welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: one of the worst firestorms in california's history is tearing its way through parts of the state's wine region, killing at least ten people. could president trump set america on a path to world war three? a top republican claims white house staff are trying to contain the commander—in—chief. increased pressure on the catalan leader not to declare independence when he addresses the catalan parliament later on tuesday. africa's first female head of state prepares to step down and calls for peaceful campaigning ahead of liberia's presidential election. go to the polls peacefully, respecting every liberian‘s right to vote with dignity and pride. and the brazilian grandmother with the heart of an olympian. how a tragic death gave her a new lease of life. hello.
some of the worst wildfires the state of california has ever seen have killed at least ten people and forced around 20,000 from their homes. at least 1,500 properties have been destroyed as the flames spread in hot weather, whipped up by strong winds. governorjerry brown has declared a state of emergency in the wine counties of napa, sonoma and yuba. the bbc‘s dave lee reports from san francisco. fierce winds and low humidity — the perfect conditions for a raging blaze to spread across california's famous wine region, north of san francisco. late sunday night, dramatic videos posted to social media showed locals desperately fleeing towns that were being engulfed by the flames. slow down. stop!
winds as strong as 70mph meant the fire spread quickly and unpredictably. what started the initial blaze is not yet known. 11 o'clock somebody came around honking their horn, like, just crazy. we're just like "what is going on?" and i don't know what inspired me to look out my bedroom window, necause it's in the back of the house and the car was in the front of the house, but i drew my blinds and ijust saw flames all up behind the hills, behind my house. by monday morning, more than 1a separate fires, covering almost 60,000 acres were being dealt with. a conservative estimates suggest 1500 structures had been destroyed, many of them people's homes. evacuation centres were set up for those affected, including several hundred patients at two hospitals. the city of santa rosa was particularly badly hit. many homes and the hilton hotel were burnt to the ground. every spark is going to ignite
a fire and so, regardless of what that may be — wind can impact, and start fires, downed power lines, vehicles pulling off into the dry grass — all of those things have the potential and under these kind of conditions, the risk isjust extreme of new starts. california's governor, jerry brown, has declared a state of emergency in a region which is no stranger to large brush fires. the state's stretched fire crews are also tending to large fires in southern california. in wine country, authorities prioritise getting people out of harm's way before attempting to tackle the blaze. more than 20,000 people have left their homes and so attention is now turning to try to control the fire form the air. people across northern california are being told to close their windows to minimise the danger of breathing in ash. weather forecasts predict the wind levels will drop, which could may make containing the fire easier. the bbc‘s regan morris joins us
now from los angeles. how bad is it looking right now?m does not look good. i mean, what's really struck me is one of the head of california's fai officials came out and of california's fai officials came outand said, of california's fai officials came out and said, you know, the priority right now is saving lives, we are not battling the fires because they are so not battling the fires because they are so out of control and they are trying desperately to get people out of there. —— fire officials. that is unusual. what is also unusual is the fires started almost simultaneously. there are more than a dozen fires burning around wine country right now, 14 fires. they all started around the same time, less than 2a hours ago. so has moved so fast and taken people hours ago. so has moved so fast and ta ken people really hours ago. so has moved so fast and taken people really offguard. we are used to wildfires in california but this does seem extraordinary and
people are already saying it could be one of the deadliest in california's history because we have heard reports a lot of people are missing. so there are ten people reportedly dead, seven of them in sonoma and napa county and one elsewhere, and it will worsen, it seems, with reports of missing people. far less important than the lives, people around the world will know the names because it is wine producing country, what of all that? it is harvest time and it is a huge tourism hotspot as well. these are places that attract people around the world. winetasting, it is just beautiful countryside. and it is going to damage the economy. i can't imagine what it is like for tourists who were staying in that hotel. the hotel has burnt down. the hotel has
sentin hotel has burnt down. the hotel has sent ina hotel has burnt down. the hotel has sent in a team to cover this. we are struggling to find a place for them to stay while they travel up there. everything is booked from the people evacuating. so there is at least 20,000 people who have evacuated. and what is the thinking about why people are dying, if it is not a strange question, obviously people know it is going on, is in moving so fast people have misjudged how much time they have to escape?” fast people have misjudged how much time they have to escape? i would guess that. i don't know the details yet what exactly happened to those people who died in a fire. that is usually what happens, though. fires are very unpredictable. i have been in many wildfires. you think you are safe and then suddenly it can jump. fire canjump safe and then suddenly it can jump. fire can jump roads. safe and then suddenly it can jump. fire canjump roads. things that safe and then suddenly it can jump. fire can jump roads. things that you think, it can't happen, it won't jump think, it can't happen, it won't jumpa a—lane think, it can't happen, it won't jump a a—lane highway, it can and it does and the wind is very strong across the entire state. we also have a fire burning in southern california near disneyland. there have been pictures of the eerie red
— orange skies blocking out the sun over disneyland. the park is still open but there has been a thousand people evacuated around the area as well and sometimes lost. thanks so much for that. —— and a few homes lost. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. it's being widely reported in the us that google has found russian agents spent tens of thousands of dollars on adverts to spread disinformation during the presidential election. sources connected to google's investigation say the ads were also carried by youtube and gmail, both google products. the international committee of the red cross is to drastically reduce its presence in afghanistan, mainly in the north, because of attacks on its staff and facilities. the charity has worked in afghanistan for 30 years. seven staff were killed this year, several others abducted. the trump administration has confirmed plans to repeal another of barack 0bama's keynote policies, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power stations, and encouraged states to move to cleaner energy sources. the head of the environmental protection agency, scott pruitt, says he'll sign a document on tuesday to withdraw the clean power plan, as he put it,
the war on coal would be over. president trump's testy relationship with top republicans has reached new levels in a war of tweets with senator bob corker. it began on sunday when mr trump said senator corker, "didn't have the guts" to run for re—election in the state of tennessee. mr corker, who chairs the senate foreign relations committee, shot back calling the white house an "adult day care centre" and that "someone obviously missed their shift this morning". later in the day, during an interview with the new york times, senator corker went on to accuse donald trump of treating the presidency like "a reality show" with actions that could put the us on the path to world war three. joel aberbach is a distinguished professor emeritus of political science and public policy at the university of california, los angeles. he joins us from the city now.
thank you very much for your time. i guess it actually plays very well with the president's core voters when he is seen as more of an independent, less tied to the republican party, doesn't it? that is certainly set to be his thinking in the matter. the problem for him is that he needs the institutional republican party, particularly in the congress, if he's going to have any kind of legislative record. and so any kind of legislative record. and so for him it is a trade—off. the more he plays to this base in the very crude way he has been playing to them, the more difficult it is for him with the members of his own party in the house and senate. u nless party in the house and senate. unless of course his former aide steve bannon can do what he says he is going to do and remake the party by encouraging challenges to sitting
senators in the upcoming midterms and produce a more pliable party in congress. what do you make of that? well, the problem is that trump is president now. the mid—term elections are a little more than a year from now. and elections are a little more than a yearfrom now. and to elections are a little more than a year from now. and to govern the country for the next 13 months, even if that is his goal, it isn't as if everything will run along smoothly. so it is not a very straightforward proposition. and the other thing is that this steve bannon faction of the party, let's assume for the moment that it represents 35% or so of people who approve of donald trump, that is not sufficient for them to carry the country, and so it
isa them to carry the country, and so it is a more delicate thing, i think, for the republicans. many people suggesting senator corker is only saying what many republicans are thinking but not saying. i guess that only matters if they speak out. there is no sign they are going to. certainly that's true because it can be very costly to them, pardon me, to speak out. however, let's just assume for the moment, and i think a reasonable assumption that what senator corker is saving does represent what some proportion of the republicans in the house and senate think. if that is the case, it can make it difficult for trump when he wants to get something done in the congress. and my assumption is that one of the things that he really does want to do is to change the tax system. if nothing else
because it would benefit him the way they are making their proposals. so he is going to have to deal with these people. and antagonising them may be the way one proceeds in his view of how to make a deal but some other people think that can be a rather dangerous way to proceed, especially with politicians who themselves have rather substantial egos. professor, thank you very much. you're welcome, my pleasure. liberia's political parties have been campaigning ahead of the first round of voting in the country's presidential election. 20 candidates are standing to replace current president ellen johnson sirleaf. it's the first liberian elections in 12 years, and, as andrew plant reports, competition between candidates is running high. monrovia, capital of liberia, hours before the polling stations open. with 20 candidates standing, there is a different campaign party around almost every corner. in a country of 11.5 million, more than half the voters are young people.
this election will be the very first time for liberia to go through a peaceful transitional process in our country. so we have observed that youth has been actively engaged in politics. for 15 years, civil war killed hundreds of thousands of people here. now they are anxious to protect more than a decade of peace. africa's first elected female president, ellen johnson sirleaf, will step aside and, for the first time in memory here, power will be passed to a democratically elected successor. former footballer, george weah, is one of the candidates. we can all live together in peace. the current vice president, joseph boakai, is also in the running. with all the resources that we have, with our agriculture,
mining, we should not be dependent on foreign aid. liberia, on the west coast of africa, has many issues a new leader will need to tackle. many candidates pledging to end corruption and revive the economy. issues that could decide who wins. with so many candidates, it is unlikely that any one will get more than half the vote which means the top two left in the running will battle each other for the presidency. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we'll meet the brazilian grandmother with the heart of an 0lympian. how a tragic death gave her a new lease of life. this was a celebration by people who were relishing their freedom. they believe everything's going to be different from now on.
they think their country will be respected in the world once more, as it used to be before slobodan milosevic took power. the dalai lama, the exiled spiritual leader of tibet, has won this year's nobel peace prize. as the parade was reaching its climax, two grenades exploded and a group of soldiersjumped from a military truck taking part in the parade and ran towards the president, firing from kalashnikov automatic rifles. after 437 years, the skeletal ribs of henry viii's tragic warship emerged. but even as divers work to buoy herup, the mary rose went through another heart—stopping drama. i want to be the people's governor. i want to represent everybody. i believe in the people of california. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: one of the worst firestorms in california's history is tearing its way through parts of the state's wine region, killing at least ten people. president trump is embroiled in another war of words on social media. this time, it's with a senior republican senator, bob corker. there's growing pressure on the leaders of catalonia to abandon their plans to declare the region independent from spain. the catalan president is due to address the regional parliament later on tuesday in what's likely to be a major milestone in the political crisis, and he's previously signalled that a formal declaration is imminent. 0ur europe editor katya adler reports from barcelona. barcelona is world famous as a haven for tourists, not a hotbed for political instability. so the storm around catalan independence has taken visitors a bit by surprise. well, there are a lot of people yelling, crying, "viva espana."
we have seen people being very friendly, happy. happy to try to be independent, yes. the streets of barcelona have echoed with political slogans this week, demonstrations for and against catalan independence, following a referendum on breaking away from spain which was marred by police aggression, not recognised by spanish courts, but resulted in a majority for independence. the tension of the last few days, including arguments over who did or didn't vote in the referendum, comes to a head here tomorrow in a special session of the catalan parliament called by the catalan president. and what will he say exactly? it's impossible to overstate how keenly watched, how closely watched his words will be, notjust here in catalunya, but across spain and the european union. because, ultimately, this comes down to european unity. will there be that declaration
of unilateral catalan independence here or not? no—one knows. and if they do, they are not telling. translation: the referendum law is very clear about declaring independence if the majority is in favour. but it is not for me to speak for the catalan president. as the clock counts down to the catalan president's parliamentary declaration, political pressure is being ramped up to stop the push for independence, at home, by the spanish government... and abroad, with france, seen as culturally close to the catalans, declaring it will not recognise an independent catalonia. catalans in favour of independence plan to surround the parliament here, an attempt to bend the catalan president to their will. katya adler, bbc news, barcelona. more of the days news in brief.
a british—iranian woman imprisoned in iran faces new charges according to her husband, which could mean she spends more time injail. nazanin zaghari ratcliffe was arrested in april last year as she tried to leave tehran. she was jailed for five years, accused of accused of trying to overthrow the government. human rights groups have called for her release. a hearing on the case of seven australian politicians caught up in the country's dual nationality saga is underway in the high court in canberra. all seven, including deputy prime minister barnabyjoyce, admit they may have breached the constitution by taking office while holding citizenship rights in other countries. a man in a shark costume has fallen foul of an anti—burka law that recently came into force in austria. designed to ban the full—face islamic veil, the law says people's faces must be visible from hairline to chin. the man in the shark mask was advertising a business in central vienna and the business was fined. the oscar—winning hollywood producer
harvey weinstein has been sacked by his company following allegations that he sexually harassed women for decades. mr weinstein has apologised for his behaviour, although his lawyer has rejected many of the accusations against him. meryl streep called his alleged behaviour disgraceful, but there's also been criticism of an apparent reluctance in hollywood, to respond to the claims, as our north america correspondent nick bryant reports. he's a behind—the—camera figure who's become one of the movie industry's most prominent red carpet stars. harvey weinstein, now cast by some as a sexual predator, the alleged villain in a saga of his own making. he's the producer behind a string of hits. pulp fiction showed how he could turn arthouse films into box office sensations. the king's speech brought oscar—winning success. but now he's been fired from the company he co—founded,
in light of what the weinstein company described as new information about his misconduct. ashleyjudd was one of the first actresses to speak out. the new york times reported he had reached settlements with at least eight women who claimed he'd sexually harassed them. i think the question stands — who protected harvey weinstein, who protected the women, did the women feel they could speak up? did they feel that anybody would believe them? did they fear that this would hurt their careers? the plot sounds like a throwback to the bad old days of hollywood, a movie mogul allegedly praying an aspiring young actresses in a modern—day version of the casting couch. but the industry has been slow to publicly condemn a figure of enormous influence, one with the power to break, as well as make careers. harvey weinstein is a prominent democrat with friends in high places such as hillary clinton. but today, the ‘first lady‘ of hollywood, meryl streep,
a friend who once referred to him as god, spoke out about the claims. judi dench, who won an oscar for her role in the weinstein movie shakespeare in love, said the allegations were horrifying. last week, he apologised for behaviour which in the past had caused a lot of pain — but also claimed many of the accusations were false. this, though, is a storyline that even he can't control. nick bryant, bbc news, washington. last year's olympic games in rio were widely considered a huge success. but there was tragedy amidst the festivities. a coach with the german team, stefan henze, died in a car crash near the olympic park. his organs were donated for transplant and one brazilian woman was given a new lease of life. the bbc‘s tim allman takes up the story.
ivonette balthazar, 67 years old, a grandmother. she looks completely normal but she has the heart of an olympian, literally. after a lifetime of smoking, she suffered a heart attack. bedridden, she was on a waiting list by nearly two years. then she was finally given the transplant she so desperately needed. translation: her heart is great, marvellous. it functions very well. and the heart will now allow her to change her life. she'll be able to get back to doing things that she never would have dreamt she'd be able to do. that's thanks to the person who is no longer here with us. that person is stefan henze. he won silver for slalom canoeing at the athens olympics in 200a. he became a coach with the german team, but died from head injuries sustained in a car crash at last year's games. ivonette was given his heart
and last month, she took part in a 3—kilometre walk along copa cabana beach with a grandson by her side. she knows how lucky she is and how much she owes to stefan henze. translation: i'm really taking care of this heart. i'd like to give his mother a hug, because i'm also a mother, and i know how much she must be suffering. i would hug them and tell then that i'm going to do everything i can to make sure this heart is alive for a long time. she says she will continue walking and racing, seeing it as a tribute to the man who saved her life. she thinks, appropriately enough, it's like winning a gold medal. tim allman, bbc news. when they beat england at the last european championship, it was considered one of the biggest footballing upsets of all time, but iceland seem determined to prove it wasn't a one—off. they've qualified for next year's world cup,
the smallest country ever to do so. a 2—0 win over kosovo in reykjavik was enough to clinch top spot in their qualifying group. they are the only country to reach the world cup finals with a population of less than a million. an open—air swimming poll in the british seaside town of brighton has opened its doors to hundreds of dogs and their humans to celebrate the last weekend of the swimming season. and if you were thinking of swimming there next summer, then don't worry about the furballs — staff at the saltdean lido have promised to give it a thorough clean overwinter! much more on all the news any time on the bbc news website. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. i'm @bbc mike embley. hello there.
quite a lot of cloud first thing across the southern half of the british isles. some drizzly outbreaks of rain, as well, in parts of england and wales. the best of the sunshine first thing today is likely to be across scotland. for northern england, perhaps some breaks in the cloud, and for the midlands, too. here's the picture first thing, as you can see. fairly solid cloud across england and wales. we'll take a closer look at where the breaks are to be found injust a second. but really, you can already see the contrast — scotland and northern england looking much clearer. northern ireland likely to see some sunshine in shelter from the westerly or south—westerly wind. but some showers arriving through the morning as well, one or two of them heavy during the rush hour. still strong winds and some heftier showers for the northern isles. the showers as we head onto mainland of scotland a little bit more scattered. some heavier ones possible through the central lowlands. but here at least, in between the showers, some decent sunshine. sunshine across northern england first thing, too. although look out for some rain around the liverpool bay area, stringing across towards lincolnshire. some glimmers of sunshine for the midlands and perhaps the south—east of england.
thicker cloud, however, across the south—west, and some more persistent, if not especially heavy, outbreaks of rain to be found here. stretch those across the bristol channel into southern wales, as well. to the lee of the welsh hills and mountains, however, there should be some sunshine to get the day underway through herefordshire and up into the likes of warwickshire and into the midlands. things improve through the morning. i think we'll see more in the way of sunshine, whereas further south, some of that cloud is going to filter its way further eastwards into the south—east of england. so enjoy any early brightness, because it looks like the afternoon for the south—east of england and east anglia will be cloudy, with some outbreaks of rain. further west, a little brighter. but then cast your eye towards the north—west, where, after that glorious start for scotland, it's all really gone downhill — thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain arriving. that's this frontal system here, coming in from the north. tightly squeezing isobars, as well, mean strong winds, and that wet weather pushes across northern ireland, northern england, into wales and the midlands through the small hours of wednesday. so a pretty wet and windy story as wednesday gets underway, and this rain is really going to tot up as well for some parts of southern scotland,
northern england and for wales. particularly, i think, the cumbrian fells and the mountains of snowdonia getting a real dollop of rain, perhaps up to 100mm before we're through with this weather system, the rain getting further south into wales and the south—west of england come the afternoon. the south—east, with some sunshine, could see up to 18 degrees though, and northern ireland and scotland will clear as the day goes on. thursday probably the best day of the week across the board, in terms of some dry and fine weather. just light winds, as well. and temperatures around average for the time of year, in the mid teens. this is bbc news. the headlines: some of the worst wildfires california has ever seen have killed at least ten people and forced around 20,000 from their homes. the governor has declared a state of emergency in three counties. at least 1500 properties have been destroyed, as the flames spread in hot weather, fanned by winds gusting up to a0 miles an hour. president donald trump's testy relationship with top republicans has reached new levels in a war of tweets, with senator bob corker.
the president accused him of not having the guts to run for re—election. the senator said the white house was like an adult day care centre, and "someone had obviously missed their shift." the mayor of barcelona has urged the catalan separatist leader and the spanish prime minister not to do anything that might destroy the chance of dialogue and mediation. the catalan leader is due to make a crucial speech to parliament in barcelona later on tuesday. now on bbc news, hardtalk.