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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  December 30, 2021 5:00am-5:31am GMT

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hello. this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm simon pusey. 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.
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and record numbers of covid infections are recorded across europe and the us, driven by the omicron variant — the world health organization warns of huge strains on health systems. hello and welcome. 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 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. aleem maqbool reports from new york. ghislaine maxwell will now finally pay for her terrible crimes. her victims were robbed ofjustice for decades, but four of them
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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 orjust 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 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
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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. in this photo, the pair are seen relaxing at the queen's balmoral residence, when prince andrew reportedly invited the couple to the estate.
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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. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in new york. ghislaine maxwell's lawyer had this to say outside court.
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we firmly believe in ghislaine's innocence. obviously, we are very 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. but prosecutor us attorney damain williams welcomed the verdict. the road to justice has been far too long. but today, justice 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 and this case possible. i'm joined now by gloria allred, a lawyer representing some of jeffrey epstein�*s accusers. gloria, you are familiar with the case. what is your reaction to the verdict?— to the verdict? yes, i did represent _ to the verdict? yes, i did represent 20 _ to the verdict? yes, i did represent 20 accusers i to the verdict? yes, i did represent 20 accusers of| represent 20 accusers of jeffrey epstein, some of whom
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also were accusers and had experience with ghislaine maxwell. i definitely agree with the us attorney that it is because of the courage of the accusers, those who were willing to speak to law enforcement, and my clients dead, even though they didn't become witnesses at the trial, shared evidence that was important to this case, and because they were so brave and willing to speak to law enforcement and tell the truth, it was as a result of their efforts and their witnesses in the case, and the written evidence that was presented, ghislaine maxwell was convicted today. all credit goes to these victims because when law enforcement interviews them they are generally not interviewed just once, they are
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often interviewed again, vetted, questioned about any other evidence that they may have, and it is a gruelling process, but it is extremely important to get to the truth. tell us how strong you have to be. four of these women took to the stand and they were cross—examined, of course, and asked lots of sort of very personal questions. how brave you have to be to do that? idem; you have to be to do that? very brave. you have to be to do that? very brave- and _ you have to be to do that? very brave. and even _ you have to be to do that? very brave. and even though - you have to be to do that? - brave. and even though there —— their names, except for annie, who used her name, were covered, they did it in front of the public and did it anyway. their motives were questioned and they were questioned and they were questioned about whether or not they received compensation from they received compensation from the compensation fund for jeffrey epstein�*s victims, which many of them did, and
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some of my clients as well, that didn't mean that they were testifying in the criminal case for money, because there is no profit to them to testify at all in the criminal case and, of course, they should be compensated if they could prove, and they did, that they were victimised byjeffrey epstein. so they sustained that gruelling cross—examination and the fact that they were, some of them might have been inconsistent in what they told the law enforcement but then later said, there are reasons victims don't say everything the first time. sometimes there are lots of emotional reasons that they don't share. but the important thing is this jury judge the credibility of the four accusers. they asked for the transcripts of their testimony. they examine the testimony. they examine the testimony in those transcripts, and, in addition, they also
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examine the testimony of some defence witnesses. and bottom line, they found that they were credible, and that is the reason that ghislaine maxwell was convicted. this sends a message to others who might conspire to sex traffic underaged girls, which is what she did, ghislaine maxwell, that they, too, may be charged, prosecuted, convicted, and perhaps face the rest of the life in prison. it perhaps face the rest of the life in prison.— life in prison. it is a hugely hiuh life in prison. it is a hugely high profile _ life in prison. it is a hugely high profile case _ life in prison. it is a hugely high profile case around i life in prison. it is a hugely| high profile case around the world and, as you say, it sets a precedent and a message to anyone else. you represent, as you said, 20 of the victims, in the past, ofjeffrey epstein. what do you think their reaction has been? i haven't soken reaction has been? i haven't spoken to — reaction has been? i haven't spoken to all _ reaction has been? i haven't spoken to all of _ reaction has been? i haven't spoken to all of them - reaction has been? i haven't spoken to all of them but i reaction has been? i haven't i spoken to all of them but many of them are very happy. they feel that justice was of them are very happy. they feel thatjustice was done. of course, they felt that justice was denied whenjeffrey epstein either committed suicide or was
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murdered, still to be determined, in the jail, in new york, in the metropolitan detention centre. they felt that they wanted to be able to confrontjeffrey epstein in a court of law and they were deprived of that right. but there is some justice that ghislaine maxwell, who assisted him, who conspired, who normalised their relationship with jeffrey epstein, normalised their relationship withjeffrey epstein, at least in terms of getting them into that, you know, massage room, in terms of sometimes arranging the logistics of their being able to get to jeffrey the logistics of their being able to get tojeffrey epstein, for what they thought was going to be a massage which ended up being sexual abuse. so — and i think they are happy that at least some justice was done. yes, and hopefully an element of closure for those women, for those victims. gloria allred, thank you forjoining us live
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there from los angeles. thank ou. the case against ghislaine maxwell has raised questions about her friendship with prince andrew, the duke of york, who is facing a separate civil court case in the united states, and was mentioned by prosecution witnesses in claims about maxwell and her relationship with jeffrey epstein. here's our royal correspondent nicholas witchell. caught by the camera in this now—infamous photograph — on the left, prince andrew, in the centre, the then—i7—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.
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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
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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
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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. 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."
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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 we're 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 i 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
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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. 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.
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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
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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.
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let's get some of the day's other news. the life of archbishop desmond tutu has been celebrated at memorial services outside his home injohannesburg, and at an interfaith ceremony in cape town. several different memorials are planned to try and avoid large crowds gathering because of covid the european court of human rights has urged russia to suspend the shutdown of the country's oldest human rights group, memorial international. the court said it needed time to examined the case. the pioneering photographer, sabine weiss, who was celebrated for her candid pictures of ordinary people on the streets of paris — has died aged 97. for decades she chronicled social change in the city — becoming a key figure in the movement known as french humanism. over 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
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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. "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
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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 at this school close to the border with colombia. for head teacher raniela, thejob has now become her entire life.
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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. translation: when i see these children, i really i 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. and the school has also lost teachers. 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 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
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but i don't make some pupils i 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 spell. temperatures soared to a record 19.4c 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. brian brettschneider
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is an alaska climate scientist at the national weather service in anchorage. i asked him whether he had seen anything like this in his lifetime. for the month of december, really any winter month, the warmth that was experienced recently was really shocking and unprecedented. seven degrees warmer than the previous record, that is incredibly rare? yeah, that was breaking the daily. 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, this has been dubbed as �*icemegeddon�* but we're talking about very high temperatures — just try and square that circle if you can.
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yeah ,so alaska is 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 has really been unprecedented. well, debate may remain over when exactly your christmas tree should be taken down — but have you ever wondered what happens to the leftovers? i'm not talking about those in yourfridge — rather the leftover trees not sold by traders. at berlin zoo, they become a christmas feast for the animals. as you can see, they were a popular treat, enjoyed by the elephants, bison and sheep — and of course, well
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earned by the reindeer. keepers say it's a sensation for the senses with the texture and smell of the trees offering some variety to the animals' regular diet. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @sipusey. 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. a very, very mild start to the day with these temperatures.
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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.
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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, 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 sixty—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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