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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 20, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 10pm. 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 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
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the coronavirus lockdown march through central london. police have made several arrests. a volcano has erupted south—west of iceland's capital, reykjavik — the first eruption in that area of iceland for 800 years. down to the wire in paris — france beat wales in a decisive match. and we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers jo phillips and nigel nelson — stay with us for that. good evening and welcome to bbc news. official figures show that there have been a record number of coronavirus vaccinations
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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. 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 facing a third wave of coronavirus.
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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 here in france as well as in poland and other eu countries, where covid cases are 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, it's 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
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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? 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. official government data shows there were: 5,587 new cases recorded in the latest 24—hour period
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which means on average, the number of new cases reported per day, in the last week is 5,350. the number of patients in hospital with covid—i9, continues to fall, its now down to 6,162. there were 96 deaths reported of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—i9 test, which means, on average, 94 deaths were reported, every day, in the past week, from covid—i9. that takes the total number of deaths so far, to 126,122. measures to help england's retail and hospitality sectors re—open, after coronavirus restrictions have been lifted, have been announced by the communities secretary, robertjenrick. pubs, restaurants and listed buildings have been given
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flexibility to use their land to allow more people to meet up. a "welcome back fund" of 56 million pounds, has also been created to boost high streets and seaside towns. mrjenrick says the money will be distributed 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
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26 million people. the road map enables us to cautiously but irreversibly open up again, and it's really important that we back 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 in 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. 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,
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the uk faces a "real risk", if people travel abroad. 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 ——travel agency in the uk, told us earlier, that the comments didn't come as 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 this summer. the second thing, and the good news is, 12 of the biggest cruise
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companies in the world are sending ships across to the uk to help 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 cruise company who already said that they would be sailing. lets get more on the situation with coronavirus across europe, and france and poland have reintroduced partial lockdowns, as both countries battle a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks. 0ur correspondent, hugh schofield,
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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 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,
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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 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 or 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. brazil has registered nearly 3000 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
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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. translation: today we face | the prospect that the situation will get worse because the patients we are admitting 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 known as p1
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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 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.
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emergency authorities in australia are warning of "life—threatening" flas" 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, 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
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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. 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
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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. for a decade, the hungarian prime minister, viktor orban, has set his government the task of boosting the birth rate in hungary, with some success. 3,000 more babies were born in 2020 than 2019, marriages are up, divorce and abortion rates are plunging. but now the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a blow to his plans. nick thorpe reports from budapest. armin is ten days old, born here in his parents�* small living room in budapest. but births in hungary are down nearly 10% compared to 2020. avoiding hospital was one reason why his parents chose a home delivery.
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translation: we did not - want to postpone having our second child just because of the pandemic. how we felt about it was we'ill leave it to armin to arrive in his own good time. translation: my father died of covid barely a month ago. i he went into hospital for something else and caught covid there. he'd caught the virus in hospital when he went in for another reason, so that sort of clinched our decision to have our baby at home. siren wails armin�*s older brother ignatz is two and has his own house, sort of. parents plan to have more children — that's music to the ears of families minister katalin novak. because if you ask a young person if they want to get married, if they want to have children, they are very positive about that so the number of wished children, let's say, it is quite high. so what we have to do is to enable these young people
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to fulfil their wishes, their dreams. and the government is leaving no stone unturned — non—repayable home—building loans worth over $30,000, tax incentives, nursery placesjust some of the encouragements on offer, as prime minister orban told this conference. but then came covid. after rising for much of 2020, the birth rate plummeted in december and january. and one unpublished study suggests that each extra baby born in hungary in 2020 cost the taxpayer $50,000 — money some social policy experts suggest could be better spent. the bulk of that money is spent on better—off families — families who already are either wealthy or they have a stable financial situation, stable incomes. whereas those families
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who are now in a really bad situation — not only because of covid but that, you know, accelerated processes of unemployment — they simply get nothing. but some couples simply want big families and they are grateful for any support they can get. translation: as we want to have more babies, - we want to have a bigger house. translation: soon after we first met, the subject came _ up of how many children we'd like to have realistically, and we just looked at each other and both said "six!" yeah, there was not much need for debate. the state helped them by this strip of land adjacent to their own to build the bigger place they will need for all those children. but the longer the economic crisis caused by the pandemic lasts, the fewer couples likely to share their enthusiasm. nick thorpe, bbc news, hungary.
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the duke of cambridge has said he is "totally overwhelmed by the scale of the burden" faced by the "incredible heroes" who are helping tackle the pandemic in war—torn countries. earlier this week, prince william joined a video call with syrian aid workers supported by the disasters emergency committee's coronavirus appeal. he spoke to three aid workers operating in northwest syria, where a decade of war has left millions of people displaced. coming up next here on bbc news is kate with all the national news. at 7:30pm. sadly we are not talking about a grand slam, we are talking about a grand slam, we are talking about grand
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more than half the uk's adult population has now received a first covid vaccine. the health secretary matt hancock says the country remains on track to ease lockdown measures. we have set out the road map for a cautious but i very much hope irreversible exit from these lockdowns. however, in news that will surely come as a blow to many — there was a warning today that summer holidays overseas this year will be extremely unlikely — we'll look at why. thousands take part in mass demonstrations against lockdown — as dozens of mps urge the government to change the law to allow peaceful protest. a long dormant volcano erupts
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near iceland's capital after thousands of small earthquakes in recent weeks. commentator: it's going to be dulin for the bonus point try! _ and a last gasp try for france ends wales' hopes of a grand slam win in paris. good evening. 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. in the latest 2a hour period alone — nearly 600,000 people had theirfirstjab.
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bringing the total to more than 26.8 million. and just over 2.1 million have now had both doses. 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. richard galpin reports. here in germany the authorities are warning the country is 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 here in france as well as in poland and other eu countries, where covid cases have been surging due to the spread of the uk variant of the virus. infections starting in western europe and moving gradually eastwards, and we are seeing this
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particular variant of concern, being more severe in terms of the clinical picture it's 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 supplies 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? 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's 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'll be able to reopen and how we can reopen.
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so whether the government will allow holidays abroad this summer remains very uncertain. and unless there's 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. other official data out today 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 in the last week is 5,350. the number of patients in hospital with covid 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. taking the total number
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of deaths so far to 126,122. our political correspondent ben wrightjoins me now. there are falls in cases and deaths and the number vaccinated has increased, of course, but what does this mean for lockdown easing? people could be forgiven, why the concern for the summer? essen people could be forgiven, why the concern for the summer? even though all the numbers _ concern for the summer? even though all the numbers are _ concern for the summer? even though all the numbers are going _ concern for the summer? even though all the numbers are going in _ concern for the summer? even though all the numbers are going in the - all the numbers are going in the right direction, there is no sign that lockdown restrictions in england will be relaxed any faster than the government has set out in its plans. the watchword in government is caution and that is certainly applying to the opening up of international travel. according to the government road map, the earliest date people will be allowed to leave the uk for international leisure, is as matt hancock said, the 17th of may, but how and when international holidays can start after that is something being thrashed out by a government task force that will report back on the
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12th of april, that is a key date. for people thinking of a holiday, thatis for people thinking of a holiday, that is the one to look for, and i understand the government is considering a traffic light system that will grade countries according to their risk, vaccination rates, virus rates, and so on, but nothing has been nailed down. as we have seen, there is a lot, this is a moving target, we don't know at the moment where we are going to be regarding covid rates in europe right now. regarding covid rates in europe riaht now. . ., ., , a mass demonstration against lockdown has taken place in central london — as dozens of mps and peers urge the government to change the law to allow peaceful protest. police say thousands took to the streets — with a number of people arrested. our home affairs correspondent tom symonds has the story. a year after the lockdown became a part of all of our lives, thousands took to the streets to protest against it. few masks, little social distancing, and many different views...
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it's just that everything is a hoax and is a lie, so we've had enough. and conspiracy theories... there's no more freedom to choose what's going to be injected into your body, there is no freedom to speak. there's censorship everywhere. but in general, a feeling that individual rights have been a casualty of the battle against covid, including the right to protest. the metropolitan police has accepted, including in court last week, that right remains, but... at the moment gatherings of this scale are unlawful, and as you can see from the images, it is clearly not a safe covid compliant crowd. a gathering of this scale, i cannot see that this would ever be a safe environment under the health protection regulations. some dispute that protests are super spreading events. 60 mps and peers wrote to the home secretary this morning, demanding they be allowed.
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"no," said the home office.

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