welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... inside china's latest battleground against coronavirus — a city of more than 1 million is under lockdown afterjust three reported cases. as the us hits the highest number of daily infections ever recorded anywhere in the world, president biden urges people to get vaccinated. this continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated, so we got to make more progress. uk hospitals are struggling to handle the surge in covid cases, but borisjohnson says england is in a better place compared to previous waves. with the plan b measures
we introduced before christmas, we have a chance to ride out of this omicron wave without shutting down our country once again. we'll bejoined on the programme by a public health expert to discuss the latest numbers and anti—covid strategies. also ahead: lawyers for prince andrew argue for the first time in court, that the sexual assault civil lawsuit against him should be thrown out. they say he can't be sued because of an agreement signed by his accuser. and running out of time — a tribute to an historic travel hub in thailand as it prepares to close for good. live from our studio in singapore... this is bbc news. it's newsday.
welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the world. china is showing its determination to continue with its zero—covid strategy. the authorities have put an entire city into lockdown after the discovery of just three asymptomatic cases. residents won't be allowed to leave their homes in yuzhou, which has a population of 1.2 million. the transport system has been shut down, as well as shops and entertainment venues. only food stores can stay open, and only workers involved in epidemic prevention are allowed out. another city, xi'an, with a population of 13 million, has been under lockdown for two weeks. our correspondent robin brant sent us this report. this is extreme, even by china's standards. the city shut down because ofjust three new cases, with no symptoms. everyone is prohibited from leaving the city, the sign says.
a million plus people are now in lockdown in yuzhou. the latest proof that china is very committed to its zero—covid strategy. translation: it doesn't bother me to do a covid test at midnight. - it's for our own safety. 300 miles away and two weeks ahead of yuzhou is xi'an, a city famed for its terracotta warriors, for 13 million people have now been locked down since before christmas. what started out a fortnight ago with the late—night army of officials welding gates shut, has led to this. some people banned from leaving their tower blocks have taken to bartering with their neighbours. cigarettes for vegetables, other goods for sanitary towels. this is what most of china looks like. it's busy. yes, you have to have a mask before you get on the metro and there's a temperature check, but the government says its zero—covid strategy has achieved
this for about 18 months now. and that's a strategy that includes things like this — pop—up tents where you can get a booster on the way home and win prizes as well. but it also includes very, very harsh measures that can be imposed on a city in a matter of hours. harsh measures, brutal enforcement. it's been part of china's covid containment since the beginning. just last month, some cities were parading covid spreading offenders in public. keeping cases at near zero is now even more important as china prepares to host another olympics. the winter games in beijing is just a month away. china's president, xijinping, saw for himself the final preparations on tuesday. on the brink of a third term in power, he wants and needs a smooth ride at the games. zero covid is central to that. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai.
a number of countries around the world have been seeing record numbers of cases as the fast—spreading omicron surge continues. in britain, nearly 220,000 new coronavirus cases — a new high — have been recorded. it comes as pupils returned to school in england and northern ireland. france registered more than 270,000 new covid cases on tuesday, confirming its position as europe's worst—hit country. meanwhile, the us has recorded more thani million — the highest one—day tally of new cases anywhere in the world. speaking at the white house a few hours ago, president biden pleaded with the american people who haven't been vaccinated, asking them to get the jab. let me be absolutely clear. we have in hand all the vaccines we need to get every american fully vaccinated, including the booster shot, so there's no excuse, no excuse for anyone being unvaccinated.
this continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. meanwhile, the british prime minister, borisjohnson, says he hopes england can "ride out" the current wave of covid—i9 infections. we have a good chance of getting through the omicron wave without the need for further restrictions and without the need, certainly, for a lockdown. joining me now from washington is professor lawrence gostin, director of the world health organisation's centre on public health & human rights. hejoins us from he joins us from washington. it's wonderful to have you on the programme. let me startjust by asking you, we're seeing these wreck record case numbers. but what is the data telling us when it comes to hospitalisations and deaths? weill.
hospitalisations and deaths? well, it's a really important _ hospitalisations and deaths? -ii it's a really important question. so far, of course, the bad news is that the 0micron variant is perhaps the most contagious pathogen on the planet and one of the most contagious that we've ever seen in history of humankind. 0f contagious that we've ever seen in history of humankind. of the better news is that the cases don't reflect the same level of hospitalisations and deaths, so we are seeing more and deaths, so we are seeing more and more people hospital his eyes, but that's only because we've got more and more cases —— hospitalised. but the truth is that it does appear to be more mild and there is a certain level of natural or vaccine —induced immunity and much of the population in europe, the uk and the us. ., , , population in europe, the uk and the us. professor, 'ust focusing on the united states — us. professor, just focusing on the united states for _ us. professor, just focusing on the united states for a _ us. professor, just focusing on the united states for a moment, - us. professor, just focusing on the | united states for a moment, where you are, is covid testing one of the
major challenges that states are facing right now? why is that? yeah, it's reall , facing right now? why is that? yeah, it's really. and _ facing right now? why is that? yeah, it's really, and very _ facing right now? why is that? yeah, it's really, and very sad _ facing right now? why is that? yeah, it's really, and very sad to _ facing right now? why is that? yeah, it's really, and very sad to think - it's really, and very sad to think that we're now fully two years into this pandemic, with all the resources that the united states has is at its disposal. we're the richest country in the world, and still, we have horrible shortages of tests. we got shortages of tests at schools, so it makes it harder to keep kids in school. we've got shortages of tests at home, so that there aren't rapid tests, so people can't test and quickly isolate. and there are long lines at covid testing sites that are public, so the irony is you can actually get covid by waiting in line for a covid test. that really is unacceptable.
indeed. just from president biden, we've heard a few hours ago, pleading with the american people who have yet to be vaccinated, asking them to get a jab. is that the way out of this 0micron surge? it absolutely is. it turns out that vaccination, even boosters, won't fully protect you against infection, but it'll robustly protect you against getting very ill, going to hospital and potentially dying. all the vaccines that are used in the united states are very effective at preventing serious disease. but the president has begged people to get vaccinated, he's bribed them with incentives, and hejust can't vaccinated, he's bribed them with incentives, and he just can't move the dial. the truth is the united states has fewer vaccinated
population as a percentage than most of our peer nations, and even as mandates are mired in court, and in fact, this thursday, the united states supreme court is going to hear two monumentally important cases about vaccine mandates by the biden administration for all health care workers and all large businesses. that will be a really important milestone for the us. indeed. professor lawrence gostin, thank you so much forjoining us on newsday. we'll be following every development in the battle against covid here on bbc news. you'll find an in—depth look at the global vaccination process, including which nations are racing ahead and which are falling behind. that's on the bbc news website, which you can also access via the bbc app.
prince andrew's lawyers have been trying to convince an american judge to dismiss the sexual assault civil lawsuit against him. they say his accuser, virginia giuffre, can't sue, because of damages she accepted in 2009 from the paedophile jeffrey epstein in return for dropping her claims against him and any other "potential defendant". prince andrew has consistently denied her allegations. 0ur royal correspondent, jonny dymond, has the latest. she says she was sexually assaulted by prince andrew three times. he denies every allegation and says he can't remember meeting her. today, his lawyers argued the whole case should be dismissed. the civil case rests partly on this meeting in london, a night when virginia giuffre, here aged 17, says she was forced to have sex with prince andrew. when he spoke to the bbc in 2019, he denied the allegations again and again.
you can say categorically that you don't recall meeting virginia roberts, dining with her... yep. ..dancing with her at tramp... yep. ..or going on to have sex with her... yes. ..in a bedroom in a house in belgravia? i can absolutely, categorically tell you it never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts, then or at any other time? none. none whatsoever. today in new york, the lawyers battled in court for the first time. at the centre of their arguments, a deal struck between andrew's accuser and his former friend jeffrey epstein. epstein paid virginia giuffre half a million dollars. their deal released any other person who could have been included as a potential defendant from further legal challenge by virginia giuffre.
prince andrew's lawyers needed to persuade the judge that the 2009 deal covered the prince. it's unquestionable, the court heard, that prince andrew could have been sued in the 2009 florida action but was not. he was a potential defendant. the prince's lawyers demanded detail of the allegations against their client, but they were slapped down by thejudge. finally, questions were raised as to whether the prince could even use the 2009 deal. he is a third party, the court heard. thejudge said... thejudge was quite aggressive in his questioning of prince andrew's attorneys as they raised technical argument after technical argument, trying to get virginia's case dismissed. the judge did not seem
to be having any of it. even if this case is dismissed, prince andrew will, say veteran royal watchers, struggle to return to his previous public life. when it comes to the monarchy, the monarchy is obviously an institution that is big enough to rise above what has happened. but when it comes to prince andrew, one has to say that one can see no role in royal life for him in the immediate future or the intermediate future. just getting this far has damaged prince andrew. and if the case is not dismissed, it will hang over thisjubilee year. the queen's second son, threatened with having to testify in a new york courtroom. now, they wait. the judge in new york says a decision will come pretty soon. jonny dymond, bbc news. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... i'll be speaking to an author
who writes about happiness. i'll be asking for his tips on how to deal with uncertainty in these challenging covid times. the japanese people are in mourning following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. good grief — after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south africa tomorrow, in spite of protests and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established. around the world, people have been paying tribute to the iconic - rock star david bowie, who sold 140 million l albums in a career that| spanned half a century.
his family announced i overnight that he died of cancer at the age of 69. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. 0ur headlines... china locks down a city of more than one million afterjust three reported cases. and as the us hits the highest number of daily infections ever recorded anywhere in the world, president biden urges people to get vaccinated. the tennis men's world number one, novak djokovic, has received a medical exemption to enter australia, bypassing the strict rules that only allow vaccinated people to enter the country. the news means that djokovic,
who has been critical of mandatory vaccinations, can now compete in the australian open. on tuesday, he tweeted this picture on the airport tarmac, bags packed, with the caption "happy new year. "today i'm heading down under with an exemption permission. "let's go 2022!" these medical exemptions are not given away lightly. they are treated anonymously, all the cases, so the panel, we're told, would not have known if novak djokovic, the world number one and nine—time australian open champion, were playing. first of all, it has to be approved by the australian technical advisory group on immunisation, and then a second panel made up of medical experts has to also give the green light to a player receiving a vaccination. so, i think that's what people need to have in the back of their minds, but at the same time, clearly, people will reach their own conclusions if djokovic doesn't shed any further light on the subject, and they may well make their frustration felt.
let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. in south africa, the man accused of torching the country's parliament building has appeared in court. zandeelay christmas mafay faces five charges including arson and possession of an explosive device. the man has denied all charges, and his lawyer says he's being made a scapegoat. police in india have detained an 18—year—old woman they believe to be behind an app that shared pictures of dozens of muslim women, saying they were for sale. a 21—year—old man who has also been arrested denies any wrongdoing. the app, which was removed from the web platform github after complaints, has been condemned by indian politicians and women's rights groups. japanese car manufacturer toyota has overtaken general motors as the leading seller of cars in the us. gm had been king of us
auto sales since 1931, when it took the number one spot away from ford. this shake—up comes after a shortage of crucial computer chips plagued carmakers in 2021. now to a topic that i'm sure many of us have thought about in the last two years — i certainly have — how to manage uncertainty. we're only a few days into 2022, and we are seeing 0micron cases spike, as we mentioned earlier on in the programme. it's notjust coronavirus, though — another big concern for many people is climate change, and how this is adding to a precarious sense of never really being prepared for the future. but my next guest, eric weiner, an author who writes about finding happiness and injecting ancient philosophies into our daily lives, says what we have actually learned
over the last two years is resilience, and that humanity deserves a collective pat on its back for that. well, it's wonderful to have you on the programme. i think a lot of people would certainly be pleasantly surprised by your analysis. i know i am. talk us through some of the qualities that you feel have helped people over the last couple of years get through the uncertainty that we've been dealing with. weill. get through the uncertainty that we've been dealing with. well, one ofthe we've been dealing with. well, one of the biggest _ we've been dealing with. well, one of the biggest ingredients - we've been dealing with. well, one of the biggest ingredients for - we've been dealing with. well, one of the biggest ingredients for a - of the biggest ingredients for a happy life, and in fact, for a thriving democracy is trust. it's a form of social capital, and i think, the most valuable form of social capital in the world. it's like money in the bank. we need it during bad times. it turns out that there are different times of trust. there's geo— political trust, but
there's also personal trust. you trust your neighbours, strangers on the street. there's a really asked, intriguing experiment called the wallet question. if you drop your wallet question. if you drop your wallet on the street, do trust that anyone would return it? the bad news isn't more people are answering that with no. they don't trust strangers to do the right thing. the good news is there are still many parts of the world with high levels of trust, finland, for instance, the happiest country in the world. it also has a very high level of trust and has weathered the pandemic fairly well. all right, that's a little bit concerning that we've lost trust in one another and in institutions, notwithstanding their positive examples. how do we rebuild that trust? ~ ~ , ., ,
examples. how do we rebuild that trust? ~ ~ , . trust? well, i think people are feelin: trust? well, i think people are feeling lost — trust? well, i think people are feeling lost and _ trust? well, i think people are feeling lost and they _ trust? well, i think people are feeling lost and they feel - trust? well, i think people are feeling lost and they feel like l trust? well, i think people are - feeling lost and they feel like they can't afford to trust each other because, as you mentioned, the uncertainty in the world. and with all due respect, to the bbc, if you watch the news, you would think we are living in unprecedented times of uncertainty. i actually don't think that's the case. i think what's happening is the world has always been uncertain, but we are more aware of the uncertainty than ever, and that is the problem. we don't like uncertainty. it makes us uncomfortable. we do anything to avoid it. the good news is that we cannot decrease the uncertainty in the world, we can't do that, but we can increase our tolerance for uncertainty. that's why you see a revival of the ancient philosophy of stoicism, which is really enjoying an incredible revival around the
world. it can be summed up this way — control what you can and accept what you can't, and a lot less is under control then you think. so, you see people turning to this ancient philosophy to learn how to not decrease uncertainty, but increase their tolerance for it. words to live by. eric weiner, thank you so much forjoining us with your thoughts. meanwhile, thailand's historic hua lamphong central train station is scaling back most of its operations after more than 100 years of service. the move to a newly built station in northern bangkok marks the end of an era of an iconic terminal that has served as a hub for backpackers for decades. bangkok—based author of lonely planet thailand guidebook joe cummings reminisces how significant the station has been for nostalgic tourists and train travellers. when i heard about this place closing, it was just of all the things that have changed, this was
the thirst one that felt personal. —— first. i start doing the guide in 1881 -- 1981. —— first. i start doing the guide in 1881--1981. i think it was —— first. i start doing the guide in 1881 —— 1981. i think it was the first train trip i'd ever taken anywhere. people are going long distances. it is the place. it where it all happens. suppose you're taking a train for sightseeing, having that train leave and arrive would just have that nostalgia. i would just have that nostalgia. i would tell people i take the train, and they say flight is so much faster. i don't have to go to the airport. you just feel like a criminal going to the airport, constantly being checked. i love the sound, i think people who like travel, they're into all that stuff, all the arcane details about train travel. the movement and the sound.
some people say they can't sleep on a train. i sleep like a baby. after the italian architects designed it, it was opened in 1960. i really hope they preserve the station because they shouldn't lose this. absolutely, this is the busiest station. nothing comes close. it's been such a hub for tourists. average 60,000 passengers a day up until two years ago. the thing about coming to a station like this is that you immediately feel like you're in thailand. it's not just some modern building. joe cummings speaking there. that's all the time we have for you on newsday. thanks forjoining us, stay
with bbc news. hello there. winter has certainly staged a return after the very mild start we had to this year. temperatures over the last couple days have been dropping, and some places have seen a covering of snow. so where we have snow on the ground and where we have seen wintry showers, there's the potential for ice to take us into wednesday morning. and with this little ridge of high pressure temporarily building in, well, that means wednesday's actually going to bring a lot of fine and dry weather. the greatest risk of ice will be across northern scotland and northern ireland through the first part of the morning. we will continue to see some wintry showers here, a few too into wales, the southwest of england, and a few grazing the east coast of england, as well. but for most places, we go through the day and the showers become fewer and further in between, we will see more in the way of sunshine, the winds will slowly ease — but it will not be a warm day by any
stretch, top temperatures between 3—9 celsius. now as we go through wednesday evening, still some showers grazing the east coast, some out west for a time. things generally will be dry with long, clear spells. cloud tending to increase across northern ireland later in the night — that will lift the temperatures a little bit here, but for most places, a very cold night, —8 likely in some sheltered rural spots in scotland. but after that cold start, we bring in this frontal system from the west on thursday. there is, associated with this, going to be a very narrow wedge of milder air. so, what we will see as this front moves in is initially a spell of snow, even to quite low levels across parts of scotland and northern england seeing the rain run into the cold air. some snow over high ground in wales, perhaps into the midlands as well. but any wintry weather tends to turn back to wet weather as we go through the day, as that little wedge of milder air starts to work its way in. and then, cold air will return from the west later.
it will be windy, gusts of 50—60 mph or more in some exposed western spots. and temperatures still stuck between 4—9 celsius for the most part. and then, into friday, we're back into colder air again. we will see some sunshine, but we will see some showers, too, these falling as a wintry mix of rain, sleet, and snow. it'll be a fairly breezy day in many places — our top temperatures again between 3—9 celsius. that's all from me, bye for now.
the headlines... a second chinese city has gone into full lockdown as officials rush to contain even small covid outbreaks, a month before the opening ceremony of the winter games. president biden has said there's no excuse for americans to be unvaccinated, after the us registered a global record of a million new coronavirus cases in a day. he said it was now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. prince andrew's lawyers have been trying to convince an american judge to dismiss the sexual assault civil lawsuit against him. his lawyer said that the duke, who denies the accusations, could be covered by a deal his accuser, virginia giuffre, made withjeffrey epstein in 2009. world number one novak djokovic says he will head to the australian open to defend his title after receiving a medical exemption.