this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. millions of people in the uk wake up to tougher covid restrictions — as rule changes come into force. as the uk grapples with a new strain of coronavirus, france confirms its first case of the variant. millions of americans face losing unemployment benefits , as the standoff between donald trump and congress over a coronavirus stimulus package continues. more than a thousand people are told to leave their homes in bedfordshire, england — as another severe flood warning is issued overnight. and coming up — we'll tell you about the sport that is high—speed and environmentally friendly —
welcome to the world of extreme e. and welcome to the world of extreme e. it is backed by lewis and it is backed by f1 champion lewis hamilton. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. six million people in the east and south east of england have joined those living under the strictest coronavirus restrictions, in tier 4. now, those restrictions now affect around 2a million people in england, more than 40% of the population. the toughest measures mean the closure of all nonessential shops, as well as hairdressers, swimming pools and gyms. a national lockdown has also started in northern ireland, and measures have been reimposed in wales after being eased for christmas. all of mainland scotland has moved
into the toughest level of coronavirus restrictions — with the rest of scotland in tier 3 restrictions. meanwhile, the french authorities have confirmed the first case in the country of the more contagious coronavirus variant recently identified in the uk. and, millions of americans face going without unemployment benefits after saturday, amid a political standoff over a $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package. well, first report this morning on the millions entering the toughest set of restrictions in england is from emily unia. a return to lockdown, with more shops, pubs and restaurants across the uk forced to close to try and slow rapidly rising infection rates thought to be caused by a new strain of coronavirus. the government has done the right thing. the variant in the coronavirus is out of control, so they had to do something. i was expecting it, at the end of the day, with the numbers going up.
and everyone has to live through this, so if it's going to keep us safe in the end, that's really good and i'm quite happy. the tougher measures could be in force for months. but we mustn't give up now. we know that we can control this virus. we know we can get through this together. we're going to get through it by suppressing the virus until a vaccine can make us safe. that's been our strategy and that's what we must do. new tier 4 restrictions were imposed on london and parts of essex and hertfordshire at midnight on sunday. this morning, most of southern and eastern england are joining them. the rules are similar to the last lockdown in england. you must stay at home unless you need to travel for work or education. you may only meet one person at a time outdoors. nonessential shops should shut, and unless you have a genuine reason like caring for someone or going to work or school, you mustn't leave a tier 4 area. other parts of england are also moving into higher tiers,
with only the isles of scilly now left in the lowest, tier 1. in northern ireland, a new six—week national lockdown has begun, with an 8:00pm to 6:00am curfew in operation untiljanuary 2nd. all of mainland scotland has moved into its toughest level of restrictions, and after a brief relaxation of rules for christmas day, wales has returned to a full national lockdown which began on sunday. emily unia, bbc news. northern ireland has imposed a fresh six—week lockdown, and even supermarkets will be forced to close by eight in the evening during the first week. we can speak now to mal houston who owns the river rooms in belfast, who only opened for the first time last thursday — the same day the new lockdown was announced. thank you very much for being with us. thank you very much for being with us. just tell us what all of this means for you and your industry. the
hospitality industry has basically been decimated here in northern ireland along with the restaurants and the white pubs. the white pups who have never opened their doors since march this year. —— wet pubs. we basically started on thursday last week and had the announcement from the executive that we would into a new six week lockdown which took us basically by surprise. i know that the health of people is paramount and protecting the nhs but we we re paramount and protecting the nhs but we were giving very, very short notice on some of the lockdowns and basically a loss of stock has been bought in, staff had to be organised, and it had a very, very big impact on financial trade. —— a lot of stock had to be bought in. there is a lot of uncertainty around of it. some of our decisions were made hours before we usually open
oui’ made hours before we usually open our doors again throughout the other lockdowns. so you are now facing another long lockdown. bluntly, can you survive this? personally, i am optimistic and i hope that i would say that because i have onlyjust recently started this business last thursday. there are people in this industry a lot longer than i am and they are suffering a lot, lot more, both financially and on their mental health and their well—being and then that goal livelihoods. to think the authorities have got this right? you are saying you understand the science, you appreciate the science, but as the balance right between science and health and the economy? i have not seen the actual scientific proof that the hospitality industry is contributing to spike in cases. a lot of the restau ra nts a nd wet to spike in cases. a lot of the restaurants and wet pubs have put a loss of measures in place, a lot of good measures protecting the public just like a lot of measures in place. i feel that the just like a lot of measures in place. ifeel that the hospitality industry was actually one of the
safe environments that people could actually visit. also talk about lights at the end of the summer possibly with a new vaccine and so on. you think you can get through until then and do you think the industry generally northern ireland can get until then? industry generally northern ireland can get untilthen? i will industry generally northern ireland can get until then? i will say a small percentage of us will survive it. well, gloomy news and a gloomy end. thank you very much indeed, nelly huston there who owns the river booms in belfast which, as we we re river booms in belfast which, as we were saying, only open for the first time last thursday. —— the river rooms in belfast. as the uk grapples with that new strain of the coronavirus, france has confirmed its first case of the variant the country's health ministry says the patient arrived on french soil from london on the 19th of december. president macron shut the country's border with britain last sunday after the new — more transmissible variant — was found to be spreading in the south east of england.
here in the uk, ten people have been given antibodies as a form of emergency protection after being exposed to coronavirus, in the first trial of its kind. the antibody treatment is being offered to people who have been in close contact with a confirmed covid—i9 case within the past eight days. if it proves effective, it could protect vulnerable people who have not yet been, or cannot be, vaccinated. and it could help to contain outbreaks. millions of americans face going without unemployment benefits after saturday, amid a political standoff over a $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package. direct payments of up to $600 per person, eviction protection measures, and a paycheque protection programme were all approved by congress on monday. but president trump has refused to sign the bill into law. aaron safir reports. the 60 vote threshold having been
achieved the motion to concur is agreed to. in a year where the deep divisions in american politics were laid bare. today is a good day. monday saw a moment of hope. democrats and republicans passed a $90 billion federal relief bill in front of the federal government until september 2021. the measures area until september 2021. the measures are a lifeline to america's battered economy and its millions of struggling people. two unemployment programmes, a $300 weekly federal boost for the jobless until mid—march, and direct payments of up to $600 per person. after months of difficult negotiations and compromise, all that is needed now was president from's signature. mick mr president, what you say to those who are waiting for kobe dade? so far he has refused, saying that he has holding out for bigger debit payment. -- those who are waiting
for kobe dade. he tried to amend the bill so most workers would reach receive $2000. this republicans responded with proposals to cut the foreign aid bill. it is christmas eve but it is not a silent night. all is not come. for too many, nothing as right and for too many they are not sleeping three goal peacefully. president trump returned to the topic on christmas day, tweeting. .. the bill to the topic on christmas day, tweeting... the bill has even been flown to florida for the president to sign but he is not budging and time is running out. the last of the jobless benefits will go out tomorrow to individuals who have been on unemployment for many weeks already and for those who had the eligibility because of the carers act, because of the early relief
package servers to groups, tomorrow is the last day and the president absolutely has to sign it to get those back on track and all of the vest that is in the relief package. the democrats have promised another attempt at upping the stimulus checks on monday, meaning republican lawmakers will have to decide whether or not to defy their president, but the of government can leave slowly and even if the president has signed a bill on the weekend many americans will likely suffer a break in payments of several weeks. bbc news. the met office has warned of 70 miles—per—hour gales and heavy rain, as storm bella approaches the uk. three severe flood warnings are in place in england. in bedfordshire, police officers have visited more than 13 hundred homes near the river great 0use, advising residents to leave as it reaches record levels. anisa kadri is in bedford — and forecasts of more rain on the way?
yes, that is right. it is those already starting to do so again here and it has been farfrom ideal christmas for the people that were told to leave their houses because of the flooding risk. first came those tearful restrictions then came the heavy rain, so really a difficult time of year. —— is here for restrictions. it should have been a happy time of year. 1300 houses were told to leave their houses. as you can see behind me, the water levels here in the river great 0use are rising and you can probably make out that been submerged in the water there. the advice of people who are leaving their houses do the basic things like turn of the electricity, move the valuables upstairs. those people are allowed to break tier 4 rules because they are allowed to go and stay with family and friends because they have been told to leave their
homes so what the police are saying is the flooding situation overrides the coronavirus restrictions. all right, thank you very much indeed. let us talk to one of those people who did have to his home. james adams and his family had to evacuate their home due to the flood risk. thank you very much for being with us. it has been a bit of a miserable christmas for you, talk and see what happened. basically, christmas eve, about ten o'clock at night, there was... some police were kind of knocking on doors in our area just advising people that we might be asked to leave the next day because ofa asked to leave the next day because of a severe flood warning and then, you know, christmas day came, tried to do the usual things, i was at home with my wife and my two kids trying to cook dinner whilst my wife is moving our downstairs upstairs in preparation and we were kind of in two minds about whether to go but when we just saw buy my house there
are the kind of rising and rising as the day went we decided to leave and we ended up staying with some friends nearby. staying with friends and that, as our correspondent was saying, is allowed because the normal coronavirus restrictions on being with friends are overridden because of the floods. yes, so funnily enough we are staying with the friends that we would normally spend christmas day with anyway, and, obviously, you know, we didn't have those plans, so with the restrictions we all kind ofjust eating in our own homes and so forth so, yeah, we had ended up doing kind of what we have done in the past kind a few years anyway so oddly enough it as ended up being kind of a more sociable christmas then we we re a more sociable christmas then we were planning on. yes, so a small benefit but what is the state of the flooding now? so, ithink it benefit but what is the state of the flooding now? so, i think it peeked around kind of midnight last night. it's got quite close to home. we
live basically out overlooking a country park which is kinda probably about 200 metres away from the river. it got, i think, about 200 metres away from the river. it got, ithink, probably within about 20 metres of a house so we kind of made the right to get out of the and it looks like it is fathering back now so i am kind of scene photos on social media now with people kind of saying, you know, it kind of as falling back but it is, it is by far the worst we have kind of ever seeing it. we are used to the fields outside a house getting flooded but we have not seen them that wet before. so does not mean you can go home now? yes, we are kind of getting ready to go home, we are trying to put all our stuff back together and we will be going home shortly and hopefully spending boxing day rearranging our house and maybe have a second attempt at christmas dinner at home with all the stuff we kind of hastily put in the fridge to kind of come down here. thanks very much for talking to us and love the christmas
sweater as well by the way. james adam speaking to us there. the latest headlines on bbc news.... millions of people in the uk wake up to tougher covid restrictions — as rule changes come into force. as the uk grapples with a new strain of coronavirus, france confirms its first case of the variant. millions of americans face losing unemployment benefits, as the standoff between donald trump and congress over a coronavirus stimulus package continues. scrutiny of the brexit trade agreement with the european union has begun after the full document was published less than a week before it is due to be implemented. the agreement runs to more than 1,200 pages — and will be put to an emergency vote in the british parliament on wednesday. 0ur political correspondent leila nathoo has the story. in brussels yesterday, a christmas day briefing for eu
ambassadors on the deal by the man who led the negotiations for their side. mission accomplished. what's in that blue folder sets out how the eu and uk will trade and co—operate from january, a success for both sides to have more than 1,200 pages of text setting out a new relationship. writing in the times this morning, the cabinet office minister michael gove says the deal will allow the uk and eu to enjoy a special relationship as sovereign equals. he was one of the key figures in the leave campaign. he writes that the debate over brexit was at times ugly and he hopes the agreement will allow british politics to move into a better place. the deal was done in the nick of time, with the uk already out of the eu and transition arrangements expiring within days. mps and peers will have until wednesday to digest the detail before being called back to parliament for a debate and vote. the eu is now weighing up how the future looks with the uk outside. member states will be reviewing
the legal text in the coming days before what's on paper becomes a reality. leila nathoo, bbc news. a former conservative mp, brian binley, has died at the age of 78. mr binley was elected twice to represent northampton south, first in 2005 and again in 2010. he died at northampton general hospital yesterday. former mi6 officer and soviet spy george blake has died aged 98 in moscow. blake was a soviet double agent working in the british secret service. he was caught and jailed in 1960, but escaped from prison in london five years later and fled to the soviet union. in an interview with the bbc in 1990, george blake said he estimated that he betrayed more than 500 western agents but he denied suggestions that 42 of them had lost their lives as a result of his actions.
parts of the us city of nashville are still cordoned off after a camper van exploded in the early hours of christmas day. three people were injured and widespread damage was caused when the van — which had been broadcasting a warning that a blast was imminent — blew up in the city centre. police believe it was a deliberate act. thousands of shops across the uk won't be opening for the traditional boxing day sales today — because of the lockdowns in wales and northern ireland, and tough new restrictions in england and scotland. it follows a difficult year for the retail industry, which is calling for more government support. vivienne nunis reports. end—of—year sales have been attracting crowds for decades. newsreel announcer: they're here again — the sales and the queues. you can't afford to miss a good bargain these days. some all—night queuers receive a welcome surprise — an early morning cuppa to warm them up for the battle ahead. but in 2020, with tier 4 restrictions in england,
restrictions in scotland and lockdown in northern ireland and wales, many of the uk's high street stores will be empty today, leaving scores of boxing day bargain hunters forced to shop online. for many retailers, the key christmas trading period has been severely disrupted. footfall for december is down by 45% compared with 2019. the retail industry body is calling for government support to continue beyond next april. we have seen some administrations, somejob losses, some store closures, so making sure that that support is targeted to those businesses as we move into 2021 is going to be really vital, you know, to ensure that we don't see more job losses and more store closures. stores in manchester and birmingham will be among those to open today, some with a cap on customer numbers and digital queueing systems in place. for those looking to find a good
deal, the biggest discounts are expected to be in fashion, as retailers look to off—load excess stock. but, after a year of rolling sales from many of the stores, retail analysts say some shoppers may be experiencing sale fatigue — more bad news for an industry that's endured a year like no other. vivienne nunis, bbc news. british grand prix racing champion lewis hamilton made his name in the gas—guzzling world of formula one but he's also backing a very different form of motor sport. it's called "extreme e" — and it's all about pushing the boundaries, in more ways than one. 0ur chief environment correspondent justin rowlatt reports. the cars are electric suvs designed by the formula 1 design there adrian
ewing. they deliver 400 kilowatts, the equivalent of 550 brake horsepower, and they will be racing in some of the most extreme environments on earth. expect star wa rs environments on earth. expect star wars pod racing meets the dhaka rally say the organisers. what brought my attention to extreme e is the great places that it is going to go to in raising awareness for the real climate issues. we have got some serious challenges of of us. the direction we're going as a human face is not good yes, there are central changes, you know, the government saying only electric cars but that fixes... perhaps well that fixes one problem, a real problem p°p5 fixes one problem, a real problem pops up. you know, iam
fixes one problem, a real problem pops up. you know, i am trying to learn as much as i can with ev technology which i think extreme e will help develop but i don't think thatis will help develop but i don't think that is the answer to the whole issue that we have. the idea is to show how powerful and fun electric their schools can be and to raise environmental awareness by raising them in places that have already been affected by climate issues. the series will be going to greenland, the amazon and the deserts of saudi arabia. extreme e is also billing itself as the world's first gender equal motorsport platform. there will be four teams each with two drivers, one male, one female. the solution is totally different. here more power than the petrol cars. of course the sound is totally different, hear no sound. i think i
prefer the electric car because they need to make a change, especially in these days because the climate change is near. all extreme e freight and logistics will travel by sea ina freight and logistics will travel by sea in a refurbished royal mail ship the rms st helena and the series will generate some of the power it needs with solar parallels. they will be used to generate hydrogen which on race day will be fed into a fuel cell to generate electricity, helping prove low carbon technology that will find applications around the world say dividers. the displacement of diesel generators that the well, the application of the shipping on boats where you decarbonise the international maritime industry, a key question of c02. 50 maritime industry, a key question of c02. so here's a question, just the cvs deliver on its climate aware promise. well, there is no doubt
that tier extreme e will generate the necessary emissions but it will also show just the necessary emissions but it will also showjust how capable electrical vehicles can be and low carbon revolution doesn't have to be dull and boring. the extreme e series will begin in saudi arabia in march and will be broadcast live across the bbc. justin boehlert, bbc news. justin extreme e. now before we go — a rags to riches tale for a cat... who went from imminent death... to becoming an honourary deputy minister. it sounds like a miracle but it's true for this feline, who experienced a lucky escape from a russian waste centre near moscow... if you look at the man on the right side of the conveyor belt — cutting open a plastic bag only to find a black cat. the cat has since been adopted by the local region's environment ministry and is living the good life.
he's unofficially been given the position of deputy environment minister. that is it for me. you're watching bbc news. hello there. we have a stormy 24 hours ahead as storm bella starts to bear down across the uk and there are still severe flood warnings in folsom over then we have had lately so any more rain on saturated ground and already overflowing rivers is not good news either. you can see from the tightly packed ice about it is not just from the tightly packed ice about it is notjust the rain. we are very concerned about the strength of the wind. amber warnings out from the met office in southern areas. i will come to that list later. already domain is with us in western scotland, mountain snow, was still spill into the rest of scotland and northern ireland today. cher was governor across england and wales
but equally could be a little bit of brightness perforating the clouded timings and it is relatively mild, mild interlude of weather today and thatis mild interlude of weather today and that is because we have got south—westerly winds but they really escalate this evening across scotland, northern ireland, pushing their way southwards, a significant amount of rain falling for many areas, and other potential inch and those winds gusting in excess of 70 mph could easily bring them to use our power lines. the combination of those gusty winds, very gusty in land as well so some storm force winds around exposed coastlines but the combination of the winds and the rain making for some treacherous conditions on the roads so most likely to be some disruption. that's rain the strong wind still abound in the morning so a wild night in a well stuck to our sunday but behind the cold air establishes itself so some icy patches in the north, some snow in the showers to lower levels and eventually that wintry weather, that cold i will fill southwards through the day. most of the re—showers will be across central
and northern areas but i think by the time we get to monday that a view of low pressure is meandering close to southern and eastern areas we could have a taste of winter here as well. not that we haven't seen snow already in some areas but we could have snow even to lower levels as we head into monday across southern and eastern areas as well. by southern and eastern areas as well. by that stage the winds are starting to ease a little bit what daytime temperatures will struggle to get much more than 2 degrees above freezing. it will feel bitterly cold indeed but with some sunshine in between as wintry showers. and that cold air stays with us well into the start of the newer. as say, though, there are plenty of warnings out, floods and severe flood warnings, warnings out for wind and for rain.
this is bbc news. the headlines: millions of people in the uk wake up to tougher covid restrictions, as rule changes come into force. as the uk grapples with a new strain of coronavirus, france confirms its first case of the variant. millions of americans face losing unemployment benefits, as the stand—off continues between donald trump and congress over a coronavirus stimulus package continues. more than a thousand people are told to leave their homes in bedfordshire, as another severe flood warning is issued overnight. next, amol rajan takes a close look at a year dominated by covid—19 and how it accelerated underlying trends and created new ones, in the media year.