tv BBC News BBC News January 30, 2021 1:00am-1:31am GMT
welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: the eu backs down from using emergency brexit measures to restrict the movement of vaccines. —— to restrict the movement of vaccines to the uk. their plan sparked outrage in london and belfast. the vaccine shortfall seems than fourth pharmaceutical firms to get permission before being allowed to export european— madejabs. hello and welcome to bbc news. the row over distribution of the coronavirus vaccine briefly threatened to boil over into a full—scale diplomatic
row earlier, when the european commission threatened to override part of the brexit agreement and impose border controls on the export of the vaccines in northern ireland. it sparked a furious response not just from the united kingdom, but also from the irish prime minister. micheal martin said the eu's move had been deeply unwise. here's our europe editor katya adler. the commission is going to backtrack, it is not going to suspend part of the irish protocol, part of the brexit agreement that of course we spent so long talking about how the commission was insisting on every letter, every word of that agreement being respected, privately i'm being told it has been recognised here that suggesting to do that was actually a misjudgement and in error and i think the eu is risking alienating other allies like japan or canada, australia, that could be affected by those export restrictions. and it is not enough to say that yes, 0k, we know that pharmaceutical
companies are not delivering the numbers of vaccines in the time that they promised in the eu and the eu sees this as an emergency situation. it wants to claw back some of those vaccines. but the finger of blame is also pointing by eu governments by now at the european commission itself. accusing the commission ofjust being too slow to agree vaccine contracts, of approving vaccines themselves, and yes now with these vaccine delays you have eu voters, they are anxious about their future, they want answers and they want action. . ~', ., ., ,~ this comes after the european union has confirmed it is introducing export controls on coronavirus vaccines made in the bloc, amid a row with the pharmaceutical giant astrazeneca over shortfalls in the delivery ofjabs. in the last couple of hours, the eu has issued a statement where it has confirmed pharmaceutical companies will have to seek permission before supplying other countries with vaccines produced in europe. however, the commission says it will ensure the northern ireland protocol is unaffected. speaking to the bbc, the spanish foreign minister, has defended the plan to control exports of vaccines manufactured in europe.
i understand this is what i hear from the european commission hearfrom the european commission but hear from the european commission but there was hearfrom the european commission but there was an accident. the accident or the mishap has been repaired. and i think this was important but again, this is not a hostile act against third countries or territories. this is the mechanism of transparency that the eu needs to ensure a particular pharmaceutical company today honours its commitment. as simple as that. despite backtracking on northern ireland, the eu is still introducing new controls giving member states the power to block exports of the coronavirus vaccine to countries outside the bloc, should they want to. to talk about this, we're joined by thomas colson, political reporter with business insider. thank you so much for coming on the programme. we thank you so much for coming on the programme-— the programme. no problem. there are _ the programme. no problem. there are a — the programme. no problem. there are a couple _ the programme. no problem. there are a couple of - the programme. no problem. there are a couple of big - there are a couple of big issues and we will come to the northern ireland and brexit and
politics of that in a minute but first on the strategic decision that has been made by the european union to seek to restrict potentially the exports of vaccines. is that a good move?— good move? it's difficult to see a world _ good move? it's difficult to see a world in _ good move? it's difficult to see a world in which - good move? it's difficult to see a world in which it - good move? it's difficult to see a world in which it is i good move? it's difficult to see a world in which it is a | see a world in which it is a good move. ithink see a world in which it is a good move. i think the fact that you have seen relative, relative unity from lots of countries and business groups who say that it could provoke an escalation in vaccine supply issues, i think all points to the fact that the eu seems to be playing politics on something on this issue and it does not appear to be a particularly wise move. their concern is — particularly wise move. their concern is clearly _ particularly wise move. their concern is clearly they - particularly wise move. their concern is clearly they are i particularly wise move. theirl concern is clearly they are not getting enough supplies for their populations and that has to be their priority.— to be their priority. that's true but _ to be their priority. that's true but it's _ to be their priority. that's true but it's also, - to be their priority. that's true but it's also, i- to be their priority. that's true but it's also, i think. true but it's also, i think it's ultimately questionable whether this approach will be
beneficial for the eu whether this approach will be beneficialfor the eu in the long—term and for the eu's interests in the long—term. i mean, we might see in the immediate next few weeks eu is able to secure some more of the pfizer jabs. able to secure some more of the pfizerjabs. because they are made in the eu and that is the purpose of these vaccine limits. but as part of a wider pick, it's quite clear this is likely to see is a shortsighted decision —— wider picture. —— shortsighted decision in the long run. shortsighted decision in the lona run. , shortsighted decision in the long run-— long run. getting onto the olitics long run. getting onto the politics because _ long run. getting onto the politics because this - long run. getting onto the politics because this is - politics because this is slightly complicated but this row with northern ireland, but has been rowed back on a row, if you can buy back on around quite quickly, in the simplest terms you can, talk us through what went on there.— what went on there. sure, ok. so what happened _ what went on there. sure, ok. so what happened in _ what went on there. sure, ok. so what happened in short - what went on there. sure, ok. so what happened in short is l so what happened in short is that brussels has, in the last few hours, been forced into this dramatic u—turn over its plan to effectively stop the vaccine exports passing from the eu via ireland into
northern ireland. it did that, or it invoked part of the exit deal, article 16 of the northern ireland protocol, in order that that was, that clause was agreed last year as a sort of emergency, as a sort of last measure in case the uk or the eu found some issue with the brexit agreements in northern ireland. the eu, within a month of signing this off, sought to invoke it. and effectively, the idea, it was part of this bigger plan to limit vaccine exports, the idea was that they did not want northern ireland to be a sort of back door so that the uk could get hold of eu— made vaccines which had slipped over the board and into northern ireland. —— over the border. clearly provoked the northern ireland issue and that protocol is so sensitive that it provoke outrage from pretty much every party and it was one of those
rare incidents where so many parties in ireland and the uk were united because it was seen a provocative move. crosstalk. sor to a provocative move. crosstalk. sorry to interrupt _ a provocative move. crosstalk. sorry to interrupt but _ a provocative move. crosstalk. sorry to interrupt but given - sorry to interrupt but given that sensitivity, just briefly, how big a misstep do you think this is? do you think it has any long—term consequences? it is likely to have long—term consequences in terms of the perception in the uk of the eu. i think because the roback happened so quickly it probably won't have wider global political ramifications but certainly, i think the main thing is the brussels is, as we speak, pushing ahead with it is planned to limit vaccine exports —— rowback. that could have significant global implications.— have significant global imlications. ., ., ., have significant global imlications. ., ., . implications. great to have you on, implications. great to have you on. thank _ implications. great to have you on, thank you. _ france has announced that it's closing its borders to all non—eu citizens from sunday, except for essential travel.
the move is to try to avoid another lockdown in france and to protect the country from new variants. but the british transport secretary says the move will not affect british hauliers and trade across the channel will continue to flow. a third successive night of street demonstrations in warsaw. they wete in protest at new laws restricting abortion. protesters chanted the number of an abortion helpline and carried colourful banners bearing slogans such as "liberty, equality abortion on demand". poland's constitutional court approved the law last october but its introduction was delayed following large protests. it was suddenly enacted on wednesday, provoking renewed outrage from supporters of the right to abortion. tributes have been paid to the pioneering hollywood actress cicely tyson, who's died at the age of 96. best known for portraying strong african—american characters, the formerfashion model had a career that spanned seven decades.
tyson won two emmys for her performance in the 1974 civil rights—era film the autobiography of miss jane pittman. it's a year ago this weekend since the first two people with coronavirus were treated in hospital in the uk. the head of nhs england, sir simon stevens, marked the moment with a visit to the hospital in newcastle where they were treated, to thank staff all over the country for a year of extraordinary work like no other. since those first two patients were admitted, more than 320,000 people have been been treated with covid, with about one person admitted to critical care every 30 minutes. 0ur health editor hugh pym reports. a year ago, high drama — planes bringing in the first britons from wuhan in china. nobody knew if they had coronavirus or not. passengers were moved swiftly off the plane and taken on coaches to a hospital
to quarantine. a short time before that, a foreign student called nhs 111 from a hotel room in york. he was studying at the city's university and was suffering high fever and a cough. his mother, also staying there, felt unwell. both were taken to a hospital near hull, then to newcastle's royal victoria infirmary — the uk's first known coronavirus cases. at the hospital today, staff recalled the arrival of those two patients. i think we were always aware that this was only the beginning of something really big but, being honest, i didn't think it was going to be that big. i didn't expect that we had, at this time, over 100,000 deaths. i was in the first day. it was very scary, really nervous, because we didn't know what we were coming into.
it was the first thing on my mind was, you know, "what are we going to be doing? what are these patients going to be like? are they well or not well?" the head of nhs england was there to thank staff for their work in those early days. since then, hospitals have looked after more than 300,000 severely ill coronavirus patients so i do think, at this one—year anniversary, it is appropriate for the whole country to say a huge thank you to every member of staff across the health service. case numbers now seem to have peaked. the daily reported total covering those who have gone for tests is falling, but the office for national statistics' survey does random community testing and picks up those without symptoms. the 0ns survey suggests that case rates have levelled off but are still relatively high. in england last week, one in 55 had the virus. in wales, it was one in 70. in scotland, one in 110. and in northern ireland, it's thought one in 50 had the virus. this shows the uk's infection hotspots — red followed by dark brown —
show areas with the highest number of cases per 100,000 population. and the highest of those was knowsley, followed by sandwell and slough, though all have seen case rates fall over the most recent week. but there's still immense pressure on the nhs. staff are preparing for their shifts, facing the daily challenge of caring for very sick covid patients, some of whom won't survive. there are still more than 35,000 in uk hospitals. hugh pym, bbc news. let's take a look at the latest government figures. there were 29,079 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means that on average, the number of new cases reported per day in the last week is 26,987. that's almost 30% lower than this time last week. the number of people in hosptial is falling slowly,
—— the number of people in hospital is falling slowly, with an average of 35,375 over the seven days to wednesday, including suspected cases in wales. 1,245 deaths were reported — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. on average in the past week, 1,199 deaths were announced every day. the total number of deaths so far across the uk is 10a,371. but the number of people being vaccinated has been published, and it's the highest figure this week — “13,985 people have had their first dose of one of the three approved covid—19 vaccines in the latest 24—hour period, meaning almost 7.9 million people in the uk have had theirfirstjab. this is bbc news and these are the headlines. the eu backs down from using emergency brexit measures to restrict the movement of vaccines — their plan
sparked outrage in london and belfast. but the bloc�*s vaccine shortfall sees them force pharmaceutical firms to seek permission to export european—made jabs. the nigerian subsidiary of the oil giant royal dutch shell has been found liable for oil pipeline leaks in the niger delta and ordered to compensate a group of farmers. the ruling was made by the appeals court in the hague. the farmers sued shell in 2008 over pollution in their villages in south—eastern nigeria. anna holligan sent this report. a victory for the farmers and friends of the earth, the environmental group that supported their 13—year legal quest. up untilan hourago, people in developing countries were without any rights when confronted by multinationals such as shell, and from today on, they know they can get their rights in the netherlands when confronted by the destruction of their livelihoods by a dutch multinational — in this case, shell.
it's fantastic news. my clients have been struggling and waiting for this for a very long time, so it's very satisfying that we've reached this point. i do hope that they will actually get some compensation soon because, of course, it's taken too long already. the case revolved around spills from underground oil pipelines. according to the farmers, their villages were made virtually uninhabitable, the contaminated land unusable and fishing grounds have been lost, causing them to lose their livelihoods. shell argued that the spills were the result of sabotage and that the company is therefore not responsible. the judges found that sabotage was not proved beyond reasonable doubt at two of the three sites in question, and therefore shell must compensate the farmers. the amount will be decided at a later day. royal dutch shell said it was disappointed with the verdict. the oil giant also claimed
that the pollution in the niger delta is always cleaned up properly. the court said the company must install more leak detection systems, so that the environmental damage can be limited in the future. well, thisjudgement could have implications beyond nigeria in terms of corporate responsibility and the duty of care these multinationals have to the people in the places where they operate. two of the four farmers who brought this precedent—setting case have passed away, but their efforts in bringing an oil giant to court could prevent others from suffering in the future. anna holligan, bbc news, in the hague. some primary school children in wales could begin returning to school from the 22nd of february after half term if rates of coronavirus continue to fall. the first minister, mark drakeford, said he hoped to take advantage of lower transmission rates in wales and get children back to school as soon as possible.
the level four lockdown will remain in place for the next three weeks. 0ur wales correspondent hywel griffith reports. after several weeks of silence, these corridors may soon come bustling back to life. there are a few key worker children come roath park primary at the moment. after half—term, if the covid numbers keep falling, the school can bring back all three to seven—year—olds, who struggle most with learning at home, but do they feel ready? there are fears about the new variants of coronavirus and how quickly that spreads among staff. the first minister has told us that younger children do not transmit the virus as much as older children, but there is still a risk there and we have to make sure as school leaders that our staff have confidence in the safety to bring them back into school. when the vast majority of older pupils return hasn't been spelt out. the first minister is keeping to his customary caution.
i wish i could tell you when i thought all children would be back in school but, as you know, even three weeks is a very long time with this virus. things that we don't know about today could emerge even before half—term. for chanel, there is at least hope that she will not have to carry on juggling home—schooling her six—year—old with herjob as a home decorator. but she is worried about her daughter's safety. really relieved for her mentality. that's the main focus, as well as her education — that's so important — but i am a bit anxious because it's still going on, the vaccines haven't started yet for our age group, so there's mixed emotions. for most people, vaccination is still months away. the roll—out in wales started as the slowest in the uk, but things have sped up in the last week. this centre in cardiff now
delivers 1,000 doses a day. people have said to me, it's like i have got the golden ticket. i'm here! some people are getting frustrated because their loved ones are not getting vaccinated, but we are getting through people as quickly as we can. the pace at which normal life can resume will inevitably be slow but going back to school will be the first, tentative step. hywel griffith, bbc news, cardiff. the western isles off the north west coast of scotland are being put under level—four coronavirus restrictions the move follows a rise in cases and the main hospital in stornoway is now reported to be close to its full capacity. it means people should not leave their homes except for essential reasons. protesters who stopped a deportation flight taking off from stansted have had their convictions overturned by the court of appeal. the group — known as the stansted 15 — attached themselves to a jet chartered
by the home office to transport people from uk detention centres to africa in march 2017. people waiting for urgent cancer surgery have had their operations cancelled at the last minute in some health trusts across the uk because hospitals are too busy coping with covid patients. hospitals say they're having to move nurses out of operating theatres on to covid wards. some of the most urgent surgeries are being rescheduled, but doctors are warning that delaying cancer treatment, will cost lives. 0ur correspondent emma vardy has this report. i'm just praying this is all going to be over really soon. it's hard enough having cancer without having to have cancer in the middle of a plague. throughout the pandemic, claire has been having treatment in scotland for breast cancer. sometimes having to isolate in the bedroom at home, keeping away from her children to protect herself from the virus. after months of chemotherapy, claire finished treatment and had just one more operation to go. i'm not going to die.
but, as the january surge in coronavirus cases came, claire was told her potentially life—saving surgery had to be put on hold. you feel desperate because there's lots of casualties falling by the wayside and i worry all the time about the children — you know, will they have a mum next year? claire, to us, is our world. nhs scotland says it's now using private hospitals to help get the most urgent patients seen. this is granddad on his vegan diet with his special medication... macmillan cancer care estimates that more than half a million patients in the uk have had cancer treatment or care disrupted due to coronavirus. i got a phone call to tell me that all operations were cancelled. so it was a bit of a slap in the teeth. vincent got the call on the day of his operation. in northern ireland, two health trusts have cancelled all urgent cancer
surgery since christmas — 275 red—flag cases cancelled within a week. ijust am so concerned because i can see such a big, healthy manjust going downhill. across the uk, there are lots of hospitals keeping surgery going, some having set up special hubs to protect cancer care. but cancer charities have also flagged up a large decrease in the number of patients being screened and diagnosed, which later on could also lead to a significant loss of life. and there's warnings that if covid pressures continue more trusts like belfast may also have to push back urgent operations. it is a decision none of us would ever want to take, and we held off as long as we possibly could, but you have to treat what is in front of you. surgeons say they want to be in operating theatres, not seeing their patients waiting. a lot of cancer surgeries for belfast would have happened here at the city hospital,
but this is now the nightingale facility for covid patients. the trust is trying to establish a new system for patients to be seen elsewhere, prioritising the most urgent cases. but the delays will affect people's chance of survival. there will be a small but significant portion of people who, when they come to surgery, it will be too late and the disease will have spread. and that, for us, is something that we never, ever, ever anticipated that we would be in our lifetime. these are some of the hidden victims of coronavirus, also fighting for a chance of life. vincent's now been told his operation is being rescheduled. for him, the hope is it's still in time. for others, the wait goes on. emma vardy, bbc news. a year ago who'd have imagined people would be spending so much time working from home and online? video conference calls have given us all an insight into other people's homes.
for a company that sells books in somerset it has provided a very unexpected boost, and that's not from people wanting to read their books asjon kay explains. whoever you are, whatever you are saying, when you are working from home your shelves are being judged. what do your books say about you? this company in somerset normally sells second—hand books for tv and movie sets, but lockdown has brought new clients who want to impress on video calls. engineers, teachers, ceos, celebrities, all the way up to the major players in government. share any names with us? i cannot mention any names! they have had customers asking for classics, to appear well read, guidebooks, to look well travelled. some just want colours
to match their walls. you can display your new—found love of green issues or subtly tell the boss that you are ready for promotion. but what does this new trend say about who we are and who we want to be? partly it's what you are passionate about and interested in and partly it's what you want people to believe you are passionate about and interested in. people's online background is an extension of walking into someone's living room and seeing books and what that confirms about what you know about them and perhaps how it goes against it. with entire social media accounts now analysing what people have on their book shelves, maybe this is the safest approach. jon kay, bbc news. very good. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones. i am lewis vaughan—jones. i'll be back with the headlines
in a few moments but first the weather with thomas schafernaker. hello. we're in for a cold weekend. there is some sunshine in the forecast but also more rain, sleet and snow. now, this time, the sleet and the snow should mostly fall across the hills. and at the moment, there's a battle between cold air coming in from the north and the milder air trying to spread in from the south. and this is also where we have a weather front, and that weather front will bring the rain, sleet and the snow on saturday. in fact, we've got a couple of weather fronts heading our way. this is just the first one which is moving across the uk as i speak. so, early in the morning, it's very mild in the southwest of the country, so certainly no snow here. the further north you go, the temperatures do dip away, so some sleet and snow across the welsh hills. and then north of that, early on saturday morning, with the clear skies across the far north of england and scotland, there's a sharp frost. so, that sharp frost and clear
skies in the morning across scotland and the far north of england. to the south of that, the cloudier weather, outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow. to the south coast, i think, here, it is going to be far too temperatures, for example, in plymouth will be but as the day wears on, some of that rain may turn to sleet and maybe some wet snow across other cities of the south away from the southern counties. now, through the night, saturday night into sunday, the skies will clear. so, with that wet day, it is going to turn icy early in the morning on sunday, as temperatures dip away to freezing or below across many parts of the uk, and another very cold night there in scotland. now, i mentioned two weather fronts, one on saturday. this is the next one paying us a visit on sunday. now, remember, it's a very chilly morning on sunday, the weather front is coming in, it's subzero here, at least for a time, so some of this weather will be snowy. sleet and snow certainly across the welsh hills, but there is a possibility of some wintry weather spreading to other parts of the country as well, not in the north
and the northeast. here, i think we're in for some sunshine. and it is going to be chilly wherever you are. but the chilly weather isn't going to last for very long, particularly in the south. i think by the time we get to monday, tuesday and wednesday, for example, in the south, temperatures will be back into double figures. bye— bye.
but the bloc will force pharmaceutical companies to seek permission before supplying other countries with vaccines produced in europe. another vaccine's been shown to be effective against coronavirus. trials showjohnson &johnson's single—dose jab has an overall efficacy of 66%, but the shot does not protect as well against a variant first detected in south africa. the un and more than a dozen countries have urged the military in myanmar to respect the results of november's election, amid reports they may be preparing a coup. it comes just days before aung san suu kyi's ruling party is set to begin its second term in power. now on bbc news, it's time for click. this week, new ways to measure your vital signs, this week, new ways to measure
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