December 31, Friday, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. The daily numbers of coronavirus cases have reached record highs in the United States and some European countries.
2. US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have spoken by phone on the situation surrounding Ukraine. They failed to find common ground, but agreed to continue talks in diplomatic sessions next month to decrease tension.
3. US electric carmaker Tesla is recalling more than 470,000 vehicles after problems that could affect safety came to light. It’s the largest-ever recall for the firm and about the same as the automaker’s 2020 worldwide sales.