welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. our top stories: in the next few hours, 30 american cities are expecting the coldest temperatures they've ever recorded. reports from syria say government and russian air strikes have hit ten hospitals in the past ten days. he walked on the moon and flew the first space shuttle mission. astronaut john young has died at the age of 87. hello. the east coast of north america is shivering in a record—breaking freeze. it comes after a massive snowstorm that reached as far south as florida. in parts of the us, temperatures are forecast to fall below minus 30 degrees celsius.
the extreme weather has been linked to up to 19 deaths in the us so far, and two more in canada. andrew plant reports. a new year, a new low for north america's east coast, bracing itself against subzero temperatures and several inches of snow. it is those who live outside who are now the most vulnerable to a weather event exceptionally rare. in chicago, the thermometers are still falling. those on the streets encouraged to come inside. in boston, homeless shelters are bringing in more emergency beds as dozens flee from the biting cold. and in washington, dc, as volunteers serve hot meals to the homeless here, the fear is that the frozen ground and the forecast for record lows this weekend could become a lethal combination. i don't know that we have recorded any deaths based on the weather yet but i think it's entirely possible, so we're trying to help in whatever
way we can, which is opening the centre between meals, we have warm clothing available for people who need it, and providing hot meals to people when they come in here. but after years of living outside, some still say they'll stay away from the homeless shelters. people in the neighbourhood have been looking out for us. they come by bringing the sweatpants. they are totally looking out for us. socks, sweatpants, i mean, more than we even need! the mass of low pressure is moving north up north america's atlantic coast, leaving heavy snowfall behind, and the possibility of temperatures as low as minus 30 celsius. much colder, though, in the fierce winds. cars and homes already frozen in floodwater. even large bodies of water are now pale and still. in cities like new york, road salt has helped get traffic moving but in rural areas, the problems will persist even longer. so far, at least 19
people have died. temperatures could return to normal next week as the storm moves further north through canada, but millions here must get safely through this record cold spell first. andrew plant, bbc news. reports from syria say 17 people have been killed in air strikes in rebel—held eastern ghouta. the british—based syrian 0bservatory for human rights says another 60 people were wounded in the besieged rebel stronghold close to the capital damascus. more strikes in this area and in the rebel—held northern province of idlib have been reported by aid workers. they say ten hospitals have been hit by syrian government and russian bombers over the last ten days. this report from our middle east regional editor alanjohnston. the race through the smashed streets, the dash into a ruined building. for the rescue workers, after the bombs fall,
the routine is all too familiar here in the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta. higher up, people emerge from what might be a flat. perhaps they were at home when the bomb crashed down. the cries of shock and horror at it all echo through the wreckage. the injured are gathered up but there have been reports of deaths, too, on this day of many air strikes in the enclave. translation: we have received more than 50 people today in the emergency department, because of the massacre. we documented ten victims, and we have three others who are severely wounded and may die at any moment. aid workers say ten hospitals have been hit in recent days in ghouta and here in the rebel—held province of idlib. eastern ghouta lies on the edge of damascus. from here, rebels can
fire into the capital. government forces have had this area under siege for years. people here come under attack almost daily. there is every danger that tomorrow, there will be more of the same. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. days after he was pardoned and freed from jail, peru's former president alberto fujimori has called for national unity. the comments on social media are being seen as an attempt to return to political life, following his early release from a 25—year sentence for human rights abuses and corruption. news of his pardon sparked mass protests and accusations of a political deal. the saudi authorities have confirmed the arrest of ii princes who staged a sit—in protest at a royal palace in the capital riyadh. they're being held at a maximum securityjail, pending trial.
officials said they were protesting against having to pay their own utility bills as part of wider economic reforms in saudi arabia. police in cyprus say they're holding an israeli citizen, who's accused of organ trafficking. moshe harel was allegedly involved in luring donors to kosovo from turkey and other countries a decade ago. it's thought that many of the donors were never paid for the kidneys they gave for transplants needed by rich israelis. germany and turkey moved a step closer to reconciliation on saturday when germany's foreign minister hosted his turkish counterpart. the sides are attempting to improve relations which, over the last few years, have been strained. seref isler reports. the turkish foreign minister had come to germany with an offer of new beginnings, and he stayed for tea. his german counterpart offered a warm welcome, but it might take more than germany's famous kugel
to restore relations completely. but the body language was friendly and both men spoke of the need for dialogue, better co—operation, and mutual understanding. after all, germany is turkey's biggest export market and has the world's largest turkish diaspora. the two countries are nato allies, and mevlut cavusoglu was careful to stress the closeness of the two countries. translation: turkey and germany are both proud and honourable states. these two peoples do not give in to pressure, or threats. now, you could be forgiven for thinking that europe and turkey never had a falling out. but in 2017, when germany banned political rallies by turks ahead of the presidential referendum that gave president erdogan more powers, this was his response. translation: germany, you have no relation whatsoever to democracy! you should know your current actions are no different to those
of the nazi period! when we say that, they get disturbed. why are you disturbed? chancellor angela merkel, in turn, poured cold water on the prospect of turkey's long—running eu membership bid ever reaching fruition. turkey is now trying to turn the page, but concerns remain. turkey's eu bid has stalled in recent years, leading president erdogan to admit to french president macron on friday that turkey's long wait for membership was exhausting. erdogan‘s government has also arrested tens of thousands of officials, academics and activists in the wake of a botched coup attempt in 2016. this drew criticism from rights activists, so perhaps it is not surprising that the german foreign minister's words urge caution. translation: we should not expect to have the same opinion of all subjects.
there are differences of opinion. but i think it is in our best interests to continue our debate with openness and mutual respect, on an equal footing. for now, it seems, the sides have agreed to disagree. donald trump has again attacked the author of a controversial book that accused him of being unstable and incompetent. the us president told a news conference at camp david that he had been a "tremendous success", and that the book, fire and fury by michael wolff, was a work of fiction. here's david willis in washington. boarding a flight to camp david for meetings with senior members of his party, the image of donald trump that leading republicans would like to project — one of order, professionalism and control. instead, the president is battling claims contained in this book that senior advisers share the view that he is mentally unfit for office. so the commander—in—chief took to social media to assert: later, —— so the commander—in—chief took
to social media to assert: later, he took aim at the book's author, michael wolff, who had been given access to the white house to write it. i consider it a work of fiction and i think it's a disgrace that somebody‘s able to have something — do something like that. the libel laws are very weak in this country. if they were strong, it would be very helpful. you wouldn't have things like that happen, where you can say whatever comes to your head. butjust so you know, i never interviewed with him in the white house at all. he was never in the oval office. we didn't have an interview. possibly the most damaging claim contained in the book is that the president lacks curiosity, doesn't read, doesn't listen, is like a child. they all came to the conclusion, gradually at first, and then faster and faster, that something was unbelievably amiss here, that this was more peculiar than they ever imagined it could be.
the book portrays the white house in a constant state of chaos, reeling under the influence of a petulant, easily distracted commander—in—chief. having successfully passed legislation just before christmas reforming america's taxation system, senior republicans were probably hoping that a new year would mark a new start for the trump administration. but instead of moving forward on such key issues as immigration reform, the focus now is completely on the president, his personality, and whether he is mentally fit to hold office. tributes have been paid to nasa's longest—serving astronaut, john young, who has died at the age of 87. he was one ofjust 12 men who have walked on the moon and went on to command the first space shuttle mission. tim allman has been looking back at his life. the commander, john young...
if anyone had the right stuff, it wasjohn young. here he is in 1981, preparing for the launch of the first space shuttle. he'd been working for nasa for nearly than 20 years by this point, but when they needed an astronaut for their newest, most daring mission, there was only one choice. john was a fascinating, devoted and passionate, and really fearless man, and just a role model to so many astronauts, including the six people that are up on the space station right now. a life really well lived, and a good friend of mine. in the ready room, near launching pad 19, they get into their spacesuits, the final mission briefing behind them... he first flew into space with the gemini mission, smuggling a corned beef sandwich on board as a gift for a fellow astronaut. and then came apollo, where he became only the ninth man to walk on the moon.
but despite all his extraordinary achievements, he was not one to dwell on the past. i'm sure looking forward to getting people off of this planet, because i think it will be very helpful to getting the future done right for the kids of tomorrow, our children and grandchildren, and that'll be a lot of fun. john young was born in san francisco in 1930, his family eventually moving to florida. he served in the us navy before joining nasa in 1962. in a statement, the agency called him "the astronaut‘s astronaut", saying that they, and the world, had lost a pioneer. legendary astronaut john young, who's died at the age of 87. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: from moscow to bethlehem and beyond — 0rthodox christians are beginning their celebrations of the eastern christmas. the japanese people are in mourning
following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it 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 the oil from the broken tanker erika would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: more than 30 cities in the eastern united states, including new york and boston, are expecting to experience record cold temperatures over the next few hours. let's return to our main story now, the record—breaking cold to hit the east coast of north america. it's forecast to fall below —30 degrees celsius in some parts, cold enough when you're at home, but imagine being homeless. well, in the us, the number of people on the streets rose for the first time in seven years last year, and the homeless and those helping them are facing huge challenges during the cold snap. karen lafrazia is a ceo of st francis house,
a homeless shelter in boston where 30 centimetres of snow fell in recent days. how has it been? record called. thank you for your interest and for caring about the people we care about —— cold. it has been dangerously cold. we have had record breaking colds. we had a huge snowstorm two days ago which made everything that much worse. tell us how it works. do people come to you looking for shelter, or is it a case of outreach? you need to find people and tell them there is somewhere safe to go. it is both. in boston, we have places where people can go at night. there is st francis house,
where people come during the day. everyone is working around the clock to make sure we do not lose anyone to make sure we do not lose anyone to the cold. we have outreach organisations seeking people. people are looking for refuge wherever they can. we have pictures of another homeless shelter in the boston area. i know they are all very, very busy. can you tell me, is it a case of people always want to go into the shelters, or are they sometimes distrustful? it is a combination of many things. but i think the people we are most concerned about are people with a mental illness, people that... theirjudgement is impaired by their mental health status. they are distrustful of shelters and other people. they have a hard time
making good choices injudgements about their own personal safety. so we, asa about their own personal safety. so we, as a community, are very concerned about making sure those people, we can do outreach to them, bring them in. if they refuse to come in, give them clothes and bring them food. this is the entire city. it is the night shelters, the police department, the emergency services team, the transit, everybody working together. ok. thank you so much for coming in on to talk about the fantastic work you do. thank you very much. thank you for having me. madagascar is bracing itself for severe flash flooding and the risk of landslides, as ex—tropical cyclone ava wreaks further havoc. it's thought more than 10,000 people have already been displaced by the storm, while heavy downpours in some parts are expected to bring up to five times the months rainfall in a matter of days. virginia langeberg reports.
it is wet season and there are few places to hide across madagascar. already, thousands have been displaced, while fears of casualties grow with reports of missing people. storm ava is in no hurry to leave. parts of the island are forecast to be hit with up to five times the averagejanuary rainfall, a whopping 700mm bringing severe flash flooding and the risk of landslides. translation: there is no more road. the water is almost up to our waste. it is risky to move by boat. we are scared for our lives, because we can't swim. ava has weakened since making landfall on friday but the slow—moving ex—tropical cyclone will continue to batter the island until at least lunch—time on monday, as it tracks close to the south—east coastline, packing winds of up to 120km/h. some parts of madagascar have already been inundated, forcing locals into emergency shelters like this.
others say they can only helplessly watch the water levels rise in their homes, with nowhere else to go. we don't know where to sleep, frankly, because the shelter next door is already full and the tents are lacking. ava is the third storm to hit the region this season but comes less than one year after madagascar was slammed by another storm which killed 78 people and left thousands homeless. this fragile island now suffering another cruel blow by mother nature. and now for some history from the bbc witness team. we're going back to 1967 and to one of the great land and speed record holders of the 20th century. donald campbell was attempting his latest record at lake coniston in the north of england when things went badly wrong. witness has spoken to
gina campbell about her father. my dad was donald campbell, and in the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, my father and my grandfather were both the most prolific land and water speed record breakers. they were pioneers. when you thought that a car back then had a maximum speed of 50 miles an hour, and somebody pushes it over 100, then to 200, then to 300. i think it's a rollercoaster, you know? you break a record and everybody comes gushing up and says, fantastic, you've broken a record. what's your next one going to be? it is like the mouse in the wheel. you keep wanting to move forward. it was my dad's job. it was what he did. so i was not really aware
of the magnitude of his achievements and the dangers. i only knew him in a child's eye. i wish i'd known him longer. i think he was a fascinating character, with tremendous drive and personality and a dogged determination. he wasn't a touchy—feely lovey "come here, give me a cuddle" type dad. i worshipped the ground he walked on, but was it a daughter—father relationship or was it hero worship? it was all of those combined. my father was a great engineer, and he could work on his machines — not maybe on those specialist things, but on the basics, he was extremely knowledgeable, engineering—wise. my father was very good at cohesing everybody into a group. i was working in a hotel, doing the ironing. i was summoned to a phone call early in the morning injanuary,
the 11th of january, 1967. you know that feeling in your stomach, it disappears somewhere down to your knees or your feet. i knew with some foreboding that this was not good news. archive: donald campbell, the man who lived for speed, is dead. 0n the cold, still waters of lake coniston, 45—year—old campbell was making an attempt on the water speed record which he held. one of the last true adventurers left. no one can fail to mourn the loss of this brave man. that iconic footage, you know, of the bluebird, just very gracefully taking off from the lake and going several hundred feet up in the air, before doing this enormous backward flip. and, you know... i've seen it many times, and it so nearly did the full 360, but then crashing into the depths of coniston, and my father obviously being killed instantly.
i remember going to geneva airport the following day and sitting in the departure lounge on my own, you know. and i could see the newsstand over there. they had british newspapers. there were pictures of bluebird up in the air like this. and "campbell dead." you look at them, but it seemed surreal. i couldn't associate those pictures and that moment with my father. he got his wish. he died a hero. he somehow, in those few moments, immortalised himself. and him talking on his comms, all the way through, you know, what was going on. "i'm going, i'm going, i'm going... i'm 0rthodox christians have been celebrating christmas eve. these pictures show the midnight christmas mass being held in moscow, in the presence of patriarch kirill. in st petersburgh, russian president, vladimir putin, also celebrated mass. the ritual of the holy cross retrieval in greece and turkey was also observed. here, the patriarch of costantinopole throws the crucifix into the golden horn, in istanbul. swimmers then braved freezing temperatures to retrieve the cross from the water.
and in bethlehem, 0rthodox christians have been attending midnight mass at the church of the nativity in the town. the palestinian president, mahmoud abbas, was among the congregation. hello there. sunday is set to be another very cold day. we have clear skies which is set to bring us a good deal of sunshine by day, but dawn could well look something like this. a lot of sharp frost around, the potential for temperatures close to —15 degrees across the sheltered glens of scotland. so a very cold start with some icy stretches to watch out for as well. a lot of sunshine on offer, though, as we move through the day on sunday. let's look at the morning. it's across the rural glens of scotland that we will have the coldest temperatures, as i say, potentially close to —15. around about —8 eight by 9am.
a few showers for the northern isles of scotland. down across northern ireland and northern england, lots of sparkling sunshine, frosty — watch out for some icy stretches, particularly where we have had some showers. there could still be a few showers across the north—east of england. a lot of dry, sunny weather towards the south—east. just a little bit of cloud drifting around. bit of wind chill with the brisk north—easterly winds across southern england and wales, too. but through the day, it is looking dry, fine and settled after that cold, frosty and icy morning. there will be a lot of sunshine on offer for most places. quite breezy, i think, in the far south, and also for the northern isles of scotland with one or two showers. elsewhere, dry, but temperatures only between around about zero to six degrees for most of us. sunday also ending on a cold note. another very cold night ahead sunday night and on into monday morning. if you're heading to work during the early hours of monday, do watch out for some icy stretches forming once again on the roads because even in towns and cities, the temperatures will be down below freezing. just a little milder along the south
coast because we will have a bit more cloud filtering in here through monday morning. and that's going to be a theme for monday. the cloud in the south will nudge its way further northwards, so clouding over, i think, for parts of east anglia, the midlands into wales later on in the day. it will still cold where you have the cloud around, too. lots of sunshine and northern england, scotland and northern ireland, too. fairly light winds across much of the country. another largely dry day, 2—6, but that cloud just thick enough potentially for a little bit of drizzle along the south coast. and then eventually, we lose the blue colours, the cold air mass, and we'll see something a little milder creeping in from the atlantic as we head through monday night and into tuesday, too, with eventually some wet weather arriving in the west. but actually, much of tuesday again dry, fairly cold, fairly cloudy, the breeze picking up from the west. that is ahead of this band of rain which will bring milder but also wetter weather from the west as we head through the end of the day.
temperatures around 4—6 degrees on tuesday. slowly turning a little bit milder with some outbreaks of rain through the course of next week. this is bbc news. the headlines: record low temperatures are expected in 30 cities in the united states over the next few hours. new york's jfk airport set an all—time low on saturday at minus 13 degrees celsius. in canada, temperatures approaching minus 50 degrees celsius are forecast in northern ontario and quebec. reports from syria say 17 people have been killed in air strikes on a besieged rebel—held stronghold close to the capital, damascus. aid workers said that over the past ten days, ten hospitals had been hit by air strikes in both this area and the rebel—held northern province of idlib. tributes have been paid to longest—serving american astronaut, john young, who has died at the age of 87. he first went into space in 1965. later, he become one ofjust 12 people to walk on the moon and then commanded the first