this is bbc news, with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the balance of power in the us congress for the next four years is being decided in the state of georgia. i'm larry madowo in georgia, where the election is incredibly tight and incredibly important — and voters again find themselves under the pressure of the national spotlight. if of the national spotlight. revoking his lose both thl democrats if revoking his lose both the seats, democrats will have control in the senate. —— if republicans. and as a third lockdown is introduced in england, official figures suggest covid was infecting 2% of the population in the last week. and prosecutors in the us state of wisconsin say they won't bring criminal charges against the police officer who shot the black man, jacob blake, leaving him paralysed.
hello, and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. do stay with us for the latest news and analysis from here and across the globe. the balance of power in us congress for the next four years is being decided in the state of georgia. joe biden won the state in the presidential election, but the two senate seats in georgia both went to run—offs. so here's a quick reminder why this race in georgia is so important. the senate currently stands at 50 republicans and 48 democrats. there are two vacant seats. if ossoff and warnock win their races, democrats would have a tie, then the vice president—elect kamala harris would then have the deciding vote. and that would give democrats control of both chambers of congress and the white house, meaning mr biden‘s could get more
of his agenda passed by the house and senate. he'd have more power. of the two republican senatorial candidates, mr perdue has had to quarantine for the last few days, so that has kept him off the campaign trail. but we've heard from jon ossoff today. georgia voters have never had more power than you have today. that's the reason the whole world is watching us in georgia. that's the reason everybody needs to get out to the polls and make their voices heard. the second republican encumbent is kelly leffler. she had fewer votes than the democratic candidate, raphael warnock, in november — but there were more candidates dividing the vote back then. now it is just her and warnock. we heard from her yesterday. make sure you get your friends and family out. this is about turn out. we're going to win if we turn out. in atlanta, georgia for us
is the bbc‘s larry madowo. larry, bring us right up to date. all right, so polls close in about an hour here, where the results, we should start to know them at it half hour or so. 7pm eastern, counties will start to upload results. it's expected republicans turned out more today than the democrats, and the republicans need a big turn out to basically wipe out the lead the democrats had in the early voting period. it'll be a very important race, as you've been mentioning, control of the us and it hinges on it. there's national and international attention. what's bring ina international attention. what's bring in a republican strategist. how do you feel about the races tonight, do you think they're up against will hang on to both seats? i believe republicans have what we need to hang on to hang onto both seats. if rural georgia came out in big numbers, we'll be fine. earlier
this morning, starting at our purdue was leading by two points, and kelly was leading by two points, and kelly was not trailing by much —— and senator perdue. if we look at the primary election, perdue was leading by 18,000 votes, and kelly, if we combine all the republican votes and libertarian votes, we were doing quite well. so if we can replicate those numbers, we will be fine and keep both seats. but georgia has changed, it flipped blue for the presidential election, joe biden won the state despite what president trump says. so couldn't the democrats take that momentum to win both these seats? they didn't do it for the senate seat in the primaries, so i don't see that happening. we had people who didn't vote because they didn't like trump, it wasn't because they didn't like the politics or they didn't like the policies that he was passing. they did not like trump, which i thought that — all that people have their
owi'i that — all that people have their own opinions —— i'll let people. but we lost some of that because people bowed to their emotions. but looking at the pure numbers of republican votes, we outdid the democrats for the senate seats. by donald trump has consistently claimed he won this seat, it was —— state, it was stolen from him, then others say they don't wa nt to from him, then others say they don't want to go out and vote because their vote doesn't count. do you think that will her turnout for the republicans? know, i don't. donald trump has done an excellentjob on reiterating that. you cannot win the game if you don't show up. so forfeiting is ridiculous, and anyone suggesting we should forfeit this rate, or race, i think their emotional iq is a little low. we don't have the time and we cannot risk the senate seat because of emotions. itjust risk the senate seat because of emotions. it just does risk the senate seat because of emotions. itjust does not make senseif emotions. itjust does not make sense if we do not get in the game, andl sense if we do not get in the game, and i believe people heard mr trump's cried yesterday that we have
to get in the game. and i believe if we get in and play, we will be just fine. what did you make of trump's call, asking the secretary of state to find him 11,800 votes to essentially manufacture this vote so we can win back the state? i'm glad you used that word, there's a difference between finding votes and manufacturing votes. he is saying the same thing over and over, that we've seen enough discrepancy to know or to think that there should be further investigation and find out what happened in the middle of the night. when you say that a water main broke and you stop counting to find out there was no water main break, and you find votes under tables, when you have so many discrepancies — they spent $40 million investigating the suppose it phone call to try to impeach the president. we have hundreds of affidavits saying there were some discrepancies, some voter fraud happening. i think we need to take
that same energy they took to go after the president to go after these votes. because if we aleuts, voter integrity, we have lost democracy in america. thank you so much. essentially repeating what mr trump is been complaining about, these discrepancies he sees in the election, which the secretary of state's office and his officials have tried to debunk point by point, saying these are unsupported. so whatever happens in the selections, if the democrats win both seats, mr trump will claim this is more proof this election was stolen. if he wins, he will say that he also won the presidential election and it was stolen from him. larry, we heard you over the helicopter. thank you so much forjoining us from atlanta. voting is due to end in georgia at 7pm local time — that's midnight gmt, less than an hour from now. and we'll bring you all of the developments live here on bbc news. and in the meantime,
why not take a look at our website — where, among other things, we have this article explaining just why these two senate seats are so important, and how the maths is stacking up in american politics? just log on to bbc.com/news. to the coronavirus pandemic, and an eye—catching statistic from the uk, where officials say an estimated one—in—50 people living in private households was infected with covid—19 in the week between 27 december and 2 january. that estimate is backed up by the uk's latest set of coronavirus statistics. for the first time, the number of confirmed cases recorded in a single day has exceeded 60,000 — it's an increase of nearly 2,000 on the previous figure. the number of covid—related deaths registered on tuesday was 830. that compares to 407 on monday — though it is worth bearing in mind that there is often a lag in the report of deaths over the weekend. in the past two weeks, the number of cases across the uk have risen by 70%. in response, on monday evening, boris johnson announced tougher lockdown restrictions for england — and he added more details from downing street
on tuesday afternoon. obviously everybody, you all, want to be sure ill neck when the office of national statistics is telling us that more than 2% of the population is now infected, that's over i than 2% of the population is now infected, that's overi million people in england, and when today we've reported another 60 , 000 people in england, and when today we've reported another 60,000 new cases. everybody, you all, want to be sure that we in government are now using every second of this lockdown to put that invisible shield around the elderly and the vulnerable in the form of vaccination and so to begin to bring this crisis to an end. let's look at the situation elsewhere in europe, where several developments on tuesday afternoon. portugal's president has proposed extending the nationwide state of emergency, imposed due to the pandemic. italy has recorded more than 15,000 new infections on tuesday — up by 50% on monday's figure. there have been a total of more
than 76,000 deaths there — second in europe, only to the uk. armed police are accompanying deliveries of the vaccine. denmark is putting new limits on the number of people who can join a public gathering — dropping from ten to five — and is introducing a two—metre social distancing rule in public areas. and germany is extending its lockdown until at least the end of the month. people living in areas where in infection rates are particularly high will be forbidden from travelling more than 15 kilometres from their home, without good reason. here's chancellor angela merkel. translation: i have said again and again that the winter months, as the experts told us yesterday, are the months when the pandemic could be at its most virulent. with the combination of the mutated virus, which has already been detected here, it is absolutely necessary to take new measures. as the pandemic continues, many countries are pinning their hopes on vaccination. but there have been worries that some countries might hoard the jabs. that was a concern which came to the fore when the the serum institute in india — which is the world's largest
vaccine manufacturer — said it was not being allowed to export its products. but the head of the company has now said that's not the case, as long as the sales are for government immunisation programmes. our correspondent yogita limaye has been following the story from mumbai. i spoke to the serum institute's chief executive a short while ago because today, he tweeted saying that export is permitted to all countries, but on sunday, in an interview to the ndtv news channel in india, he said that the conditions on emergency use approval in india were that serum cannot sell to the private market india or overseas. so today, what he's clarified to me is that what he meant by that comment is that serum institute of india is not allowed to sell the oxford vaccine overseas. they are allowed to export the vaccine to government immunisation programmes outside of india. he also says that they will honour
the commitments that they've already made to countries such as bangladesh, morocco, saudi arabia, and also to kovacs, the global vaccine alliance in the next few weeks. he does say india is the company's first priority, being its home country. 50 million doses are already packed and ready to go, and another 50 million have already been produced. so concern over a shortage of vaccine, and worries about two new coronavirus variants, both of which spread rapidly. one seems to have emerged here in the uk, the other appears to have mutated in south africa. both are prompting concerns of new waves of infection, particularly in countries across asia, where tough measures have been taken to stop covid spreading — but where the new variants are now starting to appear. professor dale fisher is the chair of the global outbreak and response unit at the world health organization. hejoins us now from singapore.
professor, here in the uk, we've got used to this new variant, and we know south africa has made great investigations into the variant detected in that country. what's the prevalence of these variants in asia? well, a lot of the understanding of that really depends on how much testing you do of the variance. and the capacity of various countries to do gene sequencing. so in this sense, although it was found in the uk first, that's not really surprising because their capacity to do gene sequencing hive and i in fact, i think you do about 5—10% of your isolates sequenced. but across the rest of asia, it really depends on the epidemiology within that country. there are several countries with no community transmission at all, or very little. these include
singapore, taiwan, vietnam, cambodia, even china. most cases that come into —— that are diagnosed in those countries in hotel quarantine on arrival. so you wouldn't expect to see that inside the country's borders. other countries like south korea and japan are certainly seeing cases, possibly malaysia. these countries have got a bit of a problem at the moment, and you're more likely to see it inside there. does it take just one case for things to begin to spiral, or is that far to bear? it's one case that causes transmission, so the communities are quite good in asia in terms of mask wearing and distancing where possible, even though it's a very populous area. so one case doesn't mean it spreads
like wildfire, but certainly one cluster, you'd be looking at a place with transmission such as the philippines, japan, india. a lot of these countries have been extremely effective in containing the virus. they obviously have policies that work. do they have respective scientific efforts which are helping to investigate the virus and to tackle the virus, as well?|j to investigate the virus and to tackle the virus, as well? i don't think you will find that we've got any magic formula. it's really implementing the things that we know where work and we know that i have a lwa ys where work and we know that i have always worked since the beginning of last year. and that's implementation of co nta ct last year. and that's implementation of contact tracing, and quarantining and making sure people are corn training, and isolating positive cases, rather than self isolating ——
quarantining, and having that bit of trust. it's really about implementing the pillars of an outbreak response, if you like. that would be the secret to success for the countries that are continuing to have success. a broader question now —dowe have success. a broader question now — do we in the wider world, including you in asia, need to be prepared for the fact that viruses a lwa ys prepared for the fact that viruses always mutate, and that this might bea always mutate, and that this might be a very long and changing fight? well, coronaviruses are less likely to mutate. the typical mutation rate is typically about once or twice per month. but nonetheless we've got several thousand variance, albeit many of them are very similar. but you are quite right, we need to brace ourselves for perhaps potentially vaccine escape, perhaps
more virulent forms. these are certainly not off the table and, in many ways, make it clear to us that this pandemic — it's another reason for the pandemic to be brought under control, because when you've got millions of active cases around the world, of course there's the potential for a nastier form. professor, thanks so much for joining us. my pleasure. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: prosecutors in wisconsin say the police officer who shot jacob blake will not face any charges — we'll have the latest on the incident which sparked scenes like this across the us. the japanese people are in mourning, following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. "good grief!" after half a century of delighting
fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south africa tomorrow, in spite of protests and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established. around the world, people have been paying tribute to the iconic rock star, david bowie, who sold 140 million albums in a career that spanned half a century. his family announced overnight that he died of cancer at the age of 69. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is bbc news, our main story this hour... the balance of power in the us congress for the next four years is being decided in a run—off vote for the senate in
the state of georgia. —— the next two years. an update now on a story which dominated the news last august and september — the shooting of a black man, jacob blake, by a police officer in the city of kenosha, wisconsin. prosecutors have now confirmed that the officer involved, rusten sheskey, will face no charges in connection with the incident. mr blake was hit several times and left severely injured during a confrontation with police outside a house, after a woman called the emergency services to report her boyfriend, who she said was not allowed to be on the premises. the incident sparked days of violent clashes in kenosha and elsewhere, culminating in two protestors being allegedly shot dead by an armed civilian. live now to our north america correspondent, david willis, in los angeles. was there any explanation for the prosecutor's decision? well, it appears that the local prosecutor
there, michael gravely, has decided not to prosecute the officer who shotjacob not to prosecute the officer who shot jacob blake seven times not to prosecute the officer who shotjacob blake seven times in the back. the officer's name is rusten sheskey — because mr blake was armed with a knife at the time of the incident, so the prosecutor believes that rusten sheskey could claim that he acted in self—defense by shooting mr blake, and therefore that the charge against him, any charges against him would unlikely to stick ina court against him would unlikely to stick in a court of law. i can tell you that that decision has proved controversial, as you might imagine. already jason bla ke's controversial, as you might imagine. already jason blake's lawyer has said that it sends the wrong decision, as he puts it, to police officers throughout the united states —— jacob blake. officers throughout the united states ——jacob blake. and members of mr blake's family have called for rusten sheskey to be sacked from the police force and brought to trial. in that story i was reading about,
ended by saying it sparked days of violent clashing, accommodating into civilians being shot dead by a citizen. what's the latest on that civilian‘s legal process? coincidently, kyle rittenhouse, who is now 18, he was 17 at the time, has pleaded not guilty to several charges resulting from the deaths of two people and the injury of another person, following three nights of writing that came after the jacob blake arrest, or attempted arrest there —— rioting. and kyle rittenhouse is someone who crossed the borderfrom rittenhouse is someone who crossed the border from neighbouring illinois armed with a weapon which he used to shoot at people. he said it was in self—defense. now some conservatives here have hailed him asa conservatives here have hailed him as a patriot, but nonetheless, mr rittenhouse is facing very serious
charges in connection with this. david willis, thanks so much. one item of new from the middle east which could have far—reachin consequences — the long—running dispute between qatar and its gulf neighbours appears to be at an end. this is the moment which suggested the relatonship was changing, when the emir of qatar embraced the saudi crown prince as he arrived in saudi arabia. they then went on to attend a summit, at which full diplomatic relations were restored. saudi arabia, the uae and bahrain imposed an embargo on qatar in 2017, over allegations about supporting terrorism — which qatar denied. when peter lowe retired last year, he decided to leave britain to visit his son in taiwan. then came the pandemic — and he was unable to return home. so, he turned his efforts to spearheading a clean—up campaign for the tamsui river. what started out as a one—man campaign to clean up the trash has now become a fully fledged movement. here's his story.
i enjoy boating, always have. after i got stuck here, i thought, "i need to get a boat sorted out," because obviously i wanted to go out and do some boat running. so that's what i did. what i saw firstly was a beautiful river, beautiful wildlife, and a beautiful area. then i looked a little bit closer, and i started seeing rubbish in the river. plastic bottles, that kind of things, and also in mangroves up here and down there. plastic hanging from the mangrove trees, and i thought, "this is a bit strange." so i thought we could do something about it, so i started collecting rubbish from the river. ifelt sad, actually, very, very sad, because i know the effects it has on wildlife.
i certainly thought that i didn't want to waste my time in taiwan, that's for sure. my advice to people who are stuck in the same situation as me is to do something positive, do something meaningful. particularly towards saving and protecting the earth, really. the agent of the hollywood actress tanya roberts has
confirmed that she has died — a day after correcting reports quoting him as saying she had already passed away. mike pingel said she passsed away late on monday evening in the ceders—sinai medical centre in los angeles. she had suffered from complications due to an infection. tanya roberts, who was 65, was perhaps best known for her starring roll opposite roger moore in his lastjames bond film, a view to a kill, and her work in the charlie's angels tv series. live pictures of donald trump supporters at a rally in washington. a crowd of protesters are getting ready to protest there. that will be a reasonably symbolic moment in america because this will be a pro—trump rally. on his twitter page, trump says he will be speaking at the save america rally tomorrow at the save america rally tomorrow at 11 o'clock eastern time. that is important because an hour or so later, congress will be opening and counting the votes which will confirm that he lost the
presidential election. that ceremony will be led by the vice president, mike pence. hello there. temperatures have been plummeting away in the night, especially across the glens of scotland, —10 or —11 celsius here. but there's just a hint as we go into next week that we're exchanging the cold wind we have at the moment for something a little milder coming in off the atlantic, but still quite a lot of stagnant cold air. and actually for the meantime, we've got that northeasterly or north—northeasterly again with us through the day ahead. so, icy to start with some snow showers around and some freezing fog, particularly scotland and northern ireland. these showers will have a little bit of winteriness in them as well and temperatures are close enough to freezing to concern us with ice and there are warnings out for ice in some areas. the details are on the website. so, really bitterly cold for some, that hard frost to start in the north. but wednesday sees a little ridge of high pressure for the north,
still that feed of northeasterlies bringing further showers initially into east anglia, the south east and the channel islands. there mightjust be an easing in activity here as we go into the afternoon — still a peppering of winter showers for northern and eastern parts of england, perhaps a fewer for eastern scotland and northern ireland but later in the day, we've got our next weather system approaching. but for many, despite some sunshine and a lot of dry weather around, it will stay cold particularly where the fog lingers, below freezing in these areas. but then through the evening and overnight, we have this coming into that cold air. so, readily turning to snow even at lower levels for scotland and for northern ireland. so, it won't be as harsh a frost here through the coming night but, nevertheless, we are likely to see more snow quite widely and it will be a harsher frost further south for some and with freezing fog across central and southern areas, too. so, thursday, we'll see that fog slow to clear, stagnating in some areas. fewer showers for east anglia and the south east, and for the channel islands, we've got the northerly
instead which will push our weather front southwards. not a great deal of weather on it, but enough to give a light covering of snow, and then the cold air with snow showers follow behind. snow to low levels once again. so, even though we're bringing in a weather front inland off the atlantic, at that stage, it's not getting any warmer. but what we will find is high pressure builds in behind it. so, that will weaken our weather front and bring in some drier weather potentially as we head towards the weekend. just the hint that temperatures start to lift a little next week but for the meantime, cold weather warnings on the website.
voting is taking place in the us state of georgia in two vital run—offs for the us senate. if the democrats can beat the republicans in both seats, they'll take effective control of the senate. prosecutors in the american state of wisconsin say a policeman investigated over the shooting of the black manjacob blake will face no charges. mr blake was shot in the back several times and left paralysed. official figures in the uk say that one in 50 people in england were infected with coronavirus last week. it comes as england and scotland have begun new lockdowns, driven by rising infection rates. saudi arabia and several of its allies in the gulf have agreed to normalise diplomatic relations with qatar. they were suspended after qatar was accused of backing militant groups — something it denied.