this is bbc news with the headlines. . .. the uk registers another record breaking surge in coronavirus cases, up by more than 53,000 in a single day. if the virus is allowed to continue to transmit an increase, to transmit and increase, particularly with the new strain of the virus, there could be catastrophic consequences in terms of the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths. croatia is hit by its strongest earthquake for decades. latest reports suggest seven people have died, as one local mayor says half his town has been destroyed. anti—abortion protestors march in argentina, as the country's senate debates the latest attempt to legalise terminations. attempts to increase the us government hand—out to people hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic appear to have been blocked by the republican majority leader
in the senate. and one of the biggest names in fashion design, pierre cardin, has died at the age of 98. as coronavirus surges worldwide, the uk has set another record for the number of infections reported in 2a hours. 0ne senior medical officer has expressed ‘extreme concern‘ at the situation. official data puts the figure at 53,135 new coronavirus cases in the latest 24—hour period, and a14 deaths were reported. these figures come ahead of any changes to england's lockdown restrictions, which could be announced tomorrow. this report from our health correspondent catherine burns includes flash photography. we all wanted to have a few days off
over christmas, but instead we have been asked to come back to work. this time, it's a wave. this time, we've seen a massive increase. if we continue with the current rate of admissions, we are very close to being overwhelmed. it is affecting everyone. people are just exhausted, it's been such a long year. doctors and nurses from the nhs front line telling us what it's like to deal with a pandemic that, after months of hard work is getting worse. queens hospital in romford in essex today — 20 ambulances waiting outside. some on double yellow lines because the parking bays were full. at one stage, you can see staff bring hot drinks out to patients waiting in the ambulances. the hospital says that they were being cared for safely, but that it is under considerable pressure and is asking staff to take extra shifts. the pressure is intense across london and the south—east.
i would say this is the most challenging extended period that i have ever seen, and i would like to just take the opportunity to pay tribute to the staff who have worked phenomenally hard and well. more than 21,000 people are being treated in hospital for covid across the uk. in wales, they're dealing with the highest level of patience now. the patients coming now to intensive are a degree sicker and many of them desperately and well. desperately unwell. and we've seen a real reflection of that in the amount of patients that have died. in northern ireland, hospitals say they're under pressure but coping. in scotland, people are being asked to stay at home over a new year as cases hit a record high. this new surge in cases couldn't come at a worse time of year for the nhs. winter always brings extra
pressures, with more respiratory illnesses as well as trips and falls in icy weather. this year, on top of that and the pandemic, social distancing means hospitals need to keep patients further apart. and the nhs in england is operating with around 10% fewer beds than usual. in england, 2a million people are already living under tier 4 restrictions — the highest level. the government is about to decide if that is enough and this morning if that is enough and this warning from a scientific adviser — "act now to avoid catastrophe in the new year." in my view, if we do not introduce tougher restrictions in areas in the north and areas not currently in tier 4, they will rise to very high levels of disease and hospitalisations similar to those seen in london. the nhs chief executives annual thank—you message to staff acknowledges that this year has been the toughest that most can remember. but there is hope, too. by late spring, we think that with vaccine supply continuing to come on stream, we will be offering all vulnerable
people across the country this covid vaccination. three weeks ago, margaret keenan became the first person to have a covid vaccine outside of clinical trials. today, she's had her second booster dose. catherine burns, bbc news. in scotland, the public have been urged to stay at home on new year's eve, and not celebrate hogmanay with other households. the advice from the first minister nicola sturgeon follows a record number of covid cases reported on a single day in scotland. my main message to people really is to make sure that you are not visiting other people's houses right now. that is the most important thing of all. and unfortunately, that includes hogmanay and new year. this year, i know we are all desperate to kick 2020 into touch, but we must do that safely, and the safest way to do that this year is to be in our own homes with their own households. with own own households.
let's look at some more developments on the coronavirus story elsewhere in the world. in germany, the health authorities have approved a new rapid coronavirus test that can give results within a0 minutes. the company behind it say it's based on highly reliable pcr technology. spain says it will set up a registry of people who've refused to be vaccinated against coronavirus. the list will be shared with other european union nations,but it european union nations, but it won't be made public. russia's deputy prime minister has revealed more than 80% of excess deaths this year are linked to covid—19, which would mean its death toll is three times higher than previously reported. official figures say 55,827 people have died with covid—19 in russia. australia says it could deport british backpackers who flout covid rules, after hundreds were seen partying at a sydney beach on christmas day. videos of the gathering showed crowds of young people at bronte beach. local health officials called it "absolutely appalling" behaviour. local media in croatia are reporting that the earthquake there has
killed seven people. seismologists say the tremor of magnitude 6.4 had its epicentre about 50 kilometres from the capital, zagreb. here's our balkans correspondent, guy de launey. it was croatia's strongest earthquake in decades, and it reduced much of petrinja to rubble. this town was devastated and croatia's war of independence, now it's residents are facing another rebuilding project. now its residents are facing another rebuilding project. but right now, the priority is accounting for all their people, is accounting for all their people. helpers arrived from all over croatia. they include teams from the military and mountain rescue services. the country's president was also quickly on the scene, zoran milanovic described the destruction as a "horror", while local people pressed him to provide support for their families. translation: i think it's the biggest blow to people, the fear you feel, shaking above you and around you. what has been destroyed
and damaged will be rebuilt. it's a problem, but it's a minor problem in fact. this nearby city was also affected, the main hospital and municipal headquarters were among the buildings which suffered significant damage. the government has promised its support. translation: we came to give support to citizens of these municipalities and other cities affected by this earthquake. unfortunately, the way the year started, it's kind of ends the same way. people in the capital, zagreb, can sympathise. they still haven't finished reconstruction after an earthquake in march, and this latest tremor caused power cuts and further damage to buildings. hundreds of kilometres away, mps in neighbouring slovenia also felt the force of the quake. they abruptly aborted a session in the national assembly as the debating chamber vibrated. but petrinja has undoubtedly suffered the most.
its people will be evacuated, and it's not clear when they will be able to return. it marks a catastrophic end to a difficult year. guy de launey, bbc news. the republican leader in the senate appears to have blocked consideration of a measure to increase payments to americans reeling from the covid—19 pandemic. it's the latest stage in a bitter political battle that's dominating the final weeks of donald trump's presidency. congress has already passed a $900 billion relief package, just signed into law by donald trump. he was reluctant because the bill only gave lower paid americans $600 each. mr trump says he wants the hand—out to be $2,000. this put him into rare alliance with the democrats. and the us house voted to raise the pay—out figure on monday. but as we said, mitch mcconnell, the republican senate leader, has prevented debate on the measure. that was despite this plea
to approve the pay—outs immediately from chuck schumer, the democratic leader in the senate. a vast majority of the public, republican and democrat, strongly support $2000 checks. an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the house supports 2000 checks. senate democrats strongly support $2000 checks. even president trump supports $2000 checks. there is one question left today — do senate republicans join with the rest of america in supporting $2000 checks? now, some of my republican colleagues have said they support the checks, but there's a major difference in saying you support $2000 checks and fighting to put them into law. julia manchester writes for politics website the hill. well, we already know that
mitch mcconnell today essentially blocked an effort from senate democrats bernie sanders and chuck schumer to bring forth an up or down vote on that $2000 stimulus check. mitch mcconnell did not indicate exactly why he voted to block that initiative, however he did say that donald trump in calling for the $2000 stimulus check also called on a greater regulation on tech companies, as well as other initiatives in terms of investigating the 2020 presidential election, with donald trump saying without evidence that there was evidence of voter fraud. so, we know that is playing into mitch mcconnell‘s decision today. however, lots of drama on capitol hill because we know senator bernie sanders, the progressive senator from vermont, said he will block the senate's moved to override a defence spending bill from that veto that president trump put forth
on that spending bill in the senate if they do not vote on a $2000 stimulus check. let's ask the question that many americans will be thinking — if it's $600, how quickly will they get it? well, we are expecting americans will start to get them by the very end of the year, so in the next couple of days and next month. we know the government will definitely be hastily trying to get that to americans, considering we're starting off the year in a very dire economic stage. some americans over the holiday season did not have the normal holiday season that they normally have due to this economic downturn. so, there will definitely be a rush, but we are seeing that lawmakers on capitol hill, as this congress wraps up, is really trying to get that $2000 stimulus check out to americans. next week is all changed, there's a new congress? there's a new congress and, in addition to a new congress, you also have a major election happening in georgia, those two senate runoffs happening where two republican incumbents, kelly loeffler and david perdue,
are up for reelection — again, they are facing off against democrats raphael warnock and jon 0ssoff. we do know that kelly loeffler and david perdue were among the republicans today who signalled their support for that $2000 stimulus check after very much going against it until donald trump came out in favour of it last week. so, it kind of shows how all of these events politics are really coming together around the stimulus checks and georgia's senate runoffs. julia, thank you very much. here in the uk, lawmakers appear to set back the compromise brexit trade deal hammered out at great length with the european union. hardline conservatives, who are sceptical of ties with europe, have indicated will support the agreement. they will support the agreement. the opposition leader, sir keir starmer, who opposed brexit, wants his labour party to vote in favour, too, on the grounds it's in the national interest. but not all his mps agree. here's our political correspondentjessica parker. it's important to point out — borisjohnson is likely to get his trade deal
through parliament tomorrow. he has a majority, he today won the backing of a group of eurosceptic conservative mps in parliament. but things are looking a bit more complicated, as you say, for the labour party. sir keir starmer has ordered his mps to back the agreement. he describes that agreement as thin, but says it's better than a no—deal outcome, and he doesn't feel that labour should be, as he put it, "sitting on the sidelines by abstaining". but at least a handful of his own mps do look set to defy him. some of them argue the deal will pass anyway, they shouldn't put their names, they say, to an agreement they think is bad for the country. but regardless, a deal does look set to race through parliament as parliament is recalled here tomorrow. now of course, the uk did actually leave the eu back injanuary, but it's in two days‘ time that it actually extracts itself from the european union at the end of the transition period. so, on issues of trade and immigration, that is when the relationship fundamentally changes — that's when we begin to find out what brexit really means. sir bernard jenkin is a conservative member of parliament
who's a leading eurosceptic. he explained why he is supporting the brexit trade deal. there are shortcomings in it, their bits and pieces where we've had to compromise that we don't like. but overall, to produce a sovereignty—compliant deal, a free trade agreement with the eu where we get free access to the eu's single market for our goods without tariffs or quantitative restrictions is what people said we would never be able to achieve. and the eu has, in the end, had to accept that if they want free trade with us, they can't control us. the whole question of governance was a very persistent problem in the negotiations. in the end, while some of the language about governance exists in the agreement, and there will be mechanisms for disagreeing about fair competition or state aid and so on, it's an international agreement
between sovereign equals. it's not tying us into the orbit of the european union. the argentine senate is preparing to debate a bill legalising abortion despite objections from the country's influential roman catholic church. the bill would allow women to end pregnancies up to the 14th week. the vote has polarised the country and, if it does pass, it's expected only to do so by a slim majority. activists on both sides of the debate are holding rallies you can tell from these images these are pro—life rallies. drjulieta irieza is from the network of health professionals for the right to decide in buenoa aires, and earlier i asked how she was feeling ahead of that vote.
we're we' re really we're really hopeful that the senate will vote in favour for this law. we are will vote in favour for this law. we a re really will vote in favour for this law. we are really hopeful for that, will vote in favour for this law. we are really hopefulfor that, we will vote in favour for this law. we are really hopeful for that, we are really anxious. it is a day of fight and joy. what has the effect of the band been on women with unwanted pregnancies? what happens is when the senate in 2018 rejected the bill, 35 people, 35 women have died from abortion —related causes. what happens is as we don't have official statistics, what we have is that 40,000 people, 40,000 women, have been committed into hospitals related to dangerous and unsafe
abortions complications of. and this is an issue that everyone is watching in argentina. tell me about what it was like when the bill went through the lower house of. well, it was a great day. we were all on the streets and there were many people with all the care, because we are in the pandemic. but it was great. we are hopeful that this time, the senate will vote in favour because we don't want to be disappointed as 2018. yet there are many very conservative voices in the senate who say they oppose this and they speakfor the who say they oppose this and they speak for the moral majority and argentina. yes. we have an arc country —— in our country, yes, i wouldn't say the majority but there
isa high wouldn't say the majority but there is a high percentage of legislators with conservative thoughts and perspective. and their arguments against women's rights and pregnant rights are more or less moral and religious. so, we hope this year, it won't be the time to rejected again. when you say rejected again, i think this is the night time it's been presented to congress —— the ninth time. if you win this time, do you think it will have an impact elsewhere in south america? yes, of course. we are hopeful that happens because in latin america, there are very few countries who have legal abortion. most of them are restricted or have restrictions or even prohibited, so we hope it will bea even prohibited, so we hope it will be a nice example in latin america for the other country. do you think
this particular battle over abortion and a woman's right to choose has energised women politically in a broader sense? yes, of course. the feminist movement here in argentina and latin america is historical. it's not for now, but the fight to choose and the abortion fight, it's a particular one because it means that women and pregnant people can choose our lives and our own health, so choose our lives and our own health, so it's really important. we will be following that vote over the next few hours. legendary french fashion designer pierre cardin has died at the age of 98. he was hailed for his visionary creations but also for being a pioneer of stylish, ready—to—wear clothes for the masses. during his more than seven decades in fashion, pierre cardin brought
geometric shapes to haute couture and overhauled the industry by successfully licensing his brand name. he also extended it to other sectors, including perfume and cosmetics. i'm joined now by nigel barker, fashion photographer and judge on america's next top model. welcome to bbc news. thank you very much. i know you modelled for pierre cardin. what was it like working with him? many years ago, yes i did. sort of a dream come true for a young model. also in the industry, it was one of those jobs when your agent says to you," you have the pierre cardin campaign." you realise you can hit the big time. he really was and always has been at the forefront of fashion. i think in large part because of his designs, but the fact that he shook the industry and thought outside the
box. he was a pioneer of so many fields when it came to branding and marketing. he took his label in his name, turned it into a brand like no other coach or brand had before —— code two or brand. he was the first he applied his name to so many extraordinary thing from literally ash trays and key chains to cars and furniture. again, we all know that 110w. furniture. again, we all know that now. everyone does it, but he was the first. he was so far from that narrow excessive. he was really big picture. absolutely, but the funny thing is he did these things despite the fact that it was often frowned upon. clearly from his design, the fa ct upon. clearly from his design, the fact that he took on androgyny and really show people up because we are
coming out from that postwar era where roles, the women and men and the family had a certain look, he said no, not to heck with all of that. he really embraced androgyny. absently fascinated with the space age and the potential of that. for sure. ina age and the potential of that. for sure. in a way, when we think of space age, it almost has a nostalgic feel because our minds go straight to his designs. if you think of any of the classic movies of space, they took inspiration from his style. regardless of whether that was going to be futuristic or not. a lot of it was quite out there and bazaar and not practical at all, which is exactly what —— coture is supposed to be about. he was able to mass
market is designed to everyone. that's a designer who really shakes the world up because often times, designers are stuck in being over the top or they go mass and they can't go back. he was able to go between the two. was that his biggest gift to the world of faction, that crossing boundaries when he felt like it? i believe his biggest gift was really setting people free. i think the spontaneous nests, all too often we try to... if you're a thought leader, you are about being creative. regardless of whether it's accepted or not, regardless of whether it's a fail her success. that's really the magic that pierre
cardin had, and he was quite private too. despite his name being incredibly big and famous, a lot of people didn't realise it was actually a man half the time. they thought it was just a brand because he sort of shunned the limelight. was his name out there too much? i read his name was even in the end of boxer shorts are in walmart. do you think he went too far?|j boxer shorts are in walmart. do you think he went too far? i think it's very easy to be judgemental and say there are decisions that were made wrong, and yes, you can find his name on toilet paper. you could argue that's not a great business move, but nonetheless, moves they we re move, but nonetheless, moves they were and that's what he did. he made moves. nigel barker, we will choose to remember the great and the glorious. thanks for being with us on bbc news and thank you for watching us. you can always get in touch with me on twitter about any of our stories. bye for now.
hello there. parts of the uk have seen quite a bit of snowfall over the last few days, mainly north and western parts of england into wales, northern scotland and parts of northern ireland. the southeast corner, though, still hasn't seen that much, you could see some over the next few days, and likely to see further bouts of rain, sleet and snow. of course, ice will be an issue pretty much wherever you are over the coming few days. this cold northerly wind blowing right down across the country will be with us for the rest of this week and into the start of 2021. it'll be pushing in lots of showers around coastal areas overnight, but through the night, it looks like we could see winds turning a little bit more northwesterly via the showers into western coasts of scotland, northern ireland, into western england and wales. could see some lengthy clear spells further east.
it'll be a cold night wherever you are, could see temperatures of —8, —9 celsius in some of the snowy glens of scotland. so for wednesday, then, we continue with the coastal wintry showers. this feature running into the southwest could bring cloud and outbreaks of rain and, as it bumps into the cold air into southern england in south wales, it could turn into sleet and snow, certainly over the high ground, with rain closer to the coast. but there's still some uncertainty to the northwards or southwards extent of this. a cold day for many, but there will be some sunshine particularly across central and eastern areas. now it could be through wednesday night, this feature runs across southern england into the southeast to bring some rain, sleet and snow over the high ground — again, this is one system to watch. and this feature running south across the central and southern scotland, northern england could bring some substantial snow certainly to the high ground here, so we could be looking at some disruption to start new year's eve here. and a cold night to come, again, subzero values for most of us. now this is the pressure chart for new year's eve — for thursday, low pressure over the north sea, higher pressure out west, fairly breezy conditions out west, a strong northerly here,
that will just accentuate the cold. it does look like new year's eve could be quite disruptive across central and southern scotland, northern england, this mixture of rain, sleet and a hill snow will push southwards into western england, perhaps wales as we head through the day. could start to weaken, though, as it moves southwards. there's some uncertainty on this, you'll have to stay tuned to the forecast. there will be some sunshine around again, but it won't do much for the temperatures, it'll stay cold. and then for new year's day and the first weekend of january 2021, it looks cold with further rain, sleet and snow in places.
the headlines — the uk has registered another record—breaking surge in coronavirus cases, up by more than 53,000 in a single day. health officials say they're extremely concerned. english hospitals are now treating more covid patients than at the peak of the first wave. croatia has been hit by its strongest earthquake for decades. local media reports suggest five people died in the quake, which had a magnitude of 6.4. attempts to increase us government aid for those hit hardest by the pandemic appear to have been blocked by republicans in the senate. the raise to $2000 was approved on monday by the house of representatives and is backed by president trump. and tributes are paid to legendary french fashion designer pierre cardin, who's died at the age of 98. let's take a look back now at some of the lives we celebrated over the past year in we remember.