this is bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: the british socialite ghislaine maxwell is found guilty on five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for abuse by a jury in new york. maxwell procured the girls for the financier and convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein — she faces the rest of her life behind bars. no matter who you are, no matter what kinds of circles you travel income and about how much money you have committed to matter how many years have passed since the sexual abuse, justice is still possible. we'll be looking at the implications of the verdict for prince andrew, who is named in a lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was groomed by maxwell and abused by the prince. and record numbers
of covid infections are recorded across europe and the us, driven by the omicron variant — the world health organization warns of a huge strains on health systems. hello and welcome to bbc news. a jury in new york has found the british socialite ghislaine maxwell guilty of having helped the late financierjeffrey epstein sexually abuse teenage girls. the jurors found the 60—year—old guilty of another four charges connected with procuring the victims and facilitating the abuse. she was found not guilty on one other charge. the defence team is expected to appeal against the verdict. the convictions mean maxwell faces the possibility of spending the rest of her life in prison. let's hear from our
correspondent aleem maqbool who's outside the court in new york. tonight marks the final fall from grace for ghislaine maxwell, because a jury in the court has by me has decided she wasn'tjust court has by me has decided she wasn't just a court has by me has decided she wasn'tjust a bystander court has by me has decided she wasn't just a bystander to court has by me has decided she wasn'tjust a bystander to the crimes, the sexual offences committed byjeffrey epstein. they decided that she was herself a predator and an active participant in the sexual abuse of teenagers. they did that by finding her guilty on five counts, the most serious of which was for sex trafficking. ghislaine maxwell will now finally pay for her terrible crimes. her victims were robbed ofjustice for decades, but four of them have helped put a now infamous sexual predator behind bars. each was from a troubled or cash—strapped home, and the court heard how ghislaine maxwell gained their trust. during their explicit and emotional testimony, they told the jury how she instructed them to give the late jeffrey epstein massages that turned sexual.
all but one, annie farmer, testified anonymously, using a pseudonym or just theirfirst name. jane said maxwell participated in her sexual encounters with epstein. "i was terrified and felt gross and ashamed. "when you're14, you have no idea what's going on," she said. kate said, after sexual contact with epstein, maxwell asked her if she had fun, saying she was such a good girl and one of his favourites. carolyn said maxwell told her she had a great body for epstein and his friends, before touching her breasts. and annie farmer, the only victim who publicly identified herself, said ghislaine maxwell gave her an unsolicited massage and rubbed her breasts. she said, "i so badly wanted to get off the table and have the massage be done." legal experts said the defence�*s attack on the women's memories and motives didn't help ghislaine maxwell overcome the compelling evidence. she had the disadvantage of having to try to explain away this parade of young girls who were coming
in and out of the home daily, and she claimed she knew none of that, that it never happened. and that's very, very difficult for the jurors to credit, and when the jurors concluded that ghislaine maxwell was a liar, they concluded that she was a predator. police raids of epstein�*s homes showed the duo's jet—setting, luxurious lifestyle. in this photo, the pair are seen relaxing at the queen's balmoral residence, when prince andrew reportedly invited the couple to the estate. the staggering wealth on display from opulent properties in florida, new york, new mexico, and even epstein�*s own private island, nicknamed little sainttjeff, only highlighted how they used their power together over the years to lure, intimidate and silence everyone around them. house rules, including this manual, told staff to be deaf, dumb and blind, forbidding
them from making eye contact with epstein. i think this guilty verdict is immensely meaningful to sexual abuse victims everywhere, that no matter who you are, no matter what kinds of circles you travel in, no matter how much money you have, no matter how many years have passed since the sexual abuse, justice is still possible. ghislaine maxwell will be sentenced at a later date, and she still faces a second trial for perjury — a charge which she denies. the trial of ghislaine maxwell is just one of the court cases associated with the activities of geoffrey epstein who, as we heard earlier, died in prison shortly after he was convicted of sex offences. another one of those court cases is a civil suit being taken by virginia giuffre, formerly virginia roberts, against prince andrew, accusing him of sexual assault. those are allegations that
prince andrew has always strenuously denied. andrew ritual reports. —— witchell. caught by the camera in this now—infamous photograph — on the left, prince andrew, in the centre, the then—17—year—old virginia roberts, and on the right, smiling for the camera, ghislaine maxwell. andrew's friendship with ghislaine maxwell goes back more than 20 years. here he is with her injune 2000. at the time, she was jeffrey epstein�*s girlfriend. epstein was there as well. he, too, was a guest of prince andrew. andrew spoke about his friendship with epstein and his girlfriend, ghislaine maxwell, in his newsnight interview. in 2000, epstein was a guest at windsor castle and at sandringham. he was brought right into the heart of the royal family at your invitation. but certainly at my invitation, not at the royal family's invitation. but remember that it was his girlfriend that was the key in this.
he was the, as it were, plus—one to some extent, in that aspect. am i right in thinking you threw a birthday for epstein�*s girlfriend, ghislaine maxwell, at sandringham? no, it was a shooting weekend. a shooting weekend? just a straightforward shooting weekend. racing at ascot, shooting at sandringham and a trip to balmoral. this photograph, an exhibit at maxwell's trial in new york, shows epstein and maxwell relaxing at the queen's balmoral estate. they were there at andrew's invitation. andrew categorically denies knowing of any improper activities by epstein or anyone else. his lawyers are mounting a robust defence against the civil lawsuit brought against him in new york by virginia roberts — or virginia giuffre as she is now. in a submission to the court, andrew's legal team say the case should be dismissed. they said the allegation against him are baseless and motivated by giuffre�*s desire for a payday at his expense.
whatever the truth of those allegations, it's clear that andrew had a long—lasting friendship with ghislaine maxwell. it was to her that andrew turned when virginia roberts�*s allegations surfaced. in january 2015, andrew e—mailed maxwell... ..he wrote, to which maxwell replied... however, by the time andrew did his interview with newsnight, he seemed to want to distance himself from his old friend. if there are questions that ghislaine has to answer, that's her problem. i'm afraid i'm not in a position to be able to comment one way or the other. a court in new york has now delivered its verdict on ghislaine maxwell. in a few weeks, another court in new york consider the civil lawsuit against prince andrew brought by virginia giuffre.
andrew's lawyers will once again plead his innocence of any impropriety. nicholas witchell, bbc news. tonight, though, is about the fate of ghislaine maxwell, who after years of suspicion, a long time on the run, even, it now looks at a lengthy term in prison, potentially, and it looks likely that she will spend the rest of her life behind bars. ghislaine maxwell's lawyer has spoken briefly outside the court. we firmly believe in ghislaine maxwell's innocence. we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated. everyone be healthy, have a happy new year. and virginia giuffre hasjust released a statement in reaction to the verdicts. in the statement she says "my soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that.
i will remember this day always." "having lived with the horrors of maxwell's abuse, my heart goes out to the many other girls and young women who suffered at her hands and whose lives she destroyed." she goes on to say "i hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served. maxwell did not act alone. others must be held accountable. i have faith that they will be." well, rachel fiset is a criminal attorney who has been following the case. she is in los angeles. what was the key element, do you think, that one because for the prosecution? i you think, that one because for the prosecution?— the prosecution? i don't think that the defence _ the prosecution? i don't think that the defence could - the prosecution? i don't think that the defence could get. that the defence could get around the very close ties that ghislaine maxwell had with jeffrey epstein. there was nothing they could do to get around that these acts could not have been committed without her knowledge and as time and time again testimony showed, she was there to help bring the
girls to him. she was there to help bring the girls to him-— girls to him. the statute of limitations _ girls to him. the statute of limitations was _ girls to him. the statute of limitations was moot. - girls to him. the statute of limitations was moot. how| limitations was moot. how important was that?- limitations was moot. how important was that? that is incredibly — important was that? that is incredibly important. - important was that? that is incredibly important. mostl important was that? that is l incredibly important. most of the acts that were discussed all took place between 1994 and 2004. -- all took place between 1994 and 2004. —— moved. those girls were very young at that time. so in sexual abuse cases, where the victim is a child, the statute of limitations has been made longer through congress so that victims can have the courage, the wherewithal, basically the adulthood to come and testify against their accusers in these kinds of situations.— situations. the accusers' testimony _ situations. the accusers' testimony in _ situations. the accusers' testimony in this - situations. the accusers' testimony in this case i situations. the accusers' i testimony in this case was situations. the accusers' - testimony in this case was very powerful and ultimately very significant. powerful and ultimately very significant-— significant. oh, yes. very significant. _ significant. oh, yes. very significant. i'm _ significant. oh, yes. very significant. i'm sorry, - significant. oh, yes. very significant. i'm sorry, thej significant. i'm sorry, the accusers and the victims were the reason this case could be one. it was their bravery and
their courageous nurse in coming forward and being subject to cross exam that got them the verdict that they were really looking for. so yes, absolutely they were the instrument — they were completely instrumental in the prosecution's victory in this matter. ,, ., ., i, ., �* matter. us attorneys don't usually bring _ matter. us attorneys don't usually bring cases - matter. us attorneys don't usually bring cases like - matter. us attorneys don't| usually bring cases like this unless they are pretty confident that they can win, right? confident that they can win, riuht? ~ , ,., , confident that they can win, riuht? ~ , ., ., right? absolutely. for a case to net right? absolutely. for a case to get this — right? absolutely. for a case to get this far, _ right? absolutely. for a case to get this far, they - right? absolutely. for a case to get this far, they had - to get this far, they had mounting evidence. although the evidence was old, which was really the challenge in the prosecution's case, was, again, that these facts took place, the witnesses that were not the victims, all took place between 1994 and 2004 so they had to gather what would be the old facts, the death ofjeffrey epstein, the finding of witnesses, that was really the
challenge in this case. but they persevered and, you know, continued on, even in the face of what would be old facts in order to secure the verdict. the defence had a number of setbacks with their case, right? just in terms of procedural things, just things went wrong for the defence from the start to finish? the defence _ the start to finish? the defence had _ the start to finish? the defence had a - the start to finish? the defence had a lot - the start to finish? the defence had a lot of. the start to finish? tue: defence had a lot of challenges to overcome and the defence that they were putting up was difficult for them to put up. they chose not to put ghislaine maxwell on the stand, which was probably a good choice as you probably a good choice as you probably would not have helped her. it would have been very hard for them to get around what they would have had to get around in order to win this case, which was basically showing that ghislaine maxwell was not consistently there and part of these acts. and so they did not have an easy time getting around those facts and
they procedurally were unable to overcome that as well. just rive us to overcome that as well. just give us a _ to overcome that as well. just give us a sense _ to overcome that as well. just give us a sense of— to overcome that as well. just give us a sense of the - to overcome that as well. just give us a sense of the scale of the interest in this case. 0bviously ghislaine maxwell is british, there are a lot of people here that have been covering the story. just how big is this in the us and internationally? t big is this in the us and internationally?- big is this in the us and internationally? i think this is an enormous _ internationally? i think this is an enormous case. - internationally? i think this | is an enormous case. jeffrey epstein's ridge and the alleged client base that he had is international, it obviously strikes britain pretty hard as it relates to the royal family. this is an international case with huge reach and this is really the case that the prosecution would have liked to have brought againstjeffrey have brought against jeffrey epstein, have brought againstjeffrey epstein, but couldn't because of his suicide, which obviously had extreme interest throughout the country, with multiple conspiracy theories and the like. so this is finally getting to bring the case to some kind of close that they have been trying to bring
againstjeffrey epstein for many, many years. against jeffrey epstein for many, many years.- against jeffrey epstein for many, many years. there is also the fact that _ many, many years. there is also the fact that she _ many, many years. there is also the fact that she has _ many, many years. there is also the fact that she has a _ many, many years. there is also the fact that she has a second i the fact that she has a second trial coming up. she the fact that she has a second trial coming up.— the fact that she has a second trial coming up. she does, yes. rachel fiset _ trial coming up. she does, yes. rachel fiset in _ trial coming up. she does, yes. rachel fiset in los _ trial coming up. she does, yes. rachel fiset in los angeles. . rachel fiset in los angeles. thank you for bringing us up to date. you have been following the case closely. thank you for the case closely. thank you for the details on that.— the details on that. thank you so much for— the details on that. thank you so much for having _ the details on that. thank you so much for having me. - stay with us on bbc news, still to come: record high temperatures in alaska's kodiak island and record lows elsewhere in the state. we speak to a climate scientist in anchorage. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland they are going to use money we picked up in belgium today and then we will be in france and again it will be the same money. it has got to be the way to go.
george harrison, i the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed - at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool- is being interviewed by police on suspicion - of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. big ben bongs this is bbc news. the latest headlines: a jury in new york has found the british socialite ghislaine maxwell guilty on five counts of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for abuse. maxwell faces the rest of her life behind bars for procuring girls for the financier and convicted sex offender,
jeffrey epstein. the world health organization has warned the combination of delta and omicron variants is driving a dangerous surge of covid—19 infections. it's putting health systems under pressure around the globe and comes as revellers are asked to be cautious ahead of the new year celebrations. tanya dendrinos reports. another day, another list of countries with record—breaking covid figures. countries with record-breaking covid figures.— countries with record-breaking covid figures. right now, delta and omicron _ covid figures. right now, delta and omicron are _ covid figures. right now, delta and omicron are twin - covid figures. right now, delta and omicron are twin threats i and omicron are twin threats driving up cases to record numbers. which again is leading to spikes in hospitalisations and deaths. i am highly concerned that omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases.
that's an army is spreading worldwide. the uk, france, italy, denmark, portugal, greece and australia are among the nations which reported that hiseven the nations which reported that hi seven numbers of infections on wednesday. —— highest ever numbers. some of the figures may be due to delays in reporting over christmas but there is no question about added pressure in hotel systems. translation: share systems. translation: are rather young _ systems. translation: ﬁfe: rather young average systems. translation: 2:2 rather young average age systems. translation: 2.2 rather young average age of vaccination. at the moment, the average age of our patient is 49 years old. on the other hand, the concern about our personnel is at its highest. we are very concerned that the infectious stuff will impact out resources and our capacity to receive patients. the out resources and our capacity to receive patients.— to receive patients. the us is also seen _ to receive patients. the us is also seen an _ to receive patients. the us is also seen an exponential - to receive patients. the us is also seen an exponential risej also seen an exponential rise in cases but the shortage of covid tests continue with long
lines across the country. there have been calls for caution as people prepared to welcome in 2022 by the world health organization warns only a collective responsible work, and to walk the talk on vaccination equity is another year dawns. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. the white house is announced it will ask for another call with vladimir putin. russia and belarus have announced plans to hold joint military drills which will take place in belarus coming bid rising tensions over ukraine. russia has demanded that nato did not admit ukraine. the us says russia may be preparing an invasion of ukraine and has announced it will help to strengthen its borders.
something moscow denies. let's get some of the day's other news: the life of archbishop desmond tutu has been celebrated at memorial services outside his home injohannesburg, and at an interfaith ceremony in cape town. several different memorials are planned to try and avoid large crowds gathering because of covid. the european court of human rights has urged russia to suspend the shutdown of the country's oldest human rights group, memorial international. the court said it needed time to examined the case. the pioneering photographer, sabine weiss, who was celebrated for her candid pictures of ordinary people on the streets of paris, has died aged 97. for decades she chronicled social change in the city, becoming a key figure in the movement known as french humanism. the us state of alaska has recorded its hottest—ever december day, amid an unusual winter warm spell. temperatures soared to a record 19.4c on the island of kodiak on sunday — almost seven degrees warmer
than the state's previous high. but elsewhere in alaska temperatures have been plunging to record lows. brian brettschneider is an alaska climate scientist at the national weather service. have you ever seen anything like this in your lifetime? for the month — like this in your lifetime? for the month of— like this in your lifetime? fr?" the month of december, really any winter month, the warmth that was experienced recently was really shocking and unprecedented.- was really shocking and unrecedented. . , unprecedented. seven degrees warmer than — unprecedented. seven degrees warmer than the _ unprecedented. seven degrees warmer than the previous - warmer than the previous record, that is incredibly rare? , ., record, that is incredibly rare? , . rare? yes, that was breaking the daily and _ rare? yes, that was breaking the daily and monthly - rare? yes, that was breaking| the daily and monthly records which are seldom broken and when they are it is usually by small barges. the monthly record was broken by four celsius though it really was an exceptional event that occurred.— exceptional event that occurred. , ~
occurred. the people like me, we're talking _ occurred. the people like me, we're talking about _ occurred. the people like me, we're talking about high - we're talking about high temperatures?- we're talking about high temperatures? alaska is normally _ temperatures? alaska is normally very _ temperatures? alaska is normally very cold - temperatures? alaska is normally very cold so . temperatures? alaska isj normally very cold so for example, in fairbanks, they recorded their third wettest day on record but it was all below freezing so even though they were about 18 c above normal, it was not frozen but precipitation and that has created tremendous hardship. power outages, roof collapses, snow depth, it has really been unprecedented. you snow depth, it has really been unprecedented.— snow depth, it has really been unprecedented. you have record lows and record _ unprecedented. you have record lows and record highs _ unprecedented. you have record lows and record highs within - lows and record highs within alaska at the same time? cheer alaska at the same time? over into the south-eastern - alaska at the same time? over into the south-eastern part - alaska at the same time? 02 into the south—eastern part of the state, they hit about —18 c for the first time in the month of december in over 40 years so a real reversal for what we
normally expect. that is the warmest location in the state. they were the coldest location for a couple of days in a row. really remarkable variation. it is quite serious, there will be consequences for people and businesses and homes? ﬁne consequences for people and businesses and homes? one of the hidden _ businesses and homes? one of the hidden dangers _ businesses and homes? one of the hidden dangers is, - businesses and homes? one of the hidden dangers is, because of the high latitude, the ice accumulating on roads is not going to melt until march and so we have cases where they have been fatal accident that occurred three or four months after an ice event so it is going to be something we will have to deal with for months. what would you say this tells us, if anything about climate change? it us, if anything about climate chance? , ' . ., ., change? it is difficult to do attribution _ change? it is difficult to do attribution study _ change? it is difficult to do attribution study in - change? it is difficult to do i attribution study in real-time attribution study in real—time but the background state of the
planet, and the region, is warmer than it used to be and we would expect for these type of record warm events to be more likely in the future and extreme precipitation events are something that climate scientists have identified as a future threat in a warming world. while this is an extreme outlay event, we would expect types of unusual occurrences to become more frequent.- become more frequent. going forward, what _ become more frequent. going forward, what do _ become more frequent. going forward, what do authorities l forward, what do authorities have to do now? i guess they have to do now? i guess they have battles on several fronts? locally it is about getting power back on because we are expecting a significant cold snap and outside places dropping below —40 so if you do not have power, that would be a real threat to life and also in other parts of the state, infrastructure is going to be threatened. a lot of immediate
concerns about getting things back into working order before a cold snap snap seen. t back into working order before a cold snap snap seen.- a cold snap snap seen. i know it is very _ a cold snap snap seen. i know it is very different _ a cold snap snap seen. i know it is very different to - a cold snap snap seen. i know it is very different to what - it is very different to what you're background looks like at the moment but best of luck and take care. brian brettschneider in anchorage talking about the extreme weather conditions of them. a reminder of the top story, the british socialite ghislaine maxwell has been convicted of trafficking under age girls for sexual abuse by the late us financial year jeffrey epstein. a us court found her guilty of five of 16 charges with procuring victims and facilitating the abuse. maxwell appeared to show little reaction to the verdict before being led from the courtroom. a defence counsel said she had begun working on an appeal and was confident that her client would be vindicated. that is just about it from us for now. you can reach me on twitter.
thank you for watching and stay tuned right here on bbc news. hello again. temperatures reached the 16 degrees mark in both london and in exeter through wednesday. and we've got more of the same to come for the next few days, really, as we keep these south—westerly winds flowing across the country, bringing pulses of exceptionally mild air northwards. now, temperatures probably reaching 16, possibly 17 celsius, and in contrast, the temperatures that we'd normally expect at this time of the year, around about 8 celsius. so it is pretty exceptional, not far away from the english temperature record, which is 17.7. as we head into thursday morning, we'll see outbreaks of rain turning heavier across western areas. a very, very mild start to the day with these temperatures. 14, even 15 celsius to start the day. the rain, though, will be heavy for a time.
it does tend to ease off and become a little bit lighter and patchier across northwestern areas. otherwise, a lot of cloud. could be an odd bit of drizzle just about anywhere. but later in the day, we'll see another pulse of heavier rain working into wales, and that is likely to reach northwest england as we head into thursday afternoon. temperatures, well, 13 degrees in glasgow and belfast. that's very mild. 16 again the top temperature in london. we could see a high up to 17. thursday night, outbreaks of rain will become much more extensive as this area of low pressure moves in. it will also be bringing some strong gusts of wind quite widely. and into new year's eve, friday, that rain is going to be there for much of the day in scotland, with some fairly brisk winds elsewhere. again, there will be a lot of cloud around, an occasional spot of drizzle across western area, and those temperatures still reaching 16, possibly 17, in the warmest areas. still mild further northwards, butjust not quite as exceptional. heading to those new year's celebrations, might be a bit more muted
for one or two of you, but it stays exceptionally mild. a bit of rain, though, is in the forecast across northwestern areas. and as those bell strike midnight, these are the kind of temperatures that we'll have out and about. heading into new year's day now, which is saturday, we start off with extended cloud, some bursts of rain pushing eastwards. quite a gusty, windy kind of day. the afternoon does look a bit brighter, but with a number of heavy showers flowing in across western areas. it's still very mild, 13 in aberdeen, 14 for glasgow. highs could reach 17 in the warmest areas new year's day.
this is bbc news. the headlines: the british socialite ghislaine maxwell has been found guilty of grooming and trafficking teenage girls for sexual abuse. the jury in new york found the 60—year—old guilty on five out of six charges connected with procuring victims and facilitating the abuse. the verdict was reached after five days of deliberation. maxwell procured the girls for the late us financier and convicted sex offenderjeffrey epstein. she faces the rest of her life behind bars, with the most serious of the counts carrying a possible prison sentence of 40 years. maxwell's defence team say they will appeal the verdict. and record numbers of coronavirus infections have been recorded by several european countries, with the omicron variant fuelling a surge in cases. the world health organization says the virus is straining health care systems around the world.