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tv   Al Jazeera English News Bulletin  LINKTV  December 30, 2020 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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♪ >> california and colorado are hit by a new variant of covid-19 as president donald trump blames individual u.s. states for failing to meet vaccine goes. and regulators in the u.k. approve emergency use of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, boosting hopes other countries will soon get help fighting covid-19. ♪ >> you are watching al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, and attack kills at least 26 people at aden
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airport, where members of the yemen government just arrived from saudi arabia. and a centuries-old town flattened in seconds. croatia's earthquake victims. hello. president donald trump is blaming u.s. states for the slow rollout of coronavirus vaccines. criticism is mounting over his administration's lagging response to the pandemic. so far, 2 million shots have been administered, a far cry from the 20 million promised by the end of the year. it comes as a new and more infectious variant of the virus is identified in two u.s. states. andy gallagher reports from miami. andy: patiently waiting for the vaccine, many of florida's over 65 and health-care workers camped out overnight to potentially receive a lifesaving
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shot in the arm as the state positivity rate hits record highs. delays and misinformation left vaccine sites overwhelmed. >> i want to hope people are doing their best, but i don't know if there best is good enough right now. andy: in the same state, the president continues to golf near his estate, telling governors to get moving. his administration promised to have 20 million people vaccinated by the end of this week. doctors say, without a national strategy, it could take years. >> unfortunately, without a master plan for distribution nationally, there is going to be a lot of confusion and a lot of this is going to fall on state governments and hospitals themselves. we are already seeing signs of that. andy: more than 11 million doses of the modernity and pfizer vaccine have been distributed across the u.s.. according to the cdc, just to million of those most at risk have received it.
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the health and human services department says things will get better. >> it is only 15 days since the first vaccines were given. things will evolve. they will optimize over the next week, and you will see millions and millions more vaccines. andy: the initial plan was 80% of the u.s. population vaccinated by june. to reach that, millions would have to be vaccinated every day. so far, that doesn't appear to be the case. here in florida, the positivity rate stands at more than 22%. state health officials say that is because fewer people are being tested. but with an apparent slow rollout across the nation, the next few months could be worse than predicted. all those most at risk can do is hope things get better, and fast. al jazeera, miami, florida. >> rob joins us from los angeles. is there any merit in president trump claiming the states for the slow vaccine rollout?
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rob: it is no surprise the president would try to evade responsibility. he has done so since the beginning of the pandemic, blaming china, democrats, governors, state officials, agencies within the federal government, blaming anyone except himself if things go wrong. and of course, things have gone badly wrong. it is a very unusual definition of leadership. the states say that without a master plan, as andy was referring to, it is going to be very difficult for them to coordinate all their efforts, that they have been set back by poor planning, lack of communication and above all, a lack of money, lack of funding from the federal government to support states and localities as they try to rollout the vaccine as much as they can. there have been hundreds of
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thousands of doses for example, here in california, and they have been going to a variety of frontline workers and elderly people, but much more is certainly needed. and as we saw this week, president-elect joe biden has promised a national strategy once he takes office after january 20. anchor: california is one of the worst hit states. what did the governor have to say a short while ago? rob: unfortunately, more bad news, governor gavin newsom set a single case of the variant, the mutation discovered initially in the u.k. and has since spread to many other countries, a variant believed to make the virus more transmissible, has been found in a patient in southern california. governor newsom did not say a great deal more about it, in a
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conversation online with dr. anthony fauci, didn't say who the person was or what condition he or she is in, but dr. fauci responded by saying that this was to be expected, that it is almost certain that there is a transmission underway of this strain in the united states, as there has been in countries, including canada, so it is not unusual to find it here in southern california, which is in the middle of a terrible spike in covid cases. the los angeles county health authority, where i am right now, says 600 people on average test positive every hour for covid-19. the state broke a terrible record on tuesday, 442 deaths from covid-19, about half of those here in southern california, where hospitals are under siegemund patients -- under siege and patients are
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sometimes think treated in cora doors, gift shops, hospital lobbies, conference rooms, places like that. when patients are transported by ambulance to the hospital, there is so little room in the emergency room, patients are sometimes forced to wait up to eight hours inside the ambulance until they can be treated in the hospital. all of this is obviously creating a great deal of difficulty here. and with the new holiday approaching, new year's, when people traditionally did rather and have festive times, this could get worse. and public officials are begging people not to hold those kinds of celebrations for new year's this year. anchor: it is an alarming situation. robert reynolds, thank you for that update. u.s. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell rejected a bill to increase pandemic relief checks from $600 to $2000. this week, the house of representative voted to increase the age payment -- the aid
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payments after a demand from president trump. mcconnell attacked proposed increases outlined in that legislation. here's more. "al jazeera english news bulletin." -- correspondent: it is all nuance. mitch mcconnell has three priorities in the final days of this session of congress, the first is to override president trump's veto of the national defense authorization act. the second is not to jeopardize trump's two republican senators who are facing a runoff race next week in georgia. at the third priority is not to pass any bills that would give $2000 checks to low and middle-income americans. the first part of that is going into action right now. as we speak, votes are beginning to take place on overriding the veto of the ndaa. but it is much more complicated, because independent senator
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bernie sanders stood in the way of a very easy override of that bill. i am going to stand in the way of the override of the vote of the ndaa. mcconnell has a way around that, it means he has to have a vote today and eventually a vote on saturday, which would finally override the vote. meanwhile, the idea of the $2000 stimulus check is very popular, particularly in georgia where those two senators are facing a very close race. so it seems mitch mcconnell has not come up with a plan, and he has not directly brought up a vote on that house bill giving $2000 to millet's checks to people, but combining $2000 stimulus checks with other issues close to president trump's heart, forming a commission to investigate alleged electoral fraud in the presidential election, and ending legal protections for social media companies.
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he is going to combine those into one bill and have a vote. that is what he was talking about today. anchor: health regulators in the u.k. approved a vaccine developed i oxford university and astrazeneca. the pharmaceutical giant pledged to make 1.3 billion doses available at cost to low and middle income countries. we have more from london. correspondent: if ever good news was needed in the u.k., it is now. numbers of new infections and hospitalizations are breaking records. daily deaths are almost as numerous as the daily peak in april, and clinics are sounding alarms that the health service is struggling to cope with the covid wave. a new announcement from the u.k. medicine regulator. >> the covid-19 vaccine from astrazeneca has been approved for people ages 18 and older with two standard doses, four to 12 weeks apart. correspondent: rollout begins
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january 4, with the oxford astrazeneca vaccine joining that have pfizer and biontech in use in the u.k. since december. both have advantages. at this london vaccination center, you can see the infrastructure needed to administer the pfizer biontech vaccine. you can hear the generators running, people need to be kept warm in the vaccine needs to be cap super chilled. the oxford astrazeneca one, though, can be given not by any doctor or nurse with the fridge, it is easier, and people can be vaccinated faster. the governor prioritize getting the first dose to as many people as possible. it is 70% effective. the 7 -- the second dose, makes immunity last longer. >> add that to the 30 million doses from pfizer and that is enough for two doses for the entire population. correspondent: if the government can achieve this, it leaves the
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country can return to normal life in the spring. but before that, an announcement that millions of britons are working into higher tiers of covid restrictions. >> people in exam years are expected to return january 11, with others returning full-time the week of january 18. during the first week of term, after the fourth of january, secondary schools and colleges are prepared to test as many staff and students as possible. correspondent: the oxford astrazeneca vaccine is welcome news in the u.k., but things are almost certain to get worse before they get better. al jazeera, london. anchor: let's turn to yemen. we are getting local media reports of saudi-led airstrikes on the capital. they are said to be targeting houthi positions in the city, hours after 26 people were killed in a blast at the airport
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in aden, that attack happening shortly after members of the newly-formed unity government of yemen arrived from saudi arabia. we have more. correspondent: waving at supporters, members of the yemen unity government returned days after being sworn into office at the ceremony in saudi arabia. but hopes of rebuilding the country after more than six years of civil war turned to chaos, a devastating attack on aiden international airport -- aden international airport and a deal signed in 2019 now in question. the government members were led to safety, but analysts say the authority of the new administration has been undermined. >> this is a message that the challenges are very serious, e normous, and the unity government will have to deal
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with these challenges on the ground. and no matter who stands behind this explosion, a huge security breach has happened. correspondent: yemen's new prime minister worked quickly to try to restore confidence. >> this attack gives the government the responsibility to put an end to the coup d'etat and restore the country. the government will go on continuing its job supported by the people of yemen. we will never let our people down. terrorists never defeat our people. we will accept nothing but a victory. correspondent: the government was formed as a compromise between ua e-backed separatists and saudi-backed loyalists of the president in riadh. the two camps fought each other in aden and surrounding provinces, but together aim to
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launch a united front against iran and hutu rebels in yemen, who deny they are behind the attack. but the attack at the airport is likely to put any hopes of peace in yemen back a long way. al jazeera. anchor: still ahead, whether you and chief is pushing cease-fire operations to eastern libya. ♪ with barely a day to go until the u.k. leaves europe's single market, exit moves forward -- brexit moves forward in parliament. ♪ >> prepare for a major of snow in ho qaeda and some degree
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south korea, most likely on the west coast as the wind becomes lighter. it starts to turn around. it remains cold in vladivostok, beijing warmer, hong kong coming from 12 to 14, not as cold as it was. the cold push will make bigger showers in the south china sea, catching vietnam and central philippines. otherwise, widespread showers for the rainy season, which we expect this time of year. south asia, a familiar combination, fog in northwest india, in kashmir, sunshine over the snow. there is rain further south toward sri lanka, but there might be an interruption from this dismal, cloudy, foggy weather in new delhi. saturday or sunday, skies could
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turn over from showers and thunderstorms, with improved air quality. ♪
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♪ anchor: hello again. our top stories on al jazeera, u.s. president donald trump defending his administration's rollout of covid-19 vaccines, blaming states for slow distribution. a new variant of the virus is now identified in colorado and california. health regulators in the u.k. approval vaccine developed by oxford university and astrazeca. more than 50,000 infections were reported there for a second day and millions more are moving into a tougher tear of restrictions. local media reports body-let strikes on the capital of yemen, after 24 people were killed in a blast at the airport in aden after members of yemen's newly-formed government returned from saudi arabia. a request for a new u.n. cease
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fire monitoring team to be set up in a city in libya. we have more from the united nations. correspondent: the security council asked the secretary-general back in february to come up with some ways to help libya, the international community very concerned, to help them move forward with a peace plan and a way to implement a cease-fire. that was before they even had a cease-fire in place. in october, the warring sides agreed to a tentative cease-fire and the secretary-general was asked to advance these recommendations. he has asked for more time to present them, citing ongoing peace talks between the parties. he has also been looking for a new envoy to lead the u.n. mission in libya, all of this combining to bring it to the end of the year, and the last possible minute. we did get a copy today of a
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letter the secretary-general sent to the security council with some of those recommendations. and he is focused on setting up a u.n. monitoring mission. the u.n. never had a footprint in this city at the front lines, it is a very tense area. in a recent report to the security council, the acting envoy in libya, stephanie williams, described the area as a very tense, with warring factions yet tumors -- yet to withdraw despite the shaky cease-fire. anchor: at least 25 people are killed when their bus is attacked in syria. they were reportedly on their way to join a new year's celebrations. there have been no claims of responsibility. the emir of qatar is invited to next week's golf cooperation summit by the king of saudi arabia, seen as a possible step toward ending a crisis that began when saudi arabia, the
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uae, egypt and bahrain cut ties with doha. blockading countries accused qatar of supporting terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs, claims qatar has denied. the summit will be held in riyadh tuesday. a former u.s. military employee who was released after 30 years in jail for spying has arrived in israel. jonathan pollard, who was convicted of selling secrets to israel in the 19 80's, was greeted by prime minister benjamin netanyahu at the airport. he was caught passing classified military information while working as a u.s. navy navy intelligence analyst at the pentagon. last month, pollard's five-year parole term ended, paving the way for him to leave the u.s.. italy says egypt's decision to terminate a criminal investigation into the murder of an italian doctoral student is unacceptable. this month, italian prosecutors officially charged four egyptian
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security officials in connection with the kidnapping and killing in 2016. egyptian officials saty -- officials say there is no point in launching a criminal case because they don't know who is responsible. the victim was in egypt on a controversial topic. earthquake leaves several towns in ruins and an urgent search is underway to find shelter for dozens left homeless. the 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit a town, and we have this report from a town were in a distribution center is set up. correspondent: buildings collapse. lives destroyed. the extent of damage here and in surrounding villages is becoming more clear as emergency workers search for anyone who may still be buried under the rubble. the 6.4-magnitude earthquake
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struck tuesday and was felt as far away as vienna and munich. a series of strong aftershocks, and the potential collapse of more buildings, have forced many to seek shelter outdoors. >> we live in a flat and a building that is heavily damaged. it is not safe to be there. we have a camp in the village, we spent the night in it. it is better now because we have electricity, so we can stay warm. >> i am very afraid. it is chaos and the house. it is not destroyed, but everything is broken. all our stuff a lot of the cupboards and was broken. we spent the night in the car but couldn't sleep at all. we have two children. i don't know what to do. >> these two towns were the hardest hit. some have returned to their homes to find a little more than debris, forced now into makeshift shelters from the bitter winter weather.
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the damage to infrastructure made it difficult to get help to those who needed. this center was set up to collect and distribute food, water and other aid to those affected by the earthquake. as the government organizes temporary shelter for those left homeless, the army clears rubble and helps survivors. this was the second earthquake in croatia in two days. people here are fearful and in shock. the monumental task to rebuild lies ahead. al jazeera, croatia. anchor: the post-brexit great deal has been officially signed in brussels and london. the agreement between britain and the european union took nine months and negotiated at will go into a force -- going to force january 1. paul brennan reports. all: it was nearly 50 years ago that the u.k. joined the european economic community, but a new relationship has been
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signed. the european council president appeared rueful. signed, sealed and delivered from brussels by british air force jet to london, and prime minister boris johnson what and to paper, the prime minister flanked by his chief brexit negotiator and his parliament's eu investor. parliament was called from christmas recess to ratify the deal, the prime minister extolling the virtues of the new agreement. >> in less than 48 hours, believe the u.s. we promised. and yet, british exporters will not face sudden trade barriers, but rather for the first time in history of eu agreements, zero tariffs and zero quotas. paul: britain officially left the eu in january, but terms of a trade deal needed to be agreed
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before the transition ends at midnight december 31. fishing rights were a crucial element to the final agreement, but in the port of cornwall, the signing was greeted with hostility. british trawler operators want to the u.k. 12 mile territorial limit to be brought back. it wasn't. >> we will never get it back. we are worse off than before brexit, because it is written in that we won't be able to get it back. it is a travesty. boris the betrayer has completely sold us down the river. correspondent: the brexit battle is now over. time has run out. faced with the possibility of a no deal brexit, parliament voted in favor. >> yes half it -- the ayes have it.
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correspondent: it all came at breakneck speed. mp's in parliament had just to ratify the deal in a one-day sitting. europeans don't have the luxury of time. the european parliament won't able to examine the terms of the trade deal before midnight december 31. the 27 eu ambassadors have already indicated that they unanimously approve it. there will be a new relationship from january 1. critics point to more bureaucracy, custom declarations, product safety inspections. others see greater opportunity, sovereignty, freedom. reality will only become apparent in the coming weeks and months. paul brennan, al jazeera, westminster. anchor: uganda's musician turned presidential candidate says he is being allowed to return home after being arrested for the third time in months.
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he was detained while campaigning in the central region. police dismissed reports of the arrest. they accused him of holding rallies in violation of coronavirus rules.
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