this is bbc news. i'm rebecca jones with the latest headlines. the us warns that the russian troop build—up near ukraine is the largest since the cold war — as attempts to find a diplomatic solution continue. the downing street lockdown parties report is now expected to be delivered before the metropolitan police inquiry ends. five states declare emergencies and more than 5,000 flights are cancelled, as the us east coast braces for a major blizzard to hit the region. a more detailed study is under way after pilot research finds some people with long covid may have hidden damage to their lungs. ash barty wins the australian open tennis to become first home winner in 44 years. and the cold water swimmers who swear that a dip in the icy sea
does wonders for your mental health. this in we are england in half an hour, here on bbc news. hello and welcome to bbc news. the prime minister borisjohnson is due to speak to the russian president vladimir putin and visit eastern europe in the coming days as the uk steps up its efforts to resolve the crisis at ukraine's eastern border. russia has gathered 100,0000 troops, tanks and missiles at the border with ukraine but denies plans to invade. borisjohnson said he would reiterate the need for russia to step back. 0ur chief international correspondent lyse doucet has more from kyiv.
- 100,000 ukrainians have long lived with war. dozens of british soldiers here since 2015, not long after russia first invaded. but with more of moscow's troops and weapons now massed along the border, diplomacy builds, too. next week, borisjohnson�*s visit to this region takes it up a notch. here in kyiv, there is concern that too much talk of war can be risky, too, but they need their friends. it's a good signal for us, not only for us, not only for ukraine, but also to russian federations, that we have strong partners. we will not be alone with this if the invasion comes to be, so it's a good signal. moscow sends conflicting signals. more troops, more weaponry moving in but its door still open to find a way out.
washington does the same, talking to allies in moscow, too, while bringing in military reinforcements and warning about any war. it would be horrific, it would be terrible and it's not necessary and we think a diplomatic outcome is the way to go here. this is what it looks like now. russia released these images of its anti—aircraft missiles arriving in neighbouring belarus for next month's military exercises. a month fraught with ever—growing risk. and so what could this next month bring? the us presidentjoe biden says there is a distinct possibility that russia will invade the ukraine in february, but president putin says he doesn't have any plans to invade and that he doesn't want a war. but no one is expecting a full—scale frontal assault, but between that and a possible diplomatic solution, there is so much in between.
small incursions, small incidents, cyber attacks, all of them could move this crisis ever closer to a conflict and accidentally tumbling towards a war that nobody says they want. 0ur chief international correspondent lyse doucet reporting there. and for more on the escalating tensions over russia's military build—up near ukraine, lyse gave us this update a short time ago. twists and turns, so much talk of diplomacy in so many world capitals, as well as kyiv, the ukrainian capital. but also troop movements. russia releasing images of its anti aircraft missiles, moving in to neighbouring belarus in advance of next month's military exercises. the pentagon saying they had been sighting more troops massing along another border. so, is russia readying for war despite its denials?
let's cross to the scottish city of glasgow to join dr huseyn aliyev, who is a research fellow and lecturer in the central and eastern european studies at the university of glasgow. welcome to the bbc. thank you. you've studied very closely both russian and ukraine military formations. when you look at what russia has massed along the border now, both in terms of troops and heavy weaponry, are they really ready if they wanted to carry out a full frontal assault? well, in order to understand this question we will have to analyse what military capacity russia actually has at the moment at the ukrainian border. this 100,000 troops that russia currently has on its western borders, most of them, approximately 80,000 of them are actually already stationed at the ukrainian border since the start of the conflict in 2014. if we look at all the data we have of these troops, most of them are conscripts. so, these are young men, 18,
19 years old who have been drafted to serve in the russian army. they have no combat experience and they have relatively basic military training. so, the situation has started to change since approximately september last year, when russia started to pull professional contract tactical units to the ukrainian border. they have participated in this massive joint military exercise with belarus. the decision was made by both president putin and the leader of belarus, alexander lukashenko, that a significant portion of these troops will remain on western borders, on the borders with ukraine, in order to participate in this forthcoming second stage ofjoint military exercise. so what we see now is that russia is not only using those troops already at the border with ukraine, but it is also moving additional tactical units, contract base personnel,
to belarus to participate in this exercise. what we don't know is whether all of this... but i'm wondering, the world is wondering, ukraine most of all, if it did come too big or small military counters, how would ukrainian armed forces fare against russia? well, certainly since 2014 at ukrainian armed forces have modernised heavily, and this is an absolutely different army to what ukraine had in 2014. we have to remember, when russia interfered in september and august 2014, when it actually sent troops on the ground to defend separatists, to make sure the separatist government do not collapse, russian troops have only been able to achieve relatively modest success. they have certainly been able to deter ukrainian offensives, but they haven't captured as much territory as was expected at the time for that even back in 2014, ukrainian forces performed much better than they were expected. certainly, as of today,
ukraine has much more capable armed forces. we also have to keep in mind potential for mobilisation. back in 2014, nearly 100,000 ukrainians mobilised to join the armed forces, to joint volunteer battalions. so ukraine still has this enormous mobilisation potential in case of any sort of conflict. indeed. many ukrainians say they are ready to fight if it comes to that. dr huseyn aliyev, that is so much more we can ask you, but i'm sure we will come to you again, because at this crisis isn't going to go away any time soon. there you have it, an expert assessment of the balance of forces along the borders, at the same moment as diplomacy intensifies to avoid any kind of direct confrontation. the report by civil servant sue gray into lockdown parties at number 10 is due to be delivered to downing street and published in the coming days.
as opposition parties and conservative mps continue to wait for the results of the investigation, our special correspondent ed thomas has been to macklesfield to gauge how the voting public are feeling about the reports of rule breaking at the heart of government. a moment to focus. waiting for answers. reflecting on past sacrifices. we would try to be careful, had all the screens put in. debbie can't believe that, while some partied, her life was on hold. i still have sleepless nights now, worried sick about it, whether we have to go into another lockdown. when you're hearing these stories come out about 10 downing street parties, what have you been thinking? i was brought up in a conservative family. would i be voting for them again? no. i don't think i'm going to be voting for anybody ever again, i don't trust anybody any more. you'll stop voting? i will stop voting, yeah.
inside woodlands care home, it's been a constant battle against covid. forjudith, the pandemic has taken the heaviest of tolls. i've lost both my parents through covid. my father was in a care home in april, when itjust started. my mum, on christmas day, she called me to tell me she'd tested positive for covid and she passed away on the 28th of december. you've gone through so much. what are your reflections on where we are right now as a country? we've got a potential war happening in the ukraine, we've got fuel bills escalating, we've got a national insurance increase, which i hope doesn't go ahead, because it's going to impact all of my staff here. we need them to focus on those things, rather than having parties and, you know, whether or not he did have a party. kelly, she loved nothing more . than having fun with her friends. other than having fun with her son.
kelly had stage four bowel cancer. lockdown meant her treatment was paused. it's in my lung, it's in my liver, it's in my brain. the bbc filmed her days before she died. terrified. absolutely terrified. i don't want to die. like, ifeel like i've got so much more to do. kelly passed away approximately 12 weeks after being _ told to self—isolate. you know your life will. never be the same again. when you hear the prime minister's apology for parties and his regret, what is your reaction? it shouldn't have happened. but i don't think that - should be, at this point, the thing we are focusing on. let's get our priorities in order. whatever comes next, it's clear for many, trust and faith in those who lead us needs to be restored. ed thomas, bbc news, macclesfield.
it's thought that 1.3 million people in the uk are living with long covid — and hundreds of thousands of them experience breathlessness. traditional lung scans often appear to be normal though. but researchers in oxford are using a different technique in a clinical trial. they hope that understanding the problem will lead to better treatment options. 0ur health correspondent, catharine burns reports flo van diemen van thor was never one forjust sitting down inside, but she says long covid has been a horror show. it was not just a breathlessness, that was really hard. it was muscle weakness, so legs like jelly and just thinking if i try to go down the stairs they might not carry me. and i found that really hard to live with on a mental level. i found that really distressing. but this is the ct scan of flo's lungs and like so many long covid patients, everything looks normal and healthy. i thought, well, the technology is letting us down! laughs. these are my lungs, i've
had them all my life. i know there's something wrong with them. there is still so much we don't know about long covid. flo is taking part in a study in oxford. breathe in, and out. researchers think they're the first in the world to be able to show abnormalities in the lungs of long covid patients. flo and the other volunteers have an mri scan as they suck in xenon gas. it behaves like oxygen and should cross from their lungs into the bloodstream. the numbers are small so far — 36 patients, 11 who didn't need hospital care when they were first infected but went on to get long covid. it's a very exciting and very encouraging first step. so what we have here is one of the patients from our trial, and the ct scan is entirely normal. they've then gone on and had a xenon gas mri, and xenon
behaves the same as oxygen, and you can see here — this is the xenon getting through normally into the bloodstream from their lungs and the blacker areas are where the xenon gas or oxygen would struggle to get through. and this is what it should look like? and this scan over here is a normal volunteer and it should be as clear as that. it's early days for this study and there are still lots of questions including exactly what is causing these abnormal lung scans. in the meantime there aren't many of these specially adapted mri scanners across the country. if this research proves they're worthwhile, it would take some serious investment and several months to scale them up across the nhs. the team is recruiting more volunteers through long covid clinics but says help is out there right now. at the moment it is frustrating having people come into the clinic and not be able to explain to them exactly why it is that they are breathless, and i really do hope this research will shed more light on that. i think what we are able to do is help people with their breathlessness,
and there are strategies that we're putting in place that really are making a difference. and breathe out. lovely, really good, really good. flo says this was the turning point for her — learning breathing techniques with a respiratory physiotherapist. try and slow... it might take her longer to recover after exercise now, but she's moved up a level in karate. she's not back to normal yet but thinks she will get there. catherine burns, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news... the us warns that the russian troop build—up near ukraine is the largest since the cold war — as attempts to find a diplomatic solution continue. the downing street lockdown parties report is now expected to be delivered before the metropolitan police inquiry ends. five states declare emergencies and more than 5,000 flights are cancelled, as the us east coast braces for a major blizzard to hit the region.
storm malik is disrupting rail services across scotland and the north of england. lner, which runs the east coast line between london and edinburgh, is advising passengers not to travel north of newcastle. scotrail has reported that fallen trees are affecting its services. 0ur correspondent, phil bodmer, is in apperley bridge where winds have brought down a tree, crushing a car. what is happening where you are? it sounds and looks pretty serious? well, that is true. it is fair to say that yorkshire and the north—east of england is bearing the brunt of the storm. it has taken a real buffeting today. this is apperley bridge, between leeds and bradford. if you look behind me, this is the most remarkable escape story. in this van, which has been crushed by this fallen tree, a
cyclist was getting changed after spending the morning cycling in the woods here. he was in the back of the van, the tree came down and he was trapped inside. 0n the other side of his van, his friends car, which are still trapped there, his friend rushed round, fearing the worst, and managed to pull him out safely, i'm glad to say. the person in the van, a guy called richard nutter is ok. we had a few cuts and bruises. he is a bit shaken up but he is getting some attention. you can see how serious this could have been, and this is a chance, of course, that the worst could have happened. thankfully, both riders are safe. it even say what it has done. the van now is a complete and utter right off. but as you say, elsewhere across the north of england, there is disruption on the rails. lner, which runs rail services between london and scotland, asking passengers not to
travel further north than newcastle today, simply because of those high winds causing disruption. scot rail, as you mentioned, a number of trees down, blocking lines. we hear of a trampoline taking off from a garden and landing on the rail track in scotland earlier today. i was driving in here, across the pennines today, diverted around harrogate because the bypass is closed. there are a number of fallen trees en route. now, the storm is moving south, and it seems that the north of england has certainly borne the brunt of it. we are expecting calm tonight, but the worst news is there is another storm on the way tomorrow night. so, if we think this is bad, obviously people will be preparing for that storm, which will come in tomorrow night. so, things here in yorkshire on the north—east, perhaps pretty ropey as far as the wind is concerned. you can see it is still buffeting. clear skies. concerned. you can see it is still buffeting. clearskies. driving conditions pretty hazardous. the
word is motoring organisations, if you are out on the road, do take care because there is a lot of debris. this storm does not show any signs of abating just yet.— signs of abating 'ust yet. thanks for that, signs of abating 'ust yet. thanks format, rhu— signs of abating just yet. thanks for that, phil bodmer _ signs of abating just yet. thanks for that, phil bodmer at - signs of abating just yet. thanks | for that, phil bodmer at apperley bridge. changes to the highway code come in today, aimed at boosting safety for vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. however, there are concerns that not all drivers are aware of the new rules — as our transport correspondent, katy austin, reports. if you're out and about on the roads from today, there are some major updates you need to be aware of. updates to the highway code. one example is, if you're driving and want to turn at a junction, you should give way to any pedestrians waiting to cross, as well as those already crossing, even if there's traffic waiting behind you. other updates include that cyclists going straight ahead atjunctions have priority over traffic wanting to turn, and in some situations such as slow traffic, they're advised to ride in the centre of a lane to be
clearly visible. cyclists are reminded they can ride two abreast, which can be safer, for example, in large groups, and drivers are told to leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking. and what about horse riders? drivers and motorcyclists are advised to leave two metres when overtaking them, and pass at less than ten miles per hour. paula thinks many don't realise the risks. there have been some major incidents. the main cause is people arejust driving too close to us. we've had a glazier�*s van that hit a horse, took the stirrup from the horse, and dragged the horse backwards with the rider on it. i've been hit as well, it was a delivery van that came around the corner and hit my leg when he was driving past. the highway code is amazing, it's a really good start, we now need to keep the momentum going. the government is planning an awareness campaign about the updates.
critics say there hasn't been enough advance publicity, which could lead to confusion. a significant change is setting out a so—called "hierarchy" of road users, so quicker or heavier modes of travel have the greatest responsibility to reduce the threat they could pose. this video was taken by cyclist phil in sheffield, the second serious crash he's had involving a vehicle. every single journey, i would say, i worry about whether it's going to be my last day on earth. he welcomes the hierarchy. it helps make people aware of those who are more vulnerable than them on the roads, and i think that's a good thing. never go alongside a truck round a roundabout, stay behind. but this haulage firm fears it will make lorry driving a less attractive job, and the boss says his industry has strict safety rules. they're strongly controlled, and there's big penalties for not complying with those things. the emphasis should be on making people that are at risk think about themselves more, rather than passing the burden of that risk to someone else.
motoring groups say it's vital people take time to understand updates which are aimed at driving safer roads for everyone. katy austin, bbc news. joining me now is alan hiscox, director of safety, british horse society. good afternoon to you. good afternoon- — good afternoon to you. good afternoon. i'm _ good afternoon to you. good afternoon. i'm assuming - good afternoon to you. good afternoon. i'm assuming youj good afternoon to you. good - afternoon. i'm assuming you welcome these changes — afternoon. i'm assuming you welcome these changes to _ afternoon. i'm assuming you welcome these changes to the _ afternoon. i'm assuming you welcome these changes to the highway - afternoon. i'm assuming you welcome these changes to the highway code? | these changes to the highway code? absolutely. i mean, it is actually giving us some real defined advice for drivers, ratherthan giving us some real defined advice for drivers, rather than just saying pass horses wide and slow, it's getting the ten mph maximum speed, the two metres distance, and placing us in the hierarchy alongside cyclists and carriage drivers. we have been working with the department for transport for quite some time now and we are really pleased. some time now and we are really leased. . �* , some time now and we are really leased. . v , . some time now and we are really leased. . �*, , . . pleased. katie's piece reflected
some of the — pleased. katie's piece reflected some of the perils _ pleased. katie's piece reflected some of the perils horse - pleased. katie's piece reflected some of the perils horse riders| pleased. katie's piece reflected - some of the perils horse riders and horses face. can you give us a sense of how many horses are killed, perhaps, on british roads each year? well, in 2021 last year, 66 horses were killed, over 100 riders injured, over100 were killed, over 100 riders injured, over 100 horses injured. as an annex noted police officer, riding around london, i can tell you right when i wrote sometimes can be intimidating. we know that don't want to intimidate us, but some of them don't know how to pass safely. with our dead slow campaign and working with the highway code, we are going to inform driver so everybody can be safe and there is not that element of consideration amongst all road users. 15 not that element of consideration amongst all road users.— amongst all road users. is your speaking. _ amongst all road users. is your speaking. we _ amongst all road users. is your speaking, we are _ amongst all road users. is your speaking, we are looking - amongst all road users. is your speaking, we are looking at. amongst all road users. is your. speaking, we are looking at some really rather shocking pictures of drivers speeding past horses. we can see the reaction. it is presumably frightening the horse, does it? and it is very difficult for the rider
to control it? is that the size of it? it to control it? is that the size of it? , ., ., it? it is intimidating, to the rider and to the _ it? it is intimidating, to the rider and to the horse. _ it? it is intimidating, to the rider and to the horse. you _ it? it is intimidating, to the rider and to the horse. you know, - it? it is intimidating, to the rider| and to the horse. you know, that it? it is intimidating, to the rider. and to the horse. you know, that is what we want to try to get over. the horse's eyesight, they see things that we don't and they are flight animals. even the most best trained horse, the best trained police force, can still react to something of that is the message we want to try to get to drivers, so that they get the two metres distance, and a maximum of ten mph. it will save lives, rider lives, horse lives and even drivers lives. has lives, rider lives, horse lives and even drivers lives.— even drivers lives. has the government, _ even drivers lives. has the government, in _ even drivers lives. has the government, in your - even drivers lives. has thej government, in your view, even drivers lives. has the - government, in your view, done government, in yourview, done enough to raise awareness of the new rules? we enough to raise awareness of the new rules? ~ . , ., ~ ., rules? we have been working for the dft, and as — rules? we have been working for the dft, and as from _ rules? we have been working for the dft, and as from now— rules? we have been working for the dft, and as from now i _ rules? we have been working for the dft, and as from now i understand l dft, and as from now i understand there will be quite a major campaign to let drivers know, and behavioural techniques. we are playing our part, alongside cycling organisations, to get their messages out. we hold events all over the uk, and we are actually going to a driver
instructor is conference soon to let them know how the british horse society is trying to inform drivers. we are there to inform drivers and hopefully get the department for transport do it as well for everybody. transport do it as well for everybody-— transport do it as well for everybody. transport do it as well for eve bod . ' . , ., everybody. the difference is that these are fundamental— everybody. the difference is that these are fundamental changes i everybody. the difference is that i these are fundamental changes that come in some places, going to overturn the way drivers have been driving for years, if not decades. i wonder how confident are you that things are going to change for the better? i things are going to change for the better? . , . ., better? i am very confident. the hi . hwa better? i am very confident. the highway code. _ better? i am very confident. the highway code, obviously - better? i am very confident. the highway code, obviously learnerj highway code, obviously learner drivers, drivers starting driving, they will have to use it and study it. and we are going to do our level best to get our dead slow messages and the highway code messages out there. it is not only for riding horses, there are feral ponies, and the dartmoor ponies, remember, there are three brains working, the
driver, the rider and don't forget the horse's brain. pare driver, the rider and don't forget the horse's brain.— driver, the rider and don't forget the horse's brain. are really good to talk to yom — the horse's brain. are really good to talk to you. thank _ the horse's brain. are really good to talk to you. thank you - the horse's brain. are really good to talk to you. thank you so - the horse's brain. are really good l to talk to you. thank you so much. the world premiere of a major new musical composition to mark the 60th anniversary of coventry cathedral has taken place. ghosts in the ruins was written by the award—winning composer nitin sawhney. it's a contemporary response to benjamin britten�*s war requiem, which was performed when the cathedral opened in 1962. ben sidwell reports. a celebration of coventry cathedral's 60th anniversary, ghosts in the ruins reflects the diverse city that coventry is today, while remembering the destruction of its past. it is trying to find, i guess, a sense of how the cathedral connects with the city overall and how far the cathedral has come and the city has come since the bombing in the second world war.
it is really trying to celebrate coventry as a city in many ways. with the performance taking place in both the old and new cathedral. i think it will sort of be a reflection of who the people are, which is a resilient people, they have faced destruction and war and yet rebuilt and come back stronger. coventry cathedral was consecrated by the queen in 1962. to mark its opening, benjamin britten composed his war requiem, now seen as a modern masterpiece. among the huge choir that night was fraser watts from coventry, one of the youngest performers, aged just 16. it was a hugely memorable experience for me, i was hugely privileged - to be taking part in the first - performance of this piece of music
and also it was so apt for this occasion and for coventry. i just like war requiem, 60 years ago, ghosts in the ruins features local singers as part of the performance, including the choir with no name for people affected by homelessness. it is really important, it is bringing people together from their city who may not have met each other and to show that the world can be a better place and coventry is rebuilding itself into a new and vibrant city. part of the city of culture celebrations, ghosts in the ruins is being performed across the two sites of the cathedral until saturday. a fierce winter storm bringing heavy snowfall is sweeping across the us east coast with forecasters warning of historic blizzards, hurricane force winds, power outages and travel chaos. five states have declared emergencies.
more than 4,000 flights have been cancelled. the governors of new york, newjersey and virginia have made emergency declarations, urging people to stay home and hunker down, travelling only ifjourneys are essential. about 75 million people are thought to be in the path of the storm — the fourth to hit the east coast this month. now it's time for a look at the weather with susan powell. hello, very stormy conditions for the uk this weekend. saturday, we have been watching storm malik, particularly battering northern britain. tomorrow, later in the day onto monday, back —— corrie, another storm named by the uk met office. this high pressure will put in as we look to the evening and overnight. the wind will become much lighter. the wind will become much lighter. the skies will also clear and it will turn cold, pretty widespread
frost developing. look out for the odd patch of ice around first thing on sunday. sunday morning, sparkling sunshine, light wind under relatively calm start to the day. but come lunchtime, clouds spilling into the west, then the rain gets into the west, then the rain gets into western scotland, then that rain starts to pick up, and corrie deepens to the north—west of the uk. again, the risk of damage and disruption across northern britain, with scotland once again likely to bear the brunt in this system, even on into first thing monday. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: the us warns that the russian troop build—up near ukraine is the largest since the cold war — as attempts to find a diplomatic solution continue. the downing street lockdown report is now expected to be delivered before the metropolitan police inquiry ends. five states declare emergencies and more than 5000 flights are cancelled — as the us east coast braces for