this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at 11: iranian mps chant "death to america!", as president trump warns the united states has a list of 52 targets that will be hit "very hard " if iran retaliates for the killing of its top military leader. hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the iranian city of ahvaz where after the body of general soleimani arrived from iraq earlier. royal navy warships are ordered to escort british—flagged vessels in the persian gulf and the prime minister is returning to the uk from his caribbean holiday. the australian bushfires claim their 24th life — as a man dies helping defend a friend's property in new south wales. more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed. the costs of hs2 are "out of control" and its benefits overstated, according to the deputy chair of its review panel.
and both the situation in iran and the australian bushfires are among the topics i discuss with a panel of foreign and british journalists — that's in dateline london in half an hour. president trump says the united states has a list of 52 iranian sites which will be hit "very hard and very fast" if there is retaliation for the killing of qasem soleimani. thousands of people have taken to the streets of iran to mourn the country's most senior military commander who was assassinated on thursday in baghdad in an american air strike.
mr trump said the targets were high level, with some important to iranian culture. the british government has announced two royal navy warships will escort uk shipping in the persian gulf, and the foreign secretary dominic raab will travel to washington for talks later this week. greg mckenzie has this report. as britain ramps up its security in the middle east, donald trump has threatened to hit 52 iranian targets should iran strike any american or us assets in retaliation for the killing of its revered general qasem soleimani, whose death the nation has vowed to avenge. the number 52 relates to the 52 american hostages who were taken after the embassy was seized in tehran in 1979 and they were held for 444 days. the president posted on twitter — "iran is talking very boldly about targetting certain usa assets."
he goes on to say, "the us has identified 52 iranian sites, some at a very high level and important to iran and the iranian culture. and those targets and iran itself will be hit very fast and very hard." trump added, "the usa wants no more threats." the tweets came hours after at least four rockets were fired towards baghdad's heavily fortified green zone last night, where the us and british embassies sit. no one was injured. in response to the iranian threats of revenge, the us has sent 3,000 more troops to the middle east and advised its citizens to leave iraq. british warships have been ordered to escort merchant shipping in the persian gulf. the foreign secretary dominic raab has confirmed he will travel to washington on thursday to meet the us secretary of state mike pompeo, but not before meeting his german and french counterparts in the week.
downing street said the prime minister, who is due to arrive back in the uk from his caribbean holiday today, would speak to other world leaders in the coming days. greg mckenzie, bbc news. hundreds of thousands of iranians gathered in ahvaz where the body of the assassinated general, qasem soleimani, has arrived ahead of his burial on tuesday. the centre of the city is full, with people holding pictures of the general and beating their chests in mourning, as the hearse slowly makes its way through the vast crowds. the procession in ahvaz marks the beginning a three—day ceremony. the general‘s body will be moved to tehran on monday, before burial on tuesday in his south—eastern hometown of kerman. this morning, president trump has tweeted a fresh warning:
he went on to talk about recent us military spending on weapons, with the warning: this morning, the foreign secretary dominic raab described the late general soleimani as a "regional menace" but said it was important to de—escalate tensions. the reality is iran has, for a long period, being engaged in menacing destabilising activity partly through the work of general soleimani.
we've also had the flouting of international law when it comes to the pursuit of the potential to acquire a nuclear weapon. the president of the us, the president of france, through the macron—trump initiatives, have left the door open to a diplomatic route through this to a better place for iran. the leadership have decided not to take it. i think the important thing now is to de—escalate the tensions to try and restore some stability and make sure, whilst we are containing nefarious actions iran is undoubtedly taking, that that door to a diplomatic route out from the international code is there for iran, but it's ultimately got to be for the leadership in tehran to make that choice. but the shadow foreign secretary emily thornberry says she has been worried about a hardline approach towards iran for a number of years. i raised it with the current foreign secretary, the previous foreign secretary, the previous foreign secretary and the one before that, borisjohnson, secretary and the one before that, boris johnson, and when secretary and the one before that, borisjohnson, and when i raised it with boris johnson and
borisjohnson, and when i raised it with borisjohnson and said, the president is going to trade at the ukrainian tarmac iranian —— tear up the iranian nuclear deal, he said i should be less worried. that kind of complacency in the iranian context also resulted in miss radcliffe's sentence being increased. we have a flippancy from this government and they have not been taking it seriously and it has been something which has been coming forfar too long and now they respond by saying iranians must de—escalate against a backdrop of the head of the defence force being killed and donald trump saying, "i'm not starting a war, i'm trying to stop it," but saying he's about to attack all these sites. let's speak to the mehrdad farahmand who's from bbc persian. the big debate is about what iran does next. for now, presumably it is holding its fire, if i can put it
like that, in order to have the ceremonies for qasem soleimani. how important are these to the image that iran is seeking to project about the kind of man he was? to the iranians who are having a sentimental and distressful day, qasem soleimani is a national hero. they look at him like a national hero and by holding these processions which are unique, to my knowledge, in iranian history, i don't remember ever that anyone has had a procession in this way, they are touching that sentiment for iranians and on the other hand, president trump is also touching that certain spot, the nationalistic
sentiment of iranians, by mentioning the cultural sites, which are hugely important for iranians, as he stresses in his tweet. the iranians are very proud of their ancient history and ancient sites which remind them of their great past and exactly for the same reason, they look at qasem soleimani as a national hero. he also has reminded them of their mythological heroes in them of their mythological heroes in the past because he has looked at as a person who has been protecting the country against isis, he has been fighting in areas far away from iran, the same areas where in ancient times the persian empire was progressing, and now this national hero has been killed by president
trump and trump is threatening that he is going to destroy the historical sites so you can imagine how sentimental iranians are looking at it and on the other hand, they see the country on the verge of war. iranians are having very difficult yea rs iranians are having very difficult years because of the sanctions, the economy has almost collapsed, all economical problems, you name it, and now to see themselves on the verge of war is making their day very distressful. in terms of what happens next, will many iranians be fea rful happens next, will many iranians be fearful that if iran retaliates in some way against some individuals, some way against some individuals, some interest in the united states, then the us might turn its full force on iran and the thing that
we've avoided for the last nearly a0 yea rs of we've avoided for the last nearly a0 years of a direct conflict involving iran, in terms of international agreement, it becomes a possibility that there could be a direct confrontation? exactly. iranians are looking at their eastern and western neighbours, afghanistan and iraq, where the us was directly involved in dc that this is their fate, that's what suite you happen to them if they engage america directly —— they see that this is their feet. the image of the iranian government is not good to stay silent, they have to do something. the most likely place to become the battle between iranians and americans would between iranians and americans would be iraq. iran has its own people in iraq, it's got the large faction of
iraqis who are pro—iranian and there is also a us military presence but the question is, if iran and the us are indirectly involved in iraq, will president trump look at it as an act of war from will president trump look at it as an act of warfrom iran and will will president trump look at it as an act of war from iran and will the us answer or react directly to iran, not to the iraqi groups associated with iran or not? that's the question. it's a big question. we will probably find out in the coming days and weeks. thank you very much for coming in. the number of people known to have been killed by the bushfires burning in australia has risen to 2a. efforts are under way to help those who have had to leave their homes. australia's prime minister scott
morrison is deploying military resources to help tackle the flames. ben shephard is from the new south wales rural fire service and spoke to me earlier. there is no doubt that over the past 2a hours, we have lost a number of homes. the wind pushed the fire in a new direction. we saw 60 additional homes burnt yesterday but more favourable conditions today and that is looking to continue over the coming days towards the weekend when we are likely to see temperatures starting to push up into the high 30s again, coupled with strong westerly winds that come out of the centre of the nation and drives
these fire conditions we have seen over the previous weeks and months. is not that you are not used to dealing with bushfires, but the scale of this must be unlike anything you have experienced in your professional career. currently across new south wales alone we are dealing with more than 3.a million hectares that have been burnt with these fires and that brings the total to just over a.2 million. typically in a fire season, we might see just typically in a fire season, we might seejust under 300,000 typically in a fire season, we might see just under 300,000 hectares so this has been a fire season unlike no other. it's basically now been going for more than 130, iao days and so it's been an incredibly long campaign, incredibly tiring notjust for firefighters but for communities as well, dealing with fires in and around their homes and properties, many for months on end. the issue is there is no rainfall on the forecast at this stage and the bureau of
meteorology is saying we could maybe see some relief in february or it could even be march. what about maintaining your colleagues' health and fitness? you worry about safety but in terms of the gruelling continuing of this, day in, day out with no relief, may be march? week stored ordinarily fortunate in the fire service that we do have more than 70,000 fire service that we do have more than 70 , 000 volunteers fire service that we do have more than 70,000 volunteers —— we are extraordinarily fortunate. the ha rd est extraordinarily fortunate. the hardest thing for us is to get them to ta ke hardest thing for us is to get them to take a day off to try and take a stand down because they know that while the fires are affecting the community, they want to be up there and help but firefighting is very much a shared responsibility at this stage and the response by the community has been overwhelming to the point that they now are
preparing their homes, they are getting ready for firefighting and that makes our job getting ready for firefighting and that makes ourjob that much easier but, importantly as well, in many of these areas a lot of people have left and if there is no one there to protect it, there isn't a high chance of surviving so seeing that response from the community has been great. there has been apathy before so it has been an extraordinary response by the community so it continues, while we are having respite this week, we are likely to see a return of dangerous fire situation by the end of the week. the headlines on bbc news: iranian mps chant "death to america!" as president trump warns the united states has a list of 52 killing of its top military leader. royal navy warships are ordered to escort british—flagged
vessels in the persian gulf and the prime minister is returning to the uk from his caribbean holiday. the australian bushfires claim their 2ath life — as a man dies helping defend a friend's property. more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed. the deputy chairman of the panel reviewing the hs2 high—speed rail project says he's found "overwhelming evidence" that its costs are "out of control". lord berkeley suggests it will take £108 billion to complete the network — double the initial estimate. hs2 limited says it's determined to deliver value for money. lord berkeleyjoins me now. thank you for coming into the studio. you're a railwayman so you understand the industry. what is wrong with hs2 in yourjudgment? understand the industry. what is wrong with h52 in yourjudgment? the estimating has been wrong. i believe
that hsz estimating has been wrong. i believe that hs2 knew a long time ago and ministers knew probably five years ago that the cost and the budget was much higher than they had said and much higher than they had said and much higher than parliament had approved as part of the phase one legislation but they have chosen to cover it up by multiple denials and everything until the new —— until the new chairman of hs2 produced his stock—take report which put the cost up stock—take report which put the cost up to 88 billion, halfway between the figures you've quoted. i think it's 107 now and the figures you've quoted. i think it's107 now and it probably will even go higher than that. is a sum of that explicable by simply delays because it has taken longer than planned and that pushes up some of the costs? i would say very little is caused by delays but the real costis is caused by delays but the real cost is over design. you don't need to go a00 kilometres an hour or even
360 ina to go a00 kilometres an hour or even 360 in a country as small as ours. nobody else in the world does it. maybe china, but nobody else. that's a very big country by contrast. quite honestly, the higher the speed, it makes a big difference on the cost. 0bviously speed, it makes a big difference on the cost. obviously you have to have a straight line, you have to go on a straight line because trains don't like going around corners fast but it's also the construction, the type of construction whether it is balanced and things like that. it makes a great difference to the cost which i don't think we are taking into account. somebody should have said, you don't need to go this speed, cut it down to the normal speed, cut it down to the normal speed or even lower. in terms of how this project came about, gestation was quite complicated. it fell between the labour government who originally proposed it and accepted the suggestion of having hs2 and the incoming coalition government, now a succession of conservative
governments. politically, too many people have too much at stake, don't they, for it to be completely cancelled? there's a lot of people who have got politics at stake on this including the predecessor ministers you mentioned, however, there are a lot of other politicians who are dead against it, partly because of the cost. £107 billion on one railway project, how does it compare with an aircraft carrier or hospitals? we can debate all that but the other problem is other ra i lwa ys but the other problem is other railways are much more important to be improved, in particular in the north between manchester, leeds, sheffield and places beyond, and around birmingham, nottingham, around birmingham, nottingham, around there. that's where the really bad quality railways are and it stops people commuting. that's why the transpennine express is not that express because of the
difficulty of the track. it's not express but it needs to be reasonably fast trains, not a00 kilometres, but they also have to have slower trains for stopping trains and freight and all that needs to be done and it can be done ata needs to be done and it can be done at a cost, probably the half the cost of hs2. at a cost, probably the half the cost of h52. politically, your argument the existing project is financially not working, too expensive for what we are going to get. politically, there is a way around this that could allow the government to preserve the name hs2 but, in reality, just go for those key bits in the north? they've got to go for the key bits and they want to go for the key bits and they want to add on the other bits which need to add on the other bits which need to be done to give a really good network, rather like you have around london, actually. whether it is called hs2, ithink london, actually. whether it is called hs2, i think that's the wrong name. the name is not good at the moment, they have done some bad things, i believe, with some of the
staff and with other things over the yea rs. staff and with other things over the years. they have spent a lot of money and haven't kept control and it doesn't need to be high speed 2 get from your commuter service. you wa nt get from your commuter service. you want a reliable, frequent service in which you can get a seat. lord berkeley, labour peer and deputy chairman of... forma. former, because your contract was not renewed and you are dissenting. my report is out today. you'll have to ask the department for transport when the new report is out. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's gavin. good morning. england are back out after lunch as they look to build a big lead against south africa, on day three of the second test in cape town. james anderson got them off to a great start with two early wickets, one with the first ball of the day. south africa finished on 223, giving england a lead of a6. they're now 53—1,
opener zak crawley the only man to fall so far. england can level the four—match series with a win. fa cup third round weekend continues today. another 11 ties, including a liverpool derby and a chance for afc fylde of the national league to giantkill sheffield united. yesterday a0—year—old aaron wilbraham scored an equaliser for league one rochdale taking newcastle united to a replay. and as alex gulrajani reports, that wasn't the only comeback of the day. at a0 years old, aaron wilbraham might have thought the days of scoring against a premier league side were behind him but he did just that. steve bruce, a cup winner in his playing days, brought newcastle to rochdale, two divisions beneath them. only victory on their minds, especially when miguel, a £21 million striker, give them the lead.
but the boys from the big league couldn't finish their lowly opponents. aaron wilbraham snatched a draw which earned his side a money spinning replay at newcastle's st james's park. looking forward to it. went there with bristol city and scored a few years ago so i've been looking to do the same again!m scored a few years ago so i've been looking to do the same again! it was a similar story with vicarage road where watford threw away a three—goal lead at home to tranmere. a6 lead places between two divisions are separate these two and no one could have predicted this comeback. two goals in 15 minutes reduced the gap tojust two goals in 15 minutes reduced the gap to just one and with time running out, tranmere were awarded a penalty. paul mullen, the hero. it's a special moment against a premier league side to get the replay. if we do what we do today, second—half mentality and go toe to toe with him, we'll see what it takes us. what it meant to tranmere's players and fans it is clear, the fa cup
adventure still alive for them and rochdale. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. sir keir starmer is the latest candidate to announce that he's standing in the labour leadership contest. writing in the sunday mirrror, the shadow brexit secretary says the party needs to "rebuild fast" to restore trust. he's the fifth person to put themselves forward after lisa nandy, emily thornberry, clive lewis and jess phillips. 0ur political correspondent tony bonsignore said sir keir had two main elements to his campaign. keir starmer today, coming out all guns blazing, he was on andrew marr a short while ago, we will come to that in a moment, but also this article in the sunday mirror, a campaign video. two bits to the message.
you know, a green deal on climate change, more powers for trade unions. i think he will have two questions to answer, though. one of them is whether he is a bit too london and whether labour need somebody from outside of the capital. and also brexit. he was very very closely linked to labour's brexit policy. here he is on andrew marr a short while ago on that labour brexit policy. people wanted clarity and leadership, but i actually... what was coming up on the doorsteps and what my teams were telling me, and my own experience, was not so much people saying to me, "i don't much like labour's position," but they had bought the idea that if you voted tory, you would get brexit done. we didn't knock it down hard enough in the election, and i would have liked the opportunity to knock it down hard. because that was coming back. people were saying to us, "this will get brexit done." we hadn't destroyed and wrestled that phrase to the ground. sir keir starmer, not the only
labour mp putting themselves forward over the past few days. we have had two backbenchers, lisa nandy and jess phillips, we have also had clive lewis and emily thornbury and we are also expecting rebecca long bailey, who is thought to be a favourite ofjeremy corbyn and the existing labour leadership. now it's time for a look at the weather. hello once again. a fairly quiet weekend of weather continues apace for many parts of the british isles for the rest of today. we still have a weather front close by to the north of scotland so thicker cloud there, some bits and pieces of rain and the other more noticeable wind then will be the case elsewhere. the cloud just thick enough across the high ground crossing in wales for a spot of rain but not amounting tomuch. a relatively mild afternoon. not much change to the cause of the evening, perhaps the
rain quits the scene from parts of scotland overnight. and with a fairly complete cloud cover, temperature is holding up at about four to 10 degrees or so. the rain brightens up nicely behind it. you don't see the rain in the southeast until later in the day. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... iranian mps chant "death to america!", as president trump warns the united states has a list of 52 targets that will be hit "very hard" if iran retaliates for the killing of its top military leader. hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets of the iranian city of mashhad to mourn general soleimani. royal navy warships are ordered to escort british—flagged vessels in the persian gulf and the prime minister is returning to the uk from his caribbean holiday. the australian bushfires claim their 2ath life
as a man dies helping defend a friend's property in new south wales. more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed. the costs of hs2 are "out of control" and its benefits overstated, according to the deputy chair of its review panel. now on bbc news, it's dateline london. hello and welcome to dateline london, the programme that brings together some of the uk's leading columnists with foreign correspondents who file their stories for the folks back home with the dateline ‘london'. 2019 ended with two events that underline the folly of prediction; bush fires raging out of control
across parts of australia forced the government to acknowledge some link between the claims of scientists and the humanitarian and environmental disaster unfolding around it — just nine months after winning re—election on a climate—sceptic ticket. the other was the assassination by the united states of qassem soleimani, arguably the second most powerful man in iran. an act that re—writes the rules of middle east conflict—by—proxy or the kneejerk response of a thin—skinned leader with unwelcome consequences? certainly it was a decision that had not been predicted. undeterred, our dateline panel predicting 2020: abdel barri atwan, who writes on arab affairs, us journalist stryker mcguire from bloomberg, stefanie bolzen, from germany's die welt and polly toynbee, columnist for the uk's the guardian. welcome to all of you. it's been a week of tit—for—tat, which escalated dramatically in the early hours of friday morning. the previous friday, a us civilian working in iraq was killed in an attack, which washington believed was the work of an iranian—backed militia.