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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 31, 2020 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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this is bbc news, welcome to our viewers in the uk, on pbs in america and around the world. my name's mike embley, our top stories: a landmark moment in the fight against coronavirus — the uk becomes the first country in europe to approve the use of two vaccines. a new beginning in britain's relationship with the eu — prime minister boris johnson's assessment as parliament backs the new post—brexit free trade deal. after the landslide — the search for those feared missing amongst the buried houses in a residential area outside norway's capital. the republicans raise further objections to the us election results as the trump administration continue to claim it was fraudulent.
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hello and welcome. the uk has become the first country in europe to approve the use of two covid—19 vaccines. the country's medicines regulator gave the go—ahead for the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, signaling a landmark moment in the fight against coronavirus. half a million doses will be made available next week. argentina and el salvador have also approved the vaccine, and the us says it should have gone through its regulatory process by april. our medical editor fergus walsh reports. the approval of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, which is a fantastic achievement for british science. it's a great day, we're very proud. this is a really significant moment in the fight against this pandemic. it is, i think, a game—changing moment. this is the vaccine, more than any other, that will eventually bring coronavirus under control.
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unlike pfizer's, which needs ultra low temperatures, the oxford astrazeneca vaccine can be transported in a fridge, meaning every care home in the uk should now be in reach. the medicines regulator said no corners had been cut. with this approval of the second vaccine, we are another step closer in helping to defeat this virus. our clear message is that you can have every confidence in the safety, in the effectiveness and in 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, harmless 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.
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so, just how effective is the vaccine? the latest estimate is it gives 70% protection against covid three weeks after the first dose. the most pragmatic thing to do is to give as many at—risk people as possible the first dose of the vaccine because we know that from three weeks after that first dose, there's 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 experienced severe disease. this is now a race between the vaccine and the virus. that means getting millions of doses approved quickly. 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 manufacturing facilities like this all over the world which are producing bulk quantities of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine. the aim is to have three
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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. fergus walsh, bbc news. the vaccine approval made for a bittersweet day in the uk, which for the second day in a row saw more than 50,000 people diagnosed positive. the surge in the virus has prompted the government to move more parts of the country into the highest level of restirctions. another 20 million people will be hit by the change, with all areas shown in dark red here now in tier 4. it means the closure of non—essential retail, food venues moving to takeaway only, and the closure of gyms and hairdressers. dominic hughes reports from birmingham. in birmingham, just time for a last trim before tier 4 restrictions come in at midnight. after a tough year, it's another bitter setback for owner dale sampey.
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absolutely devastated again that we've just got going after reopening on 2 december. we're just getting back on ourfeet again. how many more times can we be locked down? the bills keep rolling. 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. health secretary 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 therefore necessary to apply tier 4 measures to a wider area, including the remaining parts of the south east, as well as large parts of the midlands, the north—west, the north east and the south—west. this is a global crisis, but let us be clear, this is a national emergency. our national health service is becoming overwhelmed. i hope the tier 4 restrictions are enough but many believe even tougher restrictions
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are now inevitable. but public health experts warn that restrictions and lockdowns can only do so much. the effect of any escalation in tiers lasts for maybe three orfour weeks, and then it wears off, so it is doubly important that, regardless of which tiers we go in, we continue to come forward for vaccines and take the test and, more importantly, maintain that social distancing and hand washing and two metre rules. rising case numbers are hitting the health service. already buckling under pressure in the south and east, infections are now 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's not just businesses that will be affected by the new restrictions. the local hospice depends on the £650,000 raised each year by its charity shops. it has been a huge hit for us this year. we have been full throughout the whole of the pandemic. our hospice at home services are also caring for more patients in the community.
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to then close our shops is a real sort of kick to us. parts of england that have seen relatively low case numbers in recent months, like taunton in somerset, now find themselves in tier 4. it's clear we're heading into the new year in the middle of a second wave that has yet to show any signs of subsiding. it's a place no—one wanted to be. dominic hughes, bbc news. in the last hour in london, the speaker of the house of commons has told mps that queen elizabeth has signed the new trade deal agreed between the uk and the eu, meaning the bill is now law. i have to notify the house in accordance with the royal centre act 1967 that her majesty has inspired her royal assent to the following note the european union future relationship act 2020.
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earlier today the legislation passed through both houses of parliament in the uk. meanwhile, boris johnson told the bbc his new trade deal means the country will have its cake and eat it. but he refused to acknowledge that new barriers to doing business with the eu will come into force when the tranistion period ends tonight. laura kuennsberg reports.(tx) signing on the dotted line over there, then a short hop for the 1,2a6—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...
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but, prime minister, that's just 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 pretty peeved when they find out? all we're doing is, i think, solving what everybody said was a kind of impossible, you know, contradiction in terms.
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the political screaming and shouting of the last few years only echoes in pa rliament‘s halls now. the prime minister had his day. prime minister. perhaps brexit‘s opponents have only reluctance left. it's the only deal that we have. it is a basis to build on in the years to come. and, ultimately, voting to implement this treaty is the only way to ensure that 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 abstaining. i have the greatest respect for the result of the 2016 referendum, but this shoddy dealfalls short. only the smaller parties raging and officially voting against, even though no—deal was their 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,
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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? well, i am very hopeful that that is the case. this is not the end of britain as a european country. because there will be people watching this who worry that it is. that is emphatically not the case. 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. at least 26 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.
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more than 50 were wounded. the administration has accused the houthi rebel movement of carrying out the assault. our chief international correspondent, lyse doucet watched the incident unfold. 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.
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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 yemenis 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 yemenis, in a blighted land on the brink of famine. lyse doucet, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: arise sir lewis — the formula one world champion lewis hamilton is knighted in the queens new years honours list.
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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'll 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 oxfordshire 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! bells toll.
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this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: the uk becomes the first country in europe to approve the use of two vaccines. it's said to be a landmark moment in the fight against coronavirus. let's go live to new york. kate elder is the senior vaccines policy advisor at the medecins sans frontieres. she's in new york. good to talk to you, i'm sure you're very busy indeed. thank you're very busy indeed. thank you for your time. obviously this is good news, more vaccines, has to be good news for everybody, is it good news yet for poorer nations and will it ever be do you think? is certainly news for sure. the approval of any new covid—19 vaccine is welcome, needed, considering the crisis and the
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global acute need for the supply of vaccines to protect us supply of vaccines to protect us all against covid—19 is welcome news. it is not a pa na cea for welcome news. it is not a panacea for the developing world, it will make a band but there is still much more needed in order to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in the developing world. and i saw a figure, you can tell me whether it is right, the richer nations so it is right, the richer nations so far have thought up more than 50% of the world's supply of vaccines so far. you can see why, the latest figures from the us, the united states has logged more than 3900 covert steps in a single day, any record. people are desperate everywhere. people are desperate everywhere, i am sitting here in brooklyn new york, a pretty hard—hit area of the united states for sure. we're reading the headlines of what is happening over there in the uk, following very closely what is happening in other parts of the world, it's an unbelievable situation to in for sure. the challenge is however we do have vulnerable people all around the world and
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the dynamics of business as usual where wealthy countries get to gobble up the fruits of medical innovation are certainly a play during this pandemic. as you said, about 1496 pandemic. as you said, about 14% of the world, wealthy countries represent only 14% of the world, have ordered more than 50% of the first volumes of these vaccines and that means people in the poorest countries of the world, 70 countries, nine out of 10 of them next year likely won't get a covid—19 vaccine because of this, because there is finite supply. and i think it's important to talk about why there is finite supply and why talking about these shortages is because there is business as usual approach to medical innovation where the public has put ina innovation where the public has put in a tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars into developing these miracle tools, these covid—19 vaccines, but still despite the public investment, it is pharmaceutical corporations that get to decide what volumes are obese vaccines are produced m, are obese vaccines are produced in, what prices they are
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setting and who they are selling too fast, now selling to the highest bidders. and thatis to the highest bidders. and that is something that is not new at all. i know you spent a lot of your time in fact dealing with the threats to children of measles, pneumonia, yellow fever, in many cases bigger killers but covid does affect the possibility of getting those treatments out anyway? absolutely. at msf, we have seen suspension of basic medical services. they have been increases in measles cases because routine immunisation which is critical, of course across the world, but particularly in places where msf works, where the disease are very common there, yellow fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, they are all vaccine preve nta ble. cough, they are all vaccine preventable. but when covid yet, we saw understandably the precautions are needed to be taken and now that meant a cessation of routine immunisation in many places. we are starting to see a pickup 110w are starting to see a pickup now which is good but there are certainly dire consequences, dire health consequences that
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area dire health consequences that are a product of covid—19 that aren't directly affected covid—19. i do want to talk about, the world health organization has put out a very clear public health framework for who should be vaccinated first. if we as a global community are going to adhere to that, adhere to true equity and prioritise the populations that are not only here in the united states, not only over there in the uk and europe, we have to follow the who guidance and we can't do it at the moment because of this dynamic of who is getting access to the first covid—19 vaccines and in what supply they are sucking up. kate elder at msf, thank you so much. thank you, have a nice evening. ten people have been injured — one critically — in a landslide that buried houses in the norwegian municipality of gjerdum — north—east of the capital oslo. police say eleven people who live in the area are still unaccounted for, and it's not yet clear if some were caught up in the landslide, or were away when it occurred. aruna iyengar has this report.
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an enormous dark crater in this town in gjerdum. in its depths, over a dozen homes. a whole hillside collapsed in the landslide in the early hours of wednesday. it's left norwegians feeling insecure on the land they live. translation: first and foremost my thoughts are with those directly affected by this. there are many who have not been accounted for. this is a huge disaster. 900 people have been evacuated but as many as 1,500 could need to leave the region because of safety concerns. rescue workers continue to search for people who may have been caught in the mud and debris. we are also providing support for the evacuees in hotels. people have been lifted also out of the landslide over by helicopter. but we still have not had the possibility to enter into the landslide due to the risk of it still being motion. during the day, homes continued to topple. these houses are built on quick play, a sort of clay found
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in norway and sweden that can collapse and turn fluid when overstressed. there was a quick clay slide earlier this year but this is one of the largest in recent history. the weather has been quite bad recently. there's been a lot of heavy rain. and there's been snow and as you know, there was a landslide earlier this yearfurther up north. but a landslide this size is very rare. officials say it's unlikely that another large slide will happen in the area. meanwhile, sweden is sending specially trained personnel to help in the rescue effort. aruna iyengar, bbc news. a republican senator says he will raise objections to the us election results, forcing both houses of congress to debate claims of fraud before they can ratify president electjoe biden‘s win. mr hawley is the first member of the us upper house to back attempts to formally dispute mr biden victory in congress. the missouri senator said congress had failed to investigate voter fraud
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and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections, but did not cite any specific examples of alleged fraud. the development follows a move earlier this week by some republicans to sue vice president mike pence, who will oversee the congressional certification. i asked juliegrace brufke — staff writer at thehill — to break this all down for us. definitely january six is teeing up to be definitely a crazy day. the conservatives in the house now have a senator on board. you need to have a member from each chamber to be able to challenge election results. senator hawley has made it very clear that he doesn't feel like the election was conducted fairly. he feels like pennsylvania didn't abide by its own voter laws. he's accused social media platforms like twitter and facebook of interfering in the favour of democrats. now, the trump campaign has largely been unsuccessful in the courts and these conservatives are currently arguing that congress should have jurisdiction over providing, allowing the trump
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campaign to lay out this case. the queen's new year honours have been announced. the formula one world champion lewis hamilton gets a knighthood and the actress sheila hancock is made a dame. many of the honours have gone to members of the public, for their work and contributions during the pandemic. our entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba has more. after a record—equalling seventh world championship and the title of sports personality of the year, lewis hamilton has now received a knighthood. sheila hancock says she feels a real sense of responsibility after being made a dame for her drama and charity work. i hope i'll grow into it and i will pay back the honour that's been paid me. that's what i want to do. also becoming a dame, pat mcgrath, arguably the most influential makeup artist in fashion. award—winning actress lesley manville has been made a cbe, actor tobyjones an obe and singer craig david an mbe. in sport, formerjockey bob champion, founder of the bob champion cancer trust, says he's chuffed
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to become a cbe. following a long campaign for every surviving member of england's 1966 world cup squad to receive an honour, ron flowers and jimmy greaves have both been made mbes. the majority of honours have gone to people who aren't in the public eye. tanya and nadim ednan—laperouse campaigned for a change in the law on food labelling after their daughter, natasha, died from an allergic reaction. in a way, we just did what we felt at the time we had to do. it's like we were on a wave, and we're still on that wave. we're just, you know, moving forward and really trying to make a difference for all those people. we know that's what natasha would want us to do. among those recognised for their work during the pandemic are health workers like nurse cath fitzsimmons, who came out of retirement to work at her local hospital.
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i said, "please, i can't be sitting at home knowing that my colleagues and patients and staff would be potentially in a very, very difficult position." and at more than 100 years old, anne baker's been honoured for herfundraising for the nspcc. she's become an mbe. i think it's so important, really, to think of the children because they're the future. they're our future after all. so i really was thrilled to find this honour. making this a particular year of celebration for anne, who at 106, is the oldest person ever to be recognised with an honour. lizo mzimba, bbc news. there is more on that, more on all the news any time for you on the bbc website and our twitter feeds. thank you very much for watching.
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hello. snow and ice continue to be hazards for some as we move into the final day of 2020. still very much in the cold air across the uk, temperatures widely well below freezing through the early hours of thursday morning, with the potential for some freezing fog across parts of england and wales. for new year's eve, it's a cold day wherever you are. for most, a mixture of wintry showers with some sunshine, but across scotland through the morning, a more general spell of rain, sleet and snow sliding its way southwards and also into northern ireland as well. as the morning wears on, that snow will tend to become confined to higher ground, just pushing to the far north of england through the afternoon. a few wintry showers for parts of northwest, southwest england, west wales.
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the further south and east you are, mainly dry with some sunshine once any freezing fog has lifted through the morning. still a cold northerly wind, particularly biting for parts of western scotland and northern ireland. not quite as cold across scotland and northern ireland compared to wednesday, five or six celsius the top temperature here, compared to just two or three celsius further south. through the final hours of 2020, we see this band of wintry showers just continuing to sink their way southwards, but most of the snow by this stage should be over higher ground. bit of wintry mix across scotland, quite a few showers along the east coast, where temperatures will hold up to around four or five celsius at midnight. head inland, they'll be closer to freezing. a few showers developing across northern england, parts of northwest wales, maybe south—west england through the early hours of new year's day. but also once again, the potential for some freezing fog developing across central, southeastern parts of england and wales as we head through the early hours of 2021. another cold night but not quite as cold as recent nights, but some places still getting a few degrees below freezing. so here's how we start 2021, with still a fairly messy picture, low pressure to the east of the uk
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and frontal systems still just trying to slide their way across. not much on them, but certainly through new year's day, there will be a fair few showers around, particularly for east and northeast coasts. and a few of those will penetrate their way a little bit further inland. still the chance they could be wintry, particularly over higher ground. the further south you are across the uk, much more cloud around, and temperatures still not much higher than five or six celsius. looking ahead, then, to the first weekend of 2021, it stays cold, we'll see fewer showers but still the risk of some ice and snow in places. bye— bye.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines: the uk has become the first country in europe to approve the use of two covid—19 vaccines. the country's medicines regulator gave the go—ahead for the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, signaling a landmark moment in the fight against coronavirus. half a million doses will be made available next week. four and a half years after britain voted in a referendum to leave the european union, both chambers of parliament in london have approved the new free trade deal that was finalised last week. borisjohnson said britain was marking a new beginning in its relationship with the eu. ten people have been injured, one critically, in a landslide that buried houses in a norwegian municipality north—east of the capital oslo. police say 11 people are unaccounted for, and it's not clear if some were caught up in the landslide, or were away when it occurred.


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