good morning, it's nine o'clock. welcome to bbc news, i'm victoria derbyshire. here are your headlines. a day of critical court hearings for prince andrew and virginia guiffre — his lawyers in new york will argue that her civil case against him, alleging he sexaully assaulted her when she was 17, should be thrown out. millions of pupils across the uk are back to school today, amid concerns about covid—related staff shortages. if you're back to school today, are there enough covid tests to check you all? are there enough teachers? and in england, how do you feel about wearing masks again for your lessons? let me know on instagram or twitter. delays and cancellations on the rail network as around one in ten staff are off work due to covid and isolating. a university dropout who became a silicon valley success story has been convicted of fraud for lying
about the technology that made her a billionaire. and peter "snakebite" wright wins half a million pounds after winning the pdc world darts championship for a second time. lawyers for prince andrew will today try to convince a new yorkjudge to throw out a civil case brought by a woman who accuses him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. the duke has consistently denied the claims. it follows the release of a document that shows the woman, virginia giuffre, was paid half—a—million dollars in exchange for agreeing not to sue any "potential defendant" connected to the disgraced sex offenderjeffrey epstein. here's our legal correspondent dominic casciani.
a woman making the gravest of allegations. the unprecedented defendant, a prince of the realm. and now, a day of critical court hearings for both virginia giuffre and the duke of york. she says she was sexually exploited by the man on the right, jeffrey epstein. ms giuffre, then known as roberts, said epstein coerced the then teenager into abuse by prince andrew. alleged events 20 years ago, but today's new york hearing focuses on the 2009 legal document. back then, ms giuffre, seen here at court in new york, accepted $500,000 to end her original case against epstein. in the settlement, virginia giuffre agreed to release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge epstein from further claims. the wording goes on to cover any other person who could have been a potential defendant. it's so wide, she promises not to bring any further case dating from the beginning of the world. prince andrew's lawyers say that
means he can't be sued. but one lawyer who's represented some of epstein�*s alleged victims says it's too vague to be enforceable. this is one of the most bizarre pieces of a settlement agreement i have ever seen. i just cannot believe that a court would say, well, anyone who has wronged virginia, who was associated with epstein, is now released from liability. i mean, that would fly in the face of what our laws are now trying to do, which is open up claims for sexual abuse victims, allow them to come forward even years later, and bring perpetrators to justice. the duke's position remains unchanged since his november 2019 newsnight interview. you can say categorically that you don't recall meeting virginia roberts, dining with her, dancing with her at tramp, or going on to have sex with her in a bedroom in a house in belgravia?
yes, i can absolutely categorically tell you that never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts then or at any other time? none whatsoever. this afternoon, prince andrew's team will ask a new yorkjudge to throw out ms giuffre�*s case. her lawyers say she is confident that won't happen and one way or another, the duke will have to answer her allegations. dominic casciani, bbc news. 0ur royal correspondentjonny dymond says prince andrew's lawyers think the legal documents released yesterday will help their case. well, they say that he is covered by the deal, not because he is necessarily a potential defendant, although that is the language of the deal, but because ms giuffre had mentioned royalty in her claim againstjeffrey epstein, the claim that was then dealt with the deal... that was dealt with by the deal that was released yesterday. and so they say that he is directly
covered by this deal. if the judge agrees in the hearing that comes up later today, then this is over and this part of the allegations that had swirled around prince andrew now for really quite a few years, this part is lifted. however, virginia giuffre�*s team have had sight of this deal all the time that this has been going on, ever since the civil claim against prince andrew. against prince andrew for sexual assault has been made. so they must have some confidence that they have a case worth making and that this case will go ahead. and what can we expect from today's hearing? well, both sides will put their cases, both sides will try and explain their version of what they understand that 2009 deal to be. it may be that the judge makes an immediate decision as to whether or not this case goes ahead, that every likelihood
is he will go away, have a think about it and then come up come up with a ruling and then prince andrew will know, had he won this stage, has he dismissed the civil case or is it going to continue with public legal wrangling, public exchanges of documents and a demand at the end of it sometime towards the end of this year that he appear in a courtroom in new york. this is what will be decided today in court. we can speak to mark stephens, a lawyer with expertise in defamation and reputation management. good morning to you. do you think this deal protects prince andrew? it is not a slam dunk for either side and perhaps you would expect a lawyer to say that, but i think it is probably 60—110 in favour of prince andrew. when you read the document closely it is intended to release all future claims that virginia giuffre may have against both jeffrey epstein virginia giuffre may have against bothjeffrey epstein and any other
person that in november 2009 she could have brought claims against, and as we heard on the package that includes royalty and prince andrew. so i think at the end of the day, short of the morality of this case, i think this is a legal win for prince andrew.— i think this is a legal win for prince andrew. ~ ., ., , ., ., prince andrew. what do you mean when ou sa prince andrew. what do you mean when you say shaun — prince andrew. what do you mean when you say shaun of— prince andrew. what do you mean when you say shaun of the _ prince andrew. what do you mean when you say shaun of the morality. - prince andrew. what do you mean when you say shaun of the morality. we as i you say shaun of the morality. we as la ers you say shaun of the morality. we as lawyers cannot _ you say shaun of the morality. we as lawyers cannot let — you say shaun of the morality. we as lawyers cannot let emotion, - lawyers cannot let emotion, reputations, public views of individuals sway us. we have to look coldly at the black and white lettering on the page. along the page it looks like she has tried to release all of her claims against everybody associated with epstein for $500,000. she was perfectly entitled to do that, she had legal advice at the time. as a consequence the court will not look to the
adequacy of the bargain, they will look at what was intended so really the burden is now in her lawyer, a very good lawyer, who will have to say and explain why prince andrew is not caught by this deal, almost the burden has shifted to virginia giuffre to prove why this was not a settlement against prince andrew, although unnamed in the actual agreement. although unnamed in the actual agreement-— although unnamed in the actual aareement. ., , ., , ., ~' agreement. legally, do you think this document _ agreement. legally, do you think this document still _ agreement. legally, do you think this document still holds - agreement. legally, do you think this document still holds water i agreement. legally, do you think l this document still holds water now ten, 11, 12 years on? i this document still holds water now ten, 11, 12 years on?— ten, 11, 12 years on? i think it does. there _ ten, 11, 12 years on? i think it does. there is _ ten, 11, 12 years on? i think it does. there is almost - ten, 11, 12 years on? i think it does. there is almost a - ten, 11, 12 years on? i think it| does. there is almost a racing certainty that whoever loses today will go to the court of appeal and i suspect that is where a final decision on this particular document will be made, but i think it is important to remember that if prince andrew gets out of this case on this basis, it does not mean he is innocent, he obviously denies everything, but his reputation will
remain, i think, everything, but his reputation will remain, ithink, tarnished in the way in which folk have seen it is to date. to have one friend who is a sex offender might be regarded as a misfortune, to have to, choulay maxwell too convicted sex offender, does not look good —— it's lame. but does not look good -- it's lame. but he has does not look good —— it's lame. but he has consistently denied these claims. 0ur prince andrew's lawyers accepting he is a potential defendant by using this deal? that is a reall defendant by using this deal? twat is a really important point, and they don't. his first claim is that he does not know virginia roberts, virginia giuffre, but this bites off any claim, whether it has merit or not, and the document does not look at that, so any claim she had in
november 2009 when she made the settlement, and we know at that time she was about 28 and she knew prince andrew when she was 17, so we know anything that was meant to have happened will have happened by then, so it really is a difficult case for virginia giuffre, it is unusual but we lawyers see these documents which cover up or settle wrongdoing in for example nondisclosure agreements, we see that everyday of the week, sometimes people are named and sometimes people are named and sometimes they are not, so i think there is a very good way of thinking about this document, it is almost like a nondisclosure agreement, they have been paid not to reveal anything further or to take proceedings against anyone else. thank you, mark stephens, and we will bring you news about what
happens in court today and in the coming days. millions of pupils across the uk are back to school today and over the next couple of days, amid concerns about staff shortages caused by the 0micron variant of covid. and also self—isolation. in england, secondary school students will have to take tests on—site before they can start their lessons as jayne mccubbin reports. for secondary school children this week, it is back to the classroom. back to masks, and in england at least, it will all kick off with a covid test on arrival in school. for ethan and louis, though, this is one last blow out before that all begins. how are you feeling about it? a bit nervous. in my form, probably about, like, ten kids off at least. what, before christmas? yeah, yeah. how do you feel about wearing the masks every day again? well, ifeel like now i've gotten used to it, i don't think i'd mind it as much if you have a comfortable mask. it obviously protects other people, doesn't it? you're happy to do it? yeah, yeah. so, the gates of this school, like all other secondary schools in england, will this week starts to open for mass testing.
it's one of ten schools in an academy chain which already has a staffing issue. as of one hour ago, we were at 10% of staff who have tested positive for covid. and that is a big chunk, and you think it's going to rise? in scotland, pupils are being asked to test at home before they return to school and are being urged to then test twice a week. in wales, it's the same, pre—school home test. but repeated three times a week. students in northern ireland are being asked to test 2a hours before returning as well. and there, 95% of schools have been provided with c02 monitors to identify poorly ventilated areas. ultimately, the government believes the biggest help anyone could offer is to take up the offer of a vaccine. 0ns figures suggest only 50% of eligible 12 to 15—year—olds have done this. just how this new term in this new year will pan out looks anything but certain. jayne mccubbin, bbc news. joining me now is geoff barton, the general secretary of the association of school
and college leaders. i know it is only ten past nine, but are you getting any feedback from heads about whether they have enough staff and lateral flow test to test the pupils? l staff and lateral flow test to test the pupils?— the pupils? i was getting more feedback last _ the pupils? i was getting more feedback last night _ the pupils? i was getting more feedback last night than - the pupils? i was getting more feedback last night than this i feedback last night than this morning. that is people who are running schools and colleges, whether primary, special schools, ft colleges or secondary schools, when they knew last night what today would look like. i have not heard anything this morning which might mean they are mired in the logistics of lateral flow tests but it might be a sign that some of the catastrophe event staff absence has not materialised, but it is very localised and will vary from one school to another. i have a primary head teacher saying i have not got my reception teacher or my year six teacher, the idea of putting those children of such different age groups in one class is challenging. i have a secondary head who has 80
staff generally and nine are out today, all of which opposes logistical challenges but as you could hearfrom logistical challenges but as you could hear from that report, whether it is young people, parents, teachers or leaders, we are determined to give some sense of normality to young people. tn normality to young people. in reality you would not put reception with your six, you would put reception with year 196 and year six with pfi. taste reception with year 196 and year six with pfi. ~ , , ., with pfi. we will be seeing a reaponse _ with pfi. we will be seeing a response this _ with pfi. we will be seeing a response this morning. -- i with pfi. we will be seeing a i response this morning. -- you with pfi. we will be seeing a - response this morning. -- you would ut response this morning. -- you would put reception — response this morning. -- you would put reception with _ response this morning. -- you would put reception with year— response this morning. -- you would put reception with year one, - response this morning. -- you would put reception with year one, and - put reception with year one, and year six with pfi. taste put reception with year one, and year six with pfi.— put reception with year one, and year six with pfi. we will see the creativity and _ year six with pfi. we will see the creativity and the _ year six with pfi. we will see the creativity and the resilience - year six with pfi. we will see the creativity and the resilience of i creativity and the resilience of leaders. we do not know how long this might last for and ultimately, this might last for and ultimately, this is not being sour or anything, lots and lots of young people being taught by me in a hall when i teach year sevens, yet eight ajio nines together, will not be sustainable, so we hope the face coverings and
secondary, as controversial as that might be for some, more young people getting vaccines from 12 plus, better ventilation, all of those logistical things we expect delivers some kind of normality in the next couple of weeks.— couple of weeks. with ventilation, in many cases _ couple of weeks. with ventilation, in many cases is — couple of weeks. with ventilation, in many cases is that _ couple of weeks. with ventilation, in many cases is that simply - couple of weeks. with ventilation, i in many cases is that simply opening classroom windows? l in many cases is that simply opening classroom windows?— classroom windows? i think it -robabl classroom windows? i think it probably is. _ classroom windows? i think it probably is. l _ classroom windows? i think it probably is, i think _ classroom windows? i think it probably is, i think there - classroom windows? i think it| probably is, i think there were classroom windows? i think it - probably is, i think there were some sneering at the notion that suddenly like a rabbit from a hat what we had from the secretary of state on sunday was 7000 air purifiers and people saying that is not enough. what i know it's that co2 monitors delivered before christmas, a bit on the back foot, a bit late for some others, they do not sort out your ventilation but they indicate whether ventilation in a school classroom is good enough and if it is not, in many cases having the window slightly open appears to be enough, the c02 monitor will tell
you whether that is enough or whether you need an air purifier. thank you for talking to us, jeff barton from the association of scool and college leaders. various rail companies are running reduced services as staffing continues to be hit by sickness, covid and self isolation. the rail delivery group says the latest figures show that nearly 10% of all rail staff are off work, and passengers have been warned of short—notice cancellations. joining me now is alex hynes, who is the managing director of scotrail who have had to cancel 8% of their services because of staff absences. hello, doing it in percentages does not really give me a true picture of how many staff are off and how many traits have been cancelled, can you do that in numbers?— traits have been cancelled, can you do that in numbers? good morning, on a ical do that in numbers? good morning, on a typical daily — do that in numbers? good morning, on a typical daily operator _ do that in numbers? good morning, on a typical daily operator in _ do that in numbers? good morning, on a typical daily operator in 2000 - a typical daily operator in 2000 services in scotrail, from today we are reducing the timetable by about 160 services a day so we can improve
reliability. customers tell us that reliability. customers tell us that reliability matters most, therefore it is important to publish a timetable that customers can depend on. around one in ten staff are off sick due to covid, we employ 5000 people, that is 500 people. that leads to these operational numbers we had seen due to record numbers of covid cases. 20,000 covid cases in scotland, that was yesterday, the highest on record. iliruiith scotland, that was yesterday, the highest on record.— highest on record. with the new reduced timetable, _ highest on record. with the new reduced timetable, can - highest on record. with the new reduced timetable, can you - highest on record. with the new - reduced timetable, can you guarantee passengers that those trains will show up? we passengers that those trains will show u - ? ~ . . passengers that those trains will showu-?~ ., ., show up? we can guarantee the timetable will _ show up? we can guarantee the timetable will be _ show up? we can guarantee the timetable will be more - show up? we can guarantee the timetable will be more reliable l show up? we can guarantee the - timetable will be more reliable than the one we have been trying to operate for the last couple of weeks and we have seen the benefits already this morning, better service reliability, fewer cancellations compared to recent weeks. it is a very dynamic situation, you are a full to try to predict what will
happen next with covid but for january we are offering customers a robust timetable, asking people to check before they travel and plan accordingly. ﬁnd check before they travel and plan accordingly-— check before they travel and plan accordingly. and then reassess at the end of the _ accordingly. and then reassess at the end of the month? _ accordingly. and then reassess at the end of the month? we - accordingly. and then reassess at i the end of the month? we reassess eve da , the end of the month? we reassess every day. clearly — the end of the month? we reassess every day, clearly we _ the end of the month? we reassess every day, clearly we are _ the end of the month? we reassess every day, clearly we are looking i the end of the month? we reassess every day, clearly we are looking at| every day, clearly we are looking at staff absence data on a real—time basis and the punctuality of the services, this is something we review every day and it is likely that every seven days we will review whether it is still an appropriate timetable to offer customers. thank ou ve timetable to offer customers. thank you very much. _ timetable to offer customers. thank you very much, alex _ timetable to offer customers. thank you very much, alex hynes, - timetable to offer customers. thank you very much, alex hynes, good i you very much, alex hynes, good luck. well, ministers are meeting daily to assess shortages of workers across the economy. and there's to be a statement when parliament returns tomorrow about the scheduled review of plan b measures which are due to expire at the end of january. let's talk to our chief political correspondent adam fleming. with everyone tucked with
politicians still on the christmas holidays, do you get much of a sense of how they are feeling, for example, about kids wearing masks in class in english schools? 1th example, about kids wearing masks in class in english schools?— class in english schools? as you correctly said, _ class in english schools? as you correctly said, they _ class in english schools? as you correctly said, they are - class in english schools? as you correctly said, they are not - class in english schools? as you correctly said, they are not back yet so i have not spoken to any mps. but i think tory mps will be looking for any clues as to whether plan b restrictions in england will be extended beyond january 26, that is when they are currently meant to expire, they are meant to be reviewed tomorrow but when boris johnson spoke to the media yesterday he talked about pressure on the nhs over the next few weeks or more, which if you do your grammar and work out your plurals, that could take you beyond the end of january so i wonder if there will be any clues about the plan be reviewed tomorrow, about when plan b might come to an end. ministers are meeting about what contingency metres to put in place to deal with lots of absences in places like the
railways —— what contingency measures. we know there is a back—up plan to prioritise access to testing if there is a real crunch on the supply of tests, and the vaccines minister maggie throup was this morning talking about some of the other things that have been done. it's important that people know we've recently reduced the number of days of isolation from ten days to seven days, with two lateral flow tests taken that are negative. so, that's one step. and i'm sure listeners will appreciate that the government's looking at the data all the time and putting in contingency measures. it would be wrong of us if we didn't, it would be wrong of us if we didn't plan for more staff absences. we've also got to remember that as part of plan b people are asked to work from home, and that will help to ease some of the pressures on the rail operators and the nhs. and the leader of the labour party is giving a speech later, what do you think that will be about? politics getting back to normal after being about covid for a few weeks but we have seen that plato
take you times already. keir starmer will talk about _ take you times already. keir starmer will talk about the _ take you times already. keir starmer will talk about the commonwealth i will talk about the commonwealth games, he is going to birmingham, he will talk about the queen's jubilee, all sounding very, very british in a way his predecessorjeremy corbyn was accused of sometimes not sounding. people talk about all of the policies labour has come up with already to try to battle the accusation that they do not have any policies, it is a bit unfair it is just that some of them are a bit vague here and there, the other buzzword will be respected, he means respect shown by labour to areas that used to vote labour and voted tory, and he will talk about how he is a former director of public prosecutions has respect for the rule of law. i wonder if he is suggesting that someone else doesn't?! , ., ., ., doesn't?! lets leave that hanging there. doesn't?! lets leave that hanging there- thank _ doesn't?! lets leave that hanging there. thank you, _ doesn't?! lets leave that hanging there. thank you, adam - doesn't?! lets leave that hanging j there. thank you, adam fleming. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre,
here'sjohn watson. good morning. not such a bumper start to the new year for manchester united manager ralf rangnick, who watched his unbeaten run as interim manager ended by wolves yesterday who were more than a match for united at old trafford. it wasn't until the 82nd minute they grabbed the goal that won it thanks tojoao moutinho, as wolves move up to eighth. we have come here with a big personality, played as a strong team. so credit for my team. credit for my team because we have come here with a plan to play with the ball and we have come with that ambition. we performed for our side, one gold, one more clean sheet, and fantastic for our boys. if you look at today's performance, if i now say i am 100% convinced that we will finish up in the top four, finish at least fourth, i don't know if people would really believe that. for me, it is about taking the next steps. we need to develop,
we need to get better, and even more so against the top teams in the league. we just need to make sure we can control the game defensively and, at the same time, we can create chances offensively. a 21 point deduction for various financial problems means derby county are rooted to the bottom of the championship, but they're now unbeaten in four games. curtis davies' injury time equaliser earned wayne rooney's side a 2—2 draw at fellow strugglers reading. derby are now 11 points from safety. it remains tough going for england in the ashes. they're missing their head coach chris silverwood, both bowling coaches, their strength and conditiong coach, all isolating because of covid ahead of the fourth test which starts later. the media manager has even been having to help out with training. no wonder stuart broad — recalled to the side — has said the mood in the camp is low. assistant coach graham thorpe says they're trying
to make the best of it.. we have managed, we have managed. and also, in many ways, players have to take responsibility for themselves, as well. some of those guys who aren't actually playing and are not in the squad. i have encouraged them. people can go down ill. it is probably like when i started, my england career. there weren't as many coaches around. and being resourceful for yourself and getting your team—mates to help you out, as well, is what you require, is important. in the build—up to the australian open, great britain's men are playing in the atp cup in sydney — and it's going well so far. after they beat germany at the weekend, they're up against canada. dan evans has won their opening match against denis shapovalov. now its british number one cameron norrie against felix auger—alliasime. if you're feeling the chill at the moment, you may enjoy these pictures from the deserts of saudi arabia, where britain's sam sunderland
has moved into the lead of the dakar rally motorbike section. he finished second on stage two, overtaking daniel sanders, who lost his way in the dunes. the nine—times world rally champion sebastian loeb came out on top in the car category but he's more than nine minutes behind the leader, after a really close stage. the temperature will certainly cranked up at the world to final last night. —— at the world to doubt final. always a raucous atmosphere, big money on the table for the winner. and that half a million pound check went to peter "snakebite" wright. he is an unmistakeable character, and it was a thrilling final against michael "the bully boy" smith — the lead kept changing hands and wright was actually surprised to win it. his experience allowed him to take advantage of some costly mistakes by his opponent, who was devasted. wright said smith would definitely be winning world titles soon. and that bumper cheque, a nice little new year treat.
that's all the sport for now. studio: thank you. elizabeth holmes, the founder of the discredited blood testing company, theranos, has been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy after a a four—month trial in california. she was accused of lying to investors and customers by overstating what the firm's machines were capable of. our technology correspondent james clayton reports. we'd like to see a world in which every person gets access to this type of basic testing. elizabeth holmes had a vision that turned her into a billionaire — that she could create a machine that she called the edison that could detect hundreds of diseases with just a few drops of blood. the pitch convinced some very important people. media tycoon rupert murdoch invested, bill clinton was a fan. behind me are theranos's former head offices. very plush, very expensive and in the heart of silicon valley.
and the great and the good came to visit theranos. evenjoe biden came to california and heaped praise on the company. success seemed inevitable. this is my certificate for theranos, showing my shares and it was actually signed by elizabeth holmes. so, it's kind of a bit of history? it really is. a sad bit of history, but history nevertheless. eileen lepera was a secretary in silicon valley. she heard about this amazing new company. my boss had indicated that it was going to be, in his words, "the next apple" and that i should get as many shares as i could, and so i did. it was six figures, which was a large amount for me. what eileen didn't know was that the dream elizabeth holmes was selling was a nightmare. the technology didn't work, but investors like eileen had no idea. elizabeth was in stealth mode, so that we had no idea whether it was going well
or was on the brink of collapse. the retail giant walgreens had a contract with theranos to diagnose patients with its machines. however, the court heard that theranos wasn't using its edison machines, but was instead using openly available diagnostic equipment. the courts also heard that some patients had been misdiagnosed. i just really resent that somebody would make such a massive fraud, especially when so many people told her this isn't working. elizabeth holmes has argued at trial that she had always attempted to create a genuine product that worked and that she never intended to commit fraud. what happened behind those closed doors has led to a lot of introspection here in silicon valley. but there's still a culture of faking it till you make it here, and until that changes, people worry that what happened in theranos could happen again. james clayton, bbc news.
several french politicians say they've received death threats on social media in response to their support for a covid—19 vaccine pass currently being debated in parliament. the new law would exclude people without proof of vaccination from public transport and a range of hospitality venues, removing the option of showing a negative test instead. it's expected to be approved this week, and comes in response to rising covid infections despite a vaccination rate in adults of more than 90%. a second chinese city has gone into a full lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of the 0micron variant. authorities in yuzhou have told people to stay in their homes, nearly all vehicles are banned from the roads and all businesses apart from supermarkets are closed. it comes less than two weeks after the city of xi'an was locked down after a much larger outbreak. it's been announced that more people are to become eligible for an automatic pardon for historical convictions
for having same sex — and to have them wiped from their records. the government's widening the current scheme, in an amendment to legislation currently going through parliament. now it's time for a look at the weather, here's carol. it's a cold start today. many of us started off with the risk of ice and also some snow. also some gales. that is more or less the forecast for the northern half of the country for the northern half of the country for today. so the snow accompanied by even severe gales across the far north, that combination means there is the chance of some temporary blizzards. and also snowdrifts. something to consider if you are out and about through the course of today. at the other end of the country, and weather front moving away with colder air following on.