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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 1, 2020 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT

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good afternoon. the health secretary matt hancock says the government could take emergency powers to close schools and cancel public events in its efforts to tackle the coronavirus. mr hancock says "nothing is off the table" at this stage, but added he wanted to mininise the social and economic impact of any measures. his comments came as a school in reading closed after a teacher was hospitalised with the virus, as the number of cases in britain rose to 23. here's our health editor hugh pym.
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parents with children at this infant sahool in berkshire have been told it won't open again until local authority leaders are certain it's safe. a member of staff, understood to have recently returned from italy, has tested positive for the coronavirus. meanwhile, in tenerife, more than 200 britons at the hotel which has seen a virus outbreak have been told by the foreign office they can fly home within 2a hours of testing negative. but, when they get back, they should self—isolate for another week. the government is considering plans to bring retired doctors and nurses back into the nhs if cases spread, and the health secretary said he hadn't ruled out significant restrictions on everyday life. we don't take anything off the table at this stage, because you've got to make sure that you have all of the tools available, if that is what is necessary. but, you know, i want to minimise the social and economic disruption and, at this stage,
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we still have the hope, although the numbers elsewhere are rising fast, we still have the hope that we might be able to avoid this outcome. possible measures being considered by ministers include some school closures, cancelling large public events, perhaps including sport, and encouraging people to work at home. for now, people are urged to call the nhs 111 helpline if they have symptoms, having returned from one of the worst affected countries. there was a 50% jump in call volume last week. in south korea, the army was on the streets, spraying disinfectant. local doctors say this virus is much harder to deal with than previous infectious diseases, like mers. translation: isolating patients and tracing their recent contacts, he says, isn't working any more. iran, meanwhile,
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has reported a steep jump to cases —— in cases of nearly 1,000, but authorities have dismissed reports they are struggling to contain the outbreak. hugh pym, bbc news. the home secretary priti patel is facing mounting pressure to respond to bullying allegations made by the former top civil servant in her department. sir philip rutnam resigned yesterday citing a "vicious and orchestrated" campaign against him. labour leadership candidate sir keir starmer says ms patel must come to parliament tomorrow to explain. ms patel hasn't responded to sir philip's claims, but has previously denied she mistreated staff. 0ur political correspondent, helen catt is with me. how much additional pressure does ms patel now find herself under to explain the allegations and to explain the allegations and to explain why she rejects them? well, certainly, labour is trying to increase that pressure. you mentioned so keir starmer, he said it is her duty to explain this to the house of commons. it is
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suggested there should be an investigation and she should be suspended while that happens. does it look like she is under any imminent threat? not really. earlier, health secretary matt hancock defended her, saying she was determined but courteous. there are signs that this may not yet be about to die down completely. the bbc has been told there was a formal complaint against her when she was a minister in the department for work and pensions back in 2016. a spokesman for priti patel says he is not aware of this and we don't know what happened, whether it was upheld, but what it suggests is that these leaks, upheld, but what it suggests is that these lea ks, these upheld, but what it suggests is that these leaks, these tensions, may not be about to go away anytime soon. helen, thank you very much. storm jorge is bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the uk today, causing yet more disruption to flood—hit areas. dozens of flood warnings are still in place across england, wales and scotland, meaning immediate action is required. this time, the brunt of the severe weather is expected to be borne by the south—west and yorkshire, as well as parts of wales. services on the northern rail network are running under
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government control from today. the operator, arriva rail north, was stripped of its franchise after years of poor performance. the transport secretary, grant shapps, has set up a panel of local politicians, industry experts and passenger representatives to try to improve services. the former us vice president, joe biden has revived his campaign to become the democratic party nominee to take on donald trump in this year's presidential election in the united states. mr biden won a resounding victory in the democratic primary in south carolina, after he performed poorly in three previous state ballots. barbara plett—usher reports. back in the game, this is the big win joe biden needed. for all of those of you who've been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign. propelled to victory by an outpouring of support from black voters —
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he always predicted they would revive his struggling campaign, and they came through. if the democrats... ..nominate me, i believe we can beat donald trump. already, 0bama's vice president has had a surge in funding and political endorsements, building momentum as he heads into super tuesday, when 1a states hold primary votes. he's the first candidate to score a clear—cut victory against the frontrunner, bernie sanders, who came in a distant second. we did not win in south carolina. booing that will not be the only defeat, there are a lot of states in this country, nobody wins them all. i want to congratulate joe biden on his victory tonight. and, now, we enter super tuesday in virginia. the left—wing senator
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is expected to put in a strong showing on super tuesday, butjoe biden is now his chief rival going into that crucial vote, the leading moderate contender. this is a moment forjoe biden to savour, it's the first presidential primary victory of his lengthy political career. attention shifts quickly note a super tuesday. now to super tuesday. that'll be the test of whether tonight's result will change the course of the race. barbara plett—usher, bbc news, columbia, south carolina. a woman who is taking legal action against an nhs gender clinic says she should have faced more challenge from medical staff over her decision to transition from female to male when she was a teenager. the high court has this week given the go ahead for a full hearing of keira bell's case being brought against the tavistock and portman nhs trust. the tavistock clinic says it welcomes this examination of the evidence in this contentious area, as our social affairs correspondent alison holt reports. keira bell is 23 years
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old and her adult life so far has been defined by the decision she made when she was much younger. at 16, she was prescribed drugs to delay the signs of female puberty. she later took male hormones, so her voice deepened and facial hair grew. initially, i felt very relieved and very happy about things, but i think, as the years go on, you start to feel less and less enthusiastic or even happy about it. keira was treated here at the uk's only gender identity clinic, run by the tavistock trust. she's taking legal action against them because she believes, when she started taking puberty blockers and cross—sex hormones, she was too young to understand the implications. she says, as a child, she felt isolated and different and, as a teenager, she was desperate to change her gender. but she now believes she should have been challenged more and had more psychological support. i feel angry that i was allowed to run with this idea that i had, you know, almost like a fantasy,
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as a teenager, i was allowed to run with that and it has affected me in the long run. i've onlyjust kind of stepped into adulthood and i had to kind of, you know, deal with this burden. what would you tell your 16—year—old self now? that's kind of the point of this case, is that when you are that young, you don't really want to listen to anyone and a lot of things won't get through, so i think it is up to these, you know, institutions, like the tavistock, to step in and make children reconsider what they are saying, because it is, you know, a life—altering path that you are going down. it's a difficult area and the head of the gender identity clinic says they are always cautious, working closely with children and families to help them make their decisions. so this is a really complex area with strong feelings on all sides, and, for young people, they come to us in often really great distress around their sense of themselves.
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we are talking about identity here, their identity and a feeling that their gender identity does not match their body. and what goes along with that is huge distress. the clinic says it welcomes keira's case, as it will allow a considered review of the evidence about the most appropriate way to support young people. alison holt, bbc news. the next news on bbc one is at 5:25pm. have a good afternoon. you're watching the bbc news channel. it's1:10pm. the health secretary, matt hancock, has said the government wouldn't rule out any measures to contain coronavirus if the outbreak worsens. there have been 23 confirmed cases
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in the uk, but more are expected. mr hancock was speaking this morning to the bbc‘s andrew marr. we don't take anything off the table at this stage, because you've got to make sure you have all the tools available, if that is what is necessary. under the worst—case scenario, we would have to take some quite significant actions that would have social and economic disruption. and you've already seen some other countries take some of these actions. what we don't have is enough ventilators, i think only nine or ten or 11 beds across england at the moment vacant for people who might need ventilators, which is part of what you might need if you're really seriously ill with coronavirus. well, i saw those figures published in the guardian and they are wrong and out of date. are they? so, how many do we have? we have 50 now, and we can ramp that up to 500, and then, if necessary to 5,000. 5,000 ventilator systems? well, 5,000 beds that are able to cope with the worst impact of this virus.
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but, of course, if the numbers get enormous, it doesn't matter what scale of a peacetime type nhs you have, the pressures on it, of course, are going to be very significant. we understand that, but we also have plans to rise to that challenge. 0k. we are putting a lot more resources into 111. in fact, that's one of the resources we're working on today. obviously, the response of 111 has been fantastic, thank goodness we've got it. it's only been there two or three years. but having that clarity of message to the public, that you should call 111 if you've got a problem is really important. of course, the number of calls going to 111 has risen very sharply, by more than 50% in the last week. i understand that. we had a plan already to put more resources into 111 and that's happening. and this is a... but i would also say, andrew, on that, i hope that people will also bear with us. i haven't seen a story of anybody waiting four days.
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there was one case of somebody waiting four days trying get through. but i would say that people should also bear with the system. be patient. everybody has a part to play and people should be patient. of course more people are calling 111 than before, that's to be expected in the circumstances. sure. the shadow health scretary, jon ashworth, has urged mr hancock to come to the commons and answer questions on the government's plans. jon ashworthjoins us now, from leicester. good afternoon to you. good afternoon. the government says nothing is off the table at this stage, that is kind of the responsible approach to adopt, isn't it? yes, and as it happens, i've not been critical of the measures that nhs england, public health england, the chief medical health officer and the chief medical health officer and the secretary of state had taken so far, it's the right approach to contain this and try to stop or slow down the spread of the virus but clearly things are becoming more
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serious now. the government are talking about taking emergency powers and there are legitimate questions about the capacity of the nhs to cope, when we know the nhs has suffered from ten years of cutbacks and austerity. around 17,000 beds have been cut in the nhs for example. i think it's important that if the secretary of state is talking about emergency powers, when it comes to the house of commons tomorrow, spell out exactly what those emergency powers are. we do know some things that have come out asa know some things that have come out as a result of this briefing over the weekend in preparation for mr hancock's interview. 0ne the weekend in preparation for mr hancock's interview. one of them is, it appears hancock's interview. one of them is, itappears in hancock's interview. one of them is, it appears in a lot of the newspapers this morning, trying to encourage nhs staff who may be have retired to be prepared to come back and work. initially, to register their interest and willingness. i suppose that's the kind of practical measure that, in the end, regardless of the debate over the state of the health service now, which is a political debate and perfectly
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legitimate party political argument, but you've got to deal with what you have now. and that's quite a good way, isn't it, maximising your potential resources? yes, it's a very sensible suggestion. i was on the media on friday night making that very point. maybe they heard you! maybe they heard me, i don't know. that is entirely sensible although there are practical considerations around former retired clinicians, whose licence, if you like, has run out or whether they would be able to get back on the register, whether they would be supervised and so on. there are some practical questions to be asked but i think the principle of trying to encourage those who have recently been working in the nhs to come back at what is clearly becoming a very pressured time i think is the right one. the broader point is this, the government briefed on friday night's newspapers they were taking emergency powers and there have been more briefings over the weekend. i
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hope ministers can come to the house of commons to explain what is going on because there were concerns that borisjohnson did on because there were concerns that boris johnson did interviews on because there were concerns that borisjohnson did interviews on friday saying we will have a cobra meeting but he wasn't prepared to have the cobra meeting until monday. they didn't suggest he was getting a grip of the situation. to be fair, there was a conference call involving him, matt hancock and the chief medical officer, chris whitty. people have been talking with each other. let's face it, given the crisis we are facing at the moment, there may be a need for more of these kinds of meetings where people don't physically get together as far as it spreading. the point is, government ministers, because they we re government ministers, because they were boycotting the bbc and all this nonsense, were not out there offering the people the reassurance that people deserved. there has clearly been change of gears now because boris johnson clearly been change of gears now because borisjohnson was probably quite stumped by the criticism. it is important that members of parliament are kept updated because we have our constituents coming to
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us asking us questions and we have to scrutinise government plans. i wa nt to to scrutinise government plans. i want to emphasise that i think the leadership that the chief medical 0fficer leadership that the chief medical officer has shown has been exemplary, i have no criticism of the chief medical officer or the nhs staff working all hours on this. we are moving into a more serious phase raising questions about the capacity of the nhs because this isn't a political point but if you take at face value the government's claims on nhs funding, i obviously disagree but for the sake of argument, let's ta ke but for the sake of argument, let's take it at face value, that funding is in place for the nhs to meet a series of commitments it made in the plan last year. if that funding is being diverted to deal with coronavirus, as it is, there are questions about whether they will get more funding to make up for the amount of money they have to shift. that's a point i want to put to the
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health secretary on monday in the house of commons. in terms of what the government says it will be doing, clearly, they will potentially be daily briefings if not more than once a day, on camera briefings, which they hope will carry live on channels like this one and on social media. in terms of the communication with the public, what's your assessment of how the government has done so far and what might need to change? this appears to have gotten more serious in the last 48 hours or so, hasn't it? up until that point, the nhs england, public health england, eve ryo ne nhs england, public health england, everyone involved in this, i have no criticism and i have been supportive of the government's position. if you look back at the exchanges in the house of commons, you will see that. clearly, we have nhs staff on the ground concerned about what happens next, gps are expressing concern that they don't feel they've been given adequate information. we have
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our constituents clearly concerned. i think the government need to be out there are more visible now. ministers need to be visible, not boycotting the today programme and all this nonsense that has gone on. they need to be out there, be visible and give people reassurances they deserve. that is what happened in the past with foot and mouth outbreaks and swine flu outbreaks. as it happens, i worked in downing street for a different government at the time of the foot and mouth outbreak and a swine flu outbreak. it felt like downing street was working on that and nothing else with the prime minister sharing morning meetings at ministers...” do also recall from that case, i was working as a political correspondent, there were problems inside government. communication difficulties between the ministry of agriculture at downing street, pushing hard on the vaccination question and resistance from the department of the ministry of agriculture. concern from the
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minister of state that they weren't communicating with each other. how do you avoid that situation in this situation between downing street and the department of help because political pressure will increase. the more cases there are, the more they will be a sense that things aren't being managed well, there is aren't being managed well, there is a dangerfor aren't being managed well, there is a danger for people to retreat into the bunker. there is. there always is. that is what governments sometimes do when they are under pressure but they have to keep speaking to each other and they have to keep speaking to us as the official opposition. because i want the country to get through this and i want people to be kept safe and i wa nt i want people to be kept safe and i want us all to pull together. look, we will have points of difference with the government. you would expect that. but we want to be constructive and helpful as best we can as the responsible opposition. jonathan ashworth, the shadow health secretary in leicester, thank you for joining secretary in leicester, thank you forjoining us this lunchtime. tomorrow evening we have a special programme on the outbreak hosted by fergus walsh, our medical
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correspondent and rachel burden. the headlines on bbc news... an infant school in berkshire is the latest place to close, after one of its staff tests positive for coronavirus — bringing the number of confirmed cases in the uk to 23. labour calls for home secretary priti patel to attend the commons tomorrow — to explain allegations from her departing civil service chief that she bullied staff. in the us, democrat presidential candidate joe biden wins his first primary in south carolina — boosting his chances of being his party's candidate to take on donald trump in november's election. more now on the news that a 23—year—old woman is taking legal action against an nhs gender clinic, which she says didn't challenge her enough when she told them she wanted to transition to a male. a judge gave the go—ahead this week for a full hearing of the case against the tavistock
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and portman nhs trust. earlier, i spoke to susie green. she's the ceo of mermaids uk who offer support and guidance to gender variant and tra nsgender youths. in the first instance, the waiting time is well over two years and when young people get into the service, there is then a process that they go through that takes a minimum of a year before any kind of medical intervention is even considered. what we see is actually lots of distress and very distressed young people and their families trying to support them whilst they are waiting to even access medical intervention. and when they go through that process, the process is very detailed, they get a lot of information about both the benefits and pitfalls and the projected outcomes of what any kind of medication would give them. so they make informed consent. that underpins the nhs service in terms that they make informed consent.
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i don't see how taking away that, because of a very small number, and we do see this, we do see young people change their trajectory and decide this isn't for them any more, but to say that just because of that 1% of young people who decide this isn't for them, we then say that nobody has access to it, that's not... that's not proportionate. is it not possible that there is some kind of middle way, which involves some kind of process where there is perhaps some kind of external involvement in that process of talking to young people? because the point that is being made by keira bell, the young woman we saw in that film is that she was quoted, "i was allowed to run with that idea i had, almost like a fantasy as a teenager"
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and it affected her in the long run. she says, "i was very young then" and the idea of informed consent is different, obviously, from when you are older and more mature and able to process some of these quite challenging issues about your identity. this goes across the gamut of young people's autonomy and ability to make decisions about their bodies, though. when you say you are very young and you're making decisions you have to realise a lot of this is with parental consent as well, so this is a reasoned decision that is made by these young people. and we know that intervention with puberty blockers saves lives and the most recent studies coming out of america of 20,000 people who had... trans people, who were surveyed in 2015, says people who had access to puberty blockers in their teenage years, the incidence of suicide and self—harm drops drastically.
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ao we know this medication, this intervention and pathway saves lives and we know there regret rate is very low so i do not know what kind of external intervention there could possibly be. because this is young people with their parents, with theirfamilies and their carers, working with clinicians in a field that they are extremely adept at and expert within. what kind of external intervention could we asked for that would make a difference here? because this is based on international guidelines. the medical pathway is based on years of research. this process has been in use across the world for over 15 years so when is it going to stop being talked about as being experimental? do we have to have kids in their 50s? my daughter had puberty blockers at 13 and then had cross sex hormones and shortly afterwards the doctor said he
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wanted to cap her height. when are we going to start listening to young people themselves? sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's ben croucher. good afternoon. england are into the semifinals of the women's t20 world cup after a confident 46 run victory over the west indies in their final group game. 0ur reporterjo currie is in sydney for us. we now know three of the four semifinalists for this t20 world cup. india were already through end of the two matches at a sydney showground, we can add england and south africa to the last four. in the later match, england came through against the west indies, winning the toss and put themselves into bat. danny whyte made 29, amy jones made 23 but nat sciver once again it making another half—century. a third half—century infour half—century. a third half—century in four matches. she is cementing her place as one of the inform
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players at the tournament and that school makes her the top run scorer so far in this world cup. she helped england to a total of 143—5, not bad at all for a slow wicket. in response, england's bowlers were not to be outdone by their batters, the west indies. innings got up to a difficult start after losing taylor to an injury, stretchered off to what looks like a groin problem. the rest of the west indies batters didn't put up much resistance as england bowled them all out for 97 to get through to the semifinals. the 2016 champions are now out, the 2018 runners—up, england, are through, largely thanks to a nat shiver innings. felt pretty good and confident. taking that into the game and making sure i am hitting straight and i've got the reward for it so far. waiting for a game where it so far. waiting for a game where it doesn't come off but i will run with it whilst i can. england are through. earlier here, south africa completed a comfortable 17 run
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victory over pakistan to book their place in the semifinals. the last spotin place in the semifinals. the last spot in the last four will come down toa spot in the last four will come down to a winner takes all match between australia and new zealand which is happening in melbourne. it's the efl cup final at wembley this afternoon with manchester city bidding for a third successive win in the competition. they're taking on aston villa who are struggling in the premier league but say they have nothing to fear as underdogs. it's an opportunity, because nine years ago, i was becoming the manager of walsall in league 1, looking to keep them up. if anyone had told me in nine years, i would be sat here as a premier league manager with aston villa leading them into a domestic cup trophy, i would have said you're crackers. i see it as a massive opportunity. the lads have done ever so well to get to the final. we've always expressed, you know, the tradition of the cup for this football club. now we've got an opportunity against one of the world's best teams. two premier league games under way
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in the next half an hour. manchester united can go to within a point of fourth by winning at everton. tottenham and wolves aren't too far behind either. holders celtic are at stjohnstone in the last eight of the scottish cup. for the first time since the summer of 2016, heather watson will be a top 50 player when the tennis rankings are confirmed tomorrow. it's after her three—set victory in the final of the mexican 0pen against ca nada's leylah annie fernandez. it's her fourth career title. it's the final day of the track cycling world championships and great britain are still hunting for a first gold medal. elinor barker is going in the points race right now. she was the world champion in this discipline back in 2017 and is racing right now in the velodrome. well placed at the minute. riderfrom the rider from the netherlands riderfrom the netherlands hasjust crashed in the last couple of minutes, she is one of the favourites for this event. barker was fourth after six rounds of
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sprinting in this event. you can watch this right now on the bbc sport website and by pressing the red button. that's all the sport for now. thank you very much, have a good afternoon. let's see how good an afternoon. let's see how good an afternoon we will have. is it march the 1st the first day of spring? absolutely, we are celebrating the arrival of spring even though the weather is not necessarilyjoining in. it is feeling chilly in the gusty wind and there is rain, sleet and snow in the north of scotland and snow in the north of scotland and the central belt. showers around with hail and thunder on the gusty winds pushing east across the uk but some eastern spots will avoid them altogether and stay dry. 0vernight
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some rain, sleet and snow


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