welcome to bbc news — i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories. britain accuses russia of planning to install a pro—kremlin leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. foreign aid is being distributed in tonga, with more than 80% of the population affected by last weekend's volcanic eruption and tsunami. new zealand pledges more than $2 million us dollars. technique special... two years to the technique special... day since china forced the city of wuhan and its ten million citizens into lockdown, we have a special report on how beijing is containing the virus. there does appear to be widespread support for the government policy on covid
because you get this, it looks quite normal, but nobody knows the answer to the big question, how long will it go on for? and the actor and former governor of california arnold schwarzenegger is involved in a multi—car pile—up on sunset boulevard in los angeles. britain has accused the kremlin of planning to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. the foreign office in london says a former ukrainian mp is being considered as a potential candidate, along with four other politicians, who it says have links to the russian intelligence services. russia has 100,000 troops on ukraine's border, but denies it intends to invade. james waterhouse reports now from the ukrainian capital, kyiv. the friendship of nations arch, built by the soviets
to celebrate the closeness between russians and ukrainians. that crack was painted on by activists a few years ago as relations between the two countries deteriorated. and as talks intensify about a possible invasion, the hope is things don't break down completely. tensions are still rising on the border and today russian jets made their way to joint military drills with neighbouring belarus. ukrainian ministers have welcomed a delivery of american military equipment and now there's a call for the uk to step up its own support. the british government has delivered 2,000 anti—tank missiles this week and says it is open to sending more weapons. as president putin continues to up the pressure. he has actually boxed himself into a corner. because so much effort has been put into this. but he also recognised he will never again be as strong as this to take advantage of the west's weakness. i suspect invasion
is now imminent. so does kyiv feel like a city preparing for an invasion? evelyn and lillian are too small to appreciate the power struggle surrounding their country, but their parents obviously aren't. it is definitely concerning. it definitely seems more tense than the past times that we were concerned about this. i would say it is definitely increasing anxiety and stuff, for sure. i don't feel good that i can come back to my hometown easily. because i always have to think whether i will be able to do it safely or not. and of course i am afraid. translation: ifi see others do it, i'm ready to defend my country. i'm not going to run away, but then again there might not be anywhere to run away to. moscow denies it is planning an invasion. but it is easy to forget ukraine has already endured
eight years of russian aggression. it's brought fighting, cyber attacks, misinformation and constant uncertainty. next week the us will continue to discuss russian demands that nato will both scale back its military presence and rule out ever letting ukrainejoin. for the country at the heart of it, that uncertainty goes on. james waterhouse, bbc news. well, moscow has rejected britain's claim that the kremlin is planning to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine — calling it disinformation. earlier, i spoke to our correspondent mark lobel, who told me more about the allegations made by the foreign office. the big question hanging over this is what is president putin thinking? the british foreign office are suggesting president putin is considering installing a pro—moscow leader in kyiv after a potential invasion. we know russia and ukraine are both building up for potential military conflict.
the british foreign office have declassified information to back up those claims. if we look at what liz truss the british foreign secretary has said, she said the information being released today shines a light on the extent of russian activity designed to subvert ukraine, and it is an insight into kremlin thinking. so what does the information show? well, the british claim the former ukrainian mp yehven murayev is being lined up as a potential leader of the ukraine. if they are to invade and win the military conflict, of course. this man ran for president in 2019, he set up his own party, admittedly it doesn't have any seats in the ukrainian parliament. he has denied the claims in a text message to the telegraph in britain saying it is stupidity and nonsense, pointing out that he is under sanctions himself, he has been barred from russia and his father had his assets frozen in russia. he said it is hard to
comment on the foreign 0ffice statement. but russia also said this was misinformation from the foreign office, and accuses them of escalating tensions. i guess the important point is it as part of the narrative from the uk. one of the people the uk said is helping, he was also sanctioned by america on thursday folsom on thursday for similar accusations. so both america and the uk are adding to the arming of the ukrainians with this kind of narrative about president putin's intentions. yesterday we were talking about the meeting in geneva between the american secretary of state and his russian counterpart sergei lavrov, diplomacy but then a lot of harsh words. what can we look at if we think about the week ahead? that diplomacy didn't get very far last week, it continues this week with a visit from the british
defence secretary to moscow to visit his counterpart there, the first meeting in nine years. and america has this written answer it has promised the russians, responding to their far—reaching demands, for example trying to get ukraine to pledge never tojoin nato. all these things coming together, but there is a lot of friction between the two sides, and this will certainly ramp it up. let's get some of the day's other news in brief. a battle is continuing for a third day in syria between islamic state militants and kurdish forces guarding a prison, where thousands ofjihadists are held. more than 75 people, most of them jihadists, are reported to have been killed in the fighting in the northern city of hasakah. an unseasonal wildfire is raging in california's monterey county, forcing evacuations and the closure of a major highway. the blaze along the big sur pacific coast, dubbed the colorado fire, has scorched about 1500 acres. strong winds have been recorded across the san francisco bay
area and a swathe of the sierra nevada. a 75—year—old frenchman who was trying to row across the atlantic ocean has been found dead at sea. jean—jacques savin had previously made the crossing in a large barrel in 2019. the adventurer had triggered two distress beacons on thursday night. italy's former prime minister, silvio berlusconi, has announced that he won't run for president — he said he would withdraw from the race for the sake of national unity. mr berlusconi has been campaigning behind the scenes for weeks to replace sergio mattarella. parliament is due to begin choosing a candidate on monday. a un official in tonga says the country will be heavily reliant on aid shipments for some time, after last week's devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. a national emergency team is distributing vital food and water supplies, but they say more than 80% of the population has been affected by the disaster. jatinder dhillon reports. relief at last.
a new zealand naval ship, with a desalination plant on board, which can produce 70,000 litres a day, started cleaning the sea water from tonga's harbour, ready for distribution to desperate residents. japan is the latest to deliver urgent supplies, including clean water. and equipment to clean the volcanic ash. it is a complicated operation. the pacific kingdom is covid—free and has strict border control policies, requiring contactless delivery of aid. that means aid workers cannot enter the country unless they have undergone a three—week isolation period. supplies are quarantined for 72 hours after arrival, before being distributed by tongan authorities. the un says the country will be heavily reliant on food aid for some time.
almost all the crops have been badly affected by volcanic ash. farmers have lost their homes and livelihoods. in the first update since the eruption triggered a tsunami, the government says the country has been hit by an unprecedented disaster. tonga's recovery from this disaster is going to be long—term, and i think we need to ensure that we keep the momentum up. after tonga has got enough water we will have to rebuild and it will be a long road to recovery. tongan communities abroad have also been providing support and donations. in new zealand, entire families filled this auckland car park and loaded trucks with supplies of food, water and other essentials. a tongan born rugby player, who lives in the uk, has not heard from his family and has launched a fundraising page to help with reliefs. the tongan government has asked
for the international aid effort led by australia and new zealand to be paced so the island's small airport and harbour are not overwhelmed. in the next few days, a repair ship will arrive to reconnect the undersea cable that links tonga to international telecoms networks. jatinder dhillon, bbc news. new zealand has already pledged over $2 million us dollars to the devastated nation. i've been speaking to nanaia mahuta, new zealand's foreign minister, about the problems they've faced delivering the much—needed aid. it's a challenge because of covid, however close friends and neighbours are quickly understanding the catastrophic impact of the eruption on the outer islands, so we are doing as much as we can.
we are moving swiftly to support the tongan government. why is covid such a challenge in concrete terms? delivering humanitarian aid under covid conditions means you have to abide by the tongan government's isolation requirements, so it does make the whole situation a bit challenging, but we have identified a way in which we can provide aid with 72 hours with contactless consideration. we are also mindful that tonga doesn't have any active covid cases right now, so they are being quite vigilant as they respond domestically, and as they deal with countries like australia, new zealand, the us, the uk and france, who are helping in their humanitarian aid effort. that must be a real challenge, i can imagine, while you have the clock
ticking, basically, because so many people have been affected. water, one of the big aspects, trying to get people clean water. i know there is a desalination effort by new zealand. how long do you think that can continue? look, one of the primary asks very early was for water, 84% of the island was covered by ash, so we have sent three navy vessels up, all of which contain water, but also desalination equipment, engineering equipment, but also support to help with the clean—up, and experts who can help with the assessment and impact of the eruption on maritime routes. so there is a huge effort undertaken by new zealand, also australia, as i say, both the uk, the us, japan, samoa have also
offered assistance. japan, samoa and fiji have also offered assistance. quite interesting some of the countries operating, curious on your thoughts on how long this will need to go down the road... i was reading that tonga are quite heavily indebted to china, perhaps also offering aid, and i am wondering whether some geopolitical concerns play into it as well. some of these decisions you need to make when it comes to helping tonga? right now it is a clean—up effort for the safety of those most vulnerable. the rebuild challenge will be a further consideration, those who need to help rebuild the resilience in the face of this catastrophic event, the significant challenges, for example food crops have been extensively impacted.
seawater level will impede the way in which crops can be restored. thankfully samoa and fiji have offered assistance on that front, but it will still be some time before the ground is fertile enough to regenerate its own harvest from its native plants and food resources. that is some of the situation happening in tonga. new zealand, they are going to impose their mask mandate rules from midnight on sunday after a cluster of 0micron, just nine cases i believe, but do you feel that is necessary, briefly? we've anticipated the onset of 0micron
around what we are doing, so we are rolling out our booster, the vaccination to those who have been double vaccinated already, and also rolling out young people vaccinations, so the way we are managing slowing down 0micron coming down to our community, to reduce the numbers going into hospitals is the effort at this moment, and it is the right way to go. limiting the numbers who can gather, making sure people wear masks in close settings, and also maintaining the distance and hand—washing, the public health that has always been suggested alongside the covid response. new zealand is limiting gatherings after nine cases of the covid—19, the 0micron variant were detected after a wedding. the prime minister, jacinda ardern, said from midnight on sunday there would be a cap of 100 fully vaccinated people at events. ms ardern has cancelled her own
wedding as a result. you're watching bbc news — our main headlines. britain is accusing russia of planning to install a pro—kremlin leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. foreign aid is being distributed in tonga, with the un saying more than 80% of the population has been affected by last weekend's volcanic eruption and tsunami. borisjohnson�*s government is being urged to delay mandatory covid jabs for frontline national health service staff in england. workers have been told to get their firstjab by february 3rd, or face losing theirjobs. on saturday, hundreds of people marched in cities across england to protest against the policy, as katharine da costa reports. save ourjobs! hundreds of health care workers gathered in london calling for the government's no jab, nojob policy in england to be scrapped. they were among large crowds of anti—vax demonstrators. nhs uniforms were thrown at police in protest. we've all got choices. we're born with choices, yeah?
i work for the nhs and i'm the only member of staff in my workplace that has not been vaccinated. and i've been threatened with losing myjob come april. and i will not be vaccinated. frontline nhs staff including gps and dentists as well as nonclinical roles such as receptionists and porters will need to have had at least two covid vaccines by the start of april unless they are medically exempt. more than 90% of health care workers are double jabbed, but 70,000 to 80,000 are still thought to be unvaccinated. there are a small number of people... some want to delay the deadline, warning the health service can't afford to lose more people. the risks are very significant for the functioning of the nhs. we are already short of staff in all parts of the nhs. if we lose these staff, it will impact on the quality of care that we're able to provide for patients, the access, and it will put extra pressure on those staff who are remaining. staff have less than a fortnight to get their first
jab in order to be fully vaccinated by the deadline. health chiefs say mandating vaccines is the right thing to do, to protect patients and are encouraging more staff to get their first, second and third jabs. it's so important as health care professionals that we are protected. but if you are not yet, you know that there are options available for you to have conversations with senior clinicians within your trust or organisation to help make that really important decision. and people are coming forward all the time to make sure they are protected, their families are protected, and their patients are protected as well. a similar policy has already been brought in for those working in social care in england, with care homes warning it has exacerbated staff shortages. scotland and wales have decided against compulsory vaccination for health and care staff, while northern ireland is planning to consult on whetherjabs should be mandatory for new recruits. katharine da costa, bbc news. the hollywood star arnold schwarzenegger has been involved in a multi—vehicle
crash in los angeles. the bbc�*s david willis, who's in los angeles, gave me more details. the incident occurred in the city of brentwood, a mile from arnold schwarzenegger's home. could paltrow at lebron james auto live there. four vehicles involved in this collision. it was shortly after arnold schwarzenegger left his home. he was attempting to turn left onto the frame of sunset boulevard when the collision occurred, basically head on with a red toyota previous.
such was the impact of this collision, the suv that contained arnold schwarzenegger briefly rolled onto the roof of the other car before toppling onto two other vehicles waiting at the junction. a representative of arnold schwarzenegger confirmed the movie star was indeed behind the wheel of the suv. he wasn't injured, but another person, a woman who it is thought was the driver of the red toyota was taken to hospital. she is not thought to be in serious condition. the lapd is investigating but it is not thought drink or drugs played a part in this incident. a conservative party mp has said she was sacked from herjob as a transport minister in the british
nusrat ghani, who was fired from the frontbench in february 2020, says she was told this by a government whip. a spokesperson for the whips office said the claims — werer �*categorically untrue'. it's exactly two years since china locked down the city of wuhan and its ten million inhabitants. the aim was to try to stop the spread of coronavirus from the place where it first emerged. as beijing prepares to host the winter olympics next month, it's turned to extreme measures again in the fight to maintain its strict zero covid—19 policy. 0ur china correspondent robin brant reports. 27 days into lockdown, confined to her apartment. hello... sandlin is one of millions in china still subject to the ultimate covid control. translation: when covid hit| wuhan, the country didn't have much experience dealing with the outbreak. but now it's different. it's better. she's in xian, a city famous for its motionless army of terracotta warriors, but normal life for 13 million people there has come to a halt.
there's fresh evidence, too, that some people have just had enough. crowd clashes with police at a compound in xian, where they were put in lockdown for 35 days. a couple of men are taken away. assessing the overall impact on people's lives, economic and psychological, is almost impossible. all of this is part of a massive effort to stop a few thousand new covid cases from spreading. and in terms of the official reported case numbers, it seems to be working. china's leader xi jinping hailed the economy's resilience earlier this week, saying he is fully confident about its development. so is zero covid in china the new normal? other small and frequent disruption, but not like a massive shutdown. so for china, it seems to be working. china is still manufacturing
construction equipment. all these activities can be isolated, so that's why zero covid so far makes sense. but this country has deeper problems to deal with — a huge debt, a faltering property market, as well as the hyper—vigilance against more covid spikes. it's difficult to take a scientific survey, but there does appear to be widespread support for the government's policy on covid. because you get this, it looks quite normal. but no—one knows the answer to the big question. how long will it go on for? i think the epidemic control in shanghai is very good. the government uses big data to quickly trace and control people who are close contacts. the negative impacts of lockdowns are quite bad, people are worried. two years on, the borders here remain all but closed. international flights are at a bare minimum. china's communist party leaders are sticking with their zero—covid promise.
in the run—up to hosting the olympics, china has shown how far it's willing to go. international mail is the new enemy. authorities in beijing this week claimed a package from canada brought 0micron in. we were in contact with someone in another city who was ordered to stay behind her sealed front door simply after receiving a delivery from abroad. she didn't want us to name her, but she's deeply frustrated. she sent us a text message saying it's good for epidemic control, but it's not a good thing from the human rights perspective. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. a reminder of our top story. the foreign office says it has uncovered a plot by president putin to install pro—russian leadership in ukraine, amid increasing tension over a possible invasion. moscow has urged the uk to stop "spreading nonsense". you can reach me on twitter —
i'm @bbcnuala. the normal pattern of january temperatures was turned upside down on saturday — 12 degrees in northern scotland, four in southern england. a little bit of sunshine across parts of north—east england, most places had another cloudy day, and will again for part two of the weekend. despite the cloud, a lot of dry weather around, high pressure close by, exerting its settling influence on our weather. underneath the high pressure and around it, all of this cloud coming in. weather front approaching northern scotland, and as it does so, it will strengthen the wind here, which does mean a mild start after a mild day, but a hint of blue through parts of wales and england, lighter winds and a chance of frost with any clear spells. could be some mist and fog patches developing that will be more reluctant to clear on sunday morning than
they were on saturday. again a lot of cloud around, a few sunny spells, north—east scotland, parts of wales, south—east england, eastern counties of northern ireland most favoured, and elsewhere maybe a few brighter breaks. a breezier day in northern england and northern ireland, especially scotland into the north—west, gales developing in the western isles. another mild day here, temperatures not as high as they have been. probably the lower temperatures around 11—5 degrees, low cloud hangs around all day through parts of central and southern england. 0vernight and into monday, rain turning heavier as that weather front moves into northern scotland where the wind will be easing. dry elsewhere, again a lot of cloud around, with any breaks in the cloud through wales and england, again a touch of frost possible, perhaps a few mist and fog patches. outbreaks of rain, slowly further south into western scotland and northern ireland as we go into monday. barely any rain to register in northern ireland. ahead of that there may be a few sunny spells around, parts of northern england
and north wales and the midlands, south of that a good deal of cloud, temperatures around 6—9 celsius. by monday evening and night, perhaps a little patchy rain reaching towards northern england. tuesday looking mainly dry, rain moving in scotland and northern ireland on wednesday, sweeping south on wednesday night, weakening as it does so. what that weather front does do is sweep away a lot of the cloud that surrounds at the moment. not much rain moving south, but brighter skies following that system across much of the uk. a bit of breeze on thursday.
the headlines: britain is accusing russia of planning to install a pro—kremlin leader in ukraine, as fears of an invasion grow. the foreign office in london says a former ukrainian mp is being considered as a potential candidate — along with four others who it says have links to russian intelligence services. islamic state fighters have continued one of their biggest attacks in syria since the group's self—declared caliphate was defeated nearly three years ago. a british—based monitoring group said more than 75 people — most of them jihadists — had been killed in three days of fighting with kurdish—led forces in the northern city of hasakeh. foreign aid is now being distributed in tonga, following last weekend's devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. the united nations says more than 80% of the population has been affected with almost all crops badly affected by volcanic ash. the un independent expert for protection of gender