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tv   World News Today  BBC News  December 31, 2017 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT

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this is bbc world news today. i'm philippa thomas. our top stories... iran's president says there should be "space for criticism" after a fourth day of protests. police in tehran use water cannon on demonstrators. celebrations around the world to usher in the start of 2018 — this is the scene live in moscow. security forces in the democratic republic of congo have killed at least eight people during protests calling for the president to stand down. and how a prank call known as "swatting" led to a police shooting with terrible consequences. hello and welcome to world news today. police in the iranian capital, tehran, have used water cannon against protesters during a fourth day of anti—government demonstrations across the country. the authorities say they arrested about 200 people during clashes
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in tehran on saturday. they've restricted access to the popular social media messaging app telegram, which officials say has been used to foment violence. in his first comments on the unrest, president hassan rouhani said iranians have the right to protest and criticise the government, but their actions shouldn't lead to violence or damage public property. alan johnston has more. on the protests go. water cannon, deployed in the heart of tehran late on this fourth day of unrest in the streets. as they marched down one of the capital's avenues, they made their feelings known. "death to the dictator,"
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they chanted. on saturday night, gunshots rang out in a western city. a casualty is carried away. two people died. but officials insist the police didn't open fire. they blame the deaths on provocateurs in the crowd. translation: in these clashes, traces of groups and anti—regime media and western intelligence services are visible. in these clashes, no bullets were fired by the police, military or security forces towards the people. the goal was for the protests to end peacefully. the night also brought violence to other cities. a governor's office was set ablaze. and in mashhad, the security forces watched as some of their motorbikes burned. the protests initially focused on economic grievances, but they've become highly political, with demands for an end
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to the rule of the clerics. demonstrations like these have been organised on social media, so the authorities have stepped in. the telegram messaging app says it refused to shut down channels engaged in peaceful protest, and now the government has restricted access to most users of the service. the government rallied its supporters on saturday, showing that huge numbers of iranians back it. and the authorities promise they will tackle the nation's economic woes. for the first time since the unrest began, we've heard from president rouhani. he said people were free to criticise his government, but there should be no violence. he knows the anger in the streets is dangerous. the wave of protests represents the most serious challenge that iran's leadership has faced for years. alanjohnston public bbc news. people across the world have been
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welcoming in the new year with fireworks and displays. these are the scenes in moscow, where it has just turned midnight and it's now 2018. the fireworks bursting over the kremlin. you can see a few lucky sightseers getting a close—up view of the spectacular in the sky. so, that's the scene in moscow. russia has so many different time zones, of course. new zealand kicked off the celebrations — here were the scenes in auckland. three, two, one... the traditional firework display centred around the sky tower. it meant the show took place some 200m above ground — and could be enjoyed as far as 80 kilometres away. then over to sydney —
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the harbour and its iconic bridge taking centre stage as usual. around a million and a half people were there to watch the show, which featured a rainbow theme to celebrate the passing of the country's same—sex marriage law. these were the celebrations earlier in the north korean capital pyongyang. president kim jong—un will deliver his annual new year address later — and he's expected to talk about his country's relationship with the usa. and this is dubai about an hour ago. these pictures show the spectacular lights display at the world's tallest building, burj khalifa. london's celebrations are less than three hours away. let's cross tojonathan blake, who's opposite the london eye on the victoria embankment. over to you. well, the crowds are
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building here in central london in anticipation of that spectacular fireworks display, which will of course happen as big ben chimes midnight. 100,000 people have tickets to watch tonight's show up close. as the hours go by they are 110w close. as the hours go by they are now feeling the areas along the river thames here and the bridges across the river, taking their place in anticipation of that show. it is a huge event for london, widget that requires about 3000 staff working on the day to keep people safe and make sure everybody gets a good view. it's years and months in the planning in terms of this year's display, and i am pleased to say that we're joined by someone from the company responsible for tonight's show. we will hear from them injust a moment. earlier on i spoke to the mayor of london, sadiq khan, who explained why it was important for london to put on such a show at new year's eve. notjust
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londoners will be enjoy in tonight's fireworks, people around the country will be watching the fireworks on tv and also people around the world. this is a sign of confidence, it is who we are, it is showing the world we are london, we are the greatest city in the world, london is open. but also our theme of gender equality, the theme of the soundtrack showing the world that we are a beacon for pluralism and equality, with just women artists later, we don't simply tolerate difference, we respect it and embrace it and celebrate it. we respect it and so, we respect it and what can we expect from the display so, what can we expect from the display tonight? we have got a fantastic show. at midnight there will be 12 minutes of fantastic fireworks, ticking off with big ben, which is live for us this year, obviously, it's been closed for maintenance of. we will start in the traditional way with the chimes, and then we've got a fantastic track which starts off with celebrating some of the greatest artists london
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has ever produced. and then after five minutes we have mind the gap, where we turn the lights off and have a bit of fun and there we start of the last section, all female artists to celebrate next year's the centenary of women's suffrage. we saw some of the pictures from other cities — how do you make london different? first of all we try and make it unique, the soundtrack is something that no—one else could use, but also with the architecture, no—one else has got one of these and the houses of parliament and everything. so we try and create something which is very much a synchronised to the music, something that really rocks, who that is fun and that really takes the pyrotechnics, the lighting and sound and puts it together to create some magic. every year it seems to go without a at all., you can't rehearse for this, so are you retiring on the technology to do its job, how much manpower is there? there is a whole host of technology from the show point of view. our team i was working out last night has 750 people in our team alone in
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the run—up to build all we need for the run—up to build all we need for the show. and then tonight we've got nearly 4000 by the time we've got the stewards in, so it's a major operation. we can't rehearse it, we do computers similar nations, last night we played the music and put the lighting on, so we rehearsed that side of things and made sure everything fires, but we didn't get the london eye until four o'clock this afternoon to load it with lighting and start to put the pyro on. so, i haven't even got a show yet! we'll let you go and prepare, that was a representative of the company putting on the show tonight. the crowds are building just 100,000 people will be watching it up close. security is tight, as you would expect. the metropolitan police are asking people to be vigilant, but the display itself will kick off at midnight, as big ben chimes. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news... at least eight people have been
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killed as security forces have clash at with people demonstrating in the republic of congo. these latest rallies were called by roman catholic activists and backed by opposition parties. the authorities banned the protests, saying they did not have the resources to police them. security forces set up roadblocks and used tear gas and live ammunition to break it up at several locations, including churches. the protesters are demanding the resignation of the president. his second term as president. his second term as president finish one year ago and the constitution bars him from seeking a third mandate. he promised to step down by the end of this year, but he didn't. translation: we
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are tired, we have never had peace in this country, nothing works, the president should go and rest. translation: even under president mobuto, which was a dictatorship, you could march peacefully. we are really tired of kabila. they are attending mass in the capital. the opposition leader called on his country men to stand together. translation: i am simply asking our people to resist this dictatorship and we need alternatives. so, this violence is a repeat of tensions that have erupted time and again over the past year. more than 50 people were reportedly killed in anti—government protests between april and october. there are concerns that this will persist. some breaking news for you... we're getting reports of a plane crash in
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costa rica in which 12 people have died. first news coming out of the public security ministry in costa rica says it is believed that ten of those on board were foreigners, who tourists, visiting costa rica. we'll bring you more details as we get them. six people have died after a seaplane crashed into a river in australia — it's thought four of the victims may be british. although this hasn't been confirmed by the police. the foreign office here is in contact with officials in australia. the aircraft, which was on a sightseeing trip in advance of the new year celebrations, came down in a river close to the suburb of cowan. phil mercer reports from sydney. the seaplane crashed intojerusalem bay near the town of cowan. on board were five passengers and the pilot. the single—engine aircraft is thought to have sunk rapidly. a witness said it had made a tight right—hand turn and then nosedived into the hawkesbury river. a full—scale search was $0011 under way. there were no survivors. police divers have found the six bodies. police divers have found six bodies. the wreckage of the plane remains
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in more than 40ft of water. the authorities say a full investigation will take place. i cannot confirm the identity or ages of the people who were on the plane. we are... it is early in the investigation, and we are working with the plane company, getting investigators here to confirm the identities and investigate why the plane crashed into the water. the seaplane was returning from a waterfront restaurant to rose bay on sydney harbour. it's a journey that would normally take around 20 minutes. the aircraft is owned by sydney seaplanes. it provides flights around some of the city's most popular tourist attractions, including the opera house, the harbour bridge, and to the north the hawkesbury river. the company said in a statement that its pilots are some of the most experienced in the world and that all its flights had been suspended until further notice.
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air—crash investigators will arrive at the site of the accident early on new year's day to try to establish how and why a routine sightseeing flight could end in catastrophe. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come... how a prank call led to an innocent man dying. this is bbc world news today. the latest headlines... after days of protests in iran, the president has said the people have the right to demonstrate, so long as they do not disrupt public order. let's get more now on our top story — the protests in iran. we can talk now to trita parsi.
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he is the author of losing an enemy: obama, iran and the triumph of diplomacy and the president of the national iranian american council. what do you make of what president rouhani has said about these protests ? rouhani has said about these protests? it is quite different compared to the tone of the iran government in 2009, when it quickly and brutally clamped down on the protest. what is happening now is that rouhani is taking a quite different position, essentially back knowledge and that people have legitimate grievances, acknowledging that they have a right to protest, and then focusing instead on pushing back against some of the violence and some of the looting. that is probably not going to sit down very well with some of the hardliners, mindful of the fact that the slogans have been quite harsh and very much targeting the regime as a whole, including chance of death to the dictator and death to the supreme leader. so, it seems like the protests are also being used as a political instrument by the
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political instrument by the political factions to score points against each other. from the point of view of president rouhani, there's not a lot you can offer the protesters at least in the short—term, given that economics, rising prices, were at the root of the trouble? in some ways, yes. he's not going to in to be able to turn around the economy that quickly. however, the protests are notjust because of the lack of economic progress, it is also because of the mismanagement as well as the corruption that exists in the country. and that's something that rouhani can address much quicker by taking much more firm positions and measures against corruption. do you think there is a particular resentment of the regime given that so resentment of the regime given that so many people in iran are so young, they weren't around at the time of they weren't around at the time of the islamic revolution? certainly there is a tremendous amount of discontent. because they have legitimate reasons to be discontent, mindful of the situation that exists. but what i think you're
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seeing here is quite different from 2009, when it was about election fraud and about people wanting to see change through the elections and through the legislative process. now, when you listen to the slogans, it seems like it has bypassed that phase rather quickly, in fact instantaneously, and gone towards much, much bigger demands in which they're not taking sides between the reform ists they're not taking sides between the reformists and the hardliners but they're targeting the regime as a whole. if they're targeting the regime, and president trump is saying publicly, we're watching the iranian people, they must be allowed to protest, surely from outside, that interference can be counter—productive? that interference can be counter-productive? certainly, particularly if the messenger is someone particularly if the messenger is someone like a donald trump. i mean, this is an american president that is extremely unpopular outside of the united states, and i would say particularly in iran. in the past year he has taken several measures that ordinarily iranians feel have
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targeted them, such as the muslim ban which has disproportionately affected iranian nation was, his hugging of saudi arabia as well as his efforts against iran, which continues to enjoy broad support. so, having his blessing is certainly not a political plus in the iranian political context. the chinese leader has used his new years message to suggest his country will play a greater role in international affairs in 2018. under previous presidents china kept a lower profile but the president set out his foreign affairs priorities in a number of areas. translation: as a responsible major country, china must speak out. china will staunchly safeguard the authority and status of the united nations and actively fulfil its due responsibility and duty in international affairs. china will honour its promises in
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countering global climate change and actively push forward the common construction of the belton road. china will act as a builder of world peace and a contributor to global development and an upholder of the international order. michael bristow is the asia pacific editor for the world service. well, he spoke a lot about a domestic agenda, about alleviating poverty in the next three years. he said that would happen for the first time in thousands of years in chinese history. he also talked about the corruption campaign, anti—corruption campaign, which would continue. but most strikingly i think was his vision for china in the future, on the world stage. previously chinese leaders have sought to hide themselves a little bit and to put china on the sidelines and let others take the leader. sju jumping is not like that at all. he is due to put china right on the world stage, as we heard there, defending the united nations,
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tackling climate change, maintaining the world order. and this is something that we have not heard from a chinese leader for something that we have not heard from a chinese leaderfor a long time he started doing that much more during the year, i am thinking of davos for example, where it was the communist chinese leader rather than the capitalist american president, who was talking about the importance of international trade? exactly. who was talking about the importance of internationaltrade? exactly. i think he's written reinforcing the message which he has been building up message which he has been building up all year. , however,, there was the party congress, he spoke about something very similar. and it all comes at a time when president trump appears to be looking inward and turning america more inward. and that's to a certain extent is opening a lot more space for china to move into, notjust in its backyard in east asia but across the world. we see china, which once believed that countries should not interfere in each other‘s affairs, getting drawn in as it has got agger, to world affairs more and
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more. and as i said, china is perhaps taking the place which has been vacated by the united states. and when you look at the new silk road project and the amount of investment, for example, china has in africa, economically already it is the big international player? there is no bounds to china's ambition. you mentioned the silk road, one bels, one road as it is awkwardly titled in china. it is about infrastructure, roads, railways, whole towns and cities across and from asia, and also along the sea lanes of southeast asia, wielding ports and forming new alliances. really he sees china at the centre of a new world order at the centre of a new world order at the very least in asia, and that's what he hopes to push forward over the next few years. a man has been arrested after an alleged prank call that led to the police shooting dead a man
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in the us state of kansas. police surrounded the home of andrew finch after receiving a hoax emergency call from a man claiming to have shot dead his father and taken his family hostage. police say they believe the report was an act of "swatting" where a fake emergency is reported, sending the police to another address. this is 911, what's going on without my mum and dad and i have shot him in their head and he's not breathing any more. . . what kind of weapons do you have... officers came here preparing for a
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hostage situation, several of them got into position... you can get more on any of our stories all you can talk to me on twitter... storm dylan brought a lively end to the year. now falling off into the north sea, things are a bit calmer behind that system if you're heading out to celebrate new year. but during the night we will have quite a few showers coming in towards the west. still a breezy story as well. as for new year's day, another deep lower, this time to the south of the british isles, to concentrate on. it looks like the worst of it will run through the channel, but nonetheless
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it could be a stormy start to the new yearfor the it could be a stormy start to the new year for the southern counties of england. certainly, a wet start for southern england and potentially south wales, too. further north, some sunshine. for the north—east, clearer skies but likely to be a chilly start. the area of low pressure to the south moves off fairly quickly during the morning, leaving sunnier skies across england and wales in the afternoon. some heavy showers for southern scotland and northern ireland in the afternoon. further north some sunshine but chilly. just three degrees in edinburgh. overnight into the first working day of the new year, new year's day into tuesday, notice the isobars over that little high pressure, and that will allow
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the temperatures to come down, weaving probably our chilliest night of the week ahead. catchy frost first thing on tuesday. but then it sta rts first thing on tuesday. but then it starts to turn wet and windy once again. may be some snow across northern england on the higher ground. milderair coming in behind that low pressure. in the week ahead, though, generally apart from going into tuesday we are looking at a frost free story said but it's often going to be windy. is the iranian president warns that violence and vandalism won't be tolerated after four days of demonstrations. hassan rohani will appears on television to say that people have the right to protest but thatis people have the right to protest but that is that the country problem —— the country's problems stem from
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international sanctions. the international horse show is cancelled after a fire breaks out at the venue's car park. six people are killed after sightseeing plane crashed in sydney in australia. manchester city avoided defeat but there are a team game winning run in there are a team game winning run in the premier league finally comes to an end. and new year celebrations are underway around the
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