welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: deadly wildfires rage on across the wine region region of california. at least 15 people have been killed. catalonia's president signs a declaration of independence, but the spanish government dismisses his offer of talks. fresh allegations against harvey weinsten the hollywood producer denies claims he raped three women. it's the ultra—stinky fruit which is loved and loathed in equal measure. now scientists reveal the secret behind the durian‘s overpowering aroma. the wildfires raging across the wine region of california have left at least 15 people dead and destroyed hundreds of houses. 20,000 people have fled their homes,
and a state of emergency has been declared. california is no stranger to wildfires but these are some of the worst on record. a combination of dry weather and strong winds are fuelling the ferocious pace of the flames. the bbc‘s dave lee is on the scene. it's the vast scale of these wildfires that's most alarming. more than 15 major blazes raging across 73,000 acres, creating an apocalyptic landscape. the conditions were perfect: dry tinder, ignited with the help of 50 mph winds. when the flames came up, we came down here, and you could not see your hand in front of your face. fire was coming up over the houses, about 100 feet, both sides of the street. firefighters say containment has been virtually impossible, so they have been concentrating on getting people to safety. these people in this car fleeing to escape, shocked by the mass destruction. holy moly!
and in towns and cities north and south of san francisco, fires have disintegrated home. many have been left with nothing. all our pictures are gone. everything — everything is gone. we've got a fire pit. it is pretty awful. fires of this ferocity in this famous wine producing region of northern california are rare. it is not yet clear how they started. every spark‘s going to ignite a fire. so regardless of what that might be — wind can impact, downed power lines, vehicles pulling into dry grass, all those things have the potential. under these conditions, the risk is extreme of new start. it has been two days since the fire swept through this part of town. you can still see pockets of flame, still smouldering away.
we understand there were around 30 homes in this area, and, as you can see, most of them have been completely destroyed. but some houses were, miraculously, spared. we are very lucky. ten more minutes and my house would have been gone. so as the fire department rolled up, this is where they started fighting. here and across the street. and... and they were able to save my house. others are taking refuge in a number of shelters across the region. to see the fire that close, and the popping, you know, like, it was like gunfire, explosions. just to see some of the sites that we know, you know? to know that they are no longer there, and that friends have lost their house... i suspect it is going to be years before everything gets back to, truly, a normalcy. the flames have taken almost everything they could touch — people's lives, their livelihoods, and their community. let's get more now from rachel hundley.
she's the mayor of the city of sonoma which is in wine making country country about an hour north of san francisco. i think you have about six active fires around your city. i can only imagine how much sleep you end your tea m imagine how much sleep you end your team have had in the past few days and nights. i think it will be another law night tonight as the winds are shifting again, but it is unusual having this many fires surrounding the city. usually you can focus on one prior but now we have to focus on six different areas. i think october is typically the time for wildfires but usually further south. how does this compare to what you've seen before? it has. i haven't been in sonoma when we've had wildfires. a couple of years ago there was a large fire in lake county that everyone paid close attention to. no one was close
enough to see the glow in the mountains. sonoma hasn't seen a fire ina mountains. sonoma hasn't seen a fire in a while. what do you do? you just keep a suitcase packed and you are prepared to run? i do. the night that we first discovered the fire andi that we first discovered the fire and i walked out into my driveway and i walked out into my driveway and saw flames on the hill two miles away, we packed up the back and that bag is still sitting there just in case the call comes. we've seen some bad figures for deaths and a worrying number of people missing. what you think is happening? is it possible there are more will who didn't allow enough time to escape because the flames are moving too fast, or are they may be in casually centres, not accounted for yet? we had pretty aggressive evacuation programme is rolling out for the last two days in the north —— andy north part of the county they are still evacuating. i think that save a lot of lives but also caused confusion. some people only had a
few minutes to get up and leave. in sonoma we have evacuation shelters. 100 people were there last night, we will see how many were there tonight. it is hard for everyone to get in touch with their loved ones, especially those who aren't connected. i guess it is lower down the list, everybody‘s list, from the death told, but this is a big great producing region, a big tourist destination. what do you think will be left of the wine region?|j destination. what do you think will be left of the wine region? i think we will still be standing. as anecdotal stories and photos are coming out of wineries and homes that are lost, it is breaking out hearts, but we have a very generous community. we are very resilient. the wine industry is very supportive and generous, so i'm confident that the wineries that end up surviving are going to be helping the ones that didn't and this will be a full community effort. thank you so much
for talking to us. thank you for having me. the catalan leader —— carles puigdemont —— the catalan leader carles puigdemont has signed a document declaring catalonia's independence from spain. but he told the catalan parliament the effects of the declaration would be suspended to allow time for talks. he says he hopes for a negotiated solution. the spanish government has dismissed the move, but will hold an emergency cabinet meeting on wednesday to discuss the crisis. 0ur europe editor katya adler reports from barcelona. they came in hope today, in expectation and determination. thousands and thousands of them to this central barcelona square, believing they'd witness the declaration of catalan independence today. independence! "now is our time," geneve told me, "the president here has to announce an independent catalonia today." their wish for separation from spain so nearly came true
when their president, inside the regional parliament, announced the decision by catalans in favour of independence in their recent referendum. applause this is the moment the crowd has been waiting for. catalonia has won the right to be an independent state, says their president. they believe they're witnessing the birth of the new republic of catalonia. then came the "but..." translation: the government and myself propose that this parliament suspends the effects of the independence declaration in order to establish dialogue without which we cannot reach a solution. this was the catalan president acknowledging the fact that spanish courts deemed the referendum illegal, so it hasn't been recognised by the spanish government or by catalans wanting to remain a part of spain. but disappointment amongst this
pro—independence crowd was deep. translation: i'm really sad. we were expecting something very different. so, too little indepdence for the spanish catalans, too much for the spanish government. translation: the speech the president gave today is that of a person who doesn't know where he is, where he's going, or who he wants to go there with. the government can't accept the validity given to the catalan referendum law because it was ruled illegal by the spanish constitutional court. tonight a roller—coaster of emotions here, including confusion. separation from spain may not be happening now, but the catalan president has simply put it on ice. katya adler, bbc news, barcelona. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.
donald trump has challenged his secretary of state to an iq test, saying: "i can tell you who's going to win". he was responding to reports that rex tillerson described him, in a pentagon meeting, as "a moron", which mr tillerson has not denied. in an interview, mr trump said he thought the reports were "fake news", but a test would prove he was the smarter man. a mass vaccination programme against cholera is underway for rohingya refugees in bangladesh. more than 11,000 crossed the border from myanmar on monday alone, a big increase on last week's average daily arrivals. many have told un officials they are fleeing violence, and the burning of their villages. south korea's military says two american bombers have been flown near the korean peninsula in a show of force. with tension in the region still high, the bombers flew from the us airbase in guam, on a training exercise. all this amid allegations that north korean hackers stole military documents from the south, including a plan to assassinate kim jong—un. equifax has revealed many more uk customers have been affected by this
year's data breach than first thought. it says around 700,000 people in the uk had their details stolen. equifax is offering help to uk customers who are affected. it's contacting them by letter. the hollywood producer harvey weinsten has now been accused of sexual harassment by some of hollywood's biggest stars, angelina jolie and gwyneth paltrow. and an italian film star and two other women claim he raped them, according to an investigation by the new yorker magazine. weinsten was sacked by his own production company at the weekend. he has issued a statement unequivocally denying any non—consensual sex. nick bryant has the latest. few people have dominated hollywood quite like harvey weinstein, a movie mogul who changed the face of the film industry, but who now stands accused of abusing that power by harassing women and preying on them sexually in a modern day version of the casting couch.
he could not. some of the biggest names in movies are now coming forward. gwyneth paltrow claims that when he hired her as the lead in the film, emma, he suggested they head to his bedroom for massages. she was a kid, she told the new york times, and was petrified. angelina jolie, who was in the weinstein movie, playing by heart, claims he made unwanted advances in a hotel room, which she rejected. in los angeles tonight, louissette geist, who was then a young actress, described pitching a film to him in 2008. when i finished my pitch, i was obviously nervous, and hejust kept asking me to watch him masturbate. i told him i was leaving. he quickly got out of the tub and grabbed my forearm, as i was trying to grab my purse, and he led me to his bathroom pleading that i just watch him masturbate. the italian model, ambra battilana gutierrez,
has accused weinstein of groping her and, after complaining to police, wore a wire to capture a conversation at this manhattan hotel, in which he appeared to admit it. i'm everything, i'm a famous guy. i'm feeling very uncomfortable right now. please come in now and one minute and if you want to leave, when the guy comes with myjacket. why yesterday you touched my breasts? oh, please, i'm sorry, just come on in, i'm used to that. you're used to that?! please. yes, come in. in a statement from his lawyer, harvey weinstein denied accusations he'd raped three women. "any allegations of non—consexual sex are inequivocally denied by mr weinstein. "mr weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances." leading liberals were much quicker to condemn donald trump after a tape emerged of him boasting about molesting women than the movie mogul, a major democratic fundraiser. tonight, his friend,
hillary clinton, gave herfirst response, saying she was "shocked and appalled." america is a country of second chances and improbable comebacks, but given the number of women who are now coming forward, it's hard to see how harvey weinstein can ever be such a force in the movie industry again. hollywood hierarchies have been dramatically upended, the power now lies with his accusers. nick bryant, bbc news, washington. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the last da vinci. we'll tell you about the portrait of christ that may sell for $100 million. 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 her up, 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: deadly wildfires continue to rage across california's famous wine region. at least 15 people have been killed. catalonia's president has signed a declaration of independence, but the spanish government has dismissed his offer of talks. cynthia shaw is with
the american red cross, and she is at an evacuation centre in santa rosa, california. thank you very much for talking to us. thank you very much for talking to us. how many people do you have there at your evacuation centre, and what kind of tales are they telling you? so at this evacuation centre, at memorial hall in santa rosa in california, we have approximately 300 to 400 people. in fact, the evacuation order has just expanded over the past hour. and so we have more people coming in. and a lot of concern, a lot of fear, a lot of worry as the fires continue to rage in northern california. and tell me, i know california unfortunately is pretty used to wildfires. what happens, if people's places have
been destroyed, can you get insurance in that area? can you rebuild? so the homeowners who have insurance are definitely going to work with their insurance companies to rebuild their homes. those who don't have insurance, they will have to work with other agencies to help them recover from this disaster. cynthia, obviously the number of people dead is very worrying, but they seem to be a large number of people missing. what is the thinking? is it possible that many of them are at evacuation centres like yours, but just of them are at evacuation centres like yours, butjust not counted yet because so many people are coming in? there are over 20 evacuation centres across four counties in northern california, and many people with cellphone coverage here is very spotty, so it is hard to get word out. so some people mayjust not be able to say to others we are okayed. so we are still working with families. we have a website where people can go and look and register that they are looking for families. but it is a concern, and we are
still working with people to get those resources and make those reconnection is. and what kinds of experiences, cynthia, are you hearing from people? well, of course, yesterday morning, when the fires raged and work up everybody at 1am in the morning, the raging flame was very much a concern. tonight, as the fires again jumped the line, concerns. but hopeful that people are finding shelters and finding comfort. we have our nurses and our mental health workers who are providing care and comfort and giving people a safe place during this very trying time. thank you very much for your time. this week, in our 100 women series, we will be looking at the issue of illiteracy. as a child in rural nepal, indira ranamagar taught herself the letters of the alphabet by drawing them out in the dirt using a stick. her parents worked in the fields, and she was alone during the day in a shed with the cows. but she overcame the challenges and dedicated her life to helping others, by setting up homes for the children of prisoners.
over the years, she has provided shelter to over 1,600 children through her charity, pa nepal. all the girls, they take care of the young ones. everybody has a responsibility. one of nature's smelliest secrets may have been revealed, thanks to a team of durian—loving scientists in singapore. researchers have found an odour gene which gives the thorny fruit its notoriously pungent scent. andrew plant reports. green and spiky on the outside, pale, soft and very smelly inside. loved and loathed in equal measure. to some, its aroma is reminiscent of fried onions and pickles, while others detect a rotten eggs, rancid garlic, even decaying animals. now, a team of scientists has unlocked its secrets. it smell, they say, down to its genetic code, and sulphur compounds which become more live as the fruit ripens. the durian
is this iconic fruit in singapore and south east asia. it is known as the king of fruits. and all of us have been fascinated since we were young about what makes the durian, the husk, the smell, the taste. durian has about 46,000 genes, the building blocks that make the durian, twice the number we found in the human being. durian has expanded more genes related to the production of sulphur. this market in malaysia so of sulphur. this market in malaysia so serving fans of the fruit. durian is big business in asia, the trade in china said to be worth $800 million a year. singapore imported 23,000 tons of it last year. and they could sell for $20. scientist trace durian's evolution back 65 million years, meaning dinosaurs could once have smacked on its smelly flash, and that could be the key to its unique aroma. the pungent smell perhaps useful for attracting wild animals, and so helping to
spread its seeds far and wide. a previously lost portrait by leonardo da vinci is to go on sale in new york. it is the last one still in private hands, estimated worth around $100 million. but the auctioneers admit it is so rare they don't really know what it will sell for. the bbc‘s tim allman has the story. it has been described as the last da vinci. salvator mundi, saviour of the world, a portrait of christ, dating from around 1500. it was only rediscovered 12 years ago when it was sold at auction, initially believed to be a copy. the new buyers started the restoration process, and when the old paint layers began to come off the new paint layers,
you could see the original quality and it was at that point it was beginning to be understood that it could be leonardo da vinci's lost original which was presumed to have been destroyed. leonardo da vinci, perhaps the greatest and most important artist of all time, the creator of the mona lisa and the last supper. so what price do you put on genius? we're being a little vague — around $100 million. i mean, there's never been anything like it sold, so in a way, how much it makes is really... we're not really sure. the market will decide, but it's around $100 million is the estimate. all will be revealed next month, when the auction takes place in new york. soon, the last da vinci will have a new home. tim allman, bbc news. $100 million, give ortake, if you are checking your bank account. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. hello there.
we have a wet wednesday on the cards for some western parts of the british isles. some heavy rain, some strong winds, as well, courtesy of a slow—moving weather front. an area of low pressure drifting to the north—west of the british isles. this front here really dragging its heels, as it pushes its way south and east. so in some places it will rain for pretty much all day long. now, down to the south—west of england, could be some patchy rainfirst thing. but a lot of dry weather at 8:00am in the morning, and that dry theme extends further east, as well. certainly across south—east england and east anglia we will see some spells of sunshine. fairly large areas of cloud floating around, as well. temperatures around 14 degrees. similar story for the midlands. north—east england getting off to a mainly dry start, particularly close
to the east coast. similar story for northern scotland, although some hefty showers will be packing in here. south—west scotland having a wet start. pretty miserable rush hour in glasgow. rain moving across northern ireland for a time, but the wettest weather will be across north wales and the north—west of england. and here, with a south—westerly wind just funnelling this rain in across the same places for hour upon hour upon hour, especially over high ground, could see 50mm to 80mm of rain, maybe 100mm or more for some of the hills of cumbria. could be enough to give some issues of localised flooding, and the winds will be strong — could be gales in exposed spots. so our band of rain only slowly moving southwards and eastwards. behind it, something brighter for scotland and northern ireland, but some hefty showers, too. staying largely dry down towards the south—east, but often fairly cloudy, and temperatures of 14 to 17 degrees. but our slow—moving weather front finally gets its act together during wednesday night, pushing off to the east. and, behind it, it'l leave largely clear skies.
could be the odd fog patch here and there, and particularly in the south, where the winds fall light, it could turn a little bit chilly. some spots in the countryside maybe down to four or five degrees. thursday, then, a decent day. certainly a drier day for north—east england and north wales. many of us fine, with some spells of sunshine. thicker cloud, though, for northern ireland and northern and western scotland. some outbreaks of rain here later — 12—17 degrees. that cloud in the north—west will then sink its way into the picture on friday. another band of heavy rain, this one also quite slow—moving. the further south you are, though, particularly if you get some sunshine, your temperatures could get up to 20 degrees. a sign of what is to come for the weekend — warm airwafting up from the south. and, if the sun does come out, we could get to 23 degrees. but it will always be cooler, with some rain, towards the north—west. the latest headlines: at least 15
people are confirmed dead in wildfires in california's wine region. more 150 are missing, although that may be a result of the chaotic pace of evacuations. one of the worst affected towns is santa rosa where entire districts have been gutted. catalonia's president has signed a declaration of independence, but suspended secession to give space for dialogue with spain's central government. the independence referendum was illegal under spain's constitution, and the government in madrid immediately rejected his statements. the hollywood producer harvey weinstein has now been accused of sexual harassment by some of hollywood's biggest stars, angelina jolie, gwyneth paltrow, and mira sorvino. and the italian film star
asia argento and two other women claim he raped them, according to an investigation by the new yorker magazine. time now for panorama. a hidden world of childhood pain. when we were playing hide and seek, he used to follow me to where i was hiding and that's where it all started. a huge increase in reports of children sexually assaulting other children, even in the classroom. and like i felt him come close to me and we had skirts on. it was school uniform. he put his hands up my skirt. tonight, they tell us what happened in their own words. i went to the loo to, you know, check on my hair. then he came in behind me and locked the door. how some adults fail to protect them. they never really took it that seriously.