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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 24, 2016 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm lebo diseko. our top stories: the un security council passes a resolution demanding a halt to israeli settlement—building on occupied palestinian land. the us abstains from the vote. anis amri, the man suspected of carrying out the attack on a berlin christmas market, dies in a shootout in italy. putin faces the world's media, and says he is not worried by donald trump's talk of a new arms race. the star wars actress carrie fisher suffers a heart attack on a flight to los angeles, but is said to be stable. israel has reacted angrily after the united states has allowed
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the un security council to adopt a resolution demanding an end to israeli settlements on occupied palestinian land. the obama administration broke with longstanding american practice and withheld its veto, in a sharp rebuke of israeli policy. our state department correspondent barbara plett usher reports. ina rare in a rare show of unity, the un security council passed judgement on israeli settlements. 14 votes in favour. voting that they had become a serious threat to a viable peace deal with the palestinians. it was that conviction which led the us to withhold its customary protection of israel at the council, although not without much soul—searching. israel at the council, although not without much soul—searchingm israel at the council, although not without much soul-searching. it is because this forum too often continues to be biased against israel, because there are important issues that are not sufficiently addressed in this resolution, and
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because the united states does not agree with every word in this text, that the united states did not vote in favour of the resolution. but it is because this resolution reflects the fact is on the ground, and is consistent with us policy across republican and democratic administrations throughout the history of the state of israel, that the united states did not veto it. the israelis had managed to delay but not prevent the vote. they felt betrayed by their ally, especially angry about condemnation of their construction in occupied east jerusalem. construction in occupied east jerusalem. who gave you the right to issue such a decree, denying our eternal rights in jerusalem? issue such a decree, denying our eternal rights injerusalem? would this council have had the nerve to condemn your country for building homes in your capital? israel has long pursued a policy of building jewish settlements on arab land ca ptu red jewish settlements on arab land captured during the 1967 war. it insists it has the legal right to do
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this, but most of the world disagrees, and the un resolution will make that argument even more difficult. halting settlements was the focus of president obama's attem pts the focus of president obama's atte m pts to the focus of president obama's attempts to broker peace. he failed twice, resorting to the un was his final act. the palestinians embraced this as a victory for international law. this is a historic day. the international community have stood tall, for peace, for hope. the international community unanimously rejected the policies of the israeli government. but they can't expect the same from mr obama's successor, donald trump, who has sided with the israeli government on this. the un resolution could become a reference point forfurther resolution could become a reference point for further moves against israel in international forums, point for further moves against israel in internationalforums, but not for the next us administration. khaled elgindy, a fellow at the centre for middle east policy at the brookings institution in washington, told me the us abstaining is more thanjust a symbolic gesture. if they were purely symbolic,
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we wouldn't have this sort of angry reaction from the israeli government, orfrom president—elect trump, for that matter. and i think that, you know, we haven't seen anything like this in almost four decades, really. since 1980, the security council has not passed a resolution condemning settlements, precisely for the reasons that you outlined in your introduction, that the united states has consistently blocked those efforts over the years. but i think that now there's a realisation, it may be too little, too late, but there's a realisation in the obama administration that the stakes are very high. you know, you have — a two—state solution is being dismantled, literally, on the ground. the possibility of a palestinian state is being eviscerated
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by israeli settlements. and you have an incoming american administration that is entirely sympathetic to the settlement enterprise, to very — you know, what is the most hard—core, right—wing israeli government in its history. i mean, i must say that the israelis, for their part, would say that the two—state solution is being held up by palestinians who are behaving in a violent manner towards israel, that they feel under threat as well. yeah, i mean, that's a talking point, i understand. but it doesn't hold up under scrutiny. because we had, for example, between 2010 and 2013 or 2014, unprecedented calm, mostly, for israelis. they were virtually no israelis killed in violent attacks during that period, and yet we saw an intensification in settlements, we saw negotiations collapse under the auspices of senator mitchell.
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so, in times of calm and in times of conflict, really the outcome is the same. i suppose the point is that there is less than four weeks left of the obama administration. donald trump has said things are going to be different. so in actual, practical terms, what difference does this make? it makes a difference for saving the historical record straight. this kind of 0rwellian interpretation that, by saying no to settlements — and the language of the resolution is quite mild, i mean, it's quite balanced. it talks about palestinian incitement and violence. it also talks about the very problematic nature of settlements. and everybody agrees. peace—minded israelis, the american administration, the international community, there is a very solid consensus that settlements are destroying the possibility of a two—state solution.
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and if, you know, if you're going to interpret this as anti—israel, as opposed to anti—settlement, then that's purely a matter, i think, of political spin more than it is reality. you can get more background to the dispute over israeli settlements on our website. there are maps of the disputed areas, and analysis of why the issue has become so bitter. all that at german chancellor angela merkel has said security will be reviewed in her country because of the attack on the berlin christmas market. the man believed to be responsible, anis amri, was killed in a shootout with police in milan. from berlin, here is damian grammaticus. anis amri's brief, violent life as a terrorist ended here, in an exchange of gunfire on the edge of milan. alone and hunted, he managed to flee
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1,000 kilometres south from berlin. but, at 3:00am in the morning, acting suspiciously, he was stopped by two officers, and tried to shoot them. translation: at that moment the man, without hesitating, pulled out a pistol and fired towards the policemen who had asked for identity documents. the officers reacted immediately. the one who was hit is recovering in hospital, but his condition is not life—threatening. and this has been released by the so—called islamic state, a recording made in berlin by anis amri sometime before the attack, pledging his allegiance to is. it is now believed that the 24—year—old tunisian may have been radicalised after he arrived in europe, perhaps during the four years he spent injail in italy. german security services knew he was a threat, but he talked of buying guns, not using a truck. so how did he get
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all the way to italy? this is what we know about his movements. at 8:00pm on monday, he attacked the christmas market. then he vanished, but managed to get to chambery, in france. from there, a train ticket found on his body showed he travelled to turin, and then on to milan's central station, arriving at 1:00am in the morning. finally, he took the metro to the last stop, san giovanni, where he was shot. translation: at the end of this week, we can be relieved that one acute threat has come to an end, but the general threat posed by terrorism will continue. we will do our utmost to make sure our state is a strong state. so germany is trying to root out radical islamic networks. we visited this place today, a short distance from where anis amri's new video was recorded. well, this is one of the places that anis amri was known to frequent in the months when he was in berlin. it is a residential complex. but the reason he would come here,
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over in this corner, what used to be a mosque. it was closed down, though, and became a meeting point for radical islamists. one of the neighbours told us small groups of young islamic men continued to use the building. they would meet late at night, apparently discussing attacks. translation: of course it was dangerous. when the men sit here and fantasise about carrying out attacks, yes, i was worried. my children and my family live here. with the immediate danger apparently over, berliners gathered for a memorial this evening by the brandenburg gate. no matter what, we are all one. all people come together here, and think of the victims. the berlin people, where something is, they have to be. germany is a country now confronting the reality it faces new and hidden threats. let's round up some of the other main stories: the us has issued
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travel warnings for americans travelling to egypt and jordan, because of threats from terrorist groups. there were several bombings in egypt this month, and more than a dozen people were killed injordan on sunday in two attacks by islamist militants. two hijackers who held over 100 passengers hostage on a flight which they diverted from libya to malta have been arrested, after a standoff on the runway lasting several hours. the crew and passengers were gradually released, before the men were taken away for questioning. the united nations refugee agency says more than 5,000 migrants and refugees have died in the mediterranean this year, the highest annual death toll so far. about 100 people are reported to have died on thursday when two boats sank off the italian coast. after days of protests, opposition leaders in the democratic republic of congo say they have reached
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an agreement with the governing party over the transition of power. presidentjoseph kabila will stay in office until elections at the end of next year, despite his term having expired. a new prime minister will be chosen from the opposition. the actress carrie fisher, who played princess leia in star wars, has had a heart attack on a flight from london to los angeles. her brother said she was out of emergency, but in a critical condition. fisher, who is 60, had just finished a tour to promote her new autobiography. a short time ago i spoke to our la correspondent peter bowes, for the latest. we understand from her brother todd that she is in a stable condition. earlier we were told that she was in a critical condition, having been taken to a hospital in los angeles. he is now telling american media outlets that she is out of emergency, meaning out of the emergency room, and in a stable condition. but he couldn't discuss any of the other circumstances
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surrounding what happened, or indeed her precise condition now. so there is still a little bit of mystery surrounding precisely what's going on at the moment, whether she's been moved to a different ward in the hospital, and what the precise nature of her medical problem is. we understood earlier, again from us media reports, that she had a medical emergency while on a flight from the uk, from london to los angeles, about 15 minutes before the flight was due to land, which is about noon local time. paramedics were called to the airport. they met the plane, and she was given some treatment at the scene. a number of the passengers, a number of nurses, apparently, on the flight also tried to help, and then she was taken to hospital. so we're still waiting for a categorical statement, either from the hospital, or indeed from her statement, to understand precisely what's going on. and she became iconic because of this, her role
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as princess leia. but she has done so much more, hasn't she? tell us about that. oh, yes, she's done so much more. but that is the role, of course, that so many people know her for. she's written a lot of books, she's written about eight books. the latest was an autobiography that was published recently. in fact, that's what she's been doing for the last few weeks. she's been on a book tour to talk about that book, and one of the revelations was that she had an affair with harrison ford during the making of one of the original star wars, an affair that lasted a few months. and that's typical of her, that she's very open about talking about her life, and some of the problems that she's had, some of the past medical problems, bipolar condition, battling depression, and drink, alcohol, as well. she's that kind of character, and she really has a huge following of fans from those days, back in the late ‘70s, when the original movies came out. but of course, because of the sequel that came out last year, an entirely new generation of fans that are following her. and you can just look at social
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media todayjust to see the kind of response from people around the world, who have been talking about what's happened today and wishing her well. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: leaving lapland. father christmas and his trusty reindeer set off on their long annualjourney around the world, but who's been naughty and who's been nice? 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 noriega. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful, but it's failed in its principal objective, to capture general noriega 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,
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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. this is bbc news. i'm lebo diseko. the latest headlines: the un security council has passed a resolution demanding a halt to israeli settlement building on occupied palestinian land. the us, israel's traditional ally, abstained. anis amri, the man suspected of carrying out the attack on a christmas market in berlin, has died in a shoot—out with police in italy. in syria, where russian forces helped seize the city of aleppo, the last buses have been taking away rebel fighters, their families and residents
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from the east of the city. the red cross say 35,000 people have left their homes in the last few weeks. after four long years of bombardment, syrian government troops are now in complete control of aleppo. our middle east editorjeremy bowen considers the significance of the victory and how it may affect the outcome of the war. in western aleppo, a christmas party became a victory celebration. it was watched over by banners of syria's three wise men — presidents putin and assad, and the leader of lebanon's hezbollah movement. the regime support is often underestimated in the west. and there was relief that the killing in the city might finally be over. the last buses out of eastern aleppo delivered thousands of fighters and civilians into an uncertain future. the fall of eastern aleppo is the rebels' greatest defeat and shows how the war is now being decided by the foreign powers
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that have intervened. so, what's next in syria? president assad and his allies have won themselves some options. their victory in aleppo does not end the war. thousands of rebel fighters have been bussed out to idlib, the neighbouring province. the regime and its allies will want to win it back. the question is when? they might decide to make eastern ghouta their military priority. it is part of the suburbs of damascus. it's vulnerable because rebel groups that control it have weakened themselves by infighting. foreign powers are shaping the battlefields. turkey has troops fighting in syria, and backed some of the rebel groups in aleppo. but it watched while russia and its allies destroyed them. that's because turkey needs russia to stand aside while it hits the kurds, now its main target. while east aleppo fell,
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the west was also a bystander. that is because the syria policy of the americans, british and their friends, never coherent, has now failed completely. aleppo, though, looks to be a turning point. tonight, britain's foreign secretary said again president assad must go. but the downfall of the president looks like a hollow dream. diplomacy has not done it. early in the war, there was a chance to make it happen by joining the fight. but that chance has gone, while president assad remains russia and iran's man. it won't be easy for his coalition to move from aleppo to victory in syria, but now they have the momentum. jeremy bowen, bbc news. russian president vladimir putin has written to donald trump, calling for stronger relations and co—operation between their countries. and speaking to the world's media in moscow, mr putin said
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he did not want a new arms race with the west. that's after donald trump suggested he would expand america's nuclear arsenal. mr putin also rejected accusations that russia had intervened in the us presidential election. from moscow, steve rosenberg reports. he is always confident, but is he a little confused? as vladimir putin met the world's media today, there were mixed signals from across the atlantic. donald trump, sabre rattling one moment, and talking friendship the next. the kremlin leader said he hoped he and america's new president would work together to improve relations. it's not so simple. russia says it's modernising its nuclear missile potential. while today, donald trump reportedly said "let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass."
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so, would the kremlin respond? well, putting a question to the president is not easy when there are 1000 of you and just one of him. but he took my question. are you not concerned, though, that there is a danger of a new arms race if america is talking about boosting its nuclear arsenal? translation: the basis for a new arms race was there already after the us pulled out of the antiballistic missile treaty and started to create a missile shield. so either we create our own shield, or, as we are doing, develop weapons to penetrate theirs. but this wasn't our choice. vladimir putin made it clear today that if there is to be a new arms race, that won't be russia's fault, and he delivered a defiant message, that russia is stronger than any potential aggressor. and that goes for cyberspace too. in recent months, russia has been
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accused of launching cyber attacks against america, even of using hacking to defeat hillary clinton. mr putin, your country has been accused of state—sponsored hacking with the aim of influencing the results of the us presidential election. and president obama revealed that he told you personally to "cut it out." so, what did you tell him in response? the president refused to say, dismissing all the talk of hacking as sour grapes from the democratic party. translation: the losing side always tries to pass the buck. they would do better to look for the problems among themselves. but tough talk doesn't solve domestic problems. the russian economy is still struggling, notjust because of sanctions. low oil prices have hit hard in an economy reliant on exporting energy. to many here, stagnation
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breeds pessimism. they see problems growing with living standards and they see that the health system is collapsing. they see inflation and a forecast of the government that russia will be surviving through the next 20 years in this state of stagnation. and that is one reason the kremlin is counting on donald trump, hoping he will ease sanctions against moscow. russia wants to be seen as a global player. but if president putin does not mend the cracks in the economy, he may be building a superpower on thin ice. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. the checklist tennis player petra has left hospital after having surgery on her left hand injured in
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a knife attack. she was stabbed in a bracket holding hand in a robbery on her home on tuesday. the fingers and i were damaged. it would take at least six months before she can return to competitive tennis. in case you hadn't noticed it's christmas eve. that means santa claus is set to make hisjourney around the world delivering presents. in a small grotto in northern finland, crowds gathered to see him off — as laura westbrook reports. ina in a small villagejust in a small village just inside the arctic circle, crowds gathered, braving the bitter cold, waiting for this moment. he has made the list, checkedit this moment. he has made the list, checked it twice, father christmas is finally ready for his annual journey around the world. before heading off in his sleigh, santa claus addressed the crowd in the italian crowd —— finished town.
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claus addressed the crowd in the italian crowd -- finished town. we are italian crowd -- finished town. we a re fortu nate italian crowd -- finished town. we are fortunate life is good and we're having nice holiday. the northern lights, it was time to head to head to the north pole to round up the rest of his reindeer and make the final preparations for his trip. music plays father christmas will travel more than 500 million kilometres over the course of one night. keeping track of his whereabouts is a job for the north american aerospace defence command, who i again set to provide live updates on the big man's progress. “— live updates on the big man's progress. —— who are again. and you can get in touch with me on twitter. always love to hear from you. that is all we have time for at the moment. headlines coming up in a minute. thank you for watching bbc news. hello again. yesterday's weather was all
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about storm barbara, the second named storm for the season. it has been a quiet winter season so far. there is barbara, the curl of cloud working into the uk. the strongest winds are in the scottish islands. reports of power supply problems here. transport was disrupted as well. into the atlantic, our next storm system is forming. this is connor. again, it will be bringing strong winds to the north of scotland, especially for boxing day. the weather watchers were out enjoying those strong winds. large, crashing winds being driven out into the bay in lerwick by those strong winds. the winds will continue to blow, with plenty of blustery showers. that is how we start the day. showers falling wintry across the higher ground in scotland, with snow mainly above 200 metres elevation, perhaps 100 metres at times. it is mainly in the hills where we will see that. because of that, we could have icy conditions on some of the roads first thing. england and wales, a lot of dry weather to start the day. a few isolated showers working into north—west england and across wales as well first thing in the morning. the further south and east you are, the better chance you have
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of starting the day on a dry note with a fair bit of sunshine. but it will be quite breezy for all of us. through the rest of the day, those gale—force winds will continue to bring plenty of showers in. again, they will be falling as snow up in the hills of scotland. a more general spell of rain moving into northern ireland late in the day. turning damp here. for england and wales, a mainly dry day with sunny spells. temperatures between 8—11 degrees. colder than that for northern ireland and scotland. the cold air will be behind us to start christmas day. mild air is on the way. these are the temperatures first thing on the big day itself. christmas day, quite windy. a lot of cloud around. this cold front will push south during the day bringing wet weather for northern ireland, the north of england, and north wales. to the south of the front, still quite mild. temperatures could reach 14—15 in the mildest spots. further north, cold air moving in. that means late in the day, some of us could see a white christmas. the chance of getting a bit of snow
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in the hills of northern scotland. for boxing day, remember connor? i showed you that on the satellite picture. it is bringing strong winds to the northern isles of scotland, where we have an amber met office weather warning in force. 80 mph gusts a possibility. gale—force gusts for the northern half of the uk. further south, quite windy. a lot of dry weather with sunshine. temperatures between 7—8. later next week, the weather should calm down, and we will see a return of some night—time frosts. the latest headlines from bbc news, i'm lebo diseko. the un security council has passed a resolution demanding a halt to israeli settlement building on occupied palestinian land. israel's traditional ally, the united states, abstained, saying it wanted to signal its backing for the creation of a palestinian state as part of a future peace agreement. italian police have shot dead anis amri, the man suspected of carrying out the attack on a christmas market in berlin. amri was killed in a shootout in a milan suburb when he was stopped
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for a routine identity check early on friday. the star wars actress carrie fisher has suffered a heart attack on a flight from london to los angeles. she's now thought to be in a stable condition. the 60—year—old had just completed a tour to promote her new autobiography. now on bbc news, reporters.
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