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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  January 25, 2021 12:00am-12:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughanjones with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. as the us passes 25 million covid cases, democrats say they'll implement a huge relief package with or without republican support. more than 70 cases of the south african variant of covid are identified in the uk — amid concerns the vaccine may be less effective against it. riot police in the netherlands have clashed with protesters demonstrating against new lockdown restrictions. relief — and joy — in china, as 11 miners are rescued are rescued after two weeks trapped underground.
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we begin in the united states, which has now recorded more than 25 million coronavirus cases — which is more than a quarter of all infections worldwide. that analysis from johns hopkins university means the us, is the hardest hit country in the world, with neary a18,000 people dying with the virus so far. new presidentjoe biden has signed executive orders to expand testing and vaccine distribution, increase the production of essential equipment, and guarantee unemployment benefits as part of his covid action plan to try get on top of the virus. our correspondent nomia iqbal is in washington with more on why tackling covid is president biden�*s top priority. he has said he believes that the pandemic is going to get worse before it gets better. he has signed around ten executive orders you laid out
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to try and tackle the pandemic, especially now you have this grim milestone of 25 million cases, that comes days after more than 400,000 people have died. but there needs to be more done and he knows that. so one of the key things he will try to push through is a package which is worth more than $1 trillion through congress. among some of those things, as well as providing a one—off check to americans, increasing the rate at which americans are vaccinated. he wants 100 million to be vaccinated within the first 100 days and he needs money for that to happen. and the fear is that with the coronavirus, it could mutate into a strain that all these approved vaccinations so far could resist. so that is a huge concern. it is a bit of a race against time at the moment.
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as if there isn't enough to do right now, of course, what biden and congress will have to deal with at the same time as this is the impeachment of president trump. that's right. the trial doesn't begin for another couple of weeks, but tomorrow, the articles of impeachment will be sent to the senate in which donald trump is accused of inciting an insurrection and was responsible for the deadly violence at capitol hill in january the 6th. it gives him two weeks to prepare for his defence. the democrats need 17 republicans on side to convict mr trump in the senate. it will be interesting to see if that happens because there are some republicans who backed mr trump and they realise he is still a hugely important influential figure in the party. and what the democrats ultimately want to do is stop him from running in office again. but they know that whilst his trial is going on, they have nominees as well to confirm so it will be a lot of stuff to do in the next few
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months for the democrats. and in between all that, joe biden has been making his calls to other world leaders which happens every time there is a new incoming president. already spoken to prime minister borisjohnson and now emmanuel macron of france. that's right, he had his conversation with him. it is obviously the traditional thing to do and all leaders want to get in with the us president as quickly as possible. in the phone call, president biden talked about strengthening the bilateral ties and bolstering transatlantic cooperation when it comes to nato and the european union. and it is not surprising that is happening becausejoe biden understands that post—trump, european leaders look at america quite differently. they may be realise they can't rely on america and have looked to other countries for that. joe biden wants to reset those relationships.
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after winning the election, the first thing he said was, america is back. he wants to reassert american�*s authority in the world. and let european leaders know that washington is still a very valuable partner for them. so i am not saying that is necessarily what they talked about on the phone call, but that is certainly what he will be hoping, that message he will hope to get out to the rest of the world, especially european leaders. the uk health secretary matt hancock says 77 cases of the south african variant of coronavirus have been found here in the uk — but they can all be linked to international travel and there's no evidence it's spreading in the community. matt hancock also said we are a "long way" from covid restrictions being eased — as scientists warn vaccinated people may still be able to pass on the virus. 0ur science editor david shukman reports. all kinds of surprising locations are now mobilised in the push for vaccination — even the black country living museum, near birmingham.
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used as a set in the drama peaky blinders, this celebration of an earlier age is ready to offer the most modern of medicines, everything prepared for coronavirus vaccines. please, please come and get your vaccine. we are here and we are ready and we are waiting for you. it is vitally important that people protect themselves, protect their families and protect one another. we do know that the injections offer good protection. they boost antibodies in the bloodstream and keep people from getting ill. but it's not clear if that stops the virus causing infections that can then spread to others. as we understand more and more about this virus that anybody, really, with a variety of underlying health conditions or perfectly healthy can still get severe covid, so it is important we still maintain our social distancing and wear masks and the other procedures we are experiencing, because the risk of passing
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the infection could still be considerable. and another concern is how the virus is changing. a variant in south africa is one of several being checked to see how effective the vaccines are against it. there are 77 known cases of the south african - variant here in the uk. they are under very close observation, and we have enhanced contact tracing to do everything we possibly can - to stop them from spreading. the majority of those i have had contact with, or come from, south africa, and that is why we've got i such stringent border measures in place. . so, a big question is, how to manage the uk's borders. many countries require travellers to quarantine in hotels. there's pressure on the government for stricter controls. on monday, we got this delayed announcement, yet again delayed. we would fully expect the government to bring in tougher quarantine measures, we would expect them to roll out a proper testing strategy, and we would expect them
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as well to start checking up on the people who are quarantining. only three out of every hundred people who are asked to quarantine when they arrive in the uk actually faces any checks at all. that's just simply not sufficient. and meanwhile, not everyone is getting the message. the police broke up an illegal rave in east london in the early hours and they issued fines totalling £15,000. david shukman, bbc news. israel has announced a week—long ban on most incoming and outgoing flights, to slow the spread of new coronavirus variants. the measure will come into force tomorrow night. exceptions will be made for cargo and firefighting flights, as well as trips for medical treatments, funerals and legal procedures. since the roll—out of covid vaccines one month ago, israel has vaccinated more than 27% of its population. dutch police have deployed water canon and tear gas on anti—lockdown protesters in the southern city of eindhoven. the demonstration, which violated the current covid—19 measures, were organised in response to the latest restrictions, introduced
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in an effort to stop the spread of the virus in the netherlands. there were smaller demonstrations in the capital amsterdam too. more than 100 people have been arrested. anna holligan reports. burning bicycles were built as a barricade. in eindhoven, they wore facemasks to avoid detection. and hurled rocks to repel the riot police. who eventually used tear gas to clear the streets. families stopped to stare, while others steered clear. the roads were blocked and supermarkets lucid as frustration turned to opportunism. the netherlands has just entered its toughest lockdown since the start of the pandemic. while the number of daily covid—19 cases have generally been falling, there are considerable concerns about the risks posed by the new variants. first detected in the uk, south africa, south america.
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on saturday, all flights from these places were banned. there is a resentment too. this liberal nation that enjoyed a relatively relaxed lockdown during the first wave has been forced to change its tone and is now facing one of the toughest in the world. anna holligan, bbc news, in the hague. the german government is reported to have bought a supply of regeneron, the experimental antibodies treatment credited with helping donald trump recover from covid—19. the country's health minister said germany would start deploying the drug next week, the first european union country to do so. it's hoped it will work like a passive vaccination, helping to protect high—risk patients in the early stage against a serious deterioration. well regeneron was approved for use in the us back in november. peter hotez is an epidemiologist, and the founding dean of the baylor college of medicine in texas — he gave me his thoughts on germany's decision.
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i think it is fine, it is for people in the early stages of covid—19 who we think might be at great risk of severe illness. older individuals, those with co—morbid conditions, underlying conditions. it gives you the antibodies that you would ordinary get through a vaccination, but it could take six weeks for the two immunisations and a week or two afterwards for the antibodies to again and this allows you to give it for the antibodies to kick in and this allows you to give it now with the reduced severity of illness. sorry, but why notjust give the vaccine in that case? once you are already infected, the vaccine would take six weeks to have an effect so once you are infected, you need something now, you need to get those neutralising antibodies into your system immediately. it is a great question. that is what the antibody does. the problem with it as it is expensive, number one, and you have to give it quite early on in the course of the infection.
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and there is a limited availability. but if you are in one of those at risk categories, it is good to get the antibody treatment. part of the problem with it its it is quite expensive, so this is not an option available for every country. yes, it is hard to make a lot of it, they are only purchasing around 200,000 doses and the way things are going in germany, that is about the number of cases they will have in a week. they will have to prioritise those they are the most concerned about in the early stages of infection. if you wait too long to give it, there is inflammatory response and it has very little impact. are there other reliable treatments like this that other countries could or should be looking at while they are waiting for everyone to be 100% vaccinated? yes, so far, the small molecule drugs have not really panned out as well as we would like so there is another antibody treatment and there will be others to follow.
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so i think we will hopefully, the other problem is going to be what you do about low and middle income countries who don't have access to this. so there will be a priority in terms of trying to scale it to the point where it could be used for some of the low and middle—income nations and that is going to be a priority. in other news — rescuers in china have freed 11 miners , who were trapped 600 metres underground for two weeks. an explosion at a gold mine in shandong province caused the collapse of its entrance tunnel, while a total of 22 miners were below ground. stephen mcdonell has the latest. after two weeks trapped underground, he took his first breath of air above the mine. his eyes masked against the glaring light, his gratitude to be alive overwhelming. one of 11 miners rescued today, after a dramatic change in fortune. the first miner out prompted cheers. he was barely conscious, after being found still alive
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but separated from the main group, which had been receiving food and medicine. soon, others were emerging. there were injuries, but many could walk, with the assistance of those who'd been battling through freezing conditions night after night to reach them. translation: the rescuers checked the miners to see l if they had any injuries and covered their eyes for protection. after lifting up all the trapped miners, we'll go on with the search for the missing ones. 22 workers were on shift on the 10th ofjanuary when the blast hit the shandong gold mine. 11 miners were trapped together. one, 50 metres below them, ten others missing. an initial delay of 30 hours in reporting the accident led to the sacking of local officials. then a week later, miners were discovered alive — and a long, thin communication tunnel meant emergency deliveries, even prompting a request for sausages. one of the main group died from his head injuries and they lost contact
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with their colleague, trapped below. with underground water rising, it was looking grim when officials said it would take 1a more days to dig a rescue tunnel through 600 metres of granite. but somehow, a large ventilation shaft was cleared which led all the way to them and, within hours, they were being rescued and on their way to hospital. stephen mcdonell, bbc news, beijing. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: enjoying the wintry conditions as snow and ice sweep across the uk — but severe weather warnings remain in place for many areas. the shuttle challenger exploded soon after lift off. there were seven astronauts on board, one of them a woman schoolteacher. all of them are believed to have been killed. bi; all of them are believed to have been killed.— have been killed. by the evening. _ have been killed. by the evening, at _ have been killed. by the evening, at the - have been killed. by thej evening, at the happiest have been killed. by the - evening, at the happiest wear, the heart of official cairo, the heart of official cairo,
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the demonstrators. they were using the word revolution. the earthquake singled out buildings and brought them down in seconds. tonight the search for any— in seconds. tonight the search for any survivors has an increasing desperation about it as the — increasing desperation about it as the hours passed. the increasing desperation about it as the hours passed.— as the hours passed. the new government _ as the hours passed. the new government is _ as the hours passed. the new government is firmly - as the hours passed. the new government is firmly in - as the hours passed. the new| government is firmly in control of the — government is firmly in control of the entire _ government is firmly in control of the entire republic - government is firmly in control of the entire republic of - of the entire republic of uganda _ of the entire republic of uganda-— of the entire republic of uganda. survivors of the ashford _ uganda. survivors of the ashford concentration i uganda. survivors of the i ashford concentration camp uganda. survivors of the - ashford concentration camp been commemorating the 40th anniversary of the liberation. they toured the gas chambers and crematoria and relived their horrifying experience. —— their horrifying experience. —— the auschwitz concentration camp. this is bbc news, the latest headlines. democrats in the us congress say they'll implement a huge covid—nineteen relief package with or without republican support, as the country passes twenty— five million cases of the virus.
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more than 70 cases of the south african variant are identified in the uk — amid concerns the vaccine may be less effective against it. there are already fears of a "demographic time bomb" in many asian countries — a smaller working—age population having to support a large retired population. and now covid is expected to make this worse, at least in the short term. south korea has the world's lowest birth rate and its population shrank for the first time in the country's history in 2020. jean lee is a journalist and academic based in seoul. she gave me her thoughts a little earlier. with this protracted pandemic, i think there are so many concerns around the world about the economic impact that it is having on families. and so i would imagine that just like in many other
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countries, families and young couples in south korea are also thinking perhaps may be to wait and perhaps is not a time to bring in any additional expense of raising a child. it is extremely expensive in south korea to educate and raise a child. and so this is certainly something that young south koreans are thinking about and so in 2019, we saw a 10% drop in the number of children being born — excuse me, in 2020 — in south korea compared to 2019. that is staggering. if that trend continues, it will have a huge impact on south korea's economy. just explain that very quickly. why is it a bad thing if birth rates are dropping? south korea has the worlds 12th largest economy. if it wants to maintain this robust economy, not only to continue to grow that economy but to maintain a committee
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to have a robust workforce. right now, we have a population that is overwhelmingly ageing, so nearly a quarter of the population is over the age of 60 and the population of young people in their 20s is only 13%. so what that means if you have this ageing population and not enough young people coming into the workforce to support it. so as you have this number of people going into retirement, you just on the workforce here to help them into their silver age. you have laid out the problem there. it is probably time to be delicate but how do you try to encourage people to increase the birth rate? that is difficult. i think the government has tried the stopgap methods, encouraging young couples with but that is not enough. this is still a very patriarchal conservative society. many young women are choosing not to marry and it comes with burdens, they arejust
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simply saying i don't want that life, i will live for myself, if they do choose to marry, young women, they often find they have to make a decision between their careers and having family. it is a decision that some of them are making to choose their career over having a child. which can be a setback in their professional lives. on top of that, as i said, it is just extremely expensive. some of my own family, i have cousins who have chosen not to have a family orjust have one child or one child because of the burden. exit polls in portugal suggest the incumbent, marcelo rebelo de sousa, will win sunday's presidential election with enough votes to avoid a run—off. mr rebelo de sousa was standing against six other candidates for a second and final five—year term. a coronavirus lockdown had led to fears of a low turnout. portugal has one of the world's highest rates of coronavirus infection. the number of deaths broke records for the seventh
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day in a row on sunday, at 275, with hospitalisations also at an all—time high. the scottish national party has laid out what it calls a road map to another independence referendum if it wins a majority in the holyrood elections in may — and even if the uk government refuses permission for one. it comes as the party leader and first minister nicola sturgeon continues to face pressure over the handling of harassment allegations against her predecessor, alex salmond. here's our scotland political editor glenn campbell. they were a powerful political double act, leading scotland close to independence. he has done so much to support me... but their relationship has broken down over harassment complaints made against alex salmond and how his successor as first minister, nicola sturgeon, handled those complaints. when she appeared on tv this morning, the depth of the rift between them was made clear.
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there are false conspiracies being spun about this... coming from alex salmond? well, you can draw your own conclusions around that. alex salmond hinted at a political plot against him when he emerged from court after a criminal trial. at some point that information, those facts and evidence will see the light of day. he was acquitted of all the sexual offence charges he faced, having already won a civil court action over the scottish government's complaint handling procedure. he was awarded more than £500,000 in legal costs in that case, triggering inquiries into what nicola sturgeon�*s administration got wrong. so, what started with complaints about alex salmond's behaviour has led to intense scrutiny over nicola sturgeon�*s conduct. the key question — has she broken the code of conduct for ministers by misleading the scottish parliament over what she knew
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and when about the allegations against alex salmond. the evidence is mounting that nicola sturgeon has misled the scottish parliament. she has lied to parliamentarians and has misled people about when she first knew about these allegations. i am clear that i did not mislead parliament and that is what i will set out clearly, when i get the opportunity, which i haven't had in front of the committee of enquiry yet. both nicola sturgeon and alex salmond are expected to give evidence to a scottish parliament enquiry in early february. the two highest profile advocates of scottish independence pitted against one anotherjust months before the snp seeks a mandate for another independence referendum in the holyrood elections. today's snowfall here in the uk affected four vaccination centres in wales which had to close. travel has been disrupted in many parts of the country — but some have been out enjoying the snow — as simon jones reports.
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on your marks, get set, go! a race to get out into the open air, after weeks cooped up inside during lockdown. ijust think it's so important for the soul to get out, enjoy the outdoors when you can. it means literally the world to me because coronavirus has been really hard for people now. these hills in surrey resembled a ski resort, as families came out for their permitted daily exercise. some police forces were quick to remind people to maintain social distancing with dangerous conditions underfoot. and on the roads. in many places, there have been treacherous driving conditions. the snow has fallen on ground that was already freezing and, in many cases, saturated after days of rainfall. it's meant that many people have come up here by foot. a gritting lorry overturned in devon, as drivers were warned only to travel if absolutely necessary. the flakes came down
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thick and fast across large swathes of the uk. this was a snowy scene in newport. four coronavirus vaccination centres in south wales were forced to shut. in hampshire, some residents said they were woken up by thundersnow when thunder and lightning combined with the heavy showers. while in worcester, people already reeling from a recent torrential rainfall found they had the snow to add to their concerns. the snow may now largely have blown through but there are further warnings in place for icy conditions tomorrow as temperatures plummet overnight. simon jones, bbc news. the us company spacex has set a new world record for the number of satellites on a single rocket. 143 were on board the falcon rocket which launched from florida. it beats the previous record of 104 satellites set by an indian mission four years ago. that four years ago. is it for me. you can reach me on twitter —
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i'm @lvaughanjones. hello. monday will start with widespread frost and ice after a wintry weekend which, of course, brought some significant snow in places. it won't be the last covid—secure snowman we see sent in to us this winter and, hopefully, sunday's weather did bring a bit of fun at least. but of course, more people have to be out in the morning, and so that does mean some difficult conditions on untreated roads because it will be icy in places with that widespread frost. after further wintry showers overnight and into the morning across parts of scotland, rain and sleet on the coasts, some snow inland and into the hills. maybe the odd shower into northern ireland and northern england but, actually, monday is one of the better weather days of the week. most places will be dry, variable cloud, decent amount of sunshine and it will feel a bit less cold than it
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did over the weekend. into monday night, still some showers, wintry in nature, particularly to hills, affecting parts of scotland, northern ireland and northern england. still frosty and icy, although temperatures start to come up across western areas as we see another system moving our way. and that's going to spread its rain and a bit of hill snow northwards during tuesday. it brings a bit more rain, as do others that follow this week, so if you are in a flood—affected area, certainly worth keeping across conditions near you. not as much rain as last week, but more rain isn't necessarily what you want. we see some rain spreading further north and east during tuesday, into the colder air. at least hill snow into parts of northern england and scotland, and the chance as tuesday comes to an end, especially in scotland, some snow even to low levels here. whereas further south, it turns a bit more milder, but of course, it is wetter. as we go into wednesday, the next weather system will start to move in. looks like it's a pretty slow affair, bringing its rain to the south—west initially, and it is of course the source of milderair coming
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in from the atlantic. but running into that cold air towards the north and east, it does set up a bit of a battle, and as that battle takes place during wednesday, again as the wet weather starts to move in, as it moves further north and east, there's the chance of seeing some snow out of that, particularly as we get into wednesday night. although some parts are turning milder this week, it isn't going to last because by the end of the week and into the weekend, the colder air will come south again and there is the chance again next weekend of some parts seeing a bit of snow. that's the forecast.
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this is bbc news, the headlines... the democrat leader in the us senate, chuck schumer, says president biden�*s multi—billion dollar covid—19 relief plan will be implemented — with or without support from the republican party. this news comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the us exceeds 25 million. the uk has identified 77 cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in south africacases have been linked to travellers arriving in the uk, rather than community transmission. ministers are due to meet on monday to consider imposing tougher restrictions on people arriving from abroad. riot police in the netherlands have used water cannon to break up protests against coronavirus restrictions. demonstrators in the city of eindhoven had gathered in defiance of a 9pm curfew. some threw fireworks and looted supermarkets. there were similar clashes in amsterdam. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk.


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