welcome to newsday. i'm sharanjit leyl, in singapore. the headlines: america's top intelligence chief says there's no doubt russia tried to interfere in the us presidential election. a car bomb has killed two people in the turkish city of izmir. officials say kurdish militants were behind the attack. i'm kasia madera, in london. as taiwan's president stops over in the us, we examine the island's changing relations with the rest of the world. and what it's like growing up with a future president. we hearfrom barack obama's half—sister about their teenage years in hawaii. live from singapore and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday. good morning. it's 9am in singapore, 1am in london and 8pm in washington, where senior intelligence and security officials
have been giving evidence about alleged russian cyber—hacking before a powerful congressional committee. russia's always denied the accusations that relate to last year's us presidential election. nick bryant sent this report. washington is investigating what could be the biggest political break—in since watergate. in the ‘70s, it was the building belonging to the democratic national committee that was burgled. in 2016, it was the computer system at the party's present headquarters. a robbery in cyberspace, rather than in person. and us intelligence believes it was orchestrated by vladimir putin, from the kremlin, to help donald trump win the election. i want to welcome all our members back to the committee. today, those allegations were aired publicly on capitol hill at this republican—controlled congressional committee. every american should be alarmed by russia's attacks on our nation. there is no national security interest more vital to the united states of america
than the ability to hold free and fair elections without foreign interference. that's why congress must set partisanship aside, follow the facts, and work together to devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against and, when necessary, respond to foreign cyber attacks. america's director of national intelligence, james clapper, said he stood more resolutely by a statement released in october, before the election, that moscow was interfering to help donald trump. he was asked if that was an act of war. whether or not that constitutes an act of war, i think, is a very heavy policy call that i don't believe the intelligence community should make, but it would certainly carry, in my view, great gravity. the president—elect has repeatedly rubbished the notion that he achieved a kremlin—assisted victory, and has publicly poured scorn on america's spies. he's also spoken approvingly ofjulian assange, the founder of wikileaks, who released the hacked e—mails and
claimed the russians weren't involved. that's enraged senators from both parties. who actually is the benefactor of someone who's about to become commander—in—chief trashing the intelligence community? i think there's a difference between scepticism and disparagement. director clapper, how would you describe mr assange? i don't think those of us in the intelligence community have a whole lot of respect for him. then, this blunt and direct message for president—elect trump from a senior member of his own party. i want to let the president—elect know that it's ok to challenge the intel, you're absolutely right to want to do so, but what i don't want you to do is undermine those who are serving our nation in this arena until you're absolutely sure they need to be undermined. and i think they need to be uplifted, not undermined. trump tower these days has its own micro climate of twitter
storms, and today was no different. the president—elect took to social media to complain thatjournalists were being dishonest in saying he agreed withjulian assange, and that he was a big fan of the intelligence community. the president—elect will receive a briefing from james clapper at trump tower tomorrow and that has the potential to be a very frosty meeting. the key question, will it alter his present thinking, that the russian hacking claims are a cia cock—up rather than part of a kremlin conspiracy? as we heard in nick's report, there were hints of the coming relationship between president—elect donald trump and senior intelligence officials. and it looks like it could be frosty. our correspondent in washington, laura bicker, says tensions are already apparent. it did seem to come across that way. they were careful to toe the diplomatic line for as long
as they could, but then came the kind of little killer blows, asked and prompted by questions, even by republicans, where they talked about scepticism, and donald trump's scepticism. butjames clapper, the director of national intelligence in the us, said scepticism can be healthy — but there is scepticism, and then there is disparagement. there was even a little push by the republican, lindsay graham, who came across saying, the president—elect may have his scepticism, but you are the guys who keep us safe, and again, the response came back that confidence in intelligence is crucial to the services, because they say without it, they can't do theirjobs. it's worth remembering, these top officials, who gave their evidence today, a very sobering assessment of a russia which they say was not just behind the hacking in the 2016 election, but a russia whose
cyber activity is growing and needs combating. they gave that message, that sober assessment, and they are the eyes and ears of the us. the team will of course keep us up—to—date as and when the briefing for the president—elect takes place, so for the president—elect takes place, so do stay with bbc news for that. some of the other new stories now. in turkey, a police officer and a court official have been killed by a car bomb at a court house in the western city of izmir. the government suspects the kurdish militant group, the pkk, of carrying out the attack. turkey's deputy prime minister said weapons found suggested a much bigger attack was being planned. sangeeta myska has more. this cctv footage silently conde is the scale of the fatal blast in
izmir. —— silently conde —— conveys. now the mangled wreckage of the car bomb litters the police check point where several people have been killed and injured. turkish police say the bomb was detonated after officers attempted to stop a vehicle in front of the courthouse in izmir. eyewitnesses described what happened next. translation: iwas eyewitnesses described what happened next. translation: i was at the security area and a black car approached and crashed into a policeman. he got out of the car and exploded a bomb. i ran into the market and lay on the floor. police at the scene shot dead a man they suspected of detonating the bomb, following a shootout involving the police and a number of men carrying machine—guns. the area has now been sealed off for further investigation. the governor of izmir says he already believes kurdish
separatists, the pkk, are behind the attack, but the group hasn't claimed response ability. it was just one week ago in istanbul that 39 people we re week ago in istanbul that 39 people were killed in a terrorist attack carried out by the so—called islamic state. as security forces grapple with today's event in a normally peaceful seaside town, turks again feel that they are no longer safe in their own country. also making news today: a police officer is dead and more than 600 people have been arrested in mexico after viole nt protests over increases in petrol prices. demonstrators are furious about a 20% increase announced by the government five days ago. they've blockaded highways and petrol stations. in some places looting has broken out. prosecutors in the us city of chicago have charged four people with hate crimes over a video live—streamed on facebook, in which a bound and gagged man was assaulted. police believe the victim, who was described as mentally
ill, may have been kidnapped for up to 48 hours before the attack. the united states says it has added osama bin laden‘s youngest son, hamza, to its anti—terror blacklist. the state department says hamza bin laden, now in his mid—20s, has become active as a leader of al qaeda. a group of yemeni prisoners held by the us at guantanamo bay has arrived in saudi arabia. the move comes two days after the white house pledged to go ahead with the transfer of inmates out of the military prison. donald trump recently called for a halt on any further releases. six letters written by princess diana have sold for more than $18,000 at auction here in the uk. one handwritten note from diana to a former royal servant revealed that prince harry was "constantly in trouble at school". bidders from as far away
as australia, japan and the us all wanted to get their hands on a bit of the royal memorabilia being auctioned, including a piece of wedding cake. the chinese government says it will create more than 13 million jobs over the next five years, through a multi—billion dollar investment in renewable energy. for much of the past month, a huge swathe of northern china has been under a thick blanket of smog, a problem that has now prompted a switch to cleaner fuels as a political priority. this week, the authorities have renewed alerts for air pollution and fog across many parts of the country, including beijing. that's where we can speak to our correspondent stephen mcdonnell now. behind you we do see that thick blanket of smog continuing. we know
this news comes just a few years after we heard president xijinping declare war on pollution. how bad has it been? well, yes, as you can see from the bureau the air apocalypse, as it is referred to, continues in northern china. it has been terrible. pm2.5 are the general figures people use, the small particular the vatican get inside your body. that's been hovering at about 300, 400 or 500. —— small particles. they were hoping wind would clear it, but this is a short—term solution. the interesting thing is that the government has declared a war on pollution and they have been putting really strict guidelines on what you can do, trying to limit factory production, a crackdown on coal—fired power
stations, and yet the pollution continues. the interesting thing is some research has come out from greenpeace this week, trying to analyse why this could be. a p pa re ntly analyse why this could be. apparently partly because the prices of steel and cement have gone up. production has also gone up. ironically, this could also be because certain, well, more rundown factories are closing down, prices go factories are closing down, prices 9° up factories are closing down, prices go up so they are up in production. the other thing that's really interesting in china is the government can't control everything here. there are these illegal steel and cement production is going on, so and cement production is going on, so while certain companies do certain things they can't control everything that's happening across the vast northern part of the country. we've got chinese lunar new year coming country. we've got chinese lunar new yearcoming up, so country. we've got chinese lunar new year coming up, so that might offer some reprieve at the end of the month, that's when factories usually stop. but in terms of the long—term solution, this investment in renewables, how decent is it?
solution, this investment in renewables, how decent is mm solution, this investment in renewables, how decent is it? it is absolutely massive. the funny thing with china, it's going to be on the one hand the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and also at the same time the biggest contributor on the planet to the solution. i mean, it is building this huge windfarms, solar on and on —— solar panels on an unseen scale. so it is putting the lives of dollars into renewable energy and policymakers are hoping it can catch up policymakers are hoping it can catch up in time to try to reduce some of these. all right, thank you. last month, china lodged a complaint with the us after president—elect donald trump spoke to taiwan's leader in a phone call. china sees taiwan as a breakaway province. and although us policy set in 1979 cut off formal relations with taiwan, the us is still taiwan's most important ally. well, in the 19905 taiwan had 30 diplomatic allies,
but now it only has 21. celia hatton looks at taiwan's changing foreign relations, as the island's president makes a stopover in the us. it's a decades—long political struggle — the simmering tensions between taiwan and mainland china. the island of taiwan has been ruled separately since 1950. many there want to push for formal independence from china. but the communist leaders in beijing view taiwan as a breakaway province, which must be reunited with the mainland one day. they insist other countries have to choose — they can't have official relations with both beijing and taipei. the result — taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with just a few countries, and that number is shrinking. in the 1990s, they had 30 diplomatic allies. now that has dwindled to just 21. in contrast, china has more than 170.
just last month, the tiny african nation of sao tome and principe resumed diplomatic relations with beijing, days after cutting ties with taiwan. it does not end there. beijing is also reported to be courting the vatican state, as well as several of taiwan's supporters in latin america. that may explain the taiwanese president's upcoming tour of honduras, nicaragua, el salvador and guatemala. but it's tsai ing—wen‘s planned stopovers in the us that are raising eyebrows in beijing. donald trump spoke directly with tsai ing—wen over the phone, breaking with decades of us protocol. tsai ing—wen is not the first taiwanese president to make stopovers in the us. stopovers are one of the few ways a taiwanese leader can sneak in meetings with us officials. donald trump has not ruled out a face—to—face meeting with tsai ing—wen after he takes over at the white house. so china will be keenly watching every minute
of the taiwanese leader's time in the united states to see what that will mean for the delicate balance of relations between all three players. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: china's great wall like you've never seen it before. we meet the man whose obsession turned into a 15,000km journey. the japanese people are in mourning following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. good grief. after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south africa tomorrow, in spite of protests and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott
south africa until majority rule is established. teams were trying to scoop up lumps of oil as france recognises it faces an ecological crisis. three weeks ago, the authorities confidently assured these areas that oil from the broken tanker erika would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm sharanjit leyl, in singapore. i'm kasia madera, in london. our top stories: america's top intelligence official warns russian cyber attacks pose a major threat to the us — insisting there's no doubt that it tried to interfere with the presidential election. a car bomb in the turkish city of izmir has killed two people. police say they shot dead two militants thought to be behind the attack. a third is still on the run.
let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the international edition of the new york times features china's quest for football glory. china is investing heavily in the game. it has the world's biggest football boarding school, that boasts 48 soccer fields. the gulf news talks about ‘friendly phantoms' in one of the swedish royal family's palaces. sweden's longest—serving queen, sylvia, says she has personally experienced many ghosts in drottningholm palace. but they are ‘pretty nice', according to her. the japan times carries a picture of a pricey huge fish and its flamboyant owner. the self—styled owner of one of japan's famous sushi restaurant chains, kiyoshi kimura, nicknamed "tuna king", has paid over $600,000 for this 212kg bluefin tuna.
that brings you up to date with the papers. now, kasia, what stories are sparking discussions online? baby animals are always popular online. a five—month—old baby elephant has been taking a dip in a swimming pool in thailand. it's part of a long rehabilitation process to heal her injured foot. ba by farjam's front left leg was caught in a trap in november, and although it healed, she refused to put any weight on it. it's hoped this treatment will prevent her from having to use a prosthetic leg. let's hope so. his days in office are numbered, and this week barack obama has been working hard to ensure his legacy.
but for the outgoing president's half—sister, the end of his administration is as much about family as it policy. maya soetoro—ng grew up with mr obama in hawaii and tells us about their younger days, and what he'll do when he leaves the oval office. growing up, mum certainly gave us a wide range of tools to become the people who we are. that being said, my brother was kind of a regular guy who loved his friends, who bodysurfed and who played basketball. i think that hawaii has given my brother a sort of laid—back attitude and an ease within himself. he wasn't a candidate for school president or anything like that, he didn't have, at least vocalised, aspirations for that level of civic engagement, and it wasn't until later that he became a little more serious, he became aware, after moving to la and then
new york, i think of the challenges that we face as a country, as a people and community, and sought to find remedies and think about his place in his community and the country and the world. election night was surreal. i will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. it belongs to you. that night i could see all the faces looking at him and they were inspired, excited. it was quite awesome to just recognise and understand how palpable their hopes and aspirations for his presidency were. i do think that he has changed. he has gotten wiser, he has become, i think, just a deeper version of himself.
he obviously knows challenges with greater nuance and depth. he has seen a lot of suffering and sorrow, whether it was through international disaster or the result of shootings in our country, and those were for him the most terrible days. so, our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. he often has said sandy hook was for him the worst day of his presidency. but i would say that he hasn't changed in any fundamental way. in terms of his relationships, who he is as a man, how he communicates, the things that he values, i think that he has remained remarkably unchanged, actually. that was barack obama's half sister
sharing some historic images. get ready for some pretty spectacular pictures. you're about to meet william lindsey and see how his lifelong obsession with the great wall of china became a 15,000 kilometrejourney. drone footage filmed by his sons has brought him a whole new understanding of the amazing structure. let's take a look. you can see much more of that amazing footage on the website, as well as an interview with william lindesay about the project — just go to bbc.com/news. you have been watching newsday. it is goodbye from me in london. thank you for watching. hello there, good morning. yesterday morning we saw the lowest temperature so far in england this winter, we got to —8.1 in rural oxfordshire. this morning the frost is nowhere near as widespread. there'll be some across the south—eastern quarter of the uk, but the further west you go, a lot more cloud, and that cloud is bringing at least some rain with it, but it's also helping
to keep the temperatures up, seven or eight degrees to start the day in glasgow and belfast. but it'll be quite widespread in the western side of scotland, the eastern side faring a little bit better. still cloudy and it's quite wet in northern ireland first thing this morning. some rain fringing into the western side of england and wales. not quite into cornwall and devon at this stage, so it's largely dry here. head further east and it's not just cold and frosty, there'll be some patches of fog, and some of the fog will be slow to clear, and it could be quite dense in places, so do bear that in mind if you're heading out on the roads. some fog in eastern anglia. it'll be a chilly old day here. chilly here across northern england, but a fair bit of cloud and just a little bit of rain first thing. now, our main area of rain will topple its way further southwards and eastwards through the day, so it'll eventually get down to the midlands. some light and patchy rain here into the afternoon, but it never really gets to east anglia and the south—east,
here it'll stay fairly cloudy into the afternoon, but there'll some breaks, but it's also where we see the lowest temperatures. further west, mild air coming from the atlantic, could get into double figures. and that milder air, the less—cold air, comes in from the atlantic on the westerly breeze, pushing a little bit of patchy rain across some parts first thing on saturday but, actually, into the weekend a lot less cold than what we've seen recently, but a lot of cloud across most places through the weekend and a little bit of patchy rain and drizzle, but certainly not a wash out, just pretty grey skies. so, we do see a lot of cloud on saturday, a little bit of rain here and there, maybe a few breaks in the cloud, top temperatures around about ten or 11 degrees. so something a lot less cold coming into the united kingdom, but we've got this cold northerly wind down across central and eastern parts of europe, and it really will be a very cold weekend through the balkans. it could go as low as —10, and that'll be daytime temperatures, so a big contrast across europe this weekend. second part of the weekend, back on our shores, looks like the first part of the weekend, a lot of cloud, not much rain, but there will be some,
and temperatures peaking at around about nine or 10 degrees. and then on into the early part of the coming week we start to see something a bit more unsettled developing, a weather front making its way south and east across the uk, and note on our isobars on the chart, it'll be quite windy, the rain starts in scotland and northern ireland and then a steady progress starts in england and northern ireland and then a steady progress south and eastwards across the rest of the uk. i'm kasia madera, with bbc world news. our top story: america's top intelligence chief says there's no doubt russia tried to interfere in the us presidential election. appearing before a senate committee, james clapper also warned russian cyber attacks posed a major threat to the us and beyond. a car bomb in the turkish city of izmir has killed two people. police say they shot dead two militants thought to be behind the attack. a third is still on the run. and this video is trending on bbc.com. it's the ice and snow
festival in harbin, one of china's coldest cities. visitors have been flocking there to enjoy attractions such as the ice slides. the festival runs for 60 days and draws several million tourists every year. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. and the top story here in the uk: the way domestic abusers are dealt with in family courts in england and wales looks set to change.