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tv   BBC News at Ten  BBC News  December 16, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at 10pm... a new record number of covid cases in the uk — almost 90,000 in the past 2a hours. long queues forjabs — nearly three quarters of a million people had their boosters yesterday, another record. we are not closing things down. we are not asking people to cancel things. what we are saying is that people will understandably not want to catch covid. hospital admissions are rising slowly but, in london, where cases are rising the fastest, hospital staff in this icu are feeling the pressure. most of the patients who are coming into us are unvaccinated patients. they are a lot younger than the patients that we had in the first and second surge.
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france is shutting its borders to most british travellers from saturday, as it tries to slow the spread of 0micron. the chancellor is cutting short a work visit to california to talk to business leaders worried about the impact of rising cases. the bank of england raises interest rates for the first time in more than three years, amid warnings inflation could hit 6% by april. in north shropshire, the polls have just closed in a by—election that is being seen as a crucial test of boris johnson's being seen as a crucial test of borisjohnson�*s leadership. and another disappointing day for england's cricketers at the start of the second ashes test in adelaide. and coming up in the sport on the bbc news channel... covid causes chaos in the premier league — liverpool's match at anfield one of two this evening going ahead. good evening. the number of new covid infections
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across the uk hasjumped again to a new record — close to 90,000 cases in the past 2a hours. the uk's chief medical adviser, professor chris whitty, told mps that he expects the peak to come "incredibly fast" but subside more quickly than previous variants. borisjohnson has again urged more people to get vaccinated but he insisted the government is not planning to lock down england again. here's our medical editor, fergus walsh, on another record—breaking day. what do you want for christmas? for millions, it's a booster. these people in newcastle today were prepared to wait for hours for a covid vaccination bus. it was a record day for boosterjabs but also covid cases. boosters offer the best protection against 0micron, but there is huge uncertainty whether they will blunt it enough to keep hospital admissions below last january's peak.
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even if it is milder, because it is concentrated over a short period of time, you could end up with a higher number going into hospital on a single day. that is certainly possible. it may be less than that but it is certainly possible. the numbers of confirmed 0micron patients in hospital are still low for now. it will be weeks before we have hard evidence that will show how serious the 0micron wave will be. we need about 250 individuals in hospital before we can make a severity assessment, compared to delta, and also a vaccine effectiveness assessment. the earliest we will have reliable data is the week between christmas and new year and probably early january. one group at higher risk from covid are pregnant women, who today were finally made a priority group for vaccination. between may and october, during the first six months of the delta variant, more than 1,400 pregnant women
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were admitted to hospital in the uk with covid. 96% of them were unvaccinated. 17 of those pregnant women died. four babies died in the first month of life from covid. it also increases the risk of having a premature birth. valerie is 32 weeks pregnant and had her booster in 0xfordshire on monday, but it meant a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half hours in a queue, which is painful because i have pelvic pain, which makes it hard to stand or to walk. in addition, i was very nervous, as was everyone there in the queue. everyone was nervous because they thought the boosters might run out because it was a walk—in clinic. the prime minister was again banging the booster drum at a vaccination centre in kent. he urged the public to be careful when mixing with others this christmas.
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we are not closing things down, we are not asking people to cancel things. what we are saying is that people will understandably not want to catch covid in the next few days, or ever, and the sensible thing to do is to get boosted now and exercise caution. that's what we are saying. and the queen is leading by example, cancelling a pre—christmas lunch for extended family, due to take place at windsor castle. fergus walsh, bbc news. health officials say, on average, one person with the 0micron variant is now spreading it to between three and five other people. the uk's latest covid figures show there were 88,376 new cases in the latest 24—hour period. the average over the past week is now more than 63,000 new cases every day. the number of people in hospital
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with covid is 7,579. 146 deaths were recorded — that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive test. 115 covid—related deaths were recorded on average every day in the past week. 0n vaccinations, just over 537,000 people a day had boosters on average in the past seven days, bringing the total to more than 25.4 million people. the welsh government is expected to announce new restrictions tomorrow. unlike england and scotland, wales has not yet seen a significant increase in covid cases. 0ur wales correspondent, hywel griffith, is at the senedd. what are we expecting? well, mark dra keford well, mark drakeford will set up his stall tomorrow. we know a couple of the head finds. think of that, from
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december 27, the head finds. think of that, from december27, night the head finds. think of that, from december 27, night clubs in wales will have to their doors again. they were the last to reopen after the last lockdown and they will be the first to close this time but at the moment they are likely to be the only business directly impacted. we will also see the return of two metres social distancing in some spaces, potentially in shops the return of one—way systems and barriers. we know that the welsh labour government has wrestled with this all week. the mood music has changed several times. at one point it seemed they might be more restrictions, perhaps limits on the number of people who meet. we will get full details tomorrow for the until the 27, the message is to be careful and have what mark drakeford calls a smaller christmas this year. london is currently being hit hardest by the wave of new infections, with the highest and fastest rising cases. hospital admissions are also on rise. with so many people becoming infected at the same time, there are concerns about staffing levels. 0ur health editor, hugh pym, reports from st george's hospital in tooting.
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in intensive care, staff know that a covid wave is coming their way again. patient numbers have already started creeping up, and they have been warned to prepare for more in a few weeks�* time. we have been told to try and plan for at least as bad as last winter, which was quite a massive pressure on our resources, in terms ofjust the space we have and the staff we have. this is the non—covid part of intensive care. covid patients are in bays leading off this area. of eleven who are seriously ill here with the virus, the hospital says nine have not been vaccinated. tammy, who is a matron, is concerned about the pressure on staff. we've got high numbers of sickness, we've got high vacancy rates. having the additional icu beds open has created, you know, a stretch on our staff and our resources already. it all adds to the strain which tammy and her colleagues are feeling. i am just so proud of all the nurses
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that work here, and doctors and our health professionals and all our support staff, because they have been absolutely incredible. and how are you feeling? hello, hi. there's brighter news elsewhere in the hospital, with doctors calling patients about a new covid pill. we are offering patients the opportunity to receive medication to reduce the risk of hospitalisation from covid. the drug molnupiravir is being dispatched from the hospital pharmacy by courier for the first time today, to vulnerable patients who have tested positive. they will be able to take the pills at home. this is a serious challenge for the national health service this winter. the next possible step for managers is postponing routine operations. well, people waiting for treatment which is not life—saving but is really important for their quality of life may have to wait a bit longer,
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so that is quite likely to happen if the pressures keep on increasing. we want to minimise the impact of that, but that is a possibility. frontline staff are looking ahead to christmas with apprehension and concern about the possibility of another winter covid surge, so they are pleading with people to do their bit by getting a booster jab. hugh pym, bbc news. the chancellor, rishi sunak, has cut short a work trip to america after being criticised for being out of the country while covid cases are surging. he has held online talks from california with business leaders here, who are calling for more financial support to help them cope with closures and cancellations. here's our business editor, simonjack. for hospitality the season to be jolly has suddenly taken a very unwelcome return. cautious customers are cancelling plans meaning businesses of all sizes are facing a bleak new year. with cancellations up to 40% we do feel like it is pretty
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much a lockdown and it's impacting our businesses enormously. this is the last nail in the coffin and unfortunately thousands of businesses will collapse after the new year and hundreds of thousands ofjobs will be lost. until recently, there were fears that christmas demand would outstrip supply, but this burnley wholesaler thinks having secured the stock, the problem may now be exactly the opposite. last week people have been cancelling orders, especially christmas items, christmas preorders, so it's lines we will struggle to sell such as turkeys and pigs in blankets, seasonal lines, christmas puddings, things we cannot sell all year round. so that's leaving us with stock we're going to have to put on to sell off or dispose of. once again, it is hospitality first in the firing line in this, december, its most crucial month. these businesses are not being asked to close, but many feel with consumer
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confidence and commuter numbers evaporating in the face of rising infections and the health messaging, they might as well have been and there is a mismatch, many feel, between policy, economic reality and the kind of government support that is currently on offer. the government's priority has to be as soon as possible, today, it's notjust customer numbers dropping off. cast members falling ill closed this production of the lion king for at least a week. a dramatic reminder that staff shortages can also cripple business. this afternoon, opposition politicians piled on extra pressure for the government to act. the government's priority has to be, as soon as possible, and i mean today, to make announcements that will give the reassurance required. anything that will improve the cash flow position of these businesses should be top of the list. specifically, business groups want vat lower for longer and business rates bills and loan repayments deferred. tonight, speaking from california, the chancellor said he was listening but did not offer any new support measures. well, i appreciate that it is a difficult time
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for the hospitality industry. that's why i was on the phone earlier today with various industry leaders from the hospitality space. and the good news, i would say, is there is existing support measures in place to help the industry. rishi sunak is flying back tonight, but there is little sign yet that he is ready to be business's christmas saviour. simon jack, bbc news. british tourists are being banned from france from saturday as the borders are closed to most travellers from the uk. business trips are being halted too. france is recording around 50,000 covid cases a day but so far only a few hundred have been confirmed as 0micron. 0ur transport correspondent, katy austin, has more. thejones family had planned the trip of a lifetime. ii of them, four generations, together at disneyland paris for christmas. now that trip is off. it's devastating because as a family you want to spend christmas
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together, but, yes there is uncertainty, but when i booked this there was nowhere near as much uncertainty as there is now. my mum and dad are 85 and 86, so it would be nice to go. under the new rules, from 11:00pm uk time tomorrow travellers will have to give a compelling reason for coming to france. they will have to provide a negative covid test result less than 2a hours old and isolate for at least two days upon arrival until they receive a second negative result. the move is being blamed on the uk's high number of 0micron cases. tourism businesses were already worried that the uk's travel testing requirements were making some customers rethink their winter plans. many people will have been preparing to go to france for christmas, including on the eurostar from london st pancras, so the announcement by france comes at a really bad time for the travel industry. we really needed the boost of a good christmas season to carry
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us through into 2022, which has to be our comeback year. so this is a big hammer blow for us as a business. for french hoteliers, cancelled city breaks and ski trips are hard to swallow. almost 80% of the guests from england had cancelled their booking, so it's a very big change for us and quite dramatic economically. flights and ferries are expected to be busy tomorrow as passengers who can try to beat the friday night deadline. for others, long awaited festivities just lost their sparkle. katy austin, bbc news. six more premier league matches have been called off because of outbreaks of covid. leicester's match with tottenham tonight is off while manchester united's game with brighton on saturday has also been postponed, along with four matches at the weekend. a number of clubs have called for the fixture programme to be paused, but the premier league says they'll continue. the government is calling on retired teachers in england to return
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to work next term to help schools hit by staff sickness. the education secretary, nadhim zahawi, has written to headteachers and college principals saying the government will work with agencies to help ensure there are enough teachers. our medical editor fergus walsh is here. record numbers of cases again today, big rises, but we still don't know for sure what the impact will be in the next few weeks.— the next few weeks. omicron is curowin the next few weeks. omicron is growing faster _ the next few weeks. omicron is growing faster and _ the next few weeks. omicron is growing faster and is _ the next few weeks. omicron is growing faster and is more - growing faster and is more contagious than any previous variant and the wave of infection we are going to get is going to rise more steeply than any previous wave, but it should be more short lived as well. but at some point this dramatic rise has to start slowing down, in part because people are changing behaviour and in part because of boosters and in part because of boosters and in part because of boosters and in part because of the sheer number of infections. in the meantime, a lot of key workers in the nhs and beyond are going to be off work at the same
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time because they have tested positive and that will have an immediate impact. 0n hospital admissions, real uncertainty. this variant was only identified just over three weeks ago and it is frustrating but it is impossible to know how big or how small the wave of hospital admissions will be, but most of those will come injanuary. 0n most of those will come injanuary. on a positive note we now have several effective treatments that make hospital stays shorter and i should stress again and again that two or three doses of vaccine should give considerable protection against severe disease with omicron. itjust may not be the stellar protection we have had against delta. science is going to increasingly manage this virus for us rather than masks and social distancing and chris whitty said omicron was like a hairpin bend, we'vejust got said omicron was like a hairpin bend, we've just got to slow down and get round it before we can accelerate again.—
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and get round it before we can accelerate aaain. , . , ., ~ accelerate again. fergus was, thank ou. -- accelerate again. fergus was, thank yom -- mike _ accelerate again. fergus was, thank you. -- mike fergus— accelerate again. fergus was, thank you. -- mike fergus walsh, - accelerate again. fergus was, thank you. -- mike fergus walsh, thank. you. —— mike fergus walsh, thank you. the bank of england has announced an unexpected increase in its main interest rate, to a quarter of i%. the move surprised many economists, and will add to the costs of homeowners with tracker or standard variable rate mortgages. here's our economics correspondent, andy verity. with gas bills up by 28%, inflation is catching fire. electricity bills are up i9%, petrol�*s at a record high of £1.45.8 a litre, and goods prices are rising faster than they have in 30 years, up 6.5%. the bank of england has decided it is now time to act to try to stop inflation getting out of control. since the bank of england's monetary policy committee first slashed interest rates to emergency lows in the wake of the financial crisis, they've had well over 100 meetings and they've only raised interest rates in three of them. there's a straightforward reason why they're doing it now — they're predicting that inflation will get up to 6% next april, that would be the highest it's been since 1992. we are seeing further upward pressure on wholesale gas prices.
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having seen them come up, they went up a lot, obviously, post—august. having seen them come off a bit, they are now going back up again. and i think this is directly related to some of the tensions we are seeing on the border between russia and ukraine, where a lot of europe's gas supply comes through. and of course, that will feed through, i'm afraid, when the next price cap is set. we have to take the action that we think will do the job to address and tackle the inflationary pressure, particularly in the medium term. we just have to do that, i'm afraid. for the vast majority of households — more than 90% — the rate rise will not cost them anything for now. either they're renting, have paid off their mortgage or their interest rate is fixed, but 2 million households have tracker or variable rate mortgages. the rise in rates of 0.15% means a borrower on an average tracker mortgage will pay £10 a month extra, and on a standard variable rate they will pay an extra £15 a month. if inflation continues to rise, which is what the bank of england expects over the next few months, then wages are going
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to be squeezed further. that suggests there is going to be a strain on people's living standards. at least two more rate rises are expected in the new year, but already the era of record low rates is over. andy verity, bbc news. polls have just closed in the north shropshire by—election in what's being seen as another big test of borisjohnson�*s leadership. voters are electing a new mp following the resignation of 0wen paterson, in the wake of a huge row over his conduct, after he was found to have broken lobbying rules. 0ur political correspondent alex forsyth is at the count in shrewsbury. the tories have held this seat for almost 200 years — does it look like they'll have it still tomorrow? for yea rs for years this has been a kind of sick when no one would question who would win an election, it has been solid conservative. last time around they won it by almost 23,000 votes. but that has all changed with the
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liberal democrats throwing everything at the seat. in the last few days it has felt too close to call. tonight there are nervous noises coming out of the conservative camp. they say they are not confident in their vote is down, but the liberal democrats say this is still a very tight contest. the truth is we will not know until the results are announced on the lectern sometime in the early morning but we know there is a lot riding on the contest. it is an important measure of the public mood after a turbulent few weeks in westminster and if the conservatives lose the seat it will be damaging for borisjohnson. mex. be damaging for boris johnson. alex fors h, be damaging for boris johnson. alex forsyth. thank _ be damaging for borisjohnson. alex forsyth, thank you. the number of children in care in england who are adopted has fallen for the sixth year in a row, leaving tens of thousands trapped in the care system. the government says there's a growing need to find families who are prepared to adopt. there were almost 81,000 children in care in march this year. almost 5,500 children were adopted from the care system in 2015 but this year that
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number has dropped to just under 3000 children. adoption uk describes it as a tragedy. jeremy cooke reports. shall we go to the park? yeah! adoption changes children's lives. just gets funnier, cuter. it rewrites their futures. 0ur role is really important in getting those children a forever family. but adoption numbers have fallen dramatically. we need to be doing much more| to find homes for these children. when adoption goes well, it can look like this. sibling groups can be among the growing number of kids classed as hard to place. but kara and gordon were up for it. i think both of us felt a bond with them and they were our children. that's me there and that's lucas, and that's daddy. and that's fay in the pushchair. the kids arrived eight years ago. they know their history. there are no secrets. it's when you have a family and sometimes you get taken away
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because sometimes they are mean or something and then you get to move into a different family. it is hard to think that for lucas this could have been his last chance to be adopted. if we hadn't adopted him i think he was going into long—term foster care. yeah, yeah. i think that was kind of the next plan. only three and a half. heartbreaking, isn't it? there's no shortage of parents ready to take on newborn babies. the problem is with the other kids. we still can't find families for those children who we know need adoption and are waiting longer. and those are the children that are older, part of sibling groups, children from black heritage, and with additional complex health needs. adoption agencies like west yorkshire 0ne are vital to make the system work. chloe is a family finder. every one of her computer profiles is a child that she's come to know and to care about. this one says "a is a happy baby, always has a smile to share."
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got a lot of stability in terms of their homes and their finances. across the room, sophie and jenny, working to recruit parents looking for the perfect match — adoption a last but necessary resort. 0ur role is really important in getting those children a forever family and moving out and giving them much better life chances than what they would do as a looked—after child in the local authority care. ok, so let me help you, darling. of course, every family faces challenges, but children who are adopted have experienced trauma. and that can start even before they're born. they've got all this trauma that's been caused by these various different events which has impacted on them, without a shadow of a doubt. for children who've lived through it, trauma has consequences and memories. you don't get fed at all. you get dirty nappies all the time. you just have a bad house and then you've got to live with that, for me, it was two years.
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wow _ no one batted an eyelid at red having two mums. it was just part of the process. meet bea and leigh and their daughter red — another example of a potentially hard to place child. we got an email. it was a grainy photo, that instant connection. we just looked at it, didn't we and we both just started crying. tell everyone! come out! yeah, we just started crying and were like, "oh, my god, this is her, this is our daughter." mama. - thank you. we didn't know if she'd ever walk. yeah, they weren't sure if she'd ever talk. you guys were going to love her anyway. yeah. oh, yeah, absolutely. the hard fact is that the number of adoptions from care have been falling year after year. every single one of those is a tragedy. those is a child that doesn't have a permanent family home. we should be very worried about those. we should be looking for the solutions. i'm starting again. it's hard to think of anything more
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fundamental, more vital, than providing a child with a secure and loving home. i can't imagine life without them. i really can't. jeremy cooke, bbc news. cricket — and england have it all to do when the second ashes test resumes in a few hours' time. they had a disappointing first day as australia's batsmen took control in adelaide, making 221—2. patrick gearey was watching. in adelaide, before the first ball came the phone call. australia captain pat cummins isolating, steve smith back in the job he once left in tears and a cheating scandal. his first choice was to bat, so the recalled stuart broad took the ball, and so somehow did jos buttler. taken, is it? brilliant. marcus harris gone, just the start england were reaching for. but the spring recoiled, the scene reset, australia rebuilt. england needed a moment. was that it?
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gloved, is it? marnus labuschagne had scored just 21. poor buttler had front row seats to watch him and david warner bat on. both passed 50. perhaps england were waiting for sunset for conditions to change, but these aren't the faces of optimistic men. so few imagined that warner — a pantomime villain five runs from his hundred... and he's gone! ..would do that. his heart sank, theirs lifted. but the pulse didn't quicken again for some time. labuschagne scored sparingly, carefully, perhaps remembering this was his second chance. and yet, against the new ball, he'd get a third. labuschagne is dropped. buttler dropped one. reprieved, again, on 95. for buttler, and for england, this was a day that went slowly downhill. patrick gearey, bbc news. that's it. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are. have a very good night.
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hello. cloudy for most as friday begins, rather misty, too. where we've had a few clear spells overnight — eastern scotland, north east england — you could be waking up to a touch of frost. and some fog patches through parts of yorkshire, the east midlands and east anglia, could be dense in places, affecting travel and in a few spots may linger all day. for much of the uk, though, it's a dry day with plenty of cloud around. a few sunny spells towards northern and eastern scotland, maybe north east england, far west of wales, far south west of england, where here and into the channel islands, it's quite breezy. 0vernight and into saturday morning, plenty of cloud staying with us could produce a few drizzles, some areas of mist and fog. the clearer skies in scotland, so the greater chance here that we will see a frost going into saturday, maybe a few pockets into north east england as well. it is mainly scotland, but perhaps parts of north east england that will see a few sunny spells on saturday, perhaps the far west of wales,
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far south west of england. otherwise, it's another mainly cloudy day, and it will gradually turn cooler over the weekend.
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this is bbc news. the headlines — the number of new covid infections across britain has reached a record high for the second day running. more than 88,000 new cases have been confirmed. it follows warnings about the speed of the new strain�*s spread. turkey has cut its interest rate for the fourth time in as many months, sending its currency tumbling to new lows. president erdogan said turkey's destiny would not be determined by speculators. the defence in the sex abuse trial of ghislaine maxwell in new york has called its first witness. cimberly espinosa, a former assistant to the british socialite, described her as fair but demanding. thousands of people are seeking refuge from a super typhoon which is battering the southern philippines. the red cross said it was one of the strongest typhoons this year and warned that climate change was making storms more ferocious.

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