tv BBC World News BBC News December 31, 2020 12:00am-12:31am GMT
this is bbc news. i'm james reynolds with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the uk government extends the toughest restrictions to three—quarters of england's population, as deaths from coronavirus soar to 981 confirmed on wednesday. but light at the end of the tunnel. the uk gives approval for the astrazeneca vaccine — with the firstjabs due to begin next week. it's a moment to celebrate and have some optimism about where we've got to today and moving forward. the uk and eu sign an historic trade agreement, after british mps give overwhelming backing to borisjohnson‘s brexit deal.
hello and welcome if you're watching here in the uk and around the world. millions more people in england are entering tougher restrictions for covid—19 as the second wave of the virus continues to spread at an alarming rate. the uk authorities have announced a further 50,023 new infections recorded in the latest 2a hours. the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week is nowjust over 40,000. 981 deaths were reported — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. it means on average in the past week, 500 deaths were announced every day. amidst the terrible toll the virus is taking, there was other news which gives hope for the future. the uk medicines regulator gave the go—ahead for the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, making the uk the first country in the world to approve it. fergus walsh has the story.
the approval of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, which is a fantastic achievement for british science. it's a great day, we're very proud. this is a really significant moment in the fight against this pandemic. it is, i think, a game—changing moment. this is the vaccine, more than any other, that will eventually bring coronavirus under control. unlike pfizer's, which needs ultralow temperatures, the oxford astrazeneca vaccine can be transported in a fridge, meaning every care home in the uk should now be in reach. the medicines regulator said no corners had been cut. with this approval of the second vaccine, we are another step closer in helping to defeat this virus. 0ur clear message is that you can have every confidence in the safety, in the effectiveness and in the quality of covid—19 vaccine astrazeneca. the vaccine uses a gene from the spike—shaped protein on the surface of coronavirus.
this is put inside a modified, harmless virus. the vaccine instructs human cells to make the spike protein, which prompts the immune system to create antibodies which can recognise and destroy coronavirus. and it stimulates t cells, which should destroy cells that have become infected. so, just how effective is the vaccine? the latest estimate is it gives 70% protection against covid three weeks after the first dose. the nhs will now hold back giving the second dose of all covid vaccines until 12 weeks, so more people can get protected. the most pragmatic thing to do is to give as many at—risk people as possible the first dose of the vaccine because we know that from three weeks after that first dose,
there's a very good level of protection and nobody in the clinical trials at that point, after their first dose, was in hospital with covid or experienced severe disease. this is now a race between the vaccine and the virus. that means getting millions of doses approved quickly. we are going to shift 500, or a bit more than 500,000 doses this week, which can start being used on monday. and then from there, we will rapidly escalate the deliveries, so i really think, by the end of march, we will be in a very different place. what many want to know is when will they get immunised. prime minister, how many people will the nhs immunise every week? because surely it needs to be in the millions? the best answer i can give at the moment is that we will have millions of doses, tens of millions of doses, by the end of march. we're working to get the programme going as fast as we can. i don't want to give you specific numbers at the moment.
much of the production is done in the uk, like here in oxford, unlike the more expensive pfizer jab, which is produced in belgium. there are manufacturing facilities like this all over the world which are producing bulk quantities of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine. the aim is to have 3 billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021. to deliver a safe and effective covid vaccine in less than a year is a stunning achievement. the challenge now — to ensure rapid roll—out to those who need it most. fergus walsh, bbc news. in the uk, both houses of parliament have now approved the brexit trade deal with the eu, meaning it'sjust queen elizabeth who needs to sign the bill for it to become law. that's expected to happen within the hour. earlier, borisjohnson told the bbc his new trade deal means the country
will have its cake and eat it. but he refused to acknowledge that new barriers to doing business with the eu will come into force when the tranistion period ends tonight. laura kuenssberg reports. signing on the dotted line over there, then a short hop for the 1,2a6—page document — the cargo of an raf plane to get back here. ready for boris johnson's signature. here it is. the man who campaigned for brexit became prime minister because of it, and now his deal, this day, scrolled into history. what this deal does is it satisfies the request of the british people to take back control, and what that meant was that we now have the freedom to do things differently and do things better if we choose. in the knowledge that there are no barriers to... but, prime minister, that's just factually not the case. it's not true that there will not be more barriers. you have got more political control, but you can't sit
there and say that there won't be extra friction. there will be changes, and we've been very clear with people that they'll have to get ready forjanuary the 1st, that things will work differently, and at the same time, we cannot only exploit the advantages of a zero tariff, zero quota deal with the eu. people said that that was impossible. and they said that that was having your cake and eating it. so i want you to see this as a cake—ist treaty. so you are having your cake and eating it? you've said it. but there will be new barriers because, if you don't admit that, honestly now, aren't people going to be really peeved when they find out? all we're doing is, i think, solving what everybody said was a kind of impossible, you know, contradiction in terms. the political screaming and shouting of the last few years only echoes in parliament's halls now. the prime minister had his day. prime minister. perhaps brexit‘s opponents
have only reluctance left. it's the only deal that we have. it is a basis to build on in the years to come. and ultimately, voting to implement this treaty is the only way to ensure that we avoid no—deal. an awkward moment for labour, but only one mp voted against, and a sprinkling of labour mps quit the front bench to join others abstaining. i have the greatest respect for the result of the 2016 referendum, but this shoddy deal falls short. only the smaller parties raging and officially voting against, even though no—deal was their worst case scenario. we now finally know what brexit means, we have it in black and white. it means a disaster of a deal. it means broken promises, it means economic vandalism. but not a single tory mp voted against the deal. remember, europe ended
the careers of several of the prime ministers whose portraits line this famous staircase. do you believe that you have ended the conservative party's agony over europe? well, i am very hopeful that that is the case. this is not the end of britain as a european country. because there will be people watching this who worry that it is. that is emphatically not the case. with the overwhelming backing of the commons, after years, it is the end of one profound relationship and — outwardly, at least — the calm start of another. but in the time to come, our relationship with the rest of europe may be no less complicated underneath. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. more areas in england are being placed under the highest tier 4 restrictions in the coming hours. the health secretary, matt hancock, said the change was due to the rapid jump in new cases linked to the new variant of coronavirus. dominic hughes reports. in birmingham, just time for a last trim before
tier 4 restrictions come in at midnight. after a tough year, it's another bitter setback for owner dale sampey. absolutely devastated again that we've just got going after reopening on the 2nd of december. we're just getting back on ourfeet again. how many more times can we be locked down? the bills keep rolling. it is really difficult to keep coming back. in england, more than three quarters of the population will be in tier 4, the highest level of restrictions. health secretary matt hancock told mps the new, more contagious covid variant was driving infections up. unfortunately, this new variant is now spreading across most of england and cases are doubling fast. it is therefore necessary to apply tier 4 measures to a wider area, including the remaining parts of the south east, as well as large parts of the midlands, the north west, the north east and the south west. this is a global crisis, but let us be clear, this is a national emergency. our national health service is becoming overwhelmed.
i hope the tier 4 restrictions are enough but many believe even tougher restrictions are now inevitable. but public health experts warn that restrictions and lockdowns can only do so much. the effect of any escalation in tiers lasts for maybe three or four weeks, and then it wears off, so it is doubly important that, regardless of which tiers we go in, we continue to come forward for vaccines and take the test and, more importantly, maintain that social distancing and hand washing and two metre rules. rising case numbers are hitting the health service. already buckling under pressure in the south and east, infections are now growing in the north and west. burnley has already been hit hard by the pandemic this year but has again seen a rapid growth in cases, and it's not just businesses that will be affected by the new restrictions. the local hospice depends on the £650,000 raised each year by its charity shops. it has been a huge hit for us this year. we have been full throughout the whole of the pandemic.
0ur hospice at home services are also caring for more patients in the community. to then close our shops is a real sort of kick to us. parts of england that have seen relatively low case numbers in recent months, like taunton in somerset, now find themselves in tier 4. it's clear we're heading into the new year in the middle of a second wave that has yet to show any signs of subsiding. it's a place no one wanted to be. dominic hughes, bbc news. the republic of ireland has extended a ban on travel to the country from the united kingdom and south africa until january 6 due to the new more infectious variant of covid—19. ireland's prime minister, micheal martin, has also announced that tough public health restrictions will remain in place for the next four weeks to try and stop the spread in his country. i've always been clear that we will do what we need to do to suppress the virus when it is growing, and it is now growing exponentially.
the truth is that with the presence of the new strain and the pace of growth, this is not a time for nuance in oui’ response. we must apply the brakes to movement and physical interaction across the country. we must return to full scale level five restrictions for a period of at least one month. california has detected its first known case of the so—called "uk variant" of the coronvirus. the newly discovered strain of the virus is highly infectious and is currently spreading rapidly across the uk. the california governor, gavin newsom, here on the left, made the announcement during an online discussion on covid—19 with the us' leading infection expert, dr anthony fauci. he said it had been found in southern california, a day after the first known us case was documented in colorado. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: arise sir lewis — the formula 1 world champion
lewis hamilton is knighted in the queens new years honours list. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we're going to use money we picked up in belgium today, and then we'll be in france, and again, it'll be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic! that's better! bells toll
this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the uk government extends the toughest restrictions to most of england, as deaths from coronavirus soar to 981. both chambers of parliament approve the new free trade deal — signed by prime minister borisjohnson — four and a half years after britain voted to leave the european union. argentina's medical regulator has approved the oxford astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine, following quickly on the heels of the uk. coronavirus vaccine, following the country has a contract to buy more than 22 million doses, which will be delivered in 2021. it has already begun vaccinating health workers with the russian sputnik v vaccine, as it prepares for a possible second wave of the virus. i've been speaking to natalio cosoy, a journalist in argentina, about how the government approved the oxford astrazeneca
vaccine so quickly. it is in a law passed in congress in november. it's a special law particularly signed to approve signed contracts and distribute vaccines in argentina. it allows for emergency approval such as the one that's got approved, the astrazeneca vaccine, as well as the russian sputnik vaccine and the pfizer vaccine that's not yet arrived at the country because there's a conflict between the government and the company. they don't agree terms of a potential contract. that's basically how the country managed to get such a quick approval of these vaccines. 22.1; million doses is a lot. but is it? is that enough to vaccinate argentina's most vulnerable people? not in itself, but you also have to take into account that there are around 20 million doses from the sputnik vaccine, and that will be enough for another 10 million people.
so, 11 million from astrazeneca's vaccine, plus 10 million from sputnik‘s vaccine, that should give you around 20—21 million people vaccinated. that might be just enough, but the disease is quickly spreading again in argentina, and some fear that a second wave is not far from the current time, so it might not be arriving in time to stop this second wave. in terms of the russian vaccine, a number of countries in the west say they simply do not have enough information from russia in orderfor them to be able to evaluate it. how did argentina evaluate sputnik v? well, that's a question that's being raised here. it's a criticism of how the government acted in this situation. a specialist from the country and from the regulator did travel to russia to supervise how the vaccine is being produced and read the papers that the gamaleya institute had produced.
and they say it's safe and it's ok to apply the vaccine to the population here, but that criticism still remains in argentina, and everyone is waiting for the publication of the phase three results in a peer—reviewed magazine so that they can really feel it's safe to get vaccinated with the sputnik vaccine. natalio cosoy there. new york was the epicentre of the initial coronavirus outbreak in the us. the city that never sleeps was put into hibernation by covid as cases and deaths soared. covid—19 has exposed many of america's long—term ailments, and for many in new york, its effects haven't gone away. nick bryant sent this report from the city about how the virus has changed america and americans. christmas 2020... ..where the carols sound more like laments... ..and where the traditional decorations come with the new protocols of the pandemic.
social distancing, at a time when people normally congregate together. for many new yorkers, the festive season sounds more like a misnomer. it's a time of empty chairs at the family table, a time to think of loved ones who didn't survive the year. the last time i was here was with my dad. the funfair at coney island brings back memories for angelina pryer, of herfather richard, a keen long—distance runner, who died from the coronavirus at the beginning of the outbreak. he was just 66 years old. i feel like my country has turned its back on us. i feel like i lost more than just my dad. i've lost a feeling of safety, a feeling of confidence in my living situation,
in my government, in my fellow citizens. it just feels like we're all alone. then there's the economic toll of this crisis. forjust as poverty has been a propagator of the pandemic, the pandemic has become a propagator of poverty. good morning, everyone! please have your bags open and ready, thank you. pre—covid, this foodbank served 200 people a week. on this morning, it provided vital assistance to 200 people in the first ten minutes. these queues are as long now as they were in march. it's extraordinary to see. yeah, they keep getting longer and longer. the lines and the need keeps growing and growing. and it's harderfor us as an organisation to keep up with the need and the demand. people are gathering again in times square, the crossroads of the world. but this is a global city that's suffered so much
bereavement and where the flags are still at half staff. the coronavirus outbreak has exposed so many of america's long—term ailments — its income and racial disparities, the dysfunction in washington, the rundown of its government and the politicisation of everything, even the wearing of facemasks. 2020, the year of the pandemic, and one that people here can't wait to consign to the past. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. let's look at some of the day's other news now. the government in yemen has blamed the houthi rebel movement for a rocket attack on the airport in aden which killed at least 26 people. rockets hit soon after a plane carrying members of the new government landed. the cabinet ministers are all reported to be safe. the houthis deny having launched the attack. rescuers in norway are continuing to search for 11 people believed missing after a landslide engulfed houses in a village outside 0slo. emergency workers have used helicopters to search the rubble, with mud making
the center of the crater too unstable to cross. the french government is facing criticism over the slow pace of coronavirus vaccination since it began on sunday. 0nly around 100 people have had the jab so far, amid public scepticism. polls suggest only 40% of french people want to be inoculated. a short time ago, queen elizabeth's new year honours were announced. the formula 1 world champion lewis hamilton gets a knighthood and the actress sheila hancock is made a dame. many of the honours have gone to members of the public, for their work and contributions during the pandemic. 0ur entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba has more. after a record—equalling seventh world championship and the title of sports personality of the year, lewis hamilton has now received a knighthood. sheila hancock says she feels a real sense of responsibility after being made a dame for her drama and charity work. i hope i'll grow into it and i will pay back the honour
that's been paid me. that's what i want to do. also becoming a dame, pat mcgrath, arguably the most influential makeup artist in fashion. award—winning actress lesley manville has been made a cbe, actor tobyjones an 0be and singer craig david an mbe. in sport, formerjockey bob champion, founder of the bob champion cancer trust, says he's chuffed to become a cbe. following a long campaign for every surviving member of england's 1966 world cup squad to receive an honour, ron flowers and jimmy greaves have both been made mbes. the majority of honours have gone people who aren't in the public eye. tanya and nadim ednan—laperouse campaigned for a change in the law on food labelling after their daughter, natasha, died from an allergic reaction. in a way, we just did what we felt at the time we had to do.
it's like we were on a wave, and we're still on that wave. we're just, you know, moving forward and really trying to make a difference for all those people. we know that's what natasha would want us to do. among those recognised for their work during the pandemic are health workers like nurse cath fitzsimmons, who came out of retirement to work at her local hospital. i said, "please, i can't be sitting at home knowing that my colleagues and patients and staff would be potentially in a very, very difficult position." and at more than 100 years old, anne baker's been honoured for herfundraising for the nspcc. she's become an mbe. i think it's so important, really, to think of the children because they're the future. they're our future after all. so i really was thrilled to find this honour. making this a particular year of celebration for anne,
who at 106, is the oldest person ever to be recognised with an honour. lizo mzimba, bbc news. a lot of us are going to be happy to say goodbye to the year that was 2020. and that includes these guys. take a look at this. us robot developers boston dynamics posted this new video online demonstrating its atlas, spot and handle robots dancing in sync to the song do you love me by the contours. the coordinated wired proteges' dance floor display came with a new year message — "our whole crew got together to celebrate the start of what we hope will be a happier year. happy new year from all of us at boston dynamics. " well, they've definitely upgraded on the usual robot dance move. but can they do the macarena?
that's what we need to know. to stay with us on bbc news. hello. snow and ice continue to be hazards for some as we move into the final day of 2020. still very much in the cold air across the uk, temperatures widely well below freezing through the early hours of thursday morning, with the potential for some freezing fog across parts of england and wales. for new year's eve, it's a cold day wherever you are. for most, a mixture of wintry showers with some sunshine, but across scotland through the morning, a more general spell of rain, sleet and snow sliding its way southwards and also into northern ireland as well. as the morning wears on, that snow will tend to become confined to higher ground, just pushing to the far north of england through the afternoon. a few wintry showers for parts of northwest, southwest england, west wales. the further south and east you are, mainly dry with some sunshine once any freezing fog has lifted through the morning.
still a cold northerly wind, particularly biting for parts of western scotland and northern ireland. not quite as cold across scotland and northern ireland compared to wednesday, five or six celsius the top temperature here, compared to just two or three celsius further south. through the final hours of 2020, we see this band of wintry showers just continuing to sink their way southwards, but most of the snow by this stage should be over higher ground. bit of wintry mix across scotland, quite a few showers along the east coast, where temperatures will hold up to around four or five celsius at midnight. head inland, they'll be closer to freezing. a few showers developing across northern england, parts of northwest wales, maybe south west england through the early hours of new year's day. but also once again, the potential for some freezing fog developing across central, southeastern parts of england and wales as we head through the early hours of 2021. another cold night but not quite as cold as recent nights, but some places still getting a few degrees below freezing. so here's how we start 2021, with still a fairly messy picture, low pressure to the east of the uk and frontal systems still just trying to slide their way
across. not much on them, but certainly through new year's day, there will be a fair few showers around, particularly for east and northeast coasts. and a few of those will penetrate their way a little bit further inland. still the chance they could be wintry, particularly over higher ground. the further south you are across the uk, much more cloud around, and temperatures still not much higher than five or six celsius. looking ahead, then, to the first weekend of 2021, it stays cold, we'll see fewer showers but still the risk of some ice and snow in places. bye— bye.
this is bbc news. the headlines — in the last few moments, another 20 million people in england have moved into the highest level of coronavirus restrictions as the government tries to stem the surge in case numbers and deaths. three quarters of the population is now in tier 4. deaths from coronavirus soar to 981, that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. the average number of new cases reported per day is nowjust over 40,000. it means on average in the past week, 500 deaths were announced every day. 11.5 years after britain voted in a referendum to leave the european union, both chambers of parliament in london have approved the new free—trade deal that was finalised last week. boris johnson, said britain was marking a new beginning in its relationship with the eu. now on bbc news, hardtalk looks at the highs and lows of 2020.
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