this is bbc world news, i'm mike embley. our top stories: boeing fires its chief executive after catastrophic failures of its 737 max and the loss of nearly 350 lives. victims‘ relatives say the firm needs to make more, radical changes to its corporate governance. criticism of saudi arabia after five people were sentenced to death for the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. the un says the masterminds have gone free. president trump's impeachment trial — democrats demand documents, republicans worry about witnesses, and the house speaker has yet to send the articles to the senate. and we report from russia on the teenage daughter of a detained political activist who's been forced to grow up fast.
the chief executive of boeing has been sacked less than a week after the planemaker said it would temporarily halt production of its troubled 737 max airliner. the company has struggled to recover after 346 people died in two crashes involving its planes. our business correspondent, theo leggett, has the story. two devastating accidents and 346 people died. the first plane crashed into the sea off indonesia late last year. then, in march, an identical aircraft went down in these fields in ethiopia minutes after take—off. since then, boeing's newest and fastest—selling aircraft, the 737 max, has been grounded worldwide. blame‘s been placed on a piece
of flight control software, known as mcas, that activated at the wrong time and forced both planes into a catastrophic dive. boeing's failures and mr muilenburg's leadership have been angrily condemned in the us congress. those pilots never had a chance. these loved ones never had a chance. they were in flying coffins. senator, if i could try to respond to your question. first of all, the premise... er, that we would lie or conceal is just not consistent with our values. zipporah kuria lost herfather in the ethiopian crash. she says mr muilenburg's departure means little to her. i don't think his resignation is going to change anything for me. maybe for other families, but it's not going to bring my dad home for christmas and it's not going to bring lots of loved ones around the table for dinner this year or any other year to come. so, for us, it doesn't make that much of a difference, but we hope other families don't have to go through what we are going through.
the final humiliation for dennis muilenburg came last week when boeing suspended production of the 737 max because regulators still won't let the plane back in the air. it's not clear when it'll fly again. but when it does, one of the biggest challenges facing the new chief executive will be to persuade passengers that it really has been made as safe as it possibly can be. theo leggett, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. new zealand police have called off the search for two people missing since the white island volcanic eruption. 47 people, mainly australian tourists, were on the island when it erupted on december 9th. 25 are still in hospital — many are in a critical condition. the death toll now stands at 19 — including the two who are missing. algeria has announced three days of mourning, for the death of the head of the army. ahmed gaid salah, who was 79, suffered a heart attack. he'd been leading the country, in effect, since the long—time president, abdelaziz bouteflika,
was forced from office by a wave of mass protests earlier this year. ivory coast has issued an arrest warrant for guillaume soro, former rebel leader and likely a strong candidate in next year's presidential election. reports suggest the warrant is linked to a charge of trying to destabilise the country. as his supporters waited for his return to ivory coast, after six months abroad, his private plane was diverted to ghana. five people have been sentenced to death and three others have been jailed by a court in saudi arabia — over the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi last year. khashoggi was a prominent critic of the saudi government. he was killed when he went to the saudi consulate in istanbul. a un investigator who carried out an inquiry into his murder has criticised the trial saying that the hit—men had been convicted, but the masterminds behind his death have walked free. our security correspondent frank gardner reports. the last public sighting
of jamal khashoggi, seen here walking into the saudi consulate in istanbul in october last year. he never came out alive. turkish cctv footage shows a hit team of 15 saudi government agents arriving in istanbul to intercept khashoggi. inside the consulate, they overpowered him, injected him and suffocated him. his body has never been found. 11 men were eventually put on trial. today, the preliminary sentences were announced. translation: the criminal court in riyadh has delivered the following preliminary sentences for ii of the accused, sentencing five of them to death in retribution. they are the ones directly implicated in the death of the victim, may god rest his soul. at the time of the crime, saudi arabia initially denied responsibility, but turkey, which had bugged the consulate, leaked details
of what really happened. in november 2018, the cia said the killing was probably ordered by the saudi crown prince. and injune this year, a un report said there was credible evidence of saudi state involvement. saudi arabia's powerful crown prince, mohammed bin salman, had become increasingly irritated by khashoggi's public criticism of his policies. he denies any responsibility in the murder. agnes callamard, who's investigated the murder on behalf of the un, believes those who masterminded it have walked free. the only people that have ultimately been sentenced in the trials are those that i call the hit men. they are at the lowest level of the chain of command. anyone above have either not been charged at all, or if they were charged, they were let free. jamal khashoggi was described by one royal aide as a threat to national security.
critics are now calling the investigation into his murder a whitewash. for saudi arabia, this whole story has cast a dark shadow over its international reputation. in riyadh, the authorities will be hoping this verdict draws a line under it. but others will keep on pressing for answers. frank gardner, bbc news. the top democrat in the us senate, chuck schumer, has again demanded that donald trump's impeachment trial include witnesses. this in the light of an email, recently emerged, that suggests the white house sought to freeze aid to ukrainejust 91 minutes after mr trump spoke to president zelensky in that controversial phone call last july. at a news conference chuck schumer also urged president trump, once again, to co—operate with the trial. so we say to president trump, if you are so confident you did nothing wrong, why won't you let your men testify? if you did nothing wrong,
mr president, why do you seem so eager to avoid the truth, to hide the truth? as for the republicans, the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, has been speaking to fox news. he says he hasn't ruled out allowing witnesses to testify at the trial, but also responded directly to chuck schumer. all i'm asking of schumer is that we treat trump the same way we treated clinton. we had a procedure that was approved 100 to nothing, schumer voted for it, to go through the opening arguments, to have a written question period and then, based upon that, deciding what witnesses to call. will let you know how that one plays out. the leaders of japan and south korea are meeting in the chinese city of chengdu for talks. there will also be a joint meeting with the chinese premier, li keqiang. it's the first time the south korean president moonjae—in and the japanese prime minister, shinzo abe, have spoken face to face
in fifteen months. our seoul correspondent — laura bicker sent this report on the summit. the talks in chengdu between china, south korea and japan, these three big asian powerhouses will focus on trade and also security with regards to north korea. however, attention is now turning towards a key meeting inafew is now turning towards a key meeting in a few hours time between the leaders of japan and south korea. prime minister shinzo abe from tokyo and ciel‘s president moonjae—in. now why is the focus turning there? because it is the first meeting that had in15 because it is the first meeting that had in 15 months and it comes amidst heightened tensions between these two key us allies. it all dates back to historical dispute whenjapan occupied the crimean potential are between 1910 and 19115. last year, a court hearing soul ordered that the
workers who laboured forjapan during the second world war word due compensation. japan says it was all sorted out in a treaty between the two countries signed in 1965. earlier this year, japan imposed trade restrictions on key chemicals needed by south korean technology firms. south korea retaliated with its owner trade cuts. things deepened from there in fact, a key security pact between the united states and japan and japan and south korea was put on hold for a while and it seemed south korea would not renew it. in fact, they are still considering not renewing it because of these are deepening rows. it is unlikely they will be huge progress between these two leaders but the fa ct between these two leaders but the fact they are meeting at all means that at least it is a positive sign amid these kind of heightened tensions. 100 and fires are still
burning across the state of new south wales, freshening many homes. conditions have eased but are expected to worsen later this week. 0fficials expected to worsen later this week. officials were hoping to exploit call conditions over the coming days to try and fires. volunteer firefighters are calling for more support. let's talk now to the bbc‘s phil mercer, who's in bargo in new south wales. bring us up—to—date from their. bring us up-to-date from their. this isa bring us up-to-date from their. this is a small village about an hour and a half ‘s drive to the south of syd ney a half ‘s drive to the south of sydney here in eastern australia. it isa sydney here in eastern australia. it is a holiday today, quite breezy and the home you can see behind me don't down in the last couple of days. it was clearly no match for the ferocious blaze that started on the other side of the road. what happened, we've just been speaking toa happened, we've just been speaking to a neighbour whose house survived. he said the flames roared across here, jumped across the road but the strange thing was, he was saying, that the fire past but about four hours later, there was something
called an ember attack. this attack is millions of tiny, red—hot pieces of ash and other debris. they rained down on this property. other houses, you might be able to see through the trees that, other houses have survived and that is really down to luck and the brave efforts of firefighters and homeowners who decided to stay. we've been hearing from the authorities here new south wales stop they say that since the start ofjuly, almost a thousand homes have been destroyed in this bushfire crisis and it's worth remembering that this is notjust about new south wales. there are been a dangerous days in the states of queensland and western australia and also some very serious fire activity in recent days in south australia, where many homes are been lost and also in the state of victoria too. as you say, this is a bit of a lull and they're using this time to reassess their strategies and to try and contain some of those places. dangerous days will return
but were not quite sure when. there are paid professional firefighters attacking these places but also many volunteers. the volunteers are calling for more support. what is going on there? i don't think the volu nteers going on there? i don't think the volunteers necessarily want to be paid. ithink volunteers necessarily want to be paid. i think what they want to do is to have the resources they need because some of them have been fighting fires for weeks and weeks and weeks. taking leave from work, many of them are self—employed. we we re many of them are self—employed. we were talking to one senior volunteer and his employer is paying him while he is fighting at the fires. he would be one of the lucky ones. there has been a political debate about pay for, or allowances for, these firefighters but it is safe to say, without the volunteers here in new south wales supporting the professional firefighters, new south wales supporting the professionalfirefighters, it new south wales supporting the professional firefighters, it would bea professional firefighters, it would be a very difficult situation — make different situation. at about the number of homes that have been lost in new south wales, almost a thousand since the start ofjuly.
without these volunteer firefighters, many more homes would have been lost and as we say, they are volunteers and the authorities are volunteers and the authorities are saying that they are trying to give them or allowances to try and make ends meet at this time of crisis. thank you very much indeed. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: business booms in bethlehem as tourists flock to the biblical town for christmas. but for some locals, life is increasingly fragile. the world of music's been paying tribute to george michael, who's died from suspected heart failure at the age of 53. he sold well over 100 million albums in a career spanning more than three decades. the united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon says it's failed in its principle objective —
to capture noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. in its place, the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nose down 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 shkodra where there were anti—communist riots 10 days ago. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: boeing has fired its chief executive after catastrophic failures
of its 737 max and the loss of nearly 350 lives. victims‘ relatives say the firm needs to make more radical changes to its corporate governance. there's criticism of saudi arabia after five people were sentenced to death for the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. the un says the masterminds have gone free. russia's president has welcomed the opening of a railway bridge linking mainland russia with the crimean peninsula, which has been annexed by russia. the news has been immediately condemned by the european union as another violation by russia of ukraine's sovereignty and territory. gareth barlow reports. three simple carriages carrying not only passengers but a serious political message. russia seized crimea from ukraine in 2014 and ever since, moscow has worked to strengthen its claim to the region. in may, president putin opened
a 19—kilometre road link and now with this bridge, there's a direct railway connection linking saint petersburg with the former ukrainian territory. translation: today we have a very important occasion. it is important for crimea, for sevastopol and for the whole of russia. because infrastructure projects such as this landmark bridge will have an impact on the whole economy. "what a beauty of a bridge", the russian leader exclaimed, a view that's not shared by the ukraine or the european union. an eu spokesman said the bridge was a continuation of russia's forced integration of illegally annexed crimea — going on to say that the megastructure limits the passage of ships headed to ukrainian ports. relations between ukraine and russia have made minor improvements in recent months, but the opening of the $3.6 billion bridge makes fast—tracking closer political connections
ever more unlikely. gareth barlow, bbc news. it's almost a year since russian opposition activist anastasia shevchenko was placed under house arrest in southern russia. the case has transformed life for her 15—year—old daughter, vlada, who now runs a popular blog about her mother's arrest and attends events to speak on her behalf. our moscow correspondent sarah rainsford travelled to rostov—on—don to hear vlada's story. provision make you see your mum being let in handcuffs to some cajun court, to be called a british agent, undesirable. —— a cage. court, to be called a british agent, undesirable. -- a cage. vlada shevchenko's mother has been under house arrest for over a year for political activism. i have to do a lot of things now. i've always had somewhere to go, something to do. to
ta ke somewhere to go, something to do. to take her to school or swimming. mr's mum used to take him to school. now they have banned that, he says. my mum always wanted to tell people the truth, that it was time to change oui’ truth, that it was time to change our leaders, that people should take off their rose tinted glasses. i think they arrested her because she isa think they arrested her because she is a prominent activist in rostov. anastasia shevchenko was charged under russia's laws regarding undesirable organisations. it includes pro—democracy groups from funded from abroad. she is only allowed outside of the house to go to court. vlada is standing in for her. she recently flew all the way from moscow to make a speech.
her. she recently flew all the way from moscow to make a speechlj her. she recently flew all the way from moscow to make a speech. i am 15, i want a normal childhood, from moscow to make a speech. i am 15, iwant a normal childhood, not all this like greta thunberg. but this regime doesn't let up, i have no choice, i have to do this. back in rostov, vlada is her mother's link to the outside world. the more than anything, mum says she misses the starry sky and the moon. there was a bright moon recently, a full one, they measure and i went out at about 11pm and took a photo to show her. she looked at it for a really long time. —— misha and i. her. she looked at it for a really long time. -- misha and i. vlada now keeps a blog about her mother's house arrest. i write about what is happening to us, what's new.
now my social media is full of politics. the teenager knows her mum could be facing up to six years behind bars. i don't see any future. i don't know how things will be instilled there is a final verdict. but we think she will probably be imprisoned. and it's impossible to be prepared for that. sarah rainsford there with vlada's story. few cities are in the spotlight more over chrsitmas than bethlehem — the biblical place revered as the birthplace ofjesus christ. but tourism has hit it hard for the last 20 years. it's a palestinian city in the israeli—occupied west bank. and because of restricted movement out of the city by the israeli government, its christian community has dwindled — a move palestinians say harms their freedom and economic prospects.
barbara plett usher reports. this is bethlehem's time of year. dressed up in christmas finery, inviting the world to celebrate the story of a humble birth that changed history. tourism here is a bright spot, despite dark times for the palestinian economy. for bethlehem's christians, there is a special gift from the vatican, a splinter of wood believed it to be from jesus' manger. it's small, but a big boost for a community devastated by waves of immigration. father m. ed. provides aid to christians. but this year is different... it's different because we remember the manger, we must think more. our hearts must be the real manger to receivejesus.
your hearts must be the real manger? tourists rolled past what israel calls it security barrier. locals say the wall causes its own problems. i don't know much about to, ijust problems. i don't know much about to, i just want to learn problems. i don't know much about to, ijust want to learn more about oui’ to, ijust want to learn more about our lord and saviour, jesus christ. 0h, our lord and saviour, jesus christ. oh, my goodness, this is where everything started. what about the politics? israelis and palestinians? do you think about that? it is definitely concerning, i guess. what did you think of the wall when you came in? that was substantial. you could tell how people felt.“ came in? that was substantial. you could tell how people felt. if they knew while. there are oh! —— it's a
new wall. this man wants to show foreigners how palestinians live. they are all connected... he is renting a room to adventurous tourists, advertising on the internet. they have this bond. it was the kind of alternative holiday carla was looking for. you see you really think in the same way but you come from two different places in the world. that's the connection he is seeking. the people here, most of them are not allowed to go outside, and especially to the outside world. they see the outside world in your eyes. business is booming this year, but who knows, next year could be a blast when you don't control your own space. the situation is very
fragile. —— bust. the only constant thing is faith. the faith of things hoped for, if not yet seen. barbara plett usher, bbc news, jerusalem. ram dass, spiritual guide and pioneer of the psychedelic movement in the united states, has died at home in hawaii. he was 88. born richard alpert, he worked with timothy leary in the 1960s, researching lsd at harvard, before travelling to india and studying spiritualism. he was also well known for his first book, be here now, which sold at least 2 million copies. it's reported he died peacefully at home. the brief reminder that menus, boeing —— a brief reminder of that menus, boeing has fired its chief executive dennis muilenburg. ——
menus. that's it for now, thank you for watching. good morning! so, here it is, christmas eve. the weather's offering up quite mixed fare for the last—minute plans. there will be a few glimmers of sunshine but also showers for many of us. and for the south—west of england and wales, some of those showers could pack quite a punch and be heavy and thundery. we've basically got a weather front trailing across england and wales into northern ireland, too. to the north of that, some scattered showers for scotland. there's some more persistent rain across northern england through the first part of the day and then it kind of breaks up into those scattered but at some
times heavier showers as the day progresses. some of the heavier ones also drifting further eastwards and quite a focus on the south—west, quite windy here, too. still double figures to the south of the uk, definitely a chillier feel across scotland and northern ireland, highs ofjust six or seven. and if you're heading out and about on christmas eve, things start to become quieter, the wind will fall light to the south, the showers will tend to clear. still a few across scotland and it will also start to turn somewhat chillier. we could see some heavier showers pushing into western scotland overnight and with the colder air in place. winter across the highlands, a frost to start us off on christmas day across scotland. elsewhere, a patchy frost but lows in the towns and cities of three and four degrees. the reason it gets quieter is this ridge of high pressure that's going to stay with us for christmas day as well. so christmas day, actually, weather—wise one of our quietest days in terms of what we've seen in about a month or so. a lot of dry weather, perhaps some early morning mist and fog across north wales and the north—west of england but that will tend to clear. and then light winds and sunshine. temperatures, well, about average for the time of year, 6—9 degrees. through the evening and overnight, that ridge of high pressure starts to weaken and then as we look
towards boxing day, things get on the move again. another low coming in from the atlantic. so, a much stormier picture, if you like, for boxing day. windy pretty much across the board as this weather system bumps into some cold air. some transient snow for the pennines, perhaps a more significant accumulations for the highlands, some rainjust about everywhere, some sunshine perhaps following on for central and eastern areas, but further rain getting into the west later on in the day. a little milder to the south, but still sixes and sevens in the north. and then for the remainder of the week, high pressure tries to settle things down to the south of the uk, for scotland and northern ireland we're going to see some weather fronts snaking in. so, a little more mixed here. to the south, a quiet story, i think. we have temperatures in double figures for scotland and northern ireland, some showers at times. merry christmas.
this is bbc news. the headlines: boeing has fired its chief executive — dennis muilenburg — after catastrophic failures of its 737 max — and the loss of nearly 350 lives. but victims‘ relatives say the firm needs to make more radical changes to its corporate governance. there‘s been criticism of the trial in saudi arabia of those accused of killing the journalist, jamal khashoggi — who was murdered in the saudi consulate in istanbul. five people have been sentenced to death, and others jailed. a top aide to crown prince mohammed bin salman was investigated, but not charged. the leader of the republicans in the us senate, mitch mcconnell, says he hasn‘t ruled out allowing witnesses to testify at president trump‘s impeachment trial. he was formally impeached last week for abuse of power and obstruction of congress. proceedings are expected to start next month. now on bbc news — we‘re chasing