this is bbc news. the headlines... a british woman, rebecca dykes, has been killed in beirut, the foreign office says. she worked for the department for international development. reports suggest she was strangled. police say it will take some time to know what caused a harrowing car crash in birmingham in which six people were killed. information from the cia helped russian security services stop a terror attack on a cathedral in st petersburg, the kremlin says. plans are revealed to lower the age at which young people are automatically enrolled in workplace pension schemes. also in the next hour, prince harry takes on a new role as a journalist — interviewing the former us president barack obama. if you start using long pauses between answers you're probably going to get this face. let me see the face. the interview was recorded as part of the today programme's guest editor series to be broadcast
later this year. and we'll be bringing you the latest from sports personality of the year as 12 contenders wait to find out if they've scooped this year's trophy. good evening and welcome to bbc news. a british embassy worker has been killed in beirut. the body of rebecca dykes was found by the side of a road in the city yesterday. our correspondentjon donnison has been following developments lebanese police have told the bbc that they believe rebecca dykes was murdered on friday night. her body was found on saturday. they believe she was strangled. they have carried
out one postmortem, but they are due to do out one postmortem, but they are due todoa out one postmortem, but they are due to do a second one. rebecca dykes would that the embassy in beirut. she had done so since the beginning of the year. she was not a diplomat, she worked for the department for international development. we have spoken to the foreign office, they haveissued spoken to the foreign office, they have issued a statement saying that they are liaising closely with the lebanese authorities, and also looking after rebecca's family. they issued a statement, through the foreign office, the family, that is. they said they were devastated by the loss of our beloved rebecca, we request the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time. the police in beirut have launched an investigation. as i say, they are due to carry out a second postmortem in the coming days. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages. at 10:30 and 11:30pm this evening in the papers — our guests joining me tonight are the author and journalist yasmin alibhai—brown and ruth lea, economic advisor
at arbuthnot banking group. police investigators are trying to find out what caused a car crash in an underpass in birmingham this morning. six people were killed and several others suffered serious injuries. firefighters have described the scene as "challenging" and "horrific". phil mackie is in birmingham and sent this report the immediate aftermath of the crash. debris strewn across four lanes. medics were desperately trying to save lives, but five people were already dead, and a sixth was dying. the rest of the footage is too graphic to show. in daylight, the scale of what happened became clearer. three of the people who died were in this taxi. astonishingly, the man and the woman in the small car crushed between it and the wall walked away with minor injuries. the sound of the crash woke many of the people who live nearby. got out of bed, looked out the window and just saw loads of people running towards where the crash was.
and then the police officers telling everyone to get back, get back, so i guess people were trying to help people. they pulled two people out of the taxi. i didn't realise it was a taxi until today, but they pulled two people out of the taxi, resuscitating them straightaway for about 25 minutes. they took one in the ambulance. i didn't see them take the second one away, so i don't know if they didn't make it, but yes it was havoc. the crash happened on a section of the belgrave middleway, a busy road in the heart of birmingham. the vehicles collided at an entrance to an underpass at the junction of bristol road. police say the dual carriageway will probably stay closed for the rest of the day. investigators will be looking at a number of factors. the road was gritted, but eight hours before the accident. at iam, temperatures were close to freezing. there is no central barrier — did one of thecars cross carriageways? residents say especially when it is late at night
and the road is quiet, people will come along here at excess speeds. it will take some time to unpick the scene and just understand exactly what has happened, and it would be unfairfor me to speculate at this time. what i can say is that we are looking to all sorts of conditions, the road conditions, we are aware of the road was gritted 5pm last night but that is just one factor of many we need to consider. a0 firefighters helped free survivors. five ambulance crews treated the injured at what was described as a complex scene. it quickly became apparent there could not be a lot done to save the lives of some of those patients unfortunately. again, very difficult circumstances, as you have already alluded to, very close to christmas, so our thoughts are with the families and friends of those patients involved. there were a total of 13 casualties, including the six who died, with six vehicles damaged. police described the accident as harrowing. investigations into what caused it
are likely to take some time. a little earlier, phil gave this update. the specialist teams who been here all they are continuing to carry out their investigations. even see they've brought in extra lights to help them with that. we think in the next couple of hours they're going to begin that sensitive, very difficult operation of removing all of the debris from the scene so they can try and clear this very busy, very important main road in time for tomorrow morning's rush—hour. as we say, at the moment we still don't know what caused the accident. there are lots of theories, but clearly it's going to take some time to get to the bottom of exactly what happened in the early hours of this morning here in central birmingham. police say they do know the identities of the six people who died, but they are still making contact with one of their families. the probability is that a lot of these people are local people, and it's certainly had an enormous effect on people in birmingham today.
many of whom have been taking to social media to express their condolences. two police officers have been seriously injured after they were hit by a car on the north circular road in london. the met commissioner, cressida dick, said this evening that such incidents give a stark reminder of the dangers of policing. the two officers were returning to a marked police vehicle, parked near brent park in neasden, when a car collided with them early this morning. the pair are both constables in their 30s. one is male, and the otherfemale. the driver of a white maserati was arrested at the scene. the prime minister says developments over last 10 days have marked a watershed in the uk's departure from the european union. writing in two newspapers this morning, theresa may said the government is "proving the doubters wrong" after the eu agreed to move on to the next phase of negotiations — but labour say the government's brexit plans are a mess. earlier i spoke to our political correspondent chris mason who began by telling me about what the eu's chief brexit negotiator
michel barnier has been quoted as saying in an interview with prospect magazine. nothing in here that is a million miles from what we have heard from him before. and quite striking in its language. we've approached mr barnier‘s offers to make sure there isn't anything lost in translation. the expectation is that he will have given this interview in french. just to bring you this quote from prospect. he says, they, referring to the uk, have to realise there won't be any cherry picking. he's talking here about a future arrangement and future deal. we won't mix up the various scenarios to create a specific one and accommodate their wishes, mixing, for instance, the advantages of the norwegian model — norway is not a member of the eu but is a member of the single market and accepts free movement of people — with the simple requirements of the canadian model. you'll know that there has been some discussion. david davis, the brexit secretary, talked about the idea of the canadian model plus, plus, plus. canada has a free trade arrangement with the eu in goods, but not in services, but doesn't have to accept free movement of people. he ends this particular paragraph saying they —
again, referring to the uk — will have to face the consequences of their own decision. in other words, is effectively saying, look, things cannot stay the same because you, the uk, have chosen to leave and that was your decision, not ours. when you talk about the idea of a bespoke solution, that won't necessarily come easy in terms of what the eu is willing to put on the table. theresa may has been writing in two british papers today. what has she had to say? what kind of position is she setting up? yes, two articles, one in the sunday telegraph, one in the sunday express. you often get prime ministerial pieces in the sunday newspapers. it's not often they take to two different newspapers. the message was broadly the same but the audience, i guess, is a bit different. what was striking about the prime minister's words is how defiant she was. kind of understandably, up to a point. there's been a huge number of headlines in the last few weeks about that aborted attempt to get a deal in brussels. she went over there, she had to come back and go over in a few days later. then the defeat in the commons last week, and all of the accompanying negative headlines, from her perspective.
in reality, she can point to, and she does in these articles, that she has got to where she set out to buy christmas. the negotiations will move on to phase two, the future, after christmas, despite the bumps on the road that we've had over the last couple of weeks. but what we haven't got yet, and we might start to get this week, is a sense from the british government, privately at first, then publicly, about what they actually want. what is that end state that the british government is seeking to have? we know the broad parameters, we know the government wants to leave the single market and the customs union, and those economic relationships that are bound up with our current membership. but we don't know any specifics. brussels is clamouring for those specifics. plenty of people in the uk are as well. the brexit super cabinet, if you like, the war cabinet of main cabinet ministers involved in brexit, meeting tomorrow morning in downing street. there a full meeting on tuesday. that will be the first time that the full cabinet meeting have had a proper discussion about that end state. that might surprise you.
there is, arguably, a political savviness from the prime minister to have put it off for as long as she has. if you know you're facing a row about something, arguably it's pragmatic to postpone it for as long as possible, that's what she's done. the russian president vladimir putin has thanked donald trump, after russian security services were able to foil a terror attack thanks to information provided by the cia. this's the moment security forces raided a flat allegedly used as logistical base to plan the attack on st petersburg's kazan cathedral. seven people were detained on charges of being members of so—called islamic state. the officers also seized explosives, weapons and propaganda material. i spoke earlier to our correspondent david willis in washington. well, we have this from the kremlin, i should point out, no official transcript or briefing on this from the americans thus far. just an acknowledgement that this telephone
conversation did take place. vladimir putin, basically thanking the american president for the cia's tip—off that led to the russian security service foiling what was an attempted or planned suicide bomb attack on a popular, iconic cathedral in st petersburg, very popular amongst tourists and other sites in the historic city. they were able to make arrests as a result of the tip—off and to seize weapons and ammunition, apparently. vladimir putin asking donald trump to convey his thanks to the cia leadership and to the officers at the cia who, basically, ferreted out that information which prevented the attack, rachel. now, we know that traditionally sometimes troubled relationships between russia and the united states. why now, this warm thanks?
assuming, as i am, that these tip—offs happen — not regularly, but there is a security relationship that exists? well, you're absolutely right. it's not surprising that two nations like this cooperate on security matters. but what is surprising is that there is currently an investigation under way, a top—level investigation here on the part of a special counsel, called robert mueller, into russian meddling in the outcome of last year's presidential election. also, the special counsel is looking into allegations that the trump campaign may have colluded with the kremlin on that front. we've seen donald trump criticise leaders of traditional american allies like britain's theresa may, germany's angela merkel. but as far as vladimir putin is concerned, he has not had a bad word to say, the reverse is true as far
as vladimir putin is concerned. these two men speaking today, for the second time in three days. last week, donald trump called vladimir putin to thank him for being so generous in his comments about the state of the us economy. so, whilst everybody else is doubting russian motives, it seems these two men are each other‘s biggest cheerleaders right now. the government is considering extending automatic enrolment into a workplace pension, to 18 year olds, from 2020. currently the starting age is 22, for anyone earning more than £10,000. workers can opt out, but the change could affect around 900,000 people. joe lynam reports. ollie and nate are both 21. ollie, on the left, has not yet started saving for his retirement. it has not really
crossed my mind yet. i movejobs quite frequently, tend not to stay in one place too long. so pensions have been lower down the list of things i have been conscious of. nate, though, has been saving for his retirement since he was 16. i grew up with a family on welfare, so i was quite aware of the effects being reliant on government money can have. and how insecure it can be sometimes. if the work and pensions secretary david gauke has his way, young people like ollie and nate could soon be automatically enrolled for a pension at their employers. that, i think, will get more people into the habit of saving. it will mean younger people will be saving for those extra years, so that is significant when it comes to their retirement. at the moment, only those aged over 22 are automatically included in a pension scheme by their employers, but the government wants that age lowered to 18. soon, 8% of our salaries will be going into a pension pot, something that employers
are worried about. i think what the government needs to bear in mind however is how much of the cost of that is going to be falling on employers in the future, because already the cost for employers is on course to treble by 2019. today's announcement means the cost to employers will be even higher than that. to 18, or even 21—year—olds, retirement must seem a very long way off, especially if they don't earn much, but if this plan proceeds, it could help younger people depending on the state in decades to come. joe lynam, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news: a british woman, rebecca dykes, has been killed in beirut, the foreign office says. she worked for the department for international development. six people have been killed and a seventh is critically injured after a multi—vehicle crash in birmingham, officers have described the scene as "very difficult and upsetting". plans to automatically enrol
hundreds of thousands of young people in workplace pensions for the first time, to help them save for retirement. sport now, and a full round—up from the bbc sport centre. good evening. celtic‘s unbeaten run in scotland is over, after being hammered 4—0 by hearts in the premiership. the last time celtic lost in the league was a incredible 585 days ago. holly hamilton has more. it's been a long time since anyone got the better of celtic in scotland. they travelled to tynecastle unbeaten in a record—breaking 69 domestic games. but records are made to be broken. after 26 minutes, a schoolboy error led to harry cochrane firing hearts into the lead. no champagne celebrations for him. minutes later, craig gordon prevented the hopes
of making it a double, but only a temporary reprieve, as kyle lafferty drove in this shot. after the break, milinkovic capitalised on more poor celtic defending to make it 3—0. new territory for brendan rodgers' side. the french winger compounded the visitors' misery, slotting home a late penalty as their invincible streak came to a grinding halt. celtic top the table byjust two points. time for the champions to regroup and hit the reset button. they've gone through 69 games. for this coming 18 months, to be the first defeat, of course it is a sore one, especially when you mike that. but they can hold their heads up. they've been absolutely amazing in that 18 months. to set a record, 69 games, that may never be beaten, they can be very proud of that. now we hit the reset button again. an
unfamiliar defeat for celtic. liverpool got back to winning ways, with a comfortable 4—0 win away at bournemouth in the premier league. it moves them into the top tour places and ends a run of two games without a win. the league's top scorer, mohamed salah, netted his 20th goal in all competitions this season. manchester united have closed the gap on leaders manchester city in the premier league to 11 points with a 2—1victory at west brom. after a barren spell, romelu lukaku seems to have rediscovered his goal—scoring touch. he's now scored in back—to—back matches. jesse lingard is enjoying a purple patch, his somewhat fortuitous strike adding united's second, which turned out to be the winner. gareth barry did find the net, but west brom are still without a win in all competitions since august. england's hopes of retaining the ashes are fading fast. they must bat all day tomorrow if they're to avoid defeat in the third test in perth and snatch a draw to keep the series alive. weather could play its part — rain stopped play towards the end of the fourth day.
at the close, england were 132—4 mitchell marsh didn't add to his 181 overnight. and aussie captain steve smith was out for 239. australia declared on 662—9, a lead of 259. in reply, england lost mark stoneman, alastair cook and joe root cheaply. james vince made a half century before he was bowled by a terrific ball by mitchell starc. defeat looming for england, and that would leave them 3—0 down and hand the ashes back to australia. european champions cup holders saracens look like they'll now need to try to reach the quarterfinals as one of three best pool runners—up after losing 24—21 to group leaders clemont auvergne in france. sarries were keen to avoid a repeat of the home thrashing in the reverse fixture, and helped by ben spencer's try, they soon built a 13—0 lead. but clermont chipped away at the advantage, and although they managed no tries
to sarries‘ two, scott spedding's late penalty earned a 24—21 victory. saracens did at least pick up a losing bonus point. wasps have kept their hopes alive with a 21—3 victory over la rochelle. leicester remain bottom of their pool. they lost at home to munster 25—16. northampton lost their first match after the dismissal of their director of rugby, jim mallinder, beaten 32—15 at ospreys. that's all the sport from me for now, but don't forget bbc sports personality of the year is over on bbc one right now. are you trying to lose me viewers? more sport later. just a line breaking news, essentially confirming a story we have been running this evening. we have heard from the white house, confirmation
that the united states did indeed help thwart a terrorist plot in st petersburg. we have heard from russian sources that they had information from the cia, which help them to thwart an attack on st petersburg's kaz and cathedral, but nothing had been confirmed by the us side of the operation. we have now heard from the white house that the plot was foiled and it could have killed large numbers of people. two senior members of south africa's governing anc have been chosen as candidates to be the next party leader. the process to find a successor to president zuma had been delayed because of divisions amongst delegates. milton nkosi, who's injohannesburg, says it's not clearjust yet when a winner will be announced. in the plenary, earlier on, when the nominations were conducted, deputy president cyril ramaphosa agreed to stand for the position of president, and nkosaza na dlamini—zuma did the same. the electoral commission
has gone away to start printing the ballot papers, and voting will start pretty soon, because the delegates, i don't know if you can see some of them mingling behind me, they have gone to dinner in the meantime. when they go back, then they will begin the process of voting. there are 5000 of them, plus minus 5000 voting delegates, and cyril ramaphosa, as far as we know, is inching away with about 500 nominations, but that is not to say that those numbers won't change. at least eight people have been killed and dozens of others injured after a suicide bomb attack on a methodist church in pakistan. it happened in the city of quetta which has been the scene of a number of attacks in the past year. tom burridge has more a celebration ahead of christmas, targeted by extremists. pakistan's police and army, firing shots in the aftermath as they surrounded the church.
earlier, the attackers‘ efforts to get in and kill as many as they could captured on cctv. watch the man in brown, who suddenly reveals a machine gun and starts to try to access the church compound. his accomplice, behind him, falls over. it takes them a long time to climb the gate, but it is chilling to watch, as the men wearing suicide vests exchange shots with security guards, imagine the panic in the church nearby. officials say one of the attackers was shot dead at the entrance to the compound. a second man detonated his vest near the church door. the bodies of those killed, brought to the local mortuary. too much for relatives, their loved ones killed a week before christmas. at local hospitals, those injured spoke of their fear as the attackers did all they could to get inside the church. translation: we were in the church
and when we heard gunfire we closed the doors. the firing continued for a while. then there was an explosion by the church door. the group that calls itself islamic state claimed responsibility for the attack, which pakistan's president described as cowardly. prince harry has taken on a new role — as a journalist — and interviewed the former us president barack obama. the interview was recorded at the invictus games in september as part of the today programme's guest editor series. the fifth in line to the throne takes over the show on the 27th december on bbc radio 4 — and he gave the politician some interview advice ahead of the discussion. do i have to speak faster? because i'm a slow speaker. not at all. should i do a british accent? if you start using long pauses between answers you're probably going to get this face. let me see the face.
laughter. i don't want to see that face. it will be 40 minutes. it will be a 20 minutes package for the bbc for after christmas, and we hope to use the whole thing as a podcast afterwards. excellent. 0k. i'm ready. do you guys have sound? sounding great. you're excited about this, i'm nervous about this. it's fine. i'll interview you if you want. let's keep it this way, i'd much prefer that! tonight the bbc‘s sports personality of the year will be announced in liverpool. 12 are on the shortlist, with the public choosing the winner. our sports correspondentjoe wilson is in liverpool for us tonight. it ain't aintree, anfield nor goodison — the echo arena tonight. immerse yourself here in the voices and memories.
2017 has seen media coverage of an expanding diversity of sport. with stories of governance and ethics as well as goals and wickets. this evening we will be guided through achievements from grassroots to the top. there are 11,000 seats here, but voters at home will decide. at least andy murray had a less successful year, so someone else can have a chance to win. the list of nominees offers something for everyone. the speed skater, the runner, the cyclist, the f1 champion, the heavyweight boxer, the football goal—scorer, the wimbledon semifinalist, the paris sprinter, the star swimmer, the superbiker, the cricketer and the tae kwon do fighter. there will be special memory of bradley lowery, his parents will collect an award. his six years were filled with connection to football. the point of sport is to provoke every emotion. tonight's programme is likely to touch most of them. and sports personality of the year
is taking place right now over on bbc one. lets get a look at the weather prospects. good evening, the weather is looking recently quiet over the next few days. largely dry conditions but quite a lot of cloud around through much of the weekend. things will be turning milder, particularly towards the west. watch out for dense fog, particularly monday night and into tuesday. sunday night, clearskies and light wind across many parts of the country as rain clears off towards the south. it is going to be quite a chilly night, temperatures holding just above freezing in towns and cities. during the early hours of monday, it could be subzero in the countryside. likely to see a bit of rust around, especially towards northern and eastern parts of the country. any mist and fog the should tearaway, and
country. any mist and fog the should tea raway, and not country. any mist and fog the should tearaway, and not a bad day. a bit more cloud in the north—west with a few showers later in the day. temperatures between four and six in the east. seven to nine further west. goodbye for now. hello, this is bbc news, the headlines. a british embassy worker in beirut has been found dead. police there say she'd been murdered. rebecca dykes worked for the department for international development in lebanon. six people have died and one person is in a critical condition after a crash on one of birmingham's main roads. police say it is too early to know what might have caused the crash. they described the scene as "very difficult and upsetting". a potential attack by so—called islamic state on a cathedral in saint petersburg was foiled thanks to intelligence gained by the cia. president putin called donald trump
to thank him. and voting hasjust opened for the sports personality of the year awards in liverpool, where 12 nominees are waiting to find out who will be crowned the 2017 winner. and guest editor of radio four‘s the today programme prince harry has interviewed the former us president barack obama. now on bbc news, the travel show. coming up on this week's show... we travel to georgia to pay a visit to a town that's the birthplace of one of the 20th century's most controversial figures. rajan meets an artist in dubai creating a unique fusion of traditional arabic calligraphy and street—style graffiti. i always try to bring a message of peace and tolerance