welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: britain and the european union remain far apart, as talks between borisjohnson and eu chief ursula von der leyen in brussels end without agreement. but, despite no deal, negotiations to break the trade talks deadlock will continue, with a firm decision expected by sunday. facebook is facing a major us lawsuit that could force the company to sell off instagram and whatsapp. and the brazilian woman who's finding a way around the pandemic restrictions, to bring festive cheer to disadvantaged children.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. talks to try to agree a post—brexit trade deal between the uk and the european union have concluded with both sides saying there are major differences to bridge. the british prime minister, borisjohnson and the european commission president, ursula von der leyen, met over dinner in brussels. both have agreed talks on a deal will continue until sunday, when a firm decision will be made. a source in mrjohnson‘s office said he didn't want to leave any possible route to a deal untested. without a trade agreement, tariffs will be imposed on goods from the start ofjanuary and trade will be disrupted by increased border checks. our europe editor, katya adler, gave us this update on the events of the evening. she said it was a lively and interesting discussion. we've heard from the uk that it was a frank discussion which would imply that it wasn't necessarily so friendly.
i think both sides totally agree that gaps still remain. as you say, talks will resume tomorrow, will go on until sunday. is sunday the deadline or is it just the latest deadline? of course, we have seen so many brexit deadlines come and go. to take a decision on the future of the talks we're told by the end of play on sunday could mean to carry on talking or it could mean of course announcing a deal or no deal. the very firm deadline that we have is the end of the year, the 31st of december. it's then that the transition period ends. that's when the uk fully comes out of the european union, it legally did so on the 31st of january. practically, it has remained in the eu's single market and customs union for the rest of this year. as of the 1st of january, no longer. and it was by the end of this year that the two sides wanted
this trade and security deal in place. tonight, that still looks like a very far off hope but we had news today that if you remember the brexit divorce deal on the protocol to deal with the practicalities from northern ireland, the implementation of that agreement has been going very badly this year and suddenly this week everything has clicked into place. so, it is possible even if at the moment that trade deal, it just looks very troubled indeed. remember there are three main sticking points still there that have been there for months. that's the rights for eu fishing communities to access uk waters after brexit. it's competition regulations. the eu says, "uk, if you want to have preferential access "to our single market, then you need to sign up "to some principles on fair competition," says the eu. and the third point is the governance of the deal — how do you police it once it's in place? if either side breaks their word, what kind of penalties can be in place? those are the three outstanding issues, and they were
discussed tonight. so it could be that even though not much progress was made tonight, some sense of progress was there, or it could also be that neither side wants to take the blame for walking away first from these negotiations because a no—deal situation will be chaotic and costly and difficult for both sides. and so neither ursula von der leyen, the european commission president who tonight at dinner represented all 27 eu countries, nor boris johnson would want to be the ones to say, "right, i've had enough," and have that chaos on their shoulders. our reporter paul hawkins is across the latest reaction. new deadline of sunday, regardless of how significant we think the deadline is, kept or not, what will they be talking about over the next four days? talking about the three sticking points that we just highlighted there, namely
fish, governance, how you will police the deal once it comes into force, and then the level playing field. probably taking up playing field. probably taking up most of the time, the level playing field, fair rules, the eu saying that if you want access to the single market, you have to have certain agreed environmental regulations and rules for businesses and if you try to drop or minimise those, that gives your businesses unfair advantage over ours and it would be unfair hence why we need a level playing field and we all need to sign up to agreed rules and the uk saying that the whole point of brexit is that we leave and follow our own rules! trying to reconcile these differences will take up most of the time i imagine. that seems a significant conundrum to try and sort out but that is what they are trying to sort out over the next four days. what about this evening in brussels? i know you're desperate for me to ask about the menu and what they
ate, so what was on the menu? well, if you are having a row with, do you know what, they called the withdrawal agreement a divorce so having dinner with your ex—wife and one of the major disagreements was finished. we had a big row over fish and then over dinner you said to me fish. what does that mean? are they hidden messages there? what do you do? they had scams for this data and deemed turbo and... . a lot of fish on the menu! and fish has taken up a lot of time in media coverage in talks and it is an important issue for everyone involved but it isa issue for everyone involved but it is a tiny fraction of the economy. at less than 0.196 of the british economy is fishing and yet there is a huge symbolism to fans of brexit, known as brexit is saying now that we are leaving, it is our
waters and our fish and the eu can't come in our waters and have our fish. so there is an ongoing disagreement about coming into our waters and if you do, how many fish are allowed to take mark et cetera and the eu is saying is that we cannot fish in your waters and you cannot sell your fish cannot fish in your waters and you cannot sell yourfish in the eu market. three quarters of british fish and up in european union, so disagreements there as well. we will have to see what announcement comes out on sunday, thank you, paul. meanwhile, supermarkets are being given three months to prepare for additional checks that will be carried out on goods being transported to northern ireland from great britain after the brexit transition period ends on new year's eve. the agreement reached by the uk and eu is designed to stop food supplies being disrupted next year.
when the transition period ends on new year's eve, england, scotland and wales will leave the eu's single market for goods. northern ireland effectively won't. at the moment there are hardly any checks on goods travelling between great britain and northern ireland. but from january 1st, deal or no deal, there will be new rules governing trade across the irish sea, that companies big and small are trying to get to grips with. our ireland correspondent emma vardy reports. becoming cut off from great britain through new brexit red tape was one of the biggest fears for businesses in northern ireland, because food exported over the irish sea will be subject to new checks once northern ireland becomes a gateway to the eu. now, supermarkets will have an extra few months to get their paperwork in order, but smaller companies are still awaiting answers. retailers like myself, we do probably a third of our business in december, for christmas, and we just have not had a chance to look at what's happening in brexit. you know, we've just been trying to get over the year with covid. the new rules on bringing products into northern ireland will apply whether there's a trade deal or not.
today's announcements make the picture a little clearer for companies on what they're having to gear up for. but make no mistake — this all still amounts to a huge shift in the trading status of northern ireland for years to come. today, michael gove tried to reassure traders that there would be no disruption to food supplies. british sausages will continue to make their way to belfast and ballymena in the new year. and we've also got time for reciprocal agreements between the uk and the eu on agri—food, which can be discussed in the months ahead. it was welcomed by supermarkets, after previous warnings the changes could have limited the range of goods they send to northern ireland's shelves. we'd been preparing for the worst, so, frankly, if there had been no deal, we were confident we would have been able to continue to supply our stores in northern ireland, but obviously this should make it easier. for manufacturers that bring raw materials over
the irish sea, some relief today that new tariffs will be minimised. but, like this firm which makes plastic goods, from hairbrushes to aeroplane parts, the real challenge is dealing with new documentation over where their products are sold on. what difference does the added paperwork make to your business? the bureaucracy, we think, is going to be one of the major burdens of brexit, unfortunately, we understood that from the start, and that is indeed a cost burden for business. and the tracking and trace required to understand where materials are actually consumed, and which products, and ultimately which markets in which they're sold into, that's a very complex process. there are just 22 days left before the brexit transition period ends, but even then, it's not the final destination. all these new trading arrangements for northern ireland will continue to evolve well into the future. emma vardy, bbc news. the us government wants to break up facebook over concerns it's abusing its dominance in social media to crush smaller competitors. federal and state regulators have sued the company,
saying it's become a digital monopoly and should be ordered to sell off instagram and whastapp, which have billions of users. new york's attorney—general, who is leading a coalition of 48 states suing facebook, explained why they decided to take action. for nearly a decade, facebook has used its dominance, and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out competition. all at the expense of everyday users. by using its vast troves of data and money, facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived as potential threats. they have reduced choices for consumers and stifled innovation. and they degraded privacy protections for millions of americans. i'm joined by seth bloom, former general counsel of the us senate anti—trust committee.
thank you very much are coming on the programme. thank you for the invitation. you are the perfect gas, you know all about this, what are the chances of this, what are the chances of this being successful? is difficult, less than 50—50 chance of being successful. but that the justice department brought a strong case against google but this is not as strong because were dealing with two consummated mergers, facebook‘s acquisition of instagram in 2012 and whatsapp in 2014 so it is either 6— eight years integrated as one company and courts will be relu cta nt to company and courts will be reluctant to order i divestiture of acquisitions many years of. given that, why do you think the cases coming now then? a lot of political pressure to bring this case. there is a movement against big ta ke there is a movement against big take both from the left and right — just big technology and it was interesting that the
republican chairman of the ftc crossed party lines and voted with the democratic commissioners and the other republican commissioners noticed against it. on all sides, people are concerned about facebook, from people on the right to believe that facebook suppresses conservative viewpoints and people on the left to believe facebook is just too big. people on the left to believe facebook isjust too big. and isa facebook isjust too big. and is a threat to peoples privacy. picking up on that, the growing pressure from left and right but if that this particular case, the chances are not great, is that this particular case, the chances are not great, so what do you see happening in the years ahead?” think it will be a bitterly contested fight. i do not think, there will be a new ftc when the administration changes and at some point it will be majority democratic and i don't think they will drop the case -- fdc. ithink think they will drop the case -- fdc. i think it will be pursued and i don't think facebook will give up. but one
thing you can see, the interesting thing in addition to the two acquisition, the fdc is concerned about facebook‘s conduct which they allege suppresses competition and various means that facebook is used with respect to third—party apps and preventing them from interconnecting with facebook unless they agree not to compete with them. these policies are gone away. facebook exchange policy and a simple way to resolve this case is for facebook to agree with some sort of binding consent not to reinstate the policies. i think that could be a likely outcome if the government decided it will not be successful in getting investitu re of instagram successful in getting investiture of instagram and whatsapp but there will be a long struggle before that. great to get your insight on that. thank you for coming on. thank you very much. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: how for the first time ever, human—made objects are about to outweigh all animals and plants on the planet. we'll explain all.
john lennon was shot at the entrance to the dakota building in the centre of new york. there's been a crowd here standing in more or less silent vigil, and the flowers have been piling up. the 14th ceasefire of this war ended at the walls of the old city of dubrovnik. this morning, witnesses said shells were landing every 20 seconds. people are celebrating the passing of a man they hold responsible for hundreds of deaths and oppression. elsewhere, people have been gathering to mourn his passing. imelda marcos, the widow of the former president of the philippines, has gone on trial in manila. she's facing seven charges of tax evasion, estimated at £120 million. she pleaded not guilty.
the prince and princess of wales are to separate. a statement from buckingham palace said the decision had been reached amicably. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: britain and the european union remain far apart as talks between borisjohnson and eu chief ursula von der leyen in brussels end without agreement. but negotiations to break the trade talks deadlock will continue, with a firm decision expected by sunday. let's stay with that story. earlier, we spoke tom newton—dunn, who's chief political commentator at times radio. we asked him what he thought the sticking points were in stopping a deal happening. i suppose you could look at this and say what on earth has changed since yesterday, last week, last month? supposedly, nothing.
or you could look at this and say actually, there has been some interest, we may not know the detail for a while yet. it looks like there has been, the detail has been ongoing for a while there. it depends if you are a glass half full person. what do we know going into this? tomorrow there will be talks, they will talk for four more days, we also know both leaders have put out statements, ursula von der leyen and the prime minister saying it was a frank conversation, ursula von der leyen saying it was lively, diplomatic parlance saying it was a bust—up. significant gaps still remain. number 10 sources going further saying to me, ursula saying nothing was achieved at all, zero progress. the big question still remains.
if that is really the case, if they are still at her loggerheads over these crucial issues like fishing and the level playing field, are they doing, talking for four more days? surely there is zero point in sitting in a room, staring at each other, david frost and michel barnier, for four more days, just that logjams are nothing new. unless they are just trying to not be the first one to walk away from the table and not be the first one to look like they caused no deal. itjust feels to me, though, four days is a long time. remember those talks of michel barnier had to stop because they ran out of things to talk about because they were so logjammed. it seems they are going to give this one last shot at trying something. and i think it leans on the level playing field,
britain's position on agreeing to not have worse—than—current standards of the labour marketplace, environmental protections, state aid, and the eu's position which penalty clauses in britain leveraging away from future positions. so it feels like there is a chance their of achieving something, it may come to nothing, it mayjust be be another charade. i can't see them continuing this for four more days unless they were onto something there. an experimental rocket belonging toelon musk‘s spacex company has exploded while attempting to land back on the ground. the 16—storey high starship rocket was being tested as part of the company's plans to eventually carry humans and cargo to the moon and mars. it had made a successful lift—off from spacex's launch facility in texas. there was no—one on board the rocket. now, the entire weight of plastics, bricks and other man—made things is soon set to overtake that of all living organisms on earth, such as animals,
plants and fungi for the very first time. that's the assessment by a group of scientists who published the result of their studies in the magazine nature. i'm joined now by will steffen, emeritus professor at the australian national university and member of the anthropocene working group. thank you for coming on the programme. my pleasure, thank you. how do you establish the weight of everything on earth? we make an estimate on how many animals there are, how many wild animals there are. you know what their masses and so on, so you can calculation. it's probably a bit trickier in terms of plans, but nevertheless we have a good idea of what we call nature biomes, rainforests, temperate forests, savannas, deserts, and we can get an average for the mass above ground, what we call above ground biomass, that is the stuff you see, possible routes. those things have been studied by ecologists very long time and we do have, i think, the processes to scan it out
and work out how much mass there is in the natural world. 0k. there is in the natural world. ok. so we've done those calculations, you've got the entire weight of everything human made, the entire weight of everything natural, human made staff is now heavier. why does that matter? it's just another interesting indicator for what we call the anthropocene, a proposed new geological epoque that is driven by the absolute human domination of the natural world. and the changes in climate and changes in the aspects of the planetary machinery. i think that is another statistic indicating just how much humans are now dominating the structure and functioning of the whole new system. was this something you we re system. was this something you were expecting? not expecting, but it's not surprising. there is another related indicator which shows body much the same thing, that is if you look at
all of the energy that humans have produced and consumed, electricity, other forms of energy, since 1950, again, the mid—20th century, but is larger than all of the energy consumed by humanity in its entirety from the beginning of humanity up from the beginning of humanity up until 1950. so these two indicators are internally consistent. we have had a massive increase in consumption of energy since 1950, and of course that correlates to a massive increase in the stuff that we are making. so there area number of that we are making. so there are a number of indicators that show this 1950 break point in human activity. brilliant to have you won. thank you so much for your time, will steffen. thank you, my pleasure. let's get some of the day's other news. the united states has passed another grim milestone
in its fight against covid—19 afterjohn hopkins coronavirus resource center announced coronavirus deaths rose by at least 3,112 on wednesday. it's the highest reported one day increase since the pandemic started. —— johns hopkins. president—electjoe biden's son hunter has said he's under investigation for potential tax violations. in a statement released by the presidential transition team, hunter biden said he was confident a review would demonstrate that he'd handled his affairs legally. the veteran palestinian politician hanan ashrawi has confirmed her resignation from the leadership of the palestine liberation organization. mrs ashrawi said the organisation needed more young people to reinvigorate it. the french cabinet has approved a bill aimed at tackling radical islam after a recent series of attacks by extremists. the draft law, part
of a long—term drive by president emmanuel macron to uphold secular values, tightens rules on home—schooling and hate speech. some critics have accused his government of using it to target religion. with christmas less than three weeks away, and the coronavirus pandemic far from over — people across the world are wondering how they'll be able to celebrate. well one possible solution is on show in brazil. tom brada reports. it's the question millions of people are asking — how can we celebrate christmas during the coronavirus pandemic? well, a woman in brazil has come up with a clever way to raise festive spirits while still keeping people safe. this is fatima, every year she dresses up as mrs claus, handing out gifts and hugs to children. this year she isn't giving up the tradition, but doing it all through a specially sanitised curtain. translation: i really liked mrs claus' hug, it was warm and nice, i liked it a lot. brazil has been hit particularly hard by the virus. there have been more than 6.5
million registered coronavirus cases and thousands of people have lost their jobs, meaning fatima's work is all the more welcome. translation: i hope that days will come in next year we can hug more, that we can feel that human warmth, because we need it. it's not just the families who are enjoying the benefits of the festive ingenuity. translation: i feel great as well, because of the pandemic, today was the first time i hug someone since february. the coronavirus means this will be a holiday season like no other. but with a bit of creativity, the virus hopefully won't get in the way of christmas cheer. tom rada, bbc news. a reminder of our top story. britain and the eu remain far apart as talks between boris johnson and ursula von der
leyen and with our progress. —— end. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones. this is bbc news. bye—bye. hello. in comparison to recent mornings, thursday gets off to a relatively mild to start but not very inspiring skies for the majority first thing. a lot of cloud around, gloomy, and we will be stuck with that cloud in many areas throughout the course of the day. it's courtesy of an area of low pressure, a big area of low pressure which actually is a combination of smaller low pressure centres — one to the south—west of the uk this morning could bring some showery rain in here. the tail end of another one to the north—west will, i think, bring some more persistent rain through the course of the day into western scotland, gradually tracking it a little further eastwards. some showers will push across wales into the north—west of england as the day pans out as well. the best chance of any brightness probably in a few sheltered eastern spots across east anglia stretching up into lincolnshire. temperatures around average at best, typically 8—9, perhaps 11 for plymouth.
but look towards the west and you'll see another band of rain approaching. now, this one tends to mean business. it will produce some heavier rain for all areas as it tracks way eastwards. it's tied in with another one of those smaller low—pressure centres we saw as part of that big one at the start. but clear skies look like they could just hang on overnight to give us a patchy frost from the north—east of england and eastern scotland initially on friday. but the day overall is dominated by increasing winds and some rain pushing its way eastwards, but this area of low pressure will also manage to pull in some comparatively mild air to the south of the uk. you can see the amber colour here on the air mass picture behind me. so, actually, if we do see the sun coming out on friday, it could well turn out to be one of our warmest afternoons across the uk if we compare the whole of the weekjust gone. and the best place to see the sun at the moment, it looks like probably southern counties of england. we could widely see double figures here where the cloud lingers. further north, though, and some rather persistent
rain, probably 7—9 just about covers it. now, for the weekend — blink and you'll miss it but there's a little ridge of high pressure in there. yes, that low still whirling away towards the west but saturday looks like a quieter, clearer, drier day. but as you can see, that low isn't giving up the ghost any time soon. for saturday, a little bit cooler, quite cloudy, but not a bad day. sunday, milder but we're back with the wet and windy conditions.
this is bbc news. the headlines: britain and the eu are still far apart but a decision is expected on sunday. the us has passed another grim milestone in its fight against covid—19. the johns hopkins coronavirus resource center has announced that deaths rose by at least 3,112 on wednesday. it's the highest reported one—day increase since the pandemic started. facebook is facing a major lawsuit in the us claiming it isa lawsuit in the us claiming it is a major monopoly stifling competition. if it loses, it could be forced to break up the company and sell off instagram and whatsapp.