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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 23, 2021 7:00pm-7:30pm BST

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this is bbc news. i'm philippa thomas. our top stories... the delayed 2020 tokyo olympics are officially under way. the sky over the stadium exploded with colour as fireworks marked the start of the games. in a pared back ceremony, small groups of athletes from more than 200 countries marched in the teams�* parade. tennis star naomi 0saka lit the olympic cauldron. the man in charge of the ioc described it as a day of hope. here in the uk, there's growing confusion over the government's plans to relax covid isolation rules for key workers in the food industry.
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and find out why the price of the beans in your coffee is soaring. and i talk to the supermodel who's given up her career, saying it's incompatible with her muslim faith. hello, welcome to bbc news in the uk and around the world. after months of uncertainty and a build—up marred by controversy and resignations, the delayed 2020 tokyo 0lympics are finally under way. even though the japanese capital is under a state of emergency because of covid, 0lympic officials still managed to pull off a thoughtful opening ceremony watched by millions globally. joe lynskey has more. as the flame was lit, the sights felt the same, but the sound was empty.
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this was naomi 0saka, tennis�* grand slam champion, marking the start of a games in the silence. at this olympics, the backdrop is inescapable. this opening ceremony was different. it was solemn. let us all take a moment to remember all those friends and loved ones who are no longer with us, in particular because of the covid—19 pandemic. there was reflection, but the theme, too, was "moving forward". music. and a tribute to how athletes have had to adapt to 12 months of lockdown. at the front of it, japan's arisa tsubata, a boxer and a nurse who missed out on the games when her qualifier was cancelled. japan's flag, too, was brought on by key workers, waved on in the stands by around 1000 dignitaries. tokyo were last host for the games in 1964, when trees were planted. the wood's being used
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for these 0lympic rings. and so more than 200 nations converged on a city in a state of emergency. this games is a year late. the ioc�*s called it "the light at the end of a tunnel". the pandemic forced us apart. this separation made this tunnel so dark. but today, wherever in the world you may be, we are united in sharing this moment together. 0ver four hours, there was fun and, too, the sense of an 0lympics as a tv event. it's showtime. but tokyo's showpiece has come with the world still in a pandemic. for the next 16 days, they want sport to be the focus. joe lynskey, bbc news.
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0ur correspondent rupert wingfield hayes is in tokyo and has been assessing the hurdles these games have had to encounter. public opposition and the fact that the pandemic is getting slow rather than better. and it how we ended up with a stadium empty for the opening ceremony but now we hope to have 16 days of smooth and enjoyable support for people to watch, i'll be on television and not in person. there are a couple of concerns. 0ne, it is very hot here at the moment and it is worrying some people and also just on the rise and we have a large typhoon off in the pacific heading towards japan. fingers crossed that it won't make a direct hit on tokyo. with cases of the delta variant rising around the world, governments are trying to increase uptake of covid vaccines, but there is conflicting advice about the gap between both jabs. now, a new study funded by the uk government has found that a longer gap between the first and second doses of the pfizer biontech vaccine is more effective
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at creating antibodies. i spoke to dr lance turtle, one of the authors of the pitch study. dr turtle is also a senior clinical lecturer in infectious diseases at the university of liverpool. i asked about the most important thing to take away from this research. i think there are two things which are important to take away. the first one is that in all the people we studied, everybody who had this vaccine, the pfizer vaccine, had a very good immune response irrespective of the interval that there was in between the two doses that they had. so some people had a 3—4 week interval and another group of people we studied had on average a ten week interval, and although you're quite right to say that we did see a larger antibody response in those who would have the longer interval,
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nevertheless those that had the short interval still mounted very good antibody responses. i think the really key thing we saw, which i think won't come as a surprise, is the second dose is really crucialfor getting good immunity, particularly against the delta variant, which is so prevalent in the uk at the moment. so even people who have had previous covid—19 who then get vaccinated, they have even bigger responses, but we can still detect a benefit of that second dose even in that group. you'll know that there are people who are worried here in the uk for example with the rise in the number of delta variant in the number of delta variant cases. they may only have had one jab, they're waiting to get their second job and they want to get it as soon as possible. but would you still say it better to wait until that sweet spot of around eight weeks? well, i would say that people should come forward when they're invited to following the current recommendations. although it is true that you'll get immunity faster
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if you have those doses closer together, you'll probably get immunity that's better and we think might end up being longer—lasting if you have the doses separated a bit more. in our study, actually we saw a continual increase in the level of antibodies the wider the dose interval was. so, going all the way up to 12 weeks, the more the interval was, the higher the antibody level. so, i think that eight weeks represents at the moment the best compromise in between getting immunity as fast as possible versus getting immunity that's as good as possible. you talked about the importance of it being longer—lasting, and now in some countries like the uk, we get to the point of thinking when will it wear off? i'm thinking my mum and dad were lucky enough because of their age to get their second pfizerjab in very early february. and people out there are going to start thinking
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when is it going to be time to get anotherjab? what i can say about that, i think i can reassure you that if you look at the statistics, the figures of people being admitted to hospital and many people like your parents and my parents and many others in the country who got vaccinated early on in priority groups one and two, we are not seeing large numbers of those people coming into hospital like we were during the second wave, when that group was largely unimmunised. so, at the moment, we can still detect four, five, six months on from those groups being vaccinated, we can still see a very marked influence of the vaccine programme on admissions to hospital with far, farfewer older, vulnerable people coming into hospital and a marked weakening of the link between the number of cases in the country and the number of hospital admissions. what we don't yet know is what's going to happen in the long—term and what we will be seeing, you know, going into
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next winter and early in 2022. and we saw in our study that people who had previous infection and then received two doses from us of the people who would have three received two doses, so those are people who would have three exposures actually due the spite creation of the virus, natural infection followed by two doses of vaccine, even in that group there was still a benefit of having the second dose of the vaccine. in other words, three exposures might be better than two. so, it may be and this is being considered by governments, a clinical trial as well addressing this which has not yet reported, but we will know soon whether or not there is a clinically proven benefit of three doses. but my speculation it on that is that there will be a benefit. there's confusion and growing criticism over the government's plans to allow some key workers in england, from transport workers and police to those
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controlling the power network, to take daily covid tests instead of self—isolating. business leaders says the scheme needs to be significantly expanded within days to tackle staff shortages, but there's still uncertainty about how that mass testing will be carried out. 0ur economics correspondent dharshini david reports. from the outside, not much to tempt the taste buds, but supermarket depots keep us all fed. they're taking on a new order, acting as testing centres to allow staff at risk of infection to keep working. it comes as over a million people across the country isolate, meaning some gaps on shop shelves and even closures. it's great that depot workers and food manufacturers will be exempt from government rules, but it is borderline pointless if you're not going to make all of the chain exempt. we need food store workers to be omitted from the list immediately.
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and tonight, it's emerged that those first testing sites won't be ready until monday despite earlier government assurances, raising questions about plans for expansion. supermarkets see this as a step forward, but not the solution. the 10,000 workers involved in manufacturing and distribution who could be exempt are just a fraction of the 4 million involved in bringing ourfood from farm to plate. the government argues that you relax restrictions too much, you could see infection rates soaring, but some businesses are concerned they could be overlooked. this wholesaler in burnley is already pulling out all the stops to supply care homes and schools. they don't know if or how the scheme can help them. something is happening, but is it going to be apparent for us? we're not sure. and if it does become apparent, we have to e—mail defra with every individual case. how long is that going to take? is that a 24—hour turnaround? is it a two—day turnaround? we've already lost a couple
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of days for that person getting the pcr test. so, we just don't know. over at the ports, they're getting to grips with an alternative scheme designed for a few other critical industries, similar to one unveiled in scotland today, where they have to apply for exemption for selected named vaccinated staff. we have to go through this highly | bureaucratic process of supplyingj lists of individual names as well as functions, - whereas the supermarket supply sectorjust seemsl to have a blanket exemption. for us, it seems unfair that there's one rule for one sector— and another rule for another. railway signalling staff will be exempt, but drivers may not be, so there could be more train cancellations to come. increasingly, businesses are asking why the date for scrapping isolation rules, just three weeks away, can't be brought forward? once again, this pandemic means balancing public health with our social and economic well—being, and everything has a cost.
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dharshini david, bbc news. president xijinping has paid a surprise visit to the politically sensitive region of tibet, the first by a chinese president in more than 30 years. his visit is only being covered by state media because of the sensitivities of the trip. many exiled tibetans accuse beijing of religious repression. there have been tensions, too, with india. the head of the bbc�*s chinese service, howard zhang, gave us his view of the purpose of the visit. there is speculation and analysis from different walks. one of the main thoughts is that xijinping is trying to emphasise his push for a different type of nationalist agenda. in recent years, people have noticed changes in some of the chinese ethnic policies, such as trying to force different ethnic groups to have a national identity,
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a melting pot identity, and trying to make their religion and cultures more secularised, more fitting into the main kind of a communist—led state structure. i think that's many people's interpretation. he's trying to put more emphasis on that. but, of course, the timing is also quite crucial, because it's also at the juncture of 70 years of the chinese army entering tibet and signing what they called the peaceful the peaceful liberation treaty. so, i think there are multiple factors here. meanwhile, as water is pumped from tunnels submerged in deadly flash—flooding, more bodies are being found in china's henan province and the death toll is rising. it currently stands at 51, but is expected to rise further. officials say that nearly 400,000 people have been moved to safer areas, and now the flooding has moved to different towns and cities in the province as more rivers burst their banks. china correspondent stephen mcdonell reports from beijing.
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people in their hundreds of thousands have been moved to safety in central china's henan province. deadly flash flooding following record—breaking heavy driving rain has shut down cities and towns across the region. some people have been trapped for days, cut off by the rising waters without fresh food or water. elsewhere it's become more dire. floodwaters have spread to new locations with more rivers in henan province breaching their banks. makeshift bridges are being put in
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to allow emergency teams to operate. 0n social media, china's rapidly growing cities have been criticised for not better preparing for catastrophic weather events. at times, the drainage infrastructure here has not kept up with increased population density. chinese scientists are warning, though, that the source of this devastating weather can be traced back to climate change, leading to calls for a much more rapid plan to ameliorate it. over the coming days, the priority is going to be surviving the current flooding crisis. the rain hasn't stopped in henan and over the weekend, a typhoon is expected to hit to china's east coast. stephen mcdonnell, bbc news, beijing. now, we could soon be paying considerably more
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for our cappuccinos and lattes because the price of coffee has gone through the roof. arabica coffee futures have risen around 25% in a week, to their highest in more than six and a half years. so, what's behind the record spike? kona haque is the head of research at ed&f man holdings, an agricultural commodities merchant the reason for this is because brazil, the largest producer and exporter of coffee, has suffered pretty bad news on its crop. brazil earlier this year had a very bad drought, one of its historically bad ones to miss this one was already going to be a very small crop. 0n going to be a very small crop. on top of that, overnight this week, we have had quite severe frost. two preachers have fallen below 5 degrees now in winter and this kind of frost has not happened since not done before. and this has potential to really impact next year's crop timothy to potentially could have two crops consecutively much lower than the median. i
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two crops consecutively much lower than the median.— than the median. i hear it that you were saying _ than the median. i hear it that you were saying brazil _ than the median. i hear it that you were saying brazil accounts - than the median. i hear it that you were saying brazil accounts for - than the median. i hear it that you were saying brazil accounts for a l were saying brazil accounts for a lot of supplies that kind of volatility in the weather is a real problem. where else to to make up gaps? problem. where else to to make up “as? �* ., problem. where else to to make up ias? �* ., , problem. where else to to make up ia.s? �* ., , problem. where else to to make up “gs? �* ., , ., , problem. where else to to make up ia.s? �* ., , ., , �* gaps? brazil is the largest. after that, i would _ gaps? brazil is the largest. after that, i would say _ gaps? brazil is the largest. after that, i would say vietnam. - gaps? brazil is the largest. after that, i would say vietnam. they| that, i would say vietnam. they produce a robust quality coffee. vietnam does have a decent crop but unfortunately they are struggling with lack of containers. this has been really effecting commodities since covid—19. freight rates and in particular shipping container freight rates have gone through the roof because no one can get hold of enough shipments and this is a problem for vietnamese coffee exporters. they have got the coffee but cannot export it fast enough to commit which means a reliance on it brazil buffet particularly hot and fortunately brazil is facing a crop shortage. d0 fortunately brazil is facing a crop shortae. ,, ~ fortunately brazil is facing a crop shortaie. ~ , fortunately brazil is facing a crop shortaie. ,, ~ , , shortage. do you think this is bound to filter through _ shortage. do you think this is bound to filter through the _ shortage. do you think this is bound to filter through the coffee - shortage. do you think this is bound to filter through the coffee prices i to filter through the coffee prices on the high street?— to filter through the coffee prices on the high street? yes, i they had some point — on the high street? yes, i they had some point it _ on the high street? yes, i they had some point it well. _ on the high street? yes, i they had some point it well. prices - on the high street? yes, i they had some point it well. prices are - on the high street? yes, i they had
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some point it well. prices are 50%| some point it well. prices are 50% higher to date now than it was. and the fact of the matter is that if brazil's crop really struggles to recover and this comes at a time when global consumption of coffee is just beginning to recover as people come out of lockdown, what you could end up with is a supply— the man to visit production will be smaller than consumption. if that's the case, nothing has to give and usually that is prices. the prices will rally, they will go up and at some point the coffee shops will have to pass that on to the consumers. it won't happen instantly. there were probably be a lag but you would think that at some point they would be an increase at the retail level.— the retail level. very briefly, mi i ht the retail level. very briefly, might we — the retail level. very briefly, might we have _ the retail level. very briefly, might we have to _ the retail level. very briefly, might we have to think - the retail level. very briefly, | might we have to think about the retail level. very briefly, - might we have to think about buying those coffees as more of a luxury? i'm not so sure. i think people come out of the pandemic this is one of the luxuries people will probably want to think they can afford. i don't think coffee shops will be
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wanting to make prices prohibitively expensive just when they themselves have suffered so much from lockdown. they are going to want to please their customers and going to want to see it try and come back, so i'm not entirely sure it's going to be prohibitively expensive, but i would expect at least maybe a 10% or maybe a little bit higher. when the supermodel halima aden announced she was quitting modelling in november last year because it was incompatible with her muslim faith, her exit sent shockwaves through the fashion industry. now, halima, who became a trailblazer for wearing her hijab on the catwalk and in photoshoots, has told the bbc in a new documentary that towards the end of her modelling career she felt she had lost control of her identity. she told me more a little earlierfrom munich. i'm so excited for the documentary that is coming out this saturday. it's going to be a conversation between tommy hilfiger and i, and i'm going to be discussing why i have left the fashion industry.
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you say, too, that you got to a place where you are so far removed from your own image and that the way you were being styled, your hijab kept shrinking, it seemed to get smaller with each shoot. so, was that a feeling that you were losing control, you were being made to do things you didn't want? you know, it's not that i was made to do things that i didn't want, but i think — like many models, you start off very young, i was 19 when i started modelling — and i remember bringing a suitcase to sets of full of hijabs, fabrics, leggings, sweaters and turtlenecks and all these things that i would bring and work with the stylist on set to achieve the shoot. and then the last two years of my career, i trusted the stylist on set to style me. and that's when i saw that my image was changing, my hijab style was changing, it kept getting smaller and smaller.
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and in a way, i had almost lost my true identity as a hijab—wearing muslim woman because the styles they were dressing me in didn't make it a hijab, it was hats, accessories, and jeans, versace this and that... in place of a traditional hijab, is my point. i, along with a lot of people — when covid—19 happened, i had a chance to stay off and reflect — and like many people, i decided that i wanted to make career changes. do you think if you had come from a privileged background and didn't have to earn your way, you would perhaps have made some different choices during your fashion career? you know, i'm proud that i was the first hijab—wearing model. i broke so many boundaries. i graced the cover of british vogue, for example, in their 102—year history, making it the first time a muslim woman in a veil was covered. not to say i haven't achieved amazing things in my career and broke boundaries,
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but i think the lack of muslim women stylists within the fashion industry was something that definitely, towards the end, you know, allowing somebody who's never worn a hijab, never even seen a hijab sometimes, to style somebody who is in a hijab, it was quite interesting. your exit means a lot, and what you say is being watched by others who may have wanted to follow in your footsteps. are you saying the industry, as it is, is not a fit place for women with your identity? i'm very careful to not put, you know, to not make statements like that, because it wasn't right for me. this was a personal choice that i made. and you can watch the full conversation between former back to our top story with the tokyo 2020 olympics under way injapan.
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my colleague lucy hockings is in tokyo and following developments. not n ot exa ctly not exactly a party —like atmosphere in tokyo today. still a lot of fear about the rising covid—19 rates. this is still a city under a state of emergency with bars and restaurants shutting at eight p:m.. people still being told to stay home and stay safe because of the pandemic. in the cost of these 0lympic pandemic. in the cost of these olympic games in the pandemic means there have been a lot of protests. recent opinion polls still sing over half of the japanese public did not want these 0lympics half of the japanese public did not want these olympics to happen. and even as the olympic ceremony got under we could hear a small crowd of very vocal protesters outside the stadium chanting, saying stop the olympics, how can you call this a 0lympics, how can you call this a festival of peace with him that you can see different emotions here in the japanese capital today. nonetheless the ceremony happened, it started with fireworks and it was a very stripped down and simple in terms of the ceremony. there were
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less than 1004 dignitaries there, not nearly the number of athletes that you would normally see in this stadium but a message of hope that the olympics can be the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic. very sober moment when they pay tribute to those who have died from covid—19 and those who have cared for people around the world during the pandemic. so very much a nod throughout the ceremony to what the world is facing right now, the fragile place that the world is in it. and as the olympic games only to kick off, the organisers will be hoping that our attention turns to what happens in the field apply and the sport and they are still of course facing that massive challenge of keeping everyone connected to these games safe. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i'm @philippabbc. and always keeping you up—to—date on the website as well. thanks very much for being with us here on bbc
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news. good evening. well, northern ireland saw temperatures up around 30 degrees once again today. further south, the storm clouds were gathering, and that sets us up for the weekend. a cooler feel to the weather, with some really intense downpours for some of us. now, a lot to look at on this satellite picture. this beautiful swirl of low cloud in the north sea, that's been turning things quite murky for some north—eastern coasts. these clouds to the south—west are the storm clouds. we've had a lot of lightning from these clouds as they've been approaching our shores, and through this evening and tonight, this rain, this thundery rain will push in across southern counties of england, getting into the far south of wales, too. at the same time, this mist and murk and low cloud will once again roll in across north east scotland, the eastern side of england on what will be another pretty warm night.
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but as we head into tomorrow, this area of low pressure will dominate the scene across the southern half of the uk. where you're close to the centre of this low, you can expect some really intense downpours and thunderstorms. across southern parts of england and south wales especially, there is the risk of flooding and transport disruption. now, it won't be raining all the time. there will be some gaps, some bright or sunny spells between the downpours. but where the showers do show up, they could give you a lot of rain in a short space of time, with frequent lightning and some rather gusty winds. this mist and murk and low cloud will cling to some of the north sea coasts. but for north wales, north west england, nothern ireland and a good part of scotland, we'll see some sunshine and still some warmth through tomorrow afternoon, with highs of around 26 degrees. the showers and storms, though, in the south will continue to rumble around for a time during saturday evening. and as we get into the second half of the weekend, our area of low pressure will still be with us. it'll lumber perhaps just a little further eastwards, so that's going to focus the showers and thunderstorms across
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south—eastern parts of the uk, especially through east anglia, parts of south east england, maybe the south west and parts of the midlands as well. some further heavy and potentially disruptive thundery downpours. further north and west, drier, brighter with quite a lot of sunshine, but temperatures lower than they have been recently, between 20—24 degrees in most places. and as we head into next week, things will continue to turn cooler. we'll see some further rain at times. some of that rain will be heavy and thundery, but with some drier, brighter spells in between.
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hello, and welcome to the programme bringing together leading uk commentators, bbc specialists, and the correspondents who write, blog, and broadcast for audiences back home from the dateline: london. this week — will england pay a price for borisjohnson's freedom day? and a trifecta of global worry — afghanistan, iran, and lebanon. the dateline panel trying to put your mind at rest — or not — are the sudanese author and journalist, nesrine malik, bronwen maddox, director of the institute for government — and before that, foreign editor at the times.

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