this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11pm: olympic stars andy murray, mo farah and jessica ennis—hill are recognised in the new year honours, which also includes big names from the entertainment world. for sporting, it has been tremendous, and from a hockey perspective it has been a really great year. we have had a feud downs but they just make great year. we have had a feud downs but theyjust make the high as a bit higher. donald trump calls vladimir putin "very smart" after the russian leader rules out a tit—for—tat response to president obama's expulsion of diplomats in a row over claims of online espionage. meanwhile, republican senatorjohn mccain calls russia's alleged hacking an "act of war" and says the us must make sure russia pays the price. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. a postmortem examination into the cause of george michael's death has proved inconclusive. further tests will now be carried out.
drivers are told to take care in fog and freezing conditions, as a coach overturns on the mao in oxfordshire, injuring 17 people. good evening, and welcome to bbc news. the new year's honours list has been published, and among the many sports starts named is andy murray, the world number one, who's knighted for his services to tennis. he's joined by olympic champion mo farah in a list dominated by britain's olympic and paralympic champions. our correspondent andy swiss has more details. at the end of a glittering yearfor british sport, for five of its greatest stars, the greatest honours.
first, a knighthood for the man who spent 2016 scaling dizzying new heights. wimbledon champion again, a supreme performance. after winning a second wimbledon, a second olympics and the world number one spot, it's now sir andy murray, a fitting finish to a remarkable season. there's also a new title for mo fa rah‘s collection. gold for great britain again! the double double. he described his knighthood as a dream come true. having come to britain as an eight—year—old from somalia, he added, he could never have imagined it. another athletics star, meanwhile, becomes a dame. london 2012 heptathlon champion, jessica ennis—hill, who retired this year. there's also a damehood for rower katherine grainger. after five medals at five consecutive olympics, the perfect ending to her career. it's not something i ever thought i would get but what a great time
to get it. it's the end of a 20—year career for me in competing for my country, and it's a lovely way to bring the curtain down. and there's a knighthood for one of britain's top paralympians. dressage rider lee pearson won his 11th gold medal in rio and he told me just put becoming sir lee pearson meant to him. it means loads. i'm unbelievably shocked and honoured, excuse the pun. i hope it doesn't change my life. i don't think it will. it won't change me, but it has taken a lot of getting used to. among the other honours, two sporting couples. cbes for cyclists jason and laura kenney, while hockey gold—medallists kate and helen richardson—walsh become an obe and mbe respectively. and after their impressive run at euro 2016, wales football manager chris coleman becomes an obe, and his northern ireland counterpart michael o'neill, an mbe. just a few of more than 100 sporting figures honoured for a memorable 12 months.
andy swiss, bbc news. the new year's honours also feature some prominent names in the world of entertainment and the arts. the veteran comic ken dodd, who's still performing at 89, is knighted for services to entertainment and comedy. also knighted are ray davies of the kinks, the actor mark rylance and the opera star bryn terfel. our correspondent lizo mzimba has been studying the list. # happiness...# he's been one of britain's favourite entertainers for more than half a century, now ken dodd has received a knighthood. the best day ever, you can't get better than this. i've played lots of big theatres, i've worked abroad, but this is it. this is the day. yes, i'm very, very proud. the lady of the house speaking.
patricia routledge has been made a dame. # yeah, you really got me going # you got me so i don't know what i'm doing...# kinks frontman, ray davies, said he felt "humility and joy" to become sir ray. lady anne. a knighthood too for award—winning actor, mark rylance. bond actress naomi harris was made mbe. figures from fashion and design have also been recognised. american vogue editor, anna wintour, said she was touched to be made a dame. victoria beckham becomes an obe for services to the fashion industry. jamesjones james jones has jamesjones has now been knighted. obviously great pride, but mixed with sadness because of that enduring sadness of the families who have continued to feel the loss of their loved ones. he's one of hundreds being recognised for their contribution
across the uk. lizo mzimba, bbc news. one of britain's olympic champions to receive recognition in the honours list was kadeena cox, who won two cycling golds and an athletics bronze at the paralympics. this was her reaction to the news. iam i am still surprised that i managed to do it all and where i have been and who i have met. it has been the most enjoyable time. i have spent time with so many different people. it is nice to spend time with other sports people. you don't get to do that very often. it has been so exciting. those memories you will never forget. i can't exciting. those memories you will neverforget. i can't ask exciting. those memories you will never forget. i can't ask for anything more. as a team and wanted to go to the olympics, as every athlete does. and when i got a disability it was just about getting to reopen and then after that it was about doing something different and pushing boundaries just to show people with setbacks that these things can be achieved. and then i get to rio, i did what i did and everything else became more than i
could have expected. the medals you dream about but being the flag bearer, i didn't expect that. and being nominated for sport, i didn't expect that, and now this, these are things i didn't expect. you dream of winning the medals but this isjust an honourand winning the medals but this isjust an honour and more than a cherry on top, i guess. an honour and more than a cherry on top, iguess. i an honour and more than a cherry on top, i guess. iwant an honour and more than a cherry on top, i guess. i want to continue pushing the boundaries and continue making history. next year we have the london athletics championships, which is big for me, i want to get more medals and break a world record next year. that is my main thing, and then the commonwealth games after that and then going on to tokyo and want to be able to defend my titles and add a few more gold medals and i want to go on to 2022 winter games and to the winter and summer games winter games and to the winter and summer games in the same cycle, which would be exciting. i am in a not very well off area in a black minority community and i have managed to come out that and not be
one of the stereotypes that ends up pregnant or involved in drugs. i wa nted pregnant or involved in drugs. i wanted to show that these things can be achieved and i have been recognised for what i have done and everything that has come with it has been amazing. to be able to show people in a minority community and females that you can do things and break the boundaries and break the mould is i want to do. people said to mea mould is i want to do. people said to me a year ago, wait to see if you are on the honours list, i am waiting to see you nominated. i didn't imagine these things would happen. it is amazing. to be recognised by the queen, it is just like, wow, thank you. paralympian kadeena cox. donald trump, who becomes us president in three weeks' time, has congratulated president putin on his response to the american sanctions announced yesterday. 35 russian diplomats are being expelled from the us following allegations of interference in the presidential election. president putin said he would not respond until he saw how donald trump would handle matters. our correspondent steve rosenberg reports from moscow.
near the kremlin tonight, they were putting on a seasonal show, ahead of the new year celebrations. there was song and dance and some musical theatre. but that was nothing compared to the political theatre being played out inside. first up on stage, the foreign minister. he advised president putin to expel 35 us diplomats. america had expelled 35 russians. in other words, tit—for—tat, cold war style. it seemed inevitable. but no, vladimir putin said, he wasn't going to stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy. he wasn't going to expel any americans. he even invited the children of all us diplomats in moscow to a new year's party here in the kremlin. that was a surprise, but it didn't change what america's
top intelligence agencies believe to be true, that state—sponsored hackers, backed by the highest levels of the russian government, had interfered in the us presidential election, with a cyber attack on the democratic party. was president putin behind it? last week, i got a chance to ask him myself. mr president, your country has been accused of state—sponsored hacking, with the aim of influencing the result 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 kremlin leader refused to tell me, dismissing all the talk of hacking as sour grapes from the democratic party. today, president putin said he would work to restore relations with america under donald trump. and this evening, mr trump responded
by praising him for not engaging in tit—for—tat expulsions, saying, in a tweet, "great move on delay by v putin. i always knew he was very smart". what putin and trump expect from each other is a certain kind of decency, a certain kind of frankness, and no hypocrisy and no political correctness. by not expelling diplomats today, the kremlin was sending a new year's gift to the new man in the white house. russia wants to mend ties with trump's america and come in from the cold. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. let's speak to thomas pickering, a former us ambassador to russia and to the un. he's also served as under secretary of state for political affairs. he joins us via webcam from st louis. thank you very much forjoining us
here on bbc news. what difference will the sanctions really make to russia when it seems to be more for oil price that has an effect on its economy? i agree and i think that probably it will not make a great deal of difference. the individuals will leave the facilities will be closed down very shortly, i don't think it will seriously interrupt the flow of diplomatic business, but it isa the flow of diplomatic business, but it is a sign at least of extreme us displeasure at what the russians have been doing to intervene in the electoral process in the united states. but vladimir putin has decided not to respond in kind by expelling american diplomats. what sort of opportunity might this present, then, for a different relationship? i think of course we will have to rate and see until after the inauguration and there is
after the inauguration and there is a president trump and president trump policy, however it opens the door to an opportunity that might be useful here. i think president putin cannot be altogether satisfied with his economy. he can't be altogether satisfied that ukraine is in fact in a situation in which either side can feel secure about the future relationship. syria, there is a ceasefire, but we don't know how long that will hold. so there are opportunities out there that i think might well be open and exploit it in this particular set of circumstances, but who knows? president trump, at least, president—elect trump has made something of a fish are wanting to surprise us all, and i specked a little bit of president putin picked that up to date in terms of his handling of the question of sanctions and retaliation. so the door is open a crack or two, and can it be developed or exploited? very much and uncertainty, but
nevertheless something that could be very useful, because us and russian relations in their present state are not good for either russia or the united states. we also have republican senatorjohn mccain saying that when russia hacked democratic party e—mails, as it is claimed, this was an act of war in his view. so how likely is it that the republicans would let donald trump try to forge a different relationship with the kremlin? well, donald trump has had problems with the republican party all along, so thatis the republican party all along, so that is not a new and i think significant innovation in things. the really interesting question he will have to deal with is that neither the democrats nor a large number of republicans in the congress seemed to be an ambit of president putin or usher at the present time. can he convinced them that this is a useful endeavour and one that he should be allowed to try? —— enamoured. at this point they don't seem to be coming along. they seem to be holding out, but
president—elect trump world in one way or another have his hands full on the 21st of january as he moves along this particular path to see what he can produce. i don't think it will be easy, i don't think it will necessarily happen rapidly, but can it happen at all? that remains and uncertainty that we all need to pay attention to and look for when the time comes to have it eventuate. ambassador thomas pickering, thank you very much for speaking to us. thank you very much. the headlines on bbc news: andy murray, mo farah and jessica ennis—hill are recognised in the new year honours, which also includes more big names from sport and the world of entertainment. donald trump calls vladimir putin very smart, after the russian leader rules out a tit—for—tat response to president obama's expulsion of diplomats in a row over claims of online espionage. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. a full review of the morning's
newspapers at 11:30 p.m.. we can ta ke newspapers at 11:30 p.m.. we can take a quick look at the front pages which are in so far. the daily mail focuses on the new years honours list and dubs mark loh kok, the civil servant honoured with a knighthood as sir foreign aid. civil servant honoured with a knighthood as sirforeign aid. it carries a picture of ken dodd, who also achieves a knighthood. andy murray is on the front page of the daily telegraph as well as a warning from the nhs chief that the service cannot cope with the strain of party—goers. the times headlines donald trump's praise of vladimir putin over the russian leader's dealing with the latest diplomatic row. it applauds peter brooks‘ inclusion in the honours list. the
sun gives its front page over to the honours list as well, and andy murray inspired headline. the express focuses on the weather, warning of a deadly freeze over new year. russia is asking members of the un security council to consider a new resolution that would endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. the ceasefire agreed by the syrian government and some opposition forces appears to be holding, despite reports of sporadic fighting in parts of the country. this was the moment when the tide of syria‘s devastating civil war turned. buses lined up earlier this month to evacuate thousands of rebel fighters, defeated in their key stronghold in aleppo. a huge blow to the opposition movement, leaving the syrian regime in a commanding position. and giving the regime an opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire from a position of strength. translation: this reflects the reality that, after aleppo‘s
liberation, the situation is now different. there is a real opportunity to reach a political solution for the crisis in syria, that ends the bloodshed and establishes the roots for the future of the country. but it is syria‘s key ally, russia, which is leading this push for an end to the five—year civil war. a chance for president putin to portray himself as a peacemaker, although he admits the ceasefire is fragile. and already, some rebel groups are disputing the terms of the truce. osama abu zeid of the free syrian alliance insisting the ceasefire applies to the whole country and all rebel groups, including islamist extremists, which the syrian army says it will continue to target. two ceasefires agreed by russia and the united states earlier this year did fall apart quickly. but this time, the americans
and other western powers have been completely excluded, with russia working instead with turkey and iran. and so far, this latest ceasefire has held in many parts although there have been some government air strikes. this lull a welcome respite for a country, so much of which has already been destroyed. richard galpin, bbc news. a postmortem examination carried out as part of the investigation into the death of george michael has proved inconclusive. further tests will now be carried out. police are treating the singer‘s death in oxfordshire on christmas day as unexplained, but not suspicious. fog and freezing conditions have caused difficulties on the roads and caused major disruption at airports. 17 people have been treated in hospital after a bus crashed on a slip road of the mao in oxfordshire. the fog has also led to flight delays and dozens of cancellations
at heathrow, gatwick and london city airport. our correspondent helena lee reports. it was in the early hours of this morning, in thick fog, the coach veered off a slip road off the m40, before rolling into a ditch and on its side. its mangled remains and the damage done clear when it was turned back over. 16 passengers were on board, travelling from heathrow to oxford. remarkably, none were critically injured. but all were treated in hospital, some for broken bones, others for cuts and bruises. very intensive for the paramedics and the ambulance crews that attended, assisted by fire and the police services as well. obviously, probably, a chaotic scene to start with, and dense fog not helping that.
the oxford bus company said the driver was very experienced, and had been doing overnight shifts for a number of years. now the coach has been taken away, the investigation turns to how it happened. for drivers in parts of southern and eastern england and wales, conditions on the roads today have been challenging. heavy fog has meant visibility has been poor, in some places less than 100 metres. the thick fog has also been causing disruption at airports. flights at heathrow were cancelled and delayed today. city airport in london suffered too, as did gatwick. the met office has extended their fog warning into tomorrow morning, leading to more disruption ahead of new year‘s eve. the advice — to check with the airline before travelling to the airport. helena lee, bbc news, oxfordshire. the government is giving renewed consideration to allowing learner drivers to have lessons on motorways in england, wales and scotland. other changes, affecting motorcycle learners, are also being considered. the lessons won‘t be compulsory, and driving instructors will decide
when learners are ready. ministers hope the move will make roads in britain safer, as our correspondent daniel boettcher reports. ok, so if you turn right at the end of the road... 17—year—old hannah spicer is practising her driving with her mum today. she started in september, and has had 20 lessons. hannah hopes she will be ready to take her test soon. she won‘t be allowed to drive on a motorway until she passes, but there are plans to change that. the government is considering proposals to allow supervised learners onto motorway for the first time, and hannah is all in favour. coming out onto the motorway for the first time with your instructor sitting next to you would be easier, because you have a second pair of eyes looking at everything that is around you. if you go on your first time alone, it‘s going to be a daunting experience.
learner drivers would only be allowed on motorways in certain circumstances. they would have to be with an approved driving instructor, the lessons would be voluntary, and the instructor would decide if they are ready. they would also have to be in a car with dual controls. you can‘t make it compulsory for practical reasons. there‘s large bits of the country that have no motorway access, they‘re too far from one. and if you allow it to happen, the people who are nearest the motorways, the people most likely to be using them, will get to learn how to do it properly. this would covering england, scotland and wales. northern ireland has its own plans to allow learners onto motorways. the government says britain‘s roads are already among the safest in the world, but that these measures could improve that record further still, and it proposes changes not just for drivers, but for novice motorcyclists, too. they would have to take a theory test online, and those holding a provisional licence could have their compulsory basic training certificate revoked if they get more than six penalty points. hannah expects to have passed before any of the proposed changes come in. this is a consultation at the moment. it will also consider a target number of hours before a test can be taken, and some argue that
could make learning too expensive, but the government insists there are no plans to make that target compulsory. daniel boettcher, bbc news. the latest files to be released by the national archives shed new light on the political turmoil of 1989 and 1990, as margaret thatcher‘s period as prime minister came to an end. the files reveal attempts by mrs thatcher to modify the community charge, widely known as the poll tax, her controversial plan to replace local authority rates. the policy led to rioting and was a key factor in her downfall, as nick higham reports. it was the biggest political misjudgement of margaret thatcher‘s career. the poll tax provoked outraged opposition. even riots. the files show her normally self—confident government on the defensive. these are all files dealing with the poll tax over a period of 18 months, hundreds of pages of documents.
it is an indication of how much time mrs thatcher herself spent worrying about the problem, how complex it was, and how difficult it was to find a way out of the mess. many of the documents are covered in mrs thatcher‘s characteristically spidery handwriting. the government tried some desperate expedients. at one point, she herself floated the idea of letting councils put an extra penny on a gallon of petrol to raise more cash. the poll tax was meant to force labour councils to spend less. instead, the government got the blame when millions found they were paying more, and mrs thatcher realised it was hitting what she called the conscientious middle, her natural supporters. one turning point came with this letter in march 1990, from an elderly conservative voter in norfolk. he and his wife were paying twice as much under the poll tax. he accused the prime minister of behaving like a dictator, riding roughshod over opposition.
michael portillo was the local government minister who had thejob of trying to make the poll tax work. he says there are lessons to be learnt today. well, there are lessons to be learned, of course, but i don‘t think they are learned. i mean, ithink, you know, the conservative government‘s commitment in the 1980s to introduce a poll tax without thinking it through is quite strongly paralleled by david cameron‘s commitment quite recently to hold a referendum, without thinking through what its consequences might be. as for mrs thatcher, the poll tax ended her career, but not before the files reveal westminster council threatened her with a fine if she didn‘t complete her own poll tax registration on time. nick higham, bbc news. we will take a look at the weather forecast. good evening. the fog has been causing some trouble once again across the southern half of the uk.
there is a changed to clear and colder conditions behind this weather front which will slip its way southwards over the next couple of days. bringing some rank with it. behind that we are seeing colder air heading our way. ahead of that there has been extensive fog once again. you can hardly see across the thames at kingston earlier this afternoon. a met office weather warning in force for dense fog patches across the southern half of england in particular. disruption more than likely, a slow on the roads and we may see further delays at some of the airports. overnight it will turn quite cold in the south—eastern corner and a touch of frost developing. some of the fog in the south—east may well be freezing fog. further north and west, no such problems with temperatures up around 10 degrees for glasgow and belfast. into the morning, some of the four will be quite dense in places. bear that in mind if you are heading out will be quite dense in places. bear that in mind if you are he of ng out further south it finni— ”villi iii "iriir scotland. further south it should lift, it will be pretty grey into the afternoon from any. nine or 10 degrees quite widely. through the
evening our weather front continues its journey southwards and as we head towards midnight it will turn quite wet across parts of northern england and wales as well. as the fireworks start to go off across the united kingdom, ithink fireworks start to go off across the united kingdom, i think in the london area it will be pretty decent for the celebrations. cloudy and relatively mild, seven or eight degrees but to the north of the weather front it will turn colder with wintry showers getting into northern scotland. the cold arctic air behind our weather front may see some sleet on the back edge of it but it is mostly rain heading south for new year‘s day and it will be quite cold behind that in the arctic air. they may be a few wintry showers and it will feel cold and that wind. goodbye for now. hello. this is bbc news. i‘m martine croxall. we‘ll be taking a look at tomorrow morning‘s papers in a moment. first, the headlines at 11:30pm: the new year honours list has recognised andy murray, mo farah and jessica ennis—hill, as well as other big names from sport and the world of entertainment. for sporting, it has been tremendous, and from a hockey