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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 5, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 6: a warning that the country is at a critical moment in the coronavirus pandemic as thousands of students prepare to return to universities across the uk. young people in leeds are urged to take responsbility for controlling the spread of the virus as the city is added to the covid—19 watchlist. government departments in england are told to get civil servants back into offices quickly, but unions say the attitude is outdated. borisjohnson criticises protests by environmental campaigners extinction rebellion targeting three printing presses owned by rupert murdoch. and coming up at 6:30pm, we'll have sportsday with all the action from another
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thrilling day at the british athletics championships in manchester. the government is being warned that the country is at a critical moment in controlling the spread of coronavirus as thousands of students prepare to return to university. dame annejohnson, who is a member of the government's scientific advisory group, says she is particularly concerned by a rise in infection rates among young people. in leeds, people have been urged to socialise sensibly and responsibly this weekend after the city was added to a government watchlist of areas with high rates of infection. our health correspondent, richard galpin, reports.
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it is amongst young people now that there is mounting concern about coronavirus infections. although the virus has much less impact on the young, they can spread it to other people. we are very pleased to see our friends and family again. we will be able to see our friends and family but they have availed themselves rather more than the older people who have protected themselves more so it's not surprising this is where we are seeing upturn. soon thousands of students will be travelling to start winter term at university. they will be travelling to other parts of the country that may not necessarily be seeing outbreaks and they might be carrying infection with them and may potentially infect more elderly relatives who may also be more at risk. now councils in areas regarded as hotspots are ramping up efforts to get young people to take
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risks more seriously. more young people are testing positive and they are spread around the city. it is now clear that the pattern is changing and a very strong message going out from us to avoid having further restrictions put on us, everyone has a responsibility. leeds is already being seen as a coronavirus hotspot. it has now been added to the watchlist of areas of concern. that list is growing. south tyneside, middlesbrough, rossendale, corby, kettering and norfolk are also all now on the list after increases in cases. it is a particularly big challenge the country faces as winter approaches — ensuring young people stick to the rules to prevent infections rising will be critical.
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corby in northamptonshire is one of the places added to public health england's covid watchlist as an ‘area of concern‘. i asked corby borough council's leader, tom beattie, what a local lockdown would mean for the town. i think it would be very damaging. it would affect business confidence, it would affect the ability for local businesses to get back on their feet after having spent time in lockdown already, and it would be a knock to the confidence of people in the town if we had to go on lockdown again, so i would want to avoid that very much, and we do see it as a damaging thing and we are trying to avoid it. why do you think corby has been put on this watchlist? it is because the incidents in corby have risen and they have been rising for the last couple of weeks. this week we will put on a watchlist by the government because the case numbers have actually increased
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to the position where the government now consider us an area of concern, and there is still some time for us to improve the situation before we need to move the most draconian sanction — a lockdown. you have been put on that list, your numbers have been going up, why have they been going up? it's difficult to pinpoint. the people of public health have not been able to say one particular reason why, there has not been an outbreak in a factory for instance which happened not farfrom us recently in northampton. but it's a number of smaller outbreaks, so it's difficult in that case to try and understand what needs to be done directly to address it. we are seeing an increase
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in the number of young people that are getting infected, people between the ages of 20 and 29. that is a group of people who tend to socialise more than others, they go out more, they play sports, they share cars, that type of thing. so what we are saying to people is, we have been providing some clear guidance for the last couple of weeks about what people need to do so that we do not get to the position where we consider a lockdown. we would ask people to reinforce those regulations and continue to observe them. do you think that people will listen? the number of people being tested in corby, amongst the highest in the country, if not the highest, indicates people are listening. they need to listen more. they need to understand that this is not over. this virus is with us and will be with us for some time, and they should not become complacent.
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that's the sort of message we are trying to get across, let's get on top of this, we have time to do that. then we will not have to move towards a local lockdown, which is what no one wants. the government has reported a further 12 deaths in the uk of people who'd died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. that takes the total number of deaths across the uk to 41,549. civil servants in england have been urged to return to their office desks as part of a drive to get people back to their workplaces following the lockdown. the government has urged officials to take advantage of the return of schools this month amid warnings some cities have become ghost towns as people work from home. analysis of mobile phone data last month suggested only 17% of uk workers had returned to the office. dave penman, the general secretary of the civil servants' union the first division association,
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said that companies and organisations have shown over recent months that they can operate effectively when employees work from home. iam not i am not pretending this is about efficiency although there are issues around how people communicate with each other in the workplace. organisations can work very effectively while a significant number of staff are working from home. it's not for everyone. not eve ryo ne home. it's not for everyone. not everyone thrives in that environment and some people have always been at work. you solve this issue by some kind of top—down target from the prime minister, that does not reflect the reality of how the work has been organised or how it has been transformed in the last six months.
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france has registered its highest daily infection rate since the start of the pandemic. the latest figures, over 2a hours between thursday and friday, show almost 9,000 new coronavirus cases. transmission is mainly among young people, which means hospital admissions aren't nearly as high as what they were back in march. the increase is partly a result of more testing, but there are concerns after 12 million children in france went back to school this week. our europe correspondent, damian mcguiness, explained more about what had led to the situation in france. schools have gone back, dozens have had to close again because they have had a couple of outbreaks there as well. as life has got back to normal in france and as people have gone back to work, infection rates have risen. it is a very worrying record. back in march, at the height of the pandemic, at the strictest point of the lockdown,
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there were 7,500 daily infection rates. this is a sharp increase in daily new infections. that's partly because of a sharp increase in testing as well. we are seeing a more realistic view of the figure. we are also picking up in france a lot more people who are possibly not showing any symptoms, so it is showing a more realistic view of the actual situation. the other thing happening is a lot more younger people are transmitting the virus between them — that is very serious because it means it is spreading throughout the population, but the good news is they are less likely to suffer severe complications so, even though we are seeing a slight rise in hospitalisations, it is not as dramatic as the total rise in infection rates. it is a more realistic picture, but it is a worrying trend because we are seeing across europe a sharp rise in daily infection rates. the medicaljournal the lancet has published data on the phase one trial of the vaccine for covid—19,
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developed by russia. russian researchers say early tests showed signs of an immune response and that every participant developed antibodies with no serious side effects. professor peter openshaw from imperial college london told us these findings are reassuring to some extent. i think this is a perfectly credible vaccine. it's based on similar sorts of technologies to the vaccine that has been developed in oxford and which has recently published some similar phase one results. the thing about this one is that they have been getting two doses separated by a few weeks of some very potent virus, and they have inserted a bit of the sars coronavirus into it
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so that it generates a powerful immune response. protesters from the environmental campaign group extinction rebellion have blockaded printing presses in england to stop some papers reaching news stands today. they accuse the newspapers of failing to report on the climate emergency. more than 70 people have been arrested. on twitter, the prime minister said, "a free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change. it is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public‘s access to news in this way." earlier, a spokesperson from extinction rebellion explained why they were there. we feel the british media have been complacent about what britain faces. in 2018, the un general secretary said, unless we cut emissions, by the end of 2020 we face an existential crisis. the government's response is to pour hundreds of billions of pounds
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into the old economy. we are borrowing money from the future. we felt we had to make a dramatic statement. i've been getting the thoughts of ian murray, who's the executive director of the society of editors. it's quite absurd. it would be laughable if it was not so serious. these people need a good lesson in history and how the world works. you're attacking a free press. those are the actions of totalitarian dictators and horrible regimes the world over — in other words, we are going to close down the message. to say that the media, the printed press, broadcasters, have not covered the climate issue, and particularly the messages coming from extinction rebellion, in copious amounts, from all angles, is quite absurd. what they are saying is that it
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has not been covered the way they want it. we'll be joined by viewers on bbc one injust a moment for the early evening mational news bulletin. and after that, at half past six, we'll have a full roundup of all the sport in sportsday.
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good evening. as thousands of students are preparing their return to university, data now shows the highest number of detected infections of coronavirus
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is in young people. a leading epidemiologist said today she believes the country is at a "critical moment" in controlling the spread of the virus. in leeds, people have been urged to socialise "sensibly and responsibly" this weekend, after the city was added to a government watchlist of areas with high rates of infection. our correspondent richard galpin reports. the new university gates approaching four students in leeds. but it is feared the movement of thousands of stu d e nts to feared the movement of thousands of students to universities could lead toa students to universities could lead to a surge of coronavirus cases. the virus has much less impact on the young but they can spread it to other people. i'm a bit worried about the population, that they might bring something with them because they are from all over the uk and america and things, and we don't know if they are carrying it, so don't know if they are carrying it, soi don't know if they are carrying it, so i feel like they need to be tested before they can be back in universities. as long as i limit my
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interaction and use my mask, i'm not really concerned about spreading it to anybody else. experts believe it is likely there will be significant outbreaks. this is indeed a critical moment and we are seeing the highest numbers of infections or at least detected infections in younger people, and universities are having to put in place important measures to put in place important measures to make sure they have testing capacity and also thinking about how they teach their students. leeds is already being seen as a coronavirus hotspot. it has now been added to the watch list of areas of concern. officials here are urging young people to take responsibility for controlling the spread of the virus. we were focusing on specific communities at the beginning but it is now very clear, we need a message
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from us to avoid having further restrictions put on us. the watchlist of hotspots is growing. south tyneside, middlesbrough, rossendale, corby, kettering and norfolk are also now on the list after increases in cases. it is another busy day here at the flamingo coffee house in leeds, and social distancing as in all cafe is an pubs and restaurants is vital. but the owner here says there are still people who ignore it. 9996 but the owner here says there are still people who ignore it. 99% of people want to do the right thing and they want to follow the rules and they want to follow the rules and keep everyone safe. people are getting fatigued from a coronavirus, myself included, we slip up a bit, it is hard to keep everything going, and also some people don't want to socially distance. and as long as that continues, then it leads like other affected cities and towns will not be rid of the virus —— then
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leeds. the latest government figures show there were 1,813 new confirmed coronavirus cases across the uk, in the latest 2a hour period. as you can see, the rate is continuing to slowly rise, with the average number of new cases per day in the past week, being 1,630. the deaths of 12 people were also reported, under new rules recording those who've died, within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. on average in the past week, seven deaths have been announced each day. that means the total number of people who have died, across the uk, is now 41,549. civil servants in england are being urged by the government to return to work in their offices. in a letter seen by the bbc, the government wants 80% of civil servants to be at their workplace at least once a week by the end of the month.
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unions have described the government's attitude as outdated. our political correspondent chris mason has more. usually vibrant, bustling, dynamic, and yet for much of the last six months many of our city centres have looked like this. it's time for that to change, says the government. the head of the civil service, sir mark sedwill, says the prime minister believes... this is whitehall, home to loads of government departments. it's actually relatively busy here today but still pretty quiet on weekdays. the government wants four in five civil servants in england to be back at their desks for at least some of the week by the end of this month, with more and more people worrying that unless public and private sector workers return to the office there could be huge economic consequences. if we don't see workers coming back until the new year, and work is a big driver of footfall in city centres, particularly on a monday to friday, then we might see a huge wave
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of closures and a huge wave of redundancies as a result. but some believe changes in where many people have worked in recent months will be permanent. what the government are doing are virtue signalling, using the civil service, not because it's a more efficient way of operating, but because they want to send a signal to the private sector. they are dreaming about a world of work which has, quite frankly, gone. in scotland, wales and northern ireland the message is still to work from home if you can. but in england the government is hoping that more people can be persuaded back to their workplace. chris masonjoins me now. the government trying to be clear here! they want people back in the workplace, that is what we are to read into this? ministers are acutely aware that the city centre economic ecology is on the brink of extinction, that that relationship that exists between office workers and shops, restaurants and pubs, cafe is and other places, unless
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more people are back at work, in the office, that starts to disintegrate and it becomes a problem, and the government is aware that it needs to show as well as tell, so encouraging civil servants back is absolutely key to that. one minister said his tea m key to that. one minister said his team have been pulling 19 hour days during the lockdown working from home and they can work from home but when people work together they bounce off each other in terms of ideas and thoughts and that is useful in the workplace, and also useful in the workplace, and also useful for the local economy. the challenge, though, for the government and for us as individuals and businesses, whether it be on where we work or on quarantine or travel or education, we are in this messy grey area where we are being encouraged to tiptoe slowly back towards normality but with the ever present prospect of having to tiptoe backwards if a sudden in cases.
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chris, thanks for joining backwards if a sudden in cases. chris, thanks forjoining us. the prime minister has condemned environmental activists for preventing the delivery of millions of newspapers this morning. extinction rebellion targeted newspaper printing presses in england and scotland accusing the media of failing to report climate change. 80 people have been arrested. our chief environment correspondent justin rowlatt reports. what a turnout. it was late last night when vans containing dozens of extinction rebellion protesters blocked the entrances to three printing presses owned by rupert murdoch's news corp. some demonstrators locked themselves into elaborate bamboo structures, and others chained themselves together. as well as this plant in hertfordshire, activists targeted presses in merseyside and in north lanarkshire. the protest meant delays delivering millions of newspapers this morning, including the sun, the times, the daily mail and the daily telegraph.
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we are here because we feel the british media and political establishment have become complacent about the greatest threat britain has ever faced. 72 people were arrested as police cleared the roads. newspaper editors described the actions as an outrageous attempt to gag the press. the actions of these protesters are so absurd that it would be considered laughable if it wasn't so serious. they need a good lesson in history and how the world works. to understand, and one presumes they don't understand, these are the actions of totalitarian dictators and authorities throughout the world and authorities throughout the world and history, shut down the message, attacked a free press, which is exactly what they have done here. this is the fifth day of protests by the environmental campaign group and on tuesday perhaps 3000 activist congregated outside parliament blocking the roads. amongst them the former archbishop of canterbury rowan williams. the police have
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begun to come into the crowd at parliament square and arrest protesters, and there were clear guidelines about how this protest could be conducted and one of the rules was do not go into the road but right at the beginning of the demonstration when the protesters first congregated here in parliament square, they were encouraged to come into the road and blocked the streets. they have been more than 600 arrests in london alone. you are under arrest for criminal damage. extinction rebellion says five more days of actions are planned. activists say targets will include fossil fuel activists say targets will include fossilfuel companies, activists say targets will include fossil fuel companies, the fast fashion industry and government. so, expect more disruption. just in football, and england
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are playing their first international match in over nine months. they are taking on iceland in reykjavik in the nations league. the last time the two teams played each other was in the 2016 euros when iceland famously beat england. the score is currently 0—0. there's around 20 minutes left to play. there's more throughout the evening on the bbc news channel. we're back with the late news at 22:10. now on bbc one it's time for the news where you are. goodbye. although it is a showery day, there are a good deal of places that have escaped those showers, particularly across the southern half of the country. this was earlier in the afternoon in west sussex, but further north in derbyshire the clouds were more threatening. there have been more showers further north. this was the earlier satellite picture. you can see the clouds gathering in northern ireland, parts of scotland and north—west wales. they will filter further south this evening because of the brisk
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north—westerly wind, which has made it feel a little cool, even with the sunshine today. overnight, it will turn chilly under the starry skies, even with showers continuing to feed south and east. starting to ease a little from parts of scotland, so in the glens down to four or five celsius, and quite chilly in southern and eastern areas with clear skies. more cloud around first thing across wales, northern and western parts of england, courtesy of this weather front. through the day, this area of high pressure will build in, which means that for many of us the wind will ease down on what we have seen today and the showers will also ease for scotland and northern ireland and most will be further south. i can't promise it will be altogether dry. fewer showers than today and lengthier spells of sunshine. quite a chilly breeze from the north tomorrow, but on the whole with lighter winds it will feel a little warmer, as it will even with the showers further
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south across england and wales. they could be heavy into the afternoon across eastern england. high—pressure overnight on sunday keeps those showers at bay, and there could be patchy fog on monday morning, a new addition now we are moving into autumn. further north we have got hill fog instead with outbreaks of rain, and it is a milderfeel because of picking up that south—westerly. despite the rain, it will be a relatively mild day for most of us. the mild weather holds on during tuesday in the south, but eventually it will be swept away by the return of north—westerly winds later in the week. something more potent towards next weekend, but between now and then it doesn't look like we will see huge amounts of rain. as ever, more on the website.
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hello and welcome to sportsday. england come close to banishing their demons in rekjavic but has their past come back to haunt them, as their first goal is disallowed? worth the wait? after a long summer, the new women's super league season begins as manchester city get off to a winning start. nothing new about this — lewis hamilton breaks another record

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