Tuesday evening news briefing: Mystery of Ghislaine Maxwell's wealth

Tuesday evening news briefing: Mystery of Ghislaine Maxwell's wealth
© Provided by The Telegraph Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines

Ghislaine Maxwell trial | Mystery has always surrounded the source of Ghislaine Maxwell’s vast wealth. But why have her financial dealings been dragged through a sex abuse trial? Josie Ensor and Jamie Johnson look at why prosecutors are targeting the mystery of Ms Maxwell’s fortune, although she claims to have less than $1 million in the bank. It comes after previously-unseen pictures, submitted to the trial, above, show new details from inside the Palm Beach home where Jeffrey Epstein’s victims were abused. Follow the proceedings live as jurors were shown pictures of Ms Maxwell massaging Epstein’s feet on a plane.

  • Storm Barra hits | Forty flood alerts as UK battered by 70mph winds
  • EU guidelines | Macron warns Europe to avoid woke ‘nonsense’
  • Jamal Khashoggi | Murder suspect arrested in France
  • Podcast | Prince William close to tears as he takes childhood walk
  • David Tennant | BBC to show ‘alarming’ side of British Empire

The big story: Welby condemns ‘travel apartheid’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on the Government to do away with the travel red list, saying that we cannot have a “travel apartheid”. 

He called the travel restrictions “morally wrong” and “self-defeating”, and warned it effectively punishes nations for being transparent when they discover new Covid variants. 

His intervention comes as Boris Johnson warned ministers that omicron appears to be “more transmissible” than delta – but did not lead a discussion about contingency plans today.

Professor Tim Spector, from the Covid Zoe app, said there could be more cases of the new Covid variant in the UK than in some red list countries within 10 days. 

However an omicron outbreak at an Oslo Christmas party seen as “the biggest in the world outside of South Africa”, is so far only causing mild disease, with Norway’s state epidemiologist expressing hope it might mark the beginning of the end for the pandemic.

Tuesday evening news briefing: Mystery of Ghislaine Maxwell's wealth
© Provided by The Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby – Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Even if – and it is a big if – the pandemic is coming to an end, the true scale of its impact is still only beginning to emerge.

Nearly all children have fallen behind and struggled during the pandemic, the head of Ofsted has warned.

Loneliness, boredom and misery became “endemic” among youngsters while their physical and mental health went into decline, according to Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools.

Top civil servant on holiday for 11 days as Kabul fell

Aside from Covid, one of the other major stories of this year was the evacuation of Afghanistan. 

Today, the Foreign Office’s most senior civil servant has revealed he stayed on holiday for 11 days after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August. 

Sir Philip Barton, the Head of the Diplomatic Service, said he had “reflected a lot” on his decision to stay on holiday while the UK Government evacuated Britons and refugees from Afghanistan and believes he was wrong to do so. 

It comes as a Foreign Office whistleblower detailed the “dysfunctional” evacuation, although Dominic Raab has played down the claims, saying he was a “relatively junior” employee. 

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister denied that he or his wife Carrie intervened to evacuate the charity worker Pen Farthing and his rescue dogs from Afghanistan, despite claims to the contrary.

US warns of ‘nuclear’ sanctions as Biden ‘meets’ Putin

Video: Ghislaine Maxwell looking well despite conditions of detention, brother says (Evening Standard)

Internationally, the US finds itself facing tensions from two adversaries in the East. 

Joe Biden told Vladimir Putin he hoped to meet him in person shortly as the two leaders began a much-anticipated video meeting amid mounting tensions over Ukraine.

Washington has made clear the US is prepared to target Russia with “nuclear” economic sanctions that could see Moscow shut out of the global electronic payment system if it invades Ukraine. 

Also today Chinese state media blasted the US for announcing a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, saying American officials were “pretentious” and “close contacts” of Covid cases who were never welcome anyway.

Comment and analysis

  • Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Omicron is a horrible dilemma for China
  • Shaun Bailey | Gentrified London means war on drugs is more urgent
  • Tom Harris | ‘Progressive alliance’ would prolong the Left’s delusions
  • Ella Whelan | It’s nonsense to say films and TV ‘glamorise’ drug use
  • Oliver Brown | Doubters of Lewis Hamilton look increasingly churlish

Around the world: Israel blamed for attack on port

Israel was suspected of launching an airstrike on a major port in Syria in a bid to destroy weapons caches belonging to Iranian-backed forces. After a series of explosions at Latakia port in the early hours, Syrian media reports said that several shipping containers had been targeted by Israeli warplanes. It is suspected to be the second time Israel has attacked assets at the strategic port this year, following a similar incident in August. These pictures released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows fire near containers of the Syrian port, and the aftermath.

Tuesday interview

‘I wouldn’t play Friday Night Dinner’s Jewish mother anymore’

Tuesday evening news briefing: Mystery of Ghislaine Maxwell's wealth
© Provided by The Telegraph Tamsin Greig – David Bebber

The actor Tamsin Greig talks to Claire Allfree about her new role as theatre agent Peggy Ramsay and today’s tricky casting concerns

Read the full interview

Sport briefing: Ashes predictions – Spurs hit by Covid

The first Ashes Test gets under way tonight as Joe Root and his England side launch their attempt to secure one of the rarest achievements in the game: a series win on Australian soil. After Glenn McGrath’s customary 5-0 series prediction, our experts give their verdicts on the outcome, while Michael Vaughan offers this guide to dismissing Australia’s top seven. In football, Tottenham Hotspur could ask for their Premier League trip to Brighton to be postponed after suffering a coronavirus outbreak at the club that has thrown their plans for Thursday night’s Europa Conference League tie against Rennes into chaos.

Editor’s choice

  1. How things stand | The good, bad and bonkers of midlife male hobbies
  2. Poppy Delevingne | ‘I used to be lazy with my style – now I want to dress like a disco ball’
  3. Winter status game | The death of the budget ski holiday

Business briefing: German housing sets alarms ringing

Bubble trouble threatens to hit Germany after its housing market sailed through the pandemic. House prices grew 11pc, year on year, in the third quarter and have been increasing strongly in the last decade. It matches the rocketing growth seen in Britain where worries of further price increases were stoked by the Telegraph revealing that the Bank of England is set to loosen mortgage affordability rules. Read how prices are surging in places like Westend – Frankfurt’s answer to Mayfair.

Tonight starts now

Landscapers, Sky Atlantic, 9pm | This peculiar four-part piece, starring Olivia Colman and written by her husband, Ed Sinclair, dramatises a disturbing true story. In 2014 Christopher and Susan Edwards were convicted of murdering her parents in Mansfield 15 years previously. The drama opens just before the couple turn themselves in and are hiding out in France, where she buys Hollywood memorabilia on credit cards while he searches for work. Read how the drama is set to reinvent “true crime” on TV and here are the rest of tonight’s listings on the box.

Three things for you

  • Watch | Hawkeye, Disney+, review: Another Marvel TV spinoff
  • Read | The best new children’s books to buy for Christmas 2021
  • Play | Telegraph Puzzles featuring today’s Crossword and Sudoku

And for this evening’s downtime….

So much for Joe Biden’s approval | ‘The Hill We Climb’ made 23-year-old poet Amanda Gorman a star. But her pandemic-flavoured debut collection is wildly uneven and needs an editor.

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