but south africa says it's the wrong approach. stopping travel from one country or even a small group of countries very soon becomes superfluous. it's really not the solution. french president emmanuel macron accuses the uk of not being serious about dealing with the migrant crisis as the diplomatic row deepens. one person has died as parts of britain are hit by storm arwen with freezing galeforce winds and snow. # there are bugs on her dugs # there are flies in her eyes... one of the most influential figures in musical theatre, the legendary american songwriter stephen sondheim, has died at 91.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the world health organization says that preliminary evidence suggests the new covid variant — first reported in south africa — carries a higher risk of infection than other strains. the united states hasjoined britain, the eu and japan in announcing travel restrictions on several southern african countries to try to slow the spread of the variant, now officially named omicron. here's our medical editor fergus walsh. after months of opening up, the newly named omicron variant means travel restrictions are back. at heathrow, the last flights from south africa arrived this morning. i feel extremely relieved because, yeah, who knows how long this is going to last, yeah? we've been told we have to — we have to isolate at home, so that shouldn't be too bad. from sunday, only uk and irish
residents will be allowed in from six southern african countries, and they'll have to pay to quarantine in a hotel. the travel restrictions mean catherine will miss her niece�*s wedding in south africa. and it's devastating. they've held back this wedding for two years for us, so we were all going to be together, which is really important. and, literally, we were off, you know, on the ninth, and now we're not. madam deputy speaker... the health secretary said the new variant may pose a substantial risk to public health, so the restrictions were necessary. i want to reassure this house that there are no detected cases of this variant in the uk at this time, but this new variant is of huge international concern. several coronavirus mutations have already made the covid pandemic worse. the alpha variant,
identified in kent, drove a huge wave of hospital admissions and deaths here last winter. the delta variant, first detected in india, was even more transmissible, and is currently the dominant strain worldwide. on paper, the new variant looks worrying, with twice the number of mutations found on delta. around 30 of these are in the spike protein — the key the virus uses to unlock our cells — and these changes may help it evade our body's defences. but so far, we don't know whether the variant causes more severe disease, whether vaccines will be less effective or drugs won't work. it's the sheer number and type of mutations that has scientists here troubled. some of them have never been seen in a combination like this before. many of them we've seen in various variants of concern
so far, but it's the complexity of the mutations that we're seeing today and the effects that it may have on both the immune response and transmissibility that are a huge concern. with belgium recording europe's first case of the omicron variant, the european commission in brussels called for a suspension of air travel to affected african countries. we do know that mutations could lead to the emergence and spread of even more concerning variants of the virus that could spread worldwide within a few months. it is now important that all of us in europe act very swiftly, decisively and united. vaccine companies say they can prepare updated versions of theirjabs, perhaps within 100 days, if the omicron variant is found to evade immunity. fergus walsh, bbc news. let's bring in david soberman from toronto. he's the canadian national
chair of strategic marketing at the university of toronto. thank you forjoining us. countries are announcing more restrictions of course. what does this mean for their already fragile economies? in the immediate term, i don't get will have a serious impact because the main thing that we are looking at our travel restrictions for people that are travelling between several south african nations and western europe and north america. i think that while thatis america. i think that while that is going to be inconvenient, perhaps worth than that for the people that are making those trips, is not going to have an immediate effect on the economy. you have obviously got _ effect on the economy. you have obviously got tourism _ effect on the economy. you have obviously got tourism and - obviously got tourism and travel companies, airliners that have already been through 18 months of this. how will they cope? i 18 months of this. how will they cope?— they cope? i think the big question. _ they cope? i think the big question, and _ they cope? i think the big question, and it - they cope? i think the big question, and it was - they cope? i think the big - question, and it was mentioned in the earlier report, is how bad is the omicron virus? is actually more contagious? does
it cause more severe disease? is it resistant to the vaccines that we have? if it is, if the answer to all those questions is yes, we have got a big problem because we may be facing another lockdown for the ones you lockdown western economies, it has a major impact on the economy is and can result in a reduction of gdp from anywhere between ten and 20% of visit and complete lockdown. and 20% of visit and complete lockdown-— lockdown. you talk about a ma'or lockdown. you talk about a major impact. _ lockdown. you talk about a major impact. avril - lockdown. you talk about a major impact. avril got - lockdown. you talk about a major impact. avril got the balance right at the moment is two do you see policy shifting given there is a lot of people talking about this new variant and how bad it could be. do you think we need to lockdown faster and quicker that be too damaging? i faster and quicker that be too damaging?— damaging? i think the most important — damaging? i think the most important thing _ damaging? i think the most important thing now- damaging? i think the most important thing now is - damaging? i think the most important thing now is that | damaging? i think the most i important thing now is that we have a lot more experience in terms of trying to assess just how bad variants are, and i think we will hear about that in the next few days. i think the policy will then follow right away. i think governments are writing stopping air travel
right away, but going any further than that right now doesn't make sense, especially when many countries including the uk, we don't have any detected cases of the omicron virus. i detected cases of the omicron virus. , , , , ., virus. i guess it depends on where you _ virus. i guess it depends on where you are _ virus. i guess it depends on where you are living - virus. i guess it depends on where you are living in - virus. i guess it depends on j where you are living in what the situation is, but what do you think the public appetite is now for further restrictions on lockdowns?— on lockdowns? the public appetite _ on lockdowns? the public appetite is _ on lockdowns? the public appetite is really - on lockdowns? the public appetite is really low, - on lockdowns? the public appetite is really low, but on lockdowns? the public - appetite is really low, but the biggest problem right now is the uncertainty, and uncertainty has a very negative effect on markets, on investors and on basically the public mood, if you will. so i think that what we are all going to be waiting for and watching the news for over the next few days as reports on just about as variant is and whether it is something that the existing vaccines can actually protect us from. ~ , , us from. absolutely. it is early days _ us from. absolutely. it is early days and _ us from. absolutely. it is early days and there - us from. absolutely. it is early days and there is i us from. absolutely. it is early days and there is a | us from. absolutely. it is i early days and there is a lot more to find out about omicron and the impact it can have. thank you very much. thank you. let's get some of the day's other news.
three people have been killed in anti—government protests in the solomon islands. the violence began on wednesday when protesters stormed parliament in a bid to topple the prime minister. a night—time curfew has been extended after crowds defied a lockdown and set fire to government buildings, a police station and businesses in the pacific island nation. two teenagers and a bus driver have died after a gunman opened fire on a school coach in kosovo. it happened near the town of decani, about 90 kilometres from the capital, pristina. a police spokesman said the gunman is believed to have acted alone. local media said it could have been part of a conflict between rival bus companies. the ethiopian government has banned reporting of any military movements or updates from the battlefield in its more than year—long war with tigrayan rebels unless the information is approved by the government. meanwhile, state media have shown this footage of the prime minister, abiy ahmed, in a rural location wearing a military uniform. earlier this week, the prime minister said he'd head to the front line to direct the conflict as tigrayan rebels reportedly advance
towards the capital. the french president, emmanuel macron, has accused britain of not being serious about dealing with the migrant crisis in the channel. european ministers will meet on sunday to discuss the situation after 27 people drowned on wednesday trying to reach the uk, but britain won't be at the table. lucy williamson reports from calais. the road between paris and london is getting colder, the political distance a little wider each day. here in the migrant camps, caught between the two governments, they know what it takes to bridge the channel and what the risks are if you fail. two days ago, a boat capsized, killing 27 people. tonight, the first victim was named as 24—year—old maryam nuri mohamed amin from iraqi kurdistan. herfiance said he was messaging her as the dinghy began to lose air. herfather, mourning her death
in erbil, in northern iraq, spoke to the bbc. translation: from germany, she went to france, _ and in france, she got into this slaughterhouse. the whole world talks about europe as a place that is calm, that is pleasant. is this what "calm" means — around 30 people dying in the middle of the sea? this is a sin to put people through this. this tragedy has put pressure on paris and london to mend their rift over how to tackle the channel crossings. macron says you aren't serious. is he right, prime minister? meeting the polish prime minister today, mrjohnson said cooperation between european partners was the way to solve the migrant crisis. and, of course, that, again, underlines that this is a problem that we have to fix together. but france has accused the prime minister of doublespeak. last night, in a series of tweets, mrjohnson said
he'd written to the french president, emmanuel macron, with some proposals. he tweeted the letter too, calling forjoint patrols of french gendarmes and uk border force, and suggesting that all illegal migrants who cross the channel be returned to france. this, he said, would break the business model of the criminal gangs. france is irritated by mrjohnson�*s style of diplomacy, and it shows. translation: i'm surprised when things are not done seriously. - we don't communicate between leaders on these issues via tweets or publish letters. we're not whistle—blowers. come on! the ministers will work seriously to settle a serious issue with serious people. the tensions between france and the uk, built up over a range of issues, are becoming increasingly public. the home secretary, priti patel, was due here in calais this weekend to discuss migration,
but since mrjohnson�*s tweets last night, she's been disinvited, though uk officials are in paris today to discuss the issue. no invitations needed here, though. through it all, migrants plan their next crossing attempts. like moez from sudan, among those we met queueing at a food distribution truck. he's undeterred by the deaths of 27 people in the channel this week. would he stop trying if he thought he'd be sent straight back to france? this, my dream, go to uk. if come back france, again, i go to uk. never not to stop. not to stop, not to stop, never. neither disaster nor diplomacy has stopped the rhythm of these crossings. an alternative to the promises of people smugglers can feel as remote here as the elysee palace or downing street. lucy williamson, bbc news, calais.
stay with us on bbc news. still to come: one of the most influential figures in musical theatre, the legendary american songwriter stephen sondheim, has died at 91. president kennedy was shot down and died almost immediately. the murder ofjohn kennedy is a disaster for the whole free world. he caught the imagination of the world, the first of a new generation of leaders. margaret thatcher is resigning as leader of the conservative party and prime minister. before leaving number ten to see the queen, she told her cabinet, "it's a funny old world." angela merkel is germany's first woman chancellor, easily securing the majority she needed. attempts to fly a hot air balloon had to be abandoned after a few minutes, but nobody seemed to mind very much. as one local comic put it, "it's not hot air we need,
it's hard cash." cuba has declared nine days of mourning following the death of fidel castro at the age of 90. castro developed close ties with the soviet union in the 1960s. it was an alliance that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war with the cuban missile crisis. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: a new covid strain found in southern africa is classed a "variant of concern" by the world health organization over fears it may be more infectious and more resistant to vaccines. french president emmanuel macron is accusing the uk of not being serious about dealing with the migrant crisis as the diplomatic row deepens. president biden has expressed concern about russia's troop build—up near the ukrainian border. he said he was likely to discuss the situation with both countries' leaders. earlier, ukraine's president said russian representatives are planning to overthrow his government next week, but the kremlin insists russia
has no plans to get involved. mark lobel reports. ukrainians living in the rebel—held east survey recent damage amidst a war of words with russia as western and ukrainian officials speak of a buildup of russian forces on the country's borders with ukraine. ukraine's president, addressing the media on friday, suggested his country could come under attack as early as next week. translation: we've received information that in our state . there will be a coup d'etat in the first days of december. then, citing secret recordings, he names the country's richest man, a mining and media tycoon, and critic of his, being lured into the plot. translation: i can say that we have not only i intelligence information, we even have audio information where, let's say, representatives from ukraine and, let's say, representatives of russia, discussed rinat
akhmetov�*s participation in the coup d'etat in ukraine. but in response, mr akhmetov said he was "outraged by the spread of this lie", adding he "will continue to defend a free ukraine". the kremlin accuses kyiv of provocations with pro—russian separatists in the country's east. and, in response to allegations of an imminent invasion, a spokesperson said russian never does such things. but in response, mr akhmetov said he was "outraged by the spread of this lie", adding but in response, mr akhmetov said he was "outraged by the spread of this lie", adding he "will continue to defend a free ukraine". the kremlin accuses kyiv of provocations with pro—russian separatists in the country's east. and, in response to allegations of an imminent invasion, a spokesperson said russian never does such
things. but president zelenskyy says he's received promises of support from western partners should russia take action. if russia uses force against that will have costs, that will have consequences, and therefore we continue to call on russia to deescalate. now, as residents hold their breath as tensions mount, president biden says he will in all probability have talks with his ukrainian and russian counterparts. as ukraine's president calls on president putin to state publicly that an invasion is not being planned. mark lobel, bbc news. the met office says storm arwen has brought winds of almost a hundred miles per hour to the east coast of the uk. gusts of 98mph were recorded in northumberland. a red weather warning has expired, but amber and yellow warnings remain, with more strong winds expected. our correspondent lorna gordon is in stonehaven on the north east coast of scotland. she gave this update. a huge sweep of the east coast is being battered by this storm with this red warning for wind, which means there's a potential dangerfor life in place, from north of aberdeen to middlesbrough, in the north—east of england. and the conditions really are brutal — there's driving rain,
dropping temperatures, and winds are forecast to potentially gust up to 90 mph. 25,000 homes, primarily in aberdeenshire, have been left without power tonight, the conditions on the roads are described as treacherous, police are warning people not to travel, and there's significant disruption on the rail network, as well. many services are cancelled. and there are reports of people stuck on trains because fallen trees blocking the lines. network rail says they're sending stuff to help, but that it could take some time. of course, because the worst of this storm is hitting overnight, we won't know the full extent of any damage caused until the morning. the legendary composer of broadway musicals, stephen sonheim, has died at his home in connecticut. he was 91. daniella relph looks back on his career. # isn't it bliss? # don't you approve? # one who keeps tearing around. # one who can't move...
send in the clowns from the musical a little night music. # send in the clowns. it was stephen sondheim's only hit song — remarkably, because this was the man who revolutionised the american musical. as a young man, he learned his trade from oscar hammerstein — the lyricist who wrote shows like oklahoma and the sound of music. sondheim, too, started by doing the words, notably for leonard bernstein's music in west side story. # i like to be in america! # ok by me in america! soon he was writing his own music as well. # for a small fee in america! most of the shows that followed were hits. and then, in 1970, he came up with a new idea — a musical that didn't follow an obvious plot. # phone rings, door chimes. # in comes company!
company was a series of vignettes featuring a dozen central characters. no two sondheim musicals were the same. i don't want to get bored writing and, you know, it's — when you hit a chord that you've hit before, or a technique of using a song that you've done before — or when i do, i get very nervous and i think "i've written that. "i mustn't do that again — somebody will catch me up on it," so to speak. it's as if somebody�*s saying, "wait a minute — you did that in that show!" into the woods was based on fairy stories like jack and the beanstalk. sondheim's music was rhythmically complicated and harmonically sophisticated. # we've no time to sit and dither. # while her withers wither with her. # and no—one keeps a cow for a friend! # artists are bizarre. # fixed. # cold. # that's you, georges — you're bizarre! one of his cleverest creations was sunday in the park with george, about the painter
georges seurat, whose most famous painting was recreated by the characters on stage. art is not an easy thing to do. and i've heard people say, "oh, so—and—so is so talented," as if all they had to do was get up in the morning and the painting was made or the song was written. and they don't understand that it's exactly as much hard work — and maybe harder — than making a shoe or anything that you make out of nothing. # i thought that you'd want what i want. # sorry, my dear... for his admirers, stephen sondheim produced some of the most sophisticated and thoughtful musicals ever written. # quick, send in the clowns. # don't bother, they're here. stephen sondheim who's died at the age of 91.
well, tributes have been coming in to the musical legend. huthackman said that stephen sondheim fundamentally shifted an entire art form. broadway star idina menzel said actors would spend the rest of their lives trying to make him proud. whilst star of stage and screen harvey fierstein said "oh, that sondheim. "we'll never hear the end of him! "i hope." broadway star sierra boggess played cinderella in sondheim's into the woods and shared her memories of the composer a little earlier. first of all, thank you for having me. it is a cathartic experience for me right now because we all just experience for me right now because we alljust all over the world have heard this news, so it is just beyond. that is one of my favourite things about eight stephen sondheim musical is the material that you learn is some of the most complex series of notes put
together that you can learn, and so you feel such a sense of completion and —— accomplishment, when you arrive at the place of realising, i have got it, i have figured out how to sing this song, sing this beautiful phrase that he wrote. his melodies are so complex and they may not be easy always on the ear, but they are some of my favourite things to sing as a singer, as a musician, it requires all of you. he redefined the musical, is that of up to the antifa what we could do. no—one had ever written like him before. it is why you study him at school if you are studying to get a degree in musical theatre or a theatre student. you know that when you are learning to learn the song because it elevates you and that is what he did for all of musicals. he changed the way that we listen,
he changed the way... he never made it easy i feel like for either the performer or the audience. he required you to listen, he required you... it is like the best thing for going and seeing a show because then you have a discussion afterwards of what did that mean?! it is so complex and he gave words, ifeel lucky gave words, i feel lucky articulated gave words, ifeel lucky articulated things like love and loss and regret in ways that i would never be able to, and that most of us wouldn't ever be able to. you may remember sharbat gula if i describe her as the green—eyed �*afghan girl�* whose photo on the cover of national geographic magazine in 1985 became the face of the afghan war at the time. well, she's has been given safehaven in italy after fleeing afghanistan. the us photographer, steve mccurry, photographed gula when she was 12 and living in a refugee camp on the pakistan—afghan border.
the italian prime minister's office said it intervened after gula asked to leave following the taliban takeover in august. a reminder of our top story: more world leaders are imposing travel restrictions on southern african countries to try to slow the spread of a new coronavirus variant. we will have more news for you in half—an—hour. but that is it from me. thank you for watching. i will see you soon. storm arwen has been buffeting the uk over recent hours. so far, the strongest wind gusts that i've seen have been across coastal regions of aberdeenshire. inverbervie picking up a top gust of 78mph. not too far behind, northumberland — a 74mph gust of wind here. those wind gusts strong enough
to bring down some trees, no doubt some transport disruption out and about as we head into saturday. the peak red weather warning lapses, though, during the early hours of saturday and, as our low pressure moves southward, we'll be left with two regions of strong winds — one affecting eastern areas of scotland and north—east england, and another for wales and south—west england. both of these areas will see gusts of wind around about 60—70mph, so still strong enough to bring down some trees. we could see some further disruption — and, as well as that, we've got some rain, some heavy snow over high ground, particularly the southern uplands into the highlands and over the high parts of the pennines, the cheviots, as well. could see some disruptive falls of snow high up. even low down, you might see a little bit of snowjust for a time as we head into the first parts of saturday morning. and, of course, it will be a very blustery and cold start to the day on saturday, as well, with those gusts well up, even inland, very blustery, indeed.
now, through the rest of saturday, we'll have this zone of rain, still a bit of sleet and snow mixed in with that, although anything accumulating — well, that's not really likely to happen — anything that falls is just going to melt back to rain, really, as the day goes by. but we'll keep those strong winds all day, and it will feel very, very cold — temperatures around 3—4 degrees celsius quite widely, but factor in those winds, it will feel bitter. now, for the second half of the weekend, arwen continues to work away from the uk, it's dying. but we've still got these fairly strong northerly winds, and those northerly winds won't be feeling any warmer at all. sunday will be a day, really, of sunshine and showers. these showers ok, most frequent across northern and eastern areas, but i think there'll be a whole raft of showers working into the north—west, as well. so nowhere's immune from seeing an odd downpour. and those showers still having a wintry flavour, bit of hail, bit of sleet mixed in with some of those — temperatures around 2 degrees celsius or so in newcastle, maybe a 4 in london, but again, feeling cold. now, into next week, we'll see a sharpjump upwards in temperatures. turns much, much milder by tuesday, but rain and some
this is bbc news, this is bbc news, the headlines: the headlines: a new covid strain found a new covid strain found in southern africa is classed in southern africa is classed a "variant of concern" by a "variant of concern" by the world health organization the world health organization over fears it may be over fears it may be more infectious and more more infectious and more resistant to vaccines. resistant to vaccines. the us is the latest country the us is the latest country to impose travel restrictions to impose travel restrictions to the affected countries to the affected countries to slow the spread. to slow the spread. french president emmanuel french president emmanuel macron is accusing the uk macron is accusing the uk of not being serious about of not being serious about dealing with the migrant crisis dealing with the migrant crisis as the diplomatic row deepens. as the diplomatic row deepens. 27 people drowned on wednesday 27 people drowned on wednesday trying to reach the uk — trying to reach the uk — european ministers will meet european ministers will meet on sunday, but the uk is not on sunday, but the uk is not invited to the talks. invited to the talks.