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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  July 19, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm BST

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tonight at ten: the prime minister's former chief adviser dominic cummings accuses borisjohnson of putting politics ahead of people's lives during the pandemic. he said the prime minister was reluctant to tighten restrictions again last autumn, saying the people who were dying were "essentially all over 80", and he didn't buy the idea that the nhs would be overwhelmed. dominic cummings also claimed he had to stop borisjohnson from going to see the queen in person as the virus took hold. if you go and you give her coronavirus and she dies, what are you...? you can't do that. you can't risk that. that's completely insane. tonight, downing street says the government has always taken the necessary action to protect lives, guided by the best scientific advice.
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also on the programme... nightclubs reopen for the first time since last march as covid restrictions are lifted in england, but there's a last—minute sting in the tail for revellers. we're are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. proof of a negative test will no longer be enough. that came on the day almost all covid restrictions were lifted in england, as cases continue to surge. and coming up in the sport on the bbc news channel, yet more covid cases among athletes in tokyo, with the olympics just days away from the opening ceremony. good evening.
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the prime minister's former chief adviser dominic cummings has claimed that borisjohnson resisted tightening coronavirus restrictions again last autumn because the virus mainly affected the elderly. in a series of whatsapp messages seen by the bbc, borisjohnson appears to say that the people who were dying of covid were "essentially all over 80", and he didn't buy the idea of the nhs being overwhelmed. in his first broadcast interview since leaving number 10 last november, dominic cummings has accused boris johnson of putting his own political interests ahead of people's lives. tonight, number 10 said the government has always taken the necessary action to protect lives, guided by the best scientific advice. here's our political editor laura kuenssberg. a warning her report contains flashing images. putting on to record, guys. yeah, is everybody happy? no one was closer to the prime minister in government. since their bitter fallout, no one has been more vicious than him.
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architect of the brexit campaign, agitator in number 10, and top adviser in the pandemic. looking back to last autumn when coronavirus crept back, what does he now claim went wrong? the prime minister's attitude was that, essentially, the first lockdown was a disaster, we should never have done it. he thought we should never have done the first lockdown? he said we should never have done the first lockdown. he said that repeatedly in meetings at number 10. by the middle of october, then... yeah. ..this debate is still going on. his attitude at that point was a weird mix of, partly, it's all nonsense and lockdowns don't work anyway, and partly, well, this is terrible, but the people who are dying are essentially all over 80, and we can't kill the economyjust because of people dying over 80. that's a very serious claim to make. what evidence do you have of that?
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well, lots of people heard the prime minister say that. the prime minister texted that to me and other people. in a series of whatsapps to aides, shared with the bbc, from the 15th of october, borisjohnson appears to say, the age of covid patients dying was above life expectancy, so get covid and live longer, going on to say, "i no longer buy all this nhs overwhelmed stuff." a lot of people listening to you today mightjust think, this is revenge. you lost the argument. you lost yourjob. and now you're angry and so you're attacking. it's revenge, isn't it? no, it's not about revenge. it's about... and also, it doesn't matter if it's personal. it doesn't matter if people are upset. a lot of people have a pop at me. you don't see me crying about it. the reason i am speaking out is, i want people to be thinking about these questions.
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how are we governed? how is power actually exercised in number 10? what sort of things should be more transparent? at the end of october, national lockdown returned, and downing street told us... "since the start of the pandemic, the prime minister has taken the necessary action to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice, and prevented the nhs from being overwhelmed through three national lockdowns." yet mr cummings claims at the very start, in march, borisjohnson was slow to take covid seriously. 0n the evening of wednesday the 18th, he was... the normal thing on a wednesday evening is to go and see the queen. and therefore, he was going to go and see the queen. but what happened then? because obviously, the health advice was already, especially for the very elderly, you know, people should take every precaution. he said, well, that is what i do every wednesday, sod this,
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i'm going to go and see her. so i said to him, there's people in this office who are isolating. you might have coronavirus. i might have coronavirus. you can't go and see the queen. what if you give...? what if you go and see her and then give the queen coronavirus? like, obviously, you can't go. did the possibility go through your head at that moment that the prime minister might pass coronavirus to the queen? yes. how did you persuade him not to do it? ijust said, if you go and you give her coronavirus and she dies, what...? what are you going to...? you can't do that. you can't risk that. it is completely insane. and he said, he basicallyjust hadn't thought it through. and he said, yeah, holy...i can't go. downing street says that didn't happen. what do you say to that? did they? well... they've officially said that that didn't happen? well...
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i know it happened and other people who were there know it happened. but mr cummings became a national figure for all the wrong reasons. can you defend your. actions, mr cummings? caught out by his own trip to county durham during lockdown. i had repeated security problems at my house, going back to 2019, and i was in discussions with the cabinet office in march about the situation. they had suggested maybe all of us moving into government accommodation. i had said, maybe, but maybe i willjust move them all off into my dad's farm in durham. we talked about those different options. i talked to the pm about that. my wife was kind of ill but not with the kind of official symptoms exactly. has she got it? has she not got it? so then you had the combination of security problems, which meant anyway, we were going to get out. there was... ..enormous public rage. why didn't you just tell the truth at the time? well, the situation was just...
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it was extremely, um, chaotic situation. the original plan was, when i discussed it with the prime minister on the saturday and sunday was, given he knew what had actually happened, he agreed we should just say nothing about it orjust ignore it. what then happened on the monday is that he suddenly changed his mind and said, we can't stick with the original plan. you're going to have to explain it to people. i said, i'm not going into all of the security stuff. and the whole thing just became a huge mess. as an advisor, dominic cummings was meant to stay in the background, but after his spectacular bust—up with borisjohnson, that's not something he seems willing to do. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. that interview comes on the day that
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england's coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. people going to nightclubs and other venues with large crowds in england will need to be fully vaccinated by the end of september. the latest figures show that 35% of 18— to 30—year—olds have not had theirfirstjab. some have reacted angrily to the move, saying it is a hammer blow for the industry and amounted to compulsory vaccination. the surprise announcement came on so—called freedom day, when almost all covid restrictions were lifted in england. face coverings are no longer legally required, though some businesses, shops and some public transport will still insist on them. all social distancing rules have been scrapped. the work from home guidance has been lifted. people who are double vaccinated can travel to amber list countries without having to isolate on return. 0ur medical editor fergus walsh reports. three, two, one... welcome back, everyone. for some, this is what freedom looks like, no social distancing and very few masks.
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many nightclubs across england reopened at midnight, 16 months before they were shot in the first lockdown. it felt like a dream. i feel like we have waited for this moment for a long time. i literally cannot stress how much i have missed being able to go out and just dance, and have a laugh. it has been the best night. but from the end of september, full vaccination will be a condition of entry to crowded venues like this. we want everybody to be able to take back their we want everybody to be able to take back thei ., the prime minister, self isolating in chequers said getting vaccinated would enable young people to get back the freedoms they love. are you effectively saying to people that they have an ultimatum, that if they don't get the vaccination, they can't go back to crowded venues?
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everybody over 18 has had an offer to get a vaccine, 3 million have yet to take it up. we are saying, come on, folks, this is it. you won't regret it, it is the right thing to do for you, across the world, we have seen night clubs and venues where you have got lots of people indoors, crowded together are a focus for potential super spreading events. but the plans have left the night—time economy reeling. it is night-time economy reeling. it is devastating _ night—time economy reeling. it is devastating news. freedom day has all but _ devastating news. freedom day has all but lasted — devastating news. freedom day has all but lasted 17 _ devastating news. freedom day has all but lasted 17 hours, _ devastating news. freedom day has all but lasted 17 hours, and - devastating news. freedom day has all but lasted 17 hours, and then - devastating news. freedom day has all but lasted 17 hours, and then we | all but lasted 17 hours, and then we have been_ all but lasted 17 hours, and then we have been hit— all but lasted 17 hours, and then we have been hit with _ all but lasted 17 hours, and then we have been hit with this _ all but lasted 17 hours, and then we i have been hit with this overwhelming bombshell— have been hit with this overwhelming bombshell that— have been hit with this overwhelming bombshell that in— have been hit with this overwhelming bombshell that in september- have been hit with this overwhelming bombshell that in september things. bombshell that in september things are going _ bombshell that in september things are going to — bombshell that in september things are going to change _ bombshell that in september things are going to change again, - bombshell that in september things are going to change again, so - bombshell that in september things are going to change again, so many| are going to change again, so many people _ are going to change again, so many pe0ple are — are going to change again, so many pe0ple are angry— are going to change again, so many people are angry and _ are going to change again, so many people are angry and frustrated - are going to change again, so many people are angry and frustrated at i people are angry and frustrated at this announcement. _ people are angry and frustrated at this announcement.— people are angry and frustrated at this announcement. remember why all this announcement. remember why all this matters- — this announcement. remember why all this matters. the _ this announcement. remember why all this matters. the number _ this announcement. remember why all this matters. the number of _ this announcement. remember why all this matters. the number of covid - this matters. the number of covid patients in hospital isjust a this matters. the number of covid patients in hospital is just a tenth of last winter, but has doubled in two weeks as cases soar. vaccination dramatically cuts the risk of dying, and helps prevent the virus from
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spreading. and labour once face coverings to remain mandatory. lifting all restrictions in one go is reckless. and doing so when the johnson _ is reckless. and doing so when the johnson variant is clearly out of control— johnson variant is clearly out of control risks a summer of chaos. sophie _ control risks a summer of chaos. sophie is — control risks a summer of chaos. sophie is it _ control risks a summer of chaos. sophie is 14. she has down's syndrome and is vulnerable to infection, so has been kept off school for much of the pandemic. she will now be eligible for the pfizer vaccine along with other 12 to 15—year—olds and at groups. it vaccine along with other 12 to 15-year-olds and at groups. it means that we can — 15-year-olds and at groups. it means that we can move _ 15-year-olds and at groups. it means that we can move forward. _ 15-year-olds and at groups. it means that we can move forward. the - 15-year-olds and at groups. it means that we can move forward. the last i that we can move forward. the last 18 months have been very challenging for us as a family. very stressful at times. in the us, covid jabs are recommended for all teenagers, but
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here the scientists say that the risk—benefit analysis is against vaccination for all under 18 is. after the pfizer studies and the reports of heart inflammation, these are very rare side effects but our feeling is that we should take a precautionary approach before we expose millions of well children to this vaccine. fin expose millions of well children to this vaccine-— this vaccine. on the day most restrictions _ this vaccine. on the day most restrictions were _ this vaccine. on the day most restrictions were lifted - this vaccine. on the day most restrictions were lifted in - this vaccine. on the day most - restrictions were lifted in england, anti—vaxxers protested at westminster. the move to make vaccination a condition of entry to some venues will incense those who believe the government is already destroying civil liberties. fergus walsh, bbc news. 0ur political editor, laura kuenssberg, joins us now. a surge in cases, restrictions being lifted at a moment of great uncertainty. how damaging is this intervention by dominic cummings? first, let's remember that mr cummings has an agenda. he had a spectacular bust up with boris
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johnson and he ended up out of the inner circle of the team and he has made absolutely no secret whatsoever of how he believes borisjohnson is flawed in many ways. does that mean we should just dismiss this criticism because he is so angry about what happened? i don't think so, because he was in the room when many, many vital decisions were taken, and his criticisms tonight also underline what among boris johnson's opponent is a pretty widespread perception, that he has been too hostile towards putting restrictions in place, and also that at times during the last terrible yearfor at times during the last terrible year for many people, he has at times been too cavalier. 0f year for many people, he has at times been too cavalier. of course downing street will dismiss that. they say look at the facts, there have been three national lockdowns, borisjohnson took have been three national lockdowns, boris johnson took the have been three national lockdowns, borisjohnson took the decision is to do that, and at all times he has followed the best scientific advice that has been available to him. but i think at this moment in particular when cases are rising in the way
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that they are, when there has also been a slightly chaotic air about what some of the government has been doing, i think in particular these whatsapps that have been shared with us have posed a very difficult questions for downing street tomorrow. and dominic cummings has given us a very wide ranging interview, and he has got plenty more to say. interview, and he has got plenty more to say-— interview, and he has got plenty more to say. laura kuenssberg in westminster. _ more to say. laura kuenssberg in westminster, thank _ more to say. laura kuenssberg in westminster, thank you. - dominic cummings: the interview will be broadcast tomorrow night on bbc two at 7pm and will be available on bbc iplayer and bbc sounds as a podcast. the latest government figures show 39,950 new infections in the latest 24—hour period, which means an average of 46,024 new cases per day in the last week. there are just over 4,000 people in hospital with coronavirus — the uk's chief scientific adviser today said 60% of those being admitted are unvaccinated. 19 deaths were recorded
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in the last 24 hours. just over 18,000 people have received a first dose of a vaccine in the latest 24 hour period — that's the lowest number since the uk's vaccination programme began. over 46 million pople have now had theirfirstjab — that's 87.9% of the adult population. and just over 36 million people are now fully vaccinated — 68.5% of all uk adults. the government has announced that vaccinated workers in some critical industries will be exempt from the self—isolation rules. the changes will cover the police, air traffic controllers, some rail workers and otherfields considered crucial to public welfare. it comes as businesses across england broadly welcomed today's relaxation of covid rules but expressed concern over rising covid numbers, staff shortages, and a drop in consumer confidence. 0ur economics editor faisal islam reports from york.
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the grand reopening in york. this museum of chocolate can now let in significantly more visitors than last week, though some changes will stick on a voluntary basis. we do advise you to wear your masks... 0ur visitors are telling us they want us to be cautious. they want to remain careful and they want us to look after them. so for us, it's notjust freedom day, it's... well, we don't like that phrase, it's still being very considerate and careful of the health of the people who work here and our visitors. 0n the main tourist route close to york station, for the second half ofjuly it is not busy. domestic tourists are not making up for missing the international ones, mainly from the us and china. hello. morning. new cafes continue to focus on takeaway business. we are here at last, we are open. bring on the tourists, bring on the crowds. so we're still waiting for the crowds to to come back, to be honest?
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very much so, yeah. you can tell the tourists have not arrived yet. the international tourists, that is. better news around the corner, the reopening has helped this newly refurbished hotel to get fully booked out by domestic tourists. if not now, when? but now the issue is about much—needed staff being told to isolate by the covid app. there was already a staff shortage in hospitality. now that's been compounded by the fact of people self isolating, so the demand for custom is there, but trying to service it is very hard work. the lifting of compulsory restrictions is a major milestone on the pathway back to economic normality. but isn't everything? because much of the economic impact arose from people voluntarily deciding they didn't want to mix socially because of the risk of the virus. that should get much better from now on. as people return to cinemas, restaurants and cafes,
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how much so will determine the strength of the economic bounce back. 0n the outskirts of the city, this supplier of fine coffee says business is up and prices will be too, as cafes cope with fewer customers. it's going to be very, very difficult and i think a lot of cafes will be keeping a very close eye on what's going on, because the revenue that is required to pay for the rent and rates is huge. so stand by for some price rises, perhaps. the world looks to an experiment in england for the economy. no one here wants to be marched back down from the top of the hill. faisal islam, bbc news, in york. scotland has also lifted more restrictions today — but more cautiously than england. more people will be allowed to meet indoors and attend weddings and funerals. but there'll still be limits on outdoor meetings, and using face coverings in public settings will remain in place for some time. here's our scotland
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editor sarah smith. after 16 months apart, the north lanarkshire chiefs are jumping with joy to be scoring baskets once again, as adult indoor contact sport resumes today. scotland is now in level zero covid rules, but zero does not mean none. here, many restrictions do remain. after so long when you have not been able to practise, how was it? it was brilliant, and you know what? notjust the physical benefits of getting back to basketball but mentally as well. you know, it has been a tough year, 18 months for everybody and being able to burn off some steam, de—stress a bit and calm down a bit by getting back in there, it is just brilliant. but there is little appetite for relaxing the restrictions further in scotland. i don't think it is the right time just now. i think obviously, cases are probably a wee bit too high for me. i think if i was to walk about and see people without masks, i think i'd be a wee bit uncomfortable. facemasks are still mandatory in all indoor public places
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and on public transport. on a day like this, meeting outside is a good option. up to 15 people can now do that. ten people from four households are allowed in a cafe or a pub, with only eight in someone's home. throughout the pandemic, nicola sturgeon has adopted a more cautious tone and tighter restrictions. now she says talk of freedom day in england is not sensible and the rules must be relaxed gradually. the scottish government hope they can lift the remaining restrictions here next month, on the 9th of august. experts are sceptical about a situation where in scotland, restrictions remain, whilst infection rates are falling, as england opens up in the face of rising rates. do you feel more comfortable here in scotland where there are still quite a few restrictions in place, than you would if you were in england from today? the thing i particularly welcome is the requirement for face coverings. i don't want to be sitting on a busy train or a bus with people without a covering when we have somebody near us who is vulnerable. i just don't find that acceptable.
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scotland's largest vaccination centre has just closed its doors as the government is under pressure for not having double jabbed more adults. all should have been offered a second vaccination by mid—september. sarah smith, bbc news, glasgow. so what are the rules in the rest of the uk? in wales, the government hopes to move to alert level zero on the 7th of august — which would remove limits on numbers meeting inside. all premises, including nightclubs, would be allowed to reopen, although face coverings would still be required in most indoor public places. in northern ireland, more restrictions will only be eased next monday if approved at a review this week. that includes the reopening of theatres, an increase on numbers able to meet inside and in private gardens, and social distancing rules lifted entirely in outdoor settings. the united states has warned its citizens to avoid travel to the uk because of high covid rates here. the uk has been raised to the highest threat level
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in the american monitoring system, saying even double jabbed visitors to the uk remain at risk. the met office has issued its first ever amber "extreme heat" warning for parts of the uk. some parts could see temperatures reaching 33 degrees celsius this week. the warning covers a large part of wales, all of south—west england and parts of southern and central england, and will remain in place until the end of thursday. prince harry is to publish a literary memoir next year covering his life in the public eye. he said it would be an "accurate and wholly truthful" account covering the highs and lows, the mistakes and the lessons learned during his life. china has been accused by the uk, the eu and the united states of carrying out a major cyberattack on microsoft email servers earlier this year. 0ur security correspondent gordon corera is with us. explain what this is all about? this
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was an unusually _ explain what this is all about? ti 3 was an unusually broad accusation against china bites notjust the us and the uk but also the eu, australia, canada, japan and new zealand and even nato. why? it goes back to the hack of the microsoft exchange earlier this year. it started off looking like cyber espionage as usual but then something happened after a while and it looks like suddenly, the chinese escalated their activity, and it turned from a targeted campaign to smash grab raid against microsoft happy mac exchange, even giving other hackers the ability to access the system, which is used by hundreds of thousands of organisations. —— against microsoft exchange. that puzzled and alarmed western intelligence agencies who were surprised by that kind of activity and led to the accusation today against china. will it make any difference? china has denied this in the past and it is likely to do so again the future. there are no sanctions associated with it. the
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hope is that with this kind of pressure, it will lead to a change of behaviour but it mayjust raise the temperature between west and china. . ~ the temperature between west and china. ., ~' ,, the temperature between west and china. ., ~ i. ., the temperature between west and china. ., ~ ., ., , we end tonight with easing of restrictions in england. and while many have cause to celebrate, others feel the changes are happening too soon. jon kay has been gathering some contrasting views on what some people were calling freedom day. in swindon, it didn't look or feel like a moment of liberation. it seems new habits die hard. the rules change today. yes. how does that make you feel? it does not make me feel any different, because, like, i'm still going to continue wearing my mask. nothing has really changed, to be honest. it isjust like another day. just get on with it. after 16 long months, most people here were cautious, even nervous. the numbers are still going up. the hospital numbers are going up. so i think it is too soon. i have been in and out of a few shops.
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i'm just going tojump on the bus. no point taking the mask off to put it back on again in five minutes, is there? i can't wait to get out and enjoy the freedom with my friends. being locked indoors has affected a lot of people. we are going to party and we are going to party hard. a good day. charles can't believe the rules have been relaxed now. a few weeks ago, he lost his wife, katie, and his mum, both of them to covid. i think it is going to lead to more tragedy and more loss for the country, a country that has already suffered enough. there will be people today who say, enough is enough. we have to get back to something like normal. we have to have some freedoms again. what do you say to them? absolutely, i agree with them, but we need to do it in a responsible, safe manner. mid—afternoon, and after testing
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negative, they are finally allowed to club again in bristol. i actually can't believe it. you know, words can't describe how happy i am right now. and what do you say to people who say it is too soon, that we shouldn't be easing restrictions? if not now, when? society has to carry on. we can'tjust keep on locking down, over and over again. you have still got your mask on. i know. i mean, it is weird because it is, like, i'm walking into a club. i know it is the first time in a while. are you going to keep it on in there? i don't know. i'll see. it is notjust the dress code they will need to think about. in a few weeks' time, double vaccinations will also be required. it is a new normal but only for now. jon kay, bbc news. that's it. good night. hello. with the heat set to continue across the uk through the next few days, the met office has now issued and extreme heat warning.
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itjoins our warnings suite that also covers things like snow, wind and rain. this indicates elevated day and overnight temperatures, and it covers an area of england and wales. the full details of the warning and what that could mean for you can be found on our website. some showers to listen out for into the small hours across the southeast of england. could locally be some heavy rain here. certainly an uncomfortable night across england and wales as temperatures sit around the 20 degrees mark for much of the night and perhaps the mid teens across scotland and northern ireland. those are the figures at the end of the night. tuesday dawn is fair, but a bit of patchy cloud across northern scotland, but come tuesday afternoon have some blue spots that look pretty small on our map here will potentially manifest into some pretty big thunderstorms as we go through tuesday evening into the small hours of wednesday with the risk of some knock on effects.
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this is bbc news, the headlines. the british government has insisted that lifting nearly all remaining coronavirus restrictions in england is the right thing to do, despite a surge in cases. the opposition has accused the prime minister of unleashing mayhem. the united states, britain and the eu have accused china of being behind cyber attacks on microsoft exchange servers this year. the us secretary of state said the beijing security ministry had encouraged criminal hackers to carry out attacks. the police in germany say 170 people are still missing after last week's floods. they said they expected many bodies to be found in places where flood waters had not yet receded. more olympic athletes and officials test positive for coronavirus, just four days before the start of the games in tokyo. one of the main sponsors, toyota, says it won't attend the opening

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