this is bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: members of borisjohnson's own party call for him to resign as prime minister after admitting he attended a downing street drinks gathering at the height of the uk's covid lockdown. i regret the way the event i have described was handled. i bitterly regret it and wish that we could have done things differently, and i have and will continue to apologise for what we did. prince andrew fails to get a civil case dismissed in the us, which accuses him of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. russia and nato hold their first face—to—face talks in two years as tensions remain high over the build—up of russian troops on the border with ukraine. should he stay or should he go? tennis star novak djokovic waits to find out if he will be deported ahead of
the australian open. and after winning best drama actor at the golden globes, will smith is nominated for a screen actors guild award. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. for the first time, borisjohnson has admitted he did attend a downing street party during last year's lockdown. and for the first time, the leader of the opposition has called on him to resign. the prime minister urged all sides to await the findings of an internal inquiry led by the senior civil servant sue grey. but as far as lawbreaking goes, many would say he has already admitted that his advisors — if not the prime minister himself — were in breach of laws that many others have been fined for breaking.
our political editor laura kuenssberg has the latest. a mess — there is no other word. the prime minister belatedly trying to clean up. reporter: are you going to apologise? with an admission of possible rule—breaking, an apology from a weakened leader. but will the answers to today's prime minister's questions see boris johnson through? mr speaker, i want to apologise. i know that millions of people across this country have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months, and i know the rage they feel with me, and with the government i lead, when they think that in downing street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules. there were things we simply did not get right, and i must take responsibility. claiming, to disbelief in the commons,
that technically a "bring your own booze" organised drinks event was within the lockdown rules. even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way. well, there we have it. after months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who's run out of road. his defence — his defence that he didn't realise he was at a party... laughter ..is so ridiculous that it's actually offensive to the british public. labour able to mock the unusually subdued tory showman. when the whole country was locked down, he was hosting boozy parties in downing street. is he now going to do the decent thing and resign? i regret very much —
i regret very much that we did not do things differently that evening. the prime minister pretended that he had been assured there were no parties. now, it turns out he was at the parties all along. can't the prime minister see why the british public think he's lying through his teeth? cheering mr speaker, it's up to the right honourable gentleman to choose how he conducts himself in this place. laughter there was derision — laughter — at the prime minister's defence. six questions later, election winner borisjohnson looked defeated. this is notjust a westminster drama. it's exactly midday. we are heading over to westminster where prime minister borisjohnson... it was the must—watch from the morning sofa — the country seeing repeated calls for borisjohnson to quit. will the prime minister, for the good of the country,
accept that the party is over and decide to resign? do the decent thing and resign. do the honourable thing and resign. and he must resign. and the concern on his own side is potent, the number of mps saying it's overfor mrjohnson growing in the shadows, and calls for him to quit out in the open now, even from the mp who is also the leader of the conservatives in scotland. i explained to the prime minister today that i felt he should stand down because of this, but that is, ultimately, his decision. but do the conservatives — does the country — really have the appetite for more political turmoil? there was a sprinkling of supportive messages — some loyalfriends in government for mrjohnson too. what is needed above all is a doubling down and a determination to rebuild trust between the government that the prime minister leads and the british people.
borisjohnson�*s admission and apology in there has bought him a little time — a pause until the report into what did or didn't happen in number ten is complete. yet, for many on his own side, he has already lost the benefit of the doubt. growing numbers of his own mps want him out, discussing frantically how and when his exit could happen. it is not inevitable, though, that he'll be hastened out of office, but it's no longer impossible to imagine that the prime minister might be gone before too long. look at this. this is a fantastic garden you've got here. look at that... it is indeed a beautiful garden. i was told that this was a former bomb crater. a place prime minister was happy to show off in days gone by. do you see yourself being here for the very long term? well, we're working very hard, laura. but his time in residence
could be brought to an early close by what happened literally in his own backyard. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. the duke of york has failed to get a civil case dismissed in the united states, which accuses him of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. virginia giuffre is suing prince andrew, claiming that he abused her when she was 17 at the homes ofjeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell. the prince has strenuously denied the allegations. but the ruling by the judge in new york today means the civil trial can now go ahead. our royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. everything for andrew had rested on this ruling, and it has gone against him. in his 43—page ruling in the case of virginia giuffre, plaintiff, and prince andrew, duke of york, defendant, the judge's conclusion was very straightforward. ..thejudge wrote. the possibility of appealing
at this stage appears to be remote, so these are andrew's basic options. he can settle out of court. there'd be no admission of liability, but he would pay a perhaps substantial sum to virginia giuffre. he can default — that is ignore the court case — and by default, there would be a finding against him. finally, he could fight it out in court. he'd have to give a deposition under oath, the rival stories would be tested, the matter would be decided in open court. lawyers who've been following the case say none of the options will be attractive to him. andrew's got no good options now. he can't make things better, so, essentially, i think he's either going to have to engage in the trial process or he's going to have to settle, and that may well be his least—worst option. but it would be up to virginia giuffre to decide whether to accept any out—of—court settlement. at the moment, she doesn't seem inclined to do so. in a statement, her lawyer said:
all of which leaves andrew facing the prospect of a bruising court case and the queen, in this, her platinum jubilee year, of enduring months of upset. in his newsnight interview, the one in which he said he couldn't remember meeting the then—i7—year—old virginia giuffre, andrew was asked whether he felt his behaviour had damaged the queen and the royal family. i don't believe it's been damaging to the queen at all. it has to me. if i was in a position to be able to answer all these questions in a way that gave sensible answers, other than the ones that i've given that gave closure, then i'd love it. but i'm afraid i can't, because i'm just as much in the dark as many people. if andrew does fight on, he'll have to answer all the other side's
questions under oath, and he will be able to declare his innocence and his lawyers will be able to test virginia giuffre's allegations. but at what price to the reputation of the royal family? as lawyers are saying, he has no good options. nicholas witchell, bbc news. nato's secretary—general has warned there's still a real risk of new armed conflict in europe. jens stoltenberg spoke after talks with russia, which left significant differences unresolved. he said nato was ready for more dialogue over ukraine where 100,000 russian troops have massed at the border. 0ur defence correspondent jonathan beale has been following events and sent this update from brussels. talks lasted four hours — longer than expected. but like the talks between the us and russia earlier in the week, they ended without breakthrough, both sides not budging on their demands.
now, for russia, that is a guarantee from nato not to enlarge, nato emphatically saying that it will keep the door open for new member states. and for nato, it's de—escalation. they want to see russia withdraw the 100,000 troops they have now amassed on ukraine's border. no indication that russia would do that. that is whyjens stoltenberg said today it was a dangerous situation with a very real risk of a new armed conflict in europe. that is why the russians have warned of unpredictable consequences if relations don't improve. the one glimmer of hope is that talks might still continue. nato has made that offer. russia is yet to agree. diplomacy isn't dead yet. that said, the threat of war hasn't gone away either. some breaking news from australia. the australian open draw has been delayed. this is heightened with novak djokovic
and things surrounding him. we will bring you more details of that story when we get it, if and when and novak djokovic is in the draw. stay tuned to bbc news. public health officials in the us have raised concerns about the slow rate of covid—i9 vaccination uptake amongst 5— to ii—year—olds. data from the center for disease control shows that just over i7% of children in that age bracket have had two jabs. but the rates vary wildly between states. according to analysis by the kaiser family foundation — a health non—profit — vermont has the highest uptake of any state as of last month with 45.6% of 5 to 11 years having received one jab. at the other end of the spectrum is west virginia where the figure is isjust 3.6%. drjohn vanchiere is a paediatric infectious disease specialist with louisiana state university health. hejoins us now. doctor, why does louisiana continue to have such low vaccination rates for
under 11 —year—olds? such low vaccination rates for under 11 -year-olds?- such low vaccination rates for under 11 -year-olds? two things are at play _ under 11 -year-olds? two things are at play here. _ under 11 -year-olds? two things are at play here. one _ under 11 -year-olds? two things are at play here. one is - under 11 -year-olds? two things are at play here. one is there i are at play here. one is there are at play here. one is there are byzantine —— vaccine hesitancy among parents for vaccinating their children that continues, and the other piece is impending mandate that has been politicised across the state. pushing people away from perhaps vaccinating more willingly. perhaps vaccinating more willingly-— perhaps vaccinating more willinul. , , ., ., willingly. yes, this mandate, do ou willingly. yes, this mandate, do you think _ willingly. yes, this mandate, do you think it _ willingly. yes, this mandate, do you think it will— willingly. yes, this mandate, do you think it will cause - do you think it will cause issues because it is only the second state to do this, do you think there will be lots of legal issues with this? it has been contentious _ legal issues with this? it has been contentious with - legal issues with this? it has been contentious with our i been contentious with our governor so far, and the expectation among most is that it will end up in court for some settlement in that sense, the mandate however is only in place related to fully fda approved vaccine, the right now only for 16 years and over, and would not take effect until august of this year, so not until the next school year
session in the fall, and louisiana has, for years, had one of the most generous exemption policies for school mandates of any state in the united states. so the two sides are going to have to come together in some way. i are going to have to come together in some way. i guess a mandate. _ together in some way. i guess a mandate. the — together in some way. i guess a mandate, the idea _ together in some way. i guess a mandate, the idea of _ together in some way. i guess a mandate, the idea of it - together in some way. i guess a mandate, the idea of it is - together in some way. i guess a mandate, the idea of it is it - mandate, the idea of it is it increases the number of children taking the vaccine, but actually it might have a polarising effect and almost do the opposite? polarising effect and almost do the opposite?— the opposite? well, it can. it -ushes the opposite? well, it can. it pushes some _ the opposite? well, it can. it pushes some parents - the opposite? well, it can. it pushes some parents away i the opposite? well, it can. it i pushes some parents away from vaccinating because of that mandate, that theyjust bristle at having a mandate forced upon them, and that is a challenge in many parts of the world and other sites as well.— other sites as well. what is the epidemiological - other sites as well. what is the epidemiological impact j other sites as well. what is i the epidemiological impact we are seeing from the lower vaccination rates? i5 are seeing from the lower vaccination rates?- vaccination rates? is this omicron _ vaccination rates? is this omicron surge _ vaccination rates? is this omicron surge is - vaccination rates? is this i omicron surge is continuing to 0micron surge is continuing to spike in louisiana, we set another record just yesterday for the number of new cases
reported in our state, over 17,000, some more than three times the rate we saw with delta variantjust times the rate we saw with delta variant just a times the rate we saw with delta variantjust a few months ago. our numbers are increasing significantly. in the school age population and our community testing and age population, our rate of 25 to 35% positivity in five to 11—year—old people. our school testing programme among kids who are asymptomatic in a weekly surveillance programme, weekly surveillance programme, we are seeing increasing numbers as well from seven to eight, 9% positivity rates. lack of vaccination is definitely part of the equation thatis definitely part of the equation that is driving the 0micron spread. that is driving the omicron sread. . , . that is driving the omicron sread. ., , ., ., ., spread. that is all we have got time for- _ spread. that is all we have got time for. best _ spread. that is all we have got time for. best of _ spread. that is all we have got time for. best of luck- spread. that is all we have got time for. best of luck with i spread. that is all we have got time for. best of luck with the | time for. best of luck with the vaccination drive. thank you very much for coming on. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: hollywood's screen actors guild announce
their award nominees. we'll find out who made the cut and who fell short. day one of operation desert storm to force the iraqis out of kuwait has seen the most intense air attacks since the second world war. tobacco is america's oldest industry, and it's one of its biggest, but the industry is nervous of this report. this may tend to make people want to stop smoking cigarettes. there is not a street that is unaffected. l huge parts of kobe i were simply demolished as buildings crashed into one another. i this woman said - she'd been given no help and no advice i by the authorities. she stood outside the ruins of her business. _ tens of thousands of black children in south africa have taken advantage of laws, passed by the country's new multiracial government, and enrolled at formerly white schools. tonight sees the 9,610th performance of her long—running play, the mousetrap. when they heard of her death today, the management considered whether to cancel tonight's performance, but agatha christie
would have been the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: the uk prime minister boris johnson is facing calls to resign from within his own party after admitting he attended a downing street drinks gathering at the height of covid lockdown and offering an apology. prince andrew will face a civil trial over allegations he sexually assaulted virginia giuffre when she was underage, after a us judge ruled her lawsuit against him can proceed. he denies the allegations. the draw the australian open has been delayed. it was due to take base around now. —— take place. all eyes remain on australian immigration minister, alex hawke, who's due to make
a decision on whether or not to deport tennis world number one, novak djokovic. in a statement released on wednesday, the tennis star admitted there were mistakes on his immigration forms and to meeting a journalist despite testing positive for covid. djokovic, who is unvaccinated, had his visa revoked shortly after arriving in australia. a judge dramatically overturned the decision though, ordering the release of the player from a hotel detention facility. he's still hoping to defend his title at the australian open which gets under way next week. meanwhile, the covidsafe event plan for the tournament has been amended to ensure the health and safety of fans, with an announcement ticket sales will be paused at 50% capacity. paul sakkal is the victorian political reporter for the age. he says there's still a lot that remains unclear in the saga. we're probably still hours away as well from the decision rom the immigration minister, alex hawke. we've been told that that will probably come this afternoon around the same time as the draw.
i don't know if it will come before or after the draw, clearly it would be best to come before, but we're also told the djokovic's lawyers will almost certainly appeal a decision if he is again deported. that would send the case back to the same judge, thejudge anthony kelly, and we're alo told the federal court may not be able to sit on friday local time, which means it would have to extend out to monday, the first day of the tournament. what is unclear is whether djokovic, if he is to appeal a potential re—cancellation, whether he'll be sent back to immigration detention or whether he'll actually be allowed to remain in the community and potentially play the open while his case is being adjudicated, although that would be relatively extraordinary. as of last night we reported the investigation had widened and they are looking at his isolation breaches in serbia, they're looking at his potential illegal entry into spain and the errors he made in his australian travel declaration as well
as the inconsistencies on when he actually found out about his positive test. if it was the night before the children's tennis event that he attended maskless or after. he said it was before in his sworn affidavit and then said it was after in his instagram post. so the government, i think, if they are to re—cancel his visa, the grounds are almost certainly to be that he did not have a valid medical exemption to get into australia, that fundamental point about whether prior infection was actually a valid exemption. but in terms of the political dynamics, if the government was wavering slightly in the last couple of days as to whether or not, i think public opinion has potentially swayed back in the favour of the government and against novak djokovic yesterday when the player admitted to meeting people when he was covid infected and also giving questionable excuses about his attendance at a children's tennis event. so i think the government had an unexpectedly good day in the court of public opinion yesterday and djokovic at about one.
——had a bad one. and, briefly, if you don't mind, what have the djokovic camp been doing while waiting for confirmation either way? has he just been getting on with training, hoping he's going to play? i think he's training and doing a little bit more gym work and court work than he would ordinarily do because he was, essentially, locked in a room for three or four days. i think he's got a bit of catching up to do. his team have been out of cafes and spotted by melburnians in the inner south—eastern suburbs. we think djokovic is staying in a house in the suburb of toorak, in the eastern suburbs, which is the wealthy suburb in melbourne and a very high net worth area. i think they're going about preparation is normal but clearly a big cloud looming over his attendance at the open. american actor will smith has boosted his hopes of winning his first 0scar after being nominated for a screen actors guild award, one of hollywood's top prizes. the full—list of nominations were released on wednesday. the awards are voted for by other actors, and are seen as one
of the key 0scars precursors. will tell me your names again. i'm venus. i'm serena. will smith has been nominated for playing tennis superstars venus and serena williams�* father in king richard. this latest nomination comes just days after he won the best drama actor prize at the golden globes. and three nods for netflix�*s western, the power of the dog, with benedict cumberbatch, kirsten dunst and kodi smit—mcphee all recognised in acting categories. in tv, squid gamejoins other contenders such as succession and yellowstone. it's making sag awards history as the first foreign—language in tv, squid gamejoins other contenders such as succession and yellowstone. it's making sag awards history as the first foreign—language and first korean series tv nominee. sandro monetti, editor—in—chief of the hollywood international filmmaker magazine, says will smith could, indeed, be one step closer to an oscar.
well, could it? the long wait could finally be over. will smith has four grammys but zero 0scars. will he join that list of great actors never to have won one? harrison ford, tom cruise, ian mckellen or is he going to put a victory in the box? he is the heavy favourite but it is not always good to be the front runner. last year chadwick boseman was considered odds—on and anthony hopkins came in at the last moment to steal the trophy. so will smith is a heavy favourite for king richard but he takes nothing for granted. a lot of talk about kirsten stewart not being nominated despite being tipped for an oscar herself. what are the other surprises? this is what i mean! will smith and kirsten stewart were the heavy favourites and her performance as princess diana in spencer was not even included. the one film that seems to be running the table through award season is the power of the dog
starring benedict cumberbatch and kirsten dunst. that is a dark drama about toxic masculinity in the old west and that has got three nominations at the screen actors guild. so has house of gucci, an actors favourite. lady gaga in there as well with jared leto. it's a wide—open award season. spring, summer, winter, fall, the only season that matters here in hollywood is award season and i love it! squid game makes history, the first foreign—language tv nominee. we've heard so much about squid game over the last 12 months or so here. tell us about that. it may have subtitles but everybody can understand the subtext. it is about a56 economically deprived people who try to make a fortune by going in for a quiz game, but it has deadly consequences. and, yes, what an achievement after all these years, finally a show not in the english language getting three nominations at
the screen actors guild. as you mentioned, succession has five, ted lasso has five as well, a top drama and a top sitcom but everybody is talking about squid game and i expect that to win at least one trophy. unlike the golden globes, will this one be televised? we are, indeed. and it's elevated. the golden globes are now a nonevent and this is now the second biggest award show in hollywood and as indicated at the studied is a great indicator ——at the start, m as to what will win an oscar because actors who vote for this are the largest voting body of the academy. there's a lot of crossover in the membership so i don't expect there'll be much difference between the screen actors guild winners and the oscar winners. ah, i'm getting awards fever! he isa he is a busy talking about the screen actors guild. that is about it from me for now.
you can reach me on twitter — i'm @sipusey. for me and the rest of the team, thanks for watching and stay tuned to bbc news. hello there. it's been an unsettled start to 2022, hasn't it? but wednesday changed all that for many across england and wales. after a frosty and foggy start, we had pictures like this — a beautiful scene in wrexham, hardly a cloud in the sky. it was chilly with it, but further north, we had more cloud. however, it was scotland and northern ireland that had the milder weather, with temperatures topping out at 12 or 13 degrees across eastern scotland and north—east england. now, this was the situation on wednesday, and it's a fairly similar story to close out the working week. high pressure's still with us, a south—westerly feeding cloud and a little bit of patchy drizzle across the far north and west. but under those clearer skies
and with very light winds, we will see frost and fog forming once again. so, temperatures potentially down as low as —3 in a few rural parts, the exception, the far north of scotland. yes, it will be frosty, but also, it will be foggy, particularly for parts of england and wales. some of the fog dense in places, and it may well take most of the morning before it slowly lifts into low cloud and hopefully disperses. so, a pretty miserable start, but hopefully improving later on. the cloud, that south—westerly breeze again thick enough for a spot or two of drizzle, but we could see double figures across the far north of scotland, despite the winds gusting in excess of 40—50 miles per hour across the northern isles. so, a blustery afternoon here, light winds, not shifting that fog some time soon. so, temperatures will struggle just a touch — 6—8 degrees across england and wales. as we move out of thursday into friday, the high pressure not moving very far very fast, which basically means we will continue to see a good deal of quiet weather. this weather front again increasing the risk of tonight, patchy rain, nothing particularly significant. fog could be more extensive on friday, and as a result, it could be slow to clear. if that happens, one or two places might not see
temperatures climbing out of freezing, but if we get the sunshine coming through again, we're looking at 5—7 to the south, maximum of 10 or 11 degrees across the far north. now, as we move towards the weekend, that quieter theme will stay with us. a good deal of dry weather. the question is just how much sunshine we will see.
this is bbc news. the headlines: �*s visa is still pending. he admitted there were mistakes in his visa application. the draw should have taken place in the last half hour uk prime minister borisjohnson is facing calls to resign from within his own party after he admitted attending a drinks party at his residence during a coronavirus lockdown. 0ne mp from his conservative party has called his position untenable. but several cabinet colleagues have backed mrjohnson. both nato and russia have warned the situation in eastern europe remains dangerous after their first face—to—face talks in two years produced no breakthrough. russia says the way forward is still unclear. nato says there is still a real danger of armed conflict in europe. now on bbc news,