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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  January 26, 2022 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT

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at six — westminster waits for the report that could determine the prime minister's future, amid more calls for him to resign. at prime minister's questions, borisjohnson said he was getting on with thejob amid more questions. the ministerial code says that ministers who knowingly to mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation. does the prime minister believe that applies to him? prime minister. mr speaker, of course, - but let me tell the house that i think he's inviting a question about an investigation - which, as you know, - mr speaker, ican't comment. also on the programme tonight... the numbers are falling — just under three million people had covid in the uk last week, but infections among schoolchildren are on the rise.
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russia carries out military exercises close to the ukrainian border, as the us says it fears president putin could use force against ukraine in the next few weeks. and the story of the little girl who vanished for days in australia more than half a century ago — finally answers about what happened to her. coming up in sportsday later in the hour on the bbc news channel, champions once again, alfie hewett and gordon reid continue their winning run in the wheelchair doubles to set a grand slam record. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six.
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the prime minister has vowed to fight on amid calls to resign as westminster waits for the publication of sue gray's highly anticipated report into parties in downing street during lockdown. during prime minister's questions today, the labour leader sir keir starmer urged borisjohnson to publish the official report in full once it has been released. to publish the official report the metropolitan police is carrying out its own probe to establish if the gatherings broke coronavirus legislation. number ten has said mrjohnson doesn't believe he has broken the law. here's our political editor, laura kuenssberg. busy doing nothing much. waiting, wondering if the findings of a report into rule breaking in downing street will make life impossible for boris johnson. other ministers trying to concentrate on serious matters of the day... can you survive this prime minister? ..anxiety, anticipation about what the next few hours would bring. the prime minister eager not to show any nerves to his backbench troops. cheered at lunchtime, but, with questions pressing, can that mood prevail?
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how much damage are the prime minister and his cabinet prepared to do to save his skin? prime minister. let me just remind the house what's been going on in downing street. - we've been prioritising the covid backlogs, mr speaker. _ and when the official verdict into what really went on is ready, will we see it all? can the prime minister confirm that he will publish the full sue gray report as he receives it? of course i will do. exactly what i said. remember the official civil service inquiry isn'tthe only one that lurks. we now have the shameful spectacle of a prime minister of the united kingdom being subject to a police investigation. isn't this a prime minister and a government that has shown nothing but contempt for the decency, honesty and respect that defined this country? prime minister! iand for all sorts of reasons, many. people may want me out of the way, but i'll tell you the reason. he wants me out of the way,
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it's because he knows - that this government can be trusted to deliver. and we are, and particularly i, am getting on with the job. i a public show of force. but it's the private world behind number ten's show that has been exposed. it's a business meeting! allegations of parties in the press office exploded with a cringeworthy video of staffers joking about how they would explain it away. and it's not socially distanced. can you stop? i'm going to make a statement, you don't... the tears of the former press spokesperson allegra stratton, the first casualty of this whole mess. then admissions of various other gatherings in whitehall, when the country was locked down. revelations of bring your own booze drinks in the downing street garden, organised by none other than martin reynolds, one of the most senior staff by borisjohnson�*s side. a basement booze up during during the national mourning for prince philip.
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and then, just this week, news of a birthday celebration for the prime minister in the cabinet room during lockdown. lulu, why did you go - to borisjohnson's party? lulu lytle, the interior designer of the renovation of the number ten flat, briefly there, along with borisjohnson's wife. the painful question all the way through, how could the people who wrote the lockdown rules have broken them, too? this whole place is in a deeply uncomfortable limbo. the report into what went on in downing street is still not out, even though it was essentially complete, apart from last—minute checks, last night. the questions about the integrity and truthfulness of what happened have still not been answered and, just when those doubts are swirling thick and fast, a new, separate contradiction has emerged. remember this? the desperate images of the evacuation of kabul when it fell to the taliban. there are claims that the prime minister interfered to prioritise rescuing animals from a british man,
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penn farthing's, charity. that was fiercely denied at the time. but e—mails published by a westminster committee today give a very different picture, referring to the "prime minister's decision", saying in writing, the prime minister has just authorised their staff and animals to be evacuated. that's a total contradiction of what borisjohnson said last month. did you intervene that way? no, that's complete nonsense... marrying up different versions of events has been part of this government's problem. mps sent home tonight without the official report into parties coming out, so accusations hover, still waiting for a verdict. the prime minister hopes for political escape. and, sophie, despite the public anger about everything that has gone on that is felt by many people and despite the anxiety for many conservative mps about what is going on and downing street prospect handling of the last few, torrid weeks, borisjohnson appeared today
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to have not the faintest intention of going anywhere, no matter what happens in the next few days. but with that report tonight, as we speak, still not even delivered to downing street, his politicalfuture still hangs very much in the balance. the uncertainty has been prolonged by the fact the report still hasn't come out today and that prolongs the political agony for number ten and borisjohnson's number ten and boris johnson's colleagues. laura kuenssberg, thank you. just under three million people in the uk had coronavirus last week, according to the latest research — that's roughly one in 20 people, a fall of half a million from the week before. but the number of children getting covid has increased. in northern ireland, the use of vaccine passports in pubs, restaurants and cinemas has today been scrapped. our health editor hugh pym has the latest. it is the last day in england for compulsory mask wearing in some indoor public spaces. tomorrow, plan b measures will end, with covid
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passes as well as face coverings no longer mandatory. but some, like tom, are anxious that people remain cautious. he has an immune deficiency and knows he is at higher risk from covid.— risk from covid. putting a mask on may restrict _ risk from covid. putting a mask on may restrict you — risk from covid. putting a mask on may restrict you for _ risk from covid. putting a mask on may restrict you for the _ risk from covid. putting a mask on may restrict you for the one - risk from covid. putting a mask on | may restrict you for the one minute you are in the shop or the two minutes you do your grocery shopping, but, actually, it will make the individualfeel shopping, but, actually, it will make the individual feel better, allow them to live more of a normal life and it will definitely reduce their anxiety, sojust life and it will definitely reduce their anxiety, so just awareness of others would be amazing. restrictions in northern ireland are being eased today, with nightclubs reopening under indoor standing events such as concerts allowed again, no proof of vaccination or a negative test result will be required. —— although proof of vaccination. the latest statistics in a survey suggest there were just under 3 million people who had a virus in the uk last week. that was down although falling at a slower rate than before. in england, where one in 20 had a virus, wales won in
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30 and scotland won in 30, case rates were lower but in northern ireland, with one in 20, the trend was said to be uncertain. fist ireland, with one in 20, the trend was said to be uncertain.- was said to be uncertain. at the imputation _ was said to be uncertain. at the population level, _ was said to be uncertain. at the population level, things- was said to be uncertain. at the population level, things are - was said to be uncertain. at the - population level, things are looking much better than they were a few weeks ago. most if not all of the indicators are moving in the right direction and that is good news, we just need to keep a steady state and watch, of course, the changes that are being introduced in terms of policies, what their impact will be on infections in the community. infections in england fell in all age groups except among children. since the return of schools earlier this month, cases have picked up, with increases in the last week among primary and secondary school pupils. among primary and secondary school --uils. ~ �* ., . among primary and secondary school --uils.~ �* ., . pupils. we've got children off across the — pupils. we've got children off across the school, _ pupils. we've got children off across the school, i - pupils. we've got children off across the school, i think - pupils. we've got children off across the school, i think we | pupils. we've got children off. across the school, i think we are pupils. we've got children off- across the school, i think we are up to the high 20s and our children who had tested positive but, on top of that, we have staff whose children have tested positive, so they are trying to juggle childcare with their partners. it's really difficult.— their partners. it's really difficult. , ., ., difficult. the questionnaire, with infection rising _
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difficult. the questionnaire, with infection rising among _ difficult. the questionnaire, with infection rising among children, | infection rising among children, will it spread through to older age groups —— like the questionnaire. there is uncertainty to among new variants, there is one under investigation in the uk at the growth in denmark. experts, though, so it is early days. more data is needed and there is, as of now, no needed and there is, as of now, no need for concern. hugh pym, bbc news, now for the latest look and at the uk's coronavirus figures. they show there were more than 102,000 new infections in the latest 24—hour period. it means there were 92,000 new cases on average per day in the last week. the number of people in hospital with covid is just over 16,500. another 346 deaths were reported, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive test. on average in the past week, there were 262 deaths per day. 0n vaccinations, just over 37 million people have had a boosterjab, that's nearly 6a.5% of those aged 12 and over. so, from tomorrow, the legal requirement for face coverings
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in public places in england will be dropped. but some businesses, transport and retailers are still advising customers to wear them. 0ur correspondent colletta smith joins me now from manchester. hello, yes, from tomorrow morning here in england, you won't have to wear a mask if you are going into the shops, if you are using public transport, in those public areas that, until now, you have had to wear masks for but that of course plunges customers back into a difficult situation, that grey area we all are facing, facing different rules and requirements depending exactly where you are because different retailers today say they will make different requests of their customers. we have heard from sainsbury�*s and john lewis, who are course run waitrose as well, who say they are going to be urging their customers, the signs will stay up and they will still make those tannoy announcements to say please continue to wear your masks. at the other end, morrisons say they will stick to the government guidance.
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curry�*s say they will ask staff to wear masks but not necessarily their customers. when it comes to transport, the picture is different across england where we have transport for london, the tube on the buses, requiring passengers to wear masks whereas that is not the case here in manchester and elsewhere across the uk and, of course in scotland, wales and northern ireland, worth reiterating that you still need to wear your mask whether you are shopping or on public transport. thank you. the united states has predicted that russia will invade ukraine by the middle of february. in the past hour, us secretary of state anthony blinken told russia there could be no compromise on the issue of ukraine's sovereignty. moscow has deployed an estimated 100,000 soldiers near the border in both belarus and russia. president putin has accused western nations of aggressive expansion into russia's sphere of influence. he claims one of his key concerns is the expansion of nato — the military alliance of european states with the us and canada.
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many countries in eastern europe became members after the fall of the soviet union. 0ur correspondent in kyiv, sarah rainsford, has been out in the city to see if people are preparing for all—out war. matches, needle, etc. medicals and bandages, medicine. yuri is getting ready for a war he hopes he never sees. he's packed an emergency bag to grab and go if russian bombs or troops reach kyiv. a basic survival kit for the worst possible scenario. what does it actually feel like to be doing this? it's unbelievable. so i understand that i'm leaving now in 21st century. i'm amazed that i should do this, that i should pack this bag. but this is what i have to do to keep my family safe. yuri thinks the major escalation in ukraine's eight—year—long war with russia is unlikely. he just feels better
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being prepared for it. there's no sense of tension on the streets here. ukraine calls western talk of a major russian incursion alarmist, but the government's not ignoring the build—up of troops on its border. a few weeks ago, the authorities here actually released a map with all the bomb shelters. and just look at it, there's thousands of them. 5,000, in fact, all over the city. marking a map, though, is the easy bit. the door�*s locked. and this is one of the official bomb shelters, supposedly. so either nobody here is expecting war to break out any minute now, or they're just not very well prepared for it. the metro might be a safer bet. deep below ground. if the air raid siren sounds, people will have 20 minutes to get down here. there's so much talk now outside ukraine about the possibility of the conflict escalating,
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of an imminent russian invasion, and it's quite weird being here inside kyiv itself and realising that people are just going about their ordinary lives. there's no sense of panic here at all. do you think it's possible that the conflict could actually reach kyiv? i don't know. i don't have any information about it, so i'm just living my best life right now and hoping that everything will be ok. did you make any kind of preparations or any emergency...? no, no, no. so, as western governments wrestle with moscow's ultimatums and demands, ukrainians — for now — are getting on with a life they've long lived in the shadow of russian threats and aggression. sarah rainsford, bbc news, kyiv. 0ur correspondent barbara plett usherjoins us now from washington. the us secretary of the us secretary of state the us secretary of state has the us secretary of state has been the us secretary of state has been giving washington's latest response to russia's demands over ukraine.
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what has he been saying? he is sa in: what has he been saying? he is saying that _ what has he been saying? he is saying that the _ what has he been saying? he is saying that the americans - what has he been saying? he is saying that the americans have | saying that the americans have delivered a paper to the russian foreign ministry and this is the written response for which russia was waiting. it doesn't contain any surprises but it means the diplomatic channels will remain open for now. the americans have again rejected in writing russia's main demands which are to deny nato membership to ukraine and pull back nato presence from eastern europe, but they have also outlined areas where they see common ground, things like arms control and military exercises. that falls way short of russia wants and the russian foreign minister has said he won't let the proposals be drowned in endless discussions. but he is set to meet the us secretary of state on the basis of the paper that has been delivered so those discussions will continue. ., ~ delivered so those discussions will continue. ., ,, , ., continue. thank you. the time _ continue. thank you. the time is - continue. thank you. the time isjust - continue. thank you. the time isjust afterj continue. thank you. - the time isjust after quarter continue. thank you. _ the time isjust after quarter past the time is just after quarter past six.
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our top story this evening... westminster waits for the report that could determine the prime minister's future amid more calls for him to resign. a million facemasks — sent to front line nhs staff at the height of the pandemic — how a highly critical report has now described them as counterfeit. coming up in sportsday in the next 15 minutes on the bbc news channel... we'll have the latest from the africa cup of nations in cameroon — will it be egypt or ivory coast that reach the quarterfinals in cameroon? the bbc�*s ashleyjohn—baptiste grew up in care. he always thought he was an only child. but years later — out of the blue — he received a message from a man who said he was his older brother. he says the discovery had a profound effect on his life. he set out to discover how many other siblings are separated by the care system and what impact it has on their lives. by law, brothers and sisters should be kept together where possible. but new information from more than 200 local authorities has
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revealed that around half of sibling groups in care are currently split up. i was only a toddler when i entered the care system and i didn't leave until i was 18. to the knowledge of my various social workers and foster parents, i had no siblings. i was an only child. then what happens, in my mid—to—late 20s, as i'm still coming to terms with my own childhood, i get a message from a man on facebook who tells me that he's my brother. it was completely crazy, because, for a long time, i thought that i was kind of isolated in terms of family, that i didn't have anyone. this personal revelation made me think about the state of sibling relationships in today's care system, so i decided to investigate. freedom of information requests sent to over 200 uk local authorities have revealed that more than 12,000 looked after children are not living
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with at least one of their siblings. in their adoptive home, saskia and her two brothers suffered physical abuse and neglect for a decade. when they went back into council care, they were separated across different areas. i lost such a key part of myself, i think, because it was, like, us three against the world, you know? it always has been. and so, being so far away from them, it's like, oh, i'm not as strong any more. the law says siblings should be placed together when it is safe and possible to do so. where this is not appropriate, contact should be prioritised if this is right for the child. how are you feeling about meeting your brothers? excited. yeah? yeah. in scotland, new laws are giving siblings more control over their relationships. karen morrison is a veteran foster carer instrumental in these changes.
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0urfamily are foster carers and it didn't take long for us to realise, you know, that these children are going into the care system and they're not going to the same place together. in fact, they don't even know when they're going to see each other again. just imagine the trauma, it must be awful. karen also runs siblings reunited, a charity providing a safe space for split—up siblings in care to meet every few months. how excited have you guys been to meet today? good. ten out of ten. ten out of ten. just because i know it's halloween. 9,000. 9,000?! an independent review of the england care system is currently under way, with findings and recommendations expected to be published later this year. in scotland, new laws are giving siblings more control over their relationships. for these brothers, however, it's time to say goodbye for now. ashleyjohn—baptiste, bbc news. the metropolitan police has referred itself to the watchdog, the iopc, over the death of a woman
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who was stabbed in north london by herformer partner. he was then killed by a passing motorist. a warrant had been issued for the arrest of leon mckasker three weeks before he attacked yasmin chkai. there are growing calls for the motorist — who drove into him as he stabbed his former partner — not to face a criminal investigation. a million facemasks — designed for use by front line nhs staff — were sent out to hospitals at the height of the pandemic, despite warnings about their effectiveness. in a confidential government report, seen by bbc news, the masks were described as counterfeit. the report said health officials had been dismissive of concerns at the time and hadn't listened to warnings about the authenticity of the masks. our special correspondent lucy manning has the story. one million masks — described by a confidential report obtained by bbc news as counterfeits.
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yet doctors and nurses had no idea they'd left them exposed. it took the detective work of one nurse to find out what had happened. in autumn 2020, staff in the most high—risk areas wore these masks. a health and safety executive official had warned they shouldn't be distributed. despite hospitals complaining about them, with one hospital saying they failed tests 60% of the time, they continued to be used. one of these substandard masks failed while worn by a hospital worker. the report says that was then attributed to them getting covid symptoms. but it's clear there were concerns.
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these masks were being used almost exclusively in the highest risk procedures where the risk to the wearer was the greatest. and therefore that's why it's really, you know, really worrying to find that actually these masks were not protecting people as they should have done. it took a nurse in the midlands carrying out their own checks. they emailed the chinese manufacturer fang tian, and were told they were counterfeit. "you bought wrong goods from the worst person who made fake goods..." ..the company wrote. the report says some facts remain unclear, and the supplier, polyco, has serious misgivings about fang tian�*s claims the masks were fake. but when the department of health then contacted the manufacturer directly, they were told... "the masks you got do not have a certificate. "i'm sorry that you got the faked goods from bad guys." the report says health officials pressed to get the masks into hospitals and the pressure to get hold of them could have contributed to the failure to notice any red flags. the findings are stark. the initial due diligence to check the authenticity of the masks fell far short of the standards required. the report says the masks did pass
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tests to a lower clinical standard, and polyco believes it bought them from a reputable supplier with proper documentation. the department of health said... they said processes had been strengthened. but it's a worrying tale of how those on the front line couldn't rely on the protection they were given. lucy manning, bbc news. now to the story of an amazing reunion, more than 50 years after a toddler was found wandering alone miles from her home in australia. kathy wrethman�*s dissappearance in 1968 sparked a huge search — one that fortunately had a happy ending. until now, though, she never really knew who had rescued her. but all these years later, our correspondentjon kay finally found the answer while he was researching the story of another missing child — as he now explains.
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june 1968. and kathy wrethman was safe. the toddler had been missing for three days. but she was found, alone, in new south wales, almost 20 miles from home. now a grandma, this is the first time kathy has ever spoken publicly about what happened. the person that took me didn't hurt me. the only thing kathy could tell her parents was that there was a man. and the only clue, whoever took her from the family home, cut her hair. nobody was ever charged. i can only remember a dog. and a room, being in a room. someone coming in, opening this door, and saying "go to sleep". i do remember that. and the dog under my bed. it was a big dog. i think it was an alsatian. what is it like for you now, even now, not really knowing
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where you were and who you were with during those few days? it's mind—boggling. i came across kathy's story while i was making the bbc podcast series fairy meadow about the disappearance of cheryl grimmer in australia at around the same time. she was never found and the two cases have never been formally linked. of course i feel like the luckiest lady in the world. kathy was found wandering in a creek by some schoolboys who were skipping lessons. but she's never seen them since. what would you say to them? thank you. i mean, thank you wouldn't be enough for saving your life. because what i've got now is my family, and i wouldn't be sitting here if it wasn't for them. i want to introduce you to somebody. who? who is that? this is mark. mark. oh, my god! how are you?
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long time, no see! this is mark. so mark byrne was one of those three boys who found you. we were wagging school. like, we weren't good boys at school! but we had a good outcome that day! thank you so much for wagging school! i can't believe it. this is a dream. i just wanted to thank you. oh, my god. thank you is not enough. i love you, and you are always going to be my hero. you're always going to be my hero. five decades on, at least one mystery has been solved. jon kay, bbc news. what a wonderful reunion. and you can listen to the latest episodes ofjon�*s podcast series
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fairy meadow on bbc sounds or wherever you get your podcasts. time for a look at the weather. here's darren bett. more sunshine to come tomorrow actually, and it was so nice to get some sunshine today across more of england and wales after all of this gloomy weather. it's not been a dry january in the north—west of scotland, it's been very wet in highland once again. that rain is clearing away and heading southwards on this weather front. but that is weakening so the rain is becoming more patchy as it moves southwards, mainly heading down into western parts of england and wales. very windy weather for a while in 0rkney and it should be a frost—free night as the winds are picking up, and the cloud moves southwards. milder than last night. this is where the cloud is on thursday morning, there's not much rain by this stage. it moves away to the channel islands with sunshine following on behind. a north—westerly wind which will drag
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in some showers. many places dry and sunny. whilst it is a bit colder than of late in parts of scotland, it is not particularly chilly out there. high pressure builds in behind that weather front so it will turn chilly overnight, then we have this weather system rattling in from the atlantic which will bring rain in the north and introduce some milder south—westerly winds as well. we start chilly on friday, some sunshine around. we will cloud over more from the west with light rain and drizzle here and there. temperatures eight or 9 degrees. milderfurther north in temperatures eight or 9 degrees. milder further north in the cloud and in scotland 11 degrees, that is where we have most of the rain in northern parts of the country. a quick look at the weekend and it is still quite windy on saturday, very mild once again. most places will be dry. cooler on sunday but it will turn wet and windy in the north later on. thank you, darren. a reminder of our top story...
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westminster awaits the report that could determine the prime minister's future amid calls for him to resign. that's all from the bbc news at six so it's goodbye from me hello, i'm 0lly foster. here's what's coming up on sportsday this evening. it's a record nine grand slam titles in a row for the kings of wheelchair tennis, hewitt and reid. hewett and reid. another six nations setback for england. their captain, 0wen farrell, will miss the whole tournament. and no room error in canberra for england's women. can they keep the ashes series alive? we have to do the basics really well with the ball being really disciplined, and we have to bat beginnings.

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