this is bbc news. i'mjoanna gosling. a wave of strikes ahead of christmas, around 3,000 staff at crown post offices walk out. southern rail workers begin two days of industrial action in the row over the role of conductors on trains. the evacuation of eastern aleppo resumes — dozens of buses carrying hundreds of people left the city overnight for rebel—held territory. among them is seven—year—old bana alabed, who had tweeted about conditions in the besieged city. the number of people taking their own lives in england is unacceptably high, says a report by a group of mps. also in the next hour, tributes to a hollywood icon. actress and socialite zsa zsa gabor dies after suffering a heart attack, aged 99. and andy murray is crowned the bbc‘s sports personality of the year — for the record third time. good morning and
welcome to bbc news. thousands of workers have begun strike action today. 3,000 staff at hundreds of crown post offices are expected to walk out today, tuesday and saturday. it is ina it is in a dispute over pension changes, job security and closures. the post office says fewer than 300 branches across the uk will be affected. up to 3,000 southern rail passengers are also due to face more misery as conductors begin a further two days of strike action. their dispute is over who should close the doors on trains. up to 7% of cabin crew at ba are due to strike on christmas day and boxing day
over pay and conditions. representatives from the unite union and the airline are due to meet at the conciliation service acas later today. there's also ongoing disputes with swissport baggage handlers, london underground workers and virgin atlantic pilots. 0ur correspondent keith doyle reports. this last week before christmas is already busy and stressful. but strikes and industrial action could make it a christmas of discontent for many. 0n the trains, southern rail passengers face more disruption as more than 400 conductors strike today and tomorrow. it's not expected to cause the same level of disruption as last week's strikes by drivers, however many routes and services will be affected. 3,500 workers at crown post offices are starting a five—day strike today in a dispute overjobs and pensions that may see the closure of larger high street branches, although the post office says disruption to the public should be minimal. airline travellers face double trouble this week as baggage handlers working for swissport are set to strike on friday and saturday. this will mainly affect
regional airports. but a strike by 4,500 british airways cabin crew over pay could also see flights disrupted on christmas day and boxing day. there are efforts being made to resolve these disputes. ba management and the union unite will meet today and a meeting tomorrow to resolve the baggage handlers‘ dispute is due to be held but the post office strike is on and there seems little prospect of an early end to the long—running dispute between the rmt union and southern rail, meaning 300,000 commuters face even more disruption. earlier i spoke to mark davies from the post office who said 93% of its services would be running normally. this died in post offices will potentially impact on the 300 branches we own and manage as
business. —— the strike in. services will be business as usual for customers using the branches that won't be affected. 0f customers using the branches that won't be affected. of the 300 branches that potentially could be affected by this strike action, the latest figures i've just received is that 190 of those 300 are open for business today. that is a moving picture. we will update you throughout the day. more importantly, update customers. but it looks like the impact in those 300 branches will be minimalfor customers that is good news for them. we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption for customers at this really important time of year as they are sending their christmas cards and parcels. the deputy general secretary of the tuc, paul nowak told me that striking was the last thing staff want to do. if you look at these different
disputes, they've got different root causes, different problems at the heart of them. the one thing they have in common is that you have had unions and their members trying for months to get their manages to sit around a table and negotiate a fair settlement. they've not been able to achieve a fair settlement. if you area achieve a fair settlement. if you are a post office worker, you work on southern, the last thing you want to be doing is take action which impacts on you serve day serve day in day out. but staff feel they have no alternative. this is the only way their concerns will be taken seriously. 0ur correspondent lisa hampele is at victoria station in central london. bid has been called the christmas of discontent. —— it has. absolutely. there have been continual announcements here all morning. the boards behind me have been flashing with cancelled or delayed. the southern trains website is saying many trains are cancelled
01’ is saying many trains are cancelled or delayed. the majority, in fact. there will be difficultjourneys again tonight. and the strike is continuing tomorrow. that is coupled with the continuing ban on overtime by drivers of the union aslef. but it isn't just the by drivers of the union aslef. but it isn'tjust the trains, it is a week of strikes. we have the biggest strike from the post office with 3000 people walking out today of the crown post offices. they are the ones on the high street. royal mail says there was not a lot of perfect. there are concerns they will be joined on wednesday and thursday by collea g u es joined on wednesday and thursday by colleagues who keep post offices supplied with cash. —— a lot of effect. there are also worries that post office workers will not cross
the picket line. there are issues with british airways affecting cabin crew. that is likely to hit on christmas day and boxing day. a gas will be hosting talks on tuesday involving unite and swiss sport ahead of two days of industrial action plan late in the week by baggage handlers at 18 airports. —— swissport. it is not particularly good for the festive season here. thanks very much. live to westminster — and our assistant political editor norman smith. we are hearing a whole list of areas affected by strike action. what is the government saying about it? the government are appealing for all sides to sit down and negotiate in these different disputes. what i'm not hearing is any determination to introduce new strike curbs. there was chitchat about that last week when the transport secretary, chris grayling, floated the idea. he said he would look at strike laws once this dispute was over. my feeling is
thatis this dispute was over. my feeling is that is on the back burner. why? because fear that it could inflame passions. it could mean getting a resolution to these various dispute even harder. more than that, theresa may has the big issue of brexit coming straight down the tracks. the last thing she wants is to get sucked into another parliamentary battle, particularly with the house of lords. she does not need a row over industrial legislation. and we have just had new strike laws introduced earlier this year. it is something the government has already looked at. albeit their conservative mps trying to press for a rethink. 0ne mps trying to press for a rethink. one of those is conservative mp chris philp. we need to see new laws that require any strikes to be reasonable and proportionate with that being adjudicated by the high court. 300,000 people are unable to get to work, unable to see their families, for the better part of a
month, simply over who presses the button to open and close the doors is not reasonable or proportionate. it is worth bearing in mind that any legislation, realistically, could probably take eight, nine months to get on the statute books. it won't make a blind bit of difference to these particular disputes. also worth stressing in broader context, the level of days actually lost through industrial action, almost at a record low. i think it is the second lowest since these records we re second lowest since these records were kept. although these disputes are incredibly annoying, upsetting to people affected by them, in terms of previous years, actually the amount of days lost through industrial action is now very, very low. thank you. have you been affected by the strike action? if so, how are you dealing with it?
you can get in contact with us by texting 61122 or e—mailing us at bbcnewschannel@bbc. co. uk. the evacuation of civilians fleeing the fighting in east aleppo in syria has resumed. dozens of buses containing hundreds of people — who aid workers say are in a terrible condition — were brought out of the city last night on buses, but thousands are still waiting to leave. among those to have left is seven—year—old bana alabed, who had tweeted about conditions in besieged areas of aleppo. her departure was confirmed by the head of the syrian—american medical society aid group. the united nations security council will later today vote on plans to send in un observers to aleppo. greg dawson reports. not as soon as they'd have liked, not in the circumstances many would have wanted, but at last the buses arrived to take hundreds out of eastern aleppo. these people may now be refugees in their own country, but their relief is obvious. some were met by charity workers in turkey who provided medical care, food, and comfort. many, though, have nowhere
else to go, so end up in places like this. this camp is in idlib province. it's crowded, it's muddy, but for now, it's much safer than where they have come from. translation: it's better than it was in aleppo. there's no bombing. we have new friends walking and playing together. there was a food shortage back there but we're eating food here. we hated life but here we're eating biscuits and everything! although hundreds have escaped eastern aleppo, thousands are still stranded. over the weekend, the evacuations were put on hold, with both sides blaming each other for breaking their word. later the un security council will vote on a deal to allow their workers to monitor the process. in the short term, those who have left aleppo may feel the relief of safety, but there are no guarantees.
idlib province, where many are heading, may well be the next battleground in this long conflict. we are getting figures on the number of people managing to leave aleppo. these figures are not independently confirmed. there are reports that 30,000 more are waiting to leave aleppo. a journalist at a hospital has said that bosses have left carrying around 10,000 people. and the journalist is suggesting that around 30,000 are still waiting to leave. —— buses. that is not independently confirmed but according to a journalist in aleppo nearly 7a buses have left, which have taken nearly 7a buses have left, which have ta ken around nearly 7a buses have left, which have taken around 10,000 people. 30,000 more are still waiting to
leave. 0ur correspondent james longman is in nearby beirut. since midnight last night there have been something around the region of 3500 people who have managed to be evacuated. they left on 65 buses. they left east aleppo. they are now being looked after in a holding area towards the west of aleppo city. they will then make them a decision about where they want to go next. at the same time, there has been a further evacuation of people in those two government villages, which has been under rebel siege. 500 people made their way out of there. at the moment, this coordinated evacuation of different parts of syria seems to be back on track. and people are getting out of the places where they have been stuck. where they go next? well, most people will go back to west aleppo, which are
still government—controlled. and those people from east aleppo will make the decision about whether they wa nt to make the decision about whether they want to go to west aleppo, which is government—controlled and has been largely unscathed by the war. 0r they get idlib, the last major rebel stronghold. there are cancelo. they may know people with whom they can stay. the conditions are not amazing, if they are going to stay in the tented camps, but nevertheless they are better than what they have been living in so far. we hear from what they have been living in so far. we hearfrom medical volunteers who are receiving the evacuated from a letter that a lot of children have been suffering from malnutrition, it's been very cold, this part of the world is getting increasingly cold as we head into winter. they will need to get medical care and food and all of the supplies they have been lacking over the past few months in that area to the west of aleppo. there is a long way to go yet. when these evacuations started the united nations estimated there we re the united nations estimated there were 50,000 people in west aleppo.
we will see that these evacuations will continue to run smoothly, hopefully. mps are calling the new laws to restrict industrial action as thousands of workers launch a wave of strikes hitting postal services, rail companies, and airlines. the evacuations of syrians from the besieged city of aleppo has resumed but tens of thousands are still waiting to leave. mps call for the nhs to embrace innovative approaches to reduce suicides in england. more than a500 people took their own lives in 2015. andy murray says he is determined to keep improving. the world number one was voted the bbc‘s sports personality of the year for the third time last night receiving twice as many votes as second placed triathlete alistair brownlee. india 193 runs ahead as england take
just two wickets so far on the fourth and final day of the test. manchester city are third in the premier league after coming from behind to beat arsenal. but it may behind to beat arsenal. but it may be short lived in liverpool win the merseyside derby tonight. more for you just after 10:30am. the number of lives lost due to suicide in england is unacceptable according to a group of mps. it remains the biggest cause of death in men under a9. in a report, the health select committee says a government prevention strategy for england in 2012 didn't result in any improvements. it's due to be updated early next year. our health editor hugh pym reports. it was 13 years ago. angela and her partner, mark, had two young sons. he had no history of mental illness, but he took his own life. one minute you're talking to them on the phone and the next minute you never going to speak to them again. i think that the shock of that almost... your head kind of tricks you into thinking this
can't be real. she now heads a national charity supporting those affected by suicide. she also presented a bbc documentary encouraging people to talk more about the issue. my work and the work of the trustees and volunteers was to really kind of break that isolation that exists. the report says a government suicide prevention strategy for england in 2012 did not achieve its aims. the report's proposals include: the key message here is that suicide is preventable. and what we heard from one witness very powerfully was that when she said it wasn't my son that was hard to reach, it was the services that were hard to reach. a department of health spokesperson said every death by suicide was tragic for families and an updated strategy during next year would address many of the issues raised
by the committee. angela has welcomed the report. she hopes it will make a difference and will help prevent more of the sort of devastating losses she had to endure. it is illegal to supply them under british law. a government spokesperson said britain had raised theissue spokesperson said britain had raised the issue with the saudi—led coalition. police officers in england, wales and northern ireland have seen mental health—related callouts increase by more than a quarter injust three years, according to figures obtained by bbc news. 30 out of a9 forces answered the freedom of information request. the government says it has halved the use of police cells to deal with people undergoing a mental
health crisis and that officers are now working more closely with healthcare services. john maguire reports. bare walls, a kind of mattress. yes, it was a weird environment to be in when i was in a crisis. the last time declan barnes was at this police station in gloucester, he had been detained under the mental health act and taken to the cells for his own safety. there were no secure hospital beds available. given the relative severity of, like, my mental health problems, you know, you need specialist care, especially when you are in a situation like that, where you're in a situation like that, where you feel suicidal, notjust depressed or anxious. dealing with mental health is a major issue for police forces and incidents are increasing. freedom of information figures obtained by bbc breakfast show a rise of more than a quarter over recent yea rs. of the a9 forces contacted, 30 responded. not including the metropolitan police, they recorded more than 18a,000 cases in 2012. that number has since risen to almost 232,000. i would estimate that our officers
currently spend about 20% of their time dealing with people with mental health issues. the use of police cells, though, is declining. the devon and cornwall force has previously threatened to sue the nhs. so far this year, 58 people have been detained in cells. three years ago, it was 800. and that for us was completely unforgivable. we could not sustain that position, so we worked really, really hard with partners and we got a lot of protocols in place. we really worked hard to make them realise that a police cell was not the place for a person suffering from a mental health issue. we're out on the night shift with what is known as the mental health triage team in leicestershire. comprised of a specially trained police officer and a mental health nurse, they can respond to incidents and offer advice to other officers. they have deployed to reports that a man is threatening
tojump into the canal. it's a large—scale response from all three emergency services. matt belcher‘s firstjob is to check if one of the secure hospital beds in leicester is free tonight. so potential option would be if he is not co—operative or engaging with us... while his colleaguejag sangha talks to officers on the tow path. whether they're presenting sort of mentally unwell, they are seeing things, hearing things, i'm just trying to guide a very fluid sort of situation. after several hours, the incident is under control and isn't being treated as a mental health case. the team's next task is in leicester's city centre police station, where a man is said to be agitated and acting erratically. we're here to see what is goling on, to try and get the best solution for you, 0k? he is presenting with mental health issues which i feel he could be helped within the community setting. their objective is to ensure people with mental health issues are dealt with appropriately
and not criminalised. all sides recognise a major problem, even a crisis. 0ne as complex as it is conten shucks and one for which there is still no quick fix. a special sitting of the stormont assembly will be held today to examine a green energy scheme that's been described as the "biggest financial scandal ever in northern ireland". stormont‘s first minister arlene foster will face a motion of no confidence during today's proceedings. but she's rejected calls from sinn fein to step aside during an investigation into the project which is thought to have overspent by £a00 million. 0ur ireland correspondent chris buckler reports. arlene foster was a popular choice when she was selected to become dup leader and northern ireland's first minister almost exactly a year ago. but she's now under pressure and facing damaging accusations, some of which come from within her own party. mrs foster was enterprise minister
when a badly flawed green energy scheme was set up. it's left 2,000 businesses in a position where the more they burn, the more they earn. the renewable heat incentive scheme works like this — for every £1 of you company uses they are paid around £1.60, that was to encourage them to buy environmentally friendly boilers. but because initially there were no caps or limits its projected to have gone £a00 million over budget. last week, a dup politician accused officials from within his own party of delaying crucial changes to the scheme despite warnings. the special advisers of the dup interfered in my decision—making. i had this to close to a less lucrative rate. mr bell's claims have been denied by the dup and he has been suspended from the party. but they've stirred up old divisions at stormont with the dup rejecting
calls from their partner in government, sinn fein, for arlene foster to step aside during an investigation. the first minister will face a motion of no—confidence today. it's expected to fail but it will be the most heated debates. chris paige is at stormont. how much pressure is arlene foster under? she said she won't step aside. there is this motion of no confidence? well, she is under considerable pressure. no matter what way the vote of no confidence goes, she can stay in the job because under stormont‘s complex voting rules the dup have a veto for any motion of no confidence a majority of unionists and nationalist have to vote in favour of it and given that the democratic unionist party is the majority unionist party is the majority unionist party, well if they vote
against the vote of no confidence which they will, then it cannot pass. sinn fein, there is foster's partners in government suggested she should step aside temporarily while a judge conducts an investigation. mrs a judge conducts an investigation. m rs foster has a judge conducts an investigation. mrs foster has said she is going nowhere. the proposal that sinn fein are tabling in the assembly today that she should temporarily stand aside, well the same cross party voting rule, she will survive today, but she is under considerable pressure. i think some of the delegations are arriving behind you. it is possible there maybe comments. yes there, is colum eastwood, the leader of the sdlp and he is leading the debate today, the motion of no confidence. the sdlp tabled the motion of no confidence in arlene foster last week. 0ther opposition
parties at stormont weighed in to back it. mr eastwood is appealing for sinn fein to vote for his motion. sinn fein have indicated that they are not likely to do that by tabling their own motion, that's different from the no—confidence motion, the sinn fein motion says there is foster should step aside. sinn fein made the move after the sdlp laid down the motion and was backed by other parties. the sdlp putting the sinn fein under pressure to do something about the scandal that's engulfed their partners in government, the democratic unionist party, and martin mcguinness telephoned mrs foster on friday to say she should step aside and reflect on her position over christmas and new year, a statement came from mrs foster to say no, she was not going to that. there is going to be a showdown in the
stormont assembly. the proceedings are starting at10.35am. stormont assembly. the proceedings are starting at 10.35am. there is foster is making a statement and there will be a no—confidence motion which mr eastwood will be bringing and the sinn fein amendment which suggested that mrs foster should stand aside for a few weeks. thank you, very much, chris. that all sta rts you, very much, chris. that all starts at 10.30am. we will keep you updated with what happens there. let's kauch up with the weather. stav has the weather. we have had fog. not as bad as the weekend. we have got rain in the forecast as well. a very weak weather front across the north—west corner sinking south—east wards. we will see sunshine
developing, but a grey day once again. 0utbreaks developing, but a grey day once again. outbreaks of rain and feeling quite chilly. 0vernight, the two weather fronts meet and quite chilly. 0vernight, the two weatherfronts meet and it looks like the central slice of the uk will be damp, outbreaks of rain, rather cloudy for england and wales. so not quite as frost—free here, but for scotland and northern ireland with clear skies it will be cold and frosty. for tuesday, we start off cold, but bright here before it turns wet and windy. for england and wales, a little bit of rain, but brighter with holes being punched in the cloud. the wet and windy weather across the north—west marks the change to the weather this week. it is expected to get windy as we head in towards the christmas holidays. so keep tuned. thousands of workers are launching a wave of strikes this week, hitting postal, rail and air services in the run—up to christmas. some of the country's biggest trade unions are involved in disputes overjobs, pay, pensions and safety. the evacuation of thousands
of people trapped in eastern aleppo has resumed with hundreds of residents moved out on dozens of buses last night. thousands more are waiting to leave the city amid dire conditions. a group of mp‘s has called for more to be done to reduce what it calls the "unacceptable" rate of suicide in england. it says support needs to be more accessible to those at risk. and the hollywood actress and socialite zsa zsa gabor, has died at the age of 99. famous for her celebrity lifestyle, she was married nine times. andy murray has won sports personality for the third time and has vowed to continue improving. he received more than double the amount of votes than second placed triathlete alistair brownlee. nick skelton came third. and the bbc sports personality
of the year 2016 is andy murray! applause it was an ovation that echoed all the way to florida where at his training base in miami, andy murray receiving that famous trophy from lennox lewis. he got twice as many votes as the other nominees, no thanks to wife. i've got a bit of a bone to pick with my wife because she told me about an hour ago that she voted for nick skelton, so... not smart from her with christmas coming up. it's been an amazing year for british sport. i'm very proud to be a part of it.
so thank you and i hope you all have a great night. applause well, 2016 was certainly an incredible year for british sport. tonight was all about celebrating that success and once again, there were plenty of winners. especially leicester city. the shock premier league champions took the team award while their manager claudio ranieri won coach of the year. there was an emotional reception for michael phelps, the americans were collecting a lifetime achievement award but the night belonged to andy murray, britain's history maker has done it again. —— the american swimmer collecting a lifetime achievement award. england's bowlers still having a ha rd england's bowlers still having a hard time of it in chennai. india have poured on the runs. they have surpassed their highest total against the tourists. nair is now on 252. the latest score is india are 691-6 in 252. the latest score is india are 691—6 in theirfirst—innings, 21a ahead of england. they have already won the series. they are leading 3-0. this won the series. they are leading 3—0. this is the final test. pakistan fell short of completing a
record run chase against australia in theirfinal test in record run chase against australia in their final test in brisbane. they were set a target of a90. pakistan began the final day eight ru ns pakistan began the final day eight runs short. quick reactions from steve smith, less so from the pakistani batsmen. the second test gets underway in melbourne on boxing day. —— batsman. jamie vardy was sent off in the first half for a dangerous tackle. leicester city are appealing the decision. despite being down to ten men they came back from 2—0 down to draw 3—3. manchester city came from behind to beat arsenal at the etihad to move up beat arsenal at the etihad to move up to second in the premier league. theo walcott put arsenal into the lead after just five theo walcott put arsenal into the lead afterjust five minutes. but a second—half equaliser from leroy sarney was followed up by raheem sterling's winner. it is the second
successive game arsenal have lead and then lost. the manager felt the officials were at fault and said the group in charge of referees are not doing theirjob properly. two offside goals conceded. it is difficult to accept in a game like that. there is a lot going on at the moment but is not serious —— that is not serious. it is unbelievable. southampton also came from behind to beat south coast neighbours bournemouth at the vitality stadium 3-1. this bournemouth at the vitality stadium 3—1. this was the second stunning goalfrom man 3—1. this was the second stunning goal from man of the match jay rodriguez, helping them up to seven. spurs were also down but they went on beat burnley 2—1. that is all of your sport for now. —— went on to beat. thanks very much. thousands of workers are expected to strike this week in the run up to christmas.
staff at hundreds of crown post offices will start a five day walk out in a dispute overjobs. southern rail services will be disrupted for a8 hours by members of the rmt union in the row over safety. but the post office says fewer than 300 branches across the uk will be affected. southern rail passengers are also due to face more misery as conductors begin a further two days of strike action. their dispute is over who should close the doors on trains. and there's a cloud hanging over british airways as up to 7% of its cabin crew are due to strike on christmas day and boxing day over pay and conditions. mark davies is from the post office and he's in our central london studio. it looks as if the impact in those 300 branches will be minimal for customers. that's good news for them. we will do everything we can to minimise disruption for customers. this is an important time of year as people are sending their christmas cards and parcels.
are the strikes being coordinated for maximum impact? the union is clearly taking the actions it feels are right to do. our focus is entirely on how do we ensure that we minimise disruption for our customers. all of our focus is on post office customers today and tomorrow and for the rest of the week as we seek to minimise any disruption which could impact on them. presumably the timing before christmas is not by accident? it is really disappointing the union is taking this action before christmas, absolutely. this is not a great time of year to be taking strike action. millions of customers rely on post office services. it is great, therefore, to say that it looks like many colleagues across the post office have come to work as normal today. i would like to thank them for showing the commitment they have shown 365 days of the year for their customers across their branches, particularly at this critical time of the year. the strike action is disappointing. it is clearly disappointing that we are in a position where we need to reassure customers that it'll be business as usual. but that is the message.
for those unsure if their branch will be open, i advise them to check the website, and check twitter. if they do go to their branch and find out it is closed, we will make sure that we provide information about the nearest open post office to them. hopefully at a short distance. but it is a disappointing thing, the strike action taking place at this time of year. particularly as we are keen to talk to the union. we made many offers to do so. but we simply did not hear back from the union in relation to this. paul nowak says striking is the last thing their staff want to do. these different disputes have different root causes, different problems at the hearts of them.
the one thing they have in common is that you had unions and their members trying for months to get management to sit around the table and negotiate for a fair settlement. they haven't been able to achieve those fair settlements. i can guarantee you that if you are a post office worker, or work on southern trains, the last thing you want to be doing is taking strike action which impacts on people you serve day in day out. unfortunately the staff feel they have no alternative. this is the only way they can get management to listen to them and take their concerns. you say they don't want to be doing this, but they are, and this will impact on people's lives in very important time of the year. people won't be able to necessarily get the post they were expecting, send the items through the mail, train issues, plane issues, and it is the run—up to christmas. take the post office dispute as an example. this is not the first time they have taken industrial action. they did earlier this month. consistently for months, possibly longer, the union has been asking post office managers
to sit down with them and map out the future. we are talking about the specific timing in the run—up to christmas. i appreciate you are saying these are not disputes which have suddenly started. they have been ongoing. but why have this action in the run—up to christmas when it is a time that is going to upset people out there trying to get things ready for christmas? i don't think any time is a good time for industrial action to take place. the reality is that workers feel they don't have an alternative. they feel managers are not listening to them. they feel they have to do something to show they are serious about the issues which are important for them. 0ur message to the post office would be sit down with them and talk about it. we need to make sure that there is a service there that people can rely on, that people can be proud to work in, for it to be a successful business moving forward. do you believe strike action in the run—up to christmas
will focus the minds of those involved in the strike? you can clearly see that a dispute was planned in one of argos‘ delivering companies. that was cancelled. that is an issue that the union has been trying to resolve for two years. the company resolved that dispute. the companies and organisations will sit down with their staff, sit down with them, take their concerns on board, take them seriously. the way you resolve any dispute is to have a frank discussion. i know that is what staff at the post office and southern trains would want. that special sitting of the stormont assembly has been suspended. it is being held to hear a vote of no confidence into the first minister arlene foster. the assembly was sitting to look at a green energy scheme which has been described as the biggest financial scandal ever in northern ireland. in the session
there was going to be this boat, a motion of no—confidence, in the first minister. members of the stormont assembly staged a walk—out, which left the dup almost entirely alone the chamber. now the session has been suspended. we are expecting to hear shortly from sinn fein outside the session. the reports we are getting is that it has been suspended for now. actually, i can see... we can see the sinn fein delegation. you can see gerry adams and martin mcguinness coming down the steps. they will speak to the media, so we will stay with these pictures as they are getting ready to speak. there are calls for the first minister to temporarily stand—down while the financial issues of this green scheme are investigated. ready to go? first of all, thank you
for being here. i have an important statement to make. it relates to what will happen in the assembly in the course of the next short while. i want to make it very clear from my perspective and my party's perspective and my party's perspective that the statement that arlene foster is scheduled to make to the assembly today does not have my authority, or approval as deputy first minister. she is speaking in a personal capacity and not in her role as first minister. i have already said that a full, independent investigation needs to be held into the operation and the abuse of the scheme. there is no credibility whatsoever in an
investigation established solely by the dup, or in the selective release of some documents by dup departments. an independent investigation is the only way to establish the truth of what has occurred. and to begin to restore public faith in these institutions. that investigation needs to take place urgently. we need to establish all the facts, and we need to know who benefited from this failed scheme. the first minister should stand aside to allow the investigation to take place in as conducive an atmosphere as possible. also we want urgent measures that will limit the damage to the public purse. this is not about party politics. it is not an orange or green issue. it is about restoring the credibility of the power—sharing
institutions. and weeding out corruption and abuse. that is my focus. and that's the focus of sinn fein. 0ur focus. and that's the focus of sinn fein. our commitment is to making the institutions work for all our citizens. and this has to be on the basis of transparency and equality and putting the people and their interests first. thank you. they are not taking questions. martin mcguinness, the deputy first minister, saying that there needs to bea minister, saying that there needs to be a full, independent investigation into the green energy scheme that has been dubbed the cash for ash scandal. it was a new renewable heating scheme where the idea was to encourage new, green systems to be
put in place. but it has ended up with the project fastly running over its budget to the tune of £a00 million. sinn fein are saying that the first minister, arlene foster, needs to temporarily stand—down while the issues are investigated independently. we were hearing from martin mcguinness saying there would be no credibility is an investigation is set up by the dup. we know that prior to the session arlene foster, the first minister, said she wouldn't be temporarily standing down. there was going to be this special sitting of the stormont assembly to look at the issues. she was facing a no—confidence vote. but it seems that members of the assembly staged a walk—out leaving pretty much the dup, the only party, in the chamber. we are now hearing
from other parties coming out, amongst them sinn fein who we have just heard from, saying they are not happy with the situation. pressure increasing on the first minister, arlene foster. we will speak to our correspondent covering those events as soon as we can. that's the sdlp leader. he was talking to the media, but that has just finished. we will be back to stormont for more reaction and we will speak to our correspondent there as well to find out what happens now, but this special assembly hearing has been suspended. rabbi lionel blue has died at the age of 86. he was a regular contributor to thought for the day.
he had a reputation for deep humanity and empathy. he has died at the age of 86. in a moment a summary of the business news this hour but first the headlines on bbc news: thousand staff at crown post offices walk out overjob security and pension changes but a spokesperson says 250 of the 300 branches targeted have been kept open. the evacuation of syrians from the besieged city of aleppo has resumed but tens of thousands are still waiting to leave mps call for the nhs to "embrace innovative approaches" to reduce suicides in england. more than a,500 people took their own lives in 2015. the hungarian born actress and socialite,
zsa zsa gabor, has died. her age was a closely guarded secret, but she was thought to have been 99. her husband announced her death yesterday evening. she made more than 70 films, but as one of the first socialites, she helped invent a new kind of fame from multiple marriages and conspicuous wealth. by her own reckoning she was only married eight—and—a—half times. she didn't really count a spanish duke, who she left after a few hours. this report from nick higham contains some flashing images. zsa zsa gabor may have been a great beauty, but she was never a great actress. i know everything — i heard the verdict. it's dangerous for you to come here. i must take that risk, and so must you. her screen career was undistinguished, though it did include camp classics like the truly terrible queen of outer space. if you must go, promise me you're going to come back to me. her greatest role was as herself, one of the first professional celebrities, famous for simply being famous. she was rich, she was gorgeous, she was outrageous and she ate men for breakfast. her last marriage,
in 1986, was her eighth, or ninth, if you include an illegal ceremony conducted at sea. women don't even get married any more today. theyjust have love affairs. i was raised in a convent. they said you have to get married, legalised, which was dumb but now ijust leave myself to live in sin, it's wonderful. girls, don't get married. it's insanity. you have to become their servant! you have to look after their house and they cheat on you. who the hell needs that? in 1989, she was brieflyjailed for hitting a hollywood traffic cop twice her size. she was well into her 70s, though during the court case she was accused of doctoring her driving licence to disguise her age. by then, herfilm career had collapsed into self—parody. here she is with frankie howard. every time i see you, i get lumps in my throat. but she never lost a certain innocence, nor her wit. as she once said, "i'm a marvellous housekeeper. "every time i leave a man, i keep his house". the corner shop has been at the centre of our communities
for more than 70 years and despite the rise of supermarkets and a change in our shopping habits, the corner shop market is expected to increase by 17% to £aa billion over the next five years. the bbc‘s babita sharma, herself the daughter of shopkeepers, investigates how the corner shop has managed to survive. with every corner shop across britain, there is a story. and that story reflects the changing face and fortunes of the country. that will be 97p, love. thank you. and don't worry about the 3p, you can owe it to me. britain has often been called a nation of shopkeepers, a nation built on entrepreneurial drive dating back to the 19a0s. the corner shop was the social centre of the town. people talked about things. they talked about interesting things.
it was the social gathering of the area. it was better than the bbc, it picked up all the news. the rise of supermarkets threaten the future of the corner shop markets. but with a new wave of migration came a new lifeline for the local shop. we were born to do this. the principalfor most indians was now we are free of the colonials, we are going to be our own masters. we're not going to work for anyone else. it's a small emotional and political revolution for an indian mentality to kind of push that line through all the way to becoming an entrepreneur and becoming your own boss. but life for shopkeepers was not easy. corner shops are under threat from supermarkets nestling in on the high streets with discounted products and deals. they had no choice but to diversify. you have to the tesco's.
you have sainsbury‘s over there. i wanted to close a few years ago and forget it. but they now seem to have the winning formula. luring customers with bespoke offerings like home—made curries and home—grown vegetables. it has got everything. i have never seen so many spices and vegetables. yeah. basically if you want to create anything exotic and exciting you would come here. with brexit now a reality the corner shop may face its biggest threat for survival. this unsung hero soldiers on anyway. and our uk viewers can see more of booze, beans & bhajis: the story of the corner shop on bbc four tonight at 10pm.
christmas is less than a week a way, and it's not only the children who are excited — it's one of the busiest times of year for the toy industry. it's a critical season for the likes of mattel, lego and hasbro and hundreds of others all hoping their toy is top of the present wish list. aaron heslehurst is at one of the oldest toy shops in the world — hamleys in london. still with your weapon, aaron! yes, well, because the last hour i had a malfunction, but not now. look at that. look at that. this is one of the hottest toys this christmas. i love it. i'm in the of the hottest toys this christmas. i love it. i‘m in the girls‘ section, i will hang on to the gun so section, i will hang on to the gun soi section, i will hang on to the gun so i feel a bit blokish. yes, the old est toy so i feel a bit blokish. yes, the oldest toy shop in the world. second busiest trading day today. thank you for sending me down. 35,000 people will be coming through the doors. hamleys in london, central london, gets more than five million visitors a year through those doors. i was looking at some other numbers. 3.5
million people visited chile last year. a.5 million visited peru. so hamleys gets more people through the doors than some countries get in terms of tourists. this is a huge market. the global toy industry is worth $90 billion, you brits love to spend on toys. the uk is europe‘s biggest toy market. you spend more per child than the germans, the italians, the french and the spanish. what is interesting is this crucial busy time. for the toy makers now with christmas around the corner, this is number one. a third of their annual sales are done right now. they are done at christmas time. what is interesting is to watch how some of the toy makers have evolved over the recent years to continue with sales and to ca ptu re to continue with sales and to capture the market. take mattel. mattel makes barbie. barbie was
perhaps a dying doll. sales had really fallen off the cliff. mattel introduced 23 different types of ethnicities if you will and realistic body images. i have some of them. we have a black barbie doll and asian barbei, barbie sales are back into the double digits. . i will be here all day, unless you wa nt to ta ke will be here all day, unless you want to take over and save me, joanna. you're doing a brilliant job. i wouldn‘t dream of stepping in! you're welcome! enjoy! see you later. right, let‘s catch up with the weather with stav. this morning we have started off with fog around. not as bad as it
was at the weekend. there have been brea ks was at the weekend. there have been breaks in the cloud. this is a lovely scene from york and this one here in norfolk. you can see low cloud, but breaking through. but there has been lots of cloud and if anything, across eastern areas it will turn damp because of this weather front and we have got another weak weather front push nothing the north—west and both these fronts will be meeting across central parts of the uk this evening and overnight. a bit of damp weather across the east there. any sunshine across the east there. any sunshine across the east there. any sunshine across the far north—east will fade, but what we will see is that rain pepping up but what we will see is that rain pepping up across central and southern areas. some rain getting in towards the channel islands. quite a chilly feel to the day. across scotland and northern ireland, we have got this weak weather front pushing into north—east england and north—west wales. here an improvement to the afternoon, but remaining grey across
the northern isles and the east. so notice those two weather fronts meet in the middle and you will see a line of outbreaks of rain through the course of the night. for england and wales, we hold on to the cloud. a bit of mist and murk here, not as cold. it will be frost—free. more scotla nd cold. it will be frost—free. more scotland and northern ireland, under clear skies, it will be a cold one, a frosty one with mist and fog too. we start off with the damp weather on tuesday morning. . i put the isobar charts on. after a cold, bright start, things are set to turn wetter and very windy as we head through the afternoon. gales or severe gales developing. for the rest of the country, some holes will break through the cloud. we should see sunny break through the cloud. we should see sunny spells, but a chilly feel to things. temperatures in single figures across—the—board. this is the change to our weather this week. really takes place through wednesday. it sweeps across the uk bringing a spell of rain and strong winds and cold air begins to dig down from the north—west. you will lose the rain across the south east, strong winds as well. that
will clear away and it will leave a windy blustery day with sunshine and showers and some of the showers will be ofa showers and some of the showers will be of a wintry nature and maybe settling on thursday night. we start this week settled and midweek it turns unsettled and it turns windy particularly later in the week and into the christmas weekend where some of the winds could potentially be disruptive. so keep tuned to the weather forecast. this is bbc news. the headlines at 11. christmas week strikes — crown post office workers walk out out over job security and pension changes. management says only 50 of 300 offices are closed. southern rail workers begin two days of industrial action in the row over the role of conductors on trains. the evacuation of eastern aleppo resumes — hundreds of people arrive at a staging point in rebel—held countryside. among those evacuated
is seven—year—old bana alabed, who had tweeted about conditions in the besieged city. members of the stormont assembly have staged a walk out over a vote of no confidence against northern ireland‘s first minister arlene foster. also in the next hou...tributes to a hollywood legend actress and socialite zsa zsa gabor dies aged 99.