this is bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: russia readies for possible conflict over ukraine, but says there is room for further dialogue with the west. the search for dozens of people lost at sea from a boat that capsized off florida is suspended. the us coast guard says it's unlikely there are any more survivors. vaccine maker moderna says an omicron—specific shot is on the horizon. but can drug makers really keep pace with new variants? north korea has confirmed test—firing of long—range cruise, surface—to—surface missiles earlier this week. and to mark holocaust memorial day, prince charles unveils portraits of seven survivors. the paintings will go on display in buckingham palace.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. russia has suggested it may be open to holding further talks with the united states as part of attempts to de—escalate the crisis in ukraine. the kremlin described some of washington's proposals as a starting point for a "serious conversation", but it warned its main security concerns had not been properly addressed. key to what russia will do next is vladimir putin. is he trying to stop the eastward expansion of nato or has he already made up his mind to invade? here's our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg. the world is still puzzling to piece together a picture of what vladimir putin is thinking, what he's planning. what are his intentions in ukraine and in europe? russian muscle—flexing is one piece
of the geopolitical jigsaw. military exercises and 100,000 russian troops near ukraine's border are fuelling fears of a russian invasion. so are moscow's demands. we just ask our "partners" in nato countries, "get out. get out from our borders. "get out from post—soviet countries "because it's threatening to russian people, "to russian citizens and time is running out." another piece of the puzzle — the kremlin had insisted ukraine be barred from joining nato, but america's rejected that demand. so, now what? what happens next depends on whether america's offer to negotiate with russia on some aspects of europe's security will be enough
to satisfy vladimir putin. if it's not — if, as some fear, president putin's aim is to dismantle the european security order as it is now — then expect long—term friction between russia and the west. vladimir putin cut a lonely figure today as he remembered the world war ii siege of leningrad. across europe, there are fears of a new war, but is russia's current and very public sabre—rattling really a precursor to conflict? after all, this is a leader who normally employs the element of surprise. this is one of the reasons why i do not believe that putin is going to invade ukraine, because if he really intended to start a military operation in ukraine, probably we would be the last to learn about it. at the gorky park ice festival, everyone we spoke to thought it unlikely that the cold war with ukraine and the west was about to turn hot.
"russians don't want war," yelena says. "we've experienced that. "we know how terrifying war is." the russian public has no appetite for war. they're hoping neither do their leaders. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. the us has also formally asked the un security council to meet and address russia's actions in ukraine after it urged china to help push russia towards a diplomatic solution. china has already said moscow has legitimate security concerns. but with only a week until the beijing winter olympics, china's ambassador to the un, zhang jun, tweeted an appeal to the international community to respect the traditional 0lympics truce starting onjanuary 28, and take the opportunity to promote peace. washington has stressed that any fallout from a war in ukraine would be bad for beijing. 0ur messages to beijing have been very clear. we are calling on beijing
to use its influence with moscow to urge diplomacy. because if there is a conflict in ukraine, it is not going to be good for china either. there will be a significant impact on the global economy, there'll be a significant impact in the energy sphere and it will be all the harder for all of us to get back to what we should be doing, which is building back better. artyom lukin is an international relations scholar at the vladivostok far eastern federal university. earlier, iasked him how beijing is approaching the ongoing crisis. well, actually, i'm not sure china is not interested in the conflict between russia and the west... unintelligible ..but cynically speaking, from the realpolitik perspective, china should be interested in a clash over ukraine, just because it would assure that russia would remain china's ally,
almost, you know, forever if this war erupts and it would make russia more dependent on china and the us would get bogged down in eastern europe for years and maybe decades, distracting and diverting us resources from western pacific, from taiwan, where china's most important interest lies, so why not have a war in eastern europe? i perfectly believe that, you know, it might be in china's interest, actually, contrary to what us officials might say. vladimir putin is going to china soon for the beijing winter olympics and to do some administration. will this this would be on the agenda, do you think,
between him and president xi? ah, sure. i am absolutely certain that putin and xi would be discussing ukraine, among other things, but no—one knows what exactly they are going to discuss. i think the most important thing is whether xi is going to promise vladimir putin that china would stand by russia in case of conflict over ukraine or, in particular, if the west imposes massive harsh economic sanctions on russia, would china agree to provide a lifeline to russia — like, you know, providing goods and products that the west would deny to russia, would china agree to buy russian commodities and energy, which would —
which could stop flowing to the west. would china provide, you know, financial assistance maybe to russia? i think this is much more important than china might — that china is saying publicly. there's also the sort of ever—present situation of oil and obviously, russia is very central to that, and the nord stream 2, a lot of talk about that in europe and germany, and the us saying it will not go ahead if they invade ukraine, but obviously china also has interests in this field, doesn't it? talk us through about that a little bit. yeah, sure. actually, it is expected that when putin visits beijing next week, their most important agreement that could be signed between russia and china would be a contract for the so—called power of siberia 2 natural gas pipeline that would go from western siberia
through mongolia to china. and actually, as far as i understand, the deal is almost complete and it only has to be signed in the presence of putin and xi and watcher relevant to european energy — the european energy consideration is that this pipeline will source natural gas from the same gas fields that currently feed gas pipelines that go into europe, so china is becoming the alternative consumer of russian natural gas that has previously flowed only to europe, so russia is getting a very major alternative importer of its energy. artyom lukin.
let's get some of the day's other news. president biden has confirmed that he will make an african—american woman his first nomination to the supreme court. mr biden made the announcement at the white house as he appeared alongside the liberal justice stephen breyer, who is retiring, and will step down at the end ofjune. the first female president of honduras, xiomara castro, has been sworn in at a ceremony attended by thousands of her supporters. in her inauguration speech, the left—wing politician said she'd inherited a broken country, but promised to implement social justice and transparency. she comes to power 12 years after her husband, manuel zelaya, was deposed in a military coup. the british foreign secretary liz truss has defended using a government plane instead of commercial flights for a recent trip to australia. the foreign secretary took the long—haul trip last week for an annual meeting with government officials
in the country. ms truss insisted that the decision was based on value for money. the us coast guard has suspended its search for dozens of people lost at sea after their boat capsized off the coast of florida. a lone survivor was found clinging to the hull of the boat on tuesday. in a press conference, the coast guard said that it was unlikely that there would be more survivors. 0ur north america correspondent david willis has the latest. five bodies have so far been recovered. that means that 3a people are still missing following the capsized of that vessel, and local coast guard said that they would be calling off the search if there was no sign of further survivors. now, one man did survive, and he was pictured clinging to the upturned hull of that capsized vessel. he has since been named asjuan esteban montoya, he's a 22—year—old colombian whose younger sister maria
is thought to have been in that vessel when it capsized, and she is thought to have perished. now, he was spotted on tuesday morning, dehydrated and very hungry, and he'd spent, according to some reports, about two days clinging to the hull of that upturned vessel, which left the bimini islands in the bahamas on saturday and got caught in a storm just a few hours later and overturned. now, the lone survivor told the coast guard that there were a0 people in the boat when it overturned, none of whom was wearing a life jacket. he reportedly told officials that about 20 of his fellow passengers drifted for hours in icy seas before disappearing into the ocean. now, coast guard officials launched of course a massive air and sea search covering an area of around 8,000 square
miles, but it does now appear that that one man is the only person to survive this disaster. it's an extraordinary story and obviously incredibly tragic, and it sounds like these were migrants. we hear a lot about caravans coming from mexico of course in the united states. how unusual is it for migrants to cross using this method? very common. this is a common route used by traffickers, people seeking to get migrants into the united states, chiefly from countries such as haiti and cuba where there are lots of people seeking to escape poverty and, indeed, in the last three months, the miami coast guard has apparently intercepted vessels carrying more than 120 cuban migrants. it's thought that this was part of a migrant smuggling operation and officials in miami have launched an investigation. they want to find out
who organised and who profited from the passage of this vessel. last year, the state department here in the us reported that the human trafficking situation may have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic because it left traffickers recruiting migrants with false offers of employment. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: to mark holocaust memorial day, seven survivors have had their portraits painted by different artists in a special project commissioned by prince charles. this is the moment that millions in iran have been waiting for. after his long years in exile, the first hesitant steps of ayatollah khomeini on iranian soil. south africa's white government has offered its black opponents
concessions unparalleled in the history of apartheid, and the anc leader nelson mandela is to be set free unconditionally. mission control: three, two, one... a countdown to a critical moment — the world's most powerful rocket ignited all 27 of its engines at once. and apart from its power, it's this recycling of the rocket slashing the cost of a launch, that makes this a breakthrough in the business of space travel. two americans have become the first humans to walk in space without any lifeline to their spaceship. one of them called it "a piece of cake". thousands of people have given l the yachtswoman ellen macarthur a spectacular homecoming - in the cornish port of falmouth after she smashed the world record for sailing solo - around the world, non—stop. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: russia readies for possible conflict over ukraine, but says there is room, forfurther dialogue
with the west. the search for dozens of people lost at sea from a boat that capsized off florida is suspended — the us coast guard says it's unlikely there are any more sui’vivoi’s. us—based moderna says it is on track for an 0micron specific coronavirus vaccine. there are questions about the extent of new shots needed in the two—year pandemic and if moderna, pfizer and astrazeneca among others can keep pace with mutations. moderna's chief medical officer, dr paul burton, has been explaining about the new vaccine. this week, on wednesday, we announced two big pieces of information. the first was some data published in the new england journal of medicine, looking at how our vaccine holds up against 0micron after a six—month booster, and the data are good. they're reassuring that we do see waning. the other thing we announced, as you said, is that we started our phase ii study in about 600 people, testing our 0micron—specific booster, and we think that's going to be an integral part
of keeping people safe and protected, even as 0micron perhaps subsides as we go into the winter of this year, so from a full booster. look, i think the data say that we will be able to get out of the pandemic into the endemic phase. when that happens, i'm not sure. you know, we still see staggering caseloads of 0micron here in the united states, in europe, around the world. death rates remain very high. hospitalisation rates again here in the united states are really at an all—time high today. but i think we can get through this. spring will come, we should get a period of stability as case counts go down, but i think we are going to need a regular yearly booster that will keep people protected as they prepare for winter, and that's what we're planning to do and what we are aiming to do with the study that we've launched now. north korea's state media says
it's conducted two more missile tests this week, among them, a long—range cruise missile. the report comes just a day after south korea said it detected the launch of two short—range ballistic missiles, drawing condemnation from japan and the us. since the turn of the year, pyongyang has carried out six missile tests so far, making this january among the most tests it has ever carried out in a single month and as our tokyo correspondent rupert wingfield hayes reports, the new tests show north korea is continuing to make rapid progress in its missile capabilities. translation: north korea is trying to have a defence, | like a scorpion�*s tail. for the last couple of years, really since the beginning of the pandemic, north korea has been very quiet. it's really shut itself off from the rest of the world, and here injapan, we've had no missile overflights, no threats of turning
tokyo into a sea of fire, and then suddenly in the last couple of weeks, all of that's changed. multiple missile tests, claims that north korea has new hypersonic weapons and threats of more to come. so what's going on in pyongyang? the short answer is that north korea hasn't spent the pandemic sitting on its hands — it's been busy. translation: we are surprised because we underestimate - north korean technology, and we assume that north korea is suffering because of the pandemic. they want to complete their missile system with one that is like a scorpion�*s tail. more specifically, kim jong—un appears to be developing missiles and warheads that can get past missile defence batteries, like this on injapan. it seems pretty clear that their aim is to develop weapons that can invade
and complicate missile defences that are highly manoeuvrable and harder for the united states to pre—empt and let alone to detect. but hold on one second, kim jong—un already has plenty of weapons to defend himself against attack. his missile arsenal is more elaborate than britain's, france, india or pakistan, so why does he need more? what we might prescribe to north korea for self—defence purposes might be deemed insufficient by the north koreans themselves. so kimjong—un, feeling chronically insecure, i think kim really doesn't trust anybody outside, including china and russia. surprisingly perhaps, some in south korea see all the activity up north as a good thing. a sign that what kim jong—un really wants is to talk. the problem for the north korean dictator is that unlike donald trump, presidentjoe biden doesn't seem very interested in having this sort of photo op on his presidential record.
he's called kim jong—un a tyrant, i think he has very little to gain politically from being seen with kim jong—un, so i do think what it would take forjoe biden to really become invested, i think, is a major crisis. if all of this sounds familiar, that's because it is. we have seen this pattern over and over, of north korea generating a crisis, then engaging in negotiation, which fails, and then manufacturing a new crisis. that's exactly what pyongyang may be doing right now. it said it could return to long range missile tests and even nuclear tests, so hold onto your hats, although, i suspect nothing big is going to happen now until china's winter olympics are over. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, tokyo. cities around the world have been commemorating holocaust memorial day. survivors from the nazi concentration camp at auschwitz returned there to mark the anniversary of its liberation by soviet forces in 1916. three women spoke about being
on the first train transporting jews to auschwitz from slovakia. during the second world war, the nazis murdered more thani million people, most of them jewish, at the auschwitz camp in occupied poland. the national governments of europe have also been marking the day, too. in austria, which was occupied by the nazis throughout the second world war, israeli foreign minister and alternate prime minister yarr lapeed, commemorated the victims of concentration camps. and in poland's capital, warsaw, a wreath—laying ceremony was held at a monument commemorating the 1943 uprising in the warsaw ghetto. here in the uk, different artists have painted the portraits of some of britain's last remaining holocaust survivors. the project was commissioned by prince charles and the portraits have gone on display at the queen's gallery in buckingham palace. 0ur royal correspondent daniela relph has more. lighting the darkness this evening for holocaust memorial day. around the uk, buildings
were lit to highlight the pain of prejudice and hatred. holocaust survivors witnessed the worst of humanity. this new collection of portraits commissioned by the prince of wales is about preserving their stories. like lily aberts, who showed the prince the auschwitz number still visible on her arm. while others spoke of their pride at their portraits. i am very pleased and very honoured. artist, portrait and subject, clara drummond painted manfred goldberg. have you been well? the process was challenging. covid meant the sittings began virtually before they could finally meet. hello, manfred! she wanted not only to paint my likeness, but she tried to get sort of into my soul, she tried to paint me heart and soul, and looking at my portrait, people tell me
that they can see it in the way she has painted my eyes. those eyes saw the brutality of nazi labour camps, where manfred was sent with his family. one day his younger brother herman was taken by ss guards, manfred never saw him again. he did describe it as hell on earth, and it was very hard for me to imagine what it must have been like. it was very harrowing, but i feel that was really important to go there and to realise how dark it had been in order to realise what a bright light manfred is. so much is in the detail of each portrait. aric hirsch rests his hand on his left arm, the arm that bears his auschwitz number. and lily abert is painted with a gold pendant which she hid in the heel of a shoe while at auschwitz. she still wears it today.
i thought we owed it to these remarkable people just to remember them in this way. there is something very special about the portrait and about the artist's eye in bringing out the real underlying character. all the portraits are now on display. rachel leavy. .. ..aric hirsch... ..helen. .. ..anita lasker—wallfisk... ..lily abert... ..ziggy shipper... ..and manfred goldburg. a prince's commission so we all remember. daniela relph, bbc news, the queens gallery at buckingham palace.
remembering the last survivors of the holocaust in the uk. to stay tuned to the bbc news. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @sipusey. hello there. after the sunshine on thursday, we've seen clearer skies and lighter winds overnight, so it's pretty chilly out there for many. but the weather is going to change once again because during friday, we're going to find more cloud coming in from the atlantic, and that in turn will bring in some milder air as well. now, at the moment, high pressure is centred more to the south of the uk. we've got these weather fronts bringing some rain towards scotland in particular during friday, but also drawing in these stronger winds from the south—west, bringing in that milder but generally cloudy air as well. ahead of that, though, we do have a touch of frost across more central and eastern parts of the uk to start the day. those temperatures lifting in the west as the cloud comes in. we've also got a few mist and fog patches across parts
of england and wales. those will lift. there will be some early sunshine, but many areas are going to cloud over. we will keep some hazy sunshine in the south east perhaps into the afternoon. a bit of drizzle out towards the west. most of the rain pushing eastwards across scotland as those winds strengthen. drawing in that milder air, so temperatures, double figures for most of us, a little bit chillier towards the south east perhaps. it does stay very mild, actually, overnight. those temperatures aren't going to drop an awful lot because we've still got those run of strong, very mild winds. in fact, it will be very windy overnight across scotland and northern england. some very gusty winds, particularly as that rain band moves down across scotland on that weather front there. but again, that rain, whilst heavy in scotland for a while, is going to become much lighter as it sinks down into england and wales and moves away from northern ireland. after the rain, what there is of it, we're going to find sunnier skies and some showers following on, and a strong wind continues as well, particularly windy in scotland, gusts of 60 mph likely here. southern parts of england may well stay dry, and here we'll see the highest temperatures, 13—14 degrees, it's very mild, but it is turning colder from the north as we get that sunshine and showers mix.
the winds do gradually ease down overnight as that high pressure tries to build in, but this is heading our way for the second half of the weekend. another weather system coming in from the atlantic. chilly start probably on sunday, much cooler than saturday morning. we're going to find some rain heading into the north west of the uk. the winds picking up, but as we move into that cooler air, we're going to find the threat of some snow, particularly across highland and grampian and typical temperatures around 8—9.
the headlines: russia has suggested it may be open to holding further talks with the united states as part of attempts to de—escalate the crisis in ukraine. the kremlin described some of washington's proposals as a starting point for a "serious conversation", but it warned its main security concerns had not been properly addressed. moderna has started trials for a covid booster dose it has developed specifically to target the 0micron variant. the drug giant says that while a third shot of its original covid vaccine worked, protection declined six months after administration. president biden has confirmed that he will make an african—american woman his first nomination to the supreme court. mr biden made the announcement at the white house as he appeared alongside the liberaljustice stephen breyer, who is retiring, and will step down at the end ofjune. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk.