hello, and welcome to bbc news. i'm tom donkin. these are our top stories. farewell to the king: ceremonies take place in bangkok, as the funeral for thailand's former monarch begins. a declaration of independence or a call for fresh elections? the row over the future of catalonia takes another twist. voting gets underway in kenya, in the controversial re—run of the country's presidential election. and i'm ben bland. an end to stimulus orjust a slowdown in bond buying? economists will pour over the european central banks statement later for clues about the bank's plans. and is the little birdie flying high yet? twitter will report its latest results. lots of new features over the last year, but will it be enough to ignite user growth? hello, and welcome to bbc news.
the king of thailand is presiding over buddhist funeral rituals for his late father, king bhumibol adulyadej who died a year ago after seven decades on the throne. the funeral urn was blessed by monks at the grand palace in bangkok ahead of a series of elaborate processions. andrew plant reports. a funeral procession on a scale rarely seen before. a chance for tens of thousands of thai will to say a final farewell to the only motorbike most of them have ever lived under. —— monarch. the body of the former king kept since his death in october last year in the throne hall of the royal palace. after ruling for more than 70 years this is the beginning of a finaljourney, transported towards a spectacular golden crematorium representing
heaven, taking more than a year to build, here, his body will be cremated. this procession will last much of the day. his body will be carried atop a huge wooden chariot pulled by 222 soldiers, and led by his son, the new king, and members of the royal family, his son, the new king, and members of the royalfamily, circling his son, the new king, and members of the royal family, circling the golden crematorium three times. the king's death, aged 88, in october last year, sparked a national outpouring of grief and a year of mourning. he reigned for so long he became a symbol of his country, cultured and modern, the subject of lavish public affection. he ascended the throne in 1946 and reigned for 70 years. over the last year, 12 million thais have travelled to bangkok to pay their respects. 250,000 are expected to watch this elaborate procession before the
cremation takes place at ten o'clock on thursday night. joining me from bangkok is our correspondentjonathan head. jonathan, while we speak to you, we will play the live pictures of what is happening at present. what can we expect today from bangkok? this is the main day in the five days that this takes place over, because this is the day on which the king's what is the day on which the king's what is actually prepared for cremation. —— king's body. what we are seeing is this carefully choreographed procession by this extraordinary chariot, a procession by this extraordinary chariot, 3111 procession by this extraordinary chariot, a 1k time construction. —— 14—tonne. it was actually made at the end of the 18th century and is only brought out for these occasions. it is pulled very slowly by 222 soldiers to the place where
the cremation will take place, this staggeringly beautiful gilded billion which they built over the last several months. then it will be transferred to another carriage. it will circle around and be carried up to the place where it will be cremated later. it is a very drawnout ceremony. the people who are with me here, this street has had people lined up since yesterday. some have managed to get in, others have just a themselves down with umbrellas, against the heat. they will not see much of the procession, we are not far from it, will not see much of the procession, we are not farfrom it, but will not see much of the procession, we are not far from it, but you cannot see it from here, but they are cannot see it from here, but they a re co nte nt cannot see it from here, but they are content just to cannot see it from here, but they are contentjust to be close to it. we are seeing two occasions here today. the formal occasion, very tightly scrip that, at hearing could understand hindu cosmology, very important to legitimise the monarchy. —— tightly scripted, at hearing to buddhist and hindu cosmology. —— adhering. then you have the occasional bored married
people coming here to say farewell toa people coming here to say farewell to a king whom they felt a personal connection to. you couldn't get much more traditional than this procession we are watching, but king bhumibol adulyadej, he came to define thailand's organisation, didn't he? yes, although in many ways he was a conservative man. he was an accidental king, he was only 18 years old. neither he nor his brother expected to succeed. his brett rumford did succeed, they were both educated and living overseas. ash rack is brother did succeed. —— his brother. his brother was killed tragically, and the king took over ata tragically, and the king took over at a very early age. he did it with the backing of the military and allies like the united states. while he himself was a very modern man, he was very informal, personally. people who met him said he had a dry wit, he didn't stand on ceremony. he allowed this important hierarchical ritual to be built up as the
centrepiece of this monarchy. people are centrepiece of this monarchy. people a re often centrepiece of this monarchy. people are often in awe of it. the feeling isa are often in awe of it. the feeling is a mixture of love and fear, when people look at the monarchy. the fear is there because there are titles protecting the monarchy from any kind of criticism or scrutiny. it isa any kind of criticism or scrutiny. it is a very wealthy institution. it is by far the wealthiest institution ina is by far the wealthiest institution in a country which has some very big resources . in a country which has some very big resources. it owns a vast amounts of land and has, potentially, large amounts of power. king bhumibol adulyadej himself personified a gentle form of exercising the power. people believed he was a moderate man himself, that he wanted to do well for the country. he was certainly devoted to projects like agricultural development and water conservation, the environment. of course, having been there so long, because he defines the monarchy, nobody is quite sure what shape the monarchy will take now, under his son, king vajiralongkorn. he is a very different personality, one who, quite frequent, we cannot talk about, given the laws in this
country. —— quite frankly. about, given the laws in this country. -- quite frankly. jonathan, thank you. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. a court in turkey has ordered the release on bail of 11 human rights activists accused of aiding terrorist groups. the defendants include the local director of amnesty international and all deny the charges. their next hearing is in november. the lower house of the brazilian congress has rejected corruption charges against president michel temer. the decision means mr temer‘s political immunity will not be lifted, and any charges against him will only resume when he steps down. the former head of guatemala's football federation, hector trujillo, has been sentenced to eight months in prison after admitting accepting bribes from a sports marketing company. he's the first person to be sentenced in the us over the corruption scandal that engulfed the sport's governing body, fifa. a friendly face has walked into the newsroom. ben bland is here with all
of the business news. economists are on tenterhooks, awaiting the european central bank's policy meeting later. no, they are not expecting a rate hike, but hoping for clues as to how and when the bank will bring large—scale bond purchases to an end. that makes it one of the most keenly anticipated meetings since early 2015, when the program was unveiled. expectations are the bank will cut monthly asset purchases from the present 60 billion euros — that's $71 billion — and stretch them out for as long as capacity allows while it waits for consumer price growth to pick up. we'll have more in world business report. is twitter facing a crisis of confidence? the micro—blogging site is releasing corporate results later, and many will be looking to see if its popularity is waning. this is the number they need to beat: 328 million monthly active users. that was the figure for both the first and second
quarters this year. in may, the chinese micro—blogging site weibo overtook twitter in active users, 340 million, up 30% from 2016. the once champion of free speech, twitter announced earlier in the month that it will implement new rules to make the platform free from hate and abuse, targeting unwanted sexual advances, hate symbols and tweets glorifying violence. and of course twitter, like other social media, has pledged to be more transparent about advertising: who is paying, and to what end. but is that all enough to restore trust in twitter? after almost four weeks of turmoil the situation in catalonia may become a little clearer later today. the regional leader carles puigdemont will reveal
whether to declare independence, or instead call early regional elections. in madrid, meanwhile, the spanish senate is making final preparations for a vote on friday to begin unravelling the region's autonomy. the bbc‘s stephen sackur is in barcelona and has been chairing a debate between the competing sides. the time for propaganda reserve. we are ina the time for propaganda reserve. we are in a real crisis now. —— time for the gander is over. do you believe the time has come for your government, the one you work with and four, to unilaterally declare independence. are you about to declare independence? we have received a mandate from the catalan citizens. all of the catalan citizens... applause . circumstances are very sad. circumstances are dangerous. i am a
great admirerof the circumstances are dangerous. i am a great admirer of the catalan people and their history, and the creativity of catalonia. yes, yes. so with the majority of the spanish population. catalan people have a reputation of being cosmopolitan and tolerant. and what we have now is a divided society fractured into two sides. we have attempted plenty of times to open a dialogue and we have confronted a wall. he refuses political dialogue. you can see that full debate on bbc world news from 09:10 gmt. stephen brings together distinguished politicalfigures from across the debate, including a former president of catalonia and the spanish secretary of state, for european affairs to ask, what the crisis means for catalonia, spain and the rest of the eu. stay with us on bbc news. still to
come, driver, or driver? the bus that moves all by itself in southern germany. indira gandhi, ruler of the world's largest democracy, died today. only yesterday she'd spoken of dying in the service of her country and said, "i would be proud of it, every drop of my blood will contribute to the growth of this nation". after 46 years of unhappiness, these two countries have concluded a chapter of history. no more suspicion, no more fear, no more uncertainty of what each day might bring. booster ignition and liftoff of discovery, with a crew of six astronaut heroes and one american legend. well, enjoying the show is right — this is beautiful. a milestone in human history. born today, this girl in india is the 7 billionth person on the planet.
this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the funeral procession of thailand's revered king bhumibol adulyadej has begun in bangkok. he died a year ago. the leader of catalonia is expected to reveal whether he will declare independence from spain or call for early elections. now to kenya, where opposition leader raila odinga is urging his supporters not to participate in the country's presidential election rerun today. president kenyatta had won the vote in august, but that outcome was annulled by the supreme court, which cited irregularities in the electoral process. the rerun is due to go ahead after five out of the seven judges didn't show up for a supreme court hearing yesterday on whether to postpone the vote. to discuss this, i'm joined by the bbc‘s tomi oladipo,
who is at primary school polling station in nairobi, and emmanuel igunza, from the opposition stronghold of kisumu. now that the polls are open, our people are coming out to vote? well, from what we are seeing here, the lions are a tiny, tiny fraction of what we saw in august. —— lines. it could be the weather, the drizzle is threatening to turn into something else, but there has also been opposition calls not to come out to vote as well as fears from a lot of kenyans about what could happen during the election, fears of safety. at the same time there is a bit of voter weariness. people have been looking forward to an electoral process. there was the vote in august and then that got cancelled, and then now we are here again. so
regardless of what it is, there are tiny queues out here. and that fear that you mentioned is significant because there have been so many threats against officials and judges. is there a visible security presence which has been beefed up this time around? definitely. we have seen trucks of armed riot police all around nairobi. there are also loads in other parts of the country, particularly in opposition strongholds. the city of the city of the city of kisumu, there is that fear that opposition supporters could get out on the streets and cause a bit of disturbance. so far we have not seen anything major. people are largely staying at home and watching the process happen. people are largely staying at home and watching the process happenm we assume mr kenyatta wins this election, and many assume he well,
what happens then? you just mentioned there is a huge voter fatigue, and if he does win the election it will not ease the tensions in the country, will it? no, the uncertainty is still there and has been mounting for a while now. just in the run—up to this repeat of the election, there were dozens repeat of the election, there were d oze ns of repeat of the election, there were dozens of court cases, edition is calling for one change or the other, calling for one change or the other, calling for one change or the other, calling for the cancellation of the election, and all sorts. it is very likely that those will continue regardless of what happens here, regardless of what happens here, regardless of what happens here, regardless of the result of these elections, and that only complicates the situation. but a lot of kenyans just want to see a process that happens in a credible manner. for the moment we libertarian nairobi, and we go to the stronghold of raila odinga, in kisumu. we speakto and we go to the stronghold of raila odinga, in kisumu. we speak to our correspondent. thank you forjoining us. we heard that there was not a huge voter turnout, and surely there would be fewer people coming to vote
where you are? exactly. we have been to various polling stations, and some are simply closed, and where i am right now is where all of the polling materials are being brought to be distributed to other polling stations, and that exercise is just beginning. the biggest problem will beginning. the biggest problem will be how to distribute these materials with the many people already coming to the streets. i can hear the noise is, some of the youth going around and demonstrating over the last few weeks, they are again out on the streets, so not much of a turnout here. for the moment we will leave it in kisumu, the stronghold of opposition leader raila odinga. the polls are open and we will be covering that vote as things progress on bbc world news. now, we have seen many of them in some of the world's biggest cities — i'm talking about concrete anti—terror blocks. they may well be a part our new reality, but to some, they are an eyesore.
that is also the view of one man from a danish gardening company. but, as you will see, he has been doing something about it. you can have the anti—terrorist activity, and it can be fun for the kids. copenhagen has these concrete blocks to stop terrorist attacks with trucks all around the city, and this project is basically about covering them up with benches, bike racks. i am educated as an architect, and i am an urban gardener and urban farmer for a living. so this is the design we came up with. from the two blocks, we put the bench which goes like this, and we will have the flowers here on top. and then over here we will make a small climbing wall, so children or adults that like to have fun can climb over. they came some critics against the project, because some people think that we shouldn't hide it away, that we shouldn't make it nice. i don't agree with them. in
barcelona, in the ramblas, they are putting a lot of those. in other cities they have them like this, but ugly. not decorated, no. no, not decorated. i like the idea. it can be useful for other cities, for sure. now i am be useful for other cities, for sure. nowl am thinking how be useful for other cities, for sure. now i am thinking how should we do the structure for the climbing wall? it disguises the rail, but it is unsightly normally, so it is unreal. and turning it into something that has beauty, or that children can play on, i think sends a better message. i actually think
it looks good like that, because that kind of tricks you, because somebody bad might be able to drive through it, and they can't. do you like it? you can'tjust climb on anything, so... and this you can climb on, so it's great. we don't like walking around the city with these concrete blocks, normal people don't like war zones and things like that, so let's try and do it in another way. you don't want to think about it, but it is there, the threat, and i think that life goes on. caroline wozniacki continued her great form at tennis's world tour finals in singapore on wednesday. she thrashed world number one, simona halep, to book her place in the last four, as austin halewood reports. caroline wozniacki is on a bit of a roll at the moment, but next up in singapore, her biggest challenge yet. simona halep, the world number one. at the dane was unfazed by the
opposition and got off to the perfect start, breaking halep in her first service game. with each game that passed, a halep comeback was expected, but it never came in the first set. wozniacki taking it 6—0. into the second, the dominance continued. wozniacki's defence dealing with everything the world number one could throw at her and more. when the match past the hour mark, the second set soon followed. the dane through to the semis having dropped just four games in two matches, halep left wondering what went wrong. wednesday's second match was much more competitive, with both players looking for a first win in singapore. and it was the ukrainian who drew first blood, svitolina taking the open on a tie—break. garcia won back—to—back titles in
wuhan and beijing to book a place in the tour finals, and that form was back as she made her way into the second set. into the decider, it was garcia who prevailed. a vital break allowed her to serve out the match after nearly three hours on court. with one round of matches left, it means that garcia, svitolina and halep can all make it into the last four. on to football, and napoli are back on top of the table in italy's serie a. dries mertens scored twice as they won 3—2 at genoa. the result takes napoli two points clear of inter. bayern munich are through to the third round of the german cup, after beating rb leipzig 5—4 on penalties. timo werner missed the crucial spot—kick for leipzig. in england, west ham are through to the last eight of the league cup. they came from 2—0 down to beat tottenham 3—2 at wembley. and chelsea beat everton 2—1 to complete the quarter—finals line—up. the draw is on thursday. england will face spain in the final
of the fifa under 17 world cup. they beat the zeal in calcutta, and the liverpool youngster was again the star of the show —— brazil in kolkata. england reach theirfirst final at this level. i am feeling great. over the moon to score two had tricks in two games. obviously a great performance from the lads. we dug deep. obviously brazil are a very, very good team, we knew that when we went in. so we stuck to the plan, and we won, and we are through to the final. we will do our best to win the game, that is what we are going to do. in the second semi—final, spain beat mali. they scored twice in the first half, it was 3—0 before a late consolation
goal. let's head to germany now, for what is being described as a little bit of transport history. in the bavarian town of bad birnbach, a driverless bus service has been launched. each vehicle can carry 12 passengers, and the journey will be free. the bbc‘s tim allman has more. as revolutions in technology go, this seems, at first glance, a little underwhelming. but this mayjust be the transport solution of the future. no driver, no conductor. just a small bus trundling along at an average speed of 10km/h. the chosen venue for this new service is the town of bad birnbach, in the region of lower bavaria, not far from the czech and austrian borders. it will offer free rides for an eight—minute route linking the town's centre, local swimming baths, and the train station.
translation: i really think we can say that the town of bad birnbach and deutsche bahn have written a page of transport‘s history. driverless vehicles have become something of a holy grail for the transport industry, convinced they will lead to greater safety and efficiency. the self—driving cars, self—driving lorries and now, self—driving buses. "that's the future," said this passenger, "and it'll probably work flawlessly. " from next year, the new buses will take to the roads in other german towns and cities, including hamburg. bus drivers may soon be an endangered species. tim allman, bbc news. i don't know if i would be quite brave enough to jump on one just yet. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. thank you forjoining us, we will see you very soon. hello there, good morning.
20 degrees again across southern parts of the uk on wednesday. it will turn chilly for all of us over the coming few days. at the moment is whether front is moving its way northwards into england and wales, dragging misty, murky, low cloud and damp weather into england and wales. further north, though, for scotland we have clearer skies and enough of a breeze to prevent her bridges getting too low. showers still in the morning across the north of scotland. lighter winds, maybe the morning across the north of scotland. lighterwinds, maybe a the morning across the north of scotland. lighter winds, maybe a bit of mist and fog the northern scotland. a bit more cloud spilling into northern england. it is lower cloud for wales, the midlands, east anglia, rather damp and dreary. more general lower—level fog in the south—east where there is no breeze really to stir things up. quite a grey start for much of the —— much of england and wales. showers for northern ireland in the far north of england, but in between it is going
to be cooler than it was yesterday. grey skies as well, a bit of rain and drizzle as well. more persistent rainfor and drizzle as well. more persistent rain for much of lincolnshire and perhaps in the east yorkshire. as we head into the end of the week, this whether front is going to get pulled apart, as high pressure builds in across the uk and drier air will move its way southwards, raking up the cloud and allowing more sunshine on friday. the chilly start for wales, the midlands northwards. a touch of frost on the grass at the very least. one or two mist and fog patches as well. at a bright start, some sunshine coming through and temperatures are where they should be for the time of year. heading into saturday we will get more cloud spinning our way, and the wind is really starting to pick up on saturday as well. in fact, with an area of low pressure running to the north—east of the uk, spilling into europe, so really wet and windy weather will push its way into many parts of europe this weekend. the position of this high pressure is crucial, because it means around that we are going to be drawing down wind from the north on sunday, and thatis wind from the north on sunday, and that is going to be quite a strong
and certainly a cold wind, especially down the eastern side of the uk. it does mean temperatures will be falling away. so 13, 1a degrees at rest in the south. head further north, where there could be one or two showers, temperatures will struggle up to eight or nine degrees. that is maximum temperatures by day. light winds overnight in the new week could start frosty in many places. hello, and welcome to bbc news. i'm tom donkin. these are our top stories. a vast funeral procession is making its way through the thai capital, bangkok, as part of a hugely elaborate ceremony for the late king. hundreds of thousands of mourners dressed in black have turned out for his cremation. the leader of catalonia is expected to reveal whether he'll declare independence from spain or call for early elections. in madrid, the senate is making final preparations for a vote to begin unravelling the region's autonomy. voting is getting under way in kenya's controversial re—run of the presidential election, despite a boycott by the main opposition. tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed to protect voters