tv BBC News BBC News December 30, 2020 2:00am-2:31am GMT
this is bbc news. welcome to our viewers in the uk, on pbs in america and around the world. my name's mike embley, our top stories: the us president—electjoe biden criticises his predecessor's vaccine rollout and pledges 100 million jabs in his first 100 days. this is going to take more time than anybody would like and more promises than the trump administration have suggested. anti and pro—abortion protests in argentina before the senate holds an historic and controversial vote. we've a special report from iraq — and the british army interpreters facing death threats from pro—iranian militia. newsreel: another leader of the fashion world in paris, pierre cardin takes the world by storm and reveals... and tributes to one
of the biggest names in fashion — pierre cardin — who's died aged 98. hello and welcome. us president—electjoe biden has been further outlining us efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic under his forthcoming 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 trump administration's plan to distribute vaccines is falling behind, far behind. we are grateful to the companies, the dock is, the scientists, the dock is, the scientists, the researchers, the clinical trial participants and operation warp speed for
developing the vaccines quickly. but as i long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should. a few weeks ago, the trump administration suggested that 20 million americans could be vaccinated by the end of december. with only a few days left in december, we have only vaccinated a few million so far and the pace of vaccination program is moving now, if it continues moving as it is now, is going to take years if not months to vaccinate the american people. i have directed my team to prepare a much more aggressive effort with more federal involvement and leadership to get things back on track. we will find ways to boost the paste of —— pace of vaccinations, but as doctor fauci and others have stated over the past few days,
this will take more time than anybody would like and more time than the promises from the trump administration have suggested. this is going to be the greatest operational challenge we have ever faced as a nation. meanwhile, the vice—president—elect kamala harris has received her vaccination for covid—i9 on live tv. ms harris and her husband, douglas emhoff, received the vaccine after high profile figures in the us such as joe biden — and doctor antony fauci — also received the jab. their vaccinations have been televised in an effort to boost public confidence in the vaccine. earlier i spoke to politico health policy reporter dan diamond about how mr biden‘s propsoals differ from the policies of the trump white house. i spoke today to biden‘s incoming coronavirus coordinatorjeff zients, and we talked about the efforts that the trump administration had done, that the team biden was putting together thinks they can build on. so rolling out vaccines, they don't think trump has done a good job on that but developing the vaccines and getting some things in place, they think that that will be an area where
they can pick up the baton and keep running. and yet, even building and expanding on what is in place, mr biden‘s plan is pretty ambitious isn't it? can he do it? i think there are things that are not as hard as they might sound. the 100 million jabs in 100 days is not so different than what the trump administration was aiming for. i think what has been tough is the numbers so far, numbers of vaccinations in the states are much lower than what the trump administration had promised. they had said 20 million shots by the end of the year. as of tuesday morning, the us centres for disease control said only 2 million americans had gotten shots. that is probably a little low, probably an undercount as more numbers are coming in, but regardless, there is a gap between where the trump administration thought they would be and where they wanted to be. so biden will have some ground to make up and that's an area where he absolutely wants to focus. so, clearly, vaccine rollout could have been faster than it has been.
could mr biden had gone forever, could he have even gone further with a national mask mandate? the national mask mandate is interesting. i know the biden team was trying to figure out what they could do legally versus what they could do by asking americans to wear masks. and this is the compromise they came down on. there are lots of federal buildings, lots of places where americans will be taking public transportation there. there will be a mask mandate. in other places, the president—elect is planning to ask americans to voluntarily wear a mask. in my coverage these past weeks and months, i won't be surprised if we see more legal challenges now to biden‘s mask mandate. we have seen local mask mandates already be challenged in court. you know of course that the biden team has been complaining about a lack of cooperation from the outgoing administration. has this also impacted the efforts to combat the virus, the pandemic? that's my question too. i asked them that today and they said that there are some areas where
they're still getting some pushback and barriers. they wouldn't get more specific than that on the record with me. other areas where they are getting access to senior health officials like anthony fauci here in the united states. i know this has been a major priority across the transition, getting the government to open up to the biden team. so far on the health side, it seems like more of a mixed picture but biden has gotten some access to some important officials and some planning. and the us has confirmed its first case of the new, more infectious variant of coronavirus that was first discovered in the uk. a man in his 20s from colorado, who had not made any recent overseas trips is said to be self—isolating. australia says it could deport british tourists 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 a local beach. local health officials called it ‘absolutely appalling' behaviour. let's get some of the day's other news.
boeing's 737 max airliner has resumed commercial services in the united states for the first time since the jet was grounded nearly two years ago. the american airlines flight departed from miami to la guardia airport in new york. boeing has been trying to reassure people about the plane's safety after two fatal crashes in five months. russian state investigators have brought new charges against opposition leader alexei navalny. they say mr navalny, who is convalescing in germany after being poisoned, fraudulently spent public donations on his personal needs. mr navalny described the case as a fabrication and hysterics from president vladimir putin after russia issued him an ultimatum on monday to return to russia immediately orface imprisonment. palestinian human rights groups have called for the release of a female dj arrested for performing at a dance party at an islamic religious site in the occupied west bank. sama abdulhadi — known as the palestinian techno queen — was arrested after videos of young palestinians
and israeli arabs dancing and drinking at the nabi musa shrine attracted online condemnation from some palestinians. senators in argentina are debating a bill which would legalise abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy. the bill has already been approved by the chamber of deputies but that debate lasted some 20 hours and the senate discussion is expected to be even more heated. tanya dendrinos has more. as the debate began in argentina's polarised senate, the scenes outside were just as divided. pro—choice activists chanting and hopeful. translation: we are going to be on the streets so that today it becomes law and if approved it is implemented in each and eve ryo ne is implemented in each and everyone of the provinces so that no more women die from secret abortions. according to the government, each year close
to 40,000 women require hospital treatment as a result ofa hospital treatment as a result of a dangerous abortion procedure carried out in secret. but this remains a deeply religious country and many still adamantly opposed the idea. translation: dissolution is there, the solution is always on the side of life. there are plenty of wonderful institutions that collaborate, but are willing to help. the problem is this bill prohibits help and offers abortion is the only solution. this isn't a new debate in argentina. the last attempt to pass abortion laws was defeated in 2018. this bill proposed by president alberto fernandez would permit abortions to be carried out up to the 14th week of pregnancy. they are currently only permitted in cases of rape or when the mother's health is at risk. if it passes, the bill would be ground breaking for latin america — a region with one of
the strictest abortion laws in the strictest abortion laws in the world. tanya dendrinos bbc news. earlier tamara tenenbaum a writer and pro—choice activist said the vote would not be as close as had been predicted. it is tight but not as tight as we thought. it's going to be — going to pass. right now it is almost sure it is going to pass. the only chance the anti—choice have now is to leave the room so that we don't have the numbers so that the decision is invalid. they don't have the votes to overturn it now. theyjust don't have it. so what do you think has changed 7 we were hearing five senators were undecided and they have gone towards the pro—choice side have they? yes, enough of them. two of them and that is all we needed. that's what changed. i think the most important change since 2018 which was the last time we voted for this
and when we lost in the senate, is that this time it was the government who started of the project. it is not the same, the last government allowed the project to get to the senate. this government drafted the project itself. the president works towards the bill. how does the split in the senate reflect the country as a whole would you say? is it possible to generalise about the country and where opinion lies? yes. i think, in argentina like many other countries in latin america, there is a lot of hypocrisy. a lot of people who are allegedly against abortion have had abortions or abortions in theirfamily or paid for abortions for theirfriends or lovers or whatever. so i think it reflects the 50—50 split in the country but even that 50% which supposedly opposes abortions in argentina, usually they don't oppose abortions in their real lives, they only do
it verbally. and of course, as abortion campaigners say, even if abortion is banned, you never really ban abortion, you just make it more illegal, difficult, dangerous — still goes on. absolutely. in argentina, we know that almost 500,000 abortions get performed a year in this situation, legal abortions. so, it is very clear that they are not stopping abortions now. the writer and activists tamara tenenbaum in brenna cyrus. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we look back on the life of the french designer who helped revolutionise high street fashion across the world. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we're going to use money we picked up in belgium today,
and then we'll be in france, and again, it'll be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic! that's better! bells toll. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: the us president—elect,
joe biden, criticises the vaccine rollout and pledges 100 million jabs in his first 100 days. anti and pro—abortion protests in argentina, before the senate holds an historic, and controversial, vote later. at least seven people have been killed and 20 others injured following an earthquake in croatia. the tremor, with a magnitude of 6.4 destroyed many buildings in the central town of petrinja. the effects were felt in the capital, zagreb, where there were power cuts and more than 100 miles away in neighbouring slovenia. 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 of sisak, 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. 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 1700 have died. women 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 like, "wake up! do you see what's going on? are you paying attention to what's happening ? " this bleep is real, this is serious. you can die.
my name is retha macintosh and i am housed at women's huron valley. 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, io—man cells, we have four—man cells, and that's just not possible when they're in rooms that are built like a closet. i'm chelsey roundhouse and i am in huron valley correctional facility.
my bunkie susan farrell, she went to the desk, told the desk that she wasn't feeling well. they told her to go lie down, that they were going to call health care. i was walking past my room and it appeared that my bunkie was having a stroke. i yelled for the officers. and then it appeared she couldn't breathe, and the officerjust looked pained, like she didn't know what to do, she didn't want to step into the room. i watched her take her last breath. health care came to her with an oxygen tank, and by then, she had already passed. my name is jacara moore. and i'm serving an eight—year sentence at women's huron valley correctional facility. there was about 20, 30 beds back there.
they literally just bolted bunks to the cement. and they was just filling them up, filling them up. and then it would get so hot in there, to the point that people could not breathe. we didn't have no window to open or anything like that. we're still people, we're still human beings, and we should still be treated like human beings even though, you know, we're 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. atany 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 a year ago, angering pro—iran paramilitaries. they released a statement calling on all iraqis working with coalition forces to co—operate with them. there was a hidden message. "if you don't co—operate 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. tributes have been paid to the french fashion designer, pierre cardin, who's died at the age of 98. he helped revolutionise fashion in the 1950s and 60s by bringing it to the masses, producing ready—to—wear collections and putting his name on everything from underwear to pens.
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 1970s 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 in10 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. fashion designer pierre cardin, who's died at the age of 98. now here's something not for the faint—hearted. look away now if you don't like snakes! a spa in cairo 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. the massage is claimed to relieve muscle pain and improves peoples' self—confidence by increasing blood circulation and releasing endorphins. that is, of course, you do not run screaming from the room! more news on our website and twitter
feeds. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbc mike embley. 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 ofaircoming 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: joe biden has criticised vaccine distribution under the trump administration. the president—elect claimed that at the present pace it would take years not months, to vaccinate the entire american population. he once again pledged to deliver 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office. large crowds of campaigners both for and against abortion have gathered outside the argentine congress in the capital, buenos aires, as the senate debates a bill to legalise terminations. it would allow voluntary abortions up to the fourteenth week and has already been approved by the lower house. a group of interpreters who worked with the british army in iraq say their lives have become unbearable since their unit left the country injuly. they say they're facing death threats from pro—iranian militia. more than 100,000 iraqi soldiers received british training in the last six years.
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