this is bbc news. i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines at three. in syria, buses are being used around the city of aleppo to evacuate both rebels and supporters of president assad. but there are reports some buses have been burned. trade secretary liam fox says britain could remain a member of the eu customs union after brexit. ahead of another strike by southern rail conductors tomorrow, rmt leader mick cash denies accusations his union is using the dispute to take on the government. and great britain's heroes of rio could be in for more success at tonight's bbc sports personality of the year awards, with the winner chosen by the public. i hear only red carpet we are in the next few hours, we will find out who has been cloned the sports personality of the year. and in half an hour here on bbc news, discover how the latest robotic technology could
improve healthcare in this week's edition of click. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. there are reports that buses sent to rescue people from two besieged towns in the north of syria have been set alight and attacked. the buses were on their way to the towns of foah and kefraya which are surrounded by rebel forces. in a deal between the government and rebels, in exchange for the evacuation of people from those villages, thousands are due to be escorted out of the opposition held part of eastern aleppo. a number of buses containing fighters and their families have started to leave the last rebel—held enclave, according to reports from syrian state tv. richard lister reports. more buses lining up, as it seemed
this on—off evacuation would continue. the authorities said they would oversees the situation, but the evacuation has still not happened. and the smoke still lying over the city shows just how difficult this has become. caught in the middle of tens of thousands of people in the besieged eastern part of the city. for the past week, people have been told to gather at assembly points, but only for the evacuation to be called off and go home. just 10,000 are believed to have gone so far. just a fraction of those trapped here. one reason for the delay has been the status of two villages wesdt
of aleppo held by opposition fighters, which had been part of the ceasefire agreement. but the buses sent did not arrive. they were set on fire. it is unclear who was responsible for the attack, but it is believed that islamist rebels may have been responsible. across europe, thousands have demanded that the west play a more active role. the united nations will consider those issues today. but in government held western aleppo, there is relief that the city is no longer on the front line. we hope this ceasefire will pass without problem and we hope that all the gunmen will leave and go back to where they came from. they have destroyed our country and destryoed this city. the evacuation buses
have now been seen moving into the east of the city to continue the operation. but it is a complex and dangerous operation which has failed before and could yet do so again. our correspondent lina sinjab is in beirut. what are you hearing about the situation with these buses and set alight? will that have any impact on the evacuation from the east of aleppo? many people feel the rebels are behind this. they have taken to social media seeing that. but there is also believe that it could be an islamist group. but thousands of
people are trapped in the east of aleppo for this evacuation process and it is believed that other buses are under way to replace those which we re are under way to replace those which were set on fire. but this will delay the process. we cannot confirm that this was the action of rebel sympathisers. the situation is extremely complicated. it is very fragile. if it was an islamic group which had burned these buses to try and evacuate government forces from the, it once again highlights how fractured this conflict is and how the various groups are working against one another at times.
indeed. not only against one another, but also against civilians. there were calls for people to leave the eastern part of aleppo and they we re very the eastern part of aleppo and they were very angry when the parent that the situation had happened and the daily was going to take place once again. this is not the first time this has happened. this is not the first time they have acted alone against the will of other rebel fighters. we know the united nations is going to look at sending in monitors. who looks over that situation at the moment? at the moment, it is all controlled by the syria government, with the help of
the russians. also, the red cross has been allowed in. the uglier, but we're not sure how good their excesses. thank you very much for joining us. international trade secretary liam fox has refused to rule out britain remaining a member of the european customs' union, which could limit free trade deals after brexit. he told the bbc‘s andrew marr he was "instinctively a free trader" and he would have his say in the cabinet. here is our political correspondent, mark lobel. british businesses approach the end of year with element of doubt hanging over future customs arrangements, such as whether a new trade deal will bring less bureaucracy, or more, to our borders.
speaking to the bbc this morning, the international trade secretary left open the possibility that we could remain a part of the eu customs union. we need to look at all the options, all the possible... including staying in the customs union? the reason i asked, and in a non—confrontational way, if we stay inside the customs union, we cannot do the type of deals that your department was set up to create and, therefore, there is no need for liam fox. there would be limitations, in terms of tariff setting, which would limit what kind of deals you can do. that is quite correct. there would be limitations, in terms of tariff setting, which would limit what kind of deals you can do. that is quite correct. the customs union includes all 28 eu nations and turkey, monaco, san marino and andorra. all can trade freely, but they must impose the same tariffs. they are also barred from doing bilateral trade deals with other countries.
now only a back—seat driver to cabinet discussions, george osborne was asked what type of trade deal should be done. we should have a ha rd—headed assessment of what is in our national interest. it is true that the grass may be greener outside of those arrangements and we may be able to conduct new free—trade deals with australia, the united states and so on, but that shouldn't come at a price of giving up the existing free—trade arrangements we have with germany and france. and you think we can keep those? that is where i would start from. you cannot say we are a beacon of free trade in the world and then perpetrate a huge act of protectionism — the biggest in british history. in spite of hearing from one of the brexit big hitters today, we are really no closer to knowing what type of deal is on the table and which options will be pursued. hundreds of thousands of commuters on southern rail face another day
of disruption tomorrow, when rmt workers go on strike. there were three days of strikes earlier this week. british airways cabin staff are due to strike over christmas, as well, and some post office workers will walk out for five days from tomorrow. meanwhile, theresa may is allegedly getting some flak from within her party, for not curbing the powers of striking unions. speaking to my colleague martine croxall earlier, rmt leader mick cash denied the accusations that his union is using the dispute with southern railway to take on the government. this is not part of any conspiracy to try and bring down the government. we are here to make sure we have a safe railway. that is the only thing we are concerned about. we are trying to make sure we have the safety of the passengers and all our workers at the forefront. but your president has said,
any trade union with any sense would want to bring this bloody working—class hating conservative government. that was what he said. why would he say that? that was said at a small fringe meeting. our dispute is about ensuring we have safety on every train. we have done it with a number of other train companies and we want to see it done on southern. why can we keep guards on certain trains, but not on these ones? but why would your president make such a statement? he is a significant figure within your union. our focus is on the safety of people on the trains.
this started at the beginning of the year, when the contractor said they were going to take on the guards, take on the unions and get them out of there. you should ask questions towards the secretary of state, who is trying to have a bust—up with the unions, when we are trying to make safety the priority on the railways. are you saying that your union is a not involved any coordinated effort and would not want to see the government brought down by your actions? there is not any coordinated action. we change our government via the ballot box. this is all about issues over safety.
we have real concerns. that is our priority. we want to see the safety of passengers put at the front of this. that is why we are in dispute. that is why we have staff going on strike at southern this week. no other reason. a suicide bomber has killed at least a0 soldiers in the southern yemeni port city of aden. many others were wounded. the islamic state group says it carried out the attack, which targeted a crowd of soldiers as they were queueing up to receive their salaries near a military base. it is the latest in a string of such attacks, targeting army recruits in yemen. a week ago, islamic state militants killed 50 troops in aden, which is under the control of the internationally—recognised government of yemen. visuals and jordan canadian tourist
and four policemen have been killed ina drive—by and four policemen have been killed in a drive—by shooting. elite special forces have now been sent to the scene and it is believed that several tullius trapped inside the castle. the government is drawing up plans to make all civil servants and holders of public office swear an oath to uphold british values. writing in the sunday times, communities secretary sajid javid says it is not possible for people to play a "positive role" in public life unless they accept such basic values as democracy, equality and freedom of speech. mrjavid's proposals would mean every new recruit in the public sector, including the nhs and the bbc, would be expected to commit to the oath, which may have to be read out loud, before starting the role. i have been speaking to conservative mp and former culture secretary,
john whittingdale, who gave me his reaction to the idea. it is a good idea that people taking up public office should subscribe to this. when parliament returns, every mp swears an oath of allegiance to the queen as part of the parliamentary procedure. this is a similar kind of situation. shadow home secretary diane abbott says making public officials swear an oath to british values would make little or no difference. she has been speaking on the murnaghan programme. it will not make a difference. you will identify that a problem is, if people come to this country, if they feel that the values of great britain did not apply to them. i have a very diverse population in my constituency. they come to this country because they value what it has
and do respect the institutions within it. i do not think this oath would make any verifiable difference. the latest headlines. in syria, buses are being used around the city of aleppo to evacuate both rebels and supporters of president assad. but there are reports some buses have been burned. trade secretary liam fox says britain could remain a member of the eu customs union after brexit. ahead of another strike by southern rail conductors tomorrow, rmt leader mick cash denies accusations his union is using the dispute to take on the government. southampton come from behind to beat
the south coast derby, to make it 3-1 the south coast derby, to make it 3—1 for southampton. india's batsmen make england sweat. india close on 491-4, make england sweat. india close on 491-11, 86 make england sweat. india close on 491—4, 86 runs behind england. and skylights were gifted the large win over the french giants. we will have more for you in an hour. more than 200 million women around the world are victims of female genital mutilation, according to the world health organisation. the practice is illegal in the uk. now, officers who specialise in fighting fgm, are spending the run up to christmas trying to stop young girls from being taken abroad, and forced to undergo the practice over the school holidays. our home affairs correspondent june kelly reports. heathrow airport and families have already started
heading off for christmas. has everyone got enough pro formas. . . ? sergeant natalie reseigh of the met police is briefing colleagues, officers from the border force and charity workers. 0k. so, we need to make sure we are engaging with the passengers, trying to identify if any offences have taken place. this team are on the lookout for young girls who are being ta ken to countries, often in africa and the middle east, where female genital mutilation is practised. are you able to just very quickly, i know you are busy, just tell me how many children you've got on board the flight today, please? as in the summer, officers know that families can use the christmas holidays to take a child abroad to undergo fgm, thinking that during the school break, she'll have some time to recover. the police say a girl can be told that it's all part of the christmas celebrations and being a woman. but hibo wardere, a campaigner who works with the
airport team, says communities have to learn that fgm is child abuse. she was cut as a six—year—old in somalia. you are going through emotional things. psychological stuff. physically, you are in pain constantly, but nobody ever sits down and says, let's talk about what happened. that never happens. it's done, that's it. you have to move on after that. the team are concerned about one youngster, who has been taken out of school before the official end of term. a phone call to the school confirms the mother's story as to why they are travelling, and they are finally allowed allowed to board. this is our last opportunity to engage with families before they fly off to countries where fgm and other harmful practices might be conducted in the school holiday period. what we're doing is we're speaking to people to see what they know about it. a big part of this exercise is trying to raise awareness of fgm. i don't think it should be practised on any little girl.
never ever. so i am so happy to see them around, going to make a campaign like this. the airport team will be back at heathrow in the coming week, trying to spot young girls who could be vulnerable and to stop them from travelling and suffering this christmas. thick fog is affecting many parts of the uk, leading to travel disruption for a second day, with airports warning of more cancellations and delays to flights. the met office has now lifted their severe weather warning for southern england and south wales, but warn they may need to issue another warning tonight. heathrow advise travellers to check flights before setting off. it has been an incredible 12 months for home—grown sporting success and, to reflect that, an unprecedented 16 contenders have been shortlisted for sports personality of the year 2016. last year's winner, the wimbledon and olympic tennis champion, andy murray,
is in the running again. the ceremony takes place at the nec arena in birmingham. and our sports reporter kate grey is there for us. a really tough competition this year. the public have got the wealth of talent to choose from. if you follow me around, the red carpet has now been revealed. the press and media are ready for the sports stars to arrive. this is the first time ever that the has been 16 nominations. because it is such a busy evening, two of the awards have
already been announced. earlier on, ellie robinson was announced as the young sports personality of the year. you may remember herfrom young sports personality of the year. you may remember her from the paralympics. just 15 years old, she became the champion in the 50 metres butterfly. she had only learnt how to swim after being inspired by seeing the london paralympics. and a lifetime achievement award was given to the american swimmer michael phelps. he has had an incredible career. he competed in his first olympics at the age of 16 in 2000 in sydney. he has won 23 gold medals. hejoins the likes sydney. he has won 23 gold medals. he joins the likes of david beckham
and steve redgrave who have previously won that award. five more will be awarded later. the team of the year. the overseas personality. a lot to look forward to just before nine o'clock, we will find who has become sports personality of the year. as you see, 16 nominations are up year. as you see, 16 nominations are upfor year. as you see, 16 nominations are up for that award and i guess a lot of the guys will be on andy murray. he has won it twice before and would be the first individual to win it three times. but he has got some fierce competition. not surprisingly, because we had the olympics this year. many of those on at our olympic champions. what an incredible line—up for what
has been an incredible year of sport for great britain and you can see the excitement is building no. if you tune in later, you can find out who to vote on the bbc sport website. and from five o'clock, we will be live on the red carpet in birmingham as the sports stars arrive. you canjoin my colleagues nick owen and denise lewis here on the bbc news channel in a special programme from five. we are looking forward to that. i am glad to see the red carpet has been unveiled. a 1,000—strong force of "mini—cops", aged between nine and 11, have been recruited by durham police. the uniformed volunteers take part in big public events and even get involved with enforcement operations on the roads. the aim is to nurture better relationships between officers and the communities they serve.
tim muffett has been to find out more. this primary school in durham, and the uk's youngest police force. i have some important news about future events you'll be participating in. it was set up by durham constabulary for children aged nine to 11. what is the main thing police do? rescue and help. this is giving them an insight into all of the roles the police force do. and i think it is changing children's perceptions. i signed up because it gives you an opportunity to do stuff that you don't normally do. i wanted to be helpful to people and i wanted to be kind, because i don't really speak that much because i'm shy. have you become less shy as a result? yes. the main aim behind the mini police is not so much law enforcement but more engagement.
begin the process early and it is hoped the benefits could be profound. music plays. a lantern parade in durham city centre, and the mini police are on patrol, overseen by the man who set up the project. first initial contact between the police and children, often it is negative. what we are doing with the programme is trying to have that first contact being positive, and that will stay with them into adulthood. we would like to see that all forces in england and wales and scotland, take on the project, because it is important that as a police force we engage with our next generation. we get lots of different information about how the police force works. they are learning to respect what the police force do. i don't think they realise how much goes on behind the scenes. i like how it can give people support and help people out. merseyside police have set
up a similar scheme. other forces say they are interested in doing the same. when it comes to community policing, durham constabulary believes this is the way forward. 13.1 million viewers tuned into strictly come dancing last night to see bbc sports presenter ore oduba and his partnerjoanne clifton take home the glitterball trophy, beating fellow competitors danny mac and louise redknapp. last night also marked len goodman's last appearance as a judge, as our entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba reports. and i can now reveal the strictly come dancing champions 2016 are... ore andjoanne! the moment that ore oduba was crowned strictly come dancing 2016 champion. he was voted the winner after a public vote during the evening's final. the bbc sport presenter
thanked the show and paid tribute to his dance partnerjoanne clifton. you are the most incredible person. this is the greatest ever experience of my life. i've learned to dance. i've made a best friend. i've been on the show that i've loved for 12 years. he beat the evening's other two finalists, the actor danny mac and the singer louise redknapp, thanks to his performances of three dances. # walk down the lane...# an american smooth... # with a happy refrain...# ..a show dance... # this is what i say...# ..and ajive. the latter two routines were given perfect scores by the judges. ore might be this year's winner, but for many, a close runner—up was ed balls. the former shadow chancellor's lack of dance skills may have resulted
in consistently low scores from the show‘sjudges, but he was kept in the contest a week after week by votes from the programme's viewers, who'd been entertained by his routines, which included a gangnam style dance, until he finally left the competition last month. # gangnam style...# the evening's final was also len goodman's last appearance in the series, and he was given a standing ovation in the studio. len goodman has led the judging panel since the programme began 12 years ago. greater need. we can now catch up with the latest weather forecast. we are expecting that fog which has
affected the size of the country to start building up again during the course of the night and this could affect the rush hour tomorrow. a bit of rain into scotland as the night goes on. again, falk affecting parts of england and wales. a week weather front bringing a bit of cloud and meaning to northern ireland and scotland. sunshine heart to come by. and quite a change in the weather as the week progresses. it is quiet to start the week, but it is not going to stay that way.