this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the us president—electjoe biden criticses the vaccine roll—out and pledges 100 million jabs in his first 100 days. this is going to take time. we might not see improvement until well into march. 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 and increase, particularly with the new strain of 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. anti—abortion protestors march in argentina, as the senate prepares to hold an historic vote on legalising terminations. another leader of the fashion world in paris, pierre cardin, takes the town by storm... and one of the biggest names in fashion design, pierre cardin, has died at the age of 98. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk, on pbs in the us or around the world. us president—electjoe biden has been further outlining us efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic under his presidency. while congratulating president trump for finally signing the covid relief stimulus package, mr biden criticised him
for what he described as a slow roll—out of the vaccination programme. the president—elect once again pledged to deliver 100 million shots before the end of his first 100 days in office. i will move heaven and earth to get us moving in the right direction. i'm going to use my power under the defence production act when i'm sworn in and order private industry to accelerate the making of the materials needed for the vaccines, as well as objective gear. as well as protective gear. vice president harris and i have been speaking to county officials, mayors, governors of both parties to speed up the distribution of the vaccines across the nation. meanwhile, the vice—president—elect kamala harris has received her vaccination for covid—19 on live tv. ms harris and her husband, douglas emhoff, received the vaccine after high profile figures in the us such asjoe biden and dr anthony fauci also received the jab. their vaccinations have been
televised in an effort to boost public confidence in the vaccine. 0n capitol hill, the leader of the republicans in the senate, mitch mcconnell, appears to have blocked a measure to increase payments to americans reeling from the covid—19 pandemic. congress has already passed a $900 billion relief package, just signed into law by president trump. he was reluctant because the bill only gave lower paid americans $600 each. mr trump says he wants the hand—out to be $2000. this put him into a 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. matt is a republican strategist and the chairman of the travis county republican party in texas. hejoins me now. thanks for being with us on bbc news. what do you make of mitch
mcconnell‘s strategy here? news. what do you make of mitch mcconnell's strategy here? as you said, the politics sometimes makes a strange good fellows. if you look at the first term of president trump and his only term, he has not been aligned with democrats often, but on this issue, he is in line with democrats. mitch mcconnell understands to get something in return, so it's not like he's going to prevent this from happening ever. without getting either liability shield for businesses that temporary 01’ shield for businesses that temporary or perhaps repeal of section 230, which gives immunity to the tech platforms from being sued. so, i think those are one of those two things is the likely trade—off that he's going to required to pass this to the senate. you're seeing some republicansjoin
to the senate. you're seeing some republicans join with the president trump and say these payments need to happen. now question whether mcconnell can get an agreement to get another provision added to it. if he doesn't get the trade—off he wa nts, if he doesn't get the trade—off he wants, can the higher pay—out be passed anyway in the senate with democrats and republicans coming together despite the republican leader? yeah, also, in the senate it generally takes 60 votes. we will see how the georgia runoff goes. but this is going to an end. you have a handful of days that remain. they wa nt to handful of days that remain. they want to override the authorisation act which has been stashed six years ina act which has been stashed six years in a row. —— has been passed. they have the stimulus bill passed relu cta ntly have the stimulus bill passed reluctantly signed into law, but now they want to try to pause these payments. can the minority leader of the senate passed 7
payments. can the minority leader of the senate passed? it depends but given they have very limited time and business they have to finish, i think it'll be difficult. 0ne senator can block a lot of things, it doesn't even have to be someone in leadership. bernie sanders said he would filibuster that national... they will need a vote of 100 senators. we've been talking about the georgia senate races and the fa ct the georgia senate races and the fact that on that depends on mitch mcconnell‘s power in the senate. do you think he will retain that leadership or not? the only weighed democrats can take control is winning both seats. i think the odds of democrats from both seats in georgia is unlikely. i think...
of democrats from both seats in georgia is unlikely. ithink... i think we are breaking out. we will watch is very closely. the us has recorded its first case of the new variant of coronavirus first identified in the uk. the governor of the state of colorado, jared polis, tweeted: since the uk authorities first announced it, the new variant has also been recorded in canada, australia and japan, as well as other european countries. in the uk, the number of infections reported in 2a hours has risen steeply to another record. 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. this report from our health correspondent catherine burns
includes flash photography. we all wanted to have a few days off over christmas, but instead 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're very close to becoming overwhelmed. it is affecting anyone and 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 highest level of patients now. the patients coming now to intensive are a degree sicker and many of them desperately unwell, and we have 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 the new year as cases hit a record high. this new surge in cases could not come at a worse time of year for the nhs. winter always brings extra pressures, with more respiratory illnesses as well as slips,
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 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 the nhs chief executive's annual thank—you message to staff acknowledges that this year has been the toughest that most can remember. but there's 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. 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 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. 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. 0ur correspondent keith doyle reports. a man is rescued from a crushed car. he is reunited with his child, who had already been pulled free. it was a little after midday when the six—point to war magnitude are com plete six—point to war magnitude are complete hit —— 6—.4. the strongest to hit croatia in decades. this town took before half of its buildings have been destroyed, according to
the mayor —— took the full force. a 12—year—old girl died. these women we re 12—year—old girl died. these women were able to walk away from the collapsed town hall. 0thers were able to walk away from the collapsed town hall. others were moved to safety however they could be. this man said he doesn't have anything left. everything crumbled. in the nearby city, the mayor was holding a news conference when the tremors started. the main hospital here was badly damaged. it was also felt hundreds of miles away in the slovenian parliament building. the town was almost destroyed during the brutal civil war in the 1990s. today's outbreak has brought
devastation once again. keith doyle, bbc news. here in the uk, lawmakers appear ready to back the compromised brexit trade deal hammered out at great length with the european union. hardline conservatives, most sceptical of ties with europe, have indicated they will support the agreement on wednesday. the opposition leader sir keir starmer, who opposed brexit, is trying to persuade all his labour mps to vote in favour, too, on the grounds that a slim deal is better than no deal. here's our political correspondentjessica parker. it's important to point out, boris johnson 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. the argentine senate is debating 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 fourteenth 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 today. two years ago, a similar bill was approved by the lower house but was narrowly rejected by the more conservative senate. drjulieta ireizo is from the network of health professionals
for the right to decide in buenos aires, and earlier, i asked how she was feeling ahead of the vote. well, we are really hopeful that the senate will vote in favour for this law. we are really hopeful for that, we are really anxious and this is a day of fight and ofjoy, we say here. what has the effect of the ban been for women with unwanted pregnancies? well, what happens is that when the senate in 2018 rejected the bill, on that year, 35 people, 35 women died from abortion—related causes. and what happens is that, as we don't have official statistics because we don't have a law — what we have is that in 40,000 women have been committed into hospitals related to dangerous
and unsafe abortion complications. and this is an issue that everybody is watching in argentina. tell me about what it was like when the bill went through the lower house. well, it was a great day, we were all on the streets and there were many people with all the safe care, because we are in the pandemic. but it was great. but we are hopeful that this time, the senate will vote in favour because we don't want to be disappointed like 2018. and yet there are many conservative voices in the senate who say they oppose this, and they speak for the moral majority in argentina. yes, but we have is that in our country and the senate, i wouldn't say the majority —
there is a high percentage of legislators with conservative thoughts and perspectives, and their arguments against women's rights and pregnant people's rights are more or less moral and religious. so, we hope this year will be the time to reject it again. when you say rejected again, this is the ninth time that i bill to legalise abortion has been presented to congress. so, you're used to this fight. if you win this time, do you think it will have an impact elsewhere in south america? yes, of course, and we are hopeful that happens. because you know in latin america, there are only a few countries that have legal abortion. most of them are restricted or have restrictions, or they are even prohibited. so, we hope that this will be a nice example in latin america
and the other countries. and do you think that this particular battle over abortion, a woman's right to choose, has energised women politically and abroad ? yes, the trans—feminist movement here in argentina and latin america is historical. yes, the fight to choose, the abortion fight is a particular one because it means that women and pregnant people can choose our lives and our own health. so, it is really important. drjulieta ireizo, and we'll 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 took the pioneering route of licensing his name for a wide range of products from perfume to pens, ties and cars. todd hughes and david ebersole directed a documentary about pierre cardin. let's give you a flavour of theirfilm. pierre cardin. pierre. you know, pierre cardin. a little bit of a sell—out. a control freak. a label, a logo, a legend. that was house of cardin, and the couple behind the film told me how they came to make it. welcome to bbc news. hello. we only say it's divine
providence, because wejust love the man. we didn't know he was alive. we just collected his furniture and we had his car. he had a record label, so we were just avid collectors and we happened to be in paris in 2016 and discovered he was a real person and he was alive. and we met him, not with the intention of making a documentary, just to get a picture and meet him because we thought he was extraordinary. then voila. we are film—makers so we assumed we would approach him about a documentary, so after we left our meeting with him, just like in our film, we basically said, when you want to get started? i love the idea that you knew him from his creations and then you go to paris and bump into him. what did you say to him? how did you say you'd
like to get to know him? you know, we didn't even have to say that because... we just sort of entered the conversation running and just started talking about a movie and what it could be. we initially wanted to make it 3d, which he loved. then we got to know him and the more time we spent with him... we were able to become friends. i can see you multitasking. we can just see a glimpse of your home behind you, and i'm thinking clean lines, beautiful geometry, and i can see what appealed to you. when you think of his space age obsession, he led the way. there's a lot we take for granted now, but he kind of had that vision first.
one thing about his particular space age obsession is that it was extremely positive. we think about futurism today. the walking dead and... the visions of the future where everything has fallen apart, and pierre cardin was especially essential as someone who was looking at the future with an incredible amount of positivity, which is really helpful at the moment. with an eye to internationalism. bringing cultures and people together through things like fashion. what you say really strikes me because here i am reporting, and we're all thinking about the pandemic and difficulties and medical devastation, and you're talking about someone who tried to make horizons whiter and brighter. make horizons wider and brighter. so true. through colour, through design to try to improve the world, one thing we can ask...
the thing is that there's always an idea underneath what he did. so, yes, he diversified the runway. yes, he invented... but his idea was that self—expression should be for everybody, that beauty was something we can all participate in and that kind of positivity brings all these incredible things to your life. so, when you watch the film, we feel you really do get to see and know mr cardin and be inspired by him. he's really quite a man. we really thought we'd film his 100 birthday party. be at his 100 birthday party. we are kind of shocked. you can find a picture book of his life on...
don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter — i'm @philippabbc. thanks for being with us at bbc news. 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 south—east 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 south west could bring cloud and outbreaks of rain and, as it bumps into the cold air into southern england and 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 south east to bring some rain, sleet and snow over the high ground — again, this is one system to watch. and this feature running south across 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.
us president—electjoe biden has said he'll use the defense production act to speed up the coronavirus vaccine. he's promising to deliver 100 million shots of the vaccine in his first 100 days in office. 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. latest reports say seven 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 increase was approved on monday by the house of representatives and is backed by president trump.