welcome to bbc news, i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories. britain accuses russia of planning to install a pro—kremlin leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. foreign aid is distributed in tonga, with more than 80 percent of the population affected by last weekend's volcanic eruption and tsunami. new zealand pledges more than $2 million us dollars. the than $2 million us dollars. recovering will be the upturn the recovering will be the upturn and we need to ensure we keep the momentum. two years to the day since china forced the city of wuhan and its 10 million citizens into lockdown, we have a special report on how beijing is containing the virus. there does appear to be widespread support for the
government policy on covid because you get this, it looks quite normal, but nobody knows the answer to the big question, how long will it go on for? and the sherpa brothers returning home after becoming the first nepali team to reach the south pole, as they try to achieve the hallowed explorers�* grand slam. the uk government says it has uncovered a plot by president putin to install pro—russian leadership in ukraine, amid increasing tension over a possible invasion. moscow has urged the uk to stop — as it said — "spreading nonsense". russia has over a hundred thousand troops on ukraine's border, but denies it intends to invade. james waterhouse reports now from the ukrainian capital, kyiv. the friendship of nations arch, built by the soviets to celebrate the closeness
between russians and ukrainians. that crack was painted on by activists a few years ago as relations between the two countries deteriorated. and as talks intensify about a possible invasion, the hope is things don't break down completely. tensions are still rising on the border and today russian jets made their way to joint military drills with neighbouring belarus. ukrainian ministers have welcomed a delivery of american military equipment and now there's a call for the uk to step up its own support. the british government has delivered 2,000 anti—tank missiles this week and says it is open to sending more weapons. as president putin continues to up the pressure. he has actually boxed himself into a corner. because so much effort has been put into this. but he also recognised he will never again be as strong as this to take advantage of the west's weakness. i suspect invasion
is now imminent. so does kyiv feel like a city preparing for an invasion? evelyn and lillian are too small to appreciate the power struggle surrounding their country, but their parents obviously aren't. it is definitely concerning. it definitely seems more tense than the past times that we were concerned about this. i would say it is definitely increasing anxiety and stuff, for sure. i don't feel good that i can come back to my hometown easily. because i always have to think whether i will be able to do it safely or not. and of course i am afraid. translation: ifi see others do it, i'm ready to defend my country. i'm not going to run away, but then again there might not be anywhere to run away to. moscow denies it is planning an invasion. but it is easy to forget ukraine has already endured
eight years of russian aggression. it's brought fighting, cyber attacks, misinformation and constant uncertainty. next week the us will continue to discuss russian demands that nato will both scale back its military presence and rule out ever letting ukrainejoin. for the country at the heart of it, that uncertainty goes on. james waterhouse, bbc news. well, moscow has rejected britain's claim that the kremlin is planning to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine — calling it disinformation. earlier, i spoke to our correspondent mark lobel, who told me more about the allegations made by the foreign office. the big question hanging over this is what is president putin thinking? the british foreign office are suggesting president putin is considering installing a pro—moscow leader in kyiv after a potential invasion. we know russia and ukraine are both building up for potential military conflict. the british foreign office have
declassified information to back up those claims. if we look at what liz truss the british foreign secretary has said, she said the information being released today shines a light on the extent of russian activity designed to subvert ukraine, and it is an insight into kremlin thinking. so what does the information show? well, the british claim the former ukrainian mp yehven murayev is being lined up as a potential leader of the ukraine. if they are to invade and win the military conflict, of course. this man ran for president in 2019, he set up his own party, admittedly it doesn't have any seats in the ukrainian parliament. he has denied the claims in a text message to the telegraph in britain saying it is stupidity and nonsense, pointing out that he is under sanctions himself, he has been barred from russia and his father had his assets frozen in russia. he said it is hard to
comment on the foreign 0ffice statement. but russia also said this was misinformation from the foreign office, and accuses them of escalating tensions. i guess the important point is it a part of the narrative from the uk. one of the people the uk said is helping, he was also sanctioned by america on thursday for similar accusations. so both america and the uk are adding to the arming of the ukrainians with this kind of narrative about president putin's intentions. yesterday we were talking about the meeting in geneva between the american secretary of state and his russian counterpart sergei lavrov, diplomacy but then a lot of harsh words. what can we look at if we think about the week ahead? that diplomacy didn't get very far last week, it continues this week with a visit from the british defence secretary to moscow
to visit his counterpart there, the first such meeting in nine years. and america has this written answer it has promised the russians, responding to their far—reaching demands, for example trying to get ukraine to pledge never tojoin nato. all these things coming together, but there is a lot of friction between the two sides, and this will certainly ramp it up. let's get some of the day's other news. a battle is continuing for a third day in syria between islamic state militants and kurdish forces guarding a prison, where thousands ofjihadists are held. more than 75 people, most of them jihadists, are reported to have been killed in the fighting in the northern city of hasakah. an unseasonal wildfire is raging in california's monterey county, forcing evacuations and the closure of a major highway. the blaze along the big sur pacific coast, dubbed the colorado fire, has scorched about 1500 acres. strong winds have been recorded across the san francisco bay
area and a swathe of the sierra nevada. a 75—year—old frenchman who was trying to row across the atlantic ocean has been found dead at sea. jean—jacques savin had previously made the crossing in a large barrel in 2019. the adventurer had triggered two distress beacons on thursday night. a un official in tonga says the country will be heavily reliant on aid shipments for some time, after last week's devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. a national emergency team is distributing vital food and water supplies, but they say more than 80 percent of the population has been affected by the disaster. jatinder dhillon reports. relief at last. a new zealand naval ship, with a desalination plant on board, which can produce 70,000 litres a day, started cleaning the sea water from tonga's harbour, ready for distribution to desperate residents.
japan is the latest to deliver urgent supplies, including clean water. and equipment to clean the volcanic ash. it is a complicated operation. the pacific kingdom is covid—free and has strict border control policies, requiring contactless delivery of aid. that means aid workers cannot enter the country unless they have undergone a three—week isolation period. supplies are quarantined for 72 hours after arrival, before being distributed by tongan authorities. the un says the country will be heavily reliant on food aid for some time. almost all the crops have been badly affected by volcanic ash. farmers have lost their homes and livelihoods. in the first update since the eruption triggered a tsunami, the government says the country has been hit
by an unprecedented disaster. tonga's recovery from this disaster is going to be long—term, and i think we need to ensure that we keep the momentum up. after tonga has got enough water we will have to rebuild and it will be a long road to recovery. tongan communities abroad have also been providing support and donations. in new zealand, entire families filled this auckland car park and loaded trucks with supplies of food, water and other essentials. a tongan born rugby player, who lives in the uk, has not heard from his family and has launched a fundraising page to help with reliefs. the tongan government has asked for the international aid effort led by australia and new zealand to be paced so the island's small airport and harbour are not overwhelmed. in the next few days, a repair ship will arrive
to reconnect the undersea cable that links tonga to international telecoms networks. jatinder dhillon, bbc news. 0ur correspondent shaimaa khalil is in the fijian capital, suva, where much of the relief effort for tonga is being coordinated. so what are you hearing and seeing so far?— seeing so far? the aid, of course. — seeing so far? the aid, of course, has _ seeing so far? the aid, of course, has arrived - seeing so far? the aid, of course, has arrived and l seeing so far? the aid, of course, has arrived and is being distributed but it is a slow start. a lot of coordination has been happening here in fiji. 0ne coordination has been happening here in fiji. one of the challenges is whether the aid is going to travel far enough for those who desperately need it. rememberwe for those who desperately need it. remember we have been talking about it arriving in the main airport after a lot of ash has been clean, but there
are places that have yet to be reached, the extent of the damage is still not clear in those far—flung areas. and of course all of this is more complicated because of the aid is contactless, so yes, the supplies have arrived but the aid workers are not on the ground, it is up to those in tonga to distribute the aid to those who need it the most. all of the challenges you have heard about clean water, shelter, of course they are still much needed but there are health risks as well. the quality of the air and water have been compromised, high degrees of sulphur in the drinking water, many of those who have sent aid are sending purifiers and fresh water, will it be enough for the whole of the population? 80% have been affected. the air quality, not just the thick ash in the air but the fine particles that could be inhaled and potentially cause respiratory diseases. as a tongan official said earlier, after you get the
basics covered, the road to recovery and to rebuilding is going to be long and hard. how difficult is _ going to be long and hard. how difficult is it — going to be long and hard. how difficult is it to _ going to be long and hard. how difficult is it to get _ going to be long and hard. how difficult is it to get a _ going to be long and hard. how difficult is it to get a clear picture of what is happening on the ground? it picture of what is happening on the ground?— the ground? it has been difficult. _ the ground? it has been difficult, we _ the ground? it has been difficult, we are - the ground? it has been difficult, we are trying l the ground? it has been| difficult, we are trying to the ground? it has been - difficult, we are trying to go in, aid workers are trying to go in, but as it stands because of covid restrictions in tonga, nobody can be on so mostly you rely on the pictures coming out of tonga itself from locals around the devastated areas. the problem is communication is also part of the challenge. when the eruption happened, the deep sea internet cable essentially connecting tonga to the rest of the world ruptured. it's going to take time to fix that. even though the islands
of tonga have started to re—establish communication with the rest of the world, it is still limited. ﬁgs the rest of the world, it is still limited.— the rest of the world, it is still limited. �* , ., , still limited. as the aid comes in and as _ still limited. as the aid comes in and as the _ still limited. as the aid comes in and as the badly _ still limited. as the aid comes in and as the badly needed . in and as the badly needed supplies come in, the extent of the damage itself is still being revealed. stay with us, i want to ask you about another aspect of covid in the region. the new zealand government. new zealand's government has placed the country on the highest level of covid—19 restrictions, after several 0micron cases were detected in the community, (tx 00v)the prime minister, jacinda ardern, said from midnight on sunday there would be a cap of one hundred fully vaccinated people at events. ms ardern also confirmed that as a result, her own wedding would not be going ahead. (tx sot) my my own wedding will not be going ahead, and to anyone caught up in the scenario, i am so sorry, we are also resilient and i know we understand and we are doing this for one another, and i know that will help us continue on. i and i know that will help us continue on.—
continue on. i found that, i suwose. _ continue on. i found that, i suppose, interesting, - continue on. i found that, i suppose, interesting, it. continue on. i found that, i. suppose, interesting, it kind of pulls you in, relatable perhaps as well, but new zealand continues to try and keep covid out of the country at all costs. i wonder how it is being received from what you have seen?— have seen? look, ithink omicron _ have seen? look, ithink omicron was _ have seen? look, ithink omicron was going - have seen? look, ithink omicron was going to i have seen? look, ithinkj omicron was going to hit have seen? look, i think. omicron was going to hit at have seen? look, i think- omicron was going to hit at one 0micron was going to hit at one point, and many new zealanders were, bracing themselves, one of the most successful countries in the world are eliminating the virus, but 0micron has changed the game including in neighbouring australia. jacinda arden gave details of how it spread into the community, nine cases reported in a family who travelled for a wedding, attended other events in auckland. about 100 people were present at the time, which
means this could now spread across the community. she also said new zealand could see up to 1000 cases per day in the coming weeks. if you compare that to any other country, this is a low number, but remember new zealand has never had that level of infection since the beginning of the pandemic. so it is a big challenge and this is why they are trying, as always, to contain it as fast and early as they can with the spread alert restriction across the country. whether they will be able to, we will see what happens. as transmissible as 0micron is, but it does seem the procedures of ramping up the procedures of ramping up the vaccination, jacinda arden urging people to get boosters, but also going into the red alert restrictions, restricting the number of people. businesses and schools will be open but there was going to be mask wearing to try to limit that number.—
mask wearing to try to limit that number. ,, . ., that number. she did warn that we are going — that number. she did warn that we are going to _ that number. she did warn that we are going to see _ that number. she did warn that we are going to see 1000 - that number. she did warn that| we are going to see 1000 cases per day, maybe thousands in the coming weeks. britain is accusing russia of planning to install a pro—kremlin leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. foreign aid is being distributed in tonga, with the un saying more than 80 percent of the population has been affected by last weekend's volcanic eruption and tsunami. borisjohnson's government is being urged to delay mandatory covid jabs for frontline national health service staff in england. workers have been told to get their firstjab by february 3rd, or face losing theirjobs. on saturday, hundreds of people marched in cities across england to protest against the policy, as katharine da costa reports. save ourjobs! hundreds of health care workers gathered in london calling for the government's no jab, nojob policy in england to be scrapped. they were among large crowds of anti—vax demonstrators. nhs uniforms were thrown at police in protest. we've all got choices. we're born with choices, yeah? i work for the nhs and i'm the only member of staff in my workplace that has
not been vaccinated. and i've been threatened with losing myjob come april. and i will not be vaccinated. frontline nhs staff including gps and dentists as well as nonclinical roles such as receptionists and porters will need to have had at least two covid vaccines by the start of april unless they are medically exempt. more than 90% of health care workers are double jabbed, but 70,000 to 80,000 are still thought to be unvaccinated. there are a small number of people... some want to delay the deadline, warning the health service can't afford to lose more people. the risks are very significant for the functioning of the nhs. we are already short of staff in all parts of the nhs. if we lose these staff, it will impact on the quality of care that we're able to provide for patients, the access, and it will put extra pressure on those staff who are remaining. staff have less than a fortnight to get their first jab in order to be fully vaccinated by the deadline. health chiefs say mandating
vaccines is the right thing to do, to protect patients and are encouraging more staff to get their first, second and third jabs. it's so important as health care professionals that we are protected. but if you are not yet, you know that there are options available for you to have conversations with senior clinicians within your trust or organisation to help make that really important decision. and people are coming forward all the time to make sure they are protected, their families are protected, and their patients are protected as well. a similar policy has already been brought in for those working in social care in england, with care homes warning it has exacerbated staff shortages. scotland and wales have decided against compulsory vaccination for health and care staff, while northern ireland is planning to consult on whetherjabs should be mandatory for new recruits. katharine da costa, bbc news. it's exactly two years since china locked down the city of wuhan
and its 10 million inhabitants. as beijing prepares to host the winter olympics next month, it's turned to extreme measures again in the fight to maintain its strict �*zero covid—19' policy. 0ur china correspondent, robin brant reports. 27 days into lockdown, confined to her apartment. hello... senlin is one of millions in china still subject to the ultimate covid control. translation: when covid hit| wuhan, the country didn't have much experience dealing with the outbreak. but now it's different. it's better. she's in xian, a city famous for its motionless army of terracotta warriors, but normal life for 13 million people there has come to a halt. there's fresh evidence, too, that some people have just had enough. crowd clashes with police at a compound in xian, where they've been in
lockdown for 35 days. a couple of men are taken away. assessing the overall impact on people's lives, economic and psychological, is almost impossible. all of this is part of a massive effort to stop a few thousand new covid cases from spreading. and in terms of the official reported case numbers, it seems to be working. china's leader xi jinping hailed the economy's resilience earlier this week, saying he is fully confident about its development. so is zero covid in china the new normal? other small and frequent disruption, but not like a massive shutdown. so for china, it seems to be working. china is still manufacturing construction equipment. all these activities can be isolated, so that's why zero covid so far makes sense. but this country has deeper problems to deal with — a huge debt, a faltering
property market, as well as the hyper—vigilance against more covid spikes. it's difficult to take a scientific survey, but there does appear to be widespread support for the government's policy on covid. because you get this, it looks quite normal. but no—one knows the answer to the big question. how long will it go on for? i think the epidemic control in shanghai is very good. the government uses big data to quickly trace and control people who are close contacts. the negative impacts of lockdowns are quite bad, people are worried. two years on, the borders here remain all but closed. international flights are at a bare minimum. china's communist party leaders are sticking with their zero—covid promise. in the run—up to hosting the olympics, china has shown how far it's willing to go. international mail is the new enemy. authorities in beijing this week claimed a package
from canada brought 0micron in. we were in contact with someone in another city who was ordered to stay behind her sealed front door simply after receiving a delivery from abroad. she didn't want us to name her, but she's deeply frustrated. she sent us a text message saying it's good for epidemic control, but it's not a good thing from the human rights perspective. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. brothers from nepal who are among the country's most renowned sherpa guides have returned home after becoming the first nepali team to reach the south pole. it's part of a broader quest known as the explorers' grand slam. tanya dendrinos explains what exactly the ambitious pursuit entails. battling the elements. so cold! there's so much wind here!
three brothers approaching the summit of mount vinson — the highest peak in antarctica. hey, guys. we are three brothers. we are first time have been to the vinson. and we just summit today. we just came back from south pole — we are the first guys, i think, that did south pole and vinson together. the trio marked the first nepali team to reach the south pole. it's part of their quest to conquer the explorers' grand slam — a challenge that involves reaching the south and north poles, along with the highest mountain peaks in each of the seven continents — and they hope to complete it within a year. translation: once we do this, there is nothing more _ adventurous left to do. it's like getting a master's degree. it's an ambitious task, but these mountaineers are no strangers to a tall order. 0oh!
mingma and dawa sherpa hold the world record for being the first siblings to climb all m mountains above 8,000 metres, while tashi sherpa was the youngest person to climb everest without the use of supplementary oxygen. we are very good team here. five nepalese. and our sisterfrom qatar. hand in hand with the records is recognition — these siblings are part of an elite group ensuring nepali mountaineers escape from the shadows of foreign climbers, carving a place in history in their own right. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. the endurance and stamina they have. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @bbcnuala.
hello. the normal pattern of january temperatures was turned upside down on saturday — 12 degrees in northern scotland, four in southern england. a little bit of sunshine across parts of north—east england, most places had another cloudy day, and will again for part two of the weekend. despite the cloud, though, a lot of dry weather around, high pressure's close by, exerting its settling influence on our weather. underneath the high pressure and around it, all of this cloud coming in. a weather front�*s approaching northern scotland and, as it does so, it will strengthen the wind here, which does mean a mild start after a mild day, but a hint of blue through parts of wales and england, lighter winds and a chance of a touch of frost with any clear spells — although there could be some mist and fog patches developing that will be more reluctant
to clear on sunday morning than they were on saturday. again, a lot of cloud around, a few sunny spells, north—east scotland, parts of wales, south—west england, perhaps eastern counties of northern ireland most favoured, and elsewhere maybe a few brighter breaks here and there. a breezier day in northern england and northern ireland, especially scotland, especially into the north—west, gales developing in the western isles. and it'll be another mild day here, though temperatures not as high as they've been — probably the lower temperatures around four or 5 degrees, whilst some low cloud just hangs around all day through parts of central and southern england. 0vernight and into monday, rain turning heavier as that weather front moves into northern scotland, where the wind will be easing. it'll be dry elsewhere, again a lot of cloud around, with any breaks in the cloud where the winds are lighter through wales and england — again a touch of frost is possible, perhaps a few mist and fog patches. that weather front will take some outbreaks of rain very slowly a little further south through parts of especially northern and western scotland and into northern ireland as we go through monday. barely any rain, though, to register in northern ireland.
ahead of that, there may be a few sunny spells around, maybe parts of northern england, north wales and the midlands — south of that, a good deal of cloud, temperatures around 6—9 celsius. by monday evening and night, perhaps a little bit of patchy rain also reaching in towards northern england. tuesday looking mainly dry, rain moving into scotland and northern ireland on wednesday, and sweeping south on wednesday night — though weakening as it does so. what that weather front does do is sweep away a lot of the cloud that's around at the moment. so not much rain moving south, but brighter skies following that system across much of the uk — with a breeze, mind you, on thursday.
this is bbc news — the headlines. britain is accusing russia of planning to install a pro—kremlin leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. the foreign office in london says a former ukrainian mp is being considered as a potential candidate — along with four others who it says have links to russian intelligence services. a un official in tonga says the country will be heavily reliant on aid shipments for some time, after last week's devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. a national emergency team says more than 80% of the population has been affected by the disaster. new zealand is limiting gatherings after nine cases of the covid—19 0micron variant were detected following a wedding. the prime minister, jacinda ardern, said from midnight on sunday there would be a cap of 100 fully vaccinated people at events. ms ardern has cancelled her own wedding as a result. now on bbc news, it's time for the media show.