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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  May 4, 2020 1:00am-1:31am BST

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm aaron safir. the us secretary of state claims there's enormous evidence that the coronavirus originated in a chinese laboratory — but wasn't artificially—made. the british government starts to talk about ending the virus lockdown — but says it could be reimposed in different areas. that means that we can pause or even reintroduce those restrictions that might be required in order to deal with localised outbreaks. dozens of rohingya refugees, stranded at sea for weeks, have been rescued, but taken to a controversial island camp. we talk to the red cross. and, football matches return to taiwan after the its successful campaign against the virus.
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hello and welcome to bbc news. broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the world. we'll have more on those stories and the growing claims by us officials that the coronavirus originated in a chinese laboratory but first quick a look at some of the other headlines on the outbreak. italy has registered 174 coronavirus related deaths, the lowest daily figure since the lockdown was introduced two months ago. churches across germany have resumed services for the first time since march. and in the uk there's been a dip in the daily testing figures — around 76,000 were counted, far short of the government's 100,000 a day target. but we begin in the us, where the secretary of state mike pompeo
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has claimed there's "enormous evidence" the coronavirus outbreak began in a lab in the chinese city of wuhan. president trump made the same accusation this week but neither has given any evidence for it. the claims come after us intelligence agencies said if the virus came from a lab it was likely because of an accident rather than anything deliberate. here's part of what mike pompeo said. do you think they intentionally released that virus, we still don't have the things we need. we are trying to figure out exactly what happened so i can't answer your question about that because the chinese communist party has refused to co—operate with world health experts. let's speak to our north america correspondent, peter bowes. peter, it is an incendiary claim. similarto something president trump has it, and yet neither has been willing to
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offer any evidence in public for it? it is similar to something president trump had said repeatedly, essentially blaming china and this laboratory specifically for the origin of this outbreak, but mr pompeo going a little bit further in his language saying that there was significant evidence, as he put it, to point the blame, the finger of blame, at this laboratory but as you say, not providing any fa cts as you say, not providing any facts or details about, in terms of those evidences that would support his statements. he also appears to be focused on the authorities in china for not allowing american investigators, scientists, to go into that laboratory. he says the same applies to the world health organization who have been unable to go in as well to try to find out for themselves more about this virus, how it started and how it managed to spread so quickly. i have been reading what the global times newspaper in china has said, it is run by
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the communist party there, and called this comments, and propagated propaganda warfare. we should look at this in the wider context of us— china relations. that is the bigger picture and of course the past few months, much of the focus was on negotiations between the two nations to get a proper trade deal. a lot of people talking now about attentional retaliation by the united states against china if and when this evidence, if it exists, comes forward to point the finger of blame at that laboratory. some people talking about the potential for economic sanctions against china in the same way as perhaps president trump used sanctions, used tariffs, against china as part of that negotiation to get the deal that he wanted in terms of trade. and while we have got you, let us briefly talk about president trump. he is verging at —— hosting a virtual,
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reminder there is an election coming up in november. you may guess and this is being hosted by the fox news network. it is live on american tv right now. indeed, the president did touch on this issue of china, talking about the incompetence, potentially of people in this laboratory, saying that the virus should have been stopped by china. this is something that is going to run around in terms of the debate and everything surrounding this virus and who is to blame and it may well go to the heart of the president's kim -- to the heart of the president's kim —— campaign when the democrats are pointing at the president and saying he should have done much more early on during our breakfast on one of the things the president has said during this outbreak is he has claimed he thinks they will be immunity in terms of a vaccine for this virus by the end of the year. he says he
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bases that i'm talking to the pharmaceutical companies, that he thinks they will have developed this vaccine in the matter of eight or nine months time which will be much faster than many global scientists are predicting. 0k, peter, clearly lots of lines coming out of that event president trump is at and we will keep across them here at bbc news were stopped thanks, peter. here, the government says it's looking at ways to lift the lockdown ahead of an announcement next sunday in which the prime minister will set out the how the country will get back to school and work. 0ur political correspondent, chris mason, reports. a portrait of the uk in lockdown. for well over a month, streets have been quiet, most shops have been closed. a pause button pressed on normal life. but if imposing these restrictions felt like a massive moment, easing them could prove much, much more fraught. at this afternoon's government news briefing,
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one of the prime minister's most senior colleagues told me local lockdowns might have to be reimposed. a phased approach is one which allows us to monitor the impact that those changes are having on public health and if necessary, in a specific and localised way, that means we can pause or even reintroduce there's restrictions that might be required in order to deal with localised outbreaks. trains won't look like this again for some time. but if we are to return to work, they won't be able to look like this either. i am working with the train companies, unions and all of the above, and there are a series of different things that we can do, including, for example, staggering work times, working with businesses to do that. there is a similar challenge in schools. empty or near empty classrooms in lockdown, and now tentative plans being sketched for them reopening. wales's first minister said today it would take three weeks
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to get schools back open from the moment the decision to do so was taken. if we bring particular age groups back in first, that will allow us to spread them out through the school as a whole, enabling us to observe social distancing and, therefore, giving confidence to parents and teachers. mr drakeford said it will be a decision for his government as to when this happens. scotland's first minister nicola sturgeon said the same today too. but this was leeds this afternoon. getting the country going again could involve more thanjust changing the rules. it is likely to require persuasion too. we have got very used to the mantra plastered across the lecterns you are stood behind. can we expect a more subtle message to come in the next phase to mirror what could be a more subtle and nuanced set of rules? what we need to do isjust to make sure the underground advice that we give is sufficiently reassuring.
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i think it's about making sure that people feel the point is we are giving about how a workplace can be safe, sensible, reliable, supported by employers and trade unions. getting back from this to normality is going to be a long and difficult slog. the government is promising to set out the next steps next sunday. chris mason, bbc news. turning away from the coronavirus story briefly. dozens of rohyingya refugees fleeing myanmar have been relocated to a a controversial island in the bay of bengal after being stranded at sea for months. it's the first time migrants have been held on the island of bhasan char where bangladesh built special facilities to ease the pressure off its crowded border camps. the un says its worried about conditions there and also remains worried about hundreds more rohingyas who are still thought to be adrift at sea. remains worried about hundreds more rohingyas who are still
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—— joining me now live from yangon is stephen sakalian, he's the head of the international committee of the red cross in myanmar. thank you forjoining us me. we have been reporting on the plight of rohingya refugees for a while how much worse has it gotten recently? during the last few weeks and especially the last three months, the situation in the east of rakhine here in myanmar has been particular challenging in the sense that we could have halted a surge of hostility between the —— we couldn't stop surge of hostility between the myanmar army. it has resulted in many difficulties for us to have access to the different people in need of assistance. people often need food, clean water and shelter and of course the surge of conflict is not welcome prior to the rainy season
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welcome prior to the rainy season which is coming because it makes our work much more difficult to reach the people and give them the assistance they need. these refuge much -- rescued migrants have been taken to the island of bhasan char. what do we know about the facilities there and the kind of welcome they are likely to receive? at the present moment it is not clear for us exactly the conditions. what must be said first, of course, it is a great relief to see that these populations after weeks of drifting away on the sea was the first priority should be to give them the relief that they need, to give them all the assistance that some of them may of course need after such a terrible journey. we may of course need after such a terriblejourney. we know that it is not the only boat and we are welcoming of course the fa ct are welcoming of course the fact that they were finally able to go back to the coast. i think it is very important that states are doing their utmost to try to help those migrants, especially at the time, as i said before, of the rainy
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season. concerning the facilities where they are now, i don't have a lot of details at this stage but i am sure the teams will be present to try to monitor the conditions and to of course check that the people are given the relief they are entitled to. and that they are treated with dignity, of course. we have seen concerns from around the world that refugees, displaced people, given the conditions many of them live in, might be more prone to coronavirus and to that disease spreading. are you concerned about that? yes, actually, i think it has been a big concern, not only here in myanmar or big concern, not only here in myanmaror in big concern, not only here in myanmar or in south east asia all over the world to see often that on top of all of the adversities and of —— on top of all the difficulties faced by migrants who are by the definition is very vulnerable category of people, many of them could not be given access to the minimal level of services that they are of course entitled to. we of course entitled to. we of course call all the governments of the world to do more for migrants, to do more for them
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of course not to be in a situation like the one we just saw during the past weeks here in southeast asia but also for all governments to include migrant populations in their response to covid—i9. too often migrants are left aside or forgotten or overlooked in the public health response of the states and of course the icrc is joining states and of course the icrc isjoining its voice states and of course the icrc is joining its voice with other humanitarian organisations to ask and to call governments to do more for those migrants populations and for those to be treated with dignity and with all the possible levels of attention that they are entitled to. thank you for your time, thank you forjoining us on bbc world news. you are most welcome. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we meet some of the first volunteers to receive a new drug intended to help with recovery from the coronavirus. i, nelson rolihlahla mandela,
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do hereby swear to be faithful to the republic of south africa. after six years of construction and numerous delays, the channel tunnel has been formally opened by the queen and president mitterrand. but the tunnel is still not yet ready for passengers and freight services to begin. for centuries, christianity and islam struggled for supremacy. now, the pope's visit symbolises their willingness to coexist. roger bannister became the first man in the world to run a mile in underfour minutes. memories of victory as the ve celebrations reach their climax. this night is dedicated to everyone who believes in the future of peace and freedom.
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this is bbc news, the latest headlines: the us secretary of state has again insisted there's enormous evidence that the new coronavirus originated in a chinese laboratory, but gave no evidence to back his assertion. the bbc has seen the first draft of the government's strategy to reopen the uk's workplaces. it indicates businesses won't have to maintain social distancing of two metres between employees. russia has recorded its biggest daily increase in confirmed coronavirus cases. there have been more than 10,000 new cases reported over the past day, bringing the total number to around 135,000. more than 1,200 people have died from covid—19 so far. more than half of all cases and deaths have been reported in moscow, from where sarah rainsford sent this report. moscow's hospital
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wards are filling up. the number of coronavirus cases is still rising. around 1,700 patients are admitted now every day. this week, the prime minister was one of them. after loud assurances that early action would help russia sidestep the worst of this pandemic, it's now in the top ten countries worldwide for cases. 0fficials here say they are detecting covid—19 because they are actively looking for it, running 170,000 tests a day. the official death rate is low. up to half of the new cases are said to be in people with no symptoms. some are frontline medics who get screened every week. in moscow, many are now sleeping in hotels between exhausting shifts to keep their families safe. yevgeni was a plastic surgeon before the outbreak. now, he says, beauty will have to wait. like many, he switched
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to treat coronavirus. it's the start of the long may holidays here, and moscow's streets would usually be crowded. this year, even outside exercise is banned. cities across russia are in lockdown to try to slow the spread of this virus. hospital facilities in the regions are a far cry from those in the capital. russians are getting restless with all the restrictions, but moscow's preparing thousands of extra temporary hospital beds and warning that the worst still lies ahead. sarah rainsford, bbc news, moscow. israeli schools are partially reopening as the country gradually eases lockdown rules imposed earlier in the week we learned the russian prime minister tested positive for coronavirus. figures for coronavirus infections in saudi arabia increasingly suggest the overwhelming number of confirmed cases are among male expatriates workers. the saudi health ministry said that foreigners accounted
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for more than 80% of the 1,550 cases newly detected in the past 2a hours. spain has recorded its lowest daily number of deaths linked to coronavirus since its lockdown was declared in mid—march. another 164 people have died. there have been 838 new infections, the first time the number of cases has been under a thousand in a similar period, despite higher rates of testing. the afghan health ministry says 500 random coronavirus tests carried out in the capital kabul revealed that more than a 150 people had been infected. a spokesman said the results in a city of more than four million people were a cause for concern. israeli schools are partially reopening as the country gradually eases lockdown rules imposed to control the spread of covid—19. the national rate of infection is in decline in israel, but the pandemic has been taking place against a backdrop of political drama, as reged ahmad reports. back to school but not
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quite back to normal. children in israel are streaming into class as schools partially reopen. it is part of a slow easing of the country's lockdown with some new rules in place. translation: in every corridor we have a stand for wipes, spray and alcohol gel. each student arrives with gloves, masks and their own alcohol gel. several of israel's main cities have delayed the return to class, reportedly to allow for more preparation. and the move is not without some controversy, with parents expressing theirfears. translation: we are excited and concerned at the same time but we must take the first step. if we are all worried we will not get back to normal life. there are many concerns around parents who told me yesterday
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and they wrote me questions about how it's going to be and manage, i think we have to trust the staff. in these extraordinary times, the coronavirus pandemic and its impact has run concurrently with out—of—the—ordinary politics. israel's supreme court, clad in masks, is sitting to decide whether prime minister benjamin netanyahu will be allowed to form a unity government. if they decide netanyahu's indictment on criminal charges disqualifies him, it could trigger yet another snap election, israel's fourth injust over one year. anti—neta nyahu demonstrators gather outside to watch. the prime minister has responded to the case by saying the court can't replace decisions made by the voting public. despite his legal troubles, the prime minister remains a popular, if divisive, figure. his deal to form an
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emergency government with rival benny gantz in order to deal with the pandemic has been seen as bringing an end to turbulent times in politics. and an end to turbulent times is what many in israel may crave right now, even as a new normal slowly emerges in public life. reged ahmad, bbc news. with so few drugs available to help fight the virus, scientists around the world are racing to find new treatments. a promising experimental medicine developed by uk researchers recently started clinical trials. our correspondent, justin rowlatt, was invited to university hospital southampton, where the first volunteers have been receiving the new drug. the trial is taking place in the hospital's coronavirus wards. it has been given urgent research status by the government. before i see how it works... there we go... ..i have to put on the protective equipment we've
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brought. the only way to test these drugs is to give them to people who have the illness, so that's why we need to go onto the ward. here we go. 0k. so how has your breathing been? very, very shallow. so it's like your lungs are sort of blocked? yes, it was. 67—year—old kay flitney was diagnosed with covid—19 last week and admitted to hospital. she is one of 75 patients in uk hospitals who've volunteered to help test the new drug. so this is the machine i showed you the other day. yeah. nurse sandy aitken shows her how to operate the nebuliser, which will help get the drug deep into kay's lungs. do you want to try that for me? it uses a protein called interferon beta, which is part of our body's first line of defence against viruses. professor tom wilkinson is heading up the trial.
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interferon beta is a naturally occurring protein that many of the cells in our body produce on a daily basis so, when the lungs experience a viral attack, the cells in the lining of the lung produce this protein naturally, and it helps the immune system coordinate a response to that virus. hundreds of new drugs are being tested for covid—19 around the world. the southampton—based biotech company that developed this one has already shown it can stimulate an immune response in patients with other lung diseases. so what would you hope would be the results of your drug trial? well, if we get good results from this trial, we will scale up the clinical trial effort and, hopefully, have enough patients in to show that we can reduce mortality and we can get people out of hospital sooner. he says it won't be some kind of miracle cure for patients
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like kay, but thinks it could save lives by helping our bodies fight the virus. of course, he will only know if it does when he gets the results of the trial injune. justin rowlatt, bbc news, southampton. the wait goes on for millions of football fans around the world, but one place that is seeing competitive matches is taiwan, as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. it's been described as the most important of the least important of the least important things. for many, football is like a religion, but during the global pandemic, worship has been indefinitely done delayed. not everywhere, though. this is the taipei municipal stadium. so successful has been tie one's fight against coronavirus, the authorities have allowed the
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season to begin, albeit with some major restrictions. translation: actually it's better to have people watching in the stadium during the match so players can get excited, but because this is a closed—door match, there's nothing we can do about it, so everyone has to lift their spirits and imagine there's an audience watching. football is something of a minority sport here. baseball is the major obsession. but since this is one of the few places on earth where matches is actually taking place, it's hoped it will help raise the game's profile. i think for taiwan it's a great opportunity asa taiwan it's a great opportunity as a country, like, to be known, and definitely a lot of people are watching. i think the first game was, like, more than 14,000 people online, so i think it's a good opportunity for taiwan. local officials say they want to show taiwan can fight an epidemic and play football too. tim allman, bbc news.
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the show must go on stop thanks for watching bbc news. —— the show must go on. thanks for watching bbc news. hello. our weather looks like warming up for a time in the week ahead before doing a complete u—turn next weekend as we will see in a moment. it will be pleasant where there are some some sunny spells during monday, still a chance of catching a few showers, particularly across parts of eastern england, whereas elsewhere it is high—pressure in control, so it looks dry. a few showers for south—east scotland to start the day. they are going to clear. a frosty start in northern scotland. a few spots in northern ireland. scotland and northern ireland though, seeing abundant afternoon sunshine. you can see where the showers are, merging to give longer spells of rain and showers across parts of yorkshire, lincolnshire, showers developing in east anglia and parts of the midlands too, into the afternoon, some
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of which could be heavy. much of southern england, west midlands, wales, northwest england staying dry, a warmer day with sunnier skies compared to sunday. the breeze starts to pick up across southern parts during the day. turns quite windy overnight into tuesday morning across south—west england with some heavy rain moving in here across the channel islands as well. elsewhere, staying dry overnight, fairly chilly as we start tuesday morning, and there is a lot of fine weather on the way on tuesday but clearly not for everyone. still some rain in south—west england fringing south wales, mayjust push in across parts of south—east england as well, but a bit of uncertaintyjust how far north and east this will get before easing, along with the strength of the wind. still quite breezy and actually cool as well with temperatures in the mid—low teens in some spots, whereas elsewhere sunny spells and a pleasant day, 17 in glasgow. onshore breeze along the north sea coast keeping it cooler compared to elsewhere. the weather system to the south—west dies a death overnight into wednesday, as high—pressure reasserts its dominance.
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apart from a slim chance of a shower the closer you are towards south—west england maybe west wales, most will have a fine wednesday and the wind for the most part is light and temperatures creep up a bit. quite widely now into the high teens, just a few spots in the 20s, from cardiff and parts of north—west scotland. look at the change as we go through the weekend. a selection of locations here but it happens to all of us, temperatures will take a significant drop, increasingly likely to turn colder from the north next weekend with frost and maybe wintry showers.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: the bbc has seen the first draft of the government's strategy to reopen the uk's workplaces. it indicates that businesses won't be required to maintain two metre distancing between employees. where social distancing is not possible, it says additional measures should be considered, including the use of protective equipment. the us secretary of state has said there's enormous evidence that the coronavirus pandemic originated in a laboratory in the chinese city of wuhan. however mike pompeo gave no proof — and when challenged, said he had no reason to believe the virus was artificially—made or genetically modified. russia has recorded its biggest daily increase in confirmed coronavirus cases. there were more than ten thousand new cases reported on sunday, bringing the total number to around 135,000. more than half of all cases and deaths have been reported in moscow. more than 1200 people have died so far.


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