welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... more countries introduce travel restrictions as the new coronavirus variant spreads — the south african president criticises governments who've cut—off his country. these restrictions are completely unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our southern african sister countries. health ministers from the world's seven leading economies will take part in an emergency meeting on monday to discuss how to deal with the omicron variant. how a kurdish father of three in northern iraq fears his whole family were among those who drowned in the english channel.
and snow from storm arwen cuts off a pub in northern england — we'll be live there as customers spend their third night at the bar. live from our studio in singapore. this is bbc news. this is newsday. hello and welcome the programme. we begin in south africa, where president cyril ramaphosa has condemned the decision by countries including the us, europe and parts of asia, to ban flights from southern africa — after the confirmation of the presence of the new omicron variant of covid—19. the variant was first identified by south african scientists, although it isn't known where it originated. mr ramaphosa has called the moves unjustified. he said — increased
vaccination was the best way to tackle the new variant. these restrictions are completely unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our southern african sister countries. the prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. the only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the effected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and recover from the pandemic. the emergence of the omicron variant should be a wake—up call to the world that vaccine inequality cannot be allowed to continue. meanwhile, britain is to convene an urgent meeting of g7 health ministers on monday to discuss developments relating to the new variant.
it comes as canada, france and australia are the latest countries to confirm cases of the new strain and as new travel restrictions are brought in worldwide to limit its spread. the dutch authorities have said that at least 13 people tested positive for the new variant after arriving recently from south africa, where the highly—mutated variant was first identified. anna holligan reports. places like this have been pounded throughout the pandemic. xander had been hoping to recover some of his losses during what is normally his busiest time of the year. it's the party month, the december month, so... santa claus, christmas, all of the parties from the businesses, it's all gone. nobody is having a party or a drink. for the next three weeks in the run up to christmas, bars, restaurants and non—essential shops must stop serving from five in the evening until 5am.
the measures were considered critical to protect the hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. the netherlands has a shortage of intensive care beds. operations are being cancelled, patients transferred over the border to germany for treatment. hundreds of people are dying of covid every week. some scientists believe a confused government strategy has damaged public trust and willingness to comply with the rules. the lack of consistency has led to a lot of distrust within society and the public, for example, take the mask discourse. one moment they say it's not effective, and then the other way, they become mandatory in indoor places. so, communicating that to the public and to the people can kind of create distrust,
and that is what you see now in the netherlands and also the rioting which we have seen last week. another new variant has arrived — omicron has been detected among passengers who are now in isolation. here at this airport, flights from south africa are continuing to land, so one came in from cape town earlier and another from johannesburg, and these arrivals are causing concern in a country already battling record—breaking infection rates. and this is one of europe's busiest transit hubs. there are fears the virus may be travelling on undetected. anna holligan, bbc news. we can speak now to dr meru sheel, infectious diseases epidemiologist and senior research fellow at the australian national university. it's great to have
to you the comments from the south african president today condemning that decision by countries to ban flights from south africa in an attempt to limit the spread of this new variant. will that be effective? is that enough to stop the spread, or indeed, should increased vaccination be the way to tackle the variant, as he says?— the way to tackle the variant, as he says? thanks for having me on that — as he says? thanks for having me on that show. _ as he says? thanks for having me on that show. i _ as he says? thanks for having me on that show. i think - as he says? thanks for having me on that show. i think we l me on that show. i think we know, science tells us that vaccination is probably the best way to limit the spread of any variant. we don't know what effectiveness vaccines against omicron would be, but there would be some level of protection because it is a virus, vaccination is the best way. we know quarantine measures work. the virus spreads really quickly, we can already see that cases of
omicron are being detected in many other parts of the world, not just many other parts of the world, notjust in parts of south africa. so i think vaccination is probably one of the best tools, along with other public health prevention measures. other public health prevention measures, like border closures, for instance, because think they that is where we are at in they that is where we are at in the terms of the world response to this, more border closures, more social distancing. it's like we are going backwards. i think we definitely need to be moving forward. i think physically, distancing does wreck as a public health measure, mask use, hand hygiene, staying at home when you are unwell and getting tested. those are the public health and social measures that we know definitely work. quarantine of infected cases, selective border control probably won't work for very long time even if it works in the short term. i think the focus needs to be around mask use, hygiene, physical
distancing. all interventions that we know work for these viruses and vaccination can especially increasing the coverage from populations that have not perceived vaccines at all. ., ., . , all. doctor, how much is vaccine _ all. doctor, how much is vaccine inequality - all. doctor, how much is| vaccine inequality played all. doctor, how much is l vaccine inequality played a part in the creation of new variants because mckenna would say early days right now in terms of the strength of the strength of this variant, but how much does vaccine inequality play a part? it plays a huge role. we know that the way variants emerges on there is a non— indian population to the virus and it replicates and spreads and multiplies within a person and in this process, sometimes you get these areas in the genome of the virus that have been cause mutations, but sometimes mutations don't have an impact and sometimes they do have an impact. so that's why in many
parts of the world, especially in africa, we know that there is a supply shortage, so vaccination is very important. whether what impacted has on omicron or this new variants from it's still early days, we don't have enough data to make exclude dash any conclusive statements about that, but i think lack of vaccines in many parts of the world result in a greater number of variants, not just omicron but in the future as well. , ., just omicron but in the future as well. ., . ., , as well. doctor, infectious disease — as well. doctor, infectious disease epidemiologist. . as well. doctor, infectious - disease epidemiologist. thank you so much forjoining us on newsday. still to come a bit later in the programme: new zealand local leaders are calling on tourists to stay away, over fears that they will bring coronavirus to vulnerable local maori communities. but first. . .. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. polls have now closed in presidential and parliamentary elections in honduras. officials in the central american nation had to appeal for calm before people headed out to the ballots. the run—up to the vote had been dominated by concerns about security and the political
influence of drug cartels after the incumbent president, juan orlando hernandez, was named as part of a drug trafficking ring by the us justice department. around 62% of voters in switzerland have backed their government's covid strategy — including a covid certificate showing proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test. switzerland is currently battling a surge in infections and the certificates are currently needed to access bars, restaurants, and football matches. israel's president isaac herzog has lit a candle for the jewish festival of hanukkah, amid heavy security in the flashpoint city of hebron in the occupied west bank. palestinian officials have condemned his participation in the ceremony at the contested religious shrine, known as the tomb of the patriarchs tojews and the ibrahimi mosque to muslims. doctors treating the bangladeshi opposition leader, khaleda zia, say they fear for her life if she's
not allowed to fly abroad for medical care. ms zia, who's leader of the bangladesh nationalist party, has been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and is in critical care. but she's has been barred from travelling abroad after being convicted on corruption charges in 2018. in other headlines — four days after the bodies of people who drowned in the channel while trying to reach the uk were discovered — the identities of all 27 are yet to be confirmed. many are thought to be kurds from northern iraq — and as the days go on without news, families there fear the worst. the bbc�*s murad shishani has the story of one man whose wife and three children are believed to have been on the boat. for those waiting for news, the uncertainty is almost as difficult as the grief.
this man's wife and three children wanted to come to the uk to start a new life. away from their village, in iraqi kurdistan. his oldest daughter had wanted to study to become a doctor. translation: fathers | and mothers try to make their children better. i am a father, i love my kids. i want my children to have a good life. but the last time he heard from them was on tuesday, as they were boarding a boat. he says he called hundreds of times, with no answer. the next day, french authorities pulled 27 people from the water. and because of delays identifying the dead, rizgal does not know if his wife and children are among them. translation: i don't know if they are dead or alive, . i won't believe a thing until i see my children here or i find them in hospital. he had even sold the family house to tape people
—— he had even sold the family house to pay people smugglers for the journey. it is an expensive and illegal way to get to europe. an estimated 40,000 people have left the region in the past year using the smugglers network. i am on my way to meet one such smuggler, he was not involved with rizgal�*s family. they called them the middleman here in this region. he agreed to talk to me on condition of anonymity. he is directing me to a place of his choice, insisting that my time with him should be quick and short. do you regret being in this business after seeing what happened at the english channel? translation: how can i not regret? _ they are iraqi, they are muslim, even if they were palestinian, iraqi, jordanian, syrian, they are still human beings. whoever it is, it is as though it is my son, or even one of my relatives.
it is a crime against humanity. rizgal looks at family photos of happier times as he waits for news. but after five days, he is beginning to lose hope. if you want to get in touch with me i'm on twitter — @bbckarishma i'm looking forward to hearing from you. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... it sounds like a bad excuse for having a few too many — but punters at a pub in england are snowed in for the third night. we'll be there live.
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numhen _ i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. our headlines... health ministers from the world's seven leading economies will take part in an emergency meeting on monday to discuss how to deal with the omicron variant. south africa's president criticises governments that have imposed travel bans on his country since scientists there discovered the mutated virus. it's been just about a week since new zealand unveiled plans to reopen borders and allow foreigners to enter next year. but some local leaders are calling on tourists to stay away, over fears that they will bring coronavirus to vulnerable local maori communities who have fewer health facilities available. i've been speaking to the antony thompson, spokesman for the te kahu o
tanui tribal collective. in new zealand, we have treated covid—19 and the response to covid—19 as a public health issue. the country went into lockdown, we have set targets for ourselves for a 90% vaccination rate across the whole country, and every new zealander, every organisation regarding health has banned together to reach that target of 90%. we haven't got there with our most vulnerable communities, so it's very important to all of our maori health providers. maori health providers make—up the largest contingent of health prevention to maori in low socioeconomic communities within our area. a good example is where i come from, northland, it's about two and half hours north of auckland, the area is only at 71% vaccination rate at this stage of those who are eligible to be vaccinated.
the population of northland is about 240,000 people. over the summer period, we have an extra 250,000 people, and you can appreciate without the right controls, the right plans and mitigations in place, we could have a disaster on our hands. indeed. can ijust ask, what is the reason for that discrepancy or the difference, i should say, between the vaccination take—up in the local community versus the rest of new zealand? this is an old issue. maori health is about 10—20 years behind non maori health and new zealand. we are fighting extra hard to get maori services out to the communities that need them. you've got to remember that in our small communities, we are small, remote, local communities in our northland area. therefore, it is a lot harder
to get services, health services and vaccination to those remote communities. what we wanted was the chance and the ability to get our vaccination rates up to the right levels before we opened the borders. for us, these two borders, the local border and this external border, we have got the hard border between auckland and northland right now in a small village, that community, you can't cross the border line, the hard border, by road, unless you have an exemption from the government. at the moment, come december 15, what will happen is the government have released and relaxed the rules around travel. i see. you have to be double vaxxed and have to have a clear test within 72 hours of travel between auckland and northland. antony thompson, spokesman for the te kahu o tanui tribal collective, speaking to me from auckland earlier. weather forecasters in the uk
are warning it could be the coldest night of the season so far — with temperatures dropping to as low as minus 10 degrees in some areas. in eastern scotland and the east of england weather warnings remain in place following storm arwen — and tens of thousands of homes are still without power. alexandra mackenzie reports. storm arwen brought winds of over 90 mph. the damage caused was extensive. scottish power said it was the worst in many years — like here in lockerbie. trees were blown onto power lines. in the town of kintore in aberdeenshire, people are doing what they can to stay warm and fed. but they don't know when their electricity will be restored. we've had no power since friday night, when some big trees took down the cables beside our house. so we've got my 97—year—old dad, he's is in the village, so he's got power now, thankfully. but it doesn't look as though we'll be getting any power any time soon.
thousands of people in wales are also without power. carmarthenshire is one of the worst—affected areas, and attempts to resolve the problem resumed early this morning. we rely heavily on electric for everything in the household now. we can't even make a cup of tea. the simple things in life have been taken away from us. it's also been a struggle across parts of the north of england. you can't eat, you can't cook. you can't have a drink, you can't have a shower or anything. so we've just been surviving off the last bits of the hot water. and then we've had to sleep with all our clothes on because it's been so cold in the bedrooms. i can't even tell you how cold it is. here in east lothian, some are making the most of the winter weather and freezing temperatures. alexandra mackenzie, bbc news. and storm arwen has forced customers at one pub in northern england to spend
a little more time at the bar than they had planned. visitors who went for a pint on friday are settling in for their third night there, after getting cut off by heavy snow. the tan hill inn in the yorkshire dales national park is britain's highest pub. i'm joined live now by the pub�*s manager, nicola townsend. wonderful to have you on the programme, nikolai, and the first instance i concede that there are still lots of people at the pub right now, just talk us through how all of this happened. us through how all of this happened-— us through how all of this happened. us through how all of this hauened. ~ , . ., happened. we started off on friday night. _ happened. we started off on friday night, we _ happened. we started off on friday night, we were - happened. we started off on i friday night, we were supposed to have, we had a gig, a band called no oasis, a tribute band to oasis. and we sold over 140 odd tickets, but 61 people made at. a lot of those were expecting to go home that night
and are still here now. nikolai, i can see that the merriment has continued in full swing with some of the patrons there enjoying themselves at a fair amount. there enjoying themselves at a fairamount. dare i there enjoying themselves at a fair amount. dare i ask how have you all been keeping busy, you know? what have you been doing besides what appears to be the obvious?— be the obvious? everyone has celled be the obvious? everyone has gelled together _ be the obvious? everyone has gelled together really - be the obvious? everyone has gelled together really well. i gelled together really well. new friendships being formed. we have been having quizzes, karaoke is, our chef has been looking after everybody, cooking some really good food, and people have been playing games. just having a really good time. it seems bad to say after all the news i've just listen to, but we are having a little party, aren't we? cheering that sounds like quite the party, nikolai. a bit of a that sounds like quite the party, nikolai. a bit ofa hard life you are facing out there. laughter we werejust laughter we were just looking at some of
the picture is of the snow outside the pub in that area. what are the prospects for people to be able to go home? has anyone been able to go home? , .,, ., ., home? some people have gone home, a home? some people have gone home. a groun _ home? some people have gone home, a group of— home? some people have gone home, a group of guys - home? some people have gone home, a group of guys who - home? some people have gonel home, a group of guys who drive four x 4's for ivs, they came up four x 4's for ivs, they came up yesterday and managed to take a few people out who had to go because they had very young children, but the advice has been by professionals and the guys who drive the roads all the time in the snow not to drive because the roads are so in such bad condition. one of our main roads to us was cut off with a power line as well, so the plough hasn't been able to get to us. so the plough hasn't been able to get to us— to get to us. i'm sorry to hear that, nikolai. _ to get to us. i'm sorry to hear that, nikolai. |_ to get to us. i'm sorry to hear that, nikolai. i understand, . to get to us. i'm sorry to hear| that, nikolai. i understand, as he sat at the beginning, there was an oasis tribute band that was an oasis tribute band that was playing for audiences on friday. sadly we can't hear or see them because of technical difficulties, we would have loved still, are they still with you in good spirits? i’iiii
with you in good spirits? i'll introduce — with you in good spirits? i�*ii introduce you to them. with you in good spirits? i'll introduce you to them. go | with you in good spirits? i'll i introduce you to them. go on, then. # may be, you're going to be the one that saves me #. # after all, you might wonder while #. and be wish you the best of luck, i you so much forjoining us for that brilliant efforts, and do keep your spirits up and happy throughout this experience. what a story there for us, i have to admit, nicola townsend at that pub in england, wouldn't you love to be in that situation as well? that's all the time with that for you on newsday. thanks for
joining us. do stay with bbc news, the latest global headlines and all the news and analysis that you're looking for. hello. for many parts in the uk, it's a cold and icy start to the new week. there are changes afoot — it briefly turns milder on tuesday. it doesn't last for long. the colder air moves back in from midweek onwards. and throughout the week, spells of wet and windy weather at times. this is how monday shapes up, we have a warm front draped across scotland and northern ireland. ahead of it, we are in the colder air, behind it, something milder. on the front, we will see outbreaks of rain preceded by some hill sleet and snow through the morning across scotland. ahead of it through the morning, a widespread ice risk for much of scotland and england. some patchy rain into northern ireland, maybe into the far north of england, further south, it stays mostly dry for daylight hours. the best of the sunshine from east anglia down to dorset, but a cold feeling day here. further north, not as cold, 10 celsius the high in belfast and glasgow.
overnight, the cloud increases, that mild air pushes its way southwards, bringing with it some outbreaks of rain and drizzle, but it won't be nearly so cold, a much milder night as we head into tuesday with lows across the northern half of the uk around 6— seven celsius. so, this is tuesday, we are in between fronts. notice how the isobars are closer together. so, the winds will be strengthening, but we are in this warm air, so a much milder day, a lot of cloud. there will be some outbreaks of rain, the heaviest initially scotland through the morning, and that rain piles into northern ireland, northern and western scotland, parts of northern england, a few showers further south, but by and large, the further south you are, the drier you will be. but look at the temperatures, 11— 12 celsius on tuesday. it will be increasingly windy day. these are the average wind strengths, but would like to see some stronger gusts particularly through western coasts. now, this frontal system will be moving its way pretty swiftly across the uk through tuesday night and into wednesday, bringing
all ofus a spell of more persistent rain, but also as it clears its way from south east england, behind it, we see those blue colours, that colder air starting to flood across, and it's quite a messy picture on wednesday, quite a few showers around, particularly for western and eastern coasts. those showers are likely to be wintry across northern and eastern scotland, and it's starting to feel colder again particularly across the northern half of the uk. we may still get 10—11 celsius further south. thursday should be mainly dry, but feeling cold, and then more rain arrives on wednesday. goodbye.
this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the maids stories at the top of the hour as newsday continues straight after hardtalk. welcome to hardtlak, i'm stephen sackur. if money is power then one of the world's most powerful institution is probably one you've never heard of. located in oslo and worth more than a trillion dollars norway's sovereign wealth fund owes its existence to the countries vast reserves of oil and gas. it claims to be an ethical investor. so there was some consternation when it appointed my guest today, nicolai tangen as its new boss. is a risk taking, flamboyant hedge fund manager the right man to steer the worlds biggest sovereign wealth fund?