tv BBC World News BBC News December 15, 2020 12:00am-12:31am GMT
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm tim willcox. it's official — joe biden will be the next president of the united states as the electoral college confirms his victory. joseph r biden of delaware a democrat, eyes 55 the does zero. and in washington — outgoing president trump announces his attorney general william barr will be leaving by christmas. the coronavirus vaccine has begun rolling out across america on the day the death toll on the country passes 300—thousand. the whole of london is to move into the highest level of coronavirus restrictions
from wednesday after a sharp rise in the number of cases. in china, questions about the alleged forced use of people from minority communities in the country's huge cotton industry. in the past thirty minutes, the us state of california's electoral college has given its votes tojoe biden. the result means that mr biden now has three—hundred and two votes, taking him over the two—hundred and seventy needed to confirm him as president of the united states. before california's announcement, forty eight states had already declared — only one, hawaii, is still to do so. this was the moment the formality was confirmed. thank you secretary lima. i will now announce
the tally of the vote for the office of president of the united states. forjoseph r biden of delaware, a democrat, eye's 55, no‘s zero. we can now speak to our north america correspondent, david willis, who is in los angeles. that is it officially. that is it officially. those electoral couege it officially. those electoral college votes from california pushing joe biden over the edge as far as the electoral college is concerned for the given him the 270 electoral college votes that he needs in order to nail this down. of course it's been nailed down for some while.
those six weeks since the election have been taken up with legal challenges on the pa rt with legal challenges on the part of donald trump and his supporters. 59 legal challenges all of which have come to nothing. including one to the us supreme court. nonetheless, the term campaign is insisting that it will continue to file legal challenges in the days ahead. it's a rather strange process , ahead. it's a rather strange process, isn't it? the elect oral college signing off seven copies have to be signed and then posted to washington. then counted in washington. could trump and his lawyers try and question that? it's possible. that will be a joint session of congress on the 6th of january. but the house and the senate and it is possible and there are rumours to this effect put around by stephen miller who is one of the presidents most
senior advisers that republicans could send their own slate of electors to that congressional meeting on the 6th of january. it's congressional meeting on the 6th ofjanuary. it's not congressional meeting on the 6th of january. it's not going to come to anything. we've gone too far down this road so far. it's the last roll of the dice after the dice has been rolled quite a few times already. it isa sign quite a few times already. it is a sign of how entrenched in his view donald trump is that this election result was the subject of widespread voter fraud. he's only got a month left in office but he still moving around key personnel. he is indeed. the attorney general william barr is standing down. donald trump announced in a tweet in the last hour he said just had a very nice meeting with attorney general bar at the white house. our relationship has been a very good run. well news flash, it has not. it started well but became toxic fairly recently not least over bill bars
refusal to support donald trumps claims of widespread voter fraud following an investigation by his department, the us justice department. and then the fact that bill barr kept up his sleeve in investigation into joe bidens son hunter's tax affairs. that's something that donald trump believes that for to come up before the election could have helped him win it. so there's been a fractious relationship between the two men. room is at the weekend at donald trump was on the verge of stacking his attorney general. now we have the statement from donald trump and imight add, statement from donald trump and i might add, one from bill barr says any time when the country is so deeply divided its incumbent on all levels of government, all agencies acting within their purview to do all we can to ensure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in the outcome. giving a little bit of leeway to the president and his claims but not going that extra mile donald trump wants to confirm
allegations of voter fraud. results from electoral colleges in all but one us state giving him, joe biden has won the state—by—state electoral college vote that formally determines the us presidency, coinciding with the us recording it's 300,000 corona death. the number was just after the first vaccine was administered to a citizen. sandra lindsay — an intensive care nurse in new york — got herjab on camera in an effort to help boost public confidence in the vaccine. she said she hoped this was the beginning of the end of a long, painful period. nick bryant reports. this was a made for television moment staged in new york, the city that for months became the epicentre of this viral onslaught. the first recipient was a health worker on the covid front line — sandra lindsay, an intensive
care nurse at a medical centre in queens. i feel hopeful today, relieved, ifeel like healing is coming. i hope this marks the beginning to the end of the very painful time in our history. there were twin emotions of rejoicing and relief. at this medical facility alone, they have treated more than 100,000 covid patients. and it was watched remotely by new york's governor, andrew cuomo, who has been so prominent in america's coronavirus response. this vaccine is exciting because i believe this is the weapon that will end the war. it is the beginning of the last chapter of the book. but now we just have to do it. the vaccine doesn't work if it is in the vial, right? there we go. the nationwide roll—out is already under way, the most ambitious vaccination programme in the history of america.
the aim is to administer some 20 million doses by the end of the year, and some 100 million doses by the end of february. the vaccine is a shot in the arm for the us economy, and they were punching the air when the new york stock exchange opened for trading. and just minutes after that first vaccine in new york came this tweet from the outgoing president donald trump. this precious cargo is now being delivered to all 50 states and it cannot come soon enough. america has just passed another awful milestone of 300,000 coronavirus deaths. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. the world health organisation says its investigating an apparently new strain of coronavirus that's been identified in london. the organisation's emergencies director, dr mike ryan, said the authorities
were looking at the significance of the evolution. were looking at the it comes as london is being moved to england's highest level of coronavirus restrictions — saying the rise in cases in the capital threatens to overwhelm hospitals. 0ur health editor hugh pym reports. music: away in a manger. the run—up to christmas just won't feel the same across a swathe of south—east england, with new restrictions on meeting members of other households outdoors, though shops will remain open. the move to tier 3 is a response to a steep rise in virus cases in london and parts of essex and hertfordshire, and that's putting more pressure on hospitals. cases were moving up anyway,
though the health secretary told the commons of a new development. we have identified a new variant of coronavirus which may be associated with the faster spread in the south—east of england. initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants. we've currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant, predominantly in the south of england. he said there was nothing to suggest the new variant made people sicker or that it was resistant to vaccines. labour said the picture around england was now less encouraging. overall, the increasing areas are rising faster than the decreasing areas are falling. as things stand, we are heading into the christmas easing with diminishing headroom. the buffer zone these tiers were supposed to provide is getting much thinner. of the top 20 virus hotspots in england, all but two are in the south—east. for example, the london boroughs of havering, enfield and southwark with case increases of more than 50% in the most recent week, and brentwood and thurrock in essex even more — around 80%. the rise in cases, officials said, could put the nhs under great strain.
and this will lead inexorably not only to covid deaths directly but it also leads importantly to displacing other health activity that means that other diseases are not being treated if we don't get on top of this quickly. the health argument for tighter restrictions has been made on the basis of sharply rising case numbers, but there is, of course, an economic impact. tier 3 means bars, pubs and restaurants having to close to customers, apart from takeaways and deliveries, and it should have been their busiest time of the year, especially in london. this restaurant only reopened recently after the lockdown. now they'll have to stop serving customers indoors again, and it's not clear how much government funding will be available. it's a joke. we opened one week ago and we close down this week again. and it doesn't work like that. i'm sure if it goes like that we are all going to close down and find a differentjob.
there's been no change to the planned relaxation of the rules over christmas around the uk, though scotland's first minister made a plea for people to be cautious. just because we can visit people indoors over christmas on a limited basis, doesn't mean that we have to. any indoor meeting between different households obviously creates a risk. the virus will not take a break over the christmas period. local leaders in manchester and some other areas of england that have been at the highest alert level for some time are hoping to be moved down because of falling case numbers but in wales, with hospitals said to be nearly full, there have been calls from some nhs staff for a pre—christmas lockdown. hugh pym, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. the netherlands will go into a strict second lockdown, with the closure of all schools and shops for at least five weeks. restaurants and bars will continue to remain closed.
anti—lockdown protesters could be heard outside parliament as prime minister, mark rutte, announced the restrictions. senior figures in the afghan taliban have warned the us against breaking a commitment to withdraw troops in the next six months. speaking to the bbc, they said they would retaliate by resuming attacks on international forces. during the election campaign, joe biden spoke of retaining a small force in afghanistan. the trump administration had agreed to withdraw forces. a joint investigation blames russian intelligence agents for the poisoning of the russian opposition figure, alexei navalny. in august mr navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent novichok. investigative journalists at bellingcat and russian news site, the insider, have now published a report implicating a group of operatives from the fsb — the state intelligence organisation — in the incident.
negotiators from the eu and uk have continued the intensive discussions in brussels on reaching a brexit deal. the president of the european commission — ursula von der leyen has welcomed what she described as ‘movement‘ in talks between both sides on a trade agreement. but the british side says the talks ‘remain difficult' and that the two sides have not made ‘significant progress in recent days'. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we look at the us senate race in georgia which will decide which party controls the senate. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes but it brought a formal end to three
and a half year conflict. conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of presumed massacre from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life, lewinsky affair tonight guarantees bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is bbc news, the latest headlines... joe biden has been formally certified as the next president of the united states after the electoral college confirmed his victory.
and in washington — outgoing president trump announces his attorney general william barr will be leaving by christmas. as well as the last election people are looking ahead to the next one, not in four years' time but a vote in georgia, on the 5th january. it's for two seats which will decide the balance of power in the us senate. no candidate reached 50% first time around, so there's a run—off. these are people lining up in atlanta to cast early votes today was the first day for that. the stakes are very high. if the democrats flip both seats they will have control of the senate. if they don't, the republicans will stay in control. eric ham is a republican political analyst and speaking from washington, told me that how voters had cast their ballots had become an issue. what we are seeing is after the election of 2020 that saw
election of 2020 that sanoe biden become the first democrat to win the state of georgia since bill clinton back nearly more than 20 years ago, you're now seeing less polls open for this runoff that will not only shape the balance of power in the us senate but also the balance of power in all of washington. it will have a tremendous impact on joe washington. it will have a tremendous impact onjoe bidens agenda going forward. in terms of voting in person, it looked as if trump was going to win georgia. but ultimately, he didn't. what about mail in voting for this? we are actually seeing for georgia right now the request for mail—in ballots is very similar to what took place in the general election. it appears as though the fervor and excitement for voting in georgia isjust as high excitement for voting in georgia is just as high as excitement for voting in georgia isjust as high as it was when donald trump was on the ballot. 0f was when donald trump was on the ballot. of course we know donald trump lost the election
by 12,000 votes. and here's what's interesting, joe biden actually won the primary buy more votes than what he got in the general election. and many attribute that to the fact that during the run—up to the general election, donald trump was actually saying that the election would be rigged and that the process would be invalid. and so many believe that tamped down on the number of people that came out and voted. because not only are we seeing the president continue his narrative but also those two senate republican candidates are also doing the same. so there is a concern in georgia that we could see a lower turnout from republicans in this all important race. 0k, joe biden i think is going there tomorrow. how tight does it seem? right now based on the little polling data that we are seeing, the races are in a dead heat. with rafael warnock only
up heat. with rafael warnock only upa half heat. with rafael warnock only up a half a percentage point on kelly leffler the incumbent senator right now. and joe 0ssoff is actually trailing his challenger incumbent senator purdue by about a percentage point. so both are in the margin of error. which suggests this is going to be a very, very tight race. and all believe that a good, very much down to the wire. really exciting because this isjust down to the wire. really exciting because this is just a few days before inauguration that they're going to get this result. as you say it will change the whole political landscape if they do flip. that's right. not only is it coming days before the inauguration but the race itself is actually onjanuary five. january six is the day that the congress is scheduled to ratify the president elect joe bidens victory over donald trump. so all eyes are going to be on washington leading up to that ratification because
you've got that georgette race that will certainly have an impact. and of course the inauguration. things are by no means actually settled in washington right now. everyone is still very much in campaigning mode. the bbc has learned that hundreds of thousands of people from ethnic minorities — including the uighur communty are being forced by the chinese authorities to pick cotton in the far western region of xinjiang. china's cotton crop which makes up a fifth of the world's total supply could be far more dependent on forced labour than previously thought. the chinese government denies the claims, saying that a program to transfer more than two million people into factories and fields is part of a massive poverty alleviation campaign. 0ur china correspondent john sudworth reports. xinjiang makes mountains of cotton, a fifth of the world's total and our investigation will only heighten concerns
about this product, although the evidence wasn't easy to find. they're waiting for us. we're turned back at checkpoints... we'll pay, we'll pay. ..stopped from filming... we'll pay. ..questioned. .. ..and followed. the one behind is also following us. this is one site we're trying to get to — a giant re—education camp. but, more recently, something else has being built next door — a textile factory. days after its completion, a large group of people can be seen being moved between the camp and the factory. wow, and this is the factory here, its extraordinary... from the ground, it's clear the factory and accommodation blocks are all now one single site, plastered with communist party slogans. but when we get out to film... we are entitled to film in public anywhere in china...
china says these places are simply about creating jobs, but everywhere we go, there's this extraordinary effort to stop us documenting any of it. in xinjiang, a whole culture is under suspicion. more than a million uighurs and other traditionally muslim minorities are thought to have been swept into the camps, viewed by china as potential islamist separatists. but, each year, more than two million others are being gathered for something else. giant new factories and textile mills, hundreds of them, where they face strict controls and political indoctrination. "the first thing our workers have to learn is to love "the communist pa rty", this factory boss says. but now, the bbc has seen evidence that shows uighurs are also being sent en masse into the cotton fields.
one day, my family will disappear from this world... mahmoud, not his real name, left xinjiang three years ago but his family still lives there. and my mum told me, like, she is picking the cotton for the garment officers. it's like our duty to do that work. they willjust go because they are so afraid of being taken to jail or somewhere else. newly uncovered documents show the scale. 150,000 pickers sent to one area, almost as many again organised for another. they're given ideological education and "the lazy", the authorities say, are being taught "the glories of work". the evidence suggests that the real intention here in xinjiang is the dismantling of an entire culture and its rebuilding through the total control of people's families, theirfaith,
their thoughts and, on a massive scale across the fields and factories of this region, in the work that they do. in a written statement, the chinese government said... it said... but the researcher who unearthed the documents believes they have major implications for the global fashion industry. for the first time, we not only have evidence of uighur forced labour in manufacturing, in garment making, we have evidence of a massive state—sponsored forced labour scheme involving hundreds of thousands, over half a million, of ethnic minorities and it's directly about the picking of cotton. in terms of global supply chains, now that's a game changer. as we leave xinjiang, we pass this prison camp
complex, thought to contain multiple factory buildings. it's the first independent footage of this truly colossal site, a final chilling reminder that here, mass incarceration and mass labour are closely connected. john sudworth, bbc news, xinjiang. and before we leave you — some important news for those of you who are worried about the health of father christmas. let me reassure you that the who just made the announcement that he will be able to make all of his deliveries. all children have been reminding that physical distancing will be strictly enforced. the good news is that father christmas we have been told is not
susceptible to covid—19. either the original strain or the new variation. as been discovered. hello. tuesday will be one of the quieter weather days of the week. there will still be some showers around, but fewer than we had on monday. more places staying dry and getting to see some occasional sunshine. still windy, though not as windy as it was on monday. low pressure still close by, this brisk south—westerly flow with sunshine and showers. here comes the next area of low pressure for wednesday, which will not be one of the quieter weather days of the week, as we'll see. but this is how tuesday's starting, a little bit cooler than monday morning, many of us dry with some early sunshine. showers, though, mostly in the west initially and still some heavy ones. the sun will push further east during the day on the breeze but be very hit—and—miss across eastern areas. and whilst for many of us, the showers will fade as the afternoon goes on, still this area here that has
to push north across scotland as we go through the evening. temperatures a little bit down compared with monday, not so much as you'll notice because the wind is lighter. we'll get to see some sunshine. but the wind will pick up again across western areas, initially down toward the southwest, as we go through tuesday night and into wednesday morning, with that next area of low pressure coming in and clearly turning things wetter for some of us too, whereas elsewhere, it'll be a cooler start to the day but a mainly dry start to the day. so here is that area of low pressure. it has strong winds with it, particularly for the republic of ireland, but could well see parts of southwest england initially, then eastern parts of northern ireland, gusting to 60 mph for a time. potentially disruptive winds. where they combine with high tides, there could be some coastal flooding. there's an area of heavy rain too, but that will weaken as it pushes eastwards during the day, but there will be heavy showers following on behind, particularly into scotland and into northern ireland. these are your wind gusts. and it will be blowing right across the uk on wednesday, but again, particularly
so in the west. and many of us will see temperatures just into double figures, maybe a degree or so short of that, especially in scotland. and this is how thursday's shaping up, back to one of the quieter weather days. lighter winds, more in the way of sunshine, the odd shower around, many places dry, but we will have rain gathering to the west again as we go on through the later stages of the day. and that's from the next area of low pressure, with more wind and rain, moving across the uk for friday. and then looking into the weekend, it's a mixture of some sunshine with the chance of catching a shower.
joe biden has been formally certified as the next president of the united states, with results from electoral colleges in all but one american state giving him 302 votes. this takes him over the 270 threshold that is required to win the presidency. donald trump has announced on twitter the departure of the us attorney general, william barr. he said he would be gone by christmas. the outgoing president has issued increasingly hostile comments about mr barr since he declared that the department ofjustice had found no evidence of widespread election fraud. the number of coronavirus fatalities in the united states has passed 300,000 people as the country begins its mass vaccination campaign. the authorities hope to vaccinate 100 million people by april. an intensive care nurse in new york was the first to receive the injection. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk.
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