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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 21, 2021 12:00pm-1:01pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines... downing street urged to provide more support for businesses hit by the omicron surge. the chancellor's set to give more details this afternoon. they've got cancellations, they have got less turnover, they are not making profit. they are carrying the staff and carrying the cost, so that evidence is there. about omicron and what it will be in the future, we might not know, but the damage is being done now. omicron now accounts for nearly three—quarters of new coronavirus cases in the united states. as the variant spreads globally, the world health organization urges caution over the festive season to save lives. certainly not cancel christmas, but have a careful christmas so that you can have notjust a happy new year but many happy new years.
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in other news, desperate attempts to get aid to those hit by typhoon rai in the philippines. more than 375 people are now known to have died. a court in london has ordered the ruler of dubai, sheikh mohammed, to pay his ex—wife around £550 million. it's thought to be the largest divorce settlement in british history. and how about this for a creepy—crawly nightmare? fossil evidence of the eight—foot long millipede that weighed 50 kilos and was the size of a car. the chancellor rishi sunak is expected to give more details of government support to businesses hit by the spread of the omicron variant.
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it follows reports that the business secretary kwasi kwarteng is meeting businesses today to discuss the challenges they're facing. but there's still no further clarity on whether the government is going to impose more restrictions to combat covid in england ahead of christmas. meanwhile the number of covid infections in the uk continues to rise rapidly. there were another 91,715 new cases reported yesterday — the second highest daily total on record. a number of venues have had to close temporarily, including edinburgh castle and london's natural history museum; the welsh government has banned spectators at sporting events from boxing day. and the mayor of london sadiq khan has called off this year's new year's celebration in the capital because of public safety fears. here is our chief political correspondent adams learning. —— adam fleming. looks like we're going to get
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an update from the chancellor and the treasury later on financial support for business. that's interesting, because yesterday the word i'd been hearing was that the treasury wants to wait until there was more clarity on whether there'd be further restrictions looks like they're deciding to go ahead without that clarity. although i wonder if it could be about spending previously allocated support that has remained unspent thus far rather than new money being announced. so, let's read the small print once that announcement comes, if there is an announcement. in terms of further restrictions to deal with the omicron variant in england, we're still in a holding pattern. the government is waiting for more data about the severity of the disease and how often people who contract omicron end up in hospital before they make a decision about any further measures. there's talk about more data being available tomorrow, potentially an update to the modelling from the scientists tomorrow as well. but the government's decision to not make a decision has received the backing this morning of one of the top scientists
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in the uk, sirjeremy farrar, who runs the wellcome trust, the biomedical research charity. he's a former member of sage, he's been pretty vocal and critical of the government in the past and in fact, at one point threatened to resign from sage because the government wasn't acting fast enough, in his view. he's just been on the radio saying it is reasonable for ministers to wait 2a hours or 48 hours to look at the data, particularly the data on hospitalisation rates in london, which has become the omicron epicentre. so i think ministers will be relieved that something last night or this morning that might have looked like indecision is now getting the thumbs—up from a scientist and that actually not doing something was a decision rather than indecision. a former member of the government's scientific but sirjeremy farrar said new controls might be needed before christmas if alarming new data emerged. if transmission continues to rise, it is now one in 50, one in 60 people infected
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in this country. that is over1 million people infected in this country. if those numbers continue to rise, we will see hospitalisations rising after that and then i believe the government will have to act. but amid the current uncertainty about severity, about transmission and about the broader impact on society, i think it is reasonable to pause for 2h hours, maybe 36 hours until we see that other data. but hospitalisation rising at that stage, the government will have to act and would have to act in a more draconian way then might have been possible had they acted a few days ago. the leader of the democratic unionist party, sirjeffrey donaldson, has tested positive for coronavirus. in a tweet, sirjeffrey said he was "croaky" and had a sore throat. the lagan valley mp said symptoms started when he returned to belfast from london on friday. he said he would continue to work while isolating, and would attend a virtual meeting with the foreign secretary liz truss today.
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omicron now makes up nearly three—quarters of new coronavirus infections in the united states. president biden will be outlining additional plans to tackle the spread of the variant later today. in some areas, including new york city, omicron is responsible for nine out of ten cases. mark lobel has this report. texas was bracing itself for an omicron storm, now it reports what's believed to be the usa's first related death. look how quickly, over the past week in the states, omicron, in purple here, has taken over the delta variant, represented in orange, in new cases. three, two, one, happy new year! so with ten days until 2022, its dominance — including 90% of new cases here in new york — will no doubt feature injoe biden�*s stark warning for the country's unvaccinated in an address expected later on tuesday.
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but in boston, there is anger that only the vaccinated will soon be allowed to enter restaurants, and that compulsoryjabs for all city employees will be dished out. in washington, it's indoor mask wearing that's back on the menu, like in california and new york. such is the spread of omicron, keeping the country's borders closed to southern africa is now looking fruitless. we likely are going to pull back on that pretty soon because we have enough infection in our own country and we are letting in people from other countries that have as much or more infection than the southern african countries. south africa's government believes that vaccines and high levels of prior covid—i9 infection are helping to keep the disease milder, but scientists warn against complacency as... just a month ago, africa was reporting its lowest number
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of cases in 18 months. last week, it reported the fourth highest number of cases in a single week so far. so alarm bells are ringing across europe as the eu approves a fifth vaccine, this one from us firm novavax. the new german chancellor, visiting his italian counterpart, warns a booster campaign is not enough and more restrictions will be needed even for the vaccinated. all as the head of the world health organization pushes for difficult decisions to be made sooner, with his blunt new message in the run—up to christmas warning the world that an event cancelled is better than a life cancelled. mark lobel, bbc news. the us vice president, kamala harris has been speaking to cbs news about the spread of omicron in the united states.
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we have the power today to go out and if you have not been boosted, go get boosted, the power today to go and get vaccinated, and that will have an impact on where we end up tomorrow. is it the fault of the unvaccinated? i don't think this is a moment to talk about fault. it is no—one�*s fault that this virus hit our shores or hit the world, but it is more about individual power and responsibility and it is about the decisions that everyone has the choice to make. dr margaret harris from the world health organization says events over christmas that "cannot be considered safe" should be delayed or cancelled. certainly not cancel christmas but have a careful christmas so that you can have notjust a happy new year but many happy new years. doctor tedros was actually referring
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to a reception that be postponed over and over again forjournalists, we have a get together with the palais un journalists and we've not been able to have that now for two years and we can sell that, so he was explaining why. we all have to be really careful right now. as we've been hearing, pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues say they need more guidance on whether covid restrictions will be tightened in england in the coming days. so say the need government support because so many people are cancelling, going to parties and theatres and a cinema and other shows. let's speak to our business correspondent theo leggett. the government under real pressure to help the hospitality sector, the entertainment industry, so many parts of the economy suffering even before they have been any actual government restrictions in england. what may be because the government be thinking of doing? the
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what may be because the government be thinking of doing?— be thinking of doing? the government is auoin to be thinking of doing? the government is going to think— be thinking of doing? the government is going to think how _ be thinking of doing? the government is going to think how much _ be thinking of doing? the government is going to think how much money - be thinking of doing? the government is going to think how much money it i is going to think how much money it can put in and who it will go to because at the moment we are in a slightly strange situation where the physical restrictions on daily life and not so severe but the government has advised people to think twice about going out, so pubs, restaurants, they have seen a collapse in bookings, many of the ones i have spoken to have seen a third or more of their bookings go by the wayside and this is december, one of the most important months of the year for the hospitality industry, where they make a lot of their money. they need the revenue at this time of year to tide them through the months to come. they are not getting it. they are saying it is a lockdown by stealth, they need government support. the government will be looking at this and saying, it could be extremely expensive. although we had the institute for fiscal studies saying today they
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think the government can put its hand in its pocket because borrowing costs are cheaper at the moment compared to what was already given out during the pandemic, may be a little bit more help is needed. we expect to hear from the chancellor fairly shortly on what he thinks needs to be done at the moment and what may be needed if restrictions are tightened in the future for stopping of the isn't planning to implement any more serious restrictions before christmas but what happens after that if the variant spread that the current rate, that is the thorny issue that the chancel is having to deal with. there are two issues, the lockdown by stealth and some people call it and if the government do decide as has been reported that they might after christmas have some sort of restrictions, then how do they help the economy after that as well. absolutely, there is another issue as well, which sectors of the
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economy get that help? do you go for a one size fits all approach and give everybody help or decide that some sectors of the economy for example hospitality have the greater need and therefore get more. we are likely to see certain sectors will get more money than others and therefore some people will be left disappointed. but nobody really knows how it will pan out. in january, everyone is focused on christmas at the moment and the losses they are making at a time they would expect to make significant profits and then there is the hanover injanuary where we don't know what will happen. that is really awkward for the government at this stage and very unpredictable. unpredictable and a nightmare for so many businesses who thought mistakenly they were coming out of the pandemic, thought they were getting back to some kind of normality in terms of their business strategy only for the rug to be
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pulled from underneath them at such a crucial time. i pulled from underneath them at such a crucial time.— a crucial time. i think the timing of this is the _ a crucial time. i think the timing of this is the worst _ a crucial time. i think the timing of this is the worst part. - a crucial time. i think the timing of this is the worst part. people | of this is the worst part. people have been aware new strains or variants might appearfrom time have been aware new strains or variants might appear from time to time, that there may be new restrictions introduced at any moment, but the timing of this in the run—up to christmas and a time when businesses in the hospitality sector and retailers are expecting to make a lot of money, that has been the worst factor. but also, it is so many people are now being tested positive and going into isolation and that kind of thing that businesses outside hospitality, other sects are also facing staff shortages and that is infringing on their own activities and reducing their own activities and reducing their ability to do business. that is another question that may come up injanuary, what happens if the pandemic expands, if case numbers rise and lots of people call in sick for work. what do you do about that?
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thank you very much indeed. the headlines on bbc news... downing street is urged to provide more support for businesses hit by the omicron surge. the chancellor's set to give more details this afternoon. omicron now accounts for nearly three—quarters of new coronavirus cases in the united states. as the variant spreads globally, the world health organization urges caution over the festive season to save lives. in other news, desperate attempts to get aid to those hit by typhoon rai in the philippines. more than 375 people are now known to have died. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre. from boxing day, supporters will not
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be permitted to attend sporting events in wales as part of efforts to control the spread of the omicron covid variant. the welsh government says the ban will apply to all indoor, outdoor, professional and community sports events, with restrictions expected to stay in place until at least the 7th january. louisa pilbeam reports. wrexham famously have the support of hollywood, with owner ryan reynolds, but there will be no supporters at their stadium for their game against solihull on boxing day. the club say they are disappointed at the welsh government's decision to hold all sports events behind closed doors but understand why the announcement has been made. the same day, cardiff versus scarlets in the united rugby championship is closed to fans. the welsh grand national at chepstow the following day will also be held with no spectators, despite more than 6,000 advanced ticket sales. every sport at every level in wales will be impacted
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from amateur to professional, indoors and out, with no end date confirmed. in a statement, the welsh government said the decision was made after latest figures showed the number of confirmed cases of omicron rising steeply. they've announced a £3 million fund to support clubs and venues. louisa pilbeam, bbc news. some managers and players at clubs are clearly not happy that the premier league opted not to enforce a break on fixtures over the festive season. chelsea manager thomas tuchel, for one, has claimed the safety of his players has been overlooked. radio 5 live commentator and analyst pat nevin agrees with him. purely from the players�* point of view, it is worrying, exactly what thomas tuchel said, if you have a limited number of players and you start pushing players that are not quite ready, then those small injuries can become
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much more serious and it can have a longer effect in the entirety of the season. you don't want to affect sporting integrity, and that is what could happen. you want as many people getting these boosters and allow them a week or two to take effect, when that happens we are in a much better position to fight against this virus. it is a race against time, my suspicion is things will look very different on boxing day and afterwards. in the last few minutes, the fa has said it won't be taking any action regarding comments made by liverpool managerjurgen klopp after his side's 2—2 draw with tottenham. klopp appeared to confront referee paul tierney at full time. klopp was unhappy liverpool player andy robertson was sent off for a tackle on emerson royal in the second half, but tottenham striker harry kane was only shown a yellow for a controvertial tackle on robertson earlier in the match.
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phil foden and jack grealish have been warned about their behaviour after being left on manchester city's bench last weekend for attending a night out. it followed their big win over leeds five days earlier. pep guardiola said he pays a lot of attention to behaviour on and off the pitch, and when it is not appropriate, they won't play. and australia have added uncapped fast bowler scott boland to their squad for the third ashes test in melbourne. boland comes in as cover, while fellow pacemen pat cummins and josh hazelwood also return. as for england, they'll need to re—group after going 2—0 down yesterday. australia's stand in skipper says his side have no intention of letting their advantage slip. england are a good side and capable of playing really some really good cricket, so we have to keep working hard as a group and gelling together and playing well
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for the rest of the series. it will be a great occasion as it always is when you play for your country, a boxing day test match, the guys are really excited and hopefully we can keep the momentum we have created in these first two test matches and keep moving forward. that's all the sport for now. let's get more on those sporting events in wales being held without crowds from boxing day. the welsh government said the spectator ban would apply to all indoor, outdoor, professional and community sports events. earlier, i asked todd kelman, the managing director of the ice hockey team, the cardiff devils, how this decision would impact his team. it is obviously going to hit us financially, we have been told from the 26th we cannot play home games
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with crowds. we pretty much sell out every game, we don't have a huge stadium, it holds 3100 people and we have been selling out every game pretty much so i know a lot of other spots, christmas is their busy time, that we get the same crowds at all our games. it is a big financial hit for sure, that it is what it is. it is not something that is just an ice hockey problem or a sporting problem, it is something that is facing all of the uk. find problem, it is something that is facing all of the uk. and speaking of all of the _ facing all of the uk. and speaking of all of the uk, _ facing all of the uk. and speaking of all of the uk, the _ facing all of the uk. and speaking of all of the uk, the league - facing all of the uk. and speaking of all of the uk, the league you i of all of the uk, the league you play all over the uk, so your next fixture is coventry. there will be supporters there but not supporters home games. we supporters there but not supporters home gamm— supporters there but not supporters home game-— supporters there but not supporters home games. we have a home game tomorrow before _ home games. we have a home game tomorrow before these _ home games. we have a home game tomorrow before these restrictions . tomorrow before these restrictions so we play tomorrow night and pretty much sold out for that and then on the 26th, we play in coventry in front of what should be their
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biggest crowd of the year about 3000 people in the next night we play the same team in wales in front of nobody. it is frustrating from that point, but sometimes the different governments choose to act at different times and usually in the end they end up doing the same thing anyway, so maybe we are a few days ahead of england, i don't know. ilighten ahead of england, i don't know. when ou -la in ahead of england, i don't know. when you play in front _ ahead of england, i don't know. when you play in front of — ahead of england, i don't know. when you play in front of nobody, _ ahead of england, i don't know. when you play in front of nobody, you have talked about how it affects you financially, but what about it in terms of the teams' performance. i know in terms of football, not having supporters had a huge impact last season. will it affect the performance of the team? definitely. it is not performance of the team? definitely. it is not the — performance of the team? definitely. it is not the same. _ performance of the team? definitely. it is not the same. everybody - performance of the team? definitely. it is not the same. everybody plays . it is not the same. everybody plays bigger in bigger games in bigger crowds make a better atmosphere. our is the only league that shut down for the entire season so when you talk about how important these parts are, they are vital. we are a bomb
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is on seat organisation. —— we are a supporters organisation. it is huge for us. it is not the same. you wanted play in front of loads of people, that is where you aim to be a professional. the only reason you can do that is because the crowds. how long do you think these restrictions might on far? i don't know how _ restrictions might on far? i don't know how long _ restrictions might on far? i don't know how long they _ restrictions might on far? i don't know how long they will - restrictions might on far? i don't know how long they will go - restrictions might on far? i don't know how long they will go for. l restrictions might on far? i don't know how long they will go for. i hope is for the two weeks they told us that this is a bigger issue than sports. we are doing our part and happy to obey the rules and hopefully this is part of the solution. i think the bigger picture is making sure the people that work for the nhs can get through this and make sure the country gets through this period and if we have to play behind closed doors, so be it. we
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don't want to do it forever but the welsh government have said they will support us financially through this period and as long as that comes through, we will be fine. if it goes on too long, i don't think it is just a sporting issue, i don't think they can support us for ever. the big picture is making sure the folks at the nhs can get through this and they can treat the patients for covid and everything else and that is the message we are adhering to, that this is part of the solution and we are happy to play our part. the number of people who've died after a typhoon struck the philippines last week has risen to more than 375. the red cross says many areas have no power, no means of communication, and very little water. thousands of military personnel,have been deployed to help in the relief operation. our correspondent howard johnson is in the capital, manila.
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in one of the worst affected areas. tell us where you are and what's going on around you. i tell us where you are and what's going on around you.— tell us where you are and what's going on around you. i am on siargao island. a going on around you. i am on siargao island- a popular— going on around you. i am on siargao island. a popular area. _ going on around you. i am on siargao island. a popular area. it _ going on around you. i am on siargao island. a popular area. it was - going on around you. i am on siargao island. a popular area. it was voted l island. a popular area. it was voted one of the best islands in asia to visit this year. but now it resembles an apocalyptic mess, trees felled are everywhere. i have been to some disaster zones and i had never seen so many trees felled by a typhoon before. they have been stripped of all of their leaves as well. there is an eerie look on the horizon of all of these black trees sticking up and you can hear in the background the home of the generator, no electricity here and i am next to a red cross desk helping people connect with their loved ones because there is no communications,
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no internet signal or cellular network so people are being allowed to use these satellite phones to connect with their loved ones. today i have met people who have told me of the carnage, bamboo huts blown away. now people suffering from diarrhoea because water is not of good enough quality for them. there is a big demand for medicine, electricity, engineers to restore the electricity grid. at the moment humanitarian aid is onlyjust slowly trickling in. humanitarian aid is only 'ust slowly tricklin: in. ~ , , trickling in. when the typhoon hit, was there much _ trickling in. when the typhoon hit, was there much warning _ trickling in. when the typhoon hit, was there much warning it - trickling in. when the typhoon hit, was there much warning it would l trickling in. when the typhoon hit, i was there much warning it would hit? there was warning the typhoon was going to hit but it strengthened in the hours as it approached siargao to super typhoon status, so massive windows. and it did that over 800 kilometres, across nine different islands, that is what makes this
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super typhoon so interesting, how it sustained the energy. normally when a typhoon hits a landmass... but we are seeing is nine different siargao islands, nine national emergencies all rolled into one. i think it is only now beginning to dawn on people are dead that this is quite a big humanitarian crisis and because of the complexity of the philippine geography, it is now becoming clear that more needs to be done, more money needs to be raised to help people on these islands. find money needs to be raised to help people on these islands.- people on these islands. and in terms of the — people on these islands. and in terms of the death _ people on these islands. and in terms of the death toll, - people on these islands. and in terms of the death toll, at - people on these islands. and in | terms of the death toll, at least 375 people known to have died, but presumably that is a death toll that could rise. ~ ,,., , presumably that is a death toll that could rise. ~ , , , , ., could rise. absolutely, because what we are seeing. _ could rise. absolutely, because what we are seeing, even _ could rise. absolutely, because what we are seeing, even here, _ could rise. absolutely, because what we are seeing, even here, we - could rise. absolutely, because what we are seeing, even here, we hear. we are seeing, even here, we hear other islands just off this one,
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people being forced to eat coconuts because there is not enough supplies on their islands and this is an island economy where everything is dependent on supplies coming in. at the moment they are coming through the moment they are coming through the airport but there is a limited number of flights so we can expect the death toll to go up in the coming days as more areas are explored, more islands arrived at and more information spread when internet connections return. 50 a internet connections return. so a real need for _ internet connections return. so a real need for more _ internet connections return. so a real need for more aid, - real need for more aid, international aid. real need for more aid, internationalaid. in real need for more aid, international aid. in terms of the philippines government, and they doing much to help people? the international— doing much to help people? tue: international aid, doing much to help people? tt;e: international aid, the doing much to help people? t"t9 international aid, the international federation the red cross have got an appeal for $20 federation the red cross have got an appealfor $20 million, the british government has pledged nearly $1 million. the philippine government said they would give $40 million separately to that. but we know the philippine budget is quite limited
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so people are questioning whether there is enough money. even the president said he doesn't think he has enough money despite the fact he made that pledge. it is one of these situations where money is pledged but on the ground people want to see the aid being delivered. i went to the aid being delivered. i went to the provincial governor's office and saw the aid being packed and it is being distributed but i think people here need medicine, water and food. thank you for that update. he was in one of the worst hit areas of the philippines, suffering terribly after the effects of that typhoon. you are watching bbc news. we have the latest headlines coming up and the sport and weather. now let's talk about giant millipedes.
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giant millipedes — as long as cars — were found over 300 million years ago across northern england. now scientist have discovered the largest—ever fossil of one of them on a beach in northumberland. it was found by dr neil davies and his phd students — and neiljoins us live on the programme from cambridge. this how was this fossil discovered? myself and two phd students were out on a social field trip and looking at rocks for fun and it was january at rocks for fun and it was january a few years ago getting dark and as we walked on the beach we saw the clip split open and we saw there was a giant millipede fossil in there. when you discover a fuss like that, do you know immediately what are these? we do you know immediately what are these? ~ , , , : do you know immediately what are these? ~ , ,, : ., do you know immediately what are these? ~ , ,, : :, :,, do you know immediately what are these? , ,, : :, , these? we suspected what it was but, we knew that — these? we suspected what it was but, we knew that there _ these? we suspected what it was but, we knew that there were _ these? we suspected what it was but, we knew that there were large - we knew that there were large millipede is a at that time because
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they have left behind a track record, other footprints, they have left behind a track record, otherfootprints, but body fossils are rare and nothing as large as this has been found, so we knew it was a possibility, but we had to double—check the number of people to make sure that's what it was. ~ :, :, :, , ,, :, was. we are looking at an impression what the millipede _ was. we are looking at an impression what the millipede would _ was. we are looking at an impression what the millipede would have - was. we are looking at an impression | what the millipede would have looked like now and as we are saying, it was huge. you think of millipedes as a small, but this was about the size of a car. tell us about what it was like and what it did. the of a car. tell us about what it was like and what it did.— like and what it did. the fossil itself is huge _ like and what it did. the fossil itself is huge and _ like and what it did. the fossil itself is huge and the - like and what it did. the fossil| itself is huge and the millipede like and what it did. the fossil - itself is huge and the millipede was even bigger. these things were roaming around coastal environments of open woodland, around the equator because that's where britain was at the time, and we are not sure what i would have eaten because no one has successfully found the head of one of these, but we know there are lots of these, but we know there are lots of kind of vegetable matter knocking around such as seeds from trees but also small amphibians and animals
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that could have been prey for this huge beast. it's basically the elephant of its day, is the largest and the man of —— land animal on the earth at this time. this and the man of -- land animal on the earth at this time.— earth at this time. this was 326 million years — earth at this time. this was 326 million years ago. _ earth at this time. this was 326 million years ago. just - earth at this time. this was 326 million years ago. just give - earth at this time. this was 326 million years ago. just give us i earth at this time. this was 326| million years ago. just give us a picture of what england was like at that stage. picture of what england was like at that sta . e. :, picture of what england was like at that stare. :, :, ., picture of what england was like at that stare. :, :, :, , that stage. england at that time is attached to europe _ that stage. england at that time is attached to europe and _ that stage. england at that time is attached to europe and north - that stage. england at that time is - attached to europe and north america and greenland and this big mega continent is sitting right on the equator so we are on the southern margin of that continent at the time and the southern plates are moving upwards and causing the building of a mountain range known and we are right in front of that and it's a very warm tropical environment. there are mountains in the distance and in northumberland it would have been at the top of the delta sort loss of rivers crossing a coastal environment and open woods. teiiii loss of rivers crossing a coastal environment and open woods. tell us, can --eole environment and open woods. tell us, can people see — environment and open woods. tell us, can people see it? _ environment and open woods. tell us, can people see it? it's _
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environment and open woods. tell us, can people see it? it's going _ environment and open woods. tell us, can people see it? it's going to - environment and open woods. tell us, can people see it? it's going to go - can people see it? it's going to go on display, right? tt’s can people see it? it's going to go on display. right?— on display, right? it's going to go on display, right? it's going to go on disla on display, right? it's going to go on display in _ on display, right? it's going to go on display in the _ on display, right? it's going to go on display in the cedric _ on display, right? it's going to go on display in the cedric museum | on display, right? it's going to go | on display in the cedric museum in cambridge in the new year and is currently behind me, but you can compensate in safer freak very soon. how important is it as a discovery? obviously it's a fascinating what you have been telling us but in terms of geology and so on, how important is it? tt’s terms of geology and so on, how important is it?— terms of geology and so on, how important is it? it's an interesting story because _ important is it? it's an interesting story because we _ important is it? it's an interesting story because we have _ important is it? it's an interesting story because we have discoveredj story because we have discovered that this thing got really big and in the past people said it was because of oxygen spikes in the atmosphere that have led bugs to get really big, but this predates those by quite a ways that can't be the reason so it must have just been the fact it was filling an empty niche on the land and had the food available and a lack of competition and meant it could rise to dominance on the land. it gives us a nice impression of that but also tells you that the northumberland coast has been looked at for a geological reasons for over 100 reasons and shows there are still new discoveries there that people can go
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and make. d0 discoveries there that people can go and make. ,, :, discoveries there that people can go and make. y:, :, :, , and make. do you go regularly lookin: and make. do you go regularly looking for— and make. do you go regularly looking for fossils _ and make. do you go regularly looking for fossils and - and make. do you go regularly looking for fossils and hoping l and make. do you go regularly. looking for fossils and hoping to stumble on something like this? yes. stumble on something like this? yes, it is a bit of stumble on something like this? yes, itisa bitofa— stumble on something like this? yes, it is a bit of a hobby. _ stumble on something like this? yes, it is a bit of a hobby. well, _ stumble on something like this? yes, it is a bit of a hobby. well, good - it is a bit of a hobby. well, good luck and let's _ it is a bit of a hobby. well, good luck and let's hope _ it is a bit of a hobby. well, good luck and let's hope you - it is a bit of a hobby. well, good luck and let's hope you find - luck and let's hope you find something else soon. let me bring you some breaking news. let me bring you some breaking news. let me bring you some breaking news. let me tell you that, this is concerning the death of sir david amis. a man has pleaded not guilty to the man that —— to the murder of mp. he has appeared at the old bailey to deny murdering the conservative politician on the 15th of october. sir david, you may
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remember, was holding a constituency surgery when he was stabbed multiple times. he was a father of five, aged 69 and died at the scene. he pleaded not guilty. he also pleaded not guilty to repairing acts of terrorism between me 2019 and may... it's alleged the preparations may include en route engaging in reconnaissance and targets to attack. we'll bring you more on that as we get it but that is the latest that we are hearing that has pleaded not. a very good afternoon to you and it is the winter solstice today and it is the winter solstice today and i liked starts to get a bit
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longer as we go through the days ahead but a shame that the winter solstice comes as plenty of clout. there are breaks in scotland and sub zero for some valleys and more in that way of cloud breaks in western wales and west in england but more substantial clout in the south later on but in the evening temperatures are already dropping below freezing and tonight a widespread frost. the coldest night of the week but not as low as —9 as last night. a greater chance of frost across england and wales but not so in northern ireland because late in the night temperatures will rise and we could see changes here as cloud spills in the morning rush hour with outbreaks of rain which will be on and off for the rest of the day and that rain spreads into parts of western scotland, the isle of man and parts of weights and —— wells of as well. after a morning sunshine over cloud over.
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hello this is bbc news. the headlines. downing street is urged to provide more support for businesses hit by the omicron surge — the chancellor's set to give more details this afternoon. omicron now accounts for nearly three—quarters of new coronavirus cases in the united states. as the variant spreads globally, the world health organisation urges caution over the festive season to save lives in other news: desperate attempts to get aid to those hit by typhoon rai in the philippines — more than 375 people are now known to have died. a court in london has ordered the ruler of dubai, sheikh mohammed, to pay his ex—wife around 550 million pounds. it's thought to be the largest divorce settlement in british history. and how about this for a creepy—crawly nightmare? fossil evidence of the eight—foot
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long millipede that weighed 50 kg and was the size of a car. let's return to our top story, and the call from the entertainment and hospitality industries for more support for businesses impacted by uncertainty around the introduction of further coronavirus restrictions. later this afternoon we're due to hear from the chancellor rishi sunak on financial support for business. the call for more support from government is backed by the institute for fiscal studies. its director, pauljohnson, outlined what measures it would like to see from the chancellor, given that the restrictions impacting many businesses haven't been mandated by the government. that makes it much more difficult than it was in the past. when government was locking down businesses and telling them they weren't allowed to open,
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when there was very clear for a furlough scheme. but remember, even then, furlough was available to anyone who claimed it, it wasn't just available to those businesses who were closed down. and i think there in lies the problem, for the government. they clearly don't want to bring in a full furlough scheme for all businesses, they will want something that is clearly quite targeted. but how are you going to target something when you don't actually mandate who closes? well, you could decide to target just the hospitality sector or perhaps retail in city centres or something like that, but it's a genuinely difficult thing to do. you could see that you get support if you close your premises or if your turnoverfalls by a certain proportion and i think that's the sort of thing that the chancellor and officials would have been sweating over for the last couple of weeks and work out the way this
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can be worked. and of course, the government and the chancellor are under huge pressure from business and hospitality, from the entertainment industry, from all sorts of sectors to be generous. can rishi sunak afford of what's in the coffers? yes, he can. affordability, oddly enough, isn't the issue here in terms of the overall cost of support. over the last 18 months, there has been in the hundreds of billions and support over a couple of months for a select part of the economy would be in the very small number of billions and would be for a short time so i think the issue is much less can it be afforded? yes, it can be afforded, its rather than cannot be properly targeted? and i suppose the chancellor may also be thinking that we have inflation at 5% and may be going to 6% or more and isn't it is that a good time
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a good time to be pumping more money into the economy? does that increase the risk that the bank of england will increase interest rates first? those are the sorts of things he will be weighing up. i don't think he's going to be worrying about whether he can afford it. i mean, he has been weighing this up for a while now, hasn't he? for several days or actually ever since omicron hit. a lot of businesses are saying he has taken too long and they should have had measures in place from the government already. i think that is one of the concerns. it is only a few days but i think the problem is working out a way to do this in a targeted fashion and that is something that the treasury set their face against all the way through this pandemic. a lot of people were suggesting that if by this summer, for example, things should have been much better targeted because the furlough scheme was open to everyone at a time when most of the economy was fully open and time after time, the treasury set their face against targeted support in that way, so i think part of the issue is they didn't have anything up their sleeve,
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no ready made solution to the problem and i think there have been working probably around the clock since omicron struck to find a way, and i don't know what that way is going to be to target support appropriately. pauljohnson there. joining me is eleanor lloyd, president of the society of london theatre, and a west end producer of two current shows: a christmas carol, and witness for the prosecution. thank you for being with us. so many west end shows are being hit at the moment. , , �* , moment. yes, in the west end it's a case of across _ moment. yes, in the west end it's a case of across the _ moment. yes, in the west end it's a case of across the country _ moment. yes, in the west end it's a case of across the country and - case of across the country and we are seeing it all over the country, theatre is being hit and the reason is that it is a covid cases within the workforce, so these are not shows closing due to a lack of audience but because we can't get the people on the stage. abshd
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audience but because we can't get the people on the stage.— the people on the stage. and the christmas period _ the people on the stage. and the christmas period is _ the people on the stage. and the christmas period is crucial, - the people on the stage. and the christmas period is crucial, isn'tl christmas period is crucial, isn't it, for theatres, especially pantomimes and so on? it is a huge source of your annual income. for loss of theatres _ source of your annual income. fr?“ loss of theatres around the country, the christmas show is the single biggest contributor to income across the year. for some that is 30—40% of their income coming from that single christmas show and beyond that, even in the west end for shows that have nothing to do with christmas, this week and next week, every single year they are the best weeks of the year, hands down, so we are seeing a double whammy of this is the time of year where everyone is producing and everyone once shows on so we have committed huge mass of money to get these shows back up and running and get new shows on and now we are seeing ourselves having to cancel because we can't get, we can't put the show on and the show must go on, thatis the show on and the show must go on, that is the mantra of the theatre industry and we say it over and over again, that the amount of work going on behind the scene is to keep the show is unbelievable and at some
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point, one of them is still on, there is a matinee in an hour and i'm hoping that's going ahead, but as you can imagine, it is very last minute things were having to deal with in terms of cases. sometimes the show can't _ with in terms of cases. sometimes the show can't go _ with in terms of cases. sometimes the show can't go on. _ with in terms of cases. sometimes the show can't go on. it _ with in terms of cases. sometimes the show can't go on. it must - with in terms of cases. sometimes the show can't go on. it must be . the show can't go on. it must be heartbreaking for producers and actors and everybody involved. when you thought you were coming out of the pandemic and you thought the worst was over and here are again. and actually we have had, lots of people have had a very good autumn and we were worried with a depth of the pandemic and ask ourselves are we going to come back? and actually, we going to come back? and actually, we have seen an incredible audience appetite to come back and enjoy the experience of being at a show. the box office advances in the west end last week or the week before were really, really good and so there has been a huge amount of work done in
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terms of safety messages and protocols in place and in terms of selling those shows to get audiences to come back so this just feels, it is absolutely heartbreaking and it is absolutely heartbreaking and it is genuinely worrying in terms of the financial side as the producers, we are the businesses, we run the businesses, but our whole workforce, most of whom are freelance, so there is the quirk of tax legislations which means all actors are freelance and said they were not eligible for furlough. i cannot follow them, it is not possible, so even if they bring that back they don't know where the support is going to come from. we where the support is going to come from. ~ ., , . ., ., ., from. we are expecting to hear from the government. _ from. we are expecting to hear from the government, from _ from. we are expecting to hear from the government, from the _ from. we are expecting to hear from| the government, from the chancellor actually, this afternoon and possible measures to help industries like yours. what would you like to see? given that this is not because of a government mandated lockdown. in some sense, the government is in a tricky position about what help it provides and who it gives that help
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too. t provides and who it gives that help too. .. provides and who it gives that help too. ~' ., ., too. i think there are a few things. i think an immediate _ too. i think there are a few things. i think an immediate short - too. i think there are a few things. i think an immediate short term, | i think an immediate short term, the government has put in place the cultural recovery fund which has helped a lot of people, but that fund now needs more money, the emergency resource fund needs more money and topping up and they need to look at the urgent criteria as are as key criteria that they have excluded quite a lot of companies and shows so we need that to be widened in the immediate short term. we really need to look at how we can get money quickly to the workforce, whether that is the employed workforce or self employed workforce and then looking a bit further ahead, we need to think about looking again at the vat rates because it is currently at 12 and a half percent and it had been a 5% of the summer and then went back to 12 and a half percent and at the moment it will go to 20% at the beginning of april. clearly, this recovery is well delayed and everything will be pushed back so we are asking that 5%
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comes back now and the 12 and have and is extended and is now we are fighting for our businesses so we see if we can get through the next short—term phase and this problem now, and there is an upside to come because i think what is hard is to accept that we are losing money right now, we are all losing money, money is going out the door, you can sustain that if you can believe that at some point the business is going to become viable again but at the moment, when our business becomes viable again, it feels like it is being pushed later and later and later in terms of audience confidence. in the west end, particularly tourism, we were hoping to start to see tourism back from spring 2022 but i have to question now whether there will be the case. what are your phosphor next year? you bounced back in a sense once already, haven't you? can you bounced back in a sense once already, haven't you?— you bounced back in a sense once already, haven't you? can you bounce back aaain already, haven't you? can you bounce back again next _ already, haven't you? can you bounce back again next year? _ already, haven't you? can you bounce back again next year? i _ already, haven't you? can you bounce back again next year? i honestly - back again next year? i honestly don't know. i think there will be quite a few people who cannot because we have spent the last year
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spinning during those reserves and we have been staying alive and at this point we don't have much of that are left. it is also worth saying that we are not insured for this. this is an uninsurable thing. the private insurance market would not ensure covid cancellation. we don't have any insurance in place and i think that is why we need the help now to give us the confidence to keep going so that we will be there to bounce back when the time comes. . ~' there to bounce back when the time comes. . ~ , :, there to bounce back when the time comes. ., ~ i. . �*, there to bounce back when the time comes. ., ~ . �*, comes. thank you so much. let's hope ou do comes. thank you so much. let's hope you do bounce — comes. thank you so much. let's hope you do bounce back— comes. thank you so much. let's hope you do bounce back because _ comes. thank you so much. let's hope you do bounce back because the - you do bounce back because the theatre is so important. fingers crossed. the ruler of dubai has been ordered to pay around £550 million
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to his former wife and their two children, in what is thought to be the largest divorce settlement ever ordered by an english court. princess haya, the sixth wife of 72—year—old sheikh mohammed, fled the united arab emirates in 2019 with her two children, saying she was "terrified" of her husband. he'll now have to pay her more than £251 million, .as well as additional ongoing payments a bbc investigation has found that last month's more drowning in the english channel occurred in french waters. the investigation into the worst disaster on record has identified 20 of those who were on board the boat, all of whom were from iraqi kurdistan. bbc persian's soran qurbani reports. it was an overcrowded boat, at the mercy of the channel's freezing water. 29 lives were lost that night, and a bbc investigation has identified 20 of them, all from iraqi kurdistan. from the testimonies and messages to their friends and families, we can also piece together their tragic last few hours.
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this is the voice of this 30—year—old man, nearly five hours after the boat set off on its journey. within 30 minutes of his message, the boat had completely submerged. once in water, people desperately tried to call both the uk and french authorities for help. phones fall into the water before passengers can send the details. just hours later, all but two of at least 31 people are dead. through shipping data and emergency response details our investigation concludes that the boat was in french waters when it sank. in kurdistan, families still can't find closure. this man lost his entire family on that boat,
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his wife and three children, the youngest of which was only seven years old. the french authorities have recovered their bodies, but he is still clinging to a desperate hope they might return. translation: no, | i still don't believe it. they could be in a camp or a hospital. i don't believe anyone until i see it with my own eyes. if they bring their bodies, i will check all of them to know, but until then, i won't believe it. i went to calais to find out what drives people to make these deadly journeys. this is the makeshift camp where most of those who were on the boat lived. abbas and his group from iran say taking a boatjourney is playing with death. when i ask about what is his plan, he says if there is a dinghy here, he is going to try tojump on it
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and try his chance to cross to the uk. four months pregnant lana and her husband, from iraqi kurdistan, nearly died on a previous attempt to cross. she says she is doing this for her baby. translation: we will try again. our life here in this cold isn't far better from being in the sea. if my baby was born, it would have been more difficult, but now i carry him or her with me. if i die, the baby dies with me too. it is hard to imagine the level of desperation that drives people to deadly sea journeys, but without much hope for a betterfuture, the loss of life isn't going to end. soran ourbani, bbc news, calais. south african scientists are investigating whether new variants of covid—19 could be linked to people with weakened immune systems. the theory is — the virus tends to last longer in immuno—suppressed
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people because it has more time to mutate as the body tries to fight it off. our africa correspondent, andrew harding reports. in this crowded neighbourhood outside cape town, one in four adults is hiv positive. over the years, south africa has taken impressive steps to manage the epidemic, dispensing drugs that allow people to live healthy lives. but millions of people here and indeed around the world are not on hiv medication.— hiv medication. there are lots of issues, hiv medication. there are lots of issues. some _ hiv medication. there are lots of issues, some don't _ hiv medication. there are lots of issues, some don't want - hiv medication. there are lots of issues, some don't want to - hiv medication. there are lots of issues, some don't want to get i issues, some don't want to get tested, they don't want to know. i think it's the stigma around hiv. and that's a problem, notjust for them, but potentially for a world now battling a new covid pandemic. that is because people with untreated hiv have weakened immune systems, and if they catch covid as
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well, then the new virus can linger inside them for months. xtour well, then the new virus can linger inside them for months. your immune s stem inside them for months. your immune system would — inside them for months. your immune system would kick _ inside them for months. your immune system would kick a _ inside them for months. your immune system would kick a virus _ inside them for months. your immune system would kick a virus out - inside them for months. your immune system would kick a virus out fairly . system would kick a virus out fairly quickly _ system would kick a virus out fairly quickly if _ system would kick a virus out fairly quickly if fully functional. and somebody where immunity is suppressed, that virus may be able to continue — suppressed, that virus may be able to continue for many months, replicating, making, mutating as it goes _ replicating, making, mutating as it toes. , , ., :, goes. scientists are hunting for new covid variants _ goes. scientists are hunting for new covid variants here _ goes. scientists are hunting for new covid variants here in _ goes. scientists are hunting for new covid variants here in south - goes. scientists are hunting for new covid variants here in south africa l covid variants here in south africa have already detected two cases of extensive mutations occurring in people with untreated hiv. but that has also happened a dozen times in other parts of the world. we has also happened a dozen times in other parts of the world.— other parts of the world. we have seen many _ other parts of the world. we have seen many mutations _ other parts of the world. we have seen many mutations which - other parts of the world. we have seen many mutations which have | other parts of the world. we have - seen many mutations which have raced to a plausible _ seen many mutations which have raced to a plausible explanation _ seen many mutations which have raced to a plausible explanation that - to a plausible explanation that individuals— to a plausible explanation that individuals that _ to a plausible explanation that individuals that are _ to a plausible explanation that individuals that are immune i individuals that are immune suppressed _ individuals that are immune suppressed from _ individuals that are immune suppressed from many- individuals that are immune - suppressed from many different reasons — suppressed from many different reasons could _ suppressed from many different reasons could be _ suppressed from many different reasons could be basically - suppressed from many different reasons could be basically a - suppressed from many different i reasons could be basically a source of virus _ reasons could be basically a source of virus evolution. _ reasons could be basically a source of virus evolution. this _ reasons could be basically a source of virus evolution.— of virus evolution. this is a delicate — of virus evolution. this is a delicate subject. _ of virus evolution. this is a delicate subject. many - of virus evolution. this is a i delicate subject. many people of virus evolution. this is a - delicate subject. many people living with hiv across africa already face
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stigma and scientists don't want to add to that. they point out that there are many other reasons why people's immune systems can be weakened, including malnutrition, cancer treatment and diabetes. there is also concern here that while africa may be home to the world's biggest hiv epidemic, the continent should not be seen as a focal point for a new covert —— covid variance. they come from four different continents _ they come from four different continents. this— they come from four different continents. this is— they come from four different continents. this is to - they come from four different i continents. this is to scapegoat africa _ continents. this is to scapegoat africa in— continents. this is to scapegoat africa in a — continents. this is to scapegoat africa in a situation _ continents. this is to scapegoat africa in a situation where - continents. this is to scapegoat. africa in a situation where variance have _ africa in a situation where variance have already — africa in a situation where variance have already existed _ africa in a situation where variance have already existed in _ africa in a situation where variance have already existed in the - africa in a situation where variance have already existed in the other l have already existed in the other comes— have already existed in the other comes with — have already existed in the other comes with tenants _ have already existed in the other comes with tenants is _ have already existed in the other comes with tenants is simply - comes with tenants is simply outrageous _ comes with tenants is simply outrageous-— comes with tenants is simply outrareous. :, , ,: , , outrageous. the answer, scientists sa , is to outrageous. the answer, scientists say. is to roll _ outrageous. the answer, scientists say. is to roll up — outrageous. the answer, scientists say, is to roll up or— outrageous. the answer, scientists say, is to roll up or run _ outrageous. the answer, scientists say, is to roll up or run out - outrageous. the answer, scientists say, is to roll up or run out covid . say, is to roll up or run out covid vaccines in africa and to prioritise those with weakened systems and make sure people with hiv are given all the support they need. andrew harding, bbc news, johannesburg. now it's time for a look at the weather with matt taylor
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hello. it is, of course, the winter solstice today, and from here on, the days lengthen, at long last.
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furhter east, you'll stay dry, but after the morning sunshine and frost, the cloud amounts will increase, sunshine turns hazy, but it stays cold compared to the 8—10 celsius we'll see across western areas. and it's that milder air which will win out, pushing its way northwards, butjust grinds to a halt in northern scotland and fizzles. could be some snow for a time across the higher ground here. and then the next weather front pushes in for thursday. so for thursday, outbreaks of rain, maybe a little bit more across the south this time, but not a huge amount. it dries up, brightens up here across wales, northern ireland through the day, but stays pretty wet across parts of scotland. then it will be rain rather than snow for most. but notice the temperatures — 6 in lerwick, 13 in the south. now into the night and through into christmas eve, a big travel day for some of you. if you are on the move first thing, just be wary, there could be some
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areas of dense fog around to start the day, and some of that could take a while to shift. it will eventually clear, but only to be replaced in parts of ireland, into wales, central southern england by outbreaks of rain. further north and east, there will be some light rain and drizzle, most places will be dry. but cold air fighting back in lerwick, cold air tries to fight its way back into christmas day. it is going to be a tough one, though, as we go into christmas day, because this dividing line, we could see a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. at the moment, though, it looks like for most of you, not quite going to be a white christmas.
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today at one, the chancellor announces a billion pound grant for the hospitality sector in the uk as the effects of covid bite ahead of christmas. it's part of a package of measures from rishi sunak as the government weighs tougher restrictions to combat the spread of the omicron variant. we've responded i think generously today, the grants we've outlined up to £6,000 are comparable to the grants we provided for hospitality businesses when they were completely closed earlier this year. a top scientist says there's still �*great uncertainty�* about the true impact of omicron, and fresh data will dictate what the government does next. each of us can do a lot of things today that would make the chances of further restrictions lighter, and more data will be available tomorrow, today and tomorrow.
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and i would act on those if transmission is rising still,

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