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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 30, 2021 7:00pm-7:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the world. the headlines: a key witness speaks publicly after ghislaine maxwell was found guilty of grooming underage girls to be abused byjeffrey epstein. ijust i just feel so grateful that the jury i just feel so grateful that the jury believed us and said a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation will be held accountable, no matter how much power and privilege they have. the number of daily covid admissions to hospital in england has nearly doubled in a week, from just over 1,000 a week ago to more than 2,000. europe looks to build its defences against a new wave of covid infections, as the number of cases continues to surge. days after launching into orbit, it's the "make or break" moment
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for the james webb space telescope, as it starts to unfold its tennis court—sized sunshield. a woman who gave key evidence in the trial of ghislaine maxwell has spoken publicly today, saying she hopes the guilty verdict will bring some solace to other survivors. annie farmer, the only witness to use her real name during testimony, said the case demonstrated that no—one was above the law. maxwell was found guilty yesterday by a jury in new york of grooming underage girls to be abused by her friend, jeffrey epstein. her lawyers say they will appeal against the verdict. 0ur correspondent aleem maqbool�*s report from new york contains some flashing images. good morning, america.
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guilty. good morning, guilty. white the downfall of the british former socialite, now— a convicted sex trafficker, has been headline news here. one of the four women brave enough to testify to put her behind bars, who was abused as a teenager, has been giving her reaction. i was not sure this day would ever come. i just feel so grateful that the jury believed us and send a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse, exploitation, will be held accountable, no matter how much power and privilege they have. could we have a statement on behalf of the family? there has been no sense of contrition as yet from the siblings of maxwell, or regrets for the victims she played a part in abusing. they released a statement saying they believe firmly in her innocence and they are very disappointed with the verdict. one of maxwell's lawyers, who questioned the motives of the women who came forward to testify, said this was not the end.
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obviously we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident she will be vindicated. but legal experts appear to agree ghislaine maxwell's chances of clearing the high legal bar to win an appeal are slim. her crimes were carried out during her long association with the disgraced financier, jeffrey epstein, who died in prison. they mingled with the rich and influential, including famously prince andrew. their powerful connections left many of their accusers wondering if they would ever be held accountable. it has been such a long, hard journey to get here. so, yesterday's decision, i think, will take a little while to sink in. i'm pleased that she will never be out again, ever, to hurt anybody else. and for that, i feel very pleased. all the while she had been living her lavish lifestyle, she had been hiding dark secrets. but finally that has all caught up with ghislaine maxwell.
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court sketches show the moment ghislaine maxwell's victims earlier i spoke to aleem, who explained what happens next. we have heard from her legal team that they are planning to appeal. i think legal experts have been fairly unanimous that she will find it incredibly difficult to reach the kind of legal bar that is needed to overturn these convictions. but the next step, of course, will be her sentencing as well. but the tension is now starting to turn already two other cases associated with the crimes of ghislane maxwell and jeffrey epstein, including a civil case being taken against prince andrew for sexual assault. we know that prince andrew and ghislane maxwell were close friends, but his name was never mentioned during the trial of ghislane maxwell. he has
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always strenuously denied any of the allegations against him. but there is a hearing in that case, in that civil case here in the federal court in new york injust civil case here in the federal court in new york in just five days' time. do we know anything more about those proceedings or about the other potential cases that are still potentially to come?- potential cases that are still potentially to come? yes, there will be another case _ potentially to come? yes, there will be another case against _ potentially to come? yes, there will be another case against ghislane . be another case against ghislane maxwell, and she continues to deny the other charges against her that will be brought against her in the future. but we have seen, aside from the legal proceedings, you heard it there in the interview you did, you heard it from some of those women who have come forward who have spokenin who have come forward who have spoken in the last 24—hour is, the sense of relief that legal proceedings can work against sexual abusers in a country where it is notoriously difficult to get a conviction. we heard it from one of
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those women who gave evidence in the trial of ghislane maxwell that they had this sense of relief for all of jeffrey epstein�*s other accusers. there is a broader sense, from lawyers and advocates of sexual abuse victims more broadly across the united states, that perhaps this conviction, or these convictions in such a high profile case will give others the confidence to come forward now. in the uk, the latest figures show the number of daily covid admissions to hospital in england has nearly doubled in a week, from just over 1,000 a week ago to more than 2,000. and there are still problems across the uk with the availability of lateral flow and pcr tests. health officials say millions more tests will be made available by tomorrow — new year's eve. so—called "nightingale surge hubs" are to be set up at hospitals across england in preparation for a bigger wave of 0micron admissions. 0ur health correspondent, sophie hutchinson, reports.
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the start of building work on the next wave of nightingale hubs. this one is at st george's hospital in south—west london. the government says it is a contingency measure, in case of a surge in covid patients. but there is concern about who will staff them. we would prefer that the government take steps to avoid needing to use that extra surge capacity, purely because there just aren't the number of staff needed to safely provide the care for any patients that are required to requiring care, and that is where the priority needs to be, to ensure we have staff to safely care for people that need care. eight nightingale units will be set up in hospital grounds to care for around 100 covid patients each, and hospital admissions are now rising sharply in the uk. almost doubling in england in the past week. and that follows several weeks
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of soaring infections, reaching record highs. but many people are still finding it hard to get tested. we thought we would come to the local pharmacy to see if they have any lateral flow tests. but you don't need to go in to see that they are out of stock. let's try this one. staff suggested that we go down the road to another pharmacy. well, i got lucky. the pharmacist does have a box of tests. he says, in fact, he gets a delivery every day. but as soon as people find out he has got them, they can run out in half an hour, just because of the sheer size of the demand for them. eve burke, a teacher in berkshire, has covid along with her husband and two children. she is hoping to get back to work next tuesday, but can't find a ny lateral flow tests. i've been trying since yesterday, going on to the government website and refreshing hourly to get lfts sent to our home, because we can't go to a place to pick them up.
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i've been messaging friends, asking if anybody has any spare they can drop off. but the issue is, everybody is in the same position. and if they do have some at home, they are holding onto them themselves. we are now down to our final box of lateral flow tests. the government says 8 million lateral flow tests will be available by tomorrow. but mark burton, who runs six pharmacies in north—east england, hasn't seen any extra supply. i tried ordering an additional supply this afternoon and that order was rejected. unfortunately, we are going to have to start to turn people away once the current supplies are exhausted. it's very frustrating when you have got people in front of you and you are unable to give them the tests that they are asking for. and lateral flow tests become even more important from tomorrow in northern ireland and wales. as in england, people with covid will be able to end self isolation
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earlier after seven days, rather than ten, if they can get the tests and get two negative results. st george's hospital in south west london, sophie hutchinson, bbc news. we are hearing that south africa is lifting the curfew that has been running with immediate effect, because it thinks that it has passed the wave of 0micron. that obviously shows that they think it moves pretty quickly. our health correspondent, jim reed, is with me. we have these hospital admissions in england which have doubled, basically. can you break those figures down for us and tell us what they mean? it figures down for us and tell us what they mean?— they mean? it is important to look at encland they mean? it is important to look at england in _ they mean? it is important to look at england in particular _ they mean? it is important to look at england in particular at - they mean? it is important to look at england in particular at the - at england in particular at the moment, especially london, because it was so far ahead of the rest of the 0micron wave in europe. it gives
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you an idea of how this increase in cases and infections we have been seeing is being reflected in hospitalisations. we always knew there would be a lag. as with many countries, over the festive christmas period, you have to take some of these figures with a bit of a dose of salt because people registered deaths differently, the number going into and out of hospital can change. frankly, there is a big desire for people not to go into hospitalfor any is a big desire for people not to go into hospital for any reason, including covid—19, just before christmas. then you see an increase in admissions. we see this every year, straight after christmas. we had just over 2000 admissions into hospital in the last 2a hour period. as you said, that is more or less doubled in a week. that is about half the level of admissions we saw backin half the level of admissions we saw back injanuary half the level of admissions we saw back in january this year. half the level of admissions we saw back injanuary this year. so there is still a bit of headway in the health service in terms of the
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capacity to look after people coming through. in terms of overall numbers in hospital, notjust admissions, but the total number, it is nowjust over 11,000 in england. but the total number, it is nowjust over11,000 in england. again, you are seeing that rise quite substantially now, up from 7000 about a week ago. but still well below the 311,000 we saw in about january last year, the peak of the last wave. i guess on the surface some concerning statistics here, we're seeing a rise, but we below the levels in the last wave of the virus. ~' ., the levels in the last wave of the virus. ~ ., ., , , ., virus. do we know who is in hospital and how seriously _ virus. do we know who is in hospital and how seriously ill— virus. do we know who is in hospital and how seriously ill they _ virus. do we know who is in hospital and how seriously ill they are? - virus. do we know who is in hospital and how seriously ill they are? are i and how seriously ill they are? are the older, younger, vaccinated? there are two key things you don't know yet. that is how many of these admissions are due to people suffering from covid—19 itself, going with the symptoms of covid—19, and how many are going in with
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something completely unrelated. in the uk, as with much of europe, everybody gets tested for covid—19 on admission. we think in hospital, at least a third of those cases are what is called incidental cases, in for a different reason. it is important to get to the bottom of that figure. that never has been rising because you have thousands of people going into hospital every day, there will be more testing positive, even though that is not the reason they are going in. there is another key thing, and that is how many of those people will then go on and develop very serious disease? there is some good news there at the moment. the number on ventilators in intensive care has been rising slightly in london, but not significantly. across england as a whole, there is no real sign that
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has been going up a lot at the moment. that is one of the key things that politicians and scientists and doctors will look at, whether we will see an increase in hospitalisations, but it is people going in for potentially a shorter period of time in this wave, with less severe forms of disease. fin period of time in this wave, with less severe forms of disease. on the vaccination — less severe forms of disease. on the vaccination question, _ less severe forms of disease. on the vaccination question, obviously - less severe forms of disease. on the vaccination question, obviously the l vaccination question, obviously the government will try to get boosters in for everyone who is eligible by the end of the year, obviously it takes time for the immunity to kick in from that. what we know about the effect of the vaccination now on hospitalisations? that effect of the vaccination now on hospitalisations?— effect of the vaccination now on hospitalisations? effect of the vaccination now on hos - italisations? �* ., hospitalisations? at the moment, we know that if you _ hospitalisations? at the moment, we know that if you look _ hospitalisations? at the moment, we know that if you look at _ hospitalisations? at the moment, we know that if you look at the _ hospitalisations? at the moment, we know that if you look at the number l know that if you look at the number of people in the uk who have had two doses and those who have had three doses, it is about 70% that have had the booster dose. some of that 30% won't be eligible because they only had the second dose recently, for example most 0u cannot quite
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related. that leaves potentially hundreds of thousands if not millions, potentially quite elderly and vulnerable, who have not had that third third dose. all of the research shows that that third dose is the best thing to protect you from serious disease and hospitalisation. i5 from serious disease and hospitalisation.— from serious disease and hospitalisation. from serious disease and hositalisation. , ., ,., from serious disease and hositalisation. , ., ., hospitalisation. is there a point at which hospitals _ hospitalisation. is there a point at which hospitals get _ hospitalisation. is there a point at which hospitals get overloaded? l hospitalisation. is there a point at| which hospitals get overloaded? if hospitalisation. is there a point at i which hospitals get overloaded? if i have an accident on the way home tonight, god forbid, there needs to be space in hospital to treat me as well as everybody else.— be space in hospital to treat me as well as everybody else. there is not a sinner well as everybody else. there is not a singer figure _ well as everybody else. there is not a singer figure the _ well as everybody else. there is not a singer figure the government - well as everybody else. there is not j a singer figure the government use. but that figure of 2000 admissions is significant because it is seen as being about the level that perhaps more restrictions might be needed. you cannot take it on its own, it depends on the direction of travel. at the moment, we have been rising strongly towards that 2000 level. they will wait to see if it holds of that level and starts to peek and go down or if it continues to rise. that is the key thing.- down or if it continues to rise.
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that is the key thing. 0livier picard owns four pharmacies in buckinghamshire and berkshire. thank you forjoining us. 0bviously, thank you forjoining us. obviously, the key thing that people are worried about at the moment are finding lateral flow tests. share worried about at the moment are finding lateral flow tests. are you caettin finding lateral flow tests. are you getting enough? _ finding lateral flow tests. are you getting enough? that _ finding lateral flow tests. are you getting enough? that is - finding lateral flow tests. are you getting enough? that is a - finding lateral flow tests. are you getting enough? that is a good . getting enough? that is a good question and in fact we are struggling to get those tests. the government is saying that plants should go ahead as normal and people are encouraged to test before they meet with friends and family. so clearly people are trying to do what the government is asking them to do, but the supply is simply not there in order to fulfil the demand. we received a box yesterday and within one hour it was gone. the box has about 60 test kits, so 60 patients. we offending people away from the pharmacy, who genuinely want to test before they meet with their friends for new year's eve. do before they meet with their friends for new year's eve.— for new year's eve. do you know if
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ou will for new year's eve. do you know if you will get — for new year's eve. do you know if you will get a _ for new year's eve. do you know if you will get a big _ for new year's eve. do you know if you will get a big new— for new year's eve. do you know if you will get a big new set - for new year's eve. do you know if you will get a big new set of- you will get a big new set of supplies tomorrow?- you will get a big new set of supplies tomorrow? you will get a big new set of su lies tomorrow? ~ ., ., �* supplies tomorrow? again, we don't. we checked — supplies tomorrow? again, we don't. we checked the _ supplies tomorrow? again, we don't. we checked the wholesalers, - supplies tomorrow? again, we don't. we checked the wholesalers, there i we checked the wholesalers, there seems to be some stock, but i'm sure they will tell you that it goes out as quickly as it comes in. we are hearing that it could be 4000 or 5000 boxes going into warehouses to be just repeated tomorrow to pharmacies. there are 11,500 pharmacies. there are 11,500 pharmacies in england. so you will only supply about 50% of the pharmacies. if they have more than one box, perhaps only a quarter of pharmacies will receive the lateral flow tests. that is a genuine problem. the messaging is not clear. the government says there is not supply, but then they say there is a shortage of supply. what customers are being asked to do is to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to get these tests and they are not getting the supply they need.
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tests and they are not getting the supply they need-— tests and they are not getting the supply they need. from what your customers say. — supply they need. from what your customers say, will— supply they need. from what your customers say, will they - supply they need. from what your customers say, will they go - supply they need. from what your customers say, will they go out i customers say, will they go out anyway, without testing, or will people be forced to stay at home? clearly, people are trying to do what the government is asking them to do, which is to test before they go out. currently, people are still trying to get the tests. to answer your question, it is difficult, it will be down to personal choice. people are very sensible, they want to protect others. they are looking at the people they are meeting. but you take a risk if the supply is not there that people will out without testing, and the consequences if you days later may be dramatic. the impact on 0micron and hospitalisation, how easily it is spread from individual to individual, if people go into close spaces without checking if they have the virus are not in the first place, it will potentially lead to more infections. i can't answer the
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question. we have few plants ourselves. as an essential worker. beyond that, i was contacted by a gp today trying to collect some tests from my pharmacy. it seems that health care professionals don't have a quick route to them either, they have to queue up to get them as well. that is not reasonable for the government to ask health care workers to go to work on new year's eve or new year's day without being able to test themselves. that is where the situation becomes untenable, really.— where the situation becomes untenable, really. many thanks indeed for— untenable, really. many thanks indeed forjoining _ untenable, really. many thanks indeed forjoining us. _ covid rules are to be toughened up across a number of european countries. austria has revealed it plans to make vaccines mandatory for everyone over 14, with noncompliance punishable with a 3,000 euro fine every three months. germany has new restrictions on sports events and night clubs, while some countries have banned dancing and music. the restrictions come as more
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european countries have reported record numbers of infections and people are asked to be cautious ahead of new year celebrations. earlier, we spoke to dr catherine smallwood, the world health organization's senior emergency officer for europe. she says the 0micron variant is causing a surge of cases in western europe — but it may not be as severe. we are seeing a very rapid increase in the number of new covid—19 cases. of course we expected that anyway because of the holiday season, but with the rapid spread of 0micron, we are seeing that very much accelerated, and that is especially in western europe, where we are seeing countries like the united kingdom, france, denmark, portugal, spain, italy, all seeing cases now outstripping what they have seen at any previous time during the pandemic. and it's early days yet, but that's significantly going to put health systems under pressure and lead to a lot of people being hospitalised, and it is going to lead to a lot of disruption.
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france has confirmed that british citizens will be able to travel through france to other eu countries. there was some confusion when p&0 ferries and eurotunnel suggested british citizens had been banned from driving across france to destinations in other eu countries. but eurotunnel now says the french government is allowing "flexibility in travel rules for passengers during the holiday period." the pandemic is continuing to impact train services in the uk — southern railway has announced that none of its trains will run to or from london victoria untiljanuary the 10th, due to "coronavirus isolation and sickness". southern operates trains to much of the southeast, including brighton, eastbourne and portsmouth. several other rail companies have also cancelled trains in the past few days due to the impact of the pandemic. us health authorities have urged americans to avoid cruise travel — even if they're fully vaccinated — as 0micron infections continue to surge.
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with several cruise ships already at sea, the us centers for disease control and prevention has said passengers should get tested three days after their trip ends. in march last year, thousands were stranded on the grand princess in san francisco, amid a covid outbreak on board. away from the latest coronavirus developments, china has hit out at the us, canada and the eu, after they condemned the arrest of seven hong kong journalists on wednesday as part of china's wider crackdown on press freedom in the region. a foreign ministry spokesperson said the criticism was "irresponsible" and was trying to "mislead public opinion." presidents biden and putin are to hold another phone call later today, as the us tries to build a common response with europe to russia's massing of troops on the ukrainian border. a biden administration official said the two men would discuss a range of security and strategic issues. the james webb space telescope — launched on christmas day —
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is starting to unfold its sunshield, in a complex process involving hundreds of moving parts. all of the motors, pulleys and cables have to trigger at the right time and in the right order or the telescope, which cost $10 billion and took 30 years to design and build, simply won't work. 0ur science editor, rebecca morelle, has the story. and lift off! the moment of launch for an astronomy mission like no other, as the james webb space telescope blasted off. then the rocket casing opened up, and the telescope was released into the darkness of space, with a million—mile journey ahead. but, as it travels, it has a fiendishly difficult task to do — unfolding. it's so big, we didn't have any rocket that's big enough to launch it, you know, fully deployed. so, we had to build this telescope to be folded up, to fit inside the rocket. this is really, really difficult engineering. but, you know, nasa has never shied away from doing hard things.
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and so i have full confidence that it's going to work. unfurling the sun shield is the most difficult part of this process. it's enormous, the size of a tennis court. first, its two halves are lowered into position. then the booms are deployed. the operation involves 400 pulleys, 400 metres of cabling and more than 100 release mechanisms that have to fire at exactly the right time. finally, the material is pulled taut, and the five layers of the sun shield, each as thin as a human hair, separate. the whole process has been rehearsed again and again on earth. but doing this in space will be nail—biting. it's made of floppy material, it has to be held on to by a series of pins, which release one by one, pull it out, make it tight, release another bit, pull it out again. until slowly, over days, you pull out this tennis court sized object. so, for many people working
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on the project, that's where the real nerves are. the sun shield protects the telescope from the heat and light of the sun. the difference between the hot and cold sides is huge — 300 degrees celsius. the telescope needs to operate in the coldest and darkest conditions to see the most distant stars. for the first time, we'll be able to see all the way back to the time when these very first galaxies formed. and that will allow us to actually get images of them, verify that they are the very first galaxies, and then we can study how galaxies have evolved over the history of the universe. the images that eventually come back from james webb will be even more spectacular than these, taken by hubble. but there's still work to do. the sun shield will take several days to open, and that's just the start of this complex unfolding process. with so much at stake, it's a tense time for the team. rebecca morelle, bbc news.
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that is it from us. wishing you were very happy new year. goodbye for now. hello, this is your update from the bbc sport centre. manchester united are looking to move up to sixth in the premier league table tonight, with a win over burnley. the game at old trafford kicks off in less than an hour. they're unbeaten since interim boss ralf rangnick took over at the start of the month, but they've scored just once in each of their last three league games — against crystal palace, norwich, and most recently newcastle on tuesday. i spoke to our reporter simon stone, who's at the game later, and he told me united's tactics and ideas under rangnick are yet to bed in. manchester united are run on unbeaten run, which is their best of this season. if they manage to avoid
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defeat against burnley tonight, that will take them to eight, obviously, and that will be as good as they have managed since the middle of last season. i think there is a bit of head scratching going on about what he has brought to the table, given that there has been a couple of unconvincing victories against crystal palace and norwich city, and then that disappointing performance against newcastle on the 27th of december. i think people are still trying to work out what his style of play will be. and what improvements, if any, he will bring to manchester united. as ever, with manchester united, there is a lot of debate and opinion on either side. leicester's injury and illness woes show no signs of getting better just yet. strikerjamie vardy is facing a month out, with a hamstring injury. vardy, leicester's top scorer this season, suffered the injury in their 1—0 win over liverpool on tuesday. leicester boss brendan rodgers said the extra demands placed on players, during the festive period,
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had a played a big part in vardy�*s injury. england's cricketers will be without head coach chris silverwood for the fourth ashes test in sydney. he's in isolation, after one of his family tested positive for covid. it's the seventh positive test in the touring party — three support staff and fourfamily members have all contracted the virus. the match is due to start next wednesday. england are 3—0 down in the series, and have already lost the ashes. it's all set up for an exciting evening of action at the world darts championship, with three former champions playing. rob cross, gary anderson and peter wright are all aiming to reach the quarterfinals. the evening session is just underway. mervyn king has already sealed his place in the last eight. he fought back from 3—1 down to win 4—3 against raymond smith, and reach the quarter finals for the first time since 2009. callan rydz is also into the last eight as his remarkable tournament goes on. after losing the first set to alan souter, the 23—year—old won ten legs in a row to ease to a 4—1 victory. speculation continues
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to build over whether the australian open champion, novak djokovic, will play at the first major of the year in melbourne. fellow serb, dusan lajovic, has said the world number one is unsure if he'll make the tournament, due to start in just over two weeks. djokovic has already withdrawn from the serbian team taking part at the atp cup in sydney this weekend. the 34—year—old, who's won a record nine australian open men's titles, has repeatedly declined to say if he's been vaccinated for covid—19 — a requirement demanded by organisers at melbourne park, unless given an exemption. he said, i'm not coming to the atp cup, we will see about the australian open. he didn't specify if he is coming or not, but he is waiting for a decision. he kept in touch with all of us. it was a last—minute decision. the australian open is uncertain for us. i don't 0pen is uncertain for us. i don't know the information. i think that will come in the next couple of days or whenever the deadline is. we
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don't know right now, and hopefully he will be the and be able to play the grand slam. we'll have more sport for you later on the bbc news channel. this is bbc news, the headlines: a key witness speaks publicly after ghislaine maxwell was found guilty of grooming underage girls to be abused byjeffrey epstein the number of daily covid admissions to hospital in england has nearly doubled in a week — from just over a thousand a week ago to more than 2 thousand. europe looks to build its defences against a new wave of covid infections, as the number of cases continues to surge. days after launching into orbit — it's the "make or break" moment for the james webb space telescope — as it starts to unfold its tennis court—sized sunshield.

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