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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 24, 2021 1:00pm-1:30pm BST

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good afternoon. the prime minister is being urged to explain how the refurbishment of his downing street flat was paid for, following allegations from his former chief advisor. dominic cummings has claimed the prime minister had considered what he called "possibly illegal" plans to have
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tory donors to fund the work. number ten says mrjohnson paid for the work himself, and that electoral law and codes of conduct were properly followed — but labour has demanded an inquiry. this report from damian grammaticas contains flashing images from the start. behind borisjohnson�*s greatest political triumphs has been this man. architect of the brexit and election campaigns, but now he has turned on his former boss. most damaging of his claims concerns the downing street flat the prime minister and his fiancee live in. dominic cummings says misterjohnson wanted others to repay for its refurbishment. on his blog, mr cummings wrote of... adding that they almost certainly broke the rules if used away intended. the prime minister's office said mister
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johnson paid for hit himself and ministers had acted in accordance with codes of conduct and electoral law. the electoral commission said it is working to establish whether any money related to work needs to be reported and published, but the former attorney general, a long—time adviser, said misterjohnson�*s integrity is in question. my impression _ integrity is in question. my impression is _ integrity is in question. m impression is that there integrity is in question. mg impression is that there has integrity is in question. my integrity is in question. mg impression is that there has been a constant wriggling about the source of the money put its refurbishment and that is just one illustration of the chaos that misterjohnson seems to bring in his wake, and the reason for that is because he is a vacuum of integrity and this has been apparent for a very long time. labour, too, says there are serious questions to be answered. how much the refurbishment cost, where the money came from, was it a loan and has it been paid back? and that an inquiry is needed. lt has it been paid back? and that an inquiry is needed.— inquiry is needed. it matters because it — inquiry is needed. it matters because it is _ inquiry is needed. it matters because it is about - inquiry is needed. it matters because it is about integrity| inquiry is needed. it matters . because it is about integrity and inquiry is needed. it matters - because it is about integrity and it is about taxpayers' money. you have
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the former most senior adviser to the former most senior adviser to the prime minister saying he has fallen way below the standards of integrity that are needed for the office of prime minister, you have the former minister dominic grieve saying there is a vacuum of integrity. every day, there is more evidence of this sleaze and, frankly, it stinks.— evidence of this sleaze and, frankly, it stinks. when dominic cummings— frankly, it stinks. when dominic cummings was— frankly, it stinks. when dominic cummings was sacked - frankly, it stinks. when dominic cummings was sacked last - frankly, it stinks. when dominic| cummings was sacked last year, frankly, it stinks. when dominic . cummings was sacked last year, he took with him intimate knowledge of the way borisjohnson rantings. now he is threatening to reveal all, opening a potential pandora's box for the prime minister. india has registered a record number of coronavirus cases for a third consecutive day, adding to the pressures its health care system is facing. in the last three days, it's recorded nearly a million infections. our correspondent rajini vaidyanathan has more. the oxygen is reaching zero... as oxygen runs out in the indian capital, and across the country, it already feels like time has run out.
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today, one hospital in the city confirmed that 25 of its patients had died due to shortages. "we are literally gasping for breath," its medical director said. total panic and total emergency in the hospital. and we are not able to sustain. we are requesting our patients, please take your patients to where there is oxygen. every day, as cases rise, more families face a never ending search and a terrifying wait. the situation right now here is really the worst, critical, and out of control. the staff is really cooperative, but due to overcrowding of the main hall, and the walking casualties, it is difficult to provide equal treatment for all the patients. that is why there is a high casualty rate inside. as the situation remains perilous, trains carrying
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medical oxygen and have been making their way across the country. but the sad reality remains, that for many patients in india, it won't get there fast enough. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news. our correspondent nikhil inamdar is in the state of maharashtra. what's the latest, particularly with the oxygen situation? well, that continues to be a cause of major worry. in fact, we have heard from a hospital in the capital new delhi which lost, overnight, 20 plus patients as a result of the oxygen shortages in similar reports of started coming in from other parts of the country. india's social media is really a logbook of sos calls for oxygen supplies, people scrambling to get oxygen for their loved ones. yesterday, the prime minister held a review meeting to take stock of what is happening and
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some measures that have been unleashed, including, for instance, running special trains, as well as getting the indian air force to chip in. india is now getting oxygen airlifted from countries such as singapore and germany so, hopefully, in the next few days, the supply situation will ease, but given the rapid rise in infections we see, it is unlikely things are going to stabilising the next few days. nikhil inamdar, thank you. the indonesian navy says a submarine that went missing with 53 sailors on board has sunk and debris has been found from the vessel. it follows an extensive search of an area north of bali, where the vessel went missing earlier this week. here's richard galpin with the latest. this submarine, the nanggala 402, disappeared four days ago. on board, 53 crew members, taking part in a torpedo exercise off the coast of bali. contact was lost after the crew asked for permission to dive.
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a major operation to find the stricken submarine was launched, with malaysian and australian ships amongst those helping. today, it became clear all was lost. at a news conference this morning, the indonesian navy chief announced the submarine had sunk and fragments of it had been recovered, including a piece of torpedo. a prayer mat was also found. the submarine, which had recently been refitted, was a0 years old. richard galpin, bbc news. with all the sport now, here'sjohn watson at the bbc sport centre. many thanks, good afternoon. the women's six nations reaches its conclusion today — and it's a winner takes all, with england against france meeting in a final for the first time in the competition's history. wales and scotland play the fifth and sixth place play—off later.
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we can cross over to the twickenham stoop and join jo currie ahead of kick off. jo, jo, good afternoon, it is the final many will have predicted but i guess picking a winner later today will be a little less straightforward. absolutely, this is notjust of the fixture i think people predicted for the final but, for many, it is the one they wanted to see as well. both of these teams, england and france, widely regarded as the best two teams in the six nations this year and in the world right now. england are full—time professionals, france are full—time professionals, france are semiprofessional but both sides really cruised and breezed through those opening two group games, winning by large margins. of course, todayis winning by large margins. of course, today is a winner takes all, we have never had this final day in the six nations before and plenty at stake for both teams. england going for a third consecutive title. they can't do the grand slam this year, simply by the shortened format, not playing every side. france have not been six nations champions since 2018, so
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hard to predict a winner you can it, group games coming into it, there will be plenty of tries and plenty of physicality. you will be plenty of tries and plenty of physicality-— will be plenty of tries and plenty of physicality. you mentioned that the chance of physicality. you mentioned that the change in _ of physicality. you mentioned that the change in format, _ of physicality. you mentioned that the change in format, the - of physicality. you mentioned that l the change in format, the shortened format, the first time we have seen it in the tournament and it is settled with a final. how has the revamped tournament gone down this year? l revamped tournament gone down this ear? ~ . revamped tournament gone down this ear? ~' ., , , , year? i think the general consensus is ros year? i think the general consensus is pros and — year? i think the general consensus is pros and cons, _ year? i think the general consensus is pros and cons, really. _ year? i think the general consensus is pros and cons, really. the - is pros and cons, really. the women's six nations normally takes place in the same window as the men's assay should have taken place in pembrey and normally mirrors the format of a round—robin competition, but, due to covid, it got pushed back to april and we have the shortened format of two group games and a final round of fixtures to dictate the final placings. the main positive for many is that by becoming finally a stand—alone competition, the women's six nations has moved out of the shadow of the men's competition, meaning it has received more publicity and media than ever before, something the
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women's game has needed for some time. the main negative is that instead of playing five games as usual, these teams only play three and at a time when there hasn't been much international women's rugby because of the pandemic, for the players at least, it has been a missed opportunity. jo. players at least, it has been a missed opportunity.— players at least, it has been a missed opportunity. jo, thank you, ou can missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch _ missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch it — missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch it live _ missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch it live on _ missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch it live on bbc - missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch it live on bbc two i missed opportunity. jo, thank you, you can watch it live on bbc two at 2pm. there were protests at anfield as liverpool supporters showed their anger at the proposed european super league. the club was one of the 12 founding members before withdrawing along with the remaing five english clubs this week. there were protests from arsenal fans outside the emirates last night, while the spurs supporters trust called for their board to resign. there have been no sanctions against the clubs involved. they're approaching half time in that match at anfield. liverpool leading 1—0 through an early goal through mo salah. later, there's a big london derby with west ham hosting chelsea. both sides are hunting a place in the top four. in the late match, already relegated sheffield united host brighton. "what a feeling" is how graeme
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mcdowell described his hole in one at the zurich classic team event, in louisiana. he teamed up with england's matt wallace and at the par three 17th. wallace and at the par three 17th he served up the perfect response to what had been a rather he celebrated the hole in one by ordering a bucket of beers to be delivered to the media centre. what's more, his team then birdied the final hole and finished eight under par overall — five shots off the leaders. england's justin rose and sweden's henrik stenson are just two off the lead. one man not out in louisiana is tiger woods, who's released the first image of himself since his car crash in february. taken on his practice course at home in florida, you see a smiling woods on crutches alongside his dog, bugs. he says work is progressing faster on that course than was progressing in his recovery. there's more on the bbc sport website, including live coverage of the world championship snooker
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tournament and the european artistic gymnastics championships in basel. but, from me, it's goodbye for now. thank you very much. that's it for now. the next news on bbc one is at 5:10pm. bye for now. hello. you're watching the bbc news channel. let's get more now on our top story. borisjohnson is being urged to explain how the expensive refurbishment of his downing street flat was paid for following allegations from his former chief adviser dominic cummings. in a blog, mr cummings said the prime minster was considering what he described as an "unethical" and "possibly illegal" plan to get tory donors to fund the work. number 10 says mrjohnson
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paid for it himself,. the former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, sir alistair graham, says there may be some damaging details still to come out about how the government is being run. he told me earlier that he'll give critical evidence to any future inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic. the one i would be most worried about... there may be a public money issue related to the refurbishment of the flat, but it's the issue of competence in which cummings is alleging thatjohnson and his government is incompetent, and he refers, in fact, that he thinks there should be an enquiry into the covid crisis and he would be anxious to give evidence to that. and if he was able to give evidence, given how close he was tojohnson over many years, about his incompetence, then i think that, in the long term, could be very damaging indeed.
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is it enough for borisjohnson to say that, in general, nobody gives a monkeys about leaks, who leaked what, etc? or is this a time for maximum transparency? well, i think it is a time for maximum transparency. that should be built into the ethical way in which we run our government and the casual, haphazard way that some of these... this information shows that the government has been run i think, personally, it is disturbing, because i think, in good times and bad, that's the whole purpose of standards, to ensure that we do stick by the rules, that we do follow proper process in, for example, awarding contracts, appointing people, and other key matters. so it's not enough, then,
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for number 10 to issue a denial of these allegations in this circumstance, would you say? do we need more from the prime minister on this? yes. i think there's more information to come out. just look how the greensill story, which started a few weeks ago with a small amount of information, and more and more people have become involved. the bank — who would have expected the bank of england to have to release texts which put cameron in a damaging light? so, if cummings does have some hard—edged evidence which shows that this government hasn't followed the rules properly, hasn't been as competent as it might have been, then that's very important in giving us an insight to how our political system currently operates. do we need an enquiry, specifically, about these very strong allegations that dominic cummings has made? dominic cummings, of course, is going to appear before a parliamentary committee
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to talk about this already. he's made it clear that he will, you know, answer any questions, but do we need a separate enquiry specifically about the allegations he has made? well, we're not going to get an enquiry from johnson and his government, are we? i mean, that's not their style. they want to brush these things off and argue that they're doing the decent thing, they've got this excellenct vaccination programme, why do people need to worry about this tittle—tattle? that, ithink, will continue to be their approach, but i suspect all of this has a long way to run. as a former chair of the committee on standards in public life, though, do you think there should be one? well, in terms of the committee on standards, as i understand it, carrying out an enquiry into lobbying, and i think there are five other inquiries — national audit office, parliamentary select committees.
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we've probably got enough enquiries going on. it's actual concrete, hard evidence, which demonstrates where things have gone wrong that is critical, now, and cummings mightjust be able to provide some of that. medical experts are recommending that people who lose their sense of smell due to covid—19 are offered "smell training" rather than being treated with steroids. they suggest patients sniff different odours over a period of months to retrain the brain to recognise smells. professor carl philpott is a smell loss expert from the university of east anglia's norwich medical school. i asked him about the impact of coronavirus on people's sense of smell... we think about 10% of people are getting persistent problems that last for, sort of, many months, and if you go by the number of infections in the uk today, we estimate that that may now be around 300,000 people in the uk
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that have persistent problems with smell loss or distortion. so why is smell training, rather than steroids, better? as a group of experts, we looked at the evidence for steroid usage — and that's really steroid tablets specifically — and we couldn't really see that there was any evidence of good benefit, and, of course, steroids have side effects. probably, in reality, if steroids are going to work, they're probably going to be at the very onset of the problem, but, of course, as most people recover, that would be unrealistic to give everybody steroids and so what we're saying is for those people who appear to have a persistent problem, the safest option and the simplest option, actually, is to go through this process called smell training. sojust briefly, then, what is the process? what can people do at home to retrain the brain and the nose? well, good sources at the charity
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website fifth sense where there is information about what you can find in the kitchen cupboard at home to take the process of smell training forward and, very simply, it's about twice a day picking at least four things to put under your nose and to train with. and they should be smells that you were familiar with before the problem started, so don't try anything fancy that's new, just go with things that you understood what they smelt like before the problem started. the wales football manager, ryan giggs, will appear in court next week charged with assaulting two women at his home last year. he's also accused of coercive or controlling behaviour. the former manchester united player said he would plead not guilty. the british socialite, ghislaine maxwell, has appeared for the first time in person since her arrest last year at a court in new york where she faced new charges of sex trafficking. ms maxwell pleaded not guilty. she's accused of helping
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the convicted paedophile, jeffrey epstein, recruit, groom and sexually abuse girls. regulators in the us have cleared the way for the immediate resumption of the use of the johnson and johnson coronavirus vaccine. distribution of the single—dose jab was suspended ten days ago after reports of rare blood clots. our north america correspondent david willis has more. so the vote is ten in favour, four opposed, and one abstention. the motion carries. having weighed the evidence, an advisory panel voted to give johnson &johnson a shot in the arm. today, after an extensive review of the available data, the fda and cdc are lifting the recommended pause on the johnson &johnson, orjanssen, covid—19 vaccine. the pause was recommended due to a number of adverse events recorded after the janssen covid—19 vaccine was administered. those adverse events amount to blood clots, reported by a total of 15 women who had received thejohnson & johnson vaccine, three
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of whom subsequently died. but more than seven million doses of the vaccine had been administered before distribution was suspended 11 days ago, and health officials believe the benefits outweigh the risks. they've declared the single—shot vaccine safe and effective in combating covid—19. as of this past sunday, more than 50% of adult americans have had at least one vaccine shot. we still have a long way to go, but that's an important marker of progress. president biden had set the 4th ofjuly, america's birthday, as a goal for getting this country back to normal, and although the pfizer and moderna vaccines have been the mainstay here, the single—shotjohnson & johnson jab is seen as vital in expanding the vaccination programme to rural areas. in their quest to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, the administration could do without fears about side effects.
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thejohnson &johnson vaccine will now carry a label, warning about the risk of blood clots. distribution could resume as early as this weekend. david willis, bbc news, los angeles. thousands of children in the uk with complex health conditions can't get a covid vaccine unless their gp decides they should have one. our health correspondent, dominic hughes, has been speaking to two families who have been fighting for a jab. a year of isolation... i've already seen my son in icu with all of those drains and wires and breathing tubes. i just knew that that... i couldn't go through that again. ..and the toll it has taken. noah is the strongest person i know and this is — this is breaking him a bit. right, george.
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george is 13 years old and lives with a rare and dangerous form of epilepsy. it's left him with a host of health problems, and a covid infection could be lethal. it's been terrifying so we didn't leave the house. at all? at all. what sort of impact has that had on the pair of you? there's no hope, no future there, no — i just wonder what we're here for, really. his severe health problems have not stopped george from having the vaccine. for noah, though, it's a very different story. before the pandemic, noah — seen here in the middle — was just starting to enjoy the independence of a young teenager. born with a damaged trachea orwindpipe, even a minor cough or cold can become very serious. but he has yet to have a jab. yeah, so the worst thing has been the loneliness. yeah. and the exclusion. yeah. i don't... i feel different. it'sjust me. the vaccine roll—out has meant an end to isolation for thousands
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of adults, but for children, it's different. only a gp or hospital consultant can authorise the use of a vaccine in vulnerable children and for noah, thatjust hasn't happened. well, it leaves me - inside still, doesn't it? what can i do? i can stay in or i can go out and risk catching it and get very ill. j there's no choice. it intensifies the feeling that i've been forgotten about. . there could be more effort made to get chronically vulnerable - children back to school but i don't think the effort has been put in. i parents complain the government's guidance is unclear and some gps are worried about prescribing a vaccine that is unlicensed for children. george's doctor agreed he should have the vaccine so now, he is free to head back to school. oh, the relief! just for george to be a boy again.
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that child was living a really fun, good life, and that's gone and yeah, he's... he's... it's tough. it sounds really tough. yeah. dominic hughes with that report. andrea oriana, an italian former olympic swimmer, has set a new record on the high—altitude and chilly lake titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world between bolivia and peru. the 47—year—old swam 20 kilometres across the lake without a wetsuit in just over five—and—a—half hours. aruna iyengar has this report. psyching himself up for a record—breaking swim. this is andrea oriana's third attempt to beat the previous record of 16km across this highest of lakes — over 3800m above sea level.
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lake titicaca is a special swimming challenge. translation: the difficulty is the altitude. _ it's hard to swim well and it slows down your strokes due to the cold. you feel 12 celsius without protection, and it feels very, very cold. the only barrier to the cold is paraffin wax, rubbed onto his skin. 47—year—old oriana swam from near the so—called sleeping dragon mountain peak on the east shore to the island of the moon in the middle of the lake, a distance of 20km. it's a dream to swim in this lake because it is one of the most difficult tests in the world. you cannot compare the english channel to lake titicaca. they are the two most difficult tests. the bolivian swimming federation confirmed the new record, previously held by an american woman.
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having the world record on titicaca takes me feel very happy because this is really a sacred lake. it's whetted his appetite for more. he is now planning his next challenge — 43km, bolivia to peru, across the lake. aruna iyengar, bbc news. firefighters in county down are continuing to tackle a large gorse fire. the fire in the mourne mountains began in the early hours of yesterday. people are being urged to stay away from the area, as kevin sharkey reports. in one of the most scenic parts of northern ireland, devastation. the scale of the destruction visible from ground level brought into sharp focus from the air.
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as you would imagine with the mourne mountains, the terrain is very difficult to — for the crews to get up to, so we are at this point where it's probably an hour's walk for the crews to get up before they commence firefighting. the constant movement of the fire has challenged the firefighting efforts on the ground. the fire service is now asking anyone who had planned to come to the mournes this weekend to stay away from the newcastle side. we would particularly discourage any wildfire camping over this weekend in and around that area, just for the risk of those individuals going up there. as night began to fall, the fire crews left the mountainside. rest before the battle against this fire resumes. kevin sharkey, bbc news, in the mourne mountains in county down. now it's time for a look at the weather with sarah keith—lucas. really dry conditions are helping to fuel the fire, and they? yes, that is absolutely right, you need to. we have actually got some high fire weather danger conditions across many of our national parks in the
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uk. we have had a bit of rain in northern ireland and scotland as well that certainly only a fraction of what we would expect for this time of year so the vegetation is very, very dry out there at the moment and there is a little bit of rain in the forecast which is good news is we're going to next week but they now we've got this blue skies, dry weather continuing for for many of us, really through the end of the week so if you are out enjoying the sunshine this is the picture in the isle of wight at the moment, a fine afternoon there. sunshine a little bit hazy in places and through the remainder of the weekend things turning a little cooler especially, with cloud working. still a little bit of a breeze around, particularly through the english channel, south—west england, a little bit breezy it was northern ireland as well at the moment but lighter winds elsewhere because we have got the high—pressure dominating. some high clouds are stripping as well as bit further south across england and wales but for most places barely a cloud in the sky. we have got that these continuing through coastal
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parts of kent, for instance, down towards cornwall and the channel islands as well. temperatures in the 154 western parts of the uk, up to about 19 degrees or so but cooler in the east coast and if you do suffer from hay fever you probably already noticed that three panel levels of the moment are high across much of the moment are high across much of the uk. -- the moment are high across much of the uk. —— tree pollen levels are high. it is looking dry to the cost of the evening and overnight too. we have got clear skies, light winds for most areas, breezy face than england, temperatures getting down to freezing the some of us, little bit below that for some of the verbal spots first thing tomorrow so another choice that, again, a touch of frost here and there, quite a lot of frost here and there, quite a lot of sunshine once again tomorrow but there will be a bit more cloud drifting in and the easterly breeze, affecting some eastern counties of england, again, no rain in the forecast, breezy in the south but lighter winds further north in the sunshinejust a lighter winds further north in the sunshine just a little lighter winds further north in the sunshinejust a little bit lighter winds further north in the sunshine just a little bit hazy than it is today, temperatures will be not twice as one, still to about 17 degrees or so western areas but only
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