welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines. new images of the russian military buildup — as the us warns any incursion into ukraine will be met with a tough response. there is no doubt let there be no doubt at all that russia will pay a heavy price. aid planes finally arrive in tonga, after a volcanic eruption and tsunami left the country in desperate need of supplies. we'll have the latest. two prominent female activists are missing after protesting in kabul for women's rights in work and education untouched by climate change — a rare deepwater coral reef is discovered off the coast of tahiti
and, how zara rutherford became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. hello and thanks forjoining us: the united states has, with the backing of its european allies, warned russia that if any of the tens of thousands of its soldiers massed at the ukrainian border invade — there will be grave consequences. the us secretary of state antony blinken and his russian counterpart, sergei lavrov — are scheduled to have crucial talks in geneva, later on thursday — but moscow denies planning to invade ukraine. here's our diplomatic correspondent, james landale.
it is notjust the russians who are conducting military exercises. these are pictures released by ukraine's defence ministry, showing their forces training close to crimea. it was annexed by russia in 2014 and the kind of incursion that ukraine and its allies are trying to deter once again. i have been absolutely clear with president putin, there is no misunderstanding, if any assembled russian units move across the ukrainian border, that is an invasion. it will be met with severe and coordinated economic response. in some of the most intensive american diplomacy for years, the us secretary of state has been touring western capitals. he was in berlin today, rallying support for ukraine and he appealed directly to the people of russia. you deserve to live with security and dignity but what really risks your security is a pointless war with your neighbours in ukraine.
western allies are threatening russia with massive economic sanctions if there is any invasion. behind—the—scenes there are differences over what those penalties shall be, but the public message is united. translation: we are in - absolutely close coordination with regard to joint sanctions because we have an absolutely joint assessment of the situation, but also of the reactions with the regard to the security of ukraine. this also applies to sanctions. fresh satellite images appear to show how russia has mastered notjust troops near ukraine, but also military equipment. from the north to ukraine's eastern border and to the south in the crimea. he arrived for talks with his russian counterpart on friday. but the discussions at his hotel tomorrow may be difficult
because the gap between both sides is so large. the americans want to talk about avoiding war in ukraine but the russians want to talk about their demands for nato to step back and allow moscow to establish a new sphere of influence across eastern europe. in eastern ukraine they know what that might mean. pro—russian separatists have been fighting government forces here since 2014 and the scars are all to see. lives close to the front line. it is a miracle we stayed alive, she says. we could have died many times. russia denies that that is its intentions.
but it's forces are training hard close to ukraine. but the question now is whether all these exercises might soon become the real thing. if you want to know more about whether russia is preparing to invade ukraine. just go to our website — where there is more analysis and answers to the main questions about this developing story. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. in britain, downing street is facing further criticism about the way it operates — amid allegations that a number of backbench mps have faced intimidation that could amount to blackmail. the prime minister, borisjohnson, has insisted he has seen no evidence to support the allegations — and has advised colleagues who feel threatened to go to the police. the united states has charged four government officials from belarus with aircraft piracy, over the diversion of a passenger plane in order to arrest a journalist. the incident took place last
may, when a ryanair plane travelling from greece to latvia was forced to divert to minsk, after the belarusian authorities said there was a suspected bomb threat. the lower house of austria's parliament has passed a bill to make covid—i9 vaccinations compulsory for adults. the bill, which is now likely to become law, will mean everyone over the age of 18 without a valid exemption must get the jab. the french government has announced plans to ease covid—i9 restrictions from 2nd february. on that date it will end the mandatory wearing of face masks when outdoors and lift capacity restrictions for large events such as sport matches and concerts. during a press conference the prime ministerjustified the move saying it conincidened with the introduction of a covid vaccination pass which will come into force on monday.
the first plane loads of aid have arrived at tonga's main airport after saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami cut the pacific island nation off from the outside world. more flights and several ships are on their way, bringing urgently—needed drinking water, food and medicines. queen elizabeth has said her thoughts and prayers are with the people of the pacific nation which is part of the commonwealth. rupert wingfield hayes reports. for the first time since last saturday's huge eruption, we're finally getting to see what has happened to tonga's main island. along the coast, the damage from the tsunami looks extensive, with many buildings destroyed. in tonga's capital, nuku'alofa, there's a lot of volcanic ash, but the buildings are intact and the clean—up has begun. telephone services are also back, and that means for tongans living abroad, the agonising wait for news is finally over. it's a relief to finally hear
their voices and to finally know how they are back home. my dad had told me that they're fine, no major damages to our homes. so, at the moment, i've got family over in the outer islands of ha'apai. i have heard from them, and they're doing 0k. who i haven't heard from is my father. i'm sure he's out there working hard, doing what he does. we've also learned of a remarkable survival story. this man says he was swept off a small island by the tsunami and was in the water for more than 2a hours before making it to land. help is now arriving. this is an australian c17 transport plane on final approach to tonga this afternoon. the crew quickly unloaded water and emergency supplies, but, because of covid, they were not allowed any contact with locals. tonga's government has decided that until the covid pandemic is over, the islanders will have to deal with
the clean up of this disaster by themselves. meanwhile, on the other side of the pacific in peru, another clean—up is under way. the crude oil on these beaches was spilled from a tanker that was unloading when a tsunami hit the coast here, triggered by the eruption in tonga, more than 10,000 kilometres away. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in tokyo. the former pope, benedict the sixteenth, has expressed shock at the sexual abuse of children by clerics, after a report accused him of failing to take action in four cases back when he was archbishiop of munich, germany. benedict, who was then called josef ratzinger, denies any wrongdoing. victims�* groups have welcomed the report's findings. 0ur berlin correspondent, jenny hill has more details. the world came to know him as pope benedict xvi.
but back in the 70s and 80s, he was archbishopjosef ratzinger in the german diocese of munich and they said it was there that he, in effect, failed to act in four child sex abuse cases. they say, he knowingly allowed three priests who have convictions for crimes against children to work in the diocese and also focused on the case of another cleric who was a known paedophile when he was transferred to the diocese to carry on working as a priest. pope benedict who denies all wrongdoing has said that he knew nothing about the background of the particular man. but this has under the minutes of the meeting in which this but this has unearthed the minutes of the meeting in which this particular man was transferred and they were all discussing this. the pope said he never was at the meeting but they looked at those meetings and is quite
clear from those maintenance that he had been there for have not heard directly from the former pope by the vatican have issued a statement saying they're going to examine and analyse the report that runs for 1600 pages, and there is the report that runs for 1600 pages, and there is a lot to look through. and they also express their regret at the victims and the number of the hundreds of people in the report talks about the hundreds of children who were abused at the hands of clerics within the catholic church. emergency teams in ghana are searching for survivors following a huge explosion that's all but destroyed a village. police have not confirmed the number of casualties but videos showed many victims. mark lobel has the latest. a community decimated after a truck collided and drove over a motorbike. the data might lead and truck soldierfor the
motorbike. the data might lead and truck soldier for the both drivers had enough time to escape their vehicles before an enormous explosion occurred. the police army and rescue services joined locals to contain the situation. 0nlookers were struggling to make sense of the widespread destruction. the blast carving out a large crater, beside a road. many were injured and bodies were pulled from the rubble. the blast hit a small residential town which is a population of under 10,000 of mostly farmers and minors. the president wrote that it was a sad and unfortunate and tragic incident, expressing deep condolences to the families of the deceased. but his promise not to spare any effort to return the situation to normal may take some time with so many
broken lives in damaged buildings. police have appealed to nearby towns to open up their classrooms and churches to accommodate surviving victims. as ghana, one of africa's largest school producers sufficient another mining related accident. women campaigners in afghanistan have told the bbc that activists parwana ibrahimkhil and tamana paryani were reportedly abducted late on wednesday night. the two activists were at the forefront of a protest held in kabul on sunday for womens�* rights. caroline hawley has the latest. in video, sharing before her apparent arrest. she is inside her home, and the taliban were on the other side of the door. she is pleading with them. she says her sisters are at home and she begs the taliban to come back the following day.
but her desperate pleas seem to be in vain. she was taken by the taliban on wednesday night. and notjust her, another prominent campaigner for women's rights was arrested too, they say, although the taliban deny it. i asked them about the incident and he told me that he will take it up with the intelligence department and the ministry, all of them said that there is no incident like this. both of the women had been at the forefront of a protest in kabul, demanding that women be allowed to study and work, demonstrating for their rights, demonstrating for their own personal bravery as they did so. as much if i am proud of them, and they're brave.
how long if the international community does not stand with them and does not support with them and does not support them? i think i'm just afraid that it will lose momentum. still, week after we seeing women literally risking - their lives because women have been killed at these protests i and tragically over the past few months have been out| to raise their voices - to demand their rights that have been taken away- from them since the taliban came to control. the taliban have banned these protests and other women who have taken part in these protests are in hiding and other women who have taken part in these protests are in hiding in fear them coming after them too. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme. a discovery deep below the sea — we explore the huge coral reef — in pristine condition near tahiti.
donald trump is now the 45th president of the united states. he was sworn in before several hundred thousand people on the steps of capitol hill in washington. it's going to be only america first! america first! demonstrators waiting i for the rebel cricket team were attacked with tear gasl and set upon by police dogs. anti—apartheid campaigners say they will carry on the protests l throughout the tour. they called him the butcher of lyon. he is being held on a fraud charge in bolivia. the west germans want to extradite him for crimes committed more wartime france. there, he was the gestapo chief. millions came to bathe as close as possible to this spot, a tide of humanity believed by officials to have broken all records.
this is newsday on the bbc. 0ur headlines. new images of the russian military buildup — as the us warns any incursion into ukraine will be met with a tough response. aid planes finally arrive in tonga, after a volcanic eruption and tsunami left the country in desperate need of supplies. for the last two years, covid—19 has dominated the news and profoundly changed our lives. nearly six million people have died across the globe and hundreds of millions more have been seriously ill. disruptions to work, travel, the economy and our society are now part of everyday life. so, what have we learned and done in the last two years? and what will the next
few years be like? siouxsie wiles is associate professor and microbiologist at the university of auckland. it is great to have you back on newsday and i do want to start by asking you, we look back at the last couple of years, what are some the biggest lessons that you think we have learned? in many ways, i look in wonder whether we have learned anything at all, to be honest. here we are, two years and in and we still have massive transmission of the virus in many places. so, ifeel like in some ways, we've had some incredible milestones, we've had the development of safe and effective vaccines much quicker than i thought it would happen, but we also have to stop transmission and the vaccines are not doing that completely and get many places are not using all of the other tools in
your toolkit to stop transmission. aerosol and airborne viruses, but it's not enough to actually act on. when i look at how— enough to actually act on. when i look at how different _ i look at how different countries are coping with the pandemic at this point in time, you've got some getting rid of restrictions like we heard in france in the uk but other countries like china keeping to the zero covid—19 approach. what do you make of that divergence in the wake countries are managing this? we have to countries are managing this? - have to stop transmission and removing restrictions and completely removing the requirement for mass is not a goodidea requirement for mass is not a good idea at all. but the very, very strict approach is causing lots of problems for many people. it's very disappointing that at this stage of the pandemic, we have not found a
more middle ground and really does help us stop transmission or at least minimise it is much as possible while still allowing some activities to carry on. allowing some activities to carry on-— allowing some activities to car on. . ., carry on. that middle ground surely is _ carry on. that middle ground surely is what _ carry on. that middle ground surely is what some - carry on. that middle ground | surely is what some countries like singapore are trying to attempt while moving into an endemic state, living with the virus, how possible a successful do you think that strategy might be? we successful do you think that strategy might be? we have to do something _ strategy might be? we have to do something and _ strategy might be? we have to do something and doing - strategy might be? we have to do something and doing thingsj do something and doing things that stop transmission or at least reduce transmission that we have to do. releasing good masks. he sees some countries removing masks and others upping the mask game and talking the ventilation and how we purify the air and indoor spaces. these are things we need countries to be doing. where the big problems is many of these tools are not
equitably distributed and particularly for vaccines. we know that vaccines are a really good protection against severe disease and they definitely do things or transmission, but not available to everyone. and that's a disaster.— available to everyone. and that's a disaster. briefly, it was wonderful _ that's a disaster. briefly, it was wonderful to _ that's a disaster. briefly, it was wonderful to have - that's a disaster. briefly, it was wonderful to have you | that's a disaster. briefly, it i was wonderful to have you on the programme. thank you very much and it's always a good thing. thank you very much on newsday. we've heard a lot about the perilous threat to coral reefs around the world because of climate change. but a previously unknown giant coral reef has been discovered off the coast of tahiti in "pristine" condition. victoria gill report. "magical." that was one of the words a veteran specialist diver who led this mission used to describe this view. some of these rose—shaped corals are more than two metres wide, and the whole reef structure stretches three kilometres along the sea bed.
its depth and its distance from the coast is thought to be a key reason for its pristine condition. the researchers say it shows no signs of damage from pollution or from warming ocean temperatures, something that poses a major threat to shallower reefs. it looks beautiful, but scientifically how important is this, as a discovery? it might be, to date, one of the largest coral reefs in the world that actually lies at that sort of depth of more than 30 metres. so, from that perspective, that is opening a new insight in science. this could suggest that we have many more large reefs in our ocean, at depths beyond 30 metres, which we simply do not know about. it's often said we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor — only about a fifth of it has so far been mapped, and coral reefs like this
are the sea floor hotspots for marine life. about a quarter of known ocean species can be found around these living ecosystems. the team is now planning more investigative dives to work out exactly what lives here, and crucially, how their newly discovered remarkable habitat can be protected. victoria gill, bbc news. a 19 year old has become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. zara rutherford has landed in belgium, at the end of herjourney which began in august last year. she flew across more than 50 countries on her own as jessica parker reports. a smooth landing after a long journey. it takes time to fly around the world. in a 300 kilo microlight. what was your scariest moment? i got pretty close to a thunderstorm in singapore, so suddenly there was a lightning strike and i think that was pretty scary, but otherwise the mental challenges were definitely mostly over siberia because i would be flying
for hundreds of kilometres with just nothing human, and then i realised that if the engine were to stop, i would have a really big problem. both her parents are pilots. zara faced serious weather delays along the way but she also saw the sights. i am in nome, alaska, right now. and now i am in greenland. flying from indonesia to sri lanka. i have arrived in singapore. from korea to taiwan. i am still in greece. i'm in russia! it's pretty cold. zara wants to encourage more girls and women into aviation. her dream is to become an astronaut. the sky isn't even the limit! jessica parker, bbc news, in belgium. a tearful adele has taken to social media to announce the postponement of her entire las vegas residency. the pop—star was due to play the first of 2a planned shows at caesars palace's on friday but said despite hours of preparation the show isn't ready.
she went on to say half her team has covid and it�*s been �*impossible to finish the show�*. adele — who was forecast to make more than 670—thousand dollars per show — apologised to fans and promised the performances would be rescheduled. twin baby elephants have been born in a rare event in northern kenya. the unnamed calves were discovered by guides this week in the samburu national reserve, the first twin birth to be recorded since 2006. local conservation charity, save the elephants, says twins account for only 1% of elephant births, as the mother usually doesn�*t have enough milk to feed both calves.
that�*s all for now — stay with bbc world news. hello again. thursday was a fairly chilly day, temperatures about two or three degrees below average forjanuary, but for many of us, we had sparkling blue skies for most of the day. and what a beautiful weather watcher picture this is from buttermere in cumbria. slightly less beautiful were the skies in east anglia. we had a shower stream coming down the north sea. and for norfolk and, to a degree, suffolk, quite a few showers here, but they are fading away. right now, as the winds start to change direction to more of a northwesterly, that shoves the showers over towards belgium and the netherlands. 0therwise we�*ve got clear skies for many areas. and it�*s a cold one for sure, temperatures at their
lowest about —6, —7. southern wales, central, southern england the coldest spots. might be very cold and frosty, but it should be bright with plenty of sunshine to start the day for most of us. even this cloudier zone in the west will be prone to a few breaks during the morning, so you could see a few glimpses of sunshine for a time. cloud tends to thicken through the afternoon. could threaten an odd patch of light rain or drizzle for the western isles and highlands. 8 to 9 degrees in the west. 0therwise, temperatures at 6s and 7s. now, friday night is where we keep those clear skies. again, temperatures will fall away to give us some patches of frost. it is going to be patchy rather than extensive, so not as overall cold across england and wales. and the thickest cloud across northwest scotland, temperatures about 8 overnight in stornoway. this weekend, the tendency is for the weather to turn a little bit cloudier. there will be a lot of drier weather to come. some sunny spells, but we could have a bit of frost and fog to contend with as well. essentially, as we go
through the weekend, high pressure�*s still there. we�*re starting to get this milder air recirculating back around the high and particularly moving into northern areas of the uk, where we�*ll see the highest temperatures, particularly for northern scotland. saturday, mist and fog could be an issue first thing in the morning. 0therwise, we�*ve got some patchy of frost, but then we�*ll have some sunshine to compensate across central and eastern areas. in the west, it continues to turn milder, but that�*s because we�*ve got extensive cloud, thick enough to bring some rain to western scotland, where temperatures reach 11 celsius. second half of the weekend, again, we could go into sunday with some fog patches around. some of it could be quite dense, a few frost patches as well. overall, a little bit more in the way of cloud for most areas, with some mist and hill fog patches around the coasts, a bit of drizzle for western scotland, where it�*ll continue to be particularly mild. that�*s your weather.
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. time is running out for negotiators trying to break the impasse between the united states and iran and revive the deal curbing tehran�*s nuclear ambitions. iran is still enriching uranium.