welcome to bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: members of borisjohnson's own party call for him to resign as prime minister after admitting he attended a downing street drinks gathering at the height of the uk's covid lockdown i regret the way the event i have described was handled. i bitterly regret it and wish that we could have done things differently, and i have and will continue to apologise for what we did. prince andrew fails to get a civil case dismissed in the us, which accuses him of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. russia and nato hold their first face—to—face talks in two years as tensions remain high over the build—up of russian troops on the border with ukraine. should he stay or should he go? tennis star novak djokovic waits to find out if he will be deported ahead of
the australian open. and the repair of notre dame cathedral is expected to take years, but visitors can now step into the virtual realm to experience one of the oldest gothic structures in the world. for the first time, borisjohnson has admitted he did attend a downing street party during last year's lockdown. and for the first time, the leader of the opposition has called on him to resign. the prime minister urged all sides to await the findings of an internal inquiry led by the senior civil servant sue grey. but as far as lawbreaking goes, many would say he has already admitted, that his advisors — if not the prime minister himself — were in breach of laws that many others have been fined for breaking. our political editor laura kuenssberg has the latest.
a mess — there is no other word. the prime minister belatedly trying to clean up. reporter: are you going to apologise? with an admission of possible rule—breaking, an apology from a weakened leader. but will the answers to today's prime minister's questions see boris johnson through? mr speaker, i want to apologise. i know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months, and i know the rage they feel with me, and with the government i lead, when they think that in downing street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules. there were things we simply did not get right, and i must take responsibility. claiming, to disbelief in the commons,
that technically a "bring your own booze" organised drinks event was within the lockdown rules. even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way. well, there we have it. after months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who's run out of road. his defence — his defence that he didn't realise he was at a party... laughter ..is so ridiculous that it's actually offensive to the british public. labour able to mock the unusually subdued tory showman. when the whole country was locked down, he was hosting boozy parties in downing street. is he now going to do the decent thing and resign? i regret very much —
i regret very much that we did not do things differently that evening. the prime minister pretended that he had been assured there were no parties. now, it turns out he was at the parties all along. can't the prime minister see why the british public think he's lying through his teeth? mr speaker, it's up to the right honourable gentleman to choose how he conducts himself in this place. laughter there was derision — laughter — at the prime minister's defence. six questions later, election winner borisjohnson looked defeated. this is notjust a westminster drama. it's exactly midday. we are heading over to westminster where prime minister borisjohnson... it was the must—watch from the morning sofa — the country seeing repeated calls for borisjohnson to quit. will the prime minister, for the good of the country, accept that the party is over
and decide to resign? do the decent thing and resign. do the honourable thing and resign. and he must resign. and the concern on his own side is potent, the number of mps saying it's over for mrjohnson growing in the shadows, and calls for him to quit out in the open now, even from the mp who is also the leader of the conservatives in scotland. i explained to the prime minister today that i felt he should stand down because of this, but that is, ultimately, his decision. but do the conservatives — does the country — really have the appetite for more political turmoil? there was a sprinkling of supportive messages — some loyalfriends in government for mrjohnson too. what is needed above all is a doubling down and a determination to rebuild trust between the government that the prime minister leads and the british people.
borisjohnson�*s admission and apology in there has bought him a little time — a pause until the report into what did or didn't happen in number ten is complete. yet, for many on his own side, he has already lost the benefit of the doubt. growing numbers of his own mps want him out, discussing frantically how and when his exit could happen. it is not inevitable, though, that he'll be hastened out of office, but it's no longer impossible to imagine that the prime minister might be gone before too long. look at this. this is a fantastic garden you've got here. it is indeed a beautiful garden. this was a former bomb crater. a place prime minister was happy to show off in days gone by. do you see yourself being here for the very long term? well, we're working very hard, laura. but his time in residence could be brought to an early close by what happened literally in his own backyard. laura kuenssberg,
bbc news, westminster. if you want to know more about the political consequences for the british prime minister, just go to the bbc news website. there you'll find more analysis on what kind of support borisjohnson still has from his conservative party. the duke of york has failed to get a civil case dismissed in the united states, which accuses him of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. virginia giuffre is suing prince andrew, claiming that he abused her when she was 17 at the homes ofjeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell. the prince has strenuously denied the allegations. but the ruling by the judge in new york today means the civil trial can now go ahead. our royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. everything for andrew had rested on this ruling, and it has gone against him. in his 43—page ruling in the case of virginia giuffre, plaintiff, and prince andrew, duke of york, defendant, the judge's conclusion
was very straightforward. "the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint is denied in all respects," thejudge wrote. the possibility of appealing at this stage appears to be remote, so these are andrew's basic options. he can settle out of court. there would be no admission of liability, but he would pay a perhaps substantial sum to virginia giuffre. he can default — that is ignore the court case — and by default, there would be a finding against him. finally, he could fight it out in court. he would have to give a deposition under oath. the rival stories would be tested, the matter would be decided in open court. lawyers who have been following the case say none of the options will be attractive to him. andrew's got no good options now. he can't make things better, so, essentially, i think he's either going to have to engage in the trial process
or he's going to have to settle, and that may well be his least—worst option. but it would be up to virginia giuffre to decide whether to accept any out—of—court settlement. at the moment, she doesn't seem inclined to do so. in a statement, her lawyer said: all of which leaves andrew facing the prospect of a bruising court case and the queen, in this, her platinum jubilee year, of enduring months of upset. in his newsnight interview, the one in which he said he couldn't remember meeting the then—i7—year—old virginia giuffre, andrew was asked whether he felt his behaviour had damaged the queen and the royal family. i don't believe it's been damaging to the queen at all. it has to me. if i was in a position to be able to answer all these questions in a way
that gave sensible answers, other than the ones that i've given that gave closure, then i'd love it. but i'm afraid i can't, because i'm just as much in the dark as many people. if andrew does fight on, he'll have to answer all the other side's questions under oath, and he will be able to declare his innocence and his lawyers will be able to test virginia giuffre's allegations. family? —— but at what price to the reputation of the royal family? as lawyers are saying, he has no good options. nicholas witchell, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. the authorities in the brazilian state of minas gerais say that 2a people are now known to have died in some of the worst floods to hit the region in decades. the mayors of hundreds of towns and cities have declared a state of emergency. the heavy rains began in the last week of december and have swollen rivers, leading to the collapse of dams, bridges and roads. the white house says it's taking action to reduce inflation, which is growing
in the us at its highest level since the 1980s. the latest figures show it's gone up by 7% compared with last year. a senior advisor to the biden administration said steps would be taken to ease bottlenecks at ports. the nigerian government has lifted its ban on twitter seven months after it clamped down on the social media platform in the country. the government suspended twitter�*s operations injune last year, accusing it of double standards and supporting secessionists in the country. this was after the microblogging service deleted a controversial tweet by the president. the united states has announced its first sanctions on north korea over the country's weapons program. north korea has recently launched a series of missiles, including two in the past week. sanctions target a number of north koreans and a russian firm said to be responsible for procuring goods for weapons. all eyes remain on australian immigration minister alex hawke who's due to make a decision on whether or not to deport tennis world
number one novak djokovic. in a statement released on wednesday, the tennis star admitted there were mistakes on his immigration forms and to meeting a journalist despite testing positive for covid. djokovic, who is unvaccinated, had his visa revoked shortly after arriving in australia. a judge dramatically overturned the decision, though, ordering the release of the player from a hotel detention facility. he's still hoping to defend his title at the australian open, which gets under way next week. meanwhile, the covidsafe event plan for the tournament has been amended to ensure the health and safety of fans with an announcement ticket sales will be paused at 50% capacity. paul sakkal is the victorian political reporter for the age. he says there's still a lot that remains unclear in the saga. we are probably still hours away as well from the decision from the immigration minister, alex hawke. we have been told that that will probably come this afternoon around the same
time as the draw. i don't know if it will come before or after the draw, clearly it would be best before, but we're also told the djokovic's lawyers will almost certainly appeal the decision if he is again deported. that would send the case back to the same judge, judge anthony kelly, and we are told the federal court may not be able to sit on friday local time, which means it would have to extend out to monday, the first day of the tournament. what is unclear is whether djokovic, if he is to appeal a potential re—cancellation, whether he'll be sent back to immigration detention or whether he'll actually be allowed to remain in the community and potentially play the open while the case is being adjudicated, although that would be relatively extraordinary. we know that as of last night we reported the investigation had widened and they are looking at his isolation
breaches in serbia, his potential illegal entry into spain and the errors he made in his australian travel declaration as well as the inconsistencies on when he actually found out about his positive test. if it was the night before the children's tennis event that he attended maskless or after. he said it was before in his sworn affidavit and then said it was after in his instagram post. so the government, i think, if they are to re—cancel his visa, the grounds are almost certainly to be that he did not have a valid medical exemption to get into australia, that fundamental point about whether prior infection was actually a valid exemption. if the government was wavering slightly in the last couple of days as to whether or not, i think public opinion has potentially swayed back in the favour of the government and against novak djokovic yesterday when the player admitted to meeting people when he was covid infected and also giving questionable excuses about his attendance at a children's tennis event. so i think the government had an unexpectedly good day and the court of public opinion yesterday and djokovic
at about one. and, briefly, if you don't mind, what have the djokovic camp been doing while waiting for confirmation either way? has he just been getting on with training, hoping he will play? i think he is training and doing a little bit more gym work and court work than he would ordinarily do because he was, essentially, locked in a room for three or four days. i think he has a bit of catching up to do. his team have been out of cafes and spotted by melburnians in the inner south—eastern suburbs. we think djokovic is staying at a house in the suburb of toorak, in the eastern suburbs, the wealthy suburb in melbourne and a very high net worth there. i think they are going about preparation is normal but clearly a big cloud looming over his attendance at the open. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: with the real notre dame closed after a devastating fire, virtual reality lets visitors explore one of the oldest gothic cathedrals in the world.
day one of operation desert storm to force the iraqis out of kuwait has seen the most intense air attacks since the second world war. tobacco is america's oldest industry, and it's one of its biggest, but the industry is nervous of this report. this may tend to make people want to stop smoking cigarettes. there is not a street that is unaffected. l huge parts of kobe - were simply demolished as buildings crashed into one another. i this woman said - she'd been given no help and no advice - by the authorities. she stood outside the ruins of her business. _ tens of thousands of black children in south africa have taken advantage of laws, passed by the country's new multiracial government, and enrolled at formerly white schools. tonight sees the 9,610th performance of her long—running play, the mousetrap. when they heard of her death today, the management considered whether to cancel tonight's performance, but agatha christie
would have been the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the uk prime minister, borisjohnson, is facing calls to resign from within his own party after admitting he attended a downing street drinks gathering at the height of covid lockdown and offering an apology. prince andrew will face a civil trial over allegations he sexually assaulted virginia giuffre when she was underage after a us judge ruled her lawsuit against him can proceed. he denies the allegations. nato's secretary—general has warned there's still a real risk of new armed conflict in europe. jens stoltenberg spoke after talks with russia, which left significant differences unresolved. he said nato was ready for more dialogue over ukraine where 100,000 russian troops have massed at the border. our defence correspondent jonathan beale has been following events and sent this update from brussels. talks lasted four hours — longer than expected.
but like the talks between the us and russia earlier in the week, they ended without breakthrough, both sides not budging on their demands. for russia, that is a guarantee from nato not to enlarge, nato emphatically saying that it will keep the door open for new member states. and for nato, de—escalation. they want to see russia withdraw the 100,000 troops they have now amassed on ukraine's border. no indication that russia would do that. that is whyjens stoltenberg said today it was a dangerous situation with a very real risk of a new armed conflict in europe. that is why the russians have warned of unpredictable consequences if relations don't improve. the one glimmer of hope is that talks might still continue. nato has made that offer. russia is yet to agree. diplomacy isn't dead yet. that said, the threat of war hasn't gone away either. public health officials in the us have raised concerns about the slow rate of covid—19
vaccination uptake amongst 5— to 11—year—olds. data from the center for disease control shows that just over 17% of children in that age bracket have had two jabs. but the rates vary wildly between states. according to analysis by the kaiser family foundation — a health non—profit — vermont has the highest uptake of any state as of last month with 45.6% of 5 to 11 years having received one jab. at the other end of the spectrum is west virginia where the figure is isjust 3.6%. lisa costello is president of the west virginia chapter of american academy of pediatrics. shejoins me now. what do you think the reason is for the low vaccination rate in west virginia? in vaccination rate in west virginia?— vaccination rate in west vir: inia? , ., virginia? in west virginia paediatricians _ virginia? in west virginia paediatricians and - virginia? in west virginia paediatricians and otherl virginia? in west virginia - paediatricians and other child health providers are working to increase rate we have seen some encouraging improvements from some of the data reporting,
some of the data reporting, some internal data shows 15% of five to 11 —year—olds have at least received one dose. its multi factorial. we need to continue to educate parents and answer questions they may have in regards to the importance of choosing covid—19 vaccination. we need to continue to do local outreach to make sure questions are being answered and parents know where they can access the vaccine. we encourage individuals to call their paediatrician but we are offering vaccines across the state pharmacies as well as at the schools.— state pharmacies as well as at the schools. why would you say west virginia — the schools. why would you say west virginia has _ the schools. why would you say west virginia has such - the schools. why would you say west virginia has such a - the schools. why would you say west virginia has such a low - west virginia has such a low vaccination uptake because we were talking about 45% for the mind, is it surprising it is so low for west virginia at the moment?— low for west virginia at the moment? ~ , ., , ., , moment? west virginia is a very rural state. _ moment? west virginia is a very rural state. i _ moment? west virginia is a very rural state, i commend - moment? west virginia is a very rural state, i commend my - rural state, i commend my colleagues in vermont where there was a good uptake and we want to continue to understand
what parents questions have in west virginia. making sure we have local, trusted messages who can help educate parents in regards to choosing vaccination. we need to continue to do outreach, we have just passed the holiday season here, i think there were some individuals who may not have wanted to do their vaccination during that period. we have been emphasising the importance to get vaccinated as soon as possible because we are seeing a spike in cases in children across the country, including west virginia. i can certainly see _ including west virginia. i can certainly see why _ including west virginia. i can certainly see why being - including west virginia. i can certainly see why being a - including west virginia. i can i certainly see why being a rural state has an impact. what we know about the impact of covid—19 on children's respiratory health? covid-19 on children's respiratory health? with this new variant _ respiratory health? with this new variant we _ respiratory health? with this new variant we are _ respiratory health? with this new variant we are seeing, l respiratory health? with this new variant we are seeing, i | new variant we are seeing, i care for children in the hospital as part of myjob as a paediatrician, we are starting to see some of the smaller airway disease and think that might be with the new variant,
time will certainly tell, certainly we are seeing more of a bronchiolitis or croup —like presentation not really what we had seen previously, in the pandemic. personally i cared for multiple children in the hospital had been admitted to come hospital because of covid—19, so we are seeing more increased work of breathing and also other viral respiratory season, we know sometimes individuals can get more than one virus, which certainly impacts the respiratory health. how worried are you about hospital you work on how worried are you about on the crime, how other hospitals in your state working? this crime, how other hospitals in your state working?— your state working? this is certainly — your state working? this is certainly a _ your state working? this is certainly a tough _ your state working? this is certainly a tough time - your state working? this is l certainly a tough time across the country and in our state we have workforce issues in regards to individuals who may be stick themselves, unable to come to work, we are seeing people leave the healthcare field. we are doing everything
we can to work together to continue to provide the care people in the west village —— west virginia need but we are watching this very closely as we see more cases in children, this is the highest it has ever beenin this is the highest it has ever been in regards to child cases since the beginning of the pandemic. keeping a very close eye on it, a concern for everyone who works in a hospital. everyone who works in a heapital-_ everyone who works in a hosital. , ., hospital. best of luck getting that message _ hospital. best of luck getting that message out _ hospital. best of luck getting that message out there. - as one of the oldest gothic cathedrals in the world is rebuilt after a devastating fire, visitors can now view notre dame virtually. it's a welcome distraction to a simmering row amongst many public figures in france who accuse designers of planning to turn the cathedral�*s insides into a woke disneyland, as mark lobel reports. after the fire we are great kings and queens were crowned and wed, the reconstruction.
this tree fell for the spire to be restored faithfully within an inch of its former life. but look inside notre—dame as the president did on the second anniversary of the fire and thatis anniversary of the fire and that is where things are beginning to heat up again. the archbishop of paris's plans for art installations to replace altars, classical sculptures to replace confession boxes and biblical deemed discovery trail to bring the wool into the 21st century have been cast by some critics seek is a politically correct disneyland. for the nostalgic there is always the option of bearing their heads in the sands of time. through a virtual reality headset. how notre—dame locked throughout history. notre-dame locked throughout histo . ~ ,, �* notre-dame locked throughout histo . ~ ,, ~ , history. translation: it is uuite history. translation: it is quite impressive, _ history. translation: it is quite impressive, you - history. translation: it is quite impressive, you are i quite impressive, you are anxious at the start then you forget you are in the enclosed space because the environment is magnificent. you better not
be afraid of heights, gives quite an unusual feeling. speaks french.- quite an unusual feeling. speaks french. .., ., speaks french. the cathedral has been closed _ speaks french. the cathedral has been closed for _ speaks french. the cathedral has been closed for three - has been closed for three years. has been closed for three ears. . has been closed for three ears, ., ., , has been closed for three ears. ., ., , :: has been closed for three ears. ., ., , f, ., years. that means 40 million frustrated _ years. that means 40 million frustrated visitors. _ years. that means 40 million frustrated visitors. if - years. that means 40 million frustrated visitors. if we - years. that means 40 million j frustrated visitors. if we open in 2024 — frustrated visitors. if we open in 2024 we will wait for another— in 2024 we will wait for another three years, so this is the occasion for believers and tourisls— the occasion for believers and tourists to be able to say, we had _ tourists to be able to say, we had a — tourists to be able to say, we had a chance to see it another wax _ had a chance to see it another wa . �* , ., , had a chance to see it another wa . ~ , ., , ., ., way. as millions wait for the curtain to — way. as millions wait for the curtain to be _ way. as millions wait for the curtain to be drawn - way. as millions wait for the curtain to be drawn back - way. as millions wait for the curtain to be drawn back on | way. as millions wait for the i curtain to be drawn back on the new notre—dame, some comfort and from an immersive expedition until its real—life resurrection. mark lobel, bbc news. tributes from fellow artists and fans have been pouring in on social media since the news broke. dave davies from the kinks said, "rest in peace,
ronnie spector. thanks for watching. more coming thanks forwatching. more coming up on bbc news. hello there. it's been an unsettled start to 2022, hasn't it? but wednesday changed all that for many across england and wales. after a frosty and foggy start, we had pictures like this — a beautiful scene in wrexham, hardly a cloud in the sky. it was chilly with it, but further north, we had more cloud. however, it was scotland and northern ireland that had the milder weather, with temperatures topping out at 12 or 13 degrees across eastern scotland and north—east england. now, this was the situation on wednesday, and it's a fairly similar story to close out the working week. high pressure's still with us, a south—westerly feeding cloud and a little bit of patchy drizzle across the far north and west. but under those clearer skies and with very light winds, we will see frost and fog
forming once again. so, temperatures potentially down as low as —3 in a few rural parts, the exception, the far north of scotland. yes, it will be frosty, but also, it will be foggy, particularly for parts of england and wales. some of the fog dense in places, and it may well take most of the morning before it slowly lifts into low cloud and hopefully disperses. so, a pretty miserable start, but hopefully improving later on. the cloud, that south—westerly breeze again thick enough for a spot or two of drizzle, but we could see double figures across the far north of scotland, despite the winds gusting in excess of 40—50 miles per hour across the northern isles. so, a blustery afternoon here, light winds, not shifting that fog some time soon. so, temperatures will struggle just a touch — 6—8 degrees across england and wales. as we move out of thursday into friday, the high pressure not moving very far very fast, which basically means we will continue to see a good deal of quiet weather. this weather front again increasing the risk of tonight,
patchy rain, nothing particularly significant. fog could be more extensive on friday, and as a result, it could be slow to clear. if that happens, one or two places might not see temperatures climbing out of freezing, but if we get the sunshine coming through again, we're looking at 5—7 to the south, maximum of 10 or 11 degrees across the far north. now, as we move towards the weekend, that quieter theme will stay with us. a good deal of dry weather. the question is just how much sunshine we will see.
the headlines: uk prime minister borisjohnson is facing calls to resign from within his own party after he admitted attending a drinks party at his residence during a coronavirus lockdown. one mp from his conservative party has called his position untenable. but several cabinet colleagues have backed mrjohnson. the uk's prince andrew is facing a civil trial in the united states over allegations of sexual assault after a judge refused to dismiss the case brought by virginia giuffre, accusing him of abusing her when she was 17. both nato and russia have warned the situation in eastern europe remains dangerous after their first face—to—face talks in two years produced no breakthrough. russia says the way forward is still unclear. nato says there is still a real danger of armed conflict in europe. now on bbc news, it's time for click.