welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: the us president—electjoe biden outlines a $1.9 trillion spending package to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy. our rescue and recovery plan is a path forward with both seriousness of purpose and a clear plan with transparency and accountability. concern about brazil's new coronavirus variant prompts the uk to impose a ban on travellers arriving from south america and portugal. as us troops prepare to withdraw from afghanistan, there are fears that the humanitarian crisis in the country could be getting worse.
hello, welcome to the programme. the us president—electjoe biden has set out his plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and revive the country's economy with a huge stimulus package. in a speech in delaware, he promised a mass vaccination programme and an extension of unemployment benefits to millions of americans. it's a spending package totalling $1.9 trillion. mr biden said the us cannot afford inaction and the country needs a recovery plan that doesn't leave anyone behind. we not only have an economic imperative to act now, i believe we have a moral obligation. in this pandemic, in america, we cannot let people go hungry. we cannot let people be evicted. we cannot let nurses and educators lose theirjobs when we need them.
we must act now and act decisively. my fellow americans, the decisions we make in the next few weeks and months will determine whether we thrive in a way that benefits all americans or whether we stay stuck in a place where those at the top do great and economic growth for almost everyone else is just a spectator sport and where american prospects dim, not brighten. these investments will determine whether we reassert american leadership and outcompete our competitors in the global economy. we are better equipped to do this than any nation in the world. our north america correspondent, david willis, has more on the stimulus package announced by the us president—elect.
joe biden, in a remarkable speech, spoke about the suffering of millions of americans. he said his stimulus plan could lead to 18 million well paying jobs and he said the health of the nation was at stake. and this is a country with more cases, more deaths from the coronavirus than any other in the world and there is no question it is hurting very badly — the unemployment figures recently bear that out. this $1.9 trillion stimulus plan would basically resuscitate the ailing american economy and ramp up coronavirus testing and vaccination. the measures include increasing stimulus payments to $2000 from the current $600, extending unemployment benefits and increasing support for small business and he has also pledged more than $400 billion to tackling the coronavirus via a national vaccination programme, expanded testing and helping schools to reopen safely. mr biden was heavily critical of the trump administration's handling of the coronavirus and said its vaccination programme had been
a dismalfailure. let's carry on with that theme there of donald trump. you watched a lot of his speeches around coronavirus over the past year. what do you make of the differences here not only in tone and style but in the substance? it is clear that the biden administration, the incoming administration is very serious about wanting to tackle the coronavirus problem which is huge here, as i mentioned. they have been in discussion with state governors, with local officials and there is a view, really, that the trump administration has been somewhat asleep at the wheel as far as this is concerned.
mr trump expressed a lot of interest and was quite vocal about the coronavirus at one point but then stopped attending the daily briefings and they more or less fizzled out leaving it all to the vice president, mike pence. joe biden wants to give the whole thing a shot in the arm, pardon the pun, and that means a more concerted effort to test people here, to vaccinate them and to basically get the country out of a considerable economic crisis that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. david willis there. the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in brazil has led britain to ban all arrivals from south america from friday. travel from portugal and cape verde is also being banned because of their close links with brazil. the country has the second highest death toll from the virus in the world, after the united states, but it's not in lockdown.
brazil's health minister has warned hospitals are close to collapse in one of the main cities, manaus. katy watson reports. manaus, say experts, is a city on the point of collapse. these images were filmed by members of the public and doctors, and given to us by the doctors union. evidence, they say, of the struggles manaus is going through. hospitals with patients lying next to a body bag. 0thers lying on the floor, waiting for treatment. a curfew has now been declared across the state and there are reports that oxygen is also running out. at the same time, scientists are working around the clock to understand the new variant. some of those mutations in the spike protein are quite similar to those found in uk and also in africa. we do not believe these variants came from england or uk, and in africa. it seems that this variant is evolving separately but showing the same mutations.
tests will take time to understand the new variant, but experts say that vaccines can always be altered to respond to changes in the virus. but it's a virus that seems to have been forgotten here — its peak summer, the beaches are packed and people are dropping their guard. "everyone�*s relaxed. "nobody cares about it any more," this woman tells me, "so i'm going with the flow. "of course i'm scared," this coconut seller says, "but we have "to continue working. "if we don't work, we don't eat." the traffic is back and so are the commuters. that's been the message from president bolsonaro all along, that brazil can't and shouldn't stop. a message that many people seem to have taken onboard. but in the past few weeks, scientists have been warning of the grave implications if nothing is done, with some even calling for a uk—style lockdown. the committee in the united kingdom was able to pressure the prime minister enough so that he would accept lockdown. here we have to basically pressure not the government, because the government is not
going to relinquish, i don't believe they are going to accept science because they have never in this ten months. with president bolsonaro still playing down the virus, and sowing unfounded doubts about the safety of vaccines, lockdown doesn't seem likely yet. katie watson, bbc news, in sao paulo. let's get some of the day's other news. france is extending a six o'clock evening curfew across the whole of the country from saturday to fight the spread of coronavirus. the curfew had begun at eight o'clock in most areas, including paris. the prime minister says the measure will last for at least two weeks. from monday, all travellers to france from outside the european union will have to produce a negative covid test. the united states has charged 1a leaders of the international
criminal gang ms—13 with terrorism offences, as part of an intensified crackdown on the group. in a statement, the acting attorney general, jeffrey rosen, said it was the highest—reaching and most sweeping indictment targeting the gang in us history. a huge fire has swept through rohingya refugee camps in southern bangladesh, destroying more than 550 shelter homes. the un said around 3,500 people were left homeless in nayapara camp on thursday, but no casualties were reported. more than a million rohingya live in the mainland camps in southern bangladesh, the vast majority having fled myanmar in 2017 after a military—led crackdown in rakhine state. the current us vice president has said he will ensure a safe inauguration of the new administration next week, as security is ramped up across the nation. mike pence�*s remarks followed a briefing with the fbi director. president trump has issued an emergency declaration forwashington, running from monday until the ceremony on 20 january. mr pence says they will ensure
a smooth transition of power. our aim here, that the american people can be confident and that we will ensure that we have a safe inauguration, that president—electjoe biden and vice president—elect kamala harris are sworn in as the new president and vice president of the united states in a manner consistent with our history and tradition and in a way that gives honour to the american people and to the united states. janet napoletano is a former secretary of homeland security in president 0bama's administration, now at the university of california, in berkeley. she told me what sort of planning goes into an inauguration. presidential inaugurations are what are called national special security events. there is always heightened security but due to the events of last week, i think we have heightened security on steroids.
a very large national guard presence, the access to the capitol mall has been shut down. there's an early declaration of emergency and i am sure behind—the—scenes law enforcement is monitoring and surveilling the traffic on social media and on some of these bespoke social media site. and what do you make of the fact that it is the vice president mike pence taking the lead here? the vice president took the lead last week when the insurgents attacked the capitol. the president had incited the insurgents so it the vice president who called out the national guard last week and it is the vice president who will attend the inaugural. president trump has said that he will be nowhere to be seen and we assume he is
going back to florida. so, ithink, hearing from the vice president in this circumstance is to be expected. 0k, ok, that is interesting. what would be the kind of information and intelligence that you would be looking at now, given what happened in the capitol last week? i would be paying special attention to social media traffic. i would be paying attention to air travel into the capitol region. paying attention to hotel reservations and who was coming air b&b has cancelled their open in next week and the in the region but i would pay attention to who is coming and staying in hotels. and i would make sure that we had a good plan in place for the day preceding the inaugural, the day of the inaugural and the day after, a plan a,
b and plan c. we will be back in the us a little bit stay with us on bbc news. still to come: an original painting of tintin, by his belgian creator herge, sells for a record amount at an online auction in paris. day one of operation desert storm to force the iraqis out of kuwait has seen the most intense air attacks since the second world war. tobacco is america's oldest industry, and it's one of its biggest, but the industry is nervous of this report. this may tend to make people want to stop smoking cigarettes. there is not a street that is unaffected. huge part of kobe were simply demolished as buildings crashed into one another. this woman says she had been given no help and no advice by the authorities. she stood outside the ruins of her business. tens of thousands of black. children in south africa have
taken advantage of laws passed by the country'sl new multiracial government. and enrolled at formerly white schools. tonight sees the 9,610th performance of her long—running play the mousetrap. when they heard of her death today, the management considered whether to cancel tonight's performance, but agatha christie would have been the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: the us president—elect joe biden has outlined a $1.9 trillion spending package to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy. concern about brazil's new coronavirus variant prompts the uk to impose a ban on travellers arriving from south america and portugal.
it's america's longest war. nearly two decades after us troops arrived in afghanistan, its military presence is now being dramatically scaled back. by friday, another 2,500 american personnel are due to leave. but with violence surging, and the humanitarian crisis getting worse, many are asking if it's the right time for international forces to leave. 0ur correspondent yogita limaye has sent this report from kabul. afg hanistan�*s only hospital for children. every day, 1,000 new patients. more and more children who could be saved are dying here. the americans are leaving, as war has brought humanitarian disaster to this country. this year, half of all afghan children are facing malnutrition.
many won't make it to the age of five. subhan is two years old. till last year, he could walk. his mother farishta told me there are days they have no food at all. she has to borrowjust to eat. she said she gets very sad when her children ask her for food and she can't give them any. in the next bed is a three—year—old girl. her mother told us she wasn't sure she would survive. six times more people need life—saving support now than just four years ago. dr muhammad qureshi, the director of the hospital, says if it wasn't for the war, afghans would have been able to pull themselves out of poverty. translation: my message
for the world, in particular l to the big countries, is to help afghanistan end the war. so is this the right time for us soldiers to be leaving, i asked the vice—president? we believe the mission is not accomplished. taliban have not separated themselves from al-qaeda, but i am telling them as a friend, and as an ally, that trusting the taliban without putting a verification mechanism is going to be a fatal mistake. how worried do you think global powers should be about the threat of al-qaeda? very deeply. they can put any title on their withdrawal and exit, but there is also a title that the terror groups will put on their withdrawal — defeat. surrender and escape. and that by itself will boost terror groups in the entire world.
a threat for the west, but a reality afghans live with now. we've come to meet the family of the civilian who was recently killed. "my murdered sons name was navruz. "he was my only son," says zainab nuri. "everyone grieved for him. "they told me your son was a good man. "we don't have any life now. "look, we are living here in this room without anything. "0nly his children are left behind." this has been america's longest war, but perhaps an unfinished one. for the us, and for afghanistan. yogita limaye, bbc news, kabul.
around the world, countries are racing to vaccinate as many people as possible against covid—19. in turkey, president erdogan received his vaccination live on state tv. he was given a vaccine developed by china, and some experts say it's less effective than previously thought. 0rla guerin has more from istanbul. coming through, precious cargo, climate—controlled. these vials not from western manufacturers, but from sinovac in china. turkey has agreed to buy 50 million doses. butjust before the roll—out here, clinical trials in brazil found this vaccine to be only 50.4% effective. one of the first in line to get the jab, the head of a major hospital. even he's allowed to wince. i asked dr mehmet emin kalkan if he was concerned about the data from brazil. speaks turkish. "no", he said, "clinicaltrials
in our country are transparent, based on scientific research and statistically correct. we found this vaccine to be more than 90% effective". well, there's another vaccination about to happen here now. in this room alone, there are six people being vaccinated every hour — that's one every ten minutes — and there are 50 rooms like this in this hospital alone. the teams here will be working until midnight tonight. now that a vaccine is here, they don't want to lose a minute. covid has killed more than 23,000 people in turkey. doctors say the vaccine is now their best weapon, but there are fears that some here won't be willing to get it. do you think people are convinced that the vaccine will work, because there has been some doubt about this particular vaccine from china?
yeah, they don't trust in the chinese vaccine, yeah — that has been around turkey since the vaccine was introduced. but as far as i know, people will get used to it and in the end, they will do it, yeah. staff here want the vaccine to be catching. in their long, brutal battle against covid—19, they say this is a day of hope for them and for turkey. 0rla guerin, bbc news, istanbul. a new study says people who've had covid—19 are protected from getting it again for at least five months. the research by public health england suggests that if you've already had it — you have 83% protection from being re—infected. but, you can still carry the virus and pass it on to others. 0ur science correspondent rebecca morelle has more. coronavirus is spreading fast,
and the number of people who have been infected with covid is rising. this latest study looked at how likely they are to catch it again. so, what if you've already had coronavirus? does having a past infection protect you? scientists tracked more than 6,500 healthcare workers who'd already been infected with coronavirus. they found that most had protection from the virus forfive months, the duration of the study. compared with people who'd never had covid, they were 83% less likely to catch the virus again. it's the big question many have been asking. can you get covid twice? a small number of re—infections have been confirmed around the world. and this study found some, too. 44 potential cases were detected. and some had high enough levels of the virus to risk spreading it to others. there are people who've had infection, who can transmit to others. it's not 100% protective.
so we're still asking people, while we are seeing such a high amount of infection, and we need to do everything to protect the nhs, to take every precaution. if you've been infected in the past, do you still need to have a vaccine? even if this study says that many of us who've had covid—19 might have some residual immunity on board for four orfive months, as i mentioned with the common cold viruses, it just doesn't last well. these viruses are very good at subverting immunity and knocking out parts of your immune response. while the vaccines that we have, by that i mean the candidate vaccines we are talking about here, are really, really well designed to give you rip—roaring, long—lasting immunity. with new coronavirus variants emerging, scientists will now also be studying their impact on reinfection. but the advice for now is to stay at home, remembering hands, face and space, whether you've had the virus or not. rebecca morelle, bbc news.
chinese authorities are constructing a temporary hospital in shijiazhuang in the northern province of hebei. there's been an increase of coronavirus cases in the province in recent weeks. on thursday, china recorded its first death from covid—19 in eight months. a lockdown has been imposed on tens of millions of people. an original painting of tintin by his belgian creator herge has sold for a record amount at an online auction in paris. the illustration fetched $3.8 million — including commission. that's the highest ever price for comic—book art. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. it is classic herge. the clean lines, the vivid colours. tintin and snowy coming face to face with danger. 0riginally intended for the front cover of his adventure the blue lotus, it was deemed too expensive to reproduce. so instead, herge gave it as a gift to the seven—year—old
son of his publisher. translation: it has alwaysl remained in the same house. he folded it and stored it in a drawer to protect it. i asked him whether he wanted to sell it. he said "no, i care about it very much! it is a gift from herge!" and in the end, he kept it until his death. you could still see the creases as it went up for auction in paris. speaks french. add on commission and the anonymous buyer forked out the best of $4 million — a new record for comic book art. not bad for a plucky boy reporter and his best friend. tim allman, bbc news. that's it from me. plenty more online, as always.
you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones this is bbc news, bye—bye. hello. the rain and snow that fell across many parts of the uk during thursday has been petering out. temperatures have been dropping away. surfaces are really wet out there. so with those wet surfaces and some cold conditions, ice could be a big problem on friday morning — fog patches as well. here's the frontal system that brought the rain and snow during thursday, but it has been squeezed out by high pressure. the winds have been falling light — that's allowed temperatures to drop. we've got some fog patches out there, quite widely scattered, actually, across the country, and some ice — especially for scotland, northern england, the midlands into east anglia and the south east — so if you do have to make an essentialjourney, it could be some pretty poor travelling conditions.
through the day, most spots will see some sunshine. it is a drier day overall. the odd shower for kent, the odd shower for shetland and a few places across scotland, north east england, the midlands will hold onto fog all day long. if that happens, you'll be pegged back to just one or two degrees. even in sunshine, it will be a chilly—feeling day. and then during friday night into saturday, rain will push in from the west. i say "rain" — as it bumps into cold air, we could well still see a spell of snow, especially over high ground in scotland in northern england, but even to lower levels, there could temporarily be a spell of sleet or snow, even as far south as east anglia and the south east through the first part of saturday morning as this frontal system works its way eastwards. but we will see some milder air working its way in, so any snow will be quite a transient feature, certainly at low levels it'll turn back to rain. and then even the rain will tend to clear away through the day with sunnier skies and just a scattering of showers following on behind. those temperatures climbing, particularly in western areas — nine degrees in liverpool, belfast, ten in cardiff and in plymouth. now, as we head out of saturday into sunday, that frontal system moves away.
high pressure tries to build in towards the south — that's where we'll see the driest weather on sunday. lower pressure to the north, so here we have a greater chance of seeing some showery rain, maybe some hill snow across parts of northern ireland, particularly scotland. whereas further south for england and wales, you can see largely fine conditions. patchy cloud and sunny spells, and temperatures for the most part between six and nine degrees. into next week, things look pretty changeable. there'll be some rain at times, but not all the time. it will turn a little bit milderfor a while. but how long that will last, we'll have to wait and see.
this is bbc news, the headlines: the us president—electjoe biden has outlined a $1.9 trillion spending package to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy. speaking in delaware, he described his proposals as a two step plan of "rescue and recovery." concern about brazil's new coronavirus variant has prompted the uk to impose a ban on travellers arriving from south america and portugal. the health system in the brazilian city of manaus is said to be close to collapse. scientists are still in the early stages of studying the variant, which may be more transmissible. a senior american official in afghanistan has told the bbc that the united states is on track to complete the withdrawal of 2500 troops on friday. but peace talks between the militants and the afghan government have so far made little progress,
leading to warnings of a worsening humanitarian crisis. now on bbc news, panorama. siren wails. 0ur health service is being pushed to the limit. i've just taken up another sick covid patient. young man, younger than me. the patients with covid have been some of the sickest i've seen. we're all really concerned, particularly about the next couple of weeks, in terms of how we're going to cope. a new variant of coronavirus is driving record numbers of infections and deaths. many hospitals are at breaking point. at the moment they're having to work in conditions that have