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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 31, 2021 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. countries around the world are seeing in the new year with a bang, but some are holding scaled—back celebrations to try to stop covid spreading. this is the scene at an empty red square in moscow as the clock strikes midnight. this is the scene there live. entire neighbourhoods in the us state of colorado have been engulfed by flames as wildfires force tens of thousands to leave their homes. the nhs warns of significant pressure in the coming weeks as covid infections in the uk reach a new high. the staff that are at work will be caring for more patients, trying to do more to cover for their missing colleagues, working extra hours, starting early, finishing late.
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the pressure will be immense. and goodbye to a golden girl. the american actress and comedian betty white has died, just weeks before her 100th birthday. let's take you to those live pictures in moscow. where the fireworks are under way to mark the beginning of the new year, but no one in the square watching. the square closed off to try to disclose the spread of coronavirus.
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this display coming as the russian president vladimir putin has released his new year's eve address, saying that he thinks russians for their resilience during tough times —— thanks. saying this has engulfed all continents and does not yet go away. but he said more importantly, they overcame all the difficulties of the outgoing year together. and supportive people from older generations. so, president putin thinking russians for their resilience during the covid pandemic —— thanking. coming in in various parts of the world with celebrations scale back around the world for a second year.
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new year's eve celebrations across the world have been scaled as the more infectious omicron variant continues to drive up cases. but despite that, the displays have been spectacular. this is how dubai rang in the new year. spectacular as ever. it's now 2022 in asia, while people in africa and parts of europe are just a few hours away from seeing the new year arrive, too. however, in many places, the celebrations will be muted as governments try to discourage crowds coming together, to counter the spread of covid. in london, the mayor, sadiq khan, has urged people to stay home or to exercise caution if they do head out tonight.
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it's really important, if you've not got a lateral flow test at home and you're not vaccinated, you think very, very carefully about whether you go out tonight. it's possible to get a lateral flow test today from local pharmacists, from libraries. i checked this morning. there were a lateral flow tests available in some local pharmacies where i live, and also, my local library was providing tests this morning. check, if you've not got a flow test, where you can get one, from your local pharmacy today before you go out. if you are going out, please do a lateral flow test before you go out because you may have the virus and not show symptoms. how would you feel if you went out and passed on the virus or you brought it home? when you come home, if not tonight and tomorrow, do another lateral flow test, because you may have caught the virus. it's really important we recognise this variant is spreading very, very fast and it's doubling at exponential rates. 0k, and for people at home watching the tv tonight, what can they expect? how can they enjoy their new year? can ijust say, i think tonight's
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live spectacular show will be the best ever. the only way to really appreciate it is by watching on bbc one. you'll have 13 minutes of brilliance. live performances, looking back at the defining moments of 2021. we're going to be showcasing some of the brilliant things happening in 2022. it's going to be brilliant. jean mackenzie is in trafalgar square in central london. earlier, she told me how planned events have had to change. well, for the second year in a row, the major public fireworks display along the river thames has been cancelled. now, the plan was to have a smaller party here at trafalgar square. it was going to be for key workers and a ticketed event, but as those cases of omicron started ratcheting up at an alarming rate, the mayor of london, sadiq khan, who we've just been hearing from, decided that even this was too much of a risk tonight. so, the square behind me — you can't quite see it — but has been completely closed off,
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so people can't even come to congregate here. as we heard, people are being urged to stay at home instead and watching on tv. but none of this actually stops people here in england from going out tonight to pubs and bars because there are actually not any restrictions on socialising. as you can see, a lot of people have come up to town. it's getting busier and busier by the hour. the advice to people heading out tonight is to take a lateral flow test before they go out if they're going into an indoor venue, and people who go clubbing will have to show proof of vaccination, but they are the only restrictions. the only difference tonight, i have to say, is how warm it is here today in london — it's about 15 degrees. it should not feel like this on the 31st of december. so, the hope is that this could encourage some people to opt perhaps for the pub garden rather than the pub tonight. jean mackenzie in london. the scottish capital edinburgh normally marks the new year with its traditional hogmanay celebrations. earlier, our scotland correspondent,
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james shaw, outlined the changes taking place this year. if i've been standing in this location alongside edinburgh castle two years ago, you would've seen a huge display of fireworks set off at midnight. a spectacular display, physical all around the city. —— visible. look at how desolate this scene is now. nobody here at all. it is possible that people may turn up later on. that's happened last year when there were strict controls in place. peoplejust come when there were strict controls in place. people just come to this castle to celebrate in an informal way. people will be celebrating around this city. it looks quite bleak here, but people are out on the streets. you can socialise, although you can only have three households in your group and you have to keep separate from other groups. nightclubs are closed essentially, because dancing is not
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allowed. in no way will this be like the hogmanay that many of us are used to in scotland, notjust in edinburgh, but in towns and cities all over this country. everything will be much more muted, and the way that people hope to might have been avoided, but here we are again — another hogmanay which has been seriously affected by coronavirus restrictions. the governor of the us state of colorado has pledged to help residents who've lost everything to rebuild their lives after sudden wildfires destroyed 500 homes. tens of thousands of people were evacuated as the fires tore through suburban areas of boulder county on thursday. —— more than 1000 homes. gary o'donoghue has this report. winds of more than 100 mph drove the flames across more than 1600 acres of suburban colorado, which would normally have snow on the ground at this time of year. the fires spread quickly through homes and businesses, leading to the evacuation of tens
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of thousands of people. the emergency services did their best, but the sheer speed of the fire took everyone by surprise. coming down this road, the ditches and things and the trees, they're all up in flames. like, there's embers everywhere. packed myself, my cat and... just keep our fingers crossed. local officials declared a state of emergency, unlocking federal funds to help fight the blaze, and the governor spoke to president biden. this was a disaster in fast motion, lall over the course of half a day, i nearly all the damage, - many families having minutes, minutes to get whatever they could — their pets, i their kids — into the car and leave. the last 24 hours have been devastating. - remarkably, no one died in the fires, and as dawn broke on friday, winds had significantly
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dropped and a forecast of snow should reduce the chances of any flare—ups — leaving the thousands of families to count the cost of the handful of hours that have devastated their lives. gary o'donoghue, bbc news. i spoke to the colorado state senator steve fenberg a little earlier and he told me how shocked he was at the speed that the fires are travelling. it really is an unheard—of and unprecedented situation. as you heard, the governor says, the devastation was a matter of hours. we are now getting a much better sense of what lies and what remains we think there are about
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2000 homes within that region, upwards of 1000 could be burned to the ground. i was able to do a fly over early this morning and do a little bit of a tour of some of the impact areas and it is absolutely devastating. entire neighbourhoods, entire subdivisions gone. nothing left of them, really. it really is an unprecedented disaster. in colorado, we are used to wildfires, we are used to natural disasters. living in mother nature. this one is different, given the time of year that it is and given the fact that there really ripped through a suburban and an urban area, which is unusual. and what other conditions like right now for fighting these wildfires? some strong winds have been fanning the flames, haven't they? you know, you're right, but that is actually the strangest part of this. yesterday we had record winds, it was a warm, dry day, unseasonably warm and it has
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been dry for months. we have had very little moisture and that's what created the situation we saw yesterday. today, we woke up this morning to snow. it's cold outside, it feels like december. so, the fires are actually not entirely, but essentially out. they're not going to grow any more. they are still embers and still some structures that are going to continue to burn out, but there is no real risk of them growing or spreading to properties because of the temperature change and because of the moisture and the snow that is falling right now. that's great. the unfortunate part of that is power is out in large swathes of the area and that means that yesterday
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as you say, it's absolutely bizarre to have such a mild day yesterday, to have snow today. do you have any doubt in your mind off what you are seeing in this state that is connected to climate change? no. there is no doubt that this was exacerbated and made much more intense because of the impact of climate change. in fact, in colorado it's very normalfor us to have a 60 degrees day and the next day it's snowing. it may sound strange, but that's the climate we have windstorms occasionally, but we know from climate change that these storms are happening more frequently and are much more intense. that happened at the same time that we are experiencing extreme drought, and we have had very little rainfall, very little
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snowfall yet this year, so it really created a perfect storm. we may have had a fire in the fall, perhaps. october would have been very unusual, but it has happened. december 30, unusual, but it has happened. december30, having unusual, but it has happened. december 30, having a fire that spreads this fast because of such driving conditions is very unusual in this absolutely... because of the climate impacts. state senator steve fenberg. coronavirus infections in the uk has reached a new record high, and pressure on hospitals continues to grow. covid—related absences in acute nhs trusts in england went up by more than 40% during christmas week. an average of more than 25,000 health workers were off sick or isolating each day. london was again the worst hit with about 4% of staff in acute trusts absent — up by nearly 60% on the week before.
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most nhs staff will be glad to see the back of 2021. nearly two years into this pandemic, many are exhausted. a spike in covid cases is driving a rise in staff sickness. in england, london is worst affected with about 4% of staff in acute trusts absent for covid—related reasons in the week before christmas, up nearly 60% on the week before. many feel it's impacting on patient care. the staff that are at work will be caring for more patients, trying to do more to cover for their missing colleagues, working extra hours, starting early, finishing late. the pressure will be immense. in the latest infection survey from the ons, infections increased across the uk to their highest level on record in the week to christmas eve. in england, one in 25 had the virus. in scotland, wales and northern ireland, it was one in a0. infections doubled in a week in london. one in 15 tested positive.
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but there were big rises too in the north—west, yorkshire and the humber and west midlands. other regions weren't far behind. statisticians say infections are twice the level they were this time last winter in england because they're being fuelled by the more infectious omicron variant. across all age groups, we are seeing increases, but particularly driven by those young age groups, we've seen increases among school—age children fairly recently, particularly from nursery through to primary. but we are now seeing infections among older age groups as well, so young adults from the mid—20s to the mid—30s, but spreading right the way up to increases now in the over 70s, although they remain the lowest group to be infected. there's more encouraging news on boosters. new uk data suggests a booster shot is 88% effective at preventing people ending up in hospital due to omicron. after a huge push, all uk nations say they've hit the target
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of offering all adults a third dose by the end of the year. i would just say to people again, there's 1.5 million slots - out there over the next few days. i there's plenty of opportunities. i there is mobile vaccination units, there's gps vaccinating, - there's all sorts of ways to get vaccinated. - just please come forward and help yourself, - but also help reduce - that burden on the nhs. and now, this. a second antiviral pill has been approved by the uk regulator. in trials, pfizer's paxlovid drug offered nearly 90% protection from severe illness and death among vulnerable adults. there's a glimmer of hope for the new year. vaccines and new treatments should help protect the most at risk from serious illness. but there are huge uncertainties. if there is a sharp rise in hospital admissions, health leaders say ministers will have to act fast. katharine da costa, bbc news.
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in the uk, the number of teenagers murdered in london has reached a new yearly high — with 30 killed this year. a 15—year—old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder — after a teenager was found with stab injuries in croydon in south london. it was the second stabbing within an hour after a 16—year—old boy was stabbed in hillingdon in west london. the legendary american actress and comedian, betty white, has died, just weeks before her hundredth birthday. her career spanned nine decades — from the earliest days of television in the 1930s, and her own shows in the �*50s, to the latest toy story film just two years ago. betty white will probably be best remembered for her portrayal of rose nylund, in the sitcom the golden girls. she won an emmy for the role, and was nominated for one each year the series ran. it's believed she died at her home on friday morning. in past few minutes,
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presidentjoe biden has tweeted. he said... i'm joined now by deputy tv editor of variety, michael schneider, in los angeles. michael, thank you forjoining us this evening. a cultural icon, president aydin has called her. —— president aydin has called her. —— president biden. the breath of her work was huge, wasn't it?- president biden. the breath of her work was huge, wasn't it? yeah, we don't nerd the _ work was huge, wasn't it? yeah, we don't nerd the -- _ work was huge, wasn't it? yeah, we don't nerd the -- use _ work was huge, wasn't it? yeah, we don't nerd the -- use the _ work was huge, wasn't it? yeah, we don't nerd the -- use the term - don't nerd the —— use the term national treasure lightly, but it definitely applies to betty white. we've never known television without her. she was there at the dawn of tv, some of our favourite shows over the years, and she was always a presence in our life, so that's what's so sad and really has a
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nation in mourning today. i think she had been — nation in mourning today. i think she had been living _ nation in mourning today. i think she had been living quietly - nation in mourning today. i think she had been living quietly at. nation in mourning today. i think. she had been living quietly at home during the pandemic, but she had said in a recent interview that she felt lucky to be in such good health at her age and was looking forward to her 100th birthday on the 17th of january. to her 100th birthday on the 17th of janua . . . to her 100th birthday on the 17th of janua . ., ., ., �* , to her 100th birthday on the 17th of janua . ., ., ., �*, ., �*, to her 100th birthday on the 17th of janua. ., ., january. yeah, and that's what's so tra . ic and january. yeah, and that's what's so tragic and bittersweet _ january. yeah, and that's what's so tragic and bittersweet about - january. yeah, and that's what's so tragic and bittersweet about this, l tragic and bittersweet about this, is that she was just a few weeks away. there were already plenty of tributes in magazines and newspapers, including our own. a big celebration of her 100th birthday. she got so close, and that's kind of sad about this, but her legend lives on. , sad about this, but her legend lives on, , ., sad about this, but her legend lives on. , ., , ., , ., ., sad about this, but her legend lives on. , ., ., ., on. tell us about some more of the tributes that _ on. tell us about some more of the tributes that are _ on. tell us about some more of the tributes that are coming _ on. tell us about some more of the tributes that are coming in. - on. tell us about some more of the tributes that are coming in. i - on. tell us about some more of the tributes that are coming in. i saw . on. tell us about some more of the tributes that are coming in. i saw a | tributes that are coming in. i saw a lovely one from ryan reynolds, who said she managed to grow very old, and somehow not old enough. everyone who worked with _ and somehow not old enough. everyone who worked with betty _ and somehow not old enough. everyone who worked with betty white _ and somehow not old enough. everyone who worked with betty white or - and somehow not old enough. everyone who worked with betty white or who - who worked with betty white or who came in contact with her over the years has been paying tribute. even before today's news, because people
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were starting to pay tribute to her 100th birthday, steve martin had attribute yesterday before her passing. we will continue to see those role in because so many people worked with her, loved her and betty white continued to work up until a year or two ago. she was active way into here in the late 90s and everyone has a betty white story. i read in an interview that she was asked what she hoped her legacy would be, and she said she wants people to think kindly of her and maybe make them smile. what do you think her legacy will be? i maybe make them smile. what do you think her legacy will be?— think her legacy will be? i think that's part _ think her legacy will be? i think that's part of — think her legacy will be? i think that's part of it. _ think her legacy will be? i think that's part of it. i _ think her legacy will be? i think that's part of it. i think- think her legacy will be? i think that's part of it. i think in - that's part of it. i think in a country that feels so divided these days, one of the few things we can all agree on is that betty white made everything better. if you knew she was going to be in a film or show, even as a guest star on something, she won emmys for guest starring on television shows, that's how great her presence was. i think
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everyone has an extra smile on their face when they saw she was going to be involved in something. let’s face when they saw she was going to be involved in something.— be involved in something. let's talk in a little more _ be involved in something. let's talk in a little more detail— be involved in something. let's talk in a little more detail about - be involved in something. let's talk in a little more detail about the - in a little more detail about the golden girls. the show that really brought her to such a huge widespread attention, perhaps the one that people if you say her name, they will most associate her with, they will most associate her with, the character of rose nylund. she inhabited that role along with the other three actresses, but why was that role so iconic?— that role so iconic? well, i think it was a combination _ that role so iconic? well, i think it was a combination of - that role so iconic? well, i think it was a combination of all - that role so iconic? well, i think it was a combination of all four. that role so iconic? well, i thinkl it was a combination of all four of those women being so iconic. betty white was the last of that four to pass. but it was that relationship between those four women. there was cordova sweet naivety of rose, the character betty played —— sort of a. the opposite of betty white herself, who had a sharp edge to her. she had a wicked sense of humour and was always quick to the punch, so
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opposite of rose, but there is something we really appreciated about that character, that naivety that she played so well on golden girls and. d0 that she played so well on golden uirls and. ,, ~ that she played so well on golden uirls and. ~ that she played so well on golden uirls and. i. ~ ., girls and. do you think those women, were ahead — girls and. do you think those women, were ahead of — girls and. do you think those women, were ahead of their _ girls and. do you think those women, were ahead of their time _ girls and. do you think those women, were ahead of their time in _ girls and. do you think those women, were ahead of their time in the - were ahead of their time in the sense of the way that women were being portrayed on television at the time? ~ , ,., , being portrayed on television at the time? absolutely. especially women of a certain age. _ time? absolutely. especially women of a certain age. it's _ time? absolutely. especially women of a certain age. it's a _ time? absolutely. especially women of a certain age. it's a show - time? absolutely. especially women of a certain age. it's a show with - time? absolutely. especially women of a certain age. it's a show with a l of a certain age. it's a show with a dynamic that we've seen repeated on shows after, such as sex and the city. but these were really strong women of a certain age who had a friendship that really looked out for each other, and really were the basis of the show that did so well. it really was ground—breaking, especially in the eighties. it really was ground-breaking, especially in the eighties. thank ou ve especially in the eighties. thank you very much _ especially in the eighties. thank you very much for _ especially in the eighties. thank you very much for reflecting - especially in the eighties. thank you very much for reflecting on | you very much for reflecting on betty white's life and career. michael schneider, tv editor at variety. betty white who has died at
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the age of 99. countries across the world having been ringing in the new year. let's have a look at some of the celebrations, starting in sydney. cheering
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march plays dance music plays
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hello. i'm sarah mulkerrins with the bbc sport centre. sunday's premier league match between southampton and newcastle united at st mary's has been postponed due to ongoing covid cases and injuries in the newcastle squad. eddie howe's team did not have the required number of players available for yesterday's scheduled game with everton, and that is still the case, forcing sunday's going to be called off. here's ourfootball reporter, simon stone. this had been kind of flagged up by eddie howe earlier this week when he suggested that newcastle were struggling for players after the manchester united game. they had their midweek match called off, i think it was just a matter of time in the premier league
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agreeing to another request from newcastle, so that brings to 17 now games that have been called off across six match rounds, going back into the middle of december. the premier league, obviously, are trying to sort this matter out — it's not easy. they have already announced new dates for three of those games in the middle ofjanuary. maybe we'll be in a better place by then, but it's definitely an unstable situation at the moment. chelsea's match with liverpool on sunday is one of eight games still on over the next three days, butjurgen klopp is expecting to lose three players who are waiting for pcr results, which he fears will be positive. it looks like a lottery in the morning, when you stand there and you wait for the result. it was pretty much day by day, one case, today another one
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and we have to wait, the boys are not even in yet. so, we have to wait. in this moment, probably not, but we don't know, we will know in a few hours. thomas tuchel has responded to striker�*s romelu lukaku's comments in an interview in which he said he was not happy with his situation at chelsea. it's understood the striker spoke three weeks ago, but it has not gone down well with his boss. i don't like it, of course, because it brings noise i that we don't need and is not| helpful, but on the other side we don't want to make more out of it than it actually is. _ you know very well how it is. it's very easy to take lines out of context, | it's very easy to shorten lines, j make headlines and then later realise that it's not so bad and may be not what he meant. _ but, let's be honest, also i do not like it, i
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like i said, because it's noise that we do not need. - we need a calm environment and focus and this does not help. _ manchester city defender joao cancelo said he suffered cuts to the face after attempting to fight off a gang of robbers at his home. cancelo posted an image of his injuries on instagram, claiming for cowards to call his jewelry and left him with a facial injury. —— four cowards. in a club statement, manchester city said... he is helping police with their enquiries and he will be former england all—rounder adam hollioake has been drafted into england's coaching team for the first test which starts in sydney on tuesday evening uk time. england are without four coaches who are isolating, including head coach, chris silverwood. australian batter, travis head, has tested positive for covid
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and he will also miss the test. he will remain in melbourne and isolate for seven days in line with health requirements. that is the sport for now. happy new year. this is bbc news, the headlines. countries around the world are seeing in the new year with a bang — but some are holding scaled back celebrations — to try to stop covid spreading. the nhs warns of significant pressure in the coming weeks, as covid infections in the uk reach a new high. entire neighbourhoods in the us state of colorado have been engulfed by flames as wildfires force tens of thousands to leave their homes. and goodbye to a golden girl — the american actress and comedian, betty white, has died, just weeks before her one hundreth birthday. now on bbc news. nine—year—old rodwell
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nkomazana was attacked by a hyena earlier this year.

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