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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 30, 2021 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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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.
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the world health organization warns of huge strains on health systems. hello. a jury in new york has found the british socialite ghislaine maxwell guilty of having helped the late financier, jeffrey epstein, sexually abuse teenage girls. the jurors found the 60—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 convictions mean maxwell faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison. ghislaine maxwell's lawyer had this to say outside court. we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. we have already
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started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated. everyone, be healthy, have a happy new year. but prosecutor, us attorney damian williams, welcomed the verdict. the road to justice has the road tojustice has been far too long. but today, just as has been done. i want to commend the bravery of the girls, now grown women who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom. their courage and willingness to face their abuser made today's result in this case possible. 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
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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 latejeffrey 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. kate said, after sexual contact with epstein, maxwell asked her if she had fun, saying she was such a good girl
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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: 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.
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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
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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. royal correspondent 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 at royal ascot injune 2000.
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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. yes, but certainly at my invitation, not at the royal family's invitation. but remember that it was his girlfriend that was the key element 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 party for epstein�*s girlfriend, ghislaine maxwell, at sandringham? no, it was a shooting weekend. a shooting weekend?
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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:
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..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 will 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, now looks at a lengthy term in prison, potentially, and it looks likely that she will spend the rest of her
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life behind bars. virginia giuffre released a statement in reaction to the verdicts. in the statement, she says: she goes on to say: vicky ward is an investigative journalist and host of the podcast and documentary chasing ghislaine. shejoins us now. i'm guessing given the work you have done on ms maxwell and jeffrey epstein, you are unsurprised by the verdict will be quite pleased. i am a journalist but i am not surprised. i was in the court
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room right up until, i was there actually for the first two years that the jury were deliberating, so i sat through all of the testimony, i saw the jurors faces, and the defence was extremely aggressive, ghislaine maxwell puzzlement lawyers are very skilled and very competent, very expensive, and they set out to destroy the credibility of the four women who accused her, and they were helped actually to some degree by the fact that each of the women had been interviewed by the fbi previously, not about ghislaine maxwell, but about jeffrey epstein, whenjeffrey epstein was alive. so what they had said about glenn maxwell was perhaps different, we hadn't mentioned her at all because we were talking about jeffrey epstein. jeffrey
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epstein died, there was a pot of money available so the defence tried to say that these women had been manipulated by greedy civil lawyers into faking their memories and it was all about money. the problem was that what was strangely absent from the courtroom was ghislaine maxwell herself. although there was this aggressive defence and the differences in the testimony in what the women had told the fbi a few years ago and what they have said now about ghislaine maxwell, but the absence of ghislaine maxwell herself, taking the stand and explaining what seemed a truly bizarre complicated relationship with jeffrey epstein, clearly played in very strange ways over a decade, that was not explained. there was no narrative. it was no explanation given by the defence for the $30 million
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thatjeffrey epstein wired ghislaine maxwell. it is a tremendous amount of money, and i think it would be very difficult for a juror listening to all of that to come away with any clear understanding as to why on earth ghislaine maxwell spent so much time, over a decade withjeffrey epstein who, we heard, didn't treat her very well, and why on earth she got so much money from him, and why these four women each had told stories and have the same awful grisly recurring themes to them. prosecutors pointed out, use your common sense. why would these four women come here, go through a grilling by the defence if they were just making it up? and i think that is what thejury making it up? and i think that is what the jury did.— is what the “ury did. they use their is what the jury did. they use their common _ is what the jury did. they use their common sense. - is what the jury did. they use - their common sense. absolutely.
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what was reporting on the story like? you interviewed jeffrey epstein 20 years ago quite extensively, so my have some powerful meaning for you as well? , , ' , well? yes, while jeffrey epstein _ well? yes, while jeffrey epstein was _ well? yes, while jeffrey epstein was alive, - well? yes, while jeffrey epstein was alive, i - well? yes, while jeffrey epstein was alive, i was well? yes, while jeffrey - epstein was alive, i was the only person i knew that he was a monster other than obviously the dictums. in the social circle he travelled in, everyone thought he was brilliant and charming, and i say i had a terrible experience with him that, yes, i did wonder when the rest of the world was going to see him for who who really was. i was looking at the outset of this trial for a clearer explanation than the one we got as to why ghislaine maxwell was so completely enamoured of a man who didn't particularly treat her very well, why, after the sudden death and disgrace of robert maxwell, herfather, she
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immediately turned to jeffrey epstein. i was hoping that we would get some more clarity into that. we still don't really know. and we still don't really know. and we still don't really know. and we still don't really know howjeffrey epstein made his money. in the first place. and without money, he would never have been able to pull off this grotesque sexual abuse and the whole enterprise, because in the 1980s when he was much poorer, he lived in a studio apartment, none of the people i interviewed over the years ever remember this kind of behaviour. he was known for having adult girlfriends over quite a long period of time, one of whom testified that this trial. it was when he got money that we still don't really understand the source of that he was able to retreat into his various palaces, islands, shangri—la �*s, and carry on this disgusting abuse with ghislaine maxwell by his side.
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we are going to have to leave it there, but thank you very much indeed. hopefully today brought some closure and justice for his victims. thank you very much indeed for that. do stay with us right here 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.
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i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. big ben bongs this is bbc news. the latest headlines: a jury in new york has found the british socialite ghislaine maxwell guilty on five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for abuse. 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
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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.
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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.
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over a 100,000 children in venezuela could suffer from extreme malnutrition over the coming year, according to unicef. the country's healthcare system is struggling, and its citizens are also dealing with soaring inflation, and a collapsing school system. our south america correspondent katy watson sent this report. boxing is the only class that 14—year—old gilbenis goes to now. his dad died four years ago and he had to give up school. supporting his mum and siblings became the priority. this training is one of the few opportunities open to him, growing up in maracaibo's poorest and most dangerous neighbourhood. "my mum wants me to go back to school to get out of this place." he tells me he's got into trouble picking up guns, robbing from people to provide his family with food.
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"often we eat just once a day," he says, "sometimes not at all." this is a neighbourhood where life is cheap and violence the norm. but it's hunger that's the biggest obstacle to studying. according to unicef, nearly 120,000 children in venezuela could suffer from extreme malnutrition in the coming year. gilbenis�*s little sister giovanna is one of them. her hairfalling out from a lack of protein. their mother chiara is also severely underweight. the irony is that when nicolas maduro's predecessor hugo chavez came to power more than 20 years ago he promised a socialist revolution that would change the lives of millions in this deeply unequal country. and free education was a crucial part of his social programme. but much like the health care crisis in venezuela, schools here are also collapsing. bell rings. it's the start of a new day
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at this school close to the border with colombia. for head teacher raniela, thejob has now become her entire life. petrol shortages and soaring inflation mean driving to and from school on a daily basis is impossible. so she now sleeps here, such is her commitment to thejob. want to help. -- translation: when i see these children, i really - want to help. it's my purpose in life. i'm ok but i really miss my family. classes are smaller than before because so many families have left the country in recent years. so these pupils have to wait their turn for lessons. the pandemic has made the struggles of venezuelans even worse. even in the country's
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once—wealthy capital. for many teachers like alejandra, the system is now totally broken. she has set up home tutoring for kids in her neighbourhood, caracas's biggest favela. translation: i charge $2 a week but i don't make some pupils - pay because their parents don't work. lots of schools aren't working. many parents don't have the chance to pay for tutoring, or their parents have left the country and the children are being looked after by grandparents who are elderly. they don't know what to do with the kids. venezuela prides itself on free education. but in a country where schools are on their knees learning is still an unattainable privilege for many. katy watson, bbc news, in venezuela. the us state of alaska has recorded its hottest—ever december day, amid an unusual winter warm
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spell. temperatures soared to a record 19.1; celsius 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. brian brettschneider is an alaska climate scientist at the national weather service in anchorage and i asked him whether he had seen anything like this in his lifetime. well, for the month of december, really any winter month, the warmth that was experienced recently was really shocking and unprecedented. i mean, seven degrees warmer than the previous record — that's incredibly rare, right? yeah, that was breaking the daily record. even the monthly records — which monthly records are so seldom broken and usually when they are, it is usually by very small margins. the monthly record was broken by four celsius, so itjust really was an exceptional event that occurred. so, for simple people like me,
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this has been dubbed as �*icemegeddon�* but we're talking about very high temperatures — just try and square that circle if you can. yeah, so alaska's normally very cold. so for example, in fairbanks, they recorded their third wettest day on record, but it was all below freezing. so even though they were about 18 c above normal, it all still fell as frozen precipitation and that has created just tremendous hardship. power outages, roof collapses, record snow falls and snow depth, in some places — it's really been, again, unprecedented. now, the pioneering photographer sabeen weiss, who was celebrated for her candid pictures of ordinary
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people on the streets of paris, has died aged 97. weiss was born in geneva and moved to paris after the second world war. for decades she chronicled social change in the city — becoming a key figure in the movement known as french humanism. her work has become a permanent feature of many modern art galleries around the globe. that's it for now. do stay with us on bbc news. 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 17 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.
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a very, very mild start to the day with these temperatures. 1a, 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
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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, 1a for glasgow. highs could reach 17 in the warmest areas new year's day.
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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 offenderjeffrey epstein. she faces the rest of her life behind bars with the most serious of the counts carrying a possible prison sentence of a0 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.
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now on bbc news, click celebrates christmas in style

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