i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines — saudi arabia's set to lift the ban on women driving — but are they really on the road to equality? this is a historic day for saudi society, for men and women, and we can now say, at last bali braces for a major volcanic eruption. after hundreds of tremors and a mass evacuation — mount agung enters a "critical phase". i'm babita sharma in london. also in the programme — fighting prejudice: we report on the soldiers on trial in south korea — for being gay. and a pioneering implant restores consciousness to one patient — for the first time in fifteen years. it's 8am in singapore,
one in the morning in london and 2am in riyadh where for the first time women will be allowed to drive. saudi arabia's king salman issued an order allowing women to be given driving licences. the announcement ends the conservative islamic kingdom's status as the only country where it's forbidden. sarah corker reports. for a 25 years, women have campaigned for the right to dry in saudi arabia. some have been imprisoned for daring to get behind the wheel. this decision ends the conservative islamic kingdom's status as the only country in the world where it is for bid and. the
shock announcement was made at the un in new york on tuesday. a royal decree has been issued in saudi arabia, giving women the right to dry. —— driver. this is a historic day for saudi society, for men and women. saudi arabia has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women and is now fritz gender segregation rules. this decree, which risks riling religious conservatives, is part saudi arabia's reform dry, aimed at improving its global reputation. the us state department described it as a positive sign. we are happy to hear that. give saudi women are now able to dry, certainly here in the united states we would certainly welcome that. i think it is a great step in the right direction for the country. it follows a national celebration this weekend where women we re celebration this weekend where women were allowed into a sports stadium
previously male only arena to watch concerts the first time. one political analysis says allowing women to dry is another sign that the pace of social change is picking up. this has been for a long time a thorn in the side of the kingdom. that is why it is getting such limelight and positive coverage around the world, i think. although this was not the only issue on the un rights and women's rights agenda when it comes to saudi arabia. but the yes indeed, it is historic. the order should come into effect by june 2a next year. it has been described by campaigners as a real victory. a glorious day for women's rights. earlier we had reaction from our security correspondent frank gardner who's worked extensively in saudi arabia. i'm not surprised it has happened now. the king, king salman, is very close to his son, the crown prince, as you would imagine, and the crown prince is pushing through a programme called vision 2030. he wants to modernise saudi arabia, and bring it far more in line with the rest of the world.
he wants to introduce entertainment. he had always hinted that this would be possible. now, you may think that it is saudi kings, saudi monarchs, princes, that have been holding the country back all these years. it's not them. it's the religious conservatives, and some of the views they've expressed as to why women shouldn't drive have upset a lot of people. they have said they're too stupid to drive, or it will burn their ovaries. or, very popular among religious conservatives, they say that it will lead to chaos and depravity, men and women getting together and having trysts in the backseats of cars, or going off on dates together in cars. there probably will be a bit of that. but the most important impact here is that it liberalises, it liberates saudi women economically, because they no longer have to depend on these imported — these 800,000 imported chauffeurs from indonesia, philippines, india and other countries. and families can't afford it. you might think that saudi arabia, because it is a rich country, that everybody is rich.
they are not. a lot of them really struggle on small budgets, and they can't afford this. so this is a huge day for saudi arabia, and it will allow women to take part properly in the economy. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. indonesian authorities are warning that an active volcano on the holiday island of bali has entered a critical phase, and an eruption could be imminent. more than 75,000 people have already left the area surrounding mount agung, and are being sheltered in temporary accommodation or with relatives. tom donkin reports. the excruciating wait for disaster, which could either strike at any moment, or never at all. bali is an island on edge, with a warning that its highest volcano may erupt. certainly the signs are there. white smoke is now masking much of mount agung,
and hundreds of tremors are being recorded daily, a sign that magma is approaching the surface. authorities are taking these warnings seriously. in 1963, more than 1700 people were killed in an eruption. many homes were also destroyed. today, for locals preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, this is home. more than 75,000 people have moved into relief shelters. these are makeshift cities in limbo, full of lives on hold. how long for is anyone's yes. how long for is anyone's guess translation: i am bored spending days and days here. at home, i can work. i have my cows and chickens to take care of. it hurts that my home has been abandoned. the experts simply don't know when, or if, indeed, mount agung will erupt. the country's president arrives to offer support, stability. but even information from the top is uncertain. translation: it is not easy
to handle a volcanic eruption, because there is no certainty when it is going to happen, or if it is going to happen at all. for tens of thousands of tourists, holidays continue unaffected, for now. beaches are far enough away to be considered safe, and airlines continue to land. but an eruption would put ash in the sky, and keep planes on the ground. so for now, while mount agung rumbles on and predictions change, the wait continues. millions of people in puerto rico are still without electricity in the wake of hurricane maria. outside of the capital, many are still isolated without power or communications, which could take weeks to restore. clean water and medicine are also scarce. cbs correspondent david begnaud says the conditions have worsened in the days since the hurricane struck. look, the mayor of sanjuan,
carmen yulin cruz, walked up to me in a hotel today and said "mayday." she described a situation where people are dying. they are running out of diesel fuel here. and as the mayor said, on this island, because the communication structure and the power grid is decimated, when it comes to fuel, it means life on this island. the mayor says, i told you five days ago that people might die. today, i'm telling you that people are dying. listen, the sunlight is deceiving right now, and there is a beautiful wind, and i am looking out at the water. but it is a downright emergency here in puerto rico, and officials are telling us it is getting worse, not better. in thailand, the country's highest court is due to hand down a delayed verdict against former prime minister yingluck shinawatra. officials initially planned to announce their ruling last month, but ms yingluck reportedly fled to dubai. she faces up to ten years in prison if convicted of negligence over her involvement in a billion—dollar rice scheme. this is the scene in the ugandan
parliament earlier. punches were thrown, and some chairs, as tensions grow because of an attempt to remove the presidential age limit. under the constitution, a person standing for president must be younger than seventy—five, meaning the current head of state, yoweri museveni, is ineligible to run in the next polls in 2021. eventually they did calm down. there's been a major trial getting under way in hong kong. well, a retrial, to be more accurate. the territory's former chief executive donald tsang is facing bribery charges over the refurbishment of a penthouse apartment — paid for by a media company which was subsequently awarded a radio station license. on tuesday he entered a not guilty plea. a short time ago i got the latest from juliana liu who is following the
case in hong kong. the last time we talked about him was in february, during his first trial. at the end of that trial he was found guilty of one count of corruption, for which he is serving a 20—month sentence, the most senior hong kong official to be tried and convicted of corruption. the jury then cleared him of another charge, and they failed to come to an agreement on a third charge, so the prosecution has decided to bring that charge to trial again. so that process started on tuesday. he has already pleaded not guilty. it's expected to last for about 25 days, and jury selection began and ended on tuesday. rico, let me just show you how this is being covered in the local newspapers. this is the apple daily, a very popular chinese—language daily. you might be able to make out a photo of donald tsang there. he is smiling slightly
as he leaves the court. he appears to be in better spirits these days. perhaps he's accepting more of his circumstances. and the headline here is, i don't like donald tsang, and the juror allowed to go, summarising what happened during the selection ofjurors. one gentleman said that he didn't like mr tsang, and he was allowed to essentially not serve as part of thatjury. let me just show you, next, the south china morning post. this is the top—selling english—language paper of record in hong kong. again, a similar photo of mr tsang, wearing that distinctive bow tie that he is often wearing. he is smiling a bit more, seated in a car next to his wife, selina, of many years. another headline — donald tsang denies graft charge at high court trial. and the jury is composed of five women and four men. and that's the latest, rico.
i'll be certainly watching this trial and reporting back to you. in south korea, the military has been prosecuting gay soldiers under an old law which bans homosexual activity in the army. campaigners have called it a ‘witch hunt‘, while the military has defended its actions, saying they are aimed at protecting the wholesomeness of the army. one of the soldiers being prosecuted has spoken to the bbc. his identity has been concealed for his protection. do i have to live as a criminal because i'm gay? this law exists to kill homosexuals. i was really embarrassed. the investigator came to me, all of a sudden, and began to ask
which soldiers i met, and what i did with them. they took my phone as evidence. i'm constantly afraid that other soldiers in my battalion will find out. i'm also scared of what the outcome of the trial will be, and how long i will have to spend injail. our country still looks that homosexuality in negative way, so i've kept my sexuality hidden from my family. i heard from other gay people that their parents were shocked when they told them. once the trial is done, i will tell my parents. i always struggling with fear. if i'm convicted, i have to give up my dream and leave the army. i feel betrayed by the military, and by my country. you're watching newsday on the bbc.
still to come on the programme, the unusual measures that japanese authorities are taking to stop elderly drivers. ben johnson, the fastest man on earth, is flying home to canada in disgrace. all the athletes should be clean going into the games. i'm just happy that justice is served. it is a simple fact that this morning, these people were in their homes. tonight, those homes have been burnt down by serbian soldiers and police. all the taliban positions along here have been strengthened, presumably in case the americans invade.
it's no use having a secret service which cannot preserve its own secrets against the world. and so the british government has no option but to continue this action, and even after any adverse judgement in australia. concorde had crossed the atlantic faster than any plane ever before, breaking the record by six minutes. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm babita sharma in london. our top stories: the king of saudi arabia has issued an order allowing women to drive for the first time. more than 75,000 people have now been evacuated from their homes on the slopes of a volcano in bali amid fears of an imminent eruption. dyson, the company best known
for its vacuum cleaners and fans, says its going to spend $2.7 billion developing a radical electric car. the battery—powered vehicle is due to be launched in 2020. however, no prototype has yet been built and a factory site is yet to be chosen. that story is popular at bbc.com. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. we begin with the south china morning post, and as we've heard from our correspondent in hong kong, the territory's former chief executive donald tsang has denied a corruption charge in the high court. mr tsang is the highest—ranking official to be prosecuted, facing one count of accepting a bribe when he was chief executive. the trial‘s expected to last 25 days and with senior officials set to testify. the strait times is covering
the rohingya refugee crisis with the united nations security council set to thrash options on a way forward on wednesday. this picture on the front page showing the bangladesh army distributing food aid at a refugee camp. and finally, connecting the dots. the japan times has some exciting news for art lovers. japanese artist yayoi kusama, known for her repetitive patterned imagery, is opening a museum in downtown tokyo for her paintings and sculptures. now, babita, what stories are sparking discussions online? shopping lists in particular, rico. an indian woman to help her husband with their weekly food shop. it's full of instructions and little illustrations showing what to look
for, and era golwalkar‘s list has struck a chord with thousands of social media users. more on that story online at the bbc news website. back now to our main story, that women in saudi arabia are to be allowed to drive for the first time. madeha al ajroush, saudi arabia's most prominent female rights activist, took part in the first driving protest there in 1990. she reacted to the news from the saudi capital, riyadh. i am so, so happy. i'm out of words. i'm shocked and happy at the same time. it's a big dealfor all saudi women and it's a celebration indeed. it goes along with the national 2030 plan that women would be part of the saudi economy and development, and i'm so happy that government are taking women more
seriously and we're part of the strategy of 2030. it has taken almost three decades. did you expect it to happen now? i don't know about now, but i expected it to happen anyway. we have seen a lot of changes and they are optimistic. society is ready. the religious groups have really lost credibility with the youngsters and we are ready. i think that the new prince felt that and he is moving the nation at least forward progressively when it comes to social issues. and how does this move saudi arabian women's rights forward? majorly. it's the right for mobility. that's extremely important. women are now able to drive themselves to school, to university,
to hospitals, to work. the nation used to stop when children were going out of school. fathers used to go out and pick up children from school and now the nation will operate very normally. it's a celebration of... ..for men and women. it's not a men and women issue, it's afamily it's not a men and women issue, it's a family issue. it's a big deal. it's a big deal and a major celebration for men and women in saudi arabia. foryou, personally, madeha, how are you planning to celebrate today? are you planning to go behind the wheel this morning? i'll wait untiljune when i have my license and i will be one of the first people getting that licence, the official licence in saudi arabia, and be driving in the street. that is a big deal. i definitely will be one of the first women applying for the licence and i'm excited! in france, a man who'd been in a vegetative state for 15 years has begun to show signs of consciousness thanks to an experimental therapy.
the pioneering treatment involved implanting a nerve simulator in his chest. our medical correspondent fergus walsh reports. for 15 years, the patient in france had been completely unaware of the world around him following a car accident and severe brain injury, until a medical team in lyon restored some consciousness. they did it by stimulating the vagus nerve which connects the brain to other organs. surgeons implanted a nerve stimulator in the man's chest and this was linked by wire to the vagus nerve in the neck and then an electrical pulse was introduced. after treatment, the team report that the patient could follow an object with his eyes and slowly turn his head when asked, though he remains largely paralysed and unable to talk. now, the image on the right shows, three months after stimulation,
there is more activity in the key brain areas there than before the implant was inserted. and this is a before and after reading of electrical activity in the brain. again, on the right, the warmer colours here show greater connections at the back of the brain. this team in birmingham measure the brain activity of healthy volunteers. so we're just putting gel into the electrodes. and in patients with severe brain injuries, they say the french research is intriguing. i think this is a very exciting result. we have to be very cautious in the way that we interpret it, as it is only data from one patient, but i think it highlights the potential for future therapies for disorders of consciousness. what we need is a large group of patients with this stimulations so that we can work out exactly how it's working. cathy rentzenbrink‘s brother matty
spent years in a vegetative state, he died after a judge agreed with the family that his feeding tubes should be withdrawn. she says this research may raise false hopes. the debate will be muddied because everybody reading the headlines will say, "oh, doctors have woken someone up," whereas actually, to say that someone's been in a vegetative state and now minimally conscious is... well, a lot people thinking being minimally conscious is worse. this research raises ethical issues about the long term care of vegetative patients. last week, a judge in london ruled that legal permission is no longer required to withdraw feeding tubes when doctors and relatives agree. a decision that is likely to be challenged. fergus walsh, bbc news. as we've been reporting, women may soon be able to drive in saudi arabia but injapan they're trying to take some driving licenses away. drivers aged 65 and over are causing a growing number of fatal accidents, with nearly one in three responsible
of all such incidents. andrew bryson reports. she's been driving for half a century. but at 73, amiko takahashi has decided it's time for a refresher class. the instructors here in kanuma north of tokyo say as we get older it's harder to make quick judgements needed on the roads, so they practise. translation: it is important to educate ageing drivers literally behind the steering wheel, so that they can see and become aware of their own shortcomings. as well as courses like this, local authorities are offering incentives to get the least confident drivers off the road. discounts on ramen noodles, even cheaper funerals. that might be a tempting offer in a country with some of the highest burial costs in the world. $20,000 is not unusual. cheap taxis and bus
tickets are also offered. not enough to persuade the elderly to hand back their licences, he says the rules should be stricter. translation: driving requires physical abilities, no matter how well you're thinking ahead, your body has to respond first. if you can't pass strict testings at a training school like this then you have to accept it. that way, people would accept reality, i think. with the elderly set to account for 40% of japan's population within a few decades, it's a message many would be wise to heed. andrew brison, bbc news. you have been watching newsday. good morning.
yet again, if you had some sunshine yesterday you probably had some warmth, and in fact in the london area we saw highs of 22 degrees, with some sunny spells, as you can see from this weather watches from twickenham. but things are set to change. this low pressure is moving in, bringing wet and windy weather by the end of the day for many of us. we start off with the west—east divide. we start off with the west—east divide across the country. a bit of patchy mist and fog slowly lifting away, but the wind will strengthen and cloud and rain gathers. some of it quite heavy in northern ireland by the middle of the afternoon. the best of the weather is likely to stay in the south—east corner and we could have temperatures into the low 20s. by the end of the afternoon across the south—west of england and parts of wales we'll start to see some rain arriving. east wales, though, you might get a bit of brightness.
17—18 degrees. the heaviest rain into northern ireland where it will feel dismal. not a bad end to the afternoon in much of northern england and eastern scotland. cloud thickening up, the wind strengthening across western fringes of scotland. so that weather front sweeps eastwards through the evening and overnight and in actual fact it's moving at quite a pace. there will be some rain, some of it heavy, for all of us at some point through the night, clearing away in all but eastern fringes towards dawn. with clearer skies and lighter winds we could have patchy mist and fog forming. more favoured spots for it to linger perhaps through south—west england and wales. but again further west on thursday you'll see the best of the sunshine. after a cloudy and damp start there is a slow improvement through eastern fringes, but we might keep a bit of cloud across east anglia and the south—east. the highest values, 14—20 degrees. now, as we move out of thursday and into friday, things are set to change. that's partly because of what's happening across north america,
with a cold plunge of air coming out of canada, mixing with very warm, moist air in the caribbean, and that's going to strengthen the jet, which will in turn deflect these areas of low pressure across the uk. a spell of wet and windy weather moving into friday is likely that wull sweep steadily eastwards, behind it a better clearance — brighter weather to come. 14—19 degrees the high. this pattern continues into the weekend. saturday could be a day of sunshine and showers before another significant area of low pressure brings wet and windy weather for sunday. i'm babita sharma with bbc world news. our top story. a historic day in saudi arabia where women have been told that from next year, they will be able to drive king salman issued an order allowing women to be given driving licences. saudi arabia is the only country in the world where its forbidden. an active volcano on the holiday island of bali has entered a critical phase and an eruption could be imminent. 75,000 people have left the area surrounding mount agung.
and this story is trending on bbc.com — a shopping list, created by an indian woman to help her husband with their weekly food shop, has gone viral. it's full of instructions and little illustrations showing what to look for. era golwalkar‘s list has struck a chord with thousands of social media users. that's all from me for now. stay with bbc news. and the top story here in the uk — jeremy corbyn is to tell supporters labour is "on the threshold of power" and stands ready for government.