i'm rico hizon in singapore, the headlines: shock as donald trump tweets that the united states needs to greatly expand its nuclear capability. australian police foil a christmas day terror plot to target melbourne, five men are arrested. i'm kasia madera in london. we meet the seven—year—old syrian girl who's plight moved people we meet the seven—year—old syrian girl whose plight moved people around the world with her descriptions on social media of life under siege in aleppo. and dreaming of a white christmas in singapore. finding festive fun in a tropical climate. live from our studios in singapore
and london. this is bbc world news. it's newsday. it's 8am in singapore, midnight in london and 7pm in washington, where the latest tweet from donald trump is grabbing attention around the world. the president—elect wrote that the united states must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability. he said that process would continue until the world came to its senses. however, a spokesman has said mr trump was actually referring to the need to prevent nuclear proliferation. our defence correspondent jonathan beale reports. america and russia still hold more than 90% of the world's nuclear stockpiles, both able to deliver destruction on a massive scale, by ground, sea or air. for a quarter of a century, they have been reducing
their nuclear arsenal. but the question now, is the arms race about to resume? tonight, president—elect donald trump tweeted: it caught many by surprise, including the obama administration. i can't speak for what the president—elect‘s nuclear views, or his policy going forward. that's for him and his team to speak to. what i can speak to is the approach that this administration has taken, to try to get us on a path to a world without nuclear weapons. president putin, too, has been ramping up the nuclear rhetoric. today, addressing his military commanders, he talked of the need to strengthen russia's strategic nuclear forces. translation: we can say
with certainty that we are stronger now than any potential aggressor. anyone. both the united states and russia have made large cuts to their nuclear arsenals since the height of the cold war. but they still have many weapons. the us have stock piles of 7,000 warheads, of which 1,900 are deployed, or ready to use. russia has just over 7,000, with just under 1,800 deployable. while the uk has 250 warheads, of which 120 are available to use, and could be fired from its vanguard submarines. both america and russia are already modernising their nuclear weapons systems at significant cost. what's not clear now is whether donald trump now wants to go much further. tensions have been rising with russia, these us troops on exercise in the baltics a response to its intervention in ukraine. russia's military campaign in syria has deepened the rift.
but donald trump has signalled he wants to improve relations with moscow, so his comments might be more directed at north korea, whose unpredictable leader boasts of now being a nuclear power, or even iran. donald trump threatened to rip up a deal over its nuclear programme, still suspicious of iran's intentions. what donald trump did with that tweet, was restart the nuclear arms race. it's notjust strengthen our nuclear arsenal, it's expand our nuclear arsenal. we have arms control agreements that limit, that reduce, that cap the weapons we deploy. he pays no heed to that, seems to want to bust through the cap. with nuclear weapons, words matter. once again, a donald trump tweet has surprised, and raised plenty of questions. jonathan beale, bbc news. police in australia say they have foiled a terror attack in melbourne,
planned for christmas day. several people have been detained after a series of raids, in which an explosive device and weapons were discovered. let's get the very latest from our correspondent hywel griffith in sydney. bring us up to date on how many people have been arrested. in all, seven arrested, five of those detained for questioning. we've learned a bit more about those five men picked up at different addresses through melbourne suburbs. we're told for an australian born but of lebanese origin, the fifth man egyptian born but has spent some time in australia so has been described as a homegrown terror cell —— four australian—born. they were self radicalised in the words of the prime minister, he says influence by the propaganda of the so—called islamic state and by events
overseas. it's believed the police had been gathering information for two weeks after a surveillance operation, following the men and their actions, and they believe they we re their actions, and they believe they were about to escalate the operation and potentially as soon as christmas day. they said there had been some form of reconnaissance mission by some of the mend to the centre of melbourne and they think that could have been the target. —— the men. st paul's cathedral and flinders street station were targets potentially on christmas day and it could have involved an improvised explosive device, maybe even knives and firearms as well. what is the mood like in australia? we had the incident in canberra, that wasn't a terrorist inspired attack, but there's a heightened sense of concern no doubt? absolutely and the government is telling people that the terror threat remains probable. they claim this is the 12th terror
plot they have managed to foil within some two years. that gives you an impression maybe of how that threat remains high, how the security services are being kept busy. there are major events over this holiday period globally. in australia it's the summer so people are looking towards the boxing day in sydney for the cricket test, major events that bring in hundreds of thousands of people. the australian government saying there will be an increased police presence, that on one level may make some people feel more anxious but it's intended to make them feel more secure. 0n it's intended to make them feel more secure. on this terror threat they have said they have taken down a large part of the cell so this particular thread has been neutralised. thanks for bringing us up neutralised. thanks for bringing us up to date on that developing story from melbourne, australia. also making news today: german police say there's clear evidence linking their main suspect, a tunisian man, anees amri, to the attack on a christmas market in berlin.
his fingerprints have been found in the lorry that was driven into shoppers on monday, killing 12 people. as our correspondent in berlin bethany bell explains, the authorities are continuing with the search for amri. they said that they had discovered his fingerprints in the cab of the lorry as well as this identity document and they put out a warrant for his arrest, that's a european wide arrest warrant as well. and their tendency has been to be extremely cautious. we're waiting to see, of course we heard from angela merkel, the german chancellor here today as well, saying she hoped an arrest would be made soon and i think that's a feeling that most germans share, not least the security forces who are under growing pressure. meanwhile, the christmas market where the attack
happened here in berlin where i am 110w happened here in berlin where i am now has reopened again. the lights are back on tonight. music is not on. normally you'd havejolly christmas music in a place like this, that has been switched off in honour and this, that has been switched off in honourand in this, that has been switched off in honour and in tribute to the people who died here. people have been lighting candles and laying flowers but they're also out drinking mulled wine, eating sausages and gingerbread in a sign, they say, that life must go on as normal. also making news today: nearly one—third of deaths in china are linked to smog. the findings by nanjing university puts smog on a par with smoking as a health threat. the university studied air pollution and mortality data in 7a cities. the data provides the latest scientific estimates of the health implications of the problem, which has affected almost half a billion people in china. a cold weather front did improve air quality on thursday. japan has increased its defence budget for the fifth straight year.
that's in response to the threat posed by north korea and tensions in the south china sea. the draft budget boosts spending next year to a record $43.6 billion. the money will fund new anti—ballistic missile systems and enhanced protection of japan's outlying islands. an experimental vaccine has been found to be highly effective against the deadly ebola virus. the trial was conducted in guinea, one of the west african countries most affected by an outbreak of the disease that ended this year. the final results show that of the nearly 6,000 people to receive the vaccine, all were free of the virus ten days later. this huge fire which spread to around 140 buildings in a small city onjapan‘s western coast has now been brought under control. extra firefighters were brought in by the authorities to fight the blaze.
parts of itoigama had to be evacuated. it's thought the blaze broke out in a ramen restaurant, before being spread by high winds. nearly 750 people had to be evacuated. despite the scale of the fire, only two people were injured. there's new pressure on the philippines‘ outspoken president. the country's independent human rights watchdog is to investigate rodrigo duterte after he claimed to have killed several drug suspects personally. it follows a request for an inquiry by the united nations. it's no surprise that mr duterte has responded angrily, calling the un stupid idiots. tom donkin reports. philippines president rodrigo duterte was swept to power injune, on a promise to rid his country of illegal drugs and those who trafficked them. his critics argue he has
authorised police, vigila ntes, and so—called death squads to shoot suspected users and dealers on site. by his own admission, the president himself says he has personally killed. earlier this week, the un cited that confession, calling for an independent human rights group in the philippines to act and investigate mr duterte for murder. they've agreed, and will reopen an earlier investigation into the actions of the president. we are hoping with these new revelations and admissions we can further the investigation and ultimately have charges. mr duterte has been unforgiving when discussing his methods. recently he admitted to the bbc that he himself had killed drug suspects while he was mayor of the southern city of davao. i killed about three of them. i don't really know how many bullets from my gun went
inside their bodies, but it happened. as i said, i cannot lie about it. in his typically defiant style, he has responded to the investigation against him. while the many, and in some cases mysterious, recent killings in the philippines have alarmed leaders around the world, rodrigo duterte has vowed to continue his campaign as long as he is in power, knowing full well that for the moment, while he is president, his country's constitution guards him from prosecution or punishment. tom donkin, bbc news. the syrian army says it's in complete control of aleppo after the last rebel fighters were evacuated. state television showed crowds waving flags and shouting slogans in support of president assad. it's his biggest victory in almost six years of civil war. amongst the thousands of civilians brought out of the ruined city in recent days was seven—year—old bana alabed, whose messages
on social media have moved people around the world. 0ur correspondent, 0rla guerin, has been to meet bana and her mother. hello, i am bana. i am seven years old, i am from aleppo. from the rubble of aleppo to the red carpet in ankara, bana alabed and herfamily are now being hosted by the turkish government, which opposes the syrian regime. when we met, this child of war told me how her own home was flattened by a bomb. translation: we were playing happily and planning to go out, and suddenly it landed. so we got scared and ran to the basement. when our house was bombed, we got out of the rubble safely. but we were about to die, because the house was collapsing.
her updates from inside aleppo echoed around the world, with help from her mother, who manages her twitter account. but some have questioned whose views were being shared. when your mum was tweeting, was she tweeting your words or tweeting her words? me and mum. together? yes. her mother, fatima, insists the twitter account was bana's idea, but admits it is a way to combat the regime. i think there now was a big fight out there. and i think our twitter was a weapon. your twitter was a weapon? yes. but the tweets attracted threats, and made it harderfor the family to join the mass evacuation of eastern aleppo. fatima got bana on to one
of the buses disguised as a boy. today, the last opposition fighters retreated from their former stronghold, and by the evening the syrian army was in control of the entire city, for the first time in more than 11.5 years. just days after escaping all this, bana dreams of returning. translation: i was happy to leave, but sad at the same time. i wish i could go back to aleppo, go back home. i want to live in my house, because i love it, even if it had been bombed. i love my house. in english: we shall overcome some day. before saying goodbye, bana sang us a song about childhood and stolen freedoms. # i am a child with something to say...# 0ne voice,
raised for countless others, who often go unheard. 0rla guerin, bbc news, ankara. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: # are you listening? # are you listening? # snow is glistening #. getting into the christmas spirit. i'll be joined by these carol—singers as the big day approaches. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, and people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noreiga. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful, but it's failed in its principal objective, to capture general noreiga and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle
was hastily taken away. 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 the 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 where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. welcome back, everyone. happy holidays! this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon, in singapore. i'm kasia madera, in london. our top stories: donald trump has said in a tweet that the us must strengthen and greatly expand its nuclear capability. police in australia say they have
foiled a terror attack in melbourne, planned for christmas day. seven people have been arrested. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the financial times leads with china's dismay over donald trump's appointment of a new us trade policy chief. there he is. peter navarro is a sharp critic of china's commercial practices. the paper says beijing had hoped mr trump would tone down his anti—china rhetoric after assuming office. not so, it seems. the japan times reports a message from emperor akihito on his 83rd birthday. the emperor has thanked the country for heeding his comments that advanced age could one day prevent him from fulfilling his duties. and the straits times reports that malaysia and indonesia are on high security alert for the christmas season. armed soldiers are making
their presence felt at shopping malls, clubs and hotels to protect against any terrorist threat. you are up—to—date with the papers. now, rico, online people are talking about a bling phone? it isa it is a major boeing —— bling bling. yes, chinese social media users have been reacting to a golden smartphone, created in partnership with beijing's forbidden city museum. it goes on sale next month and will come with an 18—carat gold dragon decoration and a screen made from sapphire glass. so, what's the price? well, that's almost 20,000 yuan, or nearly $3,000 us dollars. that is a lot of money. but some social media users are unhappy about the phone's gaudy looks and its connection to one of china's most revered locations.
an interesting looking design. with worldwide attention on elephant ivory, hippo teeth — which can grow up to a metre long — have become the next target for poachers. investigators believe an illegal trade in uganda is feeding markets in asia. dr elizabeth bennett is from the wildlife conservation society. she told me more about the problem. it is very beautiful. it is very smooth ivory. it does not have the strangle lines that you get in elephant ivory, and it does not come in quite such large pieces. hippo tusks are not as big as elephant tusks. it is a very beautiful ivory and it carves into absolutely lovely pieces. how big is the problem? the problem is pretty big now. our staff at the wcs in uganda say
that hunting for hippos for their ivory is their biggest wildlife trafficking problems, and they are working hard to try to identify the kingpins. in cameroon, hippos are almost extinct. one of the core threats is hunting for ivory. dr elizabeth bennett, from the wildlife conservation society. now, rico, it's the last newsday before christmas. you have a cat and i have tinsel. merry christmas! —— hat.|j you have a cat and i have tinsel. merry christmas! -- hat. i love your tinsel! thank you! here in the uk, it's getting colder and the longer nights are making it feel more christmassy. but how do you celebrate in the sunshine? until now, i'm dreaming of a white christmas. there are so many ways, kasia. living in singapore means living in a climate
that's permanently summer. so if you don't want to jet off for that iconic wintry holiday, how can you experience a white christmas on the equator? sarah toms and her two children find out. # it looks a lot like christmas to me # though i can see where you might disagreee # for we're miles away from where, in some festive thoroughfare # there are seasonal delights, and lots of pretty coloured lights # but it looks a lot like christmas from here...# we have had to hire jackets, boots and gloves because we do not have anything warm enough here in singapore, and we'll need them here at snow city, in the singapore science centre. inside there, the air is apparently as frosty as a freezer. are you ready to go? you've got you gloves on? let's go. christmas carols play
back outside, we definitely do not need our coats any more, even though it is snowing! well, foaming. this blizzard of foam is an annual tradition and swimsuits are optional. but i do miss sitting by a roaring fire with some mulled wine. cheers. thank you. and now a special holiday treat for all our newsday viewers as the programme goes off airfor one week. we'll be serenaded with christmas carols by the adventist university of the philippines chamber singers.
merry christmas, everyone! # hark the herald angels sing # hark the herald angels sing # glory to the newborn king # glory to the newborn king # peace on earth and mercy # peace on earth and mercy # god reconcile # god reconcile #joyful or ye nations # god reconcile # joyful or ye nations rise # joyful or ye nations rise # during the promised skies # during the promised skies # with angelic voices # with angelic voices # christ is born in bethlehem # christ is born in bethlehem # hark the herald angels sing # hark the herald angels sing # lorry to the newborn king #. —— glory. # have the herald angels sing #.
hi there. i'm sure you've already heard but barbara, the second named storm of the season, is heading to the uk for friday. now, yesterday was the quiet before the storm in many respects. barbara, out in the atlantic, continues to develop and deepen, and that's going to be swinging to the north—west of the uk over the next 2a hours. it has been a relatively storm—free start to winter, of course, but that is all set to change as barbara comes hurdling in off the atlantic. tightly packed isobars really squeezing together and focusing the strongest winds on scotland. as we start off the morning, the breeze will be picking up across all of the uk but it will become quite windy quickly in the day across northern ireland and scotland. quickly, gales will develop here but the strongest winds will be heading into the western isles as we head through friday afternoon. this band of rain then pushes its way eastwards across the irish sea, where we could get gusts of 60mph, perhaps 70mph around some of the exposed coasts and hills. this band of rain is going to be very squally indeed. eastern england starting on a dry
and bright note but it will cloud over and eventually we'll see this band of rain arrive during the evening time. but it is not the rain that's going to cause problems with barbara, no, the met office's amber weather warning is enforced for the strong winds. gusts of 80mph, perhaps 90mph focusing on the western isles through friday afternoon and then heading towrds the northern isles as we go through friday evening and overnight. so the windy weather will continue as barbara slips northwards. blustery wintry showers will follow then as we go through friday night with snow returning to the mountains of scotland. things could get quite tricky, even blizzard conditions higher up. further south, the band of rain clears through, and we will be left with dry conditions as we start off christmas eve. so some decent weather for travelling around actually across england and wales, but further north, and west, we've got those blustery showers, still some further falls of snow to come across the mountains of scotland. those temperatures will be dropping away a little bit on christmas eve. highs ranging from around 4—11 degrees celsius, from north to south. heading into the big day itself, christmas day, you can see on the charts, still
tightly packed isoba rs. but notice they're tilting towards the south—west so southwesterly winds washing over the uk, and those southwesterly winds are mild winds, so we're going to have quite a mild day. you can see this yellow colour working its way across the country. some of us around london could get up to around 111—15 degrees. so, yes, very mild, but it will also continue to be very windy, particularly across the north—west, even quite stormy for some across the exposed north—west. but then as that works through, we'll be back into the colder air and late on christmas day, we could have some snow showers returning to scotland. i'm kasia madera with bbc world news. our top story: donald trump has called for the us to expand its arsenal of nuclear weapons, reversing years of non proliferation policy. the president—elect, who'll take office in less than a month, tweeted that the us should expand its nuclear capabilities, until the world came to its senses. his advisers have tried to row back on the statement. police in australia say they have
foiled a terror attack in melbourne planned for christmas day. seven people have been arrested. and this video is trending on bbc.com. it shows what happened when a passenger on a bus in california put an e—cigarette in his pocket because he was not allowed to vape on the bus. the passenger was treated in hospitalfor minor injuries. that's all from me now, stay with bbc world news. and the top story here in the uk: the owner of a haulage firm and his mechanic have been convicted of the manslaughter of four people who died when a tipper truck ran out of control on a steep hill in bath.