hello and welcome to bbc news. switzerland has toughened its quarantine requirements for travellers from several european and african countries, after the new variant was detected in south africa. while israel — with one case detected — plans to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night. let's get more details now from our news reporter, mark lobel. israel is banning all rivals? they are clearly alarmed in israel, the country that was known as the first to vaccinate
and the first to party. now potentially the first to ban arrivals from foreign countries over a period of 14 days because of this extremely transmissible variant. it has also come at a very complicated time for israel. it is right at the start of the hannukah vacation, the festival of lights, it lasts eight days with mostly unvaccinated children who are out of school taking part. subject to the government approval, taking part. subject to the governmentapproval, israel government approval, israel will governmentapproval, israel will become the first to shut its borders to foreigners and contain the spread and they will reintroduce counterterrorism phone tracking technology to trace the omicron variant around the country. and a few cases, suspected cases have been reported in israel already, one of them confirmed, one of those cases was somebody who already had their booster jab and one of the top health experts in the country was saying a few days ago that the poster campaign across israel
had been a major success as they fought the fourth wave of this virus. they have started vaccinating 5— ii —year—olds at the beginning of this week. the israeli prime minister is now saying the country is on the verge of a state of emergency. how quickly things have changed in israel. the hope is that the omicron variant will be less deadly even though it is very transmissible and it will not show up in hospitalisations and deaths as much but frankly it is too early to know for sure so we see this very rapid international reaction and as you said, switzerland also taking action, they have just widened their quarantine requirements for travellers from britain, the czech republic, netherlands, egypt and malawi. not only do they need to provide a negative coronavirus test but they need to quarantine for ten days. it feels like we're going backwards. the case list with this variant seems to growing rapidly? this variant seems to growing raidl ? , . , this variant seems to growing raidl? , ., rapidly? very fast. on top of those dozens _ rapidly? very fast. on top of those dozens of—
rapidly? very fast. on top of those dozens of cases - rapidly? very fast. on top of those dozens of cases in - rapidly? very fast. on top of l those dozens of cases in south africa, there were four cases in botswana, two in hong kong, one case in belgium, in germany, two cases, one case in italy, two in the uk. there's been a suspected case in the czech republic. in the netherlands, the health ministry there says a number of the 61 passengers who tested positive on a flight from south africa to ship all airport are probably carrying the omicron strain and in australia, there is urgent genomic testing under way after two arrivals from south wales tested positive for covid—i9. they are quarantining in a hotel in sydney for two weeks while they look through the results. this was only announced two days ago and already there are criticisms of the way the international community including european and asian nations, the us and australia, have banned flights from southern african countries. we have heard from the south african foreign minister saying the country is being punished instead of applauded for discovering this
information. gordon brown, the former british prime minister has said it is no surprise we have this potentially very deadly variant because rich countries, he says, have been holding back since. that means even though 12,000,000,000 will be produced by the end of the year, which would have been enough for the whole world, you will find in the six countries that are being targeted, southern african countries, less than 40% of the population have vaccines. what that means in those countries there is space for the virus to mutate for the urgent question is how this omicron variant is actually going to go down in those highly vaccinated countries.— countries. worrying developments - countries. worrying developments but i countries. worrying - developments but thank you countries. worrying _ developments but thank you for that. you are watching bbc news. as we've been hearing, the omicron variant of covid first detected in south africa is starting to cause problems in several countries. here in the uk, restrictions
are set to be titghtened again after two cases were discovered in england. from next week, face coverings will become mandatory in shops and on public transport, and everyone entering the uk will have to take a pcr test. it comes as cases of the new variant emerge in several european countries and in israel. here's our political correspondent, iain watson. it sounds like the title of a science—fiction novel — the omicron variant. but this latest version of covid, complete with many more mutations, is all too real. two cases have been identified here in the uk. the scientists say they need to learn more about it, but here's the reason the government's reacting swiftly to its presence. it does appear that omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated. so, for the first time since the summer, there will be new restrictions in england. from next week, wearing masks in shops and on public transport will be mandatory, as it is now in scotland, wales and northern ireland, and if you're returning from abroad, compulsory pcr tests are being reintroduced. and that's not all.
we will require all contacts of those who test positive with a suspected case of omicron to self—isolate for ten days, regardless of your vaccination status. and here's one reason why. there are quite extensive mutations on the spike protein, which is an important part of the virus, and the reason that is important is that is the bit which all the vaccines are against, so there is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant. and the new measures will be reviewed just before christmas. how likely is it that those restrictions could be ratcheted up in three weeks' time, rather than wound down, and can you say with any confidence at the moment that people can keep their christmas plans? i'm pretty confident, or absolutely confident, this christmas will be considerably better than last christmas. but the new measures aren't the entirety of the government's plan b.
advice to work from home and vaccine passports in england are still in the back pocket. i was told that boosting the vaccination programme was more important because even if it turns out vaccines are less good at stopping infection from the new variant, they could still offer protection against serious illness. we must boost the defences we have, which is why booster vaccines are so important, and go really hard and quick to get those booster vaccines across as many people as possible. the prime minister was criticised for not acting swiftly enough in the face of the delta variant. this time he is acting quickly, but the opposition say that in england, he should be going further than the restrictions that he's willing to introduce. the government's plan b has always been our plan a. we think that mask wearing should be commonplace in public spaces, especially indoors, we think that people should be able to work from home where that is possible. i think we should have been doing all those things already, so of course we want them to be doing that now.
the government say the new measures are targeted at slowing the spread of the omicron variant, buying time for vaccines to be modified if necessary. butjust as the beginning of the end of the pandemic was being predicted, we are now facing a period of uncertainty. iain watson, bbc news, westminster. travellers in south africa have been scrambling to find flights out of the country as world leaders begin to announce tighter border controls. the netherlands says 61 people who arrived in amsterdam on friday, on two flights from south africa, have tested positive for covid—i9. further testing is being carried out to see if they are cases of the omicron variant. caroline davies reports. it is all taking... stuck on an aeroplane as the authorities grapple with what to do next.
jack was one of 600 passengers who were stopped at schippol airport yesterday after flying from south africa. they were kept in the terminal for hours waiting for the results of new pcr test. jack is one of 61 people the authorities have said are positives despite being double jabbed and testing negative before flying. people were crying, babies were crying, and the said, you're going to a quarantine hotel in amsterdam and we were put into the back of a van, a minibus kind of van, that had, to be fair, it looked like clingfilm or sheets or something hanging from the top, two guys in the front in hazmat suits. have you been told what will happen next? i've not had any e—mails, no text messages. no phone calls or anything, nothing at all. the airport says it was a unique situation and they had done their best to make sure people were comfortable. around the world countries are closing their borders
to arrivals from southern africa, including the usa. we are going to be cautious, make sure there is no travel to and from south africa or six other countries in that region, except for american citizens who are able to come back. over the course of the last few months travel has been opening up, as the doors close trying to get uk nationals out of southern africa before quarantine hotels start tomorrow is a struggle. south africa is a huge destination for business and visiting friends and relatives, there is lots of stress for passengers, and many of them will not be able to get home because there is not the flight uplift to get them back before quarantine comes in. there are still many questions about the omicron variant, while scientists around the world what to answer them, the world's government are struggling to buy more time. the government's latest coronavirus figures show
there were 39,567 new infections recorded, in the latest 24—hour period. on average, there were nearly 114,000 new cases reported per day in the last week. 131 deaths were recorded, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—i9 test, which means on average in the past week, 123 covid—related deaths, were recorded every day. on vaccinations, more than 17 million people have now had, a boosterjab. and the health secretary, sajid javid, will be one of the guests on the andrew marr show, that's tomorrow morning, at 9 o'clock, here on bbc one. a powerful storm that's hit britain is now known to have killed at least three people. gale force winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour brought down trees and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes across scotland, northern england, the midlands and wales. here's andy gill.
storm arwen has left much of the country facing disruption and damage. there have been some near misses, road and rail travel has been badly affected and tens of thousands of homes left without power. the storm brought picture postcard scenery to the north yorkshire village of low row, but it's also disrupting life, especially for the vulnerable. patricia is 86. she lives alone and has difficulty walking. her power�*s been off since half past ten last night. it's cold, very cold. now, i've got some... somebody brought me a hot water bottle to put on my knees. and i've got two jumpers on. winds of more than 90 miles an hour battered the north—east coast of scotland and trains were cancelled across the uk. it's a fluid situation. we're going to try and keep people moving wherever we can. but in many parts of the country we are encouraging people not to travel at all and certainly to check on the websites, on the apps,
and for live information before they do set off. on one train in the north of scotland, passengers were stranded overnight. well, i got on the train at elgin just at the back of 3pm yesterday afternoon and about five o'clock, we hit huntley and stayed there for about 17 hours. on a farm near st asaph in north wales, a shed roof blew off, damaging cars. the met office has issued a yellow warning for icy conditions on sunday across much of scotland, northern england and the midlands. andy gill, bbc news, north yorkshire. police hunting the killer of 12—year—old ava white say they want a van driver who may have witnessed something �*vital�* to come forward. the silver enterprise van was in central liverpool on thursday evening. merseyside police say the occupants of the vehicle are in no way suspected of involvement in the schoolgirl�*s death — and they continue to question four boys, arrested
on suspicion of murder. this is bbc news, the headlines... the new omicron strain of coronavirus is detected across europe — with cases confirmed in germany, italy, belgium, the czech republic and the uk. israel is planning to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night to tackle the spread of the omicron variant. more details have emerged about some of the 27 people who drowned this week while trying to reach britain from france. newspaper reports say that among the dead were a 25—year—old man, who'd left iraq tojoin his brother in england, and an iraqi kurdish woman, along with her three children. the bbc has been hearing from the family and friends of the first victim to be named — 24—year—old maryam nuri mohamed amin. more details from our correspondent, lucy williamson. she left to start a new life with her fiance. a video from her engagement party less than a year ago still stored on her relatives'
phones. maryam nuri mohamed amin tried several times to get a visa tojoin her partner in the uk, before deciding to surprise him by trying to get there another way. she was messaging him when the boat began to lose air. in erbil, in northern iraq, the family's anger showed through their grief. her mother and sister inconsolable. translation: going to britain is very difficult. l she tried to get to britain legally twice. she went to the british embassy, but the process was delayed. she was forced to go the way she did. her friend iman left to absorb the news of her death. her humanity was so good, always advising me. and she was like someone i look... look up to for advice. so no one should try this. no one. no one deserves
to die this way. but this disaster has changed little in the minds of people living in migrant camps here. they're just waiting for the right weather conditions to make the same journey, take the same risks. there's been a lot of finger—pointing across the channel over who's to blame for the growing crisis. european interior ministers are due to meet here tomorrow to discuss the problem. but the british home secretary has been disinvited in the middle of a diplomatic feud between the prime minister, borisjohnson, and the french president, emmanuel macron. investigations have begun to identify the other victims, but questions are also being asked about why help never arrived and more broadly, ahead of tomorrow's meeting, why, after all the diplomacy, all the deterrents, lives are still being risked and lost in a narrow stretch of sea. lucy williamson, bbc news, calais. let's look at some
other stories in brief. hundreds of environmental protesters in serbia have blocked roads in the capital, belgrade, and several other towns. they're angry about government plans to offer the mining giant, rio tinto, the rights to extract lithium in the town of loznitza. lithium is a crucial component of electric car batteries. the protesters say its extraction would pollute land and water supplies. polish border guards say a group of more than a hundred migrants tried overnight to force their way into poland from belarus helped by belarusian soldiers. officials say the belarusian forces blinded their polish counterparts with strobe lights and lasers. a young child has been injured in burkina faso as police fired tear gas at demonstrators protesting against the government's failure to stem a rise in islamist violence. two journalists were hurt in the protests, which had been banned by the authorities in the capital, ouagadougou. angry youths set up makeshift barricades and burned tyres in several neighbourhoods, including in front of the ruling party headquarters.
the women's tennis association says it remains concerned about chinese tennis star peng shuai's ability to communicate freely, openly, and directly. ms peng disappeared from public view for three weeks after accusing the former vice—premier zhang gaoli of sexual assault. on saturday, wta chairman and ceo steve simon, said he would not engage in further email communications with her because it was �*clear her responses were influenced by others.�* in a statement regarding the comments, the wta said: "he remains deeply concerned that peng is not free from censorship or coercion and decided not to re—engage via email until he was satisfied her responses were her own, and not those of her censors." yaqiu wang is a senior researcher on china for human rights watch, i asked her what she made of the situation. based on the wta assessment, i don't think she is free, even though she appear on those
videos and pictures. chinese history of silencing critics, disappear them, and making them reappear on some videos, saying they are not doing that well. this fits into a history of the government doing that. i have concerns about her safety and freedom. would you say this follows the rule book that they have done in the past, this is a hugely high profile case. we have seen this happen before but maybe not quite so much in the public eye as peng shuai? right. this case got a lot of international attention but they were huge celebrities, movie stars, and happened to those people too, they were very well known in china. lots of videos have been released purportedly saying she is at a tournament or a restaurant. what does that tell us? does it look fake to you?
yes. definitely looks fake to me. if the government really wants to show that she is free, why not let her talk to her fans? or hold a press conference? let her leave china so she can speak to whoever she wants to. we have seen the photo of her speaking to thomas bach from the ioc and they seem to be on the chinese side so what does that tell us about the ioc and its relationship with china? i think it is shameful for the ioc to do that. everybody knows, the ioc knows as well, that this must involve some kind of state surveillance or coercion. for the ioc to engage in this kind of government orchestrated narrative is shameful. how much would you evaluate the international reaction to what is happening, has it been strong enough? should various countries be harsher on china and what they are doing? it is very encouraging to see the wta response. they have been very upfront
and clear that human rights is bigger than business. we have grown so accustomed to international sports organisations and international business cowering to the chinese government human rights violations. for the wta to say that, it is very encouraging and i hope other international organisations follow suit. scientists are warning that much of australia's native wildlife could disappear by 2050 due to differing factors. according to the national science agency indigenous animals and plants could be lost. joey clarke is from the australian wildlife conservancy. his organisation isn't surprised by the findings. small mammals are a group that has suffered disproportionately, things that you might not have, mandy coutts, bilby is included, they are unique animals which are only found in australia. they have suffered the worst
extinctions, basically because they are the right size to be eaten by either a fox or a cat. what we see as a priority in the first instance is to create spaces that are safe, we can rebuild populations of some native species so we have watched the largest rewilding effort in australia, building a network of fenced safe havens that are secure from these feral predators. beyond that, we need to look at managing habitat, so removing those large feral herbivores where we can, at a large scale and also getting fat management right. we have a lot to learn from indigenous australians who have been doing that, of course, for thousands of years. hello, it's adele. her new album "30" has shot to number one in the uk and united states, overtaking abba to become the fastest—selling album of the year so far. # go easy on me, baby... the lead single, easy on me, has been number one for a sixth consecutive week. her opening week success with 30 ensures all four of her albums have now reached
number one — a record for a female act. she's back but is she popular? here's sean mandell, a freelance entertainment reporter in la. she is incredibly popular but there is some comparisons going on right now between her album 30, which just came out, and her album 25, which was released in 2015, that was a really blockbuster rise to the top of the charts. in the us, for example, that had about 3.3 million albums sold in the first week, over 800,000 in the uk, this time with 30 she has had over 260,000 in the uk. about 660,000 in the us. it's still a precipitous decline for her from those numbers back in 2015. but there are a lot of factors at play that don't necessarily have to do with the album itself or the music
itself which is to say streaming music is a big difference and a big factor in what's going on here. because back in 2015, adele actually held off selling her album stream available on streaming services for about six months after the debut whereas this time around it was available on spotify and other streaming platforms immediately. how those numbers are calculated and added to the overall album sales tally is a bit controversial. so some people might look at that and say it's not actually as big a decline as it may seem and at the end of the day, she still is number one. very quickly, the grammys are fast approaching, is she going to clean up this year? she has just missed the window for the last nominating period so we will have to wait until next year for her to get nominees which will undoubtedly pour in given her history of
sweeping at the grammys. we are going to wait a year. before another photo of adele with way too many grammys to be able to carry in her two arms! in men's football, palmeiras of brazil have won south america's biggest competition, the copa libertadores, for the second successive year. they beat another brazilian side, flamengo, 2—1 after extra time. the match was played in neighbouring uruguay, causing logistical problems for fans of both clu bs. the cost of air tickets and hotels had rocketed because of high demand and the pandemic. finally, the christmas season is really getting underway with the start of advent. this was the scene in vilnius earlier — and the unveiling of the world famous christmas tree. it's described as one of the most stunning christmas trees in the world. it's located in the centre of cathedral square, in vilnius's historic old town. the christmas market is one of the highlights of winter in lithuania — and the tree is unique every year.
stay tuned here on bbc news. hello. storm arwen brought wind gusts close to 100mph across northumberland. the storm has now pulled away south and eastwards and with pressure building from the west, the winds will continue to ease, but sunday will be another cold day, further wintry showers in the forecast and the risk of ice through sunday morning and an area of rain, sleet and snow originally across scotland and just clipping northern ireland, will move into the north of england and into the midlands and wales by the end of the afternoon. on either side of this there will be some good spells of sunshine but further wintry showers just clipping the east coast and more cloud pushing into northern ireland, but we will see some late afternoon sunshine here. by comparison to saturday, the winds will be much lighter but still fairly gusty down these eastern coasts for a large part of the day and in that wind it is going to continue to feel cold. temperatures for some struggling to get much above 2 or 3 c and we could see 7 or 8 c for
some western coasts. the area of rain, sleet and snow starting to move its way south through sunday evening, clear skies behind it, another cold and frosty night and more cloud and outbreaks of rain, a little bit of higher level snow pushing into north—west scotland and maybe northern ireland. temperatures across northern ireland staying above freezing, elsewhere another cold and frosty night. this is how we start monday, with this frontal system moving into northern ireland and scotland. it is a warm front so behind it the air is going to be slightly less cold but it will bring a lot of cloud, initially some snow on monday, through the grampians, the southern uplands, more like rain come the afternoon. further south, mainly dry, often cloudy, the best of any brightness, i think across southern and south—east england, where temperatures again, just 4 or 5 c. further west, they are starting to rise a little and we could see nine or ten across parts of north—west england, north—west scotland and northern ireland. as we move into tuesday, we see another frontal
system pushing in from off the atlantic and this one is going to provide some heavy outbreaks of rain, initially into scotland and northern ireland and gradually sliding its way south and eastwards through tuesday. some parts of central, southern and eastern england may stay dry through daylight hours, but look as the temperatures recover into double figures, 11 or 12 c on tuesday. behind that rain band, things will be turning colder again on wednesday with some wintry showers and feeling cold in the wind, still quite cold on thursday.
all travellers arriving in britain having to take a pcr test. israel is planning to ban the entry of all foreigners for two weeks from sunday night — to tackle the spread of the omicron variant, after one case was detected. israeli prime minister naftali bennett has said that israel is on the verge of a state of emergency. the family and friends of one of those who died in the english channel when their small boat capsized, have told the bbc that she was kind hearted. maryam nuri mohamed amin was a 2k year old kurdish woman, from northern iraq, who was travelling to be with her partner. now on bbc news: it's time for dateline london — with shaun ley.