tv BBC News BBC News December 16, 2020 2:00am-2:30am GMT
welcome to bbc news — i'm mike embley. our top stories: a senior republican finally break ranks with donald trump. mitch mcconnell, the most powerful us republican after the president, congratulatesjoe biden on his election win. safe and 94% effective — medical tests open up a path for the approval of a second us vaccine. days before covid restrictions are relaxed in england over christmas, two leading medical journals say that would be a mistake and could cost countless lives. and a royal deal with spotify — the duke and duchess of sussex agree to produce and host a series of podcasts.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the republican majority leader in the us senate, mitch mcconnell has formally acknowledged thatjoe biden won last month's presidential election. it's the first sign of a split between the party's leadership and donald trump — who still maintains, without any evidence, that he is the rightful winner of november's vote. here's mitch mcconnell on the senate floor on tuesday. so, today, iwant to congratulate president—electjoe biden. the president—elect is no stranger to the senate. he's devoted himself to public service for many years. i also want to congratulate the vice president—elect, our colleague from california, senator harris. beyond our differences, all americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president—elect for the very first time.
mitch mcconnell there of course. we can now speak to our north america correspondent, david willis, who is in los angeles. ina way in a way what mitch mcconnell is saying is a statement of the obvious but it is significant. highly significant. this is a very senior republican basically urging members of his own party to draw a line under this very contentious election cycle a nd this very contentious election cycle and sign off on the fact thatjoe biden is in fact the vector. the electoral college has spoken, mitch mcconnell said today and he also went on to congratulate joe biden said today and he also went on to congratulatejoe biden and kamala harris on their victory. it does seem as though those remarks have made the dam burst ina remarks have made the dam burst in a sense anyway. we have had senior republicans, senate republicans coming out since than to offer their congratulations to joe than to offer their congratulations tojoe biden. as far as donald trump though is concerned, the white house press secretary said today that they were continuing to pursue
litigation, although what that litigation, although what that litigation might actually entail following the fact that so entail following the fact that so many lawsuits have been dismissed already really is something of a mystery. and david, we were saying before thatjoe biden, much is made of his reputation as a dealmaker, a guy who can work across the aisle in congress, but mitch mcconnell is very, very tough. he made president obama's life very difficult. this put so much pressure on the result in georgia. it is really important for the democrats to win control of the senate, otherwise joe biden‘s administration is in trouble right from the start. you are absolutely right and georgia is absolutely right and georgia is a southern state that was once solidly republican of course. it has now become something of a swing state, particularly bearing in mind thatjoe biden won georgia by about 12,000 votes, taking away from donald trump. there is everything
resting on that special election on the fifth of january, just three weeks from 110w. january, just three weeks from now. you're absolutely right. it could determine how much of his agenda joe biden is able to get through congress. it could also have ramifications for his cabinet nominees. and there is a feeling that it is very important that democrats win there with those two candidates in georgia stop of course, the republicans feel the same way and both donald trump and the vice president mike pence have also been campaigning in the state of georgia. david, thank you very much. joe biden has nominated his former rival pete buttigieg to be transportation secretary — a move that would make him the first openly gay member of an american cabinet. mr buttigieg, who was the mayor of south bend, indiana, campaigned for the democratic nomination for november's election, but later dropped out of the race and supported joe biden. the 38—year—old has also served as a us navy intelligence officer in afghanistan.
the us food and drug adminstration has opened the way for a second vaccine to be approved for use in america. the moderna jab has been found to be safe, and 94% effective. authorisation is likely to happen soon with shipments of the jab happening within 2a hours. it comes with the us desperately struggling to contain the virus. let's speak to eric rubin, editor—in—chief of the new england journal of medicine. he is also a professor of immunology at the harvard th chan school of public health. thank you very much for giving us thank you very much for giving us yourtime, i'm thank you very much for giving us your time, i'm sure you are very busy man indeed. why is the rollout of a vaccine so important? well, a lot of it of course is because there is such a shortage of the first vaccine and in fact, a shortage of the first vaccine and infact, even a shortage of the first vaccine and in fact, even with a second vaccine, it will be a long time before either of these is widely available to the public. is its better or is it easier to transport in some ways,
easier to administer? it is marginally better in terms of transportation because it doesn't require the ultralow phrases that the first vaccine was authorised does. so a normal freezer is good enough for this vaccine. still, normal freezer is good enough forthis vaccine. still, it requires a freezer, it is not perfect. and 9496 effective i guess still means what, one in 20 people it will not be effective for. are there concerns that pregnant women should not take this one, the people who have allergies severe enough to have an anaphylactic shock and have to carry on a should not take it? that is true but also true for both vaccines. right now, we just do not know. it is possible that both are safe for pregnant women but they just haven't been administered to many pregnant women. it might be safe for children, there is just no testing. we don't know how common anaphylaxis will be. i think it is more unknown than
absolute contraindications right now. how many vaccines do you expect to be deployed eventually and do you expect the virus to adapt to them?” the virus to adapt to them?|j am the virus to adapt to them?” am hoping not, infact, the virus has mutated very slowly during the course of the outbreak and in kind of a random way. so we haven't seen evidence that the virus has the ability to mutate fast enough and well enough to get around the vaccine. but it still remains to be determined. the vaccine. but it still remains to be determinedm the vaccine. but it still remains to be determined. it is horrible, horrible comparison to use but the death rate of covid in the states at the moment as you will know far better than me, something like a 9/11 happening every day. i do things are so bad and what are the chances of getting out of this? in the us, and in several countries, i think we just haven't been able to take full advantage of the public health measures that have worked in other places, wearing masks and social distancing, testing and quarantine and isolation and things like that. those have been very effective
tools in some places. wejust haven't been able to apply them consistently. doctor eric rubin, thank you so much. thank you. pressure is mounting on the uk government to revise its relaxation of covid restrictions between the 23rd and 27th of december. talks will resume on wednesday to see if a four nation approach can be agreed upon. it comes after two of the uk's leading medicaljournals published a joint editorial for the first time, calling for the government to stop any household mixing. they describe the current plan to allow three households to gather at christmas as a "rash decision that will cost lives". 0ur reporter paul hawkins is here. first of all, a massive effect on the hospitality industry, these restrictions. huge. the hospitality industry in the uk accou nts hospitality industry in the uk accounts for an enormous part of the economy, services accou nts of the economy, services accounts for 80% of the economy be part of that is hospitality.
now, as of two hours ago, london, harvard share —— hertfordshire, also essex, 50% of the total english population are now under tier three and six out of 10 restaurant in england closed. a lot of them are in the capital. these new tier three restrictions in this pa rt tier three restrictions in this part of the country that are now under a very strict indeed but the biggest restriction really for bars and restaurants which have to close and now serve only takeaway food. as you can imagine, after the restrictions they have been monitoring the lockdowns, they we re monitoring the lockdowns, they were really hoping over the christmas period to cash in, get bums on seats, serve christmas dinners, but now with these restrictions coming into london with only 24 hours notice, a lot of them have now, there are turkeys everywhere, brussels sprouts, a lot of wasted here. in fact, brussels sprouts, a lot of wasted here. infact, i brussels sprouts, a lot of wasted here. in fact, i read a report last night in the capital that a lot of pubs were serving 99 p a pint beer before
it had to be found on the toilet. a lot of waste and a lot of businesses very angry because they have had to invest in making their businesses kevin mack secure, glass screens, hand washes et cetera, masks for their staff. another it is going to be shut serving ta keaway it is going to be shut serving takeaway food. and yet over christmas, the government plans to relax restrictions. developing pressure from medics and scientists, people who really know what they are talking about, saying please don't do this it will be disastrous as thanksgiving in the united states. difficult for the government though isn't it? they have to somehow get agreement on any change with the other national governments in the uk and there is the worry that people may not abide by it anyway and take no notice? indeed. a lot of people have been living under lockdown restrictions and saying you're going to have this window, a five day window from the 23rd of december where three households can mix in a bubble, actually well maybe you won't now. a lot of people aren't going to be happy about that. they won't bother to follow the rules. at the moment, the government is winking strongly
along the lines of stronger messaging. don't change the rules much stronger messaging and really have a serious think about whether you need to meet up about whether you need to meet up with grammarthis about whether you need to meet up with grammar this christmas. do you need to stay overnight? go through your christmas preparations and began ago whether you actually need to make up in three bubbles. medical experts are saying that rising rates around london, hertfordshire, essex, mean that even without this christmas window that is coming up, the national health service in england is going to be under significant amount of pressure and the hospitals could be in crisis as they were back in april. there is a lot of pressure on the government and it is difficult for the four nations to marry up about what they are going to do. because they are going to do. because the four nations in the uk are operating under different sets of restrictions. and if people are of restrictions. and if people a re really of restrictions. and if people are really feeling like they have to meet up, they will be encouraged to isolate themselves for quite some time beforehand to try to cut down the risk of infection. thank you, paul.
many experts think the christmas conditions will lead toa christmas conditions will lead to a serious rise in cases. david sugarman examines why. —— sugarman three # rocking around the christmas tree...# it's a precious time of year for restoring morale and scientists researching the virus recognise that. but they also know that spending long hours in packed rooms is the most effective way to spread it. 0n the one hand, schools will be closed over the christmas break along with most workplaces and that should help to reduce infections. but on the other hand, having more people gather indoors is bound to increase transmission. this animation by an industrial modelling company simulates someone infected. researchers are worried. i think there's a big risk over christmas of essentially a transfer of infection from younger groups with more contacts into older age groups who might not usually have this level of mixing, especially
in this kind of year. even in normal years we do see an increase in hospitalisations for things like pneumonia after the christmas period. the rule across the uk is that three different households can form what is called a bubble over the christmas period and should not be mixing with people outside it. scientists say it is within homes that the virus spreads most easily because people are so close together. on average, someone infected may pass the virus to three others so the more people in a bubble, the greater that risk. and another worry is after christmas, when people who are newly infected return home to other parts of the country and start mixing with friends and family there. after the american holiday of thanksgiving last month, with 4 million people travelling, health officials are watching for signs of a new surge in infections. british scientists say that their studies show keeping gatherings small will make a big difference. it's easy to imagine a kind of terrible scenario but, actually, when you start
modelling it, you can start thinking about how you would balance the increased risks somewhere else and how, if people who don't need to form a christmas bubble decide not to, how that actually improves the overall situation. and if you do get together, open the windows. this animation shows how fresh air helps to disperse the virus. no one can be so sure of the impact of the christmas break but there are ways to reduce the risks. david shukman, bbc news. meanwhile, european countries are being forced to tighten restrictions ahead of christmas — following record daily cases and deaths this month. the netherlands has entered a 5—week lockdown, with non—essential shops, theatres and gyms closing — the strictest set of measures announced in the country since the pandemic began. germany will enter a hard lockdown from wednesday after the number of infections there hit record levels with the measures in
place untiljanuary 10. france meanwhile, has replaced its second national lockdown with a night curfew. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: six weeks after the us election, president putin offers his congratulations tojoe biden — the man who described russia as the biggest threat facing america. music. chanting. 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. 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: a senior republican has finally break ranks with donald trump — mitch mcconnell — the most powerful us republican, after the president — congratulatesjoe biden on his election win. safe and 94% effective — medical tests on a vaccine from the moderna lab open up a path for the approval of a second us vaccine.
the russian president, vladimir putin, has congratulated joe biden on his victory in the us election six weeks ago. the announcement was issued shortly after the us electoral college officially confirmed mr biden's win over donald trump. according to the kremlin: these diplomatic words tell one story, but what can we really expect in the biden—putin relationship? here's our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg. i think russia is expecting a very different kind of us—russian relationship now. for four years, donald trump went out of his way not to criticise russia, not to criticise vladimir putin and at times openly praised vladimir putin. joe biden is very different.
he is a vocal critic of the kremlin and someone who has, for many years, expressed criticisms of russian policy and recently he labelled russia the main threat to america. the canadian fashion designer peter nygard has been charged in the united states with trafficking women and girls for sex. prosecutors say the designer lured dozens of women to venues in the us, the bahamas and canada over a period of decades. more than 70 women have launched a class action lawsuit accusing mr nygard of rape, sexual assault and human trafficking. he has previously said his name will be cleared. the islamist group boko haram says it abducted hundreds of schoolboys who were taken from a boarding school in northern nigeria on friday. this happened in katsina state, in the north—west of nigeria. about 800 students were at the all—boys government science secondary school when the attack happened
and at least 333 students are still missing. 0ne boy managed to escape byjumping out of a window but he hasn't seen his twin brother since. translation: i was afraid, totally afraid. but what frightened me the most was that my brother would be in danger. when i looked for him, i couldn't see him. the state governor of siena has made this statement: —— katsina: our correspondent is in carnegie endowment for international peace. this shows that the area of activity is expanding, way beyond what has been active in the north—east
of the country —— kano. it would be the first attack of its kind in this part of nigeria, which is quite worrying because there is growing criticism about the president's performance when it comes to tackling security in the country and he was elected in 2015 on the promise that would tackle security and earlier in the year there were protests in the north of the country because kidnapping has been such a huge issue in this latest kidnapping, we can see the number of students involved, 300 of them, some as young as ten is really a big blow in terms of their performance on the security front. the duke and duchess of sussex have announced they are launching a podcast with their audio production company archewell audio, on spotify, signing a multi—year deal with the audio streaming giant. the announcement was made via a promo released on the platform and we can have a listen to some of that.
should we, should we start? no, ladies first? no, say it cos i think it sounds really nice with your accent. what, archewell audio? yeah. archewell audio. imean... really? shall we? yeah, let's do it. hi, guys, i'm harry. and i'm meghan. the couple will make their debut in a holiday special set to be released this month just in time for christmas. in a statement, spotify said that the couple will create content that — in their words — "uplifts and entertains audiences around the world", and feature "diverse perspectives and voices". well, someone who's perfectly placed to comment on this story is podcaster and author kristen meinzer. kristen wrote the book ‘so you want to start a podcast‘ and has also hosted a podcast specifically about the royal couple, called ‘when meghan met harry'. it is fairto it is fair to say you are a superfan. it is fair to say you are a super fan. i'm so thrilled to be heated talk about this amazing next step for meghan
and harry. —— thrilled to be here. this makes sense as the next step. everybody has a podcast now, don't they? what gives them the edge? i guess they will have no problems getting guests. there is that! and there are many podcasts out there and according to google, at least 2 million out there and some statistics suggesting there are 500,000 podcast that have started just during covid and do we need more? maybe, maybe not but we definitely need more meghan and harry and we have not had as much as we like forfans. we have not had as much as we like for fans. they no longer had the royal suspects instagram and webpage, all of those things that existed when they were senior members of the royal family they were senior members of the royalfamily are they were senior members of the royal family are gone now and this gives us royal fans a more intimate connection, i would argue even more than what they
gave us on instagram because when you are hearing someone's voice and they are in your ears, it feels more, like companionship and closeness, more thanjust companionship and closeness, more than just glancing at a picture. interesting. going by the tees, the trailer, people who like these, this is the kind of things, this represents all the things that are policed about the couple. what will be different from the couple, what can we expect from it — just going the teaser. i think what we will hear is something more intimate because until now, most of what we get from meghan 0rme harry is them at a pr event or charity event and this is different, it is them giggling and talking to each other and calling each other nicknames —— meghan and harry. and they are even humming together at a certain moment and it sounds sweeter than
normal, then a salt beach, and they make great speeches, but this is different —— speeches. they have a multimillion dollar deal with netflix and now spotify, the big footprints in the social media landscape? absolutely, but it makes sense and if you look at barack 0bama and if you look at barack 0bama and michelle 0bama, they are doing the same things as them and why not? they are international global superstars and the world wants more of them so why not give us what we want? and do good in the world? because meghan and harry, like barack 0bama and michelle have said they want to do good in the world, great connections and high causes they care about
to have the rogan $100 million to have the back catalogue and more modest deals were $1 million so i expect this to be quite a bit of money and we know it will attract many people, notjust superfans attract many people, notjust super fans like me that many who are curious. great fun to talk to you. thank you. many people will be hoping for a visit from father christmas in the next couple of weeks, but his visit came a little too early for one man in peru's capital, lima. this father christmas and his little helper are actually undercover police officers. rather than the traditional entry down the chimney, this pair came equipped with a sledgehammer which made short work of an alleged drug dealer's front door. the suspect was restraint and ha ndcuffs the suspect was restraint and handcuffs unwrapped! and you can get in touch
with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbc mike embley. hello there. tuesday night started on a dry note, but it's turned increasingly wet and windy during the early hours of wednesday courtesy of this deep area of low pressure moving up from the south, the centre of it moving across the republic of ireland. a swathe of rain and gales spreading across much of wales, western england, northern ireland and into scotland. so, wednesday's going to certainly start very windy, with gales at times. but the winds will slowly ease down through today. and there will be heavy rain for many of us. now, the heaviest of the rain will be across northern and western areas through the morning, pushing northwards across scotland. meanwhile, this band of rain will spread eastwards, exiting wales and western england and arriving towards the eastern side of england late in the day, although not reaching the far south east and east anglia probably until after dark. a windy day for all, though not as windy as how the day will start.
we'll see plenty of showers pushing into northern ireland and western scotland. some of these will be heavy. temperature, on the face of it, 9—11 degrees, which is fairly mild for the time of year, but when you factor in the wind, it might not feel quite as mild. now, that rain eventually reaches the far south east during wednesday night. it clears away and then we're into clear spells and blustery showers. some of these will be heavier across some western areas. but because of the strength of the wind and the showers around, its going to be a largely frost—free night, with those lows of 5—7 degrees for many of us. so that's wednesday's low to the north of the uk. we're in between weather systems for thursday, so a brief respite before the next system arrives later on thursday and into friday. so, for thursday, we should see quite a bit of sunshine around, some areas staying dry altogether across eastern scotland, eastern england. most of the showers will tend to be across western areas and they could pep up to produce longer spells of rain later in the day, particularly in the far west, as this frontal system arrives. and it will be quite mild here, generally mild, but those values a little bit lower across scotland
and eastern england. then as we head on into friday, you can see plenty of isobars and active weather fronts right across the country. it's going to be very wet indeed with some heavy rain in places, and very mild, too, though as we head on into the weekend, slightly cooler air will push in from the west. so friday is very mild, very wet and windy, the risk of flooding in places. we'll see sunshine and showers as we head on into the weekend. it'll start to turn cooler, particularly on sunday.
mitch mcconnell — the most powerful us republican after the president — has finally broken ranks with donald trump and congratulated joe biden on winning the presidential election. mr mcconnell also urged fellow republicans not to object to the result when congress meets to ratify it. a second coronavirus vaccine looks about to be approved for emergency use in the us. the food and drug administration says the moderna jab is safe and 94% effective, and can be stored at higher temperatures than the vaccine developed by pfizer and biontech. if approved shipments could begin within 24 hours. pressure is increasing on the uk government to revise its relaxation of covid restrictions in england over christmas. days before the changes are due to take effect, two leading medicaljournals are saying they would be a mistake and could cost countless lives. now on bbc news, it's
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