Hello, I'm David Harper with the BBC News. World Health Organization experts say there's no evidence that the highly contagious new variant of coronavirus that's taken hold in Britain is more severe than existing strains. They say viruses mutate naturally and that all forms of the coronavirus are dangerous. They are urging the public to continue with measures known to reduce their spread, washing, social distancing and wearing face coverings. Maria Van Kerkhove the WHO's technical lead for COVID-19 said much about the new virus is unchanged. We don't have any indication that it's changed how it spreads. Meaning like it's a respiratory pathogen, so it spreads between me and you through these particles in the air. Some are big called droplets, some are small called aerosols. But mainly what is happening is that the virus spreads between people who are in close contact with another. That's still the same.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he's working with the French President Emmanuel Macron to resume trade across the channel. France shut its border in response to the new variant of coronavirus, and other countries put restrictions on travelers from Britain. Mr. Johnson sought to reassure the British public, saying supply chains for food and medicine were robust.
In an event broadcast live on American television, Joe Biden has been injected with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at a hospital in his home state of Delaware. The US President-elect is 78 and considered to be in a high risk group. Mr. Biden included the Trump administration in those he thanked for the vaccines existence. We owe these folks an awful lot, the scientist and the people who put this together, front line workers, the people where the ones who actually did the clinical work. It's just amazing. Administration deserves some credit, getting this off the ground with operation warp speed.
The Russian Secret Service has described as a provocation, a tape telephone call, in which the opposition leader Alexei Navalny tricks an FSB agent into disclosing details about his poisoning earlier this year. The agent says the toxin was planted in a pair of underpants. He also acknowledges that the swift action of Mr, Navalny's pilot may have foiled the operation. The phone call was organized by the investigative website Bellingcat. Eric Toller is a researcher there. There's a whole bunch of reasons why this worked. One of the reasons is we had a bunch of the inside information about this operation. We knew the names of everyone involved. We knew where they went. We did a timeline. We know who talked to home. We know all this stuff. We're able to kind of use this information and parlay it into convincing this FSB officer. Navalny, who was speaking his own voice, which thankfully he somehow didn't recognize, was actually a very senior member of the Russian security service and then to divulge information. He detailed how the poisoning happened, how the cleanup operation happened, who was in charge of it, who he cooperated with, what went wrong and everything else. BBC news.