this is bbc news broadacsting to viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm ben brown, our top stories: prince andrew's lawyers prepare to ask a us court to dismiss a civil sexual assault case brought by virginia giuffre. pupils across the uk head back to school this week amid concerns about covid—related staff shortages. it's an ever shrinking supply situation. we need to have high quality, professional teachers in front of children to give them an excellent education, and they aren't out there. covid is causing problems for schooling around the world, including in the united states which has set a record for surpassing one million daily covid infections.
a second chinese city is locked down and the winter olympics venues are sealed off as officials rush to contain outbreaks of covid a month before the games begin. novak djokovic claims medical exemption from receiving a covid jab and prepares to travel to australia to defend his tennis open title. and former tech billionaire elizabeth holmes — founder of the health company theranos — is found guilty of fraud over her failed blood testing technology. hello and welcome. lawyers for prince andrew are attempting to have a civil claim for sexual assault against him thrown out at a court in new york. virginia giuffre is suing him for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17. prince andrew has consistently
denied the claims. our correspondent sean coughlan reports. more than 20 years after this photograph was claimed to have been taken, lawyers for prince andrew and virginia giuffre are now in a legal battle today over whether ms giuffre�*s civil case against him can proceed. ms giuffre, then called roberts, said she was trafficked by the paedophilejeffrey epstein and sexually assaulted by prince andrew in london, new york and the caribbean. the prince has consistently denied the allegations. prince andrew's lawyers will try to convince the court in new york that the case shouldn't go any further, claiming that a deal struck in 2009 between ms giuffre and epstein prevents herfrom pursuing her claims against him. the settlement, revealed yesterday, showed that epstein paid half a million dollars to giuffre to stop any further legal action against him. in the settlement, 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. lawyers for ms giuffre will say her claims against prince andrew are a separate case. a former new york prosecutor said the wording of the epstein settlement may be too vague and lack legal teeth. the language is extraordinarily broad and this is the type of very broad language that lawyers sometimes think is going to be helpful for them, but often can actually result in finding that a provision is invalid because it is, in fact, too broad. prince andrew was adamant in his 2019 newsnight interview that he has no memory of any contact with ms giuffre. 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? 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. there might not be an outcome today from the hearing, but prince andrew's lawyers will be hoping that the case can be stopped in its tracks. otherwise it opens the door to a phase of more evidence gathering, investigations, and public scrutiny and the possibility of prince andrew facing questions in an unprecedented civil trial in new york. sean coughlan, bbc news. our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell, says this is a significant moment for prince andrew and his legal team. the months of the phoney war, if you like, are over — when he tried to ignore this, when he tried to evade
the service of court papers. that's all over. there is now a sharp collision with reality in rather less than an hour now when this new york court begins its proceedings. it's a virtual hearing, the judge and the lawyers will all be meeting by video conferencing, but one imagines that prince andrew may choose to dial in to listen to proceedings from his home here in the united kingdom. and his lawyers, of course, will be arguing — as we've heard — that he is entitled to benefit from this 2009 agreement between virginia giuffre and jeffrey epstein, in which they will claim virginia giuffre, in effect, signed away her right to pursue other potential defendants, that she granted immunity to people such as prince andrew. they will say that he is entitled to be treated as a third party beneficiary, even though he is not specifically named in that action. they will say that in the claim that virginia giuffre brought againstjeffrey epstein, she did refer specifically to " royalty". now, of course, virginia giuffre�*s
lawyers will argue vigorously, i'm sure, that this is not a sustainable argument, that this settlement which was published yesterday is far too widely drawn and cannot possibly be taken to grant the kind of immunity that andrew's lawyers will contend that it does. but either way, this is a very importantand, undoubtedly, a very difficult moment for queen elizabeth's second son. and if the ruling does go his way, we don't know when we're going to get it, but if it does go his way, what would that mean for prince andrew? i mean, is there a way for him back into public life? i think people would find that pretty difficult. it may, as you say, be some days before we get a ruling, or we may get one at the end of the proceedings today. but we now know in the case of prince andrew that he associated with notjust one, but two convicted sex—offenders.
that isjeffrey epstein and ghislaine maxwell, who was clearly a friend. andrew brought ghislaine maxwell and jeffrey epstein to windsor, to balmoral and so on. i think this has done, whatever the outcome, considerable damage to his reputation. if the case is dismissed, i suspect that many people would feel he's kind of emerged on a technicality. i think it would be difficult for him to find a route back to public life. we know, for example, that many of the military regiments and other organisations with which he's associated really don't want to have anything more to do with him. that is the reality. omicron cases are continuing to surge in the us and parts of europe. millions of pupils across england and northern ireland are going back to school this week. in england, secondary school students will have to take tests on—site before they return to the classroom, and masks are being re—introduced.
our correspondent jayne mccubbin reports. bell rings this is bethany. this is kian. and this is what the start of a new term in england looks like. how was that for you, kian? disgusting and horrible. welcome back to school! no—one goes back to class without a negative test seen by barry. how many test results are you going to be analysing today? around about 1,000. that's a lot of kids. it is a lot of kids, yeah. ten minutes after the school bell rings, the first positive result is found by maureen. go and fetch this young lady out of the classroom, and she'll be sent home. she'll be sent home straight away? yes, straightaway. so, within minutes. that's the way it should be, isn't it? it is the impact of positive tests on staffing which is the biggest concern here. only three staff have called in with covid this morning, so we were able to manage the school normally with that, that's no problem at all. last term, though, very tricky? difficult last term, we had a number of illnesses, covid and non—covid related illnesses, about a third
of the children were off with covid—related issues, so that was difficult. but we managed, we kept the school open, we kept all the children in lessons, and we aim to do the same thing again this term. this trust blew its supply teacher budget in the first term of this academic year. teaching unions say schools need more cash to cover the cost. but it's not the cost that worries this place, it's the chronic shortage of supply teachers. it's an ever—shrinking supply situation. we need to have high—quality, professional teachers in front of children to give them an excellent education, and they are not out there. they're not out there. in the devolved nations, the expectation is for secondary school kids to do these tests at home before coming back to class, and after that, twice a week from home in northern ireland and scotland, three times a week in wales. but for primary schools and early year settings, it is a different story. here at alexandra infants, there is no new testing,
no new masks, but with four staff already off with covid, there are familiar concerns. particularly with the age of the children and the number of adults and ratios with children, for example in the early years where our ratio is one to 13, it's very much being able to manage that and making sure we have adequate staffing to provide the education we need. great news, you're good to go, you can go back to lessons with your negative result. this is exactly what today is all about. this is the first and so far only positive test result at this academy in stoke. this young lady has now been sent home. and the rest of the children who tested negative are back in class and the hope is they stay in class until the end of term. millions of children around the world have been forced out of education because of the pandemic. henrietta fore is a director of the un children's charity unicef. she says youngsters have been affected in a number of ways.
it's notjust the learning itself, the education, learning how to read and write and do numbers, but it is also nutrition and health care and psychosocial support for mental health. it's multidimensional, and now that so many children are dropping into poverty, it is going to be very hard to bring them back simply. we will have to think of new and creative ways to do that. the unites states has set a global record for covid cases, registering more than a million in a single day. this latest surge has led some schools to delay reopening after the christmas break. others have introduced measures including mask wearing, remote learning, and increased vaccination. randi weingarten is president of the american federation of teachers and has pushed for greater testing. we have fought for the last several weeks to make that a reality in the united states. and there are some districts who are doing that —
detroit and washington, dc in particular. new york city is trying to do that. la is trying to do that. and what you're seeing is that the surge of the virus is so great that it will force, and it is forcing, some schools and school districts to go on to remote, even though everyone wants to be in person right now. there is not a teacher or parent or school administrator or union head who would not tell you that, of course, being in person is the best, and that is what we are trying to do, but the fight right now is with omicron and making sure that if people are sick, they stay home and isolate and that you have enough staff to be able to run a school and run a school safely. so vaccines, boosters, ventilation,
testing, driving this week and well—fitting masks. and staff shortages, as you allude to there, is one of the key problems, notjust in the united states but all around the world in terms of teaching staff. there may not be enough of them because they are isolating or ill so there is no—one to teach the kids. part of the dilemma right now is that we have a world, the united states in particular, where we are fighting each other as opposed to fighting omicron, so if people test positive, if they are sick, they have to stay home. and we have, for example in philadelphia, 1000 of the 13,000 educators were sick yesterday and so 77 schools are on remote today. and we have to make sure that the schools are staffed well enough so that the kids are safe. so the shortages and rate
of infection is what is closing or what is closing in—person learning and reverting to remote and we just have to have those contingencies, knowing full well that we all know that in—person learning is the best, for all the reasons we know, for social... the social isolation issues, the feeding of kids, the in—person learning is really a cornerstone of communities throughout the world. it is for the uk, it is for the united states. given that, just briefly, how much damage do you think has already been done in the last couple of years throughout this pandemic by school closures in the united states? you know, i get asked that question often. obviously, the pandemic has done tremendous damage because it has been disruptive for the last two years. we have a public health war right now and so i think what we need
to do is think about what we're going to do to focus on how we help kids recover this year and next year. the most important thing is to make sure we have safe and welcoming environments and where kids feel safe and welcome, because if a child wants to be in school and feels safe and welcome in school, that is a child who will learn. we have to think about this as, how do we help kids recover this year and next year as opposed to hoping and praying that tomorrow will be like january 2019. that was the president of the american federation of teachers. let's look at some of the day's other developments. the french health minister olivier veran has just told parliament that the country could reach close to a record 300,000 new daily cases of covid—19 infection. it comes as the french government move forward with a law to block unvaccinated people
from hospitality venues. the authorities in the indian capital, delhi, have imposed a weekend curfew as covid cases continue to surge. staff have been told to work from home and businesses must operate at limited capacity. and later this afternoon, we are expecting the uk prime minister to give a downing street briefing alongside the chief medical office for england, professor sir chris whitty, and the uk government's chief scientific adviser, professor sir patrick vallance. that's at 5:00pm uk time. a recap of our top stories... prince andrew's lawyers prepare to ask a us court to dismiss a civil sexual assault case brought by virginia giuffre. pupils across the uk head back to school this week amid concerns about staff shortages. with only a month to go until the opening ceremony
of the winter olympics, beijing is taking steps to restrict access to the games site because of the omicron outbreak. the high—speed train station to the venue in the mountains outside the capital is closed to the public. only special trains carrying those with olympic clearance can arrive. meanwhile, another chinese city has gone into a full lockdown in an attempt to stop the spread of the omicron variant. our china correspondent robin brant has more on the new restrictions. the contrast of what life is like in a handful of cities across china today could not be more stark. in xi'an, home to 13 million people, they are two weeks into a lockdown. people cannot leave their homes. there are reports of bartering going on, people exchanging cigarettes for food, other things for sanitary products and that is not going to change until the number of covid cases there reduces significantly. in the city of yuzhou, a bit closer to where i am, in the last 2a hours, a similar lockdown. people can't leave their houses, almost all vehicles are not allowed
on the street and that's after they discovered just three asymptomatic cases. here in shanghai, it's a very different story. this is what most of china is like, it's business as usual. yes, you have to have a mask on when you go on the metro, you have your temperature taken, but the government says its zero covid strategy has achieved this for the last 18 months and that is a strategy that now includes things like this, a pop—up booster vaccination tent. you can win prizes as well, but it also includes very harsh measures that can be imposed on a city in a matter of hours, and that is what we are seeing in yuzhou. now, as the winter olympic games in beijing approach and also chinese new year, the mass migration of millions of people here, there is absolutely no evidence that china's government is going to change its mind. it remains committed to this zero covid strategy for the foreseeable future.
the world tennis number one novak djokovic will play in this month's australian open after he was given a medical exemption from covid vaccine rules. there'd been speculation over whether djokovic, a critic of vaccine mandates, would take part in the tournament in melbourne, where he'll be aiming to win a record 21st grand slam title. our tennis correspondent, russell fuller, is following developments. one possibility that i think is a real one, given that the omicron variant is so widespread around the world now, is that he has recently tested positive for covid. djokovic had covid for the first time around 18 months ago. if he had tested positive at any point in the last six months that enables you to defer your vaccination and to enter australia without having the vaccination proof. other reasons include inflammatory cardiac illness or an acute major medical condition. it would seem unlikely that djokovic was suffering from either of those,
but we are none the wiser until, unless, he himself decides to tell us. elizabeth holmes was the youngest female tech billionaire in history and her start up theranos was seen as a revolution in healthcare. now she faces decades in prison after a usjury found her guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. our north america tech reporter james clayton has more. 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. 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. tyler shultz was the first theranos employee to blow the whistle,
and it was at great personal cost given his own grandfather, the former secretary of state george shultz, was on the company's board. here he is explaining why he decided to speak out to our sister network cbs. it was really, really tough to keep going, but i am just extremely stubborn and i knew i was right and i was not going to lay down and say that i was wrong when i knew with 100% certainty that i was right. why do you think they believed her over you, someone who was on—site there at the company and could see what was going on? why do you think people even closest to you did not believe you? well, elizabeth is a very, very charismatic person. when she speaks to you, she makes you feel like you are the most important person in her world in that moment and she almost has this reality distortion field around her that people could almost get sucked into.
even i, when i was working with the product every single day, seeing it fail time after time after time, i could go have a five minute conversation with elizabeth and feel like i was saving the world again. it's really a hard phenomenon to explain, but she sucked a lot of people into that. tyler, that's well expressed, and i think that our viewers should know that this is not just about investors, there were people who got bad results from this product — a woman who thought she had hiv, another woman who thought she might be miscarrying a baby — so the stakes were huge for patients as well. from your perspective, from where you're sitting, i'm really curious about the personal side of this. this is your grandfather, george schultz, a titan of the 20th century, former secretary of state, your relationship with him got really rocky. at one point you were communicating only through lawyers. what kind of cost did you face as an individual, as a grandson, in taking on this fight? yeah, that was extremely tough.
this whole saga has taken financial, emotional tolls on my relationships and the toll that it took on my grandfather's relationship was probably the worst. i mean, it's tough to explain. i had a few very honest conversations with him. we ultimately did reconcile. he never quite apologised, but he at least admitted that i was right about what i saw and he congratulated me for doing the right thing. tyler shields, the theranos whistle—blower. —— tyler schulz. the american electric car maker tesla has been criticised for opening a showroom in the chinese region of xinjiang, where beijing is accused of genocide and other abuses against muslim uyghurs. it was opened on new year's eve, weeks after the us banned imports from xinjiang suspected of being made using forced labour. tesla, headed by the billionaire
elon musk, has not commented. you have been watching bbc news. hello, i'm jane to go with your latest sports news. romelu lukaku has apologised to his team—mates and is back in the squad for tomorrow's league cup semifinal against tottenham. the belgian, who was dropped for chelsea's match with liverpool at the weekend after saying in an interview that he was not happy under manager thomas tuchel and he would like to return to inter milan in italy in the future. tuchel said any pair had a canned meeting and it was time to move on. for me, the most important thing was to understand and clearly understand and believe it was not intentional. he did not do this intentionally to
create this kind of noise in front of a big game, create this kind of noise in front ofa big game, and create this kind of noise in front of a big game, and the second one was at the very first time. there was at the very first time. there was never the slightest behaviour against the team and these are very important points to stay calm and understand it is not that big as may be people want it to be or you wanted to be. it's also not small, but it's small enough to stay, to accept an apology, and to move on forward. bbc sport understands southampton are set to be taken over by a company backed by serbian media mogul dragan solak. the telecoms magnate is buying chinese businessman gaojisheng's 80% stake in the club. gao took over at st mary's in august 2017. the former majority owner katharina liebherr is expected to retain her 20% stake. england bowler stuart broad has been recalled for the fourth ashes test.
he replaces ollie robinson, who has a minor shoulder problem, in the only change to the side. it's been a tricky build—up — england are missing their head coach chris silverwood, both bowling coaches and their strength and conditioning coach, who're all isolating because of covid. england assistant coach graham thorpe described broad and ben stokes as "caged tigers", saying he hoped they would channel their frustration into the match. broad has only played in one of the three tests so far, and has claimed the mood in the camp is low — but thorpe says they're just getting on with it. we've managed, we've 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've encouraged them. people can go down ill. it's 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, with what you require is important. novak djokovic says he will be defending his australian open title, ending months of speculation. he'd refused to reveal his vaccination status and every player at the event has to be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption. with an exemption permission," so that would suggest he hasn't been jabbed, but has satisfied the authorities that there are valid reasons for that. cornelius kersten has become the first long track speed skater to be selected for team gb in 30 years. the 27—year—old will compete in the 1,000 and 1,500 metres in beijing next month. kersten has had a successful season, finishing 11th in the world cup series, and says he's overjoyed at his selection. it's a childhood dream to come true to make it to the game is to
represent team gb. to get this news today, it's official right now, i'm chuffed. couldn't be more happy. everything feels good, training is going upwards. also during the world cup, every world cup i've been able to improve, either in time or ranking, so yeah, onwards and upwards! ranking, so yeah, onwards and uwards! ., ., ., ., , ., we'll have more sport for you later on the bbc news channel. this is bbc news, the headlines: prince andrew's lawyers prepare to ask a us court to dismiss a civil sexual assault case brought by virginia giuffre. pupils across the uk head back to school this week amid concerns about covid—related staff shortages. a second chinese city is locked down — and the winter olympics venues are sealed off — as officials rush to contain outbreaks of covid, a month before the games begin. and former tech billionaire elizabeth holmes —