reopen this is bbc news. and this is bbc world news. our top stories. president obama 0 rd ets our top stories. president obama ordets tough measures against russia after accusing it of interfering in the us elections. president putin says the syrian government and opposition fighters have agreed a ceasefire. it will start from midnight local time. translation: the documents have been signed between the syrian government and the armed opposition in syria. there isa the armed opposition in syria. there is a document on measures to help control the areas covered by the ceasefire and there is an agreement on the start of peace several of the main rebel factions have backed the deal but some jihadist groups are excluded. we will bring you the latest. and china's latest dizzying feat of engineering — we take a closer look at the world's new highest bridge. hello and welcome. president obama
has ordered a series of retaliatory measures against russia over its attem pts measures against russia over its atte m pts to measures against russia over its attempts to influence the 2016 election by hacking the democratic national convention. the american president said the activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the russian government. but moscow denies the allegations, saying the sanctions are both unlawful and that they will harm the restoration of ties between the us and russia. the obama called the us and russia. the obama called the tough measures and appropriate response to efforts to harm us interests. 35 russian diplomats will be expelled, or suspected of being intelligence operatives. with their families, they will have 72 hours to leave america. two russian compounds, the white house believes we re compounds, the white house believes were used for intelligence gathering in maryland and new york, will be
closed. sanctions are also being levied against russia's two leading intelligence services, the gr eu and fsb. four top russian officers will be targeted for allegedly ordering the attacks. mr obama has said washington will also produce evidence linking the cyber attacks to computer systems used by russian intelligence. and he warned that more unspecified actions will follow. 0ur correspondent in washington gave me the reaction to the sanctions. this is the strongest action yet by america against a cyber attack on american soil. president obama says he will release the report by the fbi and the department of homeland security, which will show the evidence that this was russia behind this hacking into the democratic party e—mails. those who were following the us
presidential election will remember that those hacks revealed quite embarrassing details about hillary clinton's closest aide, written to and from various senior democratic party officials. and they were released on wikileaks. it has been the view of the cia that russia was behind this cyber attack and that it was orchestrated by the highest levels of russian government. president obama warned vladimir putin in october that there would be repercussions if he was seen to interfering us democracy and today, the ayes have it, the ayes have it has come good on that promise. he has come good on that promise. he has decided to act. he says these actions are notjust for the cyber hacking, but also in retaliation for what he described as harassment on american diplomats in moscow. he is
expelling 35 russian officials from washington and san francisco. they are described as persona non grata. we are trying to figure out whether these are diplomats or whether they are intelligence officials, but the state department said they were seen acting ina state department said they were seen acting in a manner which was not consistent with their diplomatic or consular status, so they will be expelled. they are also closing two russian compounds, one in new york on the other in maryland. these are strong actions by president obama and the most senior republican, house speaker paul ryan, has said it is about time that these actions we re is about time that these actions were taken. so with just 23 days to go before president obama leaves office, he is showing russia that he will not take this cyber activity lightly. you mentioned the 21 days left to go. that is exactly what some of russia's politicians have
picked up on. they describe this decision as the death throes of political corpses. 0bviously, president obama will be leaving soon. donald trump has a very different relationship with putin. well, this almost boxes donald trump m, well, this almost boxes donald trump in, because donald trump has already said he may try to work with russia and developed close ties with russia. and he said he might get on with vladimir putin. what does he do when he takes office? but he continued these sanctions, or does he decide to overturn them. if he overturns them, he would be rejecting the information from the cia and the fbi which says that russia was behind this hacking. and he would be putting himself at odds with senior intelligence officials which will advise him on foreign policy. so it puts donald trump in a difficult position. we are going to star in washington to speak to
william courtney, the former ambassador to kazakhstan and georgia. you were also a key negotiator in the us soviet missile defence talks. have we ever seen a lower point in the us russian relationship than we do at this moment? not in the us-russian relationship. this is the worst. there was a period in us soviet relations between 1980 and 1984 when the nato countries were deploying missiles to counter soviet missiles in which russian soviet propaganda then was a strong as now. but this is the first time since then. we are hearing how president—elect donald trump is now being put into a difficult position. he is doomed whichever way he goes with this. he could reverse the sanctions, but then he would go against his senior intelligence officials. much will
depend on how president trump assesses the mood of the congress. we have seen recently both conservatives and democrats in congress have tougher positions towards recent russian actions, especially the election interference, than does president trump. so president trump will have to govern those two parties and bear in mind their views. senatorjohn mccain on the republican side has made strong statements about russia recently. president trump will have to ta ke recently. president trump will have to take that into account. do you think the sanctions will have much ofan impact think the sanctions will have much of an impact on russia? there are two kinds of sanctions, one is the overt sanctions announced today by the president. the president implied that there will be other activities later that might be done covertly. for example, if those other activities included releasing information about corrupt dealings
in the kremlin, those could have significant impact. several people in congress have recommended that. russian specialists have recommended those actions. those would not be reversible, in this sense that once the information is released, the damage would be done. with regard to the overt steps that the president announced today, the expulsion of diplomats and russian intelligence officers, they will be out of the country within 72 hours. but president trump could make a decision on whether those russian spies could be replaced or perhaps lower the ceiling so that the 35 cannot be replaced at all. that is what president reagan did when he expeued what president reagan did when he expelled soviet officers in the mid—19 80s. expelled soviet officers in the mid-19 80s. you spoke about the mood in congress. we heard paul ryan saying it is about time this action took place. the mood is very split.
there is frustration in the united states. moscow has not interfered in us election activities the way it has in europe. so this has caused consternation among republicans and democrats, but moscow and the soviet union before it has done this for yea rs union before it has done this for years with european election systems. the kremlin probably believes that it helped tip the balance through its propaganda and deception efforts in the brexit vote lastjune and deception efforts in the brexit vote last june and recently deception efforts in the brexit vote lastjune and recently in the vote in italy on the constitutional referendum and in the trump election. but probably, moscow doesn't know whether it made a difference, but it may have helped tip the balance. there are going to be elections in germany, france and the netherlands. moscow will probably want to try to continue to use these tools of propaganda and deception to influence those. william courtney, fascinating to
speak to you. former ambassador to kaza khsta n speak to you. former ambassador to kazakhstan and georgia. let's bring you up—to—date with some of the other news. we have loads more details on this developing story, and the reaction. you can check all of that on our website. now let's bring you up—to—date with some of the other news. just days after the fall of aleppo, russia has announced that the syrian government and armed opposition groups have signed a ceasefire. the deal has been welcomed by the un special envoy, who says he hopes it will save civilian lives. there also appears to be a readiness peace talks scheduled to be held in kazakhstan. it is part of a plan brokered by russia and turkey. this is what we know the deal includes.
the ceasefire comes into force at midnight local time and has been agreed by 13 armed opposition factions. there will be a halt to air strikes and shelling. the truce excludes the islamic state group and also the kurdish led militia that turkey continues a terrorist —— turkey continues a terrorist —— turkey considers a terrorist organisation. it is unclear whether syria's former al-qaeda branch, the ms refund, it is included. turkey and russia, which back opposing sides, are to act as guarantors. the ceasefire announcement was made in moscow. for nearly six years, syria has been torn apart by civil war. a country reduced to ruins. a conflict that has left more than 400,000 people dead. there have been peace initiatives before, which brought no peace. but today, russia announced a breakthrough. in the kremlin, russia's defence
minister handed vladimir putin a list of syrian opposition groups which had signed up to a ceasefire with president assad. 60,000 rebels, he said, would stop fighting. this is how president putin summarised the deal. translation: three documents have been signed. the first document between the syrian government and the armed opposition is about a ceasefire on the territory of the syrian arab republic. the second document is a set of measures for monitoring the ceasefire. and the third document is a statement about readiness to start peace talks on ending the syrian conflict. the syrian government was persuaded by russia to sign today's agreement. it's with an assortment of seven syrian rebel groups. turkey's role was crucial in convincing them. not part of the deal are so—called islamic state, or the main kurdish rebel group who are fighting them, the ypg. and there's confusion tonight over
whether the agreement covers a key rebel group, widely seen as linked to al-qaeda. sidelined is washington. withjohn kerry's diplomacy, the us had been co—sponsor, with russia, of previous peace efforts for syria. but today, the kremlin has snubbed the obama administration. moscow said it hoped america would join the new round of peace talks when donald trump takes over. but will the ceasefire hold? now it is russia and turkey in the driving seat. they brokered the deal to evacuate neighbourhoods and aleppo. then the search for a ceasefire began. today, turkey's president praised his country's role. translation: turkey has been
giving every possible support in the face of the humanitarian situation in order to end the clashes in december since early —— the clashes and aleppo since december. thanks to oui’ and aleppo since december. thanks to our government's efforts, the civilians in eastern aleppo have been evacuated. it is necessary for all sides to observe the ceasefire. but will the ceasefire holds? today, the free syrian army, a loose alliance of rebel factions, was cautious. translation: during the talks, the russian government guaranteed to us that they will keep the syrian regime forces and their allies under control. during these talks, we have not met anyone from the syrian regime. meanwhile, the violence in syria continues. this amateur video purports to show the aftermath of an air strike today in the suburbs of damascus. schoolchildren running, screaming, through the smoke and the chaos. when it begins, can the ceasefire end this war?
you can understand why many syrians have low expectations. andrew taylor is a senior fellow at the washington institute, where he focuses on syria. he explained some of the confusion around who is and who is not included in this agreement. at the moment, the seven groups who were announced by moscow, one of them, the salafist group and one of them, the salafist group and one of the largest formation is backed by the gulf countries and turkey, there is a disagreement over whether it is included or not. until this time, they have not signed it. this is normal, though. the syrian negotiation process involves different parties at the table and
you wait to see who will show up and when. and how is president assad going to be involved? can he be? his government is certainly going to be. this agreement is closer to the iranian 4—point plan that starts with a ceasefire with talk of peace talks to get a national unity government going. that means presdent assad stays, at least for 110w. presdent assad stays, at least for now. we said at the white bg group is not involved in this agreement. what does this mean for the kurds? —— the what does this mean for the kurds? -- the ypg what does this mean for the kurds? —— the ypg group. what does this mean for the kurds? -- the ypg group. it means a couple of things. one means a large swath of things. one means a large swath of syrian territories is outside the process. this agreement only affects
western syria anyway. the other issueis western syria anyway. the other issue is that the kurds are backed by the united states, which is away from the table here, so the us is twice removed. we will see if donald trump will put the united states back into this and back this process , back into this and back this process, or will stand back. are you surprised that this is a turkish russian leading instigation rather than one coming from washington? no. washington retreated from its position in syria some time ago and was unable to come up with the results it sought earlier this year concerning the targeting of terrorists. so here we are. what kind of impact do you think this agreement will have, if any?m could bring important players to the table, but they have to agree on something. perhaps they will agree
that neither one can we take all the syrian territory and they will calm things down for the moment. that could be good news for syrians on the ground who have been suffering from war. andrew teller from the washington institute, giving us analysis and that agreed ceasefire. stay with us. lots more still to come, including the tributes pouring infor come, including the tributes pouring in for the hollywood actress and singer debbie reynolds, who died just a day after her daughter, carrie fisher. doctors are warning their patients that making appointments to see them could take longer this winter in england and possibly up to a month. the government has responded by saying it is investing an extra £2.4 billion in services by 2020. gps wa nt to billion in services by 2020. gps want to do their best for their patients and they will always go the extra mile for their patients, and they often do that at their own
personal expense in terms of their health and well—being. we are seeing more and more gps leaving the profession who are burnt out and stressed as a result of the workload pressures and the feelings that they are not delivering the level and quality of service that they were trained to do and which they know they could do with the right support from the government and others within the nhs. we need to recognise that more and more services the gps are doing today used to be done in hospital. so some of the specialist services that patients used to go to hospitalfor services that patients used to go to hospital for are services that patients used to go to hospitalfor are now services that patients used to go to hospital for are now being services that patients used to go to hospitalfor are now being delivered by gps in their surgeries. you are watching bbc news. our headlines: washington says it is expelling 35 russian diplomats in response to accusations that they tried to subvert the us presidential election. russia says the syrian government and opposition fighters have agreed a ceasefire. it will start from midnight, local time.
tributes continued to pour in for the hollywood actress debbie reynolds, who died a day after the death of her daughter, carrie fisher. these are pictures from los angeles, where people have been paying their respects and leaving flowers at her star on the hollywood walk of fame. debbie reynolds, who was 84, shot to fame in the 1950s after starring in the musical singin‘ in the rain. the actress had been rushed to hospital with a stroke. # i'm singin‘ in the rain, just singin‘ in the rain... singin‘ in the rain. debbie reynolds was just 19. she'd not really danced before this, but this performance made her a star. i was supposed to be an innocent, virginal little girl and certainly, i was that. but i think it was a tough deal for poor gene to be stuck with me, who had never danced.
it would have been far better for him to have a great dancer. but i worked so hard that i think, in the end when i look at that performance of that little girl, i think i did a good job. # all i do is dream of you the whole night through.# 64 years later, her death comes just a day after losing her daughter, carrie fisher. she'd been planning herfuneral when she was taken ill. her son todd said the stress was simply too much. among the tributes, bette midler, who said it was hard to comprehend. damejoan collins said she was truly heartbroken. you could make an album, i could produce it. that mother—and—daughter relationship, meryl streep and shirley maclaine gave us a taste of the ups and downs in postcards from the edge. but it was far from the full story. indeed, debbie reynolds wanted to play the role, but was told she wasn't right for the part. you want me to do well, just not better than you. what she was right for was old school hollywood song and dance.
the show always went on, even when she was abandoned by her husband, eddie fisher, for elizabeth taylor. my personal life is always sort of like this. that little choo—choo train that says, "i think i can, i think i can, i think i can." i seem to marry very poorly. i have no taste in men. luckily for me, god was good and i have two wonderful children. and here she is, carrie fisher, six years old, watching her mother on stage. the photographer said she didn't move. 54 years later, debbie reynolds‘ final words: "i want to be with carrie." but if you want to remember what made her special, remember her like this. remembering the actress debbie
reynolds, who has died at the age of 84, the day after her daughter, carrie fisher. now let's bring you up to date with some of the other new stories. the iraqi military says it has made bogus as it renewed its offensive against islamic state militants in the battle for mosul —— it has made progress. the fighting ended when government forces launched efforts to push deeper into the city's eastern suburbs. state television said that troops gained ground in several neighbourhoods. prosecutors in germany say they are releasing a 40—year—old tunisian man whose number was on a mobile phone used by the berlin christmas market attacker. reports also confirmed that the gun found on anis amri when he was shot dead by italian officials last week was of the same calibre of that which killed the
polish driver whose lorry he hijacked. russian officials investigating the crash of a plane in the black sea on christmas day say there was no explosion on board. it came down shortly after taking off from sochi, killing 92 people. the country's transport minister said it had been established that the plane's equipment wasn't working correctly. china's latest dizzying feat of engineering is in use. the world's highest bridge has opened to traffic. it is on the board of grand super offer and is. let's take a closer look, unless, of course, you don't like heights. not for me! in 2016, we saw many attem pts not for me! in 2016, we saw many atte m pts to not for me! in 2016, we saw many attempts to enact the mannequin challenge, the latest craze to sweep the web, but it may be that the best attempt was kept till last. these pictures have come from the european space agency. the astronaut showed a
video of the entire crew aboard international space station participating. he tweeted that he had taken the mannequin challenge to new heights. he certainly has. i am not going to do it. get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. thanks as always. bye—bye. some parts of the uk had a decent day, with some winter sunshine. you had to go to the hills of shropshire to find that sunshine. in the valley, the fog did lingerfor some places. but for many central and eastern areas, it was a pleasant day. cold, but with sunshine to be had. but temperatures are now plummeting away with those clearer skies and we have fog reforming. the extent of the fog is difficult to forecast, but by the end of the night, there will still be fog patches across east anglia and the south—east of england, where is further north, we will have
outbreaks of rain. with the south—westerly breeze, it is not so cold overnight here. but in east anglia and the south—east, we are a degree or so outside freezing. not much rain to speak of in the south and west. most places will be fine and west. most places will be fine and dry. it is really quite grey, especially where patches of fog and vents. temperatures might be in double figures tomorrow morning. similar across scotland. we will see when mainly in the north and west. there will be heavier bursts of rain at times. dribs and drabs of rain for western coasts and hills. to the lee of high ground, we should see bricks in the cloud —— breaks in the child. —— cloud. around 11 degrees
for glasgow, belfast and aberdeen. for new year's eve, our weather front is still there, edging southwards. the bulk of england and wales is largely dry. as we head towards the celebrations around midnight, that weather front should clear away from glasgow and edinburgh and will clear away late in the day from northern ireland. south of that, seven or 8 degrees around midnight. to the north of that, temperatures dropping away, which is a sign of things to come for new year's day. the weather front for new year's day. the weather fro nt m oves for new year's day. the weather front moves south and the cold air follows. it will be cold enough for some snow in northern scotland. the latest headlines from bbc news. washington says that it is expelling 35 russian diplomats in response to accusations that russian hackers tried to subvert the american presidential elections. it also referenced alleged harassment of diplomats in moscow. have agreed on