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tv   Newsday  BBC News  December 13, 2021 1:00am-1:31am GMT

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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines: a desperate search for survivors in six us states devastated by powerful tornadoes. more than 90 people are now known to have been killed. my mother still doesn't know the house is gone and we're not going to tell her. reporter: why not? it'lljust break her heart. british prime minister borisjohnson warns that the uk faces an emergency, in the battle with the new omicron variant. he calls for a massive increase in boosterjabs. there is a tidal wave of omicron coming and i'm afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough.
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with a collapsing economy, afghanistan's drug trade is on the rise — we have a special report. and a new champion in formula 1 — max verstappen snatches victory in the last lap of the final grand prix of the season. live from our studio in singapore, this is bbc news — it's newsday. hello and welcome to the programme. more than 90 people are now known to have been killed by devastating tornadoes that swept through the us mid—west on friday. at least eighty of them were in kentucky. it's expected that the number will continue to rise as the search for survivors continues across six states, with emergency crews combing through the debris. our correspondent nomia
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iqbal has the latest from mayfield in kentucky. there were more than 30 tornadoes but one hurtled down a single track of more than 200 miles. it is thought to be the longest path ever taken by a tornado in us history. it flattened many homes, whilst leaving others untouched. in an instant this small town of mayfield has been almost entirely wiped out. flattened homes are now buried in their own debris, toys and shoes are scattered amongst the twisted metal and shredded trees by a swarm of tornadoes that no—one had prepared for. deeneen is looking for her cousin who lives downtown. everybody�*s cell phone is down and i got up early and i was so nervous i could not sleep. i could not get through to her yesterday and i drive a school bus and everything over
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there is destroyed, it is just heartbreaking. this is one of the churches that residents here in mayfield attended. it is about 100 years old and people here tell me it only took around ten seconds for the tornado to blow through and destroy so much of it. some people actually took cover in here on the night that the storms came. nearby churches have opened up their doors to give shelter to those who survived. jerry and his father managed to escape. his mother, who is in a nursing home, is unaware of what has happened. my mother still doesn't know the house has gone. and we're not going to tell her. why not? it would break her heart to let her know that the dream house that she designed has gone. an operation is still under way at a candle factory in mayfield. more than 100 workers were on the night shift when the tornado tore through. a0 people managed
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to make it out. in the state of illinois an amazon factory is looking for its missing employees. the amazon founderjeff bezos pledged to offer support. the governor here in kentucky says this is the deadliest tornado event the state has ever had. president biden has signed a federal emergency disaster declaration to help this state and others ravaged by the storms. nomia iqbal, bbc news, kentucky. misty thomas is the executive director for the red cross in western kentucky. she's been on the ground in mayfield, the worst hit area, and described what she saw. i just want to say that the american red cross is very deeply saddened by what we are experiencing — the loss of lives and the devastating destruction that we're seeing on the ground. i've personally never seen anything like it, i've been on the ground for two days now in mayfield, and i
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spent time with a few of the citizens there today. one had shared with me that he happened to open the door to let in a family member who had sought shelter at his house, and he was describing it — the only two words he could use was "pure evil". and i thought it was an interesting choice of words. he said, "i've never seen anything like it, it was pure evil." he said, "i knew in that moment that our town was going to be devastated, but i had no idea it would look like this." it looks like matchsticks, the entire town, all of the buildings, its history — matchsticks, with metal twisted in between it. it's devastating, the people are devastated. misty, those conditions sound absolutely terrible, and the people on the ground that you're meeting, telling you those stories, as well, i imagine that the needs of the community there, people who are obviously probably in shelters at this point in time — how much more help
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do they need, what kind of help do they need? what sort of rebuilding are you seeing that they will need right now? so, we sheltered about 200 people last night in our eight shelters in kentucky. so, that gives you a little bit of an idea of the people who don't have a family member orfriend to go and stay in a house with that we are aware of. so we're aware of the immediate needs of shelter and food, and our caseworkers work with them to assess — do they have medicine, glasses, medical equipment that needs to be replaced? so we help them with that, we also provide emotional and spiritual care, volunteers with their special wheelhouse, that's how the volunteers help our families. so it's an immediate, holistic approach — but moving beyond that and looking at rebuilding, i'm not even for sure that the assessments have gotten that far. but when you ask me, how do we help them — there have been a lot of things brought in, people have been so good
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to this area and the six states that have been hit the hardest. but i would say the immediate need right now is monetary, because that financial donation to those families for the red cross, that way they can go and purchase exactly what they need. so that is the easiest way to help these families. misty, have you faced any issues reaching people because of electricity blackouts, for instance? we hearing there's over 50,000 people, there must be more, frankly, without power? and that's a hard question to field because we don't know if we're not reaching people. so, the national guard is out and they're going through the town, combing — of course the red cross is not capable — there's not one organisation capable of taking on a disaster this large by themselves, so we're all linking arms and partnering together, fema is coming in, first responders from all over the commonwealth
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have shown up today. so we're just linking arms and walking through that community, and making sure that every place community, and making for sure that every place there was a house that we are making sure that everybody has been accounted for. that'll take time. what the red cross has been doing today is we've been out in our emergency vehicle, handing out water and snacks to families that were able to stay in their home, they may have some roof damage, orjust in their home and they're without electricity and water. mrtom is mr tom is the executive director of the red cross in kentucky speaking to me earlier. —— misty promise. thomas. you can find comprehensive coverage of the rescue efforts across those six us states on our website, including the latest from our correspondent
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on the ground in kentucky. head to — or download the bbc news app. let's take a look at some of the other stories in the headlines: the g7 group of rich democracies has warned russia of "massive consequences" if it invades ukraine. speaking after a summit of foreign ministers in the english city of liverpool, uk foreign secretary said they had sent a clear message to russian president vladimir putin. we wa nt we want russia to stop it aggression with respect to ukraine. we are very clear that there will be severe consequences if that incursion took place. this is about deterring russia from taking that action. naftali bennett has arrived in the united arab emirates on the first—ever official visit by an israeli prime minister. it comes after the two countries established diplomatic ties last year. mr bennett is due to meet the crown prince of abu dhabi, sheik mohammed bin zayed on monday. they're expected to discuss ways of boosting cooperation and strengthening economic
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and commercial ties. the chinese e—commerce giant, alibaba, has sacked a woman who accused her boss and a client of sexually assaulting her. the dismissal letter said she'd spread falsehoods and damaged the compa ny�*s reputation. the woman went public with her allegations because she said alibaba had failed to take action. one of mexico's most revered singers, vicente fernandez, has died at the age of 81, afterfour months in hospital, following a fall at his ranch. he was known as the king of mexico's traditional ranchera music and had a successful career spanning more than five decades. his songs became an essential part of mexican culture. the south african president cyril ramaphosa has tested positive for covid—19, though his symptoms are said to be mild. earlier on sunday, mr ramaphosa delivered a eulogy at a memorial service for fw de klerk, the last leader
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of south africa's white minority government. the 69—year—old president — who's fully vaccinated — is now self—isolating in cape town. let's turn now to the uk, where there's to be a rapid acceleration of the booster programme, with prime minister boris johnson warning of a "tidal wave" of infections from the new 0micron variant. he said that thousands of extra volunteers and military planners would be brought in. it's understood that could mean up to 18 million jabs injust 19 days. the announcement came as the uk's covid alert level was increased from level 3 to level 4. 0ur medical editor fergus walsh has more. queueing round the block for their booster, you will see a lot more of this in the coming days. from tomorrow the over 30s in england and scotland will be able to book their booster and the over 18s from
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later in the week. good evening. over the past year... addressing the nation tonight the prime minister said the country was facing an emergency in its battle against 0micron. there is a tidal wave of 0micron coming and i am afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need. a wave of 0micron through a population that was not boosted would risk a level of hospitalisation that could overwhelm our nhs and lead, sadly, to very many deaths. so, we must act now. the original target was to offer a booster to all over 18s by the end of january. that has now been brought forward to the end of the month. it will require 1 million jabs in arms a day, double what is being achieved now. this huge push on boosters
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comes at a price, record waiting lists are set to get even longer. it will mean some other appointments will need to be postponed until the new year. but if we don't do this now, the wave of 0micron could be so big that cancellations and disruptions, like the loss of cancer appointments, would be even greater next year. up to 200,000 0micron cases daily are thought possible by the end of december, four times the current level. but although a few 0micron infected patients are now in hospital, it is unclear how severe the variant is. we have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best and i think ourjob is to highlight that this is a big wave, it is coming straight at us. if we see even half the severity we saw with delta then we are facing a very large number of hospitalisations
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and potential deaths. the uk's covid alert level has been raised to four out of five, meaning pressure on the nhs is widespread, but it is not yet at risk of being overwhelmed. labour has backed the plan to speed up vaccination. we warned the government they had not been doing enough to get the booster roll—out under way and so tonight's announcement is one that we can very much get behind. this has got to be a big, national effort and all of us have got a part to play. the big question is, can that booster target be met with christmas just around the corner? and will there be time to reach those most in need? the one area of anxiety is that in this rush to get the booster out we must not forget our more vulnerable people who may be struggling to get to vaccination clinics, who may not find it easy to book online, and these are the people who are most vulnerable to severe disease. so the battle lines against 0micron are drawn.
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the race between the vaccine and the virus will be at a faster pace than anything we have seen so far. fergus walsh, bbc news. if you want to get in touch with me, i'm on twitter — @bbckarishma your concerns about the 0micron variant for instance, i am looking forward to hearing from you. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: max verstappen clinches his first formula 1 world championship on the last lap of the final grand prix of the season. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes,
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but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict — conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. the foreign audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border- was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off - from the outside world in order to prevent the details - of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life — the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore.
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0ur headlines: a desperate search for survivors is under way in six us states devastated by powerful tornadoes. the number of dead is approaching one hundred. borisjohnson has warned that a "tidal wave" of 0micron is coming. he's urged people to get a booster before the new year. now, a special report for you on afghanistan. amid an economic collapse there, the country's drug trade looks to be booming. afghanistan has long been behind the vast majority of the world's heroin, now it's emerged as a major manufacturer of crystal meth too. the taliban say, for the moment, they can't outlaw drug production without being able to offer alternative sources of income to poorfarmers. secunder kermani and cameraman malik mudassir have travelled from kabul, across southern afghanistan for this report. they are one of afghanistan's most lucrative exports,
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but these drugs are destroying lives here and abroad. there is heroin and, increasingly now, crystal meth. this, an exclusive look at where the meth is coming from. these drugs in southern afghanistan will be smuggled to countries as far away as australia. the amount in this room alone would sell there for around £2 million. this is how it is made. makeshift open—air labs in the desert under the noses of the taliban.
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these trucks are full of a key ingredient. traffickers here have discovered a common wild plant that can be used to produce meth cheaply. last week, the taliban banned farmers from picking it, but they're not shutting down the meth labs. this man with links to the trade. "when the taliban announced their ban on this plant," he tells me, "the wholesale price of meth doubled and there are still warehouses full of it." it's another dangerous drug — opium — from plants like these, most commonly associated with afghanistan. around 80% of the world's heroin supply originates here. before the taliban takeover opium traders paid off corrupt officials and sold the black paste secretly. now they've been allowed
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to open up stalls in markets. we're driving through a bazaar, where opium is being sold openly. much of it is then going to be processed into heroin. the taliban are not stopping drug production — in fact, they've been taxing it for years, but they don't want journalists seeing it being traded — that's why we're filming from inside the car. you call yourselves an islamic government, but you're allowing drug production. isn't that hypocritical? translation: under the islamic emirate, l before 2001, the growing and selling of opium dropped to zero. right now, we are trying to find alternatives. we can't take this away from people without offering them something else. eradicating this is good for us in the international community so the world should help, too. —— eradicating this is good for us in the international community so the world should help, too. for years poorfarmers have relied on opium
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to provide for their families. now, as afghanistan's economy collapses, without international support, and water levels continue to drop, many see it as the safest crop to grow. 0pium destroys a lot of people's lives. if opium is banned, what will happen to you guys and your families? the taliban regularly haul these addicts off to rehab centres, but many end up straight back here. for now, more drugs look set to hit the streets both in afghanistan and across the world. secunder kermani, bbc news, afghanistan. a story to you now from the racing world. max verstappen has been
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confirmed as the new formula 0ne world champion, after a thrilling and controversial end to the final race of the season in abu dhabi. the 24—year—old dutchman beat britain's lewis hamilton on the last lap to win his first title, denying hamilton a record 8th championship. the final result had been challenged by hamilton's mercedes team, but the result was upheld. mercedes say they intend to appeal. the win makes max verstappen the first—ever dutchman to become a formula 1 world champion. so as you'd expect, it meant a lot for those watching on from the netherlands. cheering and applause. this was the moment fans following from one cafe saw the red bull star cross the line, ahead of lewis hamilton. for his take on the race — here's rob manifield, host of the everything racing podcast. it was always going to be dramatic, and it didn't disappoint. so yeah, hamilton started second, got the jump on verstappen. there was a little bit
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of controversy at the start of the race, but that got tidied up quite quickly. and hamilton drove a sublime race today, he was faultless. and then, a safety car late on from nicholas latifi's crash near the end brought everyone back together. and then, yeah, the controversy started from there, with some cars being allowed to un—lap themselves — which then brought hamilton and verstappen right back close together again. so yeah, it's a race that had a bit of everything. you've got lewis hamilton who's an all—time great, seven—time world champion, he was going for his eighth. you've got max verstappen, 2a years old, one of the best drivers of his generation, a pure talent. ever since he signed his contract at 16, debuted at 17, won his first race for red bull when he was 18 — he's always been the real deal and a special talent, and we all knew he'd be world champion one day. but yeah, finally red bull gave him a car where he could take it to the mercedes, and he did.
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they are both two of the best drivers notjust on this current grid, but any grid. that was rob manifield. jamie chadwick won this year's formula w title and is also a development driver for the williams formula 0ne team — she's a self confessed lewis hamilton fan and gave her reaction to the race. it was eventful. yeah, i mean, as a self—professed lewis fan, obviously in the end, not the result i wanted to see. but at the same time, i think everything fans want to see, the spectacle as it was. normally we go to abu dhabi, and i've been in years gone past, and the championships already been decided three races from now. so to have it actually go down to the wire, as well, to the last lap was great to watch. there was confusion on that last lap, and ifelt like the decision was rushed to bring the safety car in. and, as a result, max was left with this advantage of the new tyres,
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which he was able to get from pitting and obviously won the world championship — which in my opinion, although it was great for the spectacle, shouldn't have happened. but that said, you know, both were so deserving throughout the year that i think you'll still look back at it in a positive light as the championship. the job that max and red bull have done this year has been remarkable. i think, to challenge a team like mercedes like they have has been a huge thing for the sport to see. but at the same time, i think it takes away nothing from what lewis did today. ——from what lewis did today and he, as a young driver, looking up to someone is everything that you want to aspire to be. he's so classy and so professional — and that's how you win world championships. and unfortunately today, it didn't come off — but i don't think anyone can take away the season he's had. before we go i want to tell you about this. one of hong kong's most popular mass sporting events — the annual swim across victoria harbour — has gone ahead. it was suspended for two years in succession because of pro—democracy protests and then a pandemic lockdown. because of covid, entry numbers were restricted to about half of the usual three thousand competitors — all of whom were
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fully vaccinated. that's all for now — stay with bbc world news. hello there. it was noticeably mild today right across the country, but particularly so for england and wales. now we look to the northwest through this evening and overnight, this deep area of low pressure — small system, but very vigorous — passing to the northwest of the uk, will bring a spell of gales to northern ireland and in towards scotland as well. stormy conditions for the hebrides and the northern isles, perhaps severe gales for a time, some blustery showers. it will turn a bit drier here by the end of the night, but for england and wales, it'll stay cloudy with outbreaks of rain certainly through wales and into the midlands. mild in the south — double figure values here, little bit cooler further north. and that's how things look into monday. we hold on to
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the cloud for large parts of england and wales. we'll continue with this persistent rain as well for parts of wales in the midlands, into northern england, some areas pretty wet all day. brightest weather will be across scotland and northern ireland. a few blustery showers, wintry on the hills, will be milder across the south, single figures across the north. that weather front for england and wales clears away into tuesday. high pressure begins to build in here. it stays unsettled over the northern half of the country, lots of isobars and weather fronts. windy for scotland and northern ireland and some rain, particularly for the north and west of scotland. england and wales, though, closer to that area of high pressure, should be largely dry, some cloud around but also some good spells of sunshine. those temperatures will be around orjust a little above the seasonal norm. so as we head out of tuesday into wednesday, we continue with that area of high pressure across the south of the country, so here settled with light winds. still quite windy across the northern half of the country with further outbreaks of rain thanks to that weather front. so, some wet weather, northern ireland, certainly for northern and western scotland, maybe a little bit of brightness at times. it stays windy here, lighter winds in the south. again, variable cloud,
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some good spells of sunshine, those temperatures perhaps a little bit higher again — double figure values for most. and nights will be much milder as well, frost—free for most of us. then beyond wednesday, we see this area of high pressure start to really take its force across the uk. that'll push the weather fronts away from the north. it'll be sitting on top of the by friday and into the following weekend, so it means winds will turn very light. so, there's a chance it turns really grey and gloomy by the end of the week, turning a bit colder as well as we head on into the new weekend, and we will see some problems with mist and fog.
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this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the news at the top of the hour, straight after programme. leaders of the g20, we are drowning, and our only hope is the life ring you are holding. the western world is responsible for 76% of carbon emissions. you don't need my painl or my tears to know that we're in a crisis. no city, no community and no ecosystem will be spared


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