welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines: britain's prince andrew demands a trial byjury in new york, as he rejects the allegations of sexual assault made by virginia giuffre. the us rejects russian security demands on ukraine and eastern europe and says further talks will address moscow's concerns. the ball is in their court. we'll see what we do. as i've said repeatedly, whether they choose the path of diplomacy and dialogue, whether they decide to renew aggression against ukraine, we're prepared either way.
westminster waits for the report that could determine the prime minister's future, as borisjohnson rejects calls for him to resign. and we'll have the latest on the humanitarian effort in tonga, as aid deliveries to the island gather pace. live from our studio in singapore, this is bbc news. it's newsday. it's 7am in the morning in singapore and 6pm in the evening in new york, where prince andrew is demanding a trial byjury. he formally denied all the allegations against him, as he gave a court his official response to allegations of sexual assault. virginia giuffre accuses the duke of york of forcing her to have sex more than two decades ago at the london home of the convicted sex trafficker ghislaine maxwell. the 11—page document sets out the duke's detailed response, strongly denying that he abused ms giuffre when she was 17. our royal correspondent
nicholas witchell has more details. across 11 pages, andrew's lawyers have set out his defence — a denial of the central allegation of sexual abuse made by virginia giuffre and an assertion in respect of others that andrew lacks sufficient information to either admit or deny what's been claimed. he says, for example, in relation to the widely publicised picture of the two of them, that he doesn't have enough information to admit or deny that there exists photographic evidence of his alleged meeting with miss giuffre. elsewhere, his lawyers assert that virginia giuffre�*s civil complaint should be dismissed because she's a permanent resident of australia and not domiciled in the united states. and they say this... finally, they demand this...
..all of which suggests that andrew is determined to fight it out in court, though lawyers say this doesn't preclude an out—of—court settlement. you can certainly have a settlement further down the road, and it wouldn't shock me at all, between now and a trial, to see something like that happen. and sometimes, though, there are cases where no amount of money will make them go away. there are times when, again, a victim wants their day in court. and that certainly seems to be virginia giuffre�*s intention. her lawyer has said they look forward to confronting prince andrew with his denials and his attempts to blame miss giuffre for her own abuse at the trial. nicholas witchell, bbc news. our correspondent nada tawfik is covering this for us in new york and joins me now. great to have you on the programme, nada. in the first instance, why don't you just talk us through how prince andrew has responded to these complaints against him? in
prince andrew has responded to these complaints against him?— complaints against him? in terms of the substantial _ complaints against him? in terms of the substantial allegations, - complaints against him? in terms of the substantial allegations, no - complaints against him? in terms of the substantial allegations, no real. the substantial allegations, no real surprise that he would deny them, as he has done in the past. i do get is the finer points of what the complaint against him states that you find some interesting responses. for example, he really hits back at the assertion that he was a close friend of ghislaine maxwell or a frequent guest ofjeffrey epstein�*s, both convicted sex offenders now, although he does admit to having stayed in epstein positive properties in the past, and i think what is really interesting is how his lawyers deal with some key pieces of information in the complaint. the first, we heard there in the package about that and the tories photograph, where prince andrew has his arm around virginia giuffre with ghislaine maxwell in the background, and then secondly and e—mail in which allegedly prince andrew writes to ghislaine maxwell
in 2015, asking when they can talk, because he has some questions regarding virginia giuffre. in both those matters, his lawyers respond that there is not enough evidence for them to deny or admit the allegations, and so it really suggests that they are keeping their options open for a strategy on how to deal with those two pieces of information, which will be, i'm very sure, points that the virginia giuffre team will come back to again and again. this issue of connecting him strongly to ghislaine maxwell and prince andrew and the existence of these, what they will say, is evidence that will prove their case. now, it is really interesting also to see that prince andrew, in this legal filing, to see that prince andrew, in this legalfiling, has stated put to see that prince andrew, in this legal filing, has stated put at least 12 different defences, and one of them really hits at his assertion that virginia giuffre can't sue because of her own alleged wrongful
conduct. her lawyer has said that this is just a conduct. her lawyer has said that this isjust a continuation conduct. her lawyer has said that this is just a continuation of them trying to blame the victim and that they look forward to confronting prince andrew.— they look forward to confronting prince andrew. nada tawfik there with that story — prince andrew. nada tawfik there with that story and _ prince andrew. nada tawfik there with that story and the _ prince andrew. nada tawfik there with that story and the latest - with that story and the latest elements on that. thank you for joining us on newsday. the united states has responded to a series of russian demands over the future of ukraine, with the us secretary of state antony blinken insisting that ukraine "can choose its own allies". it comes as moscow has deployed an estimated 100,000 soldiers near the border in both belarus and russia. president putin has accused western nations of aggressive expansion into russia's sphere of influence. he says one of his key concerns is the expansion of nato, the military alliance of european states with the us and canada. many countries in eastern europe became members after the fall of the soviet union. mr blinken said they would never compromise on nato's founding principles.
it is for nato, not the united states unilaterally, to discuss the open—door policy. these are decisions that nato makes as an alliance, not the united states unilaterally. but from our perspective, i can't be more clear — nato's door is open, remains open, and that is our commitment. 0ur eastern europe correspondent sarah rainsford has more now from the ukrainian capital, kyiv. matches. needle, etc. medicals and bandages, medicine. yuri is getting ready for a war he hopes he never sees. he's packed an emergency bag to grab and go if russian bombs or troops reach kyiv. a basic survival kit for the worst possible scenario. what does it actually feel
like to be doing this? it's unbelievable. i understand it, i am living now in the 21st century. i'm amazed that i should do this, that i should pack this bag, but this is what i have to do to keep my family safe. yuri thinks a major escalation in ukraine's eight—year—long war with russia is unlikely. he just feels better being prepared for it. today, the us government strongly advised its citizens to leave ukraine. the government here calls warnings of a major new incursion by russia alarmist, but it's not ignoring the tens of thousands of troops deployed near its border. a few weeks ago, the authorities here actually released a map with all the bomb shelters, and just look at it. there's thousands of them — 5,000, in fact — all over the city. marking a map, though, is the easy bit.
the door�*s locked. and this is one of the official bomb shelters, supposedly. so either nobody here's expecting war to break out any minute now, or they're just not very well prepared for it. the metro might be a safer bet, deep below ground. if the air raid siren sounds, people will have 20 minutes to get down here. there's so much talk now outside ukraine about the possibility of the conflict escalating, of an russian invasion, and it's quite weird being here inside kyiv itself and realising that people are just going about their ordinary lives. there's no sense of panic here at all. do you think it's possible that the conflict could actually reach kyiv? i don't know. i don't have any information about that, so i'm just living my best life right now and hoping that everything will be ok. did you make any kind of preparations, or any...? no, no. so, as western governments
wrestle with moscow's ultimatums and demands, ukrainians for now are getting on with a life they've long lived, in the shadow of russian threats and aggression. sarah rainsford, bbc news, kyiv. nina jankowicz is an expert in russian and ukrainian relations at the washington—based wilson center. great to have you on the programme, nina. just, looking back at antony blinken�*s remarks, do you see this as a de—escalation of tensions, pushing forward the diplomatic route between the two sides? i pushing forward the diplomatic route between the two sides?— between the two sides? i think this is what the united _ between the two sides? i think this is what the united states _ between the two sides? i think this is what the united states and - between the two sides? i think this is what the united states and its i is what the united states and its allies have been trying to achieve for the past several months, and especially a concerted effort during the past several weeks, offering moscow and off ramp, and i think it is important to remind viewers that it was russia that started this conflict eight years ago, it is russia that has perpetuated by funding and equipping the separatists in the don bass region,
and it is russia that has now stationed upwards of 100,000 troops on ukraine's border, so it is up to russia to either take this off ramp or really face some serious consequences. and i hope that cooler heads will prevail, but i'm not sure that they will at this point. [30 heads will prevail, but i'm not sure that they will at this point.- that they will at this point. do you think that this is _ that they will at this point. do you think that this is enough - that they will at this point. do you think that this is enough for - think that this is enough for moscow, though, given the fact that we have heard president putin accuse western nations of an aggressive expansion into russia's sphere of influence, particularly over nato? first, i think it is important to point out that putin is making a strawman argument, as the uk defence secretary ben wallace recently wrote in the times. nato only borders about 6% of russia's borders, there is no plan for ukraine or other public and georgia tojoin nato is no plan for ukraine or other public and georgia to join nato any time in the nearfuture — they are not close to achieving the standards that are required for nato members —
it's i think putin is looking for a pretext for conflict. that's what russia actually was looking for with its demands as well, and ends to nato's open—door policy and a promise that ukraine and georgia would not become nato members, absolutely denying the millions of ukrainians and georgians who increasingly overwhelm only wants euro atlantic integration for the countries, not to mention these countries, not to mention these countries and their political leaders have the right to decide their own allies, so that was always going to be a nonstarterfor the west and for nato, and so i think the russian regime was setting that “p the russian regime was setting that up as a pretext for conflict, aiming to paint nato as the aggressor went nato policy has been the same since 1991, it hasn't changed. there are no surprises here. and unfortunately, russia is painting itself into a corner.— unfortunately, russia is painting itself into a corner. when you look at the fact — itself into a corner. when you look at the fact that — itself into a corner. when you look at the fact that russia's _ itself into a corner. when you look at the fact that russia's rhetoric i at the fact that russia's rhetoric is getting more and more aggressive, how likely is the possibility, in
your view, of the invasion of ukraine at this point? i your view, of the invasion of ukraine at this point? i don't have a c stal ukraine at this point? i don't have a crystal ball _ ukraine at this point? i don't have a crystal ball to _ ukraine at this point? i don't have a crystal ball to look _ ukraine at this point? i don't have a crystal ball to look into - ukraine at this point? i don't have a crystal ball to look into putin's l a crystal ball to look into putin's mind, and anyone who tells you they do is mistaken, but i think one thing to consider here is the winter olympics, which are about to start 0lympics, which are about to start in beijing, of course. i don't think putin wants to deny china its 0lympic moment, it doesn't want to detract from the successes that russian athletes may have there. backin russian athletes may have there. back in 2014, during the invasion of crimea, that illegal annexation that happened, russia waited until after the closure of the so chelan pics, so you may have a few weeks yet, but it does seem to me that again russia's painted self into a corner and at this point will want to save face. whether it will be a full—scale invasion or perhaps reigniting of tensions in the region, just in order to federalize that region and take it from russia, is anyone's as, but 125,000 troops
on the borders of europe should not be a status quo that anyone in europe or the west is comfortable with. �* , , europe or the west is comfortable with. ~ ., . europe or the west is comfortable with. ., . ., with. always fantastic to get you on the programme. — with. always fantastic to get you on the programme, nina _ with. always fantastic to get you on the programme, nina jankowicz, i with. always fantastic to get you on | the programme, nina jankowicz, and with. always fantastic to get you on i the programme, nina jankowicz, and i certainly don't expect you to have a crystal ball, but you did that wonderfully well. thank you for coming on the programme. thank you for havin: coming on the programme. thank you for having me- — the british prime minister boris johnson has told mps he would not comment on an imminent report into lockdown parties in government, during a stormy prime minister's questions at westminster. the labour leader, sir keir starmer, said the conservatives had done immense damage to public trust and called again on mrjohnson to resign. the official report by the senior civil servant sue gray is now complete, although it hasn't yet been handed to number 10. that could happen at any time. the metropolitan police have also announced their own investigation into potential government breaches
of the law, heaping yet more pressure on the prime minister. 0ur political editor laura kuenssberg has more. busy doing nothing much. waiting, wondering if the findings of a report into rule—breaking in downing street will make life impossible for boris johnson. 0ther ministers, trying to concentrate on serious matters of the day... can you survive this, prime minister? i ..anxiety, anticipation about what the next few hours would bring. the prime minister, eager not to show any nerves to his backbench troops. cheered at lunchtime, but with questions pressing, can that mood prevail? how much damage are the prime minister and his cabinet prepared to do to save his skin? let me just remind the house what's been going on in downing street. we've been prioritising the covid backlogs, mr speaker. and when the official verdict into what really went on is ready, will we see it all? can the prime minister confirm that he will publish the full sue gray report as he receives it? of course, i will do
exactly what i said. remember, the official civil service inquiry isn't the only one that lurks. we now have the shameful spectacle of a prime minister of the united kingdom being subject to a police investigation. isn't this a prime minister and a government that have shown nothing but contempt for the decency, honesty and respect that define this country? and, for all sorts of reasons, many people may want me out of the way, but i'll tell you the reason he wants me out of the way, it's because he knows that this government can be trusted to deliver. and we're — and particularly i am — getting on with the job. a public show of force. but it's the private world behind number 10's show that's been exposed. it's a business meeting! laughter allegations of parties in the press office exploded with a cringeworthy video of staffers joking about how they'd explain it away. and it's not socially distanced. can you stop?
i'm going to make - a statement, you don't... the tears of the former press spokesperson allegra stratton, the first casualty of this whole mess. then admissions of various other gatherings in whitehall when the country was locked down. revelations of bring—your—own—booze drinks in the downing street garden, organised by none other than martin reynolds, one of the most senior staff by borisjohnson�*s side. a basement booze—up during the national mourning for prince philip. and then, just this week, news of a birthday celebration for the prime minister in the cabinet room during lockdown. lulu, why did you go i to borisjohnson's party? lulu lytle, the interior designer of the renovation of the number 10 flat, briefly there, along with borisjohnson�*s wife. the painful question all the way through — how could the people who wrote the lockdown rules have broken them, too? this whole place is in a deeply uncomfortable limbo. the report into what went on in downing street is still not out even though it was essentially
complete, apart from last—minute checks, last night. the questions about the integrity and truthfulness of what happened have still not been answered, and just when those doubts are swirling thick and fast, a new, separate contradiction has emerged. remember this? the desperate images of the evacuation of kabul when it fell to the taliban. there were claims that the prime minister interfered to prioritise rescuing animals from a british man, penn farthing's, charity. that was fiercely denied at the time. but e—mails published by a westminster committee today give a very different picture, referring to the "prime minister's decision", saying in writing... that's a total contradiction of what borisjohnson said last month. did you intervene in that way? no, that's complete nonsense... marrying up different versions of events has been part of this
government's problem. mps sent home tonight without the official report into parties coming out, so accusations hover, still waiting for a verdict. the prime minister hopes for political escape. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: i'll be speaking to the head of the biggest non—governmental organisation in tonga about the international response to the volcanic eruption and tsunami that hit the island nearly two weeks ago. the shuttle challenger exploded soon after liftoff. there were seven astronauts on board, one of them a woman schoolteacher. all of them are believed to have been killed. by the evening, tahrir square, the heart of official cairo, was in the hands of the demonstrators. they were using the word revolution.
the earthquake singled out buildings and brought them down in seconds. tonight, the search for any survivors has an increasing desperation about it as the hours pass. the new government is firmly in control of the entire - republic of uganda. survivors of the auschwitz concentration camp have been commemorating the 40th anniversary of their liberation. they toured the huts, gas chambers and crematoria and relived their horrifying experiences. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. 0ur headlines: britain's prince andrew demands a trial byjury in new york, as he rejects the allegations of sexual assault made by virginia giuffre.
the us rejects russian security demands on ukraine and eastern europe and says further talks will address moscow's concerns. the red cross says humanitarian aid to tonga is ramping up after the airport was cleared of ash, making it safe for planes to land. britain's royal navy ship carrying aid, including bottled water, firstaid kits, ppe and baby products, arrived on the island on wednesday. but tongan officials say the country is still in dire need of international support. tonga has been virtually cut off from the rest of the world after the volcanic eruption crippled communications and internet connection may not be fully restored for weeks. the line may be unstable, but we've managed to get in touch with vanessa lolohea, executive director at the tonga national youth congress. she joins us on the phone live from tonga.
it is wonderful to have you on the programme, vanessa, and thank you so much for making the time to do this in what must be such a busy period for you. in what must be such a busy period foryou. let in what must be such a busy period for you. let me start by asking, what is the situation on the ground now? . ., what is the situation on the ground now? . ~' , ., , what is the situation on the ground now? ., ,, y., , . what is the situation on the ground now? ., , . . ., now? thank you very much. we are currently working _ now? thank you very much. we are currently working on _ now? thank you very much. we are currently working on the _ now? thank you very much. we are currently working on the ground. i now? thank you very much. we are| currently working on the ground. we are doing water relief response. at the tonga national youth congress, we have worked with 0xfam since 2012, so we have eight water stations on the ground now, with more than 25 volunteers working in different locations around the main island of tonga, so we have a useful kind of system now for water
irrigation. the cleaning of water, and then purifying the water and then return it back to the water thing, and the second thing is using the sanitation units, turning sea water into clean, fresh streaking water. at the moment... —— tricking water. getting the water from the new zealand navy boat, in the wharf on wednesday, so we have been in the storage area for drinking water, and you will know that water is still the main need around on the ground at the moment. we have worked at the
nyc on... just at the moment. we have worked at the nycon..., , ., at the moment. we have worked at the nycon... , ., , nyc on... just to “ump in there, vanessa. and — nyc on... just to “ump in there, vanessa, and i— nyc on. .. just to jump in there, vanessa, and i can _ nyc on. .. just to jump in there, vanessa, and i can understand. nyc on. .. just to jump in there, i vanessa, and i can understand the urgent priority certainly are water, as you have described, butjust to understand, young people, as you have mentioned, have been contributing a great deal to the relief effort. how are they helping? i think, because they have no internet, they find themselves with spare time. we tell them to go back to the villages and work with their villages around cleaning and organising, especially sweeping the roof and cleaning the pathway, because there is no connection on the internet, they can check their mail or message —— they cannot. they have time, then, to go back to their
families and start working and doing a lot of work in the community, and so youth now are on the front line. they also have the energy. they are on the go all the time, cleaning, doing community cleaning, emergency situations, and also cleaning around areas that have elderly people, people with disability... fantastic. vanessa, people with disability. .. fantastic. vanessa. i — people with disability... fantastic. vanessa. i am _ people with disability... fantastic. vanessa, i am so _ people with disability... fantastic. vanessa, i am so sorry, _ people with disability... fantastic. vanessa, i am so sorry, but i people with disability... fantastic. vanessa, i am so sorry, but we i people with disability... fantastic. | vanessa, i am so sorry, but we are going to have to leave it there. best of luck with your relief efforts going forward. you have been watching newsday. news in the last few minutes that north korea has reportedly fired a projectile into the sea off its east coast stop lots more for you later on in editions of
newsday. thanks forjoining us. hello there. we've certainly seen some windy weather across more northern parts of the uk into the night. the winds will continue to ease down during the day on thursday. it will still be breezy, mind you, and there should be more sunshine more widely. the strongest winds have been near that area of low pressure that's moving away from the northern isles. this weather front is continuing southwards — its continuing to weaken, which means the rain and drizzle on it is becoming very light and patchy. this is the picture towards the end of the night. further north across the uk, clearer skies are continuing to follow with some more of those showers, mainly in the north of scotland. but it should be a frost free start to thursday. we start quite cloudy across much of wales, the midlands, and southern england. some light and patchy rain and drizzle mainly in the west — that'll move southwards, soon cheering up in wales in the midlands.
the cloud takes all morning to move away from southern england, heading out into the channel. then sunshine follows widely, a few more of these showers continuing mainly across northern and western scotland, but not a cold day despite the northwesterly wind, temperatures double figures for most. it will feel quite cooler than of late, though, in northern parts of scotland. the winds ease down during the evening, some clear skies will turn it chilly for a while overnight. and then, if we look out to the west, a stream of weather fronts will bring some wet weather mainly toward scotland on friday — but at the same time, we are drawing and some very mild south—westerly winds. a head of it, though, across england and wales, a chilly start, some sunshine, 1—2 early mist and fog patches. does tend to cloud over more and more from the west during the day, hanging onto some sunshine towards southeastern parts of england, most of the rain coming eastwards from scotland. and for many, those temperatures will be reaching 10—11 celsius — it is turning milder and windier through the day, and most of the rain will continue to affect scotland overnight, that weather front tapping up the rain over western parts of scotland. then that weather front move southwards on saturday — so again, it'll weaken and the rain
becomes light and patchy. moving away from scotland and northern ireland, there won't be much rain heading down across england and wales. then we get a northwesterly wind once again, a few showers across northern parts of scotland. double figure temperatures for most of the day, very mild in the southeast of england at 14 celsius. a windy day on saturday — the winds won't be as strong, though, on sunday, it will be a bit cooler. northern areas turn wet and windy later on.
the headlines... prince andrew has demanded a trial byjury in the civil case brought against him by virginia giuffre. she says she was forced to have sex with the prince when she was 17. in a court document filed on wednesday, his lawyers deny the allegations. the us secretary of state has told russia there'll be no compromise on ukrainian sovereignty and on nato's open door policy. he was briefing reporters on washington's response to a set of russian security demands over ukraine. russia has some 120,000 troops near the ukrainian border — and us officials believe they're likely to attack ukraine over the next three weeks. the british prime minister has insisted he won't resign, as the uk waits for the release of an offical report into parties held at downing street during coronavirus lockdowns.