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tv   BBC News at One  BBC News  January 11, 2022 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT

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today at one, police say they're in contact with the government after it emerges 100 people were invited to drinks in the garden at downing street, during the first lockdown. more pressure on the prime minister, as labour and families affected by coronavirus, show their anger. borisjohnson, having survived covid himself, thought it was appropriate to host a party where you could bring your own booze, sit in the garden at downing street where borisjohnson met me and four other bereaved families and told us, to our faces, after listening to my dad's story, i did everything i could to save him. this was organised in advance, mr speaker, so did the prime minister know about the event beforehand and did he give his permission for it to go ahead? one minister has just apologised unreservedly
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for any upset the allegation over parties may have caused. we'll have the latest. also this lunchtime... one in 12 teachers were absent from england's schools last week as the omicron variant of coronavirus spreads rapidly. a medicalfirst in america where doctors have transplanted a genetically modified pig's heart into a human patient. the start of a harsh winter deepens the food crisis in afghanistan. the un makes an urgent appealfor help. and the delicate ecosystem of antarctica, under threat from unwanted creatures, hitching rides on boats. and coming up on the bbc news channel, novak djokovic picks up preparations for the australian open while his former coach boris becker urges him to get the vaccine ahead of future tournaments.
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good afternoon and welcome to the bbc�*s news at one. the metropolitan police says it's in contact with the government after it emerged as many as 100 people were invited to a party in the garden at downing street during the first lockdown in may 2020. at the time, such gatherings were banned. a minister has just told the commons that the government apologises for any upset the allegation may have caused. labour says borisjohnson "cannot spend the next days and weeks hiding behind a whitehall inquiry," which is looking into a number of other allegations over gatherings at number ten, and whether or not they broke covid rules. our political correspondent, damian grammaticas, has the very latest. downing street this morning, questions piling up. inside in the cabinet meeting, there was no
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mention of the latest revelations about downing street parties but this toxic issue will not go away for borisjohnson. in may 2020, the man behind him, his principal private secretary morden mills e—mailed 100 staff inviting them to bring their own booze for drinks in the garden, witnesses telling the bbc around 30 attended including mr johnson and his wife stop given that the row said you could only meet one person, some staff were shocked. in messages seen by the bbc they said why is martin encouraging a mass gathering in the garden? and is this for real? the same month, hannah brady lost herfather to for real? the same month, hannah brady lost her father to covid, last year she met mrjohnson in the very same garden. i year she met mrjohnson in the very same garden-— same garden. i think this pandemic for me is a — same garden. i think this pandemic for me is a story — same garden. i think this pandemic for me is a story of _ same garden. i think this pandemic for me is a story of two _ same garden. i think this pandemic for me is a story of two men, - same garden. i think this pandemic for me is a story of two men, one l same garden. i think this pandemic| for me is a story of two men, one is my 55—year—old father who is dead, having spent 42 nights on a ventilator fighting covid and having spent 42 nights on a ventilatorfighting covid and no other illnesses. the other is a man who was 55 at the time of this
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party, borisjohnson, having survived covid himself thought it was appropriate to host a party where you could bring your own booze, said in the garden at downing street where boris johnson booze, said in the garden at downing street where borisjohnson met me and for other bereaved families and told us to our faces, after listening to my dad �*s story, i did everything to save him. listening to my dad 's story, i did everything to save him. yesterday he would not answer _ everything to save him. yesterday he would not answer questions - everything to save him. yesterday he would not answer questions saying i everything to save him. yesterday he | would not answer questions saying an internal investigation is under way into all the parties that have come to light and with the labour leader isolating because of covid today, saying the prime minister �*s deflections were absurd because not only did he know about the parties but he attended them, telling boris johnson to stop lying. it is but he attended them, telling boris johnson to stop lying.— johnson to stop lying. it is not 'ust the johnson to stop lying. it is not just the labour _ johnson to stop lying. it is not just the labour party - johnson to stop lying. it is not just the labour party angry . johnson to stop lying. it is not. just the labour party angry about this, plenty of my parliamentary colleagues have no idea what anyone in the e—mail was thinking about or how this is utterly indefensible, it cannot be defended. the? how this is utterly indefensible, it cannot be defended.— how this is utterly indefensible, it cannot be defended. they were not sa in: it cannot be defended. they were not saying it publicly- _ cannot be defended. they were not saying it publicly. what _ cannot be defended. they were not saying it publicly. what should - cannot be defended. they were not saying it publicly. what should the | saying it publicly. what should the prime minister do with these latest revelations? arriving at parliament today tory mps are angry, some are
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gassed under new opening for the labour party. i gassed under new opening for the labour party-— labour party. i apologise again unreservedly — labour party. i apologise again unreservedly for— labour party. i apologise again unreservedly for the _ labour party. i apologise again unreservedly for the upset - labour party. i apologise again j unreservedly for the upset that these allegations have caused. the prime minister has asked for an investigation.— prime minister has asked for an investiuation. , ., ., investigation. there is no need for an investigation _ investigation. there is no need for an investigation into _ investigation. there is no need for an investigation into this - investigation. there is no need for an investigation into this simple i an investigation into this simple central— an investigation into this simple central question today, did the prime — central question today, did the prime minister attend the event in the downing street garden on the 20th of— the downing street garden on the 20th of may? it will not wash, mr speaker, — 20th of may? it will not wash, mr speaker, to blame this on a view junior— speaker, to blame this on a view junior civil — speaker, to blame this on a view junior civil servants, the prime minister— junior civil servants, the prime minister sets the tone. if the prime minister_ minister sets the tone. if the prime minister was there, minister sets the tone. if the prime ministerwas there, surely minister sets the tone. if the prime minister was there, surely he knew? does he _ minister was there, surely he knew? does he still believe the prime minisier— does he still believe the prime minister to be does he still believe the prime ministerto be a does he still believe the prime minister to be a man of honour and integrity? — minister to be a man of honour and integrity? she minister to be a man of honour and inteuri ? ,, ., minister to be a man of honour and inteuri ? ,, . ., integrity? she asks if i have confidence _ integrity? she asks if i have confidence in _ integrity? she asks if i have confidence in the _ integrity? she asks if i have confidence in the prime - integrity? she asks if i have - confidence in the prime minister, his integrity and honour and i do. and now, the police are in touch with the cabinet office. the met has
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been under pressure to investigate the parties, difficulties mounting for borisjohnson. damian grammaticas, bbc news. live now to our political correspondent, nick eardley, at westminster. more pressure on borisjohnson over at gatherings at number ten downing street during lockdown, this at the beginning of a year when one would have thought downing street might have thought downing street might have hoped for a clean slate? exactly what they were hoping for. some of the allegations we saw before christmas had died down a bit but here they are again, more allegations surfacing this time about the first lockdown. just as the country was coming out of some of the strictest rules that we saw, and we have seen over the course of the pandemic. we saw a government minister told the commons in the last hour that he apologised for any hurt that these allegations would cause but the government is also doing its best tojust cause but the government is also doing its best to just not engaged with the specifics on this, it's
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saying to the public and to mps, look, there is an investigation going on, let's wait for that whenever that comes to see what the fact, where and what the findings are. i've got to say i do not think thatis are. i've got to say i do not think that is going to do anything to remove some of the questions that are piling up for downing street and specifically for boris johnson himself. why did one of his specifically for borisjohnson himself. why did one of his senior officials think it was ok to e—mail dozens of people, inviting them to a bring your own booze event in the downing street garden? did boris johnson as witnesses told us attend with his wife and if so, does downing street accept that some of the staff and the prime minister potentially himself, may have broken the covid rules that his government, remember, was responsible for implementing? nick, thank you. new figures just out indicate that one in 12 teachers was absent from england's school last week, as omicron cases continued to spread. it comes as numerous schools have told the bbc they are unable to find
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temporary staff to cover. the education secretary, nadhim zahawi, has said he is making contingency plans for rising rates of staff absence. here's our education editor, bra nwen jeffreys. they learn and play in a year group bubble. until now, that has kept cases right down, and pupils in school. if we were on zoom, we could not ask as many questions as we can, like, face—to—face. and if we have finished our zoom lesson and we are starting our work and we need help, our siblings can help us, but they won't know what the subject is and everything. it would be better if our teachers help us. we can still keep our learning going and the school is doing everything they can to make sure we are safe as well. it would be, like, stressful, because you are missing. out on your learning, _ and when you come back you might feel like you are behind. i like playing with my friends and playing in the playground,
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and it's good that the government made a rule when if someone has some sort of symptoms or has been tested positive, they have to stay at home, not the entire bubble. the pupils are just happy that things are near—normal, but schools are dealing with huge uncertainty — each day not knowing if more teachers will be off with covid and whether they will be able to get supply teachers. this school has kept strict covid measures. when there is a case, parents are asked to lateral flow test their children. every classroom has an air purifier machine, bought by the school. despite all their efforts, it is much worse than last term. we have got more children off this week than we did during the whole of the autumn term, and we've got more staff off this week than we did during the whole of the autumn term. so this morning it's about covering a few classes where the teachers have tested positive for covid, and just difficulties getting supply teachers, so we are trying to put
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contingencies in ahead of time, pre—empting the phone call. today's figures show some schools have been hit hard. most pupils are still learning in class, not at home, as schools in england try to ride out this latest covid wave. branwenjeffreys, bbc news, birmingham. our education correspondent sean dilleyjoins me. one in12, how one in 12, how startling is that and secondly, how are schools coping? the figure itself is not startling, if you look at the overall figures, you are looking at one in 12 of on the 6th of january compared to december but what is more interesting is when you look at the percentage of those off with reason specific to covid, that was 3% before christmas up to 4.9% now, fairly big issue for schools already grappling with the fact in the first week of term, there was also an
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increase in students absent as well, 159,000 who were absent after testing positive for covid. the issue schools are grappling with, the bbc has spoken to hundreds of them around the country, the picture different depending on where you are, some schools more impacted than others, they are having to find creative solutions, some schools moving classrooms into assembly halls to cover for those classes that they cannot find temporary staff of four, otherwise known as supply teachers. the government say they are helping particularly we heard in that reportjust a moment ago how more than 320,000 carbon dioxide detectors, 7000 air purifiers but we have heard how some schools who do not feel they will qualify have had to fork out for that as well. sean, thank you. anyone who records a positive lateral flow test in england but doesn't have any symptoms, no longer needs to take a pcr test from today. it's hoped easing the rule
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will free up pcr testing capacity for key workers, amid concerns over staff shortages due to covid infections. northern ireland, scotland and wales have already implemented the change. in an extraordinary first for medical science, doctors in america, have transplanted a genetically modified pig's heart into a human patient, in a final attempt to save his life. the man is said to be doing well, three days after the experimental surgery, and success could lead to the regular use of animal organs in human transplants. this report from our north america correspondent, david willis, does contain pictures of the operation. inside the box was the heart of a 240 lb pig, genetically engineered to survive inside a human body. but the question was, would the transplant work? after toiling for nearly nine hours, surgeons at the university of maryland medical centre removed the clamp restricting
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blood to the new organ and declared that it had. the pigs heart was pumping away, keeping alive a patient for whom all other options had run out. on the operating table was 57—year—old dave bennett, pictured here with his son and daughter. when doctors first proposed the pigs heart transplant, he thought they were joking, but four days on, he's said to be doing well and his doctors sound increasingly optimistic. we've never done this in a human. and i like to think that we have given him a better option than what continuing his therapy would have been. but whether it's a day, week, month, year, i don't know. advances in gene editing and cloning techniques have proved a game changer as far as this sort of surgery is concerned. and in a country in which more than 100,000 people are currently
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awaiting an organ transplant, dave bennett's operation could help change the lives and ease the suffering of so many. pictured here with the man who led the operation, mr bennett is now breathing on his own without a ventilator. having called the operation a shot in the dark, the hospital says he is now looking forward to being released from their care and reunited with his dog, lucky. david willis, bbc news, los angeles. our medical editor, fergus walsh is with me. i don't know where to begin is mind—boggling. it is i don't know where to begin is mind-boggling-_ i don't know where to begin is mind-boa rulin. , . , ., mind-boggling. it is a big moment which has taken _ mind-boggling. it is a big moment which has taken decades _ mind-boggling. it is a big moment which has taken decades of- mind-boggling. it is a big moment i which has taken decades of planning, this is transplantation, taking transplant organs from animals into humans and pigs are the ideal candidates, in this case, the big concern was hyper acute rejection, sudden rejection and what they did was they knocked out four pig jeans
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and inserted six human genes and this team the same team that last year managed to transplant a pig kidney into a brain—dead patient that then functioned normally. this has a big future, i think, if some of the ethics can be sorted out because there will be people very unhappy about this and also, there will be concern about the potential for animal diseases to be put into humans so that is a concern. but david bennett, if he had not had this operation, effectively, he was terminally ill so this was his only hope. terminally ill so this was his only ho e. �* ., fergus, thank you. the organisation that runs men's professional tennis says the controversy over novak djokovic in australia, has been "damaging on all fronts." the world number one won a court battle yesterday to overturn his visa cancellation, and he's since been practicing on a court in melbourne for next week's australian open. here's shaimaa khalil.
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the first pictures of novak djokovic playing a day after a judge overruled his visa cancellation. the world number one has been held in an immigration detention hotel since his arrival. now, he says, he's focused on competing. with only a few days before the australian open, the country's immigration minister is still considering whether to cancel the player's visa. there is a great deal of uncertainty about what happens next, and division too. should he be here? oh, god, i don't know. i've followed it all week. i just sort of wonder what the reception will be like when he gets here. we are a country of booers, we do like that, but i'm sure he can handle that. if he plays, i will not watch him, because he is not vaccinated. we are really excited that he's here. - it's cool to have all those top players and, yeah, i we are super excited for him.
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there is also concern about what this will mean for the sport and the players�* ability to travel. the atp, which runs the men's tennis tour, said the novak djokovic controversy has been damaging on all fronts and has called for more clarity on the rules to enter australia. but it has also urged players to get vaccinated. preparations are under way for the first grand slam of the season, and despite the upheaval around him, novak djokovic seems determined to defend his title. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, melbourne. the time is 13:17. our top story this lunchtime... the government apologises for any upset caused over allegations of a garden party at number ten during the first lockdown in may 2020. coming up: we hear from the couple awarded a five—figure settlement — and an apology — from a council over a failed adoption.
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coming up in the bbc news channel, british number one emma raducanu crashes out of the first round of the sydney international, a week before the australian open, in her first match since recovering from coronavirus. the start of a harsh winter is accelerating afghanistan's humanitarian crisis. international sanctions have crippled the economy since the taliban takeover last august. the collapse of the previous afghan government, and the withdrawal of western support, has led to soaring unemployment, with many unable to feed their families or heat their homes. a million children are thought to be at risk from severe malnourishment, with the united nations issuing an urgent call for aid. quentin sommerville sent us this report. victorious, the taliban now guard food queues. more than half the country is in need. these wheelbarrows are full of the very basics — salt, rice, peanuts,
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cooking oil — and for many of the people here, it's the first time they've had food in days. the interesting thing is, though, the bazaars, the markets in central kabul are full of produce but no—one here has any money. and this isn'tjust the case here in kabul, it's the same situation across afghanistan. the taliban are international pariahs, so the economy is being crushed by sanctions. only humanitarian aid is allowed in. women are banned from work and education but have also lost another fundamental right — the ability to feed their families. has kabul ever been this hungry before? no, never, ithink. what is the message to the rest of the world? they should see us, how we are going to live here. they should see our challenges, our problems and the problems are increasing day by day here.
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living costs is increasing day by day here. there's new rules and new challenges makes our life hardship more than at any other time. and that's not fair for afghans. sabera cannot afford the dollar cab fare to take her home, but she has just enough to hire a wheelbarrow. translation: what can we do? there is no money to buy food. all the men are jobless. they don't have work. there's nothing to eat and no firewood to warm our homes. on the city's edges, it is even worse. the poorest are sinking deeper into poverty. ajhar moved here from nangarhar province. this house is home to fourfamilies. they cannot afford soap to wash the kids' faces.
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they burn plastic to keep warm. the air in here is thick and acrid. it still is not safe for them to return, he says. "we would have moved to pakistan, but pakistan closed its borders to us." afghanistan's long war may be over but the afghan people's suffering endures. quentin sommerville, bbc news, kabul. one of the biggest illegal dark net websites has gone offline after two years of selling class a drugs, counterfeit cash and malware used to hack and disable computers. the administrators of torrez shut it down over christmas. but new illegal sites are popping up all the time, and research by the bbc highlights the success of the online drugs economy. our cyber reporterjoe tidy has more details. this is a humanist burial ground. i come up and see how the tree is doing, give it a kick, tell him off.
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claire campbell's16—year—old son luke died after taking strong ecstasy tablets at a youth disco. what was luke like as a person? he didn't have a bad bone in his body. he was naughty and cheeky, but he... there was nothing nasty about him. there was no maliciousness. he was full of life. luke's friends bought the pills from a marketplace on the dark net. dark net markets are a small and often overlooked part of the drugs economy. these sites, only accessible through special internet browsing software, have been a thorn in the side of the police for a decade now. and over christmas, an interesting development. torrez, one of the largest marketplaces in the world, closed down after two years. a polite notice was posted to customers and sellers. torrez is the latest dark market to close down before police could take action. but even when the authorities do take down marketplaces, the effect on the drugs trade is often short lived, as bbc research highlights. we've studied the activity of thousands of dark net dealers. at least a50 have survived
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multiple police take—downs. in fact, one dealer, perhaps the uk's most prolific, has now appeared on 21 different marketplaces over six years. we ordered some drugs from this criminal, next generation. it was complicated and time—consuming but it highlighted the complex tactics these sellers use to protect themselves. interesting. so, if you did open this box, it would look like some sort of a herbal treatment. of course, we know that's not what's in this little silver packet. this is cocaine. it's a low risk mark. it deals with a vendor on the dark web. in october, 150 people were arrested in multiple countries including 2a in the uk. a major dark market was also closed down. the uk's nca says it's determined to turn the tide on dark net markets and has developed new cyber policing techniques to help protect the public.
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people hearing your story and hearing you talk about it might be confused as to why... why are we not anti—drugs and angry? there's no point being angry with people because they're none the wiser than luke was. the people i'm angry with are law makers, not luke, not his friends, not the dark web. claire is now calling for the decriminalisation and regulation of all areas of the drugs trade, including the dark net. joe tidy, bbc news, in devon. and you can hearfrom a teenager who buys drugs from the darknet in tonight's file on 4 at 8pm on radio 4 — and later on bbc sounds. a police officer has appeared before east berkshire magistrates charged over alleged inappropriate relationships with women during the course of his duties. constable oliver perry—smith, who is 38 and serves with the thames vallley force, is facing three counts of misconduct in public office and two of computer misuse relating to the police national computer.
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a council has apologised to a couple and agreed to pay them a five—figure settlement, over a failed adoption. sonny and sarita simak spent three years fighting to get back a little boy they planned to adopt after he was wrongly removed by bradford children's services. that department is currently under investigation after the death of the toddler star hobson in september 2020, murdered by her mother's partner. sanchia berg has more details. toddler babbles. can you give it to mummy? huh? one of sonny and sarita simak�*s cherished videos of the little boy they planned to adopt. he is still in care, so we can't show his face. he'sjust a joy. he's a delight. a lovely little boy. and, yeah, we love him. i don't know what else to say. was it a shock when bradford contacted you to say they were taking him away from your care? we were told about three days before his second birthday,
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we were given about 12 hours' notice that the little boy is going to be taken away from us the next day. and we tried, we called everyone, we pleaded with them but nobody really listened to our voice, and then they came in the morning and took him away from us. and why they say they were taking him away? at that time, when he was taken, before he was taken, we didn't really get any answers apart from that they don't think the placement is going to work long—term. that was more than three years ago. they challenged the decision, the council apologised, an independent social worker decided the boy should return to the couple, as did an adoption panel. but in april last year, the council changed its approach after another assessment. the little boy will stay in foster care. we don't believe that's the right place for him to be, and we've always believed that, that's why we fought on for him. he thrived in an adoption placement
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with us, he loved having a mummy and daddy and he was doing really well in... sorry. so you would like to have him back? we would love to have him back. absolutely. there is still part of us who have hope that he would come back to us. the simaks prepared to go to court, though they knew a judge could not make the council change its position. but before any hearing, bradford accepted all their claims and offered a significant sum in damages and costs. long—term foster placements can be appropriate for some children. bradford told us they could not comment on an individual case. they said decisions about long—term placements can involve a number of different assessments and they would continue to engage with the couple. the couple's lawyer is an adoption specialist and he says he has never seen a case like this. bradford children's services are currently under investigation
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by the department for education, and the sonny and sarita hope their case can be taken into account. that investigation followed the murder of a toddler in 2020. it is due to report later this month. sanchia berg, bbc news. species from around the world that "hitch a lift" on ships, like mussels or crabs, are threatening antarctica's marine ecosystem. a study by the university of cambridge tracked vessels which regularly visit the isolated region, and found disruption caused by unwanted visitors to the local habitat and wildlife. our science correspondent victoria gill has that story. a land of extremes and a haven for marine life. but visitors could be bringing some unwelcome creatures to this frozen place. by tracking global shipping, researchers discovered that antarctica is visited by vessels that come from 1,500 ports all over
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the world for research, tourism and fishing. those ships, scientists say, bring potentially destructive species into this unique ecosystem. ships that visit antarctica don't just have, you know, one home port that they visit and go back and forth. these ships travel all around the world, so that was really surprising. and in terms of invasive species, that means that almost anywhere in the world could be a potential source for new species visiting antarctica. antarctica's wildlife has been isolated for millions of years. but marine species like mussels, barnacles and crabs clinging to ships' hulls could harm or completely displace that native wildlife. on the antarctic island of south georgia, invasive rats brought by whaling ships threatened colonies of seabirds by devouring their eggs. a rat eradication mission dropping tonnes of poisoned bait has been declared a success but it took
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nearly five years and cost £10 million. the burgeoning antarctic tourist industry is a key area of concern. got to wash our boots. we don't want to be taking anything onto the antarctic mainland that should not be there. when we explored its impact back in 2016, almost 40,000 people travelled to the antarctic. in the 2019 season, nearly 70,000 tourists visited. the british antarctic survey is calling for stricter biosecurity for ships that visit antarctic waters for any reason to be screened and cleaned more frequently. they're measures to protect what the scientists say is the last pristine coast on earth. victoria gill, bbc news. tha nkfully thankfully not quite as cold here. time for a look at the weather — here's tomasz schafernaker.
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not quite. in fact,

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