this is bbc news. the headlines at 2.00pm: north korea says the latest un sanctions are an "act of war," as they amount to a complete economic blockade. rescuers are searching for victims of a tropical storm in the southern philippines — more than 200 people have died in mudslides and flash floods. emergency services have yet to reach some of the affected areas. 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes. two men have been killed and four people injured, following a multiple vehicle crash on the mao in 0xfordshire. the motorway has now reopened. also — britain's political leaders use their annual christmas messages to praise those who help others. theresa may thanks the armed forces and emergency services. labour'sjeremy corbyn urged people to think of the lonely and those in conflict zones. and an half an hourjoin me, sarah
campbell, as i take a look back to the photo call at kensington palace that introduced prince harry's bride—to—be, meghan markle, to the world. that is at 2:30pm. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. north korea has described the latest united nations sanctions as an act of war, and tantamount to a complete economic blockade. the un security council imposed the us—drafted measures on friday in response to pyongyang's ballistic missile tests. north korea has vowed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent to frustrate america. sophie long sent this report from the south korean capital seoul. an act of war that violates
peace and stability on the korean peninsula. that was north korea's reaction to the latest and toughest round of sanctions to be imposed on pyongyang. the us—drafted resolution was agreed by all members of the un security council, including china, north korea's main ally and trading partner, who called again for all parties to show restraint. i'm grateful to my colleagues for the serious measures we have enacted on behalf of the north korean people and i ask you keep them in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season, as we continue to fight against this, the most tragic example of evil in the modern world. the new sanctions include a ban on the import of nearly 90% of all oil supplies to north korea. vital to its missile and nuclear programmes. they also require the repatriation of north koreans working abroad.
it's believed pyongyang uses their earnings to help fund its weapons development. the sanctions come in response to this, the firing of pyongyang's most powerful missile yet, one it said could reach us soil. they're intended to push pyongyang to the negotiating table and towards a diplomatic solution. but today's response indicates kim jong—un has little desire to give up his nuclear ambitions. sophie long, bbc news, seoul. two men have died after a crash on the mao involving a number of vehicles. four people were injured, one seriously. police and paramedics were called to the scene on the northbound stretch of the motorway in 0xfordshire just before midnight. officers from thames valley police are calling for witnesses. rescuers are searching for victims of a tropical storm in the southern philippines, where more than 200 people have died in mudslides and flash floods.
thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes — as howard johnson, our correspondent in manila, explains. high winds and heavy rain have battered mindanao for the last three days, as tropical storm tembin made its way across the country. rivers burst their banks, inundating towns, while a number of villages were buried under landslides. a spokesperson for the united nations children's fund said conditions on the island are dire and that many are without clean water or electricity. there were 103 houses here. when the flood happened, it swept them all away. the philippines' national disaster council is spearheading the relief effort, providing meals and shelter to thousands of people displaced by the storm. the call for people to evacuate in good time before the storm actually didn't have an effect. the storm passed over some of the absolute poorest areas in the whole of the philippines and people live in hard—to—reach areas. the philippines is hit by around 20
typhoons every year, bringing misery to some of the poorest communities in the country. storm tembin has now passed the philippines and has strengthened to typhoon status. it's now over the south china sea. it's expected to hit vietnam in the coming days. howard johnson, bbc news, manila, in the philippines. london zoo has reopened today after a fire on saturday killed several animals, and some staff had to be treated for smoke inhalation. the zoo confirmed an aardvark died, and four meerkats are presumed to have been killed. the cause of the blaze, which broke out in the animal adventure section that spread to a shop, remains unclear. new guidance on how local authorities combat anti—social
behaviour has been issued by the government, following concerns that some councils are misusing the measures. critics say so—called public spaces protection 0rders have been used inapproriately to target groups such as rough sleepers and dog—owners. andy moore reports. some charities working with the homeless say the new powers can be used indiscriminately against rough sleepers. others say so—called public spaces protection 0rders, which can cover large areas, are being used to target groups like buskers or dog walkers. but councils argue they are working with their communities to crack down on serious problems. the manifesto group campaigns against what they call the over—regulation of ordinary life. it says hundreds of these orders have been issued,
making a wide range of activities a criminal offence. the group claims, for example, that as part of a crackdown on begging, blackpool wanted to ban loitering around cash machines and shop entrances. doncaster wanted to ban groups of three or more people causing nuisance or annoyance to people in the town centre. brighton wanted to stop anyone and sleeping in a car, caravan or tent in the town. fines of up to £100 can be issued for any breaches of these orders. the local government association says it will work constructively with the government to introduce the new guidelines. public spaces protection 0rders are used for the really serious end of anti—social behaviour, and councils don't choose to do this on their own. residents will come to us, businesses will come to us, and say there might be some aggressive begging, daytime drinking or even street racing. that is the sort of things that these orders are used for. the revised guidelines say councils must focus on specific problems rather than blanket bans of behaviour that are not in themselves anti—social. and they must make sure they consult the public before the regulations are introduced. andy moore, bbc news. plans to ditch the army's slogan "be
the best" have been halted by the new defence secretary, gavin williamson. £500,000 has been spent on a rebranding exercise that would have got rid of the slogan, because it was deemed elitist. the ministry of defence said the british army is the "best of the best" and that the proposals were now "on hold." rail passengers are being warned they could face disruption as network rail carries out its biggest ever christmas engineering programme. 260 projects across england, scotland and wales will lead to numerous station closures over the festive period. many of britain's mainline routes will also be shut or running reduced services over the coming days. police have been granted more time to question three terrorism suspects arrested on tuesday in sheffield and chesterfield.
the three men were detained on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. britain's political leaders have used their annual christmas messages to pay tribute to those who help others. they also urge people to support those in need over the festive season. 0ur political correspondent, eleanor garnier, has more. wishing everyone a happy christmas, the prime minister thanked those who help others during the festive period. like volunteers at faith projects and international aid workers. theresa may highlighted the courage and dedication of the emergency services who went to the grenfell tower tragedy and terrorist attacks in manchester and london. and she thanked the country's armed forces. this christmas, as people across the uk celebrate this special time of year with family and friends, we will do so secure in the knowledge that the valiant hearts of our service men and women, many far away from their own loved ones at this special time of year,
are working to keep us safe. in his second christmas message as labour leader, jeremy corbyn called britain a compassionate nation, urging people to think of those who may be lonely at this time of year. many older citizens, to whom we owe so much, who should be spending this time withjoy, are alone. we think of others such as carers and people with disabilities or dementia. and abroad, we think of people living in nations such as yemen, syria and libya, in fear of bombs and bullets, of injury and death. the snp first minister nicola sturgeon paid tribute to those working over the holidays, and visited a community cafe in glasgow to thank volunteers. this cafe and the volunteers here are among thousands
of organisations and individuals throughout scotland who do so much for local communities all throughout the year, not just at christmas but all throughout the year. the lib dems leader highlighted the issue of homelessness. community has always been at the heart of liberalism. this is a time of year to make that commitment. that is why i am asking you to take out some time this christmas and help with a local charity near you. the party leaders' festive messages were shared on social media to wish voters a merry christmas, but also remind people to spare a thought for those in need. eleanor garnier, bbc news. pilgrims have been arriving in bethlehem, ahead of a midnight mass this evening. but this year's celebrations place amid rising tensions in the region — following the us decision to recognisejerusalem as israel's capital earlier this month.
0ur middle east correspondent tom bateman is in bethlehem for us. we are in manger square, right in front of the church of the nativity. the basilica here is 1500 years old. the church was built above the spot where christians believe that christ was born. and this church very much the focal point of today's celebrations, of today's festivity. the most senior archbishop of the region, the roman catholic church, heads into the square here. he was accompanied by dozens of palestinian scout troops. playing the bagpipes. that's a legacy of when british troops were here, scottish troops, during the british mandate period. they made their way in up manger street, into manger square, and it is there where speeches are given and dignitaries meet the archbishop before midnight mass takes place tonight on christmas eve. the crowds have turned out in the hundreds for the day. but numbers are much lighter than previous years.
that's because tourism has taken a severe dent here because of fears over clashes that have taken place in the last few weeks in the occupied west bank, ever since donald trump announced that the us officially recognise jerusalem as the capital of israel. and all of this, whilst there is a severe diplomatic stand—off between the palestinians and the us, the palestinian president, mahmoud abbas, who will be here tonight, will be talking about the fact that he will not accept any new us peace proposals. meanwhile, the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, has held his weekly cabinet today, and he says all of that is a sign that it is the palestinians who are not prepared to solve the conflict. the headlines on bbc news: and pat two. —— and 2:13pm. —— it's 2:13pm. north korean state tv describes as an ‘act of war‘ new economic
sanctions imposed by the united nations. pyongyang has vowed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. rescuers are searching for 150 missing people, after a tropical storm in the philippines left another 200 dead. two people have been killed and four injured following a multiple vehicle crash on the mao in 0xfordshire — the motorway has now reopened. 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 new 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 programme 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. it's reported that the british—iranian woman held in prison for spying in tehran is to face new charges. following a visit by the foreign secretary borisjohnson to iran earlier this month there where hopes improvements would be made in her case. earlier this week her family said that her case had been marked as "eligible for early release." nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe is currently serving a five—year sentence for spying — which she denies. la my colleague richard fraser caught up with the richard ratcliffe
who spoke about the latest in his wife's situation. we're sort of going around telling the world that it felt like it was almost over and then the following day, one of people stood up and said, no, there could be more charges. so we have been watching very closely events in iran and yesterday, nothing happened, today, nothing's happened. so i spoke to her this morning, no sign of that second court case. in fact, her lawyer went into prison yesterday and said, don't worry, it's still marked the same on the computer, this is just being politics, ignore what happens in the iranian media and i promise you still in the next ten days, two weeks, it could be over. there is going to be a judicial press conference later on today in iran. to get too up and down and try to keep level headed. which is of course difficult at this time of year. the last time we spoke, you said that there are these competing high—powered elements in iran and each of them has a different take, seemingly, on the case. that's right, just as we have become... we're on the news quite a lot now, we're a political issue in the uk and in iran, and different
people have different aspirations for making friends with the uk or preventing that and she has become a political football. the fact that she was on holiday is irrelevant to the fact she is still being used in these ways. so it is not clear if the sort of comments from friday are just a political sounding, or if there is going to be some substance to it. so far, there has not been any substance. obviously, she is not going to be home for christmas eve, but, you know, christmas day possible, boxing day and could be that we are in for a much longer haul. i'm not yet gearing up to escalate and do more. i'm still hoping and fingers crossed. so, just to be clear, the news that we got from the lawyer and said on the computer system marked for early release is still there? yes. that is still on the file. yes. this has come from an element almost within thejudiciary. yes, and not an insignificant element as well. so he is convinced that the process is still moving forwards and there are some powerful factions saying, no, it's not. of course, we had a second court case that was mooted before, then the foreign secretary went over to iran and then it fell away.
only last week, the court case disappeared and was cancelled formally by the court and then it has been revived again. so it's really hard to know what's going on and it's hard not to get too up or down, but certainly, as i say, i spoke to her this morning and she wasn't in the best of moods. the just to update you on this story latest we are getting concerning the story of nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe as that the judiciary spokesperson was questioned earlier today about this case and basically we have learned that iran has said there is no new decision on the case. he was questioned about mrs
zaghari—ratcliffe as well as another british iranian in jail, zaghari—ratcliffe as well as another british iranian injail, and said there is no new decision on the case. he goes onto say that if these prisoners qualify for conditional release it will be applied to them, so release it will be applied to them, so that is as much as we know at the moment. now it is time for the author, and we are discussing the new book the segal. the segal is the eighth book by ann cleves featuring her slightly scruffy determined but very warm detective inspector who is drawn into a mystery touching rather co mforta bly drawn into a mystery touching rather comfortably on the story of her own father and his rather dodgy friends —— ann cleeves. an immensely successful series from writer high on the league table of british crime writers for many years. vera stanhope rides again. her other detective inspector, jimmy perez, for example, having become a favourite tv cop in shetland. welcome. when you get a character —
invent a character — that you really like, like vera stanhope, you like to stick with them, don't you? i do, and i think that's one of the joys of writing crime fiction. there are very few other genres where you can follow a character through a number of books. there's some literary fiction, but crime, it's expected that we're going to write a series, and it's great to be able to develop a character that grows. that's an interesting phrase — "it's expected". you know that you're writing not for a specific audience, but for a general audience that likes this kind of story. you must feel that you now know them quite well? yes, because i go out and meet them. i love doing library events and book shop events and meeting readers. and i'm a reader, i'm a fan as well. i read crime fiction, so i love that sense of getting to know a character very well, and watching him grow or her grow. i think crime writers as a breed are like that, aren't they?
i mean, they all read each other‘s work... yeah. ...even though maybe they don't like to admit it? yeah, i think we're a very jolly bunch. we're so used to people looking down their noses at us, because we're genre fiction, that we come together and we fight back. those days have gone, haven't they? imean... i think there's still a little bit of that. you think there's a wee bit of snobbishness about? yeah, still a bit of that. but you all enjoy paddling around in gore, and all these dark deeds, and actually you're like sort of, i don't know, anybody who works in a kind of profession or trade, where they're facing death all the time, they're actually quite full of fun and stories. yeah, i think so. i'm not really into the gore. i'm more into using that as a framework to develop characters and to look at the things that really interest me, so... well, we don't want to talk about the plot in great detail, because obviously that would spoil it for people who haven't read the book yet. but we can say that vera stanhope, your detective inspector in this series, the eighth book
in the series, is taken, by chance — she doesn't really expect it — into her own past, and this rather dodgy ne'er—do—well father of hers, who had been sort of slightly grand, but then shall we say, fell into bad company? yeah. it's classic fictional material, isn't it? i think it is, and i love that idea of looking at the relationship between the daughter and the father, and that theme, i think, goes through the book — there are other daughters and other fathers. and she is a character who is, you know, a bit scruffy and very determined and sometimes quite rough with people. but the essential thing, it strikes me about her, is her fundamental warmth. i mean, she's a good person? 0h, she is a good person — in the tradition of classic crime, i think. that the detectives are flawed, they appear brusque,
but they are good, because at the end, i think that's why, especially now in times of trouble and uncertainty, people are going back to classic crime, because there is at the end a sense of order restored, of good triumphing — and we need that sense at a time of confusion, that things will be well. well, that's good that you define, or interesting, that you define classic crime as order being restored. somehow, you know, people may not all be happy, but at least the fundamentals have been revealed to be still there. yeah. so, there's a reassurance involved. i think so, and i think that's why it's so popular at the minute, why the british library crime classics are doing amazingly, the between—the—wars books, that are selling fanta... yes. because people like that sense of, as i say, in a time of confusion, that in the end, justice prevails. and we know where we are. we know where we are, and we know the difference between good and evil, and even if there are ambiguities in all the characters, and confusions, which there have to be, otherwise it's
a pretty boring story, we find at the end with a sigh, that it's ok — somebody may have come to a sticky end, a good person may have been brought down, but something remains. yes, and the end of the seagull is quite ambiguous, and you're not quite sure that the killer has been unmasked, but there is that sense ofjustice prevailing, i think. it's quite good, at the same time, isn't it, to have people wondering about the alternative explanations to an ending — to say, "ok, order has been restored, but i wonder how it happened?" yeah. no, i think that's... because you want the book to live on after the reader's finished it. that's interesting, yes. the because everybody sees the book in a different way, that's why book clubs are so interesting, as you know. yes. people have different ideas, they see different pictures in their heads when they read.
you have a way of creating an atmosphere, and i'm thinking, for example, of the shetland books, which, of course, made it to the small screen very, very successfully. and what was it about that atmosphere, there, the bleakness and bareness of shetland — which is very beautiful as well — that gave you the spark? i suppose i first went there a0... more than a0 years ago, because i dropped out of university and just by chance i got the job working in the bird observatory in fair isle. and since then, i've been going back, but i haven't really been there in midwinter. i went in midwinter and there was snow, and it is very bare, because there are no trees, really, in shetland. no trees. and so it's that contrast, i think, between the... you can see for miles, but then the contrast between that and any possible secrets. and the warmth of the domestic scenes within the croft houses, that attracted me first.
yes, the fact that even on a bare landscape, all kinds of things can be concealed. yes. you've also got the feeling in shetland of stepping away from the world, haven't you? i'm not saying that pejoratively about what goes on in shetland. but it is distant. it is. it is the edge of our known universe in the uk. it's 1a hours by boat from aberdeen, so it's a long way. and it does feel separate, and it feels... and they're very self—reliant, shetlanders, so they do things their own way. do you write, you know, in a continuous stream, really, or are their big gaps? i alternate between... i wouldn't just want to write vera, because... no. at the end, i've had enough and i want to go off and try something new. you want a break. yes, so i've been alternating with shetland. so, i've just finished the very last shetland book, just now, so... the very last, the end of the series. the end of the series. did you come to the end just because you thought, well, that it, time to close the covers on this, it's done, i am not going to keep it, give it artificial resuscitation? i'd said all that i can about the place, and about
the characters that i'd created, i think. yes. and i don't want to be bored by them — and i certainly don't want the readers to be bored by them. so, better end while i'm still enjoying it. do you find writing, which you've been doing for a long time, very successfully, and with great dedication, do you find it a kind of therapy as well? oh, it's an escape, isn't it? we lose ourselves in a different world when we're writing, just as when we're reading. so, certainly it's an escape. but you need to be there living as well, otherwise you run out of things to write about, so it's a good balance. but when you're in full flow in a story, and it's working, the rest of the world doesn't exist? no, there's nothing like it. it's an amazing feeling. ann cleeves, author of the seagulll, thank you very much. thank you. it is of course the all on board and christmas weather and tomasz
schafernaker has that for us. looking a bit grey? —— all—important christmas weather. yes, it has not changed from a half hour ago half hour before that... grey skies and very mild across the uk. this. this is this evening, christmas eve evening, 10—11d across the country, little colder in the far north of scotland. rain around as well for some of us. soggy and more rain as well in the far west. in the early hours of the big day itself, south—westerly winds keep blowing m, south—westerly winds keep blowing in, so we will be opening presents through grey skies. no max lowe around but temperatures starting to drop in the north of scotland and there are hints, if you squint —— no snow around, but temperatures starting to drop. late christmas day, daytime, into boxing day, i think i have that right, and then boxing day day is looking fairly bright but it will be quite a frosty start i think for some of us and
pretty chilly, 5 degrees, some rain and perhaps sleep in the south. —— sleet in the south. north korea says the latest un sanctions are an "act of war" —— as they amount to a complete economic blockade. pyongyang has vowed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. rescuers are searching for victims of a tropical storm in the southern philippines — more than 200 people have died in mudslides and flash floods. emergency services have yet to reach some of the affected areas. two men have died after a multiple vehicle crash on mao. four people were injured, one seriously. the motorway is now reopen