the headlines on bbc news. sir bradley wiggins the first british cyclist to win the tour de france retires from the sport saying he had been lucky enough to fulfil his ‘childhood aspiration‘ people between the ages of forty and sixty are being advised to change their lifestyles to avoid type two diabetes. public health england says eighty per cent of that age group are overweight and inactive german police have detained a forty—year—old tunisian man in connection with the fatal lorry attack on a berlin christmas market last week. now on bbc news, it's time for reporters. welcome to reporters. i'm phillipa thomas here at the bbc‘s headquarters in london. in this special edition of the programme, we're looking
at some of the best reports of this year from our network of correspondents from around the world. coming up: stand—off in the skies above the south china sea. rupert wingfield—hayes flies over one of the most contested areas in the world, incurring the wrath of the chinese. you can't make no mistakes. it will cost you your life. ian pannell reports from barack obama's former hometown and finds gun crime is out of control. and battle of the sexes. the bbc went to extraordinary lengths this year to get a rare glimpse of china's determined expansion in the south china sea, one of the most contested areas anywhere in the world. beijing is building huge artificial islands on the spratly island chain, which the americans and others
insist are illegal. the area is difficult to get to, but rupert wingfield—hayes flew in a small civilian aircraft into china's self—declared security zone 200 kilometres off the coast of the philippines. this is what he found. it's just before dawn on the philippine island of palawan. even at this hour it's hot, but there's no sign here of the trouble brewing a few hundred miles out to sea. i'm about to take off on a trip the chinese government has tried to stop. just 140 nautical miles from the philippine coast we spot new land. this place is called mischief reef.
until a year ago there was nothing here, just a submerged atoll. now look at it. millions of tons of material have been dredged up to build this huge new island. then as we close to 12 nautical miles, this. down below we can see a pair of chinese navy ships. our pilots are nervous. they want to turn away. we're a civilian aircraft flying over international waters and yet we're being repeatedly threatened. so what we're getting is the chinese sending out that message, foreign military aircraft, unidentified military aircraft, leave the area immediately. in chinese and english,
our captain replied saying we are a civilian aircraft, not a military aircraft, but it didn't make any difference, they repeated the threat to leave the area over and over again. as we fly on the full extent of the construction is revealed. the lagoon is teeming with ships. a cement plant is visible on the new land. then for the first time a clear view of the new runway china is building here. a chinese fighter taking off from here could reach the philippine coast in nine minutes. in the last year, china has built at least seven new islands and three new runways in the south china sea. one here at mischief reef, another at subi reef and the biggest of all at fiery cross. the aim is to reinforce china's claim to the whole of the south china sea. more than 40% of the world's trade passes through the waters below us.
china is determined to assert its control. america and its allies say they won't let that happen. but as we have found out, it may already be too late. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in the south china sea. now to evidence of a startling rise in gun violence the us, including in barack obama's hometown of chicago. killings in the city have reached a 20—year high. a deadly summer of violence brought this year's death toll to 500. most of the victims and their killers were young men. we spent a week in chicago and found a world where guns rule. a world where guns and gangs rule. in my neighbourhood,
they start young. that is the edge, and they are dying from guns. very young. we have to teach children how to defend themselves. it is like, what do you do? you are caught in the moment. you would rather be caught with protection than without it. i have never seen so many guns. like, we have so many guns. but i have never seen as many as now. this is a rapper from the west side, now, the most violent part of chicago. he is a member of the vice lords gang. he has been imprisoned. and even he is shocked by what has happened. it is like somebody dropped off crazy amounts of guns in the neighbourhood. crates of guns. i think that many guys need to die in order to make it better. some of these guys need to be killed and knocked off to make it a better place.
sirens. more people have been killed here since 2001 than us deaths in iraq and afghanistan combined. and yet, there is almost no outcry. do you worry about your children? i do. like, to be honest, i have a son of seven and a daughter of four, and i have not taught them how to ride a bike because the environment they live in is just not safe. i love you. i love you, dadda. i am trying to change the cycle. it is hard when you don't really have help, you know what i'm saying? we have been put in a weird position, you know what i'm saying, because... hold on. cut. this stuff don't end. it's a never ending cycle. it's
hell. with so many guns and so little control, the murders will rise. rarely solved, and barely noticed. this may sound like the stuff of science fiction movies, but american researchers broke new ground this year by trying to grow human organs inside pigs. the research uses a pioneering technique called gene editing, which allows genes to be changed quickly. some say this may end the organ crisis. but it also may raise ethical issues. you are watching two species being mixed. humans stem cells are being injected
into a one—day—old pig embryo. you can see them travelling down the tube. this biologist in california is trying to grow a human pancreas inside a pig. our hope is that this will develop normally. but the pancreas will be made up almost exclusively out of human cells so that then that pancreas will be compatible with the patient for transplantation. the technique is known as gene editing. it uses molecular scissors to delete the dna instructions in the pig embryo to create a pancreas. the ambition is the human cells will fill the void and grow a human pancreas instead. the same technique might enable other organs to be grown for transplant. the bbc‘s panorama was allowed to film the sows filled with human pig embryos known as chimeras.
human stem cells are taken from a patient, they could be tissue matched, reducing the risk of rejection. this research raises profound ethical concerns. crucially, just how human are the piglets developing inside this sow? it is such a sensitive area that the chimeric embryos will not be permitted to go to term, but be removed for tissue analysis after 28 days‘ gestation when they are about a centimetre long. they will crucially check whether the brain develops humanlike qualities. another pioneer in this field told me this question has yet to be resolved. whatever we try to make, whether it is a kidney, liver, a lung, we will look at what is happening in the mind. and if we find it is too humanlike, it will be ended.
7000 people are on the transplant waiting list in the uk and hundreds die each year before a donor can be found. but patient trials involving gene edited pig organs are still a long way off. fergus walsh, bbc news. and that is all from this special edition of reporters looking back at some of the best reports from this year. from me, phillipa thomas, goodbye for now. you watching bbc news. we're going to ta ke you watching bbc news. we're going to take you straight to a press conference that is being held by the
israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. israeli prime minister, benjamin neta nyahu. let's listen israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. let's listen in. translation: these remarks are in response to a speech we heard earlierfrom response to a speech we heard earlier from the secretary of state for the united states, john kerry, when he defended the decision to abstain on the un security council resolution which condemns the building ofjewish settlements on land that is seen as occupied territory. it's the first time that the united states have done this, to abstain in such a vote. mr carey
mounted a strong defence of us policy. —— john kerry. mounted a strong defence of us policy. ——john kerry. he spoke about the jeopardy of the two state solution. mr neta nyahu about the jeopardy of the two state solution. mr netanyahu is now issuing himself quite a impassioned defence of israeli policy. i think we will be coming back to that statement a little bit later on. in the meantime, let's take a look at the meantime, let's take a look at the weather now with john the meantime, let's take a look at the weather now withjohn hammond. good evening. some hazardous weather out there especially across england and wales. freezing fog across the heart of england. take it steady on the road. first thing in the morning, it doesn't look pretty across england and wales. he will be
sadly around coastal areas, but aspect some freezing fog inland. further north, not as foggy or cold. the pocket of frost, but generally moulder. —— mild r. —— milder. some areas of low cloud around. single figures and a good deal mild rin single figures and a good deal mild r in one or two places. this is bbc news.
the headlines at seven: britain's most decorated olympian, sir bradley wiggins announces his retirement from cycling. the 36—year—old — who became the first british cyclist to win the tour de france — said he had been lucky enough to fulfil his "childhood aspiration." relations between the us and israel sour as the israeli prime minister accuses the us secretary of state, john kerry of bias overjewish settlements the us secretary of state, john kerry, says a two—state solution is the only way to achieve peace between israel and palestinian, but warned the plan was in "serious jeopardy." one woman has died and several people have been injured, after a series of crashes in ice and fog on the aao in oxfordshire. and in the next hour, health officials warn of a "middle—aged health crisis" in england. people between the ages of a0 and 60 are being advised