this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. novak djokovic�*s legal team try to stop his deportion from australia, after his visa is cancelled, again. downing street apologises to the queen, after two parties were held at number 10 the night before the funeral of the duke of edinburgh. it was a time of national mourning, and covid rules meant indoor mixing was banned. the us accuses russia of sending saboteurs into ukraine to justify an invasion. we'll have the latest. lawyers for virginia giuffre, who's bringing a civil case against prince andrew for sexual assault, file formal requests to obtain evidence from two people in britain. and a hero's welcome for polar preet — challenging stereotypes after her solo expedition across antarctica.
hello and welcome to the programme. i'm shaun ley. it's good to have your company. novak djokovic�*s lawyers are appealing to a federal court in australia, to try to overturn a government decision to cancel his visa for a second time over covid rules. if they fail, the world number one, who isn't vaccinated, could be deported. our correspondent, shaimaa khalil, has the latest from melbourne. this is 9 news... live from sydney... just moments ago, the immigration minister has cancelled novak djokovic�*s visa... it's a story that's made headlines here in australia and around the world. for days, novak djokovic has been on the court training and the government has announced its decision. the tennis star's visa has been cancelled again and, for the second time,
he faces deportation from australia. in his statement, the country's immigration minister alex hawke said... the prime minister, scott morrison, said the sacrifices australians made throughout the pandemic should be protected. mr morrison's government has faced heavy criticism for allowing the unvaccinated player into australia in the first place, while the country struggled with a spike in covid—i9 case numbers. i think it was a mess—up that they did but now i think they corrected it. it's unfortunate that novak won't be playing, you know, the tournament, it's a pretty big loss. yeah, i think if everyone else has to follow the rules, why can't he? and, obviously, he thought he was above it all. andy murray says the controversy has been bad for the sport. itjust seems like it's dragged on for quite a long time now and,
yeah, not great for the tennis, not great for the australian open, not great for novak. his former coach, the multiple grand slam winner boris becker, said this story has become about more than just sport. he's only a tennis player, we're alljust sportsmen, we're not politicians. if we are used in a political way, then we don't have a chance. the world number one is still fighting to defend his title here. whether or not he'll be able to play, the australian open will take place under the shadow of a controversy that has gone way beyond tennis. shaimaa khalil. shaimaa afterwards gave us this update. well, i'm outside novak djokovic�*s lawyer's office, where he is expected soon. he was interviewed by immigration officials earlier and he is expected to be accompanied by border force officers as well. this is essentially him being detained. he will be allowed four hours
here for a court hearing. this is a federal court, a higher court, with a differentjudge. once again, the government has decided they want to deport novak djokovic. once again, it's up to a judge whether or not he stays or goes. he will then be accompanied to an immigration detention hotel, possibly the one that he had stayed in before. but now this australian open, two days away, has turned from a sporting highlight to a point of contention politically and diplomatically. shaimaa khalil. and if we get more on that court case in the next half hour, we will bring it to you here on bbc news. downing street has apologised to buckingham palace, after it emerged two parties were held at number 10 the night before the duke of edinburgh's funeral, last april. a spokesman for borisjohnson said it was "deeply regrettable that the events took place at a time
of national mourning". covid rules had meant indoor mixing was banned, but reports suggest there was drinking and dancing at the parties into the early hours. the prime minister didn't attend either party, but the latest disclosures have amplified calls for him to resign. with the very latest, here's our political correspondent ben wright. it was a moment of national mourning, flags flying at half—mast in honour of prince philip, the duke of edinburgh. but inside number 10, on the evening of the 16th of april last year, two parties took place. there was drink and music at a time covid restrictions on indoor mixing in england were in place... ..restrictions the queen followed at the funeral of her husband the following day. when i heard about this, i was, of course, very, very concerned. and i understand that people across the country are angry about what has happened. earlier this week, the prime minister did apologise for mistakes that have been made.
according to the daily telegraph, downing street staff were sent to a nearby shop with a suitcase to buy more booze. number 10 has not denied any of this. boris johnson himself was not there. itjoins the list of events being investigated by sue gray, a senior civil servant. as well as the two parties on the same night in april last year, back in december 2020, we know of several gatherings — both in downing street and government departments — including one on the 18th of december, about which the prime minister said this. i have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no covid rules were broken. the list goes on, with events in november 2020 being looked at. there was a gathering in the number 10 garden on 15 may 2020 and a bring—your—own—bottle event on the 20th, which borisjohnson has
apologised for attending. today's chastened apology to the queen is the latest twist in a saga that has engulfed number 10. as new revelations have dripped out, downing street has appealed for patience, saying all the facts will be known when sue gray publishes her report. but many tory mps are livid about the prime minister's handling of all of this and the apparent culture inside number 10. even a government minister has said things must change. it's not acceptable behaviour. he's apologised, and quite right too, and he needs to change his behaviour going forward. and we all, i think, agree that. a handful of backbench conservatives have written letters to the parliamentary party, asking for a confidence vote in boris johnson. sutton coldfield is a true blue seat in the west midlands. but last night, the officers of its conservative association voted unanimously to withdraw its support from mrjohnson.
the constituency�*s mp is a former cabinet minister. are you asking for his resignation? i'm not. i'm not normally a letter writer, but i'm waiting to see what sue gray reports. it is of immense concern, and i'm very conscious that in the local community, in royal sutton coldfield, people are aghast at what's been going on. here and across the country, tory mps will be sounding out their local parties and voters. i think it's disgusting. they're like a rudderless ship, really. i think it's a vendetta - that the media have got. opposition parties are now calling on the prime minister to quit. the prime minister allowed this to happen in number 10, not once, not twice, but on multiple occasions. the culture was, it's one rule for everybody else and one rule for us. for a prime minister under intense pressure, much hangs on an inquiry that could lay bare whether those responsible for setting lockdown rules repeatedly broke them.
that was our political correspondents ben wright reporting. it comes as official figures show covid infections climbed to a record high in the uk during the first week of january, with an estimated a5 million cases. london was the only part of the country to see a fall in infections during that period. health officials are concerned about the slower take up of booster vaccines in some areas. here's our health editor, hugh pym. with restrictions in wales to be eased, six nations rugby fixtures with fans can go ahead in cardiff. there'll be no limit on spectators at outside events from january the 21st and, a week later, nightclubs reopen, as long as covid cases are falling. over the course of this week, we have seen some early positive signs of improvement and they suggest that the measures we have taken are working and they give us hope that we may be turning a corner. the latest move by the welsh government follows a similar easing by scottish ministers, with more confidence about the weeks ahead, though virus infections remain high.
the latest survey by the office for national statistics suggests that a5 million people in the uk had the virus last week, up 15% on the previous week, though that rate of increase was slower than during the week before. in england, it was one in 15 who had the virus. in scotland, wales and northern ireland, one in 20 people. there is a renewed push on booster jabs, with take up much slower since the new year — including here in nottingham and across the east midlands, where the message sometimes hasn't been heard. a part of me questions whether it's actually effective. and how many are we going to have to have after that? i really want to get it done. because of everything that you see in the news, really. health officials in the region say the booster roll—out may have slowed, but vaccine centres are busy. we are still continuing to see hundreds of people coming in each week for their first dose, so we have to recognise that people
are on a slightly differentjourney. at this gp practice in kent, though, the waiting area for vaccinations, including boosters, is sometimes empty. our clinics really have been a lot less busy. we've also had problems where patients aren't turning up when they've been invited. he said getting the under—30s to come forward for boosters hasn't always been easy. that age group were vaccinated later, so their boosters come later. quite a lot of them have had covid, and you can't vaccinate someone within four weeks of having covid, but we still think there's quite a lot of young people out there who are eligible that we are very keen to boost. medical experts say more babies are going to hospital during this latest covid wave, but they're not very sick with the virus — which they say is reassuring — and covid poses a very low risk to children. hugh pym, bbc news. lawyers for virginia giuffre, who's accused the duke of york of sexual abuse, are calling for two people based in the uk to give evidence in her civil case,
including his former equerry. prince andrew denies all the allegations. our correspondent nomia iqbal has the latest from washington. in the last hour or so, virginia giuffre�*s lawyers here in america have submitted two letters, making a formal request to a british court to help secure evidence from what they are calling two witnesses. so just to let you know who they are, shukri walker. virginia giuffre�*s team claims that shukri walker saw prince andrew at this night club in 2001 in london with a young girl. and virginia giuffre alleges that was around about the time that she claims prince andrew abused her in london. the second letter, as you mentioned there, is a request for major rob olney. this was prince andrew's former assistant. and virginia giuffre�*s lawyers believe that he may have information relating to the relationship between prince andrew and the dead sex offenderjeffrey epstein. prince andrew's lawyers have always said that this is a marathon, not a sprint, but more pressure
on prince andrew this evening. let's get some of the day's other news now. the united nations says at least 108 civilians have been killed by air strikes in northern ethiopia in the past two weeks. the un human rights office said, 75 others had been injured in strikes, allegedly carried out by the ethiopian air force. the federal government has previously denied attacking civilians in tigray. vigils are being held across the island of ireland, in memory of a woman who was murdered while out jogging on wednesday. 23—year—old ashling murphy — a primary school teacher — was attacked along the banks of the grand canal in tullamore in county offaly. downing street has expressed deep concern that a suspected chinese agent was able to target mps, in an attempt to make british policy more favourable to beijing. china has denied the claims and accused the government of being "too obsessed with james bond movies." our security correspondent gordon corera has more. an agent for the chinese state in the heart of westminster.
that's the claim that sparked a row between the uk and china. christine lee was a well—known figure, a lawyer seen here encouraging people from the chinese community to engage in politics. your vote is your voice! she had contacts across the spectrum, providing hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding and meeting top politicians. but yesterday, mi5 issued this rare alert, warning she was trying to covertly interfere in british political life on behalf of the chinese communist party. today, china hit back, denying the claims. its foreign ministry spokesperson said perhaps some individuals have watched too many 007 movies, leading to unnecessary mental associations. the warning is a sign that tensions over china and its covert activities are growing. just two months ago,
the head of mi6 said china was now his top priority. china's state news agency responded to that speech with its own spoof of mi6's fictional spy, with a chinese james pond mocking british intelligence. but one former diplomat says the uk does need to be on guard for china seeking influence. by putting in that sort of money, it gets eyes and ears in parliament, it gets to influence, it hopes, various policy decisions. it might be about our critical national infrastructure. this latest warning has caused alarm in westminster, and it's unlikely to be the last. gordon corera, bbc news. do stay with us on bbc news, because still to come...
a hero's welcome for polar preet, challenging stereotypes after her solo expedition across antarctica. 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. i tens of thousands of black childrenl in south africa have taken advantage of laws passed by the country'sl new multiracial government and enrolled at formerly—white schools. tonight see the 9610th 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. welcome back. you're watching bbc news. i'm shaun ley with the latest headlines. the world men's tennis number one, novak djokovic, is due to present himself to border officials as he continues to fight against deportation from australia. number 10 apologises to the queen over fresh revelations of parties held at downing street — this time on the night before prince philip's funeral. washington and kyiv have accused russia of preparing to carry out "false sabotage operations" to create a "pretext" for an invasion of ukraine. to create a "pretext" the pentagon said moscow had sent a group of trained operatives into eastern ukraine who could carry out acts of sabotage against russia's own proxy forces there. ukraine's defence ministry said russia was plotting to stage similar operations in neighbouring moldova. the kremlin has denied the reports. but speaking at a news conference, the pentagon press secretary,
john kirby, said us intelligence indicated that the plans were well under way. we do have information that indicates that russia is already working actively to create a pretext for a potential invasion, for a move on ukraine. in fact, we have information that they've pre—positioned a group of operatives to conduct what we call a false flag operation, an operation designed to look like an attack on them or russian—speaking people in ukraine, again, as an excuse to go in. john kirby. our washington correspondent barbara plett usher has been following today's developments and can explain more. well, the statement is that the americans have said
they have intelligence that the russians are preparing a pretext for invasion, and this involves, as you said, that they have pre—positioned operatives to carry out sabotage attacks against russian proxy forces in eastern ukraine, which they would then blame on the ukrainians. the americans also say they have stepped up, the russians have stepped up a disinformation campaign in state and social media — again, framing ukraine as a potential aggressor. they have not put a timeline on this, but the white house has said they believe that if the president of russia decides to go ahead with an invasion, and they still believe he has not made the final decision, if he does, this would happen between mid—january and mid—february. so quite specific information, which is rather unusual for this kind of intelligence to go public in such a specific way. it seems that they are very much trying to show a deterrence to possible action. the russians have said they don't plan to invade, but clearly the americans aren't taking them at face value.
the pentagon spokesmanjohn kirby said what they wanted to do was to get this information out there so the world would have some idea of how this could potentially play out, and if it did happen this way, they would know what was going on, to basically preempt any russian claims of ukrainian aggression. and the administration has also said many times that this is a familiar playbook. these are the type of tactics that the russians used when they invaded crimea in 2014. barbara plett usher. the authorities in kazakhstan say the recent violence in their country had been "an organised attack on kazakhstan�*s statehood." they blamed the clashes on "armed extremists." it's thought dozens of people were killed, many of them in the country's largest city almaty. our correspondent steve rosenberg has more. in a country the size of western europe, there is one question people are struggling to answer. why? why was kazakhstan rocked by violence? the worst unrest here
since the fall of communism. outside the morgue in almaty, they're queueing to collect bodies. dozens of people are thought to have been killed in the clashes. gusina's brother renat was missing for a week. she now knows he is dead. "so many innocent people suffered because of someone," gusina says. "those who made us cry should be punished. "why did they do it?" in other words, why did peaceful protests over fuel prices suddenly turn violent? the authorities claim the protests were hijacked by terrorists, including foreign—trained militants, but they've presented little evidence of that. the president of kazakhstan says
constitutional order has now been restored. the threat to his country's security averted, but the memory of what happened here, well, that won't be erased quickly and questions remain about who was behind the violence. galym ageleulov says he saw a suspicious group joining the protesters. translation: some aggressive guys i turned up with sticks and clubs. i they were on every street corner and they were directing everyone to the main square. it was building up to something. there are indications that fuelling the violence on the streets was a power struggle between president tokayev, here on the right, and groups loyal to his predecessor, nursultan nazarbayev. translation: these gangs were mostly linked to the nazarbayev clan, _ including people in the security service, which, it is said,
committed state treason by sending these bandits out on the rampage. there are victims on all sides here. in kazakhstan, they are calling these "the black days". perhaps until that question "why?" is fully answered, these will remain uncertain times. steve rosenberg, bbc news, almaty. a 32—year—old british army officer, who says she's challenging the stereotype of polar explorers, has returned to her home in the uk after walking solo across antarctica. captain preet chandi trekked 700 miles in a0 days. our correspondent frankie mccamley has that story. cheering arriving into heathrow, captain preet chandi reunited with her bridesmaid—to—be and fiance, who proposed a week before she left for the south pole. i'm so, so glad to be
back in the uk. it's so great to have an audience here, like, have a few friends here, have my partner here and people from the military as well. polar preet, as she has become known, finished a 700—mile trek to the south pole in a0 days, seven hours and three minutes, almost a week ahead of schedule, enduring temperatures as low as —50 degrees and wind speeds of up to 60 mph, while pulling a 90 kilograms sled containing her kit. and what's next? i know you've just landed, but you already have plans in the pipeline, don't you, for other things? pretty much from monday, i think i'll be in the gym again, training. my aim is to do a full crossing, so, solo unsupported again. it will be a little bit longer, probably a little bit tougher. the 32—year—old will also begin a tour of the uk to share her experience as she plans her wedding.
preet�*s story of grit and determination has travelled across the world, getting international coverage. her goal is to try to inspire as many people as possible from all different backgrounds to take on challenges they never knew they were capable of. preet says she will continue to smash glass ceilings and change the image of the arctic explorer. frankie mccamley, bbc news. a reminder of our top story: lawyers for the tennis player novak djokovic are trying to stop him being deported from australia. the world's men's tennis number one, who hasn't been vaccinated, faces a series of official hearings on saturday and sunday. the serbian had been due to defend his title at the australian open next week. australia's prime minister, scott morrison, said the visa decision protected the sacrifices made by australians during the pandemic. the dispute began when mr djokovic was told he'd be allowed into australia on an exemption to rules requiring covid
vaccination, sparking public outcry. those are the headlines on bbc news. do stay up—to—date throughout the next few hours on bbc news. we will have the latest. goodbye. hello there. another cold night, certainly, for england and wales. widespread frost and also some mist and fog reforming. some of it will be quite dense in places to start this morning. but most of the country this weekend will be dry and settled. there will be some showers around, though, as a weak front spreads its way across the uk. here it is out west in the atlantic for saturday. but you can see it's higher pressure towards the south and the east of the country. lightish winds again through the morning. so that means we will start off rather cloudy, misty, murky. some fog around too. most of that fog lifting into low cloud through the day, so quite a bit of grey weather, i think, around. but there will be some sunshine around, the best of it in northern england, into northern and eastern scotland, northern ireland as well into the afternoon, perhaps southwest england too.
temperatures, 5—9 degrees for most of us. more of a breeze coming up from the southwest, so that means the air quality should be a bit better for london and the southeast. now, as we head through saturday night, most places will be dry, bar the odd shower around. further north, we've got that weather front spreading down from the north. that'll bring a band of cloud and rain, some blustery showers following in behind there. and temperatures, 1—a degrees across the board, so not quite as cold as what we've had the last few nights. as we head on into sunday, we've got that weak cold front spreading southwards across england and wales. there will be barely anything on it, so a band of cloud, just some spots of rain slowly pushing southwards. behind it, skies will brighten up, but it will be a breezy day right across the board. there are more isobars on the pressure chart. even windy across the north of scotland, with gales in the northern isles. temperature—wise, pretty much where we should be looking this time of year, ranging from around 7 to 9 degrees. we could see 10 or 11 degrees across southern england and south wales. now, as we move out of sunday into monday, that weather front clears away and then high pressure builds back in it once again.
that'll settle things down, notjust for monday, for the rest of the week. so it could be quite a chilly start again for monday. light winds for most, apart from northern and western scotland. there will be a bit more cloud here, a bit more of a breeze. and temperatures — again, around the seasonal average — range from around 6 to 9 celsius. now, apart from a few weather fronts across the north of the uk as we move through this new week, that could bring a few showers across the north. most places will be dry and settled thanks to that area of high pressure. but signs of it turning a little bit chillier towards the end of the week.
the federal court of australia is hearing the case of novak djokovic vs the country's immigration minister. the tennis star is appealing the decision to revoke his visa in the hopes of avoiding deportation so he can defend his title in the australian open. the british prime minister's office has apologised to queen elizabeth, over two rule—breaking late—night parties that happened in downing streetjust before her husband's funeral. at the time britain was in a period of national mourning and also under covid restrictions. lawyers for virginia giuffre, who's bringing a civil case against prince andrew for sexual assault, have filed formal requests to obtain evidence from two people in britain. prince andrew denies all the allegations. the us and ukraine have accused russia of preparing to carry out false sabotage operations to create a pretext for an invasion of ukraine. the kremlin said the reports were unfounded.