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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 22, 2021 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: free covid tests for all americans, president biden tries to stop the spread of the omicron variant, urging people to get vaccinated. let me say again and again and again and again, please get vaccinated. it's the only responsible thing to do. israel becomes the first country in the world to make a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine available. new covid guidance comes into force across england, with quarantine for infected people being reduced from ten days, to seven. london's high court orders the ruler of dubai to pay more than $700 million in a divorce settlement to his ex—wife, princess haya ofjordan.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. we start with the one issue that is on the minds of so many around the world at the moment, how to deal with the rapid rise in coronavirus cases, caused by the highly tra nsmissable omicron variant. we still don't really know if the rise in cases seen in the uk, us and other countries will translate to a similar rise in deaths or severe illness. and that uncertainty is one reason governments are finding it so hard to find the right response. on monday we've seen more countries announce different measures in an attempt to keep case numbers manageable, while still allowing society to continue. in the us, president biden has
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announced a major increase in testing capacity, with half a billion rapid tests to be made available for free. israel has become the first country in the world to offer a fourth vaccine dose. it will be given first to the over—60s and to medical workers. and in england, people who test positive will be able to reduce their isolation period from ten days to just seven. we've got more on all of the those stories, first here's gary o'donoghue with the latest from washington. more than two million people a day are travelling home for christmas through america's airports, and many of them are worried. the way i look at it is as long as we've been fully vaccinated and we're always masked up, we should be ok. but it's quite dangerous still. i don't think anything'5100% safe unless you stay in your house the entire time, so, yeah. omicron has exploded in the united states. in the space of two weeks, it's gone from less than i% of new cases to almost three quarters. so, for a second time
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in less than a month, president biden has announced more measures, extra vaccine sites and, in a change of direction, free home testing kits. i'm announcing today the federal government will purchase one half billion — that's not million, billion with a b — additional at—home rapid tests with delivery starting in january. we'll be getting these tests to americans for free. those free at—home tests won't be available until next month, so testing sites like this recreation centre are opening up all over the country. and 1,000 military, nurses and doctors are being readied in case the hospitals get overwhelmed. while cases have been rising sharply, one encouraging sign is that hospitalisations haven't gone up anything like as much as they did earlier in the pandemic. but infections amongst the unvaccinated could change all that. we've first got to get the 50 million or so people
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who are eligible to be vaccinated who've not gotten vaccinated. that is critical. if you want to keep the level of spread in the country as low as possible, which would get us back to some degree of normality, you've got to get those unvaccinated people vaccinated. in new york, they've seen record numbers of cases in the past few days, leading the mayor to offer a $100 incentive to those getting a boosterjab. it will not be a normal christmas once again. gary o'donoghue, bbc news, washington. let's cross live to new york. dr craig spencer is director of global health in emergency medicine at columbia university medical center. thanks university medical center. very much forjoining us. thanks very much forjoining us. the does seem as though there is a demand for tests, of course now 500 million at no cost to all those who want to have one. how big a step forward do you see this? is certainly a positive step.
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everyone they know has been looking for tests over the past few weeks and really months. it has been incredibly difficult for us to buy test, it is incredibly expensive. i took to people here and let them know that in the uk you can walk into a pharmacy and get them in order them online. in the us you are talking ten, 15, $25 a test sometimes. that is if you can find them on the shelves. it makes it really difficult for people to stay safe when they do and/or gatherings and i'm particularly concerned about the upcoming holidays so 500 million test is great but that's about 1.5 test for every single american and those aren't going to start being rolled out until next month. i'm sure the first player is going to be immediately gone and by then we're going to have hundreds of thousands of more cases. d0 hundreds of thousands of more cases. y ., ~ hundreds of thousands of more cases. ,., ,, ~ , cases. do you think it is inevitable _ cases. do you think it is inevitable to _ cases. do you think it is inevitable to keep - cases. do you think it is| inevitable to keep those cases. do you think it is - inevitable to keep those tests being provided at no cost? this is something — being provided at no cost? this is something that _ being provided at no cost? ti 3 is something that was unfortunately mocked just a few weeks ago by the white house press secretary when pushed, public health experts like myself have been saying for a
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long time we need access to more testing and the white house responded, what we can do, give a test to everyone and then what? well now they are going to give a test and a half to everyone, and it is better than nothing and it will help expand through the defence production act, because right now if you look online or you try to go into a pharmacy to get test, the great likelihood in the majority of the country as you are not going to find them. i as you are not going to find them. u, them. i can feelthe frustration - them. i can feelthe frustration and - them. i can feelthe frustration and yourj them. i can feel the - frustration and your voice. stay with us craig. another related story today from israel, which has become the first country in the world to make a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine widely available. it will be offered first to people over the age of 60, and medical workers. the country's prime minister, naftali bennett, welcomed the news, saying that the measure would help get through the omicron wave that is engulfing the world. craig, iwant craig, i want to ask you about
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this. every country has a duty to look after its own, i guess, but would you be supportive of a fourth vaccination at this stage, when let's be honest, there are large swathes of our earth who are seeing little or no vaccination opportunities. israel has been a testing ground for vaccines and boosters throughout this pandemic. i look forward to reading the science and seeing how they justify this, but you are right. this is a zero—sum game. three quarters of all vaccine doses have gone to wealthy countries, and less than 1% of them have gone to low income countries stop yesterday to a friend of mine working in east africa who, taking care of covid patients doesn't have enough ppe, let alone a vaccination and he said he was going to try to go to the capital city to see if they had any in but he felt that it was unlikely stop yes we all have a responsibility to take care of our own but we saw what happened with omicron, came from an unvaccinated population in southern africa and spread
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worldwide, it is only a matter of time before that happens again in the best way to prevent that as we know is to get the world vaccinated. we have been calling for the will to do this for over the past year and a half and although there has been some ramp up and really the motivation to do so, it is still not enough. we need to get more done much quicker otherwise going to be in this scenario again. we are not going to boost our way out of this pandemic.— this pandemic. craig thanks very much _ this pandemic. craig thanks very much indeed _ this pandemic. craig thanks very much indeed for- this pandemic. craig thanks| very much indeed forjoining us. dr craig spencer. if you want to find out more about why boosters work against the omicron variant, when two doses struggle, our health correspondent james gallagher has written about it in detail on our website. there's lots more too about what we do and don't know about the omicron variant. find it all on the bbc news app or on our website at bbc.com/news. one other line to bring you from here in england, new isolation guidelines have been announced, which will allow people who have tested positive
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for covid—19 to reduce their self—isolation from 10 days to seven. here's the uk health secretary sajid javid. we want to reduce the disruption to people's everyday lives caused by the pandemic, so today we will be cutting the self isolation period from ten days to seven days for those people that take a lateral flow test on day six and day seven and the result of both those tests are negative. this decision has been informed by the advice from our clinicians at the uk health security agency who have looked at this very carefully and they are very comfortable, that the protection that is provided by making this change so that people can leave isolation after day seven as long as they have taken these two lateral flow tests and the results are negative, that the protection it provides is very similar to ten days of isolation without test. let's get some of the day's other news.
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but there is one more covid element i want to bring you which is regarding germany. the new measures being announced won't actually come into force until after christmas, so private gatherings are going to be limited to ten people, that is from the 28th of december. nightclubs are going to have to close and large organised events including the bundesliga football matches are going to be taking place behind closed doors. michael flynn, a longtime adviser to former us president donald trump, is suing the congressional committee investigating the deadly january 6th attack on the us capitol. mr flynn's lawsuit alleges that a subpoena issued to him was too broad in scope, and punishes him for constitutionally protected speech he engaged in as a private citizen. parliament in ghana has been suspended untiljanuary following monday's session
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in which mps traded punches in a late night vote on a new electronics transaction tax. the proposal, which would include taxes on mobile money payments, has divided the house for months. denmark's former immigration minister inger stojberg, who ordered the separation of under—age couples seeking asylum in 2016, has been voted out of parliament. stojberg was handed a 60—day prison sentence last week by an impeachment court. mark lobel reports. measures to discourage migrant arrivals to europe over the past few years have often seemed controversial. in denmark in particular they have tried to pull up the drawbridge. they've confiscated valuables from arriving refugees, created a three—year wait until relatives can join and at one point separated
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young, married refugees, measures prompted by the 2015 refugee crisis when over1 million entered europe via greece and italy, with many seeking asylum further north including in denmark. inger stojberg was immigration minister at the time. over the past two years she has been investigated over the legality of her 2016 decision to separate 23 married refugees under 18 years old from their spouses. she said it was to combat child marriages but her separation policy led some migrants to reportedly feel suicidal, living apart for mum. last week she was convert it in an impeachment court and sentenced to 60 days detention for failing to adhere to danish and human rights law that each case must be assessed individually. fellow parliamentarians decided on monday that enough was enough. translation: it is monday that enough was enough. translation:— translation: it is incompatible with the office _ translation: it is incompatible with the office as _ translation: it is incompatible with the office as a _ translation: it is incompatible with the office as a member- translation: it is incompatible with the office as a member of. with the office as a member of parliament to have received an
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unconditional prison sentence. a majority voted to remove the independent mp but she remains defiant. translation: i actually believe that one has a moral obligation to protect child brides when they come he once i have served my sentence i can return, it could also be here. ., ., , , here. some commentators believe monda 's here. some commentators believe monday's verdict _ here. some commentators believe monday's verdict may _ here. some commentators believe monday's verdict may galvanise i monday's verdict may galvanise her supporters on the right wing of politics but this rare case also underlines the consequences for ministers who do not comply with the law. that is accountability in action, isn't it? stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we'll tell you why the national hockey league looks poised to pull out of february's winter olympics in beijing. the world of music has been paying tribute to george michael, who's died from suspected heart failure
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at the age of 53. he sold well over 100 million albums in a career spanning more than three decades. the united states' troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon says it's failed in its principle objective to capture noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle| was hastily taken away. m its place. — the russian flag was hoisted over what is now— no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. | day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nosedown in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town of shkoder, where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc news,
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the latest headlines: president biden announces new measures to tackle the omicron variant, promising free testing and 10,000 new vaccination sites. israel becomes the first country in the world to make a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine available. what's thought to be the largest divorce settlement in british legal history has been agreed. a high courtjudge has awarded around $725 million to princess haya ofjordan in a long—running dispute with herformer husband, the ruler of dubai. the princess, who is a7, is the sixth, and youngest, wife of sheikh mohammed. she fled to the uk from dubai, with her children, in 2019 — claiming she was in fear of her life. our security correspondent, frank gardner, told us more about the settlement. this is pretty much the culmination of a very long—running court battle between one of the world's richest men, sheikh mohammed
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bin rashid al maktoum, who is a huge figure in the horse racing world. he is also the ruler of dubai, and the youngest of his six wives, now ex—wife, princess haya ofjordan, daughter of king hussein of jordan. as you said earlier, she fled to britain in early 2019 with her two children, saying she was terrified. a gun was placed in her room with a bullet in it. a helicopter landed on the lawn of her palace with somebody saying that he had orders to take her out to a prison in the middle the desert. all because she said she discovered what had happened to other daughters of the ruler of dubai who had been abducted. he has denied this, but the high court here in britain stood this up. it didn't probably help her case that she had an affair with her bodyguard, and when that was discovered, he was understandably very angry, wrote a poem that went public called you lived, you died, and she interpreted that as a death threat.
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she fled to britain where she continued to get threats from anonymous people saying we can reach you wherever. she took the case to court to try to safeguard, to put in place, which she has now got today, a huge financial settlement to safeguard her security and that of her two children, because she worries that harm will come to her and that they will be abducted. he has issued a statement saying he has only ever wished to provide the best for his children and he has nothing more to say about this case. the national hockey league looks poised to pull out of the winter olympics which get underway in beijing in february. the move would see the omission of some of the world's top ice hockey players from the competition, as concerns surrounding covid—19 and the impacts on the remainder of the nhl season increase. greg wyshynski is the senior nhl writer at espn, hejoins me
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live now from new york. thank you very much forjoining us. i think it is fair to say, isn't it, that the nhl has never been a great fan of the olympic games because it disrupt their commercial interests, above all other issues. is that high in this or issues. is that high in this or is it a genuine concern about the covid risk?— is it a genuine concern about the covid risk? they have never been big fans — the covid risk? they have never been big fans of _ the covid risk? they have never been big fans of the _ the covid risk? they have never been big fans of the olympics i been big fans of the olympics interrupting their season and they see no benefit for the game. they cannot even put in nhl league —— logo on the ice anywhere. but in this case it has to do with the material interruption of the nhl season due to covid—19. players and owners collectively bargain to allow players to return to the olympics for the first time since 2014 in the beijing games of 2022 and then again in 2026. the problem is that the nhl also said, look, as long as our regular season can be played
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through without any problem we will let you go. right now the nhl is postponed 50 games so far of the regular season and they say that that is enough to have to use the olympic break to make up some of those games, play some games and make sure that they can fill a full schedule. i that they can fill a full schedule.— that they can fill a full schedule. , . ., schedule. i see the challenge. it is interesting _ schedule. i see the challenge. it is interesting because - schedule. i see the challenge. it is interesting because we i it is interesting because we think of the north american league so the canadians and americans will be affected but it is much wider than that, isn't it? this is the epicentre of the best players in the world. players represent the countries when they are allowed to in the olympics sweden, most of their roster are nhl players. of their roster are nhl maven-— of their roster are nhl -la ers. ' ., players. same 14th england. the same for russia. _ players. same 14th england. the same for russia. players - players. same 14th england. the same for russia. players right i same for russia. players right across the men's ice hockey tournament. so the national hockey league pulling its star players out of the beijing games not only impact the quality of play but it will
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also impact the amount of interest this tournament gets. first hand i can tell you here in north america the men's international tournament in the olympics where there is russia and germany in the final, you couldn't find a person that cared about that final here in north america.— cared about that final here in north america. that is 'ust the nature of the h north america. that is 'ust the nature of the beast, _ north america. that isjust the nature of the beast, isn't - north america. that isjust the nature of the beast, isn't it? . nature of the beast, isn't it? what about the players? do they feel robbed? how do they feel about it? , . . , , , about it? they are massively disappointed. _ about it? they are massively disappointed. they - about it? they are massively disappointed. they entered i about it? they are massively i disappointed. they entered into the agreement knowing that there was a chance the covid—19 would interrupt the season and that they may lose a chance to play in the olympics. but it is a huge disappointment. you have star players in the league you have not gotten the chance to represent their country had in the olympics, star players like alex baskin chasing wayne gretzky�*s all—time goal record who has been chasing a gold medal for his entire career for russia. there are young players who feel they could get another shot at this in 2026 but one
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who is expected to be the starting golf centre for the united states said, look, i might not necessarily still be the starter for my nation in four years time. so board there is disappointment and regret that covid—19 has caused this kind of eruption. —— interruption. kind of eruption. -- interruption.- kind of eruption. -- interruption. kind of eruption. -- interrution. . ~' , ., ., interruption. thank you for brin . in: interruption. thank you for bringing us _ interruption. thank you for bringing us up-to-date - interruption. thank you for bringing us up-to-date on | interruption. thank you for - bringing us up-to-date on that. the largest us exhibition by the artist lorie anderson is underway at the hirshhorn museum in washington dc. in this immersive art experience, she blends both avant—garde and popular culture and guides her visitors through performance art and multimedia projects. she spoke to the bbc�*s bill mckenna about the exhibition and herfive decade long career. and a warning that this report does contain some flashing images.
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this exhibition is called the weather and is dedicated to john cage because he saw a life more like weather than objects and i do as well. so it is changing, it surrounds you, it is never boring. my name is laurie anderson and i am an artist. i make a lot of different kinds of things. mostly they come from stories, sometimes paintings, sometimes they look like films, sometimes they look like films, sometimes they are books. and sometimes they are books. and sometimes they are books. and sometimes they are electronic experiments. you can create these songs out of the raw materials of sounds and awards for —— words. some of those things in the show a little and some are very big. you have to be there to see that. the show begins with a dance about a drum machine becoming a drum machine, hitting the body and making sounds of a drum which
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is something i was trying to fix. i am just a dabbler and a tinkerer so when things break i wonder what it could do now, something different. at the end of the show there is a table where you listen to through bone conduction so music comes through your bones. my motivations for doing work on many, sometimes it isjust to make something so heartbreakingly beautiful and not translatable. and other times i have other motives which is my own idea ofjustice is political, of course, but i do not claim to be a political artist. it is very difficult to change people's minds. you have to be much sneaky other than that if you are going to work with political ideas. each track of the record is a
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sustained note. there were also several fit. sustained note. there were also severalfit. where sustained note. there were also several fit. where you sustained note. there were also severalfit. where you can sustained note. there were also several fit. where you can do a little scratching of the theme as well. for me, painting is exactly like playing a violin. is it too loud, is it to beautiful? is it not sharp enough? all of the things you ask yourself about a piece of music i asked myself when i do the painting. it is a very physical thing as well. i don't really see the difference, for me as an artist in making these things. they are very much the same. i have a lot of fun making things and i think part of the reason that i have a lot of the reason that i have a lot of fun is that i don't really care that much about what people think. getting to the violin and then trying to play
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it with this. it is messed up. do i think it is funny? maybe other people with a similar sense of humour will think it's funny. but i'm not going for that. i am going for... like a block. that is what i like. is this going to work? maybe not. i get thrills. and just before we go i have to tell you this story, a survival story on its own from madagascar where a government minister managed to swim to shore when his helicopter crashed. he spent 12 hours in the water, this is the secretary of state for police, one ofjust secretary of state for police, one of just two secretary of state for police, one ofjust two survivors secretary of state for police, one of just two survivors from the crash that happened during a mission to inspect the side of a shipwreck. apparently he used one of the helicopter�*s seats as a flotation device and he said in the video which he posted on twitter that he managed to keep going because he told himself that his time to die had not come yet. what a survival story.
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to die had not come yet. what a survivalstory. is to die had not come yet. what a survival story. is news. to die had not come yet. what a survivalstory. is news. don't forget our website for more on all our main stories. hello again. well, we're going to see some changes in our weather pattern through wednesday as this area of cloud that's just out in the atlantic starts to encroach. that will eventually bring some rain, particularly into western areas, with milder southerly winds spreading in as well. before we get there, though, it's a chilly start to the day with some patches of frost for central and eastern areas of the country. in some of the deeper valleys in scotland, we're seeing temperatures of, what, —9, —10 degrees, so a very cold start here. now, through wednesday, as i say, this area of rain is on the way, and it's going to be arriving pretty quickly in northern ireland accompanied by those strengthening southerly winds. so, it will be turning progressively milder here pretty quickly through the day. elsewhere, a few brighter spells across central and eastern england, perhaps for northern scotland, too, but generally a lot of cloud further west with that rain continuing to push its way northwards and eastwards through the day.
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top temperatures around about 4—7 for many, but as that rain bumps into that colder air, well, some of those valleys could still have temperatures below freezing. so, there is a risk, and quite a significant risk i think, of seeing icy conditions out on the roads through wednesday evening, either due to freezing rain or rain falling on frozen surfaces. now, for thursday, we've got another weather front that's set to move its way in. now, i think it may well start off with rather murky conditions across much of the country, a few mist and fog patches over the hills, and rain. well, that rain's going to be heavier, particularly swinging across northern ireland, northern england, into parts of scotland as well. very mild in the south, 13 degrees, but we're starting to get some colder air spreading into the far north of the uk. and for christmas eve, we'll continue to have those kind of temperature contrasts. another weather front, this one concentrating rain across northern ireland, wales and the south—west of england, still with mild air here. further north, we've got those chillier conditions with wintry showers beginning to spread in across the northern isles. and for saturday, which of course is christmas day, we're going to have this battle zone
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somewhere across the uk. now, this is not set in stone. it could move a little bit further southwards perhaps over the next few days. for the north of the uk, we may well see a few snow showers, that is a possibility. the south—west more likely to see cloudy skies, grey conditions, rain and mild weather. and there's a small chance we could see something a little bit more disruptive, but itjust depends where this boundary ends up being. at the moment, it's here. cold air to the north, milder in the south west, but watch this space.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: president biden has announced new measures to tackle the omicron variant, which is sweeping across the united states. mr biden is promising free testing and 10,000 new vaccination sites. he's also urged the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. israel has become the first country in the world to make a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine available. it will be offered first to people over the age of 60 and medical workers. naftali bennett says the measure will help get through this omicron wave. new covid guidance is also come into force across england with and force across england with and for people now having to self isolate for seven days rather than ten. scotland, wales and northern ireland are yet to decide whether they will follow suit. those other headlines. —— those are the headlines.
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now on bbc news it's the travel show, with a look

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