welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: president obama expels 35 russian diplomats, accusing them of interfering in the us elections. moscow says it will retaliate. president—elect trump says it's "time to move on," but he will meet intelligence chiefs for a briefing next week. president putin declares a ceasefire deal in syria, brokered by russia and turkey. it came into effect a few hours ago. road to nowhere — why this street in a french town is causing controversy. hello. president obama has imposed sanctions on russian individuals and intelligence agencies, a response to russian cyber attacks during the presidential election and harassment of american officials. 35 russian diplomats have been given
72 hours to leave the country and two compounds are being closed. the russian government, which has denied any involvement in hacking, is considering retaliation. laura bicker reports from washington. russia stands accused of trying to help donald trump become president. moscow had been warned but now it is being punished for interfering in us elections. america's top intelligence agencies believe a cyber attack on the e—mails of hillary clinton's closest aides was orchestrated by the highest levels of russian government. but mr trump has always questioned the evidence. once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act, you never will. you don't know if it is russia or china. it could be somebody sitting on a bed someplace. but the cia and the fbi both agree. the hackers, they say, were russian, and now mr trump is softening his stance. president obama said all americans should be alarmed.
he has ordered 35 diplomats to be expelled, believed to have close links to russian intelligence. they have just 72 hours to leave the country, and he is closing two russian compounds, one in new york, and one in maryland. white house officials said that russia had to pay a price for what they described as an extraordinary attack on us democratic systems. president obama warned that further action is to come at a time of his choosing. russia described the closing of its us compounds as the death throes of political corpses and warned it will hit back. because the cost of expelling russian diplomats is going to lead to a reduction or expelling of us diplomats from russia,
it is not clear how this kind of cost is going to be one in which the united states has a clear advantage. president obama has dealt his strongest response yet to russian hacking on us soil. but he only has weeks left in office and many are now wondering what his successor will do. for more analysis, here's our north america editorjon sopel in washington. well, i think he has got a sliding scale of responses he can get to this. from the metaphorical slap on the wrist to something much firmer. this is much firmer and i think it underlines the president's view that not only was it unacceptable for russia to seek to intervene in the us election, he wants to send a warning out to other countries who might be thinking of doing likewise. that said, the russians have said it is unjustified, it is without merit, it is wrong and, of course,
when have you ever heard an intelligence agency of a foreign country say, "ok, we did it, we did wrong"? russia has promised retaliation, the nature of which we don't know, but the real x factor in this is what donald trump decides to do. he was scathing and dismissive of early reports saying the fbi and cia were involved, so, ultimately, he has a choice. who does he believe? vladimir putin, or his own intelligence services? and you would imagine there could only be one answer to that question. democratic senator amy klobuchar is with the republican senators john mccain and lindsey graham on a three—day tour of the baltics, georgia and ukraine. they are there talking about cyber crime. we asked senator klobuchar about president obama's sanctions. i think that this is a very strong initial start. i think more will happen. we are going to have
hearings in congress. we finally have a public report that declassifies some of this information. i am in lithuania right now with senatorjohn mccain and senator lindsey graham and we are here to stand up for our allies in eastern europe and nato, and to also make the point that this isn't about one political party. i am a democrat, they are both republicans, one was the republican candidate for president, and we see this as not about one candidate or one party but as an assault on democracy. this is something that is notjust about american democracy, it is about all democracies. there are upcoming elections in germany and france, and for the us to just roll over and let this happen with no response would have been a huge mistake. ukraine's government is also complaining of cyber—attacks — more than 6,000 hits, officials say, over the past two months. president petro poroshenko says investigations have shown russia was directly or indirectly involved. targets included key infrastructure and government agencies.
moscow denies all the allegations. katie bo williams, national security reporter at the hill, a us political website, believes the sanctions can be seen as something of an empty gesture. well, there are certainly some critics, republicans and democrats, who have looked at what the obama administration has done today and said, "too little, too late." with regards to the sanctions, the people that are targeted, the organisations targeted by these sanctions are two intelligence agencies and several key officials at one of those agencies. these are not people that are going to have deep involvement with the us financial system. so, from an economic perspective, there is a question about whether or not this will really sting or whether it is largely symbolic. and critics are saying, "i don't know how much bite this will have."
clearly, someone in the russian embassy had time to kill and did a creative response involving talk of cold war deja vu, and the last gasp of a political corpse, and the picture of a lame duck. how does mr trump's response strike you? he warned of a rigged election dozens of times. now, after evidence is laid out of russian hacking, he urges the country to move on and he says, nevertheless, he will take a security briefing next week? well, we will see what donald trump chooses to do onjanuary 20, because the authority to levy these sanctions is one that comes from the white house, it is done on the executive order, donald trump can simply undo this within his first hour in the oval office if he so chooses. one of the interesting things about this is it could set up a bit of a split in between congressional leaders even in his own party and donald trump if trump chooses to deny there was any russian involvement in the election and that, as he says,
the country simply needs to move on. he may find that there is some pushback from lawmakers like senatorjohn mccain and senator lindsey graham who are both republicans and who have both said this is not enough and we are going to pursue broader sanctions in the new congress next year. so, do you expect any lasting impact from all of this? you know, we will see, at this point it is difficult to say. it depends very much on what donald trump decides. if he has these briefings with intelligence officials next week and they are able to convince him that, yes, there was a substantive meaningful effort by the russian government to interfere in the election, and he determines that is something that requires us response, you may see him double down. conversely, if he continues in the vein he has been going in, which is, "this didn't happen, and this is an attempt by the democratic party to delegitimise my election," you may see this boil down to a fight in between trump and congress. for more analysis and background
on the sanctions ordered by president obama in response to moscow's alleged interference in the us presidential election through computer—hacking operations, go to bbc.com/news. a new ceasefire brokered by russia and turkey has come into effect in syria. the kremlin said president assad's forces and what it called the "moderate opposition" had signalled their commitment to hold peace talks. turkey described the truce as an historic opportunity. the announcement was made in moscow, from where our correspondent steve rosenberg reports. 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 the moment that russia has been waiting for and working for," the president said. he added that there was also an agreement to begin peace talks. the syrian government was persuaded by russia to sign today's agreement. it's with 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 fighting them, the ypg. excluded, too, an armed faction known previously as al nusra, which has been linked to al qaeda. the us has welcomed the ceasefire but it has been sidelined and snubbed white moscow. john kerry's countless meetings with the russians seemingly counted for nothing.
moscow said it hoped america would join the new round of peace talks when donald trump moves into the white house. at the kremlin today vladimir putin portrayed himself as a dealmaker, a peacemaker in the middle east. but after nearly six years of war, bringing peace to syria will not be easy. a spokesman for the free syrian army, an alliance of rebel factions, admitted they'd had no direct contact with syrian authorities. but, he said, moscow had promised to keep syrian government forces under control. ahead of the ceasefire, a reminder of the hell syria has become. the 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. this is a country desperate for peace.
let's round—up some of the other main stories for you now briefly: the iraqi military says its forces are advancing, after launching a fresh wave of attacks against so—called islamic state militants, in mosul. in recent weeks there's been a lull in the fighting. the military says clashes are going on in several areas. mosul is the last big city held by the militants in iraq. a tunisian man arrested in berlin by police investigating the killing of 12 people at a christmas market in the city has been released without charge. investigations are continuing across germany and italy to see if anis amri, who was shot dead in milan last week, had any help carrying out the attack. eleven nobel peace prize winners and a number of world figures have written an open letter to the un security council calling for urgent action to protect the muslim rohingya population in myanmar. tens of thousands of rohingya have fled to bangladesh since october when the military launched a violent crackdown. in just 3 weeks, donald trump will be sworn in
as 45th president of the united states. but in the seven weeks since his election mr trump has opted to stay at his home in new york — a city that voted overwhelmingly for his opponent, hillary clinton. and as nick bryant reports, trump tower has become a magnet for those who can't — or won't — accept the trump ascendancy. christmas in new york city. but it's hardly a season of goodwill towards all men. people coming out here in the streets to oppose this woman—hating, racist, disgusting fascist regime! in places, the carols have been drowned out by anti—trump chants. the buildings that bear his name have become focal points of protest. many new yorkers hate having donald trump in their midst.
new yorkers loathe trump and always have. and that tells you a lot. this is his hometown. new yorkers hate donald trump. and have for decades. we know him better than anybody in the country. it is despicable that a new yorker could be so egregiously against women, people of colour, people of different religions. when he comes from the most beautiful melting pot of new york. it is a dagger in my heart, to be honest, as a new yorker. it makes me want to cry, right now. i'm sorry. protests large and small have become almost a permanent feature of life in new york city since the election of donald trump. and feelings are particularly intense in manhattan, his home, where nine out of ten voters supported hillary clinton. some new yorkers have registered their disapproval by campaigning to have his name removed from their apartment buildings.
and here at this playground in brooklyn, when pro—trump graffiti appeared alongside swastikas, it was quickly transformed into a shrine of love. a rally shortly afterwards displayed the deep community unease here that reports of hate or bias crimes in new york have increased by 115% since election day. i reject donald trump's vision of america. new york city, i'm asking you to do the same. the billionaire is synonymous with this city. his name remains emblazoned on buildings, even ice rinks. but this christmas, the big apple has something of a gotham—city feel, with the president—elect cast by many of his fellow new yorkers as the super—villain of the piece. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the polish government buys a unique art collection for $2 billion but critics say it was undervalued. vinci
the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got underway with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow, in holland, we're gonna use money we picked up in belgium today, then we'll be in france, and again it'll be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed in his 0xfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: president obama expels 35 russian diplomats after accusing them of interfering in the us elections. moscow says it will carry out reprisals. earlier in moscow — president putin declared a ceasefire deal in syria — brokered by russia and turkey — it came into effect a few hours ago. police in rio dejaneiro have found a body inside a burnt—out car that had been rented by the greek ambassador to brazil. kyriakos amiridis has been missing for three days after travelling to rio from brasilia for the new year celebrations on copacabana beach. forensic experts are carrying out dna tests to confirm the body's identity. plans to remove venezuela's largest bank note from circulation have been delayed again. president nicolas maduro has said the 100—bolivar note will remain legal tender untiljanuary the 20th so everyone can "spend their new year in calm".
there've been violent protests over the government's attempts to pull the currency from circulation before replacements arrived. the polish government has bought a huge private art collection for a fraction of its estimated market value of around $2 billion. it includes leonardo da vinci's "lady with an ermine". but as catrina renton reports, the sale was not without controversy. leonardo da vinci's lady with an ermine painted in 1940, is one of only four port stature at 1840. one of only four portraits painted by burma —— master. it is one of the pieces in the collection. the treasure trove consists of around 80,000 objects and also includes a rembrandt. it has been housed in the
museum in krakow which is being refurbished. they raised 100 million euros to buy it although it is thought to be worth 2 billion. the foundation's president said he felt like making a donation. it seems the government has got a good deal. translation: this collection is now the property of the polish nation. the entire foundation's collection which is housed in krakow now belong to the polish nation. the sale at a fraction of its worth has not gone down so well with the foundation's board. it has resigned over the bargain price saying it was not consulted but others see the purchase as a precious legacies the pollen‘s future. —— for poland ‘s future. as 2017 looms — new york is gearing up for the mother of all new year's eve celebrations.
it's become a festive focal point, notjust for america, but for much of the world. andy beatt reports. drumroll, please! three, two, one! new york prepares for the new year and plans to see in 2017 in style. new years eve, we expect, as per usual, over1 million people. i'm not quite sure why it1 million people want to stand in the freezing cold for long periods of time, but they do, and we'll be ready for them. times square is set to welcome one in every eight new yorkers. 200 million more americans will be watching. they'll bejoined by a global audience of over a billion. it's truly a global celebration where the world comes together for one moment. we are all doing the same thing at the same time as we count down the final seconds of the year with the hope and a dream of a betterfuture. newsreel: america hails the new year. revellers have been celebrating the event in times square for over a century and enjoying its most enduring tradition, the new year's eve ball drop. hopes that 1939 will give the boys as good a time as she would. this year's ball is made
of waterford crystal and illuminated with thousands of leds. crowds hoping to see it fall will need a tough constitution. temperatures are dropping to zero, there'll be no public toilets and hotdog and halal stands will remain closed. while the focus is on fun, security is at the heart of the city's plans. this is where everybody‘s gotta be on their toes. i know complacency can set in at times but certainly not at an event like this. everybody knows how important this is and that the eyes of the world are upon times square. there's no specific security threat but no one's taking any chances. some 8,000 police officers are on patrol while 65 garbage trucks will line the square, acting as bomb barriers. manhole covers will be sealed shut, bin removed and metal and radiation detectors put in place. there will be sweeps of hotels, theatres and parking garages for potential threats. on new year's eve, you will see
extraordinary assets deployed by the nypd. you will see a lot men and women in uniform. a lot you will see and as per usual, a lot you will not see. that's the combination that keeps us safe and that's what the nypd has perfected. new york won't be the first to see in 2017 but with celebrations amongst the world's biggest, the city that never sleeps is promising another party to remember. a full—length opera composed by an eleven—year—old british girl has received its world premiere at a sold—out performance in vienna. alma deutscher began composing aged four and has already produced concertos for piano and violin, to critical acclaim. her opera, cinderella, relocates the traditional fairy tale to an opera house managed by cinderella's stepmother, with the two ugly sisters re—imagined as aspiring divas. there's now an official ‘brexit street‘ in france —
and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it leads nowhere. the mayor of beaucaire says it's a tribute to the uk's vote to leave the european union. the naming has caused a fair amount of controversy — just like the referendum itself — as janey mitchell reports. not the most glamorous of locations on an industrial estate providing access to the community rubbish dump. it is also a circular road, leading nowhere. but the mayor of beaucaire, a member of the far right national front party says it is especially fitting that the road to be christened rue du brexit, meets avenue robert schuman, the name of one of the founders of the european union. translation: it's a homage to the news and history. history is not the year 1500 or 1600, its written daily. i think britain made history in 2016 with brexit and we wanted to pay tribute. but some on social media
and the town itself are rubbishing the gesture and anglicism. translation: there are famous names in provence. there's no need to use english names. let's stick with what's french. translation: what's the point? is this to encourage french people to choose frexit? i don't think so. france is france, the uk is the uk. they could have named the street elizabeth ii, why not? brexit? this is nonsense, really. translation: the english have made a good choice and i think the mayor is right to stand beside them. the town of beaucaire sits in one of the front national‘s heartlands. the party leader marine le pen has promised a referendum on france's eu membership if she's elected president in may. could frexit boulevarde yet grace the streets of beaucaire? janey mitchell, bbc news.
serena williams has taken to read it to announce her engagement to its founder. he took her to a restaurant in rome where they first met. he got down on one knee and she said he said for words and i said, yes. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, i'm @bbcmikeembley. not as much fog around england and wales as friday begins
but still the potential for some dense patches. do not drop your guard just yet. still worth checking the situation where you are, especially across parts of east anglia, south—east england where it's a cold start once again but a few fog patches elsewhere. also into wales and midlands. a very different story in northern scotland. a weather system hanging around throughout the day with wind and rain. that rain is more on than off across the north and the western isles. actually to the east of that, parts of north—east scotland will see a bit of sunshine occasionally. this is the picture at 8am, plenty of cloud around and in the west in the west—facing coast and hills, damp and drizzly at times. that a feature of the weather throughout the day. many of us getting off to a fairly mild start but where we have some of that fog around and particularly across east and south—east of england, temperatures there close to freezing. some starting with a frost. if you stay misty and murky, your temperature will be held down into single
figures whereas elsewhere, despite the cloud, it turns out milder than thursday. especially when you can see a bit of brightness, maybe north—east wales, north—east england and eastern parts of scotland. still, north of scotland throughout the day you have rain and wind. double—figure temperatures for glasgow but just five celsius in norwich. into friday night you will probably be struck by the fact that this weather system is still hanging around the same parts of northern scotland. as we look further south we keep plenty of cloud. it will still be damp and drizzly at times in the west. the west—facing coast and hills. there will still be a few fog patches but not as much as we get friday morning. thatjust easing away from being a majorfeature of our weather. not as cold as well. as new year's eve begins, this is how it looks for the final day of 2016. finally this weather system is getting a move on and taking the rains southwards
through scotland and northern ireland. the good news is that if you are out and about and celebrating the arrival of 2017, that should push away from you although cold air behind it with wintry showers. the start of 2017 you can see the band starting to push towards parts of england and wales, especially the further north you are. for much of england and wales it will be fairly mild to be out and about. that will not last long. look at it for new year's day. the rain clears its way southwards and all of us will find ourselves in colder air with a few coastal showers around. cold air for the start of the new year. the latest headlines from bbc news. my name's mike embley. washington is expelling 35 russian diplomats and closing two compounds, in response to evidence that hackers tried to subvert the us presidential election. the us also says american diplomats have been harassed in moscow. kremlin offcials say they will retaliate. president—elect trump has said it's "time to move on, to bigger and better things." but nevertheless, he said, in the interests of the us
he will meet intelligence chiefs next week, to be updated on the facts of this situation. a partial ceasefire in syria has come into effect in the past few hours. president putin, who helped broker it, says the warring parties have declared their readiness to start peace talks. but he described the agreements as "fragile". extremists from the so—called islamic state and the group formerly known as the nusra front are not covered by the truce. now on bbc news, it's time for business live review 2016. this is business live, from bbc news.