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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 15, 2020 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, my name's mike embley. our top stories: it's official — this is bbc news. joe biden will be the next the headlines: president of the united states as the electoral college joe biden has been formally certified as the next certifies his victory. president of the united states. results from electoral colleges around the country have given him far more than the 270 he needed. our democracy pushed, tested, mr biden directly referenced mr trump's attempts to overturn the result, but said it threatened, proved to be confirmed what he called resilient, true and strong. the ‘strength and resilience' of american democracy. and in washington, donald trump has outgoing president trump announced on twitter announces his attorney general, william barr, the departure of the us will be leaving by christmas. attorney general william barr. the coronavirus vaccine he said he would be has begun rolling out across america on the day gone by christmas. the death toll on the country the outgoing president has issued increasingly hostile passes 300,000. comments about mr barr since he declared that the department ofjustice had found no evidence of widespread election fraud. the whole of london is to move the number of coronavirus into the highest level of fatalities in the united states has passed 300,000 people, coronavirus restrictions from wednesday, as a sharp rise has as the country begins its mass vaccination campaign. the authorities hope been detected in the number of to vaccinate 100 million cases. in china, questions people by april. about the alleged
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forced use of people from minority communities in the country's huge an intensive care nurse cotton industry. in new york was the first to receive the injection. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. joe biden has been formally certified as the next president of the united states and has promised to govern for "all americans". the state of california has formally delivered its 55 electoral votes to mr biden, and that has taken him decisively over the 270 vote threshold needed to secure the white house. the president—elect then addressed the nation, from his home state, delaware, and directly referenced donald trump's repeated attempts to challenge the result. every single avenue was made available to president trump to contest the results. he took full advantage of each and every one of those avenues. president trump was denied no course of action that he wanted to take.
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he took his case to republican governors and republican secretaries of state, as he criticised many of them. to republican state legislatures, to republican—appointed judges at every level. and in the case decided after the supreme court's latest projection, a judge appointed by president trump wrote "this court has allowed the plaintiff the chance to make his case, and he has lost on the merits." lost on the merits. even president trump's own cyber—security chief, overseeing our elections, said it was the most secure election in american history — and summarily, was let go. let me say it again. his own cyber—security chief, overseeing this election, said it was the most secure in american history. you know, respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even when we find those results hard to accept.
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joe biden from his home state of delaware. 0ur washington correspondent, nomia iqbal is following developments. and that speech byjoe biden was probably one of the strongest speeches he has given, certainly on this campaign trailso far, notwithstanding his croa ky voice there. he used this as an opportunity to seal this victory and to really go for donald trump in a way we haven't seen before. criticising the way donald trump has been relentlessly trying to delegitimise the election results. he also criticised for more than 100 republicans in congress who signed this lawsuit, trying to invalidate the results in some key swing states, which was then thrown out by the supreme court. and using really strong language there, you know, talking about how democracy has prevailed in america, that this was an extreme position that had happened in america, never to happen again.
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he also talked about, he praised state and local officials, saying they were courageous for handling the election and not giving credence to what they knew wasn't true. but of course, he is now in a position where he is confident enough to say all of that because the electoral the electoral college has declared something people knew weeks ago, that he will be the next president of the united states. as you say, the courts have found no evidence of fraud, thejustice department has found no evidence, republican election officials have found almost no evidence. there is still a possibility, isn't there, of a further challenge in the middle of january? there is. congress, the next step is for congress to ratify those votes in january. so that is the next step. but, you know, we have heard tonight that donald trump is still trying to challenge the election results, trying to install pro—trump electors in certain states to try and overturn the result and for them to declare it for him.
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but if you speak to legal experts, there is a bit of a collective eye roll in that, that is not likely to happen. it is very hard to see where donald trump goes from here. of course, he is not likely to concede, no matter what the electoral college says. he did actually say a few weeks ago if the electoral college cannot and declared byjoe biden, he would accept it. but there is no sign of that happening. i think whether or not his refusal to accept it is performative, for his base, we don't know, but, you know, i think it is quite clear from what we have seen in the last few weeks that donald trump will continue to challenge the results. and probably not unconnected with all of this, mrtrump is losing more key personnel? that's right. it is probably not a coincidence that he tweeted that his attorney general, william barr, will be resigning, and he tweeted that around about the same time the electoral college were casting their votes.
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william barr is someone who was a trump loyalist. he has been very close to donald trump. he was due to leave onjanuary 20, the same time as donald trump, but it was predicted there would be an early exit because william barr had given an interview last week in which he pretty much refused to back donald trump's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. but i think by saying that he has resigned tonight, i do think that is probably trump's way of trying to get the official biden victory away from the headlines. nomia, thank you very much. for more on the presidential transition, go to the bbc news website where you can get a lot more information, including this explainer on what the electoral college actually is and how it works. the united states has recorded it's 300,000th death from coronavirus.
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the grim statistic was reach just hours after the first vanccine, outside of clinical trials, was administered to an american 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 frontline, sandra lindsay, an intensive care nurse at a medical centre in queens. i feel hopeful today. relieved, i feel like healing is coming. i hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history. there were twin emotions of rejoicing and relief.
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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 win the war. it's the beginning of the last chapter of the book. now we just have to do it. the vaccine doesn't work if it's in the vial, right? the nationwide rollout is already under way — the most ambitious vaccination programme in the history of america. here we go. 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 on the new york stock exchange, open for trading. and just minutes after that first
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vaccine in new york came this tweet from the outgoing president, donald trump. "congratulations usa," he wrote. "congratulations world." this precious cargo is now being delivered to all 50 states, and it can't come soon enough. america has just passed another awful milestone of 300,000 coronavirus deaths. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. the world health organization 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. 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
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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.
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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 this 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
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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
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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. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: there goes the sun — thousands in south america enjoy the spectacular sight of a total solar eclipse. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end to 3.5 years of conflict — conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives.
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before an audience of world leaders, the 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 the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life, the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed 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 praised the ‘strength and resilience' of american democracy after the electoral college certified his victory in the presidential election.
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and in washington, outgoing president trump announces his attorney general, william barr, will be leaving by christmas. 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
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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, it's 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
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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 2 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.
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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, their faith, their thoughts and, on a massive scale across the fields and factories
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of this region, in the work that they do. in a written statement, the chinese government 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 500,000, 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
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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. we can speak now to scott nova, executive director of the worker rights consortium, an independent labour rights monitoring organisation based in washington, dc. scott, good to talk to you, thank you for your time. you and your organisation are not the author of the research that john is using in his report but you have been lobbying for stricter sanctions against forced labour in the cotton industry in xinjiang and i know you did your own study. it's a very important report that provides us with a clear picture of the enormous forced labour risk that xinjiang poses to the apparel supply chain and evidence that forced labourers not only present in cotton
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harvesting but it is systematic and cotton harvesting. and yet, as you know, the chinese authorities all this is part of authorities all this is part of a massive drive for poverty alleviation. yes, while the chinese government also denies it's put more than a million people in internment camps but the evidence of that is conclusive, it's the largest internment an ethnic and religious minorities since 1945, the chinese government denials having no credibility. is it your assertion that this forced labour system runs parallel to the thousands, perhaps millions of people in the camps? it is and extra? the two are closely related. forced labour includes internment camps for social control to dominate and oppress weaker people and the minority of uighurs and turkic people in xinjiang. and this could be a
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significant part of the cotton industry? it's important to understand that you as a consumer having any cotton sold to you by a large retailer, there is a chance that some of them include contact of cotton from xinjiang, and every retailer is affiliated, unless they try to extricate the supply chain from xinjiang, which is what any responsible retailer will do. so all brands and retailers could be encouraged to take action on this? indeed, they have been. a coalition around the world is asking brands and retailers to extra ct asking brands and retailers to extract their supply chains, get ahead of sourcing from xinjiang immediately and there is concern on the parts of governments around the world. just briefly, scott, as generations of enslaved people will confirm over the centuries, picking raw cotton is really ha rd
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centuries, picking raw cotton is really hard labour. it is a painful form is really hard labour. it is a painfulform of is really hard labour. it is a painful form of labour when you are doing it voluntarily, when you're forced to do it, as we are learning the case is in xinjiang, it is that much worse. thank you for talking to us. hundreds of thousands of people in southern chile and argentina have been able to watch a total solar eclipse. the eclipse darkened the skies as the moon passed between the sun and the earth for around two minutes — although some were a little disappointed. the bbc‘s tim allman explains. this is not really eclipse weather. fog and heavy rain blocking the view of the many in this region of chile. they may not enable to see it but they knew it was happening, especially when things started getting dark. this, the middle of the day, but it may as well have been the middle of the night. a different story a little further east, ideal conditions in this part of argentina. there had been some
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concerns about the health consequences, people gathering together in the middle of her pandemic, so plenty of facemasks as well as protective eyewea i’. no obstructions here. a spectacular sight of a solar eclipse in full effect. over the course of several hours, the part of the moon obscured the sun, a rare and powerful moment. translation: it is a special darkness because it is not night—time. the temperature dropped a lot. it felt very cold. the truth is, it is something very special. translation: it made me cry. in the moment of total darkness, it made me cry because it was a very strong feeling, after waiting so long for it. the next total eclipse will take place in december next year, but that will only be visible from antarctica. tim allman, bbc news.
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really important news on the bulletin, for the boys and girls in the world who may be concerned about the health of sa nta concerned about the health of santa claus. the world health organization is confirmed that father christmas will be able to make his present deliveries. world leaders are making a special exemption own quarantine rules. social distancing will be enforced but the mask is reliable because sa nta cla us the mask is reliable because santa claus is not this double two covid. i understand the concern for santa claus, because he is one of the older age groups but santa claus is immune to this virus and we had a brief chat with him, and he is doing very well. mrs santa claus is doing very well and they are busy right now. that's they are busy right now. that's the official word from the world health organization. much more on the bbc website. and you can get in touch
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with me and most of the team on twitter. hello. tuesday will be one of the quieter weather days of the week. there'll 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
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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
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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 00:28:34,918 --> 2147483051:51:02,174 of some sunshine with the 2147483051:51:02,174 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 chance of catching a shower.
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