hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm gavin grey. a tropical storm that's 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 of 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. storm tembin is on the cusp of becoming a typhoon. helen willetts from the bbc weather
centre has the latest. this is storm tembin, which 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—200mm of rainfall for the likes of ho chi minh. and it strengthens the north—east monsoon as it passes. that is why some central parts, probably from about da nang onwards, are at 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 updated. 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. 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 guard rail and fell 30m 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 —— petro poroshenko said the arms would help ukraine respond resolutely to aggression. moscow denounced the arms deal, accusing washington of fomenting further bloodshed. 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 nicholas maduro‘s decision to create a constituent assembly, effectively replacing the opposition—controlled national assembly earlier this year, a move that sparked widespread protests. canada was rebuked for meddling in venezuela's internal affairs and brazil for the dismissal of its left—wing president, dilma rousseff. 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 interference in venezuelan affairs, and declare the ambassador of brazil persona non grata,
until the de facto government restores constitutional order in this brother country. in response, the brazilian government has said the move showed once again the authoritarian nature of president nicolas maduro‘s administration. canada said it would not be cowed into easing pressure on his government. it may be one of the world's longest rivalries, and one that's 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. a man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman working at an aldi supermarket in north yorkshire. neville hord, who's 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 for the hearing 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 a lot of 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 9am. 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 9—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 first—hand 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 betterfuture 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 christmastime, 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 united kingdom 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. 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.
puigdemont, 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 separatists 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. this is bbc news — the main headline. more than 180 people are known to have died in the philippines in flash floods and landslides triggered by a tropical storm. many more are missing. let's get more on that story. earlier i spoke with lotta sylwander, country representative for unicef philippines. she gave us an update on the situation. close to 200 dead. if we look at the whole area of the typhoon. they could be more, we don't know yet. 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. of course, i think the bulk is adults trying to stay with their homes and trying 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 something to eat. make sure they 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 preparedness should be that for people to not actually live live in those areas. it seems that call for people to evacuate in good time before the storm actually didn't have an effect. did people not think it would be that severe or did they have no where else to go?
i 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 drawn out armed struggle, it was difficult for people to move around because they were already displaced. also, when the winds weren't strong, people possibly became complacent and didn't move in time. the charity crisis at christmas opened its centres to 4,500 homeless people today. 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. chalet show you what they did? 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. bright flashing lights lit up the sky over the us state of arizona on friday evening — leading some people to fear ufos. but while the real cause wasn‘t aliens — it was traced to space. take a look at this. and here‘s a little more christmas cheer from the czech republic. singing hundreds of singers turned out in prague to perform that together. it‘s 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‘s become an altogether bigger affair with the crowd led by professional conductors and soloists — with the main train station also turned into a concert hall for the occasion. the piece of music they‘re singing is by the czech composer jakub jan ryba. you can find out much more on that story and our other main stories, on oui’ story and our other main stories, on our website, bbc.com/news. the weather now with helen willetts. hello again. 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 yet 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 late in the day. we might not see as 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 for most and we start on a mild and murky note. there could be some morning fog but not as much as yesterday morning. it will still be dank, drizzly and grey for most of us as as we move in to this morning. 9s and 10s already as we get to day break. 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. argyll northwards in particular. it gets heavier through northern ireland through the afternoon. there is a fairly brisk wind and that is why i hope of 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, argyll northwards could see 80—100mm of rain over the hills. the winds strengthen ahead of these two weather fronts as we get into of christmas day. it looks quite squally, the wind, across england and wales. 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. very mild and windy ahead of it to the north of it, for the afternoon and evening, snow could be seen through lower
levels of northern scotland and possibly northern england. and then over night across the hills of wales and the south and west. 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. it is clearing out of the way. 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