hello and welcome to bbc news, i'm gavin grey. a tropical storm that has wreaked havoc in the southern philippines has left 180 people dead. more than 70,000 people have been forced from their homes. the island of mindanao has been the worst—hit area so far, and a state of emergency has been declared in several locations there. the storm has now begun to travel west, hitting the popular resort islands of palawan. andy moore reports. clinging to the neck of his rescuer, a young boy is carried across the floodwaters. there was little sign of official help here, just villagers doing their best to rescue each other with fragile ropes. in a country used to devastating storms, this took many by surprise. the authorities said too many people had ignored warnings to leave coastal areas and riverbanks. many of the casualties were on the main southern island, mindanao. this man said houses
were getting flooded, but people couldn't escape, so they got caught in the strong currents and swept away. many places were hit by landslides. flimsy houses were buried beneath tons of debris. the red cross is helping co—ordinate the relief effort. we've already provided water and hot food, and we're going to be distributing non—food items, blankets, mosquito nets, and certainly hygiene kits for those who are in the evacuation centres, so we can alleviate the suffering of many of the folks there. the philippines is battered by about 20 typhoons every year. this particular storm is not over yet. and, as it passes over warm, tropical waters, its winds are set to grow again in strength. andy moore, bbc news. that storm isn't the only disaster that the philippines has to contend with at the moment.
this storm is on the cusp of becoming a typhoon. now, it has intensified as it has moved away from the philippines over open waters and it is heading its way towards southern and central parts of vietnam. it is expected to weaken again as it does so, but nevertheless it will still pack a punch with some ferocious winds, some coastal flooding, with large waves because of the strength of the wind, and a significant amount of rainfall, perhaps 150 two 200 millimetres of rainfall for the likes of ho chi minh. and it strengthens the north—west monsoon is it passes. —— north—east monsoon. the risk of some very wet weather with further flooding rains, mudslides and flash flooding. so clearly a lot of potential very destructive weather is on its way. we will keep you up dated. that storm isn't the only disaster that the philippines has to contend with at the moment.
at least 37 people have been killed in a fire that swept through the top floor of a shopping mall in the southern city of davao. it started on saturday morning, trapping people inside the four—storey building. president duterte visited the burning mall and met the families of the missing. the sacked catalan leader, carles puigdemont, wants to be sworn in again as the regional president after parties that support independence from spain won a majority in thursday's election. speaking from self—imposed exile in belgium, he urged the spanish government to let him return for talks. as james ransley reports, the political instability isn't bringing down catalonia's christmas spirit. christmas toy: ho, ho, ho, merry christmas! catalonia may be facing a political crisis, but it certainly has not dampened the holiday cheer of some locals. translation: people are in the christmas mood, because one thing has nothing to do with the other. of course, there will be christmas dinners where people will discuss
politics. but, in the end, the primary thing is the people. nothing will happen. so what next for catalonia? that is what everyone in the region is wondering after elections that, once again, gave pro—independence parties a majority. now the separatist leader, carles puidgemont, has said he wants to return from self—imposed exile in belgium, and continue as president. translact ion: i am the president of de generalidad right now, and i have not stopped being it, even if they sacked me by decree of the spanish government, which has failed in catalonia. puidgemont, who is threatened with arrest in spain, has called for dialogue with the spanish government, led by mariano rajoy, even if that falls short of independence. translation: what i say is let's talk. let's talk about everything, but above all, about what catala ns want. but mr rajoy insists on talking to this woman first,
ines arrimadas, the leader of the centrist ciudadanos party. they have the largest individual vote, even though it is unlikely they can form a coalition. and, if and when talks between madrid and the seperatists do take place, it is not clear what would be different this time. of course the spanish government will say no to their proposal of a legal referendum. so, in less than half a year, we will be on the same situation that we were before the elections. as the crisis continues, it is the economy that is most at risk. tourism is suffering, and already, more than 3,000 companies are moving their legal headquarters out of catalonia. james ransley, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: a ceasefire has started come into effect in south sudan, the latest attempt to end the civil war that has engulfed the country for four years. earlier cessations of hostilities
have failed, and over a million south sudanese have fled their country. this ceasefire is meant to be just the first step. negotiations will follow, and if progress is made, eventually fresh elections will be held. 32 people have been killed in a bus crash in rajasthan, in india. officials say the driver lost control of the vehicle, which broke through a guardrail and fell 30 metres from a bridge. most of the bodies have been retrieved, and the injured taken to local hospitals. it was carrying passengers to the ramdevji hindu temple. the president of ukraine says the weapons that the united states has agreed to supply his forces, facing pro—russia separatists in the east, will only be used for defensive purposes. petro poroshenko said the arms would help ukraine respond resolutely to aggression. moscow denounced the arms deal, accusing washington of fomenting further bloodshed. a candlelit vigil has been held in the lebanese capital, beirut, to mourn the recent murders of four women. women's rights activists laid white
roses on pictures of the victims — two lebanese women, a syrian, who was pregnant, and a british embassy worker, rebecca dykes. since her death last saturday, women have called for more attention to be given to widespread violence against women. by by conductor has denied accusations of sexual assault made against him, calling the accusations shocking with no basis in truth. four women, three opera singers and a classical musician, have accused him of sexual assault. a number of orchestras have cancelled his engagements over the allegations. venezuela has expelled two foreign diplomats — the brazilian ambassador, and canada's charge d'affaires. both countries were among a number who were critical of president nicolas maduro‘s decision to create a constituent assembly, effectively replacing the opposition—controlled national assembly, earlier this year, a move that sparked widespread protests. the announcement was made by the head of the constituent assembly. translation: we have decided to
declare persona non grata the charge d'affaires of canada for his permanent and insistent rude and vulgar in the interference in venezuela's affairs. and declared the ambassador of brazil persona non grata until the de facto government restores constitutional order in this brother country. it may be one of the world's longest rivalries, and one that is worth billions in marketing — who lays claim to santa? his home has always been known as the north pole, but is it in finland or greenland? well, that fight is now over. greenland has officially given up its claim to the big man, and says this tiny village in the finnish region of lapland is where he actually lives. hundreds of thousands of people visit every year for a chance to see him as he begins his 500 million kilometrejourney across the world in his magical sleigh. a little bit more christmas cheer,
this time from the czech republic. hundreds of singers turned out in prague to perform together. it is a tradition which began in 1989, after the fall of communism in what was then czechoslovakia. in the first year, a few people gathered on the steps of the bridge. since then it has become an altogether vigor affair, with the crowd led conductors and soloists, the main stadium also turned into a concert hall for the occasion. the piece they are singing is by a czech composer. a man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman working at an aldi supermarket in north yorkshire. neville hord, who is 44,
was remanded in custody by magistrates in york. jodie willsher was stabbed to death in skipton on thursday. 0ur correspondent sarah walton sent this report. arriving at york magistrates‘ court, 44—year—old neville hord appeared in the dock charged with murder. he is accused of attacking 30—year—old jodie willsher at the aldi store in skipton, where she was working on thursday afternoon. she suffered serious injuries and died in the store. there were no relatives in court this morning, and mr hord, dressed in a blue t—shirt and grey shorts, spoke only to confirm his name, age, and address. he didn't enter a plea and was remanded in custody. in a statement, mrs willsher‘s husband, malcolm, said his wife always had an amazing smile on herface, and was a doting mother and loving wife. at the store where mrs willsher worked, colleagues have described her as much—loved and popular.
staff returned to the store tonight, but the store remains closed. and people have been arriving to leave flowers and messages for mrs willsher, who was a popular member of staff. 0ne regular shopper delivered a card for the workers who lost a loved colleague. people who shop here shop regularly, and they know the staff. and the staff are so good, and the manager is always so helpful. it just hurts people. mr hord will next appear at leeds crown court on 28 december. sarah walton, bbc news, york. london zoo has been closed, after a fire in the early hours of the morning. a number of staff were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and shock, as the blaze was brought under control by 70 firefighters. adina campbell reports. rising flames and large plumes of smoke were captured on social media just before dawn. the fire started in the animal adventure cafe and then spread
to a nearby shop. at its height, more than 70 firefighters dealt with the fire and brought it under control just after 9:00am. one person was taken to hospital and eight others were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. this is quite a complex site, and we've had to put certain cordons in place for people's safety, because the building has been so seriously damaged. vets at the zoo confirmed that a nine—year—old aardvark, called misha, died in the fire. and four missing meerkats are also thought to have been killed. we are all really upset by this incident, because this is one of our most—loved animals in the zoo, misha, and the meerkats are also held in great affection by all of us who work here, but frankly by all of us
who love london zoo. for those who turned up today, it wasn't the christmas visit they had hoped for. we travelled down from nottingham today. oh, that must be disappointing. yeah, it is a bit, but as long as the animals are ok. we are very disappointed, we came from a long way, from brazil, to see it. and it's closed, and sad. poor animals. some of the staff who live on site here were called to the scene immediately, and started moving the animals to safety. today, the zoo has been closed. it would normally have been a very busy day, being so close to christmas. tonight, though, staff have confirmed the zoo will reopen tomorrow. three quarters of the cafe and shop has been affected by the fire, as well as half the roof. the cause is still unclear. adina campbell, bbc news. the prime minister has paid tribute to the work of the armed forces in a special christmas message.
she thanked them for their work in fighting so—called islamic state, and responding to acts of terrorism here in the uk. i want to send a message of thanks to every member of our armed forces and your families, wherever you are in the world this christmas. earlier this year, ijoined the centenary commemoration for the battle of passchendaele. gathered in flanders, we remembered the hundreds of thousands of young men who gave their lives on that battlefield in the cause of freedom. through a century of great change since, the high standards and devotion to duty of our armed forces have remained constant. today, as we face new threats, your work continues to make the world a safer place. i saw that firsthand this month in iraq, when i met british soldiers training and supporting the iraqi security forces as they fight against daesh. thanks to their efforts, and the skill of the royal air
force, daesh no longer hold significant territory in iraq or syria, and a better future is in prospect for that region. in the caribbean, the royal navy, supported by the other services, brought disaster relief to those suffering in the wake of hurricane irma. and twice this year, after acts of terrorism here at home, we deployed troops on the streets of the uk to help keep us safe. whenever you are called upon, regulars oi’ reserves, you always give of your best, and inspire us all with your service. the enormous debt we owe to our armed forces and veterans is enshrined in the military covenant, and the covenant also recognises that your achievements are made possible by the love and support of your families. partners and children are often called on to make huge sacrifices of their own, from a change of school orjob, to coping
with extended periods of separation. that separation is especially difficult at christmas time, and we should all be immensely grateful for that sacrifice. at the passchendaele memorial service at the menin gate thisjuly, those gathered sang the ypres hymn 0 valiant hearts. this christmas, as people across the uk celebrate this special time of year with their families and friends, we will do so secure in the knowledge that the valiant hearts of our servicemen and women, many far away from their own loved ones at this special time of year, are working to keep us safe. thank you all for your service, and i wish you a very happy christmas. this is bbc news — the main headline. nearly 200 people are believed to be dead and dozens more are missing after a tropical storm batters parts
of the southern philippines. for more on this i am joined by lotta sylwander, country representative for unicef philippines. thank you forjoining us. i know that dawn has broken a short time ago. what is the latest? pretty much what you have already said. close to 200 dead. if we look at the whole travesty of the typhoon. —— traverse c. as day has broken, the rescue mission can start looking for missing people. we know a number of children have either drowned or gone missing. 0f children have either drowned or gone missing. of course, i think the bulk is adults trying to stay with their
homes and tried to save their possessions. we are seeing pictures of some of the devastation. very, very difficult for you and some of the other authorities to reach the communities affected. definitely. roads have been blocked because of landslides. electricity is down because the electricity poles have fallen and so on. it is a really dire situation and the most important thing right now is really to get to people and start with life—saving inputs. make sure they have clean water. make sure they have clean water. make sure they have something to it. make sure they get shelterfor at have something to it. make sure they get shelter for at least the night. really just keep get shelter for at least the night. reallyjust keep them alive, keep them from getting different kinds of diseases at this stage. and of course, often these disasters tend to affect poor people much, much harder. of course. and in fact, the
storm or typhoon passed over some of the most poorest areas in the whole philippines. people live in hard to reach areas. areas which are not really suitable for housing such as close to rivers and streams and steep terrain. that's why we see so many people have been killed by boulders or landslides and it really is something that, you know, the prepare a nurse should be that for people to not actually live in those areas. “— people to not actually live in those areas. —— preparedness. people to not actually live in those areas. -- preparedness. did people not think it would be that severe or did they have no where else to go?” did they have no where else to go?|j think did they have no where else to go?” think both. many people don't have anywhere to go and in one of the provinces which has recently been hit by a very long and out drawn armed struggle, it was difficult for
people to move around because they we re people to move around because they were already displaced. also, went the winds went strong, people possibly became complacent and didn't move in time. —— when the winds. the charity crisis at christmas has opened its centres to 11.5 thousand homeless people today. —— crisis at christmas will stop crisis is warning that the number of what it describes as ‘hidden rough sleepers' could increase by almost 50% over the next decade. 0ur correspondent anisa kadri went to meet some of those seeking help. i would like to get my hat fixed if possible. it may look like like a trip to the tailors, but this is a free service for homeless people who need to get clothing and accessories fixed. and it is part of crisis at christmas, offering people without a home,
warmth, company and support over the festive period. i have been sleeping rough and then a crisis guy got me into a night shelter and the shelters are very good, but it is more christmassy here. it is a bigger wide open space, there is more movement, there are more people and you have a bigger choice of people to associate with. all day, volunteers have been here providing hot food and hot drinks to the people who have been coming to this centre for crisis at christmas. and over the next few days, the charity expects more than 4000 people to walk through its doors at centres like this around the country. it is a chance for staff to meet people who have been sleeping rough and give them support over christmas. 11,000 volunteers are taking part over the next few days as crisis warns of a growing homelessness problem. i volunteer because i don't celebrate christmas myself, so it's nice to do something on a day when i wouldn't be that busy anyway and volunteering with crisis. it is a lot of fun and it feels
like i'm helping a lot of people. i think the best of the volunteers. i think they are doing a greatjob, beautifuljob, brilliantjob, thanks to them, there are nice people around me, i'm very happy. as long as i am not on the street, i've got a roof, i've got nice food, have got a nice dinner, but it is not all about food and sleep, you know. it is all about the chance to be myself and i hope that this is going to be my last year and that next year will be better. but for now it is just about making life a little bit easier for homeless people over the christmas period. anisa kadri, bbc news. california's deadly wildfire has now become the largest in the state's recorded history. the blaze which has been burning for more than two weeks has scorched an area greater than new york city, brussels and paris combined. among those tackling the flames are thousands of prisoners, some of whom have been given a new sense of purpose by the work, as our correspondent
james cook reports. it's pretty challenging. sometimes we're right there, right next to the fire. compared to being in prison and being here, it's completely different. here, you feel free. you're out in the world. the biggest change for me is mental, because i've never pushed myself as hard, ever, in life. california has 4,000 inmate firefighters, men and women. cutting firebreaks is risky work — two have died this year — but there are rewards, too, in reduced sentences and a sense of purpose. after being in this programme, ifeel like i've been rehabilitated and ifeel like i can go out there and achieve anything i want to, because i've done this. this is so hard.
we were allowed inside this prison camp in malibu. there are no walls or fences here. violent or volatile prisoners are not allowed to join the programme. with a job like this, there is only time to think about the work. latoya najar is serving four years for causing the death of her 7—year—old son in a drunken car crash. the attraction for me was because of my crime, i could come out here and do something positive. it's challenging mentally to get over something. i'm never going to get over it but to try to ease my mind and this has helped. with california facing more frequent and more destructive fires, some critics call this slave labour. but the project is voluntary, it may reduce re—offending and it provides some measure of redemption. everyone is like, "we love you, firefighters". we all wave back and we wave to the kids. it's amazing, yes. the work may be exhausting,
it may be dangerous, but in the words of one prisoner, "it's better than twiddling your thumbs injail". james cook, bbc news, in southern california. the weather now with helen willetts.... although it has been a mild run up to christmas and that will continue today on christmas eve, we will notice a change by the end of christmas day. it is set to get much colder. the snow risk will increase and some of us may have a white christmas and it could be windy in the next 48 hours. we had some brightness through the day on saturday. this was durham. we might not see that much brightness. there is an active weather front
marching into the north and west of the uk now. we still have tightly packed isobars so windy weather. they are coming from a mild south—westerly direction and it is behind this weather front that the cold air is lying. it stays north and we start on a mild and murky note. there could be some morning fog but not as much as yesterday morning. it could be dank, drizzly and grey for most of us as removing to this morning. we may see some brightness around inland areas but not as much as yesterday. not as much brightness for northern ireland and scotland because this weather front stays put. it sinks further south as we go through the day but the intensity remains with us for scotland. argyle northwards in particular. it gets heavier through northern ireland in particular. there is a fairly brisk wind and that is why i hope the north—east england and north wales, we may see some brightness. we might see it temporarily in northern scotland.
as we go through this evening, another weather front joins forces with the one we already have so we are concerned we may see some flooding because it looks like a thoroughly wet 2a hours. as i say, argyle northwards could see 80mm of rain over the hills. the winds strengthen ahead of these two weather fronts a head of christmas day. it looks squally, the wind. it starts to move across the western side of england, wales, northern england as well and it is behind that that we get the snow risk. mild and windy ahead of it to the north of it, for the afternoon, snow could be seen through lower levels of northern scotland and possibly northern england. and then over night across the hills of wales. that is because the cold air is coming back. notjust across the north. it looks as though it will filter southwards across many areas by the time we get to boxing day. it will feel markedly colder. that is the weather system i am talking about. then this weather
system which could also bring a risk of snow. please, stay tuned. this is bbc news. the headlines: more than 180 people are thought to have been killed in a tropical storm that has battered parts of the southern philippines. dozens more have been reported missing following flash—flooding and mudslides. there are reports that some villages have been completely buried. a man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman working at an aldi supermarket in north yorkshire. neville hord was remanded in custody by magistrates in york. jodie willsher was stabbed to death in skipton on thursday. london zoo will reopen tomorrow, after a majorfire this morning in which a number of animals are believed to have died. some members of staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock. the cause of the fire is not yet known. the first footage of the javan warty pig in the wild has been captured
by british scientists from chester zoo. the species is under threat from hunting and habitat loss. victoria gill reports. the javan warty pig, described by some as one of the world's ugliest pigs. the last surveys of the remaining patches of their habitat showed such dramatic declines in these animals that researchers thought the species