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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 30, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT

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tonight at ten — the uk reports yet another daily record of new cases of coronavirus. as the numbers rise again, supplies of lateral flow tests are still a problem, in parts of the uk. and as the year draws to a close, pubs and restaurants in wales and scotland are already counting the cost of their stricter rules. we're gutted but i understand. trying to keep the cases down is what they're doing. trying, you know, they're not doing it for their own benefit, they're trying to do it for our benefit, really. we'll have the latest picture across the uk, as varying plans are made for new year's eve. also tonight — following ghislaine maxwell's conviction for providing underage girls forjeffrey epstein, one of the victims speaks out. i just feel so grateful that the jury believed us and sent
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a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation will be held accountable — no matter how much power and privilege that they have. and the new space telescope facing its first major challenge, before the main mission can get under way. good evening. the united kingdom has reported yet another daily record of new cases of coronavirus, with nearly 190,000 announced today. the latest official figures also show that the number of daily covid admissions to hospitals in england, has nearly doubled in a week. and there are still problems across the uk, with the availability of lateral flow tests. health officials say millions more tests will be made available by new year's eve.
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so—called nightingale surge hubs are to be set up at hospitals across england, in case there's a bigger wave of 0micron admissions injanuary, as our health correspondent sophie hutchinson reports. 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's a contingency measure, in case of a surge in covid patients. but there's 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 requiring care, and that's where the priority needs to be, to ensure that we've got staff to safely care for people that need care.
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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 of soaring infections, reaching record highs. but many people are still finding it hard to get tested. well, we thought we'd come to the local pharmacy to see if they've got any lateral flow tests. but you don't need to go in to see that they're out of stock. so let's try this one. staff suggested that we go down the road to another pharmacy. well, i got lucky. the pharmacist here does have a box of tests. he says, in fact, he gets a delivery every day. but as soon as people find out that he's 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's hoping to get back to work next tuesday but can't find
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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. i've been messaging friends, asking if anybody has any spare that they can drop off. but the issue is, everybody is in the same position. and if they do have some lfts at home, they're holding on to them themselves. so we're now down to our final box of lateral flow tests. the government says eight million lateral flow tests will be available by tomorrow. but mark burdon, who runs six pharmacies in north—east england, hasn't seen any extra supply. i've tried ordering an additional supply this afternoon and that order was rejected. so, unfortunately, we're going to have to start to turn people away once the current supplies are exhausted. it's very frustrating when you've got people in front of you and you're unable to give
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them the tests that they're 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 — earlier after seven days — rather than ten, if they can get the tests and get two negative results. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. let's look at the latest official figures in more detail, some of the reports are still being affected by christmas delays. as we've heard, there were a record 189,213 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which also includes two days of cases from wales. 332 deaths were recorded, of people who died within 28 days of a positive test, although that figure includes all deaths reported in england since christmas eve. just under 500,000
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people had a booster yesterday, bringing the total to more than 33,500,000. 0ur health editor hugh pym is here. record number of new infections, a sharp rise in hospital admissions in england, which of those will make ministers more concerned? it’s ministers more concerned? it's alwa s ministers more concerned? it's always been — ministers more concerned? it�*s always been the case it would be difficult reading the data over this christmas and holiday period, the number of daily cases has been quite volatile reporting from the uk's nations. deaths is a pretty high figure, but after a few days of quite low figures because of delays reporting of a bank holiday, and actually week on week the number of deaths is still down about 10%. then you get to hospital admissions. that's not always easy to read because it includes people who have gonein because it includes people who have gone in with the conditions and then tested positive, as well as those who have arrived seriously ill with covid. but i think that figure of just over 2000 in the latest figures reported in england will be a
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concern for ministers and figures in the nhs. they reflect infections picked up two weeks ago. what is unknown and is very uncertain is what will happen injanuary on the back of these cases that we have just been reporting, and there is lots of uncertainty about how the variant will impact on the severity of people's illnesses, although probably better than delta. and on top of that you have the issue of absences in the nhs caused by the spread of the variant and difficulties getting tests, lateral flows and pcrs and so on and sajid javid has said in england millions more are on order but supply will be constrained over the next couple of weeks. it has been announced today that the welsh government will lend 4 million lateral flow tests to england on top of 6 million already provided. england on top of 6 million already rovided. , ., ., provided. hugh pym, our health editor with _ provided. hugh pym, our health editor with the _ provided. hugh pym, our health editor with the latest. _ ministers in scotland and wales are urging people to think carefully before travelling to england, to take advantage of more lenient covid rules, on new year's eve. nightclubs in scotland and wales are closed, and tables in pubs,
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bars and restaurants have limits on numbers. that's not the case in england, which means some people are planning to travel in order to celebrate. 0ur consumer affairs correspondent colletta smith reports from the welsh town of chirk, near the border with england. plans for a big night out tomorrow have been put on hold in wales. it's masks on, two—metre distancing, table service and the big draw this new year's eve, elvis, has left the building. we were gutted, but i understand they're trying to keep the cases down. they're not doing it for their own benefit, they are doing it for our benefit, really, the public. i've had covid, so i know what it is like. the changing rules have hit mark and chelly�*s business hard, because people have lots of other options close by. you've got liverpool and chester up the road, they're only a train ride away, which people do venture to. either way, we're the middle of... where they can party and we can't. you don't want to be stuck
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in a pub with quiet music, you want a bit of life on new year's eve. when i was young, i did. that aqueduct marks the border between england and wales, and like so many places along this winding border, it'sjust a short walk, or an even shorter taxi ride until you're on the english side, where the rules for pubs and clubs are much more relaxed this new year's eve. which is why the bridge inn are making plans to prevent a rush by selling tickets in advance. we're going to have people coming from over the border, and then there's a worry that the locals won't be able to get a seat. i've got my ticket, because i won't be behind the bar tomorrow night. what, you are coming to work anyway? i'll be on that side of the bar tomorrow night, yeah. it is perfectly legal to cross the borderfor a night out. and while the welsh government is asking people to act conscientiously, the scottish government have asked people not to travel to england to party. but in carlisle, the locals aren't concerned. regardless of what the politicians
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say, people are going to do what they want to anyway, aren't they? i don't think whatever they say is going to make a difference. i don't really mind what the scots do, everyone to their own, really. customers and publicans are hoping the new year brings better news, whichever side of the bar — or the border — they're celebrating on. blwyddyn newydd dda, pawb. that's "happy new year, everyone." colletta smith, bbc news, in chirk. let's take a look at some of today's other covid news. south africa, where the 0micron variant was first identified, says it has passed the peak of its fourth wave of covid infections. the authorities say there was a 30% drop in the number of new cases, in the week before christmas. a midnight to 4am curfew has now been lifted. france has reported more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases, for the second day running. the daily figure was just over206,000, marginally less than yesterday. wearing masks outdoors will be
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compulsory again in paris and lyon from tomorrow, amid fears of a spike in infections on new year's eve. nightclubs have been closed until well into january. 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 herfriend jeffrey epstein. her lawyers say they will appeal against the verdict. this report by our correspondent aleem maqbool contains some flashing images. good morning america. guilty. good morning — guilty, a long awaited verdict. | the downfall of the british formersocialite, now a convicted sex trafficker, has been headline news here. and one of the four women brave enough to testify
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to put her behind bars, who was abused as a teenager, has been giving her reaction. i wasn't sure that this day would ever come and ijust feel so grateful that the jury believed us and sent a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation will be held accountable — no matter how much power and privilege that they have. mr maxwell, could we have a statement on behalf of the family, please? there's been no sense of contrition as yet from the siblings of ghislaine maxwell, or regrets for the victims she played a part in sexually abusing. they released a statement saying, "we believe firmly in our sister's innocence, we're very "disappointed with the verdict." one of maxwell's lawyers, who questioned the motives of the women who came forward to testify, said this wasn't the end. obviously we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated. but legal experts appear to agree ghislaine maxwell's chances
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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. but they mingled with the rich and influential, including, famously, prince andrew. their powerful connections left many of their accusers wondering if they'd ever be held accountable. it's 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... she'll never be able again, ever, to hurt anybody else. and, for that, ifeel very pleased. all the while she'd been living her lavish lifestyle, she'd been hiding dark secrets. but finally, that's all caught up with ghislaine maxwell. ghislaine maxwell may be starting that lengthy term in prison but attention will now switch to other
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cases associated with her crimes in the crimes ofjeffrey epstein and that includes a civil case being brought by virginia giuffre, formerly virginia roberts, against prince andrew for sexual assault. we know prince andrew and ghislaine maxwell were good friends but he was not named during her trial in court as someone who committed wrong doing and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him. nevertheless, a hearing in that civil case against prince andrew is due to be heard in a federal court right here in new york injust due to be heard in a federal court right here in new york in just five days' time and it is a hearing that will be closely followed on both sides of the atlantic. indeed, thank you very much for the latest on the reaction to that case in new york. the us presidentjoe biden and the russian leader vladimir putin have spoken on the phone this evening in a bid to defuse tensions over ukraine. it's the second time this month the two leaders have spoken. the white house says the talks,
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which lasted 50 minutes, came at mr putin's request. western nations have expressed concern, as russia continues to build up tens of thousands of troops on the ukrainian border. letters between the prime minister, and his independent adviser on standards, lord geidt, relating to the refurbishment of boris johnson's flat in downing street, are expected to be published early next year. an initial investigation cleared the prime minister, before further messages between borisjohnson and a party donor came to light. the financial times has reported that the prime minister will again be cleared of breaking the ministerial code, and of misleading his adviser. 0ur political correspondent ione wells is here. what have we found out? this story is really all — what have we found out? this story is really all about _ what have we found out? this story is really all about this _ what have we found out? this story is really all about this £52,000 - is really all about this £52,000 donation from the tory peer lord brownlow to the prime minister to pay for the refurbishment of his downing street flat and whether that donation was properly declared. in
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may, the prime minister because my independent adviser on standards, kianna, cleared the prime minister breaking the ministerial code and said he seemed unaware lord brownlow paid for out of his own pocket. this month it transpired in a report by the electoral commission that the prime minister had sent a whatsapp message to lord brownlow in november last year asking for more money. this prompted kianna to reopen his inquiry and also meant the prime ministerfaced inquiry and also meant the prime minister faced allegations of misleading his own advisor. today, the financial times is reporting kianna has seen these relevant whatsapp messages and the prime minister is set to be cleared again of breaching the ministerial code and misleading his adviser about his conduct is set to be criticised. i have been told as well that a number of letters between the prime minister and between lord geidt about this matter over the last few weeks is set to be published in early january on the weeks is set to be published in earlyjanuary on the government website. as it stands at the moment, the cabinet office and downing
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street won't comment on any speculation that own response to these reports today, labour have accused the prime minister of keeping busy writing letters to sort out his own mess in the midst of what they describe as a cost of living crisis for the uk.- what they describe as a cost of living crisis for the uk. thank you for the latest _ living crisis for the uk. thank you for the latest on _ living crisis for the uk. thank you for the latest on that. _ the deal struck at last month's cop26 climate summit in glasgow involved global leaders promising to reduce carbon emissions and use less coal. but the commitments are not legally binding, so some campaigners — especially younger ones — are taking separate legal action, to try to make sure individual governments keep their word. 0ur europe correspondent nick beake has been meeting some of the young activists. i'm sofia. i'm16—years—old. i'm andre. i'm13—years—old and we are suing 33 countries. it's pretty scary. yeah. it's not a joke. 0ne family's effort for the global good. brother and sister andre and sofia felt compelled to do something after devastating fires hit northern portugal four years ago. we actually saw people, like, suffering and dying on tv, and not that far away from us.
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in all, 66 people perished. scientists say climate change will bring more of these violent episodes. the young portuguese activists hope judges will rule that their right to life is being threatened by the 33 countries they're suing. even if we don't win, i think we set an example to other people that they can follow, so it's like a snowball effect that gets bigger and bigger. dutch climate campaigner eefke van de wouw agrees a new direction�*s needed. she's hiked through the netherlands during the pandemic, trying to drum up support and argues the best path is now a legal one. because we feel now a lot of doors are shutting, we're taking it to the court. because first, in the climate strikes, we yelled, "what do we want? climate justice! when do we want it? now!"
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that's the main thing we say, and now we're actually courageous enough to take it to the courts and hope that this door will stay open and actually accelerate the climate action that we need. just this summer, more than 200 people were killed in devastating floods in europe — most in germany. nearly six months on, communities are struggling to rebuild, including here in western belgium. as more lives are lost and more livelihoods ruined by extreme weather episodes, it feels like the momentum is shifting — shifting toward solutions that force politicians to act rather than waiting for them to deliver their promises. and there's a renewed effort to place their actions, or inaction, on the environment among the most serious crimes imaginable. international lawyer philippe sands argues that a crime of ecocide — causing grave damage to the environment — should be introduced. the person within government
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who takes that decision — it could be a prime minister, it could be a foreign secretary, it could be a president — could be individually responsible for the crime of ecocide. it works as a disincentive. the idea that you might spend time in prison, the idea that you might have to go through an individual criminal trial — that tends to concentrate the mind. there's likely to be powerful political opposition to that plan, but young campaigners feel something must change to ensure environmental promises are finally honoured. we are basically giving them a second chance to do the things that they said they will do. to keep their promises. yeah. this. . .. ..i want them to think that this is like a second chance. not a threat, not an attack — an opportunity. nick beake, bbc news. the new space telescope, developed by nasa along with the european and the canadian space agencies, is at a critical point
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in its first mission. the james webb telescope, named after a former head of nasa, is programmed to capture light from the first stars to shine in the universe. and for that to happen, the complex process of unfolding its sunshield needs to happen without a hitch, as our science editor rebecca morelle reports. 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 and so i have full confidence that it's going to work.
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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 and it has to be held onto 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 on the project,
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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. in the final premier league match of 2021, manchester united have
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been playing burnley at old trafford. 0ur sports correspondent andy swiss has been watching the game. 0n the eve of sir alex ferguson's 80th birthday, could the current manchester united give him the perfect present? well, just seven minutes in against burnley and scott mctominay obliged. he certainly enjoyed it, and he wasn't alone. and burnley�*s night soon got even worse. first jadon sancho's deflected effort doubled united's lead and when mctominay�*s shot rebounded to cristiano ronaldo, it was 3—0 and it will surely game over. not quite, as aaron lennon pulled one back for burnley at the end of a breathless first half. after the break, though, it was united that threatened once more. burnley keeper wayne hennessey denying first mctominay and then edinson cavani. his brilliance matched only by his bravery. but united held on for a 3—1victory which moves them up to sixth, and which ended the year on a winning note. andy swiss, bbc news. that's all from me for this evening. now on bbc one, it's time
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for the news where you are. goodbye. hello. as we roll through the final few days of 2021, we do so on an exceptionally mild note. temperatures generally about eight degrees above average for many of us. for new year's eve on friday, we've got a band of rain that's pushing across parts of central and southern scotland, tending to ease in the afternoon. after early rain clears the east coast, much of england, wales and northern ireland seeing a bit more sunshine then w�*ve seen over recent days. predominantly dry here, and temperatures for most of us, 13—16 celsius. just looking at single figures across the north of scotland. moving through into new year's eve night now, a lot of dry weather. we've got a few showers heading through on a weak front, but it's still very mild moving on into new year's day. so, temperatures overnight following no lower than around 6—12 degrees. heading through new year's day, a lot of dry weather, some sunshine around and a narrow band of rain pushing from west to east across many parts of the uk, followed by sunshine and a few
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showers in the north west. but it's likely to be the warmest new year's day on record, with highs up to around 16 celsius. bye for now.
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this is bbc news. the headlines — ghislaine maxwell faces a long prison sentence after being found guilty of five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for abuse. maxwell procured the girls for the financier and convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein. she faces the rest of her life behind bars. lawyers for some of the women abused by epstein have welcomed the conviction. the south african government says the country has passed the peak of its latest covid wave driven by the 0micron variant. elsewhere, the us and europe continue to experience very high levels of new infections. the us president, joe biden, has finished holding talks with the russian president, vladimir putin, in a bid to de—escalate tensions over ukraine. the two leaders spoke by phone for 50 minutes, according to the white house.

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