welcome to bbc news. i'm richard preston. our top stories. richard preston. our top storm-— richard preston. our top stories. , , ., ., stories. optimism from health exerts stories. optimism from health exnerts as _ stories. optimism from health exnerts as a — stories. optimism from health experts as a pill— stories. optimism from health experts as a pill developed - stories. optimism from health experts as a pill developed to | experts as a pill developed to treat severe coronavirus reports positive trial results that could halve the chances of dying. after the murder of sarah everard by a serving officer, london's metropolitan police tries to regain the public�*s trust. two new streams of lava pose a further threat of lava pose a further threat of destruction as the la palma volcano forces thousands more to flee. ., ,., , volcano forces thousands more toflee. , ~ ., , ., . to flee. nobody knows how much more love _ to flee. nobody knows how much more love is _ to flee. nobody knows how much more love is going _ to flee. nobody knows how much more love is going to _ to flee. nobody knows how much more love is going to flow - to flee. nobody knows how much more love is going to flow into i more love is going to flow into the sea. there is no sign of descending anytime soon. europe is 's first mission _ descending anytime soon. europe is 's first mission to _ descending anytime soon. europe is 's first mission to mercury - is �*s first mission to mercury is �*s first mission to mercury is making a flight i approach on the night side of the planet. that flyby approach.
and let's dance. a new album of previously unreleased david bowie tunes is due to be made public. we talk to the records producer. welcome to the programme. they could be a breakthrough in the way we treat covid—i9. interim trials suggest a new experimental drug for severe covid cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by about half. if authorised by regulators, the new drug, which comes in the form of a pill, would be the first oral antiviral medication for covid—i9. this is the first covid pill. trial results suggest it can cut hospitalisations or deaths by half. the news of the efficacy
of this particular antiviral is obviously very good news. the company, when they briefed us last night, had mentioned that they will be submitting their data to the fda imminently. the data are impressive. pills were given to 775 elderly or medically at—risk patients within five days of them showing coronavirus symptoms. the data from a phase three trial showed 7.3% of patients on the drug were hospitalised, compared to 14.1% of those who did not take the tablets. eight patients who were given a placebo — or dummy pill — later died of covid, but there were no deaths in the group taking the pill. the trial was stopped early because the pill was so successful. the data still needs to be peer—reviewed. so how does it work? as coronavirus replicates itself inside your body,
these antiviral pills trick it into using the drug, which then inserts errors into the virus's genetic code, blocking the virus from replicating. there are existing intravenous treatments, but this is the first pill and, as long as it's taken early on, would offer an alternative at a third of a price — at $700 a treatment. accessibility is a problem with monoclonal antibody. for this one, it's a simple pill, so obviously a lot easier to administer it and a lot easier to administer as an outpatient as well. merck says it's making 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of the year, with 1.7 million of those already paid for by the us government. "game changer" is probably a bit of a stretch, but absolutely helps push us forward. and that's kind of how we see it is this moving back to a normal society, and this is just the next step. the us drug company is seeking emergency approval for the drug, which us authorities say is no substitute for preventative vaccines.
but this is an exciting development, as the first company to report trial results of a pill to treat covid as other companies also work on similar treatments. mark lobel, bbc news. earlier i spoke to epidemiologist and health economist dr eric feigl—ding, and asked him how much of a game changer this new drug is in the fight against covid. this pill is quite remarkable. it is not based on any spike proteins like the vaccines are, it is agnostic to variants, because it targets the molecular machinery of the virus. it adds lots of nonsense code. it completely corrupts the genome of the virus, so that it can't replicate. and that's the beauty. then even if the virus mutates, it can still be useful. people are talking about this, if we have another coronavirus pandemic in the future this drug will still work for that coronavirus, because it agnostic to variants. and that, i think,
is what makes it a gamechanger. but this is not preventative, is it? this is given to people when they have already been diagnosed with the disease? right, this is not like a vaccine whatsoever. it's not preventing illness. you get this after you test positive. but this is not like dexamethasone which is for severe cases only. and it is a pill, unlike intravenous antibodies, remdesevir, all of those are extremely invasive and needing to go to the clinic to get the treatment. this could theoretically be over—the—counter, although i don't think they will offer it over—the—counter anytime soon. but the simplicity and the mass production is also much simpler.
tell us more about that. how does mass production works, how much it is likely to cost? so, the process for producing this is a very conventional process. unlike monoclonal antibodies, which require these bioreactors, it's very tedious to produce monoclonal antibodies, but this one can be mass produced pretty conventionally, and they have already licensed it to eight different generic drug makers in india, which should be able to set it up to mass—produce it very quickly. and, you know, the $700 price is obviously not low, but compared to remdesevir, which can be up to $3000, or monoclonal antibody treatments, which is $2000, this is much, much cheaper, although it is still not nearly as cheap as a vaccine, of course, which i want to point out, this lowers risk by half, but the vaccine lowers hospitalisation risk tenfold to 100—fold. so it is still orders of magnitude not as powerful as a vaccine.
that was dr eric feigl—ding speaking to me earlier. the metropolitan police here in london are trying to reassure women after serving officer was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for the rape, kidnap and murder of a woman walking home alone in london in march of this year. in court, it emerged wayne couzens had used his police id and his handcuffs in the attack on sarah everard. daniel sandford has this report. wayne couzens, the police officer turned killer who has so damaged public trust, today beginning the life sentence in prison from which he will never be released. his abduction, rape and murder of sarah everard, using his police warrant card and handcuffs, risks undermining confidence in officers right across the uk. i think it's very important that people should have confidence in policing and what the police do. and i do, let me stress that. but what i want to do is to use
this moment to make sure that we deal with what i think is a huge and justified feeling, by millions of people up and down the country, and i'm afraid overwhelmingly women, that their complaints and their anxieties are not taken seriously enough by the police. the wider problem is illustrated by a whatsapp group in which wayne couzens swapped misogynistic messages with officers from the metropolitan police, the civil nuclear constabulary and the norfolk constabulary. all are being investigated for gross misconduct. two of the met officers face a criminal investigation for allegedly sending grossly offensive messages. i am so sorry. couzens's horrific crimes have left the head of london's police force, dame cressida dick, in a precarious position. her force had failed to link wayne couzens to at least two incidents of indecent exposure, one before he joined the force and one just three days before
he killed sarah everard. women who now feel concerned when stopped by officers are being advised to ask to speak to the control room on the police radio, and, if still concerned, just run, but labour want to hear more on what the police will be doing. what we need right now is clear communication to women, who are particularly concerned not about what they have to do differently but what the police are going to do to reassure them about the way that they're going to police this situation. she's ready to take action, to do the right thing. and while the force has been celebrating 100 years of women in policing, some former officers have said misogyny, contempt for women, is widespread, and people are afraid to report it. there are some people who challenge, and they become marginalised, and they become almost like the pariahs of the team. that needs to stop. that's why i talk about, there needs to be the support
network, and those officers need to be actively encouraged to come forward. the confidence issues go far beyond the capital. the force in manchester has been repeatedly criticised for how it handles domestic abuse. young women in the city today said they have lost trust in the police. they're there to keep you safe, and the idea that they're not and they're doing quite the opposite's quite scary, i feel. i don't feel like i could go to the police now. i feel like we have to kind of stand together, rather than go to the police. we have to kind of have back—up from other means. the senior officer who will lead the national effort to address those concerns said this is a watershed moment. i think this is a marked moment in society, to stand and look at ourselves about the level of violence against women and girls. i think this is a tide that has turned and a tide that we can look at notjust in policing but across society. and the case of sarah everard, murdered by a police officer as she walked home, might also be the moment when forces have to address the toxic attitudes that some men in their ranks hold towards women. daniel sandford, bbc news,
at new scotland yard. let's get some of the days other stories now. the former president of georgia has been arrested within hours of his return to his homeland after years in exile. he said he was returning from ukraine on the eve of municipal elections to urge voters to abandon the governing georgian dream party. georgia's president, salome zourabichvili, has repeatedly said she will not pardon mr saakashvili. ecuador says it will pardon 2000 inmates its overcrowded prisons to prevent further violence following the worst prison riot in the country's history. priority for release would be given to the disabled, the elderly, the terminally ill and women. at least 118 inmates at the guyas prison in the western city of kayak will were killed in
clashes between rival gangs which began on tuesday. the us supreme courtjudge has refused to block a requirement but orders all new york city public school teachers and employees be vaccinated against covid—19. justice sonia sotomayor rejected a challenge that rejected a challenge that rejected a challenge by a group of four teachers and teaching assistants. and a coach of an american women's soccer team has been sacked of allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct towards players dating back several years. paul riley from liverpool led north carolina courage to two league titles. he faces a string of allegations, including remarks about players' sexual orientation by the athletic sports news website. it says he denies any sexual misconduct. red hot lover from a volcano erupting on the spanish island of la palma continues to flow into the sea. these are life pictures we can see now of the volcano, sending out vast clouds of steam and toxic gas into the atmosphere. many homes
and crops have been destroyed and crops have been destroyed and thousands of people have been forced to flee. the eruption began 11 days ago. our correspondence danjohnson is correspondence dan johnson is there. welcome to the newest part of la palma — a volcanic island extension that is growing all the time. and all this lava has destroyed 900 homes and forced thousands more to be abandoned. emily and augustine are the latest to pack up ready to leave, fearful it is heading their way. it won't stop, that's my one big fear. we are onlyjust seeing the beginning. and there is augustine's mum and aunt fried, 96 and 97. they've both lived through two previous eruptions, 19119 and 1971, but now they've had enough. "this is much worse than the other eruptions," she says. "i'll be much calmer when i've reached the other island." everything's horrible. i mean, we are still lucky. we have the house. i mean, hope is always stronger than fear,
and we hope we'll stay. i have so many friends who lost their houses and everything. around the clock the lava keeps flowing, and new vents have opened up, threatening other villages. ash is continually clouding these skies, so janet's work is never done, because this volcanic gritjust keeps falling. translation: it's not easy. we never imagined this could happen. it's hard to see people without anywhere to live. on this island, we are family. there is a huge exclusion zone being patrolled by the coast guard because, although that is mostly steam being given off when the lava hits the water, there is also the risk toxic gases are released as well, and nobody knows how much more lava is going to flow into the sea. there is no sign of this ending any time soon. fishermen like elian can only watch and wait.
it is said the fish all swam awayjust before the eruption. translation: we don't know what the future will be like, i because there are fewer fish. i don't see a future here if they don't help us. do you think you'll leave la palma? si. others are adapting to this strange new way of life, dominated by the deep rumbling of the volcano and the unpredictable threat of its ever—flowing lava. danjohnson, bbc news, la palma. stay with us on bbc news. our main headlines: health experts express their optimism as a pill developed to treat severe coronavirus reports positive trial results that could halve the chances of dying. after the murder of sarah everard by a serving police officer, london's metropolitan police tries to regain the public trust. police in the uk have revealed that thousands of british children are now actively involved in criminal gangs, and say more than a third of them are girls. the numbers have grown in the last decade, often
as a result of grooming or blackmail on social media. for some, their involvement can become life—threatening and lead to a range of mental health problems. with this report, here is amanda kirton. in cities across the uk, children are being exploited. thousands of them end upjoining gangs. over a third are girls. we hear about the boys in the news. we see them on the streets. but the girls are hidden. aliyah was a gang member. she grew up in a difficult home. so my mum met someone, a friend of a friend. he started coming to my house, and then his friend came. they ask you, "can you hold this for me, please?" and i'll give you some money.
they want you to hold drugs or they want you to hold weapons. three floors of people selling drugs from my house and using my house as a trap house. 0ur life was basicallyjust survival mode at that point. so home is not always a safe place. kendra was a gang member when she wasjust 12. she did what she had to do to survive. by the age of 13, 14, these boys want to have sex. and so once i realised that if you brung them girls, that they wouldn't do stuff to you — by bringing other girls in i'm protecting myself, or i think i am. i'm not, but at that moment ifeel like i'm protecting myself. when one man says he's chose that one, you have to go and tell that girl that's what time it is, or they will rape you. i haven't had a full night's sleep in years. i still dream about the victims that i created. i started self—harming. i went through a few things.
this was when i was like 13 to 1a. i don't think i wanted to die. ijust wanted to be free of the pain. yeah, so it got worse. it was years, like, a good two or three years of hurting myself. it took a long way to get out of that. what every girl needs is — they need people to not give up on them. i was written off completely. i was that kid that you didn't want your kid to sit next to. i've gone on to achieve. i got my own company, i'm educated, but i ain't forgot where i've come from. and what i do is make sure i can do anything in my power to make sure that other girls feel the same way. it was hard. i had my ups and downs. then i found out i was pregnant, and she is my saviour.
i'm a mum, i'm a mummy, i'm a mother. i've got a home, not a house. i work, i've got a part—timejob. and i'm happy, and i'm in a better place. some out of this world news now. europe's first mission to mercury is completing its first flyby. the bepicolombo spacecraft will fly by the planet at high speeds, taking pictures of the planet and sending them back to earth as it does. it is moving too fast to go into orbit, but will begin more detailed observations in four years' time. i've been speaking to planetary scientist emily lakdawalla, who has been following this mission closely and told me what it hopes to achieve. this mission is a flagship mission, with a lot of plans to do science on mercury.
there have only been two previous missions to mercury, one a long time ago, mariner 10, and then more recently nasa's messenger mission. and this one, bepicolombo, is designed to answer a lot of the questions raised by that messenger mission. so we mentioned in the introduction there the spacecraft is shooting past mercury. it is not actually landing on the planet, is it? what are we watching for in the coming hours? well, the main thing that this flyby is supposed to accomplish is to alter the orbit, alter the trajectory of the spacecraft, as it goes around the sun. they would love to be able to enter orbit right now, because that's after all the goal of this mission — to orbit mercury for a couple of years and gather lots of science data. but it's very difficult to enter orbit at mercury. it's a very small planet and the gargantuan gravity of the sun is very close by. so they'll have to fly past it a total of five times before finally entering orbit in 2025. so really all they really want to hear is that the spacecraft is healthy and safe and its trajectory is exactly what they want. but they'll also be getting some science data from this encounter. you mentioned the aircraft
staying healthy and safe. this is obviously very close to the sun. how does the spacecraft protect itself from that incredible heat and that radiation?— incredible heat and that radiation? ~ .., , incredible heat and that radiation? ~ , ., radiation? well, it carries a sunshield _ radiation? well, it carries a sunshield that _ radiation? well, it carries a sunshield that actually - radiation? well, it carries a sunshield that actually has| radiation? well, it carries a - sunshield that actually has one side of the spacecraft that is designed to be pointed out that hot surface of the sun. and a lot of the other instruments and systems of the spacecraft hide underneath it like an umbrella. so that does limit the directions that the spacecraft can point. 0nce the directions that the spacecraft can point. once they are in orbit around mercury, the instruments are designed in order to be able to stare down at the surface of mercury. until then a lot of the instruments are actually hidden inside spacecraft right now, so a lot of them don't actually have a view out, but many of them don't need a field of view. there are things like magnetometers and dust counters and other stuff that are operating just fine during the flyby and will be taking data throughout. the mind—bendingly futuristic david bowie might have left us
for another planet, but his legacy lives on. ahead of what would have been his 75th birthday, a new album of never—released material is about to be released. toy was recorded in 2001, with the star recording a combination of new material and revamped versions of earlier songs. the singer had hoped to record and release the album quickly, but his record label, virgin, was less enthusiastic. the records producer, mark plati, joined me from new york. this all sprang from a show called vh1 storytellers in 1999. the idea there was you'd play a song and then you'd tell a story about the song and what was happening, what inspired the song. and he wanted to play something from his early period, from the mid—60s, so we played a song called can't help thinking about me, which he had never done. and he really enjoyed doing it. we all really enjoyed playing it so much that we continue to play it on the tour
that followed. an idea kind of sprung that maybe it'd be fun to rerecord a lot of those early songs with one band, instead of — the early songs were all split between different producers, different studios, musicians. they all sounded very different, not very cohesive. and the idea was we would select a batch of these songs and rerecord them with one group of people, with us producing all of this. and tell us about the recording experience, because the two of you worked incredibly closely together, didn't you? yeah, it was unlike something i'd done up to that point. for the most part during the �*90s, most records were done in more of a piecemealway, multitrack, and sometimes the songs wouldn't even be written when an artist would come to the studio. songs would be built up piece by piece, layered, and things like that. which was a very cool process, and the first two records i did with david were very much in that vein.
but this time we thought we would go more of an old—school route and rehearse the band. the band would then go out and perform and kind of get to know each other really well musically and get on that wavelength together. we did that by playing glastonbury together and bbc radio theatre, and performed a couple of toy songs then. after that we came back to new york, took a couple of days off and then went right into the studio to start recording them. and it was really quite different, as well, musically, because we were all on such a collective wavelength together. the mood was great, it was exhilarating. it was kind of empowering and humbling at the same time playing with some of these legendary people, as well as just the vibe we all had together. a lot of that came from david himself, who was in a very great place, i think.
it had been a smashing success in glastonbury and he was going to be a dad again, and that was infectious to all of us. he sang his heart out and we went right along with him. there is just there isjust time there is just time to bring you some pictures from australia's northern territory of a filming mission which went slightly wrong. this drone was being used to gather footage of crocodiles when one of them decided to take a bite. in case you missed it, here it is again in slow motion. amazingly, the drone kept filming, but when it was recovered, as you can see, it had suffered quite a bit of damage. ratherthe it had suffered quite a bit of damage. rather the drone than me. a reminder of our top story: provisional clinical trial results suggest that a clinical drug for covid cuts the rate of death by about half. us company merck said it would apply for provisional authorisation for the use of
the drug in the next two weeks. the us medical advisor doctor anthony fauci said the results were very good news but urged caution. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @richpreston. more rain and wind on the way. it is autumn, after all, but for some of us saturday may end up being a bit of a write—off. and in fact, over the next few days the weather will remain very unsettled — spells of heavy rain, gales at times and even the possibility of some travel disruption. and the atlantic is looking a lot more vigorous in its weather patterns in the last few days. we're seeing low pressures forming, propelled by a powerful jet stream. and you can see a low pressure anchored just to the north—west of the uk, another one to the south forming, and that's the one that's going to bring the particularly wet spell of weather on saturday. so, through the early hours, we're already expecting some
rain across western areas of the uk. but ahead of that there is plenty of clear, dry weather, so eastern and central areas may actually wake up to some sunshine. that sunshine may even last until mid—morning or perhaps early afternoon in the extreme east, but very quickly those clouds will increase, and we've got some particularly wet weather there for the south and the south—east and some strong winds too. further north—west in the afternoon, it's going to be more of a mixed bag, so for belfast and glasgow i think some sunny spells certainly in the forecast. so here's saturday night. that low pressure and its extensive rain front moves out of the way, and then the weather opens up a little bitjust in time for the marathons on sunday. so for the london marathon, expect some sunshine, the marathon in belfast as well. nowhere will be completely dry. in fact showers are expected on sunday, with a keen westerly breeze, but at least we're not going to have that really prolonged rain. now, the temperatures both on saturday and sunday will be around the mid—teens — not that it'll feel like it
because of the strength of the wind and also the prolonged rain. and then, on monday, the next area of low pressure heads our way. so early on monday there could be some sunshine around, but certainly by monday afternoon and evening we'll start to see the next area of wet weather approaching south—western parts of the uk. so a very unsettled spell of weather over the next few days — quite typical for october, really. here's the summary. you can see a lot of rain shower icons there, temperatures mostly in the mid—teens. there's just a hint that, sometime later next week, things will settle down at least for a bit. bye— bye.
the headlines: provisional clinical trials of a new experimental drug for severe covid suggests it cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by about half. if authorised by regulators, the new drug which is a pill, would be the first oral antiviral medication for covid—19. after the murder of sarah everard, the british prime minister has urged the public to trust me police despite the revelation that her police that her killer was a serving officer. borisjohnson said the government was examining how cases of violence against women are handled. and the volcano that has been erupting for over a week on the spanish island of la palma is spewing out two new streams of lava, threatening further disruption that destruction and forcing thousands more to flee. hundreds of buildings have already been damaged on the spanish island.