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tv   BBC News with Katty and Christian  BBC News  February 17, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm GMT

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this is bbc news. millions without power, and more bad weather looming. texas, the oil state, is struggling with deadly winter storms. mother natures does not recognize state borders. the power company in the lone star state was hopelessly ill prepared. nearly three million people in texas are without power or heat in sub—zero temperatures. the power grid has been crippled in america's number one energy—producing state. the duke of edinburgh is in hospital — a precautionary measure, says buckingham palace. the 99—year—old duke was feeling unwell. also in the programme.... president biden takes questions from the public in his first outing since taking office. he has promised there will be enough
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vaccine for every american byjuly. and 3,000 sticks of dynamite bring down donald trump's long—doomed casino in atlantic city. hello, i'm laura trevelyan in washington. christian fraser is in london. the brutal winter storms across the south and east of the us have left millions without power, and more snow is on the way. nowhere has been hit harder than texas, where nearly three million people are facing their third day without light or heat. the state has its own electrical grid, and it's been unable to meet the increased demand for power. it's striking these power outages are happening in a state with such abundant energy resources. texas produces more electricity than any other us state, almost twice as much as florida, the next—closest.
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but because it has isolated itself from the rest of the grid, it can't import any, and so there is a very public row under way over who is to blame — the public private partnership that operates the grid or the state politicians who oversee the regulation. the bbc�*s barbara plett usher reports. another day of winter misery for texas. millions of people are still without power. this historic storm has generated an epic energy crisis in america's energy state. wherever food has also become a getting food has also become a mission. rationed out getting food has also become a mission. have started places. catastrophe has triggered the the catastrophe has triggered the of climate change. the goeerhor blamed cieah republican governor blamed clean energy for power failure. it got
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energy for the power failure. it got shut down. — energy for the power failure. it got shut down, and _ energy for the power failure. it got shut down, and they _ energy for the power failure. it got shut down, and they were - shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid. and that thrust texas into a situation where it 'ina ' in a state-wide basis. lacking power in a state—wide basis. itjust lacking power in a state—wide basis. it just shows that fossil fuel is necessary. in it just shows that fossil fuel is necessary-— it just shows that fossil fuel is necessa . , ., 2 necessary. in fact, the state's grid 0 erator necessary. in fact, the state's grid operator reports — necessary. in fact, the state's grid operator reports that _ necessary. in fact, the state's grid operator reports that every - necessary. in fact, the state's grid operator reports that every source j operator reports that every source of energy got crushed by the cold. the power plant simply didn't prepare for such a winter. the democratic author of a sweeping policy on global warming challenge to the governor. she said it showed the urgency of addressing climate change. scientists say global warming is partly to blame. it's left arctic weather patterns escape further and further southward and stay longer. the storms have involved large swathes of the midwest and southern states. power grids have buckled elsewhere under the extreme demand, but overwhelmingly in texas. free markets and deregulation are partly to blame. now rolling blackouts are preventing the state from going totally dark. i
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preventing the state from going totally dark-— totally dark. i think the fundamental _ totally dark. i think the fundamental decisions | totally dark. i think the i fundamental decisions are totally dark. i think the _ fundamental decisions are operated made _ fundamental decisions are operated made could have prevented caldas tropic— made could have prevented caldas tropic blackout. —— catastrophic. it triggered — tropic blackout. —— catastrophic. it triggered outages like we had not seen before. triggered outages like we had not seen before-— seen before. there may be some relief by the _ seen before. there may be some relief by the weekend, _ seen before. there may be some relief by the weekend, but - seen before. there may be some relief by the weekend, but right. relief by the weekend, but right now, the forecast is bleak that texas and are facing a long cold night. —— that texans. barbara plett usher, bbc news, washington. we're joined now by steve adler. he is the mayor of austin, texas. this is a right old mets is in it. —— right old mess. how much has come back? -- right old mess. how much has come back? ., , -- right old mess. how much has come back? , ., ,': ~ -- right old mess. how much has come back? , 5; ~ ., -- right old mess. how much has come back? , q; ~ ., ., -- right old mess. how much has come back? , , ., q; ~ ., ., ~, back? probably about 3696 of our city was without power. _ back? probably about 3696 of our city was without power. we _ back? probably about 3696 of our city was without power. we probably - back? probably about 3696 of our city was without power. we probably got| was without power. we probably got that number down to low 30s, but there _ that number down to low 30s, but there is_ that number down to low 30s, but there is still a long way for us to lo. there is still a long way for us to o, . ., there is still a long way for us to go. what advice are you giving to eo - le in go. what advice are you giving to people in austin _ go. what advice are you giving to people in austin at _ go. what advice are you giving to people in austin at the _ go. what advice are you giving to
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people in austin at the moment? go. what advice are you giving to | people in austin at the moment? i think at this point, it's pretty horrible _ think at this point, it's pretty horrible conditions that we have and people _ horrible conditions that we have and peorrte are _ horrible conditions that we have and people are scared and frustrated and angry, _ people are scared and frustrated and angry, and _ people are scared and frustrated and angry, and i— people are scared and frustrated and angry, and i am among those. the fact that _ angry, and i am among those. the fact that we — angry, and i am among those. the fact that we have 5 million people who've _ fact that we have 5 million people who've stayed without power, 3 million — who've stayed without power, 3 million people, it's unforgivable. we have — million people, it's unforgivable. we have to focus not on who is responsible and just respecting each other -- _ responsible and just respecting each other —— protecting each other. we're _ other —— protecting each other. we're told _ other —— protecting each other. we're told the generation will come back in _ we're told the generation will come back in. we're setting up shelters, setting _ back in. we're setting up shelters, setting up— back in. we're setting up shelters, setting up warming stations and charging — setting up warming stations and charging stations, we're having volunteers moving people around the city. volunteers moving people around the city~ our_ volunteers moving people around the city. 0ur roads right now are unsaved _ city. 0ur roads right now are unsaved and icy. we are trying to make _ unsaved and icy. we are trying to make sure — unsaved and icy. we are trying to make sure everybody has food and everybody — make sure everybody has food and everybody can weather this storm for the next _ everybody can weather this storm for the next two or three days. absolutely, that's the most critical issue. but let me get you to way into the row. where do you think the buck stops for this? it’s
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into the row. where do you think the buck stops for this?— buck stops for this? it's clear that the energy _ buck stops for this? it's clear that the energy reliability _ buck stops for this? it's clear that the energy reliability council- buck stops for this? it's clear that the energy reliability council of. the energy reliability council of the energy reliability council of the state ofjustice is in charge of this -- _ the state ofjustice is in charge of this -- a — the state ofjustice is in charge of this —— a state of texas. it has to answer— this —— a state of texas. it has to answer questions about how we ended up answer questions about how we ended up here _ answer questions about how we ended up here you _ answer questions about how we ended up here. you have to look at the state _ up here. you have to look at the state leadership. the way that it's been _ state leadership. the way that it's been politcised is not helpful right now because it's not going to get us to reat— now because it's not going to get us to real answers.— to real answers. mayor out there, --eole to real answers. mayor out there, people around _ to real answers. mayor out there, people around the _ to real answers. mayor out there, people around the world - to real answers. mayor out there, people around the world are - to real answers. mayor out there, | people around the world are asking how is it that a state that's famous for its oil and gas supplies assembly doesn't have enough electricity to give heat and power to its people —— mayor adler. well. to its people -- mayor adler. well, the system — to its people -- mayor adler. well, the system in _ to its people -- mayor adler. well, the system in texas _ to its people -- mayor adler. well, the system in texas was _ to its people -- mayor adler. well, the system in texas was not - to its people —— mayor adler. well, the system in texas was not hardened or prepared _ the system in texas was not hardened or prepared for an extended period of time _ or prepared for an extended period of time for— or prepared for an extended period of time for —18 below zero. we just waren't— of time for —18 below zero. we just weren't set— of time for —18 below zero. we just weren't set up for it. in texas, it gets— weren't set up for it. in texas, it gets hot. — weren't set up for it. in texas, it gets hot. so— weren't set up for it. in texas, it gets hot, so the system is able to withstand — gets hot, so the system is able to withstand a long period of time of
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temperatures over 120, but this temperatures over120, but this condition— temperatures over 120, but this condition is something that was not built into _ condition is something that was not built into the system. it needs to be with— built into the system. it needs to be with the environmental and conditions that are changing with greater— conditions that are changing with greater extremes. this is the third time _ greater extremes. this is the third time this— greater extremes. this is the third time this has now happened that i can remember, about once every ten years— can remember, about once every ten years now _ can remember, about once every ten years now. we need to —— the priority— years now. we need to —— the priority was— years now. we need to —— the priority was put so much on delivering power that was as inexpensive as possible. people waren't— inexpensive as possible. people weren't spending the dollars necessary to buy the more expensive insurance _ necessary to buy the more expensive insurance plans so we would be hard and for _ insurance plans so we would be hard and for these events. i think we have _ and for these events. i think we have to — and for these events. i think we have to step in with regulations to make _ have to step in with regulations to make sure — have to step in with regulations to make sure that our system is protected. make sure that our system is protected-— make sure that our system is protected. make sure that our system is rotected. ~ ., ,~ , , protected. meanwhile, energy crises are now spiking _ protected. meanwhile, energy crises are now spiking in _ protected. meanwhile, energy crises are now spiking in texas. _ protected. meanwhile, energy crises are now spiking in texas. are - protected. meanwhile, energy crises are now spiking in texas. are you i are now spiking in texas. are you worried that people are going to be hit with huge bills when power comes back on? i
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hit with huge bills when power comes back on? ~ , ., , , hit with huge bills when power comes backon? ~ , .,,.,_ hit with huge bills when power comes backon? . , back on? i think probably each city ist in: to back on? i think probably each city is trying to be _ back on? i think probably each city is trying to be prepared _ back on? i think probably each city is trying to be prepared for - back on? i think probably each city is trying to be prepared for that i is trying to be prepared for that industry— is trying to be prepared for that industry and ways. here in austin, we have _ industry and ways. here in austin, we have our— industry and ways. here in austin, we have our own generation that we feed into— we have our own generation that we feed into the system. —— prepared for that— feed into the system. —— prepared for that in— feed into the system. —— prepared for that in different ways. for our customers, — for that in different ways. for our customers, we put energy into the system _ customers, we put energy into the system at — customers, we put energy into the system at whatever price it is. so, i'm system at whatever price it is. so, im hopeful— system at whatever price it is. so, i'm hopeful that in austin, our residents— i'm hopeful that in austin, our residents and customers will farewell. ., . ., .,~ farewell. thanks so much for taking the time to — farewell. thanks so much for taking the time to join _ farewell. thanks so much for taking the time to join us. _ farewell. thanks so much for taking the time to join us. take _ farewell. thanks so much for taking the time to join us. take care. - katherine blunt is the wall street journal reporter covering renewable energy and utilities. she joins us from houston. i understand that you've had to suffer frozen pipes, i understand that you've had to sufferfrozen pipes, i'm so i understand that you've had to suffer frozen pipes, i'm so sorry. thank you for being with us. can you explain to our viewers why is it that texas has its own electrical
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grid? that texas has its own electrical rid? , , ., , , ., , grid? the simple answer is texas likes it that _ grid? the simple answer is texas likes it that way _ grid? the simple answer is texas likes it that way and _ grid? the simple answer is texas likes it that way and it's - grid? the simple answer is texas likes it that way and it's not - likes it that way and it's not prepared... it is simply in some ways, _ prepared... it is simply in some ways, it's — prepared... it is simply in some ways, it's right don't work quite well— ways, it's right don't work quite well for— ways, it's right don't work quite well for the state. —— ways, it's right don't work quite well forthe state. —— it's ways, it's right don't work quite well for the state. —— it's work quite — well for the state. —— it's work quite weii~ _ well for the state. -- it's work quite well-— well for the state. -- it's work quite well. critics of the energy oli are quite well. critics of the energy policy are saying _ quite well. critics of the energy policy are saying that _ quite well. critics of the energy policy are saying that cheap - quite well. critics of the energy i policy are saying that cheap prices have been prioritised over investment in the grid. is that fair? ~ ~ �* , ., fair? well, i think it's true that the market _ fair? well, i think it's true that the market is _ fair? well, i think it's true that the market is designed - fair? well, i think it's true that the market is designed to - fair? well, i think it's true that i the market is designed to reward those _ the market is designed to reward those who— the market is designed to reward those who can print bruce power —— produce _ those who can print bruce power —— produce power. an event like this that seems— produce power. an event like this that seems to demonstrate the need for bigger— that seems to demonstrate the need for bigger investments in power plants, — for bigger investments in power plants, the question is does this market— plants, the question is does this market are offer the right incentives for power plant owners to make _ incentives for power plant owners to make those — incentives for power plant owners to
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make those decisions? even in the face of— make those decisions? even in the face of the — make those decisions? even in the face of the situation.— face of the situation. there's been a lot of focus _ face of the situation. there's been a lot of focus on _ face of the situation. there's been a lot of focus on the _ face of the situation. there's been a lot of focus on the wind - face of the situation. there's been a lot of focus on the wind term - a lot of focus on the wind term eyes, and i wonder how much is political, because greenland has wind turbines and they work. they put stuff around the turbines and they put stuff in the turbines themselves from keeping them —— to keep them from freezing up. ijust wonder, katherine, whether there is a salient recipe for other countries. they really do need to start thinking about these weather conditions. , ~ ., �* , conditions. yes, i think that's ri . ht. conditions. yes, i think that's right. there's _ conditions. yes, i think that's right. there's been _ conditions. yes, i think that's right. there's been a - conditions. yes, i think that's right. there's been a lot - conditions. yes, i think that's right. there's been a lot of i right. there's been a lot of attention— right. there's been a lot of attention on the turbines and while those _ attention on the turbines and while those contributed to the problem, they were — those contributed to the problem, they were not the crux. coal, gas and even — they were not the crux. coal, gas and even nuclear. when you can consider— and even nuclear. when you can consider that, and even nuclear. when you can considerthat, it and even nuclear. when you can consider that, it does offer a iesson— consider that, it does offer a lesson for— consider that, it does offer a lesson for countries around the world —
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lesson for countries around the world to— lesson for countries around the world. to ensure critical infrastructure like this. what about the oil price? _ infrastructure like this. what about the oil price? not _ infrastructure like this. what about the oil price? notjust _ infrastructure like this. what about the oil price? notjust for - infrastructure like this. what about the oil price? notjust for the - the oil price? notjust for the united states, but for the rest of the world. we're talking about in oil—producing state. in fact, it's the biggest, and it's been shut down since monday, so what's i doing to oil prices? in since monday, so what's i doing to oil rices? ., ., ., , oil prices? in general over the last three weeks. _ oil prices? in general over the last three weeks, we've _ oil prices? in general over the last three weeks, we've seen - oil prices? in general over the last three weeks, we've seen prices i oil prices? in general over the last i three weeks, we've seen prices rise. but what's _ three weeks, we've seen prices rise. but what's interesting, texas is a large _ but what's interesting, texas is a large energy producer, but the cold weather, _ large energy producer, but the cold weather, which you talked about eariier— weather, which you talked about earlier and making sure there's enough — earlier and making sure there's enough gas to supply everything.
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thats— enough gas to supply everything. that's such a critical issue because people watching around the world might remember that last summer, we were talking about this issue in california, and they had a massive blackout during a heat wave. some people are asking whether the electricity infrastructure across the united states is actually creaking. the united states is actually creakina. ~ ., ., , . creaking. we have infrastructure in the united states. _ creaking. we have infrastructure in the united states. it's _ creaking. we have infrastructure in the united states. it's a _ the united states. it's a century—old system. older than that. ithink— century—old system. older than that. i think there's also been talk early on this— i think there's also been talk early on this programme about deregulation. one central question i think is— deregulation. one central question i think is emerging here is are these different— think is emerging here is are these different markets structured in a way that — different markets structured in a way that allow for the sorts of investments that we see going forward? — investments that we see going forward? these blackouts were born of different circumstances. it was during _ of different circumstances. it was during an — of different circumstances. it was during an extreme heat wave. part of the reason _ during an extreme heat wave. part of the reason stems from the fact that demand _ the reason stems from the fact that demand creeped into the evening after the —
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demand creeped into the evening after the sunset on solar plans, which _ after the sunset on solar plans, which isn't _ after the sunset on solar plans, which isn't entirely attributable to renewable energy. but i think infrastructure investment will be a conversation that will play out. thanks — conversation that will play out. thanks so _ conversation that will play out. thanks so much forjoining us and i hope those pipes unfreeze soon. since we've been talking about state governments investing in infrastructure to prepare for these extreme weather events, take a look at this road in texarcana. it straddles the border between texas and arkansas. can you guess which state invests in snow ploughs? i'll give you a clue — it's not texas. sums it up, doesn't it? something which could _ sums it up, doesn't it? something which could soon _ sums it up, doesn't it? something which could soon change. - the duke of edinburgh has been taken to hospital in london after feeling unwell at windsor castle for the past few days. prince philip, who will be 100 injune, was driven to hospital last night. buckingham palace says his admission is not related to coronavirus and he is in hospital on the advice of his doctors
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as a precautionary measure. here's our royal correspondent nicholas witchell, and a warning, his report contains flashing images. fanfare plays. he's been retired for more than three years now, and he's remained largely out of public sight during the lockdown. this was an exception. july last year, when he took his leave from the rifles, one of the regiments of which he'd been honorary colonel in chief for many years. the most recent image of him is this, at windsor castle with the queen, a photograph released by the palace last november to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary. prior to that, there was a photograph of the couple together lastjune, on the occasion of the duke's 99th birthday. and, for the royal doctors, it will no doubt have been his age as much as anything which will have persuaded them to err on the side of caution. the duke has apparently been feeling unwell for several days so, last night, at windsor castle, his doctors decided
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to admit him to hospital. at 2pm this afternoon, the palace issued a statement. the duke is in the private king edward vii hospital in london. it's understood he was driven there by car. it was not an emergency admission. it is not covid—related, says the palace, and the duke is said to be in good spirits. i think he would want no fuss. he is a very robust character, and he doesn't like... he's a no—nonsense sort of man. i think he would be embarrassed by there being fuss, and would not want it. i'm sure he's in good spirits. he's always in good spirits. this is the first time the duke has been in hospital since december 2019. on that occasion, he was admitted, again,
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to the king edward vii hospital, for what was described as observation. he spent four nights in hospital before leaving tojoin the queen and other members of the royal family at sandringham. anxiety, on top of everything else. today, the royal family has been carrying on without any outward evidence of concern. this was prince charles and the duchess of cornwall this morning at a hospital in birmingham, before the news of the duke's hospital admission was made public. the queen has remained at windsor castle. she too is carrying on with her duties but, inevitably, in everyone's mind will be the fact that the duke is nowjust four months short of his 100th birthday. nicholas witchell, bbc news. best wishes to the duke. the us authorities have charged three north koreans with conspiring to steal more than a billion dollars in cash
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and cryptocurrency from banks and businesses worldwide. a usjustice department indictment described the three intelligence agents as the world's leading bank robbers. the three accused are believed to be in north korea. myanmar has seen some of its biggest protests yet, following the military coup which deposed the civilian leader, aung san suu kyi, earlier this month. hundreds of thousands of people gathered across the country, as the campaign of civil disobedience entered its 12th consecutive day. south africa has started its vaccination campaign against covid—19. the country is the first to use the jab from johnson and johnson. president cyril ramaphosa posted a photo of himself receiving the vaccine, saying he wanted to allay any safety fears. for those watching on bbc world news, we'll be right back. britain's prime minister says it's "absolutely right" to focus on "data not dates",
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when considering how to end england's coronavirus lockdown. scientists had urged the boris johnson to follow a data—led approach when deciding which restrictions to lift, and when. during a visit to a vaccination centre in south wales, he confirmed that further details will be announced on monday. i certainly think that we need to go in stages, we need to go cautiously. you perhaps remember from last year that we opened up hospitality fully as one of the last things that we did because there is obviously an extra risk of transmission from hospitality. but we'll be setting it all out on monday, and i know there's a lot of understandable speculation in the papers and people are coming up with theories about what we're going to do, what we're going to say and about rates of infection and so on. i would just advise everybody, just wait. we'll try and say as much as we can on monday.
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the white house can be an insular place. so, last night, president biden went on the road to milwaukee, wisconsin for the first town hall of his presidency to show he was listening — and acting — on the issues which matter to americans. notable was the tone. plenty of empathy from the president for people who are struggling in pandemic. he talked about vaccinations, school reopenings the stimulus plan he is putting together. there will be plenty of help, but it was his comments on student loan relief, that really put down a marker about what sort of presidency this will be. take a look. we need student loan forgiveness beyond the potential $10,000 your administration has proposed. we need at least a $50,000 minimum. what will you do to make that happen? i will not make that happen. it depends on whether or not you go to a private university— or public university. those comments did not go down too well with
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the progressive wing of his party. responding to that exchange, democratic congresswoman alexandria ocasio cortez tweeted: looks like president biden has a way to go to unify his party. let's bring in our senior north america reporter anthony zurcher. he is not always the most fluent speaker, president biden. there the odd rumbling monologue when he gets going, but it screams out that changing tone.—
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going, but it screams out that changing tone. going, but it screams out that chanauin tone. ~ , ., changing tone. absolutely, and he didn't refer _ changing tone. absolutely, and he didn't refer to _ changing tone. absolutely, and he didn't refer to donald _ changing tone. absolutely, and he didn't refer to donald trump - changing tone. absolutely, and he didn't refer to donald trump by i didn't refer to donald trump by name — didn't refer to donald trump by name he — didn't refer to donald trump by name. hejust didn't refer to donald trump by name. he just referred to him as the former— name. he just referred to him as the former guy, — name. he just referred to him as the former guy, but you could tell he was trying — former guy, but you could tell he was trying to draw a very decided contrast— was trying to draw a very decided contrast between himself and his predecessor in the way he related with the _ predecessor in the way he related with the questioners and express empathy — with the questioners and express empathy. he was not always optimistic about how quickly life will return to normal with the coronavirus pandemic, saying it could _ coronavirus pandemic, saying it could be — coronavirus pandemic, saying it could be this time next year before things— could be this time next year before things start returning to some semblance of normal. but one of the things— semblance of normal. but one of the thingsjoe _ semblance of normal. but one of the thingsjoe biden is good at, even if he does _ thingsjoe biden is good at, even if he does ramble and apologise for rambling, — he does ramble and apologise for rambling, is that personal connection. he's always been an empathetic politician and that was on display last night. he empathetic politician and that was on display last night.— on display last night. he set himself a — on display last night. he set himself a target _ on display last night. he set himself a target because - on display last night. he set himself a target because he | on display last night. he set - himself a target because he knows this is a short honeymoon. people are impatient with covid, so he said there will be enough vaccines for every other american by the end of july, but that he was challenged on that by the house —— every american.
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is that vaccines and arms or vaccines in the states? he seemed to equivocate on that, anthony. what did you make of it?— equivocate on that, anthony. what did you make of it? yeah, i think he realises that — did you make of it? yeah, i think he realises that getting _ did you make of it? yeah, i think he realises that getting people - realises that getting people vaccinated is the top priority and what _ vaccinated is the top priority and what his— vaccinated is the top priority and what his administration is going to be judged — what his administration is going to be judged on early on. and he was a little bit _ be judged on early on. and he was a little bit vague on that, and it is very— little bit vague on that, and it is very different saying that every american — very different saying that every american will be vaccinated byjuly and vaccines will be available to every _ and vaccines will be available to every american injuly. that has a lot to _ every american injuly. that has a lot to do — every american injuly. that has a lot to do with herd immunity and how quickly— lot to do with herd immunity and how quickly things can return to normal because _ quickly things can return to normal because if— quickly things can return to normal because if everyone can get a vaccine — because if everyone can get a vaccine but doesn't get it, we're still a _ vaccine but doesn't get it, we're still a long — vaccine but doesn't get it, we're still a long way away from having deep _ still a long way away from having deep protection we need to fully reopen— deep protection we need to fully reopen the country. precise language and not _ reopen the country. precise language and not setting expectations too hi-h and not setting expectations too high is _ and not setting expectations too high is something that will be sometimes a challenge forjoe biden, because _ sometimes a challenge forjoe biden, because his _ sometimes a challenge forjoe biden, because his predecessor did talk about— because his predecessor did talk about optimistic outlooks on the virus _ about optimistic outlooks on the virus and — about optimistic outlooks on the virus and how things could return to normai— virus and how things could return to normal iast— virus and how things could return to normal last easter. of course, that wasn't _ normal last easter. of course, that wasn't a _ normal last easter. of course, that
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wasn't a reality. he needs to set expectations low and when he sets them _ expectations low and when he sets them too _ expectations low and when he sets them too high, he could be held accountable. if them too high, he could be held accountable.— accountable. if we look at the olitics accountable. if we look at the politics of _ accountable. if we look at the politics of the _ accountable. if we look at the politics of the right, - accountable. if we look at the politics of the right, an - accountable. if we look at the politics of the right, an icon l accountable. if we look at the | politics of the right, an icon of right—wing radio, rush limbaugh, died today at age 70. former president trump was quick to fold into fox news and here's what he had to say about that passing. what did rush limbaugh tell you - after the election on november 3rd? what were those conversations like? well, rush thought we won, and so do i, by the way, i think we won quite substantially and rush thought we won and he thought it was over at 10pm, at 10:30pm. — it was over, and a lot of other people feel that way too but rush felt that way strongly. anthony, we haven't heard much at all from former president trump on the record. what was it about the death of rush limbaugh that made him want to speak out? i death of rush limbaugh that made him want to speak out?—
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want to speak out? i think you have to realise the _ want to speak out? i think you have to realise the impact _ want to speak out? i think you have to realise the impact rush - want to speak out? i think you have | to realise the impact rush limbaugh has had _ to realise the impact rush limbaugh has had on _ to realise the impact rush limbaugh has had on the american conservative movement— has had on the american conservative movement over the past three decades, — movement over the past three decades, really. he came to prominence in the 1990s with the wave _ prominence in the 1990s with the wave election that brought republicans back to control in the house _ republicans back to control in the house of— representatives in 1995. he was one of the _ representatives in 1995. he was one of the voices behind the tea party movement in 2010, when republicans came storming after. he set the stage _ came storming after. he set the stage for— came storming after. he set the stage for donald trump and trumpism with his _ stage for donald trump and trumpism with his style of reverend eric —— of rhetoric — with his style of reverend eric —— of rhetoric i_ with his style of reverend eric —— of rhetoric. i think donald trump feels _ of rhetoric. i think donald trump feels like — of rhetoric. i think donald trump feels like he could use this moment to associate himself with a rush limbaugh, who still beloved by the entire _ limbaugh, who still beloved by the entire republican party. that will allowed — entire republican party. that will allowed him to ease himself back into the _ allowed him to ease himself back into the hock spotlight. he's going to be _ into the hock spotlight. he's going to be talking to sean hannity tonight _ to be talking to sean hannity tonight. he's released a statement so i tonight. he's released a statement so i think— tonight. he's released a statement so i think he's taken advantage of this opportunity to associate himself—
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this opportunity to associate himself with beloved conservative figure _ himself with beloved conservative fiaure. ., . figure. thanks so much. there you have it, former— figure. thanks so much. there you have it, former president - figure. thanks so much. there you have it, former president trump i have it, former president trump easing his way back into the spotlight. but we have talked a lot about the legal cases that are piling up for mr about the legal cases that are piling upfor mrtrump. about the legal cases that are piling up for mr trump. a sense that trump is in a little bit of difficulty, then came the news from newjersey. we have talked a lot this week about the legal cases piling up for the former president. a sense perhaps that trump world is imploding, and then came the news today from newjersey that mr trump's first atlantic city casino was being demolished. trump opened the casino in 1984 at a cost of more than $200 million, but it began to run up massive debts in the early 1990s. in its heyday, it hosted a number of heavyweight boxing bouts, music concerts wrestling matches. today, it'sjust a shell, and now the derelict building has gone. blown up, with 3000 sticks of dynamite. and watching from afar, lending her support, who else? yup. hillary clinton, who re—tweeted
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a video of the demolition with a rather understated emoji, a hand waving goodbye. hello there. the rest of the week may well be dominated by cloud, wind and rain, but we've had a little midweek window of sunny spells for many of us today. just take a look at this amazing weather watcher picture in alloa earlier on today. and you can see where the window has been of the brighter weather, sunny spells for many. more persistent rain now starting to drift its way steadily northwards, and that's going to be the story as we close out wednesday. in fact, that rain will push its way across the scottish borders into central scotland through the night. some heavier pulses into northern ireland and southern scotland for a time. quite a lot of cloud around, and still with the southerly wind, it's going to be a relatively mild start to thursday, with temperatures around 6—9 degrees. but there will be some wet weather to follow on, and that rain is coming from this
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weather front here. it's a cold front, so once it's cleared through, it will actually produce slightly cooler air than of late. so, they'll be some heavier pulses moving out of devon and cornwall, pushing towards the bristol channel and up through wales into north west england. a few isolated showers ahead of it across east anglia and the south east. that weather front sitting through scotland as well, and the hook of the front will bring more persistent rain to the north—west of the great glen and a few scattered showers as that low pressure sits out to the west through the rest of the afternoon. but there should be a window of finer weather through the middle part of the day, but still noticeably windy out there. gusts of winds in excess of a0 mph quite widely. top temperaratures, as i say, not quite as mild as recent days, 7—9 degrees the high. the milder air is set to return, but unfortunately that moisture will bring quite a lot of rain and some of it really quite persistent. a significant low arrives. gale—force gusts of winds expected along west—facing coasts, and some of that rain really
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could be quite persistent for a time as it moves its way steadily northwards on friday. sheltered eastern areas should escape the worst. it may well stay dry for much of the day. top temperatures of 8—11 degrees. now, this feed of wet weather is going to continue to be the story as we move into the weekend. the heaviest of the rain will always be the further west you go, but it will continue to push up some southerly warm air across the country. so, as you can see, quite an unsettled start to the weekend, but in the south east on sunday, it may be drier and warmer.
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you're watching bbc news with me, laura trevelyan, in washington. christian fraser is in london. our top stories: as president biden tempers expectations on the reopening of schools, many are wondering, when will pupils be back in the classroom? we'll speak to the president of one of country's biggest teaching unions in the next few minutes. after nearly 20 years of bitter conflict, nato leaders debate whether to stick to a may deadline to pull thousands of troops out of afghanistan. also in the programme: is climate change to blame for the recent wave of severe weather across the united states and the northern hemisphere? we'll investigate. plus — seats are empty at comedy venues but comedians are still trying to make us laugh — we'll talk to one about how to be funny in less than amusing times.
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president biden had promised to get schools back open within his first 100 days in office. last night in his town hall, mr biden clarified that the goal is to get schools open again, five days a week, but only for younger students. the tricky thing here in america is that the federal government doesn't control school policy. it's up to the states. so we end up with a patchwork of policies, even within states — where one school district embraces remote learning, while another has the kids in school. for many kids and parents, it meant too much remote learning. california, new mexico and maryland are among several states where 75% of students have only had remote learning since the beginning of the pandemic. but in texas, alabama and utah
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the numbers are almost reversed with 70% of students having in—person teaching. the cdc has issued guidelines that would allow for more schools to reopen, but again, those are only recommendations, not law. at the white house today, the press secretary said that money from mr biden's $1.9 billion relief bowl could help schools reopen. when he announced his goal of opening the majority of schools, he made clear we need to have funding because many schools will tell you across the country they were waiting for the cdc guidelines, they want to know how to do it safely but they need the funding to hire more teachers, they need more bus drivers, they need the ability to implement the mitigation steps that are going to work for their school districts. so what will it take to get teachers back in the classroom, with many kids and their parents at their wits end after almost a year of remote and hybrid learning? let's talk to the president of one of the biggests teaching
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unions, randi weingarten from the american federation of teachers. thank you for being with us. will your teachers be back in the classroom by the end of april as president biden wants? l classroom by the end of april as president biden wants?- classroom by the end of april as president biden wants? i think that we will make _ president biden wants? i think that we will make that _ president biden wants? i think that we will make that goal, _ president biden wants? i think that we will make that goal, i _ president biden wants? i think that we will make that goal, i think- president biden wants? i think that we will make that goal, i think the | we will make that goal, i think the only question will be what's going to happen with the variant that britain — to happen with the variant that britain has succumbed to and succumbed to? no—one knows what will happen— succumbed to? no—one knows what will happen with _ succumbed to? no—one knows what will happen with the variant but if we -et happen with the variant but if we get what — happen with the variant but if we get what president biden wants witches— get what president biden wants witches the new covid relief package that i hope will be passed out of the house of representatives and the senate _ the house of representatives and the senate by— the house of representatives and the senate by mid march, we now have the guidance _ senate by mid march, we now have the guidance that we have fought for,
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safety _ guidance that we have fought for, safety guidance, science guidance, for months — safety guidance, science guidance, for months and months, and my members. — for months and months, and my members, we just for months and months, and my members, wejust did for months and months, and my members, we just did a poll of them, my members— members, we just did a poll of them, my members believe 85% of them said to us that _ my members believe 85% of them said to us that if— my members believe 85% of them said to us that if we have the kind of safety _ to us that if we have the kind of safety guidelines that the afp has championed, that they will be comfortable in school learning and so we _ comfortable in school learning and so we have — comfortable in school learning and so we have a president who wants to do it. _ so we have a president who wants to do it. we _ so we have a president who wants to do it, we have the safety guidelines now, _ do it, we have the safety guidelines now. we _ do it, we have the safety guidelines now, we need the resources now and so i now, we need the resources now and so i think— now, we need the resources now and so i think we — now, we need the resources now and so i think we will be able to meet present— so i think we will be able to meet present biden's girl because everyone knows that in school education _ everyone knows that in school education is much better than remote and teachers are willing to overcome their fear— and teachers are willing to overcome their fear as — and teachers are willing to overcome their fear as long as we can make it safe and _ their fear as long as we can make it safe and i_ their fear as long as we can make it safe and i think that's what we are~~ — safe and i think that's what we are... �* , ., ,, are... but the centers for disease control says _ are... but the centers for disease control says teachers _ are... but the centers for disease control says teachers don't - are... but the centers for disease control says teachers don't have l are... but the centers for disease | control says teachers don't have to be vaccinated to go back to the
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classroom and the most important thing is wearing a mask and social distancing, it isn't even necessarily the other stuff you spoke about. isn't there urgency here with a generation of kids struggling with remote learning? that is not what they are saying, they— that is not what they are saying, they say— that is not what they are saying, they say a mask and physical distancing are the most important of about 60 layered mitigations and they say— about 60 layered mitigations and they say that vaccines for teachers should _ they say that vaccines for teachers should be — they say that vaccines for teachers should be a priority, but if you look— should be a priority, but if you look at — should be a priority, but if you look at their lured mitigation strategies and look at the plan that the afp_ strategies and look at the plan that the afp has put out since last april. — the afp has put out since last april, they are virtually identical comic— april, they are virtually identical comic the — april, they are virtually identical comic the vaccines will be helpful and both— comic the vaccines will be helpful and both present biden and vice president — and both present biden and vice president harris said today that teachers — president harris said today that teachers should be prioritised and our schools are important but what we are _ our schools are important but what we are saying is that we need to get
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all this— we are saying is that we need to get all this done in the next few weeks and so _ all this done in the next few weeks and so i _ all this done in the next few weeks and so i think the cdc guidelines have _ and so i think the cdc guidelines have been— and so i think the cdc guidelines have been helpful to people in terms of seeing _ have been helpful to people in terms of seeing the road map. we have been helpful to people in terms of seeing the road map.— of seeing the road map. we are havin: a of seeing the road map. we are having a similar _ of seeing the road map. we are having a similar debate - of seeing the road map. we are having a similar debate here . of seeing the road map. we are i having a similar debate here about vaccinating teachers. getting schools back is paramount and if teachers are scared about going back on the vaccination means they will go back, a lot of people would say just vaccinate them. that go back, a lot of people would say just vaccinate them.— just vaccinate them. that is where the ublic just vaccinate them. that is where the public is _ just vaccinate them. that is where the public is in _ just vaccinate them. that is where the public is in the _ just vaccinate them. that is where the public is in the us, _ just vaccinate them. that is where the public is in the us, a - just vaccinate them. that is where the public is in the us, a new- just vaccinate them. that is where the public is in the us, a new poll| the public is in the us, a new poll today— the public is in the us, a new poll today said — the public is in the us, a new poll today said 55 or 35% of the public said may— today said 55 or 35% of the public said may teachers are priority, at least _ said may teachers are priority, at least those who want to. i agree with you — least those who want to. i agree with you and i agree with that sentiment but we also know that the vaccination _ sentiment but we also know that the vaccination is an added layer of protection _ vaccination is an added layer of protection and that it meets the fear people have admits the
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mitigation strategies of ventilation and cleaning and accommodating those~~ — and cleaning and accommodating those... ., . ., , ., ,. ., those... that changes from school to school. those... that changes from school to school- those — those... that changes from school to school. those are _ those... that changes from school to school. those are the _ those... that changes from school to school. those are the things - those... that changes from school to school. those are the things that i school. those are the things that miti . ate school. those are the things that mitigate transmission _ school. those are the things that mitigate transmission so - school. those are the things that mitigate transmission so there i school. those are the things that l mitigate transmission so there are three _ mitigate transmission so there are three things, the mitigation of transmission, the testing so you can see a _ transmission, the testing so you can see a symptomatic spread which the industry— see a symptomatic spread which the industry is _ see a symptomatic spread which the industry is now using, and then there's— industry is now using, and then there's the _ industry is now using, and then there's the vaccinations which provide — there's the vaccinations which provide added protection. it is a h er provide added protection. it is a hyper localised _ provide added protection. it is a hyper localised issue _ provide added protection. it is a hyper localised issue because i provide added protection. it is a hyper localised issue because it| hyper localised issue because it depends on resources in school. i just want to get your thoughts on the other big takeaway last night, the other big takeaway last night, the president saying he would not cancel $50,000 of student loans for people. he might cancel $10,000. what would your members think of that? , , ., , , that? the president has been consistent — that? the president has been consistent on _ that? the president has been consistent on this, _ that? the president has been consistent on this, he - that? the president has been consistent on this, he said i that? the president has been i consistent on this, he said when ruhhihg — consistent on this, he said when ruhhihg for— consistent on this, he said when
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running for office that $10,000 a year was — running for office that $10,000 a year was what he was looking at. to us, year was what he was looking at. to us. because — year was what he was looking at. to us, because our members have been hugely— us, because our members have been hugely burdened by student debt, we know that _ hugely burdened by student debt, we know that $10,000 is a floor, not a ceiling. _ know that $10,000 is a floor, not a ceiling. and— know that $10,000 is a floor, not a ceiling, and we want to work with the president on what can be effective _ the president on what can be effective in order to stop this burdensome student debt that people have. burdensome student debt that people have i_ burdensome student debt that people have. i don't disagree with him that if you _ have. i don't disagree with him that if you come — have. i don't disagree with him that if you come from a wealthy family who can _ if you come from a wealthy family who can pay for harvard, you will not cancel — who can pay for harvard, you will not cancel the debt that way but if you come — not cancel the debt that way but if you come from a poor family and have hundreds— you come from a poor family and have hundreds of— you come from a poor family and have hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. _ hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. we _ hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, we need to find ways to mitigate — debt, we need to find ways to mitigate that and i think he is open to that. _ mitigate that and i think he is open to that. to— mitigate that and i think he is open to that, to that prospect. randi weingarten. — to that, to that prospect. randi weingarten, thanks _ to that, to that prospect. randi weingarten, thanks so - to that, to that prospect. randi weingarten, thanks so much i to that, to that prospect. randi | weingarten, thanks so much for joining us and it is huge issue, the
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crippling burden of student up with some colleges approaching $80,000 a year. it some colleges approaching $80,000 a ear. . y ., some colleges approaching $80,000 a ear. , , ., , ., , ., year. it is the young people who have been _ year. it is the young people who have been hardest _ year. it is the young people who have been hardest hit _ year. it is the young people who have been hardest hit by - year. it is the young people who have been hardest hit by that i year. it is the young people who have been hardest hit by that in | year. it is the young people who i have been hardest hit by that in the hospitality sector. lt’s have been hardest hit by that in the hospitality sector.— hospitality sector. it's a very difficult issue. _ now to afghanistan, america's longest war. nato defence ministers are meeting wednesday and thursday, talking about the future of the group's 10,000 troops in the country. looming over them is the deadline of may 1st — agreed between the taliban and the trump administration. that's when us troops are supposed to leave afghanistan. donald trump's decision towards the tail end of his presidency is described as �*premature' by critics. today the german defence minister said afghan peace talks, have not made enough progress to allow foreign troops to withdraw — and warned that nato needed to prepare, for a deteriorating security situation, for the foreign troops in afghanistan. lyse doucet has this report. blasting their way in...
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..to a besieged building. afghan police on the hunt for suicide bombers and civilians trapped inside. it's a training exercise, but it's all too real. the government gave us access to film this. as the taliban warn, if the us deal breaks down there will be more of this. the interior minister thanks his men and a few women. afghan police often come under criticism — ineffective, corrupt. these are the elite. like soldiers, they're on front lines as peace talks stall. if president biden called you and said, "minister, what should american nato forces do?
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should we leave by may 1st, or should we delay a bit?" what would you say? i would say let's review what the taliban agreed to. did the taliban cut their relationship with the terrorist? did the taliban respect that? are the taliban willing to peace? if not, then taliban should know that the international community will remain beside the afghans as long as it's needed. a taliban call to arms. they insist they have kept their commitments, that foreign forces must be out by may, lest this war get worse. kabul, january 2018 — one of the last large—scale attacks the taliban claimed. an ambulance packed with explosives. hundreds dead and injured. ramin was 15 then. translation: when i came out,
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i could see body parts. _ i could see arms, hands. it was a really bad attack. i was so scared. the biggest threat now — targeted killing. every day, a blast or more. no—one claims them, many blame the taliban. translation: now when i leave home, i say goodbye to my family. _ we don't know if we're going to make it home alive or dead each day. these kind of large—scale attacks in the heart of kabul have stopped because of the us—taliban deal, but now the taliban are threatening that if the united states doesn't pull out its troops on time, that this kind of devastating assault could happen again. that's creating even more fear among the afghans in this city. a stark snapshot of a gathering storm — the national police hospital. doctors tell us they have never seen so many patients. there is fighting in so many
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provinces have now. the taliban are taking a hit too. this policeman took a bullet. translation: the taliban blew up a vehicle outside a school, - so i went there to help get the children out. the taliban start shooting, and we fired back. i was shot, the bullet hit me here and came out the other side. 20 years after us forces came in, there's no easy way out. the violence may surge whether they stay or go. there is still talk of peace, and plans for war. that is lyse doucet reporting on america's longest war. we will
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return to the story we started the show with, the ferocious winter weather here in the us that is also affecting large parts of the northern hemisphere. well, let's zoom out a bit, and look more at the global picture. temperatures have been dropping even more than usual in places like europe and russia. why, you ask? it's all to do with changes in air pressure — something called the polar vortex. tom brada explains. the extreme cold is causing huge disruption in texas and across the united states. but the icy conditions are not limited to the us. temperatures have been plunging across the northern hemisphere. in moscow, the heaviest snowfall in decades has left roads and cars submerged. cities further south haven't escaped. there have been frosty scenes in athens and istanbul with the acropolis and hagia sophia dusted with snow. so what is the science behind what is happening? to understand this you have to look north towards the arctic and the polar vortex. the polar vortex is an immense
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whirlpool of cold air circling the north pole. it's usually held in place by the jet stream but when that system gets disrupted, cold air can travel south, bringing freezing weather with it. it's not uncommon for this to happen. it can occur once or twice a decade but such extreme cold extending as far south as texas is cause for concern for some scientists. they say that global warming is to blame. rising temperatures may be causing the jet stream to weaken and slow down and it's this disruption which leads to cold air escaping south more often. there is no consensus among scientists on this but if global warming is to blame, these kinds of arctic weather patterns, even in places like texas, could become more common. for more on the the brutal winter weather i'm joined by matthew cappucci, meteorologist for the washington post.
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thank you for being with us. the million dollar question here, is it climate change, which is weakening the jet stream and affecting the polar vortex and bring this dreadful weather? . . weather? yes, it is the million-dollar - weather? yes, it is the | million-dollar question. weather? yes, it is the i million-dollar question. we weather? yes, it is the _ million-dollar question. we think million—dollar question. we think about— million—dollar question. we think about swirling around a cup of coffee. — about swirling around a cup of coffee, you get this whirlpool in the middle, you get this dip in the middle _ the middle, you get this dip in the middle and you put something in it, if you _ middle and you put something in it, if you mess — middle and you put something in it, if you mess up this vortex, it pushes — if you mess up this vortex, it pushes a _ if you mess up this vortex, it pushes a fluid father apart and that is what _ pushes a fluid father apart and that is what has — pushes a fluid father apart and that is what has happened in this whirlpool of cold in the north pole, onjanuary— whirlpool of cold in the north pole, onjanuary six to whirlpool of cold in the north pole, on january six to weather system disrupted — on january six to weather system disrupted the vortex and it filled with warm airand disrupted the vortex and it filled with warm air and that post the code very far— with warm air and that post the code very far south and now we are seeing temperatures much colder than normal across— temperatures much colder than normal across much— temperatures much colder than normal across much of the 48 so whether it
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is climate _ across much of the 48 so whether it is climate change is tough to look at, is climate change is tough to look at. we _ is climate change is tough to look at. we have — is climate change is tough to look at, we have the weakening jet stream but a lot— at, we have the weakening jet stream but a lot of— at, we have the weakening jet stream but a lot of moving parts and it won't _ but a lot of moving parts and it won't be — but a lot of moving parts and it won't be for a couple of months that we have _ won't be for a couple of months that we have an — won't be for a couple of months that we have an idea how much of this was caused _ we have an idea how much of this was caused by— we have an idea how much of this was caused by climate change.— caused by climate change. whether ou live in caused by climate change. whether you live in athens _ caused by climate change. whether you live in athens or _ caused by climate change. whether you live in athens or texas, - caused by climate change. whether you live in athens or texas, is i caused by climate change. whether you live in athens or texas, is thisl you live in athens or texas, is this something you have to be braced for, more extreme weather?— more extreme weather? that's a really good _ more extreme weather? that's a really good question _ more extreme weather? that's a really good question and - more extreme weather? that's a really good question and i i more extreme weather? that's a really good question and i would| more extreme weather? that's a i really good question and i would say yes. really good question and i would say yes the _ really good question and i would say yes. the past few years we have seen hurricane _ yes. the past few years we have seen hurricane rita and hurricane harvey, in houston— hurricane rita and hurricane harvey, in houston we have seen flood disasters. _ in houston we have seen flood disasters, her kind in louisiana as well and _ disasters, her kind in louisiana as well and is — disasters, her kind in louisiana as well and is part of the world is susceptible to a change in climate. for every— susceptible to a change in climate. for every degree celsius in the air temperature, it holds more water. with this. — temperature, it holds more water. with this. a — temperature, it holds more water. with this, a bit more dynamics but you have _ with this, a bit more dynamics but you have a — with this, a bit more dynamics but you have a lot of snow and moisture from _ you have a lot of snow and moisture from the _ you have a lot of snow and moisture from the gulf of mexico, you are likely— from the gulf of mexico, you are likely to — from the gulf of mexico, you are likely to see temperatures increase
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as well— likely to see temperatures increase as well and that is weirdly meandering so a lot of different ingredients all at once and it looks like we _ ingredients all at once and it looks like we will— ingredients all at once and it looks like we will see more extreme weather~ — like we will see more extreme weather. ., ., ., weather. the row we featured at the to of the weather. the row we featured at the top of the programme _ weather. the row we featured at the top of the programme was _ weather. the row we featured at the top of the programme was over- weather. the row we featured at the top of the programme was over the l top of the programme was over the fact that the power company have not put antifreeze in the turbines to prepare the infrastructure but state governments type millions of dollars each year for governments type millions of dollars each yearfor long—range each year for long—range forecasting. is it difficult when you have disruption to the jet stream to provide that? it you have disruption to the 'et stream to provide that?i you have disruption to the 'et stream to provide that? it is, we look back in _ stream to provide that? it is, we look back in january _ stream to provide that? it is, we look back in january to _ stream to provide that? it is, we look back in january to see i stream to provide that? it is, we look back in january to see if i stream to provide that? it is, we i look back in january to see if there were _ look back in january to see if there were signals, that we would get this cold air— were signals, that we would get this cold air outbreak and we did not see it until— cold air outbreak and we did not see it until about ten days before and that is— it until about ten days before and that is the — it until about ten days before and that is the range at which you can say something big is coming up. in a place _ say something big is coming up. in a place like _ say something big is coming up. in a place like texas where the electrical grid is not connected to anywhere — electrical grid is not connected to anywhere else, it is problematic because — anywhere else, it is problematic because if— anywhere else, it is problematic because if people take the advance precautions they need like boring
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electricity for a neighbour, additionally in texas you have such infrastructure that is not ready for less _ infrastructure that is not ready for less these — infrastructure that is not ready for less. these temperatures in boston, new york. _ less. these temperatures in boston, new york, vancouver would not be a problem _ new york, vancouver would not be a problem but — new york, vancouver would not be a problem but when you get down the gulf coast. — problem but when you get down the gulf coast, this is the coldest outbreak— gulf coast, this is the coldest outbreak since 1989 and it becomes a bil outbreak since 1989 and it becomes a big problem at the infrastructure, getting _ big problem at the infrastructure, getting people used to it and making sure we _ getting people used to it and making sure we can mitigate that is a much bigger— sure we can mitigate that is a much bigger issue. sure we can mitigate that is a much bigger issue-— bigger issue. matthew cappucci, thank ou bigger issue. matthew cappucci, thank you for — bigger issue. matthew cappucci, thank you forjoining _ bigger issue. matthew cappucci, thank you forjoining us - bigger issue. matthew cappucci, thank you forjoining us with i bigger issue. matthew cappucci, | thank you forjoining us with that analysis. more extreme weather to come. stay with us on bbc news. still to come... the threat to the comedy scene thanks to the pandemic is no laughing matter — we'll talk to one comedian trying university students are waiting to find out when they can return to campus after months of online learning — and some want a refund on theirfees. bra nwen jeffrey reports. usually, robbie would drive to uni,
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but he's barely been in this year. he's studying biomedical sciences, but has had just two hours in the lab. not what he needs to get a job afterwards. if i was to apply for a job and then they asked me maybe certain questions or my understanding of certain machinery which we would use in a normal clinical environment, i probably won't be that confident on what it is that i need to do and what machinery i sort of use. he knows students aren't the only ones struggling, but says they'll be paying loans for years to come. i think universities currently have got off quite lightly. across england students feel they've missed out. economists say unis can't afford to give back tuition fees — even a one—off payment to students would cost hundreds of millions. empty campuses mean money lost from catering and conferences. at reading, staff were asked to consider a pay cut. the uni says there isn't extra cash
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to give to students. i recognise that students want some of that money back they have loaned or paid. but from a university perspective i would say it really can't come from us. we have delivered the teaching. but i do recognise that there are different ways of thinking about how can we recognise the students', yeah, diminished experience, particularly the extracurricular experience? in england, students can get help from hardship funds — £70 million of extra government cash. but northern ireland has put £500 straight into students' pockets, a gesture to recognise what they've lost. we could all do with a laugh right now. so the bbc is launching the festival
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of funny next week — to help both us — and help keep comedians in work! live comedy has been decimated by the pandemic — especially the stand up circuit. 60% of those who work in the industry believe they'll have to leave by the end of this month if live venues remain closed. it was hoped that virtual broadcasts would help acts get back some of that lost income — but three quarters say they have earned less than 5% of their pre—pandemic income by doing these virtual events. so the festival of funny is much needed. comedian anna morris is hosting her own stand up special on bbc radio 4. welcome to the programme. it's14 hours, there is, of new comedy across bbc tv and radio which i think is much needed but what will it do for comedians? it think is much needed but what will it do for comedians?— it do for comedians? it gives us ho -e it do for comedians? it gives us hope that _ it do for comedians? it gives us hope that people _ it do for comedians? it gives us hope that people are _ it do for comedians? it gives us hope that people are still- hope that people are still interested in comedy and letting us have a _ interested in comedy and letting us have a platform. i did a radio show and that—
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have a platform. i did a radio show and that has— have a platform. i did a radio show and that has been fantastic because it something i can do easily in a studio— it something i can do easily in a studio and _ it something i can do easily in a studio and tv stuff is on hold slightly— studio and tv stuff is on hold slightly south for loads of us it gives— slightly south for loads of us it gives us— slightly south for loads of us it gives us hope and a platform to keep trying _ gives us hope and a platform to keep trying stuff _ gives us hope and a platform to keep trying stuff and giving us an audience. trying stuff and giving us an audience-— trying stuff and giving us an audience. . ., ., , ., audience. what would you be doing normall if audience. what would you be doing normally if there _ audience. what would you be doing normally if there wasn't _ audience. what would you be doing normally if there wasn't a - audience. what would you be doing l normally if there wasn't a pandemic, would you be on tour? how does your working week look? lode would you be on tour? how does your working week look?— working week look? we rely on a lot of live tits working week look? we rely on a lot of live gigs and _ working week look? we rely on a lot of live gigs and festivals, _ working week look? we rely on a lot of live gigs and festivals, the - of live gigs and festivals, the biggest — of live gigs and festivals, the biggest one is the edinburgh fringe in august— biggest one is the edinburgh fringe in august and we are often working on that— in august and we are often working on that from december onwards so that has— on that from december onwards so that has caused a massive hole in people's— that has caused a massive hole in people's allows because we have nothing — people's allows because we have nothing to build up to. i would normally— nothing to build up to. i would normally be working on new material and when _ normally be working on new material and when you do that you have to try it in a _ and when you do that you have to try it in a gig _ and when you do that you have to try it in a gig because it might go horribly— it in a gig because it might go horribly wrong if you in an hour—long shout without tested it. | hour—long shout without tested it. i do hour—long shout without tested it. do that hour—long shout without tested it. i do that every night on the show, i feel you. do that every night on the show, i feel ou. ~ do that every night on the show, i feel ou. . ., , , feel you. when it lands badly you think i feel you. when it lands badly you think i will— feel you. when it lands badly you think i will rewrite _ feel you. when it lands badly you think i will rewrite it _ feel you. when it lands badly you think i will rewrite it for - feel you. when it lands badly you think i will rewrite it for next i think i will rewrite it for next time — think i will rewrite it for next time but _ think i will rewrite it for next
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time but we have not been able to do that so— time but we have not been able to do that so it's _ time but we have not been able to do that so it's been tricky and trying to be _ that so it's been tricky and trying to be funny— that so it's been tricky and trying to be funny world there is a pandemic on and everyone is anxious is difficult _ pandemic on and everyone is anxious is difficult. do pandemic on and everyone is anxious is difficult. , ., , , ., is difficult. do you use it in your material? _ is difficult. do you use it in your material? l _ is difficult. do you use it in your material? i actually _ is difficult. do you use it in your material? i actually did - is difficult. do you use it in your material? i actually did last i is difficult. do you use it in your. material? i actually did last year, i did material? i actually did last year, i did loads _ material? i actually did last year, i did loads of _ material? i actually did last year, i did loads of online _ material? i actually did last year, i did loads of online videos i material? i actually did last year, i did loads of online videos to i material? i actually did last year, | i did loads of online videos to keep me going _ i did loads of online videos to keep me going and keep other people going and the _ me going and keep other people going and the contact was locked down and how i_ and the contact was locked down and how i was— and the contact was locked down and how i was finding it and people like that. _ how i was finding it and people like that. i_ how i was finding it and people like that, i didn't get paid for it, i that, ididn't get paid for it, i just— that, ididn't get paid for it, i just put— that, i didn't get paid for it, i just put it _ that, i didn't get paid for it, i just put it on social media that i had to— just put it on social media that i had to find _ just put it on social media that i had to find a way to be creative without — had to find a way to be creative without going too festivals, the problem — without going too festivals, the problem is these things do not pay and we _ problem is these things do not pay and we are — problem is these things do not pay and we are not getting any income. inten— and we are not getting any income. in ten seconds, what is making you laugh right now? mr; in ten seconds, what is making you laugh right now?— in ten seconds, what is making you laugh right now? my kitten billy who we not over laugh right now? my kitten billy who we got over lockdown, _ laugh right now? my kitten billy who we got over lockdown, he's - laugh right now? my kitten billy who we got over lockdown, he's been i we got over lockdown, he's been brilliant — we got over lockdown, he's been brilliant and i've been watching episode — brilliant and i've been watching episode of friends, old classics and old episodes of stuff. keep episode of friends, old classics and old episodes of stuff.— old episodes of stuff. keep your chin u - , old episodes of stuff. keep your
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chin op. anne- _ old episodes of stuff. keep your chin up, anne. i _ old episodes of stuff. keep your chin up, anne. i hope _ old episodes of stuff. keep your chin up, anne. i hope your- old episodes of stuff. keep your| chin up, anne. i hope your radio programme goes well. we will be tuning in because we are all in need of a laugh. thud tuning in because we are all in need of a lau~h. �* . tuning in because we are all in need ofa lau~h. �* , ., of a laugh. and we will be laughing. see ou of a laugh. and we will be laughing. see you tomorrow. _ of a laugh. and we will be laughing. see you tomorrow. goodbye. i of a laugh. and we will be laughing. i see you tomorrow. goodbye. weather headfines see you tomorrow. goodbye. weather headlines this — see you tomorrow. goodbye. weather headlines this week _ see you tomorrow. goodbye. weather headlines this week have _ see you tomorrow. goodbye. weather headlines this week have been - headlines this week have been dominated by the change to the story, wet and mild for all of us but wednesday did bring window are fine, dry weather. not for all, fine, dry weather. not forall, along fine, dry weather. not for all, along the channel coast we saw persistent rain throughout the day which intensified as wednesday progressed so dorset was soggy at times and it has been fuelled by this vast invigorated jet which is driving areas of low pressure across the atlantic toward the british isles and that will be destroyed for the next few days, one front clearing through to be replaced by another deep area of low pressure, wet and windy weather. we have rain
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to care for a time on thursday, it will produce a window of fine weather before more showers along west facing coast and the wind is always a feature, often over 40 mph unexposed coast, top temperatures ranging from nine to 11 degrees are still unaware we were a week ago. now, as we move towards friday, here's that deep area of low pressure. plenty of isobars on the charts coming from a south—westerly direction. a mild source, so it is bringing mild but moist weather with it. a lot of heavy rain is expected along west facing coasts, accompanied by gale force gusts of winds at times, and we could start to see those rainfall totals really totting up — two to four inches not out of the question. eastern areas should avoid the worst of that rain and temperatures here, ten or 11 degrees the high. but we've got this feed of warm, moist air continuing as we move into the weekend, and as i say, that has the potential to bring the threat of some localised flooding. so, a wet start to saturday, the heaviest of the rain shifts
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a little bit further north, allows things to quieten down a little before more significant rain arrives into the southwest by the end of the day. highs of 11 to 15 celsius. and it's actually sunday that we could see some very warm air spilling up from the near continent. so, this warm front the dividing line, really, between slightly cooler air up into the far northwest and still pretty wet, but these warm southerly winds will drive in that heat as we go through the latter stages of the weekend. so, there'll be a lot of sunshine around and it could feel almost springlike as the temperatures respond. however, that could trigger off tree pollen, and so if you are a tree pollen sufferer, then the hay fever may well be quite high as we get into sunday with 17 degrees the high here. just want to talk about rainfall totals, though. as we go through the week, you can see the brighter colours along those west—facing coasts. in some areas, we could see widely two to four inches of rain, maybe as much as six inches, and that
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could bring an impact with it. we'll all get a chance to breathe on monday — a quieter day, largely fine, dry and pleasant with 10 to 13 degrees the high. but looking into next week, it's going to be dominated by an area of low pressure to start with. now, this will again bring some wet and very windy weather — just look how many isobars. until we get towards the end of the week, high pressure looks likely to build and it may well quieten the weather story down towards the end of february. so, it does look as though we will start off wet and windy to begin with, drier a little bit later on, but one uniform factor — the winds always coming from the southwest, so it does look as though it's going to stay on the mild side.
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tonight at ten: easing the lockdown in england — the prime minister says the data will dictate the timetable for the months ahead. some experts suggest it might be possible to ease the lockdown at an earlier stage because of the success of the vaccination programme, but the prime minister struck a more guarded note. a cautious and prudent approach to coming out of lockdown, in such a way as to be irreversible — we want to be going one way from now on. a world first for the uk — dozens of young and healthy volunteers will be exposed to the coronavirus to help scientists deepen their understanding. anything we can do to shorten the pandemic is something that would be worth doing,
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so it's kind of... i guess it's that which is really driving me.

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