this is bbc news the headlines at six. the education secretary for england backs reducing the covid isolation period — from 7 days to 5. the australian government did not give assurances to novak djokovic that he could enter the country without a vaccination — according to documents filed before tomorrow's court hearing. an afghan baby separated from his parents in kabul during the chaos of the us withdrawal — is reunited with relatives. russian troops arrive in kazakhstan — there is relative calm there, after 6 days of violence that killed 164 people. the golden globe awards take place tonight in hollywood — but there's no red carpet,
no stars and it's not on tv. and coming up on sportsday, it's a draw for england and australia in the fourth ashes test. england trail 3—0 in the series, with one test to play. the education secretary has said shortening the covid isolation period in england would be helpful in dealing with staffing shortages. nadhim zahawi said any decision would be made on the basis of advice from the uk health security agency — and said absences among teachers would rise now that schools are back. the us recently shortened isolation for those testing positive for covid from seven days to five. our health correspondent dominic hughes has more.
the good news is that booster jabs are holding fast against the omicron wave. even as new cases have surged, hospital admissions remain a long way off the peak seen this time last year. but hundreds of thousands of people are currently isolating for at least seven days, so now there's a suggestion that — in england, at least — that period could be cut to five days instead. i think if the experts, and i have to defer to the uk health and security agency, deem it appropriate that you can have two negative tests on consecutive days, as we do now with day six and seven, then it's a good thing to keep under review. some experts agree a five—day isolation period could be safely introduced. you're generally infectious for about two days before you develop symptoms to about three, maybe four days afterwards, so limiting the cut—off point to five days wouldn't really substantially increased risk.
so you think the advantages outweigh any possible risks? that would have considerable benefits in terms of staffing without significantly increasing the risk of disease transmission, so i think we should do that. lateral flow tests have played a vital role in this current stage of the pandemic, so mr zahawi was quick to deny reports the government was planning to start charging for them, and labour's shadow chancellor says people need to be able to test regularly to stop passing on the virus. lateral flow tests are absolutely essential to keeping us protected and to keep our economy open. there is another potential threat to staffing levels on the horizon. all health care workers in england with direct contact with patients need to have had two covid jabs by the end of march or they risk losing theirjobs. one nhs boss acknowledges that could affect around 10% of his workforce. we have approximately 1a,000 staff at king's... so you could lose more
than 1,000 staff? it's an extreme position. but i am confident, and we're already seeing a number of staff choosing to be vaccinated. the push on vaccinations and boosters, notjust for nhs staff but all of us, continues. but even though the omicron wave is not yet over, ministers are clearly thinking about what comes next and how we live with covid in the months to come. dominic hughes, bbc news. and now to the latest official figures on the virus which show iai,472 new infections in the latest 24—hour period. in the same period 97 deaths were reported, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive test result. that means the total number of people who've died with covid now stands at 150,154.
on vaccinations, 35.5 million people have had a boosterjab, which means more than 61% of those aged 12 and over have now had three vaccine doses. ealier i spoke to craig beaumont from the federation of small businesses. i asked whether his members would welcome the five day isolation period, if it was recommended by health officials. it would be. it has to be safe, so we wouldn't call for a public health measure, it's all about public health and safety, and this would have a huge impact. we have 2 million people with covid in the uk this week, so they are isolating, and if you are a big employer, what you can do is you can move projects around, you can move teams, even in the public sector except for specialised roles,
you can move civil servants around between different functions. but if you are a small business with a team of five and you lose two or three of those, it will get very rough very fast, especially for customer facing businesses, you have only got so many people to fill the hours in the day. so the self isolation aspect of this is a real issue for us, and if it can be done safely and it's a big if, we are basically looking at the us cdc, the center for disease control, which did conclude that five days was the right time period, and that is the same science, the same variant, the same sort of workforce, so we would like the uk authorities, the chief medical and scientific advisers, to take a look, because if it can be done it would be good. adam finn is professor of paediatrics at the university of bristol and a member of thejoint committee on vaccination and immunisation. speaking in a personal capacity, he gave me this assesment.
i think mr zahawi was pointing out one side of the balance that is if people can get back to work sooner that will help keep services not only in health but all of the other services around society going through this peak of the wave that is impacting so many people at the moment. the other side of the equation is you don't want to be accelerating, making it bigger and faster by people being in circulation who have the infection and are still infectious. we really need to see the evidence on how safe that would be and in particular, of course, if we start advising people to do lateral flow tests at four days or five days, many of them may still be positive and that won't accelerate their ability to go back to work. there are several moving parts to this. this discussion will go on in the coming days. and striking when
you look at the most recent comments on all of this from the uk health security agency, which was nine days ago, but at that point they were saying between ten and 13% of people are still infectious. certainly on day six. and i suppose that's your point, there is still move ability here. the earlier you bring that forward, then the higher the percentage goes. doing the two lateral flow tests 24—hour is a part makes the whole approach much safer than what they've been able to do in the us where i think they haven't got adequate supplies of the test to do it this way. there will be a law of diminishing returns. as you move forward in time more people will be infectious. the lateral flow tests will go positive and they will still have to stay at home. novak djokovic�*s appeal against deportation from australia begins in a few hours — with a court hearing. the men's tennis numberi has been
held in a hotel in melbourne since he arrived in the country — the australian government says he is not exempt from the requirement for visiting foreigners to be vaccinated. from melbourne, shaimaa khalil reports. a day before challenging his deportation in court, novak djokovic is still held at the immigration detention hotel, and his supporters are still outside, calling on the government to let him out. oh, mate, i haven't slept since he came off the plane. we are all sick to the stomach. it's a very unfortunate situation for australia. it's becoming very embarrassing. the world number one is now in the middle of a political and diplomatic storm that has provoked anger in his home country of serbia. this was djokovic arriving on wednesday. his legal team say he was granted a vaccine exemption from tennis australia because he tested positive for covid—19 on the 16th of december.
that was also the day when these pictures were taken, showing the tennis player maskless at a ceremony in serbia, where he was honoured with his own postage stamp. it is unclear at which point he took the pcr test, and when he knew he had covid—19. djokovic�*s lawyers has said that on january the 1st, he received a document from home affairs telling him his travel declaration responses indicated he met the requirements for a quarantine—free arrival into australia. but in its court submission, released a few hours before the hearing, the government said it had not given the tennis star an assurance about his vaccine waiver, adding that an e—mail from the home affairs department was not a guarantee that his so—called medical exemption would be accepted. the court document also challenged djokovic�*s claim for medical exemption on the basis that he contracted covid—19 in mid—december,
saying there was no suggestion that he had acute major medical illness. just a week before the australian open begins, a judge will now decide whether the nine—time champion will be able to defend his title. shaima khalil, bbc news, melbourne. the court hearing in australia will begin late tonight british time — i asked australian immigration lawyer daniel estrin what might happen. open.
the court can't grant him an interim visa to play in the australian open. the submissions novak djokovic's team have made i would say have some merit, and i think there is a reasonable chance the court might find there is a jurisdictional error. all that remains is that the decision is quashed. so, whether the court will make that decision tomorrow is another story because there are a lot of matters to consider. at the end of the day, the court will just say this is a nullity. what is interesting is the response from the minister which has just come through now, which shows an extraordinary doubling down, i guess, and makes it very clear that the minister of current affairs doesn't want novak djokovic in the country. from your perspective, is that a political stance? that's about saying we've all had such privations in this country, we can't have someone come in apparentlyjust because they are famous or high profile or particularly important to a certain tournament. i don't think it is a political stance. it is a legal argument which is basically saying what his lawyers are trying to do is inadmissible a have another go at the case. that's not what it is about. the decisions by the minister's lawyers... they are quite dismissive
of the grounds, as good as they are, they say there was no issues with the procedure. he had plenty of notice to cancel the visa, the office didn't do anything wrong, testing positive to covid isn't a medical condition. the lawyers are saying there is no assurance to get into australia. what's most interesting, which is extraordinary, having read the submissions, hot off the press, the minister's lawyers make it clear that even if novak djokovic wins tomorrow the court should not order his release, and that the minister for home affairs reserves the right to make a further cancellation decision, he is not prevented from using other powers under the migration act of detainment. it is clear the minister doesn't want novak djokovic in australia. 0k. our correspondent guy de launey is in belgrade and he told us how people were reacting there.
we have seen once again a rally outside the national assembly here in belgrade this afternoon, and that was people turning up in their hundreds to hear from was people turning up in their hundreds to hearfrom novak djokovic's family. his mum, dad, and brother, and they were talking about their latest contacts with the world tennis number one. his brother was saying he was grateful for all of the support serbia was sending to him and was hoping for the right verdict from an independentjudge. verdict from an independent judge. his verdict from an independentjudge. his mother said that he hasn't been getting breakfast. he said in prison he would at least be getting three meals a day. his father has taken a more paranoid point of view saying this is only happening because we are serbia, a small country, and they are trying to put us down. they've been quiet on the political front. i think everybody is now waiting for this court verdict to come out. a bbc investigation into accommodation for asylum seekers has uncovered a range of long—running concerns about the conditions
in which they are being housed. refugee organisations say getting help through a national phone line can also be extremeley difficult. dominic casciani has this report. crying look, this one. and this one. the same, broken. a domestic crisis — the family living here are seeking asylum and safety. the father is recording video for the government's national support line. and look, the electricity. a bbc investigation has discovered evidence of some homes provided to asylum seekers with serious safety concerns. homes like this one. when a family housed in west yorkshire warned of a crumbling ceiling, it was temporarily repaired, and then it collapsed. the mother suffered concussion as she protected her baby. i was in the room upstairs, me, and all of a sudden i heard a noise, and she shout like, "ow!" and then i ran down, mrs was on the floor,
all the plaster — all wood — was on her head. my baby was shouting, screaming, in the other corner. it could have hit your baby? it could have hit my baby. i could lose my baby today. how many times did you complain about the state of the house? i have complained before several times about my ceiling in the living room. adam's child was lucky. but this baby from anotherfamily, less so. pictures following a different ceiling collapse last year. the provider of these homes said it responded when it was made aware of the dangers. three companies share a £4 billion ten—year long contract to house asylum seekers. a fourth contract goes to a charity running a national helpline to handle complaints. more than 30 organisations working with thousands of asylum seekers have told the bbc they think some of the housing is unacceptable. eight out of ten said they have heard concerns about accommodation most weeks.
the vast majority said it took too long to get action when they contacted the national helpline. i've worked in this area of work for nearly 20 years, and i've never seen it as bad in terms of the housing and the accommodation that people are experiencing. our partners across the sector are also reporting similar things. we are very, very worried that there is going to be some catastrophic incident. at this house in manchester, the residents say they've repeatedly tried to complain about a blockage before it became this sewage flood. the company managing this home won't comment, but the bbc understands it's sure it did everything it could once it was aware what happened. the companies that have responded to the bbc say they're fulfilling all of their contractual obligations. and while the home office says they're providing a good standard of accommodation, it won't release data on their performance. as for the national phone line, officials say it's faced unprecedented demand in the past year, but insists it's now meeting all of its targets. adam says he wants the government to reveal how well it's monitoring the contracts and the state of some of the homes.
i don't want any compensation. i want my daughter, i want my family. i don't want someone to be a victim like me in the future. hello! dominic casciani, bbc news, in leeds. armed police have been deployed in a residential area of coventry, after a man who was looking after a child refused to come out of a property. west midlands police say officers went to check on the pair in earlsdon early this morning. joan cummins sent this report from the scene. police were called to an address shortly after midnight last night to do what they are describing as a safety and well—being check on a man and a child inside a property. the man has refused to come outside of the house and since that time the whole area has been cordoned off. it is pretty worrying. it's a
residential area, we've all got children, yes, a worry because they're old people who live here and they're old people who live here and they worry when they see the police. it is worrying to be honest because we don't _ it is worrying to be honest because we don't know what's going on, so we don't _ we don't know what's going on, so we don't know_ we don't know what's going on, so we don't know how serious that is and so many— don't know how serious that is and so many police forces are involved in this_ so many police forces are involved in this situation.— in this situation. there are armed olice in this situation. there are armed police outside _ in this situation. there are armed police outside the _ in this situation. there are armed police outside the house - in this situation. there are armed | police outside the house watching all exit and the rear exit has also been cordoned off. a government agency in kazakhstan has revised the official assessment of the number of people killed in the violence of the last week — increasing it to 164. most of the fatalities were in the biggest city, almaty. the unrest began when demonstrators took to the streets angry about the cost of fuel. more than 5,000 people have been arrested. the unrest began as a protest against the rise in fuel prices,
but may have morphed into a power struggle between factions of the ruling elite. russian troops continue to guard strategic facilities. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has travelled to kazakhstan's capital. well, the capital of kazakhstan feels pretty calm, really, but after the protests and violence that erupted across much of the country last week, a state of emergency and a curfew remain in place here and nationwide. there is very little connectivity — they switch the internet on for maybe three or four hours a day, which makes it very difficult for people to actually work out what's going on here. and although things were much, much quieter here than they were in almaty, you can see security has been tightened. for example, that is the entrance to the presidential palace, which has been blocked off. president tokayev blames the terrorists and bandits for the violence, but there is a growing suggestion that violence is somehow linked to a power struggle going on within the ruling elite in kazakhstan.
22 people, including at least 10 children have died in their cars in pakistan when they became stranded in a snowstorm which saw up to five feet of snow fall in a few hours. thousands were trapped in a popular hilltop village murree after they'd travelled to see the snowfall. all survivors have now reportedly reached safety. local authorities have been criticised for their slow response to calls for help. farhatjaved is in murree and sent this report about the rescue operation. more than 5000 people have been rescued here in this camp, temporary established by the pakistan army. there are five more such camps with roughly the same number of tourists who have been rescued. that whole rescue and relief operations started yesterday when thousands of tourists were found trapped in a snowstorm in the small town of murree
which is just a few miles from the capital islamabad and a famous tourist destination in pakistan. a video went viral where eight family members could be lying dead in their car, and after that many other such videos popped up, and so far 22 people have been declared dead. their bodies have been retrieved and the police have confirmed that eight of them were frozen to death. translation: we leftl home at 4pm and spent the whole night in our car. i could sense death everywhere. i can't explain in words what i was going through then. we were praying for god to help us. those who have died include women and children and those who were rescued were brought here into these camps and were given food and blankets. we have spoken to some of them, who shared their experience when they had to spend the night in freezing temperatures inside their cars.
a baby who was separated from his parents at kabul airport last august — as thousands of people tried to leave afghanistan — has been reunited with members of his family. the little boy was only six weeks old when he disappeared in the mayhem at the airport — his parents were among the thousands flown of the country and are now in the us. now the man who found the baby has handed him over to relatives in kabul. our correspondent there quentin sommerville, has the story. amid afghanistan's thousand tragedies, a small beam of sunshine. sohail was only a0 days old when he was lost as his family escaped kabul. he is now back in his auntie's arms. "sohail is in good health," his aunt says. "we're a bit unfamiliar for him, but he's been very good and he hasn't cried. "he's been sleeping well. "he's onlyjust woken up." in the chaos that followed the taliban's takeover
here in august, an exodus as families fled the country. sohail�*s dad was a security guard at the us embassy. they joined the flood of people rushing to leave. like others shown here, he was handed to us marines guarding the airport fence. once inside, the family couldn't find him. they left for the united states. taxi driver hamid safi says he found the boy all alone by the roadside inside the airport. unable to find the family, he says, he took him home. "as a father i know how it feels to have children," mr safi tells me. "i couldn't leave him alone, so i saved him and took care of him and my wife fed him." but mr safi was reluctant to let the boy go. it took weeks of negotiations and some time in taliban detention before he handed him back. he, his wife and daughters are distraught without the boy. the last five months have been enormously difficult for many afghan families, but none more so than this family.
having sohail back is an enormous relief, and the hope is now that he willjoin his brothers and sisters and his mum and dad in the united states. after so long apart, the baby only responds to mohammad, the name mr safi gave him. but now he's back with them, his family says sohail will soon rediscover who he is. quentin sommerville, bbc news, kabul. the supermarket chain morrisons is to scrap �*use by�* dates on most of its milk, in a move it says. millions of pints being poured down the sink. instead, the retailer will display �*best before' dates on 90% of its own—brand milk products. the recycling charity �*wrap' says morrisons will be the first retailer to make the move. the change will happen later this month. it's usually one of the biggest nights in film, but this evening's golden globes ceremony will be held without a—list stars —
and it's not being shown on tv. the event is being boycotted after it emerged that the organisers, the hollywood foreign press association, hadn't had a single black member for nearly 20 years. the awards will be announced via social media. our entertainment correspondent colin paterson reports. # it all began tonight...# tonight, west side story is one of the big favourites to win at the golden globes. but none of its stars or its director, steven spielberg, will be there. the same goes for belfast, which is tied for the most nominations — seven. we're looking to cleanse the community. you wouldn't want to be the odd one out in this street. touch my family and i'll kill you. it is based on the childhood of its director, sir kenneth brannagh, who has never won a golden globe.
if he does tonight, the way he will find out is on his computer. it is doubtful that he will even care. the golden globes are normally a star—studded event, but they have been beset with problems for the past year. a los angeles times expose revealed that they have not had a single black voter for almost two decades, and there are accusations of unethical practices. this prompted tom cruise to send back the three golden globes he had won. the rights holders, nbc, said they would not broadcast the ceremony, and despite radical changes being introduced, hollywood en masse decided to boycott the event. this week, the golden globes announced that the ceremony at the beverly hilton hotel in los angeles will be a private event and will not be live—streamed, with winners simply being announced on social media. this prompted us talk show host conan o'brien to ask...
and ricky gervais, who has hosted the golden globes five times, has even suggested there is a chance this could be the last time they are held. you're the number one topic ahead of tater tots, and the pope followed you... as for who could win, when it comes to the tv categories, there could be a procession for succession. the media family drama series has the most nominations, with five. is he going to watch? could we make a note in the minutes that he is watching us? but with no—one able to watch the globes and with things as they are, it is fully expected that tonight's winners will not even acknowledge that they have won. i'm a good guy. i'm betterthan you. three new photographs of the duchess of cambridge have been released to mark her 40th birthday today. the portraits were taken by fashion photographer paolo roversi and show catherine wearing alexander mcqueen dresses. they will go on display this year in berkshire,
st andrews and anglesey, three places that she has lived. now it's time for a look at the weather with darren bett. hello there. we have seen welcome sunshine across much of the uk today, but it will turn cold quickly this evening across the eastern side of england and scotland. still a few showers to move away, then clearer skies, but more cloud coming in from the west, which will bring rain into western areas. by the end of the night, temperatures will have lifted across the eastern side of the uk. these are the temperatures by the end of the night. could be an early frost in eastern areas, especially around aberdeenshire. it looks a lot cloudier for tomorrow, light rain and drizzle moving eastwards across england and wales. most of the wet weather in the north—west, where we have stronger winds, mainly northern and western parts of scotland. despite the cloud, temperatures higher than today for the eastern side of the uk, making 8 degrees.
further west, double figures — could make 13 in northern ireland. not a great deal of rain to come. those weather fronts moving down are weak, but they will linger and keep more cloud on tuesday in the far south. otherwise most places will see some sunshine. hello, you're watching bbc news with me, jane hill. the latest headlines: the education secretary for england backs reducing the covid isolation period — from seven days to five. the australian government did not give assurances to novak djokovic that he could enter the country without a vaccination, according to documents filed before tomorrow's court hearing. an afghan baby separated from his parents in kabul during the chaos of the us withdrawal is reunited with relatives. russian troops arrive in kazakhstan. there is relative calm there,