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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 29, 2021 9:00am-10:01am BST

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines. president biden has set out spending plans running into trillions of dollars which he intends to fund by raising taxes paid by the wealthy. america is rising anew, choosing hope overfear, america is rising anew, choosing hope over fear, truth overlies and light over darkness. after 100 days of rest and renewal, america is ready for take—off in my view. the government is facing calls to make its new adviser on ministers�* conduct fully independent, with labour accusing it of marking its own homework. northern ireland's democratic unionist party begins its search for a new leader, after arlene foster announced she would step down.
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the uk's biggest airport, heathrow, records losses of nearly £2.11 billion and passenger numbers down 90% due to the pandemic. more medical aid is due to arrive in india as the country reports nearly 380,000 new covid cases, the world's highest single—day total. we'll take a look at how helpless the british—indian community are feeling. let me know your thoughts on any of today's stories — on twitter, it's @annita?mcveigh or #bbcyourquestions. also coming up this hour... a return for parkrun, the volunteer—led initiative is hoping to restart its weekly 5k runs onjune the 5th.
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good morning. welcome to bbc news. welcome to bbc news. president biden has set out plans for a vast expansion of government and said it's time for the wealthiest americans to begin paying theirfair share. in his first speech to congress marking 100 days in office, the us president unveiled a sweeping investment plan forjobs, education and social care. 0n the coronavirus pandemic, he hailed the success of the mass vaccination programme. more than half of the us adult population have now received at least one dose of the vaccine. 0n the economy, president biden outlined a 4 trillion dollar spending plan, calling it a "once in a generation investment". 2.3 trillion is for the american jobs plan, creating jobs and 1.8 trillion for an infrastructure plan that would see investment in education, child care and poverty relief. the president said his economic and social policies would be paid
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for by reversing his predecessor's tax cuts and getting the richest americans and us companies to pay theirfair share. he said it's time for corporate america and the wealthiest 1% of americans to pay higher taxes. 0n foreign policy, biden highlighted the threat from china and russia. saying the us was "in a competition with china and other countries to win the 21st century". he said china and the other autocracies, think that "democracy can't compete in the 21st century". here's our washington correspondent lebo diseko. applause. it was an evening of historic firsts. president biden�*s first address to a joint session of congress, the first time women flanked the president as he made that address. madam speaker, madam vice president... cheering. no president has ever said those
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words from this podium, no president has ever said those words and it's about time. in a chamber with members limited by covid, where just a few months ago insurrectionists occupied the speaker's chair. afterjust100 days i can report to the nation america is on the move again. this was a bold speech, a statement of far—reaching and, some might say, costly intent, a full—throttled endorsement of the idea of big government, two proposals which together will cost $4 trillion, taking in spending on education and paid family leave. my fellow americans, trickle down economics has never worked. it is time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out.
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the president talked of prioritising climate change as a global ambition, of tackling the dual challenges of north korea and iran, and he had strong words for russia and for china. that means making sure every nation plays by the same rules in the global economy, including china. in my discussions with president xi i told him we welcome the competition, we are not looking for conflict, but i made absolutely clear that we will defend america's interests across the board. with regard to russia, i know it concerns some of you, but i made very clear to putin that we are not going to seek exca... excuse me, escalation, but their actions will have consequences. america is on the move again was the theme of the speech, but this is a sharply divided congress.
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in his agenda he faces challenges from the right and from the left. joe biden was dismissed by his predecessor as sleepyjoe, but tonight he set out an ambitious agenda. the big questions are, how much of this can he achieve? and how much of this can he afford? we can speak to scott lucas. he is a professor of us politics at birmingham university. he joins us now. good morning. this was a speech about big government and idea logically he is a politician who is much more about intervention than his predecessor was. but do you think his fellow americans will agree that this big government is what is needed for the times we are in? i what is needed for the times we are in? ., what is needed for the times we are in? . ., , . what is needed for the times we are in? ., ., , . "£1, in? i have grown since the 1960s in america where _ in? i have grown since the 1960s in america where big _ in? i have grown since the 1960s in america where big government - in? i have grown since the 1960s in| america where big government was like a bogey word. but there is also a president in america where
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government intervention in times of crisis has changed the course of the country. i think what you are seeing with the biden administration, not just in the speech last night, but with the proposals, to deal with child poverty, to deal with climate change, housing and education, it is the most ambitious programme since the most ambitious programme since the 1930s. that was government intervention, that was the new deal of franklin roosevelt. it did change america. the biden administration thinks that they were too cautious under barack 0bama and this is not a question of government versus the people, it is a question, asjoe biden put it, a time of crisis and opportunity where government can work for the people notjust opportunity where government can work for the people not just for now, but to make this a better america for generations to come. £31 america for generations to come. of course looking to help low income and middle income americans, he is presumably trying to reach out to many of the voters who president
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trump saw as his natural base as well? i trump saw as his natural base as well? ~ ., , trump saw as his natural base as well? ~' . , . , , well? i think that is absolutely ri . ht. well? i think that is absolutely riht. it well? i think that is absolutely right- it is _ well? i think that is absolutely right. it is understandable, - well? i think that is absolutely i right. it is understandable, given the way america has polarised for decades, especially given the way donald trump exploited that, to simply say there is no in between, you are either with donald trump and the republicans who want to block all this legislation, or you are with joe all this legislation, or you are withjoe biden and the democrats. there is a middle ground in america who with people who have common interest want to make sure they have roofs over their heads, education for their kids and health care when they get sick. the coronavirus pandemic has elevated it. do i think this meansjoe biden will get all of his packages pass? i cannot guarantee that, but they have already made a big step. they have already made a big step. they have already passed that $1.9 trillion rescue package to deal with the pandemic, so now they can get forward with thejobs pandemic, so now they can get forward with the jobs plan and the families plan. the question to the republicans is do you want to tell
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the american people you are against jobs and families? let’s the american people you are against jobs and families?— jobs and families? let's explore that a bit more, _ jobs and families? let's explore that a bit more, that _ jobs and families? let's explore that a bit more, that is - jobs and families? let's explore that a bit more, that is a - jobs and families? let's explore that a bit more, that is a big - that a bit more, that is a big question. and there has been hostile reaction from republican politicians already to this, who are instinctively and again idea logically opposed to this idea of such big scale intervention. they are going to be calculating whether their voters think this is good for them. it is a difficult one for them. it is a difficult one for them. do they go with what they think their voters might want? or do they instinctively decide let's oppose the president with this big plan, 100 days in office? the roblem plan, 100 days in office? the problem for _ plan, 100 days in office? the problem for the _ plan, 100 days in office? tue: problem for the republicans plan, 100 days in office? tte: problem for the republicans is plan, 100 days in office? t"t2 problem for the republicans is that they are in a crisis of their own because they still have not escaped from the trump era. indeed what you have as a division in the party between what you might call the established republicans and the trump supporters, and they continue to bend their knee to that fellow who is now down in florida. what we
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saw in the republican response last night, which was relatively conservative, but an african—american republican, tim scott, was using trump style language, that this is extremism, this is bad socialism. as long as the republicans do that, they will continue to obstruct the biden administration, but as long as they continue to do that they will not posit a way forward for americans. it will be bad for them and it will be bad for america because theyjust pull the country down again at a time when almost 600,000 americans have died during the pandemic. t have died during the pandemic. i want to get your take on one more thing, it was the comment that the us was in a competition with china and other countries to end a 21st century. he said china and other autocracies think that democracy cannot compete in this century. what do you make of those comments by two throwing the gauntlet down? he do you make of those comments by two throwing the gauntlet down?— throwing the gauntlet down? he did. i am not sure — throwing the gauntlet down? he did. i am not sure he _ throwing the gauntlet down? he did. i am not sure he threw _ throwing the gauntlet down? he did.
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i am not sure he threw the _ throwing the gauntlet down? he did. i am not sure he threw the gauntletl i am not sure he threw the gauntlet down which is let's have a new cold war with china or the russians, but i was disturbed by that. i have got to be honest. he is trying to sell this programme domestically by saying, look, it is us versus them, the us versus china, at the same time when there are issues beyond this. think about climate change. i admire a lot about what this administration has done, but i think this was a fairly short—sighted, rhetorical trick which is us versus beijing. i am all for democracy and i want to see democracy expand, but i want to see democracy expand, but i would rather see them do it in terms of pitching it is good for all of us, it is good for the world, rather than let's get one over on the chinese. rather than let's get one over on the chinese-— rather than let's get one over on the chinese. ., ,,., ..,, ., ,, the chinese. professor lucas, thank ou ve the chinese. professor lucas, thank you very much- _ the government is being urged to give its new adviser on ministerial standards full independence to launch investigations without needing boris johnson's permission first. lord geidt, who was the queen's former private secretary,
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was appointed to the role yesterday. he will review how the refurbishment of mrjohnson�*s downing street flat was funded. let's get more from our political correspondent damian grammaticas. how independent is truly independent? a lot of people do not think lord geidt�*s roll is fully independent. the government are saying he has been given more power, but ultimately he is still under the control of the prime minister? yes. control of the prime minister? yes, absolutely- — control of the prime minister? yes, absolutely. this _ control of the prime minister? yes, absolutely. this is _ control of the prime minister? yes, absolutely. this is one _ control of the prime minister? yes, absolutely. this is one of— control of the prime minister? t2: absolutely. this is one of the investigation is going into the downing street flat issue. lord geidt was appointed yesterday. it had been six months while there was nobody in that position. the predecessor, sir alex allan had resigned last november specifically because he had advised that the then home secretary in his view in her
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behaviour had done what could have amounted to bullying and that had been dismissed or not accepted by the prime minister, who said he thought otherwise, so he did not accept that report. so the previous adviser resigned because his findings were not accepted. a new one has been appointed with what downing street said yesterday were some changes. those changes amount to the fact that we were told he can consider whether an investigation should be launched and raise that confidential with the prime minister, but the prime minister still decides whether an investigation is launched into the conduct of a minister or the prime minister himself. then the findings are returned to the prime minister who again decides whether they are accepted or not. that is where labour last night, sir keir starmer saying he would have a fully independent adviser. today the
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shadow social care minister liz kendall also saying that independence is important. let's not forget that the last independent adviser on ministerial standards actually quit because the prime minister overruled his finding that priti patel had bullied staff. the new one who's onlyjust been appointed because the prime minister is under pressure doesn't have the power to even initiate investigations. it's notjust that borisjohnson would be marking his own homework, he'd be deciding he doesn't have any to do at alt — the reason this is so important is we have got to have trust in our democracy and ministerial standards and i'm afraid so far what the government is doing isn't good enough. what the government says is it is important the prime minister is the final person who has the decision on whether ministers stay in office or not. the individual task with this has to report to the prime minister
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because we, as ministers, only are able to do ourjob because we carry the confidence of the prime minister. when that confidence goes, because lord geidt finds against a minister in terms of breaking the code, then in terms of my role i would have to obviously step away from being a minister because i no longer have the confidence of the prime minister. it is important as an operation for the government to work for this to happen. the changes we've made has allowed lord geidt to be able to be proactive, notjust reactive, to be able to go wherever he needs to go in terms of ministerial conduct. but of course you cannot quite do that. he is currently doing an investigation into borisjohnson, asked for by borisjohnson. he will retain his findings to borisjohnson who will decide whether to accept those findings are not. but of course, remember downing street says
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the prime minister has followed all the prime minister has followed all the regulations.— the prime minister has followed all the reuulations. . , ., ., , northern ireland s democratic unionist party is beginning the process of selecting its next leader and a new first minister in the devolved government after arlene foster announced yesterday that she'll stand down. her decision followed a growing revolt within her own party. here s our ireland correspondent chris page. let's speak now to the political commentator amanda ferguson. a clear majority of the dup and westminster assembly members wanted arlene foster to go, but i suppose the question is, is there a clear majority for who? and what type of leader comes next? we majority for who? and what type of leader comes next?— leader comes next? we know her osition leader comes next? we know her position became _ leader comes next? we know her position became untenable - leader comes next? we know her position became untenable when| leader comes next? we know her- position became untenable when 7596 position became untenable when 75% of the mlas were telling her that they don't want you any more and you have to go. i think while the leadership challenge has been bubbling for quite a while, in spite of recent events, has surprised a
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few people. there does not seem to be a clear strategy on what happens next. we know arlene foster will be going at the end of may and as first minister at the end ofjune, so that is a transition of sorts. the front runner, people like the agriculture minister and sir geoffreyjohn wilson mp, or gavin donelson as mp, who are very different men with different ideas, but you have to have a direction for your party. this is being talked about quite a lot and we might end up with two different people, one as party leader and one as first minister? tt is a possibility and has been spoken about quite a lot, but it could cause a few problems. then there is the argument of who is actually in charge? the dup would rather have power at the top of the party. whether you could have an mla being in position at stormont and having the other role at westminster, it
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may be something that could happen and it has not happened in the dup before, but never say never. it will before, but never say never. it will be interesting whether it is one person or two people who take over, all of the issues that were there before she was ousted remain and they are not necessarily in the dup leader's gift to change them. whoever takes over cannotjust leader's gift to change them. whoever takes over cannot just wave a wand and scrap the brexit protocol. and some of the issues that have caused problems for certain elements in the party around lgbt rights and women's reproductive rights, there is a sense that they cannot stop the tide coming in on that. �* ,, , , that. and sinn fein is the party from whom _ that. and sinn fein is the party from whom we _ that. and sinn fein is the party from whom we have _ that. and sinn fein is the party from whom we have the - that. and sinn fein is the party| from whom we have the deputy that. and sinn fein is the party - from whom we have the deputy first minister, michelle 0'neill, from whom we have the deputy first minister, michelle o'neill, and they have urged the dup to be pragmatic, whoever emerges as party leader, and, or first minister, to be pragmatic. who do you think could be the best person suited to navigate
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that difficult relationship with the westminster government over brexit and the northern ireland protocol and the northern ireland protocol and to also deal with the fact that and to also deal with the fact that a lot of mlas in northern ireland are not socially conservative in the way the dup is?— way the dup is? that could be --erhas way the dup is? that could be perhaps where _ way the dup is? that could be perhaps where the _ way the dup is? that could be perhaps where the role - way the dup is? that could be perhaps where the role gets i way the dup is? that could be i perhaps where the role gets split into two. the one thing that unites unionism at the moment is their hatred of the brexit protocol, so that will not be an issue that will come from anyone who is in charge and be united on. but what you heard michelle 0'neill saying was essentially you have to be realistic about what comes next. you might not be necessarily aware that while northern ireland has a first minister and deputy first minister, it is a joint office and one cannot exist without the other. whoever is elected will find that sinn fein
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will have a list of demands around we want all of our previous agreements implemented before we progress with this. that might be where we find that we get an early assembly election. it has been an unstable time, because we have only had devolved government back for a year. it returned after a three—year absence in january 2020 and year. it returned after a three—year absence injanuary 2020 and then almost immediately the politicians were launched into dealing with the covid pandemic and that is still ongoing. all the issues around irish language, and the political landscape of northern ireland, have to be considered by whoever is going to be considered by whoever is going to lead the unionists in northern ireland because this is not that northern ireland of 100 years ago. it is not even the northern ireland of ten years ago, so there will be complications ahead.—
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of ten years ago, so there will be complications ahead. good to talk to ou, complications ahead. good to talk to you. amanda — complications ahead. good to talk to you, amanda ferguson. _ complications ahead. good to talk to you, amanda ferguson. if— complications ahead. good to talk to you, amanda ferguson. if you - complications ahead. good to talk to you, amanda ferguson. if you wantl complications ahead. good to talk to i you, amanda ferguson. if you want to get in touch about the politics in northern ireland or at westminster, orany northern ireland or at westminster, or any of the other stories, and we will be talking about india's situation as well and the idea of one vaccine booster is rolled out later next year. we will also be talking about the town of park run. if you would like to talk about any of those, you can do that on twitter. we would love to hear from you. britiain�*s biggest airport has seen losses during the pandemic rise to nearly £2.11 billion. passenger numbers passing through heathrow in the three months to the end of march are down more than 90% compared with the same period in 2019. and yesterday the civil aviation authority rejected the airport's request to increase charges for airlines using the terminal. well, let's speak to the boss of heathrow airport, john holland—kaye. thank you forjoining us. good
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thank you for “oining us. good morning. — thank you forjoining us. good morning. when _ thank you forjoining us. good morning. when you _ thank you forjoining us. good morning. when you look- thank you forjoining us. good morning. when you look at. thank you forjoining us. good l morning. when you look at that -a~lunin morning. when you look at that plunging number— morning. when you look at that plunging number of _ morning. when you look at that plunging number of passengers| morning. when you look at that i plunging number of passengers it morning. when you look at that - plunging number of passengers it is hardly surprising to see the losses, but that sum of money, is that the kind of order of losses you are expecting? kind of order of losses you are “petting?— expecting? yes, it is. we will continue _ expecting? yes, it is. we will continue to — expecting? yes, it is. we will continue to make _ expecting? yes, it is. we will continue to make those - expecting? yes, it is. we will continue to make those kinds expecting? yes, it is. we will. continue to make those kinds of losses until we see international travel restarting. that is why maida 17 is such an important date to restart international travel. we know there is massive demand to fly. people have not seen their loved ones around the world for over a year. a lot of businesses have not seen their customers or subsidiaries around the world for over a year and around the world for over a year and a lot of people just want to go on holiday. the main constraint is the government opening borders again and doing it in a safe way and that is what we need to see happen on may the 17th. ., , , , the 17th. you must be disappointed that this request _ the 17th. you must be disappointed that this request for _ the 17th. you must be disappointed that this request for an _ the 17th. you must be disappointed that this request for an increase - the 17th. you must be disappointed that this request for an increase in | that this request for an increase in airline charges has been rejected. presumably that was one way that you are looking to recoup some of those losses? , , ., , , , .,
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losses? this is only the first stage in the process. _ losses? this is only the first stage in the process. the _ losses? this is only the first stage in the process. the civil— losses? this is only the first stage in the process. the civil aviation l in the process. the civil aviation authority are going to be reviewing our overall economics at the end of this year and so i hope they will make an adjustment then. it is important they do because we have invested billions of pounds to create this fantastic world—class airport. airlines are able to make high margins at heathrow than any other airport in the well, but we are capped on how much price we can charge in good times and that protects the airlines. we need the airport to be protected in the down time so we can find this investment. that matters for us and it matters for all the other infrastructure investments that the government wants to get under way as part of its recovery plan. tt wants to get under way as part of its recovery plan.— its recovery plan. it was a premature _ its recovery plan. it was a premature request, - its recovery plan. it was a i premature request, though. its recovery plan. it was a - premature request, though. i take the point you are making about airlines using the facilities at the airport, but they as well, as we look at all the pieces in the jigsaw, they also have to start recouping some of their losses before they can pass on extra money
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to you? me before they can pass on extra money to ou? ~ ., ., ., to you? we are not looking for chances to you? we are not looking for changes this — to you? we are not looking for changes this year, _ to you? we are not looking for changes this year, our - to you? we are not looking for changes this year, our prices l to you? we are not looking for i changes this year, our prices have come down this year. this is about charges over future years and it is a relatively small change in the scheme of things. airlines are much more flexible. they do not pay for the airport if they are not using it, they do not pay for their fuel, they do not even pay for their engines if they are not using them. for the airport it is a massive infrastructure investment with massive fixed costs and that is why we have had these 2.4 billion losses so far and it is only ever paid for by passengers who want to use the airport. that is why our prices which are capped by the regulator are so important to find the asset. let's talk more broadly, you alluded to it, international travel. what are your predictions at this stage? we have spoken about where we are at with regards to people being able to travel abroad, we think possibly,
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although not confirmed fully, from maida 17. although not confirmed fully, from maida17. what more do you know about the traffic light system? i know you have been talking to colleagues of mine about a bottleneck you have concerns with. this is regards to the border force processing people coming through the airport and how much that will hamper the expansion of travel. we are hamper the expansion of travel. 2 are getting ready at the airport to open up again on may the 17th and we have been dusting down terminals like terminal three, which has been closed. i was there yesterday and all the retailers are getting ready to go and we are looking forward to welcoming people back. one concern welcoming people back. one concern we is borderforce who manage the immigration area coming into the country. they have a lot of checks they are currently doing. 100% of passengers are checked to make sure they have the right forms filled in before they get on the plane and they are checked again at the border and this has become a real bottleneck today, even with tiny numbers of people flying. at times
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we have had six—hour queues at heathrow, which is completely unacceptable. unless the home office gets a grip of this issue we could have chaos at the border at heathrow and other airports when international travel restarts. it is very fixable. but at times when there are six—hour queues there are often only two people on the border manning those desks. we should have every single desk staff at peak times to make sure the border moves smoothly. home office ministers need to get a grip of this quickly to be ready for maida 17. t to get a grip of this quickly to be ready for maida 17.— ready for maida 17. i am sure we will be putting — ready for maida 17. i am sure we will be putting those _ ready for maida 17. i am sure we will be putting those sort - ready for maida 17. i am sure we will be putting those sort of- will be putting those sort of questions to ministers. thank you very much. thank you very much. in the past 24 hours india has recorded a further three thousand six hundred and forty five deaths from coronavirus, with almost 380,000 new cases. later today, more than a hundred
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million dollars of aid from the united states will begin arriving. india's health system is under enormous pressure, and now volunteers are stepping in to help tackle the oxygen shortage across the country. piyush nagpal reports. another new arrival struggling for breath. this woman hasjust another new arrival struggling for breath. this woman has just arrived in a rickshaw. but it is not long before she is given help. car after car lining up in this makeshift oxygen drive through. each of them contains someone in desperate need of help.
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with shortages across the country, the cost of an oxygen cylinder has surged. but outside this seek temple worshippers are helping people for free. the volunteers have given oxygen to more than 1600 people so far. increasing numbers of countries are sending oxygen and supplies to
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india. russia, the uk and the us are all sending aid. but in the meantime, indians are looking to help themselves. an extra 60 million doses of the pfizer—biontech covid vaccine have been ordered by the uk government as it puts together plans for a vaccination booster programme in the autumn. it brings the total number of pfizer doses ordered by the uk to 100 million. the expectation is that the most vulnerable groups will be offered anotherjab before next winter. we can speak now to professor andrew preston, microbiologist and professor at bath university. good morning, thank you forjoining us. what is your understanding of this booster plan? t us. what is your understanding of this booster plan?— this booster plan? i think it is precautionary- _ this booster plan? i think it is precautionary. obviously - this booster plan? i think it is precautionary. obviously we i this booster plan? i think it is i precautionary. obviously we do this booster plan? i think it is - precautionary. obviously we do not know how long the vaccines last. when we went out with 12 weeks with
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the over 80s initially, there were signs that the antibodies were starting to date as they reached the 12 week period before their second dose. we do not have the data for how long those levels might be maintained after the second dose. hopefully the second dose will cement in immunity if you will. there is a good chance they will start to wane quite naturally, particularly if they have not been boosted by exposure to the virus now we have relatively low levels. i think it is sensible to put in place anything we need should we want to p"°p up anything we need should we want to prop up their immunity, particularly if we get a winter rebound in the level of virus. share if we get a winter rebound in the level of virus.— if we get a winter rebound in the level of virus. are we talking about the same formulation _ level of virus. are we talking about the same formulation as _ level of virus. are we talking about the same formulation as the - level of virus. are we talking about | the same formulation as the vaccine or vaccines that are already in use? 0r or vaccines that are already in use? or are we talking about something with tweaks to the formulation to take account of variance? t am with tweaks to the formulation to take account of variance? i am not sure whether _ take account of variance? i am not sure whether this _ take account of variance? i am not sure whether this ties _ take account of variance? i am not sure whether this ties us - take account of variance? i am not sure whether this ties us into - sure whether this ties us into exactly a precise formulation. at the moment my understanding would be it is more of the same. clearly
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there has been a lot of discussion about whether we need to have a second generation of these vaccines that take into account the variance. that has been well discussed. there is also a line of thought that a third dose or a booster will provide still high enough levels of antibodies even to deal with these variants. we know there is a reduced recognition of some of the variance, say the south african variant, by the antibodies generated from these vaccines, but if we can get a booster and get those levels are sufficiently high it is still likely they will deal with all of the variance that we are currently experiencing. this should reread into that the order is with pfizer biontech and not astrazeneca. they said they are approaching astrazeneca, too. do you think why this initial order has been with pfizer? scientifically,
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the one concern _ been with pfizer? scientifically, the one concern with _ been with pfizer? scientifically, the one concern with the - been with pfizer? scientifically, the one concern with the viral l the one concern with the viral vector vaccine which includes the oxford vaccine, you can develop 0xford vaccine, you can develop immunity to the virus that delivers the covid protein. they would be some concern that after two doses, if you have sufficient levels of immunity against the virus itself, your only immune response would deal with the vaccine and diminish the effect of a third dose. you won't get that with the messenger vaccine, the moderna and the pfizer so it might be hedging its bets how the visitors might be.— visitors might be. listening to that, we have _ visitors might be. listening to that, we have heard _ visitors might be. listening to that, we have heard good - visitors might be. listening to. that, we have heard good news earlier this week about a reduction in transmissibility of the virus once you have had a vaccination, but it is clear other measures still
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need to be in place while we bring numbers further down still? absolutely. whilst there remains any level of transmission within the community, we seem to be stuck at this plateau of a couple of thousand and if anything, that is likely to increase as we continue to ease restrictions. the threat of importation of cases from other hotspots around the world, i don't think that is going to go away anytime this year. whilst we think we have levels of protection and certainly transmission cutting from these vaccines is very good news, but it is likely we will need to be prepared against any rebound, at least for the rest of this year and possibly into early next year. it's not saying we cannot continue to ease lockdown because the level of protection these vaccines give, the report on india just shows how devastating it could be to have a very large research at a time when people's immunity is starting to rain a little. people's immunity is starting to
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rain a little-— rain a little. professor, good to talk to you- _ rain a little. professor, good to talk to you. thank _ rain a little. professor, good to talk to you. thank you - rain a little. professor, good to talk to you. thank you very - rain a little. professor, good to i talk to you. thank you very much. rain a little. professor, good to - talk to you. thank you very much. we have some pictures to show you of the health secretary receiving his covid jab this morning. there he is, that was at the science museum in kensington. he may be able to spot he has got his mask on, naturally and that is being administered by the deputy chief medical officer, jonathan van tam. they were both in the downing street news conference, so the health secretary looking very pleased to get his first vaccination. now it's time for a look at the weather with carol kirkwood. hello again. the next few days the forecast is one of sunshine and showers, chilly by day and chilly by night. today we've got that mixture of sunshine and showers, many of us, of course, will miss the showers. they could be wintry across the tops of the mountains in scotland and it's going to be a brighter day across southern england and wales than it was yesterday. these white circles represent the average wind speeds so it's not a particular windy day,
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but the direction is important and once again along this north sea coastline it will feel cool in the north—easterly wind. top temperature's likely to be between 11 and may be 13 degrees. through this evening and overnight, many of the showers will fade, but not all of them and under clear skies it's going to be cold enough once again for a widespread frost. these temperatures that you can see here represent towns and cities. so over the next few days we've got cold nights, frosty starts but a mixture of sunshine and showers but the winds will fall much lighter than they have been. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: president biden has outlined a programme to transform the us economy and society after the pandemic, worth almost $4 trillion. the government is facing calls to make its new adviser on ministers�* conduct fully independent, with labour accusing
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it of marking its own homework. northern ireland's democratic unionist party begins its search for a new leader, after arlene foster announced she would step down. the uk's biggest airport, heathrow — has recorded losses of nearly £2.4 billion and passenger numbers down 90% due to the pandemic. more medical aid is due to arrive in india as the country reports nearly 380,000 new covid cases — the world's highest single—day total. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's mike. good morning. manchester city won't be resting on their laurels, but they are in control, of their champions league, semifinal, as they try to reach the final for the first time. in the away leg, last night, they did fall behind to paris st—germain, before half time, conceding a marquinos header from a corner, but after the break, city produced a stunning performance.
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they got fortunate with their equaliser. crossed the ball and it curled all the way in. and then riyadh mahrez found the gap in the psg wall, to make it 2—1, and give city the advantage for the second leg at the etihad. we were aggressive and attacked the ball with passion and we found the goals, we could have scored more. so just the half part for the job and the question is simple. so if we play shy and not who we are, everything the semi—finals of the world snooker championship start this afternoon after a dramatic set of last eight matches concluded last night, as the world number onejudd trump, was knocked out by shaun murphy. trump could have taken the match to a deciding frame but missed that red, and murphy finished up winning
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by 13—11 — he'll play karren wilson in the last four. i feel like, you know ifeel like, you know in rocky four where he gets completely pummelled by the russian for about an hour. did you see some of those shots, they were ridiculous, theyjust kept going on. then i took my chance. tyson fury has promised to retire from his fight with anthonyjoshua — if he fails to knock him out by round four. the fight is still being negotiated, with all four world heavyweight belts on the line. just been thinking, another message for ajay. just been thinking, another message forajay. if just been thinking, another message for ajay. if you go past three rounds with me, i will quit in the corner because that is how confident i am taking you out within the first two, three rounds. 0ut! this week a unique cricket league has begun in birmingham — the hours of play are ten at night until midnight. as many members of the muslim community observe ramadan, the passion for cricket still burns strongly. now, for the first time, birmingham's famous edgbaston ground is opening late to accommodate these
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young players, while also keeping to covid rules. joe wilson reports. ten o'clock at edgbaston, the cricket is just beginning, indoors. four birmingham team is immersed in a new league organised by warwickshire and the chance to shine territory. players are aged between 16 and 18 and observing ramadan. the daylight hours are for fasting and reflection, but there's still time for cricket. tt reflection, but there's still time for cricket-— for cricket. it is better because durin: for cricket. it is better because during the _ for cricket. it is better because during the day _ for cricket. it is better because during the day we _ for cricket. it is better because during the day we hardly - for cricket. it is better because during the day we hardly have| for cricket. it is better because i during the day we hardly have any energy so it is better to play at night. energy so it is better to play at niuht. , , , ., ., night. this is better, i want to sread night. this is better, i want to spread the — night. this is better, i want to spread the word. _ night. this is better, i want to spread the word. everyone i night. this is better, i want to | spread the word. everyone can experience this. i am proud of what is going _ experience this. i am proud of what is going on— experience this. i am proud of what is going on and proud to be part of it. is going on and proud to be part of it it— is going on and proud to be part of it. , ., is going on and proud to be part of it. , . ~ , , , is going on and proud to be part of it. it is great, keeps us active because in — it. it is great, keeps us active because in ramadan - it. it is great, keeps us active because in ramadan we - it. it is great, keeps us active because in ramadan we are i it. it is great, keeps us active - because in ramadan we are tired. it keeps _ because in ramadan we are tired. it keeps is _ because in ramadan we are tired. it keeps is active — because in ramadan we are tired. it keeps is active in— because in ramadan we are tired. it keeps is active in all— because in ramadan we are tired. it keeps is active in all departments i keeps is active in all departments and it_ keeps is active in all departments and it is— keeps is active in all departments and it is fun — keeps is active in all departments and it is fun as— keeps is active in all departments and it is fun as well. _ keeps is active in all departments and it is fun as well.— and it is fun as well. religious observance — and it is fun as well. religious observance is _ and it is fun as well. religious observance is especially - and it is fun as well. religious - observance is especially important in the month of ramadan and we were invited to film prayers in the
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indoor school early in the evening, cricket and faith living alongside each other. the interest in cricket and the talent in cities like birmingham, we have known about that than a decade. there is a crickets south action asian plan. the idea is to engage communities by shaping the opportunities to play cricket and this is an example. tt is this is an example. it is identifying _ this is an example. it is identifying that - this is an example. it is identifying that these i this is an example. tt 3 identifying that these guys are passionate about the game and we should be embracing that passion and trying to do things for them. the penny dropped a little bit and everybody is this sort of cricket, that sort of cricket and also the community side as well which is just as important. community side as well which is 'ust as important.— community side as well which is 'ust as important. covid presents its own challenaes as important. covid presents its own challenges as _ as important. covid presents its own challenges as under— as important. covid presents its own challenges as under 18 _ as important. covid presents its own challenges as under 18 is, _ as important. covid presents its own challenges as under 18 is, they - as important. covid presents its own challenges as under 18 is, they are i challenges as under 18 is, they are permitted to take part in indoor sport with specific safety measures like sanitising the ball. when it is time to leave, the cricket ground is a safe environment for the
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youngsters to be collected. it is only midnight when darkness finally stops play. stops joe play. stops play. joe wilson, bbc news, edgbaston. what a brilliant idea. that's all the sport for now. a week today scotland goes to the polls. the election could have a big impact on the uk — if pro independence parties win they will demand another referendum. but the economic recovery after the pandemic is also a key issue. 0ur politcal correspondent nick eardley reports from aberdeen. welcome to coming back indoors. a warm welcome back after a long winter lockdown. i hope you are hungry. hospitality on aberdeen's beachfront is back up and running. anyway, enjoy your lunch. despite a tough time recently, susie remains optimistic. we have to be positive going forward as from now with the reopening of everything.
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but it has been a very scary time this last year for everybody in aberdeen, aberdeenshire. do you think it's important that politicians focus on getting the economy moving again? 0h, first, yes. firstly and mostly, yes. there are green shoots here. shoppers back on union street, but aberdeen has been hit hard and local business groups want politicians to act. unemployment has been the highest in scotland. 0ur number ofjob vacancies has fallen the most. this is a vital election, possibly the most important of our lifetimes because i think the policy decisions that are determined now. how we recover. we are asking for our business to be trusted by government, to be seen as part of the solution. after the challenges of the last year, economic recovery is playing a big role in the election debate. how to protectjobs and livelihoods when some of the emergency support schemes come to an end. but in scotland, it's also about independence, how strong is the economy here?
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would it suffer if scotland left the uk? over the country be able to make better, perhaps better economic decisions? aberdeen is no stranger to economic challenges. after the boom years of oil, they suffered when the price fell. that also had an impact on the economic debate around independence. and increasingly, scotland's energy sector is investing in renewables. sir ian wood made his money from the oil boom, more than £1 billion of it. he says it still has a role to play, but diversification will be key for the city's future. i think we are in better shape than we were. we were to dependent on oil and is. frankly, the whole of the uk has been too dependent on oil and in our economy. so we are in a transition period, it's going to be challenging but i'm reasonably confident we'll work our way through that. but i can't think of anywhere else in the uk better to actually make a serious go at renewables.
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if you had your time again or if you are starting off now, rather, would you invest all your money in renewables? yes, i would. scotland is hosting a major climate change conference in november. world leaders trying to figure out how to make the move to green energy. that's one of the questions aberdeen is trying to answer right now, but after the pandemic it's not the only one for this city and its politicians. nick eardley, bbc news, aberdeen. staying with next week's elections, tonight leaders of the main parties in wales will be taking part in a bbc wales debate. 60 seats are up for grabs in the senedd and across the day on bbc news we'll be taking a look at some of the key issues in wales ahead of tonights debate. and sarah dickins, the economic correspondent for bbc walesjoins me now from cardiff. the pandemic has changed so much for
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us all and these elections will be a test as to whether the pandemic will shape our political choices as well. what are the party saying about issues of the future of the high street and how we are going to work in the future as part of the broader debate on the economy?— debate on the economy? there is something _ debate on the economy? there is something important _ debate on the economy? there is something important to - debate on the economy? there is| something important to recognise debate on the economy? there is - something important to recognise and thatis something important to recognise and that is that wales went into the pandemic with already a very weak economy, we are one of the least productive parts of the uk. that is not because we have high levels of unemployment, when the pandemic began wales had a higher level of employment than the uk average. but we have a high proportion of low skilled and low—paid jobs. the average wage in wales is around £50 average wage in wales is around £50 a week less than the average for the uk. many of those jobs are in hospitality, retailand uk. many of those jobs are in hospitality, retail and exactly sectors, if you like, that have been shut down during the last year and shut down during the last year and shut down during the last year and shut down for such long periods. a
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fragile economy hit by this virus. the biggest challenge to economic policy here since devolution. so how has that changed what the main parties are offering? there has been much more talk about local communities and about our towns and market towns. 0ne communities and about our towns and market towns. one the reasons why is that despite growth over the last 20 years in the welsh economy, it has been focused along certain areas. parts of north—east wales and particularly along the south wales coast alongside the m4 and many of our towns that had traditionally lots ofjobs have not been replaced. that is the big challenge. we are hearing from plaid cymru and labour to have hubs in those communities. labour would put public sectorjobs in there, plaid cymru believe there is an entrepreneurial spirit that could be fed and they would put those hopes alongside the new metro. then we have the liberal democrats talking about a 15 minute city where you can get to everything you need
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within 15 minutes walk. the only party of the main parties that is keeping to the strong belief that the m4 and roots like that are important to economic prosperity is, and also cutting business rates and things like free parking are the welsh conservatives. but all the main parties are very much talking about local communities, keeping the money in those communities and making sure the supply chain involves as many welsh businesses as possible. involves as many welsh businesses as -ossible. w ., involves as many welsh businesses as -ossible. ,,. ., ., , involves as many welsh businesses as -ossible. . ., , ., ~ possible. sarah, in cardiff, thank ou ve possible. sarah, in cardiff, thank you very much- _ and we'll full coverage of that debate from 8:00pm tonight on the bbc news channel. and for a round up of everything you need to know about the elections, use our really simple guide, where you can find information on who is being elected and what the elections mean for you. find it on our website, or use the bbc news app. as india's covid crisis worsens, many in the british indian community watch helplessly, unable to help friends and family. pria rai has been speaking to one man in leicester, who is thousands of miles away from his family, who are
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struggling in india. this man is living in the heart of leicester's indian community. during the festival times, even this park is full of indian people. he tells me how difficult it's been being away from his family in india. my brother and my mother is positive and they are in quarantine at the moment. i regularly touch base with them. immediate family members we've got from my in law's side as well and my brother's in—laws as well. which is sadly, they have passed away. one of the family members, they mentioned they had been carrying a lot of cash in their hand, that if someone can sell the oxygen... but unfortunately, we heard that his father passed away, just a lack of oxygen. like here in leicester, british indian communities across the country have strong family and cultural links to india. now, many can only watch helplessly as their loved ones face a crisis.
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i am very helpless. i can't do anything from here. the only thing i can do is to call them and ask them how they are and how they are coping. is there anything i can help from here? and they say, no, you can't do anything from there. so it is sad. he gives his brother a call. hello. hi, you 0k? hi. how are you feeling? i am not so well. not so well, i can hear your voice, it's not normal. yeah, i have a sore throat and a fever. i don't feel well. i am lost, my father—in—law just a few days before. he had a very bad situation.
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meanwhile, for kelpesh in the uk lockdown restrictions are lifted, a world away from the reality in india. your life is now as if you are coming out ofjail and those people are now getting inside the jail. they are struggling and they are not having any help from anywhere. people want to help, but unfortunately, they are not able to. and you feel sad, he feel sad about it. pria rai, bbc news. on march 18th 2020, parkrun announced it was suspending its running events across the uk. 15 months later, onjune 5th, the volunteer—led initiative is hoping to restart the weekly five kilometre runs, much missed by the more than two million people who used take part. tom williams is the chief operating officer for parkrun. and and lisa ward is a volunteer and runner at her local parkrun in bicester. good to have you both here. tom, what needs to full into place between now and the 5th ofjune for
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these five k run is to start again? what is really important is at the beginning of this pandemic, parkrun was described as one of the greatest initiatives in the united kingdom because people could just turn up and participate. but we need to open all of our 600 events at the same time, otherwise the smaller events are likely to be overwhelmed by too many participants creating an unsafe environment. we have written to all members this week with a pack outlining the evidence and the rationale behind the thinking including evidence from the minister for sport and we need them to respond quickly and positively. tote respond quickly and positively. we will be watching out for that response. you have commissioned a risk of infection survey to make a case? , ., risk of infection survey to make a case? , . ., , risk of infection survey to make a case? , . . , . risk of infection survey to make a case? , . ., , case? yes, that was important, it is one of the — case? yes, that was important, it is one of the most _ case? yes, that was important, it is one of the most studied _ case? yes, that was important, it is one of the most studied viruses - case? yes, that was important, it is one of the most studied viruses in l one of the most studied viruses in history. there are no evidence of
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super spreader events at outdoor only gatherings. but we want to model the risk of transmission and that report published on our website showed the risk of transmission at a parkrun event is small. even at march levels of infection, they are much lower now and march levels of vaccination which is much higher now. it is one of the most positive things can do for their health. there is clear evidence of physical activity protects against covid in multiple ways. we need to take a sensible and pragmatic approach and get people outdoors and active as soon as possible. t get people outdoors and active as soon as possible.— get people outdoors and active as soon as possible. i will come back to how the — soon as possible. i will come back to how the events _ soon as possible. i will come back to how the events might - soon as possible. i will come back to how the events might look - to how the events might look different compared to pre—pandemic in a moment, but lisa, what has it been like without parkrun in your life? when you started you were nervous about running five kilometres and now you are an ultra runner, you ran a 28 k race
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recently, so what has it been like without parkrun in your life? tt recently, so what has it been like without parkrun in your life? it has been really — without parkrun in your life? it has been really difficult. _ without parkrun in your life? it has been really difficult. you _ without parkrun in your life? it has been really difficult. you are - been really difficult. you are right, — been really difficult. you are right, my— been really difficult. you are right, myjourney with parkrun has been _ right, myjourney with parkrun has been something that has grown. when i first turned up i didn't know what to expect, — i first turned up i didn't know what to expect, i— i first turned up i didn't know what to expect, i was a bit nervous and apprehensive about what i was taking part in _ apprehensive about what i was taking part in i_ apprehensive about what i was taking part in. i found a community of people — part in. i found a community of people who have quickly become my friends _ people who have quickly become my friends and — people who have quickly become my friends and i have found they have been _ friends and i have found they have been the _ friends and i have found they have been the people who have got me through— been the people who have got me through the last few months of the pandemic— through the last few months of the pandemic in terms of the social interaction. so the return of parkrun _ interaction. so the return of parkrun is _ interaction. so the return of parkrun is the return of the social interaction — parkrun is the return of the social interaction and the community aspect, — interaction and the community aspect, the ability for people to take part — aspect, the ability for people to take part in sport in whatever way works _ take part in sport in whatever way works for— take part in sport in whatever way works for them. if you had said to me. _ works for them. if you had said to me. even— works for them. if you had said to me. even 12 — works for them. if you had said to me, even 12 months ago that i would be running _ me, even 12 months ago that i would be running 28 mile races this time in 2021, _ be running 28 mile races this time in 2021, i— be running 28 mile races this time in 2021, i don't think i would have believed — in 2021, i don't think i would have believed you, so the capacity for parkrun — believed you, so the capacity for parkrun to — believed you, so the capacity for parkrun to inspire individuals to
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push _ parkrun to inspire individuals to push themselves, i think it is important. push themselves, i think it is important-— push themselves, i think it is important. push themselves, i think it is im-ortant. . , , ., important. that is interesting to hear ou important. that is interesting to hear you talk— important. that is interesting to hear you talk about _ important. that is interesting to hear you talk about communityl important. that is interesting to i hear you talk about community and making friendships and those friendships got you to lock down. people have been running solo or with other members of their bubble through love them, but do you think people are ready to get back and not feeling too nervous, hopefully, by getting back to a big group event like this again? t getting back to a big group event like this again?— getting back to a big group event like this again? i think so. running clubs have come _ like this again? i think so. running clubs have come back— like this again? i think so. running clubs have come back in _ like this again? i think so. running clubs have come back in smaller. clubs have come back in smaller levels _ clubs have come back in smaller levels my— clubs have come back in smaller levels. my local running club is back— levels. my local running club is back with — levels. my local running club is back with around 30 members a session — back with around 30 members a session. you can see the enthusiasm and enjoyment that comes from people running _ and enjoyment that comes from people running in _ and enjoyment that comes from people running in a _ and enjoyment that comes from people running in a slightly bigger group. i running in a slightly bigger group. i have _ running in a slightly bigger group. i have also— running in a slightly bigger group. i have also taken part in a couple of organised national events, competitions and races that have had staggered _ competitions and races that have had staggered start times and people are enjoying _ staggered start times and people are enjoying them, they are turning up to them _ enjoying them, they are turning up to them and all of them are being run in— to them and all of them are being run in a _ to them and all of them are being run in a way— to them and all of them are being run in a way that feels really safe and covid — run in a way that feels really safe and covid compliant.—
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run in a way that feels really safe and covid compliant. let's go back to tom to talk— and covid compliant. let's go back to tom to talk about _ and covid compliant. let's go back to tom to talk about how- and covid compliant. let's go back to tom to talk about how parkrunl and covid compliant. let's go back i to tom to talk about how parkrun on the 5th ofjune, you hope, will look a little bit different from pre—pandemic. i think we can show a picture for anyone who hasn't been to a parkrun or done a parkrun, or even watched a parkrun taking place. we have a huddle of people at the beginning of the event, you have the volunteers and they chat to the people in the run and the picture we are seeing, this is probably, not very many people compared to the parkrun i have seen, but how will it be different on the 5th ofjune? the -ictures be different on the 5th ofjune? the pictures you — be different on the 5th ofjune? tt2 pictures you are looking at is a volunteer briefing before a junior parkrun and the people close together is the volunteers being briefed three covid and the ones where they are further apart is toast pandemic. we have commissioned
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research last year and we used it and worked with the deputy chief medical officer and sport england to develop ourframework to medical officer and sport england to develop our framework to returning parkrun events. what the evidence showed us and what we worked on was reducing the amount of contact time at the start line, reducing the time people are at the start line for and finding more space for the start line and then asking people to socially distance where they can during the event itself. afterwards, we completely transformed our way of recording people's finishes. at the end, we can keep fewer queues, shorter queues and disburse people from the end much more quickly. you sa some from the end much more quickly. you say some of— from the end much more quickly. you say some of the _ from the end much more quickly. you say some of the junior races have begun again, i would like a final word from both of you, on this journey back to normal, the new normal, what will it mean to you to have these 5k races running again,
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lisa first? for have these 5k races running again, lisa first? ., , ., _ ,., lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of ho -e, lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of hope. it _ lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of hope. it is— lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of hope. it is a — lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of hope, it is a symbol— lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of hope, it is a symbol that - lisa first? for me, it is a symbol of hope, it is a symbol that we i lisa first? for me, it is a symbol. of hope, it is a symbol that we are moving _ of hope, it is a symbol that we are moving back in a direction where we can live _ moving back in a direction where we can live with — moving back in a direction where we can live with covid in our well, but not have _ can live with covid in our well, but not have it — can live with covid in our well, but not have it take over every aspect of our _ not have it take over every aspect of our life — not have it take over every aspect of our life-— not have it take over every aspect of our life.- we _ not have it take over every aspect of our life.- we have - not have it take over every aspect of our life.- we have 600 i not have it take over every aspect of our life. tom? we have 600 events of our life. tom? we have 600 events of our life. tom? we have 600 events of our 2500 — of our life. tom? we have 600 events of our 2500 back _ of our life. tom? we have 600 events of our 2500 back around _ of our life. “torn? we have 600 events of our 2500 back around the world and england represents another 600 5k events and it will be an incredible step back towards returning around the home nations around the world. ads, returning around the home nations around the world.— returning around the home nations around the world. a massive step on around the world. a massive step on a big journey- _ around the world. a massive step on a big journey. good _ around the world. a massive step on a big journey. good luck, _ around the world. a massive step on a big journey. good luck, i— around the world. a massive step on a big journey. good luck, i hope - around the world. a massive step on a big journey. good luck, i hope it i a big journey. good luck, i hope it all comes together injune the 5th and keep us up today with what is happening. now it's time for a look at the weather with carole.
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hello again, the forecast is one of sunshine and showers. today we have the mixture of sunshine and showers and many will miss the showers and they could be wintry across the tops of the mountains in scotland and it's going to be a brighter day across southern england and southern england and wales than it was yesterday. these white circles represent the average wind speeds so it's not a particular windy day, but the direction is important and once again along this north sea coastline it will feel cool in the north—easterly wind. top temperature's likely to be between 11 and may be 13 degrees. through this evening and overnight, many of the showers will fade, but not all of them and under clear skies it's going to be cold enough once again for a widespread frost. these temperatures that you can see here represent towns and cities. so over the next few days we've got cold nights, frosty starts but a mixture of sunshine and showers but the winds will fall much lighter than they have been.
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this is bbc news. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. president biden has set out spending plans running into trillions of dollars — which he intends to fund by raising taxes paid by the wealthy. america is rising anew, choosing hope overfear, truth over lies and light over darkness. after 100 days of rest and renewal, america is ready for take off in my view. the uk government is facing calls to make its new adviser on ministers�* conduct fully independent — with the opposition accusing it of marking its own homework. more medical aid is due to arrive in india — as the country reports nearly 380,000 thousand new covid cases —
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the world�*s highest single—day total — we�*ll take a look at how the uk

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