welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... inside china's covid battleground — a city of more than1 million is under lockdown after three reported cases under the government's zero—covid strategy. 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. 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.
prince andrew's lawyers 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, virginia giuffre. despite strict covid rules, novak djokovic will be allowed to defend his australian open title without being vaccinated. and the end of an era — 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 this report.
everyone is prohibited from leaving the city. 1 million plus people are now in lockdown in the latest proof that china is very committed to its zero covid 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 than1 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—19 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. 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.
our 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. 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 this jubilee 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. north korea has fired a suspected ballistic missile off its east coast. the launch would be the first of the new year for nuclear—armed north korea, and comes days after leader kim jong—un vowed to continue developing the military to counter an unstable international situation. japan's coast guard, which first reported the launch, said it could be a ballistic missile. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. police in washington dc have been outlining the security measures they've put in place ahead of the first
anniversary of the attack on the us capitol. the police chief said the building's security team had implemented more than 90 recommendations following investigations into the intelligence and operational failures that led to the breach. 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.
the newjames webb telescope has completed a crucial task in its quest to observe some of the most distant objects in the universe. its controllers completed the deployment of the space observatory�*s giant kite—shaped sun shield, which is the size of a tennis court. the barrier will allow the telescope to detect signals deep in space. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... running out of time — we visit a historic travel hub in thailand as it prepares to close it for good. 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 i to the iconic rock starl david bowie, who sold 140 million albums in a career that spanned half a century. l 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. our headlines...
a chinese city of more than1 million people is under lockdown after three reported cases under the government's zero—covid strategy. as the us hits the highest number of daily infections ever recorded anywhere in the world, president biden urges people to get vaccinated. let's stay with that story now. i've been speaking to professor lawrence gostin, director of the world health organisation's center on public health and human rights. he says there may be bad news, but there's also good news. the bad news is that the omicron 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. but the better news is that the cases don't reflect the same level of hospitalisations and deaths, so we are seeing more and more people hospitalised, but that's only because we've
got more and more cases. it's such a contagious pathogen. but the truth is that it does appear to be more mild, and there is a certain level of natural or vaccine—induced immunity in much of the population in europe, the uk, and the united states. 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, and why is that? yeah, it's really very sad to think that we're now fully two years into this pandemic, with all the resources that the united states has at its disposal. we're the richest country in the world, and still, we have horrible shortages of tests. we've 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 two years on. 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 omicron 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 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.
professor lawrence costin there. tennis now, and the 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. craig gabriel has been a tennis commentator for more than three decades, and hejoins me live from sydney. i it's wonderful to have you on the programme, and thank you forjoining us to talk about
this. do we have any background at this point on how he managed to get this exemption?— to get this exemption? firstly, ou to get this exemption? firstly, you make _ to get this exemption? firstly, you make me _ to get this exemption? firstly, you make me feel— to get this exemption? firstly, you make me feel old - to get this exemption? firstly, you make me feel old when i to get this exemption? firstly, | you make me feel old when you safe three decades. but no, we don't know what the reason is for the medical exemption. what he applied for, what the element or the chronic issue could be, whatever is. we're in the dark, and we will only know about that if novak himself decides to make an announcement or divulge what process he used it to seek the medical exemption.— it to seek the medical exemtion. . . . , exemption. craig, certainly, that was _ exemption. craig, certainly, that was not _ exemption. craig, certainly, that was not my _ exemption. craig, certainly, that was not my intention i exemption. craig, certainly, that was not my intention at all. it's wonderful to have someone with their experience on the show, butjust to ask how is this being viewed in australia by people who are perhaps looking forward to him coming? ma; perhaps looking forward to him cominu ? ~ , .,
coming? my gut feeling over the last courale _ coming? my gut feeling over the last couple months _ coming? my gut feeling over the last couple months is _ coming? my gut feeling over the last couple months is that - coming? my gut feeling over the last couple months is that he - last couple months is that he wouldn't turn up. it's been incredibly negative since the news broke. twitter and other social media platforms have been going absolutely crazy, although there has also been the humorous take that australians tend to have. one person said that if he is coming, he better bloody well bring 22 billion antigen tests with him because there is a shortage. so, we will see what happens when he arrives in australia, what he takes to the court for the first time and what the actual reaction is, but right now, it's incredibly negative across social media platforms, as well as talk about radio. i platforms, as well as talk about radio.— about radio. i know it's impossible _ about radio. i know it's impossible to - about radio. i know it's| impossible to speculate about radio. i know it's - impossible to speculate what's going through his mind, but to take a decision like this, to apply for that exemption at a time when he must be conscious
of the kind of commentary that's taking place in australia, what goes through the mind of a tennis player like that?— the mind of a tennis player like that? ,., ., , ., like that? good question. he wants to break _ like that? good question. he wants to break that - like that? good question. he wants to break that record i like that? good question. he | wants to break that record he currently shares with rafael nadal and roger federer of 20 majors, and to go out on his own. he's also in line for attend australian open title, which has never been done before. —— 18th. all of those aspects come into his mind —— eight tenth title. i'd hate for that to happen. how he handled that to happen. how he handled that mentally is going to be pretty interesting to see. craig, do you think as a result of this, we will see perhaps more medical exemptions and sporting competitions and other countries that have these rules? i countries that have these rules? , , , , ,
rules? i guess it 'ust depends on the nation, _ rules? i guess itjust depends on the nation, and _ rules? i guess itjust depends on the nation, and what - rules? i guess itjust depends on the nation, and what their| on the nation, and what their roles are and what the regulations are going to be. but from the indications we've already had, novak is not the only player to receive a medical exemption coming into the australian open. they are apparently have been some others that have received medical exemptions. he's the highest profile ones so he's copping all the attention. craig gabriel, thank you so much forjoining us on the programme. 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 guidebookjoe 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 first that to me felt personal. i start doing the lonely planet guide in 1981. ijust i just thought the place was amazing. i think it was the first train trip i'd ever taken anywhere. people are going long distances. it is the place. it's where it all happens. suppose you're taking a train for sightseeing, having that train leave and arrive would just add so much nostalgia. i would tell people i take the train, and they say flight is so much faster. well, i don't have to go to the airport. i don't have to go through these x—ray machines. you just feel like a criminal going to the airport, constantly being checked. it's a nostalgic way to travel.
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. it rocked me to sleep. it rocks me to sleep. after the italian architects designed it, it was opened in 1960. it was opened in 1916. 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 notjust some modern building.
it has a cultural legacy. the new station, just glass and steel, square box — it could be anywhere. not much of a tie experience, really. —— thai. another one reopens. thailand has reopened maya bay, a white sandy beach made famous by the film "the beach" in 2000 which starred leonardo dicaprio. authorities closed down the picturesque area more than three years ago to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of thousands of daily visitors. the beach lies on the island of phi phi leh in the andaman sea, and is only accessible by boats. under strict covid—19 conditions, visitor numbers are limited to no more than 375 at one time and no swimming is allowed in the bay.
thanks for watching. do 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.
this is bbc news. we'll have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour, as newsday continues — straight after hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. it is a year since pro—trump protesters stormed the us capitol and unleashed a spasm of violence which left five people dead, while hundreds of people have since been charged. none have been key associates of donald trump, and mr trump seems to be contemplating