making their way across india came from the horn of africa via pakistan, reaching as far as the central state of mujar pradesh, wreaking havoc on at least 12 districts. spraying pesticides is one way to control the locusts, but they can harm other animals as well. translation: it was a patch of
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nearly five kilometres. the scientists of the central locust tea m scientists of the central locust team of the indian government and agricultural scientists, along with police and other services, conducted and other services, conducted an exercise in the farms in 60% of the area was sprayed with pesticides. about one square kilometre of locusts can eat the same amount of food is 35,000 people. worrying farmers who were already facing difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic. india says it wants to work with pakistan and iran to combat the bugs. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the 12—year—old and the bear. meet the italian boy being praised for his cool handling of a very risky situation. in the biggest international sporting spectacle ever seen, up to 30 million people have taken part in sponsored athletics events to aid famine relief in africa. the first of what the makers of star wars hope will be
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thousands of queues started forming at 7:00am. taunting which led to scuffles, scuffles to fighting, fighting to full—scale riot, as the liverpool fans broke out of their area and into the juve ntus enclosure. the belgian police had lost control. the whole world will mourn the tragic death of mr nehru today. he was the father of the indian people from the day of independence. the oprah winfrey show comes to an end after 25 years and more than 4,500 episodes. the chat show has made her one of the richest people on the planet. geri halliwell, otherwise known as 'ginger spice,‘ has announced she has left the spice girls. argh, i don't believe it. she's the one with the bounce, the go, girl power. not geri, why? this is bbc news. the latest headlines:
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the top adviser to the british prime minister has given a defiant defence of his behaviour after he was accused of flouting coronavirus lockdown rules. the world health organization has suspended testing of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid—i9 after a study suggested the drug could cause serious health problems. here in the uk, some of the doctors on the front line of the nhs came to the uk as refugees, and they are unable to help in their home countries because of conflict. the bbc‘s fergal keane has been to meet syrian doctors in manchester who say they are working in hospitals in britain to repay some of the kindness and generosity that they've received since arriving in the country. dr ahmad alomar is a syrian refugee, now working at royal oldham hospital in manchester. here, he is checking on a patient admitted with a severe cough.
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arriving in 2014, ahmed and his family found safety in britain, and he brought precious skills. where's my chocolates? laughter. he has a presence that puts other staff at their ease. i've only had one day off! having struggled with mass casualties in besieged aleppo, he is well placed to offer emotional support to colleagues. during these difficult times in syria, i've learned how to cope with stress, i've learned how to manage. and, when the covid pandemic started here, i realised that it would be a very difficult time, because nobody had ever had similar experience. more than half syria's health facilities have been destroyed or damaged. hospitals have been targeted by the regime and its russian allies. the british surgeon david nott,
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here wearing the colourful cap, trained syrian doctors in emergency surgery in besieged aleppo. it's left me with a broken heart, because there are so many millions of people as refugees now, and they need to go home, but they're too scared to go home. and it is a dreadful situation, that they're still unfortunately having to cope with. there is an irony in this, of course, in that you went there to help them. they're now here helping you. yes, it's true, absolutely true. and it's wonderful. here in aleppo, working under siege conditions, one of the young doctors he trained. ayman alshikh became a highly skilled trauma surgeon. now ayman is in manchester, a friend of dr ahmed, and studying for the exams that will allow him to practise in britain. he wants to repay the welcome and peace he has found here. i imagined our colleagues here,
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that they are suffering, they need help. they need any hand they can have with them. i can understand their feeling now, and it's really exhausting during these uncertain times. ahmed has found security here, and work he loves. but he yearns for home, a return he knows is impossible while the regime is in power. a doctor no longer able to help his own country helps save lives here. may i feel your hand, please? our good fortune, syria's tragedy. fergal keane, bbc news, manchester. let's get a round—up of other coronavirus news: lufthansa has agreed a rescue deal worth 9 billion euros with the german government that saves it from collapse. the german airline has been severely affected by a decline in travel due to the coronavirus, and closed its budget airline germanwings in april. the german government will take a 20% stake in the firm,
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which it intends to sell by the end of 2023. the czech republic is due to ease border controls with austria and germany on tuesday. all border crossings will be reopened, and cars will only be stopped at random. however, tourists are still barred from entering the country, and travel for czechs wishing to visit poland and slovakia is still heavily restricted. americans have marked memorial day, a chance for the nation to honour those who died serving in the us military. but the public holiday also saw huge crowds flock to beaches and lakes for the weekend. these pictures from missouri at the lake of the ozarks raised concerns over social distancing. the mayor of missouri said the scenes were deeply disturbing. beaches in florida and california were also filled with sunseekers. president trump visited fort mchenry in baltimore. the historic battle site was actually an inspiration for the star spangled banner, america's national anthem. mr trump invoked that tune while honouring those
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on the front lines against the coronavirus. meanwhile, the man who will take on mr trump in november's election also paid tribute. former vice presidentjoe biden left his home to make his first public appearance in two months, laying a wreath at a veterans' park in delaware. a young italian boy has been praised for his courage after a potentially terrifying encounter with a wild bear. 12—year—old alessandro fra nzoi was with his family in the dolomites mountain range in the north of the country when he came face—to—face with the animal. the bbc‘s tim allman has the story. never have the words don't panic seemed more appropriate. looking back over his shoulder to see what is behind him, a young boy moves slowly, ever so slowly, down the side of this hill. ambling along in his
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wake, a giant brown bear, just a little bit curious about this small visitor, perhaps. alessa nd ro small visitor, perhaps. alessandro and his family were enjoying a picnic when the boy went off for a stroll. it turns out he had made a new friend. his mother's partner tried to reassure him, explaining that the bear was just reassure him, explaining that the bear wasjust minding his own business. alessandro can then be heard calling out to his mother. mamma! if you think alessa nd ro his mother. mamma! if you think alessandro was scared, think again. he told the italian media he had been really excited, and this was the best day of his life. the bear, on the other hand, was unavailable for comment. cool kid. when tour guide mark fay flew home to australia from the uk in march, he faced two weeks
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of strict quarantine in a hotel room. to overcome the boredom, he started recreating famous movie scenes and music videos with the help of makeshift props, including toilet paper and shoelaces. take a look. #just # just take those old records off—the—shelf. # just take those old records off-the-shelf. # if you like it, then you should have put a ring on it. argh! show me the money! i see dead people. # a whole new world. # it's the circle of life... it may be a before opera fans can don their evening best and ta ke can don their evening best and take ona can don their evening best and take on a performance, but this evening the show came to them. singers from boston's north and
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performing arts centre put on a performance from a local restau ra nt. performance from a local restaurant. organisers say it isa restaurant. organisers say it is a chance for artists to tune their voices. thank you for watching and stay as safe as you can. hello. if you're looking for rain through this week, well, there is not very much in the forecast. but what i can offer you is plenty of warmth. in fact, during monday, to the south—west of london, temperatures got very close to 27 degrees. we'll see more very warm weather over the next few days. on the satellite picture, though, you can see this stripe of cloud that's been working its way in towards the north—west. not bringing an awful lot of rain, though. this is a frontal system, but one which is weakening very quickly, so really wejust have a band of cloud sitting in place across parts of england and wales through tuesday morning. maybe the odd spot of drizzle around, but generally speaking, it'll be dry. just with a bit more in the way of cloud generally than we had during
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monday. conversely, for northern ireland and scotland, here we see long spells of sunshine. still quite breezy in the far north, and a little bit on the cool side here, i suppose. but the further south you are, top temperatures getting up to 25 degrees. now as we move through tuesday evening, our cold front sitting in place, butjust a band of cloud really at this stage. could be a little bit misty and murky in some coastal spots in the south and west. and then we see some more cloud start to work in towards parts of northern ireland. in general, it is a dry night and not a particularly cold one, with lows between 7—14 degrees. so, during wednesday, high pressure still very much in charge. but this warm front here will be introducing more cloud, and maybejust nosing some rain into the western side of northern ireland, and potentially the west of scotland. there is a bit of uncertainty about just how far east this rain will get. but, to the south of this band of cloud and patchy rain, well, that's where we have the very warm air. temperatures down towards the south, cardiff, london, in the mid—20s celsius. not quite as warm as that
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across the northern half of the uk. but, as we move towards the end of the week, as this area of high pressure moves its way a little bit further east, more and more of us get to feel the effects of some very warm air. and i think, on thursday, we will see plentiful sunshine across most areas. a bit more cloud across scotland, maybe just the odd shower across northern half of the country, but the vast majority will be dry. but those temperatures up to 26 degrees there in cardiff, 22 in glasgow, but a little bit cooler for some of those north sea coasts. that's a trend that will continue on into friday, and as we head into the weekend, well, those temperatures stay pretty high for the time of year, and very little sign of rain for most of us.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: britain's prime minister, borisjohnson, has said he regrets the "confusion and anger" caused by his chief adviser‘s long journeys across the uk during the anti—virus lockdown, but reiterated his support. the comment came after the advisor, dominic cummings, held a news conference insisting that he didn't violate the rules. the world health organization has suspended the testing of hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for covid—i9 because of safety concerns. it comes after a study suggested the drug could increase the risk of death. hydroxychloroquine is traditionally used to prevent malaria and has been recently used by president trump. northern and central india have been hit by huge swarms of locusts, some described as wide as five kilometres. it's said to be the worst outbreak in a quarter of a century, the


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