donald trump has praised the russian president, vladimir putin, for his decision not to retaliate after the us expelled 35 russian diplomats. the outgoing obama administration said it was throwing out the diplomats in a row over hacking during the american election, a suggestion rejected by the kremlin. with the latest from moscow, here's steve rosenberg. near the kremlin tonight, they were putting on a seasonal show, ahead of the new year celebrations. there was song and dance, and some musical theatre. but that was nothing compared to the political theatre being played out inside. first up on stage — the foreign minister. he advised president putin to expel 35 us diplomats. america had expelled 35 russians. in other words, tit for, tat, cold wa r—style. in other words, tit for, tat, cold war—style. it seemed inevitable. but no. vladimir putin said he wasn't
going to stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy. he wasn't going to expel any americans. he even invited the children of all us diplomats in moscow to a new year's party, here in the kremlin. that was a surprise, but it didn't change what america's top intelligence agencies believe to be true — that state—sponsored hackers, backed by the highest levels of the russian government, had interfered in the us presidential election w a cyberattack on the democratic party. was president putin behind it? last week, i got a chance to ask him myself. mr president, ourwhy country has been accused —— your country has been accused —— your country has been accused —— your country has been accused of state—sponsored hacking with the aim of influencing the result of the us presidential election, and president obama revealed that he told you personally to cut it out. so what did you tell him in response? the
kremlin leader refused to tell me, dismissing all the talk of hacking as soui’ dismissing all the talk of hacking as sour grapes dismissing all the talk of hacking as soui’ grapes from dismissing all the talk of hacking as sour grapes from the democratic party. today, president putin said he would work to restore relations with america under donald trump, and this evening, mr trump responded, by praising him for not engaging in tit—for—tat expulsions saying in a tweet, "great move on delay by v putin. i always knew he was very smart." what putin and trump expect from each other is a certain kind of decency, a certain kind of frankness, and no hypocrisy and no political correctness. by political correctness. by not expelling diplomats today, the kremlin was sending a new year's gift to the new man in the white house. russia wants to mend ties with trump's america, and come in
from the cold. now some of our other main stories this hour: detectives investigating the disappearance of the greek ambassador to brazil say he was murdered in a crime of passion conceived by his wife and her lover. the charred body of kyriakos amaridis was found in a burnt—out car in the outskirts of rio de janeiro. a brazilian police officer, who had been having an affair with the envoy‘s wife, has allegedly confessed to the killing. german chancellor angela merkel is using her new year message to warn that the biggest test facing her country is terrorism. the annual address follows an attack earlier this month on a christmas market in berlin, where 12 people were killed after a truck was driven into shoppers. syria's cease—fire appears to be holding in most areas after the first 2a hours. however, it's emerged that not all rebel groups consider themselves involved in the agreement. the group known as the nusra front, with ties to called ——
al-qaeda, has indicated it will continue to fight the asad government. and china has announced a ban on all ivory trade by the end of next year. environmental groups have welcomed the decision as historic and they said it represents a significant boost to international effo rts a significant boost to international efforts in order to tackle the elephant poaching crisis in africa. it is thought that up to 70% of the world's ivory trade ends up in china. well, to keep up with the news, the latest national and international developments from around the world, go to our website. it is bbc.com/news. stay with us here on bbc news because still to come: newly released records reveal how antinuclear protesters gained access toa antinuclear protesters gained access to a royal navy submarine. the new year's honours list has been published and the many sports stars named is andy murray. the wimbledon
champion, olympic gold medallist and world number one is nighted for his services to tennis. also receiving a knighthood is the olympic champion mo farah in a list dominated by britain's rio gold medallists. at the end of a glittering year for british sport orforfive at the end of a glittering year for british sport or for five of its greatest stars, the greatest of honours. first, a knighthood for the man who spent 2016 scaling dizzying new heights. wimbledon champion again! a supreme performance. after winning a second wimbledon, a second olympics and the world number one spot, it's 110w and the world number one spot, it's now sir andy murray, a fitting finish to a remarkable season. there's also a new title for mow farah's collection. gold for great britain again! the double—double!- described his knighthood as a dream come true, having come to britain as an 8—year—old from somalia, he
added, he could never have imagined it. another athletics star, meanwhile, becomes a dame. london 2012 heptathlon championjessica ennis—hill, who retired this year. there's also a damehood for rower katherine granger. it's the perfect ending to her career. it's not something i ever thought i would get but what a great time to get it. you know? at the end of a 20—year career for me, in competing for my country, it's a lovely way to sort of bring the curtain down. and there's a knighthood for one of britain's top paralympians, dressage—rider lee pearson won his 11th gold medal in rio and he told me just what becoming sir lee pearson meant to him. it means loads, um... i'm unbelievably shocked and honoured — excuse the pun. i hope it doesn't change my life. i don't think it will. it won't, it won't change me but, um, it has taken a lot of
getting used to. the other honours - two sporting couples, cbes for cyclists jason and laura kenny, while hockey gold medallists kate and helen richardson walsh become an obe and mbe respectively. and after an impressive run, wales's manager becomes an obe and his northern ireland counterpart michael o'neill, an mbe. a few of sporting figures honoured for a memorable 12 months. well, the honours list features prominent names in the world of entertainment and the arts. the vetera n entertainment and the arts. the veteran comic ken dodd is knighted for services to entertainment and comedy. also knighted are ray davies of the kiengs, mark rylance and bryn terfel. lizo mzimba has been studying the list. he's been one of britain's favourite entertainers for more than half a century. now ken dodd has received a
knighthood. the best day ever. you don't get better than this. i've, i've played lots of big theatres. i've played lots of big theatres. i've worked abroad, but this is it. this is the day. yes. i'm very, very proud. the bouquet residence. the lady of the house speaking. actress patricia routledge has been made a dame. kinks frontman ray davies said he felt humility and joy to become sir ray: a knighthood too for award—winning actor mark rylance. bond actress naomi harris becomes an obe. wow. figures from fashion and design have also been recognised. american vogue editor anna wintour said she was touched to be made a dame. designer victoria beckham becomes an obe. # and you'll never... the hillsborough independent panel was
chaired by the former bishop of liverpool, james jones. he's chaired by the former bishop of liverpool, jamesjones. he's now been nielted. obviously, great pride. but mixed with sadness because of that enduring sadness of the families who have continued to feel the loss of their loved ones. he's one of hundreds being recognised for their contribution across the uk. to syria now and it's now more than 24 to syria now and it's now more than 21! hours since a nationwide cease—fire began across the country, and while it appears to be holding in most areas, it's emerged that not all rebel forces consider themselves to be involved. in particular, one islamist group, which has links to al-anda, has insisted it will continue to fight against the syrian government. our middle east correspondent alan johnston reports. there is a ceasefire, but many on the front lines won't put aside their guns just yet, they'll watch and wait, suspicious after years of war.
translation: as fsa, we are committed to the ceasefire to keep civilian people safe, but we are here on the frontline ready in case the regime try to break the ceasefire at any time. we think this ceasefire is a game but we are committed to it to keep the civilian souls safe. while the fighters draw breath in the new tense calm, others focus on the politics of the truce. in this rebel stronghold, the northern city of idlib, they protested against president bashar al—assad. people here said they would support the ceasefire if it meant he was ousted, with the demands of the opposition met. but the president's supporters will see things very differently. events have moved in his favour. his army has dealt the rebels major defeat in aleppo. mr assad is stronger now than ever and his great ally, russia, is the majorforce behind the truce agreement.
translation: this reflects the reality that after aleppo's liberation this situation is now different. there is a real opportunity to reach a political solution for the crisis in syria that ends the bloodshed and establishes the routes for the future of the country. those who want the truce to hold worry about the part played by these men, rebels from what used to be called the nusra front, which had links to al qaida. they have rejected the ceasefire deal and the syrian military says they are still a target. but if it goes after these men in the depths of rebel territory, the truce could unravel. but across this shattered land, on its first day, the ceasefire appears to be largely holding. despite reports of scattered clashes and some airstrikes, many syrians will desperately hope that the truce will endure. translation: the ceasefire is good, it is good for the people to get a break from the aircraft,
the hit and kill. the people are tired. we want our god to realise this. with a ceasefire or with anything. we don't have any problem because we want to finish this death and destruction that happen to us. if his prayers are answered and the guns go quiet, the route to new peace talks will open up. the only survivor of a boat that capsized off kent on tuesday has told how he clung on to the hull for 11 hours. one of his crew mates is feared drowned after he was swept away. a second was rescued but later died. this is the moment he was rescued from the waters off ramsgate. he was
only spotted in first light after clinging to the hull of his boat that went down in the blink of an eye. translation: the ship capsized in one, two, three and that was it. one, two, three, no more. it was that fast. a fisherman for 36 years, he started in the industry aged just 14. he started in the industry aged just 1a. those years of experience and knowledge helping him to survive the freezing conditions. translation: i was on top of the boat for 11 hours. it was freezing. my boat for 11 hours. it was freezing. my legs from here to my feet were blue. i didn't have any feeling in them. i kept my head warm by pulling my sweater over my head and blowing into it. i moved my hands and, if my hands got too cold, i peed on them. it was absolutely freezing. he last heard his fellow fishermen while in
the water. one later died in hospital and the other is now presumed dead. translation: the worst thing is your collea g u es translation: the worst thing is your colleagues who can't come with you. that's what's worse. for me anyway. it's a lottery. i've got the main prize. they've got nothing. despite this tragedy, he says he won't give up this tragedy, he says he won't give up fishing. these are the headlines on bbc news: as russian diplomats prepare to leave the united states, donald trump praises president putin for not expelling us diplomats in retaliation. and the guns fall silent as syria's cease—fire is generally holding. the un security council will be asked to endorse the agreement this weekend. fog and freezing conditions have caused difficulties on the roads and caused major disruption at airports.
in oxfordshire, 17 people were treated in hospital after a bus crashed on a slip road off the m40. the fog has also led to flight delays and dozens of cancellations at heathrow, gatwick and london city airport. our correspondent helena lee reports. it was in the early hours of this morning, in thick fog, the coach veered off a slip road off the m40, before rolling into a ditch and on its side, its mangled remains and the damage done clear when it was turned back over. 16 passengers were on board, travelling from heathrow to oxford. remarkably, none were critically injured. but all were treated in hospital, some for broken bones, others for cuts and bruises. very intensive for the paramedics and the ambulance crews that attended, assisted by fire and the police services as well. obviously, probably, a chaotic scene to start with, and dense fog not helping that. the oxford bus company said the driver was very experienced, and had been doing overnight shifts
for a number of years. now the coach has been taken away, the investigation turns to how it happened. for drivers in parts of southern and eastern england and wales, conditions on the roads today have been challenging. heavy fog has meant visibility has been poor, in some places less than 100 metres. the thick fog has also been causing disruption at airports. flights at heathrow were cancelled and delayed today. city airport in london suffered too, as did gatwick. the met office has extended their fog warning into tomorrow morning, leading to more disruption ahead of new year's eve. the advice — to check with the airline before travelling to the airport. helena lee, bbc news, oxfordshire. the un secretary general, ban ki—moon, has spent his last full day in office before standing down. this was the scene at the united nations building in new york as he said goodbye to his staff. he'll be replaced from the first ofjanuary by antonio guterres,
the former prime minister of portugal. mr ban was in a cheerful mood as he made these farewell remarks. now, ifeel a bit like cinderella. laughter tomorrow, at midnight, everything changes. applause it's a bit awkward. i have to do all on my own. so far, i have been assisted and supported by thousands and thousands of your hard—working staff and member states. let us see how i survive. laughter tomorrow night, on the eve of new year, i will be in times square for the ball drop. billions of people will be watching as i lose myjob.
laughter it is a matter of celebration, or... ban ki—moon handing over the reins to antonio guterres. now, what would you do if someone promised you more than $100 million a year to come to work for them? well, that's what cristiano ronaldo's agent says has been offered to the football star to go to play in the chinese super league. but he's turned it down. but it seems unlikely that the people who run football in china will give up on using financial muscle to try to attract the game's biggest names, asjoe wilson reports. china wants football, it wants footballers. earlier this year, bbc sport filmed at one of china's first designated football schools, two hours east of beijing. but the country can't simply wait for its grassroots to grow. in the meantime, there is money.
according to his agent, cristiano ronaldo turned down £85 million a year, offered by a club in the chinese super league. well, maybe, but the relocation is already happening. here is carlos tevez, once of manchester united and city, saying goodbye to his beloved buenos aires to begin the new year in shanghai, apparently becoming the world's highest—paid footballer. £32 million a season in the csl, it is rumoured. trevor watkins, a sports lawyer who has worked in china, told me these deals will force the world to pay attention. we have a situation where the csl is commanding the way in which the transfer market is moving. they're the ones with the big money, they're the ones prepared to put it down on the table. they have a slightly different transfer window to european football, and arguably they are distorting, or actually advancing the european market. consider oscar, 25, at his peak, and leaving chelsea tojoin a different shanghai side.
so are chinese clubs now a threat to the premier league? sam allardyce said today he had rejected a chance to manage in china, but thinks more players will go there. with their population, and the fact that the people will go out and watch football at that level, only time will tell whether it's the right thing to do or not. but the clubs are not going to turn that money down, and certainly the player isn't. it is possible to build a successful football league with foreign talent, in a country where the national team fails. they could ask england fans. china aims to win the world cup. if so, the next generation must be better than the current one. in a recent world cup qualifier, china lost to syria. joe wilson, bbc news. the government is giving renewed consideration to allowing learner drivers to have lessons on motorways in england, wales and scotland. other changes affecting motorcycle learners are also being considered. the lessons won't be compulsory, and driving instructors will decide when learners are ready.
ministers hope the move will make roads in britain safer, as our correspondent daniel boettcher reports. ok, so if you turn right at the end of the road... 17—year—old hannah spicer is practising her driving with her mum today. she started in september, and has had 20 lessons. hannah hopes she will be ready to take her test soon. she won't be allowed to drive on a motorway until she passes, but there are plans to change that. the government is considering proposals to allow supervised learners onto motorways for the first time, and hannah is all in favour. coming out onto the motorway for the first time with your instructor sitting next to you would be easier, because you have a second pair of eyes looking at everything that is around you. if you go on your first time alone, it's going to be a daunting experience. learner drivers would only be allowed on motorways in certain circumstances. they would have to be with an approved driving instructor, the lessons would be voluntary, and the instructor would decide if they are ready.
they would also have to be in a car with dual controls. you can't make it compulsory for practical reasons. there's large bits of the country that have no motorway access, they're too far from one. and if you allow it to happen, the people who are nearest the motorways, the people most likely to be using them, will get to learn how to do it properly. this would cover england, scotland and wales. northern ireland has its own plans to allow learners onto motorways. the government says britain's roads are already among the safest in the world, but that these measures could improve that record further still, and it proposes changes not just for drivers, but for novice motorcyclists too. they would have to take a theory test online, and those holding a provisional licence could have their compulsory basic training certificate revoked if they get more than six penalty points. hannah expects to have passed before any of the proposed changes come in. this is a consultation at the moment. it will also consider a target number of hours before a test can be taken, and some argue that could make learning too expensive.
but the government insists there are no plans to make that target compulsory. daniel boettcher, bbc news. the latest files to be released by the national archives shed new light on the political turmoil of 1989 and 1990 as margaret thatcher's period as prime minister came to an end. the files reveal attempts by mrs thatcher to modify the community charge, widely known as the poll tax, her controversial plan to replace local authority rates. the policy led to rioting and was a key factor in her downfall, as nick higham reports. it was the biggest political misjudgement of margaret thatcher's career. the poll tax provoked outraged opposition, even riots. the files show her normally self—confident government on the defensive. these are all files dealing with the poll tax over a period of 18 months, hundreds of pages of documents. it is an indication of how much time
mrs thatcher herself spent worrying about the problem, how complex it was, and how difficult it was to find a way out of the mess. many of the documents are covered in mrs thatcher's characteristically spidery handwriting. the government tried some desperate expedients. at one point, she herself floated the idea of letting councils put an extra penny on a gallon of petrol to raise more cash. the poll tax was meant to force labour councils to spend less. instead, the government got the blame when millions found they were paying more, and mrs thatcher realised it was hitting what she called the conscientious middle, her natural supporters. one turning point came with this letter, in march 1990, from an elderly conservative voter in norfolk. he and his wife were paying twice as much under the poll tax. he accused the prime minister of behaving like a dictator, riding roughshod over opposition. we like to see a combination...
michael portillo was the local government minister who had thejob of trying to make the poll tax work. he says there are lessons to be learnt today. well, there are lessons to be learned, of course, but i don't think they are learned. i mean, ithink, you know, the conservative government's commitment in the 19805 to introduce a poll tax without thinking it through is quite strongly paralleled by david cameron's commitment quite recently to hold a referendum, without thinking through what its consequences might be. as for mrs thatcher, the poll tax ended her career, but not before the files reveal westminster council threatened her with a fine if she didn't complete her own poll tax registration on time. nick higham, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. good morning. some contrasting weather conditions to close out our final few days of 2016. take, for example, yesterday. it was cold and foggy in the south—east pretty much all day for some of us.
temperatures just a couple of degrees above freezing, and not much to be seen from the london eye. by contrast, into the south—west, it was a beautiful afternoon with plenty of sunshine, as seen by this weather watcher's photo in st ives. 12 degrees the high here, and it was mild in the north and west of scotland as well. but it is going to turn increasingly wet and windy. high pressure, though, into the south just hangs on, and so fog certainly going to be an issue. it is certainly worth bearing in mind if you are out and about on the roads early on, there could be further disruption to travel, as that fog may well be dense in places. so temperatures struggling just a couple of degrees above freezing, and it will be a pretty murky start. mild to the north—west, but that rain is on its way. but let's concentrate with the fog across east anglia, down into the south—east corner, and to the south of the m4 corridor. here, some of the fog could be dense in places. so it is going to be a cold, grey start, eventually that fog lifting to low cloud. there will be a little bit of brightness, though, across much of wales
and the north of england. you should get to see some sunshine, and that will stay with you for much of the day. across northern ireland, southern scotland, the winds picking up, the rain into the north—west, some of that turning quite heavy for a time, and that will gradually drift its way south through the day. we should get to see a little bit of sunshine into the north of england and north wales. hopefully the fog lifts away, and it may well feel just that little bit milder. a bit more of a breeze around, at eight or nine degrees here, ten or 11 further north. now, as we go into new year's eve celebrations, unfortunately that weather front a bit of a nuisance through northern ireland and northern england, perhaps into north wales as well. so it means a wet end to the year. behind it, colder, and there will be some snow showers. so i suspect, as the clock ticks towards midnight, that weather front will be sitting, really, through the north of england and into wales. to the north of it, showery, those showers turning increasingly wintry. to the south of it, it stays mild and quiet. now, eventually, as that front sinks south once again, the colder air digs
in from the north. so we start off new year's day with some wet weather moving your way through the midlands, eventually pushing into the south—east corner. so a pretty miserable new year's day here. further north, it stays cold and showery. it will be a colder day on monday, but at least there will be some decent spells of sunshine, and it stays largely dry as well. the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm gavin grey. president—elect donald trump has praised russian president vladimir putin, after mr putin said he will not expel any us diplomats in response to washington's expulsion of 35 russians. writing on social media mr trump said, "great move on delay. i always knew he was very smart." police in rio dejaneiro are questioning the greek ambassador‘s wife and two other people on suspicion of involvement in the envoy‘s killing. investigators say the ambassador‘s body was found in the boot of a burnt—out car.