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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 4, 2022 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: elizabeth holmes who became a silicon valley billionaire after setting up the blood testing start—up theranos, has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. a legal document signed between virginia giuffre and jeffrey epstein 12 years ago has been made public — how will that affect her civil case against prince andrew of alleged sexual assault? wonderful! and, our seoul correspondent takes the g—force test to fly fighter jets as she reports on south korea's defence spending spree. they're still officially at war with north korea.
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here in the skies over the country, there have been increasing air incursions. a powerful snow storm brings the us capital to a standstill — with hundreds of thousands losing electricity and schools closing in the southeast of the country. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. it was billed as a potential revolution in healthcare — but was itjust a massive case of fraud? a usjury has found elizabeth holmes, the founder of the blood testing start up company theranos, guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. prosecutors said the 37—year—old convinced them that small machines developed by theranos
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could detect certain diseases with just a few drops of blood from a finger prick. in a moment we'll have a closer look at the details of the verdict, but first our north america tech reporter james clayton on how theranos was founded. 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
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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
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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. elizabethe holmes was found guilty on four fraud counts in all. but there were 11 charges for thejury to consider. to find out more about the verdict i've been speaking to kevin o'brien — a former assistant us attorney for the department ofjustice who specialises in white—collar crime.
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the verdict actually has a little bit of something for everyone. it's got four guilty counts, four not guilty counts, and three no decisions. the way the government's evidence went in, i fully could've expected more guilty counts, but i'm sure the government will take the four that they got. and it is a significant victory for the government, especially as people have said, in a case like this. i suppose that says something about the complexity of this case. what is it, do you think, that the prosecution did well enough to get those four counts through? well, they had overlapping evidence from multiple sources. they used patients, although the patient—related counts didn't fare too well relatively speaking. they had investors and equity partners, they had board members, they even had — they had people from the lab, very important witnesses,
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directors of testing and so forth of these suppose devices. and they even had journalists, and a couple of the journalists who testified were very effective. they spoke to the fact that ms holmes actually lied to them during interviews at various stages. including some whoppers. nonetheless, and you would know better than anyone, it is not easy to pin the sort of thing on a ceo, particularly one that doesn't necessarily have a high—tech background. how important do you think was she herself, elizabeth holmes, in terms of her evidence and her role in theranos in coming to this decision? well, in some respects, she was her own worst enemy because she talked a lot. she talked to anyone who would listen, and that
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created the opportunity for deception or at least shall we say misunderstanding, and the government used that against her. and it's true, she often talked in generalities, but she repeated herself often enough and she had enough common themes throughout the entire seven or eight year course of this conspiracy that thejury got the idea. very, very briefly — prosecution said not even a rash investor deserves to be defrauded or misled. nonetheless, it does feel that there is not a huge amount of sympathy for many of the investors here. no, absolutely not, and that was a hurdle the government had to overcome, and it did. these people are not sympathetic, but as the government pointed out, even a fool doesn't deserve to be parted from his money by means of fraud or misstatement or misrepresentation. that is largely what the government showed here. kevin o'brien, thank you very much indeed. a $500,000 legal settlement signed by virginia roberts giuffre and sex offender, the latejeffrey epstein
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in 2009 included an agreement that ms giuffre wouldn't sue anyone connected to epstein. the agreement was made public on monday and lawyers for prince andrew say it releases the prince from liability in the civil case brought by virginia giuffre, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. prince andrew has consistently denied the claims. our legal correspondent dominic casciani reports. a woman seeking her day in court. the unprecedented defendant — a prince of the realm. but have his lawyers now found a way to stop virginia giuffre�*s case from ever being heard? she says she was trafficked into sexual abuse and exploited by the man on the right, jeffrey epstein. ms giuffre, then known as roberts, says epstein and his girlfriend coerced the then—teenager into abuse by prince andrew in london, new york and the caribbean. today, the release
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of a 12—year—old settlement in which ms giuffre, seen here at court in new york, accepted $500,000 to end her original case against epstein. that confidential deal has been made public because of its potential importance to prince andrew's defence. 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
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"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 to 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... yep. ..dancing with her at tramp or going on to have sex with her in a bedroom in a house in belgravia? i can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts then or any other time? none whatsoever. tomorrow, prince andrew's team will ask a new york court to throw out ms giuffre�*s case. her lawyers say she's confident that won't happen, and one way or another, the duke will have
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to answer her allegations. in the us coronavirus cases are currently averaging about 400,000 each day, that's according to data collected byjohns hopkins university. schools across the country are reopening this week amid a surge in the 0micron variant but a shortage in at—home rapid tests across the country has made reopening more difficult. the us food and drug administration has now expanded vaccine booster eligibility to allow 12—to is—year—olds to receive a third shot of the pfizer—biontech vaccine. dr ashistha, dean of brown university's school of public health believes more effort should be made to keep schools open. schools can open. that's one of the things we have learned over the last two years. if you put in proper mitigation efforts, what do i mean? i mean kids and teachers masking our schools, improvements in ventilation
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which many schools have done, though some have not, vaccinating both kids and adults, if we do those kinds of things there is not a lot of transmission happening in schools. if we don't do those things, and of course schools can become a hotbed of transmission. it is incumbent on us to get kids back, but to get there safely. so what is the take—up of vaccination to the younger generation? 12—15 is obviously targeted directly at schoolkids. yeah, there are two groups were authorised to get vaccinated at different times. 12—17, those are the middle and high school groups, and about 63% have got about one shot, about 55% are fully vaccinated. more than half in the population, not what i would like it to be but not terrible. the 5—11 younger kids were authorised about a month and a half ago, and about a quarter of those children have got at least one shot. again, these are numbers that i think are far too low. many more kids should be getting vaccinated. so it is not the availability
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of vaccines can presumably it is this issue about trust and the degree of information? it is, and the sheer amount of misinformation that has been targeted towards the american public by a small number of bad actors about vaccines, harms or supposed harms, or how the virus has no negative effects on kids. just a lot of nonsense that has really caused a lot of confusion among parents who are truly unsure what to do. all of the experts agree that kid should be getting vaccinated, i got my own children vaccinated but it is a confusing time for pa rents. i don't want to be flippant about this at all, but these are schools we're talking about, these are centres of education, that issue of providing the correct information, surely, would be a natural process for them? absolutely, you would think that that is the one place where we really ought to be able to get the information right and get
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that information out there. but it has been a challenge, again, as i said, because there has been such a concerted effort to spread misinformation about vaccines and about schools. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: i don't know how i feel. we'll tell you why our seoul correspondent has taken to the skies in a fighterjet. the japanese people are in the mourning following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. good grief. after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of- south africa tomorrow in spite of protests and violence - from some black activist groups. i they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa _ until majority rule is established. .
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around the world, people have been paying tribute to the iconic rock star david bowie, who sold 140 million albums in a career that spanned half a century. his family announced overnight that he died of cancer at the age of 69. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: elizabeth holmes who became a silicon valley billionaire after setting up the blood testing start—up theranos, has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. a legal document signed between virginia giuffre and jeffrey epstein 12 years ago has been made public — how will that affect her civil case against prince andrew of alleged sexual assault?
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hundreds of thousands of americans have been without electricity, government offices and schools closed, and flights were cancelled, as winter storms engulfed the us southeast and mid—atlantic states. a foot of snow fell in northern virginia, with almost as much recorded in washington, central tennessee and northern alabama. mark lobel reports. one of america's most famous memorials, nestled in the seat of us power. now a winter wonderland. heavy snowfall that left over 200,000 without power in northern virginia. in delaware, a snow blanket meant treacherous conditions for cars. as the storm landed, hundreds of flights were cancelled and passengers delayed. cancelled and passengers dela ed. ., cancelled and passengers delayed-— cancelled and passengers
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dela ed. ., . , ., ., delayed. no exception for the resident delayed. no exception for the president either _ delayed. no exception for the president either as _ delayed. no exception for the president either as joe - delayed. no exception for the president either as joe bidenl president either asjoe biden was stuck on air force one for a while before braving wild wind, having to improvise with the different type of facemask. as the white house, well, bite whiter, the surrounding area soon got chillier. we whiter, the surrounding area soon got chillier.— soon got chillier. we did not re are soon got chillier. we did not prepare for _ soon got chillier. we did not prepare for this. _ soon got chillier. we did not prepare for this. we - soon got chillier. we did not prepare for this. we were i soon got chillier. we did notl prepare for this. we were not supposed to be in dc originally.— supposed to be in dc originally. supposed to be in dc oriainall . . v , supposed to be in dc oriainall. . v , ., �* originally. that's why we don't have the right _ originally. that's why we don't have the right clothes. - have the right clothes. everything is closed so we can't — everything is closed so we can't buy— everything is closed so we can't buy anything.- can't buy anything. with government _ can't buy anything. with government offices - can't buy anything. with government offices and | can't buy anything. ii�*u government offices and schools temporarily shot down, spirits briefly lifted along the national mall and close by at the smithsonian national zoo where these giant panda clubs warmly embraced it to. following this snowstorm, wintry weather is expected to continue. freezing caused by low temperature may cause
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further disruption with some more snow predicted for later this week. staying in the us for a moment. two of donald trump's children are the latest to be subpoenaed by new york prosecutors as part of their fraud inquiry into the former president's business practices. the requests for ivanka trump and donald trumpjunior to testify were issued by the office of the state attorney general. the civil investigation has already heard testimony from another of mr trump's children — eric — and is attempting to force the former president himself to make a court declaration by january the seventh. i've been speaking to law professor kimberly wehle, a former assistant us attorney. she explained to me the details of the investigation. well, right now there aren't charges in the civil side, that is letitia james's investigation. there's just an investigation and what she is looking into is whether the trump 0rganization basically inflated assets for purposes of securing loans and then deflated the very same assets for purposes of paying taxes,
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which could amount to civilfraud. now, when i say civilfraud, that means the only penalty would be paying — repayment, financial repayment. 0n the criminal side, we know already, that the trump organization and their chief financial officer, alan weisselberg, have been indicted on the criminal side around similar allegations and those, of course, could produce jail time. that is the distinction between what letitia james is doing and what the manhattan da has done. thank you very much, and thank you for putting me straight on it's an investigation still, charges not lead. but, interestingly, it is a civil fraud case. so there's a lower bar for proof, isn't there? right, there's a lower bar. so the criminal side it's beyond a reasonable doubt, civil sided it tends to be more like 51% of preponderance of the evidence.
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and also, really what this boils down to, david, i think, across the board here, is this concept of knowledge or intent. people can — there are all different ways of valuing real estate and it's somewhat subjective and it on all different kinds of factors and someone might argue, listen, depending on the purpose we might arrive at a different number. the key is was there and intent to essentially dupe the tax collectors? was there an intent to dupe investors or banks by trump and the people around him? that is what both the criminal and civil side is trying to look into, but, again, the criminal side would require a higher showing of intent or more proof to actually loop donald trump or people, in addition to weisselberg within his close orbit, into the legal system. are these two obliged to appear? i ask that partly because they think a lot of people would say, look, as our understanding was, the boys ran the company, ivanka, for example, was in the white house.
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right, well, if it's a valid subpoena, and it sounds like, at least, when i last checked, neither of them have actually moved what we call to quash it, to stop the subpoena, claiming that somehow it is unlawful, yeah, they will have to comply or potentially face a court order directing them to comply and if they don't comply with that — the court order — they could actually be held in contempt of court and go to jail. the civil depositions system here the united states, the fact gathering discovery process in federal court is really broad. the standard tends to be relevance. so anything really related to the subject matter is fair game, with two exceptions. 0ne, anything that ivanka or her brother spoke about with their attorneys, financially, any legal advice, that would be protect, or anything relating to potential criminal liability under the 5th amendment to the us constitution. but other than that they are going to have to answer the questions posed by the lawyers here.
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kimberly wehle there. south korea has pushed its defence budgets to new highs in the last four years. in 2021 it fired new missiles and even launched its own space programme. the country currently relies on the us for its defence, but it appears seoul is keen to try to stand on its own two feet. 0ur correspondent laura bicker has had exclusive access to south korean air force training. three, two, one. i am trying to pass a g—force test... one, two, three... oh, my god. ..and, well, it's not easy. i'm here training with the air force to find out more about south korea's aim to be a military powerhouse. but before i can fly, i have to stay conscious. keep going, keep going, keep going!
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0k, good. wow! wonderful. great, great! south korea has shown off its biggest military advancements yet in 2021. it fired an array of new missiles and launched its first rocket into space. the country is also one of only five in the world to train its own pilots on home—grownjets, but what's it like to fly in one? i don't know how i feel! want my mammy! ijust need to breathe, right? as we do loops in the sky, i hear that, from here, south korea can monitor movements in the north. that the country is now spending on defence perhaps shouldn't come as a surprise, because they're still officially at war with north korea.
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here, in the skies over the country, there have also been increasing air incursions from russia and from china. we face probably the most existential security threat. as you know, 68km from seoul, you have north korea armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and long—range missiles and guns, but you also have china looming in the background, and the us is becoming weaker as we speak. so, even though the americans are our closest ally, we really have to spend much more money and attention on defence. what are we going to do now? another roll. 0k, 0k, 0k. the country has sought to pirouette between the world's great powers. it lies so close to china yet relies on the us to shield it from any potential war. president donald trump described that as "freeloading", and it's made some in seoul question the strength of the alliance. so, we will continue to work very closely with our american allies, but we also want to leave room for more autonomous, self—reliant defence. you want me to do a turn?
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the major even lets me fly the t—50 jet. are you ready? yeah. 0k, make a right turn. south korea's feeling it's only too, slowly taking control over the future of its forces. and despite assurances from washington that the alliance does remain strong, the country is showing no signs of turning back. laura bicker, bbc news, seoul. after months of negotiations, david bowie's estate has sold the singer's entire catalogue of songs to the warner music group. # there's a star man waiting in the sky # he'd like to come and meet us but he thinks it blow our mind. the amount paid hasn't been disclosed but is reported to be more than $250 million. bowie released a total of 11! singles, averaging two per year during his career.
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hello. after what was an exceptionally mild start to the new year, we have now started to see quite a dramatic change in our weather. something much colder has been working its way in. a chilly—feeling day for tuesday — snow and gales for some of us, particularly in the north of the uk. the cold airfiltering in behind this band of cloud and rain with some sleet and snow on the back edge. ice a possible hazard across the northern half of the uk, where it will be a really chilly first part of the morning. wintry showers starting to pile up in northern scotland. in fact, snow showers even to low levels over the highest hills — 15 cm of accumulating snow. and with gales or severe gales, especially around northern coasts, there could be blizzard conditions for a time. a band of cloud and rain with a little bit of sleet and snow over the high ground
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will slowly clear the southeast corner, then we see some sunshine, some wintry showers, a mix of rain, sleet and hill snow, especially out towards the west. those are the average wind speeds. the gusts will be stronger than that with the wind coming down from the north, so it is going to feel really chilly. 0n the thermometer, single—digit temperatures, 4—8 degrees. factor in the strength of the wind, this it what it will feel like. it will feel subzero across many northern parts of the uk. now, as we move through tuesday night, there's more snow to come in northern scotland, more wintry showers in the west, some clear spells elsewhere. it's going to be a cold night with frost and ice, temperatures dropping close to freezing, below freezing in quite a few places. so, a widespread frost to start wednesday morning, but wednesday should bring some decent spells of sunshine. a few showers still close to the east coast, one or two out west and up towards northern scotland. more in the way of dry weather, some spells of sunshine, temperatures still between 4—8 degrees. but this is actually where we'd expect to be for early january. this approaches from the west.
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a little wedge of milder air with it, so some snow initially. then it'll tend to turn back to rain as that wedge of milder air works in, but then colder air returns from the west. wintry showers will start to push in, so only temporarily will temperatures be just a little bit higher. friday, another chilly—feeling day, highs of 5—8 degrees. we'll see a mix of sunny spells and wintry showers.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: elizabeth holmes, who became a silicon valley billionaire after setting up the blood testing start—up theranos, has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. holmes had claimed she'd developed a machine that could diagnose medical conditions with only a few drops of blood from a finger prick. a legal document signed between virginia giuffre and jeffrey epstein 12 years ago has been made public. lawyers for prince andrew say it releases the prince from liability in the civil case brought by giuffre, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. prince andrew has consistently denied the claims. two of donald trump's children are the latest to be subpoenaed by new york prosecutors as part of their fraud inquiry into the former president's business practices. the requests for ivanka trump and donald trumpjunior to testify were issued by the office of the state attorney general.
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now on bbc news, it's hardtalk.

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