this is bbc news — i'm tim willcox. our top stories. britain's prince andrew loses his royal and military titles — and will no longer be officially known as his royal highness. this comes a day after a judge in new york ruled that the prince must defend an accusation of sexually assaulting virginia guiffre in a civil court case. britain's prime minister's political future in the balance as new downing street party allegations come to light. sedition charges are brought for the first time against people accused of taking part in the storming of the us capitol last year. britain's security services issue a rare alert — warning of a chinese agent operating at the heart of westminster trying to influence mps. still a favourite to win, but will he play? novak djokovic�*s australian open prospects still up
in the air as ministers consider their visa decision. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. buckingham palace has announced that prince andrew is returning his royal and military titles to the queen, and will no longer be referred to as his royal highness in any official capacity. it comes after a court ruling in the us which left the prince facing a civil case later this year against virginia giuffre. she says she was sexually assaulted by him two decades ago when she was a teenager. he has consistently denied the allegations. prince andrew retired from public duties in november 2019 after an interview about the claims with the bbc�*s newsnight, and will now have to defend the court case
as a private citizen. here's our royal correspondent nicholas witchell. it was a day to take stock. for andrew, seen leaving his home near windsor castle this morning, to ponder the situation in which he now finds himself. a situation in which, for him, none of the options is a good one. the days of this, of standing proudly on the balcony of buckingham palace, in military uniform, alongside his family, are over. his family — and particularly his elder brother charles and his nephew william — had to put aside family feeling. the priority now was the family's protection from severe reputational damage. just after five o'clock, buckingham palace issued a short statement regarding the duke of york.
at the same time, the palace let it be known that andrew would no longer be known as his royal highness. so, what does it all mean? it means we will never see andrew like this again, riding as honorary colonel of the grenadier guards at trooping the colour. he has stepped down by mutual agreement, we are told, from that position and from roles in nearly a dozen other regiments. he is also giving up roles in the royal navy and the raf. in military circles, there was considerable relief. the mp tobias ellwood is a former army officer. the royal family has an intimate relationship with the regiments, going back in history, many of them are honorary colonels and so forth and it is important that the problems that prince andrew has incurred are not bled over into the regiments that he was representing.
from sources close to andrew, we were told that he would fight on. the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims, they said. the claims began more than ten years ago now, with the publication of this photograph of andrew with the then 17—year—old virginia roberts and this photograph of him with the convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein. in his newsnight interview, andrew said he rued the day he became involved with epstein. and that is the bit that, as it were, i kick myself for, on a daily basis, because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and i let the side down. simple as that. two years on from that interview, andrew, duke of york, second son of the queen, ninth in line to the british throne stands alone.
nicholas witchell, bbc news. there've been more allegations of parties held at the british prime minister's residence, number 10 downing street, that would have breached coronavirus rules. the daily telegraph newspaper claims the events took place last april, the night before prince philip's funeral. mrjohnson is facing growing calls to resign over other parties at number 10 during the pandemic. this week he admitted attending one in his garden during england's first lockdown in 2020. he said he believed it was a work event. 0ur news correspondent mark lobel has been following the story and gave this update. reports of two more gatherings at downing street. these, the most recent in april 2021. all the allegations now spanning 11 months of life in downing street. the first ones from 2021 — the previous ones were from 2020. exactly — from may 2020, to april 2021. this one, april 2021,
at a time when no indoor mixing was allowed between households, and outdoors you could be with six people or two households could meet up. but the key thing about this one, it was on the eve of the funeral of prince philip, and the next day, as many viewers will remember, there was that image of the queen sitting alone. she was adhering to covid regulations, mourning by herself there. and yet, a few hours earlier — according to the story in the telegraph — around 30 downing street staff had got together for two farewells, one for the director of communications, james slack — he'd been director of communications under two prime ministers — and the other a personal photographer of boris johnson's. and it's the details of this party that the telegraph goes into that are really quite stinging if true. there was notjust alcohol — so much so they had to go to the local supermarket, allegedly, with a suitcase to pick up some more bottles of wine — but there was music playing, there was dancing. and head of opts, i think,
was in charge of the music — she was the dj. on this laptop, apparently, that was being played in the basement which was not very well ventilated. when they made it to the garden the story is that someone broke borisjohnson�*s son wilf�*s swing a couple of weeks before his first birthday. downing street are not denying that an event took place — this is what they have said about james slack, who was leaving, the director of communications. ok, so more pressure on the prime minister. there is an investigation into previous parties — will this one now be included in that, do you think? it is probably very likely it will be folded into it. certainly the remit of the investigation by sue gray would allow it. boris johnson was not at this
one — the april party in 2021 — because he was in chequers, in his country retreat, but nonetheless the deputy leader of the labour party says in reaction to this, "i have no words for the culture and behaviours at number 10, and the buck stops with the pm." so when that inquiry comes out, it is notjust the met police that will be looking very closely at sue gray's report, but also the public, as many constituents will be e—mailing their mps with what their feelings are. that has already been happening as a result of the previous allegations, and so this is what andrew bridgen — who supported borisjohnson, backed him to be leader, and was a vocal supporter of brexit — told newsnightjust a few hours ago. have you written a letter to sir graham brady? i have.
with a heavy heart, . i have written a letter to sir graham brady indicating that i have no confidence in the prime| minister, and calling - for a leadership election. the chairman of the 1922 committee who collect letters. if 54 committee who collect letters. if 5a conservative mps sent letters there will be a vote of no confidence in the prime minister and he has to win 50% of conservative mps support to stay on for another year at least. andrew bridgen comparing borisjohnson to winston churchill. borisjohnson wrote a biography of winston churchill, one of his heroes, who won the war, but wasn't very good at leading the piece. andrew bridgen saying maybe, having dealt with that covid war, as he is implying, boris johnson's misdemeanours will not be passed over so easily now that things are getting back to normal. the cabinet have been out defending boris johnson, of course, so they are standing by him for now the image of this is not good for him. you have the allegations of 30 attendees at a party in downing street and then a few days later, a few hours later, 30 mourners only allowed at a
royal funeral. 30 mourners only allowed at a royalfuneral. ﬁx, 30 mourners only allowed at a royal funeral.— royal funeral. a big question for a lot of — royal funeral. a big question for a lot of people, - royal funeral. a big question for a lot of people, what - royal funeral. a big question for a lot of people, what has happened to wilfjohnson�*s swing? the usjustice department has charged the founder of a far right extremist group with conspiring to commit sedition over the deadly attack on congress last year. earlier the fbi raided the homes connected with the texas chapter of the 0ath keepers militia group, making a number of arrests. in their charging document, the doj alleged that 11 member fo the group conspired to forcefully stop the peaceful transfer of power, to the democratically elected president biden. this including the stocking of firearms with so called "quick reaction forces" just outside the dc limits on the day. with members of one chapter holding training for "unconventional warfare" in the run up to january 6th. according to prosecutors, 0ath keeper founder — elmer stewart rhodes iii — told followers in december that if biden came to power "we will have to do a bloody,
massive, bloody revolution against them... that's what going to have to happen". he's previously said members who entered the capitol onjanuary 6th were "off mission". earlier i spoke to ron filipkowski, a veteran, former prosecutor and current far—right researcher, about the severity of these charges the charges are just below treason. it is second only to treason as far as federal crimes go. the 0ath keepers, there are a number of paramilitary groups in the us that my team monitors — proud boys, 3%ers — but of the different groups the 0ath keepers have the most military which is one of the reasons they were the most sophisticated of the groups on the 6th of january. i refer to them as the tip of the spear of the people that went into the capitol building. they were some of the first in, the most well—equipped
and they trained for it. they were pretty brazen leading up to the 6th of january, on social media saying what they were going to do. they also used encrypted message servicing, as well. it would seem the doj has managed to decipher and access some of that. its leader, stewart rhodes, some of those who went into the building went off mission and he had not authorised them to do that. presumably the doj will be looking at preparation the months before this. yes. nine of the people underneath him have already been in custody for several months so i would think that a number of them have already cooperated and spoken to federal authorities and most likely given statements against stewart rhodes, and that is one of the things that led to this indictment, i'm sure. so i am sure they have quite a lot of evidence. i posted on twitter today a video of stewart rhodes two
days before january 6th, where he laid out exactly what he was going to do that day, two days ahead of time. going into a bit more detail about the 0ath keepers. they believe in the deep state, they believe the government is infiltrated by marxists. what more do they say, and what evidence do they have about any of the claims they make? i think they have approached you, as well, haven't they? they have. i sometimes go to trump rallies and other conservative political rallies and blend in and i will wear my military stuff and i have been approached more than once because that is what they do — they tend to recruit military guys at right—wing political rallies, for their organisation. and they believe there is a shadow government which they refer to as the deep state that is really secretly running everything, not the elected officials, and that donald trump was going to go in there and oust all of these people and clean them out of the
government and they believed on the 6th of january that it was the same group conspiring to fix the election for biden and they were going to stop it. what sort of political support higher up the chain do they have? that is the big question right now. is there a connection, direct connection, between the leaders of these groups that were on the ground that went into the capitol, and the actual political leaders who were trying to organise overturning the election? there was clearly physical connections — we saw roger stone, alexjones, among others in donald trump's circle, michael flynn in and around these guys, but as far as them directing that day about what they wanted to do, i have seen no direct evidence of that. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come...
novak djokovic's australian open prospects are still up in the air as ministers consider their visa decision. 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. huge parts of kobe were simply demolished as buildings crashed into one another. 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 multiracial government - and enrolled at formerly white
schools. tonight sees the 9610th performance of the long—running tonight sees the 9,610th performance of the 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've been the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines... buckingham palace says prince andrew has returned his military honours and royal patronages to the queen. and he will no longer use the title his royal highness. new allegations of parties in the british prime minister's residence in april have emerged — downing street has not denied the claims. britain's security service has issued a rare alert that an alleged chinese agent has infiltrated parliament. m15 has warned mps of a woman who's been working as an agent for the chinese state and trying to influence british politicians.
the security service said that christine lee was engaged in political interference on behalf of the chinese communist party. the home secretary priti patel said it was "deeply concerning", but that the uk had measures in place to identify such activities. here's our security correspondent, gordon corera. a figure at the heart of westminster, with access to politicians from all parties, even a prime minister. but today lawyer christine lee is accused of working secretly on behalf of the chinese state. in a highly unusual move, m15 today issued this alert to parliamentarians. they were warned that miss lee had been working with an arm of the chinese communist party to covertly interfere in uk politics through establishing links with established and aspiring parliamentarians. the fact that this alert has become public today in the way in which it has, is really a very strong illustration of how our intelligence and security agencies have been working together to really spot and identify this type
of activity, activity that could potentially do harm to our country and harm to our democracy. there was no—one here today at christine lee's london office and she has not yet responded to the claims. the allegation is that she was funnelling money to politicians, claiming it came from within the uk, when in fact it came from china, all in order to secure influence for the chinese communist party. former labour frontbencher barry gardiner received more than £a00,000 from her overfive years. in a statement today, he said he had been liaising with m15 and he stopped receiving funding for parliamentary researchers in 2020, although miss lee's son was working in mr gardiner�*s office until he resigned today. this is really serious. we don't play this down, i am not running scare stories, i am genuinely concerned and shocked that this has been allowed to happen.
we need to understand why, and we need to do something about it, but also we have to recognise that the chinese government poses a clear and present danger to us and stop messing around. today's alert came after what i'm told is a lengthy and serious investigation by m15 here, but christine lee is not being prosecuted. this isn't about spying on the traditional sense of stealing secrets, it's about influence and the judgement was that the best way of disrupting her alleged activities was by issuing this very unusual warning. inside british intelligence, concerns about chinese influence have been growing in recent years. today is a sign that those fears go right to the heart of westminster, and we are told to expect more of these warnings in the future. gordon corera, bbc news. president biden�*s landmark voting rights legislation appears increasingly unlikely to pass after a key democratic senator said she opposed changing senate rules to allow it to be approved by a simple majority.
mr biden has characterised the voting rights legislation as a defence of democracy against measures in republican—controlled states to restrict voting. the support of all senate democrats is needed for the rule change. but key dissenting voice — arizona senator kyrsten sinema — said she believed the removal of the so—called filibuster would foster growing political divisions. these bills help treat the symptoms of the disease but they do not fully address the disease itself, and while i continue to support these bills i will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. that statement on the floor was timed to pre—empt president biden�*s discussions with the democratic caucus. kyrsten sinema supports these
two voting rights bill. but she doesn't support ripping up senate rules. so to discuss all this i'm joined by representative reginald bolding, the arizona house democratic leader and co—founder of our voice, our vote arizona... thank you forjoining us on the programme. as things stand at the moment, this looks as if it has a pretty slim chance of getting through.— has a pretty slim chance of getting through. you know, first of all. _ getting through. you know, first of all, thank _ getting through. you know, first of all, thank you - getting through. you know, first of all, thank you for i first of all, thank you for having me on. it does look like this is going to be an uphill battle for democrats in dc and thatis battle for democrats in dc and that is unfortunate because right now what we are seeing across this nation is in republican held states there is a systemic attack on people having the ability and the right and the freedom to vote, and quite frankly we need federal legislation and this was kyrsten sinema's standing up was kyrsten sinema's standing up for people across the community.— up for people across the communi . ., ,, .,~ ., up for people across the communi . ., ,, ., ., community. you speak from a key state, controversial— community. you speak from a key state, controversial in _ community. you speak from a key state, controversial in terms - state, controversial in terms of the last election. talk us
through what the opposition is in terms of standardised voting rules. what arguments i put up to say that that should not be the case?— to say that that should not be the case? ., ~ ., ,, ., ., the case? you know, so senator sinema has _ the case? you know, so senator sinema has said _ the case? you know, so senator sinema has said the _ the case? you know, so senator sinema has said the filibuster i sinema has said the filibuster should not be broken because you want to make sure you have both members of the republican party and democratic party who can come together and actually passed legislation work both parties are involved and the reality is, american politics today, you do have a polarising view. the problem we are seeing right now is that in this country there is an attack to allow people to have their voices actually heard. while miss sinema believes that if republicans gain control they will do to democrats what democrats will do to them, i quite frankly say i don't buy it because republicans are
already taken away individuals' it right to vote state by state. , ., . ., state. the midterms are coming u . state. the midterms are coming u- and state. the midterms are coming up and difficult _ state. the midterms are coming up and difficult for _ state. the midterms are coming up and difficult for the _ up and difficult for the democrats as things stand. ithuiith democrats as things stand. with the midterms _ democrats as things stand. tn the midterms coming up i think it is important for us to take a step back and ask, why are we in government right now? we have all been elected to allow people to have their voices heard and what we have seen, as more people turn out and vote, that has made members of the republican party not excited about that, so they try efforts to suppress the vote, taking a wait voting by mail, to make it harderfor people to wait voting by mail, to make it harder for people to go to polling sites and make it people to vote and we believe it could have implications on the 2022 elections. reginald boldina , the 2022 elections. reginald bolding, thank _ the 2022 elections. reginald bolding, thank you - the 2022 elections. reginald bolding, thank you very - the 2022 elections. reginaldl bolding, thank you very much indeed. to australia now, where we've been following the sensational row over novak djokovic's
arrival ahead of the australian open. the tennis world number one was granted a medical exemption to play, despite being unvaccinated, and has been included in the draw for the tournament which gets underway on monday. australian immigration minister alex hawke still holds ministerial powers to cancel the player's visa but is yet to finalise his decision, leaving a cloud of uncertainty around the saga. tracey holmes is the host of the ticket podcast. she says there have been developments in the story — outside of the minister's decision. we're in a holding pattern, and everybody is — from novak djokovic, to the other players, to the tournament organisers, to the media watching on. and, of course, the huge international interest that we have seen. there have been a couple of developments. one that i can confirm with you — which i don't think anybody else yet has — but two other players who came into australia on the same visa and documents as novak djokovic actually flew out of australia when they saw what was happening to novak, and when they saw what happened
to the czech player, renata voracova, who of course was detained and then deported. so that means there are four people who have now left australia. voracova, two other players whose identity is being kept quiet because of their medical records, and the official who was also deported and sent home from australia. so there are big questions there, then, about whether there was a shift in policy between when they arrived and when novak djokovic arrived — or at least a shift in the prosecution of the policy — or whether australian border force failed to pick up four other people who were then circulating in and around the melbourne 0pen ahead of novak djokovic's arrival. plenty more on that story and all the others on the website
at bbc.com/news. for me and the team, hope to see you soon. for some of us, it's going to be a very foggy start to friday. if you are planning to travel through the morning, take it steady — particularly across parts of wales, central and southern england. but i think for most of us it should be a sunny start to the day, brought by this area of high pressure which has been hanging around for quite a while now. windless conditions, too, but quite a temperature contrast across the uk and, in fact, the breeze isjust about coming off the atlantic across scotland, so frost—free here and frost—free generally for northern ireland, too. the frost will be across the southern half of england and wales — even “4 degrees in one or two spots. and here, it's also where the fog is going to be forming — in the centre of this high pressure here, and some of that fog will linger into the afternoon but,
as i say, for most of us, it's a sunny day. now, the problem of the high pressure, though, and the windless conditions — particularly in london and the southeast — will be the pollution. that's what sometimes happens when you get these very stable conditions with the light winds — the pollutants get trapped in the atmosphere in urban areas and we get some very high levels — butjust for friday, so this is going to be for london and the southeast. for most of us, it's a bright day with slightly fresher air and temperatures of around about five to seven degrees. now, more of a breeze on saturday, which means that some of these pollutants will be blown away, so not quite so bad in the southeast. and the weather — not a bad day for most, although we are going to start off on a foggy note once again — particularly across central and southern parts of england and wales. more of a south—westerly breeze here, i think, in scotland and northern ireland, so a bit more cloud here — in fact, there's a weather front approaching, so a little nuance in our weather heading for the north of the country, this little weak weather front will bring some spots of rain into sunday for scotland,
and then eventually there'll be some spots of rain, i think, on sunday morning in the north of england as this weather front topples around this area of high pressure that we have in the south. temperatures on sunday, ten degrees in london — for most of is it'll be around eight or so. so let's summarise all of that. watch out for the fog first thing on friday morning — could be quite nasty in places. and then after that, actually, the weather isn't looking too bad at all — it's very stable, calm weather to come in the coming days.
this is bbc news, the headlines. britain's prince andrew has returned his military honours and royal patronages. and will no longer use the title his royal highness. it follows the news on wednesday that the prince must defend an accusation of sexually assaulting virginia guiffre in a us civil court case. he denies the allegation. there's been more allegations of parties held at the uk prime minister's residence — downing street — that would have breached coronavirus rules. the events reportedly took place last april — the night before prince philip's funeral. borisjohnson was away at the time. for the first time, the us justice department has brought sedition charges in connection with the storming of the capitol building in washington last january. the founder of a far—right group — the 0ath keepers — has been charged, along with ten others. now on bbc news it's hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk.