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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  February 12, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at ten — the uk economy in 2020 suffered its biggest drop in 300 years as the covid—19 pandemic hit. no room to flourish — the stop—start effect of lockdowns has left some businesses, like this florist, in despair. if my weddings keep postponing, if they start cancelling, i don't think i'll be here 2022. with the pain on the high street all too visible, the chancellor warned the situation would not ease soon. very difficult times are not going to be over in the spring, and while support runs through until the spring, we will set out the next stage of our economic response to coronavirus at budget in early march. we'll be asking whether there's any cause for economic optimism in the year to come. also tonight...
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the head of the nhs in england says the target of offering a vaccine to all four priority groups by monday will be met — in wales, it's already happened. lawyers for donald trump say it's a monstrous lie that he incited his supporters to storm the capitol building. after weeks of protests across russia, we report on the crackdown on president putin's critics in the country's far east. hello! and some end—of—term cheerfor the pupils of this primary school, after weeks of lockdown schooling. and coming up in sport, on bbc news... a big derby win for manchester city in the women's superleague, as luzy bronze helps them narrow the gap on the leaders chelsea to two points. good evening.
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the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country's finances was laid bare today — as official figures show the economy saw its biggest drop since extreme weather wrecked economic activity 300 years ago. the office for national statistics said that in 2020 the total value of goods and services produced in the uk, known as gdp, fell by 9.9%. there was growth of 1% in the last three months of the year, which means the uk isn't technically now in recession. but with lockdown expected to stay in place until early spring, experts say the hit to the economy will continue at least until the effects of the vaccination programme kick in. here's our economics editor, faisal islam. cupid's arrow�*s being felt rather less than normal at what should be a bumper time forflorists, such as susan in stevenage. it caps the toughest of years. i'm not even going to do valentine's day. i can't pre—order hundreds of roses and then not sell. it's been a really hard year.
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i've just had to sit and watch my weddings one by one postpone to the following year. what am i going to do if i can't do this? if my weddings keep postponing, if they start cancelling, i don't think i'll be here 2022. susan's just one of the stories that made 2020 the wrong sort of economic history. even compared to other large shocks, depressions and wars, last year the worst on record, in fact, in over three centuries. what's clear is right now many families and businesses are experiencing hardship. that's why we've put in place a comprehensive plan forjobs to support people through this crisis and we will set out the next stage of our economic response at our budget in early march. the pandemic and the shutdowns did hit a uk economy dependent on services more than other nations. we've had the worst death toll of any european country, -
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but we've also had the worst economic crisis of any- major economy as well. we really need public spending to be directed into the right places, - not have this level of waste - and mismanagement of public funds. this afternoon the chancellor chaired a meeting of the biggest economies�* finance ministers, the g7. different ways of measuring health and education explain some of the uk underperformance here. so the numbers for 2020 as a whole, understandably stark, but that's history now. what matters is what's happening in the economy right now. and you can build a picture with alternative statistics on road traffic, for example, down 47% for cars on the same period last year. 0nline job adverts, they're down around a fifth. the number of people on the high street, the footfall, well, that's down two thirds across the united kingdom, with london, the east midlands and scotland the hardest hit. but not all of that spending has gone.
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the bank of england's internal credit card and debit card data show a fall of 24% in sales with much shifting online. 0n the high street here in stevenage, brian's record shop has tried to shift online, with help from government support and an understanding landlord. how much longer can you put up with this? we're 60% down on our overall revenue for the shop. at least for us we don't have to throw away our stock. you know, people will come back and that stuff will have the same value. so, i think in retail terms we're better off than pubs and restaurants. i think the pubs and restaurants in the old town have been badly hit. the vaccine roll—out and eventual lifting of restrictions should lead to an economic bounce back from the 2020 pain. 2021 could yet be a rather better sounding record. well, faisal is with me now. is the picture likely to get any rosier this year? a fall of this magnitude is going to have implications for many years to come but it is also history and
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reflects what happened last year in 2020 and what viewers will have seen in the high streets and in their offices during the peak of the lockdown. but i think going forward it clearly depends on the balancing act for the government, over lifting restrictions and we expect the prime minister to make an announcement on that in the final week of february on the road out of the restrictions, but it may take weeks and months in a phased way, and the week after that at the budget in early march, the challenge for the chancellor will be to offer support to the economy, and tojobs, and to keep that going, but also balancing that with the need to be open and honest with the need to be open and honest with the need to be open and honest with the public about some of the measures required to rein in the record level of borrowing. that will mean in the immediate year that support will continue, that there will be money put into the economy, but going on from that, in years to
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come, some forms of tax rise, perhaps, online taxes, a freezing of the income tax threshold, but the hope is, if we can get this sequence right, you could see a rapid recovery in the second half of 2021. thanks forjoining us. the latest survey on covid—i9 infection rates from the office for national statistics shows that they continue to fall across the uk. in england the number of people testing positive in the week ending february 6th has fallen to i in 80, down from i in 65 the week before. in wales the number has fallen to i in 85, in northern ireland it's also down to around i in 75 people and in scotland it'si in 150. the head of nhs england, sir simon stevens, has said everyone
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in the four most vulnerable groups in england will have been offered at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by the end of this weekend. 0ur health editor hugh pym reports. it was a world first. margaret keenan receiving the pfizer vaccine from may parsons, a matron at university hospital coventry in december. congratulations. thank you. and today she met the head of nhs england, sir simon stevens, on a visit to the hospital. how are you? i'm very well. it's just extraordinary that it's only been ten weeks. looking back, how does may see it now? the beacon of hope, for me, that's how i looked at it, i think that little light is growing bigger and bigger as we go along to the vaccination programme. it feels as though finally we can see the reality of the new future. few would have believed on that historic day back in december that at vaccination clinics like this one at the hospital they'd be getting up to 1,000 jabs a day done, with the uk daily total reaching 500,000.
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the target is to offer the main priority groups a jab by the middle of this month, those aged 70 and over, health and care staff, and those who are clinically vulnerable. our goal has always been to ensure that by 15th february, that's monday, everybody has had that offer and we have had as high an uptake as we can possibly encourage people to do. we are clearly on track for that. 12.5 million vaccines just across england in the last ten weeks — this has been an amazing team effort. so what about the next goal, vaccinating those aged 50 and over by early in may? looking forward, assuming vaccine supply continues as expected, then, yes, we should be on track to do that. for those aged 70 and over up to february 7th, 86% in england had been given a first dose. in scotland, it was 64%. in wales, 73% had the first dose, and in northern ireland it was 61% of those aged 70 and over. the figures were calculated as of last sunday.
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since then, the scottish government says there has been good progress. today, the ambulance service was out doing vaccinations in the inverness area. ministers say they're on track to get the priority groups done on time, though they warned there could be a dip in uk supplies later this month. for all parts of the uk, the next phase will be more complex. as well as the 50 and over age bands, second doses for the first priority groups will also have to be administered. hugh pym, bbc news. the welsh government says it's met its target of offering a covid vaccine to the top four priority groups — the first nation in the uk to do so. ministers say the vast majority of people have taken up the jab. the first minister mark drakeford says discussions with tourism and hospitality industries are now taking place about the possibility of easing lockdown around easter. 0ur wales correspondent hywel griffith reports from tenby in pembrokeshire.
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picture postcard views on the pembrokeshire coast. tenby depends on the town filling up with tourists every year. but for now, it's stuck in shutdown. it's hard to gloss over the financial impact. at this b&b, they don't know when they'll get to welcome their first paying guest of the year. it's tough. it's a bit of a guessing game. it's trying to balance what we spend now for when we will be able to get the money back in and how much work we can do. another year, another start of a year not knowing when we'll be able to open. forjane and many others, today brought a dose of good news. vaccinations are ahead of schedule in wales. coronavirus cases are continuing to fall. there is growing confidence that the spring will be a season of reopening. that's it. that was it. we've got easter at the beginning of april this year. it's always a very important moment for our tourism and hospitality industry.
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we're talking with them about what might be possible around the easter period. as with any long—range forecast, there are plenty of ifs and maybes. progress could quickly be blown off course. but, at a time when ministers in other parts of the uk are advising even against booking a holiday, here there seems to be a bit more optimism. if it's spring or summer, at home or abroad, any holidays this year will still need to be socially distanced. restrictions won'tjust melt away, as we start a long goodbye to the pandemic. hywel griffith, bbc news. the latest government figures show that there were 15,144 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. an average of 14,604 new cases were recorded per day in the last week. the number of people in hospital
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with coronavirus across the uk has fallen to just over 24,000. in the last 24 hours, 758 deaths have been recorded — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid test. 718 deaths were announced on average every day in the past week. the total number is now 116,287. as for the vaccination programme, more than half a million people had a first dose of one of the three approved covid—19 vaccines in the latest 24—hour period. so more than 14 million people have now had theirfirstjab. 0ur health editor hugh pym is here. positive news on the vaccine programme, and on the prevalence of the virus — what will this mean for easing restrictions? two seniorfigures in two senior figures in government circles today have both use the expression good news, in reaction to the data, we haven't had that kind of thing for a little while now.
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they are especially relieved about the measure of infections, a broader measure than the daily reported case numbers because it takes in people who don't know they have got the virus, and are asymptomatic, they are picked up in random testing, and it's believed that measure is falling, the r number, is now no .9, below one for the first time since july, and anything above one suggests the virus is accelerating. in terms of restrictions, health official say if the current trajectory carries on it we will get down to lower numbers, much lower numbers, that is the moment when you can start easing, it has to be done in stages. 0ne can start easing, it has to be done in stages. one at a time and then see how it is going and then the next one, and there is a warning that social distancing, wearing face coverings may well have to continue for a little while, maybe until the winter. the health secretary matt hancock said that the plan is working in his words but we are a long way off getting this sorted. he has told the daily telegraph in an
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interview that the way things are going, covid—19 should be a treatable disease by the end of this year. treatable disease by the end of this ear. . ., ., , the government has been defending its hotel quarantine plans for people coming into england from high—risk countries. the policy comes into force on monday, and people will have to pay £1,750 to quarantine in a hotel for ten days. those failing to comply with the rules will face fines of up to £10,000. but there has been concern the system is not as strict as those in place elsewhere in the world, as david shukman reports. despite every effort, there have been coronavirus infections inside australia's quarantine hotels, and they have spread to the community. which is why melbourne is now back in lockdown for the third time. the australian open will continue, but not for spectators. they are banned for at least the next five days. if we wait for this theory that it
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might be out there, there might be more cases than we know about, if we wait for that to be proven correct it will be too late. it's not always easy to work out how people are becoming infected inside these quarantine hotels. in one case, there was a woman from singapore who tested negative twice, and in the room opposite a family of five from nigeria, who had no symptoms, but later tested positive. it's thought that they opened their doors at the same time to collect their meals, and it's suggested that there was so much virus in the air in the family's room, that it was able to flow across the corridor. all we know is that the woman became infected with the same variant of the virus that the family had, and that was proved by genetic testing. now british hotels like these are about to start a quarantine system. and the government says they will be covid secure.
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so, given the risks, how does australia's policy compare with what's planned for england? we are waiting to hear from scotland, wales and northern ireland. are people allowed to leave their rooms? no in australia, but yes here for exercise, though not to smoke. are hotel staff tested? yes, every day in australia. it is planned here but the scheme is still being developed. and what about protection? in the state of victoria, they are using high—grade masks. here, it will be thinner surgical ones. the government says its measures will be effective. if someone travels in from a red list country, they will be escorted with security guards to a government facilitated hotel, they will be required to stay in that room with the occasional gulps of fresh air that you have referred to, but they are required to stay in that room for ten days. but many scientists are wondering if the quarantine system will be tough
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enough to keep new variants out of the country. australia is struggling with the virus in its hotels, and it will be a challenge here. david shukman, bbc news. 0n the fourth day of donald trump's impeachment trial, the former president's defence team have just finished making their case. his lawyers argued that the charge that he incited the deadly riot at the capitol building injanuary was a "monstrous lie" and that he was exercising his freedom of speech in declaring the outcome of the presidential election fraudulent. from washington, our north america editor, jon sopel, reports. chanting: fight for trump, fight for trump. . .! - much of this impeachment trial has turned on one section of donald trump's speech before an angry crowd onjanuary 6. we fight like hell. and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. ..the presentation of the case for the former president... the trump defence team, though, aren't in the least bit defensive. good afternoon, senators.
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this is ordinary political knock—about, they say, and produced their own campaign—style video to highlight how democrats use the exact same language. does one of us have to come out alive? fight that fight. we have been fighting. i was fighting very hard. time is of the essence, both in terms of the fight. i think we should be fighting. fighting for a policy, though, isn't quite the same as urging your supporters to go and march on the capitol, with the consequences that followed. and over the course of this week, we've seen new and disturbing video — the then—vice president, mike pence, being rushed to safety by his secret service detail as congress is being overrun, the republican senator mitt romney, his life potentially saved by a policeman telling him to go the other way, and the trump—supporting mob menacingly searching for the speaker, nancy pelosi. where are you, nancy? we're looking for you! nancy! 0h, nancy! the central claim of the trump defence team is that it's preposterous to suggest
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he incited the insurrection. more importantly, they're seeking to argue it's unconstitutional to impeach someone who's already left office, and his lawyers are making what sound like highly political speeches. this unprecedented effort is not about democrats opposing political violence. it is about democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition. it is constitutional cancel culture. donald trump has spent much of this week playing golf in florida, but republican support is fracturing. today, nikki haley, his former un ambassador, said... the chances are overwhelmingly the donald trump will be acquitted, but it's now notjust the united states that's divided, it's the republican party too.
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meanwhile, at the white house, the new president and first lady are getting ready for valentine's day. healing, unity, compassion — noble sentiments, but it doesn't feel there's a whole lot of love in the air. it looks like we are not going to have to wait until valentine's day to get a verdict in this. it could come as soon as tomorrow. there is a question and answer session taking place now. one republican senator who it was thought might vote to convict has been photographed with a statement in his hand which said that donald trump certainly contributed to the environment of the violence, but can't be held responsible. it looks like the republican party is getting ready to forgive donald trump for this, but probably not forget. jon sopel. the kremlin dissident alexei navalny has been back in court today in moscow, this time accused of defaming
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a world war ii veteran. he's already been sentenced to more than two—and—a—half years in prison in a separate case — a sentence that has sparked outrage and protests across the country. but the kremlin seems determined to put a stop to them. in recent weeks, police have been targeting opposition activists across russia. 0ur moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg, travelled more than 4,000 miles east of the capital to vladivostok, to see how critics of the kremlin there are being put under pressure. what do you find at the end of russia, where the pacific turns to ice? at first, russia here feels frozen in time, no hint of spring. but, in vladivostok, there are signs that something is changing. last month, thousands here risked arrest to protest in support ofjailed opposition leader alexei navalny.
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there were rallies across russia. but there is no political thaw. the kremlin calls the protests illegal, and it's cracking down. blogger gennady shulga had live—streamed one of the protests. a few days ago, police raided his flat and pinned him to the floor. the police video shows gennady�*s head over the dog bowl. translation: this show of force i was meant to scare me and my wife. now the authorities are using that video to scare others, by showing what happens to people who tell the truth. scientist anton, who is working on new cancer treatments, took part in the vladivostok protests. he too has been targeted by the police. they broke into my apartment,
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put me laying on the floor like some criminal, and it was really humiliating and infuriating. this isn'tjust happening here in the russian far east. in recent days, there have been reports of police raids and searches across the country, a sign ofjust how determined the authorities are to crush the protest movement. in moscow, alexei navalny was back in the dock, accused of defaming a world war ii veteran. this month, he'd already been sentenced to two—and—a—half years in prison in a fraud case, widely seen as politically motivated. the police raids on protesters are an attempt to cut mr navalny�*s support base by spreading fear. it will send chilling waves across everybody else who is in their early 20s, idealistic, wants to
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work for team navalny. a lot of people will be scared. a lot of parents will insert a lot of pressure on their kids to notjoin the movement. there's something else the kremlin is doing to try and undermine public support for protests. it's telling russians, through the state media, that mr navalny is an agent of the west, and some people are believing it. "he is carrying out the west's instructions", this woman says. "we all know it's the west pulling navalny�*s strings", julia tells me. "as for navalny being poisoned, he probably poisoned himself." where is this taking russia? with "blame the west" the official narrative, there is little chance of a thaw in relations with america and europe. russia is facing the prospect of growing isolation.
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steve rosenberg, bbc news, vladivostok. an attempt to disqualify the founder and former directors of the high—profile charity kids company from running any other organisations has been rejected by the high court. camila batmanghelidjh and seven former trustees of the charity, including alan yentob, were accused of failing to run the charity, which collapsed in 2015, on a financially sustainable basis. i'm joined by our legal affairs correspondent, dominic casciani. what did the judge have to consider? well, what thejudge had to well, what the judge had to consider was a question from the official receiver, who looks into winding up companies. the official receiver said, in essence, the trustees knew a few years before collapse that the business model was unsustainable at kids company, and the defendants effectively should have foreseen it and stop it happening. in fact, in its final year, to spending about
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£20 million, and it had gone back to the government repeatedly for multi—million pound grants to keep going for top it collapsed amid allegations, which were investigated and discounted by the met police, of sexual and physical assaults. at the centre of that was what the trustees said was a critical point. in effect, thejudge agreed said was a critical point. in effect, the judge agreed with that, saying that although aspects of the charity's work were high—risk, the business model itself was not unsustainable and, had it not been for those unfounded allegations, the restructuring that had been agreed with government could have worked and it could have carried on for top thejudge said the and it could have carried on for top the judge said the public needed more protection from camila batmanghelidjh and the trustees, including the former director of the bbc, alan yentob, and these were highly impressive and dedicated people. —— the public needed no protection. people. -- the public needed no protection-— people. -- the public needed no rotection. . . , , ., , protection. have all these questions about his company _ protection. have all these questions about his company being _ protection. have all these questions about his company being asked? - protection. have all these questions| about his company being asked? the end of about his company being asked? tie: end of these proceedings triggers a green light for the charity commission to complete its work,
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which was on hold, and they could possibly look at wider issues and complaints and allegations about how the charity was run and its direction. the other thing is the official receiver could appeal against this. we are waiting to find out about that. although this is very good news for the people who run it, it's not quite the end of the story. run it, it's not quite the end of the story-— run it, it's not quite the end of the story. let's take a look at some of today's other news... the ex—british cycling and team sky chief doctor richard freeman has been charged by uk anti—doping with two violations of anti—doping rules, the bbc has learned. the medic is already fighting a general medical council allegation that he ordered banned testosterone in 2011 to help dope a rider. freeman is understood to have contested part of the charges, and has requested a hearing. the security service m15 had intelligence suggesting the fishmongers' hall killer, usman khan, might have been planning an attack before he was released from jail, a court has heard. khan fatally stabbed jack merritt and saskia jones in november 2019,
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before being shot dead by police on london bridge. the attack came seven years after he had beenjailed over a plot to blow up the london stock exchange. today, a pre—inquest hearing was told khan was deemed a "high—risk category a prisoner" before his release. it's half—term for many schools in england and wales next week, with most pupils having been home—schooled since christmas. it's been a lonely and isolating time for many children, who've been unable to see their friends, and hard work for some parents too. but one school on the wirral has been trying to bring some end—of—term cheer, as our education correspondent, elaine dunkley, reports. we've done our maths and our english. for many parents and pupils, it's been a tough term. we did our phonics, didn't we? here in wallasey, joanne has been home—schooling faith and blake. some days it's like pulling teeth. it's like being a one—on—one teacher. you have to sit with him and read through everything. i am well and truly
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ready for half term. it's notjust lost learning but broken friendships which has made life in lockdown hard. she'd created this bond and the fact that that was broken so quickly, she struggled. no, 0k. 0k. this is a really tough job and we're really proud of your efforts with that. forjoanne, a day of online learning followed by a virtual parents�* evening. you are doing what you are not paid to do. the head teacher at egremont primary has a surprise — an end—of—term party to say thank you to parents. get dressed up. let's give yourselves a little clap. we are eating our food right now. and we are having a party. and we are dancing to music. the children of critical workers and those classed as vulnerable are in school. party bags have been sent to children's homes and it's a chance for all families to celebrate. it would be amazing to have them all together, and only time will tell whether that's going to be the case. we're up to 170, when they come back from our 300 children


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