the headlines: in china, a city of more than 1 million is under lockdown afterjust three reported cases under the government's zero covid strategy. residents of yuzhou are not allowed to leave their homes, the transport system has been shut down and only food stores can stay open. the united states has just recorded more than 1 million cases of the omicron variant. that's the highest daily tally of anywhere in the world. speaking at the white house, president biden has pleaded with the american people who haven't been vaccinated to get the jab. lawyers for prince andrew have argued for the first time in court that the sexual assault civil lawsuit against him should be thrown out. they say he can't be sued because of an agreement signed by his accuser, virginia giuffre.
the labour leader has pledged to provide what he called straight leadership in a binding contract with the british public. he made the commitment as he set out his vision for the priorities of a new labour government. our jeopardy political editor reports. what does it take to be a leader, and has sir keir starmer got what it takes? critics say he lacks charisma, a lawyer who is good with words but doesn't inspire. today, though, he was wholeheartedly embracing that serious image. i want to start the new year by making a pledge of straight leadership. today, i want to introduce my contract with the british people. this will be a solemn agreement about what this country needs and how a good government should conduct itself. few would argue with the broad values he laid out — security, prosperity and respect.
this was all about drawing a comparison with borisjohnson. i don't think politics is a branch of the entertainment industry. i think it's the serious business of getting things done. labour strategists think mrjohnson�*s style is wearing thin after recent mistakes, but can they convince voters they're a government in waiting? when it comes to your leadership, you spend a lot of time talking about patriotism, standing in front of a flag, very often. but some people want to know what specific policies you have? firstly, i am very proud to stand in front of the flag. i've done it many times before, including when i was director of public prosecutions representing our country ten years ago. so, i've always been very proud to do so. labour talks about winning back trust. here in west bromwich, it lost both seats to the conservatives at the last election. when he first became leader, keir starmer�*s main aim seemed to be to demonstrate that he'd broken with jeremy corbyn.
now, he's contrasting his leadership with that of borisjohnson. but soon, he's going to have to define himself beyond general values, and that will require some detailed policy announcements. i think his brilliant. why? because he's clear, he's articulate, he's educated. he doesn't lie. that's a good start. i think is useless to be quite honest, i don't think he's got any sort of idea what labour voters are looking for. i wouldn't vote for him. i've voted labour all my life, but i wouldn't vote for him. i think he comes across - as a very genuine and honest man, but i have great i difficulty understanding exactly which direction he wants to go in - and what he wants to do. labour mps insist sir keir has set the party on the right path. they know they will have to do more than wait for government slipups. now on bbc news, it's time for our world. this programme was filmed in november, in the week before barbados removed the queen as its head of state and became
the world's newest republic. for nearly 400 years, the british royal family has reigned over barbados. but next week, the islands will replace queen elizabeth with a president. my family is british and barbadian. so they have some big questions about it all. change is good. you can't stay the same all the time. i don't accept it. a history of slavery and colonial rule mean some are keen to move on from the past. it was a feudal system. daniel, you must compose yourself. you look as though you're ready to cry. and now the politicians have had their say,
i'm here to ask barbadians what it means, and why now. some people would say, why should we have an allegiance to the uk when in our hour of need, they were not there for us? barbados. a tiny paradise island in the blue—green waters of the caribbean. on 30 november, this commonwealth nation will remove the queen as its head of state and become the world's newest republic. the decision was made without a referendum. barbados declared independence from britain in 1966, but now, the government has said it's time for barbados to finally leave its colonial past behind. current governor—general sandra mason will become its first president. the mantle of leadership falls fully to the post—independence generations of barbadians. it is those generations who must now define how our country and citizens will dominate the world stage,
create a new vision and build barbados�* future. barbados to me is where my story begins. i was born in britain, my grandparents are from here, it's happy memories, it's the rum shops, it's the people. but everything that my grandparents showed me when i was growing up seems to be changing. my granddad's story is typical of many barbadians, or �*bajans�*, as we are known. he moved to england as a young man, hoping to better himself. but what i didn't know is before he did, he worked on a sugar plantation. so this lane might not look like much, but it is special,
because we are walking in my granddad's footsteps. and just around the corner is something that ties together the queen, britain and my family. this is the belle plantation. at its peak, nearly 300 slaves were forced to live and work here. after slavery was abolished, it was bought by a family who were close relatives of the queen. she came to visit this place on her last trip 55 years ago. hi! good to see you! good to see you my brother, give me an elbow bump. so this is the belle plantation. sad to say, sad to say, but it's faded glory. trevor marshall is a historian and a leading pro—republic campaigner. daniel, this is where the bookkeeper,
as it was called, this is where he or the manager paid the workers on fridays. you know, at the desk. the people lined up out here. they lined up out here like... laughs ..like if they come for the dole. they filed in, and got there and bowed...yes. they had to bow before they got paid? yeah, bowed and scraped. it was, as i said, a feudal system. i know my granddad worked here at the sugar factory at the belle plantation. you're saying that he would've had to come here and bow his head before collecting...? not everybody was so deferential, but the average person, it was ingrained in you from the time of slavery. cap in hand, like the typical english labourer, "yes, guv�*nor,"
and, you know, you are doing yourfavour, you are paying me. daniel, you must compose yourself, you look as though you're ready to cry. careful of the holes here. and you, not only careful of this, but the ceiling, the ceiling is disintegrating. can you imagine this in its period of glory? all of this, i mean, look at how many rooms. this was magnificent, so to see it degenerate to this point... it may sound strange, it may sound as though i am seized with that same kind of feudal deference, but we looked on the plantation great houses, as symbols of the importance of barbados. do you think that those mixed feelings — do you think that we are seeing them as barbados approaches becoming a republic? if we were to have
a referendum now, 66% of barbadians would not want the republic. do you think? as high as that? i can tell you, they don't know what it is. as a historian, i'm called upon a daily, nightly basis to explain to people and to calm their fears. will the currency be devalued, will we be able to travel to england again, are we going to stop the queen from coming here, the queen and prince harry, what about meghan, are we going to become a banana republic, will we be like venezuela or cuba? it is such a gap from the man that trevor would have been talking about, who would have been working here as my granddad was, to the man that i knew, who made a family in britain, and then came back to barbados and made his life.
the fact that that's part of his story means means it is part of mine, and being in this building, i am finding that really... ..difficult to comprehend, really. after he returned from london in 1984, he opened the rum shop. it used to be busy and full of life. this picture here, i think, really captures the essence. you have got nan on one side, arm around me, protective. you've got granddad on the left, chest out, back straight, and then me in the middle, of course. he was never shy of an opinion, he knew what he thought, he liked to have a talk, he liked to debate, with all of these changes
in barbados, i know he would've had something to say about it. and you know, it is just... it's just sad that i can't talk to him now. my granddad passed away 14 years ago but i still have family here who knew him well. so we are just around the corner from my auntie marjorie and uncle noel. they were really close with my granddad and my nan, so if anyone�*s going to know anything about what they would have made of this, it's them. so it's a good place to start, i think. hello! uncle! good to see you. flowers for you there. thank you! i will give you a kiss, even though i have the mask, i'm double jabbed now, they tested me, i am fine. they were supposed to come
to my wedding this summer, but the pandemic meant they couldn't make it. it's true. got some pictures for you. i will show you these. this is a closer one of granddad there. it's funny, because granddad always had something to say. i'd just love what he would have thought about it all. about all these changes. change is good. you can't stay the same all the time. you've got to move on, you can't say the same all the time. i don't accept it.
all of my money is in england still. 0ur pension and everything is still in england. i have assurances, the pension will still be the same. but things don't say the same, changes bring success sometimes. generations of british influence have left quite a mark here. road signs, and institutions mimic their counterparts across the atlantic. the national sport is cricket, played at the familiar sounding kensington 0val in the capital bridgetown. roland butcher was born in barbados and moved to england when he was 13. he became the country's first ever black test cricketer.
fellow wrote a poem to me, really outlining what a shame it was to have picked a black man for england and so forth and so forth. and the other one was from a west indian fellow, who saw this selection as going back to the days of slavery. exploitation all over again. he's invited me for a knockabout on the beach. roland's debut was against the west indies, right here in bridgetown in 1981. he played most of his career for middlesex, and even met the duke of edinburgh on more than one occasion. roland, what do you think about the republic? what the benefits of being a republic, i don't know. but what i would say is that i think england as a country, the question is, have they really done enough to stay in the game? is it a sense for you that england, because of its...
more than 300 years in control of barbados, ended up taking it for granted? i think what really was needed was for england to accept the atlantic slave trade, accept that as something that happened. also accept that institutions and individuals in england benefitted from it, and i believe in the call for reparations. for me reparations would be the forgiveness of any debts that barbados has, also the building of some schools, you know, we have suffered in the last two years, and we have been suffering in this region for quite a while. but england really didn't do a great deal, so other people came along and offered their help, and obviously barbados needed it. i think countries like china has been a lot more friendly to barbados. i mean, lots of investment
and loans, et cetera. so some people would say that why should we have an allegiance to the uk, when in our hour of need, they're not there for us? the government says nothing much will be different after next week. however, work on a new constitution is under way. and some of the island's public services like the police will also be renamed. one big physical change here is at the parliament. it's having the biggest renovation in its 130 year history. the timing is a coincidence. we are not leaving any stones unturned and we're making sure that this refurbishment is one of the most comprehensive that this building will get. tyrell is in charge of the work.
it's the biggest project of his career. it has been degraded to such a point that standing on the ground, you could not see it. we have a severe termite infestation, some water damage. the very bones of this building reflect its links to britain, from the way the whole main chamber is laid out. so we are in the house of assembly right now, which is the lower house. right now, obviously everything is gone. but the prime minister would sit on this side of the aisle and the opposition would sit on the other side. the speaker usually sits directly in the middle, and this is where all the great debates and stuff like that happens. almost identical, really, to the uk parliament, you know, the way that it's set up. it's really incredible, walking around and seeing so many parts of the building
that still look and feel british, given the republic and this restoration, but, at the same time, what i think is quite exciting — if you're from barbados — is that this time, it's by choice. and in sight of the senate is the highest—profile change so far. last year, to great fanfare, the statue of lord nelson was removed. it stood here for 200 years in the area that used to be called trafalgar square. do you think that anything material will change on december 1st? when everyone wakes up? to me, nothing will change for the average barbadian. we will still be who we are. in terms of material stuff, we'll know that everything that is here, we own, everything that is here is ours, everything that we look forward to,
we have to put in place for ourselves. there's no more dependency, there's no more of this looking to someone else — we are just going to be us. there are some people who say "well, �*republic�* means we should tear down all remnants of the british and start from scratch". what you think about that? when you leave home, do you discard your parents? you don't. what you do is that you set up in the new house but you still keep your parents. you understand their role, you understand their responsibilities, you understand where you came from. history is important. your whole bloodline is important. in recent years, there's been increased awareness of the civil rights of black people after a series of events made headlines around the world. cheering and applause. in britain, there was the windrush scandal in 2018, when people who'd legally migrated there in the 1940s
found they and their descendants being threatened with deportation. some families, after a lifetime in the uk, suddenly felt unwelcome. hey, daniel! hey! thanks for the lift! welcome to barbados, man, welcome to barbados. good to see you, denise! denise and her husband paul decided to leave london three years ago, and just bought a house here in fortescue. you see all these dead—end rods — they're just the cul—de—sacs that will eventually have the housing. we're driving up to the cliff edge, it's quite bumpy, but it'll be worth it when we get there. look at the potential and the mystery of it. it's so beautiful and awesome. and we talk about, that's nature, that's natural,
right? and then you look across here to fortescue — i mean, it's a very special spot, and it put things into perspective in terms of life. it's home. you get a sense of belonging when you're here. denise has set up her own nail bar. so have you got any bajan nail specialities down there? well, um... wow, that is very patriotic! denise's mother spent most of her life in britain. her parents are part of the windrush generation who went over with the promise of work. but in 2001, she decided to return to the caribbean. barbados is about to make this change, removing the queen as head of state. what you think about the decision? i don't have anything personally against the queen
and the royal family — i think they're lovely people — but i do believe it's the right time. a sense of identity. a true sense of belonging. you know, there's a lot of things that went on that i think myself, "why is it still an issue because you have a certain background or a certain culture that you're left to feel unwelcome?" obviously, in london, it's great, it's a cosmopolitan city, but there is still an element of... you're not quite welcome. with brexit, i think that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. it was almost like yeah, "if brexit happens, we'll get ourjobs back". "if brexit happens, immigration and foreigners are out". you know, it was like that. ijust think this is probably, i am hoping it will be - a good move. yeah.
before i leave barbados, i've been invited to the friday fish fry at the busy oistins market. i'm meeting some of my new friends here, roland butcher and the young crickets from from earlier. what's going on fellas? time forfood? any favourites? again, we've been here a few days and it's not often that i've come across people who are as excited about it as you — you two.
it does feel like it could be a difference in generation, you know, in terms of perspective and who is excited about this and who is not. can ijust get a show of hands of how many of you are thinking about leaving barbados to work somewhere else? ok, that's pretty much — that's all of you. um, with the republic coming up, does that change those ambitions at all?
if it does, put your hand up. if it doesn't, then leave it down. they may be excited about the change, but not enough to keep them living and working in barbados. what the guys had to say really challenged my perspective on this whole republic thing. i mean, who is it really for? who's going to benefit? is it gonna stop young people wanting to leave the country in search of opportunities, like my granddad had to do 55 — 50—odd years ago? i set off to discover what the birth of the new republic means for bajans, and ifound a genuine desire for a new start here. if the move to republic creates confidence in the country's future, then who knows what barbados can achieve?
hello there. winter has certainly staged a return after the very mild start we had to this year. temperatures over the last couple a covering of snow. so, where we have snow on the ground and where we have seen wintry showers, there's the potential for ice to take us into wednesday morning. and with this little ridge of high pressure temporarily building in, well, that means wednesday's actually is going to bring a lot of fine and dry weather. the greatest risk of ice will be across northern scotland and northern ireland through the first part of the morning. we will continue to see some wintry showers here, a few too into wales, the southwest of england, and a few grazing the east coast of england as well. but for most places, as we go through the day and the showers become fewer and further in between, we will see more in the way of sunshine, the winds will slowly ease — but it won't be a warm day by any stretch, top temperatures between 3—9 celsius. now, as we go through wednesday evening, still some showers
grazing the east coast, some out west for a time. but things generally will be dry with long, clear spells. cloud tending to increase across northern ireland later in the night — that'll lift the temperatures here just a little, but for most places, a very cold night, —8 likely in some sheltered rural spots in scotland. but after that cold start, we bring in this frontal system from the west on thursday. there is, associated with this, going to be a very narrow wedge of milder air. so, what we will see as this front moves in is initially a spell of snow, even to quite low levels across parts of scotland and northern england seeing the rain run into the cold air. some snow over high ground in wales, perhaps into the midlands as well. but any wintry weather tends to turn back to wet weather as we go through the day, as that little wedge of milder air starts to work its way in. and then, cold air will return from the west later. it will be windy, gusts of 50—60 mph or more in some exposed western spots. and temperatures
still stuck between 4—9 celsius for the most part. and then, into friday, we're back into colder air again. we will see some sunshine, but we will see some showers, too, these falling as a wintry mix of rain, sleet, and snow. it'll be a fairly breezy day in many places — and top temperatures again between 3—9 celsius. that's all from me, bye for now.
this is bbc news. i'm david eades. these are our top stories: china's covid commandos. the authorities close down a city of more than 1 million after just three reported cases. it's a strategy that includes things like this — pop—up tents where you can get a booster on the way home and win prizes as well, but it also includes very, very harsh measures that can be imposed on a city in a matter of hours. it's more than a million and counting in the us as it hits the highest number of daily infections ever recorded. president biden urges people to get vaccinated. this continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. so we've got to make more progress. prince andrew's lawyers argue in court for the sexual assault