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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 29, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT

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today at six. more than 50,000 new cases — yet another uk record as the full extent of the covid crisis in the nhs is exposed. there's "unprecendented pressure" on hospital services in many areas, with ambulances in long queues and experts warning that more action is needed. if the virus is allowed to continue to transmit and increase, particularly with the new strain of virus, there could be catastrophic consequences in terms of the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths. public health england says the latest figures are of "extreme concern" ahead of tomorrow's announcement of possible changes to the tier system. and in england's schools, more calls to delay the start of term amid confusion over plans for covid testing.
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a prosthetic hand! woohoo! we report on ‘the mitt‘ — a new prothetic limb designed by engineering students — for young children. another leader of the fashion world in paris, pierre cardin, takes the town by storm... and one of the biggest names in fashion design — pierre cardin — has died at the age of 98. good evening. the full extent of the covid crisis facing the nhs is becoming more apparent by the day. more than 50,000 new cases were reported in the past 2a hours, that‘s yet another record for the uk and a matter of ‘extreme concern‘ according to public health england. the head of the nhs in england says
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health workers are once again ‘in the eye of the storm‘, while a leading scientific adviser to the uk government says urgent action is now needed to prevent what he called a ‘catastrophe‘ in the new year. any changes to england‘s tier restrictions will be announced tomorrow. 0ur health correspondent catherine burns has the latest. we wa nted we wanted to have a few days off over christmas but instead we have been asked to come back to work. this time we've seen a massive increase. if we continue with the current rate of admissions we will be close to being overwhelmed. current rate of admissions we will be close to being overwhelmedm current rate of admissions we will be close to being overwhelmed. it is affecting everyone. people are exhausted, such a long year. doctors and nurses from the front line telling us what it is like to deal with a pandemic that after months of ha rd with a pandemic that after months of hard work is getting worse. queens hospital in romford in essex today,
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20 ambulances waiting outside. some of them on double yellow lines because the parking bays were full. at one stage you could see staff bring hot drinks out to patients waiting in the ambulance hospital says that the web and cared for safely but that it is under considerable pressure and is asking staff to take extra shifts. pinning that the pressure is intense across london and the south—east.” that the pressure is intense across london and the south-east. i would say this is the most challenging extended period that i have ever seen and i would like to just take the chance to pay tribute to the staff who have worked so hard. more than 21,000 people are being treated in hospitalfor ten than 21,000 people are being treated in hospital for ten across than 21,000 people are being treated in hospitalfor ten across uk than 21,000 people are being treated in hospital for ten across uk and than 21,000 people are being treated in hospitalfor ten across uk and in wales are dealing with the highest level of patience now. the patients coming now to intensive are a degree sicker and many of them desperately and well and we have seen a real reflection of that in the amount of patients that have died. ireland
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hospital say they are under pressure but coping. in scotland people are being asked to stay at home over a new year as cases hit a record high. this new surge in cases could not come at a worse time of year for the nhs. winter always brings extra pressures with more respiratory illnesses as well as trips and falls in icy weather. this year on top of that and the pandemic, social distancing means hospitals need to keep patients further apart in the nhs in england is operating with around 10% fewer beds than usual. immigrant 2a million people are already living under here for restrictions, the highest level. the government is about to decide if thatis government is about to decide if that is enough and this morning from a scientific adviser, act now to avoid catastrophe in the new year. in my view if we do not introduce tougher restrictions in areas in the north and areas not currently in
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tier 4, they will rise to very high levels of disease and hospitalisations similar to those seen hospitalisations similar to those seenin hospitalisations similar to those seen in london. the nhs chief executive and your thank you message to staff acknowledges that this year has been the toughest that most can remember but that there is also hope. by late spring we think that with vaccine supply continuing to come on stream with vaccine supply continuing to come on stream we with vaccine supply continuing to come on stream we will be offering all vulnerable people across the country this vaccination. three weeks ago margaret keenan became the first person to have the vaccine outside of clinical trials. today she had her second booster dose. catherine burns, bbc news. 1,500 military personnel are to help with the roll—out of mass coronavirus testing in schools in england next month. they will hold online advice sessions and give telephone guidance to staff, with children mostly carrying out the tests themselves. but teaching unions say schools haven‘t been given enough time to make plans — and some head teachers
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are calling for the government to delay the start of term. 0ur political correspondent damian grammaticas reports. empty classrooms now. but will it be safe if millions of children start filling them next week? or could these become incubators for the new, more infectious strain of covid—19? the current plan is for a staggered return with most testing of secondary pupils and staff. in many cases, children themselves would be carrying out the tests under supervision. it‘s not going to be easy. it will be difficult, we are in a national emergency but it will make a huge difference to teachers and children and hopefully mean that schools will remain open. the government wants children back. home schooling for many isn‘t viable, lacking the support and the space, the computers and ipads to make it work. but scientists, unions and head teachers are all urging a delay.
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for now, the idea is that the military who have already been running testing, will help. not in schools, but remotely, giving guidance online or over the phone. and the plan envisages less than one soldier per school. we are educationists, we can support the government. it is good we are going to have some members of the army. but for 3500 secondary schools, 1500 troops through webinars probably isn‘t the government response that we were looking for. in some parts of the uk, the return to school is already happening later. in england and northern ireland, children are due to start next week. in wales, most should be back by the 11th of january. in scotland, it won‘t be before the 18th. many head teachers want more time to prepare. things have just come through to schools very late and i think it has certainly led to a lot of stress and a lot of panic over the christmas holidays to try to get people recruited. our community have been excellent since we‘ve had press coverage, we‘ve talked to our community,
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we had some volunteers but we still have nowhere near enough. schools have stepped up right away from march delivering online learning, turning things at the turn of the coin. we are very used to being adaptable. we really want this to work but we don't know where we're to get the volunteers from. if there is a delay, primary schools and children of key workers may not be affected but in secondaries, it might mean online learning or even an extension to the holidays for a week or 2, then those taking exams back first. an announcement could come as soon as tomorrow. damian grammaticas, bbc news. the latest government figures show there were 53,135 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 2a hours. but not all four of the uk nations reported full data over the christmas period. the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week is now 38,936. and a14 deaths were reported —
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that‘s people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. it means on average in the past week, 466 deaths were announced every day. it takes the total number of deaths so far across the uk to 71,567 0ur health correspondent catherine burns is with me now. now that we have the latest record to talk about just now that we have the latest record to talk aboutjust put now that we have the latest record to talk about just put that now that we have the latest record to talk aboutjust put that into context for us. that 53,000 is a record. there will be some element of lagging over christmas because of the data are not coming in quickly by public health england is clear that this is a real increase. at the minute we do not have an accurate picture of how many people are in hospital so that figure of 21,000 is one—week—old. we do not have all the nations updating data since then but when i it since and england has added an extra 1000 hospital
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patients and for the first time we can say that we are now in terms of hospital patients at a higher level than we ever were in the first peak across the uk so the question now is what the government is going to do. right now the prime minister is chairing a meeting of cabinet to look at the system in england so we know just over 40% look at the system in england so we knowjust over 40% of the population are already in tier 4, the highest level but there are some places that are only in two and have really high cases so one example are only in two and have really high cases so one example would be eaten and the ravages about 500 cases per 100,000 people. uk average is 400 but there are only in tier 2 at the minute. 0thers but there are only in tier 2 at the minute. others say the government does not just look minute. others say the government does notjust look at case numbers but also pressure on the local health system and other things but it would be quite hard not to expect places like that to see extra restrictions coming up which should be announced tomorrow. but for most of us what we can do night and i‘ll stick to social distancing and stick
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to the restrictions in our level and bring those infections down. in scotland, the public have been urged to stay at home on new year‘s eve and not celebrate hogmanay with other households. the advice from the first minister nicola sturgeon follows a record number of covid cases reported on a single day in scotland. my main message to people really is to make sure that you are not visiting other people‘s houses right now. that is the most important thing of all. and unfortunately that includes hogmanay and new year. this year i know we are all desperate to kick 2020 into touch, but we must do that safely and the safest way to do that this year is to be in our own homes with their own households. live to glasgow and our scotland correspondent alexandra mackenzie. what is the latest on the situation there? first footing is a tradition
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for hogmanay in scotland but we won‘t be able to do that this year because of the rise in the number of cases. today we had the highest daily number of cases, just under 2000 cases and around one quarter of them were here in the greater glasgow and clyde health board areas, but other areas the first minister said were causing concerns are shetland, the borders and dumfries and galloway. hospitals here have not been overwhelmed but the first minister said we cannot be complacent about that. she also said that we really hope that the virus can be suppressed, but the fear is that come january in can be suppressed, but the fear is that comejanuary in the nhs could face a more difficult time and we could be in for a tricky few weeks. alexandra, any thanks for the update. the labour leader sir keir starmer is facing a rebellion by some of his mps over his decision to support the new trade agreement struck by the uk and the european union.
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sir keir will instruct his mps to vote for the deal in the commons tomorrow. although he says the deal is not what boris johnson promised, he says it‘s better than no deal at all. 0ur political correspondent jessica parker is at westminster. jessica, tell us a little more about the feeling on the labour backbenchers and indeed the front bench. firstly, important to point out the boris johnson bench. firstly, important to point out the borisjohnson is likely bench. firstly, important to point out the boris johnson is likely to get his trade deal through parliament tomorrow. he has a majority and today won the backing ofa group majority and today won the backing of a group of eurosceptic conservative mps in parliament but things looking more complicated for the labour party as sir keir starmer has ordered his mps to back the agreement and describes it as a thin but says it is better than a no deal outcome and he does not think labour should be sitting on the sidelines by abstaining but at least a handful of his own mps do look set to defy him, some of them arguing that the deal will pass anyway and they should not put their names to an agreement that they think is bad for
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the country, but regardless, a deal looks set to race through parliament as it is recalled tomorrow. the uk did actually leave the eu back in january but it is in two days‘ time that it extract itself from the european union at the end of the transition period, so on issues of trade and immigration, that is where the relationship fundamentally changes and that is where we begin to find out what brexit really means. jessica, thank you very much. efforts to tackle racism and sexism in the armed forces have progressed too slowly, according to the independent ombudsman who overseas complaints within the military. there are concerns that women and ethnic minorities in the services account for a disproportionate number of complaints about bullying, harassment and discrimination. 0ur defence correspondent jonathan beale has been speaking to one former officer who says his complaints about racism were never properly addressed. i am well aware that i was and at times continue to be the face of the royal air force.
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i feel a responsibility to be able to speak up. unfortunately, the military has let me down. i lost all faith and all confidence in the military. harry was a rising star in the royal air force. he was selected to front an raf recruitment campaign. but it all went wrong when he was sent to the falkland islands in 2017, where he was assaulted by a soldier who had been drinking. as i walked away from the individual, he decided to launch quite a vicious and savage attack on me, effectivelyjumping on me as i was walking away and putting me in strangulation hold. harry says the extent of his injuries were never properly recorded. the soldier who assaulted him was initially charged with attempted murder. it was later reduced to assault but his assailant was acquitted at a military court. the service prosecuting authority said there was no evidence that it was a racist attack. i think race was a factor.
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0n the face of it it is a white male attacking an asian male, with no provoked reason. after the not guilty verdict, i knew i couldn‘t continue to serve in an organisation that had allowed that to happen, but also failed to make right. it‘s very hard to discount that actually this was a matter they wanted to try and sweep away under the carpet. and it would have been easier to do so if race wasn‘t a factor. ethnic minorities make up less than 10% of the armed forces, but along with women, they are overrepresented in complaints about bullying, harassment and discrimination. a problem the outgoing service complaints ombudsman says it needs to be addressed. to be fair to the armed forces, i have seen changes. but i suppose i haven't seen them, the changes have been rather sclerotic. so i definitely think they could be more timely. but i do think it would be unfair of me to say there are not people
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within the armed forces that want to change. i do believe they do. the ministry of defence says it is addressing the problem with more training. it has also set up a new anti—bullying helpline. but a recent mod report admits that defence is still seen as white and male dominated. for harry, once the face of the raf, change has come too late. jonathan beale, bbc news. thanks to a group of engineering students in london, there‘s been a transformation in the design of prosthetic limbs for children. even the most modern designs can be too heavy, or uncomfortable, for young children to use. but the students have created a flexible device called ‘the mitt‘, as our correspondent duncan kennedy reports. is it a christmas present? yes. inside the wrapping, inside the box, inside the bag... a prosthetic hand!—year—old phoebe is discovering something... awesome. give us a wave. ..that will change her life.
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it‘s a new type of prosthetic limb called a mitt. and for phoebe, who was born without a lower arm, it‘s opening up a new world. from skipping to painting to blowing bubbles, everything now seems possible. you can hold a pen and that bit, you can actually hold a microphone. itjust gives her so much more independence and so much more ability to be a lively seven—year—old and run around for people who have lost their hand, they're looking for tools to do stuff. it was designed by nate macabuag and other students at imperial college london. they wanted to rethink existing rigid prosthetics and create something light and flexible. all attached by magnets, this is where technology meets clothing. we could potentially service millions of people around
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the world who haven't had anything before, it‘s so unique, nate is now working with the douglas bader foundation to provide one mitt for every child in britain under nine. # somewhere over the rainbow... children like these, now using the device. but the douglas bader foundation says it needs the public‘s help to fund the project. so it has asked alex lewis to help. alex, who lost all four of his limbs through sepsis, says mitts, which cost around £1000, will transform the way children think about their disabilities. very comfy, like a slipper. it‘s all about trying to encourage inclusivity and we have had feedback from kids who have gone into school wearing their mitt and other kids are saying, "my goodness, that‘s the coolest thing we‘ve ever seen, we want one." now, i‘ve never heard an adult, ever, look at my prosthetic
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limb and say, "that‘s cool, i want one." children like phoebe may use a rigid prosthetic later, but for now, this is all about softness, affordability and freedom. duncan kennedy, bbc news in hampshire. one of the biggest names in twentieth—century fashion, the celebrated french designer pierre cardin, has died at the age of 98. he transformed the world fashion industry in the 1960s, as our correspondent daniela relph reports. newsreel: another leader of the fashion world in paris, pierre cardin, takes the town by storm and reveals to breathlessly excited womanhood what they simply must be wearing by easter. pierre cardin, the fashion world supreme innovator. for decades, his designs ripped up convention and shocked the establishment. his thirst for the new and surprising was never satisfied. born in 1922, he left school at 14 to train in making cloth. a fortune teller told
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him he‘d be famous. he asked if she knew anyone who worked in fashion. she did. he moved to paris, clutching an address. he designed costumes forjean cocteau‘s film beauty and the beast in 1946 and was soon unnerving the fashion industry itself. his 1950‘s bubble dress took liberties with the female silhouette. he moved young men out of boxyjackets, creating a new look for the 1960s. the beatles, in their collarless cardin suits, said he was one step ahead of tomorrow. he irritated his fellow high—fashion designers, launching ready—to—wear collections for the middle classes. and indulged in futuristic fantasies, inspired by the space age. some of it, impractical to wear. this was his proposed uniform for nurses. he was a savvy businessman, showing this 1970s collection in china,
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where fashion was set by chairman mao. but he spotted potential. i expect in the future, not for tomorrow but i‘m sure in ten years, china will become the most important country in the world. cardin established licensing agreements, putting his name on everything, from glasses to fancy carpets. it changed the way the industry worked. he bought a castle once owned by the marquis de sade, putting on shows there into his tenth decade. still experimenting, still innovating. pierre cardin, capturing the future before it exists. the renowned french fashion designer pierre cardin, who‘s died at the age of 98. that‘s it for now. we‘re back with the late news at ten o‘clock. now on bbc one, it‘s time for the news where you are. goodbye.
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welcome back to the news channel. it is 6:23pm.
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let‘s get more on the covid situation in europe. in spain, the government has announced plans for a register of people who have refused a coronavirus vaccine. it says the register won‘t be made public, but will be shared with other european countries. james badcock is a journalist from madrid. the health minister, salvador illa, yesterday mentioned this registry, and i think it has taken people somewhat by surprise because he was quick to point out that it doesn‘t mean that the vaccine is mandatory, people are free to choose. but still, the idea that central government is talking about keeping a registry, especially when health is a regional, you know, competence in spain, has surprised many people in a country which is riven by political controversy over the handling of the crisis, where the second and third—largest parties day in, day out say the government is lying and misleading people about its handling of the coronavirus crisis, about the number of deaths, about the number of infected. i mean, this will...
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you know, i have looked at social media, this is already playing into those kind of divisions that we have seen throughout the crisis. other major politicians have not yet reacted to the idea. it is not really clear what the registry is for. the minister talked about it, so that we know why someone has not had it but one thing would be the health authority noting down, "ok, this person said no," but another thing seems to be keeping a separate registry of names. he also said that this information, perhaps not the names, but this information of people who are rejecting the vaccine would be shared with other european countries. in germany, there‘s been progress on a new rapid test for coronavirus. the health authorities have approved a new testing machine that can give results within 40 minutes. the company behind it says
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it‘s based on highly reliable pcr technology — as damian mcguinness has been explaining from berlin. the test itself is exactly the same as traditional pcr test, it‘s called, which is the standard test that‘s mostly used and that‘s the most reliable test. now, that usually takes a very long time because what it does, it analyses the genetic material in the virus, it has to get sent to a lab, which can take a day or two, it also, in the lab, can take a couple of hours to usually analyse this test to get the test results because the temperatures have to soar right up, then it has to go right down and that has to happen again and again and again. it‘s quite a complicated technology. then the test results have to get sent back to the people and it is generally done in large batches. now, all of that can take a couple of days, that‘s the traditional test we know. what this new technology does, which has just now, as you say, been approved here in germany, is it‘s essentially the process of getting those results from exactly the same technology is much quicker.
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so, it‘s a small box which is portable and what you can do is you essentially put in the samples which have been taken from people who are being tested, eight at a time, and within 40 minutes, they have a new technology which means you can... this high and low temperature cycle, which is usually done in the lab, can be done there in this special machine. now, so far over the past couple of months, they‘ve been testing this at munich airport. they say it seems almost as reliable as when you get the results from the lab. they say it‘s, so far, about 90% reliable as that, but they‘re going to keep using it now to see if it can be as reliable as the pcr test. if indeed it is as reliable as the usual lab results that we get sent back then that is indeed good news, because it means you can really turn round the tests, the reliable tests incredibly quickly. we do already have fast tests, they‘re called antigen tests, but they‘re not as reliable, so that is the issue there. so this is really, the speed
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is there but it‘s also the reliability that is crucial, so it could be a game changer. 6:28pm and it‘s time for look at the weather. if it hasn‘t snowed where you are yet, you may get the chance of the next couple of days. the met office have several warnings in force for snow and ice, which can be treacherous over the next few days. take extra care if you have to head out. 0vernight most of the showers will be affecting coastal areas, being blown in on a northerly breeze, being and find western coast is weak move through the night, and it will be cold wherever you are, minus 8—9 celsius across the scottish glens. into tomorrow, it‘s cold, there will be some sunshine around, further winter showers, this
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feature could run into southwestern pa rt feature could run into southwestern part of the uk, bringing outbreaks of rain and sleet and snow as it bumps into the cold air, travelling across southern england through the day. but some uncertainty to the north as to the extent of this. for new year‘s eve and new year‘s day, he remains very cold. for the rain, sleet and snow for the most of us. this is bbc news. the headlines... the uk has registered another record breaking surge in coronavirus cases, up by more than 53,000 in a single day. health officials say they‘re extremely concerned. english hospitals are now treating more covid patients than at the peak of the first wave. labour face a rebellion by some party backbenchers over the decision to back the post—brexit trade deal — while today the senior eurosceptic group the erg has come out in favour. the us senate is to decide whether to back a big increase in government relief payments
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for victims of the coronavirus pandemic. a new type of prosthetic limb has been designed by engineering students, for young children. and tributes are paid to legendary french fashion designer pierre cardin, who‘s died at the age of 98. now on bbc news it‘s time for sportsday. hello i‘m 0lly foster, here‘s what‘s coming up on sportsday this evening. with rising covid cases across the leagues, should the football season be suspended again? from an all time low, india bounce back to square the series against australia. wade joins an exclusive club with a nine dart finish but he‘s


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