welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... us covid infections reach an all—time high with hospitalisations doubling in just two weeks. the us chief medical officer stresses the importance of vaccinations. about a 20 times likelihood that you would be dead if you were unvaccinated. the british prime minister borisjohnson under growing pressure over a downing street drinks party when large gatherings were banned. questions raised about whether novak djokovic made a false declaration on his border entry form for australia. we'll have the latest
from melbourne. a medicalfirst in america, where doctors have transplanted a genetically modified pig's heart into a human patient. so here's the story. came to bel air for a so here's the story. came to bel airfor a better so here's the story. came to bel air for a better education. simple. be patient. and bel air's prince is back, and he's fresher than ever — the �*90s comedy has been given a dramatic reboot. live from our studio in singapore. this is bbc news. it's newsday. hello, and welcome to the programme. the 0micron variant of coronavirus is spreading in the united states, the number of new covid infections and the number of hospital admissions have reached an all—time high. in europe, the world health
organization said it expects more than half the people there will be infected in the next 6—8 weeks — with france, italy, and turkey reporting new pandemic highs. if we take a closer look at the us, we'll see cases there have soared over the past few weeks to an average of 737,000 per day. the number of americans in hospital with covid is over 142,000 — it's never been higher, and it's increased 83% in the last two weeks. the us chief medical adviser, anthony fauci, has been giving evidence to a congressional commitee on the current state of play. here's his repsonse to a question on the importance of vaccinations. if you look at vaccinated versus unvaccinated, there's about a ten times greater chance that you to be infected if you were unvaccinated, about a 17 times greater chance that you'd be hospitalised
if you were unvaccinated, and about a 20 times likelihood that you would be dead if you were unvaccinated. so when you look at every parameter — ten times, 17 times, 20 times — infection, hospitalisation, death. earlier i spoke to dr adam brown, from envision health care, to get a clearer picture of what the situation is for hospitals in the us right now. it's a pretty grim picture. we're seeing a record number of cases across the united states — more so on the east coast in some of our larger population centres, like out in california and chicago. and from a hospital standpoint, we're also seeing a record number of hospitalisations not only with adults, but also with paediatric patience. and that's on top of what we were seeing, of course, in the normal state of affairs during january, just after the holidays in our hospitals. this is a pretty grim, frustrating situation for our health care workers and our patients, as well.
indeed, dr brown, but my understanding is — and please do correct me if i'm wrong — that the number of people infected who've tested positive and are coming into hospital — we're only finding out about that once they're in, is that right? what does that indicate about the severity of the disease, at this point in time? well, i think what you may be alluding to is that we're starting to differentiate between patients who are being admitted to the hospital with covid, and those who may be admitted for other reasons that have covid. but the fact remains that there's a significant amount of resources that are required for patients who not only have it as a primary diagnosis, but also a secondary diagnosis. and from what i am seeing on the ground and from the conversations that i'm having with my colleagues, my clinical leaders from across the country, they are being really stretched, and the resources are being stretched — it's causing significant issues for the health care system. so, irrespective of the way that the disease is
categorised, that may be important for us from a a scientific perspective in the long run in understanding how 0micron and other variants of covid may respond to vaccinated and unvaccinated bodies. but we are seeing a significant amount of cases, and it's causing a lot of strain. how close are we to hospitals being overrun, and how concerned are you about that? i'm very concerned about that. remember that cases come first, hospitalisations typically come 1—2 weeks later, and then, sadly deaths can come after that. so if we're seeing record numbers of cases, than record numbers of hospitalisations now — over the upcoming weeks, we will see even more hospitalisations and greater strain. i've had some people asked me about health care system collapse, and it's not like a light bulb that gets turned off —
it's more symptoms of delayed care, ambulances that may not be at your home when you need it, or even services in hospital that are not available when you need them. those things are starting to happen now — we've even seen in florida, a mother—and—baby ward to close down because multiple staff members are getting sick. so those are some complicated issues we are seeing here in the us as we try to deal with 0micron. that's the picture in the us. meanwhile, the who director for europe says more than half the continent's population will catch covid in the next two months if infections continue at current rates. experts say vaccines still provide good protection against 0micron, but because of the unprecedented scale of transmission, we're now seeing rising covid—i9 hospitalisations across europe. let's take a listen. at this rate, the institute for health metrics and evaluation forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the region will be infected with 0micron
in the next 6—8 weeks. data collated in recent weeks confirms that 0micron is highly transmissible, because the mutations it has enable it to adhere to human cells more easily, and it can infect even those who have been previously infected or vaccinated. finally, let's looks at the situation in asia. china has locked down a third city — new measures have been imposed in an—yang, affecting five and half million people. hong kong is imposing some of its strictest curbs since the beginning of the pandemic. primary schools are to close — last week, a 6pm curfew on dining was brought in. in india, delhi's chief minister has confirmed, that restaurants will close, work—from—home orders are to be reimposed, and the nightime
curfew will continue. turning now to what's making headlines in the uk — the prime minister, borisjohnson, is preparing for another tough day in the commons after it emerged a drinks event took place in downing street during the first lockdown in may 2020. two eyewitnesses have told the bbc that mrjohnson and his wife were among the 30 or so people in attendance at the gathering — an apparent breach of covid restrictions in place in england at the time. he's so far refused to comment on whether he was present. the bbc�*s deputy political editor vicki young gave us this update from westminster. now of course, amongst tory mps, there's a range of opinion. i spoke today to some of his long—time critics — they are absurdly furious, they were incredibly rude about him, and they think that he should go. i think more worrying for the prime minister, though, is amongst some of those who
have previously backed him — they really think that there is a lack of grip in downing street, they hate the way these stories keep coming out, they think there should have been much more transparency from the beginning. but don't forget, of course, borisjohnson has an 80—seat majority — there's a lot of anger, but what i don't detect at this point at least is any kind of advanced organised plan to try and get rid of him. what many tory mps do want is, firstly, an apology, and they do want a better explanation of exactly what was going on in number ten downing street. and preferably they want it before 12pm noon tomorrow, which is when borisjohnson gets up to answer prime minister's questions. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. north korea says the missile test it carried out on tuesday was of a hypersonic device. state media announced that the launch was attended by the country's leader, kimjong—un. it was the second missile test carried out by pyongyang in a week. the missile plunged into the sea east of the korean peninsula.
the us has promised more than $300 million in new aid to afghanistan, and has urged the taliban to give unhindered access to all aid workers. earlier, the united nations appealed for $5 billion to tackle a spiralling humanitarian crisis in the country, where aid has mostly dried up since the taliban takeover in august. cuba's president has accused the united states of carrying out horrific abuse against inmates held at the guantanamo bay prison since it opened 20 years ago. miguel diaz—canel made the remarks on the anniversary of the arrival of the first detainees at the us military base in cuba, following the 9/11 attacks. scientists claim that the thawing of the earth's permafrost, a consistently frozen layer of soil, could put half of all arctic infrastructure at risk within 30 years. a new study, published in the journal nature reviews earth and environment, reveals that warmer,
less solid land can cause buildings, roads, and pipelines to collapse. president biden has begun the new year pushing for voting rights, calling this a defining moment for us democracy. he was in georgia today, calling on the us senate to create national rules for early voting and voting by mail, and to restore state voting laws meant to prevent discrimination. jim crow 2.0 is about two insidious things — voter suppression and election subversion. it's no longer about who gets to vote, it's about making it harder to vote. it's about who gets to count the vote — and whether your vote counts at all. it's not hyperbole, this is a fact. look, this matters to all of us.
the goal of the former president's allies is to disenfranchise anyone who votes against them. simple as that. president biden really began this push on voting right after the aniversary of the attack on the capitol. 0ur correspondent gary 0'donoghue explained more about the link between these two things. i think he sees it as all of a piece — that the attack on the capitol last year, the attempts by republicans around the country to have results overturned, to block, to change the rules, even right up to that day of the capitol attack where members of congress are trying to overturn things — he sees this as all of a piece, with this attempt to change the rules around the country since the election. and these two bills represent a pushback against that — and, while there is enough democratic support, 50 plus one to get that through this and that,
there isn't enough republican support to overcome the potential filibuster — and that's the problem he's facing. a lot of people have been hoping for this kind of a speech sometime ago. there was a lot of focus by the white house on the other big legislative priorities — the infrastructure bill, the build back better bill, earlier the american recovery plan — they believe the white house dropped the ball on this, and now it's too late. that's why you've seen some civil rights groups and individuals give a pass to the speech today, because they believe it's doomed to fail and they don't really want to be associated with that. i think, from the president's point of view, he sees this as a line in the sand and the battle is not over, they may lose this but there's more battles ahead — whereas in reality, a lot of people will see this as a huge blow to his legislative ambitions, and there'll be a lot of angry democrats after this. let's get the latest on novak djokovic in australia. the australian government is still deciding whether to cancel his visa.
on top of that — questions are now being raised about whether novak djokovic made a false declaration on his border entry form. australian media is reporting he ticked a box to say he had not travelled in the two weeks before arriving in melbourne on 5 january. on christmas day, he was in belgrade. this picture tweeted by a portuguese journalist shows novak djokovic posing with a serbian handball player. a few days later, he was in spain. this video shows djokovic training in marbella on 2 january. he also signed autographs there forfans. 0ur correspondent shaimaa khalil has the latest from melbourne. the overarching sentiments now are confusion and uncertainty. yes, we know that a judge ruled in his favour to stay. but we don't know if the government is still going to seek to deport him. we don't know if the immigration minister, alex hawke, is going to use his executive powers
to cancel his visa. and today, another layer of uncertainty — reports of the border force investigating whether novak djokovic gave incorrect information in his travel declaration. remember, this is important because this is an argument that his legal team used in court, that he has given all the information in his travel declaration. well, now we know there are questions about whether or not he travelled within the 14 days prior to coming to australia. so, yes, he says he's focused on competing. yes, he's been here training. but a few days before the australian open, there is no guarantee that he will be allowed to play and defend his title. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: bel—air�*s prince is back. the �*90s tv programme that launched the career of global superstar will smith has being given a gritty re—boot.
day one of operation desert storm to force the iraqis out of kuwait has seen the most intense air attacks since the second world war. tobacco is america's oldest industry, and it's one of its biggest. but the industry is nervous of this report — this may tend to make people want to stop smoking cigarettes. there is not a street that is unaffected. huge parts of kobe were simply demolished as buildings crashed into one another. this woman said she'd been given no help and no advice by the authorities. she stood outside the ruins of her business. tens of thousands of black. children in south africa have taken advantage of laws passed by the country's new— multiracial government - and enrolled at formerly—white schools. tonight see the 9,610th performance of the long—running play, the mousetrap. when they heard of her death today, the management considered whether to cancel tonight's performance, but agatha christie would've been the last person to want such a thing.
this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. 0ur headlines... the us once again has broken the world record for daily covid cases — and record numbers are in hospital with covid, too. the british prime minister borisjohnson is under growing pressure over a downing street drinks party when large gatherings were banned. one of the biggest illegal dark net websites has gone offline, after two years of selling class a drugs, counterfeit cash, and malware used to hack and disable computers. the administrators of torrez shut it down over christmas. but new illegal sites are popping up all the time — and research by the bbc highlights the success of the online drugs trade. 0ur cyber reporter joe tidy has that story.
this is a humanist burying ground. i come up and see how the tree is doing, give it a kick, tell him off. —— i come up here and tell him off. clare campbell's16—year—old son luke died after taking strong ecstasy tablets at a youth disco. what was luke like as a person? but he didn't have a bad bone in his body. he was naughty and cheeky, but there was nothing nasty about him. there was no maliciousness. luke's friends bought the pills from a marketplace on the dark net. dark net markets are a small and often overlooked part of the drugs economy. these sites only accessible through special internet browsing software have been a thorn in the side of the police for a decade now. and over christmas, an interesting development. torrez, one of the largest marketplaces in the world, closed down after two years. a polite notice was posted to customers and sellers. torrez is the latest dark market to close down before police could take action. but even when the authorities do take down marketplaces, the effect on the drugs trade
is often short lived, as bbc research highlights. we studied the activity of thousands of dark net dealers. at least a50 have survived multiple police take—downs. in fact, one dealer, perhaps the uk's most prolific, has now appeared on 21 different marketplaces over six years. we ordered some drugs from this criminal, next generation. it was complicated and time—consuming but it highlighted the complex tactics these sellers use to protect themselves. interesting. so, if you did open this box, it would look like some sort of a herbal treatment. of course, we know that's not what's in this little silver packet. this is cocaine. it's a low risk mark. it deals with a vendor on the dark web. in october, 150 people were arrested in multiple countries including 2a in the uk. a major dark market was also closed down. the uk's nca says it's determined to turn the tide on dark net markets and has
developed new cyber policing techniques to help protect the public. people hearing your story might be confused as to why... why are we not anti—drugs and angry and demanding prison sentences? yes. there's no point being angry with people because they're none not luke, not his friends, not the dark web. claire is now calling for the decriminalisation and regulation of all areas of the drugs trade, including the dark net. joe tidy, bbc news, in devon. a 57—year—old man in america who received the heart of a genetically—modified pig in a first of its kind operation is doing "extremely well". that's according to his son who spoke to the bbc and said the result was an "absolute miracle". if the procedure does prove to be successful, it could lead to animal organs being used more frequently
in human transplants. this report from our medical editor fergus walsh contains pictures of the operation. this is the gene—edited pig heart, ready for transplant into a human. the organ looks perfect, a good size, and the extraction of the organ went routinely. surgeons in maryland spent eight hours performing the world first. scientists had spent decades building to this moment, which some believe could revolutionise transplantation. the recipient was david bennett, seen here with his son and daughter. he was dying of heart failure and too ill to be considered for a human organ. now his new pig heart is working well. it's an absolute miracle. it provides a lot of hope for my family, my dad and many others. he is doing extremely well. his vitals look great, using the pig heart alone. and here is david
with his surgeon. he's said to be doing well, although it's unclear how long his new heart will last. we've never done this in a human, and i like to think that we have given him a better option than what continuing his therapy would have been. but whether it's a day, week, month, year, i don't know. the science involved gene—editing pig embryos. four pig genes were deactivated, knocked out. this included one to stop the heart from growing too large once transplanted. six human genes were added to try to prevent the immune system from immediately rejecting it. the gene—altered embryo was then transferred into a sow, with the subsequent litter grown for potential human transplant. i visited research farms in the us breeding gene—edited pigs. the hope is, they could solve the organ donor shortage. in the uk, around 500
patients die each year while on the transplant waiting list. some will object to animals being bred as spare parts, but the number needed would be dwarfed by the millions bred for meat. fergus walsh, bbc news. nbc�*s hit show the fresh prince of bel—air, which ran for 148 episodes over six seaons in the 1990s, is back, although this time without a laugh track. on monday, a trailer for a reboot of the show, titled bel—air was released, which, like, the orginal show is based on the life of a street—smart teenager born and raised in west philadelphia who is set to live with his wealthy uncle and aunt in bel—air. this time, will smith, who played the original role will be the show�*s executive producer, with jabari banks playing the new will. let's take a look. both: damn! geoffrey thompson,
house manager. will! aunt viv! ten years is a long time. let me show you around. hillary. will! let's go find you something fit for a prince. what do you think? well, earlier, we spoke to the critic and broadcaster scott bryan. i mean, it's very different from the show that everyone has been expecting. of course, fresh prince of bel—air was one of the most iconic shows of the �*90s, but i think what this is really indicating is a shift in direction at a time when there's been so many reboots, reboots, revivals, everything of the sort. and i think a reason why there's so many at the moment is primarily down to the fact that at a time when competition between streaming services has been so fierce, it's much easier to get publicity and subscribers to a show with something that's been rebooted, something that people are familiar with, rather than having necessarily a whole new show. although we're having some great new dramas, as well.
but for difficulty with a reboot is bringing something to the modern age which doesn't feel like it's just a tired, carbon copy of the old version with nothing new to say. so i think what's really interesting here is that they've kept the basic framework of what made the show so successful, and have taken the most basic conceits of the plot from the opening titles, and then they've taken it in a totally different, new direction, providing a lot of originality and reflecting a lot of what makes modern tv so great. the rolling stones might once have been seen as the ultimate rock and roll rebels, but they've now been given a rather more mainstream honour — they're featuring on a set of british postage stamps. here are some of the images which will be available on the set of 12 stamps, which mark the band's 60th anniversary. they include images of the late charlie watts, alongside mickjagger, keith richards and ronnie wood. that's all for now —
stay with bbc news. hello, there. on tuesday, sunshine returned to the northern half of the uk. and, through the rest of this week, we'll continue to see differences north—south — but we've got a milder, stronger breeze picking up across scotland and northern ireland. england and wales, the winds are going to be much lighter, so we're more likely to have some frost here and increasing amounts of mist and fog, too. now it was pretty damp and grey for many southern parts of the uk on tuesday, but all that low cloud and damp weather is heading out into the english channel, so clearer skies are following on behind. and, whilst it's chilly across parts of scotland and northern ireland, a frost is more likely in england and wales. not just that, but we're seeing some mist and fog developing — particularly in this area where we have the yellow warning from the met office. and, within that area, there are some very busy roads — so with some dense patches of fog, driving conditions could be tricky in the morning.
that's when we'll still have some fog around, but it should gradually lift through the day, and for many parts, we should see some sunshine coming through. some sunshine across northern ireland, southern and eastern scotland — much more cloud across the northwest of scotland, although it should be largely dry. quite windy, mind you, and temperatures probably reaching double figures in the north of scotland, nearer 7—8 celsius, i think, for england and wales, even with some sunshine. and we've got milder conditions across northern areas because we've got these strong winds coming all the way across the atlantic, around the top of this area of high pressure. and underneath that area of high pressure, this is where we're seeing the frost and the fog. so we start with another frost again on thursday morning, we may well find the fog a little more widespread, not just across some southern parts of england and the midlands, maybe into parts of wales and across northern england for a while. some of that could linger into the afternoon, but for many places, again, we should see some sunshine coming out. and it's a similar story again across scotland and northern ireland — cloudier weather in the north west of scotland,
a little bit damp, as well. still those temperature contrast really north—south across the uk. where that fog is slow to lift, it will be quite a cold day. all that cold air is stuck underneath this area of high pressure. stagnant air, really, so fog is tending to become more widespread. and it may well drift its way up into parts of northern ireland and southern scotland. most of the fog, though, on friday will be across england and wales, and it could linger into the afternoon. some sunshine away from that fog and low cloud. and again, it'll always be milder across more northern parts of scotland.
this is bbc news. we'll have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour, as newsday continues — straight after hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. the world's autocrats do not like to be laughed at. now, that is a political reality my guest today, bassem youssef, understands all too well cos he made his name and won an audience of tens of millions with a satirical comedy show during egypt's popular uprising more than a decade ago. but that revolution quickly morphed into authoritarianism, and youssef fled to the us, taking his gift for comedy with him. did he and do we still expect too much from political satire? bassem youssef in los angeles, welcome to hardtalk.