this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. uk health secretary matt hancock says 77 cases of the south african variant of covid have been found here in the uk. says there are early signs coronavirus cases are falling — but he doesn't know when restrictions could lift in england — despite the speed of the uk vaccine rollout. we don't yet know the impact on how much the vaccine impacts on how much you transmit the virus. that's why it's so important that people continue to stay at home after they've had the vaccine. anger in europe over vaccine delays — italy accuses pfizer and astrazeneca of serious contract violations. a dramatic rescue in china — as 11 gold miners who'd been trapped underground for two weeks are brought out alive. new zealand confirms its first
coronaviurs case in months, which appears to have slipped through the country's rigorous quarantine system. it isa it is a woman who travelled to the country from abroad. here in the uk, the snp will present its national assembly with what it's calling a roadmap to a new referendum on scottish independence. and borisjohnson becomes the first european leader to speak to the new us president, joe biden, since he entered the white house. hello, and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. here in the uk — the health secretary matt hancock says 77 cases of the south african variant of covid have been found here in the uk. but all have links to international travel and there is no evidence
to date that it is spreading in the community unchecked. matt hancock has also said we are a "long way" from restrictions being eased — as scientists warn people may still be able to pass on the virus even if they've been vaccinated. our health reporter jim reed has more. the vaccination roll—out in the uk continues. hundreds of thousands of those most at risk are receiving theirjabs this weekend. but as we try and navigate our way out of this pandemic, scientists think new variants of coronavirus are a real concern. a mutation first found in cases from south africa is thought to spread faster. some worry it can make a vaccine less effective, though that is not yet certain. speaking on the andrew marr programme, the health secretary said the government is monitoring it closely. there are 77 known cases of the south african variant here in the uk. they are under very close observation and we have enhanced contact tracing to do everything
we possibly can to stop them from spreading. the majority of those who have had contact all come from south africa and that is why we have got such stringent border measures in place. the government has said all international travellers will need to show a negative covid test before arrival. but the opposition is now calling on ministers to go further. on monday, we have got this delayed announcement, yet again delayed. we would fully expect the government to bring in tougher quarantine measures. we would expect them to roll out a proper testing strategy and to start checking up on the people who are quarantining. only three out of every 100 people who are asked to quarantine when they arrive in the uk actually face any checks at all. that is simply not sufficient. 470,000 doses of the vaccine were given over the last day.
ministers said that three—quarters of those over—80 have now had theirfirst dose. but government scientists are warning those who have received theirjabs so far will not be fully protected and may still spread the disease. the message then is still for everyone to follow social distancing rules, probably for months to come. well this morning, four vaccination centres have been shut — as wales awoke to snow. and it wasn't the only place to be affected. this was the scene in sutton coldfield this morning — south west england and the midlands saw some early snowfall before it moved east to london and surrounding areas. the snow has been welcomed with delight by many on social media, but there are weather warnings in place for much of the midlands and south of england, as well as wales, scotland and northern ireland, until the end of the day. italy has accused the pharmaceutical firms, pfizer and astrazeneca, of serious contract violations — after the companies announced they would not be able to deliver their coronavirus vaccines as agreed.
prime minister giuseppe conte said the delays were unacceptable. the two companies have said production problems have forced them to cut the amount of vaccine doses they can deliver. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. salvation in a syringe. the covid vaccination programme is being rolled out across the world, millions of people have already had theirfirstjab. billions more awaiting their turn. but are enough doses being provided? in italy, the answer to that question is apparently no. the country's prime minister insists that is unacceptable. giuseppe conte said:
and it's notjust italy. belgium's vaccine task force says it will receive fewer than half the number of covid—i9 vaccines it had expected in the first three months of the year. pfizer and astrazeneca have warned they won't be able to deliver the amounts promised due to production problems. and in a new twist, the new york times is reporting that pfizer plans to provide fewer vials because they discovered they could extract an extra dose from each vial which was only supposed to contain five. at the end of the day, it's important to recognise that pfizer and other large pharmaceutical companies are for—profit companies, and they have a responsibility to their shareholders to try to extract as much profit as they can. the company insists it is fair as the contract is based on doses, not vials, and the lucky discovery means it can stretch the vaccine even further, meaning more doses reach more people. but until the majority are vaccinated, the fight against the virus will have to take other forms.
in the netherlands, a night—time curfew has been introduced, the first nationwide curfew there since the second world war. the wait for a vaccine may mean more lives are being lost. tim allman, bbc news. eleven gold miners trapped underground in china for two weeks have been rescued. a total of 22 workers were trapped 600 metres below ground at the mine in shandong province following an explosion. it's not clear if others are still alive underground. 0ur correspondent steve mcdonell has more. the first miner came to the surface after two weeks trapped underground. rescuers cheered, but he was barely conscious. cheering. he had been found by himself in another part of the mind separated from the main group. wearing a blindfold after being in the dark for so long, he was taken straight to an ambulance then rushed
to hospital for treatment. soon others were emerging. there were injuries, but many could walk with the assistance of rescuers who had been battling through freezing conditions night after night to reach them. translation: the critical patient comes first before | the less serious one, which is the principle of mine accident rescue. the miners had been told it would take 14 more days to dig a rescue tunnel penetrating 600 metres of tough granite. however, somehow a large ventilation shaft was cleared. it led all the way to the main group of ten. suddenly the rescue was happening in hours rather than weeks. translation: the rescuers check the miners to see if they had - any injuries and covered their eyes for protection. after lifting up all of the trapped miners, we will go on with the search for the missing ones. on the 10th of january, a blast caught 22 workers underground. initially, the accident was not reported for 30 hours, costing precious time.
the local communist party secretary and... had been sacked because of the delay. and they both will likely face more strict punishment. one of those trapped who had been in a coma following head injuries caused by the explosion has died. others are missing. but hopes are great for the survival of those already taken to hospital. the authorities in new zealand have confirmed the first case of community transmission of the coronavirus in months. a woman, who had returned from europe and completed a compulsory two—week period of managed isolation, tested positive ten days later. contact tracing is under way after she and her husband travelled around the north of the country. the health minister said it was too soon to speculate on the origin or strain of the infection. the case is a 56—year—old woman who has recently been through isolation at the pullman hotel in auckland, after returning from europe.
she tested negative twice during her stay, and was released following that. we don't yet know the origin or the strain of the infection. it's important not to speculate on that until we have that information. it's also too early to speculate on what our possible response options may be, including things like alert levels. we are working on the assumption that this is a positive case and that it is a more transmissible variant — either the one identified first in south africa, or the uk, or potentially brazil, or another more transmissible variant. given where we are in this global pandemic, the variants that are becoming more common are the ones that are more transmissible. with a quarter of its population vaccinated, israel is leading the global immunisation race against the coronavirus. the israeli government bought large stocks of the jab in exchange for acting as the world's guinea pig and scientists are watching data shared by the country keenly. the israeli health minister
yuli edelstein spoke to my colleague andrew marr about their findings so far. we are just in the beginning of the campaign. unfortunately, we do see cases after getting the first dose, people get sick, get the coronavirus. at the same time, there are some encouraging signs of less severe diseases, less people hospitalised after the first dose. so at this stage, it's very difficult to say. it's not a clinical trial yet. it's just our empiric data, and we sincerely hope we will have better information very soon. we still have a very small number of those who we consider fully vaccinated, meaning a week after the second dose, according to pfizer instructions. so we still can't boast accurate data on that. we are collecting every piece of information.
we hope to be able very soon to say the number of those hospitalised goes down. and one thing we are closely following, there's always been the situation where you have a rise in people who are infected, you have an immediate rise in hospitalised and severe cases. we hope that this graphic, this slide will change a little bit, and then we'll be able to talk about the influence of the vaccine. mr edelstein also responded to criticism that israel has excluded palestinians from its vaccine rollout. here in the uk — as high risk groups continue to be immunised, there are growing concerns that people with learning disabilities have been missed out. despite a recent public health england report warning they are six times more likely to die from coronavirus, as a group, they have not been prioritised for a vaccine. nikki fox reports.
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categories. disabilities within the first six categories-— disabilities within the first six cateiories. ~ , . . categories. with such conflicting fi . ures, categories. with such conflicting figures, experts _ categories. with such conflicting figures, experts like _ categories. with such conflicting figures, experts like these - categories. with such conflicting l figures, experts like these women feel it might not it might mean not in the lots of people have problem with diabetes, lung problems, even before covid one and four people died of a lung condition. it is covid one and four people died of a lung condition.— lung condition. it is clear that this grouo — lung condition. it is clear that this grouo of— lung condition. it is clear that this group of people - lung condition. it is clear that this group of people really i lung condition. it is clear that| this group of people really are lung condition. it is clear that i this group of people really are at risk. ~ . , this group of people really are at risk. ~ ., , ., , this group of people really are at risk. . ., , ., , ., this group of people really are at risk. . ., , ., risk. we are 'ust as important as everybody — risk. we are just as important as everybody else _ risk. we are just as important as everybody else that _ risk. we are just as important as everybody else that should - risk. we are just as important as everybody else that should have | everybody else that should have chance _ everybody else that should have chance of— everybody else that should have chance of having the vaccine. we need _ chance of having the vaccine. we need it _ chance of having the vaccine. we need it now _ chance of having the vaccine. we need it now rather than later. death after death and _ need it now rather than later. death after death and case _ need it now rather than later. death after death and case after— need it now rather than later. death after death and case after case, - need it now rather than later. death after death and case after case, i i after death and case after case, i can't _ after death and case after case, i can't cope — after death and case after case, i can't cope-— can't cope. legal action on the rounds can't cope. legal action on the grounds of _ can't cope. legal action on the grounds of discrimination - can't cope. legal action on the grounds of discrimination is i can't cope. legal action on the i grounds of discrimination is being taken against the government. the government says they are working hard to vaccinate all those at risk.
with learning disabilities being such a complex and often misunderstood condition, comparing nurse —— campaigners say that this can be very dangerous for them. the headlines on bbc news. the uk government reveals there are 77 cases of the south african variant of covid in the country— and issues a warning to those who have been vaccinated. anger in europe over vaccine delays — italy accuses pfizer and astra zeneca of serious contract violations. a dramatic rescue in china — as eleven gold miners who'd been trapped underground for two weeks are brought out alive. the snp will present its national assembly with what it's calling a roadmap to a new referendum on scottish independence. the plan sets up the possibility of a showdown in the courts with the westminster government over the legality of a fresh poll.
borisjohnson opposes another referendum — even if the snp wins a majority in this year's scottish parliament elections. speaking on the andrew marr show, their leader said they would push ahead with the plans, even if the prime minister is against them. he is frightened of democracy. the polls show that a majority of people in scotland want independence. if the snp when the scottish election in a few months�* time are in a position of giving people that choice what democrats should rightly stand in the way of that? boris johnson clearly fears the verdict of the will of the scottish people. that was nicholas that was nicola sturgeon.
yes, she quoted a famous poet. there is a trend now in opinion polling suggesting the majority support for independence in scotland. a panel —based survey of 1200 people today suggesting support of 52%, that is a little bit lower than last time. the trend is consistently suggesting majority support for independence. no surprise that the snp want to try and capitalise on that and will go into the next election with a specific promise to have an independence referendum. what they are doing now is, in setting up this road map, notjust the plan a, but plan b is well. the first idea is to try and win the election as convincingly as they can and hope that boris johnson�*s convincingly as they can and hope that borisjohnson�*s opposition to agreeing to the referendum crumbles. if not, they said they would
continue to legislate for a referendum and be prepared to defend that in court to test the extent of holyrood�*s powers to have a vote on this without the uk�*s agreement. they are very clear that they would not go ahead with the referendum unless it was deemed to be legal and they would not go ahead until after they would not go ahead until after the pandemic. she they would not go ahead until after the pandemic-— they would not go ahead until after the andemic. ,, ., ., the pandemic. she was also asked him about the allegations _ the pandemic. she was also asked him about the allegations against - the pandemic. she was also asked him about the allegations against the - about the allegations against the former first minister alex salmond. yes, this would probably be more prominent if it were not for the pandemic. we are getting to a stage where we are getting inquiries into the government�*s handling of this. for background, alex salmond successfully challenged the procedure under which he was investigated and won more than half
£1 million from the scottish government. he then faced a criminal trialfrom which he government. he then faced a criminal trial from which he was acquitted from all the sexual offence charges that he faced. what began as complaints from of his behaviour has morphed into something as a trial for his successor nicola sturgeon. a parliamentary trial. it all boils down to whether or not she has been candid in what she knew and when about all of this. alex salmond supporters would say she has not. they accuse her of misleading parliament and breaking the code of conduct. we heard from nicola sturgeon and then interview with andrew mark, insisting that she has not misled parliament. and accusing sam and�*s —— alex salmond�*s supporters... she will give a full accounting of all of this soon.
here is our political correspondent. thumbs up if you�*ve got through to the president. the prime minister on the phone to president biden last night, thumbs up if you�*ve got through to the president. the prime minister on the phone to president biden last night, the first european leader to receive a call from him since inauguration day. thumbs up if you�*ve got through to the president. i�*m told the conversation lasted about 35 minutes, with borisjohnson describing the new administration�*s early announcements as "fantastic" and saying they represented "a moment of hope in a dark time." a statement from downing street after the call said...
the focus on climate change matters because it�*s an issue where both leaders agree, but it matters particularly to the uk because the government here is hosting an international summit on climate change known as cop26 in glasgow in november. the order in which the us president calls international leaders is always something of a political spectator sport. it�*s a crude measure of relative importance, but a measure nonetheless. remember this? holding hands at the white house, almost exactly four years ago. the then prime minister theresa may rolling up within a week of president trump�*s inauguration, the first international leader to arrive. not quite so straightforward in a pandemic. downing street said the leaders looked forward to meeting in person as soon as circumstances allowed. chris mason, bbc news.
president biden says he wants to restore the nuclear deal with iran, making it a top foreign policy priority. donald trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018. but distrust between washington and tehran means it�*s not clear whether president biden will be able to revive the deal. our middle east correspondent, martin patience, reports. donald trump wasn�*t popular in iran. donald trump is a liar, is an unpredictable person. he is not representative of satan — he is satan himself. he is a satan. and here�*s the main reason why. in a few moments, i will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating us nuclear sanctions on the iranian regime. in 2018, president trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement. his policy — maximum pressure on iran. sanctions designed to force tehran back to the negotiating table —
something that never happened. but now donald trump is gone, and joe biden�*s in, and he wants to revive the deal. but is any agreement still possible? i was in iran a year and a half ago as tensions were soaring. tankers exploding in the gulf, the iranian shooting—down of an american drone. and then, a year ago, the us assassination of iran�*s top general. tehran retaliated by firing missiles into american bases in neighboring iraq. and what all of this means is that president biden can�*t simply hit the rewind button. iran�*s ramping up its nuclear activities, and it�*s now in breach of the agreement. so if there was a deal, how would it work? would america, for example, lift some sanctions and then iran would respond by rolling back elements of its nuclear programme?
or would washington want to renegotiate the deal to include, for example, iran�*s missiles — a move that tehran has ruled out? and then there�*s america�*s allies — saudi arabia and israel, who were always opposed to the nuclear deal because they believed that it allowed iran to run amok in the region. raise your right hand and repeat after me... reviving this agreement may be one of president biden�*s foreign policy priorities. but in the end, donald trump may have laid enough obstacles to scupper any chance of that. police have issued more than £15,000 in fines after people were caught at a rave in east london — a breach of covid regulations. the meoplitan police say they deployed officers after receiving intelligence that an unlicensed music event
might be taking place in hackney on saturday night. an estimated 300 people attended the event. you are watching bbc news. now it�*s time for a look at the weather with chris fawkes. hello, there. heavy snow is moving its way across northern ireland, england and wales, bringing with it some transport disruption. that was how things looked as we started the day in lampeter in ceredigion in wales. but this band of snow is pretty widespread and i have to say there have been times earlier this morning that sections of the m5 and the m4 have been completely covered in snow. there�*s plenty of grit down, but for grit to be really effective you actually need traffic to run over it and mix it into the falling snow — and we�*re only meant to be doing essentialjourneys at the moment, so traffic volumes are very light, and that�*s allowing snow to settle even on gritted roads.
so transport disruption likely. even on gritted roads. in even on gritted roads. this band of snow will be slt moving. further northwards, brighter, some sunshine for scotland and northern england, but still some snow showers around. overnight, the snow will finally peter out and pull away towards the south and with the skies clearing behind that, it is going to be a cold night, one of the coldest nights. nationwide there is a risk of icy stretches that will take us into monday. monday promises to be a much sunnier day across england and. a lot of dry weather. there will be showers in northwest england. a few showers in northwest england. a few showers for northern ireland and scotland. it is more than likely going to be some snow as well. temperature is about five or 6
degrees. there is signs of a change. once this weather system moves in. it will bring milder air, but it is moving into colder air as we head towards tuesday. there is a battle zone set up across the country. we might see a little bit of snow on the forward edge of this band. if we do see any snow across whales or southern england, it will turn back to rain. there is a reservoir of colder air across the northeast and the snow could last longer here. ultimately, it will turn milderfor just about everyone as the week goes by. but the cold air will be low during across the north and east.
variant of covid in the country— and issues a warning to those who have been vaccinated. we don�*t yet know the impact on how much the vaccine impacts on how much you transmit the virus. that�*s why it�*s so important that people continue to stay at home after they�*ve had the vaccine. anger in europe over vaccine delays — italy accuses pfizer and astrazeneca of serious contract violations. a dramatic rescue in china — as eleven gold miners who�*d been trapped underground for two weeks are brought out alive. here in the uk, the snp will present its national assembly with what it�*s calling a road map to a new referendum on scottish independence. and borisjohnson becomes the first european leader to speak to the new us president, joe biden, since he entered the white house. now on bbc news.