this is bbc news. lam martine i am martine croxall. the headlines at 8pm: millions enjoy the first weekend since england's lockdown was eased,— but concerns as health officials confirm 77 cases of the indian variant across the uk. the organisation representing nhs trusts in england says it will take five years for some hospitals to catch up with the backlog caused by the pandemic. two russians suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent poisonings are now accused — over a czech arms depot explosion in 2014. the czechs, for example, in the past until quite recently have been quite reticent about basically picking a fight with moscow. and it's quite interesting how the czechs have pivoted and they're being very, very robust in their response. the government says it will examine any recommendation made by the inquiry into the lobbying row involving david cameron.
angerfrom the premier league and uefa, as reports suggest the big six in england have signed up to a new european super league. hello, welcome to bbc news. on the first weekend since the government eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions in england, millions have taken the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the sunny weather. but there are concerns over new variants of the coronavirus, with 77 cases discovered in england and scotland, of an indian mutation of covid—19. it comes as deaths from coronavirus continue to fall, with ten in the latest 24—hour period, though the figures are usually lower at the weekend. our health correspondent, catherine burns, reports. as steps along the road map go,
this one has made a big difference to streets up and down england. it's been the first weekend for nonessential shops to open. streets packed, and apart from masks and queues, it's almost like old times. just to see everybody out and about, because that's one thing i've missed, being able to be part of society again, i guess. i still, like, get a bit nervous, obviously, because i don't want to get the virus and stuff, but it is nice to have a bit of normality in life again. pubs and restaurants too have had their first weekend of real trade for months. only outside, but it's not putting people off. steve and his family are getting togetherfor a big occasion. it's really great to be able to come out and celebrate my birthday, meet with my daughter, who i haven't seen for a long time, and just be around other people as well. there's a buzz. it'sjust really lovely to see them and celebrate. it feels a bit more normal as well. it's nice to be able
tojust do it now. i even if you have to be cold, it's worth it. - right now, it can feel like we've all got a lot to celebrate. infections across the uk have fallen by 90% since the start of the year. they're now at their lowest level since september. public health officials will keep a close eye on how easing up affects those numbers, but in the meantime, they're also studying a new variant that seems to have come from india. cases are spiking there, and 77 people in the uk have now tested positive for the new variant. the vast majority have been picked up in routine testing as people isolated after travelling from india, although a few have not been linked to travel. we have the variant under investigation. to escalate it up the ranking, we need to know if it has increased transmissibility, increased severity or vaccine—evading, and wejust don't know that yet, though we're looking at the data on a daily basis. but while they do that, here's another sight we've
not seen for a while — 213 fans watching the world snooker championships at the crucible yesterday. it's the first part of a government pilot into how to hold big events safely. so far, england is the only part of the uk to ease up this much. outdoor hospitality is still not allowed anywhere else until close to the end of the month. catherine burns, bbc news. the latest government figures show there were 1,882 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means on average the number of new cases reported per day in the last week is 2,555. the number of people in hospital in the uk with coronavirus stands atjust over 2,000. ten deaths were reported — that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—i9 test, — which means on average in the past week, 26 deaths were announced every day, taking the total to more than 127,000.
nearly 140,000 people have had their first dose of a covid—19 vaccine, in the latest 24—hour period, taking the overall number of people who've had their firstjab, to more than 32.8 million. while the number of people who've had their second dose of the vaccine in the latest 24—hour period is nearly half a million, which takes the overall number who've had their second jab to nearly 10 million. health officials say they're studying the latest covid variant which has emerged in india. more than 70 cases have been identified in the uk, leading to calls that india should be put on the government's travel red list. let's find out more from dr deepti gurdasani, clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer at queen mary's university london. dr deepti gurdasani, thank you very much forjoining us. what do we know about the origins of this variant? so this particular variant has been identified personally in india towards the end of march and it
seems to have two particular mutations of concern. one is quite similar to the one from the so—called south african variant, which we are concerned about in terms of vaccine effectiveness and there is another one which is potentially linked to increased transmissibility and also it escape from immunity. what is really concerning is that in india over the past four weeks or so we have seen cases rise from 20,000 per day to over 200,000 per day, so that is over 200,000 per day, so that is over ten fold increase, and it may well be linked to this increase new variant, although we don't know at this time. ~ .,, �* variant, although we don't know at this time. ~ ., �* ., variant, although we don't know at thistime. ~ �* ., ., ., , this time. wasn't that already resent this time. wasn't that already present in _ this time. wasn't that already present in the _ this time. wasn't that already present in the uk _ this time. wasn't that already present in the uk in _ this time. wasn't that already | present in the uk in february? this time. wasn't that already - present in the uk in february? yes, and that is— present in the uk in february? yes, and that is the _ present in the uk in february? yes, and that is the whole _ present in the uk in february? 1913 and that is the whole problem with having this idea of the red list, so we know this variant was present here even before it was identified in india and this is exactly the sort of thing we see, so surveillance of different countries are happening at different points in time and they may not identify when variants arrive, so when this particular variant was identified it
was already at 20% frequency in some areas there, so it is very likely it entered the uk even before we knew it was variant of concern, which is why we need these compressive quarantine restrictions because we don't know when the variants are arising and when they could potentially enter the country. what potentially enter the country. what ou mean potentially enter the country. what you mean by _ potentially enter the country. what you mean by compressive quarantine arrangements?— you mean by compressive quarantine arrangements? what i mean by that is the sort of arrangements _ arrangements? what i mean by that is the sort of arrangements they - arrangements? what i mean by that is the sort of arrangements they have i the sort of arrangements they have in new zealand and australia, who have managed not to import any variance so far, which is mandatory managed quarantine at hotels for 1h days for anyone entering from any country. they are tested at about 12 days, including having isolation for the full 1a days, irrespective of the full 1a days, irrespective of the test result, which is not what we have in the uk right now. in the uk right now you can test and release at five days for most parts of the world, although you do have to get tested again at eight days, but you can release and start mixing at five days and that is the sort of thing that would encourage transmission. there are a huge
number of exemptions and as we know, the red list of countries itself does not include even the countries that have variants of concern within them and certainly not variants that can potentially come from other places, where we don't know there are variants of concern. we places, where we don't know there are variants of concern.— are variants of concern. we have heard, are variants of concern. we have heard. though. _ are variants of concern. we have heard, though, from _ are variants of concern. we have heard, though, from opponentsl are variants of concern. we have i heard, though, from opponents to what you are suggesting that it isn't appropriate for britain to do the same thing, that it isn't comparable with the new zealand experience, for example. how feasible would it be to impose what you are suggesting?— you are suggesting? well, many countries. _ you are suggesting? well, many countries, not _ you are suggesting? well, many countries, notjust _ you are suggesting? well, many countries, notjust new - you are suggesting? well, many countries, notjust new zealand| you are suggesting? well, many - countries, notjust new zealand and australia, but many countries over southeast asia have done it and i think we just have to look at europe to see what the consequences of importing these variants are. so for example, the third wave we are seeing all across europe is because of the so—called kent variant that was exported to europe because europe also has the same flawed quarantine policy, so these policies are entirely possible within the uk, we just decided it is ok for these variants to come in because we think they can contain them after they come in but unfortunately we have
not been successful for doing that. the so—called south african variant, the spike testing has been increasing week on week and given our primary vaccine strategy, it is really worrying we are letting potentially vaccine evading variants to grow within the uk. how potentially vaccine evading variants to grow within the uk.— potentially vaccine evading variants to grow within the uk. how likely is it that we can _ to grow within the uk. how likely is it that we can continue _ to grow within the uk. how likely is it that we can continue with - to grow within the uk. how likely is it that we can continue with further| it that we can continue with further easing of restrictions? i it that we can continue with further easing of restrictions?— easing of restrictions? i think the best policy _ easing of restrictions? i think the best policy at _ easing of restrictions? i think the best policy at this _ easing of restrictions? i think the best policy at this point - easing of restrictions? i think the best policy at this point is - easing of restrictions? i think the best policy at this point is really. best policy at this point is really to stamp out these variants of concern. they are still a minority, so less than 1% of the total number of sequences, but if they start going rapidly, the shape of this pandemic can change their quickly, so the thing we need to do is have those restrictions in place, particularly where those variants are occurring, support with isolation as well, so that our search testing can help with identifying transmission are really stamped out. idr identifying transmission are really stamped out-— stamped out. dr deepti gurdasani from queen _ stamped out. dr deepti gurdasani from queen marys _ stamped out. dr deepti gurdasani from queen marys university - stamped out. dr deepti gurdasani from queen marys university in i from queen marys university in london, thank you very much. the organsiation representing hospital trusts in england has
warned that it will take five years for some hospitals to catch up with the backlog of patient care caused by the coronavirus pandemic. nhs providers says covid—19 has resulted in the biggest backlog of care in england for 20 years. the chief executive of nhs providers, chris hopson, explained what he thinks could be done to improve the situation. well, i think it is going to be a very important and challenging task. what we have said today is that we need a plan, a team plan, between the nhs and government. on the nhs side, we are going to have to do do a range of different things. we're going to have to be bold and transformational. we're going to need to change the way that we provide some of this care. that's going to need the government to come up with some extra funding. in the past, you may remember, for example, in the early 2000s, when we had similar sizes of waiting list problems, we sort of got round it by paying more overtime by using the private sector., this time, particularly given the range of things that we have to do at the same time,
we're going to have to be bolder. we're going to have to adopt, for example, new technology solutions. we're going to have to get trusts working together much more effectively to improve productivity and efficiency, but the bit that is really important is that this is a very big challenge. this is... people have been doing some work over the last month to really look at how they will plan to deal with this and the conclusion that they have come to is that, as you have said, in the worst areas, in the areas with the biggest problem, on the current trajectory, they're currently looking at a three to five year period to get through that backlog. everybody knows that's not appropriate. we're going to have to do better. we're going to have to work with government to help get a plan to do that. chris hopson of nhs providers. and we'll find out how coronavirus— and other stories — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight are the former leader of the scottish labour party, kezia dugdale, and the deputy political editor of the daily mail, john stevens.
there's been international condemnation of russia, after the two men suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent attack three years ago were implicated in a deadly explosion in the czech republic in 2014. the foreign secretary, dominic raab, says the revelation shows a, "disturbing pattern of behaviour" by moscow, while the white house has criticised what it says are subversive actions by the russian state. czech officials are now expelling 18 russian diplomats, a move moscow says is "absurd." in the last hour, the kremlin has responded by expelling 20 czech officials. our security correspondent, gordon corera, reports. the aftermath of a deadly explosion. in october 2014, this arms depot in the czech countryside blew up. it took a month to find the remains of two men who worked there. it was widely assumed to have been an accident, until now. a key piece of evidence came when investigators found an e—mail requesting permission for two men to inspect the site. attached were scans
of the men's passports, a copy of which the bbc has obtained. if you recognise them, this is why. they're the same two men wanted in connection with the salisbury poisoning in the uk. in 2018, they were spotted on cctv and accused of smearing nerve agent on the front door of sergei skripal�*s house. the two denied any involvement, saying they visited salisbury to see the cathedral spire. the e—mail with the passport scans claimed the men were from the national guard of tajikistan, and gave false names. the pair arrived in prague in october 11th, using the same names as in salisbury. on october 13th, they went to stay in ostrava, near the arms depot, and they left the country on october 16th, the day of the explosion. but why was the depot targeted? the bbc has been told that a bulgarian arms dealer, emilian gebrev, stored weapons there. six months later in bulgaria,
another team from russian military intelligence is believed to have tried to kill gebrev. this cctv shows an alleged member of the team moving around gebrev�*s car. it's alleged that poison was smeared on its door handle, leaving him fighting for his life, though he did survive. one expert says these incidents paint a picture of how this team operates. it actually seems to have been military intelligence's in—house team of miscellaneous throat—slitters and general saboteurs. there are probably about 20 operational staff and maybe 200 support personnel. the czech prime minister last night announced that 18 russian diplomats were to be expelled. moscow has responded that the allegations are absurd. the revelations about this explosion may not be the last. investigations into the activities of russian military intelligence are ongoing, and more cases may still be uncovered. gordon corera, bbc news.
the headlines on bbc news... millions enjoy the first weekend since england's lockdown was eased — but concerns as health officials confirm 77 cases of the indian variant across the uk. the organisation representing nhs trusts in england says it will take five years for some hospitals to catch up with the backlog caused by the pandemic. two russians suspected of carrying out the salisbury nerve agent poisonings are now accused over a czech arms depot explosion, in 2014. uefa, the football association, and the premier league have reacted angrily tonight to reports that 12 major european clubs, including the big six from england, have signed up to a breakaway european super league. arsenal, chelsea, liverpool, manchester city, manchester united and tottenham are part of the group. this was the reaction from the sports minister speaking in the past few hours. iam i am laser focused i am laserfocused on i am laser focused on the government is really laser focused on what is
best for fans and what is best for english football. i'm not convinced that what has been announced would be. i haven't seen the full details yet, but i'm pretty sceptical about it. i don't think it was necessary to create the opportunities will be a level playing field we would like to see in football, it seems a pretty closed shop idea, so i am pretty closed shop idea, so i am pretty sceptical at the moment, but i will wait to see the details. sports minister nigel huddleston. we can speak now to our football reporter, simon stone. what is your opinion of this super league? i what is your opinion of this super leaaue? ~ , what is your opinion of this super leaaue? ~' , ., what is your opinion of this super leaaue? ~' , . ., league? i think they are wanting money because _ league? i think they are wanting money because there _ league? i think they are wanting money because there are - league? i think they are wanting | money because there are private equity— money because there are private equity funds, hedge funds who are interested — equity funds, hedge funds who are interested in buying into football. we found — interested in buying into football. we found that out when the debate around _ we found that out when the debate around project big picture last auiumn— around project big picture last autumn came out around the same clubs _ autumn came out around the same clubs the — autumn came out around the same clubs. the clubs involved here we are talking — clubs. the clubs involved here we are talking about the biggest teams in europe, — are talking about the biggest teams in europe, they are going to gain hundreds— in europe, they are going to gain hundreds of millions of pounds each by being _ hundreds of millions of pounds each by being involved in this and that
obviousiy— by being involved in this and that obviously is good news for their owners. — obviously is good news for their owners, whether it is good news for the game, — owners, whether it is good news for the game, well, people have doubts about— the game, well, people have doubts about that, — the game, well, people have doubts about that, but there is no doubt at all that— about that, but there is no doubt at all that these clubs believe that no elite competition in europe can operate — elite competition in europe can operate without them that is why they feel— operate without them that is why they feel emboldened to go forward with these... they feel emboldened to go forward with these- - -— they feel emboldened to go forward with these... does that mean, then, that these clubs _ with these... does that mean, then, that these clubs would _ with these... does that mean, then, that these clubs would withdraw - with these... does that mean, then, | that these clubs would withdraw from other competitions?— other competitions? well, certainly it is impossible _ other competitions? well, certainly it is impossible to _ other competitions? well, certainly it is impossible to see _ other competitions? well, certainly it is impossible to see how - other competitions? well, certainly it is impossible to see how the - it is impossible to see how the champions league, which is the flagship — champions league, which is the flagship tournament, the uefa, which is undergoing a revamp, which is due to be _ is undergoing a revamp, which is due to be announced by uefa tomorrow afternoon. — to be announced by uefa tomorrow afternoon, it is difficult to see how _ afternoon, it is difficult to see how that _ afternoon, it is difficult to see how that could survive when he elite clubs _ how that could survive when he elite clubs have _ how that could survive when he elite clubs have gone off and played in other— clubs have gone off and played in other competitions. they couldn't coexist. _ other competitions. they couldn't coexist, those competitions. i think the idea _ coexist, those competitions. i think the idea is— coexist, those competitions. i think the idea is for the clubs to carry on playing — the idea is for the clubs to carry on playing in their own domestic leagues, — on playing in their own domestic leagues, leagues, as has been pointed — leagues, leagues, as has been pointed out already the premier
league. — pointed out already the premier league, la liga in spain and other leagues— league, la liga in spain and other leagues in— league, la liga in spain and other leagues in italy have already... stated — leagues in italy have already... stated their... against these proposals. a number of months ago, the governing body of football warned — the governing body of football warned the clubs that they pursued the european super league they would do everything in their power to stop it and _ do everything in their power to stop it and that — do everything in their power to stop it and that also means preventing those _ it and that also means preventing those clubs playing in major competitions, but also preventing the players who play for them playing — the players who play for them playing in their elite competitions, which, _ playing in their elite competitions, which, at — playing in their elite competitions, which, at the extreme level is the world _ which, at the extreme level is the world cup. — which, at the extreme level is the world cup, so these are big decisions _ world cup, so these are big decisions that players and clubs will have — decisions that players and clubs will have to make and that is the debate _ will have to make and that is the debate that has been raised by the news _ debate that has been raised by the news that— debate that has been raised by the news that has emerged this evening. what would be in it for the fans of these clubs?— what would be in it for the fans of these clubs? well, for the fans he clubs would _ these clubs? well, for the fans he clubs would argue _ these clubs? well, for the fans he clubs would argue that _ these clubs? well, for the fans he clubs would argue that it - these clubs? well, for the fans he clubs would argue that it is - these clubs? well, for the fans he clubs would argue that it is more | these clubs? well, for the fans he l clubs would argue that it is more of the bigger— clubs would argue that it is more of the bigger matches that they want. they don't— the bigger matches that they want. they don't want to be playing against — they don't want to be playing against the smaller teams in europe, they want— against the smaller teams in europe, they want to be playing in matches
against _ they want to be playing in matches against the elite of europe. whether the sound _ against the elite of europe. whether the sound quite see it like that is another— the sound quite see it like that is another matter. there was a statement last week signed by many, many— statement last week signed by many, many fans— statement last week signed by many, many fans from the clubs who we are talking _ many fans from the clubs who we are talking about this evening, and they voiced _ talking about this evening, and they voiced their opposition. they see domestic— voiced their opposition. they see domestic football and the champions league _ domestic football and the champions league is— domestic football and the champions league is exist is the way forward, so there _ league is exist is the way forward, so there is— league is exist is the way forward, so there is a — league is exist is the way forward, so there is a big debate, there is a lot of— so there is a big debate, there is a lot of opposition to these plans and i lot of opposition to these plans and i don't _ lot of opposition to these plans and i don't think we are going to hear the end _ idon't think we are going to hear the end of— i don't think we are going to hear the end of it. we are supposed to be getting _ the end of it. we are supposed to be getting a _ the end of it. we are supposed to be getting a statement at some point from these clubs outlining their proposals. untilthat from these clubs outlining their proposals. until that comes, we don't _ proposals. until that comes, we don't know— proposals. until that comes, we don't know what we're dealing with and, don't know what we're dealing with and. as— don't know what we're dealing with and. as i_ don't know what we're dealing with and, as i say, i think the opposition will be long lasting and it will— opposition will be long lasting and it will be _ opposition will be long lasting and it will be very, very loud.- it will be very, very loud. simon stone, it will be very, very loud. simon stone. thank — it will be very, very loud. simon stone, thank you _ it will be very, very loud. simon stone, thank you very _ it will be very, very loud. simon stone, thank you very much. i it will be very, very loud. simon - stone, thank you very much. football reporter there. the environment secretary, george eustice, has told the bbc that the government will "look at" any recommendations to change the rules around lobbying. inquiries have begun into david cameron's contact with ministers, on behalf of the collapsed financial
firm, greensill capital. it comes as a senior conservative mp warns borisjohnson he'll lose support among former labour voters, unless the lobbying row is resolved. our political correspondent, jonathan blake, reports. letting light into parts of political life that often stay in the shadows. former prime minister david cameron's lobbying of ministers on behalf of a finance company has led to wider questions about links between government and business and possible conflicts of interest. one cabinet minister who used to work for mr cameron defended his actions and those of ministers today, but hinted that a government review could bring change. once it's concluded and once all those parliamentary committees that are now looking at this are concluded, i'm sure some of them will make policy recommendations, and of course the government will look at that. i'm not saying that things can't be tweaked or improved, but i am saying that it was changed about ten years ago and that fundamentally here, the question should be less about who spoke to who. the question is much more about how ministers acted after those conversations.
conservatives are worried that some of this may be starting to stick and could spell trouble for borisjohnson with voters if he doesn't do something soon. boris defeated what he regarded and described as an out of touch elite in the 2016 referendum, and won a general election victory. he is seen as different from his predecessors, and has won a lot of support as a consequence. he will lose that support unless he acts decisively now. labour's rachel reeves faced questions about why her party's former welsh first minister took a job against independent advice, but there's no letup in the political attacks. what we have seen this week is that tory sleaze is back- and that it's bigger than ever. we need real change to restore trust in our democracy and in the very- essence of public service, - which matters to so many of us and matters to people in our country. there are now multiple investigations under way into the rules around contact
between politicians in power and those who seek to influence them, including the government's own review. so, it's possible, indeed likely, that more details will emerge and be used by some to argue that there are just too many grey areas. what's less clear is whether any of this will lead to lasting change in the way westminster works. how to regulate access to politicians and ensure that they're not unduly influenced are not easy questions to answer. jonathan blake, bbc news. the foreign office says the uk is deeply concerned about the health of the jailed russia opposition activist, alexei navalny, and has called for his release. supporters of mr navalny have said he could die within days. doctors say blood tests indicate he's at risk of both kidney and heart failure. he's been on a hunger strike for more than two weeks, because he's not being allowed access to his own medical team. speaking on the andrew marr show,
russia's ambassador to the uk, andrei kelin, was asked if mr navalny would be allowed to die in prison. of course he will not be allowed to die in prison, but i can say that mr navalny behaves like a hooligan, absolutely, in trying to violate every rule that has been established. his purpose of doing that is to attract attention for him, also by saying that today his left hand is sick, tomorrow his leg is sick and all of that stuff... the european court of human rights has ruled that the charges against him for money laundering are, they say, "arbitrary and unfair. " isn't the truth that he is in prison because he is a threat to president putin, for democratic reasons? no, not at all. he has violated his terms of parole and that is why he has been given a sentence and i have to say that julian assange here in britain was arrested by british police because he had also violated the terms of parole.
russia's ambassador to the uk, andrei kelin. 11 people have died and nearly 100 others injured in a train accident in egypt. several carriages were derailed in the accident that took place north of the capital, cairo. egypt's rail system has a very poor safety record — last month, at least 20 people were killed in a collision between two trains. students at a university in south africa have been evacuated after several buildings were set ablaze. a wildfire started on the slopes of table mountain national park, spreading to the university of cape town campus. firefighters have been battling the fire with water bombs being dropped from helicopters. strong winds are fanning the flames and thick smoke can be seen from several miles away. the billionaire issa brothers who own asda have bought the british fast food chain, leon. more than 70 leon restaurants across the uk and europe have been sold to the brothers' giant petrol forecourt business, eg group. the deal is believed to be worth around £100 million.
the family of an elderly woman from south wales who was taken home from hospital by ambulance staff to the wrong address say she was "frightened" by what happened. elizabeth mahoney�*s son has been told she was also put to bed in the stranger's home, before anyone realised what had happened. the welsh ambulance service has apologised. nicola smith reports. treasured photos of elizabeth mahoney in healthier times. two years on after treatment for covid in hospital, she was ready to be discharged. but instead of taking her home, the non—emergency patient transport service took her to a house in newport several miles away. it's not clear how it happened, but her family believe she may have been mistaken for another patient with dementia. she was telling them apparently that her name wasn't... i won't say the lady's name, but she said, "that isn't my name, "my name is betty," she's known as. she said, "this isn't my house." mum was frightened, i think, then. officially, we heard from the
ambulance service that they had put her to bed because before that, we didn't really know whether they put her in a chair, in a bed, whether it was upstairs, downstairs, whatever. it was a bungalow, apparently, and the gentleman pointed to the bedroom she had to go in. we didn't realise till after they'd gone that this is not my sister. once the error was discovered, she was taken back to hospital several hours later. the welsh ambulance service has apologised to both families and says it's working with the health board to fully understand the chain of events. the health board has been asked to comment. we don't want anybody... nothing to happen to anybody in the nhs or anything else, because we've all supported the nhs. but we just feel that something should be in place to make sure this never happens again. tonight, investigations are continuing into what happened and why. nicola smith with that report. nasa is attempting to make history with the first powered
flight on another planet. it will launch a small helicopter, called ingenuity, from the surface of mars. on board is a small piece of history from earth, a tiny square of material from the wright brothers plane that first flew over a century ago. our science correspondent, rebecca morelle, reports. the parachute has deployed... this mission has already revealed mars as never seen before with the first ever footage of a thrilling descent as the rover is lowered down to the martian surface. touchdown confirmed. now nasa is ready to make history again. this time, it will try to launch a helicopter. the first attempt at powered flight on another planet, this animation reveals how it might look. but with the extreme conditions on mars and the fact that there's barely any atmosphere, it won't be easy. it feels absolutely nuts, of course. i mean, we've been flying on earth forjust over 100 years and now, yeah, we're going to go to another planet. it's crazy, right? but that's the beauty
of exploration and the beauty of engineering. nasa's helicopter is a feat of engineering. it weighsjust 1.8 kilograms — that's four lbs — and it has two long rotors which spin in opposite directions at up to 2,500 revolutions per minute. this is much faster than a helicopter on earth, but it needs this speed to lift off in the extremely thin martian atmosphere. its first test flight takes it three metres above the ground for 30 seconds before rotating and finally landing. then for the next 30 days, it will begin to fly much further afield. the helicopter has been lowered from where it was stored beneath the rover onto a carefully selected strip of terrain, free of boulders. it will capture footage as it flies, looking down on the rover and the rover�*s camera will film the helicopter, providing multiple views for the scientists to study. one of the things that a helicopter is very well suited for isjust
looking around, scouting. it can traverse places without being hindered by the terrain. it could dojust kind of scouting missions for our future rovers, perhaps, or even for astronauts. the helicopter is part of nasa's most ambitious mars mission to date. these are all images taken in the last few weeks. on the ground, the rover will be searching for signs of life, but the helicopter will add an airborne dimension to how we explore other planets, opening up new frontiers in flight. rebecca morelle, bbc news. some breaking news to bring you and i am in no way partial about this. leicester city have beaten southampton in the second fa cup final. one of their players scored from close range, it means that the foxes will face chelsea on the 15th of may in the final. there were 4000 spectators present at wembley for this match because of the easing of restrictions allowing that. i hesitate to give you this detail
because lewis, who is producing, is a southampton fan, but according to the bbc sport website, southampton didn't have a single shot on target all game. and in a semifinal! anyway, leicesterwon all game. and in a semifinal! anyway, leicester won 1—0. time now for a look at the weather with nick. hello, a bit of rain today for parts of scotland and northern ireland, but it will become mainly dry overnight, but we will keep some areas of claudia, although eastern scotland will turn clearer. through the night it will be mainly clear in england and wales, but some areas of low cloud and mist and fog pushing into the north sea across parts of eastern england. where you are clear tonight, a chance of frost going into the morning, but book where you have the cloud temperatures will be a good few degrees above freezing. the best of the sunny spells and ease tomorrow, but in western counties the chance of some rain moving on in the afternoon, outbreaks of rain for scotland and the western isles and the far north—west of the mainland, while elsewhere mist and fog will clear from the eastern england and plenty