this is bbc news, i'm martin stanford. our top stories: britain's prime minister vows to press on with her brexit plans, despite the rest of the eu saying they can't renegotiate the deal. donald trump's former lawyer says the president was well aware it was wrong to pay hush money to two women during the 2016 election. i gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty. he was trying to hide what you are doing, correct? correct. and he knew it was wrong? of course. a ceasefire comes into effect in yemen's vicious civil war — but sporadic clashes are still taking place around a vital port city. one of britain's biggest football clubs condemns its own fans — heard singing anti—semitic songs at a match in hungary. hello and welcome to bbc news.
after a bruising encounter in brussels, british prime minister theresa may says she still believes she can get extra assurances from eu leaders to get her brexit withdrawal agreement through the uk parliament. eu leaders say they won't renegotiate, but will offer what they call ‘further clarifications' on the so—called backstop. that's the safety net aimed at avoiding a hard trade border between the eu and the uk on the island of ireland, if no future deal is agreed in time. this report is from laura kuenssberg in brussels. a bad omen? a bitter morning — for more than one reason. the prime minister came to brussels hunting concessions from the eu. does the eu like your plan, prime minister? but they didn't just say no, one of their top politicians said she didn't even know what she wanted. she was "nebulous". leading this private, careful politician to show real anger.
"did you call me nebulous?" she seems to say to jean—claude juncker. he grasping her arm, the microphone may be off, but you can see exactly what went on. the dutch prime minister comes along to try to make peace. later, she had not forgotten the accusations. i was crystal clear about the assurances which we needed on the backstop, having heard the views of mps in the house of commons. i reiterated that it is in the interests of the eu as well as the uk to get this over the line. eu leaders had said she would not get those concessions on the so—called backstop. she begged to differ. my discussions with colleagues today have shown that further clarification and discussion, following the council's conclusions, is, infact, possible. you looked very angry when you were speaking to jean—claude juncker
earlier today. what did you say to him, and did he admit that he had called you "nebulous? " and, secondly, the summit conclusions suggest the eu is not willing to budge, but you appear to be suggesting that they might. can you tell us more about what they have said to you about their willingness to move? because if parliament won't budge and the eu won't budge, is it time for you to budge? well, first of all, i had a robust discussion with jean—claude juncker. i think that's the sort of discussion you're able to have when you've developed a working relationship and you work well together. and what came out of that was his clarity that actually he had been talking, when he used that particular phrase, he had been talking about a general level of debate. we can look at this issue of further clarification and that has been something i have been discussing with a number of eu leaders, so we will be working expeditiously over the coming days to seek those further assurances that i believe mps will need. you might wonder what exactly has been going on with with these negotiations.
what are the misunderstandings in the relations between the eu and the prime minister? what has the president of european commission really been up to since that row? ta—ta—tum... we were not dancing! she thought that i did criticise her by saying yesterday night that the british position was nebulous. i did not refer to her, but to the overall state of the debate in britain. on and off the stage the message from the eu is clear — they promise they'll do a trade deal as quickly as possible, so the backstop‘s never needed, but that cannot mean changing what's already been agreed. the prime minister leaves here with a big problem —
remember, she kept herjob in part this week, because she promised she could get more compromise from herfellow eu leaders. but she's left tonight with assurances that there could be more conversations, and that simply might not be concrete enough to protect her in a hostile environment at home. there's no let up in the war of words between president trump and his former lawyer michael cohen. mr cohen has spoken out for the first time since being sentenced for crimes including campaign finance violations. he claims the president told him to pay off two women during the 2016 presidential election, even though he knew it was wrong. that directly contradicts what donald trump has said. the bbc‘s north america editorjon sopel reports. an alleged one night stand in 2006, and then a payment to buy stormy daniels‘ silence ten years later — just before the 2016 elections. they're still causing donald trump and those around him endless legal nightmares.
the president's long time lawyer and mr fixit, michael cohen, was this week sentenced to three years in prison. and he's now given an interview refuting donald trump's claims that he made the payments to her without the president knowing about it. first of all, nothing in the trump organisation was ever done unless it was run through mr trump. he directed me, as i said, and i said as well in the plea, he directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters. the payment came at a delicate time in the presidential campaign... ..a tape had emerged of donald trump boasting about sexually assaulting women. in the interview today, cohen said the payment was made because the president wanted to avoid fresh scandal weeks before the election. he was trying to hide what you were doing, correct? correct.
and he knew it was wrong? of course. and he was doing that to help his election? you have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about, two weeks or so before the election, post the billy bush comments, so, yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election. but donald trump says cohen is a proven liar and his only regret is ever employing him. i never directed him to do anything wrong. whatever he did, he did on his own. he's a lawyer. a lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing. that's why you pay them a lot of money, et cetera, et cetera. donald trump's account of what happened has changed consistently. first of all, denying that he knew anything at all about a payment to stormy daniels. then admitting he did. then saying it had nothing to do with campaign finance, it was a personal matter. and then saying, "well, yes, campaignfinances, but that's not against the law." and finally his lawyer saying, "nobody got killed, no one
was robbed, this is not a big crime." in other words, it didn't really matter what donald trump had done. president trump has named his current budget director mick mulvaney as his acting chief of staff. he replaces generaljohn kelly — after days of speculation over who would take the post and some high profile names pulling out. the president made the announcement on twitter, saying: earlier i spoke to bbc correspondent david willis about what more we know about the new acting chief of staff. what is interesting about this first of all is that mick mulvaney has
been named to this position on an interim basis if you like. donald trump in his tweets that he will be the "acting white house chief of staff" when he takes over from john kelly, presumably at the end of the year. this has been, it is normally one of the most assiduous jobs in government here, that of white house chief of staff. but donald trump has found it terribly difficult to fill that position, he tapped mike pence‘s chief of staff, he did not wa nt to pence‘s chief of staff, he did not want to do it, so he went on to mark meadows, representatives in congress, he also did not want to do it, even chris christie, known to be an ambitious politician, part of donald trump's campaign team, turned it down. so now he has lighted upon mick mulvaney, who is currently the director of the white house office of management, and it is interesting the fact that mike mulvaney has
taken this post on an interim basis, something that mike pence‘s chief of staff was willing to do but donald trump was emphatic then that it had to bea trump was emphatic then that it had to be a two year spell. he has modified that requirement, presumably now because he has had to, perhaps he is running out of candidates. you might conclude. fighting has broken out on the outskirts of yemen's port city of hodeida — the first since a un—brokered ceasefire came into effect on friday. people living there say they could hear artillery shelling and automatic gunfire. the saudi—backed government and the iranian—backed houthi rebels had reached the truce agreement for hodeida after a week of talks in sweden. more food aid has now begun arriving at the port. the un has warned that 1a million yemenis are on the brink of starvation. the bbc‘s chief international correspondent lyse doucet has reportedly extensively from yemen and from the peace talks. i asked her if the ceasefire can hold. the situation is still very tense in
hodeida, you have the who the forces which control the port and the adjacent city, you have yet many government and an variety forces, this unexpected agreement on a ceasefire is very fragile —— houthi forces. it is not surprising, it is reg retta ble forces. it is not surprising, it is regrettable but not surprising, there seems to be sporadic fighting, but no one is saying the ceasefire is dead, it is largely holding. it has to be said it has brought rare hope and such relief that at last, this is the most significant breakthrough in five years of talks hosted by the un. this port is so significant, because this is the way most food and supplies and relief get in for people who have been under siege forfour get in for people who have been under siege for four years. keeping the port open means keeping yemenis alive. this is the country that has
the most percentage of its people dependent on food aid. two thirds of yemenis and on some kind of food aid to survive and 10 million, the un says, do not know where their next meal is coming from. so they need the port. and also the commercial imports, the food and other essential goods and prices have been rising, even yemenis who have a little bit of money cannot afford to buy them. that is what has created is real fear of the buy them. that is what has created is realfear of the risk buy them. that is what has created is real fear of the risk of famine. you have reported from there many times, there is a danger after three 01’ times, there is a danger after three orfour times, there is a danger after three or four years, times, there is a danger after three orfour years, positions get entrenched, fighters maybe don't wa nt to entrenched, fighters maybe don't want to give up the fight, or do you think somehow there is a slight change in the political atmosphere, and this could be different this time? your question actually points to what is one of the biggest challenges in yemen, which is that you have the political delegations who met in the swedish countryside, and it was quite extraordinary to see them, so many yemenis when they saw the image of the head of the
government delegation, the head of the houthi delegation, with the un secretary general in the mineral smiling, shaking hands, it was a rare moment of hope —— middle. just before i came into the bbc tonight, i got before i came into the bbc tonight, igota before i came into the bbc tonight, i got a message from a yemenis activist, saying, did you see that message of hope, did you see that handshake? the yemen foreign minister joked handshake? the yemen foreign ministerjoked on social media, the un secretary general said he had to bring us together, but you don't, we are brothers. but the reality is there is so little hope, on the battlefield, and now there are other yemeni groups who are benefiting not from peace but from wall. and they do not want that war to end. —— war. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: after a terrifying capsize in a huge storm in the pacific, round the world sailor susie goodall finally has her feet on dry land. after eight months on the run, saddam hussein has been tracked down
and captured by american forces. saddam hussein is finished, because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end to three and a half years of conflict, conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life, the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is bbc news,
the latest headlines: the british prime minister has insisted it is still possible to get her brexit deal through parliament, despite the eu ruling out any negotiation. donald trump's former lawyer says the president knew it was wrong to order payments to keep two women silent about their alleged affairs with him. the christmas market in the french city of strasbourg has reopened, after an horrific gun attack two days ago. french president emmanuel macron visited the market a short while ago, laying a flower at a memorial to victims of the attack. the number of dead in the shooting has risen to four, several more remain seriously injured. the suspected gunman, cherif chekatt was killed on thursday night in a shoot—out with police. from strasbourg, gavin lee sent this report. strasbourg, in lights once again after two days of darkness, the main square where people fled for their lives on tuesday night
wasn't considered safe during the search for the gunman, but these famous christmas markets, the oldest in france, have now reopened, the manhunt over, there's a "keep calm and carry on" spirit here. everyone comes back, because i think they want to show that we are living. we are still alive, and we have to enjoy the moment, you know, we have to take some hot wine! do you feel generally safe here now? yes, relieved, yes. i'm from paris, and my family was worried, and they didn't want me to come here, but finally it feels safe here, and i don't regret, because even if it was a little sad yesterday, today it's ok. translation: the fact that i came here is to show that you don't need to be afraid of a certain minority, the majority is not like that,
not at all, and being a muslim, it's not the side that we want to show. it was on this street in the strasbourg suburb of neudorf where the gunman, cherif chekatt, was found and killed. bullet holes in the doorway marked the moment he was confronted by patrol officers who he fired at. they fired back and shot him dead. the 29—year—old, born in strasbourg to an algerian family, is believed to have hidden in the same area for two days. the islamist cell is claimed he was working on orders, although french authorities say he had been acting alone with no support network behind him. a major focus of the police investigation will now look at what went wrong in french surveillance methods after the suspect was added to a list of those being monitored for extremist behaviour. but for now, in the city that promotes itself as the capital of christmas, it's slowly moving on and returning to normal.
gavin lee, bbc news, strasbourg. chelsea have condemned fans who were heard singing anti—semitic songs during their europa league match against vidi in hungary last night — saying they have shamed the club. it comes just days after four fans were suspended for the alleged racial abuse of the manchester city and england player raheem sterling in chelsea's previous match. our sports correspondent joe wilson reports. at their home ground, chelsea present a welcome to the world. but this is a football club shamed by a section of its supporters — and chelsea made that clear today. was a routine european fixture but some took the chance and hungry to chant anti—semitic words about a rival club in london — totte n ha m. this man directed an educational film for chelsea. he is a chelsea
supporter. you might think you are making tottenham charting but when you sing, they are on their way to auschwitz, this is what to clearly charging about. clearly there are people who think it's ok and maybe they don't really understand what it is they are charging, widejewish people or everyone is so offended by it. all but the most hardened fascist hopefully would realise now that it was wrong. insta nces instances of anti—semitism are especially point meant and hard to common land. after all, roman abramovich, who bankrolled the club
are so many years, abramovich, who bankrolled the club are so many years, isjewish. but it comes hard on the heels of chelsea's game against manchester city and what happened there to raheem sterling. allegations he was racially abused by chelsea supporter provoked an enquiry and a debate about football and race. remember the banana skin which was thrown during arsenal's recent game against top? do they's focus is firmly on chelsea but just part top? do they's focus is firmly on chelsea butjust part of big issues for football and society. —— today's. her terrifying journey made headlines around the world — now a british sailor whose boat capsized during a storm in the south pacific has finally arrived in chile. it's a week since susie goodall was rescued by a chinese cargo ship, as she tried to circle the globe solo. duncan kennedy has more. this is what relief looks like. when you step ashore after surviving the drama, the mid—ocean crisis.
a hug from mum, brigitte, and brother, tim, means susie goodall‘s ordeal is finally over. then it was on to a medical check—up before she gave her first insight to the trauma she faced 2,000 miles from land. if you ask me if i'd do this again, now knowing what it's like, i would say yes in a heartbeat. but as i said to the chilean navy captain who brought me ashore from tian fu, i created so much work for everyone involved in the rescue, to which he responded, of course you must do it again. you may ask why. some people just live for adventure, it's human nature, and for me, the sea is where my adventure lies. it was the wild seas of the southern ocean with its 7m waves that triggered the emergency last week. in sailing terms, susie's yacht pitch polled, meaning
it somersaulted forward, end over end, smashing the mast and leaving her stranded for more than two days. it took a crane from a passing freight ship to hoist her out of danger. susie, whose 29, was the youngest competitor in this golden globe race before she hit the storm. by but she trained here at the uk's sailing academy on the isle of wight. this afternoon, we showed her friends the moment she made it back to shore in chile. oh my god. amazing! gives you goose bumps. really pleased for susie, and especially her family. she's been through a real ordeal and experience and adventure over the last few weeks. so pleased she's made it back safely. susie goodall is the third sailor to be rescued in this year's race, but now she's safe and heading home for christmas. duncan kennedy, bbc news.
well, the results are in and we have a winner: mohamed salah has been named bbc african footballer of the year for the second time in a row. he was presented with his award in liverpool by bbc sport africa's mimi fawaz. so i'm here with the winner, congratulations mohamed salah. thank you. take it, it's all yours. last year, when i presented you with the award, you said you'd like to win it again this year, you've done it, what does it feel like being the first player since jay—jay okocha in 2004 to win this back—to—back? i think it's a great feeling, a great feeling, you know, i would like to win it also next year, so i am looking forward from now. but, you know, it's a great feeling to win another award, two years in a row, so happy to win it. when you look back at your 2018, what have been, for you, some of the individual moments where you feel you were at the top of your game? i think that there's
many moments in 2018, like i can say the game against tottenham was the top, the game against rome was also unbelievable. so each moment i feel like i am scoring goals, helping the team to get the points, to be top in the league, you know, that is always a great feeling. anything that you will be looking forward to in the coming year overall? i think ijust want to win something with the club, so everyone is excited, everyone is happy about that, so i also tried to push myself every day to help the team to win something. this season, everyone has... i don't want to save motivation, but everyone wants to win something, so i think we will carry on. congratulations, mohamed, the winner for the 2018 bbc african footballer of the year. thank you very much, thank you.
britain's royal family have revealed the photos they're putting on their christmas cards this year, and it's notjust those who are on their yearly list who get to see what they've picked. the duke and duchess of cambridge have chosen a picture of their family at their norfolk home, while harry and meghan are seen watching fireworks at their wedding reception earlier this year. the duke and duchess of cornwall — meanwhile — are seated on a bench in the grounds of clarence house. perfect for your mantelpiece. two letters know if you've managed to collect the whole set. —— do let us. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @martinstanford. hello. after a fairly quiet day on
friday, the weather is about to turn much more lively as we head through the course of the weekend. the good named storm, storm dierdre, named by met eireann, bringing disruptive weather this weekend with warnings, amber warnings for ice and snow, and there will be freezing rain which will bring widespread ice on any roads and untreated surfaces. here is where we have the amber warnings through saturday and early into sunday as well. ice warnings across much of northern england and southern scotland will have snow and freezing rain here. heavy snow across many central parts of scotland, mainly to the north of the central belt. the reason for this disruptive weather is mild and our, moving in from the atlantic but these were the funds which are packing in an bumping into this cold air, a cold supper laid —— saturday dawned, temperatures sub zero per many of us. that milder air works in from the west along with the rain,
the freezing rain and ice and snow. notjust the freezing rain and ice and snow. not just the the freezing rain and ice and snow. notjust the rain, freezing rain but also strong winds which will cause some disruption. you can see the rain edging eastwards across the country bumping into that cold air in place and it will be turning to snow in place and it will be turning to s now m ostly in place and it will be turning to snow mostly over the higher ground to the north of wales, the pennines but even to the south we could get one 01’ but even to the south we could get one or two flakes of snow earlier on before it turns back to rain during the middle of the afternoon. about 2-5 the middle of the afternoon. about 2—5 centimetres of snow even to low levels across northern england to the north of the central belt, 10— 20 centimetres of snow and the freezing rain will be quite dangerous. rain droplets which will freeze instantly on impact with the cold ground bringing an instant ice rink effect. some pretty disruptive weather through the course of saturday, all down to storm dierdre. it will cause disruption to travel through saturday night into sunday. the freezing rain, snow and ice and
strong winds, your bbc local radio stations will keep you up—to—date with any disruption to travel. heading into the second half of the weekend, we start off sunday with some rain and snow into the north—east which should slowly clear away. it will be a dry day compared to saturday, but is windy. more sunshine in the east but there will be lying snow and still the risk of ice. further rain showers packing in from the west later in the day. it won't be quite as cold service temperatures nudging up about 6— 10 degrees through the day on sunday and things turn a bit milder into the new working week, still u nsettled the new working week, still unsettled with further showers for monday and tuesday as well. — r. —— bye for now. this is bbc news. the headlines: britain's prime minister has insisted talks with rest of the european union will continue over further clarification of arrangements for the northern ireland border. theresa may said she had held robust talks with the european commission president, jean—claude juncker,
after he had complained her requests for clarifications were imprecise. donald trump's former lawyer says the us president knew it was wrong to order payments before the election to keep two women silent about their alleged affairs with him. mr trump has denied asking michael cohen , who's been sentenced to three years in jail, to break the law. there've been sporadic clashes on the outskirts of the crucial yemeni port of hodeida, putting at risk a ceasefire that came into effect on friday. the un's special envoy for yemen said a robust monitoring scheme was needed to ensure the truce could take hold. now on bbc news, as we reach the end of 2018,