tv BBC News BBC News December 30, 2020 8:00pm-8:31pm GMT
this is bbc news with the headlines. . .. the uk government extends the toughest restrictions to three quarters of england's population, as deaths from coronavirus soar to 981, confirmed on wednesday. light at the end of the tunnel — the uk gives approval for the astra zeneca vaccine — with the firstjabs due to begin next week. it's a moment to celebrate and have some optimism about where we've got to today and moving forward. ireland's prime minister announces his country is returning to lockdown — with the opening of schools delayed, in january. the uk and eu sign an historic trade agreement — after british mps give overwhelming backing to boris johnson's‘ brexit deal. in yemen, rockets fired on an airport kill more than 20 people. attackers may have been targetting
members of the new government, who'd just touched down there. and rescuers search for people missing, after a landslide sweeps through a village in norway. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk, on pbs in the us or around the world. the uk has become the first country in europe to approve the use of two covid—19 vaccines. today the uk medicines regulator gave the go—ahead for the oxford astrazeneca vaccine — signalling a landmark moment in the fight against coronavirus. it comes as the uk announced a further 981 deaths in the past 2a hours — the highest figure since april. but as the news of the vaccine was received, it was also announced
that roughly 20 million more people across england are set to join the toughest tier 4 covid restrictions. from midnight tonight, the midlands, north east, parts of the north west and parts of the south west are among those escalated to tier 4 — with people asked to stay at home and in another of today's announcements — it was confirmed that the reopening of secondary schools in england will be delayed untiljanuary 18th for most pupils. however most primary schools will go back as planned. meanwhile, in the republic of ireland, what's been described as "full scale" level five restrictions, will be reimposed untiljanuary 31st in a bid to contain the spread of covid—19. but first — on the approval of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine and what it means for the uk and the rest of the world here is our medical editor, fergus walsh. a fantastic achievement for british science.
the approval of the vaccine which is a fantastic achievement for british science... to make it's a great day, we are very proud. this is a really significant moment in the fight against this pandemic. this is the vaccine more than any other that will eventually bring coronavirus under control in the uk. transportable at room temperature, it means every care home in the uk should now be in reach. the medicines regulator said no corners had been cut in delivering a vaccine in record time. with this approval of the second vaccine, we are another step closer in helping to defeat this virus. our clear message is you can have every confidence in the safety, the effectiveness and the quality of covid—19 vaccine astrazeneca. the vaccine uses a gene from the spike shaped protein on the surface of coronavirus. this is put inside a
modified this virus. the vaccine instructs human cells to make the spike protein, which prompts the immune system to create antibodies, which can recognise and destroy coronavirus. and it stimulates t—cells, which should destroy cells that have become infected. so just how effective is the vaccine? the latest estimate is it gives 70% protection against covid three weeks after the first dose. the nhs will now hold back giving the second dose of all covid vaccines until 12 weeks, so more people can get protected. the most pragmatic thing to do is to give us money at risk people as possible the first dose of the vaccine, because we know from three weeks after the first dose there is a very good level of protection, and nobody in the clinical trials at that point after their first dose was in hospital with covid or experiencing the disease.
this is now a race between the vaccine and the virus, which means getting millions of doses approved quickly. we will shift a bit more than 500,000 doses this week, to start being used on monday, and from there we will rapidly escalate deliveries. i really think, by the end of march, we will be in a very different place. what many want to know is, when will they get immunised? prime minister, how many people will be nhs immunised every week, because surely, it needs to be in the millions? the best answer i can give at the moment is that we will have millions of doses, tens of millions of doses, by the end of march. we are working to get the programme going as fast as we can. i don't want to give you specific numbers at the moment. much of the production is done in the uk, like here in oxford.
unlike the more expensive pfizer jab, which is produced in belgium. there are many manufacturing facilities like this over the world which are producing in bulk quantities of oxford—astrazeneca vaccine. the aim is to have 3 billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021. to deliver a safe and effective covid vaccine in less than a year is a stunning achievement. the challenge now, to ensure rapid roll—out to those who need it most. our medical editor fergus walsh with that report. millions more people in england will be placed under tier 4 restrictions in the coming hours and asked to stay at home. the health secretary matt hancock said the change was due to the rapid increase in cases in england fuelled by the new variant. three quarters of the english population will be under the toughest measures. 0ur health correspondent dominic hughes reports. in birmingham, just time for a last trip before tier 4
restrictions at midnight. after a tough year, another bitter setback. absolutely devastated again that we have just got going after reopening on the 2nd of december. we are just getting back on our feet again. how many more times can we be locked down? the bills keep rolling in. it is really difficult to keep coming back. in england, more than three quarters of the population will be in tier 4, the highest level of restrictions. matt hancock told mps the new more contagious covid variant was driving infections up. unfortunately, this new variant is now spreading across most of england and cases are doubling fast. it is necessary to apply tier 4 to many other areas. —— including the large parts of the southeast, the northwest, the northeast and the southwest.
limit this is a global crisis, but let us be clear, this is a national emergency. this is a global crisis but a national emergency. our national health service is becoming overwhelmed. i hope the tier 4 restrictions are enough but many believe even tougher restrictions are inevitable. some believe lockdowns can only do so much. it lasts for three or four weeks and then it wears off so it is important that regardless of which tiers we are in we continue to take the test and maintain social distancing. rising case numbers are hurting the health service. already buckling under pressure in the south and east infections are growing in the north and west. burnley has already been hit hard by the pandemic this year but has again seen a rapid growth in cases, and it is notjust businesses that will be affected by new restrictions — the local hospice depends on the money raised each
year by a charity shops. it has been a huge hit. we have been full throughout the pandemic. 0ur hospice at home services are also caring for more people in the community. to then close our shops is a real kick to us. parts of england that have seen relatively low case numbers in recent months like taunton now find themselves in tier 4. it is clear we are heading into the new year in the middle of a second wave that is yet to show any signs of subsiding. it is a place no one wanted to be. the republic of ireland has extended a ban on travel to the country from the united kingdom and south africa untiljanuary sixth due to the new more infectiousvariant of covid—i9. ireland's prime minister, mihul martin, has also announced that tough public—health restrictions will remain in place for the next four weeks to try and stop the spread in his country. i've always been clear that we will
do what we need to do to suppress the virus when it is growing, and it is now growing exponentially. the truth is, that with the presence of the new strain and the pace of growth, this is not a time for nuance in our growth, this is not a time for nuance in oui’ response. growth, this is not a time for nuance in our response. we must apply the brakes to movement ends physical interaction across the country. we must return to full scale level five restrictions for a period of at least one month. other news this hour — and the uk prime minister has told the bbc his new trade deal with the european union means the country will have its cake and eat it. but as mps voted overwhelmingly for the deal, more than four years after the referendum, he refused to acknowledge that new barriers to doing business with the eu will come into force in less than 48 hours, only admitting that there will be "changes". he was speaking to our political editor laura kuenssberg.
signing on the dotted line over there, then a short hop for the 1246 page document. the cargo of an raf plane to get back here. ready for boris johnson's signature. here it is. the man who campaigned for brexit, became prime minister because of it, and now his deal, this day scrolled into history. what this deal does is it satisfies the request of the british people to take back control, and what that meant was that we now have the freedom to do things differently and do things better if we choose. in the knowledge that there are no barriers to... but, prime minister, that's factually not the case. it's not true that there will not be more barriers. you have got more political control, but you can't sit there and say that there won't be extra friction. there will be changes, and we've been very clear with people that they'll have to get ready forjanuary the 1st, that things will work differently,
and at the same time we cannot only exploit the advantages of a zero tariff, zero quota deal with the eu. people said that that was impossible. and they said that that was having your cake and eating it. so i want you to see this as a cake—ist treaty. so you are having your cake and eating it? you've said it. but there will be new barriers because, if you don't admit that, honestly now, aren't people going to be really peeved when they find out? all we are doing is, i think, solving what everybody said was a kind of impossible, you know, contradiction in terms. the political screaming and shouting of the last few years only echoes in parliament's polls now. the prime minister had his day. perhaps brexit‘s opponents have only reluctance left. it is the only deal we have. it is a basis to build
on for years to come. it is the only way to ensure we avoid no deal. ultimately, it is the only way to ensure we avoid no deal. an awkward moment for labour but only one mp voted against and a sprinkling of labour mps quit the front bench to join others who are abstaining. others abstaining. i have the greatest respect for the result of the 2016 referendum, but this shoddy dealfalls short. against even though no—deal was a worst case scenario. we now finally know what brexit means, we have it in black and white. it means a disaster of a deal. it means broken promises, it means economic vandalism. but not a single tory mp voted against the deal. remember, europe ended the careers of several of the prime ministers whose portraits line this famous staircase.
do you believe that you have ended the conservative party's agony over europe? i am very hopeful that is the case. this is not the end of britain as a european country. many people will be watching this and worry that it is, that emphatically is not the case. with the overwhelming backing of the commons, . with the overwhelming backing of the commons, after years it is the end of one profound relationship and outwardly, at least, the calm start of another. but in the time to come, our relationship with the rest of europe may be no less complicated underneath. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. let's look at some of the day's other news... a series of aftershocks has caused additional damage in central croatia — following the country's strongest earthquake in decades. at least seven people were killed by the 6.2 magnitude quake on tuesday. a chinese study suggests that the number of people who caught coronavirus in wuhan, where the pandemic began, could be as many as ten times higher than reported. a survey by the chinese center for disease control implies that half a million may
have been infected. the official tally was just 50 thousand, although china doesn't count cases where there are no symptoms. the french government is facing criticism over the slow pace of coronavirus vaccination since it began on sunday. 0nly around 100 people have had the jab so far, amid public scepticism. polls suggest only 40% of french people want to be inocculated. at least 22 people have been killed in an attack on the city of aden's airport in yemen, soon after a plane carrying the country's new government landed. more than 50 were wounded. the administration has accused the houthi rebel movement of carrying out the assault. 0ur chief international correspondent, lyse doucet, reports. a live televised event turned into tragedy. just as the plane landed, cameras broadcast the blast. explosion.
thick smoke shrouding satellite trucks rising near the terminal of aden international airport. these images appear to show a missile striking the airfield. crowds fled the tarmac in panic, but many fell to the ground — dozens injured and dead. among the casualties, deputy ministers and aid workers. the plane's passengers, including the newly formed cabinet, all made it to safety. not long after, another blast sounded at the palace, where they took refuge. today's flight from neighbouring saudi arabia was meant to signal a new start, a new unity between two rival forces in southern yemen to take on houthis in the north aligned to iran. yemen's prime minister, maeen abdulmalik saeed, condemned what he called
a cowardly terror attack. he reassured yemenese the new government would not be scared away. government officials blamed the houthis for this latest violence. there are many spoilers in this long—running war. the biggest losers — the long—suffering yemenese, in a blighted land on the brink offamine. lyse doucet, bbc news. ten people have been injured — one critically — in a landslide that buried houses in the norwegian village of yair—druum — north—east of the capital oslo. police say 11 people who live in the area are still unaccounted for, and around 700 people have been evacuated. speaking a few hours ago, prime minister erna solberg said emergency workers are still unable to reach the centre of the crater because the mud is too unstable. let's get the latest from anders thorheim who is the head of national preparedness at the norwegian red cross. thank you forjoining us. please bring us up—to—date with the number
of people still unaccounted for and how those who are injured are coping, how they are. there are still 11 people unaccounted for, just following a press brief with the police just recently and they also proclaimed that they have reason to believe that there are people in the landslide, so u nfortu nately, people in the landslide, so unfortunately, it seems like some of these people are actually in the landslide. the numbers have been increasing all through the day, but now it seems like it has stabilised. 11 people are still missing. the search continues with helicopters and drones in the area. and have you been able to get people onto the ground, because i know that the situation was quite unstable there. and well, initially what we did was evacuate the area. and now the 700
people evacuated. we are also providing support for the evacuees and hotels. people have been lifted, also come out of the landslide by helicopter. but we have still not had the possibility to enter into the landslide due to the risk of their still being motion. can you help us understand, is this an area prone to this? is it because of the particularly cold weather, why is this happening? this is an area that has unstable ground with a lot of this kind of mud that can be put into motion with a lot of rain. but it hasn't happened before in this scale, not at all. but it's probably a combination of all lot of rain these past months with a mild winter
so these past months with a mild winter so far, and also with more building of houses in this area, but the reasons for it to happen just now is not clear at all. just briefly, if you would, is there a chance that the ground, has it stabilised now to a certain extent? is there any possibility that more movement could happen? well, as far as we know, at this point, the whole situation is still very uncertain, the ground is still very uncertain, the ground is still very uncertain, the ground is still very unstable, and that is why eve ryo ne still very unstable, and that is why everyone has been evacuated from the area. and the area has also been enlarged so that more people are being evacuated from a greater area around the mudslide itself. but there is no reason to believe that it has stabilised at all. houses are
still falling into the crater. that is worrying. a worrying note to leave it, but thank you so much and best of luck with your search. thank you. argentina's senate has voted to legalise abortion up to the fourteenth week of pregnancy. it's only the fourth latin american country to allow women the legal choice of whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy. the debate stretched into the night, with the vote finally taking place after four o'clock in the morning. katy watson reports. when the result came through, jubilation. cheering. this isn'tjust a significant moment for argentina, but a game changer in a region with some of the most restricted translation: i'm so excited. i can't believe it. honestly, it's crazy. translation: i'm very excited. it's a historic day. today is historic.
there is nothing more to say. it's a right and we are going for more. this has just begun. throughout the night, while senators debated, both pro—choice campaigners and those allied to argentina's powerful catholic church and growing evangelical community kept a vigil outside congress. translation: for me, there is no debate. science has proved that there is life from conception onwards and, well, there's nothing else to discuss. it's something that has to be organised or set right. it doesn't have to be by taking away a life. yes to life this t—shirt reads, but after 12 hours of debating, senators voted yes to changing the law that was nearly 100 years old. translation: it is approved with 38 affirmative votes. 29 negative, and one abstention. it is approved. it becomes law and is sent to the executive. while many say the support
by president alberto fernandez helped swing the vote, it was argentina's mighty green wave movement, a grassroots feminist movement that has grown in influence in the past few years, that played a big part in overturning the law. their argument that abortion is an issue of public health and that everyone has the right to access safe abortions in a country where as many as 40,000 women are hospitalised every year from unsafe terminations. translation: it changes everything for millions of women. this is health. this is public health. this is not a question of morals. it is not a question of ethics. it is a question of health and therefore thousands of lives will be saved. what's happened in argentina has been closely watched across the region. activists in neighbouring countries, including chile and brazil, will no doubt use this precident to help their cause in rewriting the law in their countries too.
katy watson, bbc news. in china, a court has sentenced ten hong kong activists to between seven months and three years for an illegal border crossing when they tried to flee hong kong by boat. the trial has mostly been held in secret, and has been criticised by some members of the international community — the us, for example, said the only supposed crime the group had committed was to try to flee tyranny. our correspondent stephen mcdonell who's in beijing gave me some background to the case. in august this year, a dozen hong kong activists attempted to flee their city via speedboat. the goal was to try and reach the self—governing island of taiwan to seek sanctuary. they'd already been charged in relation to certain activities during the protests, the upheaval in hong kong last year, and they feared their punishments. but their dash across the sea was unsuccessful. they were intercepted by the chinese
coastguard and, today, in the mainland chinese city of shenzhen, they received their punishments. meanwhile, in hong kong, theirfamilies waited for these verdicts. and what they soon found out was that the two people judged to have organised this ill—fated escape attempt received three years and two years in prison, respectively. eight others are to spend seven months in a mainland chinese jail. and two minors have already been sent back to hong kong. they, however, like all of these activists, will ultimately still have to face court in hong kong in relation to these alleged activities during the protests last year. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter — i'm @bbckasiamadera. it would be lovely to hear for you
—— from you. bye—bye for now. hello there. hasn't been too bad a day for many of us after a very cold start. we've seen quite a bit of sunshine around. northern scotland though has seen a lot of very heavy snowfall. we're likely to see more rain, sleet and snow over the next few days. that combined with overnight ice is likely to cause some disruption. so, stay tuned to the forecast for all the details. but in the short term, we've still got this cold pool of air across the country and these weather fronts enhancing shower activity. now, this frontjust passing to the south of england and should take any rain, sleet, snow showers with it. and then we focus in on this new front pushing in to northern scotland, bringing another round of rain, sleet and snow. mainly rain to the coast but some heavy snow inland. certainly over the high ground with some significant accumulations. there will be further wintry showers dotted around western coast, central and eastern parts of england will see the best of the drier weather with the clear skies.
so here, it really will be cold overnight with a risk of frost and ice. so into tomorrow for new year's eve, it's going to be a dry, very cold, frosty start for central and eastern areas. plenty of sunshine around, heavy snow continues across much of scotland, certainly over the higher ground. this will be pushing southward through the day into northern england. i think mainly rain to the coast, snow inland. there will be further wintry showers across some western areas. the best of the dry and brighter weather, central and eastern england — but here, we could see a little bit of mist and fog around. it's going to be a very cold day. now, through thursday night, it stays very wintry across the north. further showers here, and the mix of rain, sleet and snow pushes southwards into england and wales first thing on new year's day whereas further north, we start to see some clear spells developing. a very cold night to come. again, risk of ice and some frost. so, we've got low pressure to the east of the country, higher pressure to the west for new year's day. and this weather front straddling parts of england and wales and it will bring quite a lot of cloud around, i think, for new year's day. with spits and spots
of light rain on it. could see some light snow over the higher grounds. it still will be cold. scotland, northern ireland, and then later northern england should see the best of any brightness through new year's day but further wintry showers will be pushing into northern coasts. and those temperatures, maybe not quite as cold as it has been — 4—7 celsius. still, that is cold. and then for the first weekend of january 2021, it remains cold, some sunshine around, some wintry showers affecting north sea coasts.
the highest number since april. but the spread of the virus could soon be slowed by a second vaccine from oxford—astrazeneca, which the uk has approved for use. ireland's prime minister has announced a return to lockdown during january, with the re—opening of schools delayed. ireland has extended a ban on travel from britain, blaming increased cases of covid—19 on the new variant first identified in the uk. borisjohnson has signed britain's post—brexit trade agreement with the european union. in brussels, ursula von der leyen signed the deal on behalf of the eu. the agreement also won the backing of british mps in the house of commons. rescuers in norway are still searching for people now, ben thompson reflects on how the uk economy, businesses and jobs suffered throughout the coronavirus pandemic
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