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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  February 8, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at ten. ministers seek to reassure the public that the vaccines being used across the uk are effective against variants of the virus. concerns have been raised after a study suggested the oxford/astrazeneca vaccine was less effective against the south african variant — but the official advice is clear. do not delay. have the vaccine which will protect you against the current threat, and don't worry. you can be re—vaccinated. and it's confirmed tonight, that all passengers arriving in uk are set to be tested for covid, while they self—isolate. we'll have the latest on that. and people aged 70 or older in england, who haven't been called for their vaccination, are now being advised to contact the nhs for an appointment. also tonight...
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we report on the schools recovery plan for england to help pupils catch up after months away from the classroom. in myanmar — more protests against the military takeover as the leaders of the coup say they'll hold new elections in a year's time. the latest on storm darcy — with severe weather conditions across eastern regions of england and parts of scotland. and, a rare lockdown benefit as we meet those who've discovered the joys of walking at night. and coming up in sport, on bbc news... an early strike from jack harrison for leeds against crystal palace — as they look to move into the top half of the premier league table. good evening. there's been a concerted effort today by government and scientific advisers to reassure people about the efficacy of the vaccines
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being used in the uk. it follows growing concern about the performance of the oxford—astrazeneca vaccine, specifically in the context of the south african variant of the virus. borisjohnson said he was �*very confident�* the current vaccines delivered a high degree of protection against serious illness. professorjonathan van—tam, england's deputy chief medical officer, said it was unlikely the south african variant would become dominant here in the short term. tonight in england, people aged 70 or older, who haven't yet been called for their vaccination , are being asked to contact the nhs to book an appointment. our medical editor fergus walsh has the latest. there is huge huge public enthusiasm for covid immunisation. elland road, home of leeds united football club, is now a mass immunisation hub. joshua is 25, and has very severe asthma.
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he's been shielding at home, and has only come out to have his jab. it was like being locked up, in a way, it was like being kept in a cage, and having this is like getting the key to get out. margaret's husband has been in intensive care with covid for almost a month. ijust wish this had come earlier so my husband could have had it. hello, how you doing? visiting a covid testing kit supplier in derby, the prime minister said vaccines are the way out of the pandemic for all of us. we are very confident in all of the vaccines that we are using. i think it is important for people to bear in mind that all of them, we think, are effective in delivering a high degree of protection against serious illness and death. that was in response to a small study in south africa which suggested the oxford—astrazeneca vaccine offered only limited
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protection against mild to moderate infection from the main variant there. 147 cases of the south african variant have been detected in the uk. and people in several areas like worcester are being tested in a bid to prevent it spreading further. do you think it would be possible to keep the south african variant largely suppressed in the uk? the early modelling data do not suggest a transmissibility advantage for this virus. and because of that, there is no reason to think the south african variant will catch up or overtake our current virus in the next few months. and that's good news, because vaccines are highly effective at protecting against the kent variant which is dominant here.
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my advice to you is very simple. do not delay, have the vaccine that will protect you against the current threat and don't worry, you can be revaccinated. anyone over 70 in england who is not yet had the vaccine is being asked to contact the nhs online or by calling 119. as the uk looks well on track to have given around 15 million people in the highest risk groups theirfirst dose by the middle of february. fergus walsh, bbc news. as we've heard, new vaccines are already in development to protect against the new south african variant of coronavirus. the next phase of the pandemic could increasingly become a game of catch—up as more new variants emerge and new vaccines are developed to tackle them. 0ur science editor david shukman considers what might lie ahead. around the world, there is now a race between the virus and the vaccines, between the threat
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of new variants, and efforts to stay ahead of them, and the outcome matters to us all. whilst a first wave of countries, including the uk, should see the majority of their populations vaccinated this year, others won't reach that stage until next year, and many will have to wait for the year after, or even longer. this is a global virus, global pandemic, and until we are all protected, then it could be that a variant in another country mutates, so that the current vaccines are no longer effective, and that will come back, so even those people who are vaccinated, they are still going to be at risk with these future variants. the virus is changing over time, and when it meets human cells, it takes over, and gets them to make millions of copies, but they will not all be the same. each batch may have some random genetic mistakes, mutations that are usually unimportant, but some might prove dangerous.
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the first task is to track these changes, and that is done by studying the genetic code of the virus. since december 2019, when it was first confirmed in wuhan, scientists have monitored what effectively is a family tree, with hundreds of different branches. each of these lines represents one of many different variants that has emerged over the course of the past year. it is only by doing this genetic research that we can spot the variants that are worrying, in the uk, brazil and south africa. half a million british coronavirus samples have gone through genetic screening so far. these machines are among those that have done most of the analysis. but, few countries can work on this almost industrial scale, so there is a lot we don't know about how the virus is changing worldwide. there are thousands, millions of places globally that there are undoubtedly other variants of covid that are spreading quickly,
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but which we are blind to, and any one of those additional strains around the world could confer an advantage for the virus, allow it to re—infect people, even though they have been vaccinated, and that is what we want to protect against. one answer is to have a global screening operation. in west africa five years ago, mobile labs studied the ebola virus, and something far larger is needed now, and alongside that, the faster the vaccines can be rolled out and adapted, as new variants emerge, the safer we will all be. david shukman, bbc news. the latest government figures show there were “moi; new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. that means an average of 17,714 new cases per day in the last week. across the uk 29,326 people are in hospital with coronavirus.
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another 333 deaths were reported, that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid test. on average in the past week, 891 deaths were announced every day. the total number of uk deaths is now 112,798. the latest on the vaccination programme is that 278,988 people had a first dose of one of the three approved vaccines in the latest 24—hour period. and that takes the overall number of people who've had their firstjab to 12,294,006. 0ur medical editor fergus walsh is here. i suppose, i will ask you to comment on that remarkable figure of over 12 million? . ~ , ., ., u million? the take-up of the vaccine here is extraordinary. _ million? the take-up of the vaccine here is extraordinary. 9196 - million? the take-up of the vaccine here is extraordinary. 9196 of - million? the take-up of the vaccine here is extraordinary. 9196 of those | here is extraordinary. 91% of those over 80 have had theirfirst
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here is extraordinary. 91% of those over 80 have had their first dose. 95% of those aged 75 to 79 have had one. that is way above what was expected. whenever i talk to people at immunisation centres, there is a genuine sense of optimism and relief that they are getting immunised. the pfizer and the astrazeneca vaccines are both highly effective against the dominant kent variant here. that is why it is vital people continue to come forward and we should see an impact in terms of reduction of hospital numbers and deaths from the vaccination programme. the longer term goal is to offer a first dose to all those over 50 and with underlying health conditions, 32 million people by may. there is news tonight of another new variant of concern in manchester with extra search testing there. but we are going to have to get used to that, new variants will emerge over time, but the vaccines can be fairly easily tweaked. a bit like flu, we
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may need a booster, perhaps this autumn, maybe later.— may need a booster, perhaps this autumn, maybe later. fergus walsh with the latest — autumn, maybe later. fergus walsh with the latest analysis, _ autumn, maybe later. fergus walsh with the latest analysis, our - with the latest analysis, our medical editor. it's been confirmed tonight that the testing regime for travellers arriving in the uk is set to be expanded in the coming days. all passengers arriving in uk are set to be tested for covid while they self—isolate. those coming from high—risk countries will continue to quarantine in hotels. 0ur transport correspondent caroline davies is in whitehall. what more do we know about this, caroline? , , t, ., what more do we know about this, caroline? , , t, t, t, caroline? this is another layer on to of caroline? this is another layer on tap of what _ caroline? this is another layer on tap of what is _ caroline? this is another layer on top of what is quite _ caroline? this is another layer on top of what is quite a _ caroline? this is another layer on top of what is quite a layered - top of what is quite a layered process for international travel coming into the uk. the speculation at this stage is there will be two tests, one on the second day and one on the eighth day during quarantine, but that speculation at this stage. it is far from official policy. there are questions about when this policy could be introduced and how it would be managed, how those tests
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would be distributed. speaking to the department of health, who haven't confirmed about how many of those tests will take place, they said it would be adding a further level of protection to the uk. speaking to those in the aviation industry this evening, there are some concerns, of course, they understand the importance of having additional public health measures in place, but their worry is, the more and more of these measures introduced, the longer it will take for them to be removed and the longer it will take for them to get back up on their feet and have international travel in the way we used to pre—pandemic. they want the prime minister set out a plan of how we are going to get out of this particular situation.— we are going to get out of this particular situation. caroline, many thanks. the prime minister borisjohnson says that tackling the loss of children's learning is �*the single biggest priority for the government�* with a long—term plan for england due to be published later this month. some experts have voiced their doubts about the likelihood of pupils being able to catch up after missing months of schooling over the past year.
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0ur education editor branwenjeffreys has been speaking to sir kevan collins, who�*s just been appointed to advise the prime minister on a recovery plan. at home in leicester, nadjeem is trying not to fall beind. gcses are looming next year. research today shows pupils in years ten and 11 have lost most confidence. nadjeem has tutoring, paid for from government catch—up funds. i am a bit worried, to be honest. because of lockdown and especially because i think that that just reduces my education, a bit, but because of tuition, that boosts my confidence up, that i might do, i will do good, if i carry on with this tuition. his dad says the short—term help is welcome, as far as it goes. it's very important, because if you are not confident, especially now, in an exam, in gcse, that will
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affect his morale. to help them catch up, nothing is yet ruled out. longer days, shorter summer holidays. the prime minister has a new education catch—up adviser. when he spoke to me, exclusively, he said decisions were needed soon. this is the time to listen, but to act quite quickly around things like summer and summer schools, for example, which i do think have promise. children�*s mental health has been one of the big concerns. do you think they are going to be able to step up and do extra hours of learning? i think we need to think about the extra hours, not only for learning, but, for children to be together, to play, to engage in competitive sport. for music, for drama. so far, the catch—up efforts have focused on this year and next. but the effects of this pandemic could flow through schools for many years to come, from the youngest children who have missed out on development,
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to those who�*ve lost confidence and interest in learning, leading some to call for a much bigger, boldervision, covering the next 5—10 years. asking teachers to work more hours would not be popular, and would face union pushback. schools want a say in deciding what works. to have that added on, to have any extras being forced onto the school, rather than us choosing what we want, and the things we think would help our particular cohort, would not be helpful, and actually, being able to give students a sort of suite of activities and a suite of different ideas that they could do. teachers have got used to live—streaming lessons, but it�*s when everyone�*s back in the classroom that the real journey to catch up can begin. branwen jeffreys, bbc news. in myanmar, the country formerly known as burma,
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mass protests have continued for a third day as tens of thousands of people protested against last week�*s military coup. in cities across the country, young activists joined a range of people including healthcare workers and civil servants, to voice their discontent. water cannon was used by police in the capital today but so far the protests have been largely peaceful. demonstrators are calling for the release of elected leader aung san suu kyi and dozens of other members of her party. for the first time since the coup, myanmar�*s military ruler has spoken publicly, claiming that last november�*s election had been fraudulent and he promised a new vote in a year�*s time. from yangon, our correspondent nyein chan aye sent this report. chanting sending a message to the generals.
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anger has brought tens of thousands of people out onto the streets. worried about the future of the country, the people here say their freedom has once again been taken away. this generation did not think they would have to do the same resistance against military rule. young people hoped they would grow up in a very different myanmar, open to the world and its possibilities. but now they find themselves battling to restore democracy and end military rule, just like the generation before them. but that fight won�*t be easy. their leader, aung san suu kyi, is still under house arrest. today, the general who put her there spoke for the first time since taking power.
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justifying the coup, he said civilian leaders had failed to hold a proper election last november. across the city, red shirts hang outside homes in support of the protest movement. inside one apartment this family say they have been protesting against military rule for three generations. for them, history has a way of repeating itself. this 44—year—old woman spent four years in prison for protesting. translation: i feel really bitter about this coup. - so it happens again, i said in my heart, i can�*t sleep thinking that our new generation will suffer this again. shouting
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as the protests build, the military is already starting to tighten the grip on the country. despite mass demonstrations in many cities for days, there is still no sign that the military will back down. nyein chan aye, bbc news, yangon. the former first minister of scotland alex salmond will not be appearing tomorrow at an official inquiry into the way the scottish government handled allegations of harassment made against him. mr salmond and the committee have so far failed to agree on the material that can be published. mr salmond has accused his successor nicola sturgeon of misleading the scottish parliament, and the rift has exposed deep divisions within the snp, as our scotland editor sarah smith reports. alex salmond was jubilant two years
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ago when he proved in court the procedure used to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against him was unlawful. a holyrood committee is now investigating how the scottish government got it so wrong. mr salmond does want to tell his side of the story, but won�*t appear before the committee if they won�*t publish evidence he�*s submitted to them. nicola sturgeon says she�*s looking forward to her turn to give evidence. in addition to answering any questions, i will perhaps also get the opportunity to take head—on some of the ridiculous suggestions that have been made about this whole situation. this has become a very bitter battle between alex salmond and his successor, nicola sturgeon. he accuses her of misleading parliament and breaching the ministerial code, both of which would be resigning offences. she denies all of that, saying it�*s nothing but a conspiracy of nonsense, but it could be damaging, just three months away from crucial scottish elections. today, the snp chief executive, who�*s also nicola sturgeon�*s
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husband, appeared in front of the virtual committee for the second time. the whole truth and nothing but the truth. he was accused of lying under oath. mr murrell, you have made an untruthful statement to the committee — it's self evident. i don�*t think so. tory and labour politicians are now demanding he�*s investigated for perjury. mr murrell was asked to clarify evidence he gave to the same committee in december about a meeting between alex salmond and nicola sturgeon in their marital home three years ago. crucially, was it an snp party matter or a government meeting? you were clear that what was being discussed at that meeting was a scottish government matter. is that still your position? my evidence was reflecting, you know, my impression... but, erm... it�*s not for me to speculate the basis of the nature of the meeting. if his wife, nicola sturgeon, was hosting a government meeting,
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it should have been officially recorded, or she might have broken the rules. she will be asked about that next week when she is due to appear before the committee. alex salmond could yet give evidence if the committee can agree the terms. sarah smith, bbc news, glasgow. the new us presidentjoe biden is calling for an end to the war in yemen which is estimated to have killed around 100,000 people. it�*s been six years since a saudi—led coalition backed by the us and the uk intervened in yemen�*s civil war, trying to restore the official government to power. but houthi rebels, backed by iran, still control most of the country. just over a month ago they carried out an attack on the newly—formed government in the southern port city of aden — from where our international correspondent 0rla guerin was granted rare access. a warning some viewers may find parts of her report distressing.
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aden, a city cradled by mountains in a country overshadowed by war. it�*s the seat of power of yemen�*s internationally recognised government which is propped up by saudi support. but when ministers flew in from exile in riyadh, this was the welcome. the first of three missiles slamming in. screaming the woman screaming in fear is a localjournalist, alia fouad. they just opened fire.
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i saw so many people running on the ground, kids, women injured, killed. for a moment i thought about my family. yemen�*s foreign minister, ahmed bin mubarak, saw the full horror from the plane. along with the rest of the newly—formed unity government. i was very optimistic. i hoped to return to the country, start, you know, the process. as the foreign minister, it was top of my agenda to start preparing for the peace process. and, you know, dealing with all of these other challenges. we never thought we would have such an attack. but in just 60 seconds, 21 people were killed, including aid workers and airport officials. the government blames iranian—backed houthi rebels who control most of yemen. they deny it. the news was broken on this tv channel by their
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reporter at the scene. adeeb al—janani was killed on the spot, on one more dark day for yemen, leaving behind five young children. "he died, died, died," says his mother, who had begged him not to go. she was having so many plans... and in another home in aden, another room full of absence. she used to have a lovely smile.
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yasmine was one of those killed. she was yemen�*s deputy minister for public works. do you have any thoughts, any words for the people who would carry out an action like this? yeah, i have... ..it's not only our family that lost a really beloved person. i don't know, each and every house, definitely have someone they lost. i'm sure whoeverjust did this thing, i am sure also that he has lost someone in his family. so i'm just saying, let's talk. can the conflict be stopped? it�*s deeply embedded here and it�*s playing out against a backdrop of regional rivalries. the new us president, joe biden, is pushing for peace. he may need to be ready for the long haul. 0rla guerin, bbc news, aden.
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the bbc has announced that the annual licence fee will increase by £1.50 to £159 a year. the rise, which is in line with inflation, will come into effect on april 1st. storm darcy has brought severe weather conditions to much of the uk with heavy snow and ice across eastern regions of england and parts of scotland. it�*s the coldest snap since the so—called beast from the east struck in 2018. schools and vaccination centres have been forced to close in some areas with police warning people not to travel as helena wilkinson reports. this bus driver struggled to keep the vehicle in control. in norfolk, some abandoned their cars as snow
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drifts stop them from getting through, and emergency vehicles were also affected. kent has had some of the heaviest snowfall, up to 16 centimetres in some areas. this scene has been repeated across much of eastern england. because of storm darcy we had strong winds which has exposed a lot of drifting in some areas and this has exposed a lot of problems on the roads. �* �* exposed a lot of problems on the roads. ~ ~ _ , ., , roads. the m says numerous accidents _ roads. the m says numerous accidents have _ roads. the m says numerous accidents have been - roads. the m says numerous accidents have been caused. l in chartham in canterbury local workers helped to keep village life ticking along. we are working at the moment, so there are things inside that need to be done, but this takes priority, getting everybody in and out. we don�*t want anyone snowed in, so why not help at the community? the weather forced some vaccination centres to close, including several in suffolk and essex, as well as surrey and norfolk. coastal towns like southend were amongst those to experience the full force of the adverse weather. as
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well as heavy snow, it has been bitterly cold, temperatures are expected to drop to —10 overnight in some parts of england and the next few nights are set to be the coldest of the winter so far. helena wilkinson, bbc news. cricket now — england and india are heading for a thrilling final day�*s play in the first test in chennai. india will need to break a world record to win, 420 runs in theirfinal innings. having dismissed india for 337, the visitors failed to capitalise on their first innings lead, joe root out for lto as england were dismissed for 178 in their 2nd innings. at the close of play india were 39—1 in pursuit of that huge run target. one of the consequences of lockdown has been the revival of neighbourhoods that were once quiet and where walking has become far more popular. the night walk in particular, when people get a breath
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of fresh air in the dark, has now become a ritualfor millions. the advice is to stay close to home, to wear something bright and of course to keep your distance. 0ur correspondent david sillito has joined some of the keen walkers reclaiming the night. see you later. it has, for many of us, become a lockdown ritual, as darkness descends, instead of settling down, it�*s the moment to head out. short winter days often mean the only time we can escape to exercise is after dark. caroline, i�*m guessing. hello. caroline whiteman is a passionate nightwalker. 0ur hearing becomes more sensitive. my sense of smell is more acute. and you can really appreciate the air on yourface. in a way that, during daylight hours, these things go unnoticed.
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with short winter days and lockdown, walking and running in the dark has,

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