welcome to bbc news, i'm james reynolds. our top stories: president trump's attempts of overturning the election result have been dealt a final blow — the us supreme court rejects his lawsuit aimed at throwing out the votes in four states. "get it done": the trump administration puts pressure on regulators to approve a coronavirus vaccine, asking it to do so in the next few hours. borisjohnson and the eu say they're unlikely to strike a post—brexit trade deal by sunday, with differences over how a new relationship might look. plus: making music courtesy of social media. how a classical musician used ambient sound from people stuck at home for her new composition.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the us supreme court has rejected a legal application by the state of texas, seeking to invalidate voting results in georgia, michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin. the ruling is yet another blow to republicans supporting donald trump's attempts to overturn election results in key states which were won by the democratic president—electjoe biden. the bbc‘s nomia iqbal is in washington with more details. it was a very brief, unsigned one sentence order, basically saying no to donald trump, and it was quite an audacious lawsuit, challenging those four key battleground states, as you
mentioned there, and the trump tea m mentioned there, and the trump team had argued that because those states had expanded mail—in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that was unlawful somehow, and it was unlawful somehow, and it was back by more than 100 republicans in congress, many state attorney generals, but tonight the supreme court looked at this and said no, they don't believe that texas has the legal standing to make this case. it is interesting, james, because although it was a 7—2 ruling with thomas and alito dissenting, it was really 9-0, alito dissenting, it was really 9—0, because thomas and alito have this quirky procedural thing that says they should wait until the next step, that then they would throw it out, but basically this is a blow for donald trump because he had been hoping for the supreme court to back him. is that it then for the presidentchallenges? politically is not the end of it but legally very much so, because the supreme court was the big one, and a party at the white house on panic he said
that he hoped that the supreme court would back him, tonight it isa court would back him, tonight it is a christmas party in the white house, so it would be a different atmosphere —— hanukkah. iam different atmosphere —— hanukkah. i am sure he will continue to dispute the election result but is very ha rd to election result but is very hard to see where he goes from here. the courts don't want to be drawn into this battle. he seemingly cannot win in the courts what he lost at the polls. new york police say several people attending a demonstration on the streets of new york city have been injured after a vehicle ploughed into the crowd. it's believed the car hit a group of protesters in the murray hill neighbourhood adjacent to midtown manhattan at around apm. the motorist remained at the scene and was detained for questioning, while police said none of the injuries appeared to be life—threatening. the trump administration has increased pressure on the us food and drug administration to approve the pfizer—biontech coronavirus vaccine, asking it to do so within hours. us media has reported that the white house told
the head of the fda to resign if he could not comply. administration officials later dismissed the remark as a "quip". jesse goodman is a professor of infectious diseases at georgetown university and former chief scientist at the fda. he gave more detials about the timeframe for the vaccine‘s final approval. the fda is currently working on what would be the final terms of their authorisation — in other words, who could get the vaccine, what advice might go along with it, what information would be with it, et cetera. and it is important to realise there have been late breaking developments, like those allergic cases in your country, as well as the fda's own analysis showing some potential issues that need to be monitored going forward. so right now, they are putting together that authorisation. i presume it will be forthcoming shortly. but then, it is going to be several months of additional follow—up that will be needed to ultimately result, hopefully, in a full approval of the vaccine,
where it meets the normal standards for any vaccine. both boris johnson and the president of the european commission have spoken in gloomy terms about the likelihood of a post—brexit trade deal. the two leaders have agreed to make a decision on the future of the negotiations by the end of the weekend. on friday evening, the british prime minister chaired a meeting with ministers to revisit contigency plans for how to manage no—deal. alex forsyth reports it was a covid welcome for the prime minister today at a firm providing energy for the future. more immediate trade talks, though, must be on his mind. negotiators are still working out which way they'll go as borisjohnson warned again reaching agreement with the eu looks doubtful. it's looking, you know, very, very likely that we'll have to go for a solution that i think would be, you know, wonderfulfor the uk. we'd be able to do exactly
what we want from 1january — though obviously, it would be different from what we'd set out to achieve. but i have no doubt that this country can get ready and, as i say, come out on world trade terms. so, for those affected, what does that mean? this farm exports barley to the eu. if there's no deal come january, world trade rules kick in, meaning tariffs or taxes on goods moving between here and the continent, which could push costs up. i think for the industry as a whole, it'll be disastrous. we've got a perfect storm approaching of these support payments being taken away, brexit, possibly no deal, and covid—19. all these things have come all at once, and that is a massive problem. these were the queues in kent this week. there's already congestion at ports as global supply chains struggle with demand and covid restrictions. brexit will mean more change for business, whatever the outcome of trade talks. the government says it is prepared, testing plans for traffic build—up this weekend. but no deal would mean
more disruption. both sides say they want an agreement, but that may well not happen because the same sticking points remain — access to fishing waters and shared regulations and standards. and on that, number 10 says the uk has to be able to make its own decisions and not be tied to eu rules in future. from brussels today, the message was that's perfectly possible, but there'd be a price. they would remain free — sovereign, if you wish — to decide what they want to do. we would simply adapt the conditions for access to our market accordingly the decision of the united kingdom, and this would apply vice—versa. so neither side shifting yet, but the door isn't entirely closed. translation: we believe finding a solution in the talks is difficult, but possible. that's why we as the eu will continue negotiations as long as the window is open, even if it's only a crack.
the negotiations are still ongoing and i think the implications are very serious for all concerned in the event of a no deal, and i think all politicians in the united kingdom and across europe need to reflect on that. so in brussels, the mood may be gloomy, but until sunday, which is decision day, they are still talking. to ethiopia's northern tigray conflict now, where the un refugee agency says it's had reports that many eritreans have been killed, abducted or forcibly returned home. the us state department has cited "credible" reports of the involvement of eritrean troops in the fighting. all of these claims though are unverified due to the lack of communications and access to the area. with me is our news reporter, mark lobel. mark, fighting has lasted over a month so far, but there are some new claims — what are they? they centre on the welfare of eritrean refugees in northern ethiopian. what you have a four
refugee camps of around 100,000 eritrean refugees that have come over the border because of political persecution. the un is to have access to these sites. what has happened is the government is returning displaced refugees to these camps because it is safe now, they say, and that they are providing food. the un who normally monitors these camps cannot access the area so cannot access the area so cannot vouch for a few —— food security of these area. but some of the refugees who spoke to writers who are being returned to these camps say about not being returned to these camps, they being returned to eritrea. and more worryingly as we tried to work out what is going on in these camps, it is completely unverified and we cannot get access to they are, the un's hi commission of refugees says "he is deeply alarmed having received an overwhelming number of reports of refugees in tigray being abducted or
returned to eritrea in the last few months". the ethiopian government has always said they are carrying out a law enforcement operation within the country, but of course one is concerned about what is happening to these refugees, and this is the thoughts of a former us state official, cameron hudson, who is the africa, was the africa advisor for the national security council. these are eritrean refugees who have been cut off from humanitarian assistance, they are surviving on international assistance up to this point and they had been without international assistance for last month. not only are they being potentially traumatised by an invading army, but they are also having to grapple with an acute humanitarian situation, that they really don't have that resilience to wrist right now. if these claims are true, there may be questions to answer for a nobel peace prize—winning president? indeed. abiy ahmed won the nobel peace prize in 2019
exactly for resolving the border dispute between ethiopia and eritrea. and now the us state department is saying they have received credible reports that the eritrean army is on the ground in ethiopia fighting, the un have said they have had similar sightings. the ethiopian government and the eritrean government both deny this, the ethiopian government has been asked this before and they basically said that tigray people's liberation front have manufactured uniforms look like the eritrean army. but if this is true this has serious implications on this becoming much more of a regional dispute, and hear other thoughts again of cameron hudson. do we have a smoking gun, do we have intelligence photographs release ? gun, do we have intelligence photographs release? no. we have european and other diplomats telling us of internal intelligence reports between ethiopian and eritrean military officers, discussing, co—ordinating assaults and counter results? yes we do.
those have not been released officially yet, and i think when those do become released, we will have obviously the kind of clarity that we need, obviously though, i think the us and european allies are trying to seek a diplomatic solution, bring partners to the table. and briefly there are reports that aid workers have been killed? the danish refugee council saying three security guards were killed, the international rescue committee saying a staff member killed. there are allegations on the other side, amnesty were looking into that tigray people's liberation front, what they called a massacre where scores of people were killed on the ninth of november when they we re the ninth of november when they were about to lose a town allegedly to the national defence forces. there is so much going on over the last month that one of the thing cameron hudson was saying was that it was tactic of the ethiopian army not to let people in but as a result we cannot say with certainty what is going on. thank you so much for joining is going on. thank you so much forjoining us. stay with us on bbc
news, still to come: why an artist and his transparent box are drawing a crowd in the south of france. 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: the us supreme court rejects a legal application seeking to invalidate voting in four key states — yet another blow to donald trump's attempts to overturn the election result. now, could combining different coronavirus vaccines provide people with more protection from the virus? well, british and russian scientists are teaming up to find out. they're planning to trial a combination of the 0xford—astrazeneca and sputnik v vaccines. the trials, to be held in russia, will involve over—18s, although it's not clear how many people will be involved. earlier, i spoke to vaccinologist dr peter hotez from the baylor college of medicine in houston, texas.
i think it is, and makes sense, both on scientific grounds and also quality grounds. let me explain that. so on scientific grounds, you know, there are two components to the russian vaccine, two different adenoviruses — ad5 and ad26 — and the reason that is significant is ad5 immune responses have been shown by some studies first done by silvia ratto—kim a few years ago that that could actually promote susceptibility to hiv/aids or exacerbate hiv/aids so people have become somewhat skittish about using ads in their vaccines. so by swapping out the ad5 for the astrazeneca adenovirus vaccine, the astrazeneca—oxford vaccine, that would actually make a lot of sense in terms of producing a safer and possibly more what we call immunogenic vaccine — that's point one. and from a regulatory point of view, the russians have had a number of issues in terms of quality and quality assurance and meeting standards
that one would ordinarily expect for the uk and the us, and so by partnering now with astrazeneca—oxford, i think it will lift — lift their boat a lot and make a better vaccine for not only for russia, but they're aggressively trying to export it and make a better vaccine for the world. you talk about lifting the boat for them but of course, the 0xford—astrazenica vaccine has, in the us, has come in for criticism about the way it is communicated, about some of the way the data of its trials have been released. do you share any of those concerns? you know, ultimately, i think, it's — well, first of all, we need this vaccine to work and the us cannot vaccinate our population just with the two mrna vaccines — the moderna and the pfizer vaccines — so we absolutely need that astrazeneca—oxford vaccine to vaccinate the us population. yes, it will work. i — you know, i know that astrazeneca—oxford has been in discussions with the fda, working with it. there's some new approaches to the analysis, maybe collecting some additional clinical data, so i feel pretty confident that over the next couple of months, we will have that vaccine in the us as well.
and you mentioned the other vaccines, including pfizer—biontech — the fda panel has decided to recommend it forfull approval. did the panel get it right? i think they did. you know, this is tough and i'm sure you are facing the same situation in the united kingdom. we were trying to balance the fact that we want to produce a vaccine that we know is safe and effective and ideally go through the full regulatory process and full licensure but the problem in the us — that means collecting a full year of safety data and when we're losing 3000 american lives a day, you do the math, and that is just a staggering death toll. so the idea behind the emergency use authorisation — we've never done this for a major vaccine for the us public — is to shorten that time frame and release it under close monitoring. so we absolutely have to have that done and i'm hoping that the first vaccines will be released in the early part of next week, and so that is quite exciting for us.
dr peter hotez there. making music during lockdown has been an artistic endeavour for many during the pandemic. and classically—trained musician belle chen has embarked upon a grand project. she's asked people around the world to submit ambient sound recordings, which inspire her to improvise on the keyboard. take a listen to the results. the sounds from home project was created in may 2020. it was during the uk's covid lockdown. and i'm really accustomed to travelling for my music and connecting with people, so about one or two months into the lockdown i was starting to feel really kind of isolated from the world and a bit trapped, actually, as well. but i was really curious about how
other people are handling the current situation as well. so i started the sounds from home project on social media. people we re project on social media. people were invited to share a sound recording from their neighbourhood. also at the same time share their story and perspective. i would then improvise a soundtrack to go with this and then post it on social media. the process is usually i would field recording and their story. i will form an image in my head as well as get a sense of the core emotion that the sound and the story are communicating. at the same time, when i'm listening i'm kind of taking notes of the technical elements from the sound, for example the pictures of church bells or the rhythm
of church bells or the rhythm of footsteps, the textures of the traffic driving by and decide what kind of instrument i want to use. 0nce decide what kind of instrument i want to use. once the image is set in my mind usually a sit down and itjust flows. —— i sit down. i think, actually, what is really fascinating and what is really fascinating and what has really touched me about this project is i really got a perspective on how the world events, be it the pandemic or natural events or, you know, political events are impacting people in their everyday life. i'd miss playing live a lot. yeah. so much, so much. being on stage, i think, is such a big part of both, you know, my career and my purpose, what keeps me excited. and so i
think right now we have to wait for the vaccine to have any chance of returning to maybe even just chance of returning to maybe evenjust a small chance of returning to maybe even just a small percentage of what we used to do before this pandemic broke out. since the coronavirus pandemic began, millions of people have been forced to live alone. separated from friends and family in an attempt to stop the spread of covid—19. now a french artist has gone to unusual lengths to highlight the dangers of a solitary life, as tim allman explains. don't talk to him about social distancing. he knows all about it, living in a plastic box in the middle of a shopping centre in marseille. for ten days he tends to be on display 2a hours a day aside from the occasional trip to the bathroom. you will enjoy some comforts, but not
the most important comfort of them all. translation: i have the feeling that we miss real human contact andi that we miss real human contact and i think it's not insignificant a lot of people don't feel really well. it is because we have really lost something. he is not the first person to confine herself like this. the actor trilled the swinton spent more than a week similarly enclosed as part of an art display in the mid—19 90s and the american illusionist david blaine was famously suspended in a box for more than a month, for some reason. but those events didn't ta ke reason. but those events didn't take place in the middle of a global pandemic. translation: i think that culture has clearly saved us during this confinement. i think that without it would have been much more complicated. local shops and restau ra nts complicated. local shops and restaurants are helping him out, providing him with food,
but he knows what he misses the most. tim allman, bbc news. a song released 26 years ago — a beloved christmas favourite — has finally reached number one in the charts here in the uk. # i just want you for my own. # more than you could ever know. # make my wish come true. # all i want for christmas is you, yeah. mariah carey's all i want for christmas was kept off the top spot by east 17's stay another day, back “119911. but now it's knocked ariana grande off the top spot. mariah carey's fans have had a crucial role in this success. earlier i spoke to one of them, jeff ingold, who's been campaigning to get the song to number one in the uk. he told me how he's done it. lots of tweets, lots of instagram stories, lots of telling all my friends. it was a lot of work but very worth it because it happened — earlier than i thought it would. and she's been retweeting you. she did, yeah.
she tweeted me on sunday, you know, showing her support. it was amazing. my heart stopped when it happened. i couldn't believe it. right, let's get down to it. what is it about this song which you like so much? i think it is, when you hear it, and you hear those first notes you know it's christmas and i think there are songs, there is no other song that most people, when they hear it they are like, yeah, this is the moment. like december belongs to mariah carey and that is what makes the song so iconic and i think people relate to it and they respond to it, because i think it's also so fantastical and happy and it just presents this level ofjoy that people want to experience in december. is there a certain day in the year and you think it is acceptable to start listening to it? let's say you get to the middle of summer, july, just going through bad day and you think, "you know what, i'll just listen to the christmas song"?
i'll be honest with you, james, this year, i think like april, like 13th, i thought a need to hear all i want for christmas is you. there is just a joy. the song brings a joy in people. i usually say1 november you can start to listen to it. mariah‘s slightly different likes after us thanksgiving. but i'm canadian, our thanksgiving is earlier in the year so i vary from her. but i think whenever you need it it's there for you and you should listen to it. and i right in saying she wrote it in less than an hour. yes, so she wrote it in 15 minutes. in15 minutes?! it took longer to add the instrumental, et cetera, but she did the entire lyrical moment was done in 15 minutes which is, like, genius, absolute genius and it has stayed with us for 26 years. jeff ingold, mariah carey super phone. is that the best
christmas song of all time? do let me know on twitter. i'm @jamesbbcnews. hello there. friday was another unsettled day, a day that brought many of us outbreaks of rain. the rain was most persistent in aberdeenshire but, equally, there were a few brighter moments — for example, here in cornwall to allow these rather stunning rainbows to develop. we have at the moment a very slow—moving area of low pressure crossing the country. further patches of rain moving generally slowly eastwards and with the winds very light, again, we're starting to see some dense patches of fog form particularly across eastern england. visibility is already down to 100 metres in places with the foggy weather really from essex northwards into the east midlands, perhaps east anglia, lincolnshire, and yorkshire. that's where the poorest visibility is likely to be. whereas further west, the skies tending to clear. this is where we'll see some of the lowest temperatures early on saturday morning.
and saturday itself, it's a day where pressure is going to be rising across the whole of the uk. what that will do is it will squish this area of low pressure. so, in the next 2a hours, it won't exist at all, it willjust be gone. further west we get this ridge building in and that will have quite a big impact on the weather. it means across these western and southern areas, it's an improving weather picture with sunny spells developing but with that slow—moving area of low pressure close by, it stays pretty cloudy and there probably will still be some patches of rain well on into the afternoon across the north east. so, a mixed bag of weather. for many of us, though, saturday morning will be a rather grey start to the day. extensive cloud, some patches of light rain and drizzle. very slowly pushing eastwards because there's barely any wind to move those features along. but eventually, we'll get some sunshine. sunshine to start the day in northern ireland, that will tend to spread to south—west scotland, western areas of england, wales, the midlands, and much of the south of england as well. so, an improving weather picture for some of you. now, the second half of the weekend is dominated by this next area of low pressure. there are more isobars on the chart. so, you'll notice the weather
certainly turning a lot windier and also a lot wetter as well. yes, outbreaks rain spreading up from the south west, heavy as well, as it dives in across england and wales, pushes northwards across northern ireland into scotland through the afternoon. so, although it will be a dry start across northern and eastern areas, rain will arrive later in the day and it will be blowy as well. gales developing around our southern and western coasts and hills. the winds, though, coming from a south—westerly direction blowing in mild air. so, temperatures up to 13 in the south west.
the headlines: president trump's attempts of overturning the election result have been dealt a final blow. the us supreme court has rejected a legal application by the state of texas seeking to invalidate voting results in georgia, michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin, which were won by the democratic president—elect joe biden. the trump administration has increased pressure on the us food and drug administration regulators to approve the pfizer—biontech vaccine. final clearance is expected this weekend, which means the first americans could get their innoculations early next week. there have been nearly 2,000 deaths counted on friday already. borisjohnson has chaired a meeting with senior ministers to assess the uk's readiness for a no—deal brexit. mrjohnson‘s attempts to hold direct talks with the leaders of germany and france have reportedly been rebuffed, of germany and france have reportedly been rebuffed. now it's time for a look back at the week in parliament.