welcome to newsday, i'm babita sharma in london. the headlines: loud explosions are heard in the zimbabwean capital, where soldiers are reported to have ta ken over the headquarters of the state broadcaster. we're live in harare with the latest. australians say yes to same sex marriage. more than 61% back the move in a nationwide survey. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore, also in the programme: french president emmanuel macron warns donald trump and vladimir putin are threatening western values. and the spice island swapped for manhattan, an indonesian outpost celebrates its history and bids for world heritage status. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news — it's newsday. hello, it's 1am in london,
9am in singapore and 3:30am in the morning in zimbabwe, where loud explosions have been heard in the capital, harare. that's our breaking news this hour. soldiers are reported to have taken over the headquarters of the state broadcaster and armoured vehicles have been seen on the city's roads. earlier, zimbabwe's ruling party accused the army chief, general constantino chiwenga, of inciting insurrection after he said the military was prepared to intervene to end political infighting. there's been days of people of the president mugabe sacked a number of officials in his cabinet, many saying this was the way to pave the way for his wife, grace, to take over as vice president. were getting
reports of explosions in the area. we're waiting to get confirmation and we want to hear from we're waiting to get confirmation and we want to hearfrom our correspondent on the ground in the capital of zimbabwe. as soon as we make contact we will bring you more from the scene there. these pictures we re from the scene there. these pictures were taken earlier on tuesday when armoured vehicles were heading towards the centre of the city of cu ra re, towards the centre of the city of curare, an unprecedented move, the 93—year—old president, robert mugabe, in power for a 93—year—old president, robert mugabe, in powerfora number of decades —— ferrari. his officials have denied and he has denied any suggestion a coup is under way but we are hearing the state broadcaster has been taken over by the military. more on that to come as soon as we get it. a majority of australians have voted in favour of legalising same—sex marriage. more than 60% of voters said they supported the move in a postal referendum. the government has promised to pass a law by the end of the year. prime minister, malcolm turnbull, said australians had voted for fairness and love.
this is the moment the announcement was made. for the national result, "yes" responses 7,817,247, representing 61.6% of clear responses. that's 61.6% of clear responses were "yes". "no" responses 4,873,987, representing 38.4% of clear responses. that's 38.4% of clear responses were "no". our correspondent hywel griffith is in sydney. the yes camp continued to celebrate in prince alfred park in sydney. you
we re in prince alfred park in sydney. you were there when it was announced, a momentous moment for many people there? yeah, the response was rapturous, heartfelt, loud and very, very proud. there were tens of thousands here, two hours on people are still dancing and celebrating, that will carry on all day and all night on the streets of sydney. although for years the opinion polls have suggested the majority of australians were in favour of legalising same—sex marriage, nothing was given in this campaign, it became pretty bitter and hurtful at times but that result you have heard there is fairly comprehensive and emphatic and now it gives a clear mandate for the weeks ahead. i say for the weeks ahead because it's not a done deal yet. this is the australian public official view. it's up to the politicians to make it law. prime minister malcolm turnbull has already said he wants legislation passed before christmas. i know having spoken to some couples here, weddings have been booked
already for the new year. crucially, as you say, nothing has really changed in law. there are still plans for debating this in parliament, amending the marriage act, how much of a challenge will that be? it will come from conservative members of the government, an alternative bill on same—sex marriage is already being talked about with lots of clauses inserted to protect religious freedoms and guarding against any changes to things like gender education in schools. the yes campaigners say that would simply add discrimination rather than take it away, which is what they spent decades campaigning for. the prime minister said that alternative bill doesn't have a good chance, he wants a clear and doesn't have a good chance, he wants a clearand simple doesn't have a good chance, he wants a clear and simple change in law that would enable same—sex marriage, and he wants bad by a deadline. the no campaigners will be disappointed, this is really what they expected, but they will be continuing their
fight, especially religious groups in australia. i've spoken to the archbishop of sydney recently and he says his teaching will remain the same. the legal definition of marriage may change but he will talk about gottlieb and ungodly marriage in the future, so i don't think we'll see that rancour and division dissipate straightaway —— godly. hywel griffith in prince alfred park in sydney where those celebrations continued. —— continued. —— continue. also making news today: the us secretary of state rex tillerson will meet the head of myanmar‘s military on wednesday to discuss putting an end to the violence in rakhine state. more than 600,000 rohingyas have now fled to bangladesh. 0ur washington correspondent barbara plett—usher says mr tillerson has called for a credible investigation into those who have committed atrocities. he has spoken out on myanmar a couple of times. he's talked about the violence there, calling for an end to it. saying that the army has to guarantee the security of refugees, create the conditions
so that they can come back. he's called for full access to the media and to humanitarian aid organisations in particular, and he's called for a credible investigation that would lead to an accountability of those who've committed the atrocities. he's going to press those messages when he goes on wednesday, as well, although it has to be said, babita, you've just had the myanmar military come out with its own internal investigation saying it did nothing wrong, soldiers did not commit any rape, did not kill anyone, did not torture anyone. so that's not a very auspicious beginning to mr tillerson‘s trip. we'll have to see how he handles that, but his main focus on the trip will be to try to get stabilisation of the rakhine province and get an end to the violence. the us attorney general, jeff sessions, has dismissed claims that he misled members of congress about contacts between the trump campaign and russian representatives. in evidence to the house judiciary committee, mr sessions emphatically denied that he had lied under oath during previous testimony. more than two days after a powerful
earthquake on iran's border with iraq, tens of thousands of people are still in desperate need of help. the majority of the casualties and the damage were on the iranian side of the frontier. some survivors there have complained about the slow pace of the relief effort. more than 460 people died in the quake. at least five people, including a gunman, have been killed in a shooting at an elementary school in northern california. several people including three children were injured in the shooting at the rancho tehama school. the gunman is said to have fired randomly until two police officers killed him. at least seven scenes are being investigated and police say there may be more victims. this is the barbie new model, which is due to be released, wearing a hijab. it's been made to honour an american fencer who became the first us woman to wear the headscarf while competing at the olympic games.
ibtihaj muhammad won a bronze medal at the rio 0lympics last year, and says the doll is a childhood dream come true. more on the breaking developments in zimbabwe after reporting loud explosions had been heard in the centre of the capital, harare. we understand from the afp and reuters that the us embassy has confirmed it will close its embassy in harare all day on wednesday and has warned its citizens in the country to shelter ina citizens in the country to shelter in a safe place due to the ongoing political uncertainty as the crisis threatening president mugabe's government deepens. let's get more from shingai nyoka in harare. give us an from shingai nyoka in harare. give us an update on what's happening where you are. tanks and troops
carriers have been moving around the capital and that number has increased as the night has progressed. i saw three troop carriers blocking of a road that leads to the university and also to the state broadcaster. soldiers then took over the headquarters of the state broadcaster and this has been confirmed by reuters, they say they're not there to take over but merely as a precautionary measure. the tv did not broadcast the iipm news and they didn't play music. shingai, we've been reporting about the state broadcaster being taken over by the military, but any word on over by the military, but any word o n exa ctly over by the military, but any word on exactly what the military might be doing, there's been no announcement on zbc. there's been no announcement on zbc. there's been no announcement from the military. people living near the headquarters
say they heard what sounded like explosions, they haven't been able to confirm that independently. there is little information about what else is happening with the state broadcaster. we've seen anti personnel carriers moving around the streets in several suburbs and the bbc has also heard recordings of heavy gunfire and artillery in northern suburbs where government officials, including the president, live. what's your assessment of what you think is likely to unfold in the coming hours? this quite unprecedented thing is happening?m is quite unprecedented and we are waiting to see what happens, what will come out of this. there's likely to be more clarity in the morning but at the moment there's a lot of rumours, there's been a lot of fa ke lot of rumours, there's been a lot of fake news over the last 12 hours. the government has given no information at all about the things that are happening. we are waiting
to hear it in the morning what exactly has happened overnight. 0k, thank you very much or that update, shingai nyoka. more on that to come. the president of france, emmanuel macron, has told the bbc that donald trump and vladimir putin are threatening western values of openness and tolerance. it is now six months since mr macron took office promising to transform french society, the economy and even its modern sense of identity in the world. 0ur paris correspondent lucy williamson, who travelled with the president to abu dhabi recently, sent this report. most presidents enjoy a flash of military uniform in their schedules, a tang of old—fashioned global power, but emmanuel macron is fighting his own slippery battle for french influence abroad. jihadi groups in this region have built a grand narrative around their vision, he says, the west needs one too, based on openness, tolerance and democracy. at the opening of a new louve museum
in abu dhabi, he told me those values were under threat from leaders like vladimir putin and donald trump. if you don't defend these values, it will become harder and harder, iagree. but is it harder now, is it under threat? i mean for sure it's a threat, for sure. but first of all, you have to speak and discuss with those leaders because sometimes they're changed, they were not like that at the very beginning, and the explanation of the divergence is very often due to their paranoia of the threat and their willingness to protect something and to be much more nervous about what they want to protect, but forgetting the fact that part of their own civilisation is about openness. if you decide just to push them back from europe and all that you're saying, "you are betraying our values, it's bad," you lose them. but does it work? when you sat down with mr trump and mr putin, have you found that you've been able to affect real change? i mean it's not overnight
effect, for sure. i'm optimistic and i can... i'm extremely determined. so i will insist and insist and insist. macron ran his election campaign by insisting on the power of liberal values to solve france's problems, including its most pressing one — jobs. graulhet used to be the centre of a booming leather industry, with more than 100 factories. serge cathala's factory is one ofjust a dozen left. unemployment here is 21%, twice the national average, but president macron's sweeping reforms means serge has begun hiring again. translation: what's great about macron is that he's young, he looks like he's got guts. nobody‘s going to walk all over him, unlike his predecessors, and he's got good ideas, more flexibility for company owners to hire people and more freedom. a company needs leaders who will let them work.
president macron has already reformed france's rigid labour law to curb the power of the unions, but graulhet‘s favourites for president were the protectionist candidates on the far—right and far—left. and in cafes like this one, mr macron's plans to extend unemployment insurance have less impact than say his tax break for french millionaires. translation: he's the president of the rich. he hasn't changed my life or the lives of the people in this town. we are the little people, the proletariat, and i don't know if this man is going to change things for us. here in paris, six months ago, mr macron vowed to remake french politics. since then, he's been criticised for being more king than president. even some of those who agree with mr macron's analysis have questioned his style as president. where some see clarity, determination and poise, others see arrogance, pomposity and hubris. mr macron has said modesty
doesn't interest him because he's france's last chance to prove to itself that openness, tolerance and democracy work. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. you are watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: we will have more reaction from sydney, after australians voted in favour of same—sex marriage. also on the programme: we report on the indonesian island that is so special, its residents are hoping for world heritage status. berliners from both east and west linked hands and danced round their liberated territory. and, with nobody to stop them, it wasn't long before the first attempts were made to destroy the structure itself. it's keeping the candidate's name always in the public eye that counts. success or failure depends not only on public display but on the local
campaign headquarters and the heavy routine work of their women volunteers. yasser arafat, who dominated the palestinian cause for so long, has died. the palestinian authority has declared a state of mourning for the leader who symbolised his people's hopes for independent statehood. in the wake of the colombian volcano disaster, rescue teams are trying to reach thousands of survivors who managed to clamber onto rooftops and trees above the sea of mud. after 17 years of discussion, the result was greeted with an outburst ofjoy. women ministers who'd long felt only grudgingly accepted amongst the ranks of clergy suddenly felt welcomed. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm babita sharma in singapore. i'm sharanjit leyl in london. our top stories: loud explosions have been heard in the zimbabwean capital, where soldiers are reported to have taken over the headquarters
of the state broadcaster. australians have voted in favour of legalising same—sex marriage. more than 61% of voters support the move. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. let's start with the philippine star, which reports the association of south—east asian nations, the us, and the european union have agreed to uphold the freedom of navigation in the south china sea. it also reports president duterte considered it a personal and official insult that canadian prime ministerjustin trudeau had discussed extrajudicial killings in an informal meeting with him. the state—run newspaper the china daily says beijing has assured leaders at the asean summit of safe navigation in the south china sea. premier li keqiang said, as the largest country in the south china sea and a major user of its sea lanes, he wants peace. the japan times reports us commerce
secretary wilbur ross has urged japanese automakers to reduce exports. he says he wants to make it more attractive for japanese companies to engage in production in the us, and to try to cut the trade deficit. now, the island of manhattan, at the heart of new york city, is a pretty valuable piece of land. but it seems it wasn't always that way. 300 years ago, the dutch gave it to the british in return for a tiny spice island in what is now indonesia. back then, manhattan was far less valuable than the indonesian island of run, one of a cluster of islands rich in valuable nutmeg known as the banda islands. well, islanders are now lobbying to have their home recognised as a world heritage site. rebecca hensche reports. hi, i am from the bandas.
this is run island, which was exchanged for manhattan in 1667. so now we want to put run back onto the map again. it seems like a bad deal when you think about it now, and how valuable manhattan is. but actually, at the time, it was a very good deal for the dutch. they were not doing anything in manhattan, and yet they desperately needed the isle of run to complete their monopoly, their hold over the source of nutmeg, the only source in the world of nutmeg. and this is what made these islands so valuable — nutmeg, a commodity at that time worth more than gold.
and here was the only place you could find it. translation: in order to control the local people, the dutch generals massacred, basically exterminated, the indigenous people. almost half the population of 15,000 people were slaughtered. the rest fled, or were taken to other islands as slaves. translation: the trade of this island ended the war of the dutch and the british.
that is an extraordinary history to have. things are much quieter these days on the island of run. we just saw a pod of dolphins go past our boat. but, on the island itself, there is electricity a few hours a day, on a street they have called manhattan. locals are hoping that this festival, though, will bring the eyes of the world back on these islands. new york might be the centre of finance in the world, but banda is the centre of marine mega—biodiversity. we have whales, we have dolphins, and new york is just a concrete jungle.
but still, i wouldn't mind an apartment on central park. let's get more on the news that australia has voted in favour of same—sex marriage. a little earlier, i spoke to james brechney, who is the former director of the sydney mardi gras, and his partner, stuart henshall. they were delighted with the result, but were also pretty happy for another reason, too. ijust i just propose to ijust propose to my partner, stuart, just a few minutes ago in sydney, and we are pretty thrilled. did you say yes? i said yes. well, listen, congratulations to both of you. i know that you are sharing just one earpiece between the two of you.
oh, no, we should be ok now. congratulations. you still looked a bit shellshocked. i know that this has come... yes, very much so. very unexpected. she is from the uk, so she is used to gay marriage, for a long time. we're just catching up down here in australia. i did a sense that british accent coming through. for both of you, a very momentous day. just give us your reaction, not only to be newly engaged, but that vote results that you got — 61.8% in favour of same—sex marriage in australia. the country said yes, and then he said yes. we're so proud of this country. the government in zimbabwe has
warned citizens to stay home, with spectre legend of a possible coup. us citizens are encouraged to stay indoors untilfurther us citizens are encouraged to stay indoors until further notice, confirming that the us embassy has been close —— speculation. just to bring you up—to—date of reports we have been getting while we have been on air in the last few hours or so, it has been reported that a loud explosions have been heard in the centre of the capital city, and also that a number of armoured vehicles have been reported to have been seen in the centre of the city as well. this all comes after robert mugabe in the last few days has sacked a number of senior officials in his cabinet, prompting criticism from the general, who said that he would act accordingly. we will keep you updated on those developments as soon as we get them. thank you for watching. live from singapore and london, this is newsday. hi there.
for many of us, wednesday is going to dawn on a pretty grey and cloudy day. competing weather stories, really, for wednesday. we've got a big ridge of high pressure keeping the weather quiet across much of the uk. however, a small area of low pressure has just trickled underneath the high, and that's brought us a lot of cloud across england, thick enough to bring us some outbreaks of patchy rain and drizzle, particularly across eastern england, first thing in the morning. elsewhere, a few fog patches up over high ground, notably across the higher parts of wales and south—west england. so one way or another, for many of us, it's going to be quite a cloudy start. but at the least that early—morning patchy rain across eastern england will be clearing out of the way. so with a bit more detail, the morning forecast — a bit grey over the top of the brecon beacons, the moors of south—west england, with some hill fog patches here. could have a bit of fog across the salisbury plain, perhaps a bit misty for the downs and the chilterns first thing. 0therwise, we'll have this thick cloud continuing to bring patchy
outbreaks of rain just for the first part of the morning, but that rain will clear away pretty quickly. a few fog patches in the valleys of northern ireland where it's going to be a chilly start to the day. some sunshine for scotland, yes, but it is cold. temperatures low enough for a touch of frost across sheltered northern areas. now, as we go on through the rest of wednesday, that rain should clear out, but it will stay cloudy across the midlands and eastern england for most of the day. the weather brightens up, though, for north—west england and across wales, with some sunny spells here. but, no doubt about it, the best of the sunshine will be across scotland, particularly eastern areas. rain, though, threatening the western isles as we go on through the afternoon. now, through wednesday evening and overnight, we'll see rain becoming a bit more extensive across western areas. always rather patchy in nature, nevertheless. but, nevertheless, some damp weather pushes its way in. this is the cold front reaching scotland and northern ireland, bringing further heavier rain towards the end of the night, so turning wet here. now, looking at the weather charts through thursday, this cold front will be sliding its way southwards across england, bringing a spell of heavy rain.
right about lunchtime across northern england, heading into the midlands, and across wales, too. to the south of this, a lot of cloud. behind the front, that's where we're going to see a big clearance. and much more in the way sunshine moving into northern ireland, scotland, and the north of england. it might be sunny, yes, but it's also colder. notice the temperatures into single figures. for friday, many of us with a decent day, bright and sunny spells but a number of blustery showers affecting the far north of scotland. those showers could merge together to give some lengthier spells of rain at times. now, this weekend, sunny spells around. showers across northern and western areas. and at times, there will be quite a chilly wind, particularly on saturday, the wind falling a bit lighter by sunday. that's your latest weather. i'm babita sharma with bbc news. our top story: loud explosions have been heard in the zimbabwean capital, harare, where soldiers are reported to have taken over the headquarters of the national broadcaster. armoured vehicles have been seen near the city centre. earlier, zimbabwe's ambassador to south africa dismissed suggestions of a coup. australians have voted in favour of legalising same—sex marriage in an historic postal survey. more than 61% of voters support the move.
and this video is trending on bbc.com. a stranded killer whale was rescued by military personnel in new zealand who happened to be in the area on an exercise. they dug a trench and managed to float the whale into deep water enabling it to swim back out to sea. that's all from me for now. stay with bbc news. and the top story here in the uk: a firearms dealer has been found guilty of supplying guns and bullets which were linked to more than 100 crimes, including three murders.