tv BBC News at One BBC News December 13, 2021 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT
the first death in the uk from the omicron variant is announced — and the government says it's spreading at phenomenal speed. england and scotland offer all adults a covid boosterjab by the end of the month — ramping up the scale of vaccinations to combat omicron. the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, i think that's something we need to set on one side, and just recognise the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population. from today, people in england are being asked to work from home if they can — but businesses are worried it will hit the crucial christmas market. we'll be live with our medical editor with the latest data on the spread of the omicron variant. also this lunchtime... rescue teams search for survivors
after the string of tornadoes in the united states that have killed almost 100 people. max verstappen is champion! lewis hamilton's mercedes team set to appeal over the race in which he lost the formula one title. you're not from here, are you? from this world? no. neither am i. and a "dramatic" increase — why spending on tv drama production in british studios is twice what it was before the pandemic. and coming up on the bbc news channel, manchester united against paris saint—germain, the highlight of the champions league last 16 draw. it will provide another chapter of ronaldo against messi in the spring.
good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. the prime minister says at least one person has now died in the uk with the new omicron variant of coronavirus. the government says omicron is spreading at "phenomenal" speed. last night, borisjohnson ramped up the vaccination booster programme to combat the variant, offering the jab to all over—18s in england by the end of this month. well, so far, 40% of people eligible for the vaccine in the uk have received their booster. like england, scotland is aiming to offer all adults a third vaccine by the end of december, while wales has set a target of the end of january. in northern ireland, people over 30 are currently being offered third doses. our health correspondent dominic hughes reports on how the government now hopes to jab a million people a day. the race between the virus and the
vaccine has intensified once again. at a vaccination clinic in central london this morning, some sobering news from the prime minister. sadly, at least one — news from the prime minister. sadly, at least one patient _ news from the prime minister. sadly, at least one patient has _ news from the prime minister. sadly, at least one patient has now - at least one patient has now been confirmed to have died with omicron. so, i think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, i think that's something we need to set on one side. in stockport, greater manchester, this walk—in centre has seen steady business, particularly as concerns grow around the omicron variant. all grow around the omicron variant. fill the time, we feel like we are getting more people coming through. it does feel we have had queues around the building. so, there is a definite energy and demand. and that is people coming for their first jabs, second jabs on their boosters. there is still a lot we don't know about this variant, and one thing is clear, that vaccines remain the best defence against developing serious illness. that is why it is as important as ever to get as many
jabs into as many arms as quickly as possible. now the booster programme has been expanded, offering jabs to all eligible ovary teens by the end of the month. a significant challenge for an already hard pressed health service. if that offer of a booster was translated into actually delivering the jab, it would meani million doses per day, every day, until the end of the year. at the moment, about 500,000 are being given every day. so ramping up the programme will come at a cost, with other non—covid related health care being put off. reports are emerging of a shortage of lateral flow tests, with those trying to order them online being told no home testing kits are available. problems too with the website for booking boosters in england. high demand means that the site is crashing, and people are advised to try again later or tomorrow. and in hospitals, where staff are already under pressure, there is real anxiety over what the next few weeks may bring,
particularly for patients that need high levels of care. it’s particularly for patients that need high levels of care.— particularly for patients that need high levels of care. it's awful, you feel like you _ high levels of care. it's awful, you feel like you are _ high levels of care. it's awful, you feel like you are giving _ high levels of care. it's awful, you feel like you are giving them - feel like you are giving them a third world service. we have people who need a bed after an operation, and we can't do it because the beds are full of covid patients or full of people we can't get a bed on a ward for. white will go long queues outside vaccination centres, booking websites crashing because of massive demand. these are all signs that the message on the importance of boosters is getting through. now it is a question of getting those jabs into arms. dominic hughes, bbc news. our medical editor fergus walshjoins me. we've heard from the prime minister this morning about how quickly omicron is spreading in some parts of the country. in london, it makes up about 40% of all cases. the prime minister said it would probably make up the majority by tomorrow. by the end of the week, omicron should be the dominant source of all cases in the uk, completely taking overfrom
delta. that is because it is spreading so fast. it is doubling every two or three days. that is faster than any previous variant. so, that means we could be heading for 100,000, so, that means we could be heading for100,000, maybe 200,000 so, that means we could be heading for 100,000, maybe 200,000 cases a day by the end of the month, may be sooner. and if that keeps on doubling, at some point that curve will start to bend. we have had one death confirmed. obviously that is a tragedy for the family involved, but it tells us very little useful about the level of threat we face from omicron. but even if it is generally a milder illness than we get from delta, because so many people have got some level of immunity, if we get a massive spike in cases, it still will result, potentially, in a lot of people in hospital. but we won't have the full detail on that threat for a few weeks, which is why the booster programme is so important, because it will give protection against infection and should give a very strong protection
against severe illness.— against severe illness. fergus, thank you _ against severe illness. fergus, thank you very _ against severe illness. fergus, thank you very much. - against severe illness. fergus, thank you very much. fergus l against severe illness. fergus, - thank you very much. fergus walsh, our medical editor. we can also talk to iain watson. the prime minister was pushed on whether, as well as ramping of the booster programme, he may have to bring in more restrictions?— may have to bring in more restrictions? ., �* , restrictions? that's right. he did sa he restrictions? that's right. he did say he was _ restrictions? that's right. he did say he was not _ restrictions? that's right. he did say he was not ruling _ restrictions? that's right. he did say he was not ruling out - restrictions? that's right. he did say he was not ruling out any - restrictions? that's right. he did i say he was not ruling out any more restrictions. at the same time, he was trying to talk down any prospect of cancelling christmas. he said the existing steps, plan b, with the booster campaign, he felt was the right approach. i think that reassurance is necessary for restless mps in his own ranks. because 70 of them say they are going to vote against proposals to bring in covid passes. where you have to show your vaccination status or proof of a negative test to get into large venues. that is scheduled to take place tomorrow. the prime minister is being shot by both sides. blood from his own side on restrictions and the prospect of further restrictions, but questions
being asked from the opposition over events that happened in downing street last christmas. today, boris johnson confirmed the cabinet secretary, the senior civil servant, will look into the events of december the 15th, the zoom quiz, where the prime minister is seen sitting alongside somebody draped in tencel. i imagine that the mood in downing street is not entirely festive. from today, people in england are being asked to work from home if they can, as part of the restrictions announced last week to tackle the rising number of coronavirus infections. the change brings england into line with scotland, wales and northern ireland. but many businesses fear it will mean quieter town and city centres in the crucial run up to christmas. our business correspondent theo leggett reports. a commuter service into london this morning. half—empty platforms and plenty of empty seats. evidence that, here at least, people are heeding the call to work from home once again. but while some might be happy
to avoid a journey into the office, others will miss the opportunity to meet up with colleagues. in newmarket, mixed feelings. if we have to, we will do and i can do myjob from home. i've been going into the office one day a week. it'sjust nice to go somewhere different, have a bit of a change, get out of the house. like, put on proper clothes. for businesses like social chain, a marketing agency with offices in manchester, being able to meet with their staff is vital. definitely creativity and collaboration, the office looks like it does because we work in a creative space and we need to constantly be creative, but also problem—solving. it happens so quickly when you are in the office and all together and you canjust have a very quick conversation, whereas when you are working from home, it can quite often escalate and snowball into a much bigger problem. and, if people aren't coming into the office, other businesses are going to suffer as well. all of the restaurants, the cafes and sandwich shops which exist to serve office workers, they are going to see customer
numbers fall and some may struggle to survive. in sheffield, this restaurant is already feeling the impact of plan b. pretty much overnight, we lost about 100 covers with the announcement of plan b. we foresee losing more covers, not to mention the walk—in trade we will see over christmas and the new year period, so, really, ithink for the hospitality industry, this is a really devastating blow. with the prime minister now saying the country faces a tidal wave of infection due to the omicron variant, businesses that rely on people travelling to work are bracing themselves for a very harsh winter. and workers, now resigned to spending even more time at home with their laptops, will be asking just how long that will last. theo leggett, bbc news. rescue teams are still searching for survivors of the wave of tornadoes that hit parts of the united states on friday, killing at least 94 people. there are fears the death
toll could rise. presidentjoe biden has called it one of the largest storms in american history, and has declared a majorfederal disaster in kentucky, the state that's been worst affected. lebo diseko has this report. picking up the pieces of their lives. homes, businesses and whole towns reduced to rubble. it's horrible, it's the definition of hell on earth. i can't... people have lost everything and it's just, it's terrible, it's horrible. this is what was left of one home. its owner says it tookjust four minutes to do this. everything stopped. i stuck my head out and looked up with my flashlight to the edge of the house and i noticed there was no wall there and that's when i told my wife, i said, i'm going to tell you right now, i'm warning you, when we go up there, i don't think the house is there, it's gone. kentucky's governor says this is the most devastating tornado event in his state's history, with no one found alive since saturday.
to the people of america, there is no lens big enough to show you the extent of the damage here in graves county or in kentucky. one of the worst affected towns is mayfield. eight people were confirmed to have died at a candle factory, destroyed with more than 100 employees inside. and, at an amazon factory in neighbouring illinois, at least six employees are reported to have lost their lives. president biden has declared a major federal disaster in this state. he says he will ask the environmental protection agency to look into whether climate change played a role in the storms. it's going to be a long process to repair this damage, caused in such a short space of time. lebo diseko, bbc news. our north america correspondent nomia iqbal is in kentucky for us.
what is the latest there? yes, well, the rescue operation _ what is the latest there? yes, well, the rescue operation in _ what is the latest there? yes, well, the rescue operation in that - what is the latest there? yes, well, the rescue operation in that candle l the rescue operation in that candle factory will resume later this morning. but i have to say, you have seen the videos and the pictures that are coming out of kentucky. but they really don't do them justice. just standing here, assessing the town, it's almost apocalyptic. there's just not much of the town left. and it's really, really taken people by surprise. now, that rescue operation, as i say, it will resume later today. operation, as i say, it will resume latertoday. but operation, as i say, it will resume later today. but there was something really extraordinary that happened on saturday. two people were found in the rubble. that is because their mobile phones one. the phone signal here is pretty patchy, but every now and again you get a bit of a signal. that is what happened in the rubble. the emergency workers were able to find those two people, and there is hope that more survivors will be found. there has been some criticism of the owner of the candle factory for keeping the factory open that night, given there were so many weather alerts on the run up. he has
defended himself, saying nobody was prepared for what happened that night. ijust to remind, it was one tornado, lots of tornadoes went through six states, but one caused the most destruction. people here want to recover and rebuild their lives, that is what they are telling us. but they also know it will take many, many years to do that. thank ou ve many, many years to do that. thank you very much- _ half of uk families have seen their disposable incomes shrink in the last two years, according to a left—leaning think tank. the new economics foundation says the poorest have seen their incomes squeezed by £110 since 2019, while the richest families are thousands of pounds better off. inflation hit its highest rate in a decade last month, and is expected to increase further in the next few months. our social affairs correspondent michael buchanan has been to the west midlands to hear how families there are coping with the squeeze. school over, dayjanta and mother head home. but their flat isn't the sanctuary it should be. money worries dominate.
this one, he worries, so i can't let him see everything else, because he's a deep thinker. christine works 35 hours a week as a carer, but her salaryjust covers the bills. i mean, he asks me, "mum, are you up with your bills now? "you can manage them?" and things like that, you know? do you worry? yes, a lot. because i don't know what's - going to happen when she doesn't get enough bills paid and i don't want to be living _ out on the streets. his dream is to be a footballer, to earn lots of money. so you can help your mum? yeah. and i wish i was older, so i could pay- the bills with her. he will sometimes ask me to pray for him. and, by the time i pray for him, that calms him down and he goes off to sleep. christine earns £1,200 a month but often needs a food bank to feed
her family. the 47—year—old regularly skips meals herself. i've lost so much weight. people said, "oh, you lose the weight, christine." i can't even say much to them because i say to myself, "a pity you don't know what is happening right here." 50p an item there, it's all got to go. at the market in west bromwich, money is getting tighter, say traders. energy and petrol price rises making bargains a premium. this is not an area of high unemployment, but manyjobs are low skilled. people here don't work less, theyjust don't earn as much. weekly wages in this area are about £80 lower than they are in the rest of britain. and this is most of my baking accessories, so cake boxes, turners to decorate, crowns. you bake cakes to sell? yes, i do it as a hobby. halima bibi is a part—time librarian and a full—time hustler. so you've got this one, it's normally around £100,
i paid £20 for it. buying cheap, selling high. so the idea is eventually to sell it, see if i can make something from it. all of this is my wedding resources. creating value — profit — where she can. you work in the library, you've got three other side hustles. yes. and you shop in the promotional aisle. and a lot of people will only find that out about me now, because i've not shared that with them because i've been embarrassed of it. the divorced mother of two says many people, including colleagues, can be unsympathetic. they don't understand disadvantaged people. they will, like, go, "you are too stingy," and i'll go, "no, i'm not stingy." i have everything for my children but i do it on a budget. with the season of giving fast approaching, many families increasingly feel they have nothing left to give. michael buchanan, bbc news, west bromwich.
the time is 1:17 pm. our top story this lunchtime... the vaccine booster programme is ramped up — as the prime minister announces the first death in the uk with the new omicron variant. and hotter than the sun — how nuclearfusion is being recreated on an industrial estate in the south of england. coming up on the bbc news channel, we'll tell you how positive coronavirus tests could affect a full round of premier league fixtures this week, after manchester united send a number of players home from training ahead of their game against brentford. when india's second wave of coronavirus infections hit earlier this year, hospitals were quickly overrun and many died because they couldn't get medical care. now india has dozens of cases of the new omicron variant, and the country is preparing for a third wave of the virus.
more than half of india's adult population is fully vaccinated, but that leaves hundreds of millions still at risk. our india correspondent yogita limaye has this report. seven months since covid ripped through this country, these moments of relief now appear temporary. the virus�*s newest form has arrived in india. and this is where the early cases of omicron were found. we've been given rare access to india's leading genome sequencing facility. they are testing five times more samples since omicron appeared, as the government tries to contain it. here, they are isolating the virus. then it's fed to a machine. we are able to tell if the sample is having delta variant or omicron variant.
so, it's here basically, that we can determine what form the coronavirus is going to take. it is information from labs like these that will aid policy makers to make decisions that can mitigate the impact. and, at the end of the day, can help save lives. during the second wave, india was criticised for not alerting the world quickly enough about the delta variant. has anything changed ? i asked this institute's head. we have learned a lot from our experience of earlier in the year, and i think we would be much more, you know, prepared. this is the trauma india lived through. inside hospitals, doctors and nurses worked day and night as the sick kept coming. battling as hard as they could to save lives. they squeezed in extra patients, even into intensive care. here, between looking at his patients, we saw dr sumit ray frantically trying to get oxygen supplies for his hospital.
we are running out of oxygen. the whole country is running out of oxygen, ok? i met him for the first time since then. it was the worst, ever in my life, as a medical professional. the obvious feeling is that sense of dread and anxiety building up. we are just starting to see an uptick in the number of patients. these are double vaccinated people, starting to get infection again. so, time to be very, very careful here. travel restrictions on testing at airports has been reintroduced. but that's not enough, says dr swapneil parikh. if we are to get hit by a third wave, fuelled by the omicron variant, preparation for that needed to start yesterday. not tomorrow, not the day after. in this country, we have played pandemic roulette, where we took a wait—and—watch approach for the second wave. and we lived it, we saw what happened. so let's try and do the opposite this time. let's over prepare. half of the country's adult population is fully vaccinated.
but hundreds of millions are still vulnerable. if the virus spreads rapidly in any country, it can mutate further. that puts the whole world at threat. yogita limaye, bbc news, india. now, you might have thought that the hottest place in the solar system is the sun. well, not any more, it's actually on an industrial estate in the south of england. or at least it is every time a nuclearfusion reactor there is fired up. fusion reactions power the sun and scientists have been trying for decades to recreate them here on earth to try to generate low carbon electricity. our climate editor justin rowlatt reports. in this non—descript warehouse building, they have constructed a state—of—the—art reactor, designed to recreate the fusion forces that power the sun itself. nuclear fusion is the holy grail of low—carbon energy because it has the potential to generate
so much power. industrial—scale fusion would crack the energy challenge. we could solve climate change and transform the world economy. but harnessing the sun's power here on earth is not easy. it involves forcing atoms of hydrogen to fuse together, creating helium along with huge amounts of energy. it means heating hydrogen to incredible temperatures while using superpowerful magnets to hold the reaction in place. the technology is improving and investment money is pouring into private fusion projects like this all around the world. so when i press this button, we arm and fire the reaction. ok, here we go. arm and fire! sg—40 arming. the machine will pulse 140,000 amps of electricity into the gas. firing in three, two, one...
it takes the temperature of the hydrogen to 50 million degrees centigrade, three times as hot as the heart of the sun. it's not a question of if, it is a question of when. we will crack it. the answer is out there right now with mother nature, as we speak. what we have to do is find that key and unlock the safe to that solution. it will be found. he expects the first commercial reactors to be operational by early 2030 and says we could be making tea using electricity generated from fusion reactions here in the uk by the end of that decade. that would be a huge development for humanity. creating our own galaxy of tiny suns here on earth holds out the prospect of a virtually unlimited supply of clean, secure and very cheap energy.
so here's hoping that the team in its didcot industrial estate helps solve this incredible challenge. justin rowlatt, bbc news, oxfordshire. max verstappen might have been crowned formula one world champion after beating britain's lewis hamilton, but controversy is still raging over yesterday's final race of the season in abu dhabi. hamilton's mercedes team have had two protests against the result rejected, but now they're considering a formal appeal to the governing body's international court of appeal. from abu dhabi, natalie pirks reports. the hug that said, we did. at the centre of a media scrum, max verstappen and his team could finally enjoy his first world title. these two drivers have been titans this year, they have pushed each other to probably heights they didn't know they had and it has been
a great competition, a great fight throughout the year.— a great competition, a great fight throughout the year. lewis hamilton had been sailing _ throughout the year. lewis hamilton had been sailing serenely _ throughout the year. lewis hamilton had been sailing serenely to - throughout the year. lewis hamilton had been sailing serenely to his - had been sailing serenely to his eighth title but, withjust had been sailing serenely to his eighth title but, with just six laps to go, a crash behind him changed everything. it meant the safety car came out and the next decision from the race director proved pivotal. instead of making all of the lapped cars overtake the safety car, only some of them did. it meant our new grittier tires, there was no one between the flying dutchman and hamilton with one left. the seven times world champion, who had old tires, was effectively a sitting duck. a tires, was effectively a sitting duck. , ., , , ., , duck. max verstappen, for the first time ever. — duck. max verstappen, for the first time ever. is _ duck. max verstappen, for the first time ever, is champion _ duck. max verstappen, for the first time ever, is champion of - duck. max verstappen, for the first time ever, is champion of the - duck. max verstappen, for the first | time ever, is champion of the world! hamilton was consoled by his dad as the enormity of person—macro's win washed over him. the condemnation washed over him. the condemnation was swift. —— of verstappen's win. england captain harry kane reflected what many new france to the sport
were thinking... as the drivers hugged it out, mercedes lodged two protests. they were dismissed and know the team are deciding whether to go ahead with an appeal. given how hard these drivers have pushed each other this season, it is no surprise really that the race ended in a contentious fashion, but with all eyes on formula one last night, this isn't the ending the sport �*s organisers wanted. taste this isn't the ending the sport 's organisers wanted.— this isn't the ending the sport 's organisers wanted. we can't have debates and _ organisers wanted. we can't have debates and stewards _ organisers wanted. we can't have debates and stewards having - organisers wanted. we can't have debates and stewards having to l organisers wanted. we can't have i debates and stewards having to look at this several hours after the chequered flag has fallen, it is unsavoury, i think, chequered flag has fallen, it is unsavoury, ithink, overall for everybody on what has been a fantastic racing championship. aha, fantastic racing championship. a shell—shocked lewis hamilton was the epitome of grace in defeat, but last night's fireworks may take a while to die down. natalie pirks, bbc news, abu dhabi. if you've watched any big international tv dramas of the past few years, chances are, the uk will have played a role in bringing the story to the screen. the industry here is enjoying a golden age. figures from the british film institue show that drama production
went from £393 million in 2013 to £4.1 billion last year almost double what it was before the pandemic. here's our media correspondent, david sillito. this is bad wolf in cardiff. it's where dramas such as his dark materials are filmed. are you from this world? no. neither am i. and it's just one of a number of new studio complexes that have been set up over the last few years in south wales. and it's notjust here. and all of this is happening at a time when the tv industry in britain as a whole is booming — a fourfold increase in drama production over the last seven or eight years. and, also, the cost of these productions is leaping up. bridgerton, a netflix series made in the uk. what happened to your hand? boxing. it's an absurdity that passes for entertainment amongst men. the company says its spending around $1 billion
on productions in britain. in 2013, the amount spent on high—end tv drama in the uk was around £400 million. this year, it's topped four billion. and driving this ten—fold increase are the new tv giants netflix, hbo, disney, amazon. there are now more jobs in tv drama than steel and coal. i spoke to the boss of bad wolf, jane tranter. she feels the moment that changed everything was the decision to film game of thrones in northern ireland. the amount of drama production in the uk, it's exploded, hasn't it? it has. and i think that the success of game of thrones, and the success of what that show gave to belfast and the region was probably very influential. she's a fine woman, your sister. this is generating quite a fewjobs. it's generating an enormous
number ofjobs. i mean, just in wales, i think in the first five years, so bad wolf has been going for about six years, i think we counted the number ofjobs generated in wales alone in the first five years as something like over 2,200. and it's growing and it's growing and it's growing. when bad wolf first started in wales, it was quite empty. you know, there was bad wolf and we were kind of, "we're here, come on, everyone comejoin us." and now, you know, you can't get a spot in the car park. and the growth looks set to continue. amazon is moving production of the lord of the rings tv series from new zealand to the uk. britain's studios are reaping the benefits from a multi—billion—dollar battle between the streaming giants. david sillito, bbc news, cardiff. time for a look at the weather. here's darren bett. hello. it has been a cloudy day for