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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 21, 2021 9:00am-9:31am GMT

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our top stories. clashes between police and protesters across europe. thousands reject lockdowns as governments move to tackle a rise in coronavirus infections. "governments are going to insist" on vaccines for international travellers — according to the boss of australian airline qantas. a snapshot of life in england, wales and northern ireland — millions of people are to take part in a once—in—a—decade census. homes washed away in australia as heavy rain and flash floods batter the east coast, thousands of people are ordered to evacuate. over 1000 people allowed to ignore lockdown and social distancing restrictions to attend a music festival in the netherlands, despite the rest of the country being under lockdown. the anniversary of dr martin luther
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king's march from selma in alabama to the state capital in montgomery. hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm shaun ley. tens of thousands of people have taken part in anti—lockdown protests across several european countries — including the uk, germany, austria and poland. infections are on the rise as a third wave begins to sweep the continent but there are signs of growing frustration as many nations reintroduce lockdown measures to control the coronavirus pandemic. aru na iyengar reports. in germany, up to 20,000 people in a
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mass demonstration against coronavirus restrictions. police used water cannon, batons and pepper spray to disperse them, some don't believe the pandemic is real, others say the curbs imposed to rein in the virus infringe their rights. translation: i consider coronavirus to be a serious disease like the flu, which can also be serious, but to make a pandemic out of it with many restrictions on our basic rights, i do not think that is right. covid cases in germany are rising exponentially, and few have had a vaccine. experts say they will not be able to ward off a third way. elsewhere in europe, up to 10,000 anti—long—term protesters marched through central london. in warsaw, a so—called freedom march, poland has just begun a new three week lockdown
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after a sharp increase in cases. and angry demonstrations in vienna, with many calling for chancellor sebastien kurtz to step down. in helsinki, protesters organised a joint walk to reminisce about what normal everyday life is like. protests took place across the country in romania.— protests took place across the country in romania. we've been livin: in country in romania. we've been living in a _ country in romania. we've been living in a medical _ country in romania. we've been living in a medical dictatorship l country in romania. we've been. living in a medical dictatorship for a year. this is the third wave now. here in brussels, a morejovial affair, singing and dancing, and i demand that churches stay open through easter. aruna iyengar. more than 30 people have been arrested following the anti—lockdown demonstrations in london. (tx the metropolitan police said a number the metropolitan police said a number
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of officers were assaulted — some were attacked with bottles. writing in the sunday telegraph, the head of the police federation of england and wales, which represents rank—and—file officers, said policing in lockdown has become a no—win situation for officers. the uk defence secretary has said summer travel abroad is looking increasingly unlikely. speaking this morning, ben wallace said the country cannot ignore what is happening outside of the uk and risk the progress of the country's vaccination programme. more than half of all adults in the uk have now received their first coronavirus vaccine, a milestone hailed by the health secretary as a "phenomenal" achievement. but there is concern about the threat of imported cases, as areas of continental europe face a third wave of infections, as john mcmanus reports. it's been a record—breaking week in the uk, at least as far as covid vaccines are concerned. on friday, more than 711,000 doses were administered to the public. that means more than half of the uk's adult population have now received their firstjab. the government says the vaccination programme is a phenomenal achievement and it insists
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it's on track to offer shots to all of the over—50s by mid—april. the vaccination programme is our route out of the pandemic, help us to protect people. we know these vaccines protect you but they also protect you but we also know they protect those around you and make it less likely that others, your loved ones, will catch coronavirus. for all of us, they are our route out so i am delighted so many people are coming forward and getting the jab. over the past year, the uk has suffered the highest death toll in europe. now numbers of infections and deaths are dropping. but in parts of mainland europe, the virus is reasserting its grip. in response, parts of poland and france have reintroduced partial lockdowns. preventing those different variants of covid entering the uk has led to a warning from scientists that holidays overseas this summer are extremely unlikely. if we were doing better
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with the vaccination campaign in the eu the story might be different in terms of where we are able to travel. i think it has been hugely damaging in the eu, really mixed messaging. the key thing to me is, we need as many people as possible to take the vaccines as rapidly as possible so we can get to high levels of protection rapidly so we can open up, which hopefully in the longer term will include travelling internationally again. it is notjust holiday—makers who want to travel, those with families living abroad are keen to swap online chat for the real thing. a traffic light system as possible, where travellers are given the green light to visit less risky countries while others remain on red. the boss of the australian airline qantas says a coronavirus vaccine could become a requirement for visiting some countries.
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alanjoyce warned that a number of governments are looking at introducing mandatory vaccinations for all international travellers as part of a plan to revive the aviation industry. demand for flights has fallen by 75% as a result of the pandemic. mrjoyce told the bbc it's about keeping people safe. governments are going to insist on it, i think some of the european governments are talking about it, and other governments around the world, as a condition of entry. but even if there wasn't, we think we have a duty of care to our passengers, to our crew, to say that everybody on that aircraft needs to be safe. i'm joined now by sir david king, former chief scientific adviser to the uk government, and chair of the alternative scientific advisory group for emergencies, which provides analysis and advice on the covid—19 pandemic. let me ask you first of all about the situation developing on the continent. how disturbed should people be about the apparent arrival
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of a third wave? i people be about the apparent arrival of a third wave?— of a third wave? i think the answer is, this is a — of a third wave? i think the answer is. this is a very — of a third wave? i think the answer is, this is a very simple, _ of a third wave? i think the answer is, this is a very simple, clear- is, this is a very simple, clear message, one year on we cannot be complacent despite the vaccine roll—out. let's not forget that we are still getting 5000 new cases of covid in this country, and that new variant that is now spreading across europe of course began in this country. secondly, we still have more than 100 deaths per day. there is absolutely no reason for complacency here. we know, of course, that new variants have recently appeared in france, california, the philippines and in brazil. in the uk, there are now already 300 cases of the south african variant. i do not think we can be complacent about any of this because we do not know what the vaccine efficacy is with the new
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variants. we need to be very careful in the management of the travel business. serious consideration must be given to vaccine certification for overseas travel, as for example other governments in europe are now discussing amongst themselves, the greek government particularly with the british government. they are saying, we would let british people come in if they have vaccine certification. and i think that is a good way forward. the difficulty, civen good way forward. the difficulty, given your _ good way forward. the difficulty, given your point _ good way forward. the difficulty, given your point we _ good way forward. the difficulty, given your point we do _ good way forward. the difficulty, given your point we do not - good way forward. the difficulty, given your point we do not know| given your point we do not know about the efficacy of the vaccine for dealing with new variants, the vaccine certification is not going to be enough. just because you have had two jabs... you
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to be enough. just because you have had two jabs- - -_ to be enough. just because you have had two jabs. .. had two “abs. .. you might argue that but to had two jabs. .. you might argue that but to what — had two jabs. .. you might argue that but to what extent _ had two jabs. .. you might argue that but to what extent are _ had two jabs. .. you might argue that but to what extent are the _ had two jabs. .. you might argue that but to what extent are the new - but to what extent are the new variants, not the one we initiated thatis variants, not the one we initiated that is going across europe now, but other new variants present in our country already, more than 300 cases of the south african variant. shutting down our borders completely to travel across europe would seem to travel across europe would seem to me to be based on an understanding of the level of these other variants in those countries. but we also need further analysis to see how the existing vaccine is being used in the united kingdom can being used in the united kingdom can be used against these. for example the south african variant, we know that the vaccine is being rolled out in the uk have at least 50% efficacy against them, and it is likely that the death rate, for example if you do get the illness, the new variants, will not be as high. in
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other words you have some immunity, which is still relevant to this new variant. i which is still relevant to this new variant. ., , ., , ., variant. i was wondering when you saw those pictures _ variant. i was wondering when you saw those pictures of _ variant. i was wondering when you saw those pictures of the - variant. i was wondering when you saw those pictures of the various i saw those pictures of the various protests, notjust in london on saturday but in germany and other parts of europe, whether you feel there is a sort of complacency creeping in among people who feel like we have had it for a year, we now have the vaccinations, that frustration which is understandable combined with the complacency, that that might be quite a dangerous cocktail of emotional responses from people that could actually seriously undermine the prospects of getting, retaining control of this pandemic. that is the most important point. we have no reason for complacency. 5000 new cases down from a much larger number in the uk but if we were starting out at 5000 per day we would be panicking. to be a little
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critical of the government, for the last year we have not controlled our borders. we have managed to let the disease coming through our borders, thatis disease coming through our borders, that is how it came on in the first place. we have never managed our borders well at all. even today, we have a list of countries which are banned from travel unless you go into isolation for ten days to two weeks. this list does not acknowledge the fact people are travelling into other countries from those countries before coming to the uk. i think we need to examine the vaccine certification business, that is the way forward. and i do think, really this is the most important thing, we have to replace the failed
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find, test, trace and isolate system the government put into place last may and put a public health system based on nhs practices. if we did that, we could separate people with the disease from the rest of the healthy population, and then we could get on with our business. sir david king, former chief scientific adviser to the uk government, thanks for your time. thousands of people on australia's east coast have been ordered to leave their homes following days of record—breaking rainfall. the region of new south wales has been hit by huge storms, prompting warnings of "life threatening" flash floods. torrential rain and powerful winds are forecast to continue until late next week, with floods not expected to subside until thursday. let's talk to our correspondent in sydney, phil mercer. iam i am pleased to see he is safely indoors! how unexpected was the
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level of funding, in particular in new south wales?— level of funding, in particular in new south wales? australia is a land well used to — new south wales? australia is a land well used to nature's _ new south wales? australia is a land well used to nature's extremes - new south wales? australia is a land well used to nature's extremes but . well used to nature's extremes but records are tumbling left, right and centre. the new south wales premier says parts of sydney are enduring a once in 50 year weather event and to the north parts of new south wales are in the midst of a once in 100 yearfreak weather event are in the midst of a once in 100 year freak weather event when you the freak storms were coming. the weather forecasting apparatus here in australia is severely punished by extremely sophisticated. it gave people warning to move themselves in livestock to higher ground. —— apparatus here in australia is extremely sophisticated. we knew it was going to rain but many people did not expect this much rainfall.
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the city itself is affected as well, parts of sydney, the most populous parts of sydney, the most populous part of australia, really. what parts of sydney, the most populous part of australia, really.— part of australia, really. what is not helping _ part of australia, really. what is not helping is — part of australia, really. what is not helping is the _ part of australia, really. what is not helping is the main - part of australia, really. what is | not helping is the main reservoir that supplies sydney with most of its drinking water it has overflowed for the first time in about five years, warragamba dam. many suburbs are at risk of serious flooding. thousands of people have been urged to evacuate their homes, many more could be advised to do so. sydney is in a basin, described as a bathtub, you put water into the bathtub and here in sydney it takes a long time for the water to filter away, that is why we have significant flooding. not just is why we have significant flooding. notjust here in sydney, but many other parts of new south wales as well. as you said before, it could
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be the end of the week before the rain subsides and the floodwaters start to dissipate. when all is said and done, there is a forecast that parts of eastern australia could have had one metre of rain in the space ofjust one week when all of this is over. space ofjust one week when all of this is over-— space ofjust one week when all of this is over. phil mercer in sydney, thank you — the uk government has been warned that its decision to slash billions of dollars from its overseas aid budget is illegal. britain's former top prosecutor ken mcdonald said the commitment to meet a un target of spending nought— point— 7% of national income on foreign aid was enshrined in domestic law. i'm joined now by our diplomatic correspondent, james landale. he was a prosecutor he understands how the courts operate, but also opposition for the liberal democrats. how much is politics, how much legal opinion in europe
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legal opinion? he would say this is not to do with _ legal opinion? he would say this is not to do with politics _ legal opinion? he would say this is not to do with politics it _ legal opinion? he would say this is not to do with politics it is - legal opinion? he would say this is not to do with politics it is to - legal opinion? he would say this is not to do with politics it is to do i not to do with politics it is to do with law. there will be different views on this. it comes down to the international development act, existing law. the government says this allows for the target of 0.7% of national income on aid every year to be missed. but thisjudgment says yes, you can miss it inadvertently, by mistake, and come to parliament and explain why you made the mistake and explain why you made the mistake and what you will do to correct it. what the judgment says is what you cannot do is say, we are going to miss the target in future deliberately. we will reduce it down to 0.5. lord mcdonald says you cannot do that, only if you put new legislation through parliament and thatis legislation through parliament and that is why it is unlawful. i5 legislation through parliament and that is why it is unlawful.— that is why it is unlawful. is the oinion, that is why it is unlawful. is the opinion. are — that is why it is unlawful. is the opinion, are the _ that is why it is unlawful. is the opinion, are the campaign - that is why it is unlawful. is the l
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opinion, are the campaign groups looking at forcing the government to think again on this? h0 looking at forcing the government to think again on this?— looking at forcing the government to think again on this? no one has done this et but think again on this? no one has done this yet but it — think again on this? no one has done this yet but it is _ think again on this? no one has done this yet but it is being _ think again on this? no one has done this yet but it is being discussed, - this yet but it is being discussed, an option i think will be considered and it would not surprise me if that is what happens. legal opinions like this, the sort of thing that prepare the way for making some kind of judgment. essentially what this does is it is a legal way of exercising opinions and is coming to a decision. a legalfigure like lord mcdonald says don't like these are the sort of arguments that would be put before the court. and the court would look at whether the judgment is lawful or not. ultimately it would be a decision for the course but i think it is likely. —— a decision for the courts but i think it is likely.
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details of every adult and child in england, wales and northern ireland are being collected today as part of a once—in—a—decade census. by law, everyone has to be accounted for — in order to provide the government, local authorities and other organisations with information needed for future planning. the bbc�*s home editor, mark easton, has the details. voiceover: the census builds a picture of your community. l when you fill in yours, l you help make decisions about services likej local transport and healthcare. almost every decade since 1801, the uk has held a census, a detailed snapshot of our society that helps governments plan and fund the local services we need. schools, gp surgeries, roads, transport and housing. but for only the third time in its long history, part of the country will not be participating in this census day. in scotland it has been delayed for a year because of concerns the results would reflect the abnormal circumstances of the pandemic and prove less useful in the longer term. lockdown means people are not necessarily staying in their usual household, or have left the country during the health emergency. but the event goes ahead
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in the rest of the uk, with the justification that understanding the impact of life under covid will be vital in distributing funds where they are needed most after the pandemic is over. it's easy to complete the census online. i you can do it on a computer, you can do it on a tablet, - or phone. this census, for the first time, will be conducted primarily online. 90% of households will have received a letter with a 16—digit code to access a secure website page. but paper forms are available for those who need them. the 2021 census includes one new question, counting military veterans, and extra categories on sexual orientation and gender identity. it's a legal requirement to complete or be included in the census by the end of today, although officials will go door—to—door to offer support before prosecuting those who refuse to comply with a fine of up to £1000. mark easton, bbc news.
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more than 1000 people have been allowed to ignore lockdown and social distancing restrictions to attend a music festival in the netherlands. the two—day event is part of an experiment by the government and the events industry to try to work out if large crowds can gather without increasing the rate of infection. everyone attending the event had to show a negative test result before being allowed in — but critics have called the festival reckless. march 21, today, is the anniversary of civil rights leader dr martin luther king's march from selma in alabama to the state capital in montgomery. after four days marching, the group of 25,000 protestors reached the capitol steps. after this march, a law was passed, the voting rights act, which secured the right to vote for millions of black people. the march has inspired human rights activists around the world, and was the focus of the oscar—winning film selma in 2014. to discuss this, i'm joined by drjason arday, assistant professor in race and sociology at durham university. thank you for being with us. remind
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us if you can why this event was so critical in finally persuading congress, where there had been resistance for so long, to pass a voting rights measure.— resistance for so long, to pass a voting rights measure. thank you for havin: me voting rights measure. thank you for having me here. _ voting rights measure. thank you for having me here. in _ voting rights measure. thank you for having me here. in terms— voting rights measure. thank you for having me here. in terms of- voting rights measure. thank you for having me here. in terms of thinkingj having me here. in terms of thinking about the importance of this particular legislation being passed through, we have history in terms of black americans, afro—americans, being able to vote and have the same rights as their white counterparts. the importance of this particular bill being passed through really was one of the early dismantling is of a really abhorrent slavery past, which one incarcerated a lot of african americans and there was, two, a
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significance in looking forward to the next 30, 40, 50 years from then and the impact on american political culture. we and the impact on american political culture. ~ ., , ., , culture. we only need to be reminded ofthat culture. we only need to be reminded of that by the — culture. we only need to be reminded of that by the events _ culture. we only need to be reminded of that by the events of _ culture. we only need to be reminded of that by the events of the _ culture. we only need to be reminded of that by the events of the black - of that by the events of the black lives matter movement, and also when president obama, the african—american voters queueing for hours and hours and hours to exercise their vote. it is still a live debate in the united states, the crime obstacles put in the way of people's ability to vote, this is not an argument that has gone away. now, it has not gone away and i think a lot is down to accessibility. the overt racism that exists within a us context, and really they lack of i guess interventions over the last 70—80 years to really kind of disrupt
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those processes. the selma moment when obama undertook his presidency, a huge turning point in american political history. the first black american president, and the first time that people had agency in the voting process, their vote was counted, it was made accessible, opportunities and options were provided to black people to engage and to feel part of a political process. i and to feel part of a political rocess. ,., . and to feel part of a political rocess. ., , ., and to feel part of a political rocess. ., ., process. i saw a play on broadway about 18 months _ process. i saw a play on broadway about 18 months ago _ process. i saw a play on broadway about 18 months ago with - process. i saw a play on broadway about 18 months ago with brian i process. i saw a play on broadway. about 18 months ago with brian cox playing then us president lyndon johnson, a man not noted for its enthusiasm in the senate about black civil rights. but it formed an extraordinary partnership with martin luther king, effectively using the selma as a kind of an argument as to why congress had to
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vote for something it had resisted for the best part of 100 years and passed the first civil rights legislation, an extraordinary period. how important was selma in finally pushing this beyond theoretical and into legislation? i think selma marks a particularly seminal moment, really because as i said it was collective of people marching for the right for black african americans, notjust end but many decades forward. some of the people in that march would not have been there necessarily to tell the tale, martin luther king himself, but what becomes important about that moment it is crystallised history and provided a reference point. history and provided a reference oint. , ., ., ., point. sorry, we have to leave it there. point. sorry, we have to leave it there- dr_ point. sorry, we have to leave it there. drjason _ point. sorry, we have to leave it there. dr jason arday, _ point. sorry, we have to leave it| there. drjason arday, university point. sorry, we have to leave it i there. dr jason arday, university of there. drjason arday, university of
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durham. the march in selma after previous violence. had to be guarded ljy previous violence. had to be guarded by 1900 national guard troops. dry out there today. expect to see a bit more in the way of rain and wind particularly towards the north and west of the country, southern and eastern areas staying largely drive. showing up quite nicely on the rainfall chart for the week, rainfall chart for the week, rainfall totting up across the hills in the west, lack of blue in eastern areas indicating the try theme. high pressure in charge, feeling cooler, the cold fun, not much rain, a cooler affair. particularly the eastern coast of england, yesterday we got into the mid teens in terms
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of temperature. mostly dry, morning cloud breaking up for many and most will see sunny spells for the day, longest of which across southern scotland, perhaps north west england. the wind will also be lighter. temperatures down on the last few days but pleasant in the sunshine, chilly again for east anglia and parts of kent, 7—8. this evening and overnight, temperatures getting up by day, clear skies by nights, some mist and fog patches under clear skies and the risk of frost. for north of scotland, outbreaks of rain. temperatures just above freezing but in the suburbs and countryside knock some degrees off. high pressure looking forward. the air coming up from the atlantic across scotland and northern ireland, more of a breeze through monday and the chance to cook
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bringing spots of rain every now and again. the emphasis for most on monday, dry with varying amounts of cloud, sunny spells, brighter through eastern areas and not as chilly as the wind goes in south—west. he went off the chilly sea. coming from the south—west, picking up on tuesday. dry for most, sunny spells in the south and east, cloud in the west. later some gale—force winds. the weather fronts push eastwards tuesday into wednesday. a change in the rest of the week, rain at times. could even be wintry during friday's temperature drop. in the south things largely dry.
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this is bbc world news, the headlines: clashes between police and protesters across europe. thousands reject lockdowns as governments move to tackle a rise in coronavirus infections. governments are going
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to insist on vaccines for international travellers, according to the boss of australian airline qantas. a snapshot of life in england, wales and northern ireland — millions of people are to take part in a once—in—a—decade census. homes washed away in australia as heavy rain and flash floods batter the east coast, thousands of people are ordered to evacuate. over a thousand people allowed to ignore lockdown and social distancing restrictions to attend a music festival in the netherlands, despite the rest of the country being under lockdown. the anniversary of dr martin luther king's march from selma in alabama to the state capital in montgomery. i wonder how people are feeling in the wales camp after the disappointment in the six nations. i hope there is more cheerful sport to
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tell us about. good morning to you.

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