tv BBC News at Ten BBC News November 29, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
tonight at 10: a booster vaccination for every adult in the uk to try to prevent a new wave of covid infections. the extra measures were announced today because of the rise of the new variant of coronavirus, called omicron. advisers to ministers also recommend that 12—to—15—year—olds should be invited for a second dose of the pfizer vaccine. our experience of fighting this virus has shown us it's best to act decisively and swiftly when we see a potential threat, which is why we're building our defences and putting these measures in place without delay. and scientists believe it will take about three weeks to gain a better understanding of the effects of the new variant. also tonight... 60,000 homes across the uk are still without power in the wake of storm arwen and its impact.
the father of the youngest victim of the manchester arena attack says the response of the emergency services was shameful. 0n the eve of becoming a republic, barbados prepares to celebrate a new future without the queen as head of state. and britain's highest—altitude pub is accessible once again and the three—night lock—in is over. and coming up in sport on the bbc news channel, rachel furness becomes northern ireland's record goal—scorer, as they thrash north macedonia 9—0 in their world cup qualifier. good evening. extra measures have been announced today to try to prevent a new wave of coronavirus infections driven by the latest variant, called 0micron.
scientists believe it will take about three weeks to gain a better understanding of its effects. now, the main proposal today is that every adult in england, wales, scotland and northern ireland will now be offered a booster vaccination. the committee advising the government confirmed that the minimum gap between people's second dose and the booster should be reduced from six to three months. and it also recommended that 12—to—15—year—olds should be invited for a second dose of the pfizer vaccine. senior advisers say it's likely that the effectiveness of the vaccines will be reduced by the new variant, as our health editor hugh pym reports. boosting the boosters, like those being given in derby today. that's now the official response to the new variant. experts have told ministers that, as well as all adults being offered boosterjabs, the gap between the second dose and the next should be slashed to three months. the message is that, with the chance the vaccines
won't be so effective against 0micron, more immunity is needed. we therefore want to provide boosters early enough such that it is before any possible wave. i'm not here predicting that there will be a wave of the new variant, but should there be a wave we want to be in the best possible position. that urgency, he said, was why the time between second and third doses should be cut, and a three—month gap would still mean good protection. we asked people in birmingham for their reaction. as soon as we can get everybody vaccinated then we can make everywhere safer and more places can open up. you know, tit reaches out to younger people and if it helps then it's - a positive thing, really. with a few cases of the new variant being confirmed in scotland, the first minister said, with her welsh counterpart, she was calling for tighter restrictions on people arriving in the uk.
we are proposing a tougher four—nations approach to travel restrictions at this stage that would see people arriving in the uk from overseas and asked to self isolate for eight days. under our proposal they would take a pcr test on day eight of their arrival as well as on day two. at westminster the health secretary was explaining the new plans, including tougher rules on face coverings in england. we're building our defences and putting these measures in place without delay. scientists are working at speed, at home and abroad, to determine whether this variant is more dangerous. and i can assure the house that if it emerges that this variant is no more dangerous than the delta variant, then we won't keep measures in place for a day longer than necessary. but labour said the government should have gone further. keeping masks in place would always have been our plan a. will the secretary of state extend the use of masks to hospitality and other settings? or does covid not spread in pubs?
the new rules on masks in shops and on public transport in england will come into line with the rest of the uk tomorrow. this butcher in louth in lincolnshire isn't happy. many, many people are now fed up of the situation and don't really know whether they agree with the masking situation so you are going to have problems with customers facing each other. meanwhile, children at an essex school are being tested because of a link to a new variant case. more generally, face masks are now being recommended in communal areas at all secondary schools and colleges in england. they're already required in scottish schools. so there's a lot for the health service to think about as they're asked to ramp up the roll—out of the booster vaccination programme, and care for patients as winter sets in. until more is known about the new variant, the nhs can only focus on patients coming through the doors, and although hospitals are under a lot of pressure, covid numbers are well down
on this time last year, and considerably lower than injanuary — largely thanks to the success of the vaccines. these are uncertain times, but ministers, while emphasising the need to get vaccinated, are continuing to stress that people should plan for christmas as normal. hugh pym, bbc news. scientists are now, as a matter urgency, trying establish whether the new variant is more transmissible than the current delta variant, and whether it causes more severe illness. they'll also be assessing its impact on the effectiveness of vaccines. 0ur medical editor fergus walsh has more details. afteralpha, beta, gamma, delta comes 0micron, which scientists think could be the worst variant yet. so is 0micron more transmissible? it appears to be driving a rise in infections in south africa, but it's too early to be certain what's happening as cases only started increasing ten days ago from a very low level. the world health organization said 0micron shows why the world needs a new global agreement on how to prevent, prepare and respond to pandemics.
we should all be wide awake to the threat of this virus. but 0micron's very emergence is another reminder that, although many of us might think we are done with covid—19, it's not done with us. another key unknown is whether 0micron causes more severe illness. doctors in south africa say they've been dealing with mild infections from the variant, but cases there are mostly in young adults. the real test will be when 0micron starts moving into older and more vulnerable people. perhaps most crucial of all, will vaccines still work? current covid vaccines are based
on the original wuhan strain of coronavirus, and train the immune system to recognise the spike protein on its surface. the virus has changed considerably, but the antibodies the vaccine creates still work. 0micron has more mutations than any variant so far and there's concern it may be able to bypass our initial defences and cause infection. but even if it does, another part of the immune system, t cells, should give significant protection against severe disease. i do not want people to panic at this stage. if vaccine effectiveness is reduced, as seems pretty likely to some extent, the biggest effects are likely to be in preventing infections and hopefully there will be smaller effects on preventing severe disease. can we test for it?
0micron has a different genetic signature to delta, which often shows up on pcr tests. but only about half of uk labs can pick up this signal. gene sequencing will also help track the spread of the variant here. we all want to know how much of a threat 0micron poses, but it'll be two to three weeks before science gives us those answers. fergus walsh, bbc news. time to take our latest look at the coronavirus figures across the uk. 42,583 new infections were recorded in the latest 24—hour period. on average, there were just over 43,000 new cases reported per day in the last week. the latest figures show there were 7,530 people in hospital being treated for coronavirus on friday. 35 deaths were recorded — that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. on average in the past week, 120 covid—related deaths
were recorded every day. 0n vaccinations, nearly 17.9 million people have now had a boosterjab. well, since the discovery of the new 0micron variant various new regulations have been introduced in different parts of the uk. 0ur health correspondent sophie hutchinson has been looking in more detail at the changes. what are the changes to the rules on face coverings? well, from tomorrow wearing a mask in england becomes a legal requirement again. they'll be compulsory in shops and on public transport, and in addition to that from today all secondary school pupils were strongly advised to wear masks in communal areas, along with staff and visitors to all schools and childcare settings. but in the other three uk nations, face masks have already been mandatory on public transport and in other indoor settings,
including in restaurants in scotland and northern ireland. what do you do if you're a close contact of an 0micron infection? well, the rules for close contacts have been tightened for 0micron. if you've been told you may have been exposed to the new variant, whether you're fully vaccinated or not, you will have to self—isolate for ten days. what are the new rules around arriving in the uk, and when do they come into force? from 4am tomorrow, anyone entering the uk will have to take a pcr test within 48 hours of arrival and self—isolate until they get a negative result. and only uk and irish citizens will be allowed to return from red list countries and will have to pay for and quarantine in a government—approved hotel for ten days. will the government ask people to work from home? in scotland and northern ireland, ministers have been strengthening the message about working from home and asking employers to help wherever they can.
in wales, people are also being asked to work remotely. but in england there is no message about trying to work at home. instead, ministers say the additional precautions that we're now taking should help to slow the progress of the new variant. that was sophie hutchinson there with the latest on the new measures. so let's turn to the day's other news. more than 60,000 homes across the uk are still without power tonight for a fourth day in the wake of storm arwen, that hit many areas with winds close to 100 miles an hour. worst affected, with 28,000 homes and businesses still without power, are these areas in the north—east of scotland. all schools in aberdeenshire are closed and they'll stay shut tomorrow. in england, 27,000 people across the north east, yorkshire and lincolnshire are still affected by power cuts. 0ur north of england correspondent fiona trott reports. cold and vulnerable. are you all warm enough?
at this nursing home in county durham they're doing everything they can to keep their residents warm. they're facing a fourth night without power. to get everybody away - from the coldest place you've ever wished to be in, _ suddenly very cold, from the storm. they come round now through the night every hour. how much do you want the electricity to come back on? 0h, i'd love it to come on. i think we all would, and i think the staff would, because they've had very hard work with it. i don't think some of them have hardly slept much. potatoes coming! some staff are even taking food away to cook it in their own homes. but they're frustrated too. it'd would be nice to know how long. if on friday we knew it was going to be a few days then obviously our contingency would have been different than the fact we are going hour by hour. it's notjust our residents at risk, which i've said. it's also the fact we're quite lucky because we are all together and we've got a lovely community.
what about the poor old person, vulnerable person, who lives on their own and nobody knows about? they are potentially the people who they are going to find in a few days, having not unfortunately survived this. we really feel for our customers in these circumstances and our teams are really doing their very best to get people with their lights back on. so i ask for people to be patient with us. we are really trying very best to help them and we are going to be there for them and we will keep them informed as to how we go. the effects of storm arwen are being felt across the uk. at this nature reserve at st abbs in the scottish borders, around 800 grey seals have perished. in aberdeenshire residents in torphins are bracing themselves for a third cold night. stores have been set up with hot food and drinks. in abergele in conway, itv have confirmed the i'm a celebrity programme will be scrapped for a third night while work continues to repair damage there. back at the nursing home, more help has arrived.
a massive generator donated by the local funfair. i'd just like to give something back, you know. idon't mind. kindness is keeping them going. in these pandemic times it's the community once again that's helping to keep people safe. fiona trott, bbc news, county durham. the father of the youngest victim of the manchester arena attack in 2017 has said that the response of the emergency services on the night was shameful and inadequate. saffie—rose roussos was eight years old when she was killed in the bomb attack. her father andrew said the response should go down in history as "one of the worst failures from start to finish", as our correspondent judith moritz reports. saffie—rose roussos loved pop music, especially ariana grande. she was so excited when she got tickets to the star's manchester concert for christmas. she went on a girly night with her mum lisa and sister ashley.
the three were in the foyer when the bomb exploded. saffie called out for her mum and lay on the floor for half an hour. there were no stretchers, so she was taken down these stairs on a hoarding and a passing ambulance was flagged down. her father andrew arrived at the arena and had no idea where his little girl was. the response on that night was shameful and inadequate. everyone in that sitting room was let down and the people that excuse it should feel shame. what saffie went through, i will never forgive. that poor little girl hung in there for someone to come help her. what she received was a bloody advertisement board and untrained people doing the best they could. saffie was drifting in and out of consciousness. those with her kept urging her to stay awake, but the little girl realised what was happening, and she asked a paramedic, "am i going to die?"
i rememberthinking, "help will come soon, just stay where you are..." lisa roussos was severely injured and couldn't reach her daughter. i want to thank those that tried to help saffie that night and for being with her. i also want to say to the professionals, like the emergency services and m15, that this inquiry isn't about protecting yourjob, your reputation or your uniform. we understand the sheer panic and fear you were faced with that night, but until you admit the failings, how can there be a positive change? saffie died more than an hour after the explosion. experts disagree over whether she might have survived had her emergency care been different. judith moritz, bbc news, manchester. the labour leader sir keir starmer has made significant changes to his front bench in his second reshuffle since taking overfrom jeremy corbyn in april last year. among those returning to
the shadow cabinet is yvette cooper. 0ur political correspondent chris mason has the details. chris. this reshuffle began this morning as the deputy labour leader, angela rayner, was giving evidence about mp's rayner, was giving evidence about mp�*s scandals. it seemed to have blindsided her. there was clear public irritation between the labour leader and his deputy. as for the reshuffle itself, it eventually came this evening. let's talk through some of the key moves. yvette cooper returning to the front bench as shadow home secretary, former minister and labour was in power. she has been the chair of the home affairs select committee between her and the home secretary, priti patel. we see the rise of relative youth with less treating being promoted to shadow health secretary. he has returned from cancer surgery and
says the nhs has saved his life. bridget philipsen, another 30 something, she has been brought in as the shadow education secretary, a promotion to a more prominent role. and lisa nandy, formerly the shadow foreign secretary she is the shadow communities secretary. she shadowed michael gove on that crucial issue of what the government calls levelling up. sir keir starmer hopes this is the team he will take into the next election, a slimmed down top team and they will meet for the first time together tomorrow morning. first time together tomorrow morninu. a , first time together tomorrow morninu. , ., first time together tomorrow mornin.. , . , the trial of ghislaine maxwell has started in new york with the prosecution saying the former girlfriend of convicted
sex offenderjeffrey epstein "preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused." maxwell, who's 59, faces eight charges of sex trafficking and other offences. she has pleaded not guilty and her defence says she's being made a scapegoat for epstein�*s crimes. the disgraced financier took his own life while in jail in 2019. from new york, nada tawfik reports. over the next few weeks, what plays out in this courthouse will be a crucial chapter in the twisted saga ofjeffrey epstein�*s sex trafficking ring and ghislane maxwell's alleged role in it. as her highly awaited trial began, the world's eyes were trained on what the evidence presented here would reveal. and so, too, were epstein�*s accusers. some arrived to show solidarity with the alleged victims. in opening statements, the government said ghislane maxwell was a dangerous predator who provided a cover of respectability for epstein. prosecutors said she lured victims with the promise of a bright future, only to sexually abuse them. her defence attorney told the jury she was a convenient stand—in for epstein and that the government would not be able to prove their case.
he said the accusers�* memories were corrupted and influenced by a desire for a big jackpot of money. there have been numerous investigations, documentaries, exploring ghislane maxwell's alleged crimes, but the allegations have never been aired in a criminal trial. the jury will be presented with a range of evidence, from flight logs to the testimony from epstein�*s former staff. the four underage girls on the indictment, now grown women, are expected to take the stand and other accusers from around the country could testify, too, those with stories similar to theresa helm. according to her, she thought she had landed a job as a professional masseuse, but instead walked right into a nightmare. i thought that her and i were making these connections and she did her role, played her role, beautifully. she was masterful at it. i walked myself to a predator's home. ghislane maxwell's brother, ian, says at least one sibling will be present every day of the trial
to support her. it is impossible for me to think that she would have been engaged in these really horrendous charges. if convicted, she faces up to 80 years in prison. nada tawfik, bbc news, new york. a 14—year—old boy has appeared in court charged with the murder of a 12—year—old girl in liverpool last week. ava white was stabbed in the city centre on thursday, and suffered what police described as "catastrophic" injuries. the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was remanded in secure accommodation and is due to appear at liverpool crown court on wednesday. a memorial service has been held for police sergeant matt ratana, who was shot dead in a custody centre in croydon last year. sergeant ratana's funeral took place last november, two months after he was killed, but numbers had to be restricted due to the pandemic. around 200 officers in ceremonial uniform lined
the route in central london. the co—founder and chief executive of the social media platform twitter, jack dorsey, is stepping down. mr dorsey, who co—founded twitter in 2006, has been serving as chief executive of both twitter and payment firm square. he has faced calls to step down from one of his roles. he'll be replaced by the chief technical officer parag agrawal. in scotland, the first minister has announced that in the drive to eradicate child poverty the child payment will double to £20 a week from april. she told the scottish national party conference that the decision would will involve "hard choices elsewhere". she also pledged to begin the process of preparing for a referendum on independence by the end of 2023, as our scotland editor sarah smith reports. with people's minds on covid and what 0micron could mean for christmas, this is not
the season for a hard sell on political ideas like scottish independence, so nicola sturgeon urged caution and emphasised that the pandemic is her top priority. while also announcing more money for gps, an increase in child payments for those receiving benefits. i am pleased to announce today in our budget on the 9th of december we will fund the doubling of the scottish child payment immediately from the start of the new financial year. the scottish child payment will increase to £20 per child per week, four times the amount originally demanded by campaigners from april. nicola sturgeon is scathing about borisjohnson�*s leadership, accusing him of undermining the powers of the scottish parliament and condemning a political system that allows someone like him to become prime minister. i defy anyone to look at the broken, corrupt, self—serving westminster system that we are currently part
of and conclude that it provides a secure basis for the future of scotland. so i would not be discharging my duty to the people of scotland if i did not seek to keep the promise on which we were elected, to offer the people of scotland the choice of a better future through independence. the campaign for scottish independence has been overshadowed by the pandemic but has not gone away. nicola sturgeon may not be able to push for another referendum right now, but remains determined to have a vote within the next two years. in the course of next year i will initiate the process necessary to enable a referendum before the end of 2023. and just as importantly, our party will set out afresh the positive case for independence. we will outline the opportunities and advantages that independence will open up.
the people of scotland should be allowed to decide the country's future, said the snp leader, telling the prime minister not to try and prevent a vote on independence. but in a pandemic debate over scotland's place in the uk must wait until the worst of the crisis is past and no politician can say when that might be. sarah smith, bbc news, glasgow. the prince of wales has arrived in barbados, to attend tomorrow's ceremony marking the island's transition to a republic. bardados, which gained its independence from the united kingdom in 1966, has since been a commonwealth realm with the queen as head of state. its membership of the commonwealth will continue, as our correspondent celestina 0lulode reports from barbados. gearing up for a moment in history. this island nation is making a strong statement about how it sees itself. the prime minister of barbados
says the time has come. we believe that the unfinished business ought not to go past the 55th anniversary of independence. i am one of the biggest respecters of her majesty, but equally i need to know that my people could also do the same thing and respect the same thing. a nation with a complex past, slave ships once docked here, africans brought and exploited by the british. and it is the sugar cane fields where many were forced to work, cutting down the crop before it was processed. the backbreaking labour led many to die young. after slavery came to an end in 183a, barbados remained a british colony. despite gaining its independence in 1966, the queen has remained the island's head of state but that is about to change. the transition comes at a time of uncertainty. the pandemic has had a sharp impact on this island's economy, which relies heavily on tourism.
we need to be free. but people here still have strong views about becoming a republic. it changes nothing. is life going to be better tomorrow? 0k, we are going to be a republic. is it going to be better? are the people still going to be living from paycheck to paycheck? but sharon's daughter leshawna sees things differently. for me becoming a republic means the end of subservience to england and the monarchy and so on. signs of this island's colonial past are dotted throughout, but there are plans to introduce new symbols of national pride. for now, a ceremonial welcome. prince charles will attend official events to mark the occasion, a controversial move for some.
but the most crucial part of the story of the nation that has fought hard to stand tall on its own is how young barbadians view themselves and look back at this moment in the future. celestina 0lulode, bbc news, bridgetown, barbados. after three nights marooned in britain's highest altitude pub, the tan hill inn in the yorkshire dales, 60 customers and staff have finally been able to leave. it all started on friday evening when storm arwen brought heavy snow to the dales. the company trapped in the pub included an 0asis tribute band , who were playing on the night, as danny savage reports. welcome to what many people this weekend saw as the most enviable location in the land. at the tan hill inn, they sorted their priorities, by digging through the snowdrifts to the front door and then locking it. they'd come to see an 0asis tribute
band, who — some might say — had a good weekend. but there's worse places to be stuck, you know what i mean? and everyone was just brilliant. staff were brilliant, the customers were brilliant... yeah, yeah. they looked after everyone. and it's been almost like blitz spirit again, you know? it's magical, really. lifetime of memories as well. we'll do a reunion, but we'll do it in the summer next time! yeah. take care! it's been lovely! nicola, the pub manager, was sorry to see them go. she realised late on friday night that this was going to be a weekend like no other. so the drifts were causing most. of the issues, more than anything, rather thanjust there being the snow. - and i thought, "yeah, _ these people are not going home." we've been doing karaoke, watching movies, playing board games, - pub quizzes, chilling out. today, the road outjust about became passable and a fourth night at the inn was avoided.