this is bbc news, i'm gavin grey. our top stories: flooding and mudslides kill nearly 200 people, as a storm sweeps across the southern philippines. meanwhile, the filipino president rodrigo duterte is due to visit the worst affected areas as efforts continue to locate storm victims. the bid for russia's presidency begins in earnest as some of the candidates seeking vladimir putin's job are announced. catalonia's sacked leader urges madrid to let him return to the region and take charge. a mission with a message — we meet a group of nuns on a mammoth journey to encourage female empowerment in nepal. hello. the un secretary—general, antonio guterres, says he is saddened by the loss of life in the southern philippines,
after more than 180 people died in flash floods and landslides. tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the conditions, which were triggered by a tropical storm. president rodrigo duterte is to visit communities, affected by tropical storm tembin later on sunday. the island of mindanao is the worst hit area so—far and the storm is now battering the island of palawan. sarah corker has the latest. in the raging floodwaters, rescue effo rts in the raging floodwaters, rescue efforts are frantic and dangerous. roads are all these villages have the pull each other to safety. storm tembin tore through mindanao, the second largest island of the philippines at home to 20 million people. entire communities have been cut off. with more than 100 people
missing, that death toll may rise. this remote village has been buried. 0fficial help has been slow to arrive and volunteers use their bare hands to search for bodies. there we re hands to search for bodies. there were 103... hands to search for bodies. there were 103. .. are used hands to search for bodies. there were 103... are used to be hands to search for bodies. there were 103. .. are used to be 103 houses but when the flashlight haven't everything was washed out. everything is gone. tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes. blocked roads and power cuts are hampering the rescue efforts. authorities are too many people ignored warnings to leave. the call for people to evacuate in good time before the storm actually did not have an effect. the storm passed over some of the absolute porous areas in the philippines and people live in hard to reach areas,
areas which are not really suitable for housing, like close to rivers, close to streams and in steep the reins. people have been killed by boulders and landslides. the philippines and regularly suffers from deadly storms and typhoons that mindanao in the south is really hit. another tropical storm hit the central philippines just a week ago. resources are under strains. the un says it is ready to step in and help. 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 sort of traverse of the typhoon across mindanao, there could be more, we don't know yet. and i think as day has now broken, the rescue missions in mindanao can start looking for missing people. we know a number of children have either drowned or gone missing. but of course, i think the bulk
is probably adults trying to stay with their homes, trying to save their possessions. we are seeing pictures of some of the devastation. very, very difficult for you and the other authorities to reach the communities that have been affected? definitely. roads have been blocked because of landslides. electricity is down because the electricity poles have fallen and so on. so it is a really dire situation and i think 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 tonight. reallyjust keep them alive, keep them from getting different kinds of diseases at this stage. and of course, often these disasters tend to affect poorer people
much, much harder. 0h, of course. and in fact, the typhoon or the storm passed over some of the absolutely poorest areas in the whole philippines. people live in hard to reach areas. areas which are not really suitable for housing, like close to rivers, close to streams and there is very steep terrain. and 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 there for people not to actually live in those areas. it seems also the call for people to evacuate in good time, before the storm, actually didn't have an effect. and why was that? people did not think it would be that severe or they had no where else to go? i think both. i think many people don't have anywhere to go, and in one of the provinces, lanao del sur, which has recently been hit
by a very long and out drawn armed struggle, there were obvious difficulties for people to move around because they were already displaced. but also, i think, when the winds we supposedly not very strong, people possibly became complacent and didn't move in time. lotta sylwander. you'll find much more about storm tembin and its impact on our website. you can also download the bbc news app. 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: north korea has described the latest un sanctions imposed on the country as an "act of war". the country's official news agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying the measures were tantamount to a total economic blockade. the un security council imposed the new sanctions in response to pyongyang's ballistic missile tests. 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. the former president of peru, alberto fujimori, has been taken from prison to a hospital, suffering from low blood pressure and an irregular heart beat. the 79 year—old is serving
a lengthy prison sentence for corruption and human rights violations committed during his government's fight against left—wing guerrillas in the 1990s. 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. 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. 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 internal 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. russians will go to the polls in a presidential election next march with vladimir putin seeking a fourth term in office. mr putin has dominated russian politics since the beginning of the century. 0pposition parties have also announced their candidates for the spring election as georgina smyth reports. taking on challenges
of a different kind in red square. russian president vladimir putin was given a clear play at goal in the ice rink but for the goal of re—election next march, the competition might not be so friendly. among those standing in his way, a surprise candidate for the russian communist party, pavel grudinin. the party which does back putin, dropped a veteran leader, in favour of the news face, in what many believe is an attempt to widen voter appeal. translation: i can tell you that our victory may be stolen. we have seen such things multiple times but we know for sure that we are on the right side, and victory will be ours. in another corner, calling herself an alternative to mainstream politics, is russian tv personality, ksenia sobchak. the daughter of a former mayor of saint petersburg, with connections to putin, she named protection of civil rights
among her priorities, while presenting her program for russia's civil initiative party. translation: if sacred possessions and many street prayers are allowed, opposition rallies should also be allowed as well as the atheist rallies, carnivals and gay pride. announcer: vladimir vladimirovich putin. the sport—minded putin does not mind a contest and that was certainly the message to attendees at the 17th congress of the united russia party. translation: we should respect capable and responsible opposition. it means not only having a desire, a readiness to argue with the authorities or accuse them of all mortal sins. russia goes to the polls on march 18. georgina smyth, bbc news. president trump has again used social media to attack a senior member of the fbi — this time its deputy director, andrew mccabe. there've been reports that mr mccabe plans to retire in a few months
and mr trump has tweeted that mr mccabe was racing to retire with full benefits. mr trump recently said the agency's reputation was in tatters. and has become increasingly angry at its investigation into links between his presidential campaign and russia. thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across israel to protest against government corruption. in tel aviv, demonstrators gathered for a fourth consecutive week to call for the resignation of the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. he's under police investigation for abuse of office but denies any wrongdoing. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: splashing the cash on man's best friend — why dog lovers in china are spending more than ever on their pets. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega.
the pentagon said the operation was 90% successful but failed in its principal objective, to capture general noriega and take him to the us to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. the russian flag was hoisted over what is no longer the soviet union but the commonwealth of independent states. day breaks slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nosedown in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town of shkroda, where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, —— this is bbc news. our main headline this hour: 200 people are known to have died in flash floods and landslides
triggered by a tropical storm in the philippines. many more people are missing or displaced. president duterte is to visit the worst—hit communities on sunday. let's get more on that storm now. helen willets from the bbc weather centre has the latest on its projected path. hello there, this is storm tembin. it's 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 also some central parts really from da nang southward
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. 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. london zoo will reopen on sunday after a fire which killed a number of animals and left several members of staff needing medical attention. a 9—year—old aardvark died, and four meerkats, who have not been found, are also thought to be dead. one person was taken to hospital and eight were treated at the scene. 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 puigdemont, has said he wants
to return from self—imposed exile in belgium, and continue as president. translation: i am the president of the generalitat 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. now, to a group of buddhist nuns breaking down gender perceptions in the himalayas. they're called the ‘kung fu nuns‘ and for the next month, they're swapping their religious robes for bike wear. virginia langeberg reports. what started as a lesson in self—defence became part of their meditational focus and now, martial arts is ingrained in their identity.
in the mountains of kathmandu, these buddhist nuns, of the drukpa lineage, call themselves ‘the kung fu nuns'. they are hailed by some as heroes of the himalayas for breaking down gender roles. now, more than 200 of them are leaving their mountain nunnery in nepal and swapping their maroon robes for lycra leggings. they are taking their message of female empowerment to the road, cycling through nepal and india to promote gender equality. we are starting our fifth cycle yatra today and our main mission is about giving awareness about women empowerment, eco—friendly environment, and human trafficking. nepal is still struggling to recover from the 2015 earthquake, and modern—day slavery is a growing problem. the country's human rights commission estimated there were more than 23,000 cases of trafficking
or attempted trafficking last year. the nuns say they came across several such victims while volunteering after the earthquake. we had this idea of going on the cycle yatra and all the remote places, and telling the people, we are all girls, girls are capable of doing everything, they are not useless, they are not things to sell. the nuns will spend the next month cycling of 3000 kilometres —— the nuns will spend the next month cycling 3000 kilometres from kathmandu through south—east india to delhi and then to the north—east indian city of darjeeling. virginia langeberg, bbc news. 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.
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. and here's a little more christmas cheer from the czech republic. hundreds of singers turned out in prague to perform 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. chinese consumers are spending billions of dollars every year on pampering their pooches in a trend that has seen doggie day spas popping up all over the country. the rise has been linked to a cultural and generational shift in china, which has seen pets considered as part of the family. shuba krishnan reports.
forfashion designer for fashion designer cow, no forfashion designer cow, no expense is too much when it comes to her classy canine, rue. she gets groomed, dressed in designer clothes, and her organic meals are made of the best cuts of meat. translation: before i used to get her dog food but now i cook for her myself, natural food, her dog food but now i cook for her myself, naturalfood, fresh things like different kinds of meat, and it is all organic, very good quality, vegetables, toys, clothes, watches, beauty treatment, these are my expenses. doggie day spa and resorts are now popping up all over china as businesses look to cash in on the trend which is expected to be worth $7 billion by the year 2022. translation: as far as we're concerned, they are —— the role that animals play has changed. they are now like other companions, members
of the family. some young couples who don't want children even see apec as a way to make their lives happier together. ——a pet. apec as a way to make their lives happier together. --a pet. lydia and her dog are regulars at the resort which offers everything from personal grooming distilling lessons and even as 0nomah. she recently spent more than one point $5,000 on a birthday party for her dog and she says it was worth every cent. -- cinema. translation macro friends who don't like dogs might feel it is a bit over the top to be like this but he is a member of my family, and more often a treat him like my baby. chinese demographics are helping to propel this trend is young and old u rszula propel this trend is young and old urszula singles and couples search for the perfect pet companion. this is bbc news. 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 for the likes 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.
the storm is now heading for vietnam. presidential candidates in russia are gearing to challenge vladimir putin in the upcoming election. the communist party has caused a stir by dropping their veteran leader and choosing instead a largely unknown business leader. if re—elected, it will be mr putin's fourth term as president. the sacked catalan leader, carles puigdemont, says he wants to return to catalonia and be sworn in again as the region's president, following the election last week. he's currently wanted for arrest in spain on charges of rebellion. coming up at 6 o'clock, breakfast with rogerjohnson but now on bbc news, weather world. the team looks back at the big meteorological events of 2017 but things are not quite as they seem.