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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 29, 2021 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT

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a warning from doctors and pharmacists of patchy supplies of covid tests — as demand from the public increases. changes to self—isolation rules in england have meant more people now trying get hold of tests. it's notjust our pharmacy that is out of stock. it's many, many more pharmacies. customers are very understanding with it, but some are getting very angry about it. as cases rise so have hospital admissions — up in england around 50% since last week — we'll be taking a closer look at the numbers. also tonight. scotland records its highest daily infections by far — as the first minister says omicron now accounts for 80% of all cases. england footballer raheem sterling tells the bbc that society must never let down its guard over racism
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in the game. we address it for that period, that five days, or that week, and then we normally brush it under the carpet and things are all fine now... and the return of the tequila fish — once declared extinct it's now back swimming in the rivers of south mexico. good evening. doctors and pharmacists are warning of variable supplies of covid tests, because of a big rise in demand. it comes after changes in england by which people who have covid but test negative on days 6 and 7 can end self—isolation — and also because people are being advised to take a lateral flow test before going to events or to see family and friends.
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the government says more kits are being made available. meanwhile new figures show more than 10,000 people in england are in hospital with covid — the highest number since march. our health correspondent katherine da costa has more. george and his wife nikki are both gps in leeds. he tested positive on a lateral flow device which means as a lateral flow device which means as a health worker his wife cannot return to work until she has received a negative pcr test. the website is not _ received a negative pcr test. lie: website is not showing received a negative pcr test. tue: website is not showing availability but it does not seem to hold true throughout the day. people have found availability later in the day so there is this pattern of delay in being able to book locally on the government booking site. at being able to book locally on the government booking site. at some oint toda government booking site. at some point today there _ government booking site. at some point today there was _ government booking site. at some point today there was no _ point today there was no availability on the government website for home pcr kits or walk in
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england and northern ireland and only supply in scotland. there's been a surge in demand for lateral flow tests as well which has led to farms this morning that supplies are not keeping up. he not had not had any since christmas eve.— any since christmas eve. some customers _ any since christmas eve. some customers are _ any since christmas eve. some customers are understanding l any since christmas eve. some i customers are understanding with any since christmas eve. some - customers are understanding with it but some _ customers are understanding with it but some are getting angry. they say we are _ but some are getting angry. they say we are being told we have to test every _ we are being told we have to test every day — we are being told we have to test eve da . . we are being told we have to test eve da. ., , we are being told we have to test every day-— we are being told we have to test eve da. ., , every day. health officials say they are responding _ every day. health officials say they are responding to _ every day. health officials say they are responding to unprecedented l are responding to unprecedented demand with record numbers of tests being sent out. the advise is to keep trying back on the government website as more i throughout the day. spiralling cases are leading to an increase in hospital admissions in england. the weekly average up by more than 50% compared to a week ago. the number of people with tangerine hospital has risen above 10,000 for the first time in ten months but there are some signs of
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optimism. fist months but there are some signs of o timism. �* ., , optimism. at the moment it is difficult to _ optimism. at the moment it is difficult to interpret _ optimism. at the moment it is difficult to interpret the - optimism. at the moment it is difficult to interpret the data, | optimism. at the moment it is i difficult to interpret the data, we have high rates of infection in the community and so we could see some of these people naturally in hospital as well. equally where not seen the same rate of admission to intensive care units and so that could be a positive sign. the prime minister on — could be a positive sign. the prime minister on a _ could be a positive sign. the prime minister on a visit _ could be a positive sign. the prime minister on a visit to _ could be a positive sign. the prime minister on a visit to this _ minister on a visit to this vaccination centre in milton keynes was pushing the message for people to get listed. was pushing the message for people to get listed-— to get listed. cases are going up, we have a — to get listed. cases are going up, we have a lot _ to get listed. cases are going up, we have a lot of _ to get listed. cases are going up, we have a lot of cases _ to get listed. cases are going up, we have a lot of cases of - to get listed. cases are going up, i we have a lot of cases of omicron we have a lot of cases of 0micron but on the other hand we can see the data about the relative mildness of 0micron and we can also see the very clear effect of getting those jabs and getting those boosters in particular. that is what is making a difference. �* ., , particular. that is what is making a difference. _ ., particular. that is what is making a difference. ' difference. boris johnson says 9096 of 20 patients _ difference. boris johnson says 9096 of 20 patients in _ difference. boris johnson says 9096 of 20 patients in intensive - difference. boris johnson says 9096 of 20 patients in intensive care - of 20 patients in intensive care have not had a booster but there is still uncertainty over what impact the 0micron variant will have on
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older age groups as the virus spreads from young to those most at risk of falling seriously ill. katherine da costa, bbc news. our health correspondent cath burnsjoins me now. what do you make of this figure released today — of hospital admissions in england around 50% higher than a week ago? they are now almost at a point where we were ten months ago so if we break the numbers down, 10,520 patients in hospital in england and thatis patients in hospital in england and that is up 2000 injust patients in hospital in england and that is up 2000 in just two days. there are some factors that could have posted this because once someone is in hospital and have recovered it can be harder to get them discharged over christmas so it could be that hundreds of those people may well have recovered but just have not left hospital yet. so we rely more on new admissions and last week we had a daily average of about 800 new tents for patients in england every day in hospital and now it is closer to 1300. to give
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you context injanuary last now it is closer to 1300. to give you context in january last year or this year at the peak of this, we had about 4000 per day so we are now no where near that but there is an increase. but even here there is a proviso because we do not know how many of these patients are in hospital because of covid or with something else and just happened to test positive for covid. but i think there are a lot of numbers but only one question that counts, can be in a scope or are we coming to a point where the government may have to bring in new restrictions in england. jenny harries was saying that we are not really seeing an increase in intensive care patients yet but there was another warning sent we do not know the full impact of 0micron yet on elderly patients. it has not fed through to them yet and until we see that we still do not know what we're looking at so it is still a case of watch this thank you. is still a case of watch this thank ou. . .
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is still a case of watch this thank ou. ., . , , . scotland has experienced a record number of new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. during a virtual recall of the scottish parliament, the first minister nicola sturgeon said a further 15,849 cases had been reported. she said there will be no immediate changes to the current covid restrictions — and that her government hopes to reach a decision on isolation rules in the next week. 0ur scotland correspondent alexandra mackenzie reports. the wave of predicted 0micron cases is developing rapidly in scotland. the number of reported covid cases almost doubled in the past week. scotland's national football stadium, hampden park, is now a mass vaccination centre. the scottish government has stressed the urgency for people to get their booster, as cases search. — surge. with such a high rate of infection, it will still cause a lot of pressure on our services and we will still see people admitted to hospital with this disease.
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the first minister said the impact of the soaring case numbers was being closely monitored — especially hospital figures, which have been broadly stable but increased by 80 since yesterday. nicola sturgeon said there was need for caution. she told msps she hoped to reach a decision on a change to isolation rules in the next few days. i indicated last week that we were weighing the risks and benefits of shortening the isolation period for indexed cases and also potentially easing the requirement for all household contacts to isolate following a positive case. these are finely balanced judgments and we are considering the current trends in infection carefully. there has been increasing pressure from business and opposition parties. we've had the ground—breaking omicron study that shows while it's more tranmissible, it is less severe. so, first minister, what more information do you need to take
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the steps on self—isolation that we've been calling for for weeks? hogmanay is usually a big celebration here in scotland, but this new year's eve the advice is to reduce contact as much as possible and not to travel to england to attend a nightclub or to avoid scotland's more stringent coronavirus restrictions. the first minister acknowledged it had been another difficult year but said she believed that 2022 would be better. alexandra mackenzie, bbc news, glasgow. well let's look at the latest government data now — some of the figures are still being affected by delays over the holiday period, and some data has not yet been published. there were a record 183,037 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. 57 deaths were recorded, that's of people who died within 28 days
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of a positive test. 0n vaccinations — more than 325,000 people had boosters, bringing the total to more than 33 million. british households will be worse off next year because of higher energy bills and tax increases combined with stagnant wages. that's according to the think tank the resolution foundation, which focuses on how to improve living standards for people on lower incomes. 0ur economics correspondent andy verity is with me. they are talking about the year of the squeeze? this is not reading to make you marry because unfortunately we are talking about some fairly difficult stuff that many households are facing. the highest inflation for ten years at 5.1% and also stagnant economy which is barely growing. that could be done to the 0micron variant and the resolution foundation thinks that that will be
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a passing phenomenon but what could be less temporary is what is happening to energy bills for example. when broken down how much the average household can expect to pay more after april they reckon it is £600. when if you look at taxes rishi sunak has raised public spending to its highest since the 19705 spending to its highest since the 1970s and the tax burden to its highest since the 1950s partly to higher national insurance rates in april and that will mean an extra £600 for the average household. also because the social blog which you do not pay the higher rate has been frozen so more people will get dragged into the higher rate thresholds. so some challenges there and government says it has put in place for 2p to support families and is helping with measures to assist with the payment of bills. but nevertheless what they're looking at here is a new squeeze in living standards after we've already had
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one and in the past 16 years you are looking at an increase in living standards ofjust looking at an increase in living standards of just 2.4% looking at an increase in living standards ofjust 2.4% compared to 36% for the 16 years before that. thank you. let's take a look at some of today's other news. a police officer who took selfies at the scene where a teenager was stabbed to death has been sacked. 37 year—old pc ryan connolly worked for merseyside police. he also shared racist and homophobic pictures. one of hong kong's last remaining pro—democracy publications is shutting down after being raided by over 200 police. seven people, both current and former employees at stand news, were detained. they are being held for "conspiracy to publish seditious publications". record amounts of snow have fallen in western and northern japan, blocking roads and railways and disrupting flights. thousands of homes are without power. and yet more snowfall is forecast along the coast of the sea of japan.
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actress, model and activist april ashley, hailed as a "trans trailblazer," has died at the age of 86. in 1960, ashley became only the second briton to undergo male—to—female gender reassignment surgery. she became a prominent campaigner for the transgender community, and was awarded an mbe for her work in 2012. aruna iyengar looks back at her life. april ashley — vogue model, parisian nightclub performer, but born in 1935 as georgejamieson to a working—class family in liverpool. ashleyjoined the merchant navy and went on to work in a paris nightclub. but in 1960, at the age of 25, she underwent reassignment surgery in morocco. i saved every single penny, and the morning after the operation, to me, was the happiest day of my life. she became a top model, appearing in vogue magazine and films, but her career was abruptly ended in 1961,
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when her story was revealed in a sunday newspaper. in 1970, her divorce proved to be a landmark case when a judge ruled it was not possible to change sex, so her marriage to aristocrat arthur cameron corbett had been invalid. when you go through life, and you meet einstein, you meet sir winston churchill, dali wants to paint you, picasso looks you over three or four times, you know, to know all these people was extraordinary. the singer boy george tweeted that she was a force of nature and a transgender high priestess. peter tatchell, the lgbt rights campaigners said she was the great trans trailblazer for decades. "i was so honoured to know and support her in a past era when she was reviled after being outed as trans." ashley left britain to live in america, but returned in 2005 after the gender recognition act was passed. aruna iyengar, bbc news.
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the england and manchester city footballer raheem sterling has said society must never let its guard down over racism in the game. in an interview with the bbc, he said the racist abuse of players is only considered when it happens — and then "brushed under the carpet". adam wild reports. the summer of sterling continues! they remain some of the defining sporting images of 2021. a cross for sterling! the route to the finals of the euros provoked in english football fans emotions scarcely stirred in a generation. but after such highs, some of the most crushing lows sport can offer. the racist abuse of england players, particularly on social media, prompted a wave of outrage, national soul—searching and calls again for action. people are probably intoxicated a lot of the times, say and do things, just trying to be horrible, because you want to get a reaction
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out of that person, or you want to get a reaction because you're angry. but at the same time, you know, you being frustrated, that shouldn't resort to, you know, negative comments on someone's skin colour. i think what hurt me was that this was a group of players who had brought everybody together for 30 days, or whatever it was, on a brilliant journey. now all of a sudden we're going to allow this division to happen. i wasn't happy about that at all. the racism suffered by gareth southgate's england side was as ugly as it was depressingly familiar. earlier racist incidents, like the one in bulgaria during qualifying, helped to form the decision for players to take the knee before games. a lot of the times when, you know, the racism comes up, or something's happened, we tend to address it for that period, that five days, or that week. and then, we normally brush it up under the carpet, and things are all fine now. and when the next scenario happens, that's when we go again.
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0n the whole, we just wanted to keep highlighting that. yes, there's been times that we've sat down and say, "is the message still powerful?" and we've said yes. and as a group and as a collective, we try to keep that going. the tournament that began with players taking the knee, ending in vile racist abuse aimed towards them. but even then, room for hope. although there was a horrible reaction that night from too many people, but still a minority, i thought there was a brilliant counter reaction, where the majority of the fans and public were saying, "we're not having this. "we're with bukaya and marcus and jadon. "so, everybody else can go and do their thing, really." it's sad we have to live through that, you know, to make it feel that way. as southgate and sterling continue to help redefine what is possible for the england national team, it's clear that for
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them, those aspirations now extend beyond just success on the pitch. adam wild, bbc news. a species of fish — called tequila — that was previously declared extinct has been reintroduced back to the wild — by the combined efforts of conservationists at chester zoo and experts in mexico. the freshwater fish has now been returned to its native habitat in south—west mexico. victoria gill reports. a little known species with an extraordinary story. the tequila fish is a small freshwater fish that lives in the rivers and lakes of south—west mexico, but it's been missing, presumed extinct, for more than a decade. and it's just one of thousands of aquatic creatures that are facing extinction, but have slipped under the radar. small little things, a bit silver sometimes, a bit of colour when they breed, but not much interest on the global conservation aspect. now, with the help of conservationists at chester zoo, scientists in mexico have reversed
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that extinction, bringing captive—bred fish back to the wild. the team has now confirmed that the fish are breeding, and that the population is recovering here. they're doing well. they started with the introduction of 1500 animals, so now we're talking about from 1500 individuals now, to tens of thousands, and now what we're seeing is that the species is slowly start expanding to the river system, which is exactly what we wanted. so that is a very good start, and hopefully that will be more species looking forward. among the estimated one million species under threat around the world, a third of wildlife that depends on freshwater habitats, are sliding towards extinction. and the ongoing loss of clean, healthy rivers and lakes threatens our food and water supplies too. so here injalisco, mexico, the community stepped in. local people trained with the scientists to take on long—term monitoring of this vital river network, to ensure it is clean and healthy for both people and wildlife. it would be impossible without the local community.
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the local people are the main actors in the long—term conservation project. it's a conservation success story that it's hoped could be repeated for other threatened habitats and species, including one that lives in just one lake in the north of mexico. the achoques, a close relative of the axolotl, was saved from extinction partly by a captive breeding programme led by local nuns. and now, with the community helping to clean up the lake, here in patzcuaro, these captive—reared animals could be brought back to the wild. the success of the little tequila fish is a much needed sign of hope for one of the many small, and perhaps underappreciated creatures, that are facing extension. amid a biodiversity crisis, it's a sign that with people's help, nature can make a comeback. victoria gill, bbc news. that's it. we're back with the late news at ten past 11. now on bbc one it's time for the news where you are.
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you're watching bbc news. more now on scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, calling on people to "exercise caution" after the nation reported another record number of daily covid cases. no changes are to be made to restrictions in scotland — measures are expected to remain until 17 january. louise maclean, who is part of signature group, which owns more than 20 bars in scotland, said more economic support would be needed for hospitality if the situation continued. business over christmas was poor. we were between 40 and 50% behind where we needed to be, a shortfall in our turnover of between £250,000—£300,000. as we go looking forward to hogmanay, our picture is pretty bleak. obviously we can't have parties together, three—household limit, but also we're really struggling
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with our staffing. we've got between 10—15% of our staff either have covid or are self—isolating, and so trying to build a plan is a bit likejust a big game of chess. you just don't know who's going to fall next. i'll talk about your staff in a moment. in terms of the public, what sort of enquiries are you getting? do you have any sense of how many supplies to buy in? you've got to plan, but i guess you're in a situation where people can cancel at the last minute. talk to us about some of that. that's exactly right. although we're confirming with people and asking people to confirm their numbers, people are doing lateral flows at the last minute and have no choice but to cancel. of that, they have all of our sympathies. we also have people who have booked a big party, and now we kind of have to be the police and say, "how many households are you? it's a three—household limit." there's a degree of confusion. 0bviously, we've got no
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restrictions in england, we've got lots of restrictions in scotland, lots of restrictions in wales. i think people just don't quite know which website to look at to get the correct answer. i think there's a real issue with consumer confidence. if the first minister stands up and tells people to stay home, an awful lot of people in this country listen to her, which is absolutely fair enough, and i think customers are scared. i think consumer confidence is in its boots with the easier transmission of this virus. and what do you need to help, then, given everything you've described? is it simply a cash injection? what could any government do for you that would really help? reducing isolation to seven days. i personally had hoped that would have been brought in today. that would have been a game changerfor us. we've got four bars closed because we don't have enough staff due to self—isolation. i could have got those four open,
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so that's disappointing massively. so that would be a game changer if it were safe to do so and if the data suggested it. to see that reduced to seven days would be fantastic. from now till the 17th of january, where we are being told to expect restrictions, without any more cash, without anyone else helping us with the wage bill and with such a fall in trade, we will definitely need some form of job protection scheme or some form of further government support. there's just not going to be the income to balance the books. hello there. over the next few days, the wind across the uk will be coming up from the south or south—west. that will keep it unsettled. there'll be some rain at times, some stronger winds too, but, more significantly, is just how mild it's going to be as we head into the new year. now somewhere in england could see temperatures of 17 degrees in the next few days. the average is nearer 8 celsius and it may well be the warmest new year's eve and new year's day on record. it's a very mild start
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actually to thursday. we could see some sunshine across eastern scotland, the north—east of england, and perhaps northern ireland. the cloud is thickening, though, from the south—west to bring some rain from here to wales and the west midlands. but we've got a strong south to south—westerly wind — that's bringing in the milder air, so temperatures widely in double figures, could make 17 in the south—east and it'll be quite a bit warmer on thursday in northern parts of scotland. it'll be drier too. now, we still have some rain coming in from the west. that'll push its way up towards scotland and northern ireland for a while and then it tends to sweep away as we move into new year's eve. so some wetter weather clearing away from eastern parts of england. it could linger in eastern scotland, perhaps the north—east of england, but generally it's becoming drier, it's becoming a bit brighter and the winds are easing on new year's eve as well. but it's still mild air, just not quite as mild in scotland. but still those high temperatures across england and wales and northern ireland in particular. and why is it so mild?
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because the air is coming from the tropics, all the way from the south, those southerly winds bringing the higher temperatures and a lot of cloud our way ahead of these weather fronts and areas of low pressure that's focusing the rain in the north—west as we head into the new year. so new year's eve, into new year's day, there could be some rain. that's more likely in the north—west, but it will be exceptionally mild to start the new year. we've got that rain, more towards scotland, northern ireland, perhaps the north—west of england, north wales. it does sweep north—eastwards during new year's day, allowing things to brighten up with some showers in the west, some sunshine too — very mild. i think it's going to be a windy day, though, during saturday, but very mild start to the year. now let's look further ahead and into sunday, we've got some more rain around as well. one area of rain from overnight clears through, and then showers and longer spells of rain come back in from the west. but temperatures, while still mild, are not quite as mild on sunday, so around 9 to 13 degrees. we're cutting off that supply of very warmer air from the south and instead we've got an area of low pressure heading down from the north on monday.
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that will signal something of a more significant change. now, ahead of that low pressure, we've got some sunshine, and blustery showers, but as we see that low moving into scotland, it gets wetter here. the rain starts to turn to snow in the mountains as we get more of a northerly wind pushing in, and that will drop the temperatures through the day. still mild, though, on monday. highs of around 10 or 11 degrees. now, beyond then, that weather front will take some rain down across the country on tuesday, allowing those northerly winds to push down across the whole of the country and tuesday will probably feel quite a lot colder, but it's a brief push of colder air, cos then the winds go back to more of an atlantic type. we've got a weather system to strengthen the winds during wednesday, bring some rain down from the north—west, but again, things are moving fairly quickly, so that will move its way through. then we get these atlantic winds, more westerly winds which will bring some sunshine and some showers and temperatures will be nearer normal.
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so we are not going to see that heat that we have at the moment.
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this is bbc news, the headlines...
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the uk has announced a record number of daily covid—19 infections — with just over 183 thousand cases in the latest 24 hour period. it comes as doctors and pharmacists warn of patchy supplies of covid tests. as europe and the us report record covid infection rates, the head of the world health organization says the 0micron variant is straining health care systems and staff around the world. the european court of human rights, has urged russia to suspend the shutdown of the country's oldest human rights group — memorial international. the court said it needed time to examined the case the life of archbishop desmond tutu has been celebrated at memorial services outside his soweto home injohannesburg and during an interfaith ceremony hosted by his family in cape town.

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