this is bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: donald trump admits he sacked his former top aide michael flynn for lying to the fbi. —— donald trump is facing accusations of obstruction of justice after admitting he sacked his former top aide michael flynn for lying to the fbi. as clashes continue in yemen, the former president, whose forces are fighting the saudi—led coalition, says he's ready to talk. political crisis in honduras — the military enforces a curfew after protests over the disputed election. and the remarkable story of charlie, the 8—week—old baby who's had a heart transplant. hello and welcome to bbc news. president trump has suggested he knew that his former national security advisor, michael flynn, had lied to the fbi about his contacts with russia. in a tweet, the us president said general flynn had acted lawfully,
but had to be sacked for dishonesty — a charge mr flynn admitted on friday. the controversy comes after mr trump secured what's being seen as the first big legislative achievement of his presidency — a wide—ranging tax reform bill. our washington correspondent laura bicker reports. dalton started the day on a good note, on course for a much—needed win on tax reform. he brushed aside questions about his former national security adviser lying to the fbi over his meetings with russians. what has been shown is no pollution. no pollution. there has been absolutely, there has been absolutely, there has been absolutely no collusion so we are very happy. but then he issued yet another controversial tweet, one that could cause him a real headache. he tweeted that he had fired general flynn because he lied to the vice president and the fbi.
it isa to the vice president and the fbi. it is a shame, he said, because his actions during the transition were lawful, it was nothing to hide. lock him up! many people are asking why michael flynn, a former three star general, didn't tell the truth to the fbi at his meetings with russian ambassador, as the president said, his actions were not against the law. but mr trump's tweet leads to a bigger question — did he know mr flynn had lied to the fbi? this is a question because the former head of the fbijames question because the former head of the fbi james comey has testified under oath that the president asked him to drop the investigation into michael flynn. legal analyst are now wondering if the president was trying to stop an enquiry into his former adviser knowing he was guilty, in other words, was he trying to obstruct justice? guilty, in other words, was he trying to obstructjustice? on this vote, he yays r 51 of the nays are
49. it should have been a momentous day per president trump, republicans had finally united behind attacks ill. a welcome distraction and at last, a legislative victory. but now, once again because of the tweet, the us president is embroiled ina tweet, the us president is embroiled in a controversy over russian meddling in the us election, an investigation that continues to loom over the white house. natasha bertrand is the political correspondent for business insider and told us earlier where she thinks the flynn investigation may leave the trump administration. basically, flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about his conversations with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak. he told the fbi he had not discussed the issue of us sanctions on russia with kislyak in december, when in fact he had. the big question is why did he feel the need to lie about these conversations at all? many people said it would have been perfectly acceptable for the incoming national security adviser to discuss sanctions with essentially his counterpart about major foreign policy change that had just happened three weeks
before the trump white house was due to come in. the real question is why flynn felt the need to lie and who he was protecting, if anybody, and who directed him to speak to the russian ambassador about the issue of sanctions, because those people could now be extremely vulnerable. trump's son—in—law jared kushner is in a very, very bad position because he had been communicating with flynn about russia, had told him from very early on to communicate with russia about un's resolution on israel. he was looped in. they met in early december with kislyak, and kushner proposed setting up a back channel to moscow. what michael flynn could now do, because he was charged on such a low—level crime, essentially — it is a federal crime to lie to the fbi — but there is so much more that mueller could have gotten flynn for, which is an indication that he has agreed to give mueller information about much biggerfish —
people like kushner and the president. we can expect to see in the coming weeks and months mueller really closing in on trump's inner circle and maybe getting to the president himself. fighting has continued for a fourth day in yemen between iranian—backed houthi rebels and their former allies who support the ex—president, ali abdullah saleh. the two groups have been fighting a saudi—led alliance that backs the ousted yemeni government. mr saleh has now said that he would be ready to "turn the page". saudi arabia has welcomed his suggestion for talks. he says the talks depend on an end to the coalition's attacks in yemen. translation: i call on our brothers in neighbouring states and the coalition to stop the aggression and lift the blockade, open the airports and allow food aid, medical supplies, and those wounded
to travel, as well as those stuck abroad to come back. we will turn a new page and start dealing with them in a positive way because what happened to yemen and to them is more than enough. we promise our brothers and neighbours that after a ceasefire is implemented, the airports opened and the blockade stopped, we will start negotiating immediately. rhodri davies has more on how a split between allies has led to the former president offering to talk. there are only fighters on the streets of yemen's capital. and this time, it's allies fighting each other. gunmen loyal to the former president, ali abdullah saleh, are now trying to force houthi fighters out of the city. the beauty of ancient sana'a is again scarred by explosions and bullets. what's already a complex struggle in yemen has become even more so.
on one side is president hadi, whose forces control the land in red. he's backed by saudi arabia and eight other mostly sunni arab states. opposing them are shia houthi rebels. backed by iran, they built an alliance with former president saleh, though this alliance appears to be breaking down with mr saleh‘s forces now fighting the houthis and hinting they could even do a deal with saudi arabia. the alliance between the houthis and saleh will not end. yes, it's very tense right in san'aa, but the alliance will continue. the only change that will happen is that saleh right now is more influential, more powerful, and has the power to announce the initiative to end the yemeni war. a critical humanitarian situation remains. the conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced over two million, and triggered a cholera epidemic. the latest violence adds only further pressure. we are currently receiving more requests for medical supplies
from two main hospitals that are supported by the international red cross in yemen. my colleagues on the ground are doing their utmost best in order to meet the needs and to help the wounded because of the current clashes. yemenis want the country's almost three years of war to come to an end but that may revive the dominance of a man who, until the arab spring, spent 33 years as their president. rhodri davies, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the argentine navy says an unmanned russian vessel searching in the south atlantic for the wreck of the sanjuan submarine has examined the first of four shapes detected by sonar on the seabed. the unidentified object did not prove to the be the missing
submarine. a spokesman said the search was now moving on to the three other shapes found in deeper waters. state media in syria say their air defence system intercepted israeli missiles which struck at a military installation overnight near the syrian capital of damascus. the media reports also said the action led to "material losses" at the base. the israeli military has not confirmed it carried out the strike. the oscar—winning actor geoffrey rush has stepped down as president of the australian academy of cinema and television arts after a complaint about "inappropriate behaviour". the star, who's 66, denies the accusation which is in connection with his time at the sydney theatre company. it's been nearly a week since voters in honduras went to the polls for the presidential elections, but the results are yet to be declared. post—election violence has led to at least three deaths during days of protests which has led to a state of emergency being declared. the demonstrations began after claims of election fraud.
a little earlier, i spoke with our central america correspondent will grant and asked if the violence had subsided on the streets of honduras. really, from the first protest, we now know at least three people have died. there have been scores arrested. it seems one girl, who was still a teenager, was shot dead by police in tegucigalpa. it is a very, very messy situation and one fears it will get worse before it gets better. a lot of people are staying off the streets and there is a curfew between 6pm and 6am local time in honduras. a lot of people are very angry about what you mentioned in your introduction — this electoral result that still hasn't been produced and what they understand and what they perceive as meddling by the authorities. so why does the opposition think there may have been electoral fraud? well, there was an initial delay in the vote count.
bear in mind, we're only talking about 3.5—3.6 million votes in total and it shouldn't take a week for the result to be produced and yet it has. there was a supposed technical hitch — that's how it was put by the electoral authorities — and in that time, the main challenger, salvador nasralla, moved from being around 5% in the lead to now being around 1.2% behind. he has already claimed victory, so his supporters are not going to accept anything less than their man being put into power, it seems. of course, the sitting president, juan 0rlando hernandez has also claimed victory. it's a highly intangible situation, there's a lot of high feeling on both sides. what do you think the sitting president hernandez is going to do now in order to try and calm this situation? what can he do? it is a worrying turn of events,
this declaration of a state of emergency, the new powers to the police and the military. from the president's point of view, he will want to see him declared the winner so he can begin to impose his rule again, if you like, his office can take more control, that his party can take more control. even if he is declared the winner in the coming days, i think he's going to find that honduras is increasingly ungovernable, at least in the short term. i see it very unlikely that these protesters will leave the streets any time soon. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the remarkable story of charlie, the 8—week—old baby who's had a heart transplant. it's quite clear that the worst victims of this disaster
are the poor people living in the slums which have sprung up around the factory. i am feeling so helpless, that the childrens are dying in front of me and i can't do anything. charles manson is the mystical leader of the hippy cult suspected of killing sharon tate and at least six other people in los angeles. at 11:00 this morning, just half a metre of rock separated britain from continental europe. it took the drills just a few moments to cut through the final obstacle. then philippe cozette, a minerfrom calais, was shaking hands with and exchanging flags with robert fagg, his opposite number from dover. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: president trump admits he sacked his former advisor michael flynn for lying to the fbi — legal experts say the president could now be investigated for obstructing justice. yemen's former president — whose forces are fighting the saudi—led coalition — says he's ready to talk. protesters have clashed with police. they were trying to obstruct the far right alternative for germany's first conference. a warning, some flash photography is coming up. chanting. despite temperatures barely pushing above freezing, thousands of people show up trying to blockade the ultranationalist afd party meeting. "solidarity instead of ostracism", reads the banner of campaigners protesting against the party's anti—immigration rhetoric. they met with police water cannons and batons. on saturday, delegates
re—elected these two men. alexander gauland and jorg meuthen to lead their party. it is the clearest sign yet that the afd is moving further to the right. alexander gauland was the party's deputy leader until 2015. he is a man who once defended a party member who said history should be rewritten to focus on german victims of world war two. he is now the afd‘s co—leader alongside mr meuthen, seen as a moderating force by some but still closely aligned to the conservative wing of his party. he got 72% of the vote. translation: we have a very honest result. three quarters of the party stands behind me and the other quarter is not behind me. at least, they wouldn't vote for me. i think that's quite 0k.
afd won nearly 13% of the vote in germany's federal elections in september and is now the third biggest force in the bundestag. it is now seizing the moment it is facing a real chance of becoming germany's main opposition party. not bad for a movement founded a little over four years ago. it is a sharp contrast to angela merkel‘s political fortunes. a leader once seen as the emblem of stability in europe now facing a decline in her popularity and still unable to form a government. all four members of the board of the uk government's social mobility commission have resigned, in protest at what they say is a lack of progress towards a "fairer britain". in a resignation letter seen by the observer newspaper, alan milburn, the former labour minister who led the commission, said he had "little hope" that theresa may's government was capable of making the changes necessary to deliver a more equal society. his three fellow commissioners, including the former conservative cabinet minister, baroness shephard, also walked out. earlier i spoke with our political
correspondent alex forsyth, and asked her how damaging this is for the government. it is undoubtedly damaging because theresa may made it her persona mission. she stood on steps of downing street, she said she wanted to create a more equal society. she made it a priority for her as prime minister. so i think what really is damaging is when you read the resignation letter from alan milburn, in which he says he doesn't doubt the prime minister's person commitment to social justice, but he doesn't believe the government has the capacity to make it happen, to deliver any meaningful action in that area right now. and he, in part, blames brexit, saying that the government is so focused, understandably, in his words, on that, that it doesn't have the capacity to look at anything else. and so, he feels he had no choice but to resign. does this say anything about the stability of the may government? well, there's been a lot of question over that for some time. really, since that general election
when theresa may didn't get the result she wanted. her authority, the stability of her cabinet and her government has been in question ever since. this isn't the same as the resignation of cabinet ministers that we've had of late but undoubtedly, it all adds to that image that this is a government which is not fully on track where people have differing views, don't always agree with each other, but it does portray, paint a picture, if you like, of a prime minister who isn't in full control and of course that too is damaging for theresa may. now, alan milburn is an ex—labour minister. he was due to step down next year anyway. is this a bit of grandstanding from the labour side? well, he's gone suddenly. he's tendered his resignation with immediate effect and says he won't be reapplying for the position. and this is a job he has had since 2012 when he was appointed by the coalition government. and of course, it isn't just him who's resigning, it's his three other commissioners as well. one of those is a former conservative cabinet minister, two others, one an academic, one a a charity for social mobility. so i think this is a bit of a bigger
message than party politics, at least one that they're trying to send. alex forsyth there. well, the government has commented on the resignations in the last hour. their statement read: "we are extremely grateful to alan milburn for his work as chair of the social mobility commission over the past five years" "this government is committed to fighting injustice and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them." "we accept there is more to do and that is why we are focusing our efforts in disadvantaged areas where we can make the biggest difference." the youngest patient on the uk transplant waiting list has received a new heart. eight week old charlie douthwaite is said to be making good progress following a nine hour operation. a donor was found after a europe—wide appeal. duncan kennedy reports. a tender moment tracie wright thought she would never have with her baby charlie. charlie was born with only half a heart.
hospitals across europe were contacted to find an organ donor. this week, a heart did become available. and now, atjust eight weeks old, charlie has had a transplant. his skin colour was just amazing. i can't describe it. from going so blue, he was just blue all the time, to being so pink and peachy and perfect. charlie was the youngest patient on britain's transplant waiting list. his doctors say the operation went well. he was extremely lucky, considering his condition and his size, to get a heart, a suitable donor heart, on time. it's not known if the family who donated their baby's heart know about charlie, but charlie's mother says they've given her a precious gift. it's the bravest thing anyone could do.
they've given my boy a second chance at life, and for that, i'll be forever thankful. i cried for them. charlie is expected to be strong enough to go home in the new year. an unbearable loss in one family that became unrestrained joy in another. duncan kennedy, bbc news. we're heading back to 1957 when a huge science city was built in the middle of siberian forest. they called it academic city. dozens of research institutes were built, and top scientists were enticed to come to work in this harsh inhospitable region. victor varand was one of the first research chemists to move to academic city. he told witness what it was like to live and work in such an unusual place. file: the town of 25,000
inhabitants, a town where nearly everyone's a scientist, or hoping to become one. a new town called akademgorodok — or academic city. translation: my first impression was that of bewilderment, to be honest. everything was different here. the houses were right in the middle of the forest. it was so quiet. and the air seemed so fresh. what used to be thought of as a wasteland has turned out to be the soviet union's greatest treasure house. a land unbelievably
rich in minerals. geologists thought there was no oil here. now, the whole place seems to be floating on it. there are diamond fields which could be as rich as the south african ones. and gold and platinum, too. translation: i worked in academic city for 46 years, since 1962. i was a research chemist at the institute of inorganic chemistry. and from 1963, i taught my beloved subject, analytical chemistry, at the university there. since the times of the tsar, people were exiled to siberia. would you exile anyone to a good place? that was the image of siberia — that wolves ate people there. 0ur salary was only 10% more than the others, the so—called ‘siberian supplement‘, but they did give us apartments immediately. separate apartments. at that time, in years of tsar, there was an acute shortage of housing.
they didn't attract us with money, they attracted us with available accommodation and interesting work. no other research laboratories are so lavishly equipped and nowhere else are the students so carefully selected or so ruthlessly examined. this is what is called a colliding beam accelerator, the only one of its kind in the world, designed to hurl particles of matter at particles of antimatter. 0ur institute of nuclear physics is a globally recognised research centre. its scientists have collaborated in the construction of the large hadron collider in switzerland, but many of the inventions and breakthroughs happened in secret research projects for the ministry of defence. of course, the creation of academic city was a great achievement. a new generation of scientists has been nurtured here. most people who work
in academic city now are graduates of our university, and what does russia live on today? gas and oil, of course. and who found and explored those resources? 0ur siberian scientists. show you some lovely pictures coming out of japan. a show you some lovely pictures coming out ofjapan. a bright idea is helping light up cherry blossom trees for christmas. a pretty display along the river features over 420,000 lights and is powered by discarded cooking oilfrom over 420,000 lights and is powered by discarded cooking oil from the local neighbourhood. the idea was inspired by a lack of electricity after the fukushima inspired by a lack of electricity after the fu kushima nuclear disaster in 2011 and relies on oil from restau ra nts a nd in 2011 and relies on oil from restaurants and houses nearby. much more on the website. hello.
it's been a bitter week for some parts of the uk but it is at least a little less cold this weekend. further afield, if you're keeping an eye on the second test in adelaide, it's warmer but we did have some interruptions because of showers on saturday. fewer showers sunday. still a brisk breeze, though. and actually here, temperatures are a little below par. they should recover as we head towards midweek. despite an increasing cloud on saturday, we did have a little late evening sunshine in kent. i'm hopeful that we will see a little bit more sunshine through the day ahead and slightly less cold conditions, particularly in the south. but at the moment, we've still got quite a bit of cloud. it's trickling its way southwards. they're weak weather fronts, really, but they're bringing some patchy rain and drizzle with misty low cloud and hill fog. to the north, yes, the cloud does break and clear and it could turn a tad chilly to start the morning up in the north—east of scotland. perhaps a touch of frost, a little bit of fog here.
but for many, it shouldn't be frosty first thing. but it will be rather grey and murky. hill fog around, patchy drizzle as well, and this weather front may well drag its heels across southern parts of england, across the west and into the west of wales. it'll be with us across northern ireland and we may see a little bit of early brightness across antrem and down. it should be a decent start to the day across scotland. more sunshine here. still a few showers and a brisk wind in the north—east. still the potential for some morning fog and frost in the glens but that should lift and we should see some good spells of sunshine. and gradually, that cloud will thin and break across the rest of southern britain but it may hang around in cornwall, in western parts of wales and it drifts eastwards across northern ireland to western scotland, so the west of northern ireland may see some brighter spells later in the day. in contrast to yesterday, probably a little bit cooler in the north—east but actually feeling a bit milder further south as temperatures won't be quite so low to start the day. then, through the night ahead, we'll see the cloud gradually easing back eastwards, but where there are breaks in the cloud,
yes, it will turn chilly, but also we could have some fog for the monday morning rush across east anglia, the south—east, the east midlands in particular. but otherwise it's here where, once the fog clears, we should see some brightness and some sunshine again to start our week. relatively mild compared with last week, nines and tens, but there will quite a bit of cloud, showery rain coming in, although it will be light and patchy because it is under the influence of high pressure for the next two or three days. this high pressure isjust keeping those weather fronts at bay but this does have our name on it. this is going to come in for wednesday. it looks particularly nasty, actually, some wet and windy weather to keep our eye on. but, between now and then, fairly quiet or benign conditions. as ever, there's plenty more more on the website. bye— bye. this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump says his former top aide's contacts with russia were lawful, but he had to sack
adviser michael flynn because he lied to the fbi. some legal experts say mr trump may have then obstructed justice when he urged the former fbi director to drop the inquiry into mr flynn. in yemen, fighting has continued between iranian—backed rebels and theirformer allies who support the ex—president, ali abdullah saleh. the two groups had been fighting a saudi—led alliance that backs the ousted yemeni government. saudi arabia has welcomed mr saleh‘s suggestion to start talks. voters in honduras are still waiting for the result of the presidential election nearly a week after going to the polls. the main opposition candidate, salvador nasralla, has accused his rival, presidentjuan 0rlando hernandez, of manipulating the vote count. coming up at 6 o'clock, breakfast with chris mason and katherine downes. but first on bbc news, the week in parliament