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Hello, I'm David Harper with the BBC News. The leader of the Republican majority in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell has, in effect, killed off President Trump's demands for bigger cash handouts to the American people to help the economy recover from the pandemic. Mr McConnell rejected calls for a direct vote on the issue by the Democrats. Steve Jackson reports. In the dying days of his presidency, Donald Trump has chosen to take a stand to demand bigger payments to American households than the $600 approved by congress. But many members of his own Republican Party are uneasy about making this reality, fearing it won't help to stimulate the pandemic-hit economy. Democrats in the Senate tried to force a vote on the move which they support that Mitch McConnell has now killed off any chance of it's happening in the time available. He again insisted that the increased payments be linked to other Republican demands, including launching inquiry into the presidential election, a measure totally unacceptable to the Democrats.
Nearly 1,200 people have died with COVID-19 in Brazil in the past day, the highest figure since the beginning of September. The public health system is on the brink of collapse in several Brazilian states. Our America's editorial Leonardo Rocha reports. A recent surge in the number of cases has put further pressure on the government to begin a mass inoculation program. President Jair Bolsonaro who has repeatedly dismissed the severity of the coronavirus, says there's no reason to panic and vaccinations will begin in mid-February. Brazil hasn't yet approved the use of any of the vaccines available in the market.
In Argentina, health regulators have given the green light for the emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in Britain. The announcement came hours after it began inoculated people across the country using those of the Sputnik V jab it bought from Russia last week.
The United States says it's imposing new trade tariffs on France and Germany. The measures come just weeks before a new administration takes over in the United States. Jonathan Joseph reports. With less than 3 weeks still in office, the Trump administration has once again turned to tariffs. New import taxes are being imposed on non-sparkling wines as well as brandy and aircraft manufacturing parts from France and Germany. The US says it's doing so because the European Union unfairly used figures from during the coronavirus pandemic to calculate which products it would impose tariffs on. It also unfairly excluded UK trade. This means more US products were hit than would otherwise have been the case.
Four and half years after the British people voted to leave the European Union, a free trade deal between the two sides has become law in Britain. The Prime Pinister Boris Johnson who signed the treaty said the UK was marking a new beginning in its relationship with the EU. The leader of the opposition Labor Party Keir Starmer called it a thin deal, but said it was better than no deal. You're listening to the latest World news from the BBC.
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