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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 20, 2021 8:00pm-8:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 8pm. reaching a milestone — half of all adults in the uk have now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine — the health secretary hails "a phenomenal achievement". the vaccination programme is our route out of the pandemic. it will help us to protect people and we know that these vaccines protect you and we also know that they protect those around you. europe braces itself for a third wave of coronavirus infections — with fresh lockdowns in france and poland. government science advisers warn that summer holidays overseas, are "extremely unlikely" this year, because of the risk of travellers bringing coronavirus variants back to the uk. protesters opposed to the coronavirus lockdown march through central london. police have made several arrests.
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a volcano has erupted south—west of iceland's capital, reykjavik — the first eruption in that area of iceland for 800 years. and coming up in half an hour, the king of horror sits down with stephen sackur, to talk about how the genre has evolved. that's in hardtalk. good evening, and welcome to bbc news. official figures show that there have been a record number of coronavirus vaccinations in the uk for a second day in a row. the health secretary has said the uk is on track to ease lockdown measures, after announcing that over half of all adults in the country had now had at least one vaccine dose.
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in the latest 2a hour period alone, nearly 600,000 people had theirfirstjab — bringing the total to more than 26.8 million. and just over 2.1 million have now had both doses of the vaccine. despite these record numbers of vaccinations, a scientist on a government advisory body, warns summer holidays overseas, are "extremely unlikely", because of the risk of travellers bringing coronavirus variants back to the uk. the bbc�*s world affairs correspondent, richard galpin, reports. here in germany the authorities are warning the country is now facing a third wave of coronavirus. infections rising exponentially. particularly worrying as just 8% of the population has had a first dose of vaccine. lockdown measures are now expected. the situation also serious
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here in france as well as poland and other eu countries, with covid cases surging. because of the spread of the uk variant of the virus. infections are starting in western europe and moving gradually eastwards, and we are seeing this particular variant, being more severe in terms of the clinical picture is leading to bigger pressure on hospitals. europe's problems are in part a result of a faltering vaccine programme and delays in deliveries, made worse by the eu's recent suspension of the astrazeneca vaccine but many eu countries are now using it again. the situation in britain is very different from that in the eu with covid cases right down and people hoping to be able to go on a summer holiday abroad, but will it be possible given the covid situation in the eu and other countries?
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we have to be vigilant, and we have set out the steps in the road map that there should be no international travel unless it is absolutely necessary until the 17th of may, and then the global travel taskforce will make a judgment and work with the industry on how quickly and whether we will be able to reopen and how we can reopen. so whether the government will allow holidays abroad this summer remains very uncertain. and unless there is a dramatic reversal in the covid situation in europe in the coming months, it may not be possible to travel to the popular european destinations. richard galpin, bbc news. as we've been hearing, a scientist on a government advisory body has said, summer holidays overseas are "extremely unlikely" — because of the risk of travellers bringing coronavirus variants back to the uk. mike tildesley warned, the uk faces a "real risk", if people travel abroad.
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under the current road map for easing restrictions, the earliest date people in england could holiday abroad, would be the 17th may. irene hays, chair of hays travel, the largest independent travel agency in the uk, told us earlier, that the commons weren't a complete surprise. ——travel agency in the uk, told us earlier, that the comments weren't a complete surprise. it's not totally unexpected after the news today that it's called into question whether or not people will be able to travel immediately following may the 17th, so that wasn't unexpected at all. so that means two things for us, the first one is, obviously, that we had people who booked their holiday in 2019 and weren't allowed to take it in 2020 and now those people will need, potentially, to have their holidays transferred to another date if they are unable to travel the summer. the second thing, and the good news is, 12 of the biggest cruise companies in the world are sending ships across to the uk to help
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out with staycations. and, of course, there is limited capacity, and the prices are going up for hotels and resorts in this country. it offers a real alternative. so instead of a hotel with one bar and one restaurant, we will be able to have a choice in entertainment and so on. but it's a real opportunity for british travel agents to actually have something else to sell, and that news will be coming. already, we've got amnesty, pno, and we have got another who already said that they would be sailing. that was irene hayes there. let's take you through the official government data shows there were 5,587 new cases recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means on average, the number of new cases reported per day,
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in the last week is 5,350. the number of patients in hospital with covid—i9 continues to fall, now down to 6,162. there were 96 deaths reported, of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test, which means on average 94 deaths were reported every day in the past week from coronavirus. that takes the total number of deaths so far to 126,122. measures to help england's retail and hospitality sectors reopen, after coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, have been announced by the communities secretary, robertjenrick. pubs, restaurants and listed buildings have been given flexibility to use their land to allow more people to meet up. a "welcome back fund" of £56 million has also been created to boost high streets and seaside towns. mrjenrick says the money will be distributed
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through local authorities. we want to do everything that we can to support retailers and councils to reopen safely. we're enabling pubs to erect marquees in their gardens for the whole of the spring and summer, so we can all enjoy a pint with our family and friends, whatever the weather. we are enabling alfresco dining again this april as we enjoyed last summer, and we're giving money to high streets the length and breadth of the country so they can prepare to welcome us back this year. and in doing that, is there a fear that by opening up and putting money back into getting people into the high street, we run the risk of increasing cases again? well, the vaccine roll—out is going incredibly well. we've vaccinated almost 26 million people. the road map enables us to cautiously but irreversibly open up again, and it's really important that we back
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hospitality and retail. which has had such a difficult 12 months. so we are cutting red tape so that those businesses can do alfresco dining, can put marquees and pub gardens and can rebuild and prosper once more. and we also want to ensure that high streets, like this brilliant one i'm in today, can spruce themselves up, can market themselves and can invest in festivals and events this summer, so people can get back out and support those shops. that was the mp robert general. let's get more on the situation with coronavirus across europe. france and poland have reintroduced partial lockdowns, as both countries battle a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks. 0ur correspondent, hugh schofield, has more on the paris lockdown. the government and president macron in particular has been loath to reimpose a lockdown. he's put it off for as long as he could, faced a lot
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of criticism from doctors who have said there should have been a lockdown way back injanuary when the british variant first started appearing, but macron has said over and again that they are not there just to administer medicine, or the medical aspect of this, but the political social aspect of it as well, and that is very important because there are breakdowns, there are people suffering severe psychological problems, there are economic consequences as well. he is seeing death and things in the round and has reluctantly moved to a lockdown and made sure it is a lighter lockdown because of just that, because people do need, he would say, some sort of outlet. that means that, if you go out in paris today, as i have been, it doesn't look or feel that different. the park near me has plenty of people in it, we're all wearing masks and so on, but people bring their children out for walks and so on, because there is actually no limit to the amount of time you can spend outside as long as you are taking exercise. what you can't do is go
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and have a picnic with loads of people on the grass, but you can exercise. so it is unlike a lockdown the last time and schools will remain open as well, which means families aren't leaving the city for the country, there is a big incentive to stay put. people will continue to work and so on. the fact it was imposed and announced a year to the day after the first lockdown that came in, itjust reinforces that feeling that we are on a kind of terrible treadmill. you schofield in paris there. in poland, health officials say a three—week lockdown is necessary. adam easton is in warsaw. poland, in terms of the numbers, is seeing its third coronavirus wave, and it is seeing the infection rate accelerate. we are seeing cases that have reached levels that haven't been
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seen since novemebr, the peak of the second wave, so i think there is acceptance in society there should be some restrictions. previously we have had regional restrictions and from today they are nationwide. and it is partly because of the prevalence of the british variant, which is rampant in poland at the moment and is responsible for more than 60% of all cases and soon will be responsible for 80% of cases, so i think there is a feeling among society that we should have some restrictions. at the same time, the health industry is warning that there is also a feeling that restrictions are not being adhered to. there is a feeling amongst some people that covid has been tamed to some extent, and people have become accustomed to it, so you have this double phenomenon going on where people expect to be restrictions with the number being so high again, but they are not actually adhering to those restrictions. a mass demonstration against lockdown has taken place in central london,
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as dozens of mps urge the government to change the law to allow peaceful protest. police say thousands took to the streets, with some being detained. similar demonstrations took place in other european cities, including amsterdam and vienna. protests in kassel, in germany, were the largest anti—restriction demonstrations seen so far this year. our home affairs correspondent, tom symonds, has the story. a year since the lockdown became a part of our lives. thousands took to the streets to protest against it. they called it a vigil for the voiceless, a loose coalition of people, as many views as there were placards. there is no more freedom to choose what is being injected in your body, there is no freedom to speak. there is censorship everywhere. just everything is a hoax and a lie, so we have had enough. those views include a long list of conspiracy theories.
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perhaps one thing united them, a feeling that individual rights have been a casualty of the battle against covid including the right to protest. the police commander for today's events today told me a feeling weight he had weighed those rules against the blanket ban on gatherings. in his view everyone here is breaking the law. the current health protection coronavirus regulations are very clear that it is unlawful to meet more than one person outside or one household to another household, which you can do for recreational purposes, and there are some exemptions but protest is not one of those exemptions. now, of course everyone has a right to protest, protest is not unlawful but gatherings of this size are unsafe. there was not enough officers to arrest everyone taking part will police watching from this control room did plan to "manage the numbers down". there were protests around the world. this was germany, and people
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marched in austria. back in london, this evening, the protesters had broken up into smaller groups. the police say it would have been much better had they not come at all. tom simons, bbc news, central london. brazil has registered nearly 3,000 deaths from covid—19 in the past 2a hours — the second highest daily toll. the country is battling a more contagious variant which is taking a heavy toll on young people. in the latest surge, doctors say there's been a rise in deaths of people aged between 30 and 59. freya cole reports. the start of another hectic day for intensive care workers in sao paulo. the ward is full of covid—19 patients, relying on ventilators and constant monitoring so they can stay alive. for the head of intensive care, the biggest concern now is a sharp rise of younger people being admitted in a serious condition.
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translation: today we face | the prospect that the situation will get worse because the patients we are witnessing have a slightly different profile than before. we are seeing more younger patients with very serious conditions and no underlying health issues. covid—19 has left a trail of death across brazil. a local variant is highly contagious. in the last 21 hours almost 3000 people died, it's the second highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. the hospital workers have had no reprieve. some doctors say the health system is on the brink of collapse. translation: there is a waiting list at practically all— hospitals with icu beds. that creates a problem for us health workers because we are already tired, we have been doing this for a year now and causes it us additional
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stress because we know we are not helping everyone who needs us. having to hospitalise more young people in brazil only adds to the pressure because young immune systems resist the disease more so than older people. it means beds are taken for longer, creating a backlog which doctors feel is never—ending. freya cole, bbc news. pakistan's prime minister, imran khan, has tested positive for covid—19. he was vaccinated just two days ago. according to the country's health minister, mr khan is self—isolating at home. pakistan has recently seen a sharp rise in coronavirus infection. the headlines on bbc news. reaching a milestone — half of all adults in the uk have now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. the health secretary hails "a phenomenal achievement". protesters opposed to
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the coronavirus lockdown marched through central london. scotland yard says london remains in a health crisis, and urge people to stay at home. europe braces itself for a third wave of coronavirus infections, with fresh lockdowns in france and poland. emergency authorities in australia are warning of "life—threatening" flash flooding, as storms batter parts of the east coast. evacuation orders are in place in many low—lying areas, and residents in sydney, australia's most populous city, have been told to stay home. david campa nale report. the aftermath of significant record—breaking rainfall in new south wales. got to go around to the other side of the car now to get the other patient out. across australia's most populous state, dozens of people have been rescued from floodwaters,
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and residents in many low—lying communities ordered to leave. major highways have been closed and wild surf is battering the coast. more storms are forecast in the coming days and parts of eastern australia could receive up to a metre of rain in the space ofjust a week. officials say sydney is facing what they are calling a rain bomb. the main water reservoir though has overflowed for the first time in years as the city of 5 million braces for what's coming next. in the suburbs, descriptions of fear as the first sweep of rain came through the area. and then we saw the tornado form and then we saw trees and plants and people's furniture flying in the air, rubbish bins. and then i screamed and just ran back inside. i've never been so scared in my life. it felt like a movie. there have been over 500 rescue operations from the rising floodwaters. state political leaders said the storms could last for some days yet.
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and gave a plea to residents to obey evacuation warnings. i hate to say this again to all our citizens of this state but it's not going to be an easy week for us. but i know that no matter what comes our way, we'll be able to deal with it. the federal government said the extreme weather has affected its covid—19 vaccine delivery in sydney and throughout the state, but said delays should only last a few days. australia plans to deliver the first vaccine doses to almost 6 million people over the next few weeks. david campanale, bbc news. turkey has pulled out of its landmark global convention, aimed at combatting violence against women. europe's top human rights body, the council of europe, has called it a huge setback for the protection of women in and outside the country. people have taken to the streets to protest the decision. the istanbul convention requires governments to put in place national laws against abuse, including marital rape and female genital mutilation.
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the main opposition party has said the pull—out means "letting women be killed". but turkey's minister for family, labour and social policies said the country's judicial system is strong enough to implement new regulations. bbc�*s orla guerin reports from istanbul. well, there is plenty of anger among the crowd here. these protesters believe that this change is going to drag them and turkey back in time and deprive them of key rights and freedoms. they have been pledging that they will resist but in turkey these days there isn't much space for resistance. turkey's main opposition party has some things up like this, ——turkey�*s main opposition party has summed things up like this, saying that women will now be kept as class and will be left to be killed.
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some of the protesters in the crowd have been carrying photographs of women who have been killed, or placards with the names of women who were victims of violence. and according to one women's rights group, last year alone here in turkey, around 300 women were killed and they say the numbers have been increasing. the government has given no explanation for this. it was done by way of a decree issued in the dead of night. one minister has said that turkey's own laws and its constitution are sufficient to protect women. but the reaction to the council of europe has been one of horror. it says that this will set back the cause of women, notjust in turkey but also in europe. well, there is a considerable security presence here. the police are lined up, water cannon are at the ready. but so far the demonstration has been peaceful, although the feeling, the mood, is very much one of anger. the bbc�*s director—general, tim davie, has suggested that over—75s who do not pay the tv licence fee will not be
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threatened with legal action. the right to a free tv licence for the elderly ended last august for all except those who receive the pension credit benefit. a volcano in south—west iceland has erupted, releasing streams of lava from under the earth's surface. the fissure, 20 miles from the capital, reykjavik, is more than 500 metres long. it's the first eruption in the area in centuries and follows thousands of small earthquakes over recent weeks. our europe correspondent jean mackenzie visited the volcano last week. the lava bursting through a long crack in the earth's crust, the moment icelanders have been bracing for turns into a spectacle, rather than a threat. translation: the nation has been waiting with bated breath now- for three weeks for this to happen
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and it's been 15 months since seismic activity began increasing significantly on the peninsula. since the activity ratcheted up three weeks ago, iceland has recorded more than 50,000 earthquakes, assigned this eruption was imminent. we visited the volcanic area just 20 miles from the capital reykjavik last week. the eruption is going to happen most likelyjust beyond that ridge. this island — which straddles two tectonic plates — is used to eruptions. but not here, this area has sat dormant for centuries. this is very different to the explosive eruption in 2010 that blanketed the skies of europe in ash for weeks. the biggest threat this time is the pollution from the gas is released.
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with residents being asked to keep their windows shut. translation: people have been growing tired of the significant i earthquakes that are constantly keeping us awake, growing anxiety and some residents said, if there's going to be an eruption, it might as welljust happen. icelanders have nicknamed the pretty eruptions "tourist eruptions" but with no tourists around to witness this one, it is the locals who get to marvel at their latest geological wonder. jean mackenzie, bbc news. it is truly beautiful. learning a language might have been an aspiration for many of us in lockdown, and new figures here in the uk show there's been a boom in people learning one in particular — welsh. in fact, its notjust in the uk — people from around the world have been learning it too. the bbc�*s tomos morgan has been meeting up with some of those students in far—flung places — virtually, of course. i ddysgu cymraeg nawr, to learn welsh now,
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the classroom's gone online, just like everything else over the last year. since i was a baby. but these classes aren't just for those living here in wales that can't speak the language. they're full of learners from all over the world. i will give you an eight out of ten for that, that's pretty good. people like student nicole gallegos who lives in, yes, you guessed it, costa rica. not your usual hotbed for celtic languages, i'lladmit. she began studying in october on a language app after realising that her surname has a welsh connection. i heard that the gallegos people are like a compilation of spanish and welsh people that came to the land many years ago, so gallegos kind of has a little bit of welsh in it. and heraim? to be fluent and to come and study
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in cardiff in the future. it would be super, super cool if i could go and study there after i finish studying here. the royal welsh college of music and drama in cardiff, is it? yes, that's right. i wasn't quite good enough to get in there, so if you do, you'll have done very doing well. thank you. last year, welsh was the fastest—growing language in the uk on duolingo, and the number of users worldwide learning welsh has increased by 100,000 since october, with a fifth of all students based in america and even someone in antarctica. so we're here just outside boom in the netherlands... back to a more familiar time zone in holland and jen bailey, an australian music conductor, has also taken to studying one of the oldest languages in europe over the pandemic. without the social interaction of the orchestra over the last year, the added interaction online, on facebook, has been a huge relief for her.
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some people live in wales and some of them like me, come from across the world, no particular family connection, no reason whatsoever to learn welsh, and that gave a tribe and it gave validation, it's not completely weird to learn welsh. but this increased interest has meant that online classes have been overwhelmed, with a lack of teachers to meet the demand. we were surprised initially that anyone would be interested in wanting to learn online. i've been running online chat clubs all over the world, people from all over the world connecting and ijust put up the chat club and it fills up within a few hours and then i have to turn people away. as face—to face socialising begins again, will welsh continue to flourish as the pandemic eases? for now, there's still plenty of grammar yet to be learned. tomos morgan, bbc news, cardiff.
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now it's time for a look at the weather, with darren bett. hello. tomorrow should be a dry day for most of us, there will be sunshine from time to time as well. we saw some high temperatures today, where we did see some sunshine, the north—east of england and parts of eastern scotland. right now, we've got this weak weather front bringing some thicker cloud, a little drizzle southwards across england and wales, heading to the south—west. some clearer skies following away from the north—west of scotland. where we have the clearer skies for longer, around lothian, tayside, fife, temperatures could be close to freezing perhaps. we've got some damp weather and low cloud towards the south—west in the morning. it's always going to be rather more cloudy in the north—west of scotland. elsewhere, some sunshine from time to time, and the weather should improve in the south—west of england and wales as well. for many, the winds will be quite light, but the air�*s a little bit cooler, despite sunshine around. won't see temperatures quite as high as we saw today. typically 10—12 degrees. similar sort of temperatures on monday and into tuesday.
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keeping it dry, some sunshine at times, especially in the east. it does turn more unsettled from the west later the week. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: reaching a milestone — half of all adults in the uk have now had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. the health secretary hails "a phenomenal achievement". the vaccination programme is our route out of the pandemic. it will help us to protect people, and we know that these vaccines protect you, and they also protect those around you. europe braces itself for a third wave of coronavirus infections, with fresh lockdowns in france and poland. government science advisors warn that summer holidays overseas are "extremely unlikely" this year, because of the risk of travellers bringing coronavirus variants back to the uk. protesters opposed to the coronavirus lockdown marched
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through central london.


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