this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the us president—elect, joe biden, criticises the vaccine roll—out and pledges 100 million jabs in his first 100 days. turning this around is going to take time. we might not see improvement until we're well into march, as it will take time for our covid response plan to begin to produce visible progress. 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 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. 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 tributes to one of the biggest names in fashion design, pierre cardin, who has died at the age of 98. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. us president—electjoe biden has been further outlining us efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic under his forthcoming presidency. whilst 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 in his first 100 days in office.
i'm going to 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 protective gear. vice president harris and i have been speaking with 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 own vaccination for covid—19 on live tv. there it is. 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, which has just been 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 $2,000. this put him into rare alliance with the democrats. the us house voted to raise the pay—out figure on monday. but mitch mcconnell, the republican senate leader, isn't rushing to follow suit. matt mackowiak is a republican strategist. he says it's all about negotiation and trade offs. if you look back at the first term of president trump, his only term, he has not been aligned with democrats very often against republicans, but on this issue, he is generally aligned with the democrats. mitch mcconnell understands that to give democrats of that they were demanding, he wa nts to of that they were demanding, he wants to get something in return, so it is not he's going to prevent this
happening ever, it is he is would print this happening without either having a liability shield for businesses or perhaps a repeal of so—called section 230, which gives immunity from the tech platforms from being sued, so i think one of those two things in the likely trade—off he is going to require to pass this through the senate. you are seeing some senate republicans, including josh hawley from missouri, marco rubio, saying these payments need to happen. it is a question but whether mcconnell can get an agreement to get another provision added to it. in the senate, generally takes 60 votes to do anything, and at the moment, yet to do the maths, their 50 republicans at the moment. we'll see how the ru noffs at the moment. we'll see how the runoffs gone generally five, but this congress is coming to an end, you have a handful of days that remain. they want to override the veto on the defence act, and
everything government funding and sea mless everything government funding and seamless bill passed which the president reluctantly signed into law, but now they want to try and up these payments. can the minority leader in the senate, chuck schumer, force a vote? it depends on timing and procedure for people he could do it, but given they have very limited time and business they have to finish before the end of the year, it is good to be difficult in the senate, one person can block anything. bernie sanders said he's going to veto the defence override until there is an upward down vote on the $2000 payment, so they are going to have to get agreement from 100 senators to move forward, and thatis 100 senators to move forward, and that is probably going to require bipartisan compromise of. 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...
the person who tested positive is a man in his 20s who has no recent travel history that would link him to the uk. the number of infections in the united kingdom 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 beginning to be 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'd say this is the most challenging extended period that i've 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 patients now.
the patients coming now to itu now are a degree sicker, a lot 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. and in scotland, people are being asked to stay at home over new year's 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 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. in scotland, the public have been urged to stay at home on new year's eve and not to 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're 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 our 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 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. 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 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit, the strongest to hit croatia in decades. the town of petrinja took the full force. half of its buildings have been destroyed, according to the mayor, who was talking to reporters when the quake struck. a 12—year—old girl died. these women were able to walk away from the collapsed town hall. others were moved to safety however they could be. rescuers from all across croatia searched amongst the rubble for survivors. this man said, "i don'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 of petrinja was almost destroyed during the brutal civil war in the 1990s. today's outbreak has brought devastation once again. keith doyle, bbc news. 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. these pictures are taken from outside the senate, where the debate and the vote are taking place. moving to brexit now, the compromise deal has already happened, and people are rallying on either side
of the deal. here in the uk, there isa of the deal. here in the uk, there is a compromise. hardline conservatives, 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, 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 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. jessica parker there. as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the us, a key source of infections are clusters in prisons. one in five prisoners have tested positive for the virus, and at least 1,700 have died. female inmates near detroit phoned a helpline and talked about their experiences after the virus broke out in march. the helpline has shared the recordings with the bbc, with the consent of the women who made the phone calls. a lot of people are sleepwalking, so i'm walking around, are you paying attention to what is happening? this
is real, this is serious. you can die. my name is retha and i am housed at... i was moved to a building which is a warehouse, with open gas pipes up on the ceiling. it was very cold in there, my heartrate was 135, i had a temperature of 102.5, and theyjust put me into a room. i couldn't breathe, my chest was caving in, i felt like i was going to die. we ended up catching it because we don't have that social distancing space, we have 16 man cells, ten man
cells, we have four—man space, we have 16 man cells, ten man cells, we have four— man cells, space, we have 16 man cells, ten man cells, we have four—man cells, and that'sjust not possible when there in rooms that are built like a closet. i am chelsey roundhouse. my punky, she went to the desk, 20 just she was not feeling well. they told her to she was not feeling well. they told herto go she was not feeling well. they told her to go lie down, that they were going to call health care. i was walking past my room, it appeared my a ccu ra cy walking past my room, it appeared my accuracy was having a stroke. michael for the officers. it appeared she cannot breathe. i watched her take her last breath. health care came to her with an oxyge n health care came to her with an oxygen tank, and by then, she had already passed. my
my name is jacara moore. it was about 20, 30 beds back there. they literally just bolted bunks about 20, 30 beds back there. they literallyjust bolted bunks to the sea —— to the cement. it would get so hot in there, to the point that people could not breathe. we did not have no window or nothing to open like that. we are still people, we are still human beings, and we should still be truly human beings even though we are doing time and everything. the voices of women prison inmates affected by a coronavirus outbreak in detroit. a group of interpreters who worked with the british army in iraq
say their lives have become unbearable since the uk unit they worked for left the country in july. they say they're facing death threats from powerful militia which back iran, as nafiseh kohnavard reports from iraq. over the past six years, the british army has trained more than 100,000 soldiers in iraq, as part of its mission to defeat so—called islamic state. such work is impossible without iraqi interpreters. but now eight of them live in fear. at any time, someone would knock on the door of my house and fire five bullets — one bullet for me, one bullet for my wife and three bullets for my three daughters. the security situation collapsed after the killing of top iranian general qasem soleimani. he was assassinated in a us drone attack in baghdad almost year ago, angering pro—iran paramilitaries. they released a statement calling
on all iraqis working with coalition forces to cooperate with them. there was a hidden message. "if you don't cooperate with us, we will consider you an enemy." as coronavirus hit iraq, the country went into lockdown. the coalition gave a list of the interpreters' names and id numbers to the iraqi security forces. this was supposed to help them pass through government checkpoints. but some armed groups linked to iran are also part of the iraqi security forces. the groups, which had already threatened the interpreters, now knew their names. i raised their case with the coalition. we protect their personal data, we do not pass that to checkpoints, we do not pass that to other organisations, including the iraqi security forces or government services. but the document i have seen is coming from the us embassy. it looks genuine, i checked.
then i would have to look into that further. in a statement, the british ministry of defence said it takes any breach of personal security extremely seriously and it is investigating the allegations. western troops, including the british army, then began leaving iraq. the interpreters were left, unemployed and unprotected. the last time the british left iraq in 2009, at least 40 interpreters were killed by militia groups. ahmed and ali say they don't want their names added to that list. nafiseh kohnavard, bbc news, iraq. the legendary french fashion designer pierre cardin has died at the age of 98.
he transformed the fashion industry in the 19605 and ‘70s by successfully licensing his brand name and introducing futuristic styles. his family says he died in a hospital near paris. 0ur correspondent daniela relph looks back at his life. newsreel: another leader of the fashion world in paris, pierre cardin, takes the town by storm and reveals to breathlessly excited womanhood what they simply must be wearing by easter. pierre cardin, the fashion world's supreme innovator. for decades, his designs ripped up convention and shocked the establishment. his thirst for the new and surprising was never satisfied. born in 1922, he left school at 14 to train in making cloth. a fortune teller told him he'd be famous. he asked if she knew anyone who worked in fashion. she did. he moved to paris, clutching an address. he designed costumes forjean cocteau's film beauty and the beast in 1946, and was soon unnerving the fashion industry itself.
his 1950's bubble dress took liberties with the female silhouette. he moved young men out of boxyjackets, creating a new look for the 1960s. the beatles, in their collarless cardin suits, said he was one step ahead of tomorrow. he irritated his fellow high—fashion designers, launching ready—to—wear collections for the middle classes. and indulged in futuristic fantasies, inspired by the space age. some of it, impractical to wear. this was his proposed uniform for nurses. he was a savvy businessman, showing this 19705 collection in china, where fashion was set by chairman mao. but he spotted potential. i expect in the future, not for tomorrow, but i'm sure in ten years, china will become the most important country in the world. cardin established licensing agreements, putting his name
on everything, from glasses to fancy carpets. it changed the way the industry worked. he bought a castle once owned by the marquis de sade, putting on shows there into his tenth decade. still experimenting, still innovating. pierre cardin, capturing the future before it exists. the fashion designer pierre cardin, who has died at the age of 98. now, here's something not for the faint—hearted — look away now if you don't like snakes. like indiana jones. a spa in cairo — i do not know why — has introduced a massage using live snakes. masseurs start as normal by rubbing oil on their clients' backs, followed by the use of a combination of pythons or 28 other non—venomous snake species.
that is the crucial bit. i do not know what he is saying there, by the way. the massage is claimed to relieve muscle pain and improve people's self—confidence — you bet it is — by increasing blood circulation and releasing plenty and plenty endorphins. not for me! a reminder of our top story. the us president—electjoe biden has criticised distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, saying it has fallen behind schedule under the trump administration, and at the present pace it would take years, not months, to vaccinate the population. 0utlining his own covid response plan, mr biden said he planned 1 million vaccinations a day, with 100 million shots in the first 100 days of his term. more on all of our stories on our website. and i'm on twitter.
@jamesbbcnews. do stay with us. i'm back in a bit with the papers. hello. winter is finally turning white for some of us. not all of us going to see the snow over the next few days. the potential is still there for a bit more to come our way, though. it's certainly staying cold enough, but that frosty sharp frost at times overnight, icy conditions where we're seeing some showers of rain, sleet, hail, yes, some snow, notjust on hills but at times to lower levels, with that risk of disruption. there are coming our way some fairly weak weather disturbances, but they're within a flow of air coming down from the north, which means the moisture out of these disturbances will be falling as rain but also sleet and snow in places. and we'll have had a few wintry showers overnight, into first thing in the morning. there's a sharp frost out there, maybe —9 in a few spots in scotland,
icy conditions around and still some of these showers falling as snow, maybe notjust on hills, into the north, northwest of scotland, northern ireland. a few of these wintry showers running down towards north wales, north west england, the northwest midlands, and then we see an area of rain but turning to sleet and snow potentially for south wales, more especially running eastwards across parts of southern england during wednesday. some uncertainty about how far north it'll get, how much sleet and snow there will be within this. it'll be a cold day, yes, but much of the eastern side of the uk will stay dry and get to see a bit of sunshine. what rain, sleet and snow there is will continue to pull across parts of southern england overnight and into thursday morning before clearing. as thursday begins, we're getting some of these snow showers pushing in towards eastern parts of scotland, and it's those that are going to move further south during thursday, again giving the potential for some snow and ice in places, and notjust on hills, and the chance of some disruption as a result. so, this system will take its rain, sleet and snow showers out of scotland and into parts of england and wales as we go through thursday. the tendency for a lot of that
to turn back to rain if you are seeing some snow away from hills during thursday, and where you don't get to see any rain, sleet and snow, quite a bit of cloud, maybe a few sunny spells, but it'll be cold. that weather system still around overnight and into friday, new year's day, the start of 2021. it will tend to die out during friday but still with a good deal of cloud, especially through england and wales, and patchy rain, sleet and hill snow out of that. and little less cold on friday, but temperatures staying below average well into the start of 2021.
the headlines: us president—electjoe biden has said he'll use the defence 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. the us treasury secretary steve mnuchin has said $600 dollar coronavirus relief payments could arrive in bank accounts within the next few hours. a last minute attempt by democrats to increase the payment was headed off by senate republicans.