this is bbc news. i'm gavin grey. our top stories: spain imposes direct rule on catalonia, hours after its politicians vote for independence. the prime minister, mariano rajoy, sacks the catalan leader, his cabinet and chief of police, vowing to restore the rule of law. translation: this independence is very sad. it causes anguish. that is what all catalans who are not for independence felt today. but catalan separatists remain defiant, saying the independence vote means they no longer fall under spanishjurisdiction. and digging for their own water. as the taps run dry in libya's capital, people are forced to drill wells to survive. spain is in a state
of constitutional turmoil, with the country's prime minister, mariano rajoy, announcing that he's dissolving catalonia's parliament and calling snap regional elections. it follows a vote by the catalan parliament to declare independence from spain. mr rajoy said the unprecedented imposition of direct rule was essential to "restore normality". he's also sacked catalonia's separatist leader, carles puigdemont, and his cabinet. crowds have remained in central barcelona late into the night, in a defiant show of support for independence. our first report is from our europe editor katya adler, who's in barcelona.
si, si, si. one by one the yes votes were counted, celebrated, relished by this delirious pro—independence crowd. as they watched the catalan parliament finally after weeks, some here say years, of waiting, vote on separation from spain. we want the republic. do you believe it will happen today? yes. it has to be today. and today it was. all around here catala ns are singing their national anthem, the national anthem they now believe belongs to their independent republic, separate from the spanish state. there are so many questions.
what will the spanish government now do? but for now, this crowd just wants to celebrate. it's a long time we are waiting for this moment, we deserve this. lam crying! are you happy? very, very. but anxiety soon spread amongst all the euphoria as the "what next" began to weigh heavy on people's minds. a catalan republic had been declared, but not in everyone‘s name. many here don't want independence. just around the corner we found this man waving a spanish flag. translation: i'm not happy, i'm not represented, the catalan people as a whole didn't vote. translation: it's disastrous, the result of an extended manipulation which does not reflect the will of the catalan people. but nothing today was going to stop the catalan president
savouring his moment in history. from the catalan parliament he spoke of his emotions, but also of his conviction that declaring catalan independence was the right thing to do, the legitimate thing to do, he said. hardly the view of the spanish government in madrid, which is fuming. the public prosecutor here says he'll be filing charges of rebellion against the catalan president. at the very same time the catalan parliament voted on independence today, the spanish senate gave the green light to mariano rajoy‘s government to sack the catalan leadership and bring the reins of power back to madrid. this is the first time in modern spanish history that one of the country's autonomous regions has had its powers stripped away. tonight, after an emergency cabinet meeting, the spanish prime minister
explained why. translation: normality starts with law. in order to return institutional legitimacy and to give a voice to all catalans, i have now dissolved the catalan parliament in order to hold regional elections on the 21st of december. but what mr rajoy didn't explain was how he intends to impose direct madrid rule on the hundreds of thousands of catalans who reject it. tonight, independence supporters in barcelona are celebrating with abandon their brand—new republic with no power and little recognition, dancing on the edge of a precipice. the decision by the catalan parliament to declare independence has been condemned by leaders across europe. the european commission president jean—claude juncker said it was important to avoid any splits in the bloc of european nations. catalonia has long had a fractious
relationship with madrid, but things have been brought to a head by the disputed independence referendum in the region earlier this month. sarah rainsford reports from madrid. support for a tough stance against catalan independence. many spaniards, like their government, see the move to break away as illegal. so they've begun flying the national flag here to show they're backing for a united country and for madrid's move to take control in catalonia. natividad told me the separatists should be in prison for their move. this man still hoped the crisis could be sorted so catalonia stays with spain. his friends are from all over the country. but catalan separatism has deep roots. the region's push for autonomy was a key trigger for the civil war
and general franco's repression was brutal. granting autonomy was part of spain's return to democracy. now, at least temporarily, madrid is imposing control. after securing support from the senate, spain's government moved quickly into a crisis meeting to decide its next steps. imposing direct rule over catalonia is an unprecedented move and one with unseen consequences, but at this point there seems to be little mood here in madrid for compromise. tonight the government set out its plan. the catalan parliament will be dissolved with new elections on the 21st of december. catalan ministries, that employ more than 28,000 people, will be run from madrid. the chief of police has been fired with 17,000 members of his police force now overseen by the spanish state. for now, madrid has international backing. the president of the european commission said spain had made its choice and the eu won't interfere.
but on paper, the government's plan is one thing, implementing it in this climate is fraught with risk. there will be more tension and confrontation in the coming days and weeks. it's not a question of will. at a certain point there will be an incident and that could trigger a serious confrontation and nobody knows what will happen. so despite this apparent calm, how the government handles its next move will be critical. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. iraq's prime minister, haider al—abadi, has ordered a 2k hour suspension of military operations against kurdish fighters in the north of the country. baghdad ordered the offensive in response to the recent vote by kurds for their autonomous region to become an independent country. clashes between the two sides have left dozens of people dead. voting in the re—run presidential election in kenya has
been postponed indefinitely. it had been due to take place in four volatile western counties on saturday, but authorities said the safety threat to electoral workers was too great. an italian man who is hiv—positive has been sent to prison for 2h yea rs, after being found guilty of intentionally infecting 30 women through unprotected sex. the court heard valentino talluto seduced young women he met through internet dating sites for ten years after knowing he was infected. residents in large parts of libya's capital have now been been without running water for more than a week. a southern rebel group has cut off supplies to try to force a rival faction based in the capital to release their imprisoned leader. as a result inhabitants of the city have been forced to drill their own wells to survive. bill hayton reports. the taps have run dry in the centre
of tripoli, the centre of 3 million, its numbers swelled by displaced people and already plagued by power cuts is now going thirsty. this is how residents with enough money are now getting their water. they cost at least $3000 to sink a well deep enough to supply if your partner blocks. the alternative is cursed. —— first. blocks. the alternative is cursed. -- first. translation: the tenants can't pray without washing. they can't pray without washing. they can't go to the bathroom, they can't do anything, not even drink. the problem is that the government does nothing, so now we are digging for water as a temporary solution, but one day we could be drilling and the next day there won't be any electricity. the crisis is the result of political stalemate, talks between the country's rival armed groups have gone nowhere. instead some sanctions —— factions have taken over facilities as bargaining
chips. this includes the great man—made river, the giant water supply project built by the previous regime of colonel gaddafi. it's just the latest in long list of problems. translation: in the absence of adequate spare parts and lack of budget, stability and security chaos, people do not comply with the law. all this has affected the performance of the system. it's a potent system of decline for a country that was once one of the wealthiest in africa and there's little sign of progress either in negotiation or on the street. surgeons in the indian capital, delhi, have separated twin boys who were conjoined at the tops of their heads. it's the first time the surgery has been attempted in india, from a condition so rare it's thought to only occur once in every three million births. andrew plant reports. a smile from this two—year—old as
his brother plays with a mobile phone. the twins born sharing blood vessels and brain tissue, a condition so rare it affects only one in3 condition so rare it affects only one in 3 million births. the operation to separate them has never been attempted in india before. half of children born with the condition die in the first 2a hours. at after 16 hours of surgery, the two were successfully separated, lying individually for the very first time. the team of 30 doctors in delhi say the operation went well. the coming weeks will be critical to see if the twins can survive and thrive, living separate lives. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: hidden for centuries. the 16th century painting obscuring a portrait underneath, believed to be mary queen of scots. 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: after catalonia declares independence, spain's prime minister announces tough new measures, including sacking the catalan leader, his cabinet and chief of police, and new elections. but catalan separatists say the independence vote means they no longerfall under spanishjurisdiction. south africa's huge corruption scandal has cost the country billions and damaged its international reputation. at the centre of allegations is the enormously wealthy gupta family. it's claimed they used their close ties to president zuma to win contracts and siphon off huge payments — claims they deny. from south africa, andrew harding reports. south africa is in trouble — a young democracy now engulfed by a spectacular corruption scandal.
at its heart, allegedly, presidentjacob zuma and a wealthy family, the guptas, originally from india. leaked e—mails have fuelled claims of a conspiracy to create a parallel shadow state in order to loot on a grand scale. our concern is the fact that they come into a country like ours, which is a young democracy, and essentially rob us of billions, even hundreds of billions, of rands. and that's damaging our democratic project and our credibility as a country. the guptas and president zuma deny any wrongdoing, but the net is widening, fuelling public anger. global companies have become embroiled in the scandal. the british pr firm bell pottinger is already in ruins after admitting to an inappropriate campaign on behalf of the guptas. the guptas‘ auditors, kpmg, have sacked their top management here. now comes the news that
germany's software giant sap is being investigated over claims it pays multimillion—dollar bribes to a gupta—linked company. scotland yard is looking at whether british banks were involved. the fbi has also begun an investigation. it's all prompting some alarming questions. is president zuma in control of the state or is there a shadow system that is running appointments, procurements? is it a mafia state, then? well, it certainly has hallmarks that appear that the accountability is completely eroded. president zuma, may we ask you a question, sir? these days, he almost never gives interviews. hardly surprising — president zuma is under growing pressure here in south africa. for years, he's been shrugging off allegations of corruption but now international governments
and foreign companies are getting involved, making it much harder for this scandal to go away. the allegations are stirring up tension within the governing anc. the chairs flying as prominent figures warn that mr zuma is wrecking the nation. we are fast approaching that precipice and it is zuma looting the state with his cronies and demolishing the capacity of the state. again, mrzuma insists he has done nothing wrong, but this resilient nation is being tested. andrew harding, bbc news, south africa. before last year's us democratic national convention, few had heard of khizr khan or his son's story of service. but after an impassioned speech that led to a public feud with donald trump, all that changed. now he is the author of a new book.
he's been speaking to rajini vaidyanathan, who began by asking for his view on the recent row between president trump and the widow of a us soldier who was killed in niger. i have been saddened by the political expediency that this sad, tragic moment, which should be dignified in privacy and restraint, should be the call of the day, that you extend the courtesy, condolence and dignity to the family and you provide them privacy so that they can grieve and be stronger, instead of making it so public for the purpose of political expediency. nothing else. just for that purpose. that saddens me and the behaviour of the president and his advisers had been just not right. that is not the way america
treats its gold star families. let me ask you, have you even read the united states constitution? applause. you turned — you turned the memory of your son into a cause in a way after you spoke at the dnc. you've written a book now, khizr khan, an american family. why did you decide to go so public? obviously, you gave that convention speech but to write a whole book about it as well? we were at charlotte airport. a couple approached us, "mrs and mr khan, there are so many questions we want to ask you. "why don't you write a book and answer all those questions?" the thought was placed by them in our mind and we discussed and we talked about how there would be a lot of exposing personal matters, our private life. but then this sentiment
of being grateful to the blessings, to the goodness, to the dignities that we have received, it would be appropriate to show the spirit of immigration, what brought us here, what has kept us here. i really passionately remember, and very clearly and vividly remember, that moment when i became citizen of the united states, how i entered because the environment where i grew up, the country where i grew up, i did not have all these dignities — freedom of speech, freedom to express myself, freedom to religion. i did not have all of that. i went to the courtroom without having these dignities, i took the oath of citizenship and a piece of paper is given to me. to the rest of the world that's maybe a piece of paper,
but that meant so much to me. khizr khan speaking to rajini vaidynathan. nearly two months after hurricane harvey devastated houston, the city's baseball team is giving people something to cheer about. the astros levelled their world series against the dodgers with victory in game 2 of the 7—game series. ahead of game 3 on friday, nick marshall—mccormack found out how the astros players are helping their city get back on its feet in more ways than one. the floodwaters had receded but the destruction left behind will take a long time to fix and forget. hurricane harvey roared through houston in august, the strongest to make landfall here in 50 years. more than 100,000 homes were damaged by ferocious winds and floods. tens of thousands are still living with relatives or in motels with dwindling savings.
that storm has probably hit houston harder than any storm ever has hit it, because this time, it affected all of houston, notjust one part of it. for houston, this has been a trying time, but i think it's been a time where we've all come together. the baseball team, the astros, have been involved in the relief and recovery effort from the moment the harvey wreaked havoc. the players wear a houston strong badge of honour on their world series uniform. these guys know the morale boost a championship win would give to a city down on its knees. we're just out there to carry the city. we want to give them something to cheerfor, no matter what the cause is, and we're always going let them know we have their backs and we know they have ours. we're trying to win as a city, as one unit, right now. rubbish is piled up like this outside houses right across houston. the astros‘ ace pitcher justin verlander admits that people are really hurting right now. he's donated over $100,000 of his own money, and the astros ownerjim crane and the team's foundation have donated over $4
million and counting. the players have stepped up and really want to win one for houston. we've never won a world series. we've only been in it twice. the city's behind us, everybody is helping everybody, and it would mean a lot to win one. crane isn't just helping hurricane harvey victims — he's also assisting his team's puerto rican connections affected by hurricane maria's recent destruction. i'm always thinking about them. when i was running the bases, i was thinking about my people in puerto rico. it's something very emotional. they're going through tough times right now, so to be able to bring a little bit ofjoy and happiness to their lives means everything to me. sometimes, we get disillusioned by all the money sports stars are paid but this is a time when we should applaud a team that's giving back so generously while trying their heart out to win the city's first world series. it'd be unbelievable what would it would do to this city if they win a world series, which they are. it's back on our home field now, so we got it. nick marshall—mccormack,
bbc news, houston. an unfinished portrait believed to be of mary queen of scots has been found hidden underneath another 16th century painting. the discovery was made when the picture was x—rayed as part of a research project. it's going on display at the scottish national portrait gallery from saturday. the bbc‘s tim allman has more. sirjohn maitland was lord chancellor of scotland in the late 16th century. this portrait of him was by the dutch painter adrian va nson, court painter to king james. but when researchers x—rayed this painting, this was what they found underneath — a ghostlike image believed to be of scotland's former queen. i was quite shocked to discover a woman's face looking at me and then i realised, having grown up in scotland, that i thought it was mary queen of scots, and i was so excited that i ran up three flights of stairs to show it to my mentor. mary was forced to abdicate in 1567 and was held prisoner by her cousin,
elizabeth i, for nearly 20 years before her final execution. a heroin for some, a villain for others. ——a heroine for some, a villain for others. the factor we have to think about is mary's execution. the inscribed date on this portrait is 1589, and mary was executed in 1587. to have openly displayed a portrait of mary would have been quite a dangerous decision. since the portrait of sirjohn maitland is so valuable in and of itself, the painting will never be stripped back. the image of mary queen of scots will never be restored, herface always hidden away from history. tim allman, bbc news. fascinating history. plenty more of course on that story and other main stories this hour on hour website. this is bbc
—— oui’. hello. the weekend's looking quite chilly and blustery, particularly across northern britain. it's not going to be windy all through the weekend but saturday especially blustery across scotland and northern england, around the pennines, where we'll be touching gale force at times. and on top of that we've got a lot of cloud heading our way, certainly not looking sunny across the north. the best of the sunshine is expected further south. in the short term we've got clearer skies across southern areas where we have the high pressure. you can see quite a few isobars already there across scotland so the winds are strengthening. these are the temperatures first thing on saturday, pretty much the same right across the country, but the night, the following night, will be colder. so saturday dawns on a bright note across many southern and central as well as eastern areas but through the course of the morning into the afternoon, the clouds will be thickening, the winds will be strengthening, there will be some spots of rain around as well.
i think the strongest gusts of wind will probably be around the pennines towards the east of the pennines too, gusts approaching 40—50, maybe even more, right over the tops of the pennines. further south, the winds won't be anywhere near as strong and we'll have some sunshine around. so actually if you live across southern parts of the uk, and this is lunchtime, the weather isn't looking bad at all. so there will be some fine weather around on saturday, itjust won't be everywhere. many western and northern areas will be shrouded with cloud and this is where it'll feel coolest, although the temperatures still not too bad, averaging around 1a degrees across the uk. the winds will probably peaked later in the afternoon. it will still remain windy through the course of saturday night and then there will be a change in the wind direction. look at that, the winds will tend to ease across the uk, so sunday won't be anywhere near as windy and there's more sunshine on the way. just a few sprinkles, a few showers there across the north—east of scotland, maybe down into east anglia, but on balance, a lovely day. cooler, temperatures only into single figures across scotland and northern england.
pretty stormy on sunday across many western and central parts of europe, a huge area of low pressure sending strong cold winds from the north. we're underneath the high pressure so big contrast between the east and the west. the winds will fall light sunday night into monday. the skies will clear and we're in for a chilly one. the temperatures in towns and cities monday morning will probably be around three degrees across the northern half of the uk, a little bit less cold in the south. but certainly outside of town, cold enough for a touch of frost. it's expected to be the coldest night of the autumn so far, so sunday night into monday. and then by tuesday the temperatures should start recovering again. this is bbc news. the headlines: the spanish prime minister, mariano rajoy, has sacked the catalan leader, carles puigdemont, his cabinet and the director—general of police after catalonia formally declared independence from spain. mr rajoy has announced elections in the autonomous region for december the 21st. residents in the large parts
of libya's capital have been left without running water for more than a week. a southern rebel group has cut off supplies to try to force a rival faction to release their imprisoned leader. many people have been forced to drill their own wells to survive. an italian man who's hiv—positive has been jailed for 2h years after being found guilty of intentionally infecting 30 women through unprotected sex. valentino talluto seduced young women he met through internet dating sites. in ukraine, more than 30,000 children with disabilities