Hello, I'm David Harper with the BBC News.
The World Health Organization says it is in close contact with British officials over the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus. That is thought to be up to 70% more infectious. The British government says this is now the dominant strain in London. It's imposed new lockdown measures to try to slow its advance. Nick Eardley reports. A new tier 4 has been created in England, which is now in place in London and large parts of the east and southeast where people are being told to stay at home by law while non essential shops are closed. Ministers felt they had to act, because of a rising number of cases and concern about a new variant of the virus, which appears to spread considerably quicker. The prime minister faces pressure from within his own party, with some Tory lockdown skeptics demanding a vote on the new restrictions and saying the increasing severity of tiers showed they had failed in their purpose of slowing the transmission of the virus.
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has told the European Parliament the deadlock talks with Britain on a trade deal have reached a moment of truth. He said they were now only hours to reach a deal. Helen Catt has this report. There has been no final breakthrough so far, and government sources say it is increasingly likely that the UK will begin trading with the EU on World Trade Organization terms from the 1st of January. A UK source said that the EU was struggling to get the flexibility needed from member states and that it continued to make demands that were incompatible with the UK's independence.
The US President-elect Joe Biden has introduced his climate and energy team as he repairs to make tackling global warming a top priority. Mr. Biden said the crisis needed a unified national response. If confirmed by the Senate as secretary of the interior, Congresswoman Deb Haaland would be the first Native American cabinet member. Mr. Biden said she had important work to do. As the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in the history of the United States of America, she should be a true steward of our national parks, our natural resources and all of our lands. The federal government has long broken promises to Native American tribes who have been on this land since time immemorial. With her appointment, Congresswoman Haaland will help me strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship.
The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he and Joe Biden have spoken on the phone and agreed to work together for the wellbeing of both nations. The Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the conversation was cordial and promise a very good relationship between Mexico and the United States. Mexico has had a fraught relationship with the Trump administration over President Trump's determination to build a border wall. President Lopez Obrador waited until Joe Biden victory was confirmed before offering congratulations.