welcome to bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: the british socialite ghislaine maxwell is found guilty on five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for abuse by a jury in new york. maxwell procured the girls for the financier and convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein — she faces the rest of her life behind bars. no matter who you are, no matter what kinds of circles you travel in, no matter how much money you have, no matter how many years have passed since the sexual abuse, justice is still possible. we'll be looking at the implications of the verdict for prince andrew, who is named in a lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was groomed by maxwell and abused by the prince. and record numbers of covid infections are recorded across europe
and the us driven by the omicron variant — the world health organization warns of a huge strains on health systems. hello and welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. a jury in new york has found the british socialite ghislaine maxwell guilty of having helped the late financierjeffrey epstein sexually abuse teenage girls. the jurors found the sixty—year—old guilty of another four charges connected with procuring the victims and facilitating the abuse. she was found not guilty on one other charge. the defence team is expected to appeal against the verdict. the convictions mean maxwell faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison. let's hear from our correspondent aleem maqbool who's outside
the court in new york. tonight marks the final fall from grace for ghislaine maxwell, because a jury in the courthouse behind me has decided she wasn'tjust a bystander to the crimes, the sexual offences committed byjeffrey epstein, they decided that she was herself a predator — an active participant in the sexual abuse of teenagers. they did that by finding her guilty on five counts, the most serious of which was for sex trafficking. ghislaine maxwell will now finally pay for her terrible crimes. her victims were robbed ofjustice for decades, but four of them have helped put a now infamous sexual predator behind bars. each was from a troubled or cash—strapped home, and the court heard how ghislaine maxwell gained their trust. during their explicit and emotional testimony, they told
the jury how she instructed them to give the late jeffrey epstein massages that turned sexual. all but one, annie farmer, testified anonymously, using a pseudonym or just theirfirst name. jane said maxwell participated in her sexual encounters with epstein. "i was terrified and felt gross and ashamed. "when you're14, you have no idea what's going on," she said. kate said, after sexual contact with epstein, maxwell asked her if she had fun, saying she was such a good girl and one of his favourites. carolyn said maxwell told her she had a great body for epstein and his friends, before touching her breasts. and annie farmer, the only victim who publicly identified herself, said ghislaine maxwell gave her an unsolicited massage and rubbed her breasts. she said, "i so badly wanted to get off the table and have the massage be done." legal experts said the defence's attack on the women's memories and motives didn't help ghislaine maxwell overcome the compelling evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to try to explain away this parade of young girls who were coming in and out of the home daily, and she claimed she knew none of that, that it never
happened. and that's very, very difficult for the jurors to credit, and when the jurors concluded that ghislaine maxwell was a liar, they concluded that she was a predator. police raids of epstein�*s homes showed the duo's jet—setting, luxurious lifestyle. in this photo, the pair are seen relaxing at the queen's balmoral residence, when prince andrew reportedly invited the couple to the estate. the staggering wealth on display from opulent properties in florida, new york, new mexico, and even epstein�*s own private island, nicknamed little saintjeff, only highlighted how they used their power together over the years to lure, intimidate and silence everyone around them. house rules, including this manual, told staff to be deaf, dumb and blind, forbidding them from making eye contact with epstein. i think this guilty verdict
is immensely meaningful to sexual abuse victims everywhere, that no matter who you are, no matter what kinds of circles you travel in, no matter how much money you have, no matter how many years have passed since the sexual abuse, justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will be sentenced at a later date, and she still faces a second trial for perjury — a charge which she denies. well, the trial of ghislaine maxwell is just one of the court cases associated with the activities ofjeffrey epstein who, as we heard earlier, died in prison shortly after he was convicted of sex offences. another one of those court cases is a civil suit being taken by virginia giuffre, formerly virginia roberts, against prince andrew, accusing him of sexual assault. those are allegations that prince andrew has always strenuously denied.
nicholas witchell reports. caught by the camera in this now—infamous photograph — on the left, prince andrew, in the centre, the then—17—year—old virginia roberts, and on the right, smiling for the camera, ghislaine maxwell. andrew's friendship with ghislaine maxwell goes back more than 20 years. here he is with her injune 2000. at the time, she was jeffrey epstein�*s girlfriend. epstein was there as well. he, too, was a guest of prince andrew. andrew spoke about his friendship with epstein and his girlfriend, ghislaine maxwell, in his newsnight interview. in 2000, epstein was a guest at windsor castle and at sandringham. he was brought right into the heart of the royal family at your invitation.
but certainly at my invitation, not at the royal family's invitation. but remember that it was his girlfriend that was the key in this. he was the, as it were, plus—one to some extent, in that aspect. am i right in thinking you threw a birthday for epstein�*s girlfriend, ghislaine maxwell, at sandringham? no, it was a shooting weekend. a shooting weekend? just a straightforward shooting weekend. racing at ascot, shooting at sandringham and a trip to balmoral. this photograph, an exhibit at maxwell's trial in new york, shows epstein and maxwell relaxing at the queen's balmoral estate. they were there at andrew's invitation. andrew categorically denies knowing of any improper activities by epstein or anyone else. his lawyers are mounting a robust defence against the civil lawsuit brought against him in new york by virginia roberts — or virginia giuffre as she is now. in a submission to the court, andrew's legal team say the case should be dismissed. they said the allegation against him are baseless and motivated by giuffre's desire for a payday at his expense.
whatever the truth of those allegations, it's clear that andrew had a long—lasting friendship with ghislaine maxwell. it was to her that andrew turned when virginia roberts�*s allegations surfaced. in january 2015, andrew e—mailed maxwell... ..he wrote, to which maxwell replied... however, by the time andrew did his interview with newsnight, he seemed to want to distance himself from his old friend. if there are questions that ghislaine has to answer, that's her problem. i'm afraid i'm not in a position to be able to comment one way or the other. a court in new york has now delivered its verdict on ghislaine maxwell. in a few weeks, another court in new york consider the civil lawsuit against prince andrew brought by virginia giuffre. andrew's lawyers will once again plead his innocence of any impropriety.
nicholas witchell, bbc news. tonight, though, is about the fate of ghislaine maxwell, who, after years of suspicion, a long time on the run, even, now looks at a lengthy term in prison, potentially, and it looks likely that she will spend the rest of her life behind bars. ghislaine maxwell's lawyer had this to say outside court. we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. we are disappointed with the verdict. we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated. everyone be healthy, have a happy new year. and virginia giuffre released a statement in reaction to the verdicts.
in the statement she says "my soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that. i will remember this day always." "having lived with the horrors of maxwell's abuse, my heart goes out to the many other girls and young women who suffered at her hands and whose lives she destroyed." she goes on to say "i hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served. maxwell did not act alone. others must be held accountable. i have faith that they will be." i'm joined now by professor marci hamilton, lawyer and founder of non—profit child usa. she was the outside consultant in the epstein victims compensation program. thank you forjoining us. what is your reaction to the verdict?— is your reaction to the verdict? , . , ., verdict? this verdict is a massive _ verdict? this verdict is a massive victory - verdict? this verdict is a massive victory for - verdict? this verdict is a massive victory for all i verdict? this verdict is a j massive victory for all of verdict? this verdict is a - massive victory for all of the survivors ofjeffrey epstein survivors of jeffrey epstein and survivors ofjeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell. i couldn't be happier and ghislaine maxwell. i couldn't be happier for and ghislaine maxwell. i couldn't be happier for every single one of the victims who testified. that was so hard for them. it was stressful. it was a very long several weeks but they prevailed and the jury
believed them. they prevailed and the “my believed themi they prevailed and the “my believed them. you mentioned the victims _ believed them. you mentioned the victims they _ believed them. you mentioned the victims they are. _ believed them. you mentioned the victims they are. obviously the victims they are. obviously incredibly difficult to go through that trial. does this represent justice for them? this is the beginning of turning the tide. as we know, the first prosecutors, federal prosecutors in florida, totally let them down. and their hardball tactics against the victims work for all. now what we have is a dead kingpin in jeffrey epstein. but ghislaine maxwell was a coleader of this sex trafficking organisation and so for her to be convicted, for her to be going to jail, this is really heartwarming. i'm hearing from 70 survivors notjust i'm hearing from 70 survivors not just ofjeffrey i'm hearing from 70 survivors notjust ofjeffrey epstein but of many who are saying finally the public believes us. it is a really, really great verdict. in some really powerful accounts that came out on the
evidence that was given, which a lot of people will be reading about in newspapers, just how important is it that those accounts are heard and made public? 50 accounts are heard and made ublic? ., , , ., , public? so for these survivors, who have _ public? so for these survivors, who have been _ public? so for these survivors, who have been for _ public? so for these survivors, who have been for decades - who have been for decades either silent and suffering or speaking and suffering, those are the two categories, this is just a day on the way to the right level of justice. just a day on the way to the right level ofjustice. the next hurdle is well we see the prosecutors with the guts to go after everyone — at least some of them that surrounded jeffrey epstein and made this possible. he could not have done this by himself. it takes a village to raise a child. it took an international emperor operation to sexually assault hundreds of girls in orderfor to sexually assault hundreds of
girls in order forjeffrey girls in orderforjeffrey epstein to be satisfied. —— international operation. it is good to see ghislaine maxwell good to see ghislaine maxwell go to jail but there are plenty of other individuals who set these girls up and destroy their lives. it these girls up and destroy their lives.— their lives. it took a long time for _ their lives. it took a long time for the _ their lives. it took a long time for the verdict - their lives. it took a long time for the verdict to i their lives. it took a long time for the verdict to - | their lives. it took a long i time for the verdict to - for time for the verdict to — for thejury to bring its time for the verdict to — for the jury to bring its verdict out. we are worried by the delay? i out. we are worried by the dela ? ., , out. we are worried by the dela ? . , . , out. we are worried by the dela ? ._ ., delay? i was really heartened b each delay? i was really heartened by each question _ delay? i was really heartened by each question they - delay? i was really heartened by each question they ask. it| by each question they ask. it seemed to me they were asking the question of how can we understand what the victim was saying, how can we be accurate about it? i thought it was encouraging. there was a lot of handwringing, a lot of difficulty for survivors waiting for a verdict. but five out of six charges guilty, that's a really good day. i'm sure ghislaine maxwell will try a _ sure ghislaine maxwell will try a — some kind of appeal. but survivors, don't worry about that. .. , survivors, don't worry about that. , . that. the facts are there. it
is obviously _ that. the facts are there. it is obviously recent - that. the facts are there. it is obviously recent and - that. the facts are there. it| is obviously recent and fairly breaking news, but what has the reaction been from the survivors to the verdict? it is alwa s survivors to the verdict? it is always a _ survivors to the verdict? it is always a combination - survivors to the verdict? it is always a combination of - survivors to the verdict? it 3 always a combination of being triggered and reliving and at the same time being exultant that their truth was coming out. so it is hard for them and what we are going to do at child usa is try to give advice to as many as possible, to the country, because it is up to them to explain to us how this feels, how this works for them, you know, for a lot of them, i think, theyjust need — they just need the whole society to say you are right. we believe you and that is what this jury did. you know, the defence was despicable in trying the old—fashioned argument that they were in it for the money.
i can tell you no sexual abuse survivor testifies in open court about their own sexual abuse as a child $4. itjust doesn't happen. abuse as a child $4. it 'ust doesn't happen.�* abuse as a child $4. it 'ust doesn't happen. professor marci hamilton. _ doesn't happen. professor marci hamilton. it _ doesn't happen. professor marci hamilton, it has
_ doesn't happen. professor marci hamilton, it has been _ doesn't happen. professor marci hamilton, it has been a - doesn't happen. professor marci hamilton, it has been a long - hamilton, it has been a long trial. i think the verdict, it does argue happy with it. thank you for coming on and joining us and bring us up—to—date with that. professor marci hamilton there in new york. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, we'll be exploring record high temperatures in alaska's kodiak island — and record lows elsewhere in the state. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland they are going to use money we picked up in belgium today and then we will be in france and again it will be the same money. it has got to be the way to go.
george harrison, i the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed - at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man
from liverpool- is being interviewed by police on suspicion - of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. big ben bongs this is bbc news. the latest headlines: ajury in new york has found the british socialite ghislaine maxwell guilty on five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage
girls for abuse. maxwell faces the rest of her life behind bars for procuring girls for the financier and convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein. the world health organization has warned the combination of delta and omicron variants is driving a dangerous surge of covid—i9 infections. it's putting health systems under pressure around the globe and comes as revellers are asked to be cautious ahead of the new year celebrations. tanya dendrinos reports. another day, another list of countries with record—breaking covid figures. right now, delta and omicron are twin threats that are driving up cases to record numbers, which again is leading to spikes in hospitalisations and deaths. i am highly concerned that omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta, is leading
to a tsunami of cases. that tsunami is spreading worldwide. the uk, france, italy, denmark, portugal, greece and australia are among the nations which reported their highest ever number of infections on wednesday. some of the figures may be partly due to delays in reporting over christmas, but there is no question about the added pressure it places on health systems. translation: 9096 of our patients are unvaccinated, | with a rather young average age. at the moment, the average age of our patients is 49 years old. on the other hand, the concern about our personnel is at its highest. we are very concerned that the infection of staff will impact out resources and as a result, our capacity to receive patients. the us is also seen an exponential rise in cases but the shortage of covid tests
continues with long lines at testing sites across the country. man: happy new year! there have been calls for caution as people prepare to welcome in 2022, but the world health organization warns only a collective responsible will prevail. it has implored governments to walk the talk on vaccine equity as another year dawns. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. the white house has announced thatjoe biden will hold another call with president putin on thursday as tensions continue over the build up of russian troops on its border with ukraine. meanwhile, russia and belarus have announced plans to hold joint military drills in february or march next year. the planned military drills, which will take place in belarus, come amid rising east—west tensions over ukraine. russia has demanded that nato do not admit ukraine, which borders both russia and belarus. the us says russia may be preparing an invasion of ukraine, and has announced it will help to strengthen
its borders, something moscow denies. the us state of alaska has recorded its hottest—ever december day, amid an unusual winter warm spell. temperatures soared to a record i9.4c on the island of kodiak on sunday — almost seven degrees warmer than the state's previous high. but elsewhere in alaska temperatures have been plunging to record lows. mary leith is city administrator with delta junction in alaska. how extraordinary is this? have you witnessed anything like this before?— you witnessed anything like this before? you witnessed anything like thisbefore? ., . ., this before? not as much as no as we have _ this before? not as much as no as we have been _ this before? not as much as no as we have been getting - this before? not as much as no as we have been getting this i as we have been getting this year. i have not witnessed this in the interior of alaska.- in the interior of alaska. what is the main — in the interior of alaska. what is the main worry? _ in the interior of alaska. what is the main worry? there - in the interior of alaska. what is the main worry? there is i in the interior of alaska. what is the main worry? there is a | is the main worry? there is a lot of concern _ is the main worry? there is a lot of concern about - is the main worry? there is a lot of concern about access, | lot of concern about access, people's driveways and the
roads and everything, having so much snow that people cannot get out of their yards and the weight of the snow on houses. if you live down by the coast you might be used to extra moisture but in the interior we have been considered semiarid and we are not this year. and in addition, we did have a brain which put a layer of ice on top of our snow and this will cause problems for the wildlife in the area. we will cause problems for the wildlife in the area.- wildlife in the area. we are heaﬁna wildlife in the area. we are hearing headlines - wildlife in the area. we are hearing headlines and - wildlife in the area. we are hearing headlines and it. wildlife in the area. we are hearing headlines and it is| hearing headlines and it is supposed to be very dry at this time of year? in supposed to be very dry at this time of year?— time of year? in the interior, es time of year? in the interior, yes step _ time of year? in the interior, yes step with _ time of year? in the interior, yes stop with that _ time of year? in the interior, yes stop with that ice - time of year? in the interior, yes stop with that ice over i time of year? in the interior, l yes stop with that ice over the snow, moose coming onto the road because it easierfor them to walk stop other animals cannot get through this note to get food closer to the ground. it is probably going to be a
bad yearfor wild animals it is probably going to be a bad year for wild animals dying over the rest of winter. imild over the rest of winter. wild animals and _ over the rest of winter. wild animals and also _ over the rest of winter. wild animals and also rues - over the rest of winter. wild animals and also rues caving in. how bad our local people going to have this, do you think? ~ ., ., , ., think? we do have people in our community _ think? we do have people in our community that _ think? we do have people in our community that are _ think? we do have people in our community that are putting - think? we do have people in our community that are putting on l community that are putting on announcements they will get roads cleared and our grocery store roof when down. they are quickly coming up with a plan to move into another building it is going to take a week or more to get completely set up. one of the gas station last part of the garaged base to a cave in ruth so people are concerned about it. record lows and highs- _ concerned about it. record lows and highs. that _ concerned about it. record lows and highs. that is _ concerned about it. record lows and highs. that is we _ concerned about it. record lows and highs. that is we have - concerned about it. record lows and highs. that is we have time | and highs. that is we have time for. �* .,
and highs. that is we have time for. �* . ., ., for. and we are getting for a cold spell — for. and we are getting for a cold spell as _ for. and we are getting for a cold spell as well. _ for. and we are getting for a cold spell as well. thank - for. and we are getting for a | cold spell as well. thank you very much — cold spell as well. thank you very much for— cold spell as well. thank you very much forjoining - cold spell as well. thank you very much forjoining us. - a week of events have begun in south africa to mark the life of the anti—apartheid leader, archbishop desmond tutu, who died on sunday at the age of ninety. in an attempt to prevent the spread of covid—i9, the anglican church has encouraged multiple services to avoid large crowds gathering. the state funeral for archbishop tutu will take place on saturday. here's our south africa correspondent, nomsa maseko. a week of commemorative events in honour of archbishop tutu is well under way all over south africa and notjust here in cape town. mourners gathered for midday prayer outside desmond tutu in soweto to play the respect he was chosen by nelson mandela to head south africa �*s tumultuous reconciliation process. many people have been visiting desmond tutu home since his death was announced on boxing day. in
death was announced on boxing da . , ., day. in the midst of the pain and sorrow, _ day. in the midst of the pain and sorrow, it _ day. in the midst of the pain and sorrow, it is _ day. in the midst of the pain and sorrow, it is very - and sorrow, it is very comforting for people to show their emotions and pour out their emotions and pour out their love for my dad and we are truly appreciative of it. it is not an easy time for anyone. it is not an easy time for anyone-— anyone. in aligned with covid-19 _ anyone. in aligned with covid-19 regulations, l anyone. in aligned with - covid-19 regulations, public covid—i9 regulations, public viewing areas such as this one have been set up in many areas of the country to allow as many people as possible to be part of desmond tutu's centre. the bell at st. george's considerable tile at midday every day until friday into the archbishop's honour. the man known fondly as arch the was clear on his funeral. he asked for a cheap coffin, and that a
bouquet of carnations for his family be the only flowers at the cathedral. he family be the only flowers at the cathedral.— the cathedral. he had it written in _ the cathedral. he had it written in stone - the cathedral. he had it written in stone so - the cathedral. he had it written in stone so that| the cathedral. he had it - written in stone so that no-one written in stone so that no—one could change it. even if we wanted to. and why would we wanted to. and why would we want to because he was loud and boisterous but he was simple. desmond tutu is to be cremated. his ashes will be interned at the st. george's cathedral where he served as south africa �*s first black archbishop. nomsa maseko, bbc news. a quick reminder of our top story — ghislaine maxwell has been convicted of trafficking under age girls for sex abuse by the late us financier jeffrey epstein. thejury by the late us financier jeffrey epstein. the jury found her guilty of five out of six charges. defence counsel says she is working on an appeal and
was confident her client would be vindicated. that is just about it from us. you can reach me on twitter. thank you for watching. hello again. temperatures reached the 16 degrees mark in both london and in exeter through wednesday. and we've got more of the same to come for the next few days, really, as we keep these south—westerly winds flowing across the country, bringing pulses of exceptionally mild air northwards. now, temperatures probably reaching 16, possibly i7 celsius, and in contrast, the temperatures that we'd normally expect at this time of the year, around about 8 celsius. so it is pretty exceptional, not far away from the english temperature record, which is 17.7. as we head into thursday morning, we'll see outbreaks of rain turning heavier across western areas. a very, very mild start to the day with these temperatures. 14, even 15 celsius to start the day. the rain, though, will
be heavy for a time. it does tend to ease off and become a little bit lighter and patchier across northwestern areas. otherwise, a lot of cloud. could be an odd bit of drizzle just about anywhere. but later in the day, we'll see another pulse of heavier rain working into wales, and that is likely to reach northwest england as we head into thursday afternoon. temperatures, well, 13 degrees in glasgow and belfast. that's very mild. 16 again the top temperature in london. we could see a high up to 17. thursday night, outbreaks of rain will become much more extensive as this area of low pressure moves in. it will also be bringing some strong gusts of wind quite widely. and into new year's eve, friday, that rain is going to be there for much of the day in scotland, with some fairly brisk winds elsewhere. again, there will be a lot of cloud around, an occasional spot of drizzle across western area, and those temperatures still reaching 16, possibly 17, in the warmest areas. still mild further northwards, butjust not quite as exceptional. heading to those new year's celebrations, might be a bit more muted for one or two of you,
but it stays exceptionally mild. a bit of rain, though, is in the forecast across northwestern areas. and as those bell strike midnight, these are the kind of temperatures that we'll have out and about. heading into new year's day now, which is saturday, we start off with extended cloud, some bursts of rain pushing eastwards. quite a gusty, windy kind of day. the afternoon does look a bit brighter, but with a number of heavy showers flowing in across western areas. it's still very mild, 13 in aberdeen, 14 for glasgow. highs could reach 17 in the warmest areas new year's day.
this is bbc news. the headlines: the british socialite ghislaine maxwell has been found guilty of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for sexual abuse. the jury in new york found the 60—year—old guilty on five out of six charges connected with procuring victims and facilitating the abuse. the verdict was reached after five days of deliberation. maxwell procured the girls for the late us financier and convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. she faces the rest of her life behind bars with the most serious of the counts carrying a possible prison sentence of 40 years. maxwell's defence team say they will appeal the verdict. record numbers of coronavirus infections have been recorded by several european countries with the omicron variant fuelling a surge in cases. the world health organization says the virus is straining health care systems around the world, warning that the omicron and delta variants were causing "a tsunami" of cases.