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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 31, 2020 3:00pm-3:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. britain and the eu get ready for a new chapter in their relationship, as the clock ticks down to the post—brexit era. we'll be live in dover to find outjust how ready the borders are for brexit. also ahead: china approves its first home—produced coronavirus vaccine for general use, claiming it's nearly 80% effective. the british government says there's no reason schools in england will not be ready to roll out mass testing of pupils for coronavirus. and fireworks welcome 2021 in new zealand, but celebrations are being scaled down due to the pandemic. we'll find out how different countries are welcoming in the new year.
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this is the scene live in pyongyang as north korea begins its new year celebrations. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. let's stick with those fireworks to celebrate the new year. this is a live broadcast injapan, showing their celebrations for new year. those are coming into us live from a secret location in tokyo. we are not entirely sure where it is.
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the japanese authorities are not releasing the location of the displays to stop crowds from gathering. japanese people are sharing in a new year, 2021. 2020 was supposed to be an olympic year foiljapan, year, 2021. 2020 was supposed to be an olympic yearfoiljapan, with year, 2021. 2020 was supposed to be an olympic year foiljapan, with the tokyo 0lympics. that has been postponed and will hopefully go ahead in the summer. i am not sure why there is a picture of a cow, but maybe it is giving birth? no... we we re maybe it is giving birth? no... we were inspecting fireworks and dragons, but we are bringing you cows dragons, but we are bringing you cows and calves. it is cute, very sweet, but not quite the new year pictures we were hoping to bring you. anyway... it is 2021 injapan and in many other areas around the world. we will bring you more pictures when we get them here on bbc news. the united kingdom will complete its transition
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from the european union's single market and customs union at 11pm this evening, bringing an end to a partnership lasting almost 50 years. legislation to ratify the uk's post—brexit relationship with the eu became law early this morning. 0ur political correspondent, jonathan blake, reports. four and a half years on from the referendum result... the british people have spoken and the answer is, we're out. ..after resignations... i do so with no ill—will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country i love. ..political turmoil... behave yourself! be a good boy! ..and passionate protest... what do we want? people's vote! when we want it? now! ..the brexit process neared an end last night, with understatement in the house of commons. her majesty signified her royal assent to the following, european union future relationship act 2020. earlier, the prime minister
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signed the agreement he had struck with the eu, allowing boris johnson to claim perhaps his ultimate political victory. this deal satisfies the request of the british people to take back control, and what that meant was we now have the freedom to do things differently and do things better, if we choose. brexit has dominated politics for so long it's hard to imagine life at westminster without it, such a divisive issue won't disappear overnight. although smaller opposition parties remains bitterly opposed to the trade deal, in the end, parliament gave its overwhelming support for a new set of rules and a new relationship with the european union. for businesses like this dairy farm in cheshire, it means more admin, at least, and some uncertainty still ahead. it protects our business and is probably a great relief for many medium—sized businesses in the uk.
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there is an element of course, the great big christmas box with its ribbons and sparkles, you look inside, it isn't quite what we thought it would be, and we are now looking for the instructions to work out what we are doing. for now, the politics gives way to the practicalities, a new normal that some never wanted, but others have longed to see. jonathan blake, bbc news. 0ur correspondent, simonjones, is in dover. how ready are uk ports this evening? well, that is the big question, and we are going to see the moment of truth in a few hours, at 11pm uk time. throughout the day, we have seen a steady stream of lorries heading into the port, and these are some of the last lorries that are going to travel from the uk over to france and the eu under the current arrangements. at the moment, it is described as frictionless travel, but the reality is, and the warning
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is, that come these changes that begin at 11pm, this travel could have a little more friction. these lorry drivers will have to have paperwork with them to show they have got the right customs declarations, the right permissions to importand declarations, the right permissions to import and export their goods. that will take time and effort to fill out that paperwork. the fear is that a proportion of drivers arriving at ports like this will not have the correct paperwork, the correct documentation. if that is the case, there will be turned away. if there are lots of them, that could lead to queues and congestion and ultimately problems with the supply chain. thank you. china has given its first official approval for the general use of one of its own vaccines. sinopharm, who developed the drug, say its 79% effective in phase three trials, which were conducted outside the country due to low numbers
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of coronavirus cases in china. this vaccine, and several others, are already in use in the country, after being granted emergency licenses months ago. jerome kim, director general of the international vaccine institute in seoul, compared this vaccine to others we've heard of recently. the pfizer and moderna vaccine are made from rna. these are new, different kinds of vaccines. we've never had approved rna vaccines before. the astrazeneca—0xford vaccine is made from a chimpanzee adenovirus vector, again not a vector that has previously been approved for use in humans. the chinese vaccines are what we call whole inactivated, they have grown a batch of virus and then killed it with a chemical substance. and they take the purified whole inactivated virus and inject it. that is actually a very common kind of vaccine that has been in use for decades. so it is a vaccine type
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we are familiar with, in general it can be manufactured in large quantities, and it is relatively easy to make. although this one has some slight twists to it. it tends to generate a level of antibody protection — that is protective immune responses or defensive responses — that are at a level with many of the other vaccines. and the efficacy is in the same range also. so this is good news. but i think that, critically, this kind of vaccine not only has to be approved by the chinese regulatory authorities, but it has to also be approved by the world health organization, and other organisations, in order to have general applicability and use around the world for global health. well, of course, creating and approving vaccines is hard enough, and then they face the challenge of distribution. 0ne country has been distinguishing itself. israel says its administering 150,000 jabs a day,
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and is on course to have vaccinated 10% of its population by the weekend. and that's using the pfeizer vaccine, which needs to be stored at minus 70 degress. so how are they doing it? let's speak now to dr yasmin maor, the head of the infectious disease unit at wolfson medical center hospital at tel aviv university. thank you forjoining us. let me ask you, how is israel managing to roll out the vaccine programme so efficiently and quickly?” out the vaccine programme so efficiently and quickly? i think it is amazing. there are national hmos around the country, which have a good coverage of the country. vaccination was based both in hospitals and also on hmos with big centres, where they could gather enough people to get the vaccine,
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because it is dispersed in quantities of nine had 50 doses, which —— 950 doses, which have to be used within five days of being dispensed. after it is thawed, it can only be used for five days. it is an amazing operation, and i think israel is doing a good job on this was not how willing are israelis to be vaccinated? there is quite a high willingness, higher than for the influencers vaccine. various surveys we conducted in israel, saw about 70% of the population wants to get vaccinated. these are very high numbers. also we see that the demand is higher than what we can offer at this point in time. the israeli prime ministers said that israel will be the first country to emerge from covid—19 because of the
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vaccination roll—out programme. do you agree with that?” vaccination roll—out programme. do you agree with that? i want to agree with that. i see several limitations. to reach that point, we need to have enough vaccines by the suggested date. at the moment, this seems to be the challenge, the availability of the vaccines, how many we actually have here physically to dispense. from the regard of the public, we are seeing a very high acceptance rate. in terms of cost, each vaccine dose is more expensive than in europe. terms of cost, each vaccine dose is more expensive than in europem shouldn't be like that. but we know that this game of money is in place not only in israel but around the world, and there isn't an equity in
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dispensing medical treatments, vaccines, technologies. we can also look at the third world that don't have any money at all to get vaccines. i don't think it is fair, but i do appreciate the israeli government for putting forward the money and understanding the importance of changing the epidemic in israel. as citizens, we pay for that indirectly, but the vaccine is available free of cost for every citizen. thank you. while the new year's eve countdown is still hours away in europe, people in new zealand and australia have already brought in 2021. sydney fireworks were spectacular as ever this year, but were shortened to just a few minutes due to coronavirus restrictions. the centre of the city was closed to most people, and only those with restaurant and hotel bookings were allowed in to limit the spread of covid—19.
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and in new zealand, some of the first to celebrate the arrival of 2021, were treated with a fireworks display launched from auckland's sky tower that lasted five minutes and included a laser display over the city's harbour. most secondary school pupils in england will return to the classroom after the christmas break, later than planned. the education secretary has emphasised the importance of getting coronavirus testing for school children up properly in place before pupils return. but teaching unions have criticised the government's plans, with one labelling it a "last—minute mess". primary schools will also remain closed in areas with the highest infection rates. here's our education correspondent, frankie mccamley. for the murray family, this latest announcement
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is going to have a big impact. siobhan has four children. all of them are going to be staying home next week. my husband works from home full time and it's going to be quite stressful to keep the children under control, working quietly. my work has been delayed. i understand why it was all so last minute, but a bit more time for primaries, for us to get our heads around it and make some plans, would have been helpful. the latest changes in england mean only secondary school children taking exams will go back on the 11th of january. all other secondary schools will be remote learning until at least the 18th. most primary schools will be open as normal except those in virus hotspots, like london and the south—east, which have been told to stay closed. whereas in northern ireland, children will have their return to school delayed by a week or more. 0nline learning is planned for pupils in wales until the 11th of january and, in scotland, schools won't return until at least
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the middle of the month. this is yet another u—turn by the department for education. you may remember, just a few weeks ago, it threatened some schools with legal action if they closed. 0n the one hand, teachers will welcome this latest announcement as it will give them more time to implement the mass testing programme but, on the other hand, this has been called a last—minute mess that could have been avoided. it's unfortunately something we have become accustomed to, in terms of late announcements, delayed announcements and sometimes u—turns as well. 0urjob is really to make sure that students get as clear an education as possible and that we're clear in our communication with parents. as for primary schools forced to close, some head teachers say they are prepared for this new way of working. we have good systems, the schools are used to closures now. we have had blended learning for a term while we've had bubble closures and children have had to be learning online anyway.
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so our systems are robust and we are ready for that. the education secretary is confident mass testing in schools will be ready when pupils go back. there's absolutely no reason that schools won't be ready. we have given them extra time to fully prepare and we are giving them £78 million worth of additional funding. on monday of next week, all secondary schools are going to be getting a drop of tests, all the equipment they need to setup. as for those staying at home, it's back to the new way of learning for now — online or with your parents. frankie mccamley, bbc news. more than three quarters of england's population is now subject to the highest level of coronavirus restrictions — to try to curb the spread of the disease. parts of the north east, north west, south west and the midlands moved into tier 4 measures at midnight. nhs leaders have urged people not to hold new year's eve parties tonight, saying that "covid loves a crowd".
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let's look ahead to 2021 now, with the latest part of our series from our expert correspondents. today, it's science — with major events planned both on and off our planet. here with her preview is our global science correspondent, rebecca morelle. this is going to be a critical year for climate change. the coronavirus pandemic meant that a major un meeting was postponed. now it will take place in 2021, in glasgow, in scotland. nations will be revealing how they intend to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. which means we will find out if their commitments are ambitious enough to stop the worst effects of climate change. scientists say it's vital we push for a greenerfuture, because the window to act is closing fast. up in space, or eyes will be on mars. a trio of spacecraft will soon be arriving at the red planet. the united arab emirates hopes
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to make history by becoming the first arab nation to put a spacecraft into orbit around mars. china will be entering a new era in space, too, by attempting to land a six wheeled rover. and nasa is also trying for a first. it will be testing a mini mars helicopter to see if it can fly in the extremely thin martian air. and lift off! the rise of starliner. and we should also see the launch of a new private spacecraft. following the lead of the us company spacex, the aerospace giant boeing has built the starliner capsule, which will take astronauts to the international space station and back. but an early test flight had problems. so the world will be watching to see if the company can get its spacecraft back on track. also in 2021, the uk's new polar research ship will be heading to the arctic. the vessel, which was almost called boaty mcboatface after a public vote, is now named after the british naturalist sir david attenborough.
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it will undergo its first ice trials to see if it can operate any tough polar conditions. and if it passes this test, the ship will head to antarctica at the end of the year. another priority for 2021 will be nature. countries will gather in china for the convention on biological diversity. a major target will be to get at least 30% of the world's land and seas protected by 2030. and could 2021 finally see the james webb space telescope? it's been delayed by more than a decade, and has got billions of dollars over budget. but this giant eye in the sky could transform our view of space. once in position, it will unfold a giant mirror, and should see the glow from the very first stars to shine in the universe. to discuss those space missions further, i'm joined by the astronomer tom kerss.
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thank you forjoining us. just watching that, it does really make you realise there is so much more that we can learn about space. tell me, why is it that mars will be so big in 2021? it was a fantastic report from rebecca there, and i think you did a greatjob explaining the excitement, the buzz around mars, by highlighting the fact we have three missions arriving early next year, two in february and won a little later in the spring. these three missions are being sent by three different nations, the united arab emirates becoming the first arab nation attempted to put something into orbit around mars. we have the chinese mission going to mars, and we have the follow—up to the successful curiosity rover, which will be the perseverance rover as a pa rt will be the perseverance rover as a part of nasa's mars 2020 mission. as rebecca stated in your report, you have a tiny rover... sorry, a tiny
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drone on board which will be lifting off into the martian atmosphere, which is called ingenuity. there are s0 which is called ingenuity. there are so many which is called ingenuity. there are so many new which is called ingenuity. there are so many new cutting—edge visions arriving at mars that we can expect mars science to accelerate drastically going forward next year. that is one of the world that is being focused on next year, alongside the moon. given the problems we have had on earth in 2020, is there more of an appetite now amongst people out there to get into space, to explore space, to kind of be taken away, if you like, from what is going on here and looking at new frontiers?” from what is going on here and looking at new frontiers? i think pa rt looking at new frontiers? i think part of it is due to the situation we have had this year. in my world of expertise in stargazing, we saw a huge boom in the interest in looking up huge boom in the interest in looking up at the night sky and accessing nature during the extended periods of lockdown that many of us around the world faced. but also looking ahead we have a promising and
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exciting future that we will be able to get up to other worlds as well. but this doesn't detract from the real problems that we face here with the climate emergency on earth. while it is important to be optimistic about space, we have to understand that much about understanding of space is teaching us understanding of space is teaching us that earth is the only place we have got. at the end of the day, all of this scientific exploration just increases our understanding of the preciousness of our world, the mechanics of the world and the solar system, and generations in the future will look back and be thankful that we were taking these first steps to go to mars and go back to the moon next year with the ultimates programme lifting off for the first time and going into proper testing in orbit. —— the artemis programme. a pleasure to talk to you. thank you.
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north korea is among the countries that have already ushered in 2021. large crowds gathered to watch a firework display near the taedong river, which cuts through central pyongyang. a north korean flag was raised in silence, ahead of the fireworks. well, whilst some nation's have already seen in the new year, others are preparing for the big moment. nadav bornstein is the host of israel's live at night on keshet 12 and will be live at midnight welcoming in the new year with viewers and i'm pleased to say he joins us now. thank you for taking the time to speak to us before your big programme later. what are the highlights of an israeli new year celebration? this year, it will obviously be a lot different since we are in lockdown. we will not see the big celebrations, we will not see the fireworks at 12 o'clock, but everybody will celebrate at home. we have planned aid live event with the whole country joining us have planned aid live event with the whole countryjoining us at midnight
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for the countdown. it is the year of the mask, we have all been wearing the mask, we have all been wearing the masks and they must singer was a big hit here. the view was that home will have to guess who they are. big hit here. the view was that home will have to guess who they arem is been a difficult year around the world. what you think israelis are most looking forward to in 2021?m isa most looking forward to in 2021?m is a bittersweet moment here in israel, since we are in lockdown, we have a lot of new daily cases, but we have the highest vaccination rate. we have already seen 30% of the at—risk population getting vaccinated. 0ur government says that in ten days everybody who is at risk
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will be vaccinated. so it is a hopeful moment here, but again we are still fighting corona. so i think everybody is hoping for a vaccination as soon as possible and getting their lives back to normal. how big a deal is new year in terms of the celebrations you have throughout the year in israel? normally it is a huge deal. you cannot get a ticket to a show or restau ra nt, cannot get a ticket to a show or restaurant, it is expensive to go to a restaurant, everybody is out, everybody‘s kissing and counting down, excited for the new year. but every year, the police are trying to get drunk drivers off the roads, but this year they will be trying to get them home because there are a lot of
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underground parties. kiefer talking to us. —— thank you for talking to us. that is it from us, goodbye. hello, it's a cold and wintry end to 2020. some mist and murk around. we have had some sunshine but also some wintry showers. some speckled cloud. some of the showers have been bringing snow. been bringing snow, even to quite low levels in parts of wales and the southwest. this more general area of cloudiness across scotland will be sinking and northern ireland. a mix of rain and snow. most of the snow over high ground. slightly less cold air working in with the weather system, very chilly, especially across the south this evening. 0vernight, as we end the old year and start the new one, we keep this band of rain, sleet and hill snow moving across parts of north england into wales. to the south of that,
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mist and fog will reform. freezing fog, temperatures as low as minus four or minus five degrees. quite chilly further north as well, particularly inland spots in scotland and northern ireland. tomorrow, mix of sunny spells and showers. showers still wintry over high ground, especially in northern scotland. it will stay quite cloudy and murky as it moves towards the south. another rather cold day with temperatures getting to between three and six celsius at best. deeper into the new year, from friday into saturday, high pressure to the west, low pressure to the east. quite a familiar setup by now. that brings us northerly wind, not desperately strong but it will bring showers into north and eastern coastal counties, some wintry over high ground. one or two showers in parts of pembrokeshire or cornwall. sunshine in between but it will be another rather cold day.
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the chilly theme continues into sunday but by now high pressure is likely to build to the north of the british isles, lower pressure to the south. the isobars are squeezed together and the wind will pick up, coming from a different direction, east or north—east, but it will feel cold as we head through next week. there will be a lot of dry weather around, some spells of sunshine. there is the forecast the next five days. there will also be rain at times, some of it could turn wintry with sleet and snow over the hills.
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this is bbc news. the headlines...
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the uk will complete its brexit transition from the european union in just a few hours, bringing an end to nearly half a century of close political and economic links. the new arrangements come into force at midnight, brussels time. china has approved its first home—produced coronavirus vaccine for general use. the sinopharm drug is said to be almost 80% effective. several other foreign—made vaccines are already being administered across china. the british government says there's no reason schools in england will not be ready to roll out mass testing of pupils for coronavirus. countries in the pacific have been celebrating the start of the new year. there were firework displays in australia and new zealand, but many countries are discouraging large gatherings due to the pandemic. now on bbc news, before the first coronavirus lockdown, professional dancer, joel kioko, returned to his home city nairobi,
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meeting dance students emerging from a thriving classical ballet


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