welcome to bbc news, i'm rich preston. our top stories: guilty of faking a hate crime — a jury in chicago convicts the american actorjussie smollett. 26 chicago police officer spent 3000 hours of time for a fake crime that never occurred, and by the way, a fake crime that denigrates what a real hate an unofficial tribunal in london finds evidence of crimes against humanity and genocide against china's uyghur minority. the pressure grows on borisjohnson
as an investigation into covid rule—breaking is expanded to cover three parties at downing street. and workers at a starbucks coffee shop in upstate new york vote to start a union. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. ajury in chicago has found actorjussie smolett guilty of staging a hate crime against himself. mr smolett, who is african—american and openly gay, was accused of orchestrating homophobic attack against him by people impersonating supporters of then—president donald trump in 2019 to generate publicity, after reportedly being annoyed by his treatment on the tv show he was starring in at the time. special prosecutor daniel webb spoke to media shortly after the verdict. a lot of times, people say "well, police officers sweep things under the rug". this police department responded by absolutely testifying in his trial
that they took it seriously, they believed he was the victim of a crime and they worked so hard for the next three weeks, you saw — 26 chicago police officers spent 3,000 hours of time, costing the city well over $100,000 for a fake crime that never occurred — and by the way, a fake crime that denigrates what a real hate crime is. well, smolett�*s defense attorney says they're obviously disappointed, but he's confident the case will be won on appeal. u nfortu nately unfortunately that is not the route but sometimes that is the route but sometimes that is the route that you have 100% confident in date of this case �*s case has been prejudged and tried in the media, and it is
dollars to stage the attack. mr smallwood himself took to the stand to defend himself and he claimed that there was never, it was never money to stage an attack did it he said he had paid them this money for personal sessions, for meal plans, workout plans that the two men, the two brothers, they are gym instructors. he maintained _ are gym instructors. he maintained his - are gym instructors. he: maintained his innocence throughout all of this. but as we heard there, the prosecution steadfast on this they say that this was something that mr smollett staged to try and bruce —— boost his profile and his tv career and after about a day of deliberation, nine hours, thejury day of deliberation, nine hours, the jury returned a verdict and found him guilty on five of the six charges. the prosecutor. _ five of the six charges. the prosecutor, when - five of the six charges. the prosecutor, when he - five of the six charges. the prosecutor, when he spoke to the media said that mr smollett lied to police but also to the jury. we heard earlier in the clip his defence attorney
saying they are confident they will win on appeal and get this overturned. will win on appeal and get this overturned-— overturned. yes. they seem confident — overturned. yes. they seem confident that _ overturned. yes. they seem confident that they - overturned. yes. they seem confident that they can - overturned. yes. they seem confident that they can do . confident that they can do that. they seem confident they can do that. mr smollett maintains he never did anything wrong, it is really interesting how much this case has turned, at the time when he claimed that this homophobic and racist attack happened, there was this outpouring of support for him. we're talking about tv presenters, news presenters giving monologues and even then our vice president, kamala harris, calling it a modern lynching. that anger, but support, seems turned to anger, and even the people who had once supported him accused him of taking advantage of the anger and of taking advantage of the angerand pain of of taking advantage of the anger and pain of racism. his career has declined since then, but yes, his team are planning to appeal, but if that is not successful, he does face present time.— successful, he does face present time. successful, he does face resent time. ., present time. nominee iqbal in washington. — present time. nominee iqbal in washington, thanks _ present time. nominee iqbal in washington, thanks for- present time. nominee iqbal in washington, thanks forjoiningl washington, thanks for joining
us. washington, thanks forjoining us. —— nomia. here in london, an unofficial tribunal investigating china's treatment of the uyghur minority, has found evidence of crimes against humanity and genocide. the findings detail systematic human rights abuses, including forced labour and torture. the chair of the tribunal, sir geoffrey nice, explained how women were sterilised without their consent, and families deliberately separated. witness statements also described rapes and assaults in detention camps. pressure is growing on beijing, after both the us and other countries announced diplomatic boycotts of the winter olympics. the us house of representatives has also approved legislation banning imports from xinjiang. human rights groups believe china has detained more than one million uyghurs over the past few years. here's the chair of the uyghur tribunal delivering the outcome. 0n the basis of evidence heard in public, the tribunal is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the prc, by the imposition of measures to prevent births, intended to destroy a significant part of the uyghurs in xinjiang.
as such, it has committed genocide. the tribunal is satisfied that president xijinping, chen quanguo and other very senior officials in the prc and ccp bear primary responsibility for acts that have occurred in xinjiang. we can now speak to erkin sidick, who is the president of the uyghur projects foundation. he joins us from los angeles. good evening to you in the united states. can you explain to us, first of all, what is your connection to the uyghur community? i your connection to the uyghur community?— your connection to the uyghur community? i am the president ofthe community? i am the president of the uyghur— community? i am the president of the uyghur projects - of the uyghur projects foundation, founded in 2019 to preserve the uyghur culture, language and identity abroad. the uyghurs in uzbekistan has gone, so we want to preserve our heritage, culture, linkage
and identity abroad. that our heritage, culture, linkage and identity abroad.— our heritage, culture, linkage and identity abroad. that is my connection- — and identity abroad. that is my connection. what _ and identity abroad. that is my connection. what is _ and identity abroad. that is my connection. what is your - connection. what is your reaction to the findings of this tribunal? i reaction to the findings of this tribunal?— reaction to the findings of this tribunal? ., , this tribunal? i am extremely ha . . l this tribunal? i am extremely happy. because _ this tribunal? i am extremely happy, because we _ this tribunal? i am extremely happy, because we have - happy, because we have connections back home, we have always been getting about news from our homeland, on a daily basis, and we are so voiceless in the international community. this tribunal gave us a legal basis to hold china's government accountable for crimes against the uyghurs and other peoples in turkmenistan, so we're very happy about that and this is an historic event for us. , , ., .,, for us. this tribunal was unofficial. _ for us. this tribunal was unofficial. what - for us. this tribunal was unofficial. what do - for us. this tribunal was unofficial. what do you | for us. this tribunal was - unofficial. what do you hope will come of this? i unofficial. what do you hope will come of this?— unofficial. what do you hope will come of this? i hope the international— will come of this? i hope the international community - will come of this? i hope the i international community moves faster than before and take some action. so far the chinese
government does not allow anybody from the international community to go to east turkestan and investigate, the outside world is finding still a very little part of what actually happened in east turkestan. i have some connections, sources, in east turkestan, and also in china's central government. i get many pieces of information which is much worse than what happened, what is reported in the western media. for example, even today, the western media says more than 1 the western media says more than1 million uyghurs have been detained in camps, but my source in the top level chinese government departments tells me about 9 million uyghurs have been detained since 2014. this number may surprise many people, the burger population is not 11 or 12 million as the chinese government reports so far, it is about 20 million. so
from the 20 million ergo people, about 9 million have been detained in, since 2014, and about1 million people have died. so we have even more difficulties about that, for example, among those 9 million uyghurs, 2.1 million have been transferred to other parts of china and disbursed and disappeared. 1.8 million transferred from concentration camps to prisons and jails, and the rest, some of them have insurance firm —— transferred to forced labour factories insurance firm —— transferred to forced labourfactories in east turkestan. recently, our foundation got a list of the chinese companies hiring uyghur people as forced labourers in east turkestan, the numbers were huge, more 14,000 factories in east turkestan alone. so if one factory employs about 100 uyghurs, this means that currently they have
1.4 million uyghurs being employed as forced labour workers in china's factories in east turkestan. so the real situation is much worse, people should think about what happened in the holocaust, before that, people went to germany to investigate, they didn't believe a lot of news, information, that people could get. but when i actually checked it, the real situation was much worse than what they had heard. irate was much worse than what they had heard-— had heard. we have run out of time, unfortunately. - had heard. we have run out of time, unfortunately. we - had heard. we have run out of time, unfortunately. we will. time, unfortunately. we will have to leave it there, but thank you very much for being with us. appreciate it. the drama surrounding the british prime minister borisjohnson has added fresh scenes and new characters. after the claims about rule—breaking christmas parties, there are now questions over whether he misled an investigation into refurbishments at his downing street flat. if that wasn't enough, some conservative mps are furious over his new coronavirus restrictions. 0ur political editor laura kuenssberg has this report.
nightmares on downing street. behind every window, a different dilemma. what's the truth about last year's christmas party in the building? who paid forjohnsons' expensive interior design upstairs? how can they control another surge in the pandemic? and can they keep their own party under control? when thejohnsons moved in upstairs, they had thousands of pounds of renovations. when the lavish expenses emerged, this was the prime minister's claim. who initially paid for the redecoration of this downing street flat? he should know that i paid for downing street refurbishment personally, mr speaker. yet the tories have been fined thousands for breaking spending rules after a wealthy businessman tried to set up a special trust to pay for doing up the flat. the real tangle is whether borisjohnson has been straight about what happened. he told a previous investigation he hadn't known exactly where the cash came from until february this year, but today's report showed he sent a wealthy donor a whatsapp about the cash
several months before. downing street's defence? it's suggested he knew this wealthy donor was overseeing the money, but not that he was directly providing the cash himself. boris johnson's taking the british public forfools. he's not only broken the law, but made a mockery of the standards we expect. and even though there's been tears and a resignation, number ten's hardly recovered from denials and non—denials about parties under its roof. i'm truly sorry... and tonight, confirmation that the director of communications in downing street, jack doyle, attended and made a speech at the gathering on december 18 to thank as many as 30 staff who were present. he's the man who's been in charge of denying there was a party. now, we know he was at the event, just one of three under investigation. thank you very much, mr speaker. a formal investigation catch up with what really happened? not one, not two, but three
what the government is still calling gatherings. a gathering at number ten downing street on november 27, 2020, a gathering at the department for education on december 10, 2020. and allegations made of a gathering at number ten downing street on december 18, 2020. but it's the emptying of offices next week, the return of tighter covid restrictions, vaccine passports to get into venues that's stirring strong feelings. dozens of tory mps have already vowed to vote against the plans next week, and this is all provoking private questions about the prime minister's future with a warning from the past. the mood of the conservative party is sulphurous, and what we need now is a bit of grip from number ten. it's no good having these stories dragged out by the media. the government needs to make a clean breast of it. the conservative party history
is littered with ruthlessness on these occasions, but i'm confident that boris will get a grip. there is exasperation in the tory party about what's been happening, and near universal agreement that someone somehow has to take control of what's happening here. but a universal belief that that will certainly happen? that's a different matter. downing street will soon be home for a new baby girl, born happy and healthy to thejohnsons this morning. but what many conservatives also want to see is rigour and clear logic in residence behind that famous door. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: how's this for distance learning? the chinese pupils getting a science lesson from outer space.
john lennon was shot at the entrance to the dakota building in the centre of new york. there's been a crowd here standing in more or less silent vigil and the flowers have been piling up. the 14th ceasefire of this war ended at the walls of the old city of dubrovnik. this morning, witnesses said shells were landing every 20 seconds. people are celebrating the passing of a man they hold responsible for hundreds of deaths and oppression. elsewhere, people have been gathering to mourn his passing. imelda marcos, the widow of the former - president of the philippines, has gone on trial in manila. she's facing seven charges of tax evasion, _ estimated at £120 million. she pleaded not guilty. the prince and princess of wales are to separate. a statement from buckingham palace said the decision had been reached amicably.
this is bbc news — the latest headlines: a court in chicago has found the actorjussie smollett guilty of staging an attack on himself nearly two years ago — and making it look like a hate crime. an unofficial tribunal in london finds evidence of crimes against humanity and genocide against china's uyghur minority. workers at a starbucks cafe in the city of buffalo in upstate new york have voted to start a union. starbucks decertified unions in the us more than 30 years ago but campaigners say the pandemic and work conditions have been the catalyst for change. richard bensinger is the starbucks union organiser from workers united. he's joined by casey moore, who is a staff member — they call their employeees "partners". they have just left their victory party to speak
to us. they are in buffalo, new york. thank you very much for being with us. richard, you first, what is your immediate reaction? i think it is a victory not only for casey and starbucks partners, it is a victory for their generation and for service workers all over the world. casey, starbucks says it provides excellent standard of care for its employees and this will be the first unionised store in 30 years and it says you have excellent wage and salary opportunities. why was this necessary? why did you vote for this? it necessary? why did you vote for this? ., , necessary? why did you vote for this? . , ., , ., ., this? it ultimately has to do with having _ this? it ultimately has to do with having a _ this? it ultimately has to do with having a seat _ this? it ultimately has to do with having a seat and - this? it ultimately has to do | with having a seat and having this? it ultimately has to do i with having a seat and having a voice at the table. starbucks is a symbolic chair at their board table that represents partners and every time that they make decisions they look at this empty chair and say,
well, what do we think partners would want to estimate we thought we should feel that chair, that we should have a say in our workplace. we are starbucks, we are the ones who make it what it is today and working through the pandemic, risking our lives so customers could have the starbucks experience, we thought we deserved to have a say in our workplace and have a democracy in our work place.— in our work place. looking at the bigger— in our work place. looking at the bigger picture _ in our work place. looking at the bigger picture here, - the bigger picture here, richard, many people in europe, unions are normal in many countries, france, germany, the uk but not so much in many areas of american life. what does this mean for employees in the us, from sea to shining sea, between the two coasts, and notjust in the hospitality industry? i and notjust in the hospitality indust ? ~ , industry? i think this victory is a victory _ industry? i think this victory is a victory for _ industry? i think this victory is a victory for all _ industry? i think this victory is a victory for all workers. i is a victory for all workers. and ifigure it begins to address the tremendous economic disparity of wage and
inequality in this country. casey's generation, most people have no hope of owning a home or they work twojobs have no hope of owning a home or they work two jobs to pay off student debt. this generation, i call them jen union, they are looking to unions as a solution. it is a credit —— incredible moment for this country and i think for workers around the world. trailing workers around the world. why was now. _ workers around the world. why was now, casey, _ workers around the world. why was now, casey, the _ workers around the world. why was now, casey, the right moment for this to happen? many --eole moment for this to happen? many people think _ moment for this to happen? many people think that _ moment for this to happen? many people think that it _ moment for this to happen? many people think that it was _ people think that it was because of the pandemic and, you know, the pandemic was definitely a part of it, the last straw that got a lot of my co—workers to say enough is enough. but it is combined, as richard said, it is generational. millennial�*s and generational. millennial�*s and generation c have faced the great recession, a global pandemic and realise that this economic system does not work for us. i have partners who can barely afford to pay rent and put food on their fridge at the same time every week. so i think it was a combination of the pandemic of pay, starbucks
has had a profitable year amidst the pandemic and all of theseissues amidst the pandemic and all of these issues combining, you know, drive—through levels increased volumes at our stores, partners were saying enough is enough. this is not sustainable and we are going to do something about it. a union is the only way that we can actually hold starbucks accountable to be the company that we know we can be, a progressive company that is ultimately pro— we will have to leave it there. richard and caseyjoining us from buffalo, new york. thank you for being with us. the united nations�* world food programme has suspended distribution of food aid in two towns in the north of ethiopia. its warehouses were looted by rebel tigrayan forces in dessie and kombolcha in amhara region of the country. the bbc�*s emmanuel igunza reports from nairobi. this was two days ago. the
government showing pictures allegedly of the destruction caused by tigrayan forces in areas recently ta ken caused by tigrayan forces in areas recently taken by federal troops. schools hospitals airports private business damaged or looted. and now the un appears to corroborate the claims. it says tigrayan forces held staff at gunpoint in the town of caboolture and looted food. the supplies included nutritional supplements for malnourished children. the un says aid workers were operating food distribution programmes and conflicted areas. it is and conflicted areas. it is unacceptable _ and conflicted areas. it is unacceptable and - and conflicted areas. it is unacceptable and it - and conflicted areas. it 3 unacceptable and it undermines the ability of the united nations and all of our humanitarian partners to deliver assistance when it is most needed. particularly as aid workers face growing access challenges. aid workers face growing access challenges-— challenges. this comes even as the number _ challenges. this comes even as the number of _ challenges. this comes even as the number of those _
challenges. this comes even as the number of those now - challenges. this comes even as| the number of those now reliant on food assistance jump to 2.4 million people. a sharp increase following massive displacement in the amhara region. nearly half a million of them are living in famine like conditions but very little food aid is getting to them. for months now the un has appealed to the government to cut red tape that is delaying delivery of much—needed food and medicine. humanitarians are also facing fuel and cash shortages and the recent looting is an example of the dangerous conditions they have to work under. if dangerous conditions they have to work under.— to work under. if anybody politicised _ to work under. if anybody politicised is _ to work under. if anybody| politicised is humanitarian actions it is states are not the united nations as an instant tuition. certainly not the unhcr. and i think that into many situations where we find ourselves being accused, like an ethiopian of example, by all sides to take the other side, this is not healthy, this is not safe for our people.
this is not conducive to effective humanitarian, humanitarian action. ﬁn effective humanitarian, humanitarian action. on the battlefront, _ humanitarian action. on the battlefront, the _ humanitarian action. on the battlefront, the civil - humanitarian action. on the battlefront, the civil war - battlefront, the civil war rages on. the government appears to have made significant gains in retaking territory that was recently controlled by rebel tigrayan forces. each side says it can win unilaterally. but every day the conflict drags on, innocent people here bear the brunt. hundreds of school children across china have been taking part in a somewhat unusual science lesson. the pupils came from various cities in different parts of the country — but the people doing the teaching were a long way away. the bbc�*s tim allman explains. class begins and the children wait attentively. by giving the teacher and apple may be a bit of a stretch. particularly when
teacher is floating 400 kilometres up in space. when yelping introducing her and her fellow astronauts from china's new space station. this is distance learning on a completely different scale. the three astronauts carried out a series of experiments in zero gravity. here comparing how buoyancy works both on earth and in space. some of the children even got to ask questions. translation: talking to the astronauts _ questions. translation: talking to the astronauts has _ questions. translation: talking to the astronauts has made - questions. translation: talking to the astronauts has made me i to the astronauts has made me interested in the universe said this student.— interested in the universe said this student. and i dream about sace. i this student. and i dream about space. i think— this student. and i dream about space. i think we _ this student. and i dream about space. i think we young - this student. and i dream about space. i think we young people | space. i think we young people should also be ambitious and aspiring said this boy. and build our own spacecraft. after the hour was up the lesson came to an end and the astronauts waved goodbye. as one official put it, they want to plant the seeds of space and science in the hearts of children. tim
allman, bbc news. and that is it from us for the time being. you can reach me on twitter. hello there. thursday brought a day of contrasting weather conditions, glorious blue sky and sunshine in west sussex. nearly six hours of sunshine before the rain arrived late on in the afternoon. as for friday, we could actually see plenty of sunshine yet again in many places. there will be a scattering of sharp showers and it will feel pretty chilly for most of us. however, as we head into the weekend, the story is changing. it will turn increasingly cloudy with some rain around, but, more noticeably, it will turn milder. before that, though, this weather front continues to clear away. the winds swing round to a north—westerly and that's going to feed in some showers from the word go across the far north and west of scotland. it's going to be a chilly start as well first thing this morning with low single figures in the north. now, some of these showers could be heavy with some hail and thunder mixed in there as well. and they will drift their way downwards to the cheshire gap towards the midlands, but you can also see there's
a good slice of dry, sunny weather to be found for many particularly sheltered eastern areas, central and southern england as well. temperatures generally around 4 to 9 degrees, so still a little below par really for the time of year. however, as we head into the weekend, here's the change. these weather fronts will start to push in, and they're going to swing the wind direction around to the south—westerly, so that's going to feed in some milder air from the south—west and that's going to gradually nudge its way northwards for the second half of the weekend. it does come at a price — it means more cloud around. perhaps some early morning brightness in sheltered eastern areas. clouding over from the west with the rain pushing in, and some of it turning quite heavy along west—facing slopes as well. in terms of the feel of the weather, if we keep those clearer skies, 6 or 7 degrees for a time, but out to the west, the milder air showing its hand, we'll likely to see 10 to 12 celsius.
then on sunday, it's going to be a rather cloudy, damp, misty, murky kind of day with outbreaks of rain perhaps threatening into the far north and west. but look at the temperatures — widely we're likely to see highs of 11 to 14 degrees. that's just above the average really for this time of year. and that milder trend is set to stay with us for the week ahead, although cloud cover could be a bit of an issue from time to time. that's it. take care.
the headlines: a court in chicago has found the actorjussie smollett guilty of lying to police after he staged an attack on himself nearly three years ago and complained it was a hate crime. the claims from smollett prompted an outpouring of support from celebrities and politicians at the time. an unofficial tribunal looking into allegations of human rights violations in the chinese region of xinjiang has concluded that beijing has carried out genocide and crimes against humanity. in a finaljudgement, it accused china of torture, rape and religious destruction against muslim uyghurs and other ethnic minorities. workers at a starbucks coffee shop in buffalo in upstate new york have voted to start a union. 0rganisers of the pro—union campaign say the pandemic and deteriorating work conditions have been catalysts for change. starbucks says it is not anti—union but that the issues raised don't warrant unionisation. now on bbc news, dontae sharpe