this is bbc news. the headlines at 16:00: police fire tear gas on the streets of paris, as anti—government protestors clash with officers, in a fourth weekend of demonstrations. this is the scene live in paris. police have made at least 500 arrests, and ministers say the "yellow vest" movement — opposed to fuel tax rises — has been hijacked by "ultra—violent" protesters. police in new zealand are to charge a 26—year—old man with the murder of british backpacker grace millane, who went missing in auckland last week. sadly, the evidence we have gathered to this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide. amber rudd becomes the first government minister to publicly discuss an alternative to theresa may's brexit deal. what happens if it's voted down? and anything could happen, there's lots of different things that could happen,
most of which they won't want to happen. so when they think about this deal, they need to weigh up the alternatives as well. six people — five of them teenagers — have died after a stampede at a nightclub in italy. and as her party prepares to select a new leader, mark urban reports on the rise and fall of germany's most dominant politician of the 21st century, angela merkel. that's in half an hour, here on bbc news. good afternoon. police have used tear gas on protestors in paris, as thousands of people rallied for a fourth weekend now of demonstrations against president macron‘s government. the "yellow vest" movement, as it's called, began three weeks ago, against a planned rise in fuel tax. well, that's been suspended,
but french ministers say the protests have been hijacked by "ultra—violent" extremists. our paris correspondent, hugh schofield, reports. from early morning, once again, the yellow vests began arriving in numbers on the champs—elysees, the luxury shops along the avenue now boarded up because of the threat of more violence. riot police, out in force, had adopted new tactics after last saturday's chaos. today, they were stopping and searching, confiscating anything that could serve as a missile against them. the focus became, once again, the area around the arc de triomphe and, here, there were the first signs of trouble — a crowd goading riot police, police responding with tear gas and moving out to retake ground, keep the crowd moving. the riot police have moved out from a side street to take up a position along the avenue here. you can see them standing at the ready, and they're being insulted, booed, had the occasional projectile thrown
at them by the crowd around. most of the yellow vests kept well back from the trouble spots. all they wanted was to get their message out. translation: emmanuel macron has to step down. the parliament should be dissolved and we have to return to better foundations. everything should be fair, because we're fed up. as the morning wore on, it was clear that so far, the government's worst fears had not been realised. the prime minister, edouard philippe, appeared on television to announce there'd been more than 200 arrests, and to emphasise again the exceptional scale of the police operation that's been mounted, both in paris and across the country. a combination of police saturation on the ground, smaller—than—expected numbers of protesters, the government is beginning to hope that the moment of peak danger is passing. let's ta ke
let's take you live to central paris and you can see the christmas lights have gone on and it almost looks festive, but look closely and you can see the gilets jaunes, the three we re can see the gilets jaunes, the three were “— can see the gilets jaunes, the three were —— the yellow vest protesters. looking fairly calm at the moment and there has been fairly peaceful mood on the champs—elysees, but by groups of protesters and france's gendarmes coming together and protesting. the police with shields and as we heard, you can see gas being thrown on the streets, as our correspondent was saying, shouting for correspondent was saying, shouting foer correspondent was saying, shouting for mr macron to stand down. a lot going on today, we have seen reports of snatch squads stationed at key sites in central paris waiting to intervene immediately, short troublemakers emerge. hearing from mr macron himself, just to let you
know his latest response. he said, as we speak in paris, we have already detained 481 people, 211 people have been placed in custody. really highlighting the work of a presence that has been organised today, exceptional in terms of the measures deployed. tribute to the security forces on the streets. and in terms of the organisational choices we have made, is what he said. so smoke bombs being thrown at the police. really since this morning. we have also seen images of protesters kneeling. and at some locations, some of the protesters have been giving flowers to policemen. there has been a lot of anger at what has been described as extremist that extremists and join the protests and this is where you see the flashes of violence, and ca rs see the flashes of violence, and cars on fire, fire, ambulance is putting those fires out. holding is
as well, many businesses around the centre of paris have closed up for the day. in response to last weekend's byland is that saw a lot of damage. graffiti even in central paris —— last weekend's violence that saw a lot of damage. we will speak to our correspondent hugh schofield, who has been on location throughout the day. he will bring us the latest on bbc news. so do stay in touch. police in new zealand are preparing to charge a 26—year—old man with the murder of british backpacker grace millane. grace was last seen in auckland exactly a week ago. police say there's evidence she's dead, but her body has yet to be found. angus crawford reports. fun—loving and family orientated. grace millane's parents say her disappearance a week ago was entirely out of character, and was extremely hard to take.
now they've been given the worst possible news. the evidence we have gathered to this point of the inquiry has established that this is a homicide. grace's family have been advised of this development and they are devastated. police say a 26—year—old man will be charged with her murder when he appears in court on monday. grace arrived in new zealand last month, and had been staying at a backpackers' hostel in auckland. she was last spotted on saturday night, entering a hotel in the city with a male companion, who the police say had been with her during the evening. detectives have released pictures of jewellery they believe grace had with her. this necklace, and a distinctive pink watch, are both missing from her possessions and could help them find her body. when grace's father arrived in new zealand, he spoke to the media and was hopeful she could be found alive. but this is now a murder
investigation, a man will soon be charged, and the police search for grace continues. angus crawford, bbc news. back now to the news that police have used tear gas on protestors in paris, as thousands of people rallied for a fourth weekend of demonstrations against president macron‘s government. hugh schofield is on the streets of paris. bring us up—to—date, please, what has been going on. points of tension around the champs—elysees. we are at the place de st augustin,
a few kilometres from the champs—elysees. there was a car burning, it may have been a barricade burning, it it has gone out. read police pollution and —— positioned in the middle of the square. we can move around and you can see the riot police waiting to see if anything does flare up again. it is tense but one feels the moment has passed here. but all around, you can see shops that have been smashed open, graffiti all over, all over the walls, and shops have but boards to keep awake polluters and they have been covered in graffiti. this is one of many flash points springing up in the last hour or two and the protesters on the champs—elysees pill bottles and unable to express themselves or they have decided to go home. —— fuel bottled up. little groups are dispersed around the place who probably harder to deal with by the
riot police and they are causing some damage. but there is a new tactic as well which seems to be in place, the police are much more proactive in moving quickly around the city. we are hearing about these ultra violent extremists who are behind the violence. is there any tension between the genuine gilets jaunes protesters and the people who have infiltrated these demonstrations, who are keen to be violent and to cause all this damage? well, i think there are shades here. it is not black and white, all on one side and the others on the other side. it is not good protesters and bad agitators and vandals. it is shades into the other and at the back of the demonstrations, that people who are perfectly peaceful but extremely understanding towards the people at the front causing the trouble and the vandalism and
throwing stuff at the police. so it is difficult to categorise. last week, there were groups of agitators left—wing and right—wing among the protesters. i see about this time round. most seem to be honest to goodness yellow vests, maybe offer more hardline variety than the thousands who have not come to paris, who have stayed at home. and other elements. and as evening comes m, other elements. and as evening comes in, iam other elements. and as evening comes in, i am afraid we see other groups, game, what we call kids from the suburbs setting cars alight as part of their speciality. from paris, thank you. amber rudd has become the first government minister to publicaly discuss an alternative to theresa may's brexit deal. the work and pensions secretary described the so—called "norway plus" option as plausible, if mps reject mrs may's deal in the vote scheduled for tuesday. if such a plan were adopted, the uk would retain its access to the single market,
but would have to permit free movement of eu citizens into the uk. our political correspondent, matt cole, reports. far and wide this week, ministers have travelled the uk, selling the idea of theresa may's brexit plan. the message, a simple one — there is no alternative. until this morning, when the work and pensions secretary, amber rudd, opened the door to a plan b and what might happen if mps vote down the deal on tuesday. i don't think that the house will support no deal. and if the house is not going to support no deal, it needs to come forward with an alternative deal. and i have seen that there is a lot of support for norway plus in the house of commons. there's a certain amount of support for a people's vote. nobody knows what would happen, and people should think very clearly — if they're not going to vote for the government's withdrawal agreement — whether they would actually prefer those alternatives. amber rudd insists those alternatives aren't as good as the prime minister's brexit plan and says the deal‘s not dead.
but ministers know how their words are weighed, so is her suggestion that a deal like norway has with the eu would be plausible an early shot in the looming battle of the plan bs? and if so, what would it involve? under norway plus, britain would leave the eu, but not the single market. keeping access. but that would mean continuing to allow the free movement of eu citizens. and whilst britain would have to pay into the eu budget for this, it would lose voting rights in brussels. the uk would be free to trade with the rest of the world, but the straightforward norway deal wouldn't resolve how to keep northern ireland's border with the republic open, hence the ‘plus' bit. some forms of customs arrangement would be needed to resolve that problem. but a deal like norway's would struggle to win many brexiteers' backing, and some are proposing their own alternatives. there are discussions taking place, i was told last week by the leader of the house of lords, between the uk and the european union for preparing for a brexit
without a withdrawal agreement... what's known as no deal. yes. and those discussions should be intensified. for there to be a plan b, plan a — theresa may's deal — must first be rejected and, right now, that does look ever more likely. matt cole, bbc news. in our cardiff newsroom is the labour mp and supporter of the people's vote campaign anna mcmorrin. thank you for speaking to us today. you are campaigning for a people's vote. we a re you are campaigning for a people's vote. we are hearing there is a group of senior life campaigners preparing for another referendum, should you not work together? we are seeing increasing support across the house whatever way you support, however it you voted. i am hearing
increasing support from im constituency for a vote on the final deal and that is the pressure, the support for that is getting more and more everyday. to what end do you think a second referendum would help the country? well, there is absolutely no support for the deal that theresa may has put before us to vote on next week. we have seen that, we have heard in the house of commons over the last few weeks, i have been there when mp after mp has stood up and is absolutelyjust diminishing her deal. there is no support for that in the country. my constituency, there is no support andi constituency, there is no support and i don't think there is any support for that across the country, across wales and the rest of the country. so the only think, sensible thing to do now is to say, right, well, if there is this deadlock
which there may well be when her deal is voted against on tuesday. we need to put it back to the people, we need to put the proposition that the people. do they want her deal or do they want the best deal that we have already got for the country, which is to be full members? you have said there will be no support for the deal on tuesday. so before going through and putting the country through another referendum, why not renegotiate with europe? well, we know there is no room for renegotiation. justjumping in. we have just heard from the former italian prime minister who said that you will return to negotiations if it is voted down on tuesday so they are open to it. yes, but what does that actually mean. the best deal is the one we have got with our eu counterparts as
full members of the eu. i think this is set up for her to go back to the european council, to have toing and froing and minor tweaks. but we know that political declaration means we will be talking about brexit and negotiating brexit for years to come. that means absolutely no certainty for businesses, communities, and the livelihoods and jobs of the people up and down this country. the people of my constituency who really depend on those jobs. that is what this is about. not the toing and froing of politicians, but people's livelihoods and futures. that is why we need to go back to the people with this. if we get the people's vote, i assume your position is that brexit gets vote down and people say no to brexit, is that the assumption? i want us to go back to the people with what is on the table versus the people with what is on the table versus the deal that we have already
got now with the european union. that will be for the people to decide and to tell us what we want. i voted remain and that is very much the best option for us, to work together with the 27 nations, with much, much stronger links together. that is better for so i will be advocating that. if we put this back to the people, it will be for the people to decide. just let me know, what would that ballot paper look like, what with the questions be?” don't know what that is going to look like. you can't say, i don't know. if you are speaking about a second referendum, this is the problem the british public have had. there are so many unknowns. they are hoping for more clear answers. there are so many unknowns. they are hoping for more clear answersm will be for government and parliament to decide what is on that ballot paper. i would like to see it be theresa may's deal versus the
deal we have now, which is staying within the european union, that is what i would like. i don't have a crystal ball and i don't know what is going to happen. i think what we need to have something like they had in ireland for their referendum, which is a city does's assembly to come together in a shorter period of six weeks to decide —— a citizen's assembly. people coming together from all viewpoints to decide what is on the ballot paper and putting it to the people. that seems to me the most democratic way forward for this. parliament is at deadlock, we have seen this. the government is unable to govern. we have got the climate change conference at the moment happening in poland. nobody is talking about that, nobody is talking about anything but brexit. we need to decide this and move on. theresa may's deal means we are not going to decide this, it leaves is negotiating about brexit for years to come with no certainty. you are a supporter of people poke that she
we re supporter of people poke that she were a supporter of the people's vote campaign and i assume when you discuss things, you are discussing the questions and i am pushing this point because we need more certainty. you say people are discussing this and that is, there is no clear leadership. just how organised is this people's vote campaign? we are still not hearing what those questions will be.” campaign? we are still not hearing what those questions will be. i just said she what i would like to see, what that question would be. theresa may is our prime minister, the government is running the country unable to govern. i would like to see her deal versus the deal we already have, as full members of the european union, on that ballot paper. i don't know what is going to happen after next tuesday, we will have a series of events. we have heard amber rudd is talking about the very real possibility of a people's vote. more and more mps, i think more cabinet members, coming towards that view that there will have to be that vote that goes back
to the people. jeremy corbyn in favour of that as well? yes, it is party policy. it was decided at a conference in september. 0k, thank you very much indeed. thank you. six people have been killed in a stampede at a nightclub in northern italy. the crush happened in the early hours of this morning in the town of corinaldo, near ancona, on the adriatic coast. james reynolds reports. the blue lantern nightclub, in the town of corinaldo, was packed. around 1,000 people, many of them teenagers, had gone to see a concert by one of italy's leading rappers. at around one in the morning, some reports say that a pepper spray—like substance was used, provoking a stampede. translation: we were together. we started seeing everyone rushing towards the emergency exits. at the beginning, we didn't understand why, but then we started
to cough and we thought there might be a fire or something, so we decided to leave. one of the emergency exits was blocked. in the crush to get out of the club, a railing collapsed, causing dozens of partygoers to fall. translation: since three this morning, we were very close to the bodies and to the relatives. and then we've accompanied them here to the morgue. you can imagine it's been a very sudden thing. you cannot believe that it's true. the government has named the dead as teenagers between the ages of 14 and 16, and the 39—year—old mother of one of these victims was also killed. italy's interior minister, matteo salvini, says the authorities will find those responsible for turning a party night into a tragedy. james reynolds, bbc news, rome. one of the uk's biggest government contractors is reported to be
seeking a second rescue deal, after accumulating debts of more than half a billion pounds. interserve works in prisons, schools, and hospitals. it also mends roads and motorways. the firm says it is considering ways of raising money. china's foreign ministry has called on canada to release an executive employed by the telecoms giant huawei, or warned it would otherwise face consequences. meng wanzhou, the company's global chief financial officer, was arrested in vancouver last weekend and faces extradition to the united states. she's the daughter of huawei's founder and is accused of breaking american sanctions on iran. a terminally ill man with motor neurone disease has described the ban on assisted dying as "medieval", saying he feels "cheated by the system". last week, 68—year—old noel conway was refused permission by the supreme court to hear his appeal. 0ur medical correspondent, fergus walsh, has been speaking
to him at his home, near shrewsbury. do you want your computer? oh, yes, please. noel conway is keeping mentally active, composing short stories on his computer. physically, he needs round—the—clock support from his wife carol and carers. he argues the ban on assisted dying contravenes his human rights, but the supreme court has refused to hear his appeal. well, i'm bitterly disappointed. and bewildered, to be frank. i feel as though i've been cheated. i feel as though it's a poor day for the british justice. noel conway is almost completely dependent on a ventilator to help him breathe, and is getting progressively weaker. so what does he see as his options now? for me to have my ventilator removed at some stage.
it would be a terrible experience for my wife and family, not knowing whether i could hear them. not knowing how long it would take before i expired. assisted dying provides a completely different experience, an opportunity of end of life, whereby i would be in control of that. i could say, now, i wish to end my life. and i would not be semiconscious. what would you say to people who, while they may have very great sympathy for you, will say the law is there to protect the vulnerable, and it should be maintained as it is because otherwise, a right to die could be turned into a duty to die, and people might feel pressured ? i would agree that the weak and vulnerable clearly do need
protection from any abuse. but i think that's there. when you have two doctors who have to testify that you are mentally sound, you are terminally ill, plus a high courtjudge to oversee that. mps rejected proposals for assisted dying in 2015. the supreme court has refused to hear your appeal. where does the campaign for assisted dying go now? i think it goes back to parliament, to be honest. i'm appealing to mps to listen. 100 million people around the world can actually avail themselves
of a dignified and humane ending to their life. at the moment, we can't in this country. we are governed, it would appear, by a medieval mindset. noel conway knows his legal challenge to the ban on assisted dying is over. but he says he will continue to campaign for control over when and how he dies. fergus walsh, bbc news, shropshire. a british sailor, whose yacht was crippled by a ferocious storm during a round—the—world race, has been rescued. susie goodall was sailing alone when she ran into trouble 2,000 miles off the coast of chile, leaving her stranded for days before a cargo ship came to her to aid. andy moore reports. safety at last. the cargo ship that rescued susie goodall used its crane to winch her on board.
she's reported to be uninjured and in good spirits. it was an ordeal that began 50 hours earlier, with this distress call in the teeth of a ferocious storm. a yacht had lost its mast and water had to be pumped out. in one of the remotest places on earth, she had a long wait for help to arrive. she was tossed about, seasick, in a disabled boat, in heavy seas. it was a difficult rescue right to the end. the engine on susie's yacht kept cutting out as it manoeuvred alongside the rescue ship, the tian fu. and then the first news of success in a brief tweet. "0n the ship", she wrote, followed by three exclamation marks. in the time waiting to be rescued, with a broken cooker, she said she'd been longing for a cup of tea.
so it was no surprise that in the second message, she said she had enjoyed a very good hot drink. her friends welcomed the good news, after an agonising wait. it was an absolutely huge relief, a massive relief, and i think everybody in our sailing community was just absolutely overjoyed by the news. susie is now on her way to chile. her dream of sailing solo around the world is over, for now, but at least she's safe. andy moore, bbc news. time to catch up with the weather now, this is phil. some of the winter night could be strong and disruptive. 60 mph, if
not 70 mph. showers to northern ireland down to the borders of scotla nd ireland down to the borders of scotland and the rest of england. the north, as tonight goes on, the skies make clear. temperatures dipping away. not such a problem that the south given the combination of the strong winds and some of those showers. what of sunday? brighter skies from the word go. a frosty start here and increasingly through the day, the brighter skies wind out. apart from some of the western extremities of scotland, england and wales and northern ireland. a lot of sunshine and top temperature, a cold feeling ten or 11.