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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 17, 2021 11:00am-11:31am GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. mass vaccinations begin at another ten centres in england from tomorrow — as the foreign secretary pledges every adult in the uk will be offered a first dose by september. it comes as the head of england's nhs warns that there's mounting pressure on hospitals and staff. i think the facts are very clear and i am not going to sugar—coat them. hospitals are under extreme pressure. and extreme pressure. staff are under extreme pressure. cities across the united states are on alert for possible violent protests, ahead ofjoe biden�*s inauguration. in a fresh blow to the afghan government and their attempt to maintain security, two female judges have been shot dead in kabul.
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an engine test for nasa's "megarocket" ends early — but the space agency denies it was a failure. hello and welcome to bbc news. as countries around the world step up their coronavirus vaccination programmes, here in the uk ten new mass vaccination centres across england are set to open on monday to help meet the government's target of offering vaccines to the most vulnerable groups by the middle of february. and this morning the foreign secretary has said the government hopes to have offered every adult a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by september. so how does the uk's progress
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compare the rest of the world? israel appears to be leading the way with 25 doses administered per 100 people. although it has faced criticism that it has not supported sufficient inoculation within palestinian territories. the united arab emirates is second on the list having administered over 18 doses per 100 people. the uk is next with nearly 6 doses per 100 people. the united states has administered 3.7 doses per 100 people — us president—electjoe biden has just announced plans to boost that figure when he enters office on wednesday. italy, which is the first country in the eu to vaccinate a million people, has administered 1.76 doses per 100 people. and the numberfor china is 0.69. because of the size of their populations, the us and china have given the most doses overall. for the latest on those uk plans to step up vaccinations, here's rebecca morelle.
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blackburn cathedral, transforming from a place of worship into an nhs mass vaccination centre. last—minute preparations are under way in the crypt. it opens tomorrow. thousands ofjabs will be given here. whilst this space was not being used, we felt it would be really appropriate to offer this space up as a place where people could come and feel safe and secure, a place that they know and a place that they feel at home in, so we were delighted when it was accepted as one of the mass vaccination centres. there are ten of these new regional vaccine centres opening across england. as well as blackburn, sites are in taunton, st helens and bournemouth, and there's slough, norwich, wickford in essex, lincolnshire, york and wembley in london. theyjoin seven already in operation. appointments are by invite only to those living within a 45—minute drive away and if people don't want to go to a vaccine hub, they can wait to be contacted by their gp. the focus right now
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is on people who are over 80. nhs england says last week a million letters were sent to this group and another half a million will be invited to the vaccine hubs next week. what it will do is let us get more vaccine out to more people more quickly, which will protect more people from becoming seriously ill, and that will start to lower the demand on our hospital services, and that's the way out of some of these really difficult rules that people are currently following. the government is also asking the public for help by asking them to support the over—80s to book their appointments and plan their visit. this is the biggest immunisation programme in nhs history. large vaccine hubs are already in operation in wales, northern ireland and scotland, with many more planned. across the uk, more than 3.5 million people have now been given their first dose, but the target is to offer vaccines to 15 million
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by the middle of february. rebecca morelle, bbc news. this morning, the foreign secretary dominic raab has been speaking about the vaccine rollout and when restrictions in england might be eased. we've also been hearing more about the pressure on the nhs. with me is our political correspondent, jonathan blake. what has the government been saying about the vaccine roll—out? the what has the government been saying about the vaccine roll-out?— about the vaccine roll-out? the uk has set hugely _ about the vaccine roll-out? the uk has set hugely ambitious _ about the vaccine roll-out? the uk has set hugely ambitious targets . about the vaccine roll-out? the uk| has set hugely ambitious targets for vaccinating the population far quicker than most other european countries and other countries around the world. nevertheless there is huge scrutiny on what is being done and just how quickly the vaccinations are being given out. this morning the foreign secretary cast any doubt on a sudden lifting of the that of course england is under in its national lockdown and other parts of the uk are under similar lockdowns well. come mid february, when the government hopes to have the most vulnerable in society given their first of two jabs, he said it would likely to be
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a return to the tiering system from then on, mirroring the language we heard from the prime minister recently as well. but he did confirm the government's aim to have the entire adult population offered their first dose of the vaccine by september. the plan is to get the first 15 million most vulnerable people vaccinated with the first dose by the middle of february. we then want to get, by early spring, another 17 million. at that point we will have 99% of those most at risk of dying of coronavirus administered their first jab. and then the adult population, the entire adult population, we want to have been offered a first jab by september. that's dominic raab talking about various government targets for the roll—out, culminating with september, which seems a long way away. at the moment the national health service is under immense strain and in danger of being overwhelmed. it
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strain and in danger of being overwhelmed.— strain and in danger of being overwhelmed. , ., ., ., overwhelmed. it is, and from what we heard this morning _ overwhelmed. it is, and from what we heard this morning from _ overwhelmed. it is, and from what we heard this morning from sir— overwhelmed. it is, and from what we heard this morning from sir simon - heard this morning from sir simon stevens, the chief executive of nhs england, that pressure shows no sign of letting up. he painted a stark picture of the state of things at the moment in terms of incidences of the moment in terms of incidences of the virus, cases of the virus increasing among some parts of the population and in some geographical areas still, and that is placing further pressure on the nhs across the board. but he did have some more optimistic words to say about the number of people being vaccinated, around 140 jabs per minute he said, and he said they aim to vaccinate across the board 1.5 million people by the end of the week. but it seems in terms of hospitals there is no letup. i think the facts are very clearand i'm not going to sugar—coat them. hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.
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since christmas day we have seen another 15,000 increase in the in—patients in hospitals across england. that's the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients. and, staggeringly, every 30 seconds across england, another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus. so that means, for example, that between now and lunchtime this hospital would be full of new coronavirus patients. and we are seeing that notjust in london and the south—east where this new variant obviously first let rip, but that is spreading into other parts of the country as well. some sobering statistics from sir simon stevens. last week the prime minister was talking about possible signs the lockdown was starting to have an impact and infection rates were trailing off and perhaps coming down in certain areas, but any talk of lifting restrictions or a turning of lifting restrictions or a turning of the tide seems premature in face
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of the tide seems premature in face of the tide seems premature in face of the picture painted this morning. thank you, jonathan blake. all 50 us states are on alert for possible violent protests this weekend, ahead of president—electjoe biden�*s inauguration on wednesday. members of the national guard are patrolling the streets around the capitol in washington, following the storming of the building by supporters of president trump. so far, there have been none of the mass protests that had been feared. 0ur north america correspondent peter bowes reports. america on high alert like never before. the nation's capital has turned into a fortress, with security worthy of a warzone. the national guard has been deployed to try to ensure a smooth transition of power whenjoe biden is inaugurated on wednesday. in the meantime, there's concern that armed supporters of donald trump may try to stage more protests, still refusing to accept the result of the election. the capitol building, which was stormed by a mob earlier this month, is now
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surrounded by a high fence, and the city is under lockdown. it's a place in our history that i'm sad that we've come to. american troops should not have to be armed against their fellow americans. but what we saw was an unprecedented attack on our democracy in the cradle of that democracy. by wednesday, 25,000 troops will be in the capital to try to keep the peace. the goal is to try to prevent a repeat of the attack that led to mr trump being impeached for a second time, on a charge of incitement of insurrection. he now faces a trial in the senate. the fbi has warned police agencies around the country that state capitals could be the target of further protests in the coming days. a state of emergency has already been declared in maryland, new mexico and utah. state—by—state, members of the national guard are being deployed overfears that extremists may infiltrate
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planned protests. in minnesota, armed guards are stationed at the state capitol, which has already been descended upon by protesters. in california, near the capital city sacramento, riot police are patrolling outside the home of the state governor, gavin newsom. in some cities around the country the post office has removed letterboxes from the streets as part of the security clamp—down. away from the fray, for now, as he prepares to take office, joe biden has been to church and it has been revealed that within hours of moving into the white house, he will sign executive orders to reverse some of donald trump's key policies. they include rejoining the paris climate accord and scrapping a travel ban on several predominantly muslim countries. but this is a nation on edge, holding its breath for the days ahead. peter bowes, bbc news, los angeles. in a fresh blow to the afghan government and its attempts to bring peace to the country,
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two female judges have been shot dead in kabul. both justices served on afghanistan's supreme court. our correspondent yogita limaye is in kabul and told me what happened. government officials are telling us that the two female judges were on their way to work in a car when they were shot at. they were both killed, their driver was injured. so far, we don't know who carried out this attack, but it is the latest in a series of targeted killings and assassination attempts that have taken place on journalists, women's rights activists, women in prominentjobs here in afghanistan. earlier, the afghan government blamed the taliban for these attacks. a few days ago, i met afghanistan's first female movie director and actress, and a policewoman who was shot multiple times last year.
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she survived the attack. she says the taliban was behind the attack on her and she says it is because she was a woman in this prominent role. the taliban issued a statement denying any involvement in this and all of this is happening against a backdrop of peace talks that are taking place between the afghan government and the taliban in doha. when you have horrific killings like this, what hope is there of those peace talks succeeding? that is precisely the question that is being asked. at a time when violence is surging in this country, will there be a resolution that comes out of those talks? on friday, 2,500 troops withdrew from this country, us troops, leaving around 2,500 behind. this is part of a withdrawal plan that the trump administration had signed with the taliban. according to that deal, all foreign forces are to withdraw by spring this year.
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many here are worried that if that withdrawal were to happen before a sustainable peace deal is agreed between the afghan government and the taliban, then they might see the taliban coming back in power in this country. the question then will be what lasting gains have been made in 20 years of us—led war in this country? yogita limaye of reporting from kabul. the headlines on bbc news... mass vaccinations begin at another ten centres in england from tomorrow — as the foreign secretary pledges every adult in the uk will be offered a first dose by september. cities across the united states are on alert for possible violent protests, ahead ofjoe biden�*s inauguration. in a fresh blow to the afghan government and their attempt to maintain security, two female judges have been shot dead in kabul. the uk government
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is moving to head off a rebellion by backbench mps, who could support a labour proposal to extend the temporary £20 a week increase in universal credit. the chancellor introduced the rise last april, as the pandemic hitjobs and family finances, but it is due to run out in march. conservative mps have been told to abstain on labour's vote tommorrow. the foreign secretary has said this morning that the government will always look at how to protect the most vulnerable communities. the shadow work and pensions secretary, jonathan reynolds, said he was confident a number of conservative mps would back labour call to keep the £20 benefit in place. there is absolutely no question that parliament this week must vote to cancel that cut of over £1000 a year to universal credit and working tax credit. first of all, it's about the impact on families.
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clearly £1000 a year, that's your gas, your electric, your broadband bill for the year altogether. so it will have a substantial impact on families if this goes ahead. but also it's the wrong thing for the economy. that's taking £6 billion of spending out of the economy at a time when we need it. this is not money saved away or put into a tax haven, it is spent in local shops and local services. so it would be absolutely the wrong thing to do. i think parliament should recognise that and i think should pass the motion tomorrow. the number of coronavirus deaths in france has now exceeded 70,000. britain and italy are the only european countries with a higher number of deaths. all of france is now under a 6pm curfew, advancing the earlier restrictions by two hours. daniel wittenberg has more. the shutters came down early on the champs—elysees and deserted streets all over france, as the country met another unwelcome coronavirus milestone.
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at the start of the pandemic, president emmanuel macron said the nation was in combat with an invisible enemy. since then, with more than 70,000 casualties, france's death rate has been higher than on the battlefields of the second world war. its latest strategy in the battle to curb infections, the curfew has been brought forward by two hours to 6pm for the whole country for at least the next fortnight. the number of positive tests has hit 20,000 a day and the extension is being received with relative approval. translation: i am not an expert| but i suppose if so many scientists agree on the curfew, it must mean it's effective. translation: well, as a parent, i think 6pm isn't a problem. - it's bath—time so we will be heading home. but i'll probably change my mind on monday when the working week starts again. while people will be able to travel after hours for work and urgent appointments, it's more bad news for shops.
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this parisien optician called on the government not to lose sight of businesses' needs. translation: this is yet another restriction and once again, - it is a loss of revenue for us. we need to reorganise our staffing and we don't know how we will get financial help for that. in the daytime, the fairly rare spectacle of snow coating the french capital provided light relief for some, though with hospital admissions continuing to rise and concern over new variants of the virus, it seems there is still a long winter ahead. daniel wittenberg, bbc news. mexico has urged honduras to stop the flow of migrants making their way to the united states as 9,000 people approach its southern borderfrom guatemala. the migrants are planning to walk 3,000 kilometres via mexico to escape poverty and seek a better life in the united states. tanya dendrinos reports.
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a sea of people, this is the border between guatemala and honduras. you can hear thejubilation as migrants press forward on their quest towards the us. it's estimated around 9,000 hondurans fleeing poverty and violence in a region battered by the pandemic and natural disaster are in this convoy, now on their way to the mexican border. translation: at first i was afraid, but when i saw the motivated, - happy and united people, my fear was gone. thank god we got through the first part in guatemala and, if god allows it, we will go further. with faith, we can achieve anything. we just have to have faith. they are seeking a more welcoming america under the incoming president, withjoe biden promising a kinder approach to migration. parents and children among those making the perilous
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journey by foot, optimistic about a land of opportunity. translation: the first thing we will do when we arrive - in the united states is to find a job. we always try to think about our families and it motivates us to reach out and try to help those who have helped us. but security forces have been deployed in honduras, guatemala and mexico, with hundreds of migrants already detained and no promise of the rest making it all the way to the us border. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. nasa has tested four huge engines for its new megarocket, which it hopes will one day take astronauts to the moon. but the exercise — designed to replicate the power necessary for take off — was stopped early, and it's not yet clear why. mark lobel has more. take off.
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it's one of the most anticipated moments of any space mission. here, igniting all four engines together for the first time to simulate the sls rocket�*s rise into orbit for the first manned trip to the moon in decades. and here they go. gearing up to one day reach 8.8 million pounds, or to those in the know, 39.1 mega newtons of thrust, to make it the most powerful rocket ever to fly to space. and to put you out of your misery, this is what lift—off should look like. later this year it is hoped these rockets will send nasa's next generation 0rion spacecraft for an unmanned spin around the moon. the artemis missions should eventually lead to the first woman on the moon in three years
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or so to search lunar soil for earth—shattering scientific discoveries with economic benefits as well. but back on earth, thisjoint nasa and boeing test, already years late in a project billions over budget well, er, quickly lost its sparkle as it was aborted early. seven minutes early in fact, afterjust a minute or so. just when we were going to see the rocket start to pivot. no—one ever said travelling to the moon was easy. nasa denies the exercise was a failure, despite the as—yet unexplained white flash that caused the shutdown. mark lobel, bbc news. winter in rome means starling season, when up to 4 million birds gather
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in the italian capital on their migration from europe to africa. their formations in the skies are beautiful — but their droppings create a hazard, and the city authorities are trying new methods to move them on. here's our rome correspondent, mark lowen. in the roman twilight, nature's great dancers flock to the stage. the acrobatic twirls like wisps of smoke. a synchronised spectacle of breathtaking beauty. the starlings migrate in winter south to africa. nesting at night in central rome for warmth, flying in formation to avoid predators. a murmuration, it's called, and this city of art marvels at the show.
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but beneath their charm, rome is rotting, and it's a hell of a mess. in the cold light of day, the other side of these gorgeous birds is clear, and for those unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's not exactly sightly, it can be a safety hazard, and i can tell you that even with the mask, the stench is rancid. "i slipped on the droppings when it was muddy", this man says. "the world has invented everything, just not bird underpants." beside the ancient forum, a new attempt to try and solve the problem. city officials shining lasers onto trees, which the birds dislike, prompting them to move on. the project is focused on rome's tourist heart in a bid to clean up its image.
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translation: this doesn't cause the birds any stress. _ it is more like a nuisance for them. i do this work, but i'm actually a nature lover. we are not stopping them from sleeping. we are just telling them to find another location. and it works. this tree used to be completely full and now there are about 10% of what there were. even the starling fans seem supportive. i personally love to see them, like it's amazing, but as long as it is not hurting the birds, i think it's a good system. while the lasers are harmless, fireworks are not. this last new year's eve here, starlings were caught and killed by the firecrackers, pictures going viral. not managing the issue can end in tragedy. in ancient rome, the starlings were seen to auger the gods wishes. centuries on, these dazzling creatures keep visiting. how man and nature can coexist
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is the eternal problem of the eternal city. mark lowen, bbc news, rome. dateline london is coming up, but first it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear. hello, there. it's a perfect sunday for getting outside and enjoying some fresh air. for most of us, it will be a dry, settled and relatively sunny afternoon, but the further north and west you go, a brisk wind driving in some showery outbreaks of rain, with gusts of 30mph to 40mph here. elsewhere, with some sunshine, the temperatures will peak between 6—9 degrees — where they should be for this time of year. moving into monday, closer to this area of low pressure, it will continue to feed in showers across much of scotland and we will see weather fronts starting to gradually approach
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from the south—west as low pressure edges in from the atlantic. but there will be some drier, brighter weather, particularly in sheltered eastern areas. generally a little more cloud around than we have seen today. 5—10 degrees the overall high. but from tuesday onwards, it turns increasingly wet and windy across the country. milder for england and wales, but some of that rain could bring some flooding. hello, i'm shaun ley. welcome to a programme that brings together some of the uk's leading columnists, bbc specialists and foreign correspondents who file their stories for audiences back home from the dateline london. this week, a dickens of a programme with an election past, an election present
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and an election still to come — which may be sooner than we think. and we've a spirited panel, even though they're not a panel of spirits. polly toynbee's column appears every week in the guardian, a liberal newspaper in the uk. jonathan sacerdoti is a political commentator, explaining the uk and europe to audiences in the middle east. he also campaigns against anti—semitism. and with me in the studio, hugh pym, who is the bbc�*s health editor. he has been guiding audiences through the pandemic, as well as all of us in bbc news who rely on the specialist knowledge of hugh and his team. welcome to you, hugh, and to you, polly and jonathan. it's good to have you back with us on dateline. now, during the four years following the referendum here in which the uk voted to leave the european union, we used to joke on dateline that we couldn't wait for the day when we could talk about something other than brexit. more fool us! coronavirus, or covid—19 — a label which tags it with the year it first emerged — is a global health pandemic, has triggered an economic crisis and is a challenge to politicians that will enhance the reputation of some and destroy others.
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here in the uk, what are known as �*excess deaths' are running at a rate not seen since the end of the second world war. some who survive the virus are stuck with life—changing effects on their bodies. as for people with other conditions, in england, the number of patients waiting for more than a year has gone from 1,600 just before the pandemic began to 192,000 110w. hugh, it is an extraordinarily complicated picture. broadly, though, given the terrible effects this has had in the uk and around the world, how is the uk system bearing up — both the health system and the people who are ultimately accountable for it, the government? well, shaun, if you go into hospitals — as i have been privileged to do, along with colleagues — you see the extraordinary dedication of frontline nhs staff working in really difficult conditions — as they are in hospitals in all health care systems — but with intensive care
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patients, the strain and the stress on staff — they went through it all last march and april, then in the autumn and then now, and it is really, really admirable, seeing what is going on there and the national health service, i think we should all be proud of the national health service for what it's been doing. the uk is at a very, very important phase in this pandemic because we have got to the stage where senior health officials are saying that the peak in terms of new cases may have passed in some parts of the south east of england and london. but you've then got a delayed reaction, as always, in terms of new patients going into hospital and deaths. so we learned from health officials that probably the peakfor the nhs is 7—10 days away — a lot more pressure there on hospitals — but with deaths, it could take even longer. and you have got to 87,000 deaths now in the uk and it's a pretty sobering reminder that the death toll could continue to rise —
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the daily death toll continue going up.


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