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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  December 2, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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this is bbc news: i'm sally bundock with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. covid cases in south africa increase sharply, as the first case of omicron is reported in the us. the women's tennis association suspends all tournaments in china amidst concerns about peng shuai. we are not going to walk away from this and we're not going to allow this to be away without the appropriate respect and seriousness of the allegations that have been reflected appropriately. hollywood actor alec baldwin insists he did not pull the trigger in the fatal shooting of cinematographer halyna hutchins.
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and, orphans of the storm, the seals swept away from their mothers during storm arwen now being nursed back to health. hello and welcome. south africa has recorded a sharp increase in coronavirus infections which have doubled across the country since monday. health officials say the newly discovered omicron variant may be fuelling the surge, although it isn't clear how many of the new cases it accounts for. 8,500 covid infections have been registered in south africa in the last 2a hours. officials there say omicron is "rapidly becoming the dominant variant", after the country became the first to detect the highly mutated new variant last week. since then omicron has been identified in two dozen countries. on wednesday the united
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states identified its first omicron case. the centre for disease control is reportedly looking at a number of other potential cases. in europe, portugal has at least 13 omicron cases, the united kingdom has more than 20, spain, germany and austria have fewer than 10 cases between them, but as in the united states, the expectation is there are far more omicron cases that have yet to be identified. the european union says it is now considering mandatory vaccination to combat covid and the omicron variant. on and the omicron variant. the one hand you have th virus on the one hand you have the virus in the variance and on the other hand you have vaccination boosters and i want the second part two when. it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion now, how we can encourage and potentially think about
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mandatory vaccination, within the european union, this needs discussion. holly seale is associate professor of infectious disease at the university of new south wales in australia. shejoins me now from sydney. thank you for being on the programme. as expect it, this new variant is spreading and quickly and yet there is still little known about it.- little known about it. yes, certainly _ little known about it. yes, certainly there _ little known about it. yes, certainly there is - little known about it. yes, certainly there is not - little known about it. yes, certainly there is not a - little known about it. yes, certainly there is not a lot | certainly there is not a lot known right now, but there is a lot of work being done, researchers in south africa working with the world health organization are certainly coming together to try and look at what is the susceptibility of this new variant and how will the vaccines work against it? �* , , , ., it? and this is the question, isn't it? that _ it? and this is the question, isn't it? that current - isn't it? that current vaccinations were developed sometime ago before we knew this variant and how effect they will be or could be. that's it, but let's remember that these vaccines were developed even before delta
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came along and we have had this similar concern about whether or not these vaccines would work against delta and all of the evidence is of course suggesting that they do a great job in terms of reducing severe outcomes, hospitalisations and deaths and so forth, so if the same happens and we shall see that continued protection against this new variant. but havin: against this new variant. but having said _ against this new variant. but having said that, _ against this new variant. but having said that, governments, many governments worldwide are getting very heavy—handed when it comes to vaccines and making sure people do take up vaccinations. there is this debate about whether they should be mandatory or not. yeah, and that is the key thing here, as we are working on a vaccine that is reducing severe outcomes. these vaccines do have an impact in terms of transmission of the virus between people, but we know that that is not 80 or 90% or even 100%, it is much lower than what we were expect then,
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so we are not working towards herd immunity, we are working with a vaccine that is really doing what it needed to do in terms of stopping the burden in our hospitals and reducing the deaths from this infection, but it does require people to come together and receive their two doses firstly and come back for a booster shot down the track, and so this is where we are seeing government needing to look at what strategies are they putting in and perhaps not surprising they are looking then at what role mandates can play on top of the more kind of involuntary communication support processes that are being used so far.- being used so far. and in australia _ being used so far. and in australia where - being used so far. and in australia where you - being used so far. and in australia where you are i being used so far. and in | australia where you are of course, you have all been on the receiving end of a lot of very tough lockdowns, the australian government quick to react when cases emerge. what do you think might happen where you are with the omicron in
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australia as it is? we you are with the omicron in australia as it is?— australia as it is? we have started to _ australia as it is? we have started to see _ australia as it is? we have started to see our- australia as it is? we have started to see our first - australia as it is? we have l started to see our first cases of course be identified here, they are not community transmission cases, they are all associated with travellers coming back from some part of africa and so the health officials are obviously watching and waiting but i am sitting in a state now that is at 94% first dose and coming up to a very high second dose level, so we are in a very unique situation now around the world and rather than the mandates be introduced of course, what we have seen here the use of restrictions, so until now and even for another couple of weeks, people who are unvaccinated have not had i suppose the liberties of being able to go out and about in the same way that the fully vaccinated community members have and so that coupled with concerns around transmission and wanting to go towards a christmas of no more lockdowns,
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i think certainly has fuelled people to go and get vaccinated as opposed to needing to have the mandates applied in a more community sense. we have them but they are only restricted at the moment people in certain occupational settings. {eek occupational settings. 0k holl , occupational settings. 0k holly. thank— occupational settings. 0k holly, thank you so much, good to you and just to say as well that we will have more on the in our business coverage. we will be looking at financial market which took another nosedive on wall street yesterday, because of the omicron reaching the us. all of that to come a little later. some of the biggest names in tennis have thrown their support behind the women's tennis association, after it said it will immediately suspended all tournaments in china. the head of the wta has told the bbc, the decision was taken because chinese authorities have failed to address sexual assault allegations made by the doubles star peng shuai against a former vice premier. courtney bembridge has the latest. it's been a month since
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peng shuai posted on social media, accusing a top chinese official of sexual assault. the post was quickly taken down and she disappeared from public view. chinese state media has released a series of videos of her, but there are concerns she was filmed under duress. the women's tennis association says it's still yet to speak to her, and until there is a transparent investigation into the sexual assault claims, it's pulling the plug on lucrative tournaments in china. we're not going to walk away from this and we're not going to allow this to be swept away without the appropriate respect and seriousness of the allegations that have been reflected are appropriately addressed. china is a key market for women's tennis, and the decision could cost the wta hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship. but the wta says it can't, in good conscience, asked athletes
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to compete there. this is about something that's bigger than the business and bigger than the financials. world number one novak djokovic says: ..adding that peng shuai... american former world number one billiejean king tweeted: the international olympic committee had a video call with peng shuai last month and said she was safe and well. but with the beijing winter olympics and paralympics around the corner, the ioc has been accused of putting its interests over the safety of athletes. china is yet to respond to the wta decision, but it's clear the questions about peng shuai aren't going away. courtney bembridge, bbc news.
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valerie ziegenfuss is a former wta player and a member of the original nine who rebelled against the united states tennis assocation in 1970 to bring more rights and fairer pay to women which brought about the women's tennis association we know today. i'm very happy to say she is able tojoin us now i'm very happy to say she is able to join us now live from san diego. it's really good to talk to you about this particular story, what is your reaction to the decision made by steve simon and the wta? it was wonderful. i was so glad, and was wondering when it was going to come. we have to act, just to carry on the last 51 years, what we have always fought for was equality and support. we are 1600 strong as far of the wta membership, and
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so i am glad that the board of directors of the wta acted and steve simon is a great spokesperson and so i think we've made our case clear and if it wasn't us to help peng shuai, who would be. so i am really glad that kept up. it will be interesting to see how china reacts to this, won't it? because a fully not holding tournaments, matches in china, thatis tournaments, matches in china, that is a very significant symbolic move, isn't it? i would think so. back in 1978, there were ten of us that were on a state department tour in china, we were the first organised sport group to be allowed into the country, so it goes back a long way that they wanted to be part of the tennis, internationaltennis scene and they produced
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champions, so it took them a long time to get those tournament, so for it all to fall away is sad for them. peng shuai is a _ fall away is sad for them. peng shuai is a very _ fall away is sad for them. peng shuai is a very high-profile - shuai is a very high—profile player, world number one in doubles, she is someone that will grab everyone's attention, it was very brave on her part, would you say, to make it public what she said happened to her. , .., public what she said happened to her. , i. to her. extremely, can you imagine? _ to her. extremely, can you imagine? when _ to her. extremely, can you imagine? when we - to her. extremely, can youj imagine? when we banded together in 1970 to pull away and start the women's pro circuit, there were nine of us, plus promoters and leaders, and she is an individual, so for her to do this, i mean where was it, four years ago, me too, that movement in america, but for her to do this now kind of ijy for her to do this now kind of by herself, that was some very brave and courageous, but you can't be a woman tennis pro
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unless you have a really strong backbone. it is an individual sport, it teaches independence. so part of who she is as a former champion is coming through. former champion is coming throu~h. �* g ., former champion is coming through-— through. billie jean king of course has _ through. billie jean king of course has been _ through. billie jean king of course has been very - through. billie jean king of course has been very vocalj course has been very vocal about this as well, so what do you, and billiejean king, and simon want to see in terms of peng shuai's freedom and well—being? i peng shuai's freedom and well-being?— peng shuai's freedom and well-beina ? ~' ., �* well-being? i think... i don't think we _ well-being? i think... i don't think we have _ well-being? i think... i don't think we have control- well-being? i think... i don't think we have control over i think we have control over that, you know? we are going to keep fighting for that, but you know, china is china, and they are controlling, so you can make those demands, but i don't know. ~ , ., ~ , know. 0k. well we shall keep followinu know. 0k. well we shall keep following this _ know. 0k. well we shall keep following this story _ know. 0k. well we shall keep following this story very - following this story very closely, that's for sure. thank you so much valerie for being on the programme, it was great to talk to. . ~ on the programme, it was great to talk te— to talk to. thank you for havin: to talk to. thank you for having me. _
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stay with us on bbc news, still to come: and the winner is... a traditional irish pub. the belfast—based array collective wins the turner prize with an art installation depicting issues affecting northern ireland. it's quite clear that the worst victims of this disaster are the poor people living in the slums which have sprung up around the factory. i am feeling so helpless that the childrens are dying in front of me and i can't do anything. charles manson - is the mystical leader of the hippie cult suspected of killing sharon tate - and at least six other. people in los angeles. at 11:00 this morning,
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just half a metre of rock separated britain from continental europe. it took the drills just a few moments to cut through the final obstacle. then philippe cozette, a minerfrom calais, was shaking hands and exchanging flags with robert fagg, his opposite numberfrom dover. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: covid cases in south africa have doubled since monday, as the first case of omicron is reported in the us. the women's tennis association has suspended all tournaments in china saying it has serious doubts that chinese tennis star, peng shuai, is "free, safe and not subject to intimidation".
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the us actor alec baldwin has given his first interview since a gun he was holding on set went off, killing cinematographer halyna hutchins, back in october. in the interview, with abc news, he was emotional as he recalled the 42—year—old as someone who was �*loved by everyone'. he also said this: the trigger wasn't pulled, i didn't pull the trigger. so, you never pulled the trigger? no, no, no. i would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never. what did you think happened? how did a real bullet get on that set? i have no idea. someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property. our correspondent in los angeles, david willis, has more details. when news of this incident first broke six weeks ago, it seemed tragic, undoubtedly, surprising, but a fairly straightforward incident. indeed, the local sheriff's department, within a couple of hours of this shooting, issued a statement in which it referred to the discharge of a gun by the actor, alec baldwin. but as the weeks have gone by, this whole thing has started to seem less and less straightforward. now we have alec baldwin
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himself coming forward to dispute what had seemed to be up till now an incontrovertible part of the whole narrative, if you like, and namely that he was the person who pulled the trigger of the gun that fired the live bullet that killed the cinematographer halyna hutchins. naturally, this raises a whole load of questions — triggers don't pull themselves, so how did this gun go off? could alec baldwin perhaps have inadvertently applied pressure to the trigger that caused the gun to fire? combined with a range of other uncertainties, disputes on the part of members of the film crew, the inadvertent misfiring of other weapons on the set, and claims of potential sabotage, this all looks now anything but straightforward. just briefly, david, where are we up to with the investigation? detectives are focusing on how live ammunition could have made its way onto this film set, ben, contrary to all film industry protocols. they've interviewed members of the cast and crew, they number about 100 in total, and their investigation is continuing, they say they reserve the right to press
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charges against anyone involved in this production, including alec baldwin himself, but no charges have been laid so far. that's david willis there. let's get some of the day's other news. the first accuser to testify against ghislaine maxwell has told jurors she wished she never received $5 million in sexual abuse compensation from jeffrey epstein's estate. after enduring eight hours of questioning from defence and prosecution, the alleged victim, known only as jane, broke down in tears and said she is seeking "peace and healing" through testifying. ms maxwell has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of sex
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trafficking and other crimes the trial of four people charged over the deaths of 2115 people in a nightclub fire almost eight years ago has begun in brazil. more than 600 others were injured. heavy rain in northwest colombia has flooded streets and swept away vehicles in medellin. debris littered the streets after rivers overflowed and more than 80 houses were flooded. authorities say there were no fatalities, but seven people have been injured. judges in london will rule today on an appeal by a british newspaper company trying to overturn the duchess of sussex's victory in a privacy battle over a letter to her estranged father. associated newspapers, the group which publishes the mail on sunday, are appealing against a ruling not to hold a full trial after the paper reproduced
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parts of a handwritten letter from meghan markle, the duchess of sussex, to herfather, thomas markle, in february 2019. nicholas witchell reports. it began with a letter written by the duchess of sussex just three months after her wedding to prince harry and sent in august 2018 to her father, thomas. their relationship at the time was difficult. on 9 february 2019, the mail on sunday published lengthy extracts from the letter, which had been given to the newspaper by mr markle. maga, strongly supported her husband, brought a civil action against associated newspapers, publishers of the mail on sunday, claiming that her privacy had been breached. she said the letter had disclosed her intimate thoughts and
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feelings. in february of this year, a judge at the high court ruled in megan matt's favour, so the disclosures in the newspaper had been manifestly excessive and were hence unlawful. he said the issues were so clear—cut there was no need for a full trial. associated newspapers appealed and produced evidence that they hope will show that the issues are not as clear—cut as had been thought. it produced a witness statement from meghan's foremost assistant secretary, was confirmed maga had written the letter to her father knowing it might be leaked and that maga had authorised cooperation with the authors of a book about her and her husband, something she had previously denied. today's court decision will decide whether her privacy case should, after all, go to a full trial. if that were to happen it would be the prospect of megan and her estranged father giving evidence against each other in court. nicholas witchell, bbc news. an art installation of a northern irish pub has won the uk's
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prestigious turner prize. it was put together by array collective, a belfast—based group of artists, in response to social issues, including abortion rights and mental health. the piece features photos, videos and memorabilia — some representing hidden political messages about sexuality and identity. our media and arts correspondent david sillito was at the awards ceremony in coventry. the winner of the turner prize 2021... and it is... ..array collective. cheering array collective, a group of artists and activists from northern ireland whose turn a prize—winning artwork is more than just a pub, it's a shebeen — a symbolic place of good—natured debate and sanctuary from sectarian conflict. this is your shebeen, your pub, but it's more than that, it has a political overtone to it? we don't all agree on everything and the communities we are within and represented, don't agree on everything, but we still agree to have a laugh together. array collective's origins lie in progressive and liberal campaigns, creating banners
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and costumes for street protests and rallies — an attempt to bring art to a less combative mood to the street theatre of northern ireland politics. we come at it from a point of view where it's better to come at it from a humorous point of view than an aggressive point of view. you can challenge the conversation through humour, rather than aggression. bringing a bit of civility to the debate? and the human connection. this is more thanjust a little drinking den, it's a desire to bring to our politics, some of the gentle warmth and conviviality of a friendly pub. david sillito, bbc news, coventry. congratulations to them. when storm arwen swept through britain last weekend, six seal pups found themselves separated from their mother. but they were rescued later, and are now on the road to recovery and will soon be released back into the wild.
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our reporter alex dunlop has been to see them. not the most elegant way to have breakfast, but a sort of fish soup in a syringe is keeping these grey seal pups alive, for the next five months the rspca team herod was which will be foster parents do these six orphans of storm arwen. it batted swathes of the country over the weekend. mother seals and their offspring separated by fierce tidal waves. the mother's _ by fierce tidal waves. the mother's milk _ by fierce tidal waves. the mother's milk is - by fierce tidal waves. iie: mother's milk is substantial, it's all they have, and it takes three weeks for them to wean. so for the first three weeks very, very important for them to be with their mother. so how did freda's feeding go earlier— so how did freda's feeding go earlier on— so how did freda's feeding go earlier on today?— earlier on today? angelo and his team _ earlier on today? angelo and his team look _ earlier on today? angelo and his team look after _ earlier on today? angelo and his team look after seals - earlier on today? angelo and l his team look after seals from all of the country, so even more cad be heading this way. two often pops from yorkshire regiment the next day they will be joining 188 regiment the next day they will bejoining188 had cold and other wildlife already here. and while they look adorable, they have attitude ——
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hedgehogs. they have attitude -- hedgehogs.— they have attitude -- hedgehogs. they have attitude -- heduaehos. , they have attitude -- hedrrehos, a. i. hedgehogs. as cute as they are we do need _ hedgehogs. as cute as they are we do need to _ hedgehogs. as cute as they are we do need to bear— hedgehogs. as cute as they are we do need to bear in - hedgehogs. as cute as they are we do need to bear in mind - we do need to bear in mind these are wild animals stop we want them to keep the wild instinct the innate instinct they have to away from people because that will allow them to succeed even more so once have been rehabilitated and reintroduced. mil been rehabilitated and reintroduced.- been rehabilitated and reintroduced. all this care will cost- _ reintroduced. all this care will cost. the _ reintroduced. all this care will cost. the food - reintroduced. all this care will cost. the food bill- reintroduced. all this care i will cost. the food bill alone is £27 per seal per week. they don't always — is £27 per seal per week. they don't always know _ is £27 per seal per week. they don't always know we're - is £27 per seal per week. tie: don't always know we're trying to help. it is they get bigger and so to eat the fish they start to enjoy that a lot more and that is quite nice to see. and then when you get out the other side and you release them, you see them go after months of care, you know you've done a good job.— done a good 'ob. after four months done a good job. after four months endorse _ done a good job. after four months endorse the - done a good job. after four months endorse the often l done a good job. after four - months endorse the often seal pups months endorse the often seal pups will be allowed outside into a pool like this to continue their rehabilitation. they should be released in the early spring. norfolk has england's largest grey seal colony. it is now the height of the pumping season and more winter storms could be on the way. if you see a seal pup alone on the beach and you are worried alert wildlife organisations. but above all else leave it alone.
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alex dunlop, bbc news. very cute. the business stories right nx. i will see you soon. —— right here next. hello. the cold air is back. thursday gets off to a chilly start with a widespread frost and temperatures won't crawl up too far for the day despite a lot of sunshine on offer. the cold air has come chasing down through these isobars all the way from close to the arctic circle, sweeping its way right to south across the uk. overnight starting to plunge down into the continent through thursday. we are all in the arctic air and we will all feel it thanks to a cold northerly breeze. where we've seen some showers overnight there will be a risk of ice to start us off on thursday. as i said, a widespread frost. further showers across eastern scotland, eastern counties of england through the day, a few as well across the west coast of wales particularly i think through pembrokeshire pushing down through devon and cornwall, eastern scotland. perhaps clearing come the afternoon. but it's cold in the sunshine. highs ofjust 3—4 degrees. sunshine a bit milkier for northern ireland through the afternoon. that is because this weather system will be starting
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to work its way in. as it runs into the cold air there could be some snow for a time but it will tend to turn back to rain as the air coming in behind this band of rain is relatively mild. actually, temperatures at the end of friday night higher than those we will see through thursday daytime. and on into friday daytime and we will have some rain around for southern and eastern england to start the day, we will get some brightness for scotland and northern ireland, they'll be a few showers on and off here. just some question to the south of the uk weather — this rain could push in through friday afternoon. we will certainly keep a lot of cloud generally across england and wales but temperatures perhaps 11—12 degrees. it's certainly milder than thursday. to the north, five, six, seven. for the weekend, though, the chill returns. perhaps not quite as cold as thursday but once again will pick up a northwesterly breeze. for saturday, i think that's going to bring in some quite plentiful showers across northern ireland heading into north wales down into the midlands. temperatures, 6—7 degrees but it will feel cooler in the breeze. sunday is a very similar story but i think we can erase some of the showers from our picture. still some for western exposures of wales, and a northerly breeze, so really adding to the chillier feel.
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this is bbc news with the latest business headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. wall street heads south again, as the first omicron case is identified in the us soaring prices will ease, promises president biden. but the supply chain crisis could still stalk christmas. i can't promise that every person will get every gift they want on time. only santa claus can keep that promise. crude slips further after its worst month since the start of the pandemic. could omicron mean a rethink for opec? plus, no corks a popping, how the fizz is fast going out of the office christmas party season.

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